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The Day Fauci Reversed Course: February 27, 2020

The Day Fauci Reversed Course: February 27, 2020

Via The Brownstone Institute, originally authored by Will Jones at DailySceptic.org,

I’ve…

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The Day Fauci Reversed Course: February 27, 2020

Via The Brownstone Institute, originally authored by Will Jones at DailySceptic.org,

I’ve been looking again at Covid’s origins and the start of the pandemic. Last time I wrote on it I argued that Italy brought in China-style lockdowns on March 8th and 10th 2020 mainly as a result of panic owing to the leap in the death rate, with it being clear from the hospital situation there were many more deaths to come. I still believe that that was the immediate trigger for imposing lockdowns at the time. However, I now recognise that that is far from the full story. What it leaves out is the backdrop of who was pushing for lockdowns throughout the preceding two months, and why.

Two key pieces of data have emerged in the last few months that help to bring the picture into clearer focus.

The first is that with the arrival of Omicron the Chinese have continued fanatically to pursue lockdowns, crippling their economy as they do it. To my mind, this is convincing evidence that the Chinese are sincere about their belief in the radical new disease management strategy they inaugurated on January 23rd 2020 in Wuhan. I initially (in 2020) thought it may be an elaborate ruse to convince the world to do something monumentally and pointlessly self-destructive. But it appears they really do think lockdowns are highly effective and the right way to fight a disease like COVID-19. I’m aware some suggest it could just be a cunning strategy to strengthen the grip of the ruling party on the population, but all the evidence indicates to me that they actually are trying to fight the disease in this way.

If this is accepted then one of the key pieces of the puzzle snaps into place: the global Covid narrative has, both behind closed doors and in front of them, been driven in part by the Chinese Government’s commitment to its extreme suppression strategy and its desire for other countries to adopt it as well. It’s been suggested this derives from a sense of national pride and seeking vindication of their efforts and ideas, and is part of a wider aim of achieving global Chinese cultural supremacy, which sounds plausible to me.

The second key piece of data are emails sent by White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, which reveal that behind closed doors as late as February 26th 2020, Dr. Fauci was still, as he had been consistently up to that point, advising people not to panic. But as of February 27th his approach suddenly changed and, from that moment on, he began consistently pushing restrictions.

On February 26th he wrote to CBS News that Americans should not yield to fear:

You cannot avoid having infections since you cannot shut off the country from the rest of the world… Do not let the fear of the unknown… distort your evaluation of the risk of the pandemic to you relative to the risks that you face every day… do not yield to unreasonable fear.

But by the next day he was writing to actress Morgan Fairchild that the American public should prepare for pandemic restrictions:

It would be great if you could tweet to your many Twitter followers that although the current risk of coronavirus to the American public is low, the fact that there is community spread of virus in a number of countries besides China… poses a risk that we may progress to a global pandemic of COVID-19… And so for that reason, the American public should not be frightened, but should be prepared to mitigate an outbreak in this country by measures that include social distancing, teleworking, temporary closure of schools, etc. There is nothing to be done right now since there are so few cases in this country and these cases are being properly isolated, and so go about your daily business. However, be aware that behavioural adjustments may need to be made if a pandemic occurs.

Interestingly, February 27th was also the day the media narrative in the U.S. shifted, with the New York Times leading the way with its first alarmist piece, by Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, and also an alarmist podcast with science and health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr., which quoted directly from China a 2% mortality rate for the virus.

The context for this shift was a WHO press briefing on February 24th by Bruce Aylward, who had just concluded a WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19 and told the world that lockdown worked and “you have to do this. If you do it, you can save lives and prevent thousands of cases of what is a very difficult disease.”

The timing obviously suggests the events are connected, but crucially it also implies that Fauci and those around him were not part of the behind-the-scenes decision of Aylward to throw the WHO’s weight behind the Chinese approach. This leaves, then, the question of why Fauci & Co flipped from their previous position of playing down the threat from the virus and not supporting extreme Chinese-style interventions to going all in with the panic.

The picture being painted here is of at least two ‘conspiracies’ going on – the Chinese one, seeking to push lockdowns as part of Chinese vindication and cultural supremacy, and the Fauci & Co one, the potential motives for which are discussed below. I am pretty confident these are not the same ‘conspiracy’, as I assume that Fauci & Co are not motivated by vindicating China and advancing its cultural supremacy (I’ve seen no evidence this should be the case).

A further element to throw into the mix is that the first Western lockdown occurred three days before the Aylward WHO briefing, on February 21st 2020, in a region of 50,000 people in Lombardy. Oddly, it seems to have been an isolated local initiative in response to the first identified ‘cases’ led by the regional health chief Giulio Gallera, with no clear links to the WHO or any other known lockdown protagonists. It would be interesting to ask Mr. Gallera why he decided to follow such a radical course of action that day.

Italy locked down on March 8th and 10th, a response it seems to the climbing death rate, and most of the rest of the world followed in the ensuing two weeks. The U.S. Government was persuaded by Deborah Birx and others to back lockdowns on March 16th. On March 12th-14th, U.K. Government ministers and officials did a media round promoting the idea of aiming for herd immunity and keeping calm and carrying on. However, that strategy soon collapsed in the face of shifting public opinion and alarmist models from scientists like Imperial’s Neil Ferguson. After March 23rd, Sweden was the only holdout among Western Governments.

Such a mess of uncoordinated action confirms to my mind a picture of different groups driven by different motives and agendas which sometimes overlap, catalysed by groupthink and hysteria, rather than any grand behind-the-scenes conspiracy involving all in a coordinated fashion.

The Chinese Communist Party is a crucial actor, of course. It invented lockdowns and since then has persistently pushed them to the rest of the world, including through an all too willing WHO. However, that doesn’t mean that all who promote panic and lockdowns do so because they are in thrall to China or doing its bidding.

So what was the deal with Fauci & Co – why did they oppose panic and lockdowns until February 27th, then flip to become among their most eager and high-powered proponents?

Fauci’s emails show that, starting at the end of January and into February 2020, he organised a series of secretive video conferences and phone calls because he and his associates suspected the virus may have been genetically modified and leaked from a lab. Yet despite these suspicions, on February 19th the group wrote a letter to the Lancet denouncing the lab leak as a “conspiracy theory”. The organiser of the letter was Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, one of Fauci’s associates who it later turned out had been funding gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology of exactly the kind that was suspected as being responsible for creating COVID-19. Biologist Nick Patterson notes a grant application from EcoHealth Alliance to DARPA (the research agency of the U.S. Department of Defence), of which he says, “as far as I can make out, the plan here was for WIV to collect live virus, ship it to the USA, have U.S. scientists genetically modify the virus, and then ship modified virus… back to China”.

In light of information like this and Fauci & Co’s preoccupation during February 2020 with the origin of the virus, culminating in their cynical effort to suppress the claims of lab leak and genetic modification, I surmise that their major motivation was to cover themselves for the possibility that they and their research fields would be held responsible for the virus. Initially this took the form of suppressing the lab leak theory while also playing down the threat from the virus, which they would have been keen to be as uneventful as possible. But why then the flip to panic mode after February 27th? Did the WHO backing lockdowns on February 24th change the equation, so it was no longer deemed viable or good cover to oppose the new approach? The path of least resistance in other words. A related question is whether they were genuinely persuaded that the measures would be effective or if they retained an unspoken scepticism. If they did retain any scepticism there’s been precious little sign of it since March 2020.

Overall, I see no indication of a grand plan from the earliest days in which all are working from a common script to a common goal. Instead, I see various groups with their own agendas, interests and fears. It’s clear that, following Aylward’s team’s visit, China managed to capture the WHO and bring it on board with championing lockdowns. However, the motives of everyone besides China are largely opaque. Why did Aylward become China’s biggest fan – was he threatened or bribed or just duped and naïve? Why exactly did Lombardy regional health chief Giulio Gallera respond to the first cases in his region by imposing a Chinese-style lockdown even before the WHO had backed them? Why did Fauci flip on February 27th? What about curious figures like Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger, highlighted by Michael Senger, who despite being a known China critic, was a major alarmist influence within the White House from the get-go, drawing on mysterious ‘contacts in China’ to call for panic and restrictions as early as January?

What drove each of these people to get behind the closing down of society as the ‘solution’ to a respiratory virus? We can largely see now who did what and when. What’s mainly missing is the why.

Tyler Durden Sun, 07/24/2022 - 16:30

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Spread & Containment

Decrease in Japanese children’s ability to balance during movement related to COVID-19 activity restrictions

A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected…

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A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected their life habits and their abilities to perform physical activities. By comparing medical examination data before and after the onset of the pandemic, they found that physical functions among adolescents deteriorated, including their dynamic balance. They also found that the children had higher body fat levels and worse life habits. Rather than a lack of exercise time, this may have been because of a lack of quality exercise due to activity restrictions.  

Credit: Credit must be given when image is used

A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected their life habits and their abilities to perform physical activities. By comparing medical examination data before and after the onset of the pandemic, they found that physical functions among adolescents deteriorated, including their dynamic balance. They also found that the children had higher body fat levels and worse life habits. Rather than a lack of exercise time, this may have been because of a lack of quality exercise due to activity restrictions.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in Japan, as in other countries, schools and sports clubs tried to prevent the spread of infection by reducing physical education and restricting outdoor physical activities, club activities, and sports. However, children who are denied opportunities for physical activity with social elements may develop bad habits. During the pandemic, children, like adults, increased the time they spent looking at television, smartphone, and computer screens, exercised less, and slept less. Such changes in lifestyle can harm adolescent bodies, leading to weight gain and health problems. 

Visiting Researcher Tadashi Ito and Professor Hideshi Sugiura from the Department of Biological Functional Science at the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, together with Dr. Yuji Ito from the Department of Pediatrics at Nagoya University Hospital, and  Dr. Nobuhiko Ochi and Dr. Koji Noritake from Aichi Prefectural Mikawa Aoitori Medical and Rehabilitation Center for Developmental Disabilities, conducted a study of Japanese children and students in elementary and junior high schools, aged 9-15, by analyzing data from physical examinations before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. They evaluated the children’s muscle strength, dynamic balance functions, walking speed, body fat percentage, screen time, sleep time, quality of life, and physical activity time.  

The researchers found that after the onset of the pandemic, children were more likely to have decreased balance ability when moving, larger body fat percentage, report spending more time looking at TV, computers or smartphones, and sleep less. Since there were no changes in the time spent on physical activity or the number of meals eaten, Sugiura and his colleagues suggest that the worsening of physical functions was related to the quality of exercise of the children. The researchers reported their findings in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  

“Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Japan after April 2020, children have not been able to engage in sufficient physical education, sports activities, and outdoor play at school. It became clear that balance ability during movement was easily affected, lifestyle habits were disrupted, and the percentage of body fat was likely to increase,” explained Ito. “This may have been because of shorter outdoor playtime and club activities, which impeded children’s ability to learn the motor skills necessary to balance during movement.” 

“Limitations on children’s opportunities for physical activity because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus have had a significant impact on the development of physical function and lifestyle and may cause physical deterioration and health problems in the future,” warned Ito. “Especially, the risk of injury to children may increase because of a reduced dynamic balance function.” 

The results suggest that even after the novel coronavirus becomes endemic, it is important to consider the effects of social restrictions on the body composition of adolescents. Since physical activities with a social element may be important for health, authorities should prioritize preventing the reduction of children’s physical inactivity and actively encourage them to play outdoors and exercise. The group has some recommendations for families worried about the effects of school closings and other coronavirus measures on their children. “It is important for children to practice dynamic balance ability, maintaining balance to avoid falling over while performing movements,” Ito advised. “To improve balance function in children, it is important to incorporate enhanced content, such as short-term exercise programs specifically designed to improve balance functions.” 


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Government

Contradictions, Lies, And “I Don’t Recalls”: The Fauci Deposition

Contradictions, Lies, And "I Don’t Recalls": The Fauci Deposition

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary,

Today, Missouri Attoney General…

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Contradictions, Lies, And "I Don't Recalls": The Fauci Deposition

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary,

Today, Missouri Attoney General Eric Schmitt released the transcript of the testimony of Dr. Anthony Fauci. As you might recall, Fauci was deposed as part of an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration’s violations of the First Amendment in targeting and suppressing the speech of Americans who challenged the government’s narrative on COVID-19.

Here is the Fauci deposition transcript.

And here are the highlights…

EcoHealth Alliance - the Peter Daszak group - is knee-deep in the Wuhan controversy, having been funded by the Fauci’s NIH for coronavirus and gain of function research in China (and having worked with the Chinese team in Wuhan). What does Fauci say about EcoHealth Alliance? Over two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, and after millions dead worldwide, he’s “vaguely familiar” with their work.

In early 2020, Fauci was put on notice that his group - NIAID - had funded EcoHealth alliance on bat coronavirus research for the past five years.

This coincided with early reports - directly to Fauci, from Jeremy Ferrar and Christian Anderson - “of the possibility of there being a manipulation of the virus” based on the fact that “it was an unusual virus.”

Fauci conceded that he was specifically made aware by Anderson that “the unusual features of the virus” make it look “potentially engineered.”

Fauci couldn’t recall why he sent an article discussing gain of function research in China to his deputy, Hugh Auchincloss, telling him it was essential that they speak on the phone. He couldn’t recall speaking with Auchincloss via phone that day. But remarkably, Fauci did remember assigning research tasks to Auchincloss

Fauci was evasive on conversations with Francis Collins about whether NIAID may have funded coronavirus-related research in China, eventually stating “I don’t recall.”

The phrase “I don’t recall” was prominent in Fauci’s deposition. He said it a total of 174 times:

For example, Fauci couldn’t remember what anyone said on a call discussing whether the virus originated in a lab:

During that same call, Fauci couldn’t recall whether anyone expressed concern that the lab leak “might discredit scientific funding projects.” He also couldn’t recall whether there was a discussion about a lab leak distracting from the virus response. Fauci did remember, however, that they agreed there needed to be more time to investigate the virus origins - including the lab leak theory.

What else couldn’t Fauci remember? Whether, early into the pandemic, his confidants raised concerns about social media posts about the origins of COVID-19.

Yet Fauci did admit he was concerned about social media posts blaming China for the pandemic. He even admitted the accidental lab leak “certainly is a possibility,” contradicting his prior claims to National Geographic where he said the virus “could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”

Fauci also couldn’t recall whether he had any conversations with Daszak about the origins of COVID-19 in February 2020, but admitted those conversations might have happened: “I told you before that I did not remember any direct conversations with him about the origin, and I said I very well might have had conversations but I don't specifically remember conversations.” And he couldn’t recall telling the media early on during the pandemic that the virus was consistent with a jump “from an animal to a human.”

Fauci said he was in the dark on social media actions to curb speech and suspend accounts that posted COVID-19 information that didn’t fit the mainstream narrative: “I’m not aware of suppression of speech on social media.” Yet it was Fauci’s proclamations of the truth, whether about the origins of COVID-19 to the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, that led to social media companies banning discussions of contrary information.

Regarding those removals of content, Fauci had no personal knowledge of a US Government/Social Media effort to curb “misinformation.” But he conceded the possibility numerous times.

Then there’s the issue of masks. In February 2020, Fauci informed an acquaintance that was traveling: “I do not recommend that you wear a mask.” Fauci would later become a vocal proponent of masks only two months later.

I’m near my Substack length limit - posting the excerpts does that - but you can see from Fauci’s testimony that his public statements about COVID-19 origins and the necessity to wear a mask didn’t match his private conversations. This has been known for some time, but it’s finally nice to get him on record.

Again, read it all and subscribe here.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 21:40

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International

Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

The global inflation crisis paired with lackluster economic growth and an outlook…

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Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

The global inflation crisis paired with lackluster economic growth and an outlook clouded by uncertainties have led to a decline in real wages around the world, a new report published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has found.

As Statista's Felix Richter reports, according to the 2022-23 Global Wage Report, global real monthly wages fell 0.9 percent this year on average, marking the first decline in real earnings at a global scale in the 21st century.

You will find more infographics at Statista

The multiple global crises we are facing have led to a decline in real wages.

"It has placed tens of millions of workers in a dire situation as they face increasing uncertainties,” ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo said in a statement, adding that “income inequality and poverty will rise if the purchasing power of the lowest paid is not maintained.”

While inflation rose faster in high-income countries, leading to above-average real wage declines in North America (minus 3.2 percent) and the European Union (minus 2.4 percent), the ILO finds that low-income earners are disproportionately affected by rising inflation. As lower-wage earners spend a larger share of their disposable income on essential goods and services, which generally see greater price increases than non-essential items, those who can least afford it suffer the biggest cost-of-living impact of rising prices.

“We must place particular attention to workers at the middle and lower end of the pay scale,” Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez, one of the report’s authors said.

“Fighting against the deterioration of real wages can help maintain economic growth, which in turn can help to recover the employment levels observed before the pandemic. This can be an effective way to lessen the probability or depth of recessions in all countries and regions,” she said.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 20:00

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