Usher’s News & Analysis, Apr. 6, 2020

Classy in the good sense:

Landlord Cancels Rent for Hundreds of Tenants So They Can Buy Food

Not every landlord can afford to do it without causing a foreclosure action against the landlord, but any landlord able to do it without losing the apartment or house should consider it. Even a rent reduction would be a blessing for tenants hit with uncertainty and layoffs, etc.

Also, don’t forget I’ve been advocating landlords lobby for support/subsidies from the government for both tenants and landlords. Landlords are people too and shouldn’t be driven out of business by stay-home orders and the like.

We’re all in this together. Let’s keep landlords whole too. Some have plenty of heart for their tenants, as Mario Salerno, of Brooklyn, has clearly shown.

Is “Made in China” starting to mean what it used to mean when China first started making things for export? It’s always difficult to know where the truth leaves off and the false propaganda picks up. However, it would be really strange for so many nations in such dire need for equipment to reject the equipment once it has arrived if that equipment is actually good.

Coronavirus: China Floods Europe With Defective Medical Equipment

I’ve been calling Xi what he is for years now. He’s the most dangerous dictator in the world bar none.

IAIN DUNCAN SMITH: We must stop kow-towing to these despots

The globalist capitalists were utter fools for “opening” China with no democratic-strings attached. We made am ambitious, aggressive, large, highly populated, Stalinist regime the second richest nation on Earth. Smith’s article barely scratches the surface.

Nevertheless, evil minds in the US have come up with this.

US Blockade Prevents Medical Supplies From Reaching Cuba

Of the 6,227 physicians surveyed in 30 countries, 37 percent rated hydroxychloroquine the “most effective therapy” for combating the potentially deadly illness, according to the results released Thursday.

Yes, but Trump said something positive or encouraging about hydroxychloroquine, so all of those physicians must be Putin puppets right along with Trump [sarcasm added].

Hydroxychloroquine rated ‘most effective’ coronavirus treatment, poll of doctors finds

It appears more and more places will soon see a slowdown in new COVID-19 cases even as others continue getting worse. That should not be taken as a sign for those with improving stats to immediately ease up on stay-home orders, distancing, testing, tracing, and enforcing.

If they let up too soon and if the weather change really doesn’t alter things for the better quickly enough or at all, those places could see the slowing reverse.

Stay-home orders, distancing, testing, tracing, and enforcing should stay in place until the incubation period has well-since past and the time the virus can survive on surfaces, etc., as also past. That would be the all-clear moment for the locale.

Even after that, travel restrictions should remain until the all-clear for specific departure and arrival locations.

It’s up to mayors, county officials, governors, and the President to make it clear that orders will stay in place for a locale and be enforced until the all-clear has been officially issued for that locale and that travel-restriction all-clears will be issued between locales and until the restrictions have been lifted, they will be enforced.

‘Light At The End Of The Tunnel’: Deaths In France, Italy And Spain Slow

If this works well enough, let’s hope they can clone the antibodies for direct use in treatment.

Magic bullet for Covid-19? Scientists look to century-old plasma treatment, but there are some big ‘BUTS’

After what all of us knew was happening in China and weeks after the first case in the US (“On January 20, 2020, the CDC confirmed that the patient’s nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs tested positive for 2019-nCoV”), he needed to be told to cancel Mardi Gras celebrations?

Louisiana governor [John Bel Edwards] claims he had no idea Mardi Gras in New Orleans would trigger a coronavirus outbreak even though he was given a briefing on the epidemic WEEKS before the massive celebration was held

I agree he should have been told, though.

I thought it was very common knowledge.

… Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the most recognizable faces of the White House coronavirus response, made clear that asymptomatic transmission was a problem in January.

Georgia governor says he only just learned coronavirus carriers can be asymptomatic

… aimed at hotels, motels, guest houses and private residences.

NJ gives local governments power to limit short-term rentals

How do you spell ineptitude? It’s beyond that. He put protecting libertarian capitalism over the needs of the American people and the economy as a whole.

For nearly a month, Trump rebuffed calls from Cuomo and others to use his authority under the Defense Production Act to order companies to increase production of ventilators and personal protective equipment. He suggested the private sector was acting sufficiently on its own.

More than three months after China revealed the first COVID-19 cases, Trump finally relented last week, saying he will order companies to ramp up production of critical supplies. By then, confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the United States had surged to the highest in the world. Now, the number of people infected in the U.S. has climbed to more than 312,000 and deaths have topped 8,500.

Trump spent January and February playing down the threat from the new virus. He derided warnings of pandemic reaching the U.S. as a hoax perpetrated by Democrats and the media.

Trump administration waited 2 months before bolstering medical supplies for coronavirus pandemic, review shows

Republican after Republican after Republican dragged his feet while people got sick and people died. It’s been their ideology of libertarian capitalism that’s caused it. It’s a bad ideology. The sooner it’s completely dumped, the better.

To nobody’s surprise, DeSantis was taking a leaf straight from the Trump playbook by prioritizing the economy, and listening to advice from the Florida chamber of commerce, Associated Industries of Florida and the state’s restaurant and lodging association over that of public health officials warning of a coming tsunami, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida’s slow response: a ‘mini-Trump’ governor who borrowed the president’s playbook

The title does not reflect what he emphasized at all. He emphasized coordination and a wartime approach to bring forward an effective treatment regime, something that he says is not happening.

Gottlieb says “very aggressive surveillance” needed to track future coronavirus spread

I’m still optimistic that we’ll have a V-shaped recovery. However, James Bullard is exactly right that it’s a matter of execution. We know what should be done. We know what we can do. Will the politicians do it? If they don’t, they should be replaced ASAP! This is why we need instant recall of elected representatives.

Top Fed official says universal coronavirus testing needed to reopen U.S. economy

“The president does not understand the word ‘federal.’ ‘Federal Emergency Management Agency,’” Pritzker said. “We have a state emergency management agency, but if he were right, why would we ever need a Federal Emergency Management Agency? It’s because individual states can’t possibly do what the federal government can do.”

States don’t have the power to use the Defense Production Act, Pritzker said.

Pritzker is being too nice. Trump understands perfectly well. He’s been holding out for libertarian capitalism and state’s rights as much as possible. The last thing Trump wants to be forced to do is apply government on a national level. Trump feels that once the people see what effective national government can do, the people won’t keep falling for the “government is the problem” nonsense anymore but will demand the federal government just keep right on making, and keeping, the people economically whole.

Trump’s scared to death to justify Bernie Sanders’ approach of welfare-state social democracy. Trump is completely relieved he’ll be facing someone other than Sanders in the general election. It came out that Trump secretly confided to insiders that he was most afraid of facing Sanders. Think about it. Do you really want Biden, or even Cuomo, rather than Sanders?

Gov. J.B. Pritzker calls for more ventilators, criticizes federal government in CNN appearance

Speaking of Cuomo: neoliberal economics

COVID-19: Cuomo’s Bubble is Starting to Burst

Of course, the states don’t have the power of the federal government to create all the money needed. However, has Cuomo been calling upon the US government to create that money? No. That said, neither has Bernie Sanders. For that matter, no major politician has. Bernie, however, isn’t afraid of upsetting the corporatists. I can’t say the same about Andrew.

Cyber threat and security intelligence analysts and researchers are permanently plugged into real-world socio-political developments that potentially pose a threat to, or increase the risks faced by, their organisations.

Security Think Tank: Continuity planning doesn’t have to be complex

The US agriculture giant Monsanto and the German chemical giant BASF were aware for years that their plan to introduce a new agricultural seed and chemical system would probably lead to damage on many US farms, internal documents seen by the Guardian show.

Several million acres of crops have now been reported damaged by dicamba, according to industry estimates. And more than 100 US farmers are engaged in litigation in federal court alleging Monsanto and BASF collaboration created a “defective” crop system that has damaged orchards, gardens and organic and non-organic farm fields in multiple states.

Revealed: Monsanto predicted crop system would damage US farms

Concerning FISA-warrant requests, the FBI is the fox guarding the hen house. The court itself should have staff that puts the FBI through the ringer each step of the way. Why did the court trust the FBI rather than quiz the FBI and demand real grounds before issuing the warrants? Where’s the record of what the judges asked and what answers were given? Who has oversight of the court? The system is a mess.

This was not headline news enough in the “liberal” mainstream media. Why is that? We all know the answer.

Horowitz’s office said in a report released Tuesday that of the 29 applications — all of which involved U.S. citizens – that were pulled from “8 FBI field offices of varying sizes,” the FBI could not find Woods Files for four of the applications, while the other 25 all had “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.”

“While our review of these issues and follow-up with case agents is still ongoing—and we have not made materiality judgments for these or other errors or concerns we identified—at this time we have identified an average of about 20 issues per application reviewed, with a high of approximately 65 issues in one application and less than 5 issues in another application,” the report reveals.

IG Horowitz Found ‘Apparent Errors or Inadequately Supported Facts’ in Every Single FBI FISA Application He Reviewed

Why is the system rigged so you won’t see the following in the mainstream? Money. The following is real news even though there are gatekeepers (set up to protect the mega-corporations) who censor it, block it, and label it fake news. In other words, they brainwash you.

In a free and open democracy, you’re supposed to be able to cast a fully informed vote. If information is withheld from you, you’re not able to do that: cast a fully informed vote. The result is fake democracy.

An observational study funded by the National Institute on Aging and conducted by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Santa Cruz and Clemson University reviewed data …

While turning 65 was associated with a significant increase in the rate of seasonal influenza vaccination, the study’s authors stated that “no evidence indicated that vaccination reduced hospitalizations or mortality among elderly persons.” ….

Flu Vaccines Failing Seniors

Coronavirus Australia: Ivermectin, Anti-parasitic drug kills COVID-19 in lab

In decades past, this would be front-page news. Today, it’s buried.

The precautionary principle ignored (again):

The harmful impacts of non-thermal levels of RF- and microwave-based wireless technology (from 2G on up) are neither “potential” nor “hypothetical.” Thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies have proven that epidemic-level harms are already occurring, harms that the fast-multiplying 5G infrastructure will further aggravate.

Some argue that the energy emissions reaching the ground from 5G satellites are less intense than the emissions from ground-based transmitter antennas, but this argument ignores the fact that the satellites irradiate all areas of Earth, including areas not reached by other transmitters, leaving no place untouched by harmful manmade radiation. Moreover, the on-the-ground transmitters that 5G satellites require to connect satellites with end-users—one million for SpaceX alone—will result in massively increased intensities of RF/microwave radiation.

In 2018, more than 200 scientists and doctors cited the large body of scientific evidence of harm when they submitted the 5G Appeal to the United Nations, calling for a moratorium on 5G. In the Appeal, these experts wrote that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields have not only been “proven to be harmful for humans and the environment” but that “[d]amage goes well beyond the human race,” with “growing evidence of harmful effects to both plants and animals.”

What You Should Know About 5G Satellites—How Musk’s Sci-Fi Dreams Are Becoming Our Living Nightmare

… “panic planting” has overrun nurseries and seed companies alike as people flock to stock up on seeds and seedlings to grow food at home. …

… 20 percent hike in food prices in China after COVID-19 disrupted the supply chain. …

… Unlike Victory Gardens, he added, “Cooperative Gardens speaks much more to building something together, not just defeating something.”

Hayden-Smith also sees this as the start of a new movement in society. “Gardens right now are about comfort, inspiration, food security, connecting with nature, and learning a life skill that everyone should have,” she said. “But these will also be points of integration when we come out of this social isolation. Gardening is going to be a really important activity, and people are not going to let go of it.”

Looking to the future, Leah Penniman doesn’t think it will be possible to return to normal after what Americans are going through now. “I think there will only be a moving forward. This pause, I pray, is a reset button for us to realize what is actually essential and most important to our society,” she said, naming the treatment of farmers and healthcare workers in particular.

“We need to move forward informed by what we’ve learned in this crisis [about] what’s important in terms of our survival as a nation and as a species.”

The Moment for Food Sovereignty is Now

… Corbyn’s undertaking to recognise the state of Palestine in his first week of taking office fuelled a certain amount – I put it no stronger – of the effort both within and without Labour to impede his progress to Downing Street.

Now that the objective has been achieved, I hazard that it will be instructive to observe to what extent the allegations of anti-Semitism in the party go into a decline.

I propose that no fair-minded, unprejudiced reader could construe my argument as either overtly or constructively anti-Semitic.

As all leadership candidates subscribe to the astonishingly unBritish view that anyone accused of anti-Semitism (but not of anything else) will be deemed guilty until proved innocent, I should probably expect that I have written myself into trouble, despite that palpably nothing here offends against the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. Such are the times in which we live.

Labour Shoots Itself in the Head

We’ll have to wait to see how it turns out. I expect it’ll be lifted when the pandemic is over in Hungary.

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán wins vote to rule by decree

This is not doing unto others what you would have them do unto you unless you want COVID-19. I’m not saying they did it on purpose.

The prayer meeting kicked off the biggest cluster of COVID-19 in France – one of northern Europe’s hardest-hit countries – to date, local government said. Around 2,500 confirmed cases have been linked to it. Worshippers at the church have unwittingly taken the disease caused by the virus home to the West African state of Burkina Faso, to the Mediterranean island of Corsica, to Guyana in Latin America, to Switzerland, to a French nuclear power plant, and into the workshops of one of Europe’s biggest automakers.

Special Report: Five days of worship that set a virus time bomb in France

“There have been recent pronouncements that the coronavirus pandemic represents an intelligence failure…. it’s letting people who ignored intelligence warnings off the hook.”

Exclusive: The Military Knew Years Ago That a Coronavirus Was Coming

Responsibility for domestic preparedness for a pandemic has always belonged not to NSC but to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS organized a month-long simulation in 2019 involving a number of federal offices that ultimately demonstrated how seriously unprepared the government was to cope with a pandemic. Following such an exercise, it should have been obvious that a new stockpile of necessary medical gear was urgently needed.

However, the HHS made no serious effort to replenish the country’s diminished stockpiles of masks, ventilators, and other critical supplies. …

Responsibility for the preparation for the most significant threat to US security – a pandemic that would upend the economy and society as a whole – was thus privatized under both the Obama and Trump administrations.

As Washington privatized pandemic preparation, the national security state left Americans defenseless against coronavirus

New Orleans residents suffer from obesity, diabetes and hypertension at rates higher than the national average, conditions that doctors and public health officials say can make patients more vulnerable to COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

Some 97% of those killed by COVID-19 in Louisiana had a pre-existing condition, according to the state health department. Diabetes was seen in 40% of the deaths, obesity in 25%, chronic kidney disease in 23% and cardiac problems in 21%.

Why is New Orleans’ coronavirus death rate twice New York’s? Obesity is a factor

“These mutations are completely benign and useful as a puzzle piece to uncover how the virus is spreading,” Bedford told National Geographic.

Bedford said the different strains make it possible for researchers to see whether community transmission is widespread in a region, which can show whether stay-at-home measures are working.

“We’ll be able to tell how much less transmission we’re seeing and answer the question, ‘Can we take our foot off the gas?” Bedford said.

At least 8 strains of the coronavirus have been identified

Austerity is stupid and deadly. Libertarian capitalists love austerity. Libertarian capitalism is elitist, anti-democratic, anti-people. It’s driving philosophy is slavery. They aspire to be slave masters and owners. If government is allowed to work for the people, those libertarian capitalists lose. That’s why they do everything in their power to brainwash the masses into falsely thinking that government is the problem, as if democratic socialism can only be Stalinism. The fact is that Stalin was just as anti-democratic as those capitalists.

The WHO has outlined the immediate actions we need to implement in each member state of the EU:

Find, isolate, test and treat every case and trace every contact;
Ready your hospitals; and
Protect and train your health workers.

This was the strategy used in China, South Korea and other countries in south-east Asia that effectively contained the epidemic. But the response from many EU member states does not include even the ambition to “find, isolate, test and treat every case and trace every contact”. The EU’s healthcare and public sectors are simply not equipped to respond in accordance with international best practice.

Healthcare gutted by spending cuts and privatisation

A report I published last month found that the European Commission made 63 individual demands of member states to cut spending on healthcare provision and/or privatise or outsource healthcare services between 2011 and 2018, in order to meet the arbitrary debt and deficit targets enshrined in the Stability and Growth Pact.

Austerity kills: Commission demanded cuts to public healthcare spending 63 times from 2011-2018

… the lack of cooperation too often occurs from lack of trust and understanding. Perhaps the need to unify against COVID-19 fraud is a good reminder that insurers and regulators exist for one reason — to protect consumers in their times of greatest need. We may not all agree, all the time. But let us pledge in this crisis to do a better job working together for the common good.

From crisis comes progress: Working closer, stronger, better

Suspected SARS virus and flu samples found in luggage: FBI report describes China’s ‘biosecurity risk’

Under such serious circumstances, I request your invaluable support in the face of this unusual and arbitrary persecution, executed through a new version of that rancid McCarthyism unleashed after World War II. At that time, they willingly labeled their adversaries as Communists in order to persecute them; today they do so by means of the whimsical categories of terrorists or drug traffickers, without having any evidence whatsoever.

I take this opportunity to express my solidarity and that of the people of Venezuela to all the peoples who today also suffer serious consequences from the effects of the pandemic. If we are obliged to draw any lesson from all this difficult experience, it is precisely that only together we can move forward. The political and economic models that advocate selfishness and individualism have demonstrated their total failure to face this situation. Let us firmly advance towards a new World with justice and social equality, in which the happiness and fullness of the human being is the center of our actions.

Letter From President Maduro As US Threatens Venezuela With War

The so-called imported cases and asymptomatic patients, who have the virus and can give it to others but show no symptoms, have become among China’s chief concerns in recent weeks. The country has closed off its borders to almost all foreigners as the virus spread globally, though most of the imported cases involve Chinese nationals returning from overseas.

Mainland China sees rise in new coronavirus cases

Professor Richard D. Wolff and Professor Michael Hudson: Who’s more correct, as there’s plenty they’re both right about?

Wolff sees a great opportunity for the masses to wake up and to take democratic control of the economy so they, the people, can create a cooperative economy serving the needs of everyone. Hudson sees the elites simply pulling off what they’ve always pulled off and leaving the people even more powerless than they are right now.

I’m leaning in Wolff’s direction but am concerned that if the people don’t take power in Wolff’s way and the elites clamp down, then Hudson’s vision will lead to violent revolution with the elites losing their heads in the literal sense.

The only sane move for the billionaire class is to give and give and give in to a democratically controlled economy where those billionaires manage to hold onto management jobs because they are good at managing. They’ll just have to get done via management what the people want, which is nobody left behind, nobody homeless, nobody without healthcare, nobody having to pay to go to school, and on and on and on with everything that’s right and just.