VIDEO: Chinese Factory Worker Caught Contaminating Hundreds of Medical Face Masks

This is part of a trend.

By Shane Trejo – April 2, 2020

A video of a Chinese factory worker deliberately contaminating medical face masks is going viral, as the coronavirus scare continues to heighten.

The factory worker can be seen taking the face masks out of their packaging and rubbing them all over his feet while laughing in the video.

This video emerged on the same day that New York City received a massive cache of facemasks from China under “Project Airbridge” in conjunction with the Trump administration.

The White House stated that a “majority of these supplies will be provided by FEMA to the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut with the rest going to nursing homes in the area and to other high risk areas across the country.” However, it is unclear whether or not these emergency supplies from China are tainted. China has already been shown to be sending poor and ineffective medical supplies throughout the West during the coronavirus crisis.

Officials in the Netherlands were forced to recall hundreds of thousands of faulty face masks bought from China on Sunday:

The Dutch government has ordered a recall of around 600,000 masks out of a shipment of 1.3 million from China after they failed to meet quality standards.

The defective masks had already been distributed to several hospitals currently battling the COVID-19 outbreak, news agency AFP and Dutch media reported. The Dutch Health Ministry has kept the rest of the shipment on hold.

An inspection revealed that the FFP2 masks did not protect the face properly or had defective filter membranes. The fine filters stop the virus from entering the mouth or nose. The masks failed more than one inspection.

“A second test also revealed that the masks did not meet the quality norms. Now it has been decided not to use any of this shipment,” said the health ministry said in a statement to news agency AFP.

The masks were delivered to the Netherlands by a Chinese manufacturer on March 21. The Health Ministry said it would conduct extra testing on any future shipments.

Several hospitals in the Netherlands had already rejected some of the shipment even before the Health Ministry issued the recall.

“When they were delivered to our hospital, I immediately rejected those masks,” a hospital source told Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

Big League Politics has previously profiled Chinese individuals deliberately contaminating public areas during the coronavirus crisis. This included video of a Chinese woman sneezing on produce in an open market and another Chinese individual spitting all over buttons in an elevator.

With murmurs that Chinese coronavirus may be a bioweapon, these disease-spreading cases may not be isolated incidents. They may be acts of war as insurgents spread the invisible threat throughout the globe.

Donald Trump Invoking Defense Production Act to Fight Coronavirus

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By

CHARLIE SPIERING

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday at the White House he would invoke the Defense Production Act.

The act allows the president to expand the supply of resources from American industry to support the fight against the Chinese coronavirus, according to FEMA.

“Just in case we need it … it can do a lot of good things if we need it,” Trump said. Invoking the Defense Production Act would give the administration the authority to speed up the production of needed resources, such as medical masks and hospital ventilators.

Trump made the announcement to Americans at the White House press briefing room on Wednesday afternoon.

The president also said FEMA would be activated on a level one disaster to offer federal support for the coronavirus response.

“FEMA now is fully engaged at the highest levels,” Trump said. “Today, FEMA is activated in every region. We are at level one, level one being the highest level.”

The president praised FEMA for handling recent hurricane response during his administration and promised that they would help significantly.

“This is a very different kind of work for FEMA, but they will come through as they always do,” Trump said.

He recalled the heroism and sacrifices expressed by Americans in World War II and urged people to meet the moment.

“We must sacrifice together, because we are all in this together, and we’ll come through together,” Trump said. “It’s the invisible enemy that’s always the toughest enemy, the invisible enemy, but we’re going to defeat the invisible enemy.”

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Martial law is coming? Washington debunks hoax message about coronavirus telling Americans to stockpile everything in sight

CAP

Americans have been bombarded with fake messages stating that President Donald Trump will declare martial law in days. The government had to intervene to prevent a wave of panic.

The seemingly unstoppable spread of coronavirus has already led the government to declare a national emergency over the deadly disease that has so far claimed 41 lives nationwide, and infected more than 1,600 people across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, certain unsavory characters apparently decided to exploit the already tense situation to stoke more fear in the hearts of Americans and provoke real panic. People across the US received text messages claiming the president is about to impose martial law in a day or two, while urging people to stockpile supplies. This comes as many shops have already reportedly run out of toilet paper among other things.

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The messages, citing insider information from “military friends up in DC,” and warning of nothing less than a “two week mandatory quarantine for the nation,” fell on fertile ground. It immediately became a hot topic on social media as people posted thousands of messages on the topic.

Some rushed to break the “bad news” or to wonder if anyone else received the disturbing message. Others said that many of their friends forwarded the messages to them.

More attentive readers noticed, however, that the messages, which were fake, referred to Trump’s plan to invoke the Stafford Act as the reason for claiming martial law is coming.

In fact, the president already invoked the law two days ago when he declared a national emergency. The government unlocked additional powers and funding for disaster response and involved the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the fight against coronavirus – but nothing close to martial law was imposed.

Still, the impact of the hoax apparently reached such proportions that the National Security Council decided it was time to intervene, posting a statement on Twitter saying the text message rumors were fake.

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However, this was not enough to convince everyone that there is no possibility of martial law being imposed in a week or two.

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Dr. Fauci Warns “Worst Is Yet To Come”: Coronavirus Is “10x More Lethal Than The Flu,” Could Infect “Millions” Of Americans

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Profile picture for user Tyler Durden

Summary:

  • First death in Indonesia

  • Washington State to ban events over 200

  • ‘Waffle House’ employee in Atlanta confirmed

  • Chicago cancels St. Paddy’s Day parade

  • NY sends in National Guard

  • IADB cancels meeting in Colombia as virus spreads across Latin America

  • Mnuchin says first part of virus stimulus plan will be ready in 2 days

  • Dr. Fauci warns virus 10x more deadly than flu and could infect millions if not handled early

  • FEMA evacuates Atlanta office over coronavirus scare

  • 3 Boeing workers test positie

  • Washington DC advises cancellation or postponement of all gatherings with more than 1,000 people

  • Harvard to prorate room and board for students

  • US cases surpass 1,000

  • UK Health Minister catches virus

  • Ireland, Bulgaria, Sweden report first deaths

  • UK total hits 456 following largest daily jump on record (83 new cases)

  • Global cases pass 120,000

  • South Korea reports new outbreak in call center

  • Japan reportedly planning to declare state of emergency

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Update (1220ET): Three Boeing workers have tested positive for the virus, the company said. Though Boeing offered few details, we suspect the employees are probably based in Washington State, where Boeing builds its planes.

In Washington DC, authorities are recommending the cancellation or postponement of all “non-essential” gatherings over 1,000.

As students leave campuses around the country either heading back home or hunkering down finish their classes on line, Harvard just announced that it would “pro-rate” students’ room and board.

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Update (1220ET): With the committee in charge of the Tokyo Olympic Games reportedly planning to suggest that the games be delayed, more images of the coronavirus fears’ impact on international travel are circulating online. Check out this.

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Update (1200ET): The CDC has released its latest batch of “confirmed” US figures: 29 deaths, 987 cases and cases confirmed in 39 states as of 10 pm last night.

  • U.S. CDC – 39 STATES HAVE REPORTED CASES AS OF MARCH 10 AT 4 PM ET VS PREVIOUS REPORT OF 36 STATES

  • U.S. CDC – 29 TOTAL DEATHS DUE TO NEW CORONAVIRUS AS OF MARCH 10 AT 4 PM ET VS 25 DEATHS AS OF PREVIOUS REPORT

  • U.S. CDC REPORTS ITS COUNT OF 987 CASES OF NEW CORONAVIRUS AS OF MARCH 10 AT 4 PM ET, VS PREVIOUS REPORT OF 696 CASES

Around the world, the virus has produced many “isn’t it ironic?” moments, and we just got another in the US when FEMA announced that it would close its Atlanta office after an employee was exposed to the virus.

  • FEMA ATLANTA OFFICE CLOSED AFTER EMPLOYEE EXPOSED TO VIRUS

Over in the UK, a total of 456 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 9am on Wednesday, up from 373 at the same point on Tuesday, the Department of Health said. The jump of 83 new cases is the largest daily jump yet, following the previous ‘largest daily increase’ by only a few days.

Six have died in the UK and tested positive for the virus. Over in Ireland, authorities reported their first death on Wednesday. A 66-year-old Bulgarian woman also succumbed to the virus in the Balkan state, marking the first death there as well.

After the UK Health Minister Nadine Dorries tested positive for the virus, and started showing symptoms on Thursday, the same day she attended an event with the prime minister. Though the UK has elected to keep parliament open, Dorries and a Labour lawmaker who may have been exposed via a meeting with Dorries have decided to self-quarantine.

UK Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood stressed that “we are still in the containment phase” despite an increased number of Covid-19 cases.

She said: “We have identified the first case of community transmission in Scotland which is unrelated to contact or travel. This was identified through our enhanced surveillance scheme.

Sweden has reported its first death from the coronavirus today, with a hospital in Stockholm saying an elderly patient had died in intensive care. Belgium has reported its first three deaths, with 314 cases of coronavirus. Ivory Coast has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, a 45-year-old Ivorian man who had recently travelled to Italy, the health ministry said in a statement. Denmark confirmed a batch of new cases, raising its total to 442.

While Washington State is apparently planning to ban all events with over 250 people, Washington DC has advised citizens to avoid such gatherings.

While

*  *  *

Update (1150ET): Rencap’s Charlie Robertson points out that it took 5 days since the first indication of human-to-human transmission happening at a wide scale in the US, and if our numbers track Germany’s, we should have 3,000 cases confirmed by Friday, and 6,000 by Monday.

Though that rate could double if many new clusters are discovered.

CAP

*  *  *

Update (1100ET): With another day of non-stop breaking news headlines about the outbreak as it spreads across the US, Europe and Latin America, we’ve been having troubled keeping up.

Switzerland reported 148 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, with 645 cases in total, 58 cases in Zürich and 78 cases in Geneva.

Indonesia, an Asian nation that didn’t report its first case until more than a month after the global outbreak began reported its first death linked to the virus on Wednesday as well.

National Guard troops have been deployed to a Health Department command post in New Rochelle. Chicago has followed San Francisco and cancelled its St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In NYC, schools will not close, but parent-teacher conferences will be held via phone.

An employee at a ‘Waffle House’ in Metro Atlanta (Cherokee County) has tested positive for the virus, raising fears about a mass outbreak in Georgia. The store has been closed and 12 employees are quarantining and will continue for a few more days.

CAP

The Inter-American Development Bank postponed its annual meeting in Colombia, which had been scheduled for next week, over coronavirus fears as the virus spreads across Latin America. The Washington-based bank, the top development institution dedicated to Latin America and the Caribbean, announced the decision with Colombian President Ivan Duque on Tuesday evening.

With transports and financials leading equities lower on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, who testified to Congress on Wednesday tried to offer some reassuring details about the White House plan, which remains very much in the ‘brainstorm’ phase. Still, Mnuchin insisted that Trump is standing by the payroll tax holiday to put more money in the hands of workers. The Treasury is also hoping to delay tax payments and leave $200 billion of “temporary liquidity” in the hands of Americans.

Mnuchin said the White House hopes to strike a deal on the first part of the virus stimulus plan within the next 48 hours. His testimony follows rumors about the administration offering a potential ‘bailout’ to the American shale energy industry. Other stimulus actions will take “a week or two” he added.

Importantly, the Treasury Secretary also insisted that no market interventions are being planned (so no PPT?).

In remarks on Tuesday, CDC Director Robert Redfield said that America had lost valuable time tracking the virus; some regions now can merely try to cope with its spread rather than stop it. And during testimony on Wednesday, Dr. Fauci said that when it comes to the outbreak in the US, “the worst is yet to come” because the virus is “10x more lethal than the seasonal flu”.

If the US doesn’t handle the virus outbreak correctly, “many, many millions of people” will get the virus, he said.

The global coronavirus outbreak has hit a new milestone: It surpassed 120,000 cases overnight. For anybody who’s still bothering to keep track, that’s 15x the number of cases from the SARS outbreak, which continued for nearly a year before it finally petered out.

In the US, the coronavirus outbreak has reached a grim new milestone. Thanks to the administration’s scramble to bring dozens of private and public labs on-line for testing across the country, the CDC has managed to confirm more than 1,000 cases of the virus. In the Westchester County town of New Rochelle, the epicenter of the outbreak in New York State, and the largest on the east coast, woke up to a 1-mile exclusion zone and national guard soldiers in the streets.

The town now looks like a “ghost town” according to several reports.

As the number of cases topped 1,000, the number of deaths has also climbed: Officially, there are 31 deaths and 1,039 confirmed cases, according to the Washington Post, which is significantly more than the number confirmed by Dr. Anthony Fauci during last night’s press conference.

Across the US, Washington State’s King County remains the epicenter of America’s worst outbreak, with 273 cases . New York is No. 2 with 176 (13 additional cases have just been announced). After hinting about ‘mandatory measures’ last night that set tongues wagging about the possibility of Italy-style travel restrictions, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is reportedly planning to announce a plan to…ban all events with more than 250 people, according to MyNorthwest.

At a press conference scheduled for Wednesday at 10:15 a.m., it is expected that Gov. Jay Inslee along with regional leaders and city mayors could announce a ban on large gatherings and events of 250 people or more in at least three counties. Any ban would affect upcoming sporting events in the area, including a home game for the XFL’s Seattle Dragons on Sunday.

Inslee has been hinting at this for the past week as a possible preemptive move to curb the spread of coronavirus. Over the weekend, he stated that his office was considering enacting “mandatory measures” in the days ahead.

Monday night on MSBNC, the Washington governor spoke to Rachel Maddow, admitting that soon, the state was “going to have to make some hard decisions.”

He further elaborated on that point during a Tuesday press conference, when he cited the need to “look forward ahead of the curve in Washington state.”

“We need to look at what is coming, not just what is here today,” he detailed, estimating that given limits on testing capacity, experts have told him there could be at least 1,000 untested coronavirus cases across the state.

So much for ‘hard decisions’….

This immense build up, only to announce restrictions that are only ‘slightly’ more comprehensive than the milquetoast event bans embraced by Germany, France, Switzerland and others, brings to mind a tweet we noticed earlier highlighting the sometimes unintended consequences that half-measures can create.

CAP

On the east coast, the State of New York is asking businesses to voluntarily consider having employees work two shifts as well as allowing telework, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in an interview with CNN, the network that employs his brother, where he has been making near-daily appearances in addition to his daily press conferences.

Gov. Inslee

“This is about reducing the density,” Cuomo said. “The spread is not going to stop on its own.”

He also announced 20 new cases of virus, bringing total in state to about 193, with most of the new cases diagnosed in New Rochelle, where the virus has clearly been circulating for weeks.

There have been reports that Democrats are pushing for a national emergency declaration which would trigger  tens of billions of dollars in funding from FEMA to help with the containment effort, and possibly to help grappled with the economic fallout from the outbreak.

Despite a few notable screwups lately (including a collapsed ad hoc quarantine that left roughly one dozen dead and many trapped in the rubble for days, Beijing continues to insist that it is winning the war against the virus, and while the true scope of China’s outbreak might never be known for sure (some have estimated 1 million cases throughout China), officials did report a slight rise in cases on Wednesday which they blamed on ‘imports from abroad.’

Officials reported 24 additional cases of coronavirus and 22 additional deaths on March 10, compared with 19 additional cases and 17 additional deaths on March 9, bringing the total number of cases in mainland China to 80,778 and death toll at 3,158. China’s Hubei province said it will mandate a return to work according to different levels of risk in an orderly manner, adding that key areas of the Wuhan economy will be allowed to return.

After 11 days of falling case numbers, South Korea reported 242 additional coronavirus cases early Wednesday, bringing its total to 7,555, and 6 additional deaths, increasing the death toll to 60, reversing a streak of declines that had convinced many that Korea’s outbreak had ended.

The South has made remarkable progress in fighting the outbreak, however, a new mass infection incident has popped up that is jeopardizing the government’s widely praised response. Earlier, South Korean authorities told Reuters that they had tested hundreds of staff at a Seoul call center where the disease broke out this week. 13 of the infected workers at the Seoul call center used public transportation to commute, leading to at least 90 other people who had close contact with them being infected. Of the 90 cases mentioned earlier, 62 were in Seoul, and all were located near a public transportation hub connecting Seoul with Incheon and other major cities, via which the virus spread.

The spread has even made it into the armed forces, raising new fears about an outbreak in tightly packed barracks

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Elsewhere, Japan is reportedly planning to declare a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak after the number of domestic cases rose by the largest daily number yet, with 59 new cases bringing the total to 1,278, while the total death toll has climbed to 19 and there were 427 discharged from hospital on Tuesday.

Italy’s total coronavirus cases rose to 10,149, from 9172, and the death toll increased to 631 yesterday from 463 in its largest daily jump yet.

FEMA preparing for possible coronavirus emergency declaration

CAP

By Laura Strickler and Suzy Khimm

WASHINGTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is planning for the possibility that President Donald Trump could make an emergency declaration to bring in extra funds and personnel to assist the administration’s coronavirus response, according to internal documents obtained by NBC News.

FEMA officials are preparing for an “infectious disease emergency declaration” by the president that would allow the agency to provide disaster relief funding to state and local governments, as well as federal assistance to support the coronavirus response, according to agency planning documents reviewed by NBC News.

The Trump administration would have to use the 1988 Stafford Act to enable FEMA to provide such disaster assistance. Emergency declarations are most often used in the event of natural disasters but can be used to help manage disease outbreaks.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

“To me this is another indication that the president and the White House are finally aware of the gravity of the situation,” said Michael Coen, who was FEMA chief of staff during the Obama administration. “They need to consider all tools available to them and have contingencies for action.”

“I actually find this reassuring,” said Tim Manning, who was a FEMA deputy administrator under President Barack Obama. “I hope this discussion has been happening continuously over the last couple of months.”

An emergency declaration would allow FEMA to provide disaster medical assistance teams, mobile hospitals and military transport, among other kinds of federal support, Manning said.

FEMA’s disaster relief fund has a current balance of $34 billion, according to the latest agency update. “It’s money that’s sitting there and ready,” said another former FEMA official, who declined to be identified.

FEMA spokesperson Lizzie Litzow said the agency is currently focused on supporting the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which separately declared a “public health emergency” on Jan. 31, allowing HHS to access funds and other resources to aid the government’s virus response. “At this time, there isn’t anything additional to the HHS public health emergency,” Litzow said.

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It would not be the first time the federal government has used FEMA’s resources to assist in a medical event.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton used a Stafford Act emergency declaration for outbreaks of the West Nile virus in New York and New Jersey, ordering up to $5 million in federal aid to supplement state efforts to combat the mosquito-borne virus.

Emergency declarations are distinct from “major disaster” declarations, which are more far-reaching and are typically used for hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.

 

Dr. Drew: Los Angeles Faces Imminent Outbreak of Bubonic Plague

Los Angeles Homeless (Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty)

By Joel B. Pollak

Dr. Drew Pinsky said Friday that Los Angeles faces an imminent outbreak of bubonic plague because of the growth of the homeless population and the failure of state and local authorities to deal with rodent problems.

Dr. Drew made his comments during a Periscope broadcast by Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, who has become a popular political pundit with a daily live audience of thousands of people.

Screen Shot 2019-07-19 at 3.05.19 PM

Dr. Drew told Adams that he had predicted the recent typhus outbreak in Los Angeles, which was carried by rats, transferred by fleas to pets, and from pets to humans.

Bubonic plague, Dr. Drew said, like typhus, is endemic to the region, and can spread to humans from rodents in a similar fashion.

Though commonly recognized as the medieval disease responsible for the Black Death in the fourteenth century, which killed one-third of the population of Europe, the last outbreak of bubonic plague in the U.S. was nearly a century ago, from 1924 to 1925 — also in Los Angeles. Only a “heroic effort” by doctors stopped it, Dr. Drew recalled, warning that conditions were perfect for another outbreak of the plague in the near future.

Los Angeles is one of the only cities in the country, Dr. Drew said, that has no rodent control plan. “And if you look at the pictures of Los Angeles, you will see that the homeless encampments are surrounded by dumps. People defecate there, they throw their trash there, and the rats just proliferate there.”

Moreover, he said, homeless people were defecating directly into city drains, which flowed to the Pacific Ocean. “We have the sewage of 60,000 people hitting the ocean every day,” he said.

Though there were adequate financial resources, Dr. Drew said, homelessness would not be solved by building more housing, because the fundamental problems were mental illness and drug addictions, which created an “attachment to this lifestyle” on the streets.

The city had been successful at absorbing hundreds of thousands of “undocumented immigrants,” Dr. Drew observed, which showed that the focus on housing was a “hoax.”

But changes in mental health policy — partly as a result of public reactions to films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was harshly critical of mental health institutions — had made it much more difficult to commit people to institutional care.

Dr. also said that prison reform initiatives, such as Proposition 47 of 2014– which reduced sentences, but without improvements to rehabilitation — had also played a role by letting more criminals out on the street, some of whom joined the homeless population.

And efforts at relocating the homeless — either to treatment or to prison — ran into lawsuits from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), whom Dr. Drew described as “do-gooders” without any idea about how to solve the underlying problem.

“How many people must die before you change your philosophy?” Dr. Drew asked, rhetorically.

Some, Dr. Drew said, said that the situation in Los Angeles was approaching a national emergency that would require the intervention of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross, and the National Guard. He said that he himself had not reached that conclusion yet, but that he was “ready to pull that trigger if we start to see the diseases that I think we are going to.”

Recently, President Donald Trump threatened to intervene in California’s growing homelessness crisis, prompting L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Governor Gavin Newsom to push back — without offering any solutions.

“I have a government that is ignoring the basic needs of human civilization,” Dr. Drew said, exasperated.

A recent count of the homeless population revealed that it had risen 12% over the last year, to nearly 60,000 people. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who promised to end homelessness when he first ran for office in 2013, has failed to deal with the problem despite local tax hikes to provide additional revenues. He now faces a recall effort over his failure.

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