Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 11, 2020

The Novel Coronavirus Went Global In November - Or Maybe Even Much Earlier?

The first wide outbreak of the Covid-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus was identified in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China. But recent reports suggest that the virus circulated much earlier, and not only in China, than was previously known.

It is known that the virus is genetically ~96% similar to a virus that currently occurs in bats in south China. The genome of the virus has a length of 30,000 nucleic acids. A 4% is difference suggest that 1.200 must have changed through mutations, recombination and natural selection for the differences to evolve.  Experts estimate that it took 20 to 70 years for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its relative in bats to develop from a common ancestor. The development of SARS-CoV-2 likely did not take place within bats but in some animal which has an organism more similar to the human one. The German virologists Christian Drosten, who is an acknowledged expert in coronaviruses, has suggested raccoon dogs as a possible intermediate host.

The genome sequences of the viruses show slight mutations which can evolve with each imperfect replication. The mutations usually do not change the functioning of the virus but they can be used to build a genealogical tree of the virus. Researchers have shown that the first known case in Washington State probably came directly from Wuhan while the prevalent virus types in New York are similar to ones previously seen in Europe and likely came from there.

Such analyses point to Wuhan as the source of the current outbreak and to October as the time of the first jump from an animal to a human. But the data is naturally incomplete, only relatively few occurrences of the viruses get sequenced, and there may be previous mutations no one is yet aware of.

China is still trying to find the first person in China that carried the virus. Old blood samples and radiographic chest pictures of previous pneumonia cases are now being retested and reviewed to find earlier cases.

The South China Morning Post says that earliest known Chinese patient one fell ill on November 17:

According to the government data seen by the Post, a 55 year-old from Hubei province could have been the first person to have contracted Covid-19 on November 17.

From that date onwards, one to five new cases were reported each day. By December 15, the total number of infections stood at 27 – the first double-digit daily rise was reported on December 17 – and by December 20, the total number of confirmed cases had reached 60.

In late December doctors in Wuhan connected six cases of pneunomia which had similar rare progression of the disease and concluded that there was a new bug in town. After it was established that the disease was caused by a new virus a systematic look for earlier occurrences was launched. It is not at all astonishing that previously unrecognized cases were found.

But it was not only in Wuhan that earlier cases were found.

Anecdotal evidence from Bergamo, Italy, that was ravaged by the virus in February, strongly suggests earlier cases:

A “strange pneumonia” was circulating in northern Italy as long ago as November, weeks before doctors were made aware of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, one of the European country’s leading medical experts said this week.

“They [general practitioners] remember having seen very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November,” Giuseppe Remuzzi, the director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, said in an interview with the National Public Radio of the United States.

“This means that the virus was circulating, at least in [the northern region of] Lombardy and before we were aware of this outbreak occurring in China.”

France recently also reported a case in November:

Covid-19 cases in France can be dated back to as early as November 16, nearly 10 weeks before the country’s first confirmed cases of the disease were thought to have occurred, according to a French hospital.

The November case was identified by the hospital’s medical imaging department after carrying out a retrospective study on about 2,500 chest scans performed between November 1 and April 30.
...
In France, some cases were already in circulation in November, said Michel Schmitt, chief doctor of the medical imaging department at Albert Schweitzer Hospital in the town of Colmar in Alsace, near the border with Germany.
...
“[There was a] very slow progression of the pathology’s negative impact until the end of February, then a rapid increase in its impact, peaking on March 31.”

A chest scan that shows a widespread 'ground glass opacity' is typical for Covid-19 patients and differs significantly from scans of typical pneumonia patients.

But archived chest scans are not the only signs that the disease has occurred in a former patient. Subsequent blood tests for antibodies can identify patients who recovered from the disease. That apparently happened in New Jersey:

The mayor of Belleville is making a startling yet uncorroborated claim that he contracted the coronavirus in New Jersey in November, two months before the first confirmed U.S. case in Washington State.

Mayor Michael Melham said he recently asked his doctor, days after a routine physical, to test his blood for COVID-19 antibodies — and got a positive finding on Wednesday.
...
He recounted becoming ill while in Atlantic City attending the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference.

“I was definitely feeling sick when I was there, and fought my way through it," he told NJ Advance Media on Thursday.

After returning home Nov. 21 from the convention, Melham said a doctor diagnosed his worsening symptoms — including a 102-degree fever, chills, hallucinations and a sore throat that ended up lasting for three weeks — as a bad case of the flu.

“I have never been sicker in my entire life,” Melham said, though he acknowledged that he did not have the respiratory problems often associated with the coronavirus.

In a phone interview, Melham conceded he does not know he had the coronavirus.

“Nobody can be sure,” he said.

“But I am nearly certain, for two reasons: I have never been that gravely ill in my adult life, and the antibodies that I have are the longer-term ones, not the most recent ones,” he said.

His test result showed the IgG antibody, which according to Science News lasts longer than the IgM antibody that typically is produced about a week after infection.

Melham said he has done no traveling in recent months, other than a late-January trip to Puerto Rico. He lives alone.

The symptoms the mayor describes, especially the hallucinations which are uncommon in patients with a flu, fit those of a 'mild' case of Covid-19. And while the quick blood tests can have some false positives they only rarely react on antibodies to other viruses. Some enterprising researcher will hopefully ask the mayor for another blood sample and use a more specific laboratory test to give a definitive judgment of the case.

The above show likely and definitely mid-November occurrences of Covid-19 in China, Italy, France and the United States. More such findings from elsewhere are likely to come up in the near future.

That the virus had traveled so far back in November means that it must have been around for much longer than anticipated.

A conspiracy theory by one George Webb had suggested that a U.S. soldiers, Sergeant Maatje Benassi, carried the virus to the Military World Games in Wuhan and had spread it there. The claim has been debunked and in the text below his original video Webb, who is known to peddle disinformation, retracted it while spinning a new conspiracy theory:

I am officially retracting my earlier reporting that Maatje Benassi tested positive for CoronaVirus. I realize now I was being fed bad information to entrap me ...

The Military World Games in Wuhan ended on October 27. It is unlikely that the virus spread from there to come up just two weeks later in completely unrelated persons in four different countries.

One will probably have to go back further to find possible first outbreaks. This July 2019 cluster of pneumonia of unknown cause in Fairfax County now looks awfully suspicious:

A third person has died following an outbreak of respiratory illness at a Fairfax County assisted-living facility that began more than two weeks ago, county health officials said Wednesday.

The outbreak at Greenspring Village in Springfield also spread to the unit’s staff, affecting 19 employees, Fairfax County Health Department officials said.

At a news conference Wednesday at the agency’s headquarters, Benjamin Schwartz, director of epidemiology and population health at the Fairfax County Health Department, said tests, including those conducted on 17 samples by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have failed to identify a likely cause. Tests for Legionnaires’ disease have also come up negative. Officials tested for a range of common virus- or bacteria-borne respiratory illnesses.
...
[In a] notice that went out on July 10 from Donna L. Epps, an administrator at Greenspring, said several residents had been having symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever, coughing and body aches. Epps’s notice, which says the symptoms recede in about five to seven days with treatment but have caused pneumonia, also announced limits on visitors, enhanced sanitation measures and other steps.
...
Late Tuesday, the Health Department gave an updated tally, saying 63 people in the assisted-living and skilled-nursing unit have become sick. The agency said there have been no new hospitalizations since 23 people were admitted after the outbreak began June 30. The agency was alerted to the outbreak on July 8.

Greenspring Village has high ratings and is expensive. They presumably have qualified staff. They isolated early and thereby probably prevented a further spread. The symptoms and the timing of the disease fit to a Covid-19 diagnosis and the patients tested negative for all other known causes. One hopes that the chest scans from the pneumonia patients still exist and can be used to make a definite judgment.

Who the first human was who carried the virus and where it was infected is still unknown. That the virus was first detected in Wuhan does not mean that it originated there. Th experts agree that the virus evolved naturally. The epidemic was certainly not caused by someone who recently ate a bat. It is likely unrelated to the 'wet' farmers market where a cluster of early patients came from. While the virus was definitely spreading there in December it is unlikely that the market is the original place where the virus moved from an animal to a human.

The appearance of cases in November in different global regions points to a much earlier first infection than previously assumed. All the early accusations against China have now shown to be as false as the promotion of the useless but potentially dangerous Hydroxychloroquine as a therapy for Covid-19.

Posted by b on May 11, 2020 at 18:35 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Karl, I don't know what you mean by 'hypothesis'. I'm 73, and so I know that TPTB (they have always been those with the ability to buy coercion or persuasion, and control the 'money supply') can have anyone 'assassinated', in any number of ways. I believe that Satan is the father of lies, and we swim in falsehoods (CNN is on most of the day here!) Cui bono? It seems to me that the 'economy' was on the road to inevitable collapse, and now it's the fault of the virus, and who gets bailouts? Not saying I have proof that 'they' did, BUT, would 'they' do 'it' (any of the nefarious scenarios proposed here), IF they could? What does history tell us..... and, can they? (As Jesus pointed out 2K yr ago, we have a choice of only two masters)

Posted by: Nancy | May 13 2020 2:55 utc | 201

But, I have to add... 'A Paradise Built in Hell' by Solnit to keep hope alive :)

Posted by: Nancy | May 13 2020 3:03 utc | 202

... and... AMEN, Guidoamm!! (BTW, see 'The Chicago Plan')

Posted by: Nancy | May 13 2020 3:22 utc | 203

Q: Who stands to benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Hardly anyone, but certainly anyone and everyone with lots of spare cash. The bigger the cash stash the more politicians, and thus favourable legislation one can own and control.
Tax havens and Swiss bank accounts seem to be the key.
Tax Havens are places which Western governments have declared and agreed to be beyond their jurisdiction. Thus one may 'legally' register a shell company which can then be used to launder undeclared profits on income accumulated outside the tax haven.

If Western politicians were not wholly owned by rich folks then Tax Havens, and Swiss bank accounts, could be exposed, audited, and closed down tomorrow. The fact that this isn't happening is strong evidence that the politicians you vote for and pay, are sworn to do the bidding of people other than voters.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 13 2020 3:35 utc | 204

Hoarsewhisperer

Interestingly, Switzerland is no longer a tax nor, indeed, a safe haven for money. Other former havens too are fast losing ground to, counterintuitively, the USA.

Today, money is finding refuge in the USA not in small part due to FATCA legislation applicable globally.

Hence the reason that the US$ has bottomed in 2008 and has not looked back since.

The corollary to this dynamic is that the exchange value of the US$ is about to increase markedly.

This will put pressure on all those entities that have either sold sovereign debt in US$ or those that have taken loans in US$.

As a by the by, there is even more pressure that is about to build globally as a combination of fiscal misconduct and frost are about to bring about shortages in food staples.

Fiscality, climate change (in the opposite direction as that expected) and waning empire.

What a trifecta. What a time to be alive.

One last thought.

In a deflationary bust, all asset values are affected. Cash is indeed king.

Other than some banks, not many have cash today. So all will succumb to deflation.

The difference is who will be left holding the title to assets.

This shall go on till it cannot go on.

As a by the by, I found it historically interesting that Mayor Cuomo should tell out of work people that they should find an "essential job" if they want to be employed.

Posted by: guidoamm | May 13 2020 4:15 utc | 205

Thank you, karlof1 @ 178 It is late for me, but I will read the Hua Chunling May 8 press conference first thing tomorrow. For now, I will simply absorb the segments you have kindly posted here. Have a good night.

Posted by: juliania | May 13 2020 4:38 utc | 206

Posted by: brian | May 13 2020 0:57 utc | 200 Professor Didier Raoult Releases the Results of a New Hydroxychloroquine Treatment Study on 1061 Patients

No mention of a control group. No statistical validation. No discussion of whether these mild cases might have recovered on their own - note that some cases of older people did *not* improve as shown in the median age of the no improvement group in the table - which is precisely why you need a control group of infected persons whose outcomes were worse and statistical analysis of the comparative results. Nice number of patients, at least - not two- or (low) three-digit cohorts.

This abstract is mostly useless - other than the table nicely breaks out the co-morbidities which can be important. We'll need to wait for the full report - and peer reviewed - hopefully by people with no axe to grind (if any such actually exist in this world.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 5:01 utc | 207

Posted by: brian | May 13 2020 2:13 utc | 206 Zinc-hydroxychloroquine found effective in some COVID-19 patients: study

Why the hell don't they give us the link to the preprint site so we can read it ourselves? These news reports are mostly useless because they don't adequately describe the treatment, the patient selection process, basically nothing. At least the patient count was reasonably high. The reference to "more likely" suggested that someone statistically analyzed the outcomes versus those who didn't take the regimen - although it also implies that they were just comparing the three-drug to the two-drug regimen - which is nothing to the purpose since the question is whether *either* regimen is better than chance. So until someone posts a link to that study - and it's peer-reviewed...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 5:10 utc | 208

Professor Gee@155

Please comment on tghe theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is of zoonotic origin from a bat cave in Yunnan Province. Others such as Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity claim it is engineered which is very possible, however, given that there may be hundreds of bat cornoavirus' there is also a possibility of an unknown bat virus co-infection with the Bat HKU9 virus yielding a copy-choice insertion of the HKU9 furan insertion sequence into what became the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The Bat RaTG13 virus mentioned by many researchers could not be a source for the SARS-CoV-2 virus as it is only about 96% similar. The betacoronaviruses found in pangolins shares “only 90% overall nucleotide sequence identity with SARS-CoV-2 but carries a receptor-binding domain predicted to interact with ACE2 and sharing 97.4% identity in amino acid sequence with that of SARS-CoV-2”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7074995/

Furthermore, “Neither the bat betacoronaviruses nor the pangolin betacoronaviruses sampled thus far have polybasic (furan) cleavage sites.” Found in SARS-CoV-2.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9

The virulence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is due to both its high affinity for ACE-2 and CD-147 receptor sites (receptor binding domains) and the somewhat unique furan cleavage site that enhances virus fusion with the host cell. The virus entry into the cell requires both binding to the receptors and cleavage at the furan protease cleavage site. More specifically, “SARS-CoV-2 appears to be optimized for binding to the human receptor ACE2; and (ii) the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 has a functional polybasic (furin protease) cleavage site at the S1–S2 boundary through the insertion of 12 nucleotides8, which additionally led to the predicted acquisition of three O-linked glycans around the site.”

The authors point out that “Mutations, insertions and deletions can occur near the S1–S2 junction of coronaviruses22, which shows that the polybasic cleavage site can arise by a natural evolutionary process.”
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9

Proteolytic cleavage of the S glycoprotein can determine whether the virus can cross species. “In the case of SARS-CoV , the S glycoprotein is uncleaved upon virus release from cells; it is likely cleaved during virus entry into a cell.” “Acquisition of the furin cleavage site might be viewed as a ‘gain of function’ that enabled a bat CoV to jump into humans and begin its current epidemic spread.
https://www.virology.ws/2020/02/13/furin-cleavage-site-in-the-sars-cov-2-coronavirus-glycoprotein/

Deeper down the rabbit hole it has been reported that “2019-nCoV S protein mediated entry on 293/hACE2 cells was mainly through endocytosis, and PIKfyve, TPC2, and cathepsin L are critical for virus entry.” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15562-9


Apparently, the authors of the Nature article were unaware that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has a very close phylogenetic relationship with the Rousettus bat virus HKU9 from the Rousettus fruit bat in Guangdong province.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123846846000689

The most probable theory is that the spike protein gene of Bat Coronavirus HKU9 is the probable source of the putative insert that adds the RRAR furin site to SARS-CoV-2. The nucleotide code sequence matches and the insertion could be via copy choice errors in cells from a person simultaneously infected with both bat viruses.
http://virological.org/t/tackling-rumors-of-a-suspicious-origin-of-ncov2019/384/4

So the definitive source of the pandemic is a mixed infection of an unknown virus similar to SARS-CoV-2 and the furan cleavage sequence from the Bat HKU9 virus.

“The natural range of the host for Bat RaTG13, closely related to SARS-CoV-2, the microbat Rhinolopus affinis, overlaps that of the Rousettus fruit Macrobat in Yunnan province.” “Microbats and Macrobats are known to co-habit the same caves. This an alternate source of virus for a human infection could be mixed bat guano from such a cave with such a mixed population.”

For more on virus copy choice errors see:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3324781/

This theory that the virus originated in Southern China is supported by the article “Phylogenetic network analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes” which gives the source as coming from Yunnan Province.
https://www.pnas.org/content/117/17/9241

Posted by: krollchem | May 13 2020 5:10 utc | 209

People might find this resource useful...

UCSF Health Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Prevention
COVID-19 Global Clinical Knowledge Base
https://tinyurl.com/y9qu3qs6


The goal of this site is to compile a comprehensive but curated directory of publicly-available practice guidelines, clinical protocols, and other resources related to COVID-19. We hope this resource will encourage clinicians and medical organizations to share knowledge and compare practices with peers.

Submitted resources are reviewed by a team of medical professionals for accuracy and relevance. We do not specifically endorse any resource posted on this site.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 6:13 utc | 210

Interesting *opinion* piece supporting HCQ over remdesivir. I take no position on this argument - unlike many here - except that as I've said before, we need a *good* set of studies on both (and every other treatment, which includes the EVMS treatment I discuss above) and then a decent review study to interpret the results for us laymen. Perhaps that's another case of "good luck with that" any time before, say, five or ten years from now...

A Tale of Two Drugs: Money vs. Medical Wisdom
https://tinyurl.com/yadpyktu

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 6:29 utc | 211

Ah, the same doctor referenced above as author of the "A Tale of Two Drugs" has another *opinion* article on the same topic - HCQ. Again, I have no idea whether her statements are factual, although presumably her quoting the CDC on HCQ is accurate, which in itself is interesting if true.

Doctors and Patients Are Pawns in a Dangerous Political Brinkmanship
https://tinyurl.com/ycpxcjry


On duration of use: “CDC has no limits on the use of hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of malaria. When hydroxychloroquine is used at higher doses for many years, a rare eye condition called retinopathy has occurred. People who take hydroxychloroquine for more than five years should get regular eye exams.”

NOTE: CDC guidelines for use in malaria do not even mention the “fatal heart arrhythmia” hyped in the fear-mongering articles in the media. Rheumatology guidelines for HCQ in lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) do not require a baseline EKG to check heart rhythm, although doctors might order one before prescribing HCQ if needed for a patient with heart disease. SARS-CoV-2 itself, which can damage to the heart, may be responsible for some heart problems now blamed on HCQ.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 6:39 utc | 212

I love this bar!
THX b ...

Posted by: mac | May 13 2020 8:09 utc | 213

Here’s Who’s Dying From Covid-19 in the United States
Data and new research reveal all age groups are at risk, from children to middle age and beyond
https://tinyurl.com/y8ch67qk


“We estimated that 45.4% of U.S. adults are at increased risk for complications from coronavirus disease because of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, or cancer,” according to a new analysis from the CDC. Those at elevated risk include 19.8% of people age 18 to 29 and 80.7% for people over age 80.

As I've pointed out before, the virus may mostly kill older people - but it's because of the co-morbidities which almost *half* of US adults suffer from. More than 25 million Americans have asthma. This is 7.7 percent of adults and 8.4 percent of children. Currently, there are about 6.2 million children under the age of 18 with asthma. Granted, most of them probably never will get this virus - but those who do...


Separately, a new study of children with Covid-19 admitted to pediatric intensive care units in the United States and Canada concludes that while the overall severity of symptoms in the children was “far less than that documented in adults… Covid-19 can result in a significant disease burden in children.” According to the research, published in JAMA Pediatrics, 40 of the 48 children, ranging in age from four to 16, had underlying medical conditions. Two of them died, and three remain on ventilators. /BLOCKQUOTE> Assuming the three on ventilators die, that's five out of 48 - ten percent.

So much for the "we can let the old people die" meme. No one wants to claim a willingness to let kids die to re-open the economy.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 9:14 utc | 214

A more nuanced article on Sweden's method of dealing with the virus than the lockdown detractors here have acknowledged.

What Americans Need to Understand About the Swedish Coronavirus Experiment
Sweden made headlines for never shutting down. Here’s what’s really happening there.
https://tinyurl.com/y7znx7sd


Multiple experts in Sweden I spoke to agreed that because a recommendation made by Swedish leadership is culturally viewed as more of a demand, the freedoms allowed have not resulted in free-for-alls. “There’s a basic misconception that there’s one big huge after-ski party,” said Lars Trägårdh, a Swedish historian. “That’s not true.”

Sweden’s voluntary restrictions policy is made possible by the high levels of trust throughout Swedish society. “We have a lot of social trust and a lot of trust in the institutions, and the institutions have confidence in the citizens,” said Trägårdh. “That’s why we decided to have this voluntary approach as opposed to one that’s more hardcore.”

The photos circulating online don’t fully represent the broader reality on the ground either. “I’ve seen pictures in the newspapers and news media of what looks to be crowded restaurants in Stockholm. What I’ve seen is mostly pretty sparse restaurants. Every other table is empty, and there’s very little business,” said Bo Becker, an economist at the Stockholm School of Economics. “Life doesn’t go on as usual, but maybe the lockdown is less severe than in other countries.”

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 9:22 utc | 215

Pft #184

Crimes against humanity must be punished. We need Nuremberg II trials.

I say we should not leave this offence against humanity unchallenged. Who will be the instigation team to assemble a process?

I Agree with you Pft entirely and my view is that a citizens tribunal be established by some key people with the respect and standing to convene a process. I recall the work of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation see here and here. These were convened as International War Crimes Tribunals to investigate and reveal War crimes in Vietnam and South America. The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation has carried out investigative work in Palestine as well.

There is significant evidence that the Covid-19 assault on humanity has been accompanied by grievous decisions to either withhold evidence, medical capability, material resources etc from both the public and the medical profession. There is also serious conjecture that the virus may have been the result of either or both natural and laboratory designed virus evolution. This is a matter going to the very heart of civil rights, the rights of the child, the obligations of both scientists and medical practitioners to do no harm, the provisions of existing treaties on the use of chemical and biological weapons.

The viral assault is accompanied by an attack by some governments on peoples income, their capacity to provide necessities of life giving food and shelter. This is crime in most nations let alone a crime against humanity. Governments have designed and signed international treaties intended to respect human rights and they cannot then turn to their citizens and say but we wont apply those treaty provisions to you the people that elected us notables.

So I say MoA barflies should call for the assembly of a people's commission to consider the evidence and get started soon.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 13 2020 9:41 utc | 216

(Partisan politics aside)
Texas speaks loud and clear!
The dissenting voices are rising... who do we send the $Bill to?

"Dr Yvette Lozano from Dallas, Texas"-- 57,236 views, premiered May 11, 2020.

https://youtu.be/0SjZAsT43MI

[Btw, local Australian IGA store fully restocked with all shelves including toilet paper! Cafe ready to open, ... just waiting for 'hero' government servants to decide how they can 'lead' in a controlled return from Oz to 'Kansas' after nine-deaths (repeat, just 9 deaths including a couple from a marooned cruise ship!) out of 1/3 of a continent and 2.2-million people shut down and an economy effectively ruined [a Dallas scale basically!] --

... and now the state government (Indian ocean side) is begging China to over-look idiot Federal 'foreign' policy sycophants and their trade-war rhetoric (scripts written in London & Washington DC). Wouldn't it have been easier to just give pensioners and the immune-vulnerable a dedicated Thursday to go shopping? I spent the last decade of my 40-year public service career in state government policy domains -- absolute class of over-paid 'Yes Minister' idiots mostly! ... and on the take, some!]

Posted by: imo | May 13 2020 9:58 utc | 217

No mention of a control group. No statistical validation. No discussion of whether these mild cases might have recovered on their own

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 5:01 utc | 220

I'm not sure I'm all that bothered about the perfection of scientific method, when we're in a state of urgency.

The important point to remember is that HCQ is a very ancient drug, having been approved in the US (elsewhere earlier) in 1955, more than 60 years ago. It must have been taken by millions of people in that time, so the side-effects are well-known and calibrated.

The only question is how effective is it on COVID. Raoult says it is. The cases are "mild", because they've taken HCQ. Raoult has had very few deaths. It can't be that, funnily enough, he only had mild cases, completely different from the profile elsewhere.

There's quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that clinicians have ignored the ban, and given HCQ anyway. Brian mentions some of them.

It may turn out in the end that HCQ is less effective than claimed (but I don't think so), but if it does you no harm, I won't be that bothered.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 13 2020 10:58 utc | 218

Karlof1 @ 168

Our lords and masters do no spend time thinking about Pleonexia, or any other moral or metaphysical matters. They own us. They own the planet. They proceed as sole proprietors. This has worked for thousands of years.The same families have run the show for thousands of years. Minor kerfuffles do not get them excited.

Paradigm change sounds nice, but what is it? Circe thinks Bernie Sanders is a paradigm change. If you are talking about planetary changes that would leave the Earth as unfit habitat for humans, human extinction , well, yes, that will end a lot of arguments. Our lords and masters are singularly unfit to see that one coming. They have been winning, and winning every time, for so long, running the same simple cons for so long, they are going to rest on their laurels until after the curtain comes down. If that is the play we aren’t going to change it.

Watching the COVID drama unfold I am more and more struck by the multitude who are eager to obey, to take orders, to follow orders. Yesterday or the day before someone here posted a video of a robot police dog in Singapore, enforcing social distancing. People in the park were in stark fear of that bucket of bolts. And they complied. And ran. All I could think of was Lear in the storm and his couplet “Behold the great image of Authority,/ A dog’s obeyed in office.” Nothing has changed. Fearful plebes run from dogs.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 13 2020 11:25 utc | 219

karlof1 | May 12 2020 16:25 utc | 134

Your notion that 'the trolls' are employed by Big Pharma is confusing, since you start to rant about bad people wanting to get the economy moving again, as if that's what Big Pharma trolls would be pushing. Nope! As Posner said in that excellent Renegade Inc. program, it is to Big Pharma's profit advantage to ratchet up fear of Covid-19. This is what I see many of Big-Pharma-purchased politicians doing, despite the statistics, which show that the virus is not dangerous to healthy under 60s who receive decent medical care.

Posted by: fairleft | May 13 2020 13:25 utc | 220

Nancy | May 13 2020 2:55 utc | 203 (Satin, the dark side...)

People used to say, as Quakers especially, "tell the truth and shame the Devil"...and "Speak Truth to Power"...suggesting that Power is liable to be seduced and curated by Dark Forces, if we are silent.

Posted by: Walter | May 13 2020 13:43 utc | 221

Who is Karl Love?

Posted by: Vypur | May 13 2020 13:46 utc | 222

bevin | May 13 2020 2:23 utc | 201

Poor Mr. Galbraith misses that Covid-19 is not dangerous to healthy under-60s who receive decent health care. That's the key to a sane Covid-19 policy and to economic recovery.

Of course, Galbraith is not the only clueless mainstream figure. Keeping mainstream thought clear of the positive facts about how incredibly low Covid's mortality is for the majority of the population seems to be official state policy in most countries.

That must make Big Pharma very happy. But I'm sure they paid well for that happiness.

Posted by: fairleft | May 13 2020 13:49 utc | 223

Still waiting for an admission from 'b' for his initial severe mispronouncements on this issue...

Posted by: anon-indic | May 13 2020 14:02 utc | 224

Posted by: Laguerre | May 13 2020 10:58 utc | 220 The cases are "mild", because they've taken HCQ. Raoult has had very few deaths. It can't be that, funnily enough, he only had mild cases, completely different from the profile elsewhere.

That is not correct. *By definition* the cases are "mild" because they are treated in the early stages - before serious extreme shortness of breath. They are serious enough to be admitted to hospital, yes, but still not in the late stages - which means it is entirely possible they could have recovered on their own.

You say it can't be that he had only mild cases... Well, that is the *point* of having a control group of patients who are *not* given the same treatment. That is *how* you determine whether the successful outcomes are statistically significant or not. No one can rely on any scientist simply saying, "Gee, it worked for them so it must work for everyone."

This is common sense.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 14:04 utc | 225

Gosh! These people really knows how to live!

Every time I see these people they are dancing, chanting or demonstrating against fascist government of Netanyahu:

Ultra-Orthodox Jews celebrating the Lag Baomer holiday last night in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, despite the Israeli government's ban.

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1260321798413062149

Well, after all, I start feeling that, for to die of nausea, seclused into a 50m2 apartment only keeping the right to go working for a meager wage, after the coming cuts applied, I would prefer to die like these peoppe, having a good time...at least, or travelling spending my savings before they are stolen by a foreign hedge fund..,

Israeli police have detained more than 300 ultra-Orthodox Jews in Mount Meron for skipping emergency measures and causing riots..

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1260326072337534982

Btw, has someone the data related to the pandemic in Israel? Why are they not in the graphics of the Johns Hospskins? is it that they do not have a system of epidemiological watchdog? Or is it that it´s they who are watching?

Netanyahu to implant tracking microchips under children's skin before lifting confinement

I have the disturbing feeling that it was certain countries which were selected for testing through the "live exercise", those especially including China, Italy, Spain, Iran, France, Germany, UK and the US...Each one for different reasons....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 13 2020 14:05 utc | 226

Ionophores facilitate zinc entry to cell nucleii, where they can stop Covid RNA replication.
Two other ionophores, available without presciptions, to take with zinc, are quercitin and EGCG-- the extract from green tea.

Posted by: James | May 13 2020 2:06 utc | 205

How zinc can stop a coronavirus replication by entering cell nucleus, when these viruses do not enter the nucleus?

It is totally unclear that zinc supplementation works literally in tandem with anti-malarial drugs. Zinc is needed for majority of transcription factors and in many enzymes, so when a cell responds quickly to ANY condition, it has to synthesize a lot of new protein molecules that contain zinc. For example, in poor countries, zinc supplements were decreasing case of pneumonia and diarrhea in children (who were getting the supplements). Organism needs iron almost exclusively in hemoglobin, but with the amount of hemoglobin in the organism, this creates a big, steady need. Among other proteins, more than 1000 contain zinc, ca. 900 transcription factors (indeed, in nucleus), 300 enzymes etc.

For this reason, it may be a good idea to add zinc to any therapy in a case of infection.

Anti-malarial drugs could interfere with binding of the virus to the cell receptors.

I would make a comparison with supplies needed by an infantry unit 100 years ago. You need bullets, shoes, bandages etc., but it does not mean that bullets enhance the action of shoes or bandages. But bandages and shoes TOGETHER were protecting feet, and infantry with damaged feet was "less effective" (before socks with elastic fibers). Essential supplies may be used together or not.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 13 2020 14:08 utc | 227

Meanwhile...in liberal paradise Singapore, put as example in the first weeks of the pandemic for its ability to curtail the outbreak....

The Singaporean Minister of Health has confirmed 884 new cases of COVID19, for a total of 24,671 across the country. Singapore plans to test the 323,000 migrant workers living in the crowded neighborhoods where the new outbreak occurred.

https://twitter.com/descifraguerra/status/1260253168019046400

For you to test that this virus just understands of social classes, that the most affected neighborhoods everyhwere are those where people live in overcrowded buildings, sharing some common spaces, that the virus kills mainly working class and poor people, being them infected or at home or at job place...

Recall that fat BoJo was saved....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 13 2020 14:13 utc | 228

Guidoamm wrote

"Second: the monetary authority is independent of government."
++++++++++++++++++++++
Well sort of. The govt creates and can destroy the
monetary authority at will and Congress passes law that the monetary authority must follow if it wants to not be terminated.
++++++++++++++++++++++

"Third: our monetary system is predicated on debt. This means that every new unit of credit or money that comes into existence, requires collateral as guarantee AND is owed back to the monetary authority at interest."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
When things are working normally bank loans create bank deposits. The deposits and currency are liabilities of the banking/monetary system and loans are its assets. In normal times the two are roughly equal but in times of crises when the monetary authority employs QE then the monetary system acquires more liabilities than assets as can be seen on this graph
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Fourth: Credit and money originate from a point zero and radiate out towards the periphery. Interest migrates from the periphery towards the centre. Ergo; profit migrates from the periphery towards the centre.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
What you are describing is like a black hole that sucks everything into its point location. That of course would be unsustainable and would soon lead to a fatal concentration of all wealth boiled down to a single locus.
The most obvious thing that was intended to prevent this fatal concentration was the creation of 12 separate federal reserve banks with each having numerous satelites. There are other measures like Glass-Steagall and the Community Reinvestment Act that attempt to keep the money cycling and not develop fatal clots.


Posted by: jinn | May 13 2020 14:35 utc | 229

*By definition* the cases are "mild" because they are treated in the early stages - before serious extreme shortness of breath. They are serious enough to be admitted to hospital, yes, but still not in the late stages


Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 14:04 utc | 228

This is really nonsense. I don't take mild to equal early stage. Mild is mild, either asymptomatic or mild symptoms at the time they were treated. The patients treated with HCQ only advanced to late stage serious symptoms in very rare cases. I.e. the treatment worked. In an emergency, such as we have, where many people will die, the full panoply of scientific testing, with control group who are allowed to die, and double-blind peer review (when the peers have got time), isn't really essential for a drug that is known to be safe through 60 years of use. The only issue is: does it work on COVID? And the answer is, yes, it does, some of the time at least. That's good enough for the present emergency. When the crisis is over, you can go back and run the full battery of methodology.

There are very distinct anecdotes that both the US and the French military have successfully used it on their people, without permission from the top authorities. Fauci et al are scandalised.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 13 2020 14:41 utc | 230

jinn @ 232

The theory is one thing. Practice is what we have to live with.

Leverage guarantees the black hole effect because leverage does not take into account the loans/deposit ratio.

When augmented with leverage, the exponential dynamic inherent in debt guarantees that financial value runs away far ahead of any amount of GDP implied. Financial value manifests in a series of bubbles that burst sequentially thereby inducing the "evaporation" of financial value.

When people ask "where did the money go" as a bubble bursts, the answer is that the money was never there. It was "value".

Hence the inevitable deflationary bust that transfers title to assets and wealth towards the centre of the system.


Posted by: guidoamm | May 13 2020 15:07 utc | 231

H.Schmatz | May 13 2020 14:13 utc | 231

Singapore in fact is doing extremely well. The Covid-19 mortality rate is among the world's lowest, 0.093%.

And yes, it is mostly young migrantnlaborers whonare coming down with the virus, but they are NOT dying.

As of late April (as usual, honest data showing age categories is difficult to find, further breakdowns separating those with pre-existing conditions is impossible to find), no one under age 64 had died of the Coronavirus in Singapore. Same old story, it's NOT dangerous to healthy under 60s who receive decent health care (Singapore, unlike the US, has a decent or even good health care system).

"For those who are 80 and older here who tested positive, about one in five has not survived the virus infection.

"At least 39 people in this age group have been infected, and eight have died, accounting for more than half of the 14 deaths that Singapore has suffered so far.

"In addition, all 14 deaths involved people aged 64 to 95, showing just how vulnerable older people are to the disease."

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/spores-covid-19-death-rate-low-but-seniors-vulnerable

Posted by: fairleft | May 13 2020 15:16 utc | 232

@ 229 h. schmatz.... israel data - 16,539 cases +10 new for today.. 262- deaths to date... 12,173 recovered...
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

Posted by: james | May 13 2020 15:28 utc | 233

i have been to signapore.. if any city state reminded me of a police state - signapore would be it.. mind you, i was only there for 1 day, but they seem to have really adopted the british mindset of rules for this that and the other thing...

@ 229 h schmatz... i replied to your post, but it seems it is being held in moderation...

Posted by: james | May 13 2020 15:30 utc | 234

ptb | May 11 2020 19:47 utc | 7

If one believes the theory based on Zhang's findings, that the Pangolin COV is transmissible to humans, then customs workers, animal rescue workers, and research scientists handling this group of pangolins would be at risk of exposure.
Yes, but don't forget the smugglers and the people they bought the pangolins from and their contacts.

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 13 2020 16:39 utc | 235

Richard Steven Hack | May 11 2020 23:30 utc | 40

I am reserving judgement until there is a review study that confirms the proper replication of the treatments on a statistically adequate number of patients across a significant number of studies.
This is the hand book for hospitals that the Chinese published to help other doctors deal with covid -19.

Handbook on Covid-19 for hospitals.
https://www.yuque.com/zhc90h/zb4qcq

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 13 2020 18:28 utc | 236

Actualization in times of pandemic of famous Goya paint "La Gallina Ciega"

https://twitter.com/jlmartinnogales/status/1260564718168801282

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 13 2020 18:58 utc | 237

oldhippie @ 221

"...They have been winning, and winning every time, for so long, running the same simple cons for so long, they are going to rest on their laurels until after the curtain comes down. If that is the play we aren’t going to change it..."

No, that is not the play. But you are right that we won't change it -- they will. That is, the forgers of the new economy will, but having a construct ready to take over when the dollar goes into free fall. And too, our former 'masters' will change it by simply continuing to kick the bloody and now rusting can down the road. At the end of that road, and we are approaching it rapidly now, is a steep cliff which we the ordinary proletariat do rightly to back away from. Deride us if you must (I'm old but I never was, thank God, a hippie) but yes, we conserve, we are cautious, we follow the rules, we set examples of sobriety. We aren't fearful because we know our days are numbered; but we don't take chances because every day is a miracle and a precious moment of our lives which we savor to the utmost.

Posted by: juliania | May 13 2020 19:51 utc | 238

Not 'but' -- 'by'.

Posted by: juliania | May 13 2020 19:53 utc | 239

guidomann wrote:

When augmented with leverage, the exponential dynamic inherent in debt guarantees that financial value runs away far ahead of any amount of GDP implied.
_________________________________________________
You changed the subject slightly.

It should be obvious that if leverage is used to fund the purchase of financial assets those assets will inflate in price greatly. If the leverage is not used for financial assets and is used instead for funding new production then financial assets stay in proportion to GDP.
That is of course currently the fundamental weakness in western economies.

So when firms issue bonds and use the money to buy back their own stock then stocks become over-inflated while obviously production stagnates. That practice used to be illegal and will likely become illegal again when the recent damage this practice is eventually realized.

Richard Werner does a good job of explaining these malfunctions in the economy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC0G7pY4wRE

You are correct that the boom and bust cycles that are the direct consequence of the instability that results from the mismatch of financial assets to productive assets is the mechanism, for those who can take advantage of it, to transfer wealth from others to themselves.
But just like a virus if the parasites become too lethal to the host the parasites will die also.


Posted by: jinn | May 13 2020 20:35 utc | 240

Oh my god! Tracing the origin is such an obvious red herring. Very stupid thread.

Posted by: Rory | May 13 2020 21:37 utc | 241

Juliania @ 242

I am not deriding anyone. Sorry if you took something that way.

Our masters have been here before. The part of this situation that revolves around a pandemic and a collapsing economy is nothing new to them. They are simply not concerned. Our new masters will be our old masters. The forgers of a new economy will be the same as the forgers of the old economy.

Karlof had posted some links about people dying from excessive wet bulb temps and about atmospheric carbon dioxide not going down just because emissions have gone down. Well, this is not a climate site and is a place where I have seen the conversation stopped cold by deniers. But if you do follow climate science at all it is damn hard to deny that the die is cast. It would be nice if we would all be kind to each other on the way down. But don’t expect it. The managers of the descent will be the same bankers and war pigs we know so well.

As a trivial example of the long game I am thinking of go to any of the free online genealogy sites and run Obama. Obviously you only do the mother’s side. Basically Obama is a Stanley. His mother’s first name is a family name.That would be the Stanleys who installed the Saxe Coburg Gothas on the English throne. And before that installed the Tudor dynasty on the English throne. And that is only what they have been doing lately. Obama goes straight back to the Kings of Mann in the ninth century. After that it is mythology as much as history but his line does go back to Old King Cole and to pre-Roman Britain. Everyone thought they were getting a bright fresh face and new blood when they voted Obama. You are never getting that choice. Ever. Hillary and Trump have bloodlines as long as Obama’s and all three are cousins a hundred times over. It is a big club and you ain’t in it.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 13 2020 22:58 utc | 242

oldhippie @247--

Yeah, it's tough when you finally figure it out but you're to old to lead the revolt. Climate-wise, I did my bit when relocating to our retirement location, slashing our carbon footprint and all that. Got awakened to the economic jiggering in the oughts and reconnected it to Empire and the Money Power I began studying in the late 1960s. I see the Ideological War. I think it does humanity a disservice for Putin and Xi to proclaim they have no ideological conflict with the Outlaw US Empire when elsewhere they've detailed the lines of conflict, which is repeated in their national media. I don't think their citizens are fooled either. I think they actually see the problem much as we do--intractable in the short term--so they're playing the Long Game, hoping they can erect a geo-economic wall that will see them and their peoples/region through the change when it arrives. Yes, there're minor points upon which we don't completely agree, but that's the norm. We only get one life to live, and it sucks when it's messed with; so, we struggle to make the best of our life--provided we learn to do so, which alas too few people learn until it's too late.

Life ought to be about the pursuit of wisdom and bliss, not about material things aside from those required. That those goals aren't taught at any educational level reveals the state of our society.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2020 23:52 utc | 243

Posted by: foolisholdman | May 13 2020 18:28 utc | 239 Handbook on Covid-19 for hospitals. https://www.yuque.com/zhc90h/zb4qcq

Thanks. I already had that in PDF format.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2020 23:58 utc | 244

Posted by: fairleft | May 13 2020 15:16 utc | 235 it's NOT dangerous to healthy under 60s who receive decent health care

Sigh...how long will you ignore the *fact* that *millions* of US citizens are at risk due to underlying co-morbidities, and that these people range across the age spectrum?

But no, you're a troll who just keeps repeating the same assertion over and over...oblivious to facts.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 0:01 utc | 245

Posted by: Laguerre | May 13 2020 14:41 utc | 233 I don't take mild to equal early stage. Mild is mild, either asymptomatic or mild symptoms at the time they were treated. The patients treated with HCQ only advanced to late stage serious symptoms in very rare cases. I.e. the treatment worked.

Once again, the *only* way to prove that these early stage patients had outcomes improves by the treatment is to have a control group which did not receive the treatnment. Period. End of story. *By definition*, an early stage patient can *not* have his outcome predicted in advance. One can *observe* that the outcomes are better, but one can not *prove* the outcomes are better without having a control group. This is basic science.

"isn't really essential for a drug that is known to be safe through 60 years of use. The only issue is: does it work on COVID?"

And the *only* way to *prove* that is to have a control group. The safety of the drug is *not* relevant. It is standard practice to re-purpose drugs used for other diseases, but there has to be some *evidence* other than observation of a limited number of patients. That evidence requires a control group.

"And the answer is, yes, it does, some of the time at least. That's good enough for the present emergency. When the crisis is over, you can go back and run the full battery of methodology."

I *agree* that the treatment should be used if the attending physician feels its is safe enough for his own family. I would ask for the treatment myself should I get the virus - or at least I would before reading the EVMS Protocol which now treats HCQ and AZ as "optional". As for the EVMS protocol, we need proper *evidence* for that, too, which I have yet to see adequate numbers for.

But continually asserting that it *does* work is *not* backed by sufficient *evidence*, only by clinical observation. And since you weren't there, you do *not know* that it works and cannot logically assert that it does.

"There are very distinct anecdotes that both the US and the French military have successfully used it on their people, without permission from the top authorities."

"Anecdotes" are not *evidence* and are thus only useful to point the way toward a justification for a proper analysis to obtain legitimate evidence.

"Fauci et al are scandalised."

That's not relevant to my point. I couldn't care less what Fauci or Trump thinks.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 0:14 utc | 246

Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 0:01 utc | 251

So because you didn't read the word "healthy" in my description of the truth about Covid-19 (which I note you do not deny), you've stupidly decided I'm a troll.

And I'm not writing about Amerikkka moron.

Posted by: fairleft | May 14 2020 0:35 utc | 247

Posted by: fairleft | May 14 2020 0:35 utc | 253 So because you didn't read the word "healthy" in my description of the truth about Covid-19 (which I note you do not deny), you've stupidly decided I'm a troll.

No, you've been pushing this "only the elderly are at risk" *crap* since forever. *Of course* healthy people are at limited risk. That's been known since almost day one from China. As soon as the first statistics came out, we knew that *most* people don't die from it.

What you *deliberately* have ignored and continue to ignore is the number of people who *are* at risk from re-opening the economy too soon. I have cited the *millions* of people who are at risk several times in these threads. The numbers aren't hard to find. And every expert who has written about risk factors since the first statistics came out have pointed that out.

But it doesn't fit your agenda, so you ignore it.

"And I'm not writing about Amerikkka moron."

Nice try. You were referring to the Galbraith piece in the top post which is explicitly referring to the US. Moron.

Typical troll behavior. Deflect, deny, make counter accusations, continually re-assert the same positions no matter how many times they are debunked.

Why b hasn't kicked your ass to the curb is beyond me. Few people here are posting more nonsense than you - and you have even less actual evidence.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 2:26 utc | 248

Richard Steven Hack | May 14 2020 2:26 utc | 251

I've seen your type before. The bully, who because he agrees with the proprietor, _thinks_ he's allowed free reign to spew blind hatred and harass dissenting opinion off the site. What if that's not true here, Rich, wouldn't that be something?

Please note the process in our interactions:
me: post facts about Covid-19 that disagree w B's narrative.
you: attack me personally (i.e., calling me a troll) and launch 'attacks' based on irrelevant facts (i.e., pretending the fact the US has many folks with 'co-morbidities' is somehow relevant to or an attack on the following fact: "Covid-19 is not dangerous to healthy under-60s with access to decent medical care.")

Luckily and unlike you, b still generally seems to have an adult, tolerant attitude toward facts and fact-based arguments that disagree with his point of view. You could learn a lot Rich by adopting b's attitude, and my fact-based approach. And lay off the red herrings. They'll give you emotional indigestion.

Posted by: fairleft | May 14 2020 7:26 utc | 249

Brian
Since FB and Whatsapp (owned by FB) have started sending alarms to people who had posted so-called "fake news" on any sort of topic, it is possible that some alternative news websites are trying to survive the wave trying to bury them for good. Since the keyword for HCQ is easy to scan, maybe that is a reason this site and another one I read (Les Crises) have been totally anti HCQ since day 1 it was discussed.
I would suggest that he/they don't need to use twitter. Go underground!

Posted by: Mina | May 14 2020 9:04 utc | 250

George Webb's theory was debunked by CNN (ahem), but that still leaves one curious fact unexplained: how come those 200 U.S. "athletes" at the Games in Wuhan came 35th (!!!) in the medal rankings. The U.S. has not had such a dismal performance for decades, if ever.

So, were those people really athletes? If they were not, why were they sent there? Could George Webb have been right for the wrong reasons?

Posted by: Ernesto Che | May 14 2020 10:48 utc | 251

@255 Well, 35th place is pretty poor. Granted.

But the USA is not a powerhouse in the Military World Games, as their TOTAL medal count over all the games places them in 12th place (North Korea, Ukraine and Kenya(!) all rank above them), and the USA has never topped the medal count in any one of the games so far.

Clearly it has never been high on their priority list.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 14 2020 11:41 utc | 252

@256: I can understand the military games are not high on a U.S. priority list. But then again, being in the den of what is described as the #1 enemy, I find it hard to believe the U.S. would send 5th rate athletes. If they would have sent say 3rd rate athletes who would have come somewhere in the top 10, I could buy the "low priority" premise. But 35th ……

Posted by: Ernesto Che | May 14 2020 12:28 utc | 253


Posted by: foolisholdman | May 14 2020 21:48 utc | 258

Translation from Chinese with Yandex

"Comrade, relax!Most people on that site are with you.Even those who are conservative are mostly reasonable.There are a few stupid people that just ignore them."

Posted by: JC | May 14 2020 22:24 utc | 254

Posted by: Jen | May 12 2020 20:20 utc | 171
Posted by: Grieved | May 12 2020 22:41 utc | 183
Posted by: foolisholdman | May 14 2020 21:48 utc | 258

...a following up to my post first trip to China early 90s business and pleasure (family) and witness it grew and prosper.

I knew the corruptions and many other unhealthy practices. I met up with commies City senior party members and political secretary, invited them to my place of business..... We had no interests sharing political ideas or doctrines, only business. Then I was in chemicals and oil field supplies business. I haven't been to China, but I am impressed at the speed and changes. I was one the very few foreigners been in Shanghai when Pudong old airport first open.... 1993 almost 30-yr ago. Shanghai Pudong airport changed. Than, foreigners including OBC not permitted to Yuan except FEC (Foreign Exchanged Certificate) and stayed in designated hotels. That make me a Pioneer.

Frankly, had I met up or introduced to Jack Ma in Hangzhou (I still love Hangzhou tea) or the many of the successful Chinese businessmen today I would never have parted my cash...

What make me keen in today China...my mother (in the 50s) cried when dad a staunch KMT forbid her sending food to her only living brother.... Time has changed. My sincere wish and believe the civil wars long over Taiwan and Mainland must unite and repelled the evil’s empire.

Posted by: JC | May 15 2020 0:00 utc | 255

Mighty good discussion at Joe Rogan Experience on the high death rate among Somali immigrants in Sweden and other metabolism functions and their role in body resilience.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 15 2020 10:51 utc | 257

G'day b,

I've read something like this before:

"the first known case in Washington State probably came directly from Wuhan"

Is there any definitive proof of this? I ask because if you look to the top-left of the main display graphic here:

http://cov.genometracker.org/

then click on the 'USA:Washington' blob on the map in the 'Collection Site' box, one sees mostly red points clustered around H44, itself a sub-type of H13 = Forster's type A. As you probably know, the dominant strain in Wuhan is type B, so IMHO, there is a much reduced probability of a somewhat rare A coming to Washington from majority B Wuhan? rgds

Posted by: skrik | May 15 2020 15:56 utc | 258

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