Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 19, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-31

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

On two Coronavirus pieces on other websites:

The piece debunks itself when it quotes a Swedish epidemiologist who says:

“The truth is that we have a policy similar to that of other countries,” says Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s state epidemiologist, “Like everyone, we are trying to slow down the rate of infection … The differences derive from a different tradition and from a different culture that prevail in Sweden. We prefer voluntary measures, and there is a high level of trust here between the population and the authorities, so we are able to avoid coercive restrictions”

Sweden can do without orders of social distancing because its people will socially distance voluntarily when asked. That works because "there is a high level of trust here between the population and the authorities". That does not hold for the community of Somali people and other immigrants in Sweden more of whom are dying than in any other group.

Now project such a voluntary attempt onto the U.S. public where there is little, if any, trust between the population and the authorities. It simply would not work and one would soon have a runaway epidemic with all its bad consequences. Whitney's conclusion that we should all do like Sweden is thus not justified.


The piece was posted on April 17. One of the 'experts' it quotes is Dr. John Oxford, "an English virologist and Professor at Queen Mary, University of London." Here is the quote as posted on Off-Guardian:

Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. In this case we have had 8000 deaths this last year in the ‘at risk’ groups viz over 65% people with heart disease etc. I do not feel this current Covid will exceed this number. We are suffering from a media epidemic!

– “A VIEW FROM THE HVIVO / OPEN ORPHAN #ORPH LABORATORY”, blog post on Novus Communications website, March 31st 2020

Two remarks:

a. On April 17, when Off-Guardian posted the piece, the United Kingdom already had 14.607 deaths from Covid-19. Those were 6.600 more than the total number Dr. John Oxford predicted. If the real numbers, which are still increasing, are already 80+% higher than the expert's guestimate should one really use that expert to claim that the 'coronavirus panic' is unjustified?

b. Dr. Oxford made his claim in a "blog post on Novus Communications website". Novus Comes is a public relations agency which provides "financial social media & digital communications for small caps". The company is paid by its clients to talk up certain sectors of the stock market. Should one really use paid PR posts on a PR company's website to judge if some 'panic' about an epidemic is justified?

As for the other 'experts' Off-Guardian quoted. Yes, there ar some doctors who do have a different opinion than most of their colleagues. But that does not make them right.


An astroturfing campaign was launched in the U.S. to end the lockdowns. It is paid for by rightwing big money:

Somebody did some extremely basic WHOIS searching and found that the person who set up all the "reopen $STATENAME" protest web sites is in fact one guy in Jacksonville. -> reddit thread


[Thread] 1/ Much talk this morning about numerous Facebook groups cropping up with "insert state name" + "against excessive quarantine". Some are suggesting that there is mass astroturfing campaign occurring to pressure state governors to reopen after Donald Trump's tirade

Covid-19 is a really, really nasty disease:


We need to learn from this:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on April 19, 2020 at 14:26 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Disappointed in Mike Whitney's assessment of Sweden's pandemic policy which may prove to be a disaster down the road. We don't know the true character of this virus and we are only starting to test to discover who has it, who has had it, and who isn't currently infected. We don't know if those recovered have substantial immunity. We don't know how many varieties of this bug are out there. The global community of experts seems dazed and confused. Public policy should err on the side of caution. We do know this, however, that sociopathic national leaders like Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump should be removed from their pulpits and quarantined to stop the spread of their toxic verbiage.

Posted by: jadan | Apr 19 2020 15:05 utc | 1

Why did then head of the CPS, Keir Starmer, meet then head of MI5, Sir Jonathan Evans, for informal social drinks in April 2013, the year after Starmer decided not to prosecute MI5 for its role in torture.

No record any other CPS head accepting hospitality from an intel chief.

Who really is Sir Keir Starmer KCB?

Series of tweets by Matt Kennard, Independent Journalist

Unrolled thread

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 19 2020 15:15 utc | 2

We don't know ...

Posted by: jadan | Apr 19 2020 15:05 utc | 1

Many unknowns here, agreed. But we do know something: Usurpations of rights and establishment of a global surveillance regime will be permanent.

I'll give you just one instance of how far reaching this system needs to be to "prevent future pandemics". Given the fact of asymptomatic carriers, merely having 'jurisdictional certificate of health' on your digital ID and documents is not sufficient. Imagine travelling from A to B to C across the globe. At each bother, you not only need to present your last 'checked' status, but the authorities will need to exchange 'tracing information' for a period of incubation time. So crossing from A to B, jurisdiction A needs to pass all your 'contacts' in the mandated period to authorities in B. Same story once you start 'contacting' in B and then head to C. Cleary, unspoken but definitively required, is an international organization that will be the 'hub' in this information architecture.

Does humanity have a contingency plan on how to dismantle the architecture of this barely disguised authoritarian global regime that we're glibly marching to embrace?

Posted by: concerned | Apr 19 2020 15:19 utc | 3

Japan, the farce that keeps on giving:

Japan's coronavirus total surpasses 10,000 as Tokyo adds 181 cases

Long story short: just one week after declaring state of emergency, Japan had an almost ten-fold rise in cases (1,300 to 10,000). Talk about fascism elevated to its last consequences.

Remember the chronology: cases were quickly rising during the Diamond Princess fiasco. It rose until 1,000 or so, then, suddenly and inexplicably, froze at the 1,300ish mark. It remained so for two months, until the Olympics was officially postponed. Then, they begun to rise again, albeit on a still timid pace. After the first state of emergency was declared (only to the Tokyo-Osaka megalopolis), the first MSM reports by local experts begun to arise, with warnings of "catastrophe". Now, days after a nationwide state of emergency was declared, cases skyrocketed.

The diagnosis is clear: the Japanese government was stifling testing because it wanted to host the Olympics at any cost (even at the cost of a worldwide death pit, as tourists from all around the First World would come to visit Tokyo). When it became clear they wouldn't be able to do this PR coup, the government prepared a narrative it could plausibly deny, and now it has apparently authorized widespread testing.


A lot of western MSM have been delighting themselves with the apparent demise of the BRI.

Once more, they forgot to look themselves at the mirror:

Pandemic may force Japan to give up on RCEP agreement for 2020

As I've said many times here before, it's not that China's numbers are impressive - they are not (the USSR grew a lot more than China at its apex, in a much shorter time frame). What impresses about China is that it is achieving those numbers at a time the rest of the world is not doing well. It the spread between your growth numbers and the growth number of your enemy (in China's case, the capitalist world) that matters geopolitically, not your numbers in isolation.

The BRI will suffer many setbacks - but the capialists' RCEP, TTP et al will suffer more.


With the first signs of capitalism in peril, the unicorns come out of their closets:

Hydrogen-boron fusion could be a dream come true

Has Asia Times suddenly become Science Magazine? Why, all of a sudden, they gave Jonathan Tennenbaum home page space to talk about nuclear fusion?

My guess is the Asia Times is trying to tell us that, by pure coincidence, when capitalism most needs it, a new revolutionary technology is coming out, so we have to remain optimist and keep our faith in the system.

Well, except that, at the end of the article, dr. Tennenbaum states that:

hydrogen-boron is still at an experimental stage.

Let's not play with nuclear fusion, there's still a long (very long) road to make this thing work at a commercial/economic level.


The Swedish case is indeed bizarre. A letter calling for a lockdown, signed by 22 of the most respected doctors in the area of the country was made public some weeks ago. Its infection and death rates are much higher than Norway (which is in lockdown) - a country in comparable conditions.

It may well be the case that absolute numbers in Sweden remain low for the simple fact it is a peripheral nation, where flux of people from around the world is low. That's why Norway also has very few cases.

I'm curious to see the economic data of the two countries after the pandemic is more or less over. I doubt Sweden will get out better than Norway. The key here is that the productive chains are international: it is useless for a tiny country to open if the big countries are "closed". Those small and medium businesses will have nothing to sell. Sure, farmers will continue to sell their products at the farmers' markets, local bakeries etc. - but that's also true for the nations in lockdown: essential goods and services are not interrupted in those.

This is not a choice between lockdown and economy. A lockdown is the best for the economy, as dead people will never come back to work and will never buy goods again. Plus, the virus can mutate and begin to kill children and young people - then a real lockdown will have to be enforced.


Curious information of the week:

How Red Army’s ‘Death to Spies’ Counter-Intelligence Service Found Hitler’s Remains

The article includes excerpts from an interview with FSB Lt. Gen. (ret.) Alexander Zdanovich, who prepared the mission himself.

Posted by: vk | Apr 19 2020 15:36 utc | 4

Ric G @ 4: Kinda' agree Rick. I too smell a rat, and that rat seems to continue the class war.

This virus, which I've come to believe was jointly engineered by multiple govs., now, seems to benefit the elites by attacking the poor and the elderly.

I say seems, because, as of now, rational people can't tell if it's release was purposeful or accidental.

I'm only sure of one thing, that many of the usual suspects are using it as a way to enrich themselves further.

Posted by: ben | Apr 19 2020 15:36 utc | 5

Boeing lost a bunch of orders from GE plane leasing group and others because air traffic is down.

Boeing is to open the 737 factory which is delayed by coronavirus slowdown of FEA flight tests of software fixes.

Posted by: Joe Six Boeing | Apr 19 2020 15:37 utc | 6

"we need to reopen the economy?" right, that plastic ain't gonna make itself. gotta chop chop chop| chop those trees down...(thank you, KC and the Ozone hole Band)

what we mean by economic activity is taking a piece of nature and making two things: 1) sparkly garbage destined for a landfill; 2) money. basically, the cost of something is inversely proportional to how quickly it lands in the dumpster. but everything, including your education, healthcare, children, air, is headed for the dumpster.

what people do when they hop in their cars and punch buttons on a computer and call that crap from a styrofoam box "food" is to perform their own superiority to nature, including of course their own bodies and inner life and needs. all the loud engines, crappy music, animal killing and sparkly toxic tinsel in little magic boxes won't keep the worms from munching away on any of us. We go the way of our gmo chickens. coronavirus is just the beginning if we fools "restart the economy". just what is it that we are doing that is worth more than the Great Barrier Roof? the Amazon? we beat Russia? who is we? who is this "we" that reopens economies?

can't say screw the economy loud enough. get off your knees and stop swallowing.

Posted by: jason | Apr 19 2020 15:46 utc | 7

COV. Antibody studies, in % of ppl or absolute number that tested positive in serological test for antibodies. (To 17 April, may be prelim. results, not reviewed, etc.)

200 Stockholm, OPH care-workers (a) ------- 15%

2,583 San Miguel County US, CO (b) ------- 17 + 43 ambiguous

1,000 Scottish blood donors (c) collected March ------- 6

500 Gangelt, D, representative sample (d) ------- 15% -16%

320 Stockholm, women pre child-birth (e) ------- 7%

1,487 Danish blood donors (c) ------- 22

3,300 Santa Clara, CA, via Facebook ads ------- 1.5% (f)

200 Chelsea, MA, random on street (g) -------- 33%


a. Old People’s Homes, city-wide

b. Part of the all-residents tested effort in the County, blood analysed so far.

c. blood donors = special group: varied ‘diseases … conditions’ ppl are booted

d. Study also tested presence of virus, was 2%.

e. Most likely a pretty much random sample of women of child-bearing age in Stockholm / surroundings.

f. The unadjusted result. MSM reported other numbers.

g. Chelsea was the epicenter for MA.

The high nos. in Stockholm stand out, perhaps linked to their COV policy, which may in turn have prompted these studies. Chelsea CA - we see one third with antibodies! Gangelt was very badly affected as well, which is why it was chosen for the study.

For the rest, it appears not many ppl are infected / develop antibodies (perhaps T cells vanquish the virus alone?) / have antibodies that show up on test… Not a virologist so cannot speak to the reliability of the tests / their pitfalls.

These results seem to confirm that:

infection spreads fast locally, creating ‘hot spots’ — many infected are asymptomatic (or very light) + develop antibodies - other areas 'free' thus 'quarantine' type measures are justified.

Is this post useful to readers here? One wants to by-pass or surpass both the MSM and Big Pharma, right?

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 19 2020 15:47 utc | 8

Trump knew!

Americans at World Health Organization transmitted real-time information about coronavirus to Trump administration

So our vaunted Navy is sick as a dog now:

The USS COVID-19, from Guam to Puget Sound

I've been fond of Ms Garrison as a commentator on military affairs for some time. From a few days ago.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 19 2020 15:48 utc | 9

I think the reason that Sweden didn't do a lockdown is because they couldn't enforce it. They had a "bomb" problem. Real ones. They had accepted too many doubtful "refugees" and these were suggesting that the original swedes should leave as this was now "their country", and all the while getting very well treated.(there was even a TV programme where this was stated openly). There were regular explosions, and were starting to expand into Denmark, via the bridge.

The Swedish police were woefully understaffed, and stuffed by their own "left" politicians who insisted on keeping the "open arms" policy. (they got the arms really, but not the ones they were expecting).

It is probably not politically correct to suggest the above, and the Swedish Gov. tried their best to ignore/hide the problem. But you will have to ask an original inhabitant to corrorobate me.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 19 2020 15:55 utc | 10

Posted by: Ivan | Apr 19 2020 15:47 utc | 8

That was back when it was only known to be in China, and China did indeed show that there was no need to panic, on the assumption that a fast and effective response to the pandemic was mounted. They still have less than 10,000 dead, way down at the bottom of the list, despite first to get clobbered, the size of their population, and their economic entanglements. Nobody else has done half as well, excepting a few like S. Korea that used well the warning and time given by the chinese response, instead of gloating and trying to pooh-pooh the danger, which is what Trump did, and is still doing.

B has also addressed your question here himself in the past, so it is a lie to suggest he is trying to sweep it under the carpet.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 19 2020 15:59 utc | 11

With respect to Sweden vs. Norway -

The judgement about the rightness of lockdown vs. no-lockdown will be made by historians in a few years, and any commentary now about that, from pundits here to experts from afar, is purely conjecture.

Posted by: Don Wills | Apr 19 2020 16:02 utc | 12

Prof. Ion Ioannidis' research unit continues its excellent statistical analyses with yet another large-sample study showing (yet again) in concrete terms that this _is, indeed_ just another flu (in terms of infections and mortalities) (despite the naysayers here and on the screechy, panicky saker site and others that appear to have a strange agenda). The objective analyses are now turning from trickle to stream to gush, indicating that this is, indeed, just like a normal corona flu or corona cold in its numbers.

Posted by: petra | Apr 19 2020 16:03 utc | 13

the response to the coronavirus is also another means for interstate capitalist rivalry and intrastate class warfare. once China or Germany or any "major" economy reopens, all the Tom Friedmans and Faucis and "experts" in the world aren't going to do anything but what they always do: use their authority to justify the ruling class in the guise of science and medicine.

from underneath the bleachers at life's Big Game, it is immaterial whether capitalist swine released the virus from a lab or created the conditions whereby routine food production creates novel deadly pathogens w/great regularity. we know they plan for the former while daily enacting the latter. these two cannot both be true of corona but they sure as hell are both true of the world. High fructose corn syrup is all over everything b/c food production is a form of warfare, control, upon the masses. But the people who release Stuxnet will not hesitate to infect a populace, including their own.

Posted by: jason | Apr 19 2020 16:04 utc | 14

On Martyanov's site he challenges the fatality rate with a registration error argument.

If people die, or are otherwise harmed, and the virus's presence was not measured, of course, that also gives a registration error. Until we have good excess death data, in a (regression) model that includes the effects of reduced traffic (pollution, accidents etc.), the excess death rate will remain unknown. In Martyanov's case, how many of those that would otherwise have escaped detection have e.g. died during the disease, and how many of them would have been counted as sufferers of the disease given the reluctance (and sometimes, difficulty) to test after death? That is, Martyanov discusses only half of the registration error, thus biasing the sign of the effect.

I know that many people avoid seeking medical attention (the way most detection may occur in the US), because even if one can afford the medical attention, using sick leave can cause one to lose one's job. If one is unemployed and consequently (in the US) without medical insurance, one may also seek to avoid such expenses.

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Apr 19 2020 16:08 utc | 15

Every time I read a criticism of Sweden's policies regarding the pandemic, I keep thinking that the people criticizing it don't understand the reasoning behind their approach.

The problem is that, once everyone has socially isolated themselves and slowed the spread of the virus -- flattened the curve -- what then?

Does everyone continue to isolate themselves for over a year until an effective and safe vaccine is developed? Or until herd immunity is finally accomplished, which could take even longer given that isolation causes the virus to spread more slowly? Neither of those seem reasonable given the intense psychological and emotional damage it will cause, not to mention the economic damage.

Instead, their policy is to achieve herd immunity by having high risk groups shelter in place and minimize contact while low risk groups have more contact that allows the virus to run its course. This is accomplished especially by keeping schools open, as the preponderance of evidence suggests that children have little to no risk from the virus, and those under the age of 30 have very little risk too.

The way I see it, this policy will save lives because the closer the low risk portion of a population comes to herd immunity, most of all if herd immunity can be achieved, then once restrictions are eased off the high risk population will be at significantly lower risk of catching the virus because the much larger low risk population has already gotten it and developed immunity. Thus, less high risk people catch the virus, and therefore less people die or require hospitalization.

Further, more and more studies are coming out now that demonstrate that for every person that is confirmed coronavirus case, there is anywhere from 10 to 50 times as many people that have the virus and were not tested. Of course there's a lot of variability depending on which part of the world the study is conducted in, but regardless, this significantly reduces the IFR from where the early estimates were (to say nothing of the fear mongering perpetrated by the media by confusing uneducated people about the different between CFR and IFR). Especially for people under the age of 45 or so, this reduces the 0.1% CFR we've heard about to something closer to 0.01% or lower. For young people, this is the same level of risk (if not lower) as dying in a car accident, a risk we were all generally quite comfortable living with before this pandemic started.

Clearly strict isolation measures are required in densely populated cities with a significant public transit system like New York City because there is so much potential for the disease to spread. It seems likely that if NYC hadn't locked down, its medical system would have ended up being much more overwhelmed, and that could have had dire consequences.

But most places in the world are not NYC and their health care systems are not at full capacity. In fact, some places are so below capacity, running contrary to the alarming projections of March, that medical staff are being laid off. Stockholm's rate of new cases appears to have plateaued, so it seems likely Sweden's plan is working. I just hope that everyone can use the immense amount of new data that's coming in about the virus to determine a good strategy for what to do next, and not give into fear and keep things locked down. Since containment and eradication is not feasible, slowing the spread of the virus will only gain us so much.

Posted by: Derp | Apr 19 2020 16:11 utc | 16

Excelent post b!!

Someone had to call out the astroturf campaign.

I only wish that you had made it into it's own post for wide circulation. (Please consider doing so.)


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 19 2020 16:12 utc | 17

It won't kill Johnny Rightnut to wear a mask in public. It MAY save his life.

Believing Trump, RW radio and Fox news as they de-emphasize the severity of Covid-19 MAY kill JR.

And that would be OK if JR wants to risk his own life.

But, JR is not only risking his life (again, this would be OK!). He's going to "roll the dice" with your life and the lives of everyone around him.

If everyone wears a mask except for JR, they are protecting JR from them. Now JR thinks he's a really clean, healthy dude (except for the heart bypass surgery he had 10 years ago) - he doesn't expose himself to possible CV carriers. Except for the mailman, the grocery clerk, the convenience store clerk, the cleaning lady, the hairdresser who cut his hair at home, and his wingnut friends who also refuse to wear a mask (for a hoax to unseat Trump).

See, most of the people JR encounters are wearing their masks for their own safety and importantly, the safety of others.

JR thinks he's smarter than everyone else because he's politically astute from watching tv and listening to Rush Limbaugh every day.

Maybe JR is not as smart as he thinks he is. Maybe he's an assh*le.

Posted by: Kristan hinton | Apr 19 2020 16:19 utc | 18

As for the other 'experts' Off-Guardian quoted. Yes, there ar some doctors who do have a different opinion than most of their colleagues. But that does not make them right.

Posted by b on April 19, 2020 at 14:26 UTC | Permalink

Why are they excluded from establishment press?

Where are you reports on the financial and organizational affliations of the others? I may have missed this, did you do background checks there too?

Why are you asserting that they are a minority? How do you know this? Every single one of is aware of the risk calculations that entails sticking your neck out. Are you denying that there are experts who are scared shitless of having the internet mob sic'd on them?

BTW B, the "majority" of experts insisted on a lot of topics that has been picked apart in this forum.

Anyway, since you were in military, what is your contingency plan if this turns out to have been a psychological operation to usher in maximal control over society? You surely must have a plan, right?

Posted by: concerned | Apr 19 2020 16:19 utc | 19

"Why did then head of the CPS, Keir Starmer, meet then head of MI5, Sir Jonathan Evans, for informal social drinks in April 2013, the year after Starmer decided not to prosecute MI5 for its role in torture....
Who really is Sir Keir Starmer KCB?" ADKC@2

There is no mystery here: Starmer is an Establishment politician who's role is to deliver the electoral support of the working class to prop up the capitalist system.
What is mysterious is the fact that the Labour party membership elected him, something only explicable on the grounds of 'wishful thinking' as mass hysteria. Although it has to be said that there wasn't much in the way of alternatives.
Starmer follows in the line of Blair, Kinnock, Callaghan, Wilson, Attlee and Ramsay MacDonald. Blair, Kinnock and Callaghan were US agents. Wilson and Attlee made the choice to side with the Empire on the understanding that they would have been removed had they done otherwise and chosen neutrality in the Cold War. Ramsay Mac was what he was.
Starmer is closer to MacDonald than any of the others: he positively longs for a coalition and restoration to a place in the government. And this makes him, in the final analysis, useless to the Establishment- he has no real following except among the office holders and functionaries within the Labour Party, the local councillors, the Trade Union bureaucrats, the advisors and full time organisers, their staffs and an aspiring generation of wannabe politicians.
The problem they have is that they have nothing politically to offer the population as a whole. They have no critique of the system, no perspective of anything more than cosmetic changes. All the institutions that he sees as immortal are crumbling before his eyes-the Imperial USA, NATO, Israel, the capitalist system.
His appeal was that he was seen as 'realistic.' In fact his realism is akin to the monarchical views of a French aristocrat in 1790.
Starmer in a word is the leader of the biggest PASOK in Europe.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2020 16:20 utc | 20

Traditional Chinese medicine coupled to science. China has been putting out a number of articles on TCM as it has been showing good results in treating coronavirus.

At the hospital run by Liu, every patient had tests like CT scans, blood counts and throat swabs.

The diagnostic tests can help in diagnosis and it would be great if some chemical compounds could precisely strike the pathogen, said Liu.

But with no certain cure, TCM and Western medicine need to work to their strengths.

For prevention and mild cases, doctors around the world have been noting that immunity is the best guard against the novel coronavirus.

Boosting the immune system or restoring internal balance to drive the virus away is TCM's theory to deal with the disease.

Western medicine is more disease and symptom-centric while TCM tends to be more patient-centric. The overall condition of a patient, from the microscopic level to the holistic view, are taken into consideration.

The combination of TCM and Western medicine gave Liu's hospital three "zeros": no patients tested positive again after being discharged; no mild cases becoming severe or critical; and no hospital staff infected. These were significant in containing the spread of the disease.

For severe and critical cases, the use of supportive Western treatments like ventilators and ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machines, which take over the work of the lungs, are very important, relieving symptoms and preventing adverse events, said Liu.

TCM was also proved to play a complementary role in intensive care. For instance, a TCM injection named Xuebiqing has been found to be effective against cytokine storm, an overreaction of the immune system that is a cause of death for severe and critically ill COVID-19 patients, according to Liu

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2020 16:31 utc | 21

T 14 Amarta has been tested in Syria.
"Manturov said these were sent to Syria “to assess all details in combat conditions.”

The minister said it was crucial to test the Armata during battle, as it provided its developers with much needed information to finalize it."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 19 2020 16:38 utc | 22

From an article in the Telegraph titled "Here in Sweden we're playing the long game, and listening to science not fear":

The architect of our policy is state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell... Tegnell recently admitted: “We’re trying this strategy out. We don’t know if it will work or not. If it doesn’t, we’ll revisit it.” Indeed, no country knows which policy is best, or how exactly things will pan out, so why pretend otherwise?...

And it appears to be working. While the high streets are open, they are much quieter than usual, and the majority are following the social distancing recommendations. For most Swedes, this isn’t much of an imposition. We are generally a self-reliant (some would say anti-social) bunch. In fact, many are rejoicing as they no longer have to make up an excuse to avoid going for a beer..

People say we are putting the economy ahead of saving lives, but the economy is lives. A stronger economy means better healthcare for everyone for years to come. Generally, Swedes like to play the long game and right now we’re thinking about the state of play two, five or even 10 years from now. It’s not just about beating the virus, it’s about coming out of the crisis healthy. It’s easy to tally up deaths from the disease, but what about the impact a lockdown will have in terms of unemployment, homelessness, mental illness, and suicides? One could even draw parallels with Sweden’s neutrality during the Second World War, which paved the way for the country to become an economic and social powerhouse in the post-war years.

Posted by: plantman | Apr 19 2020 16:43 utc | 23

Ahh, the Labour party...

@21. As a member of the Trilateral Commission, handy tool to UK spooks and other government agencies as DPP he is most definitely not useless. Starmer clearly games, as his recent financial shenanigans show concerning donations. There's also the Wife and Kids needs to oblige.

As for the report itself. It seems many of those mentioned are planning legal actions (financial rewards on top of political...) and head of the NEC (Jenny Formby) has told all local groups this report is _not_ to be shared.

Formby is the confusion here for me. I first suspected that Starmer would use this to remove her, but her actions over the report are baffling. This report exonerated Corbyn and his team. Was she never Corbyns ally? And why did Labour lawyers stop the release before it's leak?

Posted by: Some Random Passerby | Apr 19 2020 16:49 utc | 24

From Bloomberg---Sweden Says Controversial Covid-19 Strategy Is Proving Effective

Sweden’s unusual approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic is starting to yield results, according to the country’s top epidemiologist.

As of Sunday, Sweden had reported 1,540 deaths tied to Covid-19, an increase of 29 from Saturday. That’s considerably more than in the rest of Scandinavia, but much less than in Italy, Spain and the U.K., both in absolute and relative terms.
Tegnell isn’t the only high-level official in Sweden to claim the country may be over the worst.

“The trend we have seen in recent days, with a more flat curve -- where we have many new cases, but not a daily increase -- is stabilizing,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the microbiology department at Sweden’s Public Health Authority, said on Friday. “We are seeing the same pattern for patients in intensive care.”

Sweden’s Covid-19 strategy may ultimately result in a smaller -- albeit historically deep -- economic contraction than the rest of Europe is now facing, according to HSBC Global Research economist James Pomeroy.

“While Sweden’s unwillingness to lock down the country could ultimately prove to be ill-judged, for now, if the infection curve flattens out soon, the economy could be better placed to rebound,” he said.

Posted by: plantman | Apr 19 2020 16:54 utc | 25

"...The Swedish police were woefully understaffed, and stuffed by their own "left" politicians who insisted on keeping the "open arms" policy. (they got the arms really, but not the ones they were expecting)... Stonebird@11

I hope that this doesn't clash with your view of the world but Sweden is not ruled by politicians who could be called 'left' in any meaningful sense of the word.
Sweden chose this policy because it is openly carrying out the policies that Trump always favoured and is now attempting to be 'forced', by the astroturfing right wing groups leading public opinion, to implement; that Johnson is actually ensuring that the UK, despite all the outward show of quarantine, sticks with. Which is to say-Herd Immunity, the deaths of millions of elderly people and the quick restoration of the status quo.
For these people the defeat of the virus would be a tragedy. As we can tell by their insouciant attitude towards the mortality figures, 'it is just another 'flu', a disease which trims off a large part of the least productive and socially expensive part of the community is no inconvenience, particularly if they can be persuaded to liquidate all their capital in order to attempt to stay alive.

The new Health Minister of Brazil-educated in Toronto and Boston- is the frankest exponent of the philosophy. When he says "Let the young people live" what he really means is "Let the old people die." And he justifies his position by quite openly saying that society should not be expected to pay thousands of dollars just to keep old people, many of them sick already, living.

I wish that those who infest this blog with their anti-social theorising, twisted statistics and undisguised admiration for the socio-economic status quo, would be as frank as him and admit that, in their book of values, the deaths of a few million old, dark skinned, sick or poor people is unimportant when compared with the necessity of preserving class society and the rule of the capitalists. All this weeping over the potential loss of "freedom" in a society ruled by plutocrats to an extent that would shock a Saudi is weird. Are Americans really of the opinion that they are "free"? That they live in a Free World? That they can choose their rulers and do so regularly?

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2020 16:58 utc | 26

thanks b... i am getting burnt out on the covid back and forth.... i will try to respond to comments on the previous thread later today..

@ 3 concerned... i want to address this '' the global surveillance regime will be permanent" thinking, but i have to do it later as well.. it is constantly coming up and i find it a real distraction... ever since people have given themselves over to the internet, cell phones and etc. etc. - they have basically walked right into this, and now covid 19 is also a culprit for the same, lol.. it gets friggin tiring hearing this non stop.. maybe i need a daily 'edward snowden' reminder.. i dunno.. will talk more about it later..

@ 9 noirette... i had a hard time following you in the thread.. i was trying... so, for me it wasn't all that helpful.. cheers..

@ ivan... yes ivan, but what would you like to demand of b?? is he supposed to do penance in rome, or?? what are you thinking would work for you??

@ 18 jackrabbit.. i am going to guess there is a lot of that shit going on - astroturfing campaign.. its another interesting distraction from the land of the unfree, lol..

does anyone know how long a person who is asymptomatic can infect another person?? this is one question i don't know anyone has expressed clearly that i have read..

i don't know if some of you saw the 'wild bat' thread at sst where b is being taken down by the pat lang fan club... mildly entertaining...

Posted by: james | Apr 19 2020 17:01 utc | 27

Barflies might be interested in this from Stephen Lendman, about how lawyers are smelling blood re. COVID. It's an aspect I hadn't thought about. Shark fin soup should have a warning: "May contain lawyers."

Posted by: piggly | Apr 19 2020 17:02 utc | 28

I think the reason that Sweden didn't do a lockdown is because they couldn't enforce it. Stonebird at 11.

Yes... or probably, here another facet:

Hospital beds, which require space, staffing, docs and more are a cavalier, dodgy, proxy (per capita) of the 'scope' - planning, prevention, caring, etc. in health care.

(Caveat. The no. of beds is hard to figure and there are a variety of ‘beds’.)

Hosp. beds for 1K ppl, 1980 (or best know date) to ‘now / recent’, from blog post in F


Shows, Hospital beds:

Sweden went from 15 to 2 (see their COV policy! ..),

Italy from 9 to 3

France from 11 to 6

S. Korea from 2 to 12

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 19 2020 17:05 utc | 29

I am very amused how there is a lot of people (lets say in US) screaming "they are doing this to take away our liberties!".

Dude, they took it long ago in more perfidious, more effective manner. They control all the media, land, resources, money, always keep people in conflict among selves on various lines, and do that in a way people see no problem with that (it is American dream and all is working OK!).

No, they are not taking liberties now, they took it all already. What they are doing is preparing to stop revolution, just in case. I personally think it won't happen as US population is too dumb and brainwashed to even admit it is not at the top of food chain, but 1%-ers don't want to take chance.

Posted by: Abe | Apr 19 2020 17:05 utc | 30

@ 35 abe.. thanks for saying what i wanted to say, but in a much more quick and succinct manner... not sure @3 concerned is listening..

Posted by: james | Apr 19 2020 17:08 utc | 31

Current data--

Sweden Coronavirus: 1,540 Deaths ...pop 10.2

Denmark Coronavirus: 356 Deaths ... pop 5.8 million,

NY City’s deaths nearly 13,000 pop 8.2 million

So Sweden's death toll is roughly twice that of Denmark (per population)
But NY City is roughly 9 times bigger than Sweden's.

I'm not sure we can draw any meaningful conclusions from the data.

Posted by: plantman | Apr 19 2020 17:11 utc | 32

Advanced molecular biology techniques for the analysis and controlled manipulation of genetic material are widely understood, taught in most research universities, and are used almost routinely today across a broad range of disciplines (medical/biopharm, crop/animal food engineering, anthropology/paleontology/botany, even consumer services (eg. 23&me) etc.), in addition to classified bioweapons research.

So it is safe to say that by now all the world powers, whose citizens, parents, friends and loved ones have been harmed/killed by this new virus, will have studied it, and made the determination to know with high confidence whether it was bioengineered or naturally evolved.


Concise, incisive summary by a Scottish economist with the gift of gab, on how the Current US neoliberal economy was born:

Recent YT of Barack Obama’s unctuous endorsement of ‘creepy’ “Demento Joe” Biden, as annotated by LIBERAL comedian Jimmy Dore:

Lastly, after four years of Obama/Clinton/Bush II era hold-overs, deep-staters, and unindicted perps of “crimes against humanity” (not to mention the Invisible Hand) laying unsuccessful traps and nearly continuous soft coup attempts against Trump, it looks like in the past year Trump may finally starting to “counter-punch” quietly but hard against some of his tormentors, and perhaps also ‘their witting or unwitting intel assets in four other countries (UK, Australia, Italy and one other country(?)’ (paraphrased) according to Joseph Digenova.

This was said in a recent radio interview on WMAL (a Washington DC area ‘drive to work’ morning talk radio station [starts at minute 1:00]).

Could some of these bad actors have been really feeling the heat—and have the means/opportunity to deploy desperate actions to “kill two birds with one stone” (Trump’s reelection and the China rivalry), for which they may have either terribly miscalculated or, psychopathically, just didn’t care?

I have no idea whether it was a natural pandemic or a PLANDEMIC.

It is unbelievable that China would have ever deliberately released it upon itself

I do believe the world powers will know with certainty by now whether nCo-19 was engineered, and if so, there are enough tell-tail signs/evidence in the synthesized nCov19 virus code to reveal/identify with high degree of confidence the country/source of origin.

If that country/source of origin happens to be the USA, the other world powers most likely will have already communicated to Trump this evidence, and probably said words to the effect: “Either you take care of this problem decisively against the responsible parties behind release of it, or WE will.”

Posted by: gm | Apr 19 2020 17:11 utc | 33

Whitney Webb's latest on Epstein & co. Its insider stuff told by someone who was there, Maria Farmer, the artist who was employed by Epstein for more than two years and was the first person to try to take down Epstein and his cabal.

Disturbing stuff. Whitney looks pretty shook up.

Exposing The Real Epstein Cover-Up & How Deep It Goes


Epstein Victim's Story Buried By Media & FBI

Some claims:

- she saw Bill Clinton as president coming and going in 1995

- Ghislaine Maxwell and Ivana Trump (ex-wife) would regularly go trolling for underage girls in school uniforms

- an average of five and ten girls different girls would go into Epstein's office daily for the two years Farmer was there.

- Farmer first reported Epstein and Maxwell to the FBI in 1996 and the FBI refused to follow up

- Leslie Wexner is the head of the snake of this in the United States

- Epstein and Maxwell were israeli intelligence

- Farmer says she knows for a fact Maxwell is being hidden by the Rothschild family in England

- Farmer says she's received numerous death threats from Lynn Forester de Rothschild and Ghislaine Maxwell

Meanwhile, this past week, the Florida Appeals Court gave all of Epstein's co-conspirators, accomplices and enablers a free pass by upholding Epstein's 2007 sweetheart deal and kneecapped the victims by stating the victims’ rights law did not apply because (get this) Epstein was never actually charged.

Posted by: pantaraxia | Apr 19 2020 17:13 utc | 34

" i want to address this '' the global surveillance regime will be permanent" thinking, but i have to do it later as well.. "

Yeh, "the check is in the mail".


Posted by: LOL | Apr 19 2020 16:47 utc | 26

Thank you for your post, LOL.

"as powerless and desperate as possible"

That is pretty much the condition of most people, right now. The sad reality is that it is understood that the subject classes will turn on each other instead of taking a head count and responding accordingly to this "class war".

The surveillance regime IMO is mainly intended for controlling the technocratic 10% that is relied on to operate the machinery of the system, but they are in general now being mostly integrated into companies. (FAANGs are a perfect example in information systems.)

Ruling class

Servant class


Posted by: concerned | Apr 19 2020 17:16 utc | 35


"does anyone know how long a person who is asymptomatic can infect another person?? this is one question i don't know anyone has expressed clearly that i have read.."

I had read that they were going with 14 days, but another study suggested it could be longer, maybe up to 28 days. The latter study is inconclusive and needs further research.


You really summed up my thinking. Bravo. I had started to reply to some and then thought, do I want to do this again? Nah, it is a nice day, I am going for a bike ride and then start some seeds indoors for my garden. Have a good day.

Posted by: David F | Apr 19 2020 17:17 utc | 36

remember people who think b should be omniscient are also heavily armed and will blame the dochsclossers in the "pro-virus"* America hater camp for why Trump has not MAGA yet.

*if you believe the virus is not a Chinese rat commie plot to shut down our Dairy Queens, you are pro-virus.

Posted by: jason | Apr 19 2020 17:20 utc | 37

re #38

Oops error on third YT link

Posted by: gm | Apr 19 2020 17:22 utc | 38

".. the notion of progressive BI is a futile attempt to make peace with that system."LOL @26

Exactly the same was said of the introduction of Old Age pensions and the Health Service. And it was true of them too, they had that aspect, they could be used to buttress capitalism.
But there are two problems with this analysis.
The first is that while such reforms can be imposed on the ruling class-which resisted them, kicking and screaming as the long fight for the NHS in the UK and the epic struggle, including a Doctors strike, in Saskatchewan showed. And as the long successful resistance to a single payer state system in the United States, not to mention the concomitant struggles to privatise and dismantle public healthcare systems wherever they are, also demonstrate. While Capitalism will tolerate such impositions, just as it tolerated 80%-90% marginal tax rates too, it will always struggle against them. It is wrong to believe that the capitalists welcome such policies. They make the best of them, they struggle to change them, they detest them. They never accept their necessity because they cost them not only money but power: a person with a basic income guaranteed is not easy to force to work. It is one of the basic axioms of the capitalist ideology that the poor only work to save themselves from starvation.

If there is a Universal Basic Income, as a result of popular insistence, the capitalist will resist it, amend it, set out to trivialise its impact and, in the end, kill it when ever the first opportunity to do so arises.

The second aspect of the UBI worth considering is that-as Marx described the 10 Hour Act- it represents a victory for socialist political economy.
There is no reason why the basic income now operating, at a vestigial and temporary level, in Canada should not be the beginning of a process leading to the establishment of an economy in which the needs of people are see to have the first claim on production. An economy producing not for profits and return on capital but for the benefit of all. During most of human history that has been the nature of the economies we have developed. Capitalism and class exploitation, like over work and famine, are anomalous and exceptional.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2020 17:24 utc | 39

Sweden's has very very high Covid 19 death rate per capita - 11 % of all infected, more than almost any other country in the world.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 19 2020 17:28 utc | 40


Perhaps the Covid 19 responsible parties are the Powers That Be. You know, the One World Government Deep State operators. They're not going to arrest themselves.

The ones who profess stuff like this:

"The nation state as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state."

Brzezinski 1971

and this:

“Shortly, the public will be unable to reason or think for themselves. They'll only be able to parrot the information they've been given on the previous night's news.”

“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”

Posted by: Kristan hinton | Apr 19 2020 17:30 utc | 41

bevin @21

Matt Kennard's series of tweets provides evidence. There is a difference between believing something is the case and evidence that something is the case. You should welcome that evidence. Did you even read Matt Kennard's tweets?

"What is mysterious is the fact that the Labour party membership elected him..."

Not, mysterious to me. Back in January I posted:

"You need to scotch the notion that Blairites are being purged from the Labour Party as it is completely and utterly false and is not (and never was) a real possibility.

Kier Starmer will win the Labour Leadership and he is a Blairite."

Whatever you think of past Labour Leaders, Blair and Starmer are of a different sort (as would David Milliband have been if he had been elected leader back in 2010).

You are wrong to imply that Starmer would have been just like the other candidates standing for the Labour Leadership. And your analysis of where Starmer will find himself will be completely wrong if the institutions that you imagine are crumbling emerge from the pandemic as strengthened.

Starmer has no real electoral appeal, he was elected by the Labour Membership because they were told from the very off to vote Starmer/Rayner and they did.


The real change in Labour has been the weakening of Trade Unions and the almost complete severance of Trade Union influence over the Party. And its replacement by an officer/professional class, the Party Bureaucracy (essentially Blairite), as the people that rule the Labour Party and who look down their noses at the working class.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 19 2020 17:36 utc | 42

Some notes on unemployment in the US:

Average weekly claims:
weeks 1-11 in 2019: 249,931 vs. 245,715 in 2020

weeks 12-14 in 2019: 189,956 vs. 5,049,130 in 2020

Total claims:
weeks 12-14 in 2019: 569,869 vs. 15,147,389 in 2020

Note this is in the context of a 155M workforce.

Yes, its that bad.

Nonetheless - the choice isn't binary between lockdown and no lockdown, in most states.

The "Deaths due to unemployment more than coronavirus deaths" claim is utter nonsense; there are 45K suicides in the US every year. We are already over 39K nCOV deaths - the final number is going to be at least double that.

However, the economic damage is severe - more importantly, the nCOV threat isn't going to end until there is a proven and widely implemented vaccine.

Some other options:
1) enforced public mask wearing - including delivery of masks to every person
2) widespread contact tracing and enforced quarantines
3) free testing: both PCR and antibody
4) ongoing mass gathering bans - say, over 50 people

People are far more angry over the ginormous disruption of their livelihoods than scared over the risk of catching or dying from nCOV, but the PMCs don't care because they are the least affected by lockdowns and the accompanying economic disruption.

I reiterate the potentially enormous impact this will have on the political situation.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 19 2020 17:46 utc | 43

thank you again, b - the reddit thread on the astroturfing is new to me and I'd not have found that on my own

bevin 30 and Abe 35 - nailed it, thank you both

I am afraid of stretching the page so won't give the whole link, but this article deserves to be read and spread:

"They are giving us crumbs now because they are afraid; they are afraid of us. They know that we have the power to shut down production, to attack capital, and to take power for ourselves. They are hoping that if they give us some crumbs now, then we will forget and forgive them. But we won’t, and we can’t. These concessions should only add to our anger, because now we know, without a doubt, that they could have done this the whole time and chose not to. The money has always been there."

How many times does it need to be said to stop the divide and conquer campaign?


Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 19 2020 17:46 utc | 44

@3 concerned
"Does humanity have a contingency plan on how to dismantle the architecture of this barely disguised authoritarian global regime that we're glibly marching to embrace?"

This global surveillance regime is not disguised, nor does it require a pandemic to extend its coverage. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are the most prominent scapegoats for those of us who cherish liberty but are impotent to do away with the national security state. We mourn the loss of our liberty and our political freedom. We get angry, we get depressed, we get sick. We are a pitiful spectacle to those extraterrestrial journos covering our situation.

Let's hope the virus, created and promulgated by the motherfuckers who have jailed Assange & Snowden, gets to demonstrate its gain of function capability for its subhuman scum creators. May they suffocate with all their family, friends & assigns.

The question is not does humanity have a plan. Do you? That's where it begins.

Posted by: jadan | Apr 19 2020 17:47 utc | 45

@ Posted by: plantman | Apr 19 2020 17:11 utc | 37

NY has 8.4 million inhabitants - in an 302.6 square miles area.

Posted by: vk | Apr 19 2020 17:49 utc | 46

Some Random Passerby @28

"Formby is the confusion here for me...Was she never Corbyns ally?"

Formby and Corbyn were working together to expedite the anti-semitism cases (and expel members) to prove they were taking action. The officers who encouraged, promoted, leaked and publicised the allegations were doing their best to hamper and delay the procedure to 'demonstrate' how 'incompetent' Corbyn was.

Dismal on both sides.

This interview with Asa Winstanley of the Electronic Intifada on "Bush Back with Aaron Mate" covers the issue.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 19 2020 17:50 utc | 47

A lot of famous people have made podcasts about how Sanders was sabotaged by the people he hired to run his campaign. Why did Sanders hire people from The Center for American Progress (aka Clinton Inc) to run his campaign? Why did he hire known backstabbers (Ro Khanna) and why did he attack his own people during the campaign at the behest of a dishonest media mob? Why did he run a campaign based on identity politics instead of how he ran his campaign last time? Why did he spend his time attacking Trump instead of his opponents who were attacking him? Why did he allow himself to be branded by the media as a communist? Why did he help deplatform Tulsi--his ONLY ally? Was it sabotage from the neocon-adjacent people he hired? All these things are explored at The Berniecrat Revolution Will Not Be Televised or: Re-evolution For Dummies

Posted by: Kali | Apr 19 2020 17:52 utc | 48

The question is not does humanity have a plan. Do you? That's where it begins.

Posted by: jadan | Apr 19 2020 17:47 utc | 52

My dear friend, this is precisely why I am "concerned".

I am having difficulty coming up with a plan! I don't see any cracks in this maximal escalation by the aptly named "motherfuckers".

Recall that we have also been denuded of civil rights, in toto.

Recall that there will far less opportunity for a shadow economy to support insurgency and resistance.

Recall that all of our interaction will be monitored via either "contact tracing" or use communication systems entirely controlled by the same "motherfuckers".

Right now we have a 'fleeting moment', a still partially open window. But even in our 'designated protest' spaces afforded us here and elsewhere, the noise ceiling is maximal "who dunnit" distractions, or debating niche technical subjects by know-it-alls.

Have you seen a single voice point out, for example, that if we are being to sacrifice literally everthing that human beings cherish, why are we not demanding equally sweeping changes at the top, by establishment press? Has their M.O. changed on bit?

So my one and only plan is precisely what I am doing here, while I still am permitted to do so.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 19 2020 18:02 utc | 49

@Ivan #56
I've never said the lockdowns are good or that the economic impact is minor.
In fact, I was literally the first person on MoA to note that nCOV was going to seriously hurt the US economy. I posted about this more than 1 month ago.

There's a big difference between understanding how a largely consumption and service driven economy is hurt by lockdowns vs. pushing complete bullshit that nCOV deaths would be less than deaths due to economic hardship.

You should also be aware of what you quote: US life expectancy went up during the Great Depression - by more than 6 years.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 19 2020 18:11 utc | 50

Well said bevin @ 30.
And I'd just like to add that could anyone who still believes that COVID-19 originated in a bio-weapons lab, American, Chinese, British or Andorran, please produce a scintilla of real evidence to justify their conspiracy theory. The origin of COVID-19 as defined in Washington's Sinophobic narrative might not be true but there is no real evidence to suggest that its appearance was anything other than a natural event and conspiracy theories are just white noise which drowns out the interesting and relevant stuff.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 19 2020 18:11 utc | 51

Noirette | Apr 19 2020 17:05 utc | 34

The lack of beds is certainly a major factor, which seems to have been the case in many other countries too! Compounded problems possibly left them no other way out.
I see Bevin got upset at my use of "left" which he probably should have done. All I should have said is that the "group in power" were following an "open to refugees" policy. (Which looks like it might have been Soros inspired once again, except that he has now disappeared from sight. Wonder down which rat hole he went?)

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 19 2020 18:13 utc | 52

@ Posted by: Ivan | Apr 19 2020 17:55 utc | 56

If unemployment kills people, then Brazil must lose about 4-5 million people per year.

It's funny - all of a sudden, capitalist people care about the unemployed. No such a thing in the 1980s, when the concepts of "structural unemployment" and "unemployment is natural" were invented by liberal economists (wizards of capitalism).

Posted by: vk | Apr 19 2020 18:16 utc | 53

Posted by: vk | Apr 19 2020 17:49 utc | 53

NY has 8.4 million inhabitants - in an 302.6 square miles area.

Singapore has 5.6 million inhabitants in 280.2 square miles area.
Discipline, competence and sound management do matter.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 19 2020 18:19 utc | 54

@Passer by #45
Sweden's nCOV mortality rate is not high compared to almost all of the much bigger Western nations. (all numbers below are normalized nCOV deaths per 10M population).
Sweden: 1542
Belgium: 4783
Spain: 4446
Italy: 3828
France: 2967
UK: 2361
Netherlands: 2118
US: 1191
Germany: 541

New York: 9090
New Jersey: 4533
Lombardy: 11954
Emilia Romagni: 6649

It is increasingly looking like New York (this is the whole state, not just NYC) will pass Lombardy...

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 19 2020 18:19 utc | 55

Posted by: Ivan | Apr 19 2020 17:37 utc | 48

In point 3 I am referring to the recent story where MOA says the US has exceeded the deaths in every other nation rather than compare deaths per million which show we are way below European levels. The truth is the opposite of what MOA has implied.

Well the US is a mixed bag. New York state and New Jersey are terrible, but Oregon, Vermont, Hawaii are actually pretty good. Which just reflects the truth that USA is quite different from state to state. Sort of like Europe except for English.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 19 2020 18:34 utc | 56

Ivan @65:

Your smears are unfounded.

b said that China would defeat the virus. They did.

b was early in recognizing the grave danger to the people in the West and called for swift and strong action. Western governments delayed.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Why is it that the scare-mongering trolls that DEMAND the lifting of lockdowns have nothing to say about the stealth bailout of Wall Street and Boeing? And nothing to say of how the cozy neoliberal government-corporate cronyism influences policy to the detriment of the rest of us?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 19 2020 18:49 utc | 58

@ vk | Apr 19 2020 15:36 utc | 5

Its infection and death rates are much higher than Norway (which is in lockdown) - a country in comparable conditions.

Saying Norway is in lockdown is an exaggeration. It is mostly voluntary, I have been going to work since a couple of weeks ago, and there are lots of people around outdoors. Less traffic than usual of course, but this country is NOT in "lockdown". Kindergardens and schools open tomorrow I am told.

Nobody wears masks or anything. I have not been everywhere, but I have yet to see a mask. I don't read the local propaganda, but it is true that many have been successfully terrorized by the media, in that sense we are not so special.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 19 2020 18:55 utc | 59

Posted by: Ivan | Apr 19 2020 18:44 utc | 69
No, you miss the point. The point is that in the US some states do much better job dealing with this issue than the others, and vice versa. So, those who are doing a poor job, like NY and NJ, should answer for that. Why New York is so much worse than Los Angeles? Look at Seattle. They got hit first, but they managed to get it under control. NY is an anomaly, something terribly wrong happened there.
What US state are you from? How is the situation around you?

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 19 2020 19:01 utc | 60

One more "petit-bourgeois' great hope" down. Antibody tests still imperfect:

Antibody Test, Seen as Key to Reopening Country, Does Not Yet Deliver

The problems are manifold:

The tests, many made in China without F.D.A. approval, are often inaccurate. Some doctors are misusing them. The rollout is nowhere close to the demand.

Now you know why China still isn't using them and is being very cautious with completely reopening its economy.

Posted by: vk | Apr 19 2020 19:04 utc | 62

SCMP (South China Morning Post) Extreme Anti-China and China Basher!

Beside some of the most hardened diehard China basher which were posted here by many MoA and including Willy2, is SCMP (South China Morning Post) probably rank top two or three MSM ant-China and bashers.

This morning SCMP Headline "Donald Trump’s latest attack on China over coronavirus ‘highlights challenge in repairing relations’"

Two reporters Kristin Huang and Cissy Zhou wrote the piece (bios below) if two or more reporters wrote a story mean controversial stories: Hong Kong riots, Trade Wars, Covid19, Xinjiang, Police brutality, Tibet, Freedom of Speech, etc...

SCMP reporters previously embedded with - CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Wall Street Journals, WaPo, are biases. "Politico announced a content-sharing partnership with the Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) " a fucking NeoLiberal hack. SCMP is free, owner Alibaba, Jack Ma - a CCP party cadre. I don’t subscribe commie ideology, but fair and balance reporting. Unlike CGTN, XinHua, Global Times or People Daily mainly China and China bias.

Examines reporters’ language spoken, (I'm NOT an anthropologist or Linguistics and NOT 100% correct but most probable) if mainlanders, HKie, ABC (American Born Chinese), OBC (Overseas born Chinese). OBC normally spoke Mandarin and/or Cantonese. ABC Chinese never speak Cantonese and/or Mandarin, dialect and Bahasa Malayu or Indonesian, Tagalog. I speak four dialects beside Bahasa Malayu.

Last year China barred Phila Siu into Macau, this year again kicked out 3 Wall Street Reporters, even thought the three reporters didn't wrote the piece "China the Sick man of Asia" and requested withdrew the articles...

"Two of the three mainland China-based Wall Street Journal reporters whose press credentials were revoked last week due to the outlet publishing an opinion piece titled “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia” left the country on Monday.....Josh Chin and reporter Chao Deng.... Philip Wen, an Australian national. All three had five days to leave the country after the February 19 announcement."

More..."Phila Siu...barred from Macau’s.....journalist since 2009. He has reported on human rights, security, politics, and society in Hong Kong, mainland China and Southeast Asia. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Hong Kong Baptist University and a human rights law master's degree from the University of Hong Kong.

Ultimately, these trash or Americunts must leave SCMP and HK, worked in US of A, before 2047. More.... while CGTN Produced in Washington, DC., UK and Nairobi, Kenya, correspondents and anchors mostly American (White, non ethnic Han or Chinese) based in US of A. CGTN is smart and protect their arse.

Unless freaking US of A learn to respect China and treated China as equally like any Nations on earth China will continue tit for tat
By Walter Russell Mead. Feb. 3, 2020 6:47 pm ET

Kristin Huang is a senior China reporter, who focuses on diplomacy and defence. She joined the Post in 2016 and previously reported for China Review News Agency. Kristin is interested in security in northeast Asia and China's growing military might.
Areas of Expertise: International relations, diplomacy, defence
Languages Spoken: English, Mandarin, Cantonese

Cissy Zhou, Political Economy Reporter
Cissy joined the SCMP in 2019. Prior to that, she has been a producer at BBC News and investigative reporter at CaiXin Media. She is interested in China's politics and economy.
Areas of Expertise: Chinese politics, Chinese companies, Chinese economy
Languages Spoken: English, Mandarin

Disclaimer: Eng not my mother tongue, wish someone hijack and rewrite, correct Eng mistakes etc. Finally SCMP is #2 anti-China media if ZeroHedge is #1. Thanks for reading.

Posted by: JC | Apr 19 2020 19:16 utc | 63

passer by@45
try this:
# of car accidents/ total # of Toyotas, = accident rate(!). Is that an accurate assessment of car accident %age?

So, going back to CoVid1984, the # of infected is UNKNOWN! All that is known is that some are infected, but the majority HAVE NOT BEEN TESTED! Therefore, the %age dead is UNKNOWN(!!), based on an incomplete sample size.

The only comparison we have is #dead /total population.

Posted by: Darryl Secret | Apr 19 2020 19:16 utc | 64

“Pooh poohing the comparison of the harm done by the virus vs the harm done by the response to the virus is utter nonsense.”

Posted by Ivan at #56

Actually, the calculations for the virus caused harm and the response caused harm should be lumped into a single figure.

Let us say that your house catches fire. You call the Fire Department. They come out and extinguish the blaze before it starts to engulf the building. Then you walk through the house and find that the water damage is maybe ten times greater than the damage caused by the fire itself.

Are you suggesting that NOT calling the Fire Department is a serious option?

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Apr 19 2020 19:21 utc | 65

@Ivan | Apr 19 2020 17:46 utc | 50
Thanks for your postings in this thread. I agree with your views.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 19 2020 19:27 utc | 67

Why don't you start your own blog. Sounds to me like you know everything there is to know and then some.

Posted by: arby | Apr 19 2020 19:27 utc | 68

Ivan reminded me of this--

Posted by: arby | Apr 19 2020 19:32 utc | 69


It’s understandable to change opinion as more information becomes available. (My own opinion followed a trajectory of increasing concern, perhaps because any “information cascade” about unfamiliar subjects takes time.). But, I agree it would be interesting to hear from our host himself, even if it’s a short note, whether he thinks his opinion evolved and why.

I also agree data should be normalized, to the extent practical, prior to comparison. For mortality rate, the “per case” denominator implicitly provides a “per capita” measure. But, to compare # of cases, we should take extra effort to factor in “per capita” and even “density”. If we plot data from qualitatively different geographic units on the same chart, we should be careful in interpreting it prior to using to to cast blame.

Posted by: oglalla | Apr 19 2020 19:35 utc | 70

It is rational and sensible and logical to change one's opinions as facts change. I don't see that b has done a sudden jump for some underhanded reason. Unlike say Democracy Now which did a sudden reversal on Syria for no apparent new reason or The Intercept.

Posted by: arby | Apr 19 2020 19:40 utc | 71

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 19 2020 18:19 utc | 54

Swedish COVID 19 death rate is number 7 in the world (per million population) and number 6 in the world (per number infected).

Sorry, but this is one of the WORST performances in the world.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 19 2020 19:43 utc | 72

per number infected - read casualties per number infected.

Swedish death rate is VERY high, there is no doubt about it.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 19 2020 19:45 utc | 73

Hey Bernhard - if you are gonna delete whole swathes of comments - why not just delete the comment content and leave the placeholder.

It's really weird trying to read the comments here - that all point to comment #numbers that are something else.

Besides, really, as plenty of people have countered whatever it is/was that Ivan had to say - it's petty to then delete Ivan's comments (or others also).

Kinda makes a mockery of this Whiskey Bar thing. But you already know that.

Posted by: DM | Apr 19 2020 19:46 utc | 74

Pepe Escobar offers us some excellent food for thought beyond what is his usual, "The city in a time of plague:
History teaches us that epidemics are more like revelatory moments than social transformers." I most heartily agree and have already written that the virus totally exposed Neoliberalism for what it is--Fraud on steroids. As usual, Pepe peppers his essay with enough source links to keep us busy for several days if not longer. I've never seen the mural at Siena that's central to his prose, for example. Fortunately, I needn't remain entombed inside my home, and the gorgeous sunny day demands I garden, and so I shall.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 19 2020 19:48 utc | 75

Posted by: Darryl Secret | Apr 19 2020 19:16 utc | 63

"The only comparison we have is #dead /total population."

Yes. Sweden is number 7 in the world in #dead /total population.

Pretty BAD performance.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 19 2020 19:49 utc | 76

Were those 14.607 deaths in the UK people who died of COVID19, or with COVID19, or presumed to have COVID19. The UK counts all in their death tolls. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for you to publish a study, any study, that shows cloth masks will prevent COVID19 droplets, much less aerosol, from either escaping or entering cloth masks or "face coverings" as they are now called in California. You did link to a engineering study done in Germany which did not involve the virus, but rather made assumptions on size, speed and distance of particles/aerosol travelled. That study concluded that using a particular kind of vacuum cleaner bag, and following strict protocol, would work. Hopefully, this bag, unlike many used in the US will not contain asbestos. However, three tests done in April all commented on your site, and using the virus, showed cloth masks (not even getting into the "face coverings" in particular to be not only useless but posed a a threat of increased infection. Have you cleansed the site of these comments as well? You should stick to foreign policy, something you know quite well.

Posted by: mark | Apr 19 2020 19:53 utc | 77

@Passer by | Apr 19 2020 19:43 utc | 71

The (small and unreliable) numbers at
show number of deaths per million in Sweden to be trailing countries like

Plus some smaller territories. On your scale Sweden is doing better than these countries, so why pick on Sweden?

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 19 2020 19:55 utc | 78

Posted by: mark | Apr 19 2020 19:53 utc | 77


Meanwhile, we are still waiting for you to publish a study, any study, that shows cloth masks will prevent COVID19 droplets, much less aerosol, from either escaping or entering cloth masks or "face coverings" as they are now called in California.

There are several studies on that. Please start searching.

Posted by: Passer by | Apr 19 2020 19:56 utc | 79

@Dm - @ 73 Hey Bernhard - if you are gonna delete whole swathes of comments - why not just delete the comment content and leave the placeholder.

Because there is no mechanism in the blog system to do that. I would have to do it "by hand" which would have taken hours.

That "Ivan" guy posted some 25+ comments within the last 18 hours. He never appeared before that.

His post were provocative (see the amount of responses) but content wise quite obviously wrong.

I have no better way to police such (astroturfing?) nonsense than to delete it in whole.

Do you want me to police the comments for reasonability all day or do you want me to write new comprehensive post?

There is no "Do both" choice in this.

Posted by: b | Apr 19 2020 19:58 utc | 80

This is getting ridiculous. No debate can continue if contrarian views are simply deleted.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

As far as I can tell, my reply to
Passer by | Apr 19 2020 19:43 utc | 71
containing only factual information has been deleted also.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 19 2020 20:03 utc | 82

DM @73
"Kinda makes a mockery of this Whiskey Bar thing. "

Felt to me like Ivan swaggered in through the saloon doors and proceeded to tell everyone they were full of shit including the manager. I doubt that attitude would be acceptable in most whiskey bars.

Posted by: arby | Apr 19 2020 20:03 utc | 83

Posted by: DM | Apr 19 2020 19:46 utc | 73

I started drafting "SCMP(South China Morning Post) Extreme Anti-China and China Basher!" There were only three comments, by the time completed 95% still slight mistakes decided to post it, I missed Ivan | Apr 19 2020 15:47 utc | 8.

Anyway the bartender decided who is welcome here.....

Posted by: JC | Apr 19 2020 20:07 utc | 84

Is there some sort of technical glitch, either at MOA or within my own machine?

When posting my response to Ivan at #56, my post was initially #76. Now it is #64. Also, #56 is now something else altogether, and the original #56 post I was responding to appears to have vanished. This isn't the first time I've noticed the numbering of posts shifting around.

This is rather a pain when wanting to re-read a post to respond or further discuss it. Is there anything practical that can be done about it?


Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Apr 19 2020 20:07 utc | 85

When b deletes posts the numbers change. Some have suggested using the time stamp instead.

Posted by: arby | Apr 19 2020 20:10 utc | 86

b asks "Do you want me to police the comments for reasonability all day or do you want me to write new comprehensive post?"

My preference is to leave all comments, and instead write new posts. I'm a big fan of free speech, even when somebody like Ivan hogs the megaphone.

Posted by: Don Wills | Apr 19 2020 20:20 utc | 87

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Apr 19 2020 20:07 utc | 86

Mr. b delete and clean sweep. brother. :-)

You either welcome or unwelcome.... not too long ago a female poster comment and my were deleted. Its about fake advised from a professor on Covid19 in YouTube.... I will not mention the professor or the video title now...

Posted by: JC | Apr 19 2020 20:22 utc | 88

If one can handle the intense technical challenge of typing the 15 characters needed to format a link, like this link to Antoinetta III @86, then one can add links in one's post that go directly to the comment that is being referred to.

Note: get the link to the post by [right][click] the post number and selecting "Copy link address" in the context sensitive menu that appears. You can then paste ([ctrl][v]) the link into the fifteen characters of your HREF tag at the appropriate location (between the double quotes in the tag).

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 19 2020 20:27 utc | 89

@ arby

I didn’t see all of Ivan’s posts. But, the ones i saw weren’t disrespectful, IMHO.

@ b

I realize asking you for anything implies taking your time from the work you do. Nevertheless, I, for one, would like to ask whether you were less concerned about the virus back in January. (It seemed so, from the headlines. But, really, i should re-read your articles and not rely on the headlines, because it’s hard to convey nuance in a headline.). If so, what made you change your mind? In turn, if we here at MoA experienced a change in opinion, perhaps we should, figuratively speaking, refrain from casting the largest of stones at our amoral leaders over their handling of public health in this case?

Posted by: oglalla | Apr 19 2020 20:36 utc | 90

LOL @77
Your argument remains unconvincing. You, in line with most fans of the Empire, refuse to understand the importance in history of working class agency. The ruling class are not introducing UBI in order to pave the way to immiseration.
They already know how to arrange that. The only reason that the working class is not always on the brink of starvation is that it has fought for higher living standards. And got them.
The ruling class is paying a UBI because they fear the consequences of a population fighting back against starvation.
If you spent less time studying economics and more time doing what Marx did and trying to understand history you would understand such matters. Perhaps there, as a bonus, you will learn too that insolence and loud assertions-not borne out by your argument- of deep acquaintance with Marx and a commitment to communism (did you think we hadn't heard that pretentious guff before?) are no substitute for detailed critique of the position that you oppose.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2020 20:46 utc | 91

Fyodor M. Dostoevsky, "Crime and Punishment", Raskolnikov's fifth dream:

He was in the hospital from the middle of Lent till after Easter. When he was better, he remembered the dreams he had had while he was feverish and delirious. He dreamt that the whole world was condemned to a terrible new strange plague that had come to Europe from the depths of Asia. All were to be destroyed except a very few chosen. Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them became at once mad and furious. But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible. Whole villages, whole towns and peoples went mad from the infection. All were excited and did not understand one another. Each thought that he alone had the truth and was wretched looking at the others, beat himself on the breast, wept, and wrung his hands. They did not know how to judge and could not agree what to consider evil and what good; they did not know whom to blame, whom to justify. Men killed each other in a sort of senseless spite. They gathered together in armies against one another, but even on the march the armies would begin attacking each other, the ranks would be broken and the soldiers would fall on each other, stabbing and cutting, biting and devouring each other. The alarm bell was ringing all day long in the towns; men rushed together, but why they were summoned and who was summoning them no one knew. The most ordinary trades were abandoned, because everyone proposed his own ideas, his own improvements, and they could not agree. The land too was abandoned. Men met in groups, agreed on something, swore to keep together, but at once began on something quite different from what they had proposed. They accused one another, fought and killed each other. There were conflagrations and famine. All men and all things were involved in destruction. The plague spread and moved further and further. Only a few men could be saved in the whole world. They were a pure chosen people, destined to found a new race and a new life, to renew and purify the earth, but no one had seen these men, no one had heard their words and their voices.

Posted by: teatree | Apr 19 2020 20:48 utc | 92

In fact nobody, none, has still survived this brand new disease, only temporary recovery probably before the next re-infection

In two years we will then talk what kind of disease we are facing off now with much more info (those who survive, of course)

Posted by: DFC | Apr 19 2020 20:55 utc | 93

I am very amused how there is a lot of people (lets say in US) screaming "they are doing this to take away our liberties!".

Dude, they took it long ago in more perfidious, more effective manner. They control all the media, land, resources, money, always keep people in conflict among selves on various lines, and do that in a way people see no problem with that (it is American dream and all is working OK!).

Posted by: Abe | Apr 19 2020 17:05 utc | 30

No, they could not take everything away before. We ignored their media, refused to use FAANG products, and were free to come and go and associate freely in public, used cash in our transactions, did not have to have a digital device on our person 24/7, and police could not conduct arbitrary mass arrests since it would be rather hard to paint us all as "terrorists".

Willful insistence to ignore the gravity of the changes being summarily announced as a foregone conclusion is irational, and thus suspect.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 19 2020 20:57 utc | 94

"...The real change in Labour has been the weakening of Trade Unions and the almost complete severance of Trade Union influence over the Party. And its replacement by an officer/professional class, the Party Bureaucracy (essentially Blairite), as the people that rule the Labour Party and who look down their noses at the working class."
I don't disagree with most of what you have posted.
As to the Unions: in the case of Starmer I suspect that he got most of the Union support. We know that UNISON and the General Workers have been very active in ensuring that Blairism, essentially anti-Trade Unionism, lived on. Many of the Unions are run, and long have been, by officers who regard democracy with as much horror as Lord Salisbury did. For them the Unions are police agencies for the capitalists and they are integral to the system.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2020 20:59 utc | 95

Posted by: oglalla | Apr 19 2020 19:35 utc | 70

RE: ivan

Please read c1ue's #55

" (all numbers below are normalized nCOV deaths per 10M population)."

I watched "ivan" respond to that with the complaint the numbers were not normalized. He was quite rude too, and insulted our host as well as other posters.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 19 2020 21:03 utc | 96

I totally missed Ivan altogether. He hadn't come when I left. When I came back he had already gone.
Thanks b for what must have been an epic clean-up.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 19 2020 21:05 utc | 97

In Taiwan there has been no lockdown. Only 5 deaths. They did close schools for a month but they reopened end of February, and they recommend masks (required in hospitals). Only recently did wearing a mask on trains become mandatory. Any resident entering Taiwan from overseas now requires 14 days quarantine/home isolation, but thats only from the last month, while non-resident/citizens are not allowed into Taiwan since mid March.

But gyms, churches, department stores, restaurants all business as usual and have been from the beginning. Business down a bit in the beginning . Not so much now.

Literally hundreds of thousands of Taiwan people returned to Taiwan from China before the New Year, and many more from US and Europe after the outbreaks there. They account for most of the 400 confirmed cases but hardly much spread beyond this, even after the early days when home isolation enforcement was lax

My point is, for whatever reason, forced lock downs were not required here. The government provided a good balance of generating concern without resorting to fear mongering. People are pretty good about wearing masks but given the population density social distancing is more conceptual than reality. They do a pretty good job of contact tracing but if the virus spreads as easily as they say that shouldn't 100% effective.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 19 2020 21:09 utc | 98

As I have been telling friends and family for some time the virus isn't that deadly except for the elderly and those individual with comorbidities (especially CVD and diabetes) ... we have pretty much known that from the numbers coming out of China. Highly contagious yes, carried and spread by asymptomatic individuals a worrisome characteristic of this viral strain. But this is not just a "bad flu"... when an infected individual starts to go south the deterioration is rapid.. and we do not know the long term implications for those that survive a severe case (intubation), and then there is the issue of concentrated and sustained exposure likely the cause of so many, otherwise, healthcare providers deaths
I believe in western societies there were good reasons to have a thoughtful quarantine, because of an aging population where many are kept alive by an abundance of big pharma and emergency hospitalization for things such as dehydration and UTI (urinary tract infections ..which are both deadly for our frail elderly, as opposed to our healthy elderly). In the US how many people in their 40's -50's have heart disease , diabetes, morbid obesity? The hospital systems in the west more than likely would have collapsed... At least in the united states, hospitals staff to the minimum, they staff almost by the hour... calling people off at the last minute or begging people to come to work inciting them with overtime. ERs in the US often are filled ... waiting to decide to admit or send home (primary based on reimbursement). And as we have witnessed hospitals couldn't come up with PPE.

In a thoughtful quarantine, population density should be a consideration, Urban areas require different levels of lock down that rural areas, stricter infection controls in nursing homes and assisted livings facilities. I think it important to look at geography..areas where the days are longer and ultra violent naturally provides a level of disinfectant. Look at the number of cases in rural america.

Lets just hope the politicians and bureaucrats get there shit together before the fall... Plenty of PPE (regions should not depend on 3M but have the ability to make them locally), larger cities should dedicate a hospital to manage virus cases, testing free and available and immediate. I am sure you can think of more ideas in planning for the virus's return this fall.

Posted by: dp | Apr 19 2020 21:14 utc | 99

Norwegian #79

Glad to see Sweden adopting a calm course of precaution and informed response. We need to examine different responses and different cultural solutions. Masks and distancing may well be adequate if adopted by most people. The USA is a country stricken by CSM - crowd suicide mania - so it is statistically exceptional.

It is extremely valuable to our future to have these global comparisons. So lets suspend the fear porn, the blame porn and get on with our lives. Bravo for difference.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 19 2020 21:16 utc | 100

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