We gotta talk about Joe Biden’s cognitive decline because his US media cheerleaders won’t… it’s so like the sad fate of Brezhnev

Mercy is rarely granted to high-profile politicians. They’re either lauded or pilloried, there’s no in-between – it comes with the territory. But someone has to make an exception for Joe Biden.

The Democratic nominee has served his country, whether you agree with his values and opinions or not, proudly and with distinction. He entered the Senate in 1973 to represent Delaware and went on to become vice president during Barack Obama’s reign.

But this is a man who, at 78 years old in November, is close to the end of his road; he’s not one who should be preparing for four or even eight years at the White House.

The reason why is quite simple: he is cognitively not there any longer.

This is no laughing matter, or a political point, or a vehicle to mock him with: mental decline is a sad, tortuous process to watch, particularly in someone of his standing.

Earlier this week, Biden staggered on stage in his home state saying: “Good Afternoon everyone. Welcome to Kingswood Community Center.” The event was at William ‘Hicks’ Anderson Community Center.

After losing his focus for a few seconds and genuinely looking lost, he uttered: “I didn’t know where we were.”

For someone on the move a lot, it can be easy to get places mixed up – rock stars are regularly caught shouting out a city, totally different to the one they are actually playing. This wasn’t that, Biden didn’t have a clue where he was.

The heartbreaking element is that you can see he senses it, he realizes himself. That he’s aware of these episodes must be terrifying for the poor man.

It is far from an isolated incident.

Speaking not so long ago, Biden said during an event: “He’s saying that it was President…(pause)…my boss.” He knew he had worked for President Obama, but just couldn’t recall his name.

Then during a TV interview, when asked about Covid-19, he stated: “We have to take care of the cure, that will make the problem worse no matter what.”

At a presidential rally in South Carolina, he announced: “Where I come from, you don’t get far unless you ask – my name is Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate. Look me over, if you like what you see, help out. If not, vote for the other Biden.”

There’s one particularly chilling theme that will chime with anyone who’s seen elderly relatives suffer mental decline. Biden loses his train of thought regularly, it’s the most obvious indicator – you’re talking away and they end up silently staring into space.

It happened to Biden during one session on TV and after a bit of mumbling, he had to say the only words he could: “I don’t know.”

The only thing saving him from complete humiliation time after time are the printed notes, auto-cues and his off-camera staff. When he freezes, he loses his gaze and then eventually clicks back into gear thanks to these props.

Another crutch is that he often holds a pen or even a small notebook – which can figuratively convey the sense of being in control.

Some may label all this as hypercritical or even blatant scaremongering, but it’s eerily similar to a harrowing speech delivered by Soviet ruler Leonid Brezhnev in the last months of his reign.

His New Year address in 1979 would make even his biggest enemy sympathetic. His speech is slurred, his staff talk to him like a child, he even changes glasses as he can’t see – it’s incredulous that at the time, he was the leader of a superpower.

It’s reckoned at the time he was addicted to alcohol and sleeping pills, and suffering from the aftereffects of minor strokes.This all leads to problems with general cognitive behaviour, and within a short time other people were running things for him, before he died in office in 1982.

President Ronald Regan was another world leader whose age caught up with him. He died of Alzheimer’s fifteen years after leaving the White House in 1989, but one of his sons is sure that he felt the onset of the disease began when he was still in office.

In his book about his father, Ron Reagan wrote: “My heart sank as he floundered his way through his responses, fumbling with his notes, uncharacteristically lost for words. He looked tired and bewildered.”

Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill is another whose deficiencies were concealed.

It was only after his death that it became common knowledge that he had suffered a stroke during his second stint at premier in the early 1950s. Some feel Churchill had a neurological disease related to Alzheimers but that is refuted by the International Churchill Society, who say it was progressive dementia.

These three juggernauts prove that 77-year old Biden is only succumbing to what so many others have. The thing is, they were all from another era when prestige and power were held as the be-all and end-all.

It’s 2020 and times have changed.

The man’s dignity and health has to come first. He clearly needs care, and shame on the charlatans sending him on this presidential campaign.

That’s his campaign staff and party members who are out banging the drum for him. They may feel the end justifies the means to rid the American people of the deeply divisive Donald Trump, but it doesn’t.

Aside from politics, Biden is a husband, father and grandfather.

Let him live out the rest of his days with dignity, as a proud man, not as a laughing stock. The mainstream media, a lot of whom are liberals with a Democratic leaning, also need to assume culpability too.

Why aren’t they discussing this openly and sensibly, pleading for some humanity to be shown? Instead, the left-leaning Democrat-supporting media simply ignore it, while those on the right snigger away insidiously on podcasts or review shows.

They should be taking a stand and letting the whole Democratic machine know that this isn’t humane. Instead the left-leaning media act not just as cheerleaders for him, but have basically become part of his campaign team, covering up the reality.

They’re out there, pushing his campaign and ignoring his slip-ups and the reality of his mental health, and putting a frail old man in harm. Just because they hope to claim part of the applause for booting Trump out of the White House. It’s cruel.

Fox News’ Chris Wallace tried to get a one-to-one interview with Biden and would no doubt have grilled him hard. It would have probably shattered Biden’s bid and let everyone see how badly he is struggling mentally. But what happened?

Wallace revealed: “In our interview last week with President Trump, he questioned whether his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, could handle a similar encounter. This week, we asked the Biden campaign for an interview and they said the former vice president was not available.”

Joe Biden is a political puppet. An unwell one. The puppet masters need to stop and let the gentleman enjoy his golden years with grace and dignity.

Source: Chris Sweeney – RT

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

In latest anti-government protest, hundreds amass outside Netanyahu residences

Hundreds of anti-government protesters gathered on Friday outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem and outside his private residence in the coastal city of Caesarea.

The demonstrations were the latest in a series of near-daily protests against the premier, calling for his ouster over corruption charges, amid widespread frustration over the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and ensuing economic crisis.

Uniformed police and plainclothes officers were on the scene and closely monitoring weekend demonstrations after several recent rallies devolved into violence.

Friday’s protests were peaceful and even included a modern dance troupe performing in the street.

The anti-government demonstrators were planning on holding a Shabbat service at the Jerusalem rally on Friday evening, as they have for the past several weeks, the Walla news site reported.

About 100 people attended the Caesarea protest.

The ongoing protest movement was also set to expand abroad on Friday with a rally planned at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

Organizers said the event was being held “in support of our Israeli brothers and sisters, who protest on 250 bridges in Israel and in the cities’ squares, with the intention of saving the Israeli democracy.”

A demonstration was expected to take place at the Israeli embassy in London on Sunday, and a small rally was held last week at the embassy in Berlin, Walla reported.

Protesters have for weeks been holding regular rallies outside the Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem, as well as in Tel Aviv and other areas, calling on the premier to resign due to his indictment on corruption charges. They have been joined in recent weeks by people protesting the government’s economic policies during the coronavirus pandemic, with crowds in the thousands and rising.

Recent protests have seen an alarming spike in violence, with attacks by right-wing counter-protesters, and scuffles between anti-government demonstrators and police.

On Thursday night police detained some 16 suspected far-right activists after a rally by an extremist Jerusalem gang saw journalists and others attacked, though police managed to prevent the group from approaching and possibly assaulting anti-government protesters.

The rally by Beitar Jerusalem soccer fan club La Familia at Jerusalem’s First Station entertainment complex was planned as a counter-demonstration to a nearby anti-government protest against Netanyahu. It came amid an uptick of attacks on anti-Netanyahu protesters by suspected far-right assailants, including a bloody assault in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

The far-right counter-protesters on Thursday chanted “Death to leftists,” hurled rocks and assaulted journalists, breaking a camera.

On Tuesday, a rally outside Public Security Minister Amir Ohana’s home in Tel Aviv turned violent when suspected far-right assailants were seen hitting demonstrators with glass bottles, clubs and chairs and spraying them with mace. Organizers of the protest said five people were hospitalized, including two with stab wounds to their backs. Later reports said 10 people were hospitalized.

Five suspects were released to house arrest on Thursday, with a judge said to accept the defense’s argument that the altercation had been a brawl between the two sides, “who had provoked each other,” and not an outright attack against protesters.

The Tuesday violence drew widespread condemnation, including from opposition figures who blamed Netanyahu for inciting it. Netanyahu and some of his supporters have spoken out against the anti-government protesters as “anarchists.”

On Saturday night, police arrested far-right activists, reportedly members of the group, who allegedly attacked protesters. Protesters also reported being attacked by far-right hooligans at smaller demonstrations in the south of the country and near Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu is on trial for a series of cases in which he allegedly received lavish gifts from billionaire friends and traded regulatory favors with media moguls for more favorable coverage of himself and his family. The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, accusing the media and law enforcement of a witch hunt to oust him from office, and has refused to leave office.

Header: Israelis protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem on July 31, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Source: TOI

Israel promoting purchase of coronavirus drug found to be ineffective

The Health Ministry is attempting to purchase a drug to treat COVID-19 patients, even though the manufacturer has said it is not an effective treatment and does not reduce mortality from the illness. The ministry has asked to buy more inventory of the medicine, Actemra (Tocilizumab), an immunosuppressant that is mainly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The Health Ministry wants to buy the drug, which is already in use in Israel, through an accelerated purchasing process at a cost of over 11 million shekels ($ 3.23 million).

On Tuesday, the ministry’s pharmaceutical division asked for an exemption from the regular competitive bidding process to buy Actemra. “According to current professional literature, the medicine reduces the chance of death by 45 percent and [leads to] a clinical improvement in coronavirus patients,” states the purchasing request.

Despite what the ministry wrote, the manufacturer of Actemra, pharmaceutical giant Roche, issued an update on Wednesday concerning the third stage of its clinical trial for the drug.

Roche said the medication did not meet the primary goal of the trial in improving the “clinical status of patients with COVID-19 associated pneumonia or … reduced patient mortality.”

The phase 3 clinical trial of the drug was a “global, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled” study. This means neither the patients or the doctors knew who was receiving the actual drug and who received a placebo, and included a control group of patients. The study was coordinated with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services, and conducted in dozens of medical centers in the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel.

The Health Ministry was asked whether it would reconsider its plan to purchase Actemra in light of the results, but the ministry said it would not. The Health Ministry said that a number of hospitals in Israel “are using the medication successfully and are reporting positive results,” and the drug is in routine use in the health system for treating other patients – so it will be used in any case, even if not for coronavirus patients.

Actemra was highlighted at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic as one of the most promising experimental drugs for patients in serious condition suffering from severe pneumonia. Many doctors, in Israel and around the world, used it over the past few months, sometimes in conjunction with steroids, while studying its scientific effectiveness. The drug acts on the immune system and is intended to rein in its overactivity – a reaction known as a cytokine storm – that also appears in some serious coronavirus patients.

In the cytokine release syndrome, the body is responding with large numbers of white blood cells and inflammatory cytokines – which leads the body’s immune system to overreact and cause serious harm – in the lungs and in other organs. Actemra suppresses the action of a type of cytokine (IL-6) and is supposed to help restrain this excessive immune response.

There is still no effective, official, scientifically proven treatment for COVID-19. The process of finding and institutionalizing the toolbox for the illness is complicated and elusive, and drugs that seemed to be suitable early on have been found to cause harm in certain situations. Treating the disease is extremely complicated; sometimes the timing of a particular medication regimen can be the difference between a case’s improvement or deterioration.

Until a proven treatment can be found, patients are being treated with drugs meant for other diseases – while trials are being conducted around the world to test their effectiveness and safety. One of these drugs is Remdesivir, the antiviral drug from Gilead

Sciences that in some cases has been reported to cut hospitalization time of patients in serious condition by up to a third. Remdesivir has also been reported to have improved the condition of patients in milder condition by lowering oxygen saturation in the blood.

But the use of the drug for the coronavirus is still controversial. The Health Ministry recently bought 22 million shekels ($ 6.46 million) worth of the drug, and now wants to buy more Remdesivir for another 51 million shekels ($ 14,98 million).

Other experimental treatments currently in trials include Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant used to treat a large number of illnesses.

Preliminary results from a British study last month showed that a low dosage has reduced mortality among patients on ventilators by up to a third. The timing of the treatment with Dexamethasone is critical: While it helps patients in serious condition, it may be dangerous for patients in less serious condition.

Anticoagulant drugs are also now part of the COVID-19 treatment protocol, after the discovery that one of the most noticeable characteristics of the disease is over-coagulation.

Some coronavirus patients in serious condition have been given a transfusion of antibodies from patients who have recovered, but the results of this treatment are still unclear, as the patients are still receiving other treatments at the same time.

The Health Ministry said that as part of the global attempts to find a treatment for the coronavirus, many treatments have been undertaken using drugs used to treat certain other diseases to examine their possible effectiveness on COVID-19 patients. “This is the case for Actemra too, because it acts in a manner that shows a possibility of effectiveness for coronavirus patients who are experiencing a cytokine storm,” the ministry said. “In addition to the company’s announcement, there are other recent reports that show a 45 percent reduction in mortality for patients on ventilators, among other things.”

The ministry added that a number of Israeli hospitals that are “using the drug with success and report positive results. The drug is still in trial stages as a possible tool for treatment that is available to doctors based on their judgment. Of course, additional clinical trials are still required with a larger number of patients in order to determine the effectiveness of the preparation and its place in the algorithm of treating the disease.” In any case, if it is not used for coronavirus patients, it “will not be wasted” because it can be used for treating other patients, said the Health Ministry.

Source: Ido Efrati – HAARETZ

The biggest anarchist on Balfour Street

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines anarchism as a “cluster of doctrines and attitudes centered on the belief that government is both harmful and unnecessary.”

There is one person who clearly embodies this worldview in Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Nobody does more damage than he to the legitimacy of the regime and its institutions.

Nobody has caused greater destruction to the government, Knesset, political parties, army and law enforcement more than he has.

Left-wing activist Jonathan Pollak and his peers at the protests in the West Bank village of Bil’in will have to forgive me, and the anarchists of the “Jerusalem faction” of ultra-Orthodox Jews will have to as well, but they can only be jealous of the man from Balfour Street who has trampled the national flag even more than they have – and with greater success.

It’s no surprise that Netanyahu and members of his court are calling those who protest against them “anarchists.” The encyclopedia says that political rivals called each other this back in the days of the French Revolution. But in Israel of 2020, the protest is in reverse:

The protesters want a strong state and not to be free of authority or of the rule of law and order.

They want the prime minister to face his criminal trial the same as any other citizen would, for the government to take care of the unemployed and of the businesses that have gone under during the coronavirus crisis, for enforcement of social-distancing regulations to be transparent and made clear to the public at large.

But Netanyahu insists on neutralizing the checks and balances that still limit his rule and on replacing the political system with “direct action.” And on shaking up the country – instead of leading a stable and responsible government that bows to its laws and their representatives – with an ongoing revolution.

It seems as if the book that has influenced Netanyahu the most is Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead.” Like the book’s protagonist, Howard Roark, Netanyahu also studied architecture, before he switched to business administration. But even after he went from designing buildings to leading a country, he stayed faithful to Rand’s philosophy, like his friends on the American right.

Like Roark, Netanyahu believes that geniuses like him must be exempt from the limitations placed on simple, less exemplary people.

He believes that the masses must recognize his special talents and clear his path, rather than place obstacles in his way – among them “the attorney general,” “the Lahav 433 unit of the police,” “the treasury’s budget director” or the “state comptroller’s permits committee.”

The clauses in criminal law regarding corruption were intended for the “riff-raff,” not for him.

People such as Likud lawmaker Yifat Shasha-Biton, who demand authority and adhere to protocol, are bothersome flies to him that need to be banished.

While his competitors clawed their way up the ranks by their fingernails from squad commander to army general, or from the backbenches of the Knesset to some junior government portfolio – Netanyahu sprung almost directly to the top and always looked down on other officials and institutions. Their significance, in his eyes, depends on the political needs of the moment, and as long as he sits in his seat he will seek to destroy them.

That’s how it went with Netanyahu’s failed proposal to annul the role of the presidency in order to prevent Reuven Rivlin from getting the job, with his opposition to the chief of staff in the affair of Elor Azaria, the so-called Hebron shooter, and with his demand to revoke the Knesset’s role of monitoring the government.

The climax was, of course, the speech of his life that Netanyahu gave at the opening of his trial: Who are you to judge me, he demanded to know, as he declared war on the country’s law enforcement agencies. Instead of the institutions we know from our dusty old civics textbooks, Netanyahu has created a regime of direct rule via his son Yair’s Twitter account, right-wing media critics and organizations such as the Kohelet Policy Forum. These channels compete with each other in their mockery and derision of established legal institutions and political and economic systems. And it’s all for the sake of the leader, despite the verifiable certainty that he will kick them out too, if and when the need arises.

All that remains is to wait and see, whether like Rand’s Roark, his idol, Netanyahu also winds up destroying the building at the end of the story, as a real anarchist would.

Source: Aluf Benn – HAARETZ

China completes its global satellite navigation system rivaling GPS, GLONASS & Galileo

BeiDou-3 was inaugurated after its final satellite completed in-orbit tests and joined the network earlier this week.

This means that China now has its own independent global navigation system, similar to GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and EU’s Galileo.

China has been developing BeiDou since the mid-1990s. Its network gradually grew to 35 operational satellites, with the last one launched on June 23 (the 55th satellite in the Beidou family).

According to Xinhua, the system has already been in use in various fields, including transportation and agriculture. The news agency said that BeiDou-based services are used in more than 100 countries and regions.

Source: RT

France sees huge rise in positive test results for coronavirus

As the French government continues to insist that another lockdown is not under consideration, cases continue to rise, with 1,377 new diagnoses made in the last 24 hours, The Guardian reports.

16 people died in the same period, taking the country’s death toll since the outbreak of the epidemic to 30,254 people.

The increase cannot be attributed to a rise in the number of tests performed; 27% more tests are being conducted, but the number of positive results has increased by 54%.

More than half of those tested positive showed no symptoms. The number of those hospitalized has increased, but the figures for those requiring intensive care are so far remaining stable.

Also, Spain said its daily rise in cases was the highest since its lockdown was lifted in June.

French health authorities reported 1,377 additional confirmed cases of coronavirus on Thursday, one day after identifying 21 new clusters, bringing the total to 147.

Spain reported 1,229 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, topping 1,000 for the second day in a row. It also marked the biggest rise since its lockdown was eased on 21 June.

Amid resurgences of the virus across Europe and Asia, the French health minister, Olivier Véran, insisted the country was not in the grip of a second wave but urged people to maintain distancing and protection measures.

Several French cities announced new face mask requirements and other measures on Thursday to contain the virus. Authorities in Saint-Malo in Brittany, a popular tourist destination, said masks were mandatory inside its walled old city and on the ramparts for everyone aged 11 and above.

Warning that shutting the country again would be a “catastrophic” economic and social event, the French prime minister, Jean Castex, said at the weekend another full lockdown must be “avoided above all”.

Source: The Guardian via Arutz Sheva

‘The biggest fraud: The COVID-19 vaccine swindle’

It was originally assumed that only those who had previously been infected by the virus and developed an antibody response had any immunity, hence the initial focus on testing for the presence of these antibodies as well as infection69,-70. However, studies of antibodies in formerly infected patients demonstrated accuracy issues-71 which subsequently could be explained instead by the antibodies’ rapid decay in recovering patients.-72 The often disappointingly low levels of antibodies in population samples is often used as evidence that herd immunity is not a realistic goal without a vaccine. This is not correct.-73

At the end of May there was a significant breakthrough in understanding of COVID antibodies which was not widely reported: a Swiss study from Zurich led by Professor Onur Boyman-74 demonstrated that a large proportion of the population had a natural immunity through existing antibodies on the mucous membrane (IgA) or cellular immunity (T cells), likely to have been acquired through previous exposure to coronaviruses such as influenza or the common cold (the absence of exposure to previous coronavirus is now thought to explain the opposite effect in 1918-75).

The study found that that the presence of (IgG and IgM) antibodies generated on infection which tests had previously focused on, were NOT in fact required to defeat the virus and that existing (IgA and T cell) antibodies that gave a natural immunity. Moreover, the population with this natural immunity was demonstrated to be five times greater than those with the IgG and IgM antibodies on which tests had hitherto focused. If this could be substantiated, then the population already exposed to COVID would also be five times greater than previously assumed-76. In other words, if a population sample showed 10% had IgG and IgM antibodies (which might be subject to decay) then it was likely that at least half of the population had already been exposed to COVID.

It followed that antibody studies that measured only IgG and IgM that were now predicting population-based mortality risk of 0.1% to 0.5%-77 (lower than the 1% in the elderly population aboard the Diamond Princess) could be even further reduced by a factor of five to 0.02% to 0.1% and the level of symptomatic exposure from 20% to below 5% (consistent with the flu season ironically predicted by Fauci in March). Not only would this mean a further similar reduction in the estimated true mortality rate-78 but it meant that there were far fewer people in the population who had never had exposure to the virus, so a far lower number who could potentially catch the virus in the future-79. In short, the infamous herd immunity was much closer than previously realised.-80

This explained why, by July, the virus had all but disappeared in populations like Sweden, New York (Fig. 7) and Wuhan (which reportedly tested its entire population of 11 million and found only 300 cases, all of which were asymptomatic)-81 which were significantly affected by a “first wave”: if the ratio of those with IgA and T cell antibodies to IgG and IgM antibodies across population was confirmed at a factor of five then if 20% of the population had traditional IgG and IgM antibodies (such as New York with 21% and London with 17%-82) then the virus died out because there was simply no one left for it to infect. It followed that the virus could only survive in population samples where testing showed the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies was below 20% (and allowing for their decay probably well below).

Nobel Prize winning biological scientist Michael Levitt had already come to the same conclusion based on a different approach: he predicted that the virus would “burn out” when it had infected 15-20% of the population though based on a pattern predicted by the “Gompertz curve”-83 which indicated that the number of deaths after the peak is roughly double those from before-84 resulting in Levitt accurately predicting the number of Chinese-85 and Swedish deaths-86 months in advance-87. Levitt has recently bravely predicted that US COVID will “be done in 4 weeks [25 Aug] with a total reported death below 170,000”-88, compared to 149,000 today-89.

Boyman’s theory on “IgA and T Cell immunity” explained the accuracy of Levitt’s “Gompertz curve” predictions and this was now being backed up by the empirical evidence which showed that the populations which were hit hardest with high initial rates of infection and mortality, were the ones where the virus had almost disappeared.

Almost none of this was reported by a media which choose instead to attach the misnomer “second wave”-90 to outbreaks of COVID infection in populations-91 which had not yet experienced any meaningful “first wave”: the Sunbelt states in the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan. The irony was that the vulnerability of populations which had not yet seen meaningful infection outbreaks and therefore the fallacy of lockdown had already been predicted by Levitt-92 and Giesecke-93. It was also logical that population groups where IgG and IgM antibodies were still significantly below 20% would continue to see infections.

COVID had become particularly political in the US. Despite the anomalously poor Democratic New York and New Jersey records on COVID mortality (Fig. 6), there was hysterical reporting of rising infections, from very low levels, across Republican states (Florida, Texas and Arizona) which had largely avoided severe lockdown restrictions. The same rising trend could also be observed in Democratic California which had been subject to lockdown but was largely avoided in Republican Georgia which was notable in its lockdown defiance (Fig. 10). The suspicion remains that infections will continue to rise irrespective of lockdown until populations have reached herd immunity at which point the virus will largely disappear. The anomalously high death rates of New York and New Jersey could be explained by their being affected at a much earlier stage before better understanding of hospital treatment and curtailment of infection in care homes . As hard as the lockdown fanatics looked, there was no correlation of infections or mortality to lockdown policy.

Fig 10. Analysis of US states and coronavirus-94

It was a clear misnomer to label rising reported infections in the US sun belt as a “second wave” if these states had never suffered from a “first wave” and rises in infection rate were a predominantly caused by more widespread testing of mostly younger people testing positive for COVID with no symptoms. It must also be borne in mind that “case numbers” are simply people reported as testing positive for COVID, almost entirely without symptoms, with no commensurate leap in hospitalisations or mortality, which has been conveniently ignored as not fitting the narrative. This also led to doubts about whether test results were being accurately reported with reports that some clinics were not reporting negative test results-95 and others reporting cases as simply “probable infections”-96 with individuals having some of the symptoms of COVID but not having been tested.-97

We must also note that although infections in Arizona, Florida and Texas have seen a similar spike to that witnessed in New York, the mortality remains mercifully lower to a substantial degree (90%) (Fig. 11) which can only be explained by rising testing of a younger population median (since the hospitalisation rate is also lower), better hospital treatment and an improved care home policy (at which New York and New Jersey were anomalously poor). Although we should clearly expect mortality rates to rise in the sun-belt states from very low levels, it is likely that overall mortality remains well below New York levels and beings to taper off when infections begin to peak (which according to Levitt is still a few weeks away).

Fig 11. COVID “first wave” infection curve of AZ/FL/TX similar to New York but mortality 90% below-98

We should also expect the mortality rate to reduce further as hospital treatment has evolved. We now know that invasive use of ventilators in fact caused COVID deaths which was particularly unfortunate-99 given the initial scandalous news reports on their initial shortage-100,101 and in the US questionable financial incentives for nursing staff to use ventilators-102,103. Doctors have also realised that the specific cause of death in many cases is pulmonary embolism, which can be treated though cheap and well-established blood-thinning medication. Several studies have also shown early intervention with the use of zinc-104 and malaria drug hydroxychloroquine-105 in combination-106 has an immediate significantly reduced hospitalisation rate, of up to 80%-107 and mortality by 50%-108. There is a great irony that the mortality rate could be reduced to almost zero by proven inexpensive drug combination, though this is not necessarily in the interests of the pharmaceutical industry which would prefer there to be a need for costly new drugs and vaccines.

Yet inexplicably we still hear the daily groupthink catechism that the only “long-term solution” to beating COVID is a vaccine, often without any understanding of the historic limitations of vaccines particularly in the immunisation against coronaviruses (there is still no vaccine against the common cold and vaccines against influenza are patchy in their effectiveness).-109

A significant obstacle to a successful vaccine is the rapid degradation of IgG and IgM COVID antibodies meaning that even a successful vaccine might not give any benefit for longer than a few weeks. As the CEO of world leading testing company Roche Diagnostics recently commented: “What appears to happen is that people do lose antibodies over time. And that of course poses the question, will vaccines actually work if you lose antibodies”-110.

Reports of successful antibody responses amongst healthy adults in vaccine trials should be viewed with more scepticism-111. It is also almost certain that any antibody response would be more difficult in population samples with impaired immune systems that are most at risk from COVID. Even an efficacious vaccine might have to be ramped in dosage that would be intolerable to those most likely to benefit from vaccination. Leading Swiss epidemiologist Pietro Vernazza has demonstrated that the high-risk group is least likely to respond to the vaccine since their immune system is already impaired-112. Whilst it is possible for vaccine trials to demonstrate antibody responses, whether these will have any practical lasting benefits in reducing COVID mortality risk which are tolerable for the population group most at risk from COVID-113 is unlikely.

Vaccines hastily developed, rushed to market without proper trials by panicked governments ready to throw money at any promising trial candidate, creates a clear moral hazard for pharmaceutical companies and a public healthcare risk which might rival the virus itself-114. We remain sceptical of biotech companies raising equity on tricked up trials, only never to deliver medication that has any practical application,-115 or insiders dumping stock after supposedly promising “game changing” data-116, or even worse mandatory vaccination of a population on the basis of an erroneous assumption that herd immunity hasn’t already been reached, with the potential for dangerous and unnecessary side-effects in population groups who would otherwise (if they had not already been exposed to COVID) have been asymptomatic.

There is a notable discrepancy between binary expectations that a vaccine will solve COVID and the definition of success for those involved in developing a vaccine. According to Sarah Gilbert, who leads the Oxford Astrazeneca experimental vaccine: “We need a vaccine with a high level of efficacy against disease, which also has a significant impact on virus transmission. It doesn’t need to cure you… We want a vaccine to stop people from going to hospital and dying. If you can do that, I think people will be pretty happy”-117 In other words, Gilbert’s definition of “success” was mitigation rather than cure, which better hospital treatment is already achieving anyway.

There is a more fundamental question of whether a vaccination program for the entire population is at all desirable, given that most of the population has a natural immunity, only a small cohort develops symptoms, an even smaller cohort at risk of hospitalisation and the best estimate of mortality risk from COVID now almost statistically insignificant. We are probably already at the stage in terms of hospital treatment whereby no one who does not already have existing comorbidities should die from COVID. If any vaccine does not stop transmission and comes with side-effects which may be dangerous-118 (and could potentially cause a mortality risk where one was previously absent, such as the potential neurological damage caused to children from the vaccinations against “swine flu” a decade ago-119) it has to be asked whether the exclusive promotion of the vaccine solution by the pharmaceutical industry (and the advice of potentially compromised public health officials like Fauci) is now more likely to end up an investment swindle.

We now know that there was no credible “science” behind lockdown and whilst its imposition may have originally been motivated by the precautionary principle, the perpetuation of the “Spanish Flu” narrative has been a uniquely destructive, particularly considering the exclusion of healthcare provision for non-COVID illness,-120 prolonged absence of child education-121, and the well-documented economic devastation-122. Although our understanding of COVID is by no means complete, we now know that its mortality risk can be best mitigated by the management of infection within the care home and hospital environment, better immediate treatment of hospitalised patients and sensible social distancing measures. None of this required lockdown. Nor does it require a vaccine. The degree of intentionality behind the actions taken by governments, the media and the pharma industry is an unknown, but this continued perpetuation of that narrative in contrast to the empirical evidence is arguably the biggest fraud of all.

Source: Barry Norris, Argonaut Capital

Published July 27, 2020

69 https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200422/Antibodies-to-COVID-19-present-in-only-2-to-3-percent-of-population.aspx

70 https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24632873-000-how-many-of-us-are-likely-to-have-caught-the-coronavirus-so-far/

71 https://www.ft.com/content/dc4b97a9-d869-40bc-950a-60f9f383bed0

72 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2025179

73 https://digitaleditions.telegraph.co.uk/data/301/reader/reader.html?#!preferred/0/package/301/pub/301/page/24/article/65626

74 https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.21.108308v1

75 https://reaction.life/we-may-already-have-herd-immunity-an-interview-with-professor-sunetra-gupta/

76 https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.15.20154294v1

77 https://swprs.org/studies-on-covid-19-lethality/

78 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrL9QKGQrW

79 https://unherd.com/thepost/oxford-epidemiologists-suppression-strategy-is-not-viable/

80 https://evidencenotfear.com/tag/herd-immunity/

81 https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-china-wuhan/no-new-covid-sufferers-300-asymptomatic-after-wuhan-wide-tests-idUKKBN23915T

82 https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/is-covid-immunity-more-common-than-we-think-

83 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gompertz_function#:~:text=The%20Gompertz%20curve%20or%20Gompertz,of%20a%20given%20time%20period.

84 https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.18.20135210v1

85 https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-03-22/coronavirus-outbreak-nobel-laureate

86 https://www.stanforddaily.com/2020/05/04/qa-nobel-laureate-says-covid-19-curve-could-be-naturally-self-flattening/

87 https://reason.com/2020/07/02/is-the-covid-19-pandemic-self-flattening-or-will-it-grind-relentlessly-on/

88 https://twitter.com/MLevitt_NP2013/status/1287036738565738496

89 https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

90 https://covidinfos.net/covid19/il-ny-a-eu-aucune-reprise-nulle-part-selon-le-dr-yonathan-freund-qui-evoque-un-delire-alarmiste/1276/

91 https://www.infosperber.ch/Artikel/Gesundheit/Weniger-Corona-Falle-Einfach-weniger-testen

92 https://twitter.com/mlevitt_np2013/status/1281828997916168192?lang=en

93 https://www.addendum.org/coronavirus/interview-johan-giesecke/

94 Argonaut Capital 25/7/2020

95 https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/fox-35-investigates-florida-department-of-health-says-some-labs-have-not-reported-negative-covid-19-results

96 https://off-guardian.org/2020/07/07/second-wave-not-even-close/

97 In the UK which had similar issues over accuracy COVID classifications https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-way-covid-deaths-are-being-counted-is-a-national-scandal it was recently revealed that anyone who had ever tested positive for COVID – even without symptoms – would under the classification of deaths be reported as a COVID fatality when they died https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/17/public-health-englands-exaggerated-death-statistics-scandal/. Whilst it is impossible to estimate the degree of manipulation it would be fair to say that throughout the motivation has existed to exaggerate rather than down-play the impact of COVID

A view from the hVivo / Open Orphan #ORPH Laboratory – Professor John Oxford


98 Source: https://twitter.com/yinonw

99 https://apnews.com/8ccd325c2be9bf454c2128dcb7bd616d

100 https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/06/covid19-are-ventilators-killing-people/

101 https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/Ventilators-aren-t-a-panacea-for-a-pandemic-like-coronavirus

103 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIDsKdeFOmQ

104 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2973827/

105 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1232869/

Both the Lancet and the new England Journal of Medicine published studies showing hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) caused dangerous heart problems which subsequently had to be withdrawn as they were based on manipulated data with the authors of the fake study linked to the development of Gilead’s competitor drug Remdesivir. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/03/covid-19-surgisphere-who-world-health-organization-hydroxychloroquine

106 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVs_EWVCVPc

107 https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202007.0025/v1

108 https://www.henryford.com/news/2020/07/hydro-treatment-study

109 https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/no-vaccine-for-coronavirus-a-possibility/news-story/34e678ae205b50ea983cc64ab2943608

110 Thomas Schinecker, CEO, Roche Diagnostics. Roche Q2 Conf Call, 23 July 2020 https://www.roche.com/investors/agenda/hy-2020-replay.htm

111 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53469839

112 https://infekt.ch/2020/05/corona-impfung-als-ultimative-rettung/

113 https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00751-9

114 https://digitaleditions.telegraph.co.uk/data/301/reader/reader.html?#!preferred/0/package/301/pub/301/page/29/article/65624

115 https://www.biopharmadive.com/news/biotech-stock-offering-moderna/578223/

116 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/25/business/coronavirus-vaccine-profits-vaxart.html

117 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-07-15/oxford-s-covid-19-vaccine-is-the-coronavirus-front-runner

118 https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/vaccine-trial-catastrophe-moderna-vaccine-has-20-serious-injury-rate-in-high-dose-group/

119 https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/brain-damaged-uk-victims-swine-flu-vaccine-get-60-million-compensation-1438572

120 https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/lawmakers-react-to-fox-35-investigation-that-finds-discrepancies-in-covid-19-positive-case-numbers

122 https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/03/covid-19s-devastating-effects-jobs-and-businesses/608461/


Begin with Part 1 –

The hocus “science” behind lockdown

Hydroxychloroquine, COVID, FDA; and Pharma and all its whores around the World

“We are talking about private contracts outside the scope of government. We’re talking about local barter, and the issuing of local currencies, the building of private money systems. During the Great Depression, many citizens looked around and said, ‘We still have land and food, we still have commodities. Nothing has changed here. We just have to invent a way to conduct commerce among ourselves.’ One estimate states that, during the Depression of the 1930s, there were 1500 private money systems across America.” (My notes for “The Underground”)

I have made my case concerning the fake pandemic. Many times now.

From the beginning—the failure to isolate, purify, or actually discover a novel coronavirus by correct procedures. The meaningless diagnostic tests and the meaningless case numbers. The propaganda.

The use of “the virus” as a cover story obscuring high-level corporate and government crimes.

Of course, many people believe in the COVID-19 virus. And of these, some have been seeking treatments outside the bounds of government certification.

This is their right. They are exercising freedom in managing their own health. And so some of them are taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).

The FDA, which certifies all medical drugs as safe and effective, before they are released for public use, has not recommended HCQ for COVID treatment. It has banned the drug for that purpose, outside of hospitals and clinical trials.

The FDA‘s track record—which I’ve been documenting for the past 25 years—is a horror show. The first key review I became aware of was authored in 2000, by Dr. Barbara Starfield, and published on July 26th of that year, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Starfield stated that, annually, FDA-approved medicines kill 106,000 Americans. That’s over a million Americans per decade. So relying on the FDA to decide whether HCQ is a useful drug is not a concession some Americans are willing to make.

Pharma and all its allies and minions and whores are focusing on a jackpot bonanza for COVID treatment: vaccines and new antiviral drugs. Pharma does not want competition. It definitely does not want to see a landscape in which all sorts of alternative treatments for COVID (or any purported disease) are rampant and free-wheeling.

We are seeing multiple censorship actions across platforms, when people, including doctors, speak positively about HCQ.

Fauci is very much in the pro-Pharma camp, of course. He and Gates want an RNA vaccine to come to market, by any means necessary. They also want antiviral drugs to dominate COVID treatment.

A very sharp reader spelled out the Pharma-anticipated future for these new (toxic) antiviral medicines. And not just for COVID. Up to now, there has been very little mainstream progress in getting drugs specifically designed to treat viruses into the marketplace. This is Pharma’s big opportunity. They envision a trillion-dollar operation that will elevate antivirals (for treating any viruses) to the level of, say, antibiotics, which are used against bacteria. COVID would simply be the first major “breakthrough.”

So we have a war going on. HCQ and other alternative modalities vs. vaccines and antivirals. Pharma does not want to lose this one. It would be disastrous.

I am not touting HCQ. I am putting it this way: if many people are convinced, or become convinced, that HCQ is a drug of choice, and if they believe it is helping them, then a major rebellion against Pharma and the FDA and its counterparts around the world takes off. It soars. And it spurs the use of other alternatives on which Pharma makes zero profits.

So-called natural health and alternative medicine have been booming since the 1980s. A new escalation would send very serious shock waves through the pharmaceutical industry.

Fauci is well aware of this. He is fronting for the industry in every possible way. Trump, with his statements favoring HCQ, has become a major threat in that regard.

When you see new reports of soaring COVID case numbers—a con which I’ve documented six ways from Sunday—you’re not only witnessing a planned strategy to maintain the war against the economy and therefore against billions of people whose lives are at stake; you’re also watching a justification for pushing antivirals and vaccines. For the benefit of Pharma.

The last thing the pharmaceutical industry wants to see is their own case-number con giving birth to wildcat outbreaks of health freedom. People leaving the nest. People going elsewhere for treatment.

Individuals making decisions about their own treatments—this is very serious business. People should look deeply before making choices. In the case of various HCQ protocols, they should consider: dosage levels; when in the course of illness the drug would be given (early or late); whether there is illness requiring treatment to begin with; whether people may have a heredity condition which could make HCQ perilous or even lethal—these are some of the relevant considerations.

The FDA and Pharma want to be the first and last word.

Life and Liberty say they are not the first and last word.

In that regard, there is another issue: licenses vs. contracts. The medical cartel, backed by governments, has established medical boards which grant licenses to practice medicine. These special persons, doctors, are handed the right to treat and cure diseases. This is an attempt to create a monopoly.

There is another avenue: private contracts. Here is the analogy I’ve used to describe this situation. Two adults, Joe and Fred, enter into an agreement. Joe says he has a health condition. He will be the patient. Fred will be the practitioner. Fred has a well on his property. Fred believes the water has a special healing quality. He will give some of it (or sell it) to Joe, who will drink it over the course of two weeks.

Both men, in their contract, agree that no legal liability will be attached to the outcome. They are both responsible. They are of sound mind. They don’t require government permission to sign or fulfill their contract.

That’s it in a nutshell.

Joe and Fred are operating on their own. They have that natural right. They also have the right to be wrong—in case the water treatment doesn’t work, or is harmful.

Of course, all sorts of meddlers will claim this arrangement is illegal and absurd. Meddlers always try to curb freedom. That’s their crusade in life. They can’t stand the idea of people making their own choices and decisions and then accepting the consequences.

I’m not saying governments will honor such contracts. Governments are prime meddlers.

I’m saying these contracts (and not just in the arena of healing) stand outside governments. They are citizen-to-citizen. They are prior to government. They are intrinsically more real than government.

THIS is what COMMUNITY actually means.

Source: Jon Rappoport

Crossing the Rubicon: The UK Slips into a Repressive State

ulius Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon River in 49 BC in defiance of Roman law placed him and his army on a direct collision course with Rome, leading to the Civil War which established him as Roman dictator. It is a well-established metaphor for a point at which there is no going back and at which things will never be the same.

I predicted a few weeks ago that the UK Government would in the near future try to force everyone to wear facemasks in public. Leave aside the plethora of information that makes it clear face masks are of practically zero benefit in everyday circumstances, and may in fact be dangerous, the forced wearing of facemasks is a transgression so fundamental and of such significance that it is difficult to adequately express.

It implicitly hands your body over to state control, and renders one of your most basic existential freedoms subject to state interference. For the first time, the right to exercise a choice of whether you should inhibit your respiratory faculties and hide your face in public is taken out of your hands.

If you doubt the significance of this, try to remember the public outcry that followed a debate regarding banning the wearing of burkhas and hijabs in the face of Islamic terrorism, and the connotations this had for civil liberties at the time.

Facemask wearing is the visible hallmark of Asian states perceived in the West as repressive and authoritarian.

It is a badge of serfdom, akin to the yellow star that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany. There is no greater invasion of your person possible short of tattooing you with a number.

This astonishing about-turn in policy has not happened overnight or without preparation. It has been preceded by a cleverly-orchestrated media campaign which seeks to bizarrely turn established professional and scientific research on its head, making virologists, infection-control bodies and academics who have published papers for the medical profession into liars and charlatans.

This campaign has included editorials and blogs which talk in disapproving and accusatory tones of “mask-shirkers” and “mask-deniers” allegedly “refusing” to wear face masks. Leave aside the obvious fact that refusal cannot take place without a demand: in other words someone has to give you an instruction to which you reply, “No, thanks.”

Absent such a demand, you are not refusing anything, merely making a choice. And until now there has been no such demand. But those making this choice are now psychopaths and enemies of humanity without a shred of integrity, respect or regard for their fellow human beings. When I returned from Asia early this year the advice was clear: face masks do not protect you from infection and it is not advised that you wear them.

What is more, face mask wearing was actively discouraged because of limited supplies required for hospital environments, where infection control is king and every precaution makes sense. Above all the only situation in which it is appropriate to wear a facemask in public is if you are unwell and have a cough, in which case why not stay at home?

But this piece of simple logic has been covered by the mask-advocates whose logic runs like this:

“You may have coronavirus without knowing it, and may infect others with your breath even at unlimited distances so you need to wear a mask.”

This covers all bases despite the evidence for this being at best negligible and at worst manipulated and dishonest.

It is part of the greater logic that renders every societal value worthless unless it contributes to the impossible task of making sure that not one single individual anywhere, ever, is infected with Covid-19. None of this means I think we should do nothing about this pandemic. But there is now a growing awareness that the cure proposed is not indefinitely sustainable and may in fact be worse than the disease.

The virtue-signalling of face-mask advocates is easily refuted. Facemasks have been available for decades for use in industry and ideas generally considered good are taken up by the public. Nobody needed the government to tell them to go out and buy a car or a television set.

So if you’re so convinced face masks are a good idea why has it taken the State to tell you before you came to this Eureka moment?

And for how many years or decades have you been going around disrespectfully infecting your fellow human beings by going out without a mask when you had a cold or the flu?

However, apparently all the established research is now wrong and face mask wearing is essential. It is a vast game of “Simon Says,” in which we only do anything when Simon says. And it won’t stop there. Expect newspapers like the Guardian to run sanctimonious editorials demanding that face-mask wearing be extended to pubs and restaurants, and eventually to every departure from your home.

Following this such a move will become policy: indeed, the British public will do what they are already doing, gleefully embracing this perverse doctrine, boasting of buying colourful face masks for their children, and showering anyone who has a different point of view with disapproval.

I’m forced now to doubt that we, the British people value our freedom as much as we profess to. We take to the streets in droves to embrace new forms of repression, such as an anarchistic movement that seeks to rewrite history and dismantle our police forces, or an anti-human death cult that seeks to suppress all human activity by frightening us all into believing we are destroying the Earth by existing.

But in the face of mounting attacks on our liberty and our freedom, we are silent. We have had our liberty taken away from us. Our movements are monitored. Our discussions are censored via social media. We are no longer free even to make fundamental choices about our bodies.

A public that will silently accept these things has learned nothing from history, will accept anything and deserves its fate if that is a dystopian world-state.

We are no longer entitled to lecture other nations about being repressive states. Their representatives, quite rightly in my view would laugh in our faces.

There is a growing fear in the minds of many of us that Western lockdowns may be permanent. The spectres of identity cards, martial law and forced vaccination now hover over us.

Dismissing this as “conspiracy theory” and accusing those who feel this way of an inhuman disregard for life is the rhetoric of fascism, a force that always thrives in the face of a perceived threat. I believe forced face-mask wearing in British streets is a brutal act that crosses the Rubicon, and finally signifies our descent into a de facto repressive state.

Source: Mark Chapman – OFF GUARDIAN

Israel: Fuming at another weekend shutdown, defiant retailers threaten to stay open

Israelis retailers are pushing for the government to cancel a weekend lockdown and allow most stores to remain open, with some reportedly threatening to ignore virus regulations mandating they be shut.

Ministers are said to be on board with canceling the current restrictions, though a dispute on the timing means a weekend lockdown set to go into effect Friday afternoon will likely remain in place for one more week.

Under current virus regulations, all non-essential stores must close between 5 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Sunday as part of a partial measure meant to curb the quickly spreading coronavirus while keeping the economy running for most of the week.

However, newly appointed coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu has indicated a general unwillingness to take steps that may be damaging to the economy without enough data to support such a move.

Gamzu was slated to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening to discuss the possibility of lifting the government’s weekend restrictions on businesses after Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein agreed that partial lockdowns only caused economic damage without providing the health benefits of a full lockdown.

The weekend lockdowns will not be lifted for this weekend, however, according to multiples reports, due to disagreements between cabinet ministers on the matter.

The immediate lifting of the restriction was opposed by Science Minister Izhar Shay, who had suggested it, and by ultra-Orthodox ministers, who would like it to be accompanied with loosened rules on synagogues, according to Channel 12 news.

The weekend rollback is part of a plan being formulated by Gamzu that will include other steps to scale back restrictions and meet the needs of businesses who say they have been hurt by the pandemic. Gamzu has referred to the current restrictions as confusing and harmful to public trust.

The package is set to be voted on only on Monday, Channel 12 news reported.

While most stores have been reopened since May, retailers say that their margins are too tight to allow them to be closed on weekends.

Much of Israel’s commercial activity is scaled back over the weekends due to the country’s laws on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, but many malls as well as places of entertainment remain open, including restaurants.

A letter sent to Netanyahu and other top officials signed by the heads of several of the country’s largest fashion chains on Wednesday urged the government to not delay the weekend rollback.

“It would be good if you made a decision to immediately cancel this unnecessary and illogical closure which has wreaked huge damage and destroyed us economically,” the letter reads, according to the Globes financial daily.

“Pushing off the decision until early next week for technical reasons of religion or anything else, including restrictions from the Ninth of Av [the Jewish fast day that ended Thursday evening], will restore the sense of lack of trust and lack of logic in managing the crisis.”

This weekend coincides with the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, when many stores see increased turnout.

“Weekends make up 40% of my monthly revenues,” Avital Suwet, head of the Bogart clothing chain, told Channel 13 news. “That means if this continues, we will have to reshuffle the deck and unfortunately have another round of layoffs.”

Some store owners are threatening to open even without getting the go-ahead, Channel 12 news reported. The channel did not say which retailers were planning to open.

A letter from an group calling itself “the Forum for Stores and Malls,” and claiming to represent retailers said that the fact that the ultra-Orthodox were holding up the reform made the rule null and void.

“Given the fact that the issue has been tangled up in religious coercion and has no connection to stopping the pandemic, the forum has decided to order all stores that normally work on Shabbat to open their businesses this Shabbat as has been done in the past,” the letter reads, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

Business owners in several other sectors, including restaurants and event halls, have also threatened at times to open against the rules, as a way of drawing attention to their plight and to increase pressure on policy-makers.

MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, who is slated to be removed from her post as head of the Knesset Coronavirus Committee after angering Netanyahu by reversing COVID-19 regulations imposed by the cabinet, has urged the prime minister to immediately lift the weekend restrictions, stating that her former panel had recommended such a move a week ago.

Israel is in the midst of a second wave of the virus after initially appearing to tamp down on its spread in March and April. On Thursday, the Health Ministry announced that Israel had recorded its 500th coronavirus-related fatality, and the number of cumulative cases passed the 70,000 mark. It has seen around 1,900 daily cases for the past two weeks, though erratic testing levels may skew those figures.

A Hebrew University report published Thursday said Israel had begun to gain control of the virus, crediting existing restrictions with helping flatten the curve.

While they recommended that the government not add additional restrictions on movement and crowding, the researchers warned that the number of total new daily cases still remains high and that there remains a risk of another wide-scale outbreak as a result.

Header: Closed stores at the Cinema City mall in Jerusalem, May 3, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Source: TOI

‘Sharon clearly planned another Judea and Samaria withdrawal’

Two weeks after the “disengagement” and expulsion and destruction of all Jewish communities in Gush Katif, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he thought the U.S. Secretary of State should be informed that the disengagement in Gaza was “only a preview” and that a similar move was expected in the Judea and Samaria sector.

Sharon, Olmert told the Israel Hayom newspaper, did not like the idea, but did not prevent Olmert from presenting the idea to Condoleezza Rice. Olmert even reported the meeting to Sharon when he returned from the United States.

Sharon discussed with his associates the possibility of making a similar move in Judea and Samaria, if the “Road Map” plan failed and negotiations with the “Palestinians” reached a dead end. However, the discussions did not mature into a decision.

Moreover, at the end of that year, and about a month before Sharon fell into a coma, Sharon and his Justice Minister appointed Tzipi Livni as member of a committee headed by then-Justice Ministry Director Aharon Abramovich.

Abramovich and other committee members, including former Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinski and Deputy Spokesman for International Affairs Shavit Matias, were asked to present the security, economic, legal, and political framework for another withdrawal, according to the lessons of the disengagement in the Judea and Samaria sector as well. After Sharon suffered a severe stroke and Olmert became prime minister, Olmert openly promoted the “convergence” program, intended to unilaterally withdraw Israel from other areas in the Judea and Samaria sector as well.

A paper published in 2000 by the Ariel Center for Policy Research identified some security frameworks that were prepared for a Judea/Samaria withdrawal, namely, the PA armored threat to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The paper stated: “Because the IDF limits yishuv self defense to small arms, the growing armor vehicle capability of the PA would render the assault troops it carries invulnerable to yishuv defenders. The IDF gate guards do not have anything to stop these vehicles. The standard sliding gates for all yishuvim would buckle under the impact of such armored vehicles, and many yishuvim lack even this ‘obstacle’ – such that the only thing separating between the attacker and the yishuv is a moving aluminum arm painted red and white.”

Armored vehicles are a particular threat to the yishuvim because they can easily smash their way through yishuv gates. The armored vehicles could roam within the yishuvim because the IDF withheld anti-armor weapons from yishuv stockpiles.

The report went on to say that “The PA armored vehicle force is not capable of challenging the IDF, but would be unstoppable in a first strike on yishuvim. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that that is their purpose.

“Although it is possible to gain sudden entry into yishuvim by using commandos or even less prepared troops – as the examples of Ariel and Ofra show – armored vehicles provide a rapid capability to do so that ground troops cannot match.”

The report can be seen in the original Hebrew here.

Disengagement in Netzarim **FILE2005**
Settlers accuse soldiers who came to take them from their homes for betrayal of jewish values during the disengagement in Netzarim on August 22, 2005. Photo by Flash90.

At that time, Israel justified PA armored vehicles according to Oslo saying Arafat needed them to protect his government from Arab extremist elements, while at the same time trying to deny their existence.

In a 2005 memorandum to Council of Torah Sages heads, this author provided the United Torah Judaism Party with the IDF operational plans for the Gaza withdrawal and analysis to examine halakhic aspects of expelling Jews from their homes. The document stated that “Although all indicators are that the Israel government intends to continue with the Gaza eviction, strategically, the Gaza eviction is not Sharon’s main attack. This is the secondary attack. The main tool of eviction is the fence around Judea and Samaria.”

The memorandum went on to warn: “To some degree, they want Yeshans and Yesha supporters consumed with defending Gaza. That is part of the strategy, so people are ignoring the completion and activation of the ‘security fence’. The public version they are pushing is the eviction of Gaza, so any friend of Israel looking where to fight is fighting the eviction of Gaza, when in fact the Gaza eviction is a partial decoy, and the Judea Samaria eviction interplays with it.

Therefore, the memorandum concludes, “although this document is not the complete truth, it is a very important segment of the truth.

“In history, each one of these surprise attacks – Pearl Harbor, allies attacking Normandy instead of Calais, Yom Kippur war, etc. – each successful surprise had intelligence officers on the other side who knew it was coming, and who could not convince their superiors to take the evidence seriously.

“The document states at the end that sequence and dates have been switched, like Sharon did in Yamit, and like in the Lebanese abandonment when a date was being discussed for the retreat when it actually happened two or three months earlier, thus producing some element of shock and surprise. So when they start putting out dates for the Gaza Eviction, we have to look for indications for the actual Gaza Eviction date.”

The letter to the Council of Torah Sages concluded: “It is therefore crucial to get Sharon’s general Yesha strategy out to the general public. In other words, Yes, defend Gaza; yes, enable them to defend themselves any way we can, but realize that the main push is coming against Judea and Samaria.”

Sharon’s bureau Director Adv. Dov Weisglass added in this regard that “the disengagement from the Gaza Strip was a move in itself, but it was intended to be integrated into another course that would follow, based on both the Road Map program and the desire to avoid a dead end. The idea was to continue a similar operation in the West Bank as well,” Weisglass confirms, describing what happened as “a film in which a power outage occurred.”

Former United States senior official Dennis Ross also confirmed that “Sharon clearly planned another withdrawal in the West Bank.”

Header: Settlers confront a soldier in the Neve Dekalim settlement during the disengagement (Photo: Flash 90)

Source: Arutz Sheva


Dennis B. Ross (born November 26, 1948) is an American diplomat and author. He has served as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under President George H. W. Bush, the special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton, and was a special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia (which includes Iran) to the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Israel: Time’s a’wasting – Corona Antibody Testing now!

I never thought that I’d echo the raucous and impatient cries of our overly demanding Peace Now, crowd, but the time is overdue for Covid-19 antibody testing of the entire population of Israel. Now.

Basic biology shows that every human being who gets infected by any virus and survives, makes an immune response to that virus.

That response includes two populations of lymphocytes (which are white cells of the blood, as opposed to red cells), T cells and B cells. The virus has a chemical fingerprint, called antigens, to which some of the T cells respond. These T cells are imprinted forever to start an immune reaction against those viral antigens.

Among other mechanisms of defense, the T lymphocytes activate B lymphocytes to produce antibodies against the virus.

This antibody is what has gained so much fame in the current Covid-19 epidemic. Its presence in recovered Covid patients is what makes the plasma of those patients an active treatment against the disease; many critically ill patients were helped to recovery using plasma containing those antibodies. In short, they work- hopefully burying the baloney in the lay press that no one knows if Corona antibodies provide protection against Covid-19 disease.

In fact, the plasma of recovered patients is exactly the state that those developing vaccines are aiming for.

The vaccine, unlike a live virus infection, contains dead viral antigens, which are injected into patients with the intent of provoking the aforementioned immune, antibody response.

Why in Heaven’s name would the world be spending so much energy in a mad-rush to produce a vaccine, if the resultant antibodies were not protective?

Another point is that vaccines and immune systems are tricky. No vaccine and no antibody provides 100% immunity. We’ve all heard people say:” I got the flu shot this year, and I still got the flu, so it’s worthless”. Not true. It is far from worthless. Take last year’s influenza season. The vaccine was overall only 45% effective (although in the vulnerable age group of kids up to age 17, effectiveness was 55%). That means that the incidence of infected patients was 45% of those who would have been infected in a totally unvaccinated US population; but 55% still got infected. However, the vaccination WAS worth it. Anyone who got the shot and still got infected, usually had a much less severe case. The person who might have died of influenza might have been hospitalized, but he/she by and large, survived- maybe even with only a simple fever and cough, staying at home.

Another point: T cells, as I said above, remember. Even if a lab were to measure antibody levels some time later after recovery, and the lab can find NO antibody in the patient’s blood- if the virus attacks again, the T cells remember the viral antigens, will activate the B cells to produce antibody, and the patient will have protection.

To quote my friend Dr. Ben Katz, infectious disease specialist, Northwestern University: “The respiratory virus does not exist from which one can get a repeat infection”. The only problem is: there are hundreds of viruses that can cause influenza-like illnesses (ILI’s), with symptomatology ranging from a simple cold (URI, just a cough) to pneumonia to respiratory failure on a ventilator. Over a lifetime, one is exposed to many of these viruses, and gets sick again and again, but each time from a different virus.

One caveat to that last sentence: it assumes that the patient’s immune system remains intact.

For example, if the patient has emphysema and is given a steroid for his breathing, his immune system is much less functional. Ditto if his diabetes is out of control, or his kidney function is chronically bad, etc.

That is also why infants and toddlers can get bronchiolitis over and over again, even in the same winter. The infection is caused by, usually, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), usually causing wheezing, but even cessation of breathing. Only kids aged birth to 2 years get bronchiolitis, and that is because their immune systems are immature. By age 2 years, they have more mature immunity, and bronchiolitis does not recur.

That leads us to these reports of patients getting second infections with Covid-19. Outliers, every one of them. As of this writing, there have been 67,000 cases of Covid in Israel, with the media reporting four repeaters.

It is obvious that these patients must have something wrong with their immune systems. Years from now, some researcher will find some factor missing in these people which doesn’t allow them a good immune response to Coronavirus. These outliers, however, are no reason to panic and think that 99.999% of the Israelis do not have an immune system capable of protecting them from a repeat bout Corona. They do. As I said above, if they did not, there is no point in producing a vaccine.

The point: the Israeli government needs to procure 9 million kits to test the entire population for antibody in their blood (and not test only for virus in their noses).

Those who test positive for antibody are already “vaccinated”; these people need not wait for a vaccine to be invented and delivered, some 6-12 months from now.

Right now these people could be returned to work, school and leisure. Businesses and industries that are now closed could be opened, their workers employed. The tourist industry could be rapidly opened to those with an antibody passport- a flight of all antibody positive (Ab pos) travelers poses no risk to anyone. Add a requirement that these Ab pos workers and travelers have two recent nasal swabs negative for virus (i.e. they are not asymptomatic carriers who are presently fighting off a reinfection attempt by virus), and anyone antibody negative (Ab neg) who is willing to assume the risk to work and travel alongside the Ab pos people, can join them at work and travel. That risk is near zero. This means the vital tourist industry could be quickly opened- with relief for airlines, taxi drivers, hotels, restaurants, etc.

We are now six months into the Covid-19 pandemic. Here I guess, but it is a good presumption – that a sizable percentage of the population is antibody positive – possibly 50% or more.

Universal antibody testing would get these people back to work, and the economy toward normal- quicker than the present “no light at the end of the tunnel” policy of false starts at opening up the economy, and then backtracking.

Also, there is no time to waste. There is no way to test everyone’s T cells, those cells with a good immune memory. All we have is antibody. Last week, a New England Journal communication, with very few patients, found that the half life of serum antibody to Covid is 36 days, on average. For any serum drug or antibody, when five half-lives go by, the amount of that entity in the blood is near zero (half, 50%, is gone in one half-life; half of that, or 25%, remains after two half-lives; then 12.5%, then 6%, then 3%, etc.).

That means that in six months( five times 36 days), if you measure the antibody to Corona in a patient who recovered today, you probably won’t find it- despite the fact that his T cells remember and he is protected- but a lab would not know it.

Bottom line: the government must act fast, procure the test kits, and get on the ball and test all Israelis.

Our health, and our economy, depend on it.

Postscript: Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital is testing for serum antibody, for a fee.

Source: Dr. Aryeh Hirsch – Arutz Sheva

Rabbi Dr. Hirsch is a physician residing in Beit El who works at Hadassah Hospital. He recently completed Rabbinical ordination of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel through a study
program at Yeshivat Merkaz Harav

US economy suffers worst contraction since the Great Depression

The US economy shrank this spring at the fastest rate ever on record, according to a report released Thursday by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The report said that while the US real GDP contracted by an annualized rate of 5.0 percent during the first quarter of 2020, from April through June, it shrank by an annualized rate of 32.9%.

That makes the recession sparked by government restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic the worst since the government began keeping comprehensive statistics back in 1947.

The annualized rate of economic growth or contraction shows how much the gross domestic product would have gained or lost if the rate recorded during a three-month period were experienced throughout an entire year.

Non-annualized, the US economy declined by 9.5% during the second quarter of 2020, shrinking by $1.8 trillion dollars.

The losses recorded by the US economy during the spring far exceed the contraction in GDP the US economy faced during the financial crisis during the Bush administration.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, at the peak of the contraction, the US economy shrank at an annualized rate of 8.4%, about a quarter less than the second quarter 2020 decline.

While the government did not keep quarterly GPD records until 1947, years after the end of the Great Depression, in 1932, when the US suffered its worst contraction, the economy shrank by a total of 12.9% – compared to a 9.5% contraction in a single quarter this year.

More than 20 million jobs were lost in April alone, sending unemployment claims soaring.

While millions of jobs were added to the economy since April, employment levels remain down by some 15 million since the pandemic began.

Source: Arutz Sheva

COVID-19 dies in room temperature water in 72 hours, study says

Experts of the Vektor State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology have conducted studies of the coronavirus viability in water. About 99.9% of its particles die in room temperature water in 72 hours, the press service of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing told TASS.

“It was proven that in dechlorinated and salt water the virus doesn’t proliferate but can be preserved. At that, the time of deactivation of the novel coronavirus directly depends on the water temperature. In the water at room temperature 90% of the COVID-19 virions died during 24 hours, and 99.9% during 72 hours,” the statement said.

The boiling of water leads to its complete decontamination and extermination of the virus, while in the chlorinated water the coronavirus loses its viability completely. With the increase in water temperature the number of viable viral particles decreases significantly, the sanitary watchdog noted.

The press service specified that the sanitary watchdog’s directorates in the Krasnodar Region, the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol started to monitor the circulation of the coronavirus infection pathogen in the coastal sea water, in swimming pools of health and recreational resorts, water parks, and centralized sources of drinking water. “The COVID-19 pathogen was not detected in the samples studied,” the agency noted.

Earlier top sanitary doctor Anna Popova stated that the coronavirus doesn’t proliferate in fresh and salt water while boiling kills it immediately.

Header: Genetic frontiers – In this Oct. 9, 2018 photo, Qin Jinzhou adjusts a sperm injection microscope at a laboratory in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Source: TASS

Mayor calls for starting flu vaccination in Moscow earlier because of COVID-19

It is necessary to start this year’s seasonal influenza vaccination in Moscow earlier than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Thursday.

“The situation may get worse when the number of acute respiratory viral infections and influenza cases grows. In order to prevent that from happening, it is necessary to start seasonal influenza vaccination earlier than in previous years, and, of course, wait for a vaccine, if it appears,” he said, expressing hope that the vaccine will be available in the coming months.

“Then we will have a stable platform, a stable basis for the future, for a serious fight against COVID-19,” Sobyanin added.

About 6,500 hospital beds are available in Moscow to accommodate patients with the coronavirus infection, the mayor informed.

“Most of the clinics and centers that worked with the coronavirus have switched to the routine working regime. As to in-patient hospitals, we have 6,500 beds remaining for coronavirus patients. Let me remind you that during the peak we had 23,000 beds,” the mayor said.

Prospects for further decrease in cases

Moscow entered its lowest level of the daily growth of the coronavirus infections and further decrease is not likely, Sergei Sobyanin commented for the Russia-24 TV channel.

“The situation in Moscow is rather stable. We are talking about the fact that over a month the detection rate [of the disease] decreased by over 7%, actually one needs to look at [and compare] peak incidence with what is going on now.

From peak incidence to this day the volume of detected new patients decreased ten-fold. <…> We entered the minimal level and won’t go any lower,” he said.

The mayor explained that millions of people move across Moscow with hundreds of thousands arriving from other regions. “This year Moscow residents would vacation in distant regions and countries less than in previous years. The majority remains in Moscow – we see it by the load on public eateries, restaurants and more. Additionally, on Saturday and Sunday about 200,000 [people] arrive here from remote regions not counting the Moscow Region which gravitates by hundreds of thousands if not millions daily,” he said.

He added that nevertheless one cannot talk about restoration of the tourist sphere in the capital since the hotels are still not functioning at full capacity. “The process of restoration is ongoing and I hope that internal tourism will partially make up for the absence of external tourists streaming in,” the mayor noted.

“There is little hope that we will get to zero or to minimal values. So, in my opinion, in the next weeks the same scenario will continue as the month before. So we will remain in the corridor of 650 to 700 detected cases, plus-minus 50,” the mayor stated.

The Moscow coronavirus situation that used to be the most complicated in Russia has improved significantly according to statistics. In all, the city detected 240,664 cases of infection, 678 of them in the past 24 hours with 177,908 people having recovered and 4,446 fatalities. The number of recoveries over the past 24 hours again surpassed the number of infections and reached 1,471.

In the capital a campaign is ongoing for mass voluntarily testing of residents for the antibodies to the coronavirus infection.

Header: Gorky Park, Moscow

Source: TASS

An old article – Giorgio Agamben: Normalizing the State of Exception under the #COVID-19 #epidemic

What follows is an interview with Giorgio Agamben by Nicolas Truong, where he analyses “the very serious ethical and political consequences” of the security measures applied to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Originally published by Le Monde . Translated by Autonomies from the Spanish version in artilleria inmanente (24/03/2020) and also published in Lobo suelto

In a text published by “Il Manifesto“, you wrote that the global COVID-19 pandemic was “a supposed epidemic”, nothing more than “a kind of flu”. Considering the number of victims and the speed of the spread of the virus, especially in Italy, do you regret these comments?

I am neither a virologist nor a doctor, and in the article in question, which was published a month ago, I was only quoting verbatim what was then the opinion of the Italian National Research Center. But I’m not going to get into discussions between scientists about the epidemic; what interests me are the extremely serious ethical and political consequences that flow from it.

“It would seem that, terrorism having been exhausted as the cause of measures of exception, the invention of an epidemic could offer the ideal pretext for extending them beyond all limits”, you write. How can you argue that this is an “invention”? Cannot terrorism, like an epidemic, lead to security policies, which may be considered unacceptable, but which are real?

When speaking of invention in a political sphere, it should not be forgotten that it should not be understood in a purely subjective sense. Historians know that there are so to speak objective conspiracies, conspiracies that seem to function as such without being directed by an identifiable subject. As Michel Foucault showed before me, security governments do not necessarily work by producing the exceptional situation, but by exploiting and managing it when it occurs. I am certainly not the only one who thinks that for a totalitarian government like China, the epidemic was the ideal way to test the possibility of isolating and controlling an entire region. And the fact that in Europe we can refer to China as a role model shows the degree of political irresponsibility to which fear has brought us. We should ask ourselves whether it is not at least strange that the Chinese government suddenly declares the epidemic closed when it it is convenient for it to do so.

Why is the state of emergency, in your opinion, unjustified, when confinement appears to be one of the main means for scientists to stop the spread of the virus?

In the Babel-like confusion of languages that characterises our situation, each category of individuals follows her/his own particular reasons, without taking into account the reasons of others for thinking and doing what they do.

For the virologist, the enemy to fight is the virus; for doctors, the goal is healing; for the government, it is about maintaining control, and I can do the same by remembering that the price to pay for this should not be too high.

In Europe, there have been much more serious epidemics, but no one had thought to declare a state of emergency like the one that, in Italy and France, practically prevents us from living. Considering that the disease has so far affected less than one in a thousand people in Italy, one wonders what would be done if the epidemic really worsened. Fear is a bad counselor and I do not think that turning the country into a pestiferous country, where each one looks at the other as an occasion for contagion, is really the correct solution. The false logic is always the same: just as in the face of terrorism it was affirmed that freedom should be suppressed to defend it, we are also told that life must be suspended to protect it.

Are we witnessing the establishment of a permanent state of exception?

What the epidemic clearly shows is that the state of exception, to which governments have long familiarised us, has become the normal condition.

Men have become so accustomed to living in a state of permanent crisis that they do not seem to realise that their life has been reduced to a purely biological condition and has lost not only its political dimension but also any human dimension. A society that lives in a permanent state emergency cannot be a free society. We live in a society that has sacrificed its freedom for so-called “reasons of security” and has thus been condemned to live continuously in a state of fear and insecurity.

In what sense are we experiencing a biopolitical crisis?

Modern politics is from start to finish a biopolitics, where the ultimate stake is biological life as such. The new fact is that health is becoming a legal obligation that must be fulfilled at all costs.

Why is the problem, in your opinion, not the severity of the disease, but the collapse or the fall of any ethics and politics that it has produced?

Fear causes many things to appear that one pretends not to see. The first thing is that our society no longer believes in anything other than naked life. It is evident to me that Italians are willing to sacrifice practically everything, normal living conditions, social relations, work, even friendships, affections, and political and religious convictions, in the face of the danger of contamination. Naked life is not something that unites human beings, but blinds and separates them.

Other human beings, as in the plague described by Alessandro Manzoni in his novel The Betrothed, are nothing more than agents of contagion, who must be kept at least a meter away and imprisoned if they get too close. Even the dead – this is truly barbaric – are no longer entitled to a funeral and it is unclear what happens to their corpses.

Our fellows, our neighbours, no longer exist and it is truly terrible that the two religions that seemed to reign in the West, Christianity and capitalism, the religion of Christ and the religion of money, remain silent. What happens to human relations in a country that accustoms itself to living in such conditions? And what is a society that no longer believes in anything other than survival?

It is a truly sad spectacle to see an entire society, confronted with an otherwise uncertain danger, liquidate all of its ethical and political values en bloc. When all of this is over, I know I will no longer be able to return to the normal state.

What do you think the world will be like after this?

What worries me is not only the present, but also what will come after. Just as wars have bequeathed to peace a series of nefarious technologies, in the same way it is very likely that governments, after the end of the health emergency, will seek to continue the experiments that they have not yet managed to carry out: that universities and schools close and only give online lessons, that we stop gathering and talking for political or cultural reasons and only exchange digital messages, that as far as possible machines replace all contact – all contagion – between human beings.

Source: Enough 14