Chinese researchers isolated deadly bat coronaviruses near Wuhan animal market

Police stand guard outside Wuhan Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, where a number of people related to the market fell ill with a virus in Wuhan, China, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Heightened precautions were being taken in China and elsewhere Tuesday as governments strove to control the outbreak of the coronavirus, which threatens to grow during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Dake Kang)

Police stand guard outside Wuhan Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, where a number of people related to the market fell ill with a virus in Wuhan, China, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Heightened precautions were being taken in China and elsewhere Tuesday … more >

By Bill Gertz – March 31,2020

Chinese government researchers isolated more than 2,000 animal viruses, including deadly bat coronaviruses, and carried out scientific work on them just three miles from a wild animal market identified as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several Chinese state media outlets in recent months touted the virus research and lionized in particular a key researcher in WuhanTian Junhua, as a leader in bat virus work.

The coronavirus strain now infecting hundreds of thousands of people globally mutated from bats believed to have infected animals and people at a wild animal market in Wuhan. The exact origin of the virus, however, remains a mystery.


SEE ALSO: Chinese markets again selling bats — likely source of deadly pandemic — reporters say


Reports of the extensive Chinese research on bat viruses likely will fuel more calls for Beijing to make public what it knows about such work.

“This is one of the worst cover-ups in human history, and now the world is facing a global pandemic,” Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said last week. Mr. McCaul has said China should be held accountable for the pandemic.

A video posted online in December and funded by the Chinese government shows Mr. Tian inside caves in Hubei province taking samples from captured bats and storing them in vials.

“I am not a doctor, but I work to cure and save people,” Mr. Tian says in the video. “I am not a soldier, but I work to safeguard an invisible national defense line.”

Chinese officials have said the virus likely spread from wild animals to people at Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, not far from the Wuhan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national center for China’s bat virus research.

Wuhan is finally stirring back to life after a harsh crackdown on travel and street activity was imposed in late January. The city’s bus, subway and train systems started to run again over the weekend. Shops downtown were operating with some restrictions Monday, although customers were scarce.

But British news accounts also reported over the weekend that some of the stalls at China’s so-called “wet” wild animal markets, as they reopen, have begun once again selling bats and scorpions and resumed questionable practices such as slaughtering small animals right at the site.

Chinese officials refused to provide samples of its coronavirus strains to U.S. researchers shortly after the outbreak became public and did not allow international disease specialists to visit Wuhan for weeks.

Handling bats

The Chinese video “Youth in the Wild — Invisible Defender” records researchers engaged in casual handling of bats containing deadly viruses.

The seven-minute film boasts that China has “taken the lead” in global virus research and uncovered over 2,000 viruses in the past 12 years, the time since the outbreak of the bat-origin virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The deadly virus behind the current pandemic is called SARS Coronavirus-2 and also has been traced to bats.

Prior to China’s discoveries, an estimated 2,284 types of viruses had been found in the previous 200 years, the video says.

Chinese state media outlets revealed that Mr. Tian once failed to wear protective gear in a cave and as a result came into contact with bat urine. To avoid contracting a disease, he self-quarantined for 14 days — the same recommended period for people exposed to the new COVID-19 strain.

Mr. Tian works for the office of decontamination and biological disease vector prevention and control within the Wuhan CDC. According to a May 2017 report by the Wuhan Evening News, Mr. Tian has gathered thousands of bats for research work on bat viruses since 2012.

“Bats have a large number of unknown viruses on their bodies,” he said. “The more thorough our research on bats is, the better it will be for human health.”

The researcher also has gathered viruses from ticks, mice and wasps.

After the incident exposing him to bat urine, Mr. Tian said, he kept a safe distance from his wife. “As long as I am not getting sick during the incubation period of 14 days, I can be lucky to get away with it,” he said.

The Wuhan report said the collection of research samples was difficult, dangerous and hard to fund.

Shenzhen News, a publication of the Guangdong Communist Youth League, described in December how Mr. Tian shuttled through caves and jungles looking for viruses in bats and ticks, called “vector organisms,” in the quest to develop vaccines. The report said the nearly 2,000 viruses discovered in China over the past 12 years nearly doubled the total number of known viruses.

A search of the Wuhan CDC website since the novel coronavirus outbreak contains no reference to Mr. Tian or his work. He has co-authored at least two scientific studies on the Wuhan virus and its impact.

Efforts to reach Mr. Tian were not successful.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not return an email seeking comment.

U.S. concerns

A State Department official said the reports about Mr. Tian and his role in working with bat viruses are concerning.

“He lives and works at Wuhan’s CDC, a few hundred yards away from the Huanan wet market,” the official said. “He is among the small team in Wuhan that has contributed to China’s obsession in recent years with virus hunting and research.”

Some U.S. and international scientists have dismissed reports linking the new virus to one of China’s research labs. They insist the virus jumped naturally to humans and then began spreading from person to person.

But others say a growing body of evidence indicates the virus may have been under study in a Chinese laboratory and escaped, either through an infection of a worker or through an infected lab animal.

Biosecurity researcher Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University professor at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, said the coronavirus behind the pandemic is 96.2% similar to a bat virus discovered by the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2013 and studied at the Wuhan CDC. The virus could have jumped naturally from animal to human but also could have escaped from the lab, he said.

“Bat coronaviruses are collected and studied by laboratories in multiple parts of China — including Wuhan Municipal CDC and Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he told The Washington Times. “Therefore, the first human infection also could have occurred as a laboratory accident.”

Until the recent outbreak, all but two coronaviruses in China were studied at biosafety level-2 (BSL-2) facilities — not the high-security BSL-4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — “which provides only minimal protections against infection of lab workers,” he said.

“Virus collection, culture, isolation or animal infection at BSL-2 with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose high risk of accidental infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public,” he said.

Mr. Ebright said the Chinese video shows Wuhan CDC workers under Mr. Tian’s direction with inadequate personal protective equipment and unsafe practices, including exposed faces and wrists and a lack of goggles or face shields.

Such practices “would pose substantial risk of infection with a virus having transmission properties similar to those of the outbreak virus,” he said.

Mr. Ebright said the 2017 news report and 2019 video suggest several possibilities of accidental infection. They include accidental exposure in caves or field laboratories by those without proper protection, accidental infection during transit from caves or field laboratories, accidental infection inside the Wuhan CDC lab because of poor security, and accidental infection during shared work between the Wuhan CDC and the Wuhan Institute of Virology because of inadequate security at the CDC.

Kenneth Plante, associate director at the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said he doubted the new virus came from a laboratory.

“There’s a lot of conspiracy theories that this came out of a biocontainment facility and things of that sort,” he said last week. “But these viruses are closely related to bats. The actual mechanism of the reemergence of this virus was actually hypothesized back during the original SARS coronavirus,” he said.

But Steven W. Mosher, a China specialist with the Population Research Institute, said China for years has been doing research, detailed in scientific journals, on horseshoe bat coronaviruses that could be harmful to humans.

“They write about collecting SARS-like coronaviruses from horseshoe bats and proving that, like the SARS virus itself, some of these other naturally occurring coronaviruses could infect human beings directly,” Mr. Mosher said. “They write about genetically engineering new and deadly viruses capable of infecting human lung tissue — just like the Wuhan flu does.”

Mr. Mosher called the Chinese government to disclose the research to help health officials cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

China claims that the deadly virus did not escape from its biolab,” Mr. Mosher said. “Fine. Prove it by releasing the research records of the Wuhan lab.”

Covid-19’s meant to be a new Black Death, but in Britain no more people are dying than NORMAL. What does this say about the virus?

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By Peter Andrews 3/31/2020

Many people are waking up to the fact that the Covid-19 “pandemic” is not turning out as billed. When we finally emerge from it, the big question will be how many people have died from the virus. Here’s the most likely outcome.

You can bet that the institutions of international government, and the “experts” advising them, will try to massage and cherry-pick statistics to present the version of events that most closely matches their worst-case scenarios. The fact is, according to their early predictions, we are already long overdue millions of Covid-19 deaths that have failed to materialise.

But even when Covid-19 deaths are recorded, we have seen how it could be that people are dying with coronavirus rather than dying of it. This concept is easy enough to understand, and it encourages one to take a closer look at the breakdown of deaths across an entire society. The more you follow this rabbit hole down, the more interesting the numbers become. It may be somewhat morbid, but it is nonetheless very important.

The most popular twoarticles on the website of The Spectator over the weekend were by Dr John Lee, a recently retired NHS consultant and professor of pathology. He remarks that ‘’we have yet to see any statistical evidence for excess deaths, in any part of the world’’.

How lethal is Covid-19 REALLY? Why massive fatality rates from Italy are MISLEADING

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To check this out, I looked at the British government’s own statistics on total deaths registered weekly across the UK. It shows that in the week ending on the 8th of March 2019, 10,898 people died in total in the UK. This year, in the week ending the 6th of March 2020, the equivalent figure was almost identical: 10,895. Make of that what you will. Statistics are currently available up to March 20, and while there is a lag between the spread of the virus and the resulting deaths, so far only about 1 percent of all mortalities bear any relation to coronavirus, and there is no visible spike. If nothing else, it helps to view the extent of the crisis in proportion – thousands of people die each week, and from the long-term view what we are seeing is not a plague, but a blip.

So when all is said and done, will any additional people die of the coronavirus? And what is meant by extra or additional?

Risk of dying

Understanding this requires a bit of lateral thinking, but it helps to remember that everyone on Earth has a terminal disease: being alive. We all have to go sometime.

Recording exactly how and when we do is a big part of the job of statistician Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter. In a recent blog post, he outlined the concept of background risk. This is obtained by recording all of the people dying in any given year, at any given age. At its most simple, this is the percentage chance a person has of not reaching their next birthday, based solely on their age. Of course, that is not to say that if you are a 40-year-old man you have precisely a 0.2% chance of dying this year – the data are based on averages, and do not apply to individuals.

But nonetheless, across a country or given populations, the averages will be right, and it is possible to predict with great accuracy how many people will die in a given year. In the UK, for example, 600,000 people die annually. But wait a minute! A novel, brand-spanking new coronavirus is terrorising us all. Therefore surely we can expect more people to die this year than would in a normal year? And come year’s end we should be able, with simple arithmetic, to count exactly how many more there were.

In 2009 UK government experts wildly over-hyped dangers of swine flu — is history repeating with Covid-19?

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Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Evidence and Risk Communication at Cambridge University, won’t say exactly what he does think that figure will be. But he does say that if the deaths are towards the lower end of the current estimates, say at around 20,000 in the UK, Covid-19 will end up having ‘’a minimal impact on overall mortality for 2020’’. He told R4 that his findings showed, to his own professed astonishment, that if someone contracts the coronavirus, they’ve got almost exactly the same chance of dying over the ensuing few weeks as they would normally have of dying over the next year, no matter what their age or background health.

And depending on who you ask, that 20,000 figure might still be an overestimate. In fact, Spiegelhalter says that if extra people die it will likely be as a result of the  knock-on effects of the lockdown, such as delayed normal health care, depression and isolation.

American political commentator Candace Owens has been Tweeting consistently about the apparent insignificance of Covid-19 deaths compared to overall trends. She tweeted about this issue in relation to New York City, where meaningless figures are being waved around by the media.

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Final destination

With all of the numbers being bandied about these days by various universities and governments, one would swear that they knew exactly what they were talking about. Make no mistake: this air of certainty is just a front. It is definitely too early to accurately gauge how many – if any – extra people will die because of coronavirus. It will depend on how four key pieces of information intersect.

These are:

  1. How many people will become infected by Covid-19?
  2. How much does Covid-19 increase the risk of death?
  3. Are deaths being properly recorded? Of those people who die having contracted coronavirus, are they dying from the virus, or just with it?
  4. Of those who died, how many had comorbidities that would have killed them this year anyway?

Since all of this began, the mainstream media have focused almost entirely on the first of these points, and stressing with an onslaught of material how important it is to slow the spread. The most extreme possible measures have been implemented to do that. Meanwhile, the three other points could end up comparing Covid-19 pretty much to the common flu. Only careful consideration by governments of all the key factors will result in the best future decisions.

It is hard to believe that when this all blows over, the damage that will have been done by the shutdown measures – to businesses, to civil liberties, to individual lives and, of course, to the global economy – could have been for nothing. Nonetheless, it seems entirely possible based on the present data. Remember above all to not  take the figures the mainstream media throw at you at face value; there are lies, damned lies and statistics.

RETAILERS PREPARE FOR CIVIL UNREST; BOARDED-UP STORES SEEN FROM SOHO TO BEVERLY HILLS

Retailers Prepare For Civil Unrest; Boarded-Up Stores Seen From SoHo To Beverly Hills

In Beverly Hills, the Pottery Barn and West Elm stores near Rodeo Drive were spotted with boards across the windows

By Tyler Durden – 03/31/2020

High-end stores across the country have been boarding up their stores in anticipation of civil unrest due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

In Beverly Hills, the Pottery Barn and West Elm stores near Rodeo Drive were spotted with boards across the windows according to TMZ.

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Meanwhile, stores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Paris, Vancouver and elsewhere were similarly boarded up.

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Thanks, China. 

Hosptital Exec Fired After Discussing Ways Of Ensuring Trump Supporters Get Coronavirus

“Trump supporters need to pledge to give up their ventilators for someone else … and not go to the hospital.”

By Steve Watson – 31 March, 2020

A New York hospital executive has been fired after she posted public comments on social media fantasising about how supporters of President Trump would get the coronavirus and not be allowed to get treatment.

The executive also happens to be, unsurprisingly, a former Hillary Clinton advisor.

Laura Krolczyk, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s vice president for external affairs, made the incendiary posts on Facebook, first sharing an article about The White House being reluctant to foot the $1 billion cost associated with producing ventilators.

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Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute Director of Development Lisa LaTrovato responded to Krolczyk’s post, writing “But will waste more than that on a wall and space force.”

Krolczyk, who worked as Western New York Regional Director for Hillary Clinton’s Senate office for 7 years, wrote back that “Trump supporters need to pledge to give up their ventilators for someone else … and not go to the hospital.”

“Also don’t cash your stimulus check,” she later added, writing “It’s all a hoax. Chew some ibuprofen and be on with your day.”

LaTrovato further responded “I think they should be the only ones in packed churches on Sunday,” to which Krolczyk replied, “They should barricade themselves in there and ride this out.”

Another Facebook user saw the exchange, wrote “Wow, just wow, so your saying we decide who lives and dies based on political views? Great plan (thumbs up emoji).”

Krolczyk then responded “That’s literally what he’s saying. Take your ‘wow’ and comprehend what your hero is saying. Your hero is saying YOU don’t need a ventilator. So don’t take one.”

The whole sorry conversation was then picked up by Republican strategist Michael Caputo, and the hospital was alerted.

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While LaTrovato is still on administrative leave from Hauptman Woodward pending further action, Krolczyk has been terminated by Roswell Park.

In a statement to Buffalo News, spokeswoman Annie Deck-Miller confirmed Krolczyk had been fired.

CEO Candace S. Johnson added that “This behavior is not tolerated at Roswell Park. If any team members act in a way that does not accord with that commitment, we will take swift and appropriate action, just as we did in this instance.”

Someone ought to tell Ms. Krolczyk that when engaging in her daily two minutes of Trump derangement hate, try to do it in private, rather than on her publicly available Facebook page.

Meanwhile, she should definitely make sure she does cash her stimulus check, as it’ll be her only income for a while.

This isn’t a one off. These people are everywhere, and need to be publicly shamed.

‘INCINERATORS HAVE BEEN WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK’: WUHAN RESIDENTS SAY OFFICIAL CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL FAKE

‘Incinerators Have Been Working Around the Clock’: Wuhan Residents Say Official Coronavirus Death Toll Fake

Communist Party reportedly paying off bereaved families to keep silent about true death count

By Jamie White – March 30, 2020

Residents in Wuhan, China are reportedly skeptical of the Chinese Communist Party’s official coronavirus death count of 2,500 in the city, with most believing the actual number is over 40,000.

“It can’t be right…because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?” a Wuhan resident surnamed Zhang told Radio Free Asia on Friday.

“They started distributing ashes and starting interment ceremonies on Monday,” he said.

Over the last week, seven funeral homes in Wuhan have been distributing cremated remains of 500 people every day, according to a source close to the provincial civil affairs bureau.

“Every funeral home reports data on cremations directly to the authorities twice daily,” the source said. “This means that each funeral home only knows how many cremations it has conducted, but not the situation at the other funeral homes.”

In the fourth quarter of 2019 alone, Wuhan saw 56,007 cremations, according to data released by the Wuhan civil affairs agency.

Additionally, photos out of Wuhan show pallets of urns delivered in trucks, with one mortuary receiving over 5,000 urns in a two-day period.

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“Maybe the authorities are gradually releasing the real figures, intentionally or unintentionally, so that people will gradually come to accept the reality,” a Wuhan resident named Mao told RFA.

The Communist Party is reportedly paying families 3,000 yuan for “funeral allowances” in exchange for their silence.

“There have been a lot of funerals in the past few days, and the authorities are handing out 3,000 yuan in hush money to families who get their loved ones’ remains laid to rest ahead of Qing Ming,” Wuhan resident Chen Yaohui said, referring to the traditional grave tending festival on April 5.

“During the epidemic, they transferred cremation workers from around China to Wuhan keep cremate bodies around the clock,” he added.

China claimed Sunday that Wuhan had only 1 new case of coronavirus in the last 10 days.

Since the coronavirus outbreak went global earlier this year, China launched a massive propaganda campaign to deflect blamemitigate the fallout of its global reputation, and hide the true scale of the coronavirus devastation it unleashed.

‘Incinerators Have Been Working Around the Clock’: Wuhan Residents Say Official Coronavirus Death Toll Fake

Italy Risks Losing Grip in South With Fear of Looting, Riots

See the source image

By John Follain – 3/30/2020

As Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte fights to hold Italian society together through a crippling nationwide lockdown, the depressed south is turning into a powder keg.

Police have been deployed on the streets of Sicily’s capital, Palermo, amid reports gangs are using social media to plot attacks on stores. A bankrupt ferry company halted service to the island, including vital supplies of food and medicines. As the state creaks under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, officials worry the mafia may be preparing to step in.

Preventing unrest in the so-called Mezzogiorno, the underdeveloped southern region that’s long lagged behind the wealthy north, has become the government’s top priority, according to Italian officials who asked not to be named discussing the administration’s strategy.

With the European Union’s most dangerously indebted state already fighting the Germans over the terms of the financial aid it needs, the fallout may reach far beyond Rome if Conte fails.

“We need to act fast, more than fast,” Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando told daily La Stampa. “Distress could turn into violence.”

Read More: Europe Gets No Respite From Lockdowns After Deadly Weekend

As the lockdown enters its fourth week, Conte is set to extend containment measures that have shuttered all but essential businesses until April 18 at the earliest, the officials said. He’s also working on a new stimulus package for mid-April worth at least 30 billion euros ($33 billion), following initial measures worth 25 billion euros, they said.

Italy has the highest death toll from the virus, with more than 11,000 fatalities, and almost 102,000 confirmed cases, second only to the U.S. It reported the smallest number of new coronavirus infections in almost two weeks on Monday.

Read More: Italy Reports Fewest New Coronavirus Cases in Almost 2 Weeks

Calls for Help

Within the aid he’s already announced, Conte is trying to channel funds toward the South. Over the weekend he advanced 4.3 billion euros from a solidarity fund for municipalities and added 400 million euros to mayors that can be converted into coupons for groceries. “No one will be left behind,” the premier said in a televised address.

Still, southern leaders are clamoring for more. They say that cash from the solidarity fund was already due to them and the economic damage from the lockdown has brought their region to the verge of a breakdown.

That opens another front for Conte, who is already struggling to stop the Italian health system from collapsing and fighting the European Union for joint debt issuance to help relieve the financial pressure on his government. Italy’s economic output is set to shrink by 6.5% in 2020, according to research group Prometeia.

The lockdown has hit the 3.7 million Italians working in the underground economy particularly hard since they don’t receive a regular salary and have difficulty accessing unemployment benefits. Many of them are concentrated in the South.

See the source image

In the South, “many people live day-to-day, doing odd jobs, like unloading trucks at markets, and they are in trouble,” Stefano Paoloni, a police union leader, said by phone. “We need to be on the alert to see whether there’s organized crime behind social unrest.”

Criminal Gangs

Police have been stationed outside supermarkets in Palermo after at least one group of angry residents refused to pay for their purchases. The private Facebook group National Revolution, which has about 2,600 members, is urging others to stage such raids, according to newspaper la Repubblica. Other social media outlets, including WhatsApp chats, are being monitored, the newspaper said.

Adding to the sense of things breaking down, ferry company Tirrenia CIN on Monday decided to halt all its connections with Sicily, Sardinia and other minor islands because of financial difficulties. The government said in a statement it will ensure that vital goods are delivered.

Read More: Italy’s Links to Sardinia at Risk After Operator Halts Services

Giuseppe Provenzano, who is in charge of the south in Conte’s cabinet, said an emergency handout should also be given to those in the illegal economy. The risk is that organized crime gangs will step in to provide assistance to those in need, filling the gap left by the state.

The government needs to move “without hesitation,” said Graziano Delrio, leader of lower-house lawmakers from the Democratic Party, the second-biggest group in Conte’s coalition. Rome needs “to do whatever’s necessary for the essential needs of families,” he said in an interview.

(Updates with new cases in seventh paragraph.)

Pandemic Historian: Coronavirus ‘a Disease of Globalization’

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) in set-up tents to triage possible COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main Emergency department area at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx on March 24, 2020 in New York City. New York …

By John Binder

The Chinese coronavirus “is emphatically a disease of globalization,” a pandemic historian at Yale University says.

In an interview published in the Wall Street Journal, Yale University’s Frank Snowden — a historian who most recently in 2006 published a book about Italy’s eradication of malaria — details how the coronavirus pandemic is threatening the globalist worldview of free movement of people and free trade.

The interview finds the Journal‘s Jason Willick seemingly admits the coronavirus is tainting globalism and pushing Americans and the peoples of Europe toward nationhood:

Yet while the [bubonic] plague saw power move up from villages and city-states to national capitals, the coronavirus is encouraging a devolution of authority from supranational units to the nation-state.  This is most obvious in the European Union, where member states are setting their own responses. Open borders within the EU have been closed, and some countries have restricted export of medical supplies. The virus has heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, as Beijing tries to protect its image and Americans worry about access to medical supply chains. [Emphasis added]

Snowden told the Journal the coronavirus is a direct result of the globalization of the American economy after nearly four decades of free trade policy initiatives:

The coronavirus is threatening “the economic and political sinews of globalization, and causing them to unravel to a certain degree,” Mr. Snowden says. He notes that “coronavirus is emphatically a disease of globalization.” The virus is striking hardest in cities that are “densely populated and linked by rapid air travel, by movements of tourists, of refugees, all kinds of business people, all kinds of interlocking networks.” [Emphasis added]

Globalization, Snowden notes, has driven the coronavirus to majorly impact the wealthiest of Americans.

“Respiratory viruses, Mr. Snowden says, tend to be socially indiscriminate in whom they infect. Yet because of its origins in the vectors of globalization, the coronavirus appears to have affected the elite in a high-profile way,” the Journal piece states. “From Tom Hanks to Boris Johnson, people who travel frequently or are in touch with travelers have been among the first to get infected.”

The infection of thousands of the nation’s rich and upper-middle-class has driven class warfare in regions like the Hamptons in New York where some of the wealthiest, most liberal celebrities own property.

A report by Maureen Callahan for the New York Post chronicles how the working class staff of the Hamptons’ elite are turning on them as those infected disregard rules and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines:

“There’s not a vegetable to be found in this town right now,” says one resident of Springs, a working-class pocket of East Hampton. “It’s these elitist people who think they don’t have to follow the rules.” [Emphasis added]

It’s not just the drastic food shortage out here. Every aspect of life, most crucially medical care, is under strain from the sudden influx of rich Manhattanites panic-fleeing … — and in some cases, knowingly bringing coronavirus. [Emphasis added]

“We’re at the end of Long Island, the tip, and waves of people are bringing this s–t,” says lifelong Montauker James Katsipis. “We should blow up the bridges. Don’t let them in.” [Emphasis added]

While globalization has delivered soaring profits for corporate executives, working- and middle-class American communities have been left behind to grapple with fewer jobs, less industry, stagnant wages, and increase competition in the labor market due to decades-long mass legal immigration.

Since 2001, free trade with China has cost millions of Americans their jobs. For example, the Economic Policy Institute has found that from 2001 to 2015, about 3.4 million U.S. jobs were lost due to the nation’s trade deficit with China.

Of the 3.4 million U.S. jobs lost in that time period, about 2.6 million were lost in the manufacturing industry, making up about three-fourths of the loss of jobs from the U.S.-Chinese trade deficit.

People who brand China a ‘dictatorship’ are jealous that Beijing beat the pandemic, embassy claims

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Commentators refusing to give China credit for containing the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan and citing ‘Asian democracies’ as better examples simply envy Beijing’s efficiency, the Chinese embassy in France has said.

China, from which the coronavirus spread throughout the world, has largely succeeded in containing the disease, according to official updates. Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, has recorded no new cases in a week and has been lifting the restrictions that helped quash the pandemic.

Beijing sees the outcome as a success story and finds it irritating when commentators in countries currently overwhelmed by the virus insist they have nothing to learn from the Chinese experience. At least that’s what’s suggested in an article published this week by the Chinese embassy in France, where the Covid-19 death toll may soon exceed China’s.

Negative commenters “envy the efficiency of our political system and hate the inability of their own nations to perform as well. So they try to stick the ‘dictatorship’ label on China,” the embassy said.

Instead, detractors praise ‘Asian democracies’ like South Korea, Japan and Singapore, which have been more successful than Western nations in containing the pandemic. However, China, which resorted to more drastic quarantine measures than those countries, has a much bigger population. So its task in fighting the disease was far more difficult, the article argued. Ultimately, the virus doesn’t care whether it is ravaging a ‘democracy’ or an ‘autocracy.’

With the threat of coronavirus diminishing at home, Beijing has been busy building goodwill and sharing expertise with other nations affected by the pandemic, sending doctors and aid supplies to those in need.

Serbian PM: ‘Fake news’ that we don’t appreciate EU help, but Covid-19 aid came from China

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This ‘mask diplomacy,’ as some commentators call it, has drawn quite a lot of negative feedback on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Critics say the help comes with political strings attached, undermines European solidarity, and damages targeted nations’ relations with the United States.

There is also a popular narrative claiming that China has massively misreported the human cost of containing the pandemic. The latest item to fuel it is the reported delivery of about 2,500 urns to a funeral home in Wuhan.

Links to the urns story inevitably popped up in comments to the Chinese embassy’s Twitter feed, after it published excerpts from the article.

 

Abbott Laboratories Launches 5-Minute Wuhan Virus Test for Use in Nearly All Locations

By Jose Nino – Mar 30, 2020

According to Reuters, Abbott Laboratories recently unveiled a Wuhan virus test that can detect if someone is infected in as few as five minutes.

Additionally, it is small and portable enough to be used in practically all health-care settings.

The medical device manufacturer plans to bring 50,000 test kits to the market starting on April 1, 2020 according to a statement from John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave Abbott emergency use authorization “for use by authorized laboratories and patient care settings,” according to a company announcement on March 27, 2020.

The U.S. has had problems to supply sufficient amounts of tests to detect the virus, even as the outbreak is straining hospital resources in California, New York, Washington, and other regions.

“This is really going to provide a tremendous opportunity for front-line caregivers, those having to diagnose a lot of infections, to close the gap with our testing,” Frels stated. “A clinic will be able to turn that result around quickly, while the patient is waiting.”

The technology expands upon Illinois-based Abbott’s ID Now platform, the most common point-of-care test currently available in America. The platform has more than 18,000 units spread across the country. It is generally used to detect influenza, strep throat, and respiratory syncytial virus, a common ailment that generally causes cold-like symptoms.

The equipment can generally be used anywhere, but the company is working with its customers and the Trump administration to guarantee that the first cartridges used to carry out the tests are sent to locations where they are most needed. The prime spots include hospital emergency rooms, urgent-care clinics, and doctors’ offices.

 

 

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