Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 04, 2020

As Death Toll Increases Blame China Campaign Intensifies

The Trump administration will continue its efforts to blame China for the novel Coronavirus because the epidemic situation in U.S. will soon become worse:

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double from the current level of about 1,750.

The projections, based on modeling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now.



There continues to be some infighting between the Trump administration and the intelligence services about blaming China. The administration wanted the U.S. intelligence services to claim that the virus was probably manmade or escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. The intelligence services disagree with the administration on both points.

The administration then penned a paper from open sources that contains those and other allegations and pushed it to friendly media.

Wuhan lab 'most likely' coronavirus source, U.S. government analysis finds - Washington Times, Apr 28

A Wuhan laboratory is the “most likely” source of the COVID-19 outbreak now ravaging the globe, according to a U.S. government analysis that catalogs the evidence and concludes that other explanations for the origin of the coronavirus are less credible.

The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.

But “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.

“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” the document concludes. A copy of the report, compiled this month, was obtained by The Washington Times.

A 'U.S. government analysis' based on open sources is not an intelligence product but a writeup on Google searches by some intern. But there was pressure to make it into an official intelligence judgment.

Trump Officials Are Said to Press Spies to Link Virus and Wuhan Labs- NY Times, Apr 30

Senior Trump administration officials have pushed American spy agencies to hunt for evidence to support an unsubstantiated theory that a government laboratory in Wuhan, China, was the origin of the coronavirus outbreak, according to current and former American officials.
Most intelligence agencies remain skeptical that conclusive evidence of a link to a lab can be found, and scientists who have studied the genetics of the coronavirus say that the overwhelming probability is that it leapt from animal to human in a nonlaboratory setting, as was the case with H.I.V., Ebola and SARS.

That this leaked at all was the first sign that the intelligence services were resisting the push from their higher ups. More push back followed with an official statement.

Intelligence Community Statement on Origins of COVID-19 - ODNI, Apr 30

“The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China. The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.

“As we do in all crises, the Community’s experts respond by surging resources and producing critical intelligence on issues vital to U.S. national security. The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

That was not good enough for the "We lied, we stole, we cheated" Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (vid).

ABCNews 'This Week' Transcript 5-3-20

RADDATZ: And, Mr. Secretary, have you seen anything that gives you high confidence that it originated in that Wuhan lab?

POMPEO: Martha, there's enormous evidence that that's where this began.  ...  I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.

RADDATZ: Do you believe it was manmade or genetically modified?

POMPEO: Look, the best experts so far seem to think it was manmade. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point.

RADDATZ: Your -- your Office of the DNI says the consensus, the scientific consensus was not manmade or genetically modified.

POMPEO: That's right. I -- I -- I agree with that. Yes. I've -- I've seen their analysis. I've seen the summary that you saw that was released publicly. I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate at this point.

Then the same dodgy paper that was shopped to the Washington Times a week earlier appeared in an Australian broadsheet.

Coronavirus NSW: Dossier lays out case against China bat virus program - Daily Telegraph, May 4

China deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an “assault on international transparency’’ that cost tens of thousands of lives, according to a dossier prepared by concerned Western governments on the COVID-19 contagion.

The 15-page research document, obtained by The Saturday Telegraph, lays the foundation for the case of negligence being mounted against China It states that to the “endangerment of other countries” the Chinese government covered-up news of the virus by silencing or “disappearing” doctors who spoke out, destroying evidence of it in laboratories and refusing to provide live samples to international scientists who were working on a vaccine.

A "research document" prepared by "concerned Western governments" is not an intelligence product.

But Foxnews picked up from there and made the paper into one.

Leaked Western intel dossier reveals how China deceived the world about coronavirus - Foxnews, Apr 4

A research dossier compiled by the so-called "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance states that China intentionally hid or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak, leading to the loss of tens of thousands of lives around the world

The 15-page document from the intelligence agencies of the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, was obtained by Australia's Saturday Telegraph newspaper and states that China's secrecy amounted to an “assault on international transparency."

The Australian Telegraph never claimed that the dossier was a "Five Eyes" product. That is a Foxnews invention. The five eyes countries share intelligence but they do not produce common dossiers or analyses. Each service does that separately for its own government.

Only a few hours after the Telegraph had published the above the Australian intelligence services shot the nonsense down.

Australian intelligence knocks back US government's Wuhan lab virus claim, Sydney Morning Herald, May 4

Senior members of the Australian intelligence community told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age a research document shared in political circles under the Five Eyes intelligence arrangement was mostly based on news reports and contained no material from intelligence gathering.

A 15-page "dossier" has been widely quoted by local and international media about China's alleged cover-up of the virus. Australian intelligence officials have since identified a research report which was based entirely on open source material. The officials said it was likely the reports were the same.
Multiple senior intelligence sources who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in recent days have confirmed that Australia has still not been provided with any evidence that strongly suggests the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of the outbreak. Intelligence agencies have not been able to rule out the Wuhan lab, but the more likely cause of the virus is still the city's Huanan Seafood Market where environmental samples of the virus were found.

The WHO also said that it had received no evidence from the U.S. about the 'speculative' Wuhan laboratory claim.

The Trump administration is likely to continue this game and the intelligence services will hopefully continue to resist the pressure they are under.

As the U.S. will soon have as many death per day from covid-19 as it had casualties on 9/11 the risk of a (military?) escalation against China based on false claims will soon become exceptionally high.

Posted by b on May 4, 2020 at 18:20 UTC | Permalink

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blues #92

The hypercrafted implements of the technosphere will be a stripped-down a bit, and some level of primitivism will cease to be be held in contempt. Some of us will freak out, however.

I still have an old reliable landline phone.
Do you think an abbacus would be handy?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2020 0:53 utc | 101

'We've had viruses for years... I want the hotel rooms open' — The mayor of Las Vegas gave this unbelievably alarming interview to Anderson Cooper

Posted by: Mao | May 5 2020 1:05 utc | 102

I know this isn't directly linked to the theme of the post, but it is too bizarre to pass up:

The Hague Invasion Act: Dutch in Denial of US Threat

Even more remarkable: consecutive Dutch governments have been turning a blind eye to the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, nicknamed ‘The Hague Invasion Act’. The US Congress passed this law in 2002. It mandates the American president, among other things, the use of “all means necessary and appropriate to free US or allied personnel detained by or on behalf of the ICC.”

Welcome to the terrorist-totalitarian-authoritarian-communist team, Netherlands.

Posted by: vk | May 5 2020 1:07 utc | 103

St. Louis County had urged the community to share details of anyone not following guidelines in response to the coronavirus pandemic in March. After more than 900 submitted tips, 29 businesses were reprimanded. Many tipsters reported their own jobs for not following social distancing rules. 'I'm worried about someone showing up at my door, showing up at my workplace or me getting fired for doing what is right,' a tipster said. Jared Totsch shared the file of complaint emails in a Facebook group and said: 'I released the info in an attempt to discourage such behavior in the future'. As of Sunday there have been at least 8,437 cases in Missouri and 376 deaths. 3,433 of these cases have been in St Louis County and there have been 177 deaths there.

Posted by: Mao | May 5 2020 1:09 utc | 104

A really thoughtful analysis from Alistair Crooke at Strategic Culture.

He quotes
“Politically the societies of advanced Western modernity are oligarchies disguised as liberal democracies”, wrote Alasdair Macintyre."

"...We are likely to see a return to hard borders; more control of immigration; greater self-sufficiency in terms of domestically-produced component parts (i.e. less off-shoring); more emphasis on self-sustaining agriculture; less dependency on export markets; more reliance on tariffs; and a return to the real economy.

"A simpler, largely national economy, in other words, with a sovereign financial sector. Maybe gold, which was an international money in the past, could become money again, in the future. It’s the ‘old’ as the new ‘new’. It is not that there is no alternative – it has been written about for the last 200 years. In 1800, Johann Fichte published The Closed Commercial State. In 1827 Friedrich List published his theories of national economics which took issue with the ‘cosmopolitan economics’ of Adam Smith and J.B. Say. In 1889, Count Sergius Witte, an influential politician and Prime Minister in Imperial Russia, published a paper titled National Savings and Friedrich List, which cited the economic theories of Friedrich List and justified the need for a strong domestic industry, protected from foreign competition by customs barriers.

"Call it ‘old’, but really it is nothing extreme. It is simply the flip-side to the coin of Adam Smith. Russians, such as Sergei Glazyev, have been thinking about such things for years, but especially since Russia was expelled from the G8. Alternatives for Russia have both been thought about and developed. But western élites have demonized Russia so thoroughly amongst their publics, that any alternative paradigm has been pushed out – far beyond the boundaries of ‘accepted discourse’.

"This means that it will not be possible for the West simply to step out of the Covid-19 crisis, into some ‘waiting’ alternative paradigm (however much the situation warrants it). The world faces the prospect of a profound shift: a return to a natural – which is to say, a self-sufficient – economy. That shift is the very opposite of globalisation.

"It is a crisis that may be extensive, but can be only faced ‘head on’ – and worked through, to its far side (absent a solution waiting to ‘step-into’). The outcome may be obvious, yet there will be no shortcuts in reaching it. Why? Because the neo-liberal era has hollowed out and ‘neo-liberalised’ almost everything: Academia, the judiciary, the media, governance, culture and ethics..."
It is well worth reading

Posted by: bevin | May 5 2020 1:16 utc | 105

More on the genealogy and promotion of America's Wuhan WMDs propaganda ... sorry, I mean ... Wuhan "biolab escape" intel.

-According to Wayne Madsen (former NSA operative), the Falun Gong religious cult is a major peddler of this psyops, which has subsequently leaked into the "intelligence" promoted by Mike Pompeo, the US State Department, and Voice of America.

Cults and Bioterrorism: A Toxic Duo

-The Grayzone also critically analyzes the "Wuhan biolab" pysops and how it has been deployed by the America media.

How a Trump media dump mainstreamed Chinese lab coronavirus conspiracy theory

-It also critiques other America allegations such as the hobbyhorse that China and WHO deliberately covered up the COVID-19 virus (and issues like the human-to-human transmission of COVID-19). In general, the USA is recycling its RussiaGate propaganda playbook only with China as the target instead.

US elites use Russiagate playbook to blame China and promote hostility

-Finally, Davide Mastracci analyzes the COVID-19 "cover-up" psyops. Of particular note is how the media has disingenuously painted Dr. Li Wenliang as a "whistleblower" who was persecuted for exposing the coronavirus.

This particular allegation was a central piece of agit-prop in the early days of America's COVID-19 propaganda campaign (though it has now been downgraded in favor of the biolab escape meme), and it was widely parroted by both mainstream and fake alternative media alike.

It thus deserves particular scrutiny.

For instance, Dr. Li was not an epidemiologist or virologist. He was an ophthalmologist who shared with his friends on a social media platform his claim that there might be an outbreak of SARS--along with patients' medical records. Dr. Li did not report his information to medical authorities, hospitals, or other health organizations. His punishment was that local police talked to him, and he signed a statement that he would not release misinformation in the future. Li was NOT imprisoned nor arrested.

More importantly, before Dr. Li even posted his claims on social media, Zhang Jixian, the director of respiratory and critical care at Hubei Provincial Hospital, had reported some cases of patients with an unusual pneumonia-like disease to the provincial Center for Disease Control, which began an investigation of this disease at that hospital. Dr. Zhang was not punished for her efforts but rather given an award by the regional government.

As Mastracci notes, while the Western/American-controlled media gave lavish attention to Dr. Li, it has ignored the counter-example of Dr. Zhang.

Gee, I wonder why?

Don’t Blame China For Your Government’s COVID-19 Failures

Posted by: ak74 | May 5 2020 1:22 utc | 106

: Peter AU1 | May 4 2020 23:02 utc | 74 Yeah, I know, all surface ships are simply baited hooks that fish for war, the real deal, nwar...all outtacontrol.

like the man said, "If we keep going this way, we are liable to get where we are going."

Peace, Brother

Posted by: Walter | May 5 2020 1:25 utc | 107

Thanks for this very helpful tracing of US propaganda.

Those projections are very suspect, especially Deaths Per Day, where the model is way off the mark for Past data on deaths per day! Any decent model would at least account for the past data, but that one predicted a fifth of the deaths, and shows the rate dramatically increasing when reported deaths are slowly decreasing.

In the US, some states (Guam, Hawaii, Vermont) have suppressed the virus spread very well, some (Florida, Washington state) have a slow decline in new cases, and just a few (Massachusetts, Virginia others) are still increasing in new cases per day. Fortunately, the rate is increasing in the District of Corruption, but not fast enough to reduce the corruption much.

Posted by: JBrant | May 5 2020 1:25 utc | 108

: uncle tungsten | May 5 2020 0:53 utc | 99 actually ham radio and shortwave in general remain somewhat attractive.

on the radio nobody cpt you knows what you listen to. ahemmm...

as war develops look for more shortwave by chine and ru and etc...

Posted by: Walter | May 5 2020 1:33 utc | 109

Much attention has been given to what Sweden has done versus what the US, UK and other western European countries have done while most, including on this site, have studiously avoided looking at what other countries/territories that have been far more successful in dealing with the virus have done.
Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau in particular with maximum exposure to Mainland China have not had lockdowns.
They have used masking, hand sanitizer, closure of cinemas and other public gatherings, temperature screening and diligent contact tracing.
Taiwan 24M population 6 deaths, Hong Kong 7.5M population 4 deaths, Macau 670k population 0 deaths.
Is it simply that their example does not qualify because they are non-white?

Posted by: Othello786 | May 5 2020 1:47 utc | 110

In the UK, looks like Tom Tugendhat, chair of the foreign affairs committee, is spreading the China-did-it propaganda, after his comments on the BBC last week. He can file it alongside his promotion of the White Helmets and the Skripal affair.

Posted by: begob | May 5 2020 2:08 utc | 111

Yeah, Right and VK) and Govern the Mente @ 76 are talking about separate matters regarding the "destruction of samples" or implied coverup. The lab accused of being the possible instigator was ordered to destroy their research viruses in early Jan. The source is a Taiwan paper of a non-public "National Health and Health Commission Document #3." As the 15 page dossier argues:

"Regulating the potentially unsafe transport of virus samples is fair enough. But there is no charitable explanation for why ... or why the WIV, supposedly the safest and most advanced bio-laboratory in China, was ordered to cease its work and destroy its samples as well at such a crucial time during the outbreak. Regardless of your opinion on the WIV, they most certainly had the capacity to perform medical research that could have aided the global community if they had been allowed to continue performing it."

Since I first started reading about it here and on Zerohedge I assumed it was a US cabal biological weapon. Occam's razor was a lab accident, but the lineup of the stars indicated a Leninist approach was more merited. The Chinese New Year, the idiotic but toxic US impeachment theatre, the potential legal problems of the Black Hitler's golpistas, the threat of the fake Sanders candidacy becoming areal threat to the quadrennial circus, the bloodlust of the Iran hawks, Netanyahu, and the wargames since the 70's using bioweapons to cure the Vietnam Syndrome; Part of a US that's spent billions on biological warfare and pays directly for about 10,000 scientists and calls it the poor man's nuclear bomb. It's not "the poor man's nuclear bomb" it's the effing US Army's cure for branch service rivalry missile envy.

As far as scientific authority goes, what are their interests--"the peaceful genome" or war profiteering in the new "information" economy?

I'm not a judicious observer as I left Offutt AFB, home of command over 2/3rds of US nuclear "triad" in 1988 to study left-wing economics at the University of Massachusetts, where I was expelled as a leader of a large rebellion against military research on campus, including autonomous weapons, advanced radars, and anthrax. On May 4, 1989 we were arrested from the occupied research building, transported by bus to be arraigned at the football stadium as hundreds of students chanting "no more Kent States" were kettled violently by over 100 police.

Posted by: Ralph Reed | May 5 2020 2:23 utc | 112

@Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 5 2020 0:01 utc | 87
"As for the "stop testing and destroy the samples" claim, that is a lie-by-omission and therefore deliberately misleading.

The actual order was to stop testing immediately and send the samples to a secure testing facility. The samples were only to be destroyed if that wasn't possible.

Now, that's very sensible. Hospital authorities did not know what they were dealing with"

The order to stop al testing and destroy the samples was also about the research these labs do on viruses taken directly out of bats and other animals.
And during an actual outbreak the lab could have done valuable research on the emerging virus. Instead it was closed down.

"After the National Health and Health Commission issued the No. 3 document, the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was required to stop pathogen detection, destroy existing samples and destroy existing samples.

Source: (archived)

Regulating the potentially unsafe transport of virus samples is fair enough. But there is no charitable explanation for why "information about pathogen detection or experimental activities" needs authorization to be released (these are scientists performing this research, after all) or why the WIV, supposedly the safest and most advanced bio-laboratory in China, was ordered to cease its work and destroy its samples as well at such a crucial time during the outbreak. Regardless of your opinion on the WIV, they most certainly had the capacity to perform medical research that could have aided the global community if they had been allowed to continue performing it.

On the other hand, ordering the WIV to destroy all samples and disassociate itself with the virus makes complete sense if you are trying to invalidate lab outbreak rumors before they become prominent. One cannot easily confirm the presence of a sample in a lab after it has been destroyed."

Posted by: Govern the Mente | May 5 2020 2:28 utc | 113

Vietnam humiliates the US again.

Dead People - USA 70 000 and counting
Dead People - Vietnam - 0

“The Communist Party of Vietnam has strengthened its anti-pandemic measures by implementing nationwide social distancing rules, such as banning outside gatherings of more than two people while keeping a distance of 6.5 feet, and temporary shutdowns of “non-essential” businesses, including restaurants, entertainment centres and tourist sites…

“Unlike the U.S. capitalist class and the Trump administration, the Vietnamese government took early measures to combat the current coronavirus epidemic. Officials began preparing strategies to combat the outbreak immediately after the first cases emerged in China.”

“On February 1, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed Decision No.173.QD-TTG, categorising the virus as a Class A contagious disease “that can transmit very rapidly and spread widely with high mortality rates.” This declaration of a national emergency came after the sixth case of coronavirus in the country was reported. In contrast, the Trump administration only declared a national emergency over the global pandemic on March 13, when there were at least 1,920 confirmed cases across 46 states.”

Posted by: Passer by | May 5 2020 2:41 utc | 114

What is an "IC"? It stands for "intelligence community" Who belongs to this IC? No one can be certain. There's a woman that is a Director of the CIA. It is said that this woman endorses torture and she's quite a shadowy creature. It is highly probable that she sits down to pee, as most all females tend to do. There's also a man called the "Director of National Intelligence". There are many other agencies in this IC, also, 17 in total, and the budget for this important clandestine force is not known and is called a "black budget". Edward Snowden released a figure for 2013 of about $55 billion, but this figure cannot be substantiated so far as this commentator knows. My name is "jadan" and I am a member of the Blogging Community, but unlike the IC, we in the BC have not reached any consensus on the issue of the origins of this virus. We are an all volunteer source of national intelligence in the grand old tradition of American volunteerism. Since we are not paid, our opinions are unbiased.

I believe the IC is full of shit. There are those in the BC who may respect the IC and try to toady up to it because they know that every word they write on line is being recorded and stored in a giant warehouse in Utah. They may try to curry favor with spies in the NSA, but jadan is not cowed. He says the IC is full of shit in full awareness that the IC knows his real name, where he lives, how much money he has, his itinerary every day for years, and when was the last time he looked at porn. He knows the IC is peopled primarily by place holders collecting wages and benefits and that each and every one of them is hopelessly full of shit and incapable of a rational, not to say, original, thought.

First of all, China did not conceal a thing. How could they conceal the fact that they embarked upon a hospital building program right there in Wuhan and created 1000's of new hospital beds in a mere 10 days. Did the clandestine members of our IC not notice this and DRAW CERTAIN CONCLUSIONS, such as: those Chinese must be expecting a PANDEMIC! Or are they just full of shit?

And why, given the 17 member groups of the IC, which is not a state secret, did the IC not know what bioweapons research was going on and where? We do not know how many boots on the ground the IC actually has, which knowledge would compromise its effectiveness and endanger our national security, but surely there are enough to identity all bioweapons activity in every lab around the world. So, J'accuse, IC! You shit heads should have known!

And yes! Your lame effort to blame China is transparently an effort to conceal your own culpability, you sleazy shadowy IC, who have been directly funding and managing bioweapons programs since WWII. You know it's true, you plodding place holders, and here's some advice from a member in good standing of the all volunteer BC, you had better get busy and make a plan for the elimination of bioweapons and a plan to eliminate national conflicts to avoid nuclear annihilation, and a plan to prevent the collapse of the biosphere, otherwise you full of shit place holders: you won't have a groovy retirement waiting for you at the end of the rainbow!

Posted by: jadan | May 5 2020 2:43 utc | 115

If they are talking about China.
Maybe it is because they are preparing for action elsewhere.
Trump is getting desperate for a win or at least a diversion.

Posted by: jared | May 5 2020 3:11 utc | 116

@jadan | May 5 2020 2:43 utc | 113

The US "Intelligence Community" is such a huge misnomer, since they are a lot more interested in hijacking the government and fostering fraud than to do what they are supposed to.

Posted by: JW | May 5 2020 3:18 utc | 117

It is disingenuous to claim that Taiwan & Honkong 'magically had fewer Covid 19 cases, therefore deaths because they "have not had lockdowns.".
A brief perusal of the facts around Hongkong & Taiwan reveals that the reason they did not have to go into lockdown was because right from the get go Health Authorities scrutinised & tested all arrivals quarantining where necessary and followed up every reported case with a complete track & trace.
see this Lancet article for Hongkong.

As for Taiwan, well even Voice of Amerika, that amerikan funded propaganda outlet which is unceasing in its commentry that mean commie China is going to rape, pillage & plunder Taiwan, admitted that early warning of the Covid 19 outbreak enabled Taiwanese health authorities to identify many potential spreaders, that hand sanitizers available at the entrance to every building along with a compulsory temperature check (too high & you are denied entry).
Scrutiny of arrivals began in December 2019, by mid January

"Officials in Taiwan took a “more proactive” approach compared to other parts of Asia by stopping flights from China, lawmaker Lo Chih-cheng said. Hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese live in China and a lot of them return in the first two months of each year for holidays, a pattern that increased Taiwan’s exposure to the disease."

Like South Korea health officials in Hongkong & Taiwan had learned a great deal from the SARS epidemic of 17 years before, both had close familial links with China, so were on the ball a little faster than South Korea.
That early action is what made lockdown un-neccessary. That plus mass adoption of facemasks early on by citizens made spreading more difficult.

If Orange buffoon had been on the ball and paid attention to formal & informal information coming out of China, e.g. checking all new arrivals thoroughly from early January 2020, it is likely amerika would not have required lockdowns, but the health authorities were buggered from the get go.

For some reason, still unexplained (however best guess is that the WHO hadn't offered any kickbacks for amerika 'kindly' adopting their Covid 19 test, so some sticky-fingered sociopath somewhere around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave decided to find an amerikan Pharma corp who would kick back), the Whitehouse decided that no damn commie WHO test was gonna be used on amerikans, so good old amerikan capitalism was gonna square that circle - cept they couldn't. China had provided the complete genetic structure of the virus, but amerikan scientists were simply not capable of designing an accurate, scalable test.
Without a test, no track and trace, no track & trace = no way of identifying then isolating those individuals who were infected and were spreading the Covid 19 disease and that left no alternative other than a complete lockdown.

Here in Aotearoa, track & trace began early, but only international flights from China were blocked, euro & ME flights inbound continued. Both those regions had Covid 19 infected citizens from late December 2019 - the virus was moving fast. That meant by 2nd week of March we had to have a complete lockdown for 4 weeks while all cases were traced and clusters resolved. Once that occurred the lockdown is being reduced using a rational explained methodology.

My own view is that Aotearoa is going too fast, the greedies were knocked over by the suddenness of our lockdown & the alacrity with which kiwis stuck to it. It took em a couple weeks to get their acts together and push for 'sanity' ie forcing low paid workers out to be exploited once more. We are moving into winter and cold weather allows corona viruses to thrive so if any cases have been missed the disease will race through the community like a rat up a drainpipe.
Back to the point. Lockdown was avoidable but only if a society took control of the viruses spread in early January 2020. Since AFAIK, no whitefella managed nations did that, lockdown became essential.

Posted by: A User | May 5 2020 3:36 utc | 118

No problem.....China and the rest of the world just need to send the US a bill for the 2008 financial collapse....remember all those CDS and MBS......

Posted by: Alister | May 5 2020 3:43 utc | 119

For those who continue to cite Sweden as a great example for how the covid-19 pandemic should be dealt with here is some data one might consider. These are numbers from May 3, 2020. first column is the nation, the second is number of deaths per million.

Sweden 274
Norway 39
Finland 43
DenMark 85

Posted by: ToivoS | May 5 2020 4:20 utc | 120

A User #116

Yep, that's pretty much the case. Wear mask, wash and sanitise and hang in for the winter. Go anonymous. I don't mind track and trace but I would never trust an app.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2020 4:28 utc | 121

Last night China's main national news programme reported the exchange between Raddatz and Pompeo in which he first said the virus originated in the Wuhan virology laboratory and then said he agreed with a report that denied this claim. It continued: dou xing bu yi bi zi bi which is ancient Chinese and means 'the unrighteous are doomed to destruction', or 'the wicked are destroyed by their own wickedness' or 'if you do many evil things you will surely kill yourself'. Not easy to translate. It continued ‘If Pompeo is allowed, this evil man will continue to lie and cheat’. ‘America’s greatness is just a joke’.

Posted by: md | May 5 2020 4:33 utc | 122

Walter #107

YES to that. Haven't been there for a long time but worth a visit.
How's that magnificent drill press going?
Next you need a forge. Saw a great vid on the utube of the metallurgy and method of making Japanese sword.... Just WOW.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2020 4:35 utc | 123

just had a look at the spike protein from the Bat coronavirus RaTG13 and the novel SARS-2 (COVID2019) looks like at the nucleotide level they are 93% identical. This argues against the novel virus being derived from the Bat coronavirus RaTG13 in recent history. It takes a long time to get 7% divergence at the rate this virus is developing mutations in the human population. So my bet is that there is another virus out there in nature that is a better match than Bat coronavirus RaTG13.
As for the idea that SARS-2 came from a lab -- that's easily proved wrong. We simply ask an independent team to audit the sequencing files .abi and fastq in the level 4 lab and report back (just recruit some bioinformaticians that aren't virologists and know how to work with sequence data). There must be back ups of the sequence data going back 10 years or so-- you parse out the nucleotide sequence and BLAST it with the SARS-2 genome. Should take a week or so to sort this one way or the other. The Chinese should allow a full audit. I am pretty sure this SARS-2 COVID is natural and no perfect match will be found in the level 4 lab.

Posted by: cj | May 5 2020 4:44 utc | 124

What's more deadly than a tsunami like the one we witnessed in the Indian Ocean in 2004?

- a tsunami of ignorance fueled by selfishness

Selfish ignorance is the real threat right now. You work hard here cleaning up these threads, and you think you're succeeding in pushing back on ignorance, but these threads are but a microcosm of what's happening out there. You can't herd cats. It's so out of control.

There's no self discipline. People are out of control, and their clapping, their rainbow window decals and pots and pans show of support for front line workers amounts to a bunch of bunk! When front line workers realize just how ignorant, selfish and irresponsible people really are, many will walk off the job and just let death happen. Cause why should they shoulder all the load for everyone when everyone doesn't really give a damn already sprawled out on parks and beaches and having their delusional premature Covid party with all the gang?

This whole situation is out of control. Just be patient, cause right now, people are in massive denial of reality. We are in the midst of cataclysmic change ushered in by a pandemic and what you have is this tsunami of ignorance pushing back on change, but reality always wins.

This is a new phenomenon the likes of which we never experienced. When reality hits, and it hasn't, cause the pandemic fog hasn't lifted yet; but when it clears, giant cracks will become visible in the foundations of society and they'll swallow people up in droves and there will be well-deserved pain.

Everyone has been sleepwalking towards disaster. There will be hell to pay for the kind of ignorance that's taking place.

It's such a losing battle trying to be the fog horn.

Many will die and some will care; but most won't and then there will be a big price to pay for selfish disregard, and there will be howling, blame railing and gnashing of teeth. You clean up threads and the pandemic will clean up ignorance and depravity. It's all good in the end.

So let's just let people rush the edge, and then I'll put on my ear plugs, cause I'll know everyone will be getting what they deserve after getting what they want.

Sacrifice will become the new normal for those who barely understand the meaning and it's about time!

Posted by: Circe | May 5 2020 4:45 utc | 125

@11 Govern the Mente: OK, I'm going to break it to you gently - what you think is a smoking gun is nothing more than a crude sleight of hand.

It goes like this:
a) New News waves around photocopies of an official document that it claims orders institutions to "destroy existing samples and ordered that information not be disclosed to the outside world without authorization"
b) That order is directed towards the commercial testing and diagnostic labs that the various Wuhan hospitals sent blood and sputum samples to in an attempt to identify the underlying cause of all these cases of "pneumonia of unknown etiology" i.e. that order is directed to institutions other than the Wuhan Institute.

(I don't necessarily dispute the authenticity of that that "No. 3 document", as I believe that to be a sensible precaution once the nature of that "etiology" was identified).

The sleight of hand comes when....
(c) "Caixin network reported that after the release of the document, virologists revealed that the Chinese Academy of Sciences Wuhan virus was asked to stop pathogen testing, destruction of existing samples."

Annnnnnnd......... it's gone.
Where did "No. 3 document" go?

So that article moves *from* a photocopied document addressed to hospitals and commercial testing labs before moving *to* some scuttlebutt picked up by "Caixin network" and regurgitated by "New News"

Get it?

That news article deliberately conflates two different things in order to trick you into thinking that "No. 3 document" ordered the Wuhan Institute to destroy its samples.

New News has nothing of the sort. What it has is hearsay, first reported by Caixin, and now repeated by them.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 5 2020 4:51 utc | 126

@110 Ralph Reed Read my reply to Govern the Mente above.

He and I are talking about the same thing. The difference is I can spot the sleight-of-hand that "New News" pulled in an attempt to imply that "No. 3 document" was an order directed to the Wuhan lab, when it was not.

The only "evidence" that New News has for the claim that the Wuhan Lab was ordered to destroy samples it this:
"Caixin network reported that after the release of the document, virologists revealed that the Chinese Academy of Sciences Wuhan virus was asked to stop pathogen testing, destruction of existing samples."

Or, in a word, hearsay.

No, please, go back and read that article again, and note how "No. 3 document" disappears from the narrative the moment before the article starts talking about the Wuhan Lab.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 5 2020 4:59 utc | 127

@v Posted by: Likklemore | May 4 2020 22:43 utc | 66

Yawn, more Sinophobic feel-good circlejerking exercises from the MSM swamp who would never admit Americans are too busy selling each other out or pushing away responsibility to do anything about reindustrialization.

Posted by: JW | May 5 2020 5:00 utc | 128

Until the Covid-19 crisis came along any reference by MoA to the New York Times was almost without exception critical of it. The turnaround could hardly be more complete. Recently we have had a string of stories written by B in which the NYT takes centre stage - not as the subject of derision but held up as a trusted source.

Irrespective of what one might think of various different viewpoints of Covid-19, the change of stance of MoA with respect to the NYT in the space of a few months is compelling. It would be foolish indeed not to reflect on that fact.

Has the NYT changed ownership? New editor? New "journalists"? Business revamp? Has it hired Saatchi & Saatchi to build up its image? Has it won a really prestigious award recently for quality journalism?

The New York Times is every bit as worthless a lying rag stuffed with propaganda as it always was. It is not fit wor wiping arses with, except those of the likes of Pompous_Arse.

So what gives?

Posted by: BM | May 5 2020 5:37 utc | 130

The administration wanted the U.S. intelligence services to claim that the virus was probably manmade or escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. The intelligence services disagree with the administration on both points.

The resistance of the US intelligence services to both points is understandable, and is not in any way based on evidence that the virus arose naturally. The absurd reliance on reference to the long debunked Wuhan Market as alleged source is telling. The US intelligence services know very well that the virus escaped (or, potentially, was released) from a US bioweapons lab in the USA long before it appeared in China, and they know very well that the Chinese will with time only get ever more and more concrete genetic evidence that it originated in the US. And they most likely know very well that the virus was introduced to China by US military servicemen - whether accidentally or by intent - attending the international military games in Wuhan and staying in a hotel just a stone's throw from the Wuhan market, and that numerous hotel staff members had symptoms of Covid-19 shortly after.

If the US intelligence agencies go on claiming that it was man-made and/or escaped from a lab (as they did very briefly claim right at the very beginning - now largely forgotten), and the Chinese subsequently publish incontrovertible evidence that the virus was in the US and/or Italy and/or France or another US-stooge country, what will the US intelligence agencies then say? "Oh we made a mistake, it must have been natural after all, it originated in Chinese bats, moved to Chinese rhinocerus horn, and was imported into the US as Chinese traditional medicine"?

They have no choice. They have to deny at all costs that the virus was man-made or originated in any lab - whether Chinese lab or US lab - because it certainly never came out of a Chinese lab.


By the way, French scientists have rechecked old blood samples and proved that a Frenchman died of Covid-19 on 27th December 2019 - he must have been infected at least 3 weeks before that.

Posted by: BM | May 5 2020 6:08 utc | 131

Seer #127

The US excels in murder. The virus seems to be yet another demonstration of that.

Thank you Seer, I agree with your take on this. I might add that I believe the Chinese definitely saw this attack coming and were well prepared for it. They had just experienced three previous attacks, African Swine flu that decimated their pork production, Fall Army Worm that devastated their agriculture and an avian virus that decimated their chicken industry. Certainly they were aware of the intense global research effort into SARS etc as their scientists were right at the top of the research ladder.

None of this is to say that China fabricated the current virus and perhaps no one did. But one thing is certain: humans in their technological progress make unforeseen and stupid errors. BSL4 labs leak. Dams leak. Nuclear reactors leak. Chemical and radioactive waste depositories leak. And humans leak or go shopping for lunch with a virus hitching a ride.

THAT is why labs should NEVER be in population centres and every single country that locates them in such places is incredibly foolish and ignorant. Sure it makes recruitment and life for the scientists simple and easy so they will be keen to do this work for the standard pay. Enough of this grotesque human folly. Time for the world to wake up and if they must conduct this research then only under open and strict revealing reporting. Non compliant nations should be absolutely quarantined and economically sanctioned. Boycotts should apply to all recalcitrants as this world and its people simply cannot afford this risk.

Debate this global issue at the UN. Small countries should unite with one voice to end this stupidity. Who will lead the change? Which nation has the will to advocate change. Don't be deafened by the war chanters - call for change.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2020 6:25 utc | 132

BM @ 135

Thanks for the RT link, hopefully many more such disclosures of early transmission before the virus emerged in Wuhan will come to light,

It's a long shot, but I remember on one of the early CV threads someone linking to an article regarding a doctor in Washington State(?) who had conducted a study of pneumonia patients in 2019 and was discouraged from testing the samples she had retained. When tests were finally procured positive results quickly followed. Anyone remember the link? Would be very interesting to see when the earliest positive sample was taken.

Posted by: Paora | May 5 2020 6:41 utc | 133

I have very firm doubts that the United Shitholes of AmeriKKKa will initiate a military campaign against China. But I'm 100% confident that if AmeriKKKa fires the first shot, China & Friends will fire the last. Anecdotally, there seems to be a lot of Chinese who would fervently embrace the concept of obliterating the US and the UK in the interests of Eternal Peace & Tranquility.
Small price to pay, imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 5 2020 6:46 utc | 134

@135 BM I am on record pointing out that it is inevitable that respiratory physicians around the world are - right this instant - tapping their chins and asking themselves "You know, that odd case I saw early last year.... I wonder.....".

Doctors are doctors, they will want to have the last word, and every time they have to record "cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology" they are admitting that the illness outsmarted them.

This is going to come out more and more and more often, and it will only take one positive result from a retest of a patient in Galveston, 2018 or Paris, early-2019 for the "It came from the Wuhan Lab!!!!" accusation to fall to the ground with a resounding thud.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 5 2020 7:18 utc | 135

@ BM | May 5 2020 6:08 utc | 135

Some additions and a correction.

First the correction: the french patient did recover. He infected two of his children, but not his wife. The patient had no recent history of travels or of noteworthy contacts. His wife works in a supermarket, at a sushi stall with coworkers of asian descent. French authorities are further investigating these links.


Earlier in another thread I pointed towards the english patient zero, appearing mid Januari. He had been skiing in Ischgl with a danish and two american friends. All returned with symptoms, likely further spreading the disease in their respective home localities.

The date of these infections contradicts Austria's narrative surrounding timeline of the outbreak in Ischgl.


In September 2019 there was a mysterious outbreak of "vaping disease" in the USA. In hindsight, the similarity of symptoms with Covid-19 is startling. Look at the lung image and the use of the term "ground glass" in this MedCram video from Sept 19:

Also interesting is the flurry of comments that have been added to that video recently. The awareness of a possible relation to the Fort Detrick shutdown has spread far beyond kooky 'spiracy sites.

The vaping disease was and still is a mystery. Initially CBD was blamed, then Vitamin E was assigned the culprit role. None of these make sense as a trigger for the severity of the observed symptoms and a definitive and exhausting scientific conclusion was never reached AFAICS.

From an epidemiological standpoint, it might make sense to investigate the used vape cartridges as a possible vector for a then unsuspected and unnoticed virus. That is, if these are still available as evidence and if the USA authorities are actually willing to investigate honestly. Already, the initial response to the SARS-COV-2 outbreak has been to classify all reports and minutes. The story about the attempted squashing of "rogue" testing by a Washington state doctor also comes to mind in that regard.

With the current infowar brewing, the possibility for embarrassment will be highly unwelcome.


Without assuming her responsibility or even culpability in the Wuhan outbreak, I want to make a correction with regard to the name of "Maatje Benassi", who has been fingered as the USA team member at the World Military Games 2019 edition in Wuhan who purpotedly spread the virus. Her first name is "Maartje", not "Maatje". She is apparently from dutch origin and any dutch speaker can tell you that the first spelling is common as a dutch girl's first name, the second not at all (unless she is a type of canned herring).

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 8:12 utc | 136

A covid-19 patient was admitted to hostpital in France on January 27. He had not travelled but his wife worked in a supermarket near international airport.

A patient diagnosed with pneumonia near Paris on 27 December actually had the coronavirus, his doctor has said.This means the virus may have arrived in Europe almost a month earlier than previously thought. Dr Yves Cohen told French media a swab taken at the time was recently tested, and came back positive for Covid-19. The patient, who has since fully recovered, said he had no idea where he caught the virus as he had not been to any infected areas. Knowing who was the first case is key to understanding how the virus spread.

Posted by: eik | May 5 2020 8:31 utc | 137

The "we kill, we lie, we cheat" agencies aren't exactly the most diligent truthtellers in the world. So why are they opposing the Trump government's Wuhan laboratory narrative?
Could it be that a real investigation on the origins of the Virus might blow up into the American faces? There is evidence that the Virus has developed far more mutations in the US than in China where there is basically only one, which suggests it had existed within the US at least many months before it started to spread in China. The Chinese Wuhan experts have worked with American virologists in Texas and Maryland for decades. And at least one sample of the specific bat-virus involved in SARS CoV-2 has been brought to Fort Detrick by a Chinese scientist.
China probably has enough documentation about all of that, to prove it.
And while brainwashed Americans will never believe the Chinese government even if China got all the evidence in the world, the rest of the world might be differently inclined.
And so the sociopathic but not quite as dumb American intelligence agencies might resist the temptation of a China frame-up to hide their own culpability.

Posted by: Ortrud | May 5 2020 9:41 utc | 138


For those who continue to cite Sweden as a great example for how the covid-19 pandemic should be dealt with here is some data one might consider. These are numbers from May 3, 2020. first column is the nation, the second is number of deaths per million.

Sweden 274
Norway 39
Finland 43
DenMark 85

I've heard a couple reports on Dutch national radio about Sweden. Link if you understand Dutch. Sweden is among the couple of nations (Like the UK, Netherlands and Sweden) who still peddle the mitigation strategy with Herd immunity as its goal. They pride themselves on Swedes being very obedient to the governments guidelines.
Most of the public though will continue life as usual (hence pictures of people in bars and restaurants). Sweden will come to regret their soft approach. So expect a lot of infections in the cities.

@Trailer Trash #33
Defaulting on the debt would be an own goal. Granted, but Trump is a real estate mogul. He is used to chapter 11. Renegotiating debts is his forte. And who says they can't fine China for the exact same amount as the debt bonds?
Sounds a lot like the wall (border). "We fucked up the Covid response and will suffer greatly and China is going to pay for it". This is classic deflection tactics. Whenever you have internal problems look for an external enemy and start pointing the finger.

All the whooha about China being responsible for the Corona virus is just a symptom of what is to come: blaming China, punishing it economically, withdrawing all parts of the supply chain from China. This to damage it's economy so that China cannot surpass the hegemon by 2030.

Posted by: Gehennah | May 5 2020 9:56 utc | 139

Ortrud 140

If the origin was either a US bioattack in Wuhan or a fuck-up in Maryland last summer, and the deep state knows this, it seems they prefer the "natural origin" line over anything that blames any kind of lab release, including from the Wuhan lab.

That's why we're getting this peculiar propaganda line that they're sure it was a "natural origin" but have no theory as to what this origin may have been, now that all the "wet market" theories have fallen apart.

I guess they think that's more effective misdirection, though I doubt that would convince anyone who didn't want to be convinced. Any evidence that this flu was likely to have been engineered in a lab can be used to implicate the US or China, whichever you wanted to blame.

That's why the anti-Trump deep state faction thinks it's better to drum "natural origin" into people's heads, to immunize them against believing any kind of lab origin story.

Of course the dispute also is part of the conflict between the Trump and anti-Trump factions which has been going on since 2016.

Posted by: Russ | May 5 2020 10:09 utc | 140

@ToivoS | May 5 2020 4:20 utc | 121
BLOCKQUOTE>For those who continue to cite Sweden as a great example for how the covid-19 pandemic should be dealt with here is some data one might consider. These are numbers from May 3, 2020. first column is the nation, the second is number of deaths per million.

Sweden 274
Norway 39
Finland 43
DenMark 85

Use Norway instead if you so prefer. Nobody is wearing masks, I have yet to see a single one. People are out and about, shopping centers are open. Traffic is light but we now have queues again. People out running or enjoying the spring sunshine.

Try reality someday.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2020 10:18 utc | 141

"...we will have to go through some hardship moving our manufacturing bases from China to the likes of India and Indochina." --Peter AU1 @22

Who's this "we" that you speak of, Kemosabe?

It never ceases to amaze me how even the smartest people cannot wrap their heads around how capitalism really works.

Listen closely to yourselves, folks: Whenever you say "We have to do X economic action." you are talking about socialism or communism. You are absolutely not talking about market economics. "We" do not get a say in how investments are made and how production is developed. The Market™ (hallowed be Its name) does that in capitalism.

Lest you think I am overlooking the public's power to direct The Market™ (hallowed be Its name) through regulations, do understand that there was a very good reason that the whole deregulation craze took hold back in the 1970s (thank you Jimmy Carter for getting that started): Competition. Capital will always leak around your regulations no matter how tight you make those regulations, and that capital will always head to more profitable investment opportunities.

That is not something that you can fix and still have capitalism.

The problem is not greed, as many people like to assert. In fact, capitalism cannot work at all without greed. The desire to maximize profits is what keeps capitalism going. You cannot have your lords of capital just say "OK, I've got enough." without your market economy dying. The owners of capital have to keep striving for more and gorging themselves at the global economic table or no more economic crumbs will fall off that table for you little people.

So please, people, restrain yourselves from this "we" nonsense when talking about economic matters unless you are talking about revolution. Not even Trump has a say in where The Market™ (hallowed be Its name) directs investment.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 5 2020 10:46 utc | 142

A conclusion on the origin of a virus is frankly just secondary in a globalized world, is it not?

Dr. Fauci backed controlversial Wuhan Lab with millions of U.S. dollars for risky coronavirus research

"The project was run by EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit research group, under the direction of President Peter Daszak, an expert on disease ecology. NIH canceled the project just this past Friday, April 24th, Politico reported. Daszak did not immediately respond to Newsweek requests for comment."

Posted by: omp | May 5 2020 10:47 utc | 143

Lurk @ 138:

Dare I say that "Benassi" looks like a Sefardic Jewish surname?

The Netherlands' Jewish community began with Spanish and Portuguese refugees who had to leave their former homes in the late 15th century after the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, suspicious that Jewish people might still be loyal to their old Muslim masters after the Reconquest, passed laws evicting them. Because the Jewish community had thrived under Muslim rule in Spain, many in that community had Arabic-looking surnames.

Posted by: Jen | May 5 2020 11:12 utc | 144

My thinking is that Donald Trump just needs to be re-elected to put the final nail in the coffin of the USA as a world power. That man seems determined to bring down the empire by all means. And I can only wish him success.

Posted by: Steve | May 5 2020 11:29 utc | 145

Oops, just re-read Lurk's comment @ 138 and realised Lurk was only talking about Maartje Benassi's first name.

As usual, put my foot into my mouth and hit the "post" key before taking my foot out.

Posted by: Jen | May 5 2020 11:37 utc | 146

Prior to SARS-CoV-1 there seems to be no history of of lethal coronavirus outbreaks by emerging strains, yet I take it they have been around for as long as bats and humans.

1997 US establishes "Global Emerging Infections Surveillance"
2002 it sets up operations in Cambodia. Link
April 2003 SARS
September 2012 MERS
And now SARS-CoV-2 which combines SARS-1 and MERS plus the added effect of being contagious in its incubation stage.

A foodies tour of rural Vietnam.

All through the region - Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and into southern China are subsistence farmers who have been through plenty of hard times in the last fifty years or so and a lot of their protein has come from what they can catch. Bats carrying the beta coronaviruses are all through that region yet outbreaks only occur in the last couple of decades. In the time since US set up its global bio labs.

SARS-1. We are told it came from civets. Genome sequencing shows one strain has been found in both civets and humans but another strain was found only in humans and not from civets nor any other intermediary found. MERS found in camels but tracing that back to a bat coronavirus in Saudi Arabia is nonexistant. And now SARS-CoV-2 pops up in China. Earliest cases had no contact with the market although initial patients diagnosed did.
Due to SARS-1 an MERS being found in animal hosts, all animals were immediately checked but no sign of where the virus came from.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 5 2020 11:57 utc | 147

The situation in Norway is beyond my expertise, but in regards to Sweden it's a multifaceted situation. Government guidelines there are certainly lackadaisical, but civil society reacted to the potential dangers stemming from the virus with much more determination and before the government even considered an official response. It wouldn't be accurate to suggest that life continues as normal, although swedes generally kept their distance from one another and maintained clinical hygiene well before any outbreak had occurred. The comparatively low population density in most of the country meant that the combined impact from cancelling events that might draw larger crowds, and self-imposed isolation from the more socially responsible segment of the population, turned already half-empty streets practically deserted.

Services made readjustments to their business model back in early February, to cater chiefly to a stay-at-home lifestyle -- presumably due to the uncertainty of whether any form of strict quarantine would be imposed. I know of at least two hangar-sized shopping malls, in the immediate vicinity, that have essentially been converted into warehouses, as most of their business comes from shipping goods directly to their customers. Export oriented businesses have also readjusted where necessary, while some have benefited from the situation. Even so, the unemployment rate has grown substantially and is expected to put a lot of strain on the welfare system. As with the infection rate, Sweden had certain inherent properties to shield itself from the immediate consequences of any local pandemic, although I don't think the country has any defense against the global economic downturn.

Hospitals, healthcare and healthcare statistics are a grey area for me, even though I have friends who are medical professionals and could, if they wanted to, report on the situation from inside in a detailed manner. They are prevented from doing so by an NDA and their personal integrity, something I recognize from personal experience. What I do gather though, is that regional cooperation has worked poorly, there's a shortage of protective equipment, the work itself has become very strenuous and the biggest saving grace in all of this, is that people avoid hospitals now more than ever, as potential breeding-grounds for infection. Swedish healthcare in general has been very poor for as long as I can remember, especially in terms of avoidable deaths, so an overall larger deaths statistic isn't in itself particularly surprising.

At the same time, I also wouldn't exclude the possibility that deaths are being under-reported -- especially since a significant portion of the tests are being conducted post-mortem and there are indications that suggest there's a cue of cadavers forming. Little over a month ago, that cue was represented by a day's worth "period of uncertainty" in the death-toll reported by the Folkhälsomyndigheten, during which death figures would increase retroactively. Today it's a week's worth, so it'll take at least a week from now before they tally up the ones who were presumed to have departed yesterday, although these past figures have jumped even after several weeks on occasion. So, even-though the graph continues to show signs of improvement, it may as well be indicative of a growing inability to accurately convey the situation on the ground. I'm not suggesting that things are strictly deteriorating, but there is a certain appearance of dissonance between the outbreak subsiding and the strain on hospitals and staff increasing.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 5 2020 12:03 utc | 148

Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab

Posted by: RS | May 5 2020 12:03 utc | 149

Posted by: Govern the Mente | May 4 2020 23:13 utc | 79

What the Chinese did was to fight this virus like any other was able to do..this is is burning the asses among yanks and westerns establisments in's the same old trick man..repeat lies until they become truth..discredit China is the actual hobby especially in rural minds..but differently from the past what the yanks have to face is something they never faced in the past.

Posted by: LuBa | May 5 2020 12:28 utc | 150

Gehennah at 141

"Sweden is among the couple of nations (Like the UK, Netherlands and Sweden) who still peddle the mitigation strategy with Herd immunity as its goal."

Whether they admit it or not, all countries that did not get to grips with Covid-19 early on are enacting the herd immunity strategy, because that's their only choice. A China or Korea eradication strategy, with the tools and public sentiment at the disposal of a deteriorating Western neoliberal oligarchy ... Nope, ain't gonna happen.

Luckily the virus is almost never deadly to those under 50 in good health. These folks should be leading the way, working and living their lives but wearing a mask and washing their hands so the virus spreads slowly, but eventually, to the 60-80% herd immunity level. Those with 'co-morbidities' (in particular, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and lung diseases) and the elderly should be the focus of our prevention efforts.

Much of the death stats reflect lack of care, actually criminal carelessness, directed toward the vulnerable elderly and in particular residents of nursing facilities. Sweden, UK, US very guilty on this front. Italy maybe can be forgiven because it was the first hit in Europe.

Posted by: fairleft | May 5 2020 12:28 utc | 151

William Gruff | May 5 2020 10:46 utc | 144

Markets are created and managed by government, Mr. Gruff. Governments are developed to establish justice, ensure tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare. Without these no market is possible. There is no "free market" without government.

Posted by: jadan | May 5 2020 12:29 utc | 152

uncle tungsten | May 5 2020 4:35 utc | 124


To stay OT, the LA Times says to-day " New, apparently more contagious strain of the coronavirus has overtaken original, study says
A key mutation in the novel coronavirus produced a new strain that appears to be more infectious than the one that emerged in China, according to a study led by Los Alamos researchers."

It would be logical that those evil boffins would have at the disposal of the thug bosses additional's the old double-tap routine.

Or they might lie? No, of course they lie, but they also have more stuff. The Policy goes back to WW2, the Campaign? Pomperz might know.

Withal, the crowds are being massaged.

....The old Chicago Machine D Press was mostly curating an art project, but I am pleased to say it's the nicest most robust machine I have the privilege of using. Every morning I rotate the wheels a bit to prevent the leather belt from "taking a set"

As to forge...well I have a "muffle" a heating box that uses forced air and propane, and a large cylindrical "crucible furnace" which also uses forced air, though it was designed to use coke as fuel. Coke is impossible for me to get, so is coal...hence I'll convert to propane.

I spent yesterday over-hauling a radial blower... (you're right, forge is next)

There was, nearby, a real honest to god carriage shop where, up until about 20 years ago, they mage the real deal...stage-coaches and such.

Everything was left to rust and collapse and become overgrown...

I got permission from the grandson to take some of what he saw as scrap metal and junk...he's rehabilitating the houses to serve his own rente greed. Not a nice fella. Most of the machinery went to scrap... What I got took a forklift to move.

Posted by: Walter | May 5 2020 12:42 utc | 153

Proof that Covid-19 was NOT an accidental release from Wuhan lab
By Jim White | Empty Wheel
from Popular Resistance
Thursday, Apr 30, 2020

On Saturday, I took a deep dive into the origin of SARS CoV-2, the virus that is the cause of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. That post was the result of several long days of deep reading and thinking. Somehow, I missed that Scientific American had put out an update on Friday of their profile of Dr. Shi Zhengli, the scientist responsible for much of what the world knows about bat coronaviruses, including isolating the bat coronavirus from Yunnan Province that is the closest relative to SARS CoV-2 that has been seen in a laboratory. Even worse, commenter Zinsky linked to the Scientific American article in one of the earliest comments on my post.

I finally got around to reading the article today. As you might imagine, this editor’s note at the top really got my attention:
Editor’s Note (4/24/20): This article was originally published online on March 11. It has been updated for inclusion in the June 2020 issue of Scientific American and to address rumors that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from Shi Zhengli’s lab in China.
I strongly urge you to read the entire article. It provides an effective look into work that Shi had been doing prior to the outbreak and then takes us along with her as she gets the news on December 30 that a novel coronavirus had been detected in two patients in Wuhan with atypical pneumonia. On instruction from the lab director, Shi left the conference she was attending in Shanghai and rushed back to Wuhan to concentrate all of her attention on the new virus.

Posted by: Ashino | May 5 2020 13:21 utc | 154

I used to have a very positive view of Sweden as an alternative to heartless capitalism. However, it's been a long time since the halcyon days of Olaf Palme leading a march against U.S. imperialism in Vietnam and non-alienated non-assembly line car production at Volvo. There have been many decades of neo-liberal backsliding. Here's a good piece detailing what happened with that -- which has laid the basis for Sweden's inept response to the current crisis:

Posted by: JPM | May 5 2020 13:38 utc | 155

@ ToivoS 121 and others

These are numbers from May 3, 2020. first column is the nation, the second is number of deaths per million.
Sweden 274
Norway 39
Finland 43
DenMark 85

- - - - - - -

I see a lot of arguments about such and other parameters as support for which country did it right and how. That always bothers me because, if a country wants to go to the North Pole and a second country to South Pole, can you say which country achieved the goal? Of course it is an exaggeration. The point I am making is, without defining a GOAL, it is meaningless to compare.

More specifically, what should come first is the goal. For example, (a) have as few infections as possible, (b) have as few deaths as possible, (c) have as few deaths in a certain demography, (d) overburden hospitals as little as possible, (e) have as mild a second wave as possible, (f) have as little negative impact on economy, (g) minimize financial impact on small/middle businesses, (h) have as little curtailment of civil liberties, (i) some function comprising (a)+(f)+(h), (j) wait out with deaths until a vaccine is developed, (k) similar to (j) but until a cure is developed, (k), etc. etc.

In other words, when people compare different countries, are they sure that these countries had the same goal?

That brings up another issue that bothers me in all these discussions. Hardly any country seems to have declared what its goal is. I understand that with a new pandemic, it is difficult to come out with a clear goal because of the many unknowns. But a goal does not have to be rigid. One could say that "the ideal goal is ((j) and if that turns out to be too elusive then we'll target (c) as the goal" (or something of that sort).

In the end, any goal can be roughly represented by three parameters as in a 3-dimensional cartesian system (e.g. how any point in a 3-dimensional space can be represented by x, y, z). In this case I'd propose the three parameters to be: number of deaths (D), damage to the economy (E), and curtailment of civil rights (C).

In other words, each and every goal will have a distinct (D, E, C) coordinate. Each goal represents a different target where a country wants to be. When seen in this way, it will be clear that not all countries or societies are able or willing to go to some of those goals.

Only then comes the question of STRATEGIES to be applied to achieve those goals. Strategies like level of lockdown, how long, how, contact tracing, etc..

Only after both GOAL and STRATEGIES have been defined, does any comparison of PARAMETERS make sense. Parameters like deaths/million, # infections, R value, excess death, etc.. Am I making sense, or what am I missing since I have never seen such an approach being discussed.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | May 5 2020 13:38 utc | 156

A "slant re-write" that's true...and the fat cowboy gals were waving old gory ... I couldn't see from the picture if they were wearing pistols... Anyway from Anoxia, down the road from the Dew Drop Inn and Foundry, Anoxia County USA, Hail Victory!

“ANOXIA— The Mule Driver’s Inn opened its dining room Friday despite Gov. Rod Johnson’s stay at home order continuing to restrict restaurants to take out and delivery orders only. Owner Lenin Zapato said he reopened to counteract the financial hardship the restaurant was facing while closed and due to the low number of coronavirus cases in Anoxia County. "

Sorry to say they're a buncha rubes...poor sods.

"Governor Rod John" is a trick name fellas. Think about it.

Posted by: Walter | May 5 2020 13:48 utc | 157

There's no b before Covid and b after Covid. There's no New York Times before Covid and after Covid and intelligence was crooked before it was straight on no WMDs in Iraq before Zionists gave Bush the fake intelligence he wanted. Intelligence will be crooked and sometimes right depending, but more often it's a trained pitbull. None of that matters. I have long disliked the New York Times as a perfect example of Neo-liberal trash propaganda, and I really disagreed with b's whitewash of Trump until recently when his interpretation of Trump has become less clouded by his protect Russia bias and more cognizant of the avalanche of proof that Trump is a Zionist fascist in service of 1% power and specifically chosen for his unflinching loyalty to the peak of the corruption pyramid.

Now, what I mean by this is that when your loyalty is to the unbiased truth, you don't and shouldn't care from whence it emerges cause the truth can emerge from a sewer dripping in filth as easily as it can fall out of the sky pure like driven snow. The vehicle means one iota to me; I only care about the truth, unlike some of you here who want to shoot the messenger cause right now the messenger can't help giving you the facts for whatever reason, and you can't handle the truth.

Wise up! And learn to recognize the truth when you see it even if it's covered in what you consider shet.

Now on the j'accuse Chine, Trump strategy. Very little of the virus travelled from China to the U.S. and what did land in the U.S. from China was mostly contained. The worst spread of infection came from Europe, but Trump being the asshole that he is got caught in his xenophobic trap, immediately shutting down flights from China but allowing hundreds of thousands of carriers from Europe to disembark for weeks. So now to cover that huge blunder that emanated from his racist skewed judgment, he's spewing fake intelligence and hate propaganda against China to cover his butt and salvage his poll numbers.

The truth is that small and medium-sized farms are failing under the weight of his tariff blowback and now under Covid. He's starting to bleed support in rural areas so he needs to play the racist blame card to inflame patriotic loyalty to rally around him.

I hope he also gets everything he deserves. A spectacular downfall might suffice.

Posted by: Circe | May 5 2020 14:09 utc | 158

@Nathan Mulcahy

The rational goal would be to do what Korea, Taiwan, and Hong KOng have achieved, stopping the epidemic. But we cannot do that, because we have invested too much in lockdown.

Posted by: mattjanovic | May 5 2020 14:23 utc | 159

The obsessive focus on Wuhan (whether the wet market or now the Wuhan biolab) could be a diversion.

According to a recent Cambridge University study, the origins of COVID-19 might not even be Wuhan.

Virus origin
Scientists claim COVID-19 outbreak did not start in China's Wuhan

Also, the Republican Party--in a released GOP memo--has nakedly pushed for its political candidates in the 2020 election to play the "Blame China" card-- and conveniently divert blame away from Trump.

This memo itself is pretty damning if you analyze it critically, as it "urges candidates to stay relentlessly on message against the country when responding to any questions about the virus. When asked whether the spread of the coronavirus is Trump’s fault, candidates are advised to respond by pivoting to China.

'Don’t defend Trump, other than the China Travel Ban — attack China,' the memo states."

GOP memo urges anti-China assault over coronavirus

Posted by: ak74 | May 5 2020 14:37 utc | 160

The "inelegance community" serves the interests of the empire, it is a secret army operated by and for the oligarchy and paid for by society in blood and money.
Well sure but you have to be a very naive to believe the IC phony opposition to Trump is genuine.

The IC operatives have done an enormous amount to raise the esteem of one DJ Trump in the eyes of voters by coming up with the phony Russiagate and Ukrainegate scandals that always seem unravel, backfire and fall apart much to the benefit of Trump.

It is amazing that so many people fail to grasp that the function of the intelligence community is to provide the executive with intelligence. They do not provide the people with intelligence. They blow smoke up our ass.

Posted by: jinn | May 5 2020 14:37 utc | 161

About the situation in Scandinavia.

Norway got inundated with Covid-19 cases returning from Ischgl and other nearby ski resorts. Norway reacted quickly to the rising number of infections and started tracing cases.

Look at the graphs in the norwegian health authority's report: on March 10, a huge spike of cases stemming from abroad. Also notice the age distribution, most are younger than 50.

Also I am quite sure that there were measures taken by Norwegian authorities.

Friends from Norway told us that they were not allowed to leave the Oslo area and visit the countryside. The norwegian countryside is sparsely populated and medical facilities are thinly spread. The measures were aimed at protecting smaller communities in the countryside. I do not know if the measures have been loosened since I last heard from them a month ago.

About Sweden I read that most of the Covid-19 cases are among the immigrant communities. These groups, somalis, iraqis, afghanis etc., are very isolated among themselves and socially separated from native Swedes and they generally do not trust or understand the hints by Swedish authorities on how to behave in light of the epidemic.

The danes have had a very strict lockdown. I am not sure about the amount of tracking and testing, but they seem to have been rather succesful in their efforts to quell the spreading early.


Last summer holiday I visited Denmark, Sweden and Norway. They are really quite different countries, although Sweden and Norway have more resemblance than Denmark.

Denmark is much more densely populated. Danes look healthy and you see a lot of bicycles. Laws on alcohol are not very strict.

Norway has the most pristine and rugged nature. Norwegians used to be rugged too, but since two generations they have been very wealthy as a nation and they have gotten used to comforts and luxury. Alcohol regulations are quite strict. Quite a few Norwegians look not so healthy and recently a sugar tax was announced, in line with the policy on alcohol.

Sweden has a lot of nature, but less rugged than Norway. Less rocks and mountains, more plains and endless forests. Some areas of the bigger Swedish towns and cities look and feel "post welfare", almost resembling images from some desolate parts of the USA. Lots of obese people and insanely large candy departmens in the supermarkets. Beer is watered down and priced halfway between Norway and Denmark.

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 14:38 utc | 162

@ mattjanovic 162

That's exactly the kind of discussion we must have (must have had) - not only among the public, more importantly between the public and the government authorities, and experts. What I am proposing will also help guide why and why not we should or should not (could or could not) try to imitate certain other countries.

But I don't see that happening in most countries. More specifically, not in the two countries I follow rather closely - USA and Germany.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | May 5 2020 14:42 utc | 163

Sorry it should have been
@ mattjanovic 161

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | May 5 2020 14:43 utc | 164

@ mattjanovic & Nathan Mulcahy

That is bullshit.

Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan and Hong Kong were successful because they acted fast.

Germany, and even more spectacularly USA, failed to act fast and resolute because they were too much invested in not locking down.

Locking down quickly and resolutely, testing widely and tracking and quarantaining aggressively is what works. Take a small hit up front but recover quickly.

In contrast, many western goverments hoped to take no hit to their economies and got slammed big time eventually. Now they're stuck with prolonged lockdowns. And yet they still do not want to test and track adequately.

We have to also take into account that countries with previous experience with SARS had procedures in place. Western states had not and quite possibly their governments not just tried to dodge a hit to the economy, but more importantly a huge blow to their credibility for not having been prepared. Perhaps this proven incompetence also explains the ongoing lack of testing and tracking.

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 15:07 utc | 165


I would step it up a notch and call it more precisely what it is: criminal negligence against the elderly coming from a depraved mentality that place the elderly in a forgotten corner to await death in an x y z-dominated me-indulgent society whose vocabulary excludes sacrifice.

I am for return to more work environments and school, but under restrictions and not for return to play: as in loll around together and mingle, party, gorge, drink and be merry like mass death around us is out of sight and mind and tragedy is not happening as a consequence of individual selfishness, negligence and greed.

Posted by: Circe | May 5 2020 15:12 utc | 166

@Lurk | May 5 2020 14:38 utc | 163

Norway got inundated with Covid-19 cases returning from Ischgl and other nearby ski resorts. Norway reacted quickly to the rising number of infections and started tracing cases.

I appreciate the concern for my country, but there is no reason for concern. Life here is open and much like in Sweden. There never was a big crisis and there is none now.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 5 2020 15:19 utc | 167

@Lurk 166

If you read my post carefully, you'll see that I am NOT proposing which countries we should have emulated.

Rather it is about a proposed approach on HOW to go about deciding what we should do (or have done). If you still find that there are some "bullshit" in my proposal, please do let me know. Will be happy to correct my thoughts.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | May 5 2020 15:20 utc | 168

The issue is that the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein that binds to ACE2 and CD147 receptors is what allows the virus to replicate more efficiently. In a given population of viral particles a less efficient particle would result in fewer replicates leading its mutation to be less prevalent in a population of the coronavirus.

Thus, I would expect the virus to retain its virulence over time

Posted by: Krollchem | May 5 2020 0:05 utc | 92

Regret to point out the obvious, but the errors of replication may not be in the binder to the receptors, but elsewhere in the virus. The virus is more than a binder to the cell receptors, otherwise it would have no effect.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 5 2020 15:24 utc | 169


I’ve no idea what George Webb said as the video is down and he seems out of action. For the cycling lady information is available. I am a cyclist and all sorts of cycling trivia is online. Simply enter Maartje Benassi in the search bar and her competition results come right up.

First thing you see is the lady is 53 years old, was 52 at time of competition in Wuhan. This is a bit odd. Then you will find she was an active competitor back in 2003-2006. An active competitor of no particular distinction, even in tiny obscure races. A long break and she shows again for the 2013 military world games. Where she did not much. Reappears in 2019. Not competing age-graded, attempts to ride with the younger women. And gets magnificent results like 35th of 35 competitors. A whole season of trying with no results. And these are all diddly little local races. At Wuhan she succeeds in crashing, breaking a rib and getting a concussion. About what you’d expect from an old lady in over her head.

So how did this lady make the team? What was she doing in Wuhan? I can’t answer that with certain knowledge, the story she was there to race her bike does not pass the laugh test.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 5 2020 15:25 utc | 170

@ Posted by: mattjanovic | May 5 2020 14:23 utc | 160 / @ Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 15:07 utc | 166

Hong Kong registered a -8.7% fall in its "GDP" - worse than the Mainland.

South Korea registered just a 1.4% GDP fall, but their numbers are clearly cooked or a maneuver to dilute the fall throughout the rest of the year was made. We can deduce that by the fact that unemployment has skyrocketed in the country and that it had to bailout its financial system (a maneuver that only worked because the Fed gave the BoK a preferential and immediate swap deal to inject USDs back to the system).

Singapore registered a -10% fall in its GDP - and it is the first nation to be sufferering from the second wave of the pandemic.

I agree those nations (plus the rebel province of Taiwan) acted fast. But they were only able to do so because they already had anti-China/Mainland protocols in place, so they were able to quickly and effectively block themselves out from China/Mainland. The second wave - which will come from the West - will hit them hard, as they don't/don't want to have isolation mechanisms against their true masters (USA et caterva).

It is a myth those "model democracies" found the magic formula of almost untouched freedom cum negligible economic loss. They may have successfully defended themselves from this first wave - but they are and will suffer even more in the economic front, as the are at the periphery of the system anyway, therefore highly dependent on exports.

Posted by: vk | May 5 2020 15:28 utc | 171

mho Western media should stop portraying the Wuhan lab as a rice paddy bucket.
Some partnerships:

@ uncle tungsten 133
Lab-leak claims. Where is patient zero in France? Where is patient zero in China?

Many old-time commenters here will recognize this author who posts frequently at MoA. Very revealing career. "40 year of biodefense research experience behind me and worked at Fort Deitrich on bacterial vaccines where I developed my own aerosol infection routes and developed multi-species models of pathogenesis to establish correlates of immunity."

Website Editor's investigation that author's claimed personal background and professional expertise are accurate.

Explores the question: "Was Coronavirus a Biowarfare Attack Against China?" ---examines bioweapons research...

[.] we are left with some interesting problems about this virus. Where was patient zero in China. What will be the results if a natural history study is conducted correlating geolocation, strain identity, severity of disease over time? Will that work be prevented? If so, that is yet another reason to be suspicious. Will it continue to mutate and what will be the outcome of this? Lots of good stuff to examine here and it will keep a lot of people busy for years.[.]

@ JW 129.

Thanks. you noticed.

@ BM 131

Keep an open mind. Sometimes a morsel of truth slips by the censors at NYT.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 5 2020 15:30 utc | 172

>an article regarding a doctor in Washington State(?) who ... was
>discouraged from testing the samples she had retained.
>Posted by: Paora | May 5 2020 6:41 utc | 134

This article discusses it:
Seattle lab only uncovered extent of Washington coronavirus outbreak after breaking government rules

Dr Helen Chu, an infectious disease expert based in Seattle and part of a local flu study, sought permission to test the study’s collection of flu swabs from across the region to see if they were positive for coronavirus — which would prove community spread was already happening.

She was refused permission by all of the relevant authorities.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | May 5 2020 15:31 utc | 173

And we have a promise !!!? No kidding

Trump Promises US Will Report on Virus' Origin Soon

Earlier, Trump and members of his administration claimed they had evidence that the coronavirus was deliberately released from a laboratory in Wuhan. Beijing has strongly rejected the allegations.
US President Donald Trump said that his country will definitely report on the origin of COVID-19 soon.

"We will be reporting very definitively over a period of time," he told reporters at the White House.

Trump also said that China should have informed the US about the virus. He added that he has not spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, will testify before a Senate panel, Trump said.

The US President has been lashing out at China for allegedly concealing the outbreak and mismanaging the crisis in its initial stages. Trump claims intelligence data suggests that the coronavirus leaked from a lab in the city of Wuhan. The World Health Organisation, however, says that the genome sequencing indicates that the virus's source is natural.[.]

earlier Trump had said it may have been a mistake. This guy can't keep a straight sentence...needs a Rolodex with a Calendar.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 5 2020 15:41 utc | 174

@ Nathan Mulcahy | May 5 2020 15:20 utc | 169

I admit guilt, I did not read your post carefully. Bad me. I guess I guilted you by association, largely in response to (mattjanovic | May 5 2020 14:23 utc | 160).

In a way, I think that I did respond to you, namely by pointing out that you missed a possible goal among the options you enumerated, namely: to cover your ass. It is the goal that many western governments stuck to.

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 15:46 utc | 175

When people discuss about seizing Usa bonds hold by China, worth one trillion dollars, they forget that the on his turn USA own goods on Chinese soil worth around one trillion dollars.
Of course they would be seized in retaliation.
The Chinese would get one trillion $ worth of factories, goods and patents. The USA would get some pieces of papers with "one trillion dollars" written on them.
Furthermore, this would technically amount to a bankrupcy. Can anyone figure out what would this mean for Usa bonds from the very moment of the seizing? Who would trust Usa any longer?
Eventually, technically seizing another nation's goods is an act of war. Not that Trump cares much about it, however it is.

Posted by: Giovanni Dall'Orto | May 5 2020 15:47 utc | 176

@ 149 skiffer... thanks for the overview on sweden... much appreciated..

@ 163 lurk... thanks for the general overview on the Scandinavian countries too.. i travelled thru these areas but it was a long time ago!

regarding these countries sweden is twice the population of the others roughly speaking, but still the death numbers are much higher.. today for example it is showing

sweden 85
denmark 10
norway 1
finland 6

without knowing at the details that go into the data, it is hard to know what to make of it, but on the surface sweden doesn't seem to be fairing as well as the others..

Posted by: james | May 5 2020 15:54 utc | 177

@ oldhippie | May 5 2020 15:25 utc | 171

Gee, I refrained from attributing a role to her, because I did not feel like knowing enough. I certainly did not excuse or exculpate her either. The Wuhan International Hotel story actual sounds the most plausible to me. Quite amazing that it doesn't receive more attention. The biggest doubt that I have about it is the apparent lack of Chinese publicity. If it is true, they must have a lot of evidence.

I agree that the USA accomplishments at the 2019 games are questionable,not just for this lady.

But my point was just to reduce possible confusion due to an obvious misspelling of her name.

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 15:55 utc | 178

@Nathan Mulcahy | May 5 2020 13:38 utc | 157

Good Reasoning!

Unfortunately, Gov't decisions are based upon a balancing of geopolitical and short-term business interests. The public's interest is like the low drone of a neighbor's lawnmower -- ten houses away.

Posted by: Lucille Crystal Ball | May 5 2020 15:56 utc | 179

@ Laguerre | May 5 2020 15:24 utc | 170

It may very well be that some of the most deleterious effects of SARS-COV-2 are precisely due to its binding to and thereby disabling of the ACE2 cell receptor, causing a cascade of side effects not related to virus replication and cell lysis.

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 15:59 utc | 180

@Lurk | 176

Thank you :) Appreciate this.

I have a hunch that "cover your ass" has been the most prominent goal. It is not that that goal has eluded me. To my defense, I did indicate that the list of goals is not comprehensive. I ended the section with "etc."

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | May 5 2020 16:01 utc | 181

Nathan Mulcahy | May 5 2020 15:20 utc | 169

There is no Covid-19 goal in the US. Even if there were a sensible goal, the state has so much multi-layered corruption and so little capacity it couldn't achieve it. Basically, Dems and most of the deep state and media want to beat Trump and hand over $ trillions more to big banks, big corporations, the Pentagon and rich people. Trump and MAGA media want to beat Biden and hand over $ trillions more to big banks, big corporations, the Pentagon and rich people. Covid-19 is just a partisan football to be be kicked back and forth.

Lurk | May 5 2020 15:46 utc | 176

CYA is the order of the day all around.

Posted by: fairleft | May 5 2020 16:05 utc | 182

@ Lucille Crystal Ball | May 5 2020 15:56 utc | 180

I agree with you, and have no illusion about how much influence the people have on our government's decisions.

Nevertheless, and even if it is an exercise in futility, I cannot turn off my brain. At least theoretically, if there were enough public demand for the government, the authorities and the experts to explain to us what the GOAL is and which APPROACHES they are using to achieve that goal, .... and finally share with us PARAMETERS that measure whether we are making progress... then may be we'll get there.

Nobody ever said that I am not a dreamer.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | May 5 2020 16:08 utc | 183

@ 138 lurk / 171 oldhippie... regarding Maartje Benassi, a few videos were shared here at moa at least 2-3 weeks ago that put her in focus as well.. there are a number of things that don't add up about her and her role here.. i don't know if it was george webb that was drawing the dots on this, but perhaps @ JEN can remember as we both commented on them at least 2-3 weeks ago...

Posted by: james | May 5 2020 16:10 utc | 184

@ Norwegian | May 5 2020 15:19 utc | 168

Norway's response seems to have been much more acute than my country, the Netherlands. Still, we are doing not so bad with our own lukewarm version of lockdown. All businesses and shops are open, except for pubs and restaurants. Working from home is recommended, but not compulsory. Care homes are quarantined. Schools, sports clubs and concerts etc. are also shut down. Some schools and sports will be restarting soon. Most importantly, most people are behaving sensibly.

For some odd reason, Belgium did quite a bit worse, even though they had a much more strict lockdown. Perhaps this is because they have so many more NATO bases (headquarters even) on their territory?

BTW, for all the "only old people die" wingnuts: A friend just called and told me a friend of her died from Covid-19. She was under 50 years of age and leaves behind a husband and two small children. This was in my city. Two villages away, a guy aged 30 died.

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 16:11 utc | 185

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 15:59 utc | 181

Errors of replication may be anywhere in the virus. The long-term effect, the more it replicates, is that it becomes less effective, as it is only a rare combination in the mutations that will reignite the power of virus. At any rate the current decline in France corresponds to that explanation. Not being a specialist in that field, I couldn't demonstrate that it was right. However I was struck recently by the report that in a heavy smoker's lungs up to 40% of the cells could be observed to have mutated, without the person having lung cancer. Just shows the ease with which copy errors happen, though not a precisely parallel case.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 5 2020 16:19 utc | 186

Lurk @ 138
Old hippie @ 171

There was a piece in Sunday’s London Times about the lady cyclist. The article claims to debunk George Webb’s conspiracy theory, which accuses her of being the patient zero in Wuhan. The article mentions that she lives in Fort Belvoir Va., that she is the wife of an army officer, and that she is involved in work in a bio lab in the “greater Washington area.” No mention of Fort Detrick. The Times is definitely part of WashAgitProp so presumably the article had been placed by the propaganda people, probably as a response to the piece in Global Times last week. (The Four Questions to the US Government). Interesting for what is omitted.
I’d never heard of George Webb. He is referred to as the famous American conspiracy theorist.

Posted by: Montreal | May 5 2020 16:21 utc | 187

Re: Australian part of Five Eyes. Ordinarily, Australian echo every nonsense promulgated by UK and USA, like Skripal affair and many others. However, Wuhan nonsense can hit Australia like a hurricane. Their export to China is huge and in the case of "world trade war", China can easily shut it down. For a year, the demand for coal, iron ore etc. will be down, and China can eliminate one of the largest supplies with no pain at all. For that matter, American intelligence has plenty of reasons to exercise caution too. Basically, this is not just a nonsense, but also going outside the envelope of the "interagency consensus".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 5 2020 16:23 utc | 188

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 16:11 utc | 186

BTW, for all the "only old people die" wingnuts: A friend just called and told me a friend of her died from Covid-19. She was under 50 years of age and leaves behind a husband and two small children. This was in my city. Two villages away, a guy aged 30 died.

For all the "dubious hearsay anecdotes equal data" wingnuts: Well, the idiocy of what you scribbled speaks for itself.

Posted by: Russ | May 5 2020 16:31 utc | 189

@ Montreal | May 5 2020 16:21 utc | 188

Yeah, the plot is pretty thick.

Still, I keep my judgement suspended until it goes from thick to palpable. Always be on guard for possible tar babies. Webb could be one or Benassi or both.

Anyway, the Netherlands is in many aspects a very faithful Atlanticist vassal. Anytime I see a dutch person strongly affiliated with spooky USA goings on, it leaves me with very little doubt as to their allegiances. Does anybody remember magic dutch boy Rudy Dekkers?

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 16:32 utc | 190

I agree those nations (plus the rebel province of Taiwan) ...
Posted by: vk | May 5 2020 15:28 utc | 172

When did Taiwan rebel? Wasn't there a Communist rebellion in the mainland, and Taiwan remaining as the last vestige of the previous regime?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 5 2020 16:32 utc | 191

James @87

The daily new case rate has not changed since April 2. And that by itself marks the US as the supremely incompetent country among all in epidemiological history. So wait several day before you declare that death numbers are falling: there's an incredibly long plateau but no peak.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | May 5 2020 16:33 utc | 192

@Posted by: vk | May 5 2020 1:07 utc | 104

I know this isn't directly linked to the theme of the post, but it is too bizarre to pass up:

The Hague Invasion Act: Dutch in Denial of US Threat

Not unusual at all. My country is small and suffering from a Calimero Complex. Our Politicians are atlanticists and have no balls. Our military is tiny and subservient. They would cheer at the arrival of US soldiers.

Posted by: Joost | May 5 2020 16:34 utc | 193

@ Russ | May 5 2020 16:31 utc | 191

Dubious hearsay to you.

Very up close and real to me.

Why don't you say it outright and accuse me of being a sim?

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 16:35 utc | 194

@ Joost | May 5 2020 16:34 utc | 195

It's not that they have no balls, it's that NATO has them by the balls. On film.

Posted by: Lurk | May 5 2020 16:37 utc | 195

Lurk, James, Montreal

I don’t know the Wuhan International Hotel story. Have watched George Webb a few times, somewhat well impressed but his ADHD and nonstop verbal assault are a bit much. I do know cycling. Going back to John Howard in ‘67 and ‘68 have known just a lot of riders who used the military to finance their training and their cycling addiction. The military takes sports competition very seriously. There is always the possibility of being reassigned to less pleasant duty if a rider ever slacks off. That is usually enough to keep the athletes on their toes.

There is one chance in a thousand Benassi got a team berth in Wuhan as a reward or perk for unrelated good deeds. But doubtful. The military likes to win Andy they are inhabit of doing very well in these games.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 5 2020 16:45 utc | 196

Predictive spelling on this box......and they are in habit of....

Posted by: oldhippie | May 5 2020 16:47 utc | 197

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 5 2020 16:32 utc | 193

Not really. The republican revolution gave birth to both the Communist and the Han-supremacist ("Nationalist") movements. They both have, in the abstract realm of political ideology, a legitimate claim to the original republic.

On present geopolitical affairs, there's no doubt: the Popular Republic of China is officially recognized as the only China in existence. It's important to highlight the fact that the USA, officially, also recognizes the PRC as the only China.

In practice, however, the Western powers still treat Taiwan and Hong Kong as western poleis. They still act as if they have a legitimate role in those provinces' internal affairs, and they still act as if they were their international representatives (this is specially evident in British newspapers, which still have Hong Kong sections, and still put news about Hong Kong in their front pages as if they were a normal British city). That's normal, as cultural habits don't simply go away, and it doesn't change the political facts on the field.

Rome still claimed Sirmium a Roman city decades after it was gone to the Goths/Huns/Burgundians, well into the fifth Century. As the saying goes: talking is cheap, politics is not.

Posted by: vk | May 5 2020 16:49 utc | 198

Lab-Made? SARS-CoV-2 Genealogy Through the Lens of Gain-of-Function Research

by Yuri Deigin

near end: "I just didn’t anticipate that the rabbit hole would turn out to be a whole underground cave system. I hope that you found this deep dive into the world of virology interesting and enjoyed the exploration of the lab-made CoV2 hypothesis. In my opinion, the data I have presented, taken together, do not allow us to reject this possibility." (Doesn’t reach the opposite conclusion either.)

V. long article was in spots over my head, as I am not a virologist. Very interesting, thorough and well laid-out. see also cj at 125 - different argument from some of the same ‘facts.’

Note the level 4 security lab in Wuhan was a collaborative effort, with the US and France involved in financing it, exchanging scientists, techniques, training, etc. etc.

Right now it looks like everyone is covering up an Oopsie. China accuses the US, via the presence of poorly performing US soldiers at the Wuhan military Games who brought ‘it’ with them; the US accuses China (see b) which serves a sterile blame-game and draws attention away.

Meanwhile scientists and ‘reasonable ppl’ i.e. those presented as such (Fauci, who supportred that lab, see omp 25 for ex.) state there is no evidence of deliberate creation / release, or of an ‘accident.’

Imho this lot are far too strident, they usually don’t bother with countering ‘conspiracy theorists’ and they are singing with one voice, nothing to see here, Nature, mutations, wet markets dontcha know, weirdo world, it is all a mystery, death lurks in hidden corners.

The blame game opposes ‘countries’ which effectively obscures not only class differences, but the role of very powerful groups who intend or hope to garner tremendous profits and control capacities. Plus, natch, the usual crowd of hangers-on (e.g. Wall Street, Security Industry, Med, etc.) who will never let a good crisis go to waste, jumping on whatever bandwagon for their own purposes (financial.)

Posted by: Noirette | May 5 2020 16:56 utc | 199

Noirette | May 5 2020 16:56 utc | 201 Yes, I agree.

Oooopsie? Or betrayal? (though the result are about the same either way.)

Would add that there are many dogs not barking.

Why was and is the Ft Detrick sudden closing and the statements from that even never later spoken of by any official media...and why is the matter suppressed?

That's only one example. Another is Skripal. Anybody can make up the list of coincidence-silence.

Posted by: Walter | May 5 2020 17:02 utc | 200

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