Friday, July 01, 2022

Six-month-old babies could soon be vaccinated for Covid-19 in Australia as Pfizer jumps key hurdle

This is alarming. An immature immune system might not cope well with what is often a harmful vaccine

Australia is a step closer to having Covid-19 vaccinations for children aged six months to five years, with Pfizer approved to submit an application to the medical regulator.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has granted a provisional determination to Pfizer, which would allow the pharmaceutical giant to apply to extend vaccine use to the younger cohort.

Currently, the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those aged five and over but there has been talk of extending its use to younger children, after US regulators recently approved a similar move.

A spokesman for the TGA said the provisional determination was the first step.

'The TGA considered all eligibility criteria, including evidence of a plan to submit comprehensive clinical data and the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic,' he said.

'Approval and potential supply in Australia would only commence should the vaccine be approved as safe and effective by the TGA and recommended for administration to this age group by ATAGI.'

The Moderna vaccine for children under five is already being considered for approval by the administration.

Health Minister Mark Butler did not want to put an exact timeframe on when a rollout of the pediatric vaccine would be approved.

'The TGA will take the time it needs to take, that's always been our approach, it was the former government's approach,' he told reporters in Canberra. 'I'm happy with however long they take to do the job properly.'

Mr Butler said discussions had taken place with Moderna and Pfizer to make sure vaccines were ready to be distributed once they were formally approved.

However, the health minister said it was too early to predict what the take-up rate might be.

'We have a great track record in this country of up-to-five immunisations generally,' he said.

'What the take up will be by parents of under fives is a little unknown, we'll be considering what support and information we provide to parents about this.'

The TGA said the determination did not mean Pfizer had yet submitted an application, or that it had been approved; only that it had been allowed to apply for expanded use.

Australia is on track to record its 10,000th death from the virus within days.

NSW, Victoria and Queensland together recorded 50 fatalities in the latest 24-hour reporting period, as the national toll rose to 9897.

NSW Health is warning of a rise in cases this winter as new sub-variants take over, making people vulnerable to a second dose.

The BA.2 sub-lineage remains the dominant variant. However, it is expected BA.4 and BA.5 will soon become so and are likely to be associated with an increase in infections.


Vanishing vaccine mandates

This week, with hardly a whisper from its chief public health officers, Australia largely abandoned its vaccine mandates. For the most part, they remain in force only for those working in health and aged care or with those with disabilities. There has been no explanation given as to why unvaccinated workers can now be ‘welcomed back’ into workplaces. There has been no apology to those who lost their jobs for refusing to be jabbed, or who lost their lives, or their good health, following vaccination. So far, 889 deaths have been reported to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) which may have been caused by vaccination and almost 133,000 people have reported a vaccine injury including more than 140 heart attacks, 360 myocardial infarctions, 500 strokes, 1,400 cases of deep vein thrombosis and 1,500 pulmonary embolisms.

So, why the sudden change in policy? Here’s one possibility. An Israeli study of 5.7 million people, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June, shows that unvaccinated people who gained immunity through infection, were far better protected from Covid than people who were double vaccinated. And while the study did not have enough cases of severe Covid to be definitive, it showed that unvaccinated people with natural immunity were also better protected from severe Covid.

Thus, after more than two years of advising premiers to abandon their pandemic plans and paralyse the entire country until everyone was immunised with experimental vaccines, it seems that our public health officers were wrong. Oops. Not only has Australia wasted billions of dollars on lockdowns, it has damaged the health of the vast majority of Australians by making them more vulnerable to infection with Covid.

Increased vulnerability to infection might explain why, in NSW, teachers who were forced to be double vaccinated to retain their jobs were off sick for a combined 430,351 days in the first six months of this year, an increase of 145,491 days compared to pre-pandemic levels.

It might also explain why excess mortality continues to run at a record high. Excess deaths in March were still almost 10 per cent above the historical baseline and deaths for the first three months of the year were 17.5 per cent higher than the historical average.

This spectacular public health failure was undoubtedly exacerbated by the failure to heed the lessons of early treatment of Covid-19. This time last year, on 26 June, NSW entered its long Delta lockdown. At that time, India was just emerging from its Delta spike. On 26 June 2021, Covid deaths in India were 284 per million, while in Australia they were only 35 per million. A year later on 26 June, deaths per million in Australia and India are identical – 376 per million. What happened?

A year ago, health officials in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, with 240 million inhabitants, advised that they were using a multi-drug cocktail of repurposed medications including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid with astonishing success. From a peak of 34,455 on 29 April, cases plunged to 178 on 26 June. A year later there is an average of one death per day.

The contrast with Australia could not be more stark. Australia’s public health officers weren’t content simply to disregard the evidence of Uttar Pradesh’s success with a multi-drug therapy that included ivermectin, the TGA went further than any other country in the world and on 10 September 2021 banned the use of ivermectin for the treatment of Covid.

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not ban ivermectin, but it is now being sued by three eminent physicians over ‘its unlawful attempts to interfere with the practice of medicine’, specifically its ‘crusade to halt the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19’. The case is being prosecuted by former Ambassador Boyden Gray, who was White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush and who is representing Drs. Mary Talley Bowden, Paul E. Marik, and Robert L. Apter. They maintain that the FDA had no right to mount a campaign against a drug that had been approved and attempts to do so amounted to unlawful interference in the practice of medicine, a right reserved to the states in the US. As a result of the FDA’s actions, the doctors were referred to medical boards for disciplinary proceedings and were forced to resign from positions in hospitals.

Unfortunately, public health officials in Australia pursued the same policy of persecuting doctors who dared to criticise official public health policy. For example, Dr Paul Oosterhuis, a NSW anaesthetist with over thirty years experience in critical care and resuscitation, had his registration as a medical practitioner suspended on 3 September because of four anonymous complaints made to the Medical Council of NSW about his Facebook posts, which encouraged people to take vitamin D, zinc and seek early treatment with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine if they became infected with Covid. In May, Dr Oosterhuis turned the tables on the Medical Council by taking them to the Supreme Court of NSW for failing to refer the complaints about him to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Two days before the case was to be heard on 12 May, the NSW Medical Council revoked his suspension. Perhaps they were stung by a judgement in the Supreme Court of NSW in April which characterised their conduct in relation to another doctor as ‘irrational’ and lacking any ‘evidentiary foundation’.

Dr Oosterhuis was not the only doctor to be punished in this way. Dr Robert Brennan, a general practitioner in NSW had his medical registration suspended for signing a newsletter from the Covid Medical Network, now the Australian Medical Network, which advocated early treatment and challenged the evidence base for lockdowns, and for mask and vaccine mandates. After conferring with the Medical Council of NSW, the Health Care Commission revoked his suspension on 17 May but warned they might take action against him again if he promoted messages ‘not in accordance with public health orders’.

In Victoria, Dr Mark Hobart is still fighting to have his medical registration restored after it was suspended for the ‘crime’ of issuing temporary exemptions to people who were concerned about the safety and efficacy of the Covid vaccines. Considering public health officials have now quietly abandoned most of their mandates, and the vaccines have been shown to be ineffective in preventing the spread of Covid, one wonders on what grounds they can possibly justify his suspension. Presumably, like their counterparts in NSW, they will abandon the case days before it comes to court but, if the NSW Medical Council is any guide, an apology, and compensation, will take a lot longer.




Thursday, June 30, 2022

New COVID variants BA.4 and BA.5 now make up over HALF of US cases as experts fear strains will fuel another summer surge

New COVID-19 variants are starting to rise in the United States, with the highly feared BA.4 and BA.5 strains now making up around half of active cases in the nation - according to most recently available sequencing data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed Tuesday that the strains combine for 52 percent of sequenced cases during the week that ended on June 25 - combining to overtake the previously dominant BA 2.12.1 strain.

Both strains are believed to have originated in South Africa, where the original Omicron strain was first spotted as well. Unlike previous sub-variants of the highly infectious strains, they are believed to be capable of evading natural immunity provided by previous Omicron infection.

This presents a great challenge for health officials, as many that should be safe from infection for months into the future may suddenly get unexpectedly re-infected and spark another surge.

These variants' rise have not made much of an impact on case figures yet, though. Daily infections have increased 10 percent to 109,384 per day, a range it has remained in for the last month. The U.S. is also recorded 398 deaths per day, a 14 percent week-over-week increase.

The BA.5 variant now makes up 36.6 percent of sequenced cases, according to the CDC, only trailing BA 2.12.1 (42 percent of sequenced cases) as the nation's most prevalent strain. BA.4, which shares many of the same traits as BA.5, makes up 15.7 percent of cases.

Every single sequenced cases in the U.S. is a form of the Omicron variant as the highly infectious strain that emerged in late 2021 has snuffed out other versions of the virus.

The once-dominant BA.2 'stealth' variant now makes up less than six percent of Covid cases in the U.S. The original BA.1 Omicron strain is no longer being detected.

The strains have alarmed health officials after early data from South Africa showed that natural immunity a person has from a previous infection is not as effective against them as it is other strains.

While their rise has not yet impacted national case figures, some experts are warning that more localized outbreaks are on the way.

In New York City, Dr Jay Varma, former public health advisor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, warns that BA.5 could the reason case figures in the nation's largest city are no longer declining.

'The decline of reported [COVID-19] cases in NYC has stopped. Reported cases are at a high plateau, which means actual transmission is very high when you account for the >20x under-counting. This is likely the beginning of a BA.5 wave,' he said in a tweet.

According to CDC data, BA.5 makes up nearly one-in-three cases in the New York and New Jersey region. BA.4 makes up nearly 12 percent of cases while BA 2.12.1 remains dominant.

Unlike usual Covid strains, which take root along the east coast before spreading west over time, these two strains have taken root on the other side of the country first.

BA.5 makes up 36 percent of sequenced cases along the west coast and 38 percent in the Pacific Northwest. It is most prevalent in in the Dust Bowl, where it makes up 41 percent of sequenced cases and the southwest, where it is at 40 percent.

New strains that break the general rules of the pandemic - that once a person is infected they can not catch the virus again for some time - change the calculus of the virus response.

Fearing the new strains, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to roll out newly formulated COVID-19 vaccines that specifically target the Omicron variant.

By a 19-2 vote, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) approved plans to rollout newly formulated vaccines this fall - citing the vaccine resistant traits of the Omicron variant.

All currently available versions of the COVID-19 vaccines are formulated to the original Wuhan strain that emerged two years ago.

While they are still effective at preventing severe infection or death in a majority of cases, the Omicron variant has mutated in a way to avoid front end protection from infection.

This change allows for both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to begin distribution of newly formulated shots that should be able to prevent infection from the Omicron variant - along with previous versions of the virus.

The FDA is expected to follow the lead of its advisors and issue emergency use authorization to the new jabs at some point this week.

After the FDA, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also likely authorize the shots.

Dr Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the FDA's top regulatory body for vaccines, said Tuesday morning he hoped to make the new shots available as early as this October.


The CDC is deceiving us again — this time covering up for unsafe hospitals

If you have to go to the hospital, you don’t want to end up in a dangerous one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention knows which hospitals are riskiest, but it’s hiding that information from you — your safety be damned. The feds seem to think they work for the hospital industry, not for you.

Whenever a hospital has a superbug outbreak, the CDC conceals its identity, referring only to “Hospital A.” A lot of good that does patients looking for safe care, especially patients with compromised immune systems, cancer or HIV.

It’s no joke to find out, after you’re already in the hospital, that a superbug is raging room to room or has invaded the nursery where your newborn will be placed. That’s what happens when the CDC hides outbreaks.

Now the CDC is playing statistical tricks to hide how many people have caught COVID in hospitals and to block the public from seeing which hospitals have had the biggest problems — “partly on fears of embarrassing hospitals,” Politico reports.

The stakes are high; 21% of patients who catch COVID in the hospital never make it out, Kaiser Health News found — triple the death rate for patients who don’t catch COVID.

Though the pandemic may be fading, vulnerable patients need to know which hospitals proved proficient at preventing the spread of COVID inside their walls. It’s a safety measure.

Over the course of the pandemic, tens of thousands of patients went into the hospital for other reasons — such as hip surgery, kidney disease or a heart attack — and got infected with COVID.

The CDC is rigging the definition of hospital-acquired COVID to hide this problem.

The agency says only patients who test positive after being hospitalized at least 14 days are considered infected by the hospital. That eliminates almost everyone. The average patient stays only 4.6 days.

The CDC definition also excludes any patient who left the hospital and then developed symptoms or picked up the virus in the emergency room.

It’s a coverup. The United Kingdom and many European countries count COVID infections diagnosed seven or eight days after patients enter as hospital-acquired.

At some hospitals, more than 5% of patients caught COVID there, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of state data and Medicare billing data. The CDC refuses to name these hospitals, defying Freedom of Information Act requests from the media.

When a plane crashes, the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t conceal the identity of the airline. Why does the CDC cover up for a hospital?

To be fair, the pandemic hit some regions and some hospitals harder than others. But it’s also true that some hospitals took precautions to stop the virus from spreading and succeeded in providing safer care than others.

Some hospitals tested all incoming patients for the virus and retested days later to be sure. Testing proved critical, because most patients who contracted COVID in the hospitals got it from another patient. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, eight out of nine patients who became infected caught COVID from the patient sharing their room, per the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In January, during the Omicron surge, rates of hospital-acquired COVID were higher in New York than the national average, though lower than in Washington, DC, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of unpublished federal data. Trouble is, citywide averages don’t tell you what you need to know — the adequacy of infection prevention in your hospital.

It’s time to end the CDC’s secrecy in the service of hospitals. The CDC’s ploy to hide hospital-acquired COVID is a red flag.

Call the CDC the Centers for Deception and Coverups. The nation should be demanding a health agency that deals honestly with the public. If you have health problems, your life could depend on it.




Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Doctors urge CDC to revise stringent COVID-19 measures for kids: They 'have been steamrolled'

During presidential remarks on COVID-19 vaccines for children under five-years-old, President Joe Biden alarmed folks on Twitter when he spoke of the government preparing for the 'second pandemic.'

Trying to help people who one signer said had been "steamrolled" by draconian COVID-19 guidelines, a letter from prominent medical professionals this week called on the Biden administration to strongly revise its mitigation guidelines for children.

"The most defenseless people in America have been steamrolled by many COVID policies," Dr. Marty Makary told Fox News Digital. "The last people in America to be forced to wear masks were waiters, waitresses and children… At this point, we need to stop the excessive restrictions that continue to harm children. And that's why I signed on."

Makary was one of the 29 doctors and scientists to sign the letter from Urgency of Normal, which was formed over concerns that continued COVID-19 measures for U.S. children are doing more harm than good and rejecting a holistic approach to pediatric health. Addressing White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha and Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, they declared the emergency phase of coronavirus is over and said it's time to restore "equitable and maximal access to education, sports, and social connectedness for all children. Their health and well-being depend on it."

"We strongly urge you to revise the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines with regards to testing, isolation, and vaccine recommendations for children to ensure that public health policies are not doing more harm than good," their letter stated, led by Dr. Vinay Prasad and Dr. Lucy McBride. It was co-signed by dozens of parent organizations, many of them formed to urge school re-openings during the pandemic.

"Many European countries, U.S. states and Canadian provinces have already updated their COVID-19 policies to reflect that vaccines and infection-acquired immunity have reduced the risk of a severe COVID-19 outcome for youth, and to acknowledge that all mitigation measures have unintended consequences. Massachusetts, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, British Columbia and elsewhere have recommended an end to routine screening testing and mandatory isolation periods for children. Most have also eliminated any COVID-19 vaccine requirements for children to fully participate in public life."

Dr. Nicole Saphier, a Fox News contributor, also signed onto the letter.

"I would say the majority of Americans feel that COVID is in the rearview mirror for us. Our policies are not reflecting that," she told Fox News Digital.

Between widespread vaccinations, milder variants and protective natural immunity, coronavirus has become more of a bad cold for most people than anything truly severe, she said. Yet, there are still elementary schools sending children home for five days if they're positive for COVID-19, regardless of symptoms, and college students who can't stay on campus if they haven't been boosted.

"We have to get back to where we've always been with kids. Meaning, if your kid's sick, keep them home from school. If they're not, send them to school," Saphier said.

The letter harped on the ruinous consequences of prolonged school closures, which have included learning loss, widening achievement gaps between high- and low-income students, as well as rising mental health issues and long-term educational disruptions. Children have also been statistically at a scant risk of severe outcomes from the virus throughout the pandemic; according to the CDC, those aged 0-17 make up about 22.3 percent of the U.S. population but have accounted for about 0.1 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.

It's well past time for the Biden administration to get with the rest of the world and relax the stringent measures, the letter argued.

"We have never systematically screened and isolated children, nor forcibly excluded them from school or other activities, for other respiratory viruses," the letter stated. "Instead, affected individuals have been able to return to work or school as soon as they are fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms are improving, without testing. At this point, the CDC should recommend these same common-sense policies for COVID-19, as other nations have done, protecting high risk groups while facilitating unrestricted return to work and school."

Among their recommendations were to replace asymptomatic testing with a "test-to-treat" approach that focuses on treating vulnerable and immunocompromised youngsters, and rescind the CDC recommendation against vaccinating and boosting healthy, young people. The CDC continues to recommend "universal" indoor mask use in areas of high COVID transmission, "screening testing for high-risk activities such as indoor sports and extracurricular activities," and isolating for at least five days if unvaccinated and exposed to COVID-19.

The letter came the same week as the Biden administration scaled up efforts to vaccinate children under 5 years old, the last age group that has not been inoculated. Makary, a Johns Hopkins health policy expert and surgeon, questioned why there is a "disproportionate enthusiasm" around vaccinating kids under five years old.

"We see this lockstep, sort of toeing the party line that simply violates the very nature of a scientific forum," the Fox News contributor said. "There appears to be this agenda-driven series of policies that go against a large body of scientific data… Why are we immunizing children who are already immune? That's never made sense medically."

"Many medical COVID policies at institutions are being written by general counsels, lawyers who perceive that they cannot be out of step with CDC guidelines," he added. "One of the goals of the letter is to make it known that a large chorus of physicians, of respected physicians, have, just in perspective, looked at the comprehensive health and not just transmission of one virus. And the cure cannot be worse than the disease. We shut kids out of school, ignited a mental health crisis, all in the name of burning a village in order to save it. It's time for kids to get back to normal life. Population immunity is impeccably high."

"A lot of places are hiding behind the safety net of the CDC," Saphier said. "Well, if they do anything that goes against what the CDC says, and then something actually happens, they're concerned about liability, but this shouldn't be about liability. What about the liability of the harm that we have done to these children and people in general with these COVID policies?"

Makary and Saphier see media responsibility for the U.S. still being an "outlier" in its COVID mitigation measures. A study found last year that U.S. media coverage had been far more negative than its counterparts in the rest of the world, with drastic consequences, particularly for more liberal readers. HBO late-night host Bill Maher scolded the liberal press for "scaring the s--t" out of people and leading them to believe a COVID diagnosis was likely to land them in the hospital.

"There continues to be a blind parroting by the mainstream media of government doctors putting out dogmatic COVID policies," Makary said.

Saphier, whose book "Panic Attack" delved into what she called playing politics with science around COVID-19, said the media promulgated fear throughout the pandemic.

"As soon as more data became evident, it should have been, protect the vulnerable while the remaining country goes on," she said. "But again, they were very delayed in acknowledging this, and even in some places they are still not, as we are seeing the mandates in colleges and even the children, you still have children in preschool in New York City wearing masks when there's not one shred of evidence demonstrating a benefit. But there certainly is evidence demonstrating harm."

"At this point, it's clear that children are going to be most healthy if they are allowed to live their lives," Makary said.


More Than 1M Voters Switch to GOP in Warning for Dems

A political shift is beginning to take hold across the U.S. as tens of thousands of suburban swing voters who helped fuel the Democratic Party’s gains in recent years are becoming Republicans.

More than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to the Republican Party over the last year, according to voter registration data analyzed by The Associated Press. The previously unreported number reflects a phenomenon that is playing out in virtually every region of the country — Democratic and Republican states along with cities and small towns — in the period since President Joe Biden replaced former President Donald Trump.

But nowhere is the shift more pronounced — and dangerous for Democrats — than in the suburbs, where well-educated swing voters who turned against Trump’s Republican Party in recent years appear to be swinging back. Over the last year, far more people are switching to the GOP across suburban counties from Denver to Atlanta and Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Republicans also gained ground in counties around medium-size cities such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; Augusta, Georgia; and Des Moines, Iowa.

Ben Smith, who lives in suburban Larimer County, Colorado, north of Denver, said he reluctantly registered as a Republican earlier in the year after becoming increasingly concerned about the Democrats’ support in some localities for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines, the party’s inability to quell violent crime and its frequent focus on racial justice.

“It’s more so a rejection of the left than embracing the right,” said Smith, a 37-year-old professional counselor whose transition away from the Democratic Party began five or six years ago when he registered as a libertarian.

The AP examined nearly 1.7 million voters who had likely switched affiliations across 42 states for which there is data over the last 12 months, according to L2, a political data firm. L2 uses a combination of state voter records and statistical modeling to determine party affiliation. While party switching is not uncommon, the data shows a definite reversal from the period while Trump was in office, when Democrats enjoyed a slight edge in the number of party switchers nationwide.

But over the last year, roughly two-thirds of the 1.7 million voters who changed their party affiliation shifted to the Republican Party. In all, more than 1 million people became Republicans compared to about 630,000 who became Democrats.




Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Thank Trump for abortion decision

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“This was not an easy thing to do, but I am very proud to have done it. Likewise, few would have had the courage to write about it.”

That was former President Donald Trump, responding on Truth Social to a piece by’s John Nolte entitled, “Only the MAGA movement could have ended the atrocity of Roe v. Wade,” wherein Nolte makes the case that but for the election of Trump in 2016, and the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision Roe v. Wade would have never been overturned by the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization on June 24.

In it, Nolte bluntly put it: “If you consider yourself a pro-life Republican and weren’t on the Trump Train in 2016, sit your pansy-ass down. Had you and your precious ‘principles’ won the day, Hillary Clinton would have appointed those three Supreme Court justices instead of Donald Trump, and the moral atrocity known as Roe v. Wade would still be a ‘constitutional right.’”

Nolte is right. If former President Trump had never been elected — particularly, if the Never Trump movement in the Republican Party had had its way as it sought to ensure Hillary Clinton would be elected — and this day would have never come.

Never forget.

Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were all appointed by Trump as Justices to the Supreme Court in 2017, 2018, and 2020, respectively, replacing Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginbsurg, reshaping the nation’s highest court and setting the stage for it to now, in the words of Marbury v. Madison, “to say what the law is.”

For that is all the philosophy of a judicial constitutionalist, either textualists or originalists, essentially entails. The Constitution enumerates certain powers to the executive, legislative and judicial branches, and protects other specifically enumerated rights, like the freedom of speech and of the press and of the right to peaceably assemble, the right to bear arms, the right to not be deprived of life, liberty or property in a criminal or civil context without due process of law, the right against cruel and inhumane punishment and others.

Abortion on the other hand was never an enumerated right in the Constitution. It was read into it as an implicit right by the Court in Roe and a string of decisions such as Griswold v. Connecticut overturning a state law banning contraceptives — the so-called right to privacy cases — that created a jenga tower of precedents, all depending on a majority of liberal, activist judges to preserve, and beginning to fall as soon there wasn’t.

Griswold and Roe gave birth to the modern constitutionalist movement, a countervailing force that Ronald Reagan arguably institutionalized when he won the presidential election in 1980.

Since Reagan, Republican presidents have all contributed to the current majority on the Court that ruled to overturn Roe.

George H.W. Bush gave us Clarence Thomas. George W. Bush gave us John Roberts and Samuel Alito, the latter of whom penned the majority opinion in Dobbs. And Trump, with the leadership of then-Judiciary Committee Chairmen Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first kept the Antonin Scalia seat vacant throughout 2016, and then brought on Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett, who now combine for the current, solid 6-3 constitutionalist majority that overturned Roe.

That makes 2016 the critical moment. The tipping point where the work Reagan began was completed by Trump. And yet, in 2016, there was a political movement in the GOP that sought to ensure that former President Trump would never get the Republican Party nomination, and if he did, that he would never be elected.

They knew what they were doing, and what it would mean for the Supreme Court, and particularly any rulings on abortion, the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, etc. if Clinton had won. Judicial activism would have reigned supreme.


Why the Left will cut Biden loose

Unlike the Trump administration’s successful four years, Mr. Biden’s tenure has been an utter disaster. There are no policy offsets to the personal liabilities and unpopularity of Mr. Biden himself.

Mr. Biden’s liabilities transcend his physical infirmities, his advanced age and his seeming geometric rather than an arithmetic rate of mental decline.

Mr. Biden, moreover, proves daily that he is not a nice guy. His excesses, past and present, are precisely those the left considers mortal sins.

Walking back Mr. Biden’s absurdities has become the nonstop, tiresome task of many on the left. As it faces a midterm disaster in November, many no longer see any compensating reasons not to drop Mr. Biden.

When the Republicans take the House of Representatives in 2022 there will be nonstop investigations of Hunter Biden’s alleged tax avoidances, his possibly illegal work as an unregistered foreign agent, and Mr. Biden’s untaxed compensation he received from the Biden lobbying consortium.

Consider also Mr. Biden’s nastiness.

During the 2020 campaign he personally attacked a young co-ed as a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” and a stocky questioner was reduced to “fat.”

Unlike former President Donald Trump’s art of the deal, exaggerations and distortions, Mr. Biden says things that are not simply untrue, but abjectly preposterous — such as the United States currently has a lower inflation rate than major European industrial powers.

In Mr. Biden’s world, there were no COVID-19 vaccinations until he took the oath of office. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the oil companies, the refiners or Mr. Trump is responsible for the historic crippling gasoline price hikes he caused by canceling drilling and pipeline projects.

Mr. Biden claims his negative-growth, hyperinflating economy is not disastrous but strong.

He serially lies that he drove a semi-truck. He has not been to the Middle East 38 times. He never received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. Nor was he a full professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

The MAGA movement is not the “most extreme political organization in American history.”

In other words, Mr. Biden reveals the same fantasies and plagiarism that ended his 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns.

On matters of race and sexuality, Mr. Biden is the epitome of that for which the left, supposedly, has zero tolerance. Mr. Biden was infamous for damning with praise then-candidate Barack Obama as the first “clean” and “articulate” African American presidential candidate.

In a fake patois, Mr. Biden once warned an audience of Black professionals that Mitt Romney would “put y’all back in chains.”

During the 2020 campaign, candidate Biden derided a Black journalist as a “junkie” and lambasted a radio host and his audience with the claim “you ain’t Black” if they didn’t support his candidacy.

Spinning racialist fables like Mr. Biden’s “Corn Pop” stories would brand any conservative politician as a racist. As president, Mr. Biden still uses the term “negro,” and he called an African American adviser “boy.”

On disturbing matters of sexuality, Mr. Biden is even more coarse.

After the Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh hearings, the nation was lectured that “women must be believed.” But it was the left who attacked former Biden aide Tara Reade who surfaced in 2016 to accuse then-Sen. Biden, her former boss, of sexually assaulting her.

Mr. Biden himself had a creepy history of invading the private space of young women — inappropriately kissing them, hugging and squeezing them, and smelling and blowing into their hair and ears.

Finally, Mr. Biden was forced to apologize — sort of — by claiming he belonged to an earlier generation when such aggression was simply normal behavior. It was not then or now.

The latest controversies whirl around the British tabloid Daily Mail’s publication of the diary of Mr. Biden’s own daughter.

From the Mail’s lurid reporting, Ashley Biden seems to suggest that she showered with her father at an age when “showers w/my dad (probably [were] not appropriate).” And she seemed to connect Mr. Biden familial inappropriateness with her regret over being “hyper-sexualized (at) a young age.”

When Mr. Trump was accused by porn star Stormy Daniels of a consensual tryst or was caught on old Access Hollywood tape crudely boasting about inappropriately touching female admirers, the resulting uproar nearly derailed the Trump 2016 campaign.

The point is not just the asymmetrical treatment that has shielded Mr. Biden’s cognitive decline, rude outbursts, outrageous racialist slurs and bizarre sexual aggressiveness.

Instead, the left now fears Mr. Biden’s terrible polls and a worse record — and the resulting damage he is doing to the Democratic Party.

In such a losing political context, Democrats will soon find no further reason to cover for Mr. Biden’s own serial abhorrent personal behavior on matters of financial probity, sex, race and truthfulness.

No wonder they are growing desperate to find ways to cut him loose — without making Vice President Kamala Harris his successor.




Monday, June 27, 2022

Lockdown’s impact on young children: a look at the data

Michael Simmons

How much damage did lockdown inflict on children’s development? This could be one of the least-explored scandals in public life given that neither Tory nor Labour (who both backed lockdown) are keen to look at the aftermath. But the Institute for Fiscal Studies is branching out from its normal financial remit and has published a report on early years inequality, and it has found serious grounds for concern.

The report, Early childhood inequalities (part of the Deaton review) looked at educational and developmental inequality in very young children: especially those aged two. This was a demographic that was considered by no one during lockdown, but other literature shows these two years are crucial in a child’s development. What effect might the lockdown have had on these infants?

The IFS gave scores for five ‘domains of development’ for two-year-old children. Falls were particularly steep in social and communication skills, with the proportion of children at the expected level declining by three percentage points during the pandemic. One in eight two-year-olds are unable to communicate at the level normally expected. The report’s authors said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic is a further setback, with all signs pointing to the fact that it will have exacerbated early inequalities’.

The falls came despite ‘unprecedented’ investment in early-years education, development and care. Funding for free pre-school and early years childcare increased from £1 billion at the start of the Blair government to just under £4 billion by the end of 2019 – due to a wider understanding of just how important these first few years of life are. The funding, of course, wouldn’t have been much use when facilities were closed: some lessons just can’t be taught on Zoom.

Inequality data can be sparse. However, the study pointed to figures that suggest the inequality gap in childhood development among five-year-olds had been narrowing until the mid-2010s. It then began to widen and the authors say Covid may have ‘exacerbated’ the gap. The report goes no further than that.

The report comes after a study from Sweden found that ‘no learning loss’ had occurred in the country during its pandemic. Sweden of course kept its schools open – and as Matthew Parris argued in the magazine, ended up with a far lower death count than Britain. The study of 97,100 Swedish primary school children not only found no learning loss but also no specific disadvantage for poorer kids. The same can’t be said for England. The IFS highlights how any developmental declines were worse for the most disadvantaged parts of society. But then again, in Australia some studies have also suggested there was no learning loss there, despite school closures. Further research is urgently needed.

Data on absences is concerning too. Some 105,000 English school children are ‘severely absent’ meaning they miss more school days than they attend. Teachers report the same thing: anxiety up, attention down. ‘The ones that can’t cope don’t turn up’, one teacher is quoted as saying. More than 1,000 schools had an entire classroom full of children absent last Autumn – a 53 per cent increase on 2020.

The picture is the same across the country. In Scotland, the attainment gap – which Nicola Sturgeon calls her ‘defining mission’ – widened. Previously it has been narrowing at a snail’s pace. Concerningly not only did the gap grow but scores fell for the well-off as well as the most deprived.

With Baroness Hallett’s Covid public inquiry beginning its private evidence gathering, this could be the only real hope for an official look at the effect of lockdown in all of its dimensions. The IFS report offers a glimpse into what could be a far bigger story.


Australia: Vaccines on trial

When a two-year-old boy died in South Australia last week, Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier was quick to link the death to Covid adding, ‘I know that parents who have heard this news will be pretty worried… that something may happen to their young child if they catch Covid,’ and advising that ‘the best thing families can do, because we’re not vaccinating that age group, is make sure everyone else in the family is vaccinated.’

One family that didn’t take kindly to Spurrier’s announcement were the grieving parents of the deceased child. The infuriated father wrote on the SA Health Facebook page, ‘How dare you lie about my son! He did not die of Covid, you lying witch!’ The mother was equally incensed accusing Spurrier of using her son’s death ‘to push an agenda’ when the cause of death had not even been established.

The agenda is the vaccination against Covid of children aged six months to four years. It was a new low for Spurrier but she is not alone in distorting facts in the rush to vaccinate babies and toddlers.

Dr Clare Craig, a diagnostic pathologist was shocked by the shoddy data Pfizer presented to the FDA in support of its application. Craig is co-chair of the HART Group, highly qualified UK doctors, scientists, economists and other experts who came together over shared concerns about policy relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Craig noted, that the trial recruited 4,526 children yet only 1,526 children made it to the end of the trial, a staggering rate of attrition. She called on Pfizer to explain why two-thirds of the participants dropped out and said without an explanation the trial should be deemed ‘null and void’.

The results of the trial are even more disturbing. There were no cases approximating severe Covid, so Pfizer cooked up its own definition of children experiencing a slightly raised heart rate or a few more breaths per minute. On this basis, there were six children aged two to four in the vaccine group who had ‘severe Covid’ but only one in the placebo group, which suggests the vaccine might actually be causing the children to get ‘severe Covid’. Even more damning, one child had to be hospitalised because they had a fever and suffered a seizure and that child had been vaccinated.

Yet it was when it came to counting cases of Covid, that Pfizer got really creative. In the three weeks after the children had their first shot, 34 vaccinated children got Covid and only 13 in the placebo group, a 30 per cent increase in the risk of getting Covid among the vaccinated, so Pfizer simply ignored that data. There was an eight-week period between the second and third dose during which, once again, more children got Covid in the vaccinated group, and this trend persisted after the third dose. Indeed, to get a positive result, Pfizer had to ignore 97 per cent of all Covid cases that occurred during the trial and only counted ten cases that occurred right at the end, three in the vaccine arm and seven in the placebo arm, declaring that this proved the vaccine was effective.

But that’s not all. In the two-month follow-up period, 12 children got Covid twice and all bar one of them were vaccinated, mostly triple dosed.

On Friday, on the basis of this dodgy data, Pfizer was granted an Emergency Use Authorisation by the FDA, approval that is meant to be granted only when the treatment group faces serious injury or death. Yet as the trial demonstrated, Pfizer was forced to invent a bogus definition of ‘severe Covid’ because Covid is so mild in children in this age group. Moderna’s two-shot vaccine was also approved based on a study which showed efficacy of just 37 per cent, far below the minimum level set at 50 per cent. On Saturday, a panel at the US Centers for Disease Control voted unanimously to recommend approval of the vaccines guaranteeing that they will be rolled out in the US and almost certainly be approved for use in Australia too.

How it can be ethical to give a vaccine to infants who are at so little risk, when there is no long-term safety data is a mystery, especially when so many studies raise safety concerns. Bio-distribution studies that Pfizer conducted but tried to keep secret show that the the lipid nanoparticles that contain the mRNA do not stay in the arm but travel to every organ including the testes and ovaries, where they have unknown impact on reproductive health. The journal Andrology published a peer-reviewed paper last Friday showing large decreases in sperm counts in men after the second Pfizer jab. Transfected cells expressing the spike protein can cause autoimmune diseases including myocarditis.

They also seem to attack key parts of the immune system that suppress viruses and cancers, perhaps explaining why so many vaccinated people suffer the reactivation of latent viruses. mRNA and transfected spike protein can also remain for extended periods in the lymph node germinal centres damaging the immune system by causing T-cell exhaustion. The latest nightmare is that the vaccines appear to trigger a new aggressive form of Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease in some people and amyloidosis in others.

Why does the FDA seem so indifferent to the dangers posed by the vaccine? It’s impossible to say but a trial about to get underway in the US may throw light on the matter. Robert Barnes is the attorney for Brook Jackson, a whistleblower who worked on the Pfizer vaccine trials. Barnes alleges that Jackson reported to the FDA that the Pfizer trials were ‘riddled not only with error but with fraudulent and false certifications to the US government’.

What is fascinating is that Barnes says that Pfizer has moved to dismiss the case on the grounds that it doesn’t matter if they submitted fraudulent certifications or false statements under penalty of perjury to the government, or lied about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine because the government knew what was going on and was their co-conspirator.

It sounds incredible, but it would explain why the FDA tried to suppress the Pfizer trial data for 75 years. And why it seems to pay so little heed to the harm it might do to little children.




Sunday, June 26, 2022

Doctors’ Group Urges Biden Administration to End Quarantine, Vaccine Recommendations for Children

A group of doctors is urging top government officials to quickly reverse recommendations that have left children in isolation for days and advice that virtually every child get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We strongly urge you to revise the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines with regards to testing, isolation, and vaccine recommendations for children to ensure that public health policies are not doing more harm than good,” the group, Urgency of Normal, wrote in a June 21 open letter to Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC’s guidelines say that people, including children, who are exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for at least five days, and encourage widespread COVID-19 testing.

The agency also recommends that all children 6 months of age or older get a COVID-19 vaccine, following the recent authorization of the Moderna and Pfizer shots for kids under 5.

The doctors noted that many European countries, U.S. states, and other areas have updated COVID-19 policies to greatly reduce periods of quarantine, COVID-19 testing frequency, and forced vaccination.

They’re asking U.S. officials to adapt to a “test-to-treat” approach, which would focus on recommending vaccination and treatments to those at the highest risk from COVID-19, which are primarily the elderly and others with serious underlying health conditions.

The CDC should also change its vaccine recommendations, which have led to vaccination mandates at colleges and even some lower-level schools, to state that children getting a vaccine should be discussed between the individual and their doctor.

“The emergency phase of COVID-19 is over. We call upon the CDC to update current guidelines to reflect the era of endemic management in which COVID-19 infections are treated similarly to other seasonal respiratory viruses, which do not require routine testing or isolation. It is time to join our peer countries in recognizing the importance of restoring equitable and maximal access to education, sports, and social connectedness for all children. Their health and well-being depend on it,” the group said.

The White House and the CDC did not return requests for comment.

Dr. Jeanne Noble, an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and one of the doctors, told The Epoch Times in an email that the group has not yet heard back from the White House or the CDC.

“The timing of this letter is to push for normalization of children’s social and extracurricular activities over the summer, so that our highest need students can benefit from unfettered access to summer enrichment programs and that all kids enjoy summer camps and sports without exclusion based on testing and vaccination requirements,” Noble said.

“It is our hope that moving beyond pandemic policies over the summer will further pave the way for a full return to a normal school year in the fall, free of COVID-specific restrictions.”


COVID-19 Vaccination Reactivates Highly Contagious Virus: Studies

Doctors and scientists are seeing an increase in the reactivation of the chickenpox virus, known as varicella-zoster virus (VZV), following the COVID-19 injections.

The chickenpox virus is one of the eight herpes viruses known to infect humans. After a person contracts and recovers from chickenpox, the virus never leaves the body but lies dormant in the nervous system for life.

The chickenpox virus will show up as shingles, or herpes zoster (HZ) when it gets reactivated.

Federal health authorities claim that there’s no correlation between COVID-19 injections and shingles, but studies show that there is a higher incidence of shingles in people who’ve received the vaccine.

Israel was one of the earlier countries to publish a case series of six women (out of 491 participants) with an autoimmune disorder who developed shingles 3 to 14 days after receiving the first or second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 shot. None of the 99 participants in the control group developed shingles. The study was published in the journal Rheumatology in April 2021.

“To our knowledge, there were no reports of varicella-like skin rash or HZ in the mRNA-based vaccines COVID-19 clinical trials and our case series is the first one to report this observation in patients within a relatively young age range: 36–61, average age 49 ± 11 years,” the authors wrote.

They hoped that publishing the case series would “raise awareness to a potential causal link between COVID-19 vaccination as a trigger of HZ reactivation in relatively young patients with stable AIIRD [autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases].”

In a different case study from Taiwan, researchers reported three healthy men ages 71, 46, and 42 who developed shingles two to seven days following the first dose of the Moderna or AstraZeneca COVID-19 injection.

“HZ does not often appear after the administration of other kinds of vaccinations,” the researchers wrote. “But we believed that there might be a link between COVID-19 vaccine and HZ emergence.”

“One of the reasons is the short delay of onset after vaccination. The other reason is that these three patients were immunocompetent,” they added.

The largest study to date, based on real-world data (pdf) of more than two million patients, found that there was a higher incidence of shingles among the vaccinated (who received a COVID-19 shot within 60 days) than in the unvaccinated cohort, who were diagnosed with shingles within 60 days of visiting a healthcare office for any other reason.

According to the researchers, the risk of developing shingles was calculated as 0.20 percent for the vaccinated group and 0.11 percent for the unvaccinated, and the “difference was statistically highly significant.”

“Reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus appears to be a potential ADR [adverse drug reaction] to COVID-19 vaccines, at least for mRNA LNP-based formulations,” the authors wrote, adding that “vaccination against COVID-19 seems to potentially raise the risk of precipitating HZ [herpes zoster].”

Dr. Richard Urso, an ophthalmologist, and drug design and treatment specialist, told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program in April 2022 that of the three to five patients he sees a week with long COVID or problems after receiving the COVID-19 shot, “a huge number of them have reactivated Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, CMV.”

Regardless of the rise in reports of shingles after the rollout of the COVID-19 shots, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims that it has not detected any safety signal between the two.


Little-Known Inflation Bonds Gain Huge Popularity as Inflation Worsens

Inflation-protected bonds issued by the Treasury Department have exploded in popularity in recent months as Americans seek safe investments after being battered by the stock and bond markets.

I bonds, inflation-linked savings bonds, currently offer an annual interest rate of 9.62 percent. Investors can purchase these bonds at the current rate through October 2022 by creating a TreasuryDirect account. The rate is valid for six months after the purchase.

Due to high inflation, I bonds have emerged as one of the hottest investment assets of the year. Although these bonds have been around since 1998, interest in them has exploded over the past couple of months, according to Joseph Hogue, an investment analyst and creator of the YouTube channel Let’s Talk Money.

This is because no safe bond investment, especially savings bonds, has ever offered such a high-interest rate, Hogue told The Epoch Times.

Google search trends and the popularity of YouTube videos discussing I bonds, he added, have been good indicators of their rising popularity.

The Treasury has issued about 10 times more I bonds this year compared to 2021. The rates for I bonds are adjusted twice a year on May 1 and Nov. 1. Interest is accrued monthly and compounded semiannually. If inflation goes higher, so will the yield.

Mel Lindauer, founder and former president of the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy has been a proponent of I bonds since they were first launched 24 years ago.

“I thought they were a no brainer, but people didn’t seem to be as excited as they are today,” he told The Epoch Times. “I was kind of a lone voice in the wilderness.”

There is no incentive for intermediaries to sell I bonds, so they are not frequently advertised.

“Financial advisors don’t want to sell them because they don’t make any money. There’s no commission on them,” Lindauer explained, adding that neither banks nor the Treasury Department advertise them.

So, I-bonds have been poorly understood throughout the years. Recently, thanks to social media, online forums, and press attention, people have begun to learn about them, he said.

One disadvantage of I bonds is that investors can only purchase a maximum of $10,000 a year. And this is because they are primarily intended for small savers and investors.