Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 01, 2020

Blaming China Will Not Restore U.S. Standing

The Trump administration seeks to blame 'someone' for its messed up response to the Covid-19 pandemic. After first lauding China for its fight against the epidemic it started to bash it. A phonecall between Xi and Trump shut that down for a while. It was then the WHO which was blamed. After the Trump administration de-funded it there was little left to do. So it is now back to China.

The Trump administration is pressing its intelligence services to find or make up evidence that China is guilty of releasing the virus:

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. The effort comes as President Trump escalates a public campaign to blame China for the pandemic.
...
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.
...
A former intelligence official described senior aides’ repeated emphasis of the lab theory as “conclusion shopping,” a disparaging term among analysts that has echoes of the Bush administration’s 2002 push for assessments saying that Iraq had weapons of mass of destruction and links to Al Qaeda, perhaps the most notorious example of the politicization of intelligence.

The intelligence folks were so concerned about the pressure that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a statement which says that it believes that the virus was a natural development and that it does not know if the outbreak occurred due to a natural contact or due to a lab accident.

The chance of a natural contact is of course infinitely higher than that of a lab accident:

The odds were astronomical against a lab release as opposed to an event in nature, said Kristian G. Andersen, the lead author of the paper published in Nature Medicine and a specialist in infectious disease at the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California.

The SARS-CoV viruses originally developed in bats but are unlikely to have jumped from there to humans. Some researchers have noticed that raccoon dogs are known to carry bat sourced coronaviruses and that they have the specific ACE2 receptors that would have allowed the SARS-CoV-19 virus, as well as the original SARS virus, to use them as an intermediate hosts.


bigger

Raccoon dogs are bread in Japan and China for their fur. The largest farms breeding raccoon dogs in China are said to be in Hubei province where the outbreak occurred. A wide screening for viruses in the raccoon dogs on those farms could establish a potential natural chain.

But the administrations is not interested in the natural source of the virus. It is already thinking about how it can 'punish' China:

Senior officials across multiple government agencies are expected to meet Thursday to begin mapping out a strategy for seeking retaliatory measures against China, two people with knowledge of the meeting said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose the planning. Officials in American intelligence agencies are also involved in the effort.

President Trump has fumed to aides and others in recent days about China, blaming the country for withholding information about the virus, and has discussed enacting dramatic measures that would probably lead to retaliation by Beijing, these people said.
...
In private, Trump and aides have discussed stripping China of its “sovereign immunity,” aiming to enable the U.S. government or victims to sue China for damages. George Sorial, who formerly served as a top executive at the Trump Organization and is involved in a class-action lawsuit against China, told The Washington Post he and senior White House officials have discussed limiting China’s sovereign immunity. Legal experts say an attempt to limit China’s sovereign immunity would be extremely difficult to accomplish and may require congressional legislation.

Some administration officials have also discussed having the United States cancel part of its debt obligations to China, two people with knowledge of internal conversations said. It was not known if the president has backed this idea.

Both ideas are as nuts as Joe Biden's anti-China antics. If the U.S. denies 'sovereign immunity' to China dozens of countries will use the precedence to do the same with regards to the U.S. In December 1944 during the firebombing of Wuhan the U.S. killed more than 40.000 Chinese people. How will it pay for that? Should the rest of the world sue the U.S. for the up to 575,000 global death and the economic damage the H1N1 swine flu pandemic caused since 2009? That pandemic was was first detected in southern California. No U.S. financial asset in China or elsewhere would be safe from being confiscated to compensate for that and other damage U.S. neglect and wars have caused.

The defaulting on U.S. sovereign debt can likewise not be done selectively. It would be the end of the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency.

Yesterday Trump contradicted his intelligence services when he claimed that he had seen evidence that the virus came from a laboratory:

Asked if he had seen anything giving him a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of the outbreak, Trump replied, "Yes, I have."

He refused to give details.
...
However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated he had not seen definitive evidence.

"We don't know precisely where it began," he said.

Meanwhile the Chinese news agency Xinhua published an funny animation video that empathizes and mocks the contradictions of U.S. statements about the pandemic. Every warning that China had offered from early on was originally rejected by the Trump administration:

China: We discovered a new virus.
America: So what?

China: It's Dangerous
America: It's only a Flu

China: Wear a Mask
America: Don't wear a Mask
...

An economic conflict or even a physical war against China (and its ally Russia) is one the U.S. can not win. The U.S. must stop blaming China for exposing the fraud of 'American exceptionalism'. The U.S. has done that itself. It is not even Trump who is guilty of it as the relative decline of U.S. statesmanship and capabilities has developed over decades and independent of party policy preferences.

It will require some self reflection to counter that decline. Unfortunately neither side of the aisle seems willing to engage in it.

Posted by b on May 1, 2020 at 11:52 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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MAGA! Blame China for four US Navy aircraft carriers for cases of coronavirus?

"At this point at least four US Navy aircraft carriers — the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Nimitz — have reported cases of coronavirus, crimping their operations. Most notably the Roosevelt had over a month ago been diverted from its original mission in the West Pacific, and now has 1,102 sailors that have tested positive for COVID-19."

Posted by: JC | May 2 2020 2:00 utc | 101

Posted by: gm | May 2 2020 1:40 utc | 111

According to NPR the Wuhan lab only received a small amount of the grant for basic research:

Also, only about 10% of the grant — about $76,000 per year — was slated for the Wuhan Institute. This was provided in recognition that the Wuhan lab was doing the bulk of the on-the-ground sample collection and analysis, says EcoHealth Alliance's Daszak.

Why the US Govrnment Stopped Funding a Research Project on Bats and Coronavirus

Posted by: One Too Many | May 2 2020 2:17 utc | 102

@103 Piotr Berman "China could accept opening records under reciprocal agreement: if USA opens records of their biological labs too."

Such a gambit is unlikely to gain any traction at all. The USA would reject that as a "false equivalence" and then repeat the demand that China allow US inspection of the Wuhan facility.

The Chinese would be better advised to keep their response as simple as possible: No, f**k you and your land-whale over at the State Dept.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 2 2020 2:18 utc | 103

JC #112

I would bet not one of those US sailors spent time in China recently. It should be cinch to track origin in that closed circuit of human movement. Where does the arrow point I wonder?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 2:19 utc | 104

It is not possible to lay blame for the pandemic since all the major players in bioweapons research are contributors to this insanity. Since the US is the world's major weapons developer, chances are good it is Number 1 in bioweapons, too, and some speculate, with Ron Unz, that the US attacked China and Iran. But because The Trump people are so abysmally stupid, they didn't believe it would also shut down the US economy! Who knows? It is not possible to follow the players and their motives in a lunatic asylum ruled by secrecy.

There seems to be a full court press to deny the laboratory origin of this virus. If all the players agree that it is essentially an environmental problem, then bioweapons research can be exonerated and retained as a necessary defense against bad old Mother Nature. The Trump people need to shut the fuck up and close ranks with all the other players in a chorus of denial. Trump is the problem, though. He needs conflict. So he'll go too far with this blame game until one of his Big Macs tests negative when it is actually positive and he never gets off his ventilator. The economy will come roaring back until it finally explodes and people gratefully return to the stone age.

Posted by: jadan | May 2 2020 2:32 utc | 105

As far as I can tell there is only one thing that could stay the Trump Administration from "finding" a link between coronavirus and that Wuhan virus lab by cooking the books.

(Well, two, if you include the professional integrity of the USA's three-letter-agencies. Hah!).

It is this: I think it is an given - 100% certain - that all over the world there are respiratory specialists who are even now tapping their chin and thinking "that weird pneumonia case I saw early last year.... I wonder...."

Some are still going to have access to the original blood samples, and if they do then as sure as eggs they are eventually going to get those samples out of the freezer and test them for coronavirus. It would just be a matter of waiting until the test kits are as cheap as chips and stacked high on the shelves.

It would only take ONE sample to test positive for a doctor to have his 15 minutes of fame, and if/when he does the entire Wuhan-Lab-Spill!! theory will come crashing to the ground.

Has anyone in the Trump Administration gamed out that scenario?

If they haven't then I suggest they do so, otherwise they are running a very, very real risk of destroying what remains - however pitiful - of the USA's reputation for competency.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 2 2020 2:40 utc | 106

b mentioned the Chinese media's cartoon video about America's virus response but didn't link to it directly. Here it is:

https://youtu.be/Q5BZ09iNdvo?t=6

Posted by: occupatio | May 2 2020 2:43 utc | 107

@115 jadan "There seems to be a full court press to deny the laboratory origin of this virus."

It appears that everyone - even the Americans - have given up on the nonsense that this is a bioweapon.
Apparently that is so obviously untrue that it has been conveniently dropped down the memory-hole.

There is still some effort being made to claim that the virus was genetically-altered (not for weaponization, but for... err... some reason) and accidentally escaped from the lab. But even that claim seems to be fading, and the recent press release from the Director of National Intelligence looks to have driven a stake through its heart:
https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/item/2112-intelligence-community-statement-on-origins-of-covid-19

So we appear to be left with this claim: It is absolutely outrageous that a lab dedicated to studying viruses should have been studying viruses. And they let the damn thing escape! The Bastards!!!!

But here is the thing that I find odd about that claim: it relies heavily on some diplomatic cables to the US State Department expressing concerns about safety standards at that lab. AFAIK those cables are simply repeating rumours that US diplomats have heard (and rightly so, rumour is a stock in trade for these guys, no fault in that).

However, diplomats/"military attaches"/spies are not really capable of passing judgement on the safety standards at P4 level research labs. They simply do not possess the training and/or experience to do so.

But the Wuhan facility has conducted research with highly-credentialed international collaborators. Many, many very senior virologists from all over the globe must have come over and visited and/or worked in that facility.

What do THEY say about the safety standards in that P4 Level research lab?
What concerns have THEY ever expressed about what they have seen there?

As far as I can tell.... crickets. Not one in a position to really know has ever voiced concerns, either before or since this outbreak.

Odd, isn't it?


Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 2 2020 3:11 utc | 108

Yeah, Right@118

Apparently even China felt the need to beef up security. From what I understand, the French actually designed the lab but China built it on its own and would not let the French inspect it, so its likely they made some modifications they wanted to keep secret.

Feb 22,2020-In publicly and officially speaking about efforts in China to respond to COVID-19, Chinese leader Xi Jinping specifically linked efforts to prevent similar future threats to security of biological laboratories. Xi explained these efforts by saying that laboratory safety is a "national security" issue.

The very next day, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology released a new directive titled: “Instructions on strengthening biosecurity management in microbiology labs that handle advanced viruses like the novel coronavirus

Posted by: Pft | May 2 2020 3:25 utc | 109

..>>"That paper you referenced is dodgy and a propaganda job. quote:[..]

It smears WHO with an entirely fictitious date [in december 2019] Here is extract from WHO timeline:

22- 23 January 2020"<<<

addressed to me by Uncle T @ 104

With due respect I cannot agree with your response. That dodgy paper [a] propaganda job, the director of which is Michael Osterholm, Ph.D; hardly one to smear WHO (with a fiction date) especially given: He is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization, See his long Career and Honors here.

That dodgy paper now forms guidance for several countries COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. Canada an example
The Report is receiving wide coverage. Sputniknews. Bloomberg. JPost Israel, Society of Actuaries Research Brief to name a few.

You take issue on Report Dateline stated "in December 2019" vs. January 22-23, 2020. Wildly known and accepted the virus appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. A new virus infecting humans. No one anticipated the extent and speed of infection. The January date refers to the WHO Emergency Committee acting on weeks of information leading to WHO's director-general's declaration of Public Health Emergency on January 30, 2020. Even today scientists are learning more. Genomic epidemiology:Here Here, Here

Cheers. One love.

Posted by: Likklemore | May 2 2020 3:36 utc | 110

@119 Thank you for the reply, Pft, but it doesn't really address my point.

Which is this: many international collaborations were taking place in that lab. It is inevitable that very experienced virologists from all over the world have worked there. The very people who would spot slack safety standards in an instant.

If there really were inadequate safety procedures at that lab then RIGHT NOW there would be tame stenographers from the MSM spruiking exclusive interviews of highly-credentialed US virologists stating "Yeah, I was there last year. What I saw shocked me. Truly shook me to my core".

AFAIK no such interviews have surfaced, ergo, the three-letter-agencies of the USA are unable to find a single prominent "western" virologist who is of the opinion that this Wuhan research lab has inadequate safety standards.

It is the dog that didn't bark in the night.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 2 2020 4:10 utc | 111

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 2:19 utc | 114

Did searches and checks a week ago USS Theodore Roosevelt was in Vietnam and crews on shore leaves. Further USS Theodore Roosevelt was in Singapore last year. BTW Singapore the only SEA nation hosting US navy ships “4 US Littoral Combat Ships to Operate out of Singapore” and coronavirus cases skyrocketing partly due to cramming construction workers Bangladesh and Chinese from the mainland. Many thousand’s construction workers in a 20-workers dormitory. Estimates few hundreds spreading across the island. But China’s representative donates foods and PPE for its citizens in Singapore.

BTW Singapore a City State basically ethnicity 65-24-10-1 Chinese-Malay-Indian-others The 65-24-10-1 was more or less after independent but since changed due to massive Indian moving to Singapore “stepping stones” bypassed limiting excessive Indians’ migration to Australia, America. Today Singapore ethnicity likely 52-8-30-10 (rough estimates). 1% Others previously British and Jews now are tax dodges Americans: Jim Roger, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Richard Chandler NZ, Arvind Tiku India, Robert Friedland US.

Posted by: JC | May 2 2020 4:16 utc | 112

Just want to point out that last night the USA had 30,787 new cases and 2,349 new deaths.

And this is a country whose government wants to reopen for business ASAP. If not sooner.

Are there any better indicators that the USA is being governed by a Clown Car that is orchestrating a multi-car pileup?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 2 2020 4:16 utc | 113

Yeah, Right #121

Interestingly the Wuhan lab was built to a French design and contract. The USA was not the successful tender. Perhaps the USA legacy was not entirely desirable.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 4:18 utc | 114

China's Xi Jinping or the Chinese people would love president Trump as commanded in chief in a war! Bet your life an American president, Trump 24 April said injecting disinfectants into body

Posted by: JC | May 2 2020 4:28 utc | 115

Likklemore #120

Thank you but the WHO has been open and responsibly distributing information since December. A brief look at the WHO website reveals the information cycle.

Member states are on its panels, the China reports were considered by panels since December =and January. Every participating nation had a heads up on the fears expressed from the very beginning by China delegates and reports. So enough of the salami slicing semantics. That report failed to even mention that the USA is totally represented at ALL times. That the USA was asleep at the wheel is no surprise.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 4:33 utc | 116

@ karlof1 post 108

Excellent presentation on the critical issues.

The Feds, in panic mode to stave off the Depression, are unaware they have launched the Great Reset that will include Healthcare as a priority and not an afterthought as the corona crisis revealed.

Debt jubilee is on the menu as QE to Infinity for bailing the banks and billionaires takes us to a very bad ending. Implosion of derivatives will be the tsunami. Derivatives as per BIS: $640 Trillion, Global debt: $265 Trillion.

The second financial collapse began September 2019. Most were forecasting 2nd Quarter 2020 contraction would mirror 1930s. Few expected 1st Quarter2020 to be there.

A review of the DJ charts displays similarities 2008 and 2020. Two rhymes. In fact DJ 2020 chart mirrors its 2008 chart without adjustments . And again, its the banks; not a care for mainstreet.

This is truly shocking. Just imagine.
See here: 5 Banks control the U.S. economy

Imho, we will need a new currency to replace the Weimar/Zimbabwe USD. Will it be Digital? Unlikely to be digital on a global scale.

As the man said, over the next 5 years the choice will be "Surviving not Winning"

Posted by: Likklemore | May 2 2020 4:37 utc | 117

Just like the corona virus caused the global economic crisis

American exceptionalism is the cause of its aggression.......NOT

America is a country with potential for providing government for the commons but is currently controlled by and a proxy for the elite cult that own global private finance and everything else.

I have repeatedly wrote and encourage fellow barflies to finally agree that Trump is quite conscious about his puppet actor actions driving the American bus into the ditch. When the ditch event finally happens and the world leadership is meeting to rail against that old bad America, will they consider at the all the culpability of the representatives at the global negotiating table that represent private finance?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2020 4:45 utc | 118

JC #122

Thank you, any news on the remaining US fleet of aircraft carriers and escort fleet.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 5:03 utc | 119

Yeah, Right #123

Are there any better indicators that the USA is being governed by a Clown Car that is orchestrating a multi-car pileup?

Sticking with the metaphor - Maybe the price of oil is an indicator that a Clown Car is on the loose.

Of course all those Trump supporters will loudly point out that it is a driverless car stupid! See no one at the wheel! 🤡

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 5:10 utc | 120

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 5:03 utc | 130

Here and enjoy....

"The Last Ship": US Navy Keeping COVID-19 "Clean" Carrier Out At Sea Indefinitely

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/last-ship-us-navy-keeping-covid-19-clean-ships-out-sea-indefinitely

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier returns home from a month of training

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3082532/chinas-liaoning-aircraft-carrier-returns-home-month-training

Warship joined by at least five escort vessels and analysts say the drills were ‘very significant’ to show the strike group wasn’t hit by coronavirus

Posted by: JC | May 2 2020 5:24 utc | 121

Whoo boy there are a lot of new rambunctious barflies or visitors from other bars. They are much louder and more repetitive than normal. The funny part is that it's nothing all that novel. Caitlyn Johnstone routinely gets pissed off responses from Trump supporters who love her anti-Bush, Obama and Democrat commentary but hate that she is equally devoted to calling out US policy bullshit from Trump too. It's funny. Some of them must identify with pundits/bloggers that they think represent their world view in an almost obsessive fashion. Or they just do that with a particular narrative. When one of the pundits/bloggers deviates from their EXPECTATIONS, they get belligerent.

Time to hire a good bouncer for this bar?

Posted by: Mister_Wiggles | May 2 2020 5:26 utc | 122

First 2 posts are trolls and their name (handle) should be remembered and ignored when they post here again. Most likely came from 1 person using multiple account names aka sock puppets and using bots to monitor MoA and automatically post prepared messages.

the increased number of trolls that post nonsense and trying to flood the comment section also increasing..

thanks to regulars like james , karlof , uncle tungsten , w. gruff and many more who police the comment section from these astroturfers.

their aim are classic hasbara 101 , they are here to ruin the comment section and hijack it

Posted by: milomilo | May 2 2020 5:33 utc | 123

OMG B - I have been scanning comments from the past few entries tonight and there are people saying that they would love to strangle the life out of a few regular posters who provide great commentary no matter what subject.

What happened? Did the intelligence community target our drinking hole for infiltration or sabotage? I hope you get a chance to delete some of this crap and maybe even make a post about them...like telling the world that you understand your blog is being targeted for harassment. There is some really objectionable and totally irrelevant shit including veiled threats and unnecessary assholiness being allowed to stand.

Posted by: Mister_Wiggles | May 2 2020 5:37 utc | 124

Posted by: milomilo | May 2 2020 5:33 utc | 134

It was just a repeat post. I think you might be offended by what you perceive to be anti-Trump sentiments?

The way Wordpress works makes it very prone to issues that result in duplicate posts. Schmatz didn't strike me as a fake troller.

Posted by: Mister_Wiggles | May 2 2020 5:42 utc | 125

LOL! new barfly "nightmare_fuel" is the best! This person thinks they are the type to fuel nightmares among us readers and lurkers and commentators. HAHA! nightmare fuel I hope you are banned now. Come back with a better user name, JAJA!!!

Posted by: Mister_Wiggles | May 2 2020 5:47 utc | 126

- From what I have seen I think that a number of state governors have done a much better job than El Trumpo.
- I also think that El Trumpo and his administration (and his corrupt buddies) is very well aware that his chances of re-election are getting worse with each day the unemployment rate is rising. Then it's no surprise to see that the US is lashing out to all (preceived) enemies.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 2 2020 6:36 utc | 127

Well this barfly has been wrestling with a post that is all sound but vanishes every time I post it. I wait an hour or so, refresh page and not a sign of it. Every other post goes up fine. I noted b posted a brief note on difficulties etc.

So pardon me with a long one and I will add a fragmented link for those wishing to site the original:

I am responding to Piero Colombo#28 and Red Ryder #52

Fort D was closed for some mighty serious reasons. It leaked like a sieve.

A few years back its waste water sterilisation plant was destroyed by a flood! Yes it was within flood reach of a major storm. So they installed a new technology system that never attained its sterilisation capacity before discharging into a sewer somewhere in Maryland. ! That and some extraordinary negligent human behaviour and design problems forced the CDC to shut it down after detecting polluted waste water leaks and other information.

The CDC shut down a top level Military Laboratory in the USA!

There is a report on August 7 2019 at medicaldaily dot com

Then there is a detailed report describing the blundering stupidity at 'work' in the labs from wjla dot com dated january 23rd 2020. It reads:


ABC7 has received documents from the CDC outlining violations they discovered during a series of inspections that year, some of which were labeled "serious."

Earlier that year, the US Army Medical Research Institute had announced an experiment at the Fort Detrick laboratory that would involve infecting rhesus macaque monkeys with active Ebola virus to test a cure they were developing.

Several of the laboratory violations the CDC noted in 2019 concerned "non-human primates" infected with a "select agent", the identity of which is unknown — it was redacted in all received documents, because disclosing the identity and location of the agent would endanger public health or safety, the agency says. In addition to Ebola, the lab works with other deadly agents like anthrax and smallpox.
Select agents are defined by the CDC as “biological agents and toxins that have been determined to have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, to animal and plant health, or to animal or plant products.”
Here are some of the violations the CDC observed during inspections of Fort Detrick that year:

OBSERVATION 1
Severity level: Serious
The CDC reported that an individual partially entered a room multiple times without the required respiratory protection while other people in that room were performing procedures with a non-human primate on a necropsy table.
“This deviation from entity procedures resulted in a respiratory occupational exposure to select agent aerosols,” the CDC wrote.

OBSERVATION 2
Severity level: Serious
The CDC reported that the lab did not ensure that employee training was properly verified when it came to toxins and select agents.
“These failures were recognized through video review of laboratorians’ working in BSL3 and ABSL3 labs,” their report said. “[These] indicate the [lab]’s means used to verify personnel understood the training had not been effective, leading to increased risk of occupational exposures.”
The CDC went on to specify that a laboratorian who was not wearing appropriate respiratory protection was seen multiple times “partially entering” a room where non-human primates that were infected with [redacted] were “housed in open caging.” They also observed a laboratorian disposing of waste in a biohazardous waste bin without gloves on.

OBSERVATION 3
Severity level: Moderate
In this violation observation, the CDC went into more detail on the incident of the worker not wearing gloves while disposing of biohazardous waste, writing that “biosafety and containment procedures must be sufficient to contain the select agent or toxin.”
The corrective action they recommended was to confirm that relevant personnel have been trained to wear gloves to prevent exposure to hazardous materials.

OBSERVATION 4
Severity level: Serious
In this observation, the CDC notes that the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases had “systematically failed to ensure implementation of biosafety and containment procedures commensurate with the risks associated with working with select agents and toxins.”
The violation specifically observed involved “entity personnel [...] propping open” a door while removing “large amounts of biohazardous waste” from an adjacent room, “[increasing] the risk of contaminated air from [the room] escaping and being drawn into the [redacted]” where the people working “typically do not wear respiratory protection.”

OBSERVATION 5
Severity level: Moderate
The CDC reported that the laboratory failed to safeguard against unauthorized access to select against. They wrote that personal protective equipment worn while decontaminating something contaminated by a select agent had been stored in open biohazard bags, in an area of the facility that the CDC has redacted for security reasons.
“By storing regulated waste in this area, the entity did not limit access to those with access approval,” they wrote.

OBSERVATION 6
Severity level: Moderate
The CDC reports that someone at the lab did not maintain an accurate or current inventory for a toxin.

OBSERVATION 7
Severity level: Low
The CDC reports that a building at the Fort Detrick laboratory didn’t have a “sealed surface to facilitate cleaning and decontamination.” This included cracks around a conduit box, cracks in the ceiling, and a crack in the seam above a biological safety cabinet.

My final observation:
This is a BSL 4 lab in the middle of a highly populated zone in the USA and it demonstrably incompetent. USA engineering fail

Remember Fukushima reactors - GE design, emergency power plant to drive reactor coolant motors located on the ground! Wiped out instantly in tsunami. USA engineering and design.


And this clown Trump is blaming China... you have to be kidding.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 7:15 utc | 128

More interesting than any gossip about frog involvement in wuhan, was France24 comments (this morning Aotearoa time), so evening Paris time - two talking heads, one from dem front 'politico' & the other some bloke at the daily beast.
That pair of propagandists decided to repeat word for word all the pomparse, & orangeman totally uncorroborated slander about the PRC keeping the virus a secret they could remember. Then they claimed PRC could have 'closed it down'

Check out how amerika behaved with the H1 N1 'swine flu' in 2009. Cases were detected in Veracruz Mexico first week in January most probably returning migrant workers, altho the CDC reported unusual activity in its annual 'FluView' review WHO did not hear about this epidemic until April 12 whenthe VeraCruz outbreak attracted their attention. It took more than 1 month to surface and then only because of joint co-operation between WHO & PAHO (Pan American Health Organization).
Amerika didn't say a dickie bird until they got found out.
Compare that to the PRC & coronavirus timeline. Central Government in Beijing learned of the potential epidemic in the last week of December. They only learned about it because of persistant questioning about the spike in deaths within Wuhan & Hubei province. As soon as the truth was fully uncovered on December 31st, Zhang Jin, the Communist Party leader of the provincial health commission in Hubei, and the director of the Commission Liu Yingzi, were both immediately dismissed, then Deputy director of National Health Commission Wang Hesheng, the man whose persistence had uncovered the mess was thrust into both gigs. ("gee thanks boss", he probably did not say).
He would have been too busy as one of Wang first moves on December 31st 2019, was to inform the WHO about a cluster of 41 patients with a mysterious pneumonia. In addition that most are connected to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.
On January 1 2020, as soon as Wang arrives in Wuhan, he orders the seafood market closed and begins planning the Wuhan, then later, the Hubei lockdown.
PRC also immediately provided WHO with virus genetic structure, so a test can be developed.

The dems have had to jump on the 'lets bash China bandwagon because orange moron's acolytes have been making a lot of boise about creepy Joe & his b agman, son Hunter trousering big fat wedges from assorted Chinese corporations who wanted favours from amerika.

In other words the same old same old - amerikan senators demanding big swags of money to undertake the actions they are entrusted to carry out by amerikan citizens & normal taxpayers - then they have the unmitigated call to slander the nearest handy furrener for "being corrupt"!

Wake up septic tanks, the rot is in your house.
With amerika, england & europe all peddling the same lie - all primarily for the same reason, to cover up their own greed and lazy ineptitude when first confronted by the coronavirus, it is likely the gullible will swallow this tosh.

Posted by: A User | May 2 2020 7:43 utc | 129

@90 hopehely | May 1 2020 20:59 utc

hopehely: "... But I think that nobody expected the outbreak of such magnitude in Italy. That was a surprise for everybody, and actually a main generator of a pandemic, with sidekick of Iran not to forget."

They expected a mouse and an elephant turned up -- a 'Black Elephant' in the room basically.

"A Black Elephant, notes Vinay Gupta, ‘is an event which is extremely likely and widely predicted by experts, but people attempt to pass it off as a Black Swan when it finally happens. Usually the experts who had predicted the event – from the economic crisis to pandemic flu—go from being marginalized to being lionized when the problem finally rears its head’ (Gupta, 2009). In line with Gupta’s concept, Markley argues for using Type II Wild Cards that are ‘high probability and high impact as seen by experts if present trends continue, but low credibility for non-expert stakeholders . . . ’ (Markley, 2011, p. 1079)." https://postnormaltim.es/black-elephant

hopehely: "Take Finland and Russia for example. They both handled those early cases brought by Chinese tourists and visitors well. However, what got them was their infected citizens returning from Italy a month later.
Even Italy, they were actually quite expectant right from the start and scooped those infected Chinese tourists with no problem. But they got blindsided from Germany."

Ok, this is where your basic racism and bias are on display for all to see. You perpetuate a yet to be proven meme that suits the current US political agenda. Get over it ... and if you are a paid-for troll then shove off and stop distracting the discourse. Anyone who has done even a modicum of independent research into the etiology and distribution of Covid-19 has known for weeks that several strains exist; China's outbreak was mainly the 2nd 'B' strain mutation; and what arrived into Europe was either the 3rd mutation (most likely via Singapore), or non-Chinese 'B' strain -- most likely from the USA -- as Canada determined early. canadas-early-covid-19-cases-came-from-the-u-s-not-china

See "No proof that COVID-19 originated in Wuhan: Peter Forster" https://youtu.be/AQQf2yoymu0 and https://www.pnas.org/content/117/17/9241

A number of credible experts have pointed out that Italy's problems stem from a number of factors including (a) a mild flu death cull last year leaving a residue of overdue departures (plus draw forward from this years influenza cull quota); (b) social habits and customs (hugging/kissing); (c) generally aged population in the hot-spot regions; and (d) generally stupid panic that led to mass public presentation at hospitals with mild symptoms that then infected staff and spread throughout the medical infrastructure. All entirely predictable if the right models and parameter settings were applied.

For example see items by "Dr John P.A. Ioannidis is a professor of medicine and professor of epidemiology and population health, as well as professor by courtesy of biomedical data science at Stanford University School of Medicine, professor by courtesy of statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences, and co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) at Stanford University."

perspectives-on-the-pandemic-dr-john-ioannidis-explains-covid-19 and https://youtu.be/cwPqmLoZA4s

I'd suggest you just drop the "Chinese" BS and just say "tourists and visitors." All will come to light in due course once science (unobstructed by US/Nato political agenda) work back through the RNA/DNA and antibody sequences to 'patient zero' etc. It will take some time and not meet immediate MSM needs for fear-racial based headlines. If I was betting on outcomes, my money would be on, like many other such corona-virus/influenza events since 1918, a dirty American 'visitor' from some revolting mega-scale industrial animal farming project. But time will tell -- probably seep out quietly on page 15 in the 3rd year of Trump's 2nd term (c. 2022/3).

By then we'll all be chasing some other set of distracting cluster-f_cks supported by the usual suspects.

Posted by: imo | May 2 2020 7:45 utc | 130

JC #132

This is a really weird situation for us,” USS Truman ship commander Captain Kavon Hakimzadeh told Reuters in a phone interview. Anxiety is growing among the crew over what's essentially become an 'indefinite' deployment with uncertainty over when they'll return to port, as their families at home and on shore navigate local lockdown orders, given the Navy has put no date on the ship's return.

How can I thank you for a link to zerohedge? Expect a dead cat in the mail ;))

Seriously a long deployment at sea while back at home loved ones are in harms way and perhaps dead. Bodes well for a mutiny I'd say.

But let us consider that story and the extended infection time in all those US navy vessels.

Reuters further reports US officials have confirmed more than two dozen warships now have crew with coronavirus infections while at port.

And this week the guided-missile USS Kidd which arrived in San Diego Tuesday at least 78 active cases out of a 330-person crew, or about 25% of total personnel on board, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

We noted last month that Chinese state media appeared gleeful that US carriers and battle ships are seeing operations increasingly hampered by COVID-19, with the PLA Navy recently boasting it's own missions are "not impacted".

This is extraordinary and in such a strictly controlled population would normally make epidemiological tracking fairly straightforward. I figure those sailors were R&Ring with vigour at every port but a list of those ports would be a fascinating insight to infection trails.

As much as I never believe anything ZH has to say, it is indicative that the disease has been mooching about in the USA longer than in China. These ships are regularly visited by specialist personnel so what does the vector tree look like I wonder.

Did Raytheon spread it through their visiting expert staff perhaps?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 8:29 utc | 131

Kim Jong Un is covid free and smiling his face off after sending yet another FU to the USA who got all hot and bothered with lurid death tales.

The USA political class is such a gullible Clown Car, no wonder the hucksters and shysters of Wall Street can just take the Trillion$ whenever they wish. Today Kim Jong Un is cutting ribbons and stalking about his home city with an enormous shit eating grin on his face. Another victory lap for North Korea freedom.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 8:50 utc | 132

@138 Willy2 "I also think that El Trumpo and his administration (and his corrupt buddies) is very well aware that his chances of re-election are getting worse with each day the unemployment rate is rising."

Normally I would be inclined to agree, but.... Biden?
I have a feeling that Trump is really looking forward to releasing everything he knows about Joe Biden and his immediate family of grifters, sleaze artists, bagmen, crooks and coke aficionados.

Any halfway decent candidate would wipe the floor with Trump, but his opponent is going to be a man with no decency whatsoever.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 2 2020 9:07 utc | 133

@129 anon-indic "b' parroted WHO-Chinese propaganda initially that opposed closing borders to China. Then he had temerity and shamelessness to advise western governments and even pontificate on how they failed."

Not this troll-nonsense again...

Go here and learn something:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK368395/

"Similarly, the CHEPR should create protocols to dissuade member states and the private sector from implementing unnecessary restrictions on trade and travel."

"To prevent travel bans, relevant stakeholders, such as the International Air Transport Association and the World Trade Organization, should be engaged prior to the next outbreak."

That is the WHO being ordered NOT to advocate the closing of borders and the shutting down of air traffic unless/until it clears this first with the very countries that are now castigating it for not acting sooner.

The WHO convened on January 22 to address this very issue, and WESTERN countries refused to budge: they liked their international air traffic much too much, that you very much.

Don't blame China for that.
Don't blame WHO for that.
Don't blame b for that.

The blame actually lies with the very countries who are now loudest in their condemnation of China and WHO.

Funny that. You'd almost think they are trying to deflect attention.

But I just can't imagine why....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 2 2020 9:39 utc | 134

@143 uncle tungsten I was asked my opinion of "Kim Jong Un, is he? Or isn't he?" a few days ago, and my response was to say that I had seen this alllllll before. Some general would not be seen for a few weeks, some apparatchik would miss some plenary session and suddenly it's all "There's been a purge! Kim has had him shot! The guy is deader than a... oh, there he is. No matter, forget I said anything".

I put it down to two factors:
a) Western intelligence has next-to-zero penetration of the North Korean leadership, so they have no idea what is going on
b) That North Koreans are like everyone else and might actually, you know, like to take a break every now and again is just So Very Foreign A Concept That It Is Inconceivable.

Kim took a break. It happens. Western Media should just get over it.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 2 2020 9:47 utc | 135

uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 8:29 utc | 142

Note that the Russians sent 70+ ships to sea as soon as they seemed to realise that all of them could become infected. Not a word since. (2 were left in Vladivostok at the time, one of which was a sub.)

| May 2 2020 8:50 utc | 143
Kim Jong Un et deux? One of several tweets saying the same thing. Compare the teeth in the two photos.
https://twitter.com/LouiseMensch/status/1256448734138970112/photo/1

Posted by: Stonebird | May 2 2020 10:03 utc | 136

karlof1 #108

"It wasn't unanticipated whatsoever by many."

That can't be undenied by nobody, or can it?

Don't you love sentences with double negatives! ;-)

Posted by: krypton | May 2 2020 10:07 utc | 137

Yeah, Right #146

Yes to that. Plus by seeing what stories run in the West they likely can trace internal treachery thus closing even tighter the security wall. It just helps infantilise Western leaders. Fun to watch.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 10:11 utc | 138

Yeah, right @144

No decency, plus rapidly advancing dementia. Charles Blow just noticed that Biden cannot complete a sentence, as evidenced in his interview with Mika on Morning Joe.

Posted by: Joanne Murray | May 2 2020 11:02 utc | 139

It is wrong for anyone to scapegoat another: it is dangerous to scapegoat another who may be more powerful than you. History is littered with the ruins of empires which made that mistake.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Posted by: peter mcloughlin | May 2 2020 11:51 utc | 140

I wonder if 'b' intended to imply with his title "...will not restore US Standing" imply that (a) the US had much "standing" to lose, and, (b) that it was possible to "restore".

"Standing", in the sense of perceived power and moral quality depends on the audience...

Most of the world sees the US as dangerous and insane, I should imagine...and has done since...when? Korea and the rehabilitation of the Japanese Germ war scientists in 1950's? The GLADIO bombings and murders, the rehabilitation of the nazi's? Yugoslavia?

Of course "standing" also applies to the perceptions of the American people... I bet they see a con-job... Once ya lose the mojo...

So, since Time is a one-way function and since "standing" has declined since 1945 (Truman coup and Potsdam), (didja know the Vietnamese Commies cheered the Americans, at first), (didja know that Chicom Army was offered to Stillwell?) since that's ongoing... I suspect 'b' implication is false. Nothing can restore US standing.

All it ever had was a basic law...no history, no culture, just a good Constitution and opportunities. When the US left the Constitution and Law became ukase America became a simulacrum, fake, and wildly dangerous, as Customs were left gradually behind. People over 70 have watched the process since childhood.

MacBeth> "Who can impress the forest, bid the tree Unfix his earthbound root? Sweet bodements! Good!"

Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care
Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are.
Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill
Shall come against him.

Once the forest moves 'gainst Mac, it's phucking over. No reset.

: mattjanovic | May 1 2020 20:50 utc | 86 Shooting beer cans with .22 is fun and innocent...but trouble with guns is that undisciplined people with guns sometimes create permanent solution-outcomes to temporary (and sometimes imaginary) problems. Wally was once a serious target-shooter and even won a national match..but he's pretty restrained about people waving guns around...it's irresponsible. Dangerous. A gunshot would is a life changer, nothing after the bang will will be the same. It can't be taken back, and quite probably people who were not there will decide you fate...

Wally would add that almost all gun-waving and shooting of people comes from cops and soldiers... No non-cop has ever threatened him with a gun. Cops threaten him often (well they did when he had to go to work)...in his experience cops also load "one up the spout"...so when they point the damn thing at yer guts you can be sure there's a live round already chambered. That's a basic safety violation in itself.

Wally would prefer that cops did not carry guns. He doesn't care so much about the others...unless they too wave 'em around and threaten people.

Posted by: Walter | May 2 2020 11:57 utc | 141

@Posted by: Mister_Wiggles | May 2 2020 5:42 utc | 138

Thanks, I was to respond to this obvious troll of the far-right who does not contribute ever anything to the blog, to my awareness ( although i have been quite absent druing the pandemic ), but then there he is, agazapado, as gatekeeper to try to discredit any anti-Trump ( may be anti-Bannon...) activist posting here, but finally was considering was not worth the effort.

Indeed, I made a first post who did not immediately appeared, then try to remake it, more or less, with some added sentences, but it seems that I chose the wrong nick, amongst the myriad I have to post at several other blogs ou there and also have collected through the years, and who my computer memorizes for the best ( to my decaying memory ), or the worst, (as the possiility of incurring in error clearly shows )...

I very dobut W.Gruff was alluding to me ( since I hardly post sinophobic nonsense ), when he talked about trolls, most probably is this "milomilo" who has uncovered itself.
It must be that what I am is quite effective debunking the far-right and Trump´s regime, as he had to singled me out for attack...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 12:00 utc | 142

uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 0:37 utc | 109 (Fukushima)

You bet! Also the primary cooling pump motors located only a few feet above high tide... It didn't matter if the diesels ran or not, they all lost ultimate heat sink when the pump motors were flooded with seawater, but yeah, the diesels flooded too.

see "fairewinds dot org The fuse was lit on Fukushima when the plants were built". (Gunderson)COVID-19 & Nuclear Risk: Refueling Nukes Isn’t A NASCAR Pit-stop!

Posted by: Walter | May 2 2020 12:08 utc | 143

uncle tungsten @141: "Fort D was closed for some mighty serious reasons. It leaked like a sieve."

That's true, and we can just dismiss that leakiness as the result of sloppy incompetence; incompetence that has increasingly become a core feature of American culture over the last half century. It would be a mistake to leave it at that, though. That incompetence serves a purpose, which is deniability. When the CIA is doing some of their ultimate evil crap at some black site dungeon and want to do nightmare-class torture on some unfortunate rendition victims under the supervision of some modern day Dr. Mengele, the Fort Detrick facility needs to be "leaky" enough that the materials the CIA scumbags abscond with are written off as just another incompetent screw-up: Someone just misplaced those vials of anthrax, or forgot to fill out the right paperwork when they were destroyed, or something similar. They cannot afford to have documentation showing that the materials were handed over to the CIA. Fort Detrick needs to be "leaky" just to be able to fulfill one of its major functions.

Otherwise they would never be able to do human trials on their best creations.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 2 2020 12:12 utc | 144

William Gruff | May 2 2020 12:12 utc | 156 BSL-4

Boyle says (a) they all leak", (b) they are all illegal, prohibited., and (c) that they are all doing prohibited germwar research and manufacture.

Otherwise I agree, in order to do these things they leak, sometimes on purpose, but they leak because it's inevitable.. It's like the abomb, if you decide to build them, the factories are going to leak, and they did, and do.

If ya make nitro, there will be an explosions, and when that happens and there's a "bang", it's you what did it.

Posted by: Walter | May 2 2020 12:41 utc | 145

It is easy to blame China when you do not even put the slightest presure on your corporations for them to protect their employees...so that they must exert the presure on their own risking their jobs in such a savage capitalist environment like that of the US where any complaint equated being fired, as happened to the health workers...

In an unprecedented movement, workers from 6 of the largest companies in the United States like Amazon or Walmart have organized a strike on Labor Day today to demand health protection against COVID19 and better working conditions.

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1256309192891252739

It will be or socialism...or barbarie...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 13:02 utc | 146

@Yeah Right (#145):

- I don't like Biden either.
- But the entire political landscape in Washington DC is a GIANT swamp ("Drain the swamp") and I don't see how the situation is getting any better any time soon. It's time for a 3rd party but both Republicans & Democrats won't allow that. They have too much vested interests in the current situation to make any change any time soon.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 2 2020 13:22 utc | 147

Trump opens the door for legitimating that an armed to the teeth minority, known to be well payed by his main donors and officials, constitutes as pression group to achieve through violence that their vindications are taken into account over the interests of the majority who elected the representative of the state...
Fascism in its pure state...None of those extremist have any aspect of working at all...being overweighted agressive mental health patients out of control/meds in their majority...

Donald Trump via Twitter has asked the Michigan governor to speak with anti-confinement protesters and make a deal, "They are very good people, but they are very angry."

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1256228928714412032

These fascists will, then, end having more to say that the people who do not hold arms...

It is this escalating everyday fascism what Trump needs to cover with the new Chinagate...


Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 13:27 utc | 148

H.Schmatz | May 2 2020 13:27 utc | 160

fascism and cv is topic RT "Europe in crisis and the specter of fascism" (E330)

not only fascists are armed...

The die was cast at Potsdam in '45

And affirmed November 22, 1962.

Trump got some votes because people recognized that he'd be totally destructive loose cannon, and that the sooner the destruction the better...get it over with.

This expectation seems to have been valid...ahemmm.

Posted by: Walter | May 2 2020 13:47 utc | 149

'We're modern slaves': How meat plant workers became the new frontline in Covid-19 war

“It was like they were keeping a secret,” said Tara Williams, a 47-year-old worker at the plant, as she described her account of management’s response to the death of her colleague Elose Willis. “It took them about two weeks to just put a picture up, to acknowledge she had died.”

No, kids, this isn't China or North Korea - it's the USA.

Posted by: vk | May 2 2020 14:23 utc | 150

The script that Trump is following-confident that the Democrats can be counted upon to copy it- is the one that, his mentor in politics and much else, Roy Cohn developed for the unlamented Senator McCarthy.
But, and this will be news in Washington, it is not 1950 anymore. The conditions that made it possible to push the red scare underlying the first Cold War, including rising living standards and full employment for most of the working class, the rise of the suburbs, the GI Bill allowing unprecedented social mobility and unchallenged (in reality if not in the fevered brains on the right) hegemony of the United States, economically, financially, militarily and culturally- all that has crumbled away.
Trump is trying the 'blame China, fear the reds' strategy because it is all that he can think of and nobody else within miles of the White House has a clue what to do. Why should they? None of them has the least interest in public policy, let alone the common welfare, the political culture in the US is so corrupted by careerism, bribery, revolving doors, oligarchical diktats and, above all, greed, greed and greed that nobody with any brains spares a moment's thought on thinking matters through.
The US ruling class is in the position that the French Aristocracy had reached by 1789- it has no conception that it will not rule forever, only a tiny minority thinks ahead in terms of dealing with fundamental changes. And there is no understanding of the fragility of their positions.
Any fool in the C19th could have told Trump and his felloow members of the political class what to do: make concessions! underwrite all wages! introduce immediately, free healthcare (abandon the powerful but in the scheme of things tiny Health Insurance industry)!
Instead, as everything around them crumbles, they are trying to rally the people (divided into ethnic, social, racial, linguistic and pigmentary factions) into forgetting everything and blaming China.
The first time it was a tragedy, leading to the deaths of millions, most of them in south east Asia, this time it promises to be something much more amusing.
Yesterday was a rent day and a pay day- fear, frustration, anger and a justified sense of being tricked again are mounting everywhere. Unless the US government takes a U turn it will be a very long hot summer.

Posted by: bevin | May 2 2020 16:01 utc | 151

this was the main goal from the very beginning. I said that was the aim of USA the minute its fake corporate owned media began to scream about the virus. I said that in The Faker's site(The Saker). This virus was a God sent, exactly when USA needed to get the world to hate China, because that was THE ONLY WAY to stop China's rise against the West. Make the world hate China. This very fact alone proves to me the virus isnt natural but is a bio engineered bio weapon. The mere coincidence is a proof.

Posted by: Hoyeru | May 2 2020 16:31 utc | 152

@ 119 occupatio.. thanks... i hate twitter and they don't allow one to copy the video url either.. typical..

@ 120 yeah, right / @ 140 uncle tungsten.. if the fort dertick had an accident, wouldn't it make sense for the usa to project what they know went wrong their on someone else?? the projection principle is at work... it is fun to conspiracy theorize... let me quote @ 141 a user - "Wake up septic tanks, the rot is in your house." !!

@ 153 wally... yes, i think b's title is a bit misleading and nothing is going to regain the usa's standing... nothing...

personally i think trump still has good odds of winning the nov election... the competition is so bad, it's like they want him to continue...

regarding the trollls - here is b's quote which i don't think he will mind that i quote.. - "I do not know who is sending those. Dozens of first time commentators that attack others. I have blocked over hundred of them during the last weeks.
Hard to keep up ...

B."

Posted by: james | May 2 2020 16:46 utc | 153

Trump praised China and Xi +++ re. their response to COV19.

I suppose his advisors didn’t like that at all.

A dodgy biz-man, Trump, one day screams at the carpet-seller over the phone and tweet insults because, too late, poor quality, wrong color, and then after threatening to withdraw his biz, and getting better performance, praises the old (or the new if he switched suppliers) carpet sellers.

He puts his daughter in charge of marketing, and another relative for overseas ‘deals’ as he doesn’t want to deal with foreignors, it makes him look uncouth, from the wrong side of the tracks.

This is the game he played with Kim Jong Un who understood all this perfectly. The result was: nothing much, stasis. Everyone gets to opine and jabber, vociferate, get seriously agitated, look triumphant or down in the mouth, etc.

The US Presidency is a crap figurehead post, see the Dem. candidate - nobody with any brains or survival instinct wants this job. Trump is not informed, not clued in (“managed” by various parties, shepherded about, etc.), plus is totally incompetent, etc.

So much flailing about and blame-game, against China re. COV19 - which is after all life threatening for many - is becoming too transparent as deflection and screechy ‘tantrum’ with no effect. Empty threats are always a mistake, unless they can be counted on to be seen as wink-wink provocation (often for the gallery of cheering plebs) - between partners / allies / cool ppl -> show time!

At some point the pretense of joining in this game, or just putting up with it while mocking the opposing party, wears thin and reaction can be swift (e.g. from China.)

USA decline is on rumbling medium speed with jagged bursts up and down. The possible trajectories are varied - see ex. Orlov, Tainter, Diamond, Kunstler, others. — The terrible fear outside the US is WAR via nuclear attacks. (scare stuff late in the day imho, see US actions from vietnam to syria.. eurotrash submission and complacency.. argh..)


Posted by: Noirette | May 2 2020 16:58 utc | 154

The real crisis will be went the eviction moratorium ends in July, when all of the people who are behind on their rent/mortgages (and there are at least 8 million of them, possibly much, much more) are required to repay the arrears on their accounts or be evicted. That will create a lot of angry voters and eviction laws are generally less restrictive in Republican states, so that would almost certainly hurt the Republican party more and it would hurt them down the entire ticket.

Putting aside notions of morality and common humanity, I would think simple self-interested greed would convince politicians to adopt some populist positions solely to be (re)elected. But the two parties are just so corrupt and beholden to their big pocket financial donners that they won't do it. I wouldn't hold my breath to see if at least one party wakes up to this problem, but I get the feeling that both parties are like ostriches with their heads in the sand over this problem and that they won't even consider this problem until Mid-June or July. Then, maybe, we'll see some new ideas put forth for the election campaign or more likely a temporary extension of the eviction moratorium (got to kick that can down the road!).

Posted by: Kadath | May 2 2020 17:10 utc | 155

The US Government has no standing in terms of infecting people...
and is not to be believed...

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment

Posted by: stevelaudig | May 2 2020 17:44 utc | 156

Posted by: vk | May 2 2020 14:23 utc | 162

"Deaths of 2 workers at COVID-19 stricken S.E. Iowa meatpacking plant confirmed"

No this isn't China, regardless which sides we support - fully justify action or inaction. Democracy past its prime and time for change but not the changes from fake Nobel Laureate.

Posted by: JC | May 2 2020 18:01 utc | 157

'Once Upon a Virus': China Releases a Bizarre Lego-Like Cartoon Mocking US COVID-19 Response


https://sputniknews.com/world/202005021079171972-once-upon-a-virus-china-releases-a-bizarre-lego-like-cartoon-mocking-us-covid-19-response/

Posted by: Virgile | May 2 2020 18:34 utc | 158

karlof1 | May 1 2020 23:38 utc | 100 Doctor K, I agree entirely, but observe that you have described a revolution.

I have observed that revolution is always to be avoided, yet it happens, why? Because when it happen it must, or shall, happen...because no alternative exists in order to continue life.

Posted by: Walter | May 2 2020 18:44 utc | 159

OHH | May 1 2020 18:09 utc | 58

Can't believe people are taking the Trump admin at face value on this. Interesting that no matter how much we'll have people tell us "don't trust the US government" as soon as the government starts attacking China all of the critical thinking flies out the window.

Yes, it is quite extraordinary! Like how anyone can take seriously the USG's "sympathetic" worry over the alleged Chinese ill-treatment of the "poor suffering Muslim Jihadists" in Xinjiang, when you consider how the USG treats the (alleged) Jihadists in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagrham Airbase and in numerous other "Black Sites" around the world, does not mind in the least that their devoted "ally" in the ME routinely and openly tortures and murders Muslims, has sponsored mercenaries to torture and kill hundreds of thousands of Syrian, Libyan, Iraqi, Afghani and Somali Muslims and have themselves displaced millions tortured thousands and killed millions of them! How is that for "thinking in compartments"?!

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 2 2020 18:45 utc | 160

Make what you will of the essay...

fragment > "...According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, in the post-Soviet space, 65 American secret bio-laboratories operate: 15 – in Ukraine, 12 – in Armenia, 15 – in Georgia, 4 – in Kazakhstan. In the United States, such activity is prohibited . Accordingly, the Pentagon, in its own laws, is engaged in illegal activities (in spirit, not in letter). The goal is the creation of biological weapons directed against the peoples who inhabited the territory of the USSR. Fortunately, biological material is “at hand.”...

@ fort russ "REVEALED: Pentagon Bioweapons Laboratories Detected in Developing Coronavirus by Russian Federation"

" EADaily questioned the General Director of the Center for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin."

Posted by: Walter | May 2 2020 19:30 utc | 161

OH my god! ""Trump Signs Executive Order Shielding Nation's Power Grid From Attack"

It's not gonna getting any better

Posted by: JC | May 2 2020 19:38 utc | 162

Walter #161

Thank you for the Fort Russ reference and I really appreciated your sermon on guns, well said.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 2 2020 21:06 utc | 163

The man is priceless! Pepe Escobar writes an article, "The deeper roots of Chinese demonization." Beyond Said's Orientalism, we go further back in time to the early 1700s and begin there. Definitely Post-grad level information, which is why so few know about it and can get fooled by the liars. Read it and become enlightened!

Posted by: karlof1 | May 2 2020 23:27 utc | 164

Thanks karlof1 - Pepe has an insightful historical synopsis of Western analysis of Chinese spiritual thought. I must say I am not sure what the Eastern Christians were saying about China, but the following extract from his essay would be close to it I am sure:

It’s quite interesting to note that Sinophile philosophers and Jesuits condemned by the Pope insisted that the “real faith” (Christianity) was “prefigured” in ancient Chinese, specifically Confucianist, texts.

That is similar to the Eastern Orthodox Christian understanding of all other faiths and enlightened spiritual quests, and indeed in Europe Plato and Aristotle can be found as statues on the exterior walls of cathedrals, western christianity being trained in such philosophers from early Christian times. Not always condemned by popes, even in the west. This more or less follows the understanding of Jewish spirituality as well; truth has many outlets, and the Chines one is a beautiful one. I will say that what is helpful in Eastern Christanity is that there is no infallibilty of pope or bishop. We are all, in essence, directly in relation to Christ.

I have a volume given to me by my youngest daughter, who is Buddhist, consisting of talks between Anglican religion followers and the Dalai Lama - it is called "The Good Heart" and gives a careful comparison by His Holiness of his own faith to a number of Scriptural readings. So, the connections go both ways. The Dalai Lama was very positive that a full understanding of one's own faith, while helpful to compare, ought not be diluted by intermingling the spiritual path one was already on with the tenets of the other. I have found that insight very helpful.

Posted by: juliania | May 3 2020 1:08 utc | 165

i like taoism myself.. i never got into confucianism... maybe i missed out... i studied tai chi for a number of years with a few great teachers... that is my exposure to chinese culture.. that and chinese food which i love..

Posted by: james | May 3 2020 3:22 utc | 166

'resist not evil'... although that quote is in the bible attributed to jesus, it sounds like a taoist approach as i understand it.. maybe it is confucianism too...i don't believe christians practice it though.. maybe i am wrong on that too..

Posted by: james | May 3 2020 3:26 utc | 167

Terrific article at Vox regarding the Wuhan research lab and the theories/accusations that surround it:
https://www.vox.com/2020/4/23/21226484/wuhan-lab-coronavirus-china

One interesting thing I have gleaned is that while no-one disputes that the EPIDEMIC began in Wuhan, there is some skepticism in the scientific community that the coronavirus made its jump from bat to human there.

Basically, the argument goes like this:
a) The coronavirus' original reservoir was bats
b) At some point the virus jumped from bat to human (with an intermediate host or not, whatever)
c) That coronavirus is responsible for the resulting pandemic

The question is whether that virus ALREADY possessed the mutations that allowed it to be both highly contagious and very deadly while it was in the bat.

Or did it make the jump to humans in more benign form, reproducing unnoticed from human to human to human until - BANG! - a mutation occurred that caused it to change from an annoyance to a deadly pandemic.

If it is the former then it is likely that the virus made the pan-species jump in Wuhan (wet-market, lab, whatever) and then everything went to Hell in a Handbasket almost immediately.

If the latter then it is almost certain that Wuhan (not just the lab, but Wuhan itself) isn't where the virus first started infecting humans. It could have been circulating for years until - BANG! - that mutation spontaneously occurred in some unlucky Patient Zero and Handbasket-to-Hell took place soon after.

Apparently virologists are confident they can work out which is which, but it will take a great deal of leg-work.

I'd advise Trump and the Land Whale to cool it for a while and let the Gene Jockeys do their stuff.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 3 2020 5:53 utc | 168

"the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a statement which says that it believes that the virus was a natural development and that it does not know if the outbreak occurred due to a natural contact or due to a lab accident"

So now we are believing US intteligence services?

"The SARS-CoV viruses originally developed in bats but are unlikely to have jumped from there to humans."

Which is I believe the nature of the experimentation that the labs do. Intermediation, Gain of Function..

There seems reluctance to discuss that there is knowledge that the US has been collaborating in these investigations in and around China.

Trump is just trying to get re-elected. All hot air.

His performance has and will continue to be abismal, but there is pretty much no alternative. I will find someone else to vote for but it wont matter.

Posted by: jared | May 3 2020 5:58 utc | 169

@169 jared "So now we are believing US intteligence services?"

Use the source, Luke. The source.

https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/item/2112-intelligence-community-statement-on-origins-of-covid-19
"The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified."

It isn't a matter of us "believing US intelligence services" so much as it is those intelligence services saying that they believe the "wide scientific consensus".

So the SCIENTISTS say that they believe this to be true.
And I for one trust them to have it right.
And that press release is the DNI saying: Yeah, I think so too.

"Which is I believe the nature of the experimentation that the labs do. Intermediation, Gain of Function.."

No, that's not what the Wuhan lab was doing. If there is an intermediate species acting as the host then you have to demonstrate that the Wuhan Institute for Virology was doing experiments involving those intermediate hosts.

No such experiments were taking place, and I very much doubt that the researchers their brought their pet Pangolins in with them when they went to work.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 3 2020 6:16 utc | 170

Yeah, Right | May 3 2020 6:16 utc | 170 "Never believe a story until they deny it." (I F Stone, I think)

Posted by: Walter | May 3 2020 12:26 utc | 171

Just tossing out some thoughts... Proposition: Trump is a White Prider, in the sense that “nobody does it better” as in no race does it better than whites. So whatever Trump does [him being white] has to be the “best”. His is the “best” reaction to the pandemic, to the economy, to “everything”. Yet objective measures and subjective judgments i.e. Trump in his “dark” little heart", prove that for Trump, in many senses “nobody does it worse”. He knows but cannot show or acknowledge the deficient performance because “deficient performances” can’t “be white” because “white does it better”. Looking back to US history there have been some “pretty good” responses by “whites” over the years. The overall response to the 1930s Depression, WWII, building the interstate, building the US educational establishment. “Whites” in the past performed well. They performed extraordinarily well compared to Trump. Trump could, in the old language, be called a “disgrace to his race”. I wonder how much that truth “bothers” him. If color/race/ethnicity is your identity and your “color/race/ethnicity” results in the theme “Make America Great Again” and you have failed, and by all measures he has failed. Ahh, but you might say CV-19 isn’t his fault. Yes it isn’t, but his government’s reaction is, so it is a judgment of his administration. He is a “white failure” and since “white” is the central identity, he has failed by his own lights. This is just “speculatin about a hypothesis'”. Hitler, in his own way, allowed/facilitated the Germans in proving they were not the master race. Trump is doing that for Confederate Americans [as if the outcome of the War to Defend and Extend Slavery wasn’t proof enough as it was the first time a “pure white” nation lost a war to a “mixed nation” [Union Army was 10% non-white; Union Navy was 25%]. Cheers

Posted by: stevelaudig | May 3 2020 13:58 utc | 172

"Blaming China Will Not Restore U.S. Standing"

There is another little problem for America: You can't "restore" what never truly existed in the first place.

America's moral "standing" as the self-styling Leader of the Free World, Land of the Free, Beacon of Liberty, yadda, yadda ... have even less legitimacy than Doctor Donald Trump's medical advice on COVID-19.

Posted by: ak74 | May 3 2020 20:23 utc | 173

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