Links 6/16/2021

The Truth About the California Water Crisis Counterpunch

The Fickle Charms of Private Global Finance Jayati Ghosh

Medieval people suffered for fashion with their extremely pointy shoes Ars Technica

Man-sized halibut reeled in in the North Sea The Hill

Tons of toxic cargo WaPo

Illinois chemical plant fire being left to burn out to stop spillage into river BBC

Toxic contaminants detected in northerners at levels twice as high among general population Narwhal

UK failing to protect against climate dangers, advisers warn Guardian

This Plumber Conducts 95% of His Business by Cargo Bike Treehugger

Morgan Stanley chief to bankers: If you want NYC salary, you need to be in NYC NY Post

‘It was exhaustion, it was sadness, it was fatigue’: America’s mayors call it quits Politico

Israel launches air raids on Gaza Strip Ars Technica


‘A Momentous Day’: New York and California Lift Most Virus Restrictions NYT

Covid News: Study Finds Health Problems Can Persist Long After Infection, Even Among the Asymptomatic NYT

A Detailed Study of Patients with Long-Haul COVID FAIR Health Whitte Paper

With Only 41% of U.S. Vaccinated, Biden Abandons Promised COVID Workplace Safety Regulations Payday Report

What Will California Look Like Now That the Masks Are Coming Off? Capital & Main

Former FDA chief Hahn defends his jump to Flagship Pioneering, the firm behind Moderna Stat


Indian scientists: We didn’t back doubling of COVID vaccine gap Al Jazeera


Vaccine Refusal in Trump Country Makes It a Sitting Duck for COVID Delta Variant Truthout

Experts “extremely worried” about Delta variant as US death toll hits 600,000 Ars Technica

What makes the Delta covid-19 variant more infectious? MIT Technology Review

Coronavirus Delta variant ‘may hit us pretty hard’ this fall. Here’s what you need to know PBS (David L)

New Cold War

Has the Media’s Russiagate Reckoning Finally Begun? TK News. Matt Taibbi.

Biden-Putin summit: Experts warn of cyber nuclear nightmare Deutsche Welle

Once, Superpower Summits Were About Nukes. Now, It’s Cyberweapons. NYT

Face to face: Biden, Putin ready for long-anticipated summit AP

Trump Transition

The Policy That Might Have Rescued America And Stopped Trump Daily Poster. David Sirota.

BREAKING NEWS: Trump announces he will go the BORDER with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on June 30th and slams Biden and Harris for refusing to visit the ‘wreck they created’ Daily Mail

Emails show Trump pressured Justice Dept. over 2020 election AP

The Political, Legal, and Moral Minefield That Donald Trump Left for Merrick Garland New Yorker

Biden Administration

‘Our Democracy Hangs in the Balance’: Calls Grow for Justice Breyer to Retire Common Dreams

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

‘Congress needs to act’ to prevent more DOJ spying abuses — under both parties: press freedom advocates Alternet

Waste Watch

EPA explores aligning 2030 food waste goal with UN target, official says Waste Dive

Class Warfare

The Amazon that customers don’t see: Inside a key warehouse during the pandemic Seattle Times

Some Hospitals Kept Suing Patients Over Medical Debt Through the Pandemic ProPublica

The Political Establishment Doesn’t Want You to Know the Economy Is Rigged Jacobin

Huge win for progressives as Lina Khan takes helm at FTC Politico


Hundreds of thousands of EU citizens in UK risk uncertain status from 1 July Guardian


‘Our only option’: Myanmar civilians take up arms for democracy Al Jazeera


Politico | Pentagon considers permanent naval task force to counter China in the Pacific South China Morning Post

Reactor problem a new headache for designer, China Asia Times


COVID-19: How Fake Tests, Fudged Data Helped Paint a Kinder Picture for Kumbh Mela The Wire

Covid-19: Why are states assuming the third wave will impact mostly children? Scroll

Antidote du Jour TH: “Apparently, some doves will perch anywhere!”:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. urblintz

    re Deutsche Welle article on the summit:

    “As Joe Biden confronts Vladimir Putin…”




    1. John A

      After Biden and Putin shook hands, unlike Putin, sleepy Joe forgot he was supposed to turn to face the cameras. Naturally, this is being reported as Putin scared to look Biden in the eye as opposed to doddery Joe forgets where he is.

    2. Matthew G. Saroff

      The basic problem with US Russia foreign policy, and US foreign policy in general, is that “Good Relations” and a “Reset” are defined by the “Inside the Beltway — CFR” establishment as a complete and unconditional surrender to the US,

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Reactor problem a new headache for designer, China Asia Times

    The EPR is a disaster. The Germans pulled out of it for a reason, leaving the French (and Finns) high and dry. Its a classic example of over-design – looks great on paper but has proven an absolute nightmare for construction contractors so it almost certainly can’t scale, which is essential to make nuclear remotely economically competitive.

    It was always going to be an interesting test of the Chinese construction industry to see if they could handle something that required an extreme high quality of welding as well as speed and scale. It looks so far like this incident isn’t related to construction issues, maybe more of an operational failure.

    The Chinese have spread their nuclear money widely – they’ve pretty much built an example of each reactor out there on the market – presumably the intention is to see which one they can most efficiently rip off and build at scale. But so far, none seems to be a winner, they are still building coal plants at a much faster rate. I suspect the EPR will be a casualty, even if the Chinese do go all out for nuclear, which looks increasingly unlikely.

    1. Josef K

      It’s now several years, or at least in the before-times, but I’ve seen a map with proposed, planned, under construction, and built nuclear plants in China, up to 2050 or 2100, and the number was 400+.
      Corner-cutting is so endemic to Chinese ventures (pencil-thin rebar, anyone?) that Fukushima 2: Apocolypse is very likely going to be made in China, unless India, also planning hundreds of plants, beats them to it.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    What makes the Delta covid-19 variant more infectious? MIT Technology Review

    Coronavirus Delta variant ‘may hit us pretty hard’ this fall. Here’s what you need to know PBS

    Delta is seriously bad news. It looks highly infectious so could have an R0 value greater than 1 even with the type of lockdown/precaution that has worked previously. UK scientists are now looking for it to peak in the UK in 6-8 weeks (fortunately, in summer, which should mitigate it a little). Its likely to result in another major wave, although the level of vaccination will probably mean hospitalisations won’t be as bad as previous ones, but I wouldn’t rely on the UK government not screwing this up again.

    Delta could so easily have been avoided (in the west anyway, it would probably spread to SE Asian inevitably). It looks to have escaped India via the UK mostly because the government there was desperate to get into Modi’s good books so they could have a post Brexit deal, so they kept flights to India open for weeks after delta was known about. So this one is all on Boris. Not that the UK newspapers will say this.

    The Irish government just extended quarantine rules for UK travellers. Far too late of course.

    Other countries might – might get away with another wave with Delta if there are sufficient people vaccinated in time. But nobody seems to be sure of just how many need to be vaccinated, especially as it seems to spread particularly fast among children and the young.

    1. Mikel

      What I keep noticing is they say vaccines are X percentage effective against catching a SYMPTOMATIC case of the virus while there is abandonment of about discussing that asymptomatic cases in vaccinated people or even testing for breakthrough cases and what that means for devolopment of the virus that lingers and spreads.
      More variants still produced from this? Meaning a guarantee of whack-a-mole constant injections of pharma goo. $$$

      1. Pelham

        Not only that, but I read elsewhere of a long-Covid study that finds 1 in 5 asymptomatic patients suffer major debilitating long-term consequences. We’re talking months of recovery here, and possibly years. One in 5! That’s worse than Russian roulette!

        So if the vaccines allow only “mild” cases of Delta, there’s still a big chance of being effectively and possibly forever disabled, as I understand it. But maybe my reading is off. How I wish some major journalistic enterprise would put 2 and 2 together on this!

      2. ArvidMartensen

        It appears that vaccinated people can still catch Covid but more of the vaccinated remain asymptomatic.
        Does this mean that the vaccinated may be able to become healthy carriers of Covid, much like “Typhoid Mary” was a carrier of typhoid in the US 100 years ago?

    2. Count Zero

      It’s certainly true that the UK government delayed closing travel with India for 3 weeks, during which time maybe 25, 000 people arrived in the UK. Many of them were escaping the pandemic in India and some of them brought the Delta variant with them. It didn’t help that they were arriving to stay with family who were more likely to be unvaccinated. Precisely what the motives for this delay were remains a matter of speculation. It looks like more than sheer incompetence.

      However to say that this variant escaped India solely through UK flights is surely inaccurate. Nobody else left India in April to go anywhere except Britain? Really?

      It’s impossible to exclude any virus by closing airports. Every variant will ultimately circulate the globe. From my limited perspective, however, the US seems to be doing everything it can to ensure that there will be a massive 3rd wave in the coming months and a return to the rates of hospitalisation and death that were experienced in January and February. It is astonishing to witness from afar. I wish you all the best of luck.

      1. Louis

        Unless there is a variant that the vaccines aren’t effective against, which so far hasn’t happened, there is not going to be a third wave–an uptick, particularly in those who are not vaccinated, is possible but not the doomsdays scenario you have in mind.

        Let’s keep everything in perspective and not go off the deep end.

        1. Yves Smith

          Making Shit Up is a violation of our written site Policies.

          The current vaccines are only ~40% effective in terms of immune response v. Delta (based on less nasty variants). That’s not a high enough efficacy level for them to have been approved as vaccines if Delta had been Original Covid.

          1. hermeneut

            Yves, could you please cite your source, and then could someone explain how your claimed “~40% effective v. Delta” compares to the data collected by Public Health Scotland, as reported in the Lancet ( ) and discussed in this Guardian article?:

            “According to figures gathered by Public Health Scotland and published in the Lancet, at least two weeks after the second dose of Covid jabs, protection against infection fell from 92% for the Alpha variant to 79% against the Delta variant for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, while for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine the protection fell from 73% to 60% respectively.”

            1. Jeff W

              “…79% against the Delta variant for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine…”

              There is also this finding from a study by Public Health England:

              the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 variant 2 weeks after the second dose, compared to 93% effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 variant

              which gives an even higher level of protection for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the B.1.617.2 [Delta] variant.

            2. Yves Smith

              Recall boosters are deemed necessary due to concerns about the adequacy of the antibody response to the variant.

              I do admit that the lower titer levels (see below) does not translate directly into immediate lower efficacy. The more likely impact is that that the immunity will wane faster. The “at least two weeks after the Covid jabs” is the period of peak immunity. In other words, it is not at all clear what this means in terms of immunity, say three months and six months out. So while your data is no doubt narrowly true, it doesn’t provide a robust view of immunity. Patients expect their shots to be good for more than two weeks.

              By contrast, see this deeper dive from GM on boosters targeting variants less pernicious than Delta. These findings seem markedly at odds with other claims:

              …But it does seem to follow the pattern from the other preprints on the topic of boosters

              1. Moderna came out with one more than a month ago, and while it “worked” in the sense that the B.1.351 [Beta] booster elicited a neutralizing response, the titers were only 40% of those against WT even after the booster. Which is concerning.

              2. Then Oxford came out with their preprint about boosters a few days ago. And guess what the results were there? Titers against B.1.351 with the B.1.351 booster were 40% of those against WT withe the original formulation. And titers against B.1.617.2 with the B.1.351 booster were at 20 to 25% those of the WT. We will have to wait to see what the B.1.617.2 booster will be like, but this is not looking good at all — notice how B.1.351 appeared 6 months ago and we are only now looking at the boosters for it, meanwhile, while B.1.351 thankfully has not become dominant anywhere outside of Africa, we now have another variant that is becoming dominant, and it is something very different in terms of the set of mutations, and we don’t have boosters for it. Whoever thinks we will not be always 6 months behind variants (at least until a pancoronavirus vaccine appears), is either a lunatic or has a nefarious agenda to advance.

              3. Now Novavax came out with their preprint, and as I said, they did not give the exact numbers for the titers, but it does look like titers at 50% of the WT there too.

              So it will work as a booster, but then the next booster will have to be given even sooner than the first…

              GM also pointed out:

              How much the vaccine protects can only be measured if you know how many people were exposed, or if you have a matched control group. Right now there are all sorts of (at least previously) highly respected people loudly touting how in the UK or in the US a very small number of vaccinated people caught the virus, so the efficiency of the vaccine is measured as that small number divided by the very large number of vaccinated people. But this is a schoolboy statistical error that those people know very well not to commit, and the fact that they are so blatantly breaking the rules of proper reasoning is a clear indication that their cheerleading is driven by non-scientific considerations.

              You need to know how many people were exposed, which, however, is usually impossible. This is why you have a control group during trials and vaccine efficiency is measured during trials.

              On the other hand, breakthrough infections are an indisputable observable and that puts a hard upper bound of vaccine efficiency. It can be lower, but not higher than that.

              Similarly, seeing a massive wave in the unvaccinated after vaccinating 60%+ of the population places an indisputable lower bound to the Herd Immunity Threshold — by definition it is way above that because transmission not only did not stop once it was reached but was rampant.

              That’s why the Seychelles, Maldives, Bahrain, and Chile matter a lot more than the UK and the US. And Chile has 17M people, Bahrain has 1.5M, the Maldives have 600K.

              Anecdotal reports in India are that there it is very much the case that vaccinated people are dying — I’ve heard this from numerous people I know about how in some cases multiple relative of theirs have died after being fully vaccinated. There is still a clear protective effect when one looks at death rates in different age groups, but when it is raging so out of control, the few as a percentage breakthrough cases become many as an absolute number. We will probably see what that means exactly very soon in the UK.

      1. Skip Intro

        It may be that Boris, Trump, Bolsonaro, and Modi get tagged as the four horsemen of this particular morbid symptom.

  4. John Siman

    Matt Taibbi’s review of of Barry Meier’s Spooked, the “devastating” new book about the Steele Dossier and the lies of Russigate is, unfortunately, behind a paywall, so I am excerpting several of the opening paragraphs. And may your souls be at peace, O conscientious readers, for I do this not to shoplift from Taibbi, but to encourage you to subscribe to his Substack. He and Greenwald and Michael Tracey are most of what’s left of American journalism at this point! So here is my excerpt from our national treasure Taibbi (maybe I should review Meier’s book too):
    Glenn Simpson, the former Wall Street Journal reporter turned high-priced “oppo” merchant, didn’t like to think of himself as a private investigator. He preferred to describe what he and his firm, Fusion-GPS, did as “journalism for rent,” an activity a class above spying, because a journalist can’t just say what he or she thinks.

    “You have to prove it,” Simpson said. “And that imposes a discipline to the investigative process that people in other fields don’t really absorb… When you’re a spy, you really don’t have to get into a lot of that stuff.”

    Spooked, the meticulous new book on private spying by former New York Times reporter Barry Meier, reads like a direct rebuttal to Simpson, the book’s central character. “There is little question that private investigators take on legitimate assignments,” writes Meier at one point. “Still, everyone in the industry knows its secret — that the big money is made not by exposing the truth but by papering it over.”…

    … Feeling less wanted in the newsroom, and tempted by the money and allure of the private spy world, Simpson made the jump to become an informational Pinkerton, to disastrous effect. Meier emphasizes that for all its flaws, the journalism business at least once imposed some constraints on personalities like Simpson’s, forcing them to stay stuck in the world of evidence. In private spying, those constraints are removed, and a person prone to skipping steps in the proof process can get themselves into some very nasty situations. As Meier put it, “things could go really wrong.”

    As the world knows by now, things did go wrong. The distribution of a dossier compiled by Simpson’s hire, the British ex-spy Christopher Steele, ended up being one of the all-time disasters in the annals both of journalism and private intelligence. Meier humorously notes the problem was magnified by the fact that Donald Trump, of all people, turned out to be the conspiratorial Simpson’s great career target:

    If mischievous and malign spirits had gathered to script the ultimate “oppo” shit show they could not have done worse than to cast Trump and Simpson to star in it. They were made for each other. Trump was prone to conspiracy theories. So was Simpson.

    In the summer and fall of 2016, Simpson brought Steele to a series of meetings with reporters at the Tabard Inn in Washington. The meetings were all off the record, so reporters couldn’t use information directly. Simpson and Steele told reporters their stories were “raw intelligence,” and needed confirming, but with a wink: “he was adamant that everything he had uncovered show that Trump, his staffers, and the Kremlin were engaged in a hydra-headed conspiracy to rig the 2016 election.” One reporter told Meier that Simpson “described Trump as a kind of Manchurian Candidate.”

    The Steele reports were a carefully constructed mirage, a pile of half-assed rumors and speculative phone calls between buddies, laundered into something that looked more reputable when presented as the work of a distinguished ex-spy whose words were polished with the ultimate credibility-enhancer, a British accent.

    That fall of 2016, the failure to get more reporters to bite led Simpson and Steele to take increasingly desperate measures. This included what Simpson told Justice official Bruce Ohr was a “Hail Mary pass” to get attention, i.e. a Mother Jones story by David Corn in which Corn was allowed to quote the “former spy” about Russian efforts to “cultivate” Trump. This was followed by a series of Keystone Kops maneuvers that led to the raw Steele texts getting in the hands of Buzzfeed reporter Ken Bensinger, who according to Meier first heard about the reports when an “intoxicated” Simpson babbled about them at a party.

    Buzzfeed’s fateful decision to publish the entire dossier in early January 2017 made it inevitable that everyone involved — Steele, Simpson, Simpson’s bad-cop partner Peter Fritsch, and worst of all, Simpson’s client, the Hillary Clinton campaign — would ultimately be outed.…

    1. fresno dan

      John Siman
      June 16, 2021 at 7:40 am
      Thank you for that.
      I believe that Trump is a bad man, but it illustrates that making stuff up, having an agenda, losing one’s critical thinking skills, is the path to destruction. I believe there is a Gresham’s law of journalism – bad reporting drives out good reporting, that is, false reports make true reports ever rarer. And as I constantly harp on, Carter Page was subjected to the most outrageous abuse of our star chamber, and nothing substantive is actually done about. I always marveled at the incredible things people believed during the middle ages that was church doctrine – yet trying to find objective reality is not the default position of most people. And those in power will mold perceptions to advance their own agendas.
      Matt Taibbi
      The Domestic War on Terror rollout reads almost exactly like the original. Same calls for budget increases and expanded powers, same theme of organized transnational threats all around us, same surveillance state endgame.
      When one thinks about how much “news” is in fact “analysis” it is amazing how poor the analysis is (purposefully, although I concede many of the analysts are merely stupid), and how it fails to EVER think about things in a novel or fresh way. Isn’t is curious how much bipartisanship, consensus, shared goals the two parties have IN FACT on dismantling the constitution and increasing government power? Sure, repubs say they want small government, and dems say they want civil liberties, but its just advertising…

      1. km

        I believe there is a Gresham’s law of journalism – bad reporting drives out good reporting, that is, false reports make true reports ever rarer.”

        Or perhaps also “false reports make true reports less likely to be believed or noticed.

        Lord knows Trump did plenty of bad things, stupid things, but any reporting of them was drowned out in a avalanche of ZOMG blockbuster the walls R closing in ZOMG stories that turned out to be less than advertised. Those who wanted to like Trump had a reason to ignore the (real) bad reports, and those who didn’t, didn’t need another expose in order to do so.

      2. Procopius

        It seems to me the problem is not so much that most “news” now is “analysis,” it’s that by far most of the “analysis” is speculation, not only about what did happen and what people think, but about the future. Anytime I see a story that says, “Centrist Democrats think …” I know it’s a lie. The writers are not mind readers. Critical thinking has never been very widespread, but it seems worse since 2016. Every time I see “could happen,” “might be,” “risk of,” “may be” my head explodes. I don’t want to hear about “there might be a spike in coronavirus cases in the fall.” I want to hear about what I can do to minimize my risk of being infected. If there’s nothing I can do, you’re just playing the game of “Ain’t it Awful.” Or maybe, “Let’s You and Him Fight.”

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          Speculation, based on underlying premises benefitting certain media, national security and political factions, who all had a shared interest in undermining Trump. The media was for a time able to construct an enormously profitable self-licking ice cream cone/perpetual motion machine by simultaneously featuring/stoking him and fanning click-heavy aghastitude (in Thomas Frank’s coinage) among affluent liberal media audiences.

  5. IM Doc

    The truth out article above about Trump states being sitting ducks for Covid is highly inappropriate and verges on revenge porn.

    I will reiterate again. I have just as many blue liberal folks in my world that are vaccine hesitant as I do red folks.

    And fun fact – the past two weeks in my own practice, every single positive covid patient has been vaccinated. I have not had a single unvaccinated positive patient.

    The testing and surveillance system for Covid has been recently turned into a big joke by the CDC and our health agencies. They are doing zero contact tracing on anyone who is vaccinated so who even knows what the numbers are and how well the vaccines are working. The jabs work so well and it is all so obvious that we are not going to even try.

    The underlying concern for anyone with the will to be unbiased is that it for us out here in flyover country these vaccines are looking more and more everyday like they are Non Sterilizing. They make people less sick (we will soon see how long that lasts) but are not real good at stopping transmission. That is now obvious to me and many others. The numbers and patterns in our own patient cohorts are just too obvious. That pattern comes with its own set of issues and not a thing is being done about it at all. Again, we are not even trying.

    Well as my grandma used to say – pride goeth before a fall. I can do what I can do in my own world. I continue to hope like everyone else that this is all going to work out well. And hopefully it will.

    In the meantime, Someone really must tell these truthout types that they are writing based on profoundly tinkered data and coming to conclusions to please their audience that in the end are the words of blithering imbeciles.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Those vaccines may be making some people less sick, but they’re also making other people terribly ill. I know a fellow who was sick for three weeks. His mother was also sickened by the vaccine.

      In addition, Jimmy Dore has been sharing the story of his reaction to the vaccine on his livestreams. Long story short: He has been suffering ill effects since early April and is now being treated for them. Jimmy’s doctor says that is treating another doctor, also a nurse. Both of them are afraid to speak out — they probably fear retaliation on the job.

      Among other medications, Jimmy’s doctor is using the one whose name begins with “I” and the last two syllables rhyme with “pectin.”

    2. The Rev Kev

      It sounds like your case load will increase too over time as the Delta strain becomes dominant in North America. But when this is all over one day and they start to analyze the data to see what can be learnt for the next pandemic, this will be when all this trash collection of data will come back to haunt them. They will literally have to retrieve a copy of all the medical records for all the hospitals and for all the doctors in America to sort of what was really going on during this pandemic.

      1. Brian (another one they call)

        I will risk abuse by saying “I doubt it” about the “d” version. CV’s can mutate their viability away. But the “vaccines” don’t seem to be helping anyone to avoid the virus while the drug peddlers get rich.
        When we get factual information on the progression of the virus……. Well we know that isn’t going to happen, don’t we?

      1. bassmule

        I dunno. Whose revenge? Wait for a Summer of Trump-sponsored super-spreader events, and then see how you feel about scolding people.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          “…a Summer of Trump-sponsored super-spreader events…”

          O. M. G.

          Forget “long covid,” this, and the link on which IM Doc commented is what “long TDS” looks like.

          From the nyt link “A Momentous Day”:

          …The two governors [Newsom and Cuomo], both Democrats who are facing political difficulties, made their announcements at events that seemed more like rallies than news conferences.

          President Biden will host a 1,000 person gathering on July 4 on the South Lawn of the White House to celebrate the country’s continued return to normalcy. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced that the city would hold a parade on July 7 to honor front line and essential workers.

          Sports venues, bars, gyms and hair salons are open for business. Planes are being jammed full again and would-be travelers are breakin’ down the doors to get on.

          I’m glad you’ve finally emerged from the jungle to rejoin the “post-covid” world. Here’s the 411. The concept of Trump as craven, diabolical super-spreader served its purpose and has been abandoned. The “press” has moved on to desperately trying to preserve the fiction that Trump “lied” when he said that the virus came from a “lab in China.”

        2. IM Doc

          I would like to point out something that has really been bothering me for some time.

          And FYI – I am reporting this as a liberal-leaning Dem – which I have been for decades. Those days however may be rapidly coming to an end. I have tried hard to keep politics out of science and medicine where it most definitely does not belong. In medicine, the “who’s going to pay for it aspect” is most definitely in the political realm – all the stuff going on right now in our culture – absolutely not.

          Because of the absolute negligence of our federal agencies – CDC, etc, and our local health dept – there are entire groups of us practicing physicians out here in the country networking and doing our best to keep each other informed of what is going on. I also heavily keep in touch with my colleagues in my old residency program.

          Therefore, I am exposed to stories all over the country – like this one – which was just reported this week.

          There are literally dozens and dozens more of these stories from every state – that have been reported on the past few months.

          Anyone who thinks these vaccines are NON-STERILIZING – please read this story and explain your position to me. I AM ALL EARS – but spoiler alert – I have dozens more for you to explain away after this one.

          This is unlike the above referenced article in truthout – this is from a main-stream media outlet – NPR in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

          This type of presentation is profoundly common for these stories – and I want to point out to all the obvious problems and how the readers are instantly manipulated into the wrong conclusions. First of all – from the title alone – and then into the meat of the article – is all the rhubarb and Jesus talk – signaling to the Rachel Maddow crowd – that indeed – the rhubarbs are about to take it in the ass. THEY DESERVE IT. How dare anyone question these wonderful vaccines – a TRIUMPH of modern science? These readers will likely not make it past the first few sentences – and put their iPAD down and do a happy dance.

          But if you read to the end – you are told off-handedly – that SIXTY THREE PERCENT of those involved were vaccinated. Please note the comment earlier in the story that vaccination was optimal (we have to make ’em look as bad as possible).

          A self-respecting reporter – would ask – what percent of the vaccinated actually were positive? That 63% seems to be right in line with Fauci’s desire for herd immunity, what do you make of that? – AND MORE IMPORTANT FOR US ALL TO REALIZE – 63% vaccination rates are higher than any metro in the USA – and indeed per Dr. Fauci’s testimony, the staff of the CDC and NIH – and YET THIS STILL HAPPENED……

          None of these questions were reported….I happen to second hand know just a bit about this story – and I can tell you those questions were most assuredly asked – it is just THE ANSWERS DO NOT FIT THE NARRATIVE. So we just do not report it.

          My feeling is the MDs involved went AGAINST THE ADVICE OF THE CDC and did contact tracing on every last person involved. And Oh MY GOD – AY CARUMBA – we actually have an outbreak. As is so common now (and the vaccines may be responsible) the involved are minimally symptomatic. However, and I agree – we have a leaky vaccine. And when that is going on – CONTACT TRACING AND QUARANTINE are vital. Is it really a good idea to have vaccinated positive patients wondering around a Kroger? I know I am old-fashioned, but I really think that is not in the best interest of public health – but the CDC and state health departments are just no longer interested. I really feel that not good things may be coming our way.

          Back to your point about the Trump super-spreader events. I am far less concerned about them – than I am about the anti-science, anti-logic attitudes of the mainstream media, our CDC, and the Rachel Maddow PMC types. They really are insufferably arrogant, are totally wrong – and do not have two neurons firing to even realize the danger they are exposing us all to.

          Just my two cents – from a liberal Dem.

          1. vlade

            Leaky vaccines also create evolutionary pressure cooker.
            IMO, there are few possible outcomes, and I have no idea which one is more likely (if any).

            One is that we get a much worse variant – more infectious, more deadly. Delta seems to be heading that way, and when it runs into the UK full of one-shot vaccinated, who knows what it will mutate into.

            The other is that we breed a virus that’s actually less deadly, even if it was way more infectuous. Basically, we’ll learn to live with it, like we did with (some) other viruses. I’m not ruling this out as we have coronaviruses in the wild already that we live with, so it’s not as fundamentally out as say with pox or similar.

            The last one is a big pharma wet dream – that we end up with a virus that’s harsh on unvaccinated, but mild (even if very transmissible) to vaccinated. Just requires a booster every 6-12 months. Keep the vaccines rolling!

          2. David B Harrison

            I’ll give you an example of the fantastic public health system brought to us by neoliberalism. I was diagnosed with covid-19 on Nov.3,2020 and sent home to die(which obviously didn’t happen). I was supposed to be contacted by the local health department(I wasn’t) so I contacted them myself and was supposed to do an on phone interview. My on phone interview was conducted on Nov.13,2021 the last day of quarantine(11 days late). I was released and went to work the next day.

          3. Arizona Slim

            The 63% figure is the one that jumped right out at me.

            Which means I’m just going to keep right on with my socially distant, mask-wearing ways. Don’t think I’ll be going to camp — or any other crowded venue — anytime soon.

            Thanks for being you, IM Doc. I’m no fan of the medical profession, but if I was in your town, you would SO be my doctor.

          4. Procopius

            I’m not a data analyst, but I think I would like to know what percentage of the population these cases came from are vaccinated — one or two jabs, preferably separately enumerated. That comparison would be informative. When I see statistics like this I always think of, “100% of heroin addicts have drunk milk, so milk must be a gateway drug.” If 63% of these cases are people who have been vaccinated, that would seem to suggest that, “The Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective,” is kind of dubious. I dunno. I’m grateful for your fact-based reports, Doc, but I’m not sure I always understand them.

          5. Barry

            I think you need to reread the link you have given and the links in that article.
            If you delve deeper one finds that the 63% vaccinated mentioned is ALL their staff across ALL their sites (they have more than one) .
            The number of staff who got covid who were fully vaccinated was mentioned as SEVERAL.
            They also record their decision on May 17 to NOT need the wearing of masks and then on June 6 to have their first covid case.

          6. SE

            I completely agree. Thank you for sharing this. I have absolutely had the sense that there are stories like these that are not getting covered just from what I have been hearing anecdotally. E.g, friends who are doctors saying that their hospital is now seeing high numbers of symptomatic breakthrough with staff that was vaccinated six months ago. I had heard this story and then, perhaps the same week, I saw something very similar from a doctor posted here on NC. And yet you see nothing in the press but, ‘unvaccinated people are at risk, only unvaccinated people. Vaccinated people are invincible, therefore get your shot.’ One thing I would like to see from this article is how many vaccinated people got covid? The article is missing that.

            Massachusetts is doing a better is doing a better job of tracking breakthroughs. This article: Indicates 500 breakthroughs since May 17th. I haven’t looked yet total cases since then, but a quick glance shows 7 day average for Massachusetts at 100 people per day. So….500 in the in less than three week looks not to be such a small percentage of total infections. What is the real rate?

            My question is, as a doctor in a medical practice who sees a lot of cases, would have any guess at what the real rate of breakthrough is at the moment? (It’s something I would expect to change over time)

    3. Tom Stone

      IM Doc, ithas been 4 months since my first shot of the Moderna Vaccine and I am happy to say that the side effects are diminishing.
      All of my old injuries flared up for several Months, particularly my elbows, both of which had been sprained badly in the past and healed (I thought) completely.
      It’s still not comfortable, but for the first 3 months I was awakened by pain whenever either elbow my sleep.
      I think it’s time to source Ivermectin…

    4. Lemmy Caution

      RE: The testing and surveillance system for Covid has been recently turned into a big joke by the CDC and our health agencies. They are doing zero contact tracing on anyone who is vaccinated so who even knows what the numbers are and how well the vaccines are working.

      This fact alone suggests the fix is in big time. Speaking as a complete lay person, it seems to me that the Covid vaccine rollout is a big, fat Phase 3 trial with an experimental drug. For some reason, the powers that be are intentionally bungling the back-end component of the experiment.

      Setting aside the lack of informed consent (for example, is it widespread knowledge that the Covid mRNA vaccines have caused more deaths and serious adverse events than all of the previous 70 vaccines that have been in use for 30 years, combined?), it’s my understanding that in a true Phase 3 trial, follow up with every single participant is not optional – rigorous, ongoing and meticulously documented follow up is in fact the whole point of the exercise.

      For the CDC to publicly announce that, “Nah, we’re not really interested in any adverse events among vaccine recipients unless they die or are hospitalized” gives away the game.

      This is especially incomprehensible given that the mRNA vaccines aren’t behaving as anticipated. The vaccine does not stay put in the deltoid muscle – the lipids travel throughout the body. The spike protein is not harmless – it actually causes damage. And the lipids apparently accumulate in the ovaries and bone marrow – no one knows what that may lead to 6 months, a year or several years down the road.

      Rigorous tracking of vaccine recipients might provide early clues as to who should get the vaccine, which vaccines are safer or less safe than others for a particular group and so on. But capturing that data is left up to individual states and it’s not clear if there is any mechanism for collating that data and interpreting it.

      All of these anomalies and many more is covered in a very eye-opening YouTube discussion that includes Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of mRNA Vaccine technology and Mr. Steve Kirsch, an entrepreneur who has been researching adverse reactions to COVID vaccines. It’s lengthy, but they cover a lot of ground and all of it is extremely thought-provoking.

      1. tegnost

        it’s my understanding that in a true Phase 3 trial, follow up with every single participant is not optional
        But this is america.
        Don’t measure what you don’t want to know.
        The “march to mediocrity” trundles ever onward…
        Get to work serf.

      2. Mildred Montana

        As my favorite radio talk-show host used to say repeatedly: “You are making a serious mistake if you think the people in charge know what they’re doing.”

        He was an ex-politician so he knew the way things worked. Despite high ratings his show was abruptly cancelled by the station’s corporate owner before his contract had expired.

        He has since died. Another truth-teller gone.

        1. Lemmy Caution

          In fact it seems like the people in charge do know what they are doing.

          They are elevating all of the positive aspects of the covid vaccines and suppressing or ignoring all of the risks and negative outcomes as well as suppressing discussion of alternative treatments that include cheap, effective, off-patent drugs that have decades-long safety records.

          1. Mildred Montana

            I should say that when that talk-show host referred to “people in charge” he was talking about government officials. In his heyday (20 years ago) corporate power was still somewhat restrained—or at least decent pretenses were made.

            There’s no doubt that the people in charge of pharmaceutical companies know exactly what they are doing—making money. Data that contradict those desired are all too often ignored (or suppressed as you say) because they jeopardize profits, stock price, executive compensation. etc.

            But mere bureaucrats? As NC occasionally reminds readers, “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, ignorance, or incompetence”. Or laziness I might add.

            Independent research, critical thinking, and asking unwelcome questions, these are all hard things to do. Easier for bureaucrats to rubber-stamp the latest company data (which they might be ignorant about) and head for lunch. No malice—intentional wrong-doing—there.

            Regulatory capture, if it applies in the case of the CDC and FDA, is another matter. Because it necessarily involves the highest-level bureaucrats at those agencies, you may be right. They probably know what they are doing.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        Haven’t used the phrase “cognitive dissonance” much recently, but the cd over the past several days is just plain cacophonous.

        On the same day that notorious covid f*ckup, andrew cuomo, proclaims it “momentous” that ny is emerging from the covid scourge and is again open for business, the threat level of a covid variant sweeping the land is escalated to screaming red.

        Without any discernible public follow-up, the covid “vaccines,” plural, are all declared to be “our” only defense.

        I feel like I’m stuck in a very slow-moving Orson Welles production of “War of the Worlds.” From the Smithsonian:

        In a 1960 court deposition, as part of a lawsuit suing CBS to be recognized as the broadcast’s rightful co-author, Welles offered an explanation for his inspiration for War of the Worlds: “I had conceived the idea of doing a radio broadcast in such a manner that a crisis would actually seem to be happening,” he said, “and would be broadcast in such a dramatized form as to appear to be a real event taking place at that time, rather than a mere radio play.”

      4. FluffytheObeseCat

        “….is it widespread knowledge that the Covid mRNA vaccines have caused more deaths and serious adverse events than all of the previous 70 vaccines that have been in use for 30 years, combined”

        This needs a link or citation.

        1. Lemmy Caution

          Here is the point in a three-way discussion where Dr. Bret Weinstein, evolutionary biologist, Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology, and Steve Kirsch, an entrepreneur who has been researching adverse reactions to COVID vaccines, discuss a graph depicting the explosion of serious adverse reactions reported in the VAERS system that coincide with the introduction of the Covid mRNA vaccines.
          Here is the same graph with supporting data and information, as posted on the site.

          1. Phillip Cross

            Be careful about putting too much weight on that VAERS number. Just because there is a report in there, it does not mean it was a confirmed as something actually caused by the vaccine.

            People die and develop illnesses all the time, vaccine or no. When you have a sample size of 150m of society’s most vulnerable people, you would expect all manner of horrible coincidental outcomes to happen.

            Since HHS tells us “VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning it relies on individuals to send in reports of their experiences. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, including parents and patients.”, many of these will get entered into VAERS because many people have been ‘shat up’ by torrential streams of disinformation and decided 2+2=7.

            Go ahead and report one yourself!

            1. IM Doc

              Thank you for the party line.


              The issue is not the actual numbers – it is the sudden surge of exactly the same complications that can be very informative. The VAERS system has been critically important in the past for sussing out vaccine issues – most notably with Gardasil and shingles.

              I have been telling my patients who ask about VAERS some simple facts. The actual numbers of this or that problem are really not accurate. However, trends and comparisons to previous vaccines are critical. The death numbers and morbid complications are simply breathtakingly off the charts – and I think it is very very foolish to ignore that in this situation when appropriate testing has never been done on these vaccines.

              So, for example, it is crystal clear in the VAERS data that these vaccines are very problematic for pregnant women – very elevated miscarriage rates. Some Western countries with functional health agencies have banned their use in pregnancy. Not here of course.

              I was very happy to see this today in the MMWR –

              They are lamenting the fact that less than 20% of pregnant patients are getting COVID vaccinated in USA.

              I, however, could not be more happy. It tells me there are legions of docs out in the real world paying attention – and guiding their patients safely.

              VAERS tells us that it is clearly risky to vaccinate pregnant women with these vaccines. The risks far outweigh the benefits. The trendlines for miscarriage compared to other vaccines in VAERS are awful.

              And here is the thing – if you think that it is just the patients reading the VAERS and being bamboozled – you are sadly mistaken. The MMWR report linked above tells me that the OB docs in this country have been reading the VAERS too – and despite their national orgs encouraging vaccination – are telling women NO WAY. I do not have an OB in my entire circle that is telling pregnant women to vaccinate. Not one.

              I am far from anti-vaccine – have given out over 30000 over my life. I am however very leery of things not fully tested – and feel that the risks and benefits must be weighed for every patient. The VAERS is critical for me to be able to do that. Unlike Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity – I do actually know how to read the system and use it appropriately – and so do the vast majority of docs in this country. It is a sad day that tools like VAERS have been weaponized in our political wars.

              1. Phillip Cross

                Come on now! A report in VAERS is not equivalent to a health problem actually caused by a vaccine.

                Anyone (even me) can add a report to VAERS on that page. The reporters can genuinely believe the adverse event was caused by the vaccine, but that does not mean it is actually the case. Belief is not proof.

                1. Katniss Everdeen

                  Tell that to the federal government / fda which, in granting an EUA, “pledge” to actively monitor the “safety” of the experimental vaccine. VAERS is part of the

                  “well-established post-authorization/post-approval vaccine safety monitoring infrastructure that will be scaled up to meet the needs of a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination program.

                  Once again, from that handy fda EUA “explainer” that no one bothers to read:

                  Post-authorization vaccine safety monitoring is a federal government responsibility shared primarily by FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with other agencies involved in healthcare delivery….

                  The U.S. government has a well-established post-authorization/post-approval vaccine safety monitoring infrastructure that will be scaled up to meet the needs of a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination program. The U.S. government – in partnership with health systems, academic centers, and private sector partners – will use multiple existing vaccine safety monitoring systems to monitor COVID-19 vaccines in the post-authorization/approval period. Some of these systems are the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), the Biologics Effectiveness and Safety (BEST) Initiative, and Medicare claims data.

                  If VAERS is inadequate, it is by design. As intimated by Weinstein et al. in the video / podcast.


                2. IM Doc

                  I am sorry – you clearly do not understand how the system works. –

                  I am not a reporter believing anything when I look at VAERS – I am a physician looking at trends to help my patients. If a reporter does not understand how to use the system – maybe they should not be reporting about it.

                  It is meant to look at overall trends – it is not meant to look at individual cases. It is an early warning system – and IT IS SCREAMING things to us – that are being roundly ignored by our health officials for the first time in my professional career. I have read many papers and sat through many lectures about how the VAERS has done this or that in previous years. Interesting how that has all gone by the wayside and minimized. We do live in very concerning times.

                  For the first time in my career, docs at big hospital systems are being forced to run any and all patient safety vaccine issues through the risk management dept before going to VAERS. They are being threatened with being fired if the CDC through VAERS requests their patient’s medical records. Neither has ever happened in my life before – Why would you say that is?

                  Such is the misinformation out there about VAERS in our media that good-hearted laymen like yourself are confused – and trying to make things of it that it was never designed to do. Again – something that has served the medical community for a long time has been weaponized by the media/politics. We live in very tragic times.

                  I am just not sure what else to say.

                  FYI – all of the more than a dozen patient issues that I have reported to VAERS this year have ABSOLUTELY been things caused by one of these vaccines.

                  1. Phillip Cross

                    Are you trying to tell me that I cannot submit a report to VAERS if I believe there had been an adverse reaction?

                    If anyone can do it, (they can) you cannot say that the data tells us anything other than number of reports people filed.

                    It does not tell us the number of reactions proven to be caused by the vaccine.

                3. Objective Ace

                  >A report in VAERS is not equivalent to a health problem actually caused by a vaccine.

                  This is true. But the substantial increase (from 150 yearly to 6000 in a 6 months) should at least give us pause and make us want to confirm there is no health problem. However, the CDC and FDA for whatever reason are not doing that. I hope you are right and there is no health problem with the vaccines, but the lack of interest in the matter by out public health agencies is not an endorsing statement to me that makes me inclined to get vaccinated

                  1. Phillip Cross

                    I haven’t had a vaccine for 30 years+, but they have jabbed 150m arms of the nations most vulnerable in the last 6 months. Unprecedented in the history of VAERS. Usually it’s just healthy kids getting vacinnes. A massive uptick in coincidental health issues is to be expected. Adults suddenly get sick and die in large numbers all the time.

                    Is there any data on health issues happening at an above average rate?

                    1. Fred

                      This is not remotely correct. About 170m people got the flu shot last year, skewed to older and more vulnerable people. How many deaths in VAERS? 42

                      And that happens every year.

                4. ChrisPacific

                  If I’ve been following this correctly, I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of VAERS. It’s not intended to establish cause. It’s designed to capture EVERY adverse reaction following a vaccine, in order to provide a complete record of data. This data can then be used for further analysis to determine whether any of the reactions is potentially caused by the vaccine – typically by comparing the rate of incidence to the expected baseline rate in the population, and looking for large discrepancies.

                  Some of the problematic cases I’ve seen, like myocarditis in teens, are showing numbers a factor of 10 or 20 higher than baseline rates. You can say that doesn’t prove causality, and you would be correct – but it does strongly indicate that it should be raised as a hypothesis and tested in the interests of public safety, and also that public health advice should be updated if the effect is significant enough. If there’s enough data suggesting it MIGHT be true then it’s also appropriate to take precautions with patients that fit the criteria, at least until it’s definitively proven one way or another.

                  All of the above is exactly what IM Doc is doing, from my reading, and your comment does not refute any of it. Your contention that it’s being corrupted by misinformation is not borne out by any of the analysis that I’ve seen – in fact, for non-problematic cases the reporting rate for adverse events appears to track the population baseline rate extremely closely.

                  1. Phillip Cross

                    “It’s not intended to establish cause.”


                    VAERS tells us how many reports have been filed by anyone who feels they wish to make a report, and the public are able to file unverifiable reports online.

                    So VAERS does not tell us how many adverse reactions have been caused by the vaccine.

                    However, FUD merchants will tell you otherwise.

                    1. ChrisPacific

                      Your arguments seem to boil down to (a) VAERS does not prove cause and (b) some irresponsible elements in the media arguing that it does should not be believed. I think everyone in the discussion is happy to concede both those points. However, neither of them hits the key point, which is what to do in cases where a cause is strongly suggested by empirical evidence but not yet proven.

                      You seem to be going further and arguing that because the VAERS data doesn’t establish cause, it’s useless. I strongly reject this argument. It’s empirical evidence, which in rapidly evolving situations like this one is often all we have to work with for a while. Like all empirical evidence it should be viewed with skepticism (VAERS itself comes with disclaimers to this effect, and outlines possible sources of bias). However, from what I can tell it appears to be reasonably high quality, with most reactions tracking very closely to the baseline rate in the population as a whole. If I see an order of magnitude discrepancy in a particular category in a dataset with that baseline level of fidelity, I’d call it cause for concern. Yes, it should be considered in context (20 times a very small number might still be a small number) and yes, the risk calculus might still favor taking the vaccine if you live somewhere like the US with high baseline risk of Covid. But if you’re suggesting – as you appear to be – that the data is useless, I would say you are every bit as guilty of exaggeration as the FUD merchants you are criticizing

            2. Objective Ace

              The covid vaccine is not being given to just societys most vulnerable people. Its been given to almost half the population already, which is about the amount of people who get a flue vaccine every year.

              So we normally have over 150 million vaccines a year, and usually about 150 deaths. Over the past 6 months we’ve had 6000 deaths from at most an additional 150 million vaccine administration. Even if the Covid population does skew slightly older and sicker (which I’m not convinced it does) you cant really expect that to account for an 80 fold increase

              1. Phillip Cross

                I’m the US, ~8000 people usually die each month. Most of those fall in the group of 150m who have been vaccinated. We have been jabbing for 5 months, so at least 20-40k people who got the vaccine are now dead. When you consider that Faceborg, twitter and blog comments have been full of vaccine FUD for the last year, would it surprise you if relatives of those people thought 2+2=5 and reported some of these deaths into VAERS?

                What’s stopping them?

      5. QuicksilverMessenger

        Yet, as I said in a comment to someone else who posted that video the other day, Dr Malone and his wife (another vaccine expert) both got the Moderna vaccine. It’s toward the end of the video, after the 2:30:00 mark. Not venturing an opinion about what’s going on with the various vaccines, but I thought it was interesting point in the discussion

        1. Lemmy Caution

          He also said that he waited quite awhile to get vaccinated, to see what sort of reactions began to emerge. You could say he was eventually coerced by the airlines into getting the vaccine because of his need to travel.

          Is this really the model we want to follow? Being essentially forced to take an experimental drug whose side effects are poorly understood or face the loss of your livelihood?

          1. QuicksilverMessenger

            But he also said that he saw no increases in ADE (which was one thing he was waiting to see about), and that it also helps with long covid, which has been much discussed here at NC. So it was certainly not just about travel. Though, like you, I am definitely worried about the coercive nature of the vax push. I am dreading next school year if they start to require these shots for my daughter in school. I don’t know what I will do. I’m certainly no vax cheerleader, but I am also not anti-. I got the JJ shot and it was not a pleasant experience.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            Being essentially forced to take an experimental drug whose side effects are poorly understood or face the loss of your livelihood?

            “The courts” certainly think so. See the Houston Methodist judge’s “decision.”

      6. .Tom

        Thanks for the YouTube link.

        It’s a little reassuring to feel less alone, even if the facts of the matter are scary. I can think of one person I know who I can safely share it with. One more than none at all.

    5. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      For a bunch of self-assured technocrats, they do seem to be bunglers, don’t they?

    6. flora

      Thank you. Indeed. Good to know – I guess – that my red flyover state is one among many getting setup by the MSM for blame if this fall and winter’s numbers are high, not the CDC or the FDA.

    7. Katiebird

      One of my sisters just shared a photo of her and 3 friends sharing the tiniest (indoor) table for a happy lunch. They are all vaccinated and very excited about the freedom that gives them.

      I really worry about that attitude. Do we really know how much freedom the vaccines grant? And all the travel, doesn’t that just stir the COVID stew around?

      1. tegnost

        Really…you know some trump super spreaders?
        …and I used to think so highly of you…*snark alert*
        I still think quite highly of you, indeed, yesterday I was thinking I hadn’t seen a katiebird for a couple of days and I missed your pleasant trillings…

        1. Katiebird

          (Blushing) Your kind words — I don’t know what to say…

          I could have said Biden/Dem supporters — but I really don’t know if that’s true. They sure wouldn’t be Trump supporters though.

          I do fear/dread new super spreader events. COVID holds so many secrets and is still basically new. So these totally NOT social distanced lunches seem dangerous. Also, family planning cross country visits. Won’t that possibly spread variants from one part of the country to another?

          1. tegnost

            another commenter may have implied that, if there were a super spreader event, it would most certainly be trump supporters in attendance…a claim that from personal observation seems a bit narrow.
            My county had a great record but now in a couple of stores I’ve seen no masking going on. I’m going to keep wearing my masks…

            1. Krystyn Podgajski

              I have been out of the loop but quickly catching up. I do not understand the resistance to vaccinated people feeling unsafe dropping the mask. I am at high risk for COVID19, and I have traveled across the country, vaccinated, sitting in many places without a mask.

              I refuse to think about this stuff anymore and if a store or state says I do not have to wear a mask I will not wear one. We have ample opportunities for people to get a vaccine, I cannot live my life for those people anymore.

              But is this reaction of keeping the mask on forever the opposite extreme of the anti-vax? One side overly fears the vaccine, and the other, the virus.

              1. Milton

                Seems to me we have a bunch of Mrs Tishells running around–fearful of removing their mask as it has become a sort of security blanket or pacifier. Again, nothing wrong with donning the mask indoors (I do) but this outdoors masking nonsense is ridiculous.

                1. Lee

                  You must have missed an episode. Much to Doc Martin’s surprise, he found that Mrs. Tisshell was not goldbricking but did indeed require her neck brace to keep her head from flopping over. Do try to keep up!

                2. c_heale

                  Outdoors masking is not ridiculous if you are in close proximity to other people. Why do you think Korea has many fewer cases than Westerm countries.

                3. Procopius

                  What’s wrong with wearing my mask outdoors? Maybe it’s unnecessary, but I’m comfortable with it. I don’t really care if you think it’s ridiculous, and I don’t care if you choose not to wear one. Knock yourself out; I’m still wearing my mask.

              2. Skunk

                The vaccines prevent serious illness, but not necessarily infection. So even if you are vaccinated, you could potentially be infected asymptomatically. That might not sound too bad at first, but if you check out the links above, you’ll see that it’s possible to get long COVID even if you are infected asymptomatically.

    8. Lee

      Did you by any chance view the three hour and sixteen minute discussion between Dr. Robert Malone, Bret Weinstein, and (irritating serial interrupter) Steve Kirsch? The video has been up for five days and garnered a half million views. Oddly, even though YouTube’s own guidelines do not allow positive things to be said about ivermectin as being potentially effective against Covid-19, their ham-handed censors have left it alone. There is also much discussion of flaws in the mRNA vaccines’ design causing possible harmful effects, perverse incentive, regulatory capture, and so on. Here’s the link:

      Cheers, and thank you for your very helpful participation here.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        Watched the entire discussion and the time spent was well worth it.

        Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of mRNA vaccine technology, raises many serious concerns about the Covid vaccines as more is learned about how the vaccines behave inside the human body.

        1. marku52

          I was hoping he would disprove the alarming statements in the blog post “should I get vaccinated?”.

          But no. Dr Malone pretty much agrees across the board. These vaccines are not safe. they were supposed to bind the spike protein but they do not. As a result spike protein– which damages the epithelial walls –circulates in the blood. This probably causes the myocarditis that we are seeing in young kids. And lot of spike gets generated in the ovaries, causing myrifold reproductive problems.

          It’s really a disaster of unfolding proportions.

      2. Maritimer

        What a great inspiration it was to hear Weinstein and his guests discuss Covid. An actual exchange of opinions and experience! What a contrast to the constant drumbeat of Propaganda from our Emergency Government.

        One thought I had was that Weinstein should consider having a lawyer/prosecutor (if he could find an unintimidated one) and present his evidence to him regarding Government actions and anomalies re Covid. And get his opinion on what one could reasonably assume is going on.

        Kudos to IM Doc for his forthrightness. I used to work in Pharma IT back in the late 90s. An immoral, corrupt business and I could not get out fast enough.

    9. Randy G

      Much appreciate hearing the perspective of an honest medical doctor without an agenda. They appear to be rare — or hiding in plain sight by not saying much. Since I continue to wear a mask during indoor shopping, a couple of people asked in polite conversation why I chose not to get vaccinated. Actually, I am vaccinated with the Jannsen vaccine.

      Not keen on being a guinea pig for Pfizer, I went with a better established technology (Sputnik not available, of course, in the ‘Homeland’ of the Empire.) I assume I can still get Covid but the vaccine (which had zero side effects other than a slightly sore arm) might protect me against a severe case.

      Now that the Covid crisis has been declared over by our “elites”, I assume it will come roaring back in the fall. (Hope to be mistaken.)

      Everything coming from U.S. corporate media or the corporate medical establishment should be treated with informed skepticism. They have an agenda.

    10. Carolinian

      Thanks as always. Some of us have long been aware of the doubts you mention because there has always been a great deal of vax dissent available on the web even if censored from Facebook and Youtube. This leaves it up to the reader to separate legitimate medical opinion from the vax CT crowd based on reading between the lines. So it’s a crisis of journalism as well as everything else.

    11. EGrise

      “With malice toward none; with charity for all”

      – some guy referring to an earlier national catastrophe

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Some guy who never foresaw assassination and whose ” Plan B” turned out to be the pro-Slaveowner Andrew Johnson.

    12. Louis

      There unfortunately is a segment of the left that is secretly or not so secretly, hoping for mass death in Red States and get really upset when their predictions of mass death in Red States don’t pan out.

      You are correct that vaccine hesistency is not limited to the right.

      I’m left leaning and full-vaccinated but this derangement mentality needs to stop–it’s not normal or healthy, or is it going to get us anywhere.

      1. rowlf

        I’m put off by the scary religious zeal that the sinners should be punished for not believing like the smart people.

    13. Aumua

      Unpopular opinion (avert eyes if sensitive):

      The vaccines seem to be generally very safe, with only a small fraction of a percentage of potentially dangerous reactions. Also they seem to be working pretty well. Just look at the worldometer numbers. Yes there is no guarantee that the vaccines prevent people from getting covid, getting sick or transmitting it. But I think it’s pretty clear that they do prevent exposed people from even catching at all it in the majority of cases. Once again, look at the numbers. In addition, the vaccines prevent death in nearly 100% of the cases.

      I get the doubts, and it’s ok to have them. But just look at the way that healthy skepticism has taken off around here in just a few days into rampant suspicion and wild speculations of coverup and conspiracy, much of which is coming from only a very few questionable at best sources. I’m just saying lets all keep our pants on here.

      1. IM Doc

        Yes – I agree the symptoms are much diminished as are hospitalizations and deaths. When you look at the big picture of pandemics, it is completely unclear if this is related to the vaccines – or if this is just the natural course. The big drop off started long before the vaccines had a chance to do a thing. Pandemics are all different – they peter out, they get worse – we just do not know what this one is going to do. Right now – things are looking great – and I along with everyone hope it stays that way.

        But, one of the very concerning things that can happen is to have a leaky vaccine. This is a virologic fact – and there are folks everywhere seeing the same things I am reporting here – just not in the media – who are completely involved in their own narratives and stories.

        That development would not be good news. The pandemic could still peter out – but it could also get very ugly. It has gone both ways in both human and veterinary medicine. I think your assertion that it is preventing exposed people from catching it is not supportable in our current venue – completely inadequate testing and contact tracing is being done – there is no way to make assertions like that with incomplete testing. We just do not know where we are with that issue.

        I am not seeing the “rampant suspicion and coverups and conspiracy ” that you are seeing. I find it tragic that questioning, hypothesizing, and taking care of one’s own patients is now considered a conspiracy theory. That is part of the problem and the tragedy we are living through today.

        As far as “keeping pants on” – that is my life every day. I deal with life or death daily. I have had times in my life – AIDS – for example – that are far worse than this – I have not had to sign 12 death certificates daily for weeks like I did then. I am having to deal with things I have never dealt with before this past year – legions of confused patients – because of the negligence of our agencies.

        1. Aumua

          I agree with you that correlation is not necessarily causation about the decline in virus numbers and vaccines, but the the correlation is pretty strong to be fair. Also I do admit that I myself am speculating that the covid vaccine prevents infection in the majority of cases. I don’t know that for a fact, but that is what vaccines are supposed to do right? So it’s not that unreasonable to assume that is what they are doing. There’s been plenty of talk of coverups recently too, about the fatality numbers being fake or manipulated, doctors having agendas, false claims by authorities etc. Some of which are undoubtedly true. The authorities do not inspire confidence with their waffling and lack of useful information. So, we just have a lot of uncertainty, still. Like there has been the entire time around this whole thing. And that unfortunately is a fertile breeding ground for jumping to all kinds of conclusions, whether they are really supported or not.

      2. Tom Bradford

        The vaccines seem to be generally very safe,

        is the problem for me.
        They seem to be very safe if you read one set of data-wielding zealots, but don’t seem to be safe if you read another set of data-wielding zealots. While I’m not inclined to automatically place my faith in “the Authorities”, not all sinister-conspiracy-out-to-get-us paranoids wear obvious tin-foil hats.

        While I give a lot of weight to IM Doc’s contributions here his statement:

        I do actually know how to read the system and use it appropriately – and so do the vast majority of docs in this country. It is a sad day that tools like VAERS have been weaponized in our political wars.

        troubles me, for if the vast majority of docs (in the US) can see what he claims to see why are so few speaking out? “The Authorities” might be able to intimidate or brow-beat a few docs with doubts into keeping them to themselves, but the “vast majority”? There’s strength in numbers, and I refuse to believe only a handful of doctors in the US have IM Doc’s regard for their Hippocratic Oath.

        Too the “political wars” he claims to be weaponising tools like VAERS are only raging in the US. Would the medical professions in the UK, Europe and other places where these vaccines being rolled out be as supine in the face of widespread experience of adverse reactions to the vaccines as he seems to be suggesting is the case in the US?

        Politics and third-rate politicians cost us all the opportunity to nip this in the bud last March/April with a world-wide, brutal and expensive lock-down which we would now be well out of and have had months of picking up the pieces at far less economic cost and disruption than is the on-going blundering and chaos. Given that Covid won the first round our choices now seem to be conceding it the field or fighting back with the weapons, however imperfect, we have.

        1. IM Doc

          With regard to the physicians and agencies in Europe –
          Would encourage you to look at recent news out of Europe.

          Germany is not recommending the vaccines for anyone under 20 unless they have other risk factors as of late last week.

          The UK, I read today on the BBC, has its main FDA-like agency looking to recommend the same.

          They may not have political wars ( I do not know – I do not live there) raging in those 2 major allies of ours – but they certainly seem to have scientists and medical people who are looking at the data and taking action to mitigate risk UNTIL MORE INFORMATION IS KNOWN.

          As for the docs here and our Hippocratic Oath – please read my earlier comment about the OB physicians. I do not think more than 80% of the pregnant women in this country have declined the vaccine just because what they read on the Internet – it is clear to me talking with colleagues that many OB physicians have read the VAERS as well. They are actively discouraging the vaccine until after the delivery. I know – I have talked to multiple of them. The same thing is now beginning to happen in the pediatric cardiology community with all the myocarditis showing up.

          And unfortunately – the “Vast Majority” of docs in this country are not able to talk – it is a problem that has been building for years – they are employees now – and risk losing it all for saying a word. I listen and talk to docs all the time who are profoundly concerned about what is going on – and just competely unable to talk because of their situation. Yes it is our own fault – we have given up much independence – but the price is now becoming painfully obvious to many.

          I am in a fairly comfortable position where I am – but still am anonymous because I just do not want to take the chance right now.

          And if you do not feel that the VAERS system has been politicized in our current malaise – you simply have not been paying attention. I would love for you to walk in my shoes any day and talk to the patients who are just massively confused. We have the right telling them one thing – the left telling them the polar opposite. The authorities who should in other times be able to clear the confusion are completely impotent and untrusted – they have been compromised after months of dissembling, politicking and outright lying.

          It is a situation in this country that I would never have dreamed possible just 10 years ago.

    14. kareninca

      “And fun fact – the past two weeks in my own practice, every single positive covid patient has been vaccinated. I have not had a single unvaccinated positive patient.”

      Could that possibly be a first sign of antibody dependent enhancement due to the vaccines?

      1. Ohnoyoucantdothat

        Was wondering the same thing. Had 2nd Moderna shot 6 days before international flight which required negative PCR test. Came up negative but had a sleepless night awaiting results. Had heard many stories about positive tests after shots with no symptoms. Is there a possibility that vaccines could generate false positive PCR tests?

  6. Bill Smith

    “The Policy That Might Have Rescued America And Stopped Trump”

    The article makes this claim, in one way or another, more than once:

    “even though judges were free to keep using cramdown to shield wealthy people’s investment properties and vacation homes from creditors.”

    There is no support offered for that claim in the article. I looked at the linked study and could not figure it out from there either.

    Anyone have an idea how that would work?

    1. Tom Stone

      Yes, Until the “Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005” a mortgage on your primary residence could be “Crammed Down” by a Bankruptcy judge as could second homes, third homes and so on.
      After the “Reform” passed it was no longer possible for a BK judge to “Cram Down” the mortgage on your primary residence, however (S)he could cram down the Mortgage on second homes, third homes and so on.
      Easy to game if you wealthy.
      Thanks JB!

      1. km

        Refresh my memory, who was the principal Senate architect of the “Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005”?

        1. EGrise

          The increase in Republican majorities in the Senate and House after the 2004 elections breathed new life into the bill, which was introduced in its current form by the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. According to George Packer in his book The Unwinding, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, and Hillary Clinton helped pass this bill. (Of the three, however, only Biden voted for the final bill. Dodd voted against, and Clinton did not vote.) The bill was supported by President George W. Bush. Tom DeLay also championed the legislation. The bill passed by large margins, 302-126 in the House and 74-25 in the Senate, and was signed into law by President Bush.

          – via Wikipedia

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Face to face: Biden, Putin meet for long-anticipated summit”

    I’d pay good money to listen to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov argiung together. But I can see Biden sitting down with Putin and playing their little game together. It would go like this-

    Biden: ‘What about the civil rights of all those people arrested during the protests last year? Check.’

    Putin: ‘What about the civil rights of all those people arrested after the Jan 6th protest this year? Check.’

    Biden: ‘I want to bring up the topic of Alex Navalny. Check.’

    Putin: ‘I want to bring up the topic of Julian Assange. Check.’

    Biden: ‘What about you threatening the Ukraine recently? Check.’

    Putin: ‘What about you threatening Russia with military maneuvers from the Arctic through to the Black Sea? Check.’

    Biden: ‘What about you supporting Assad in Syria? Check.’

    Putin: ‘What about you supporting Al-Qaeda in Syria? Check.’

    Biden: ‘Let’s call it a stalemate then. GG man, GG. Let’s go get a drink.’

  8. Adrian D.

    A few peices there on the scariness of the delta variant, but it would be good to see some focus from those publications on the astonishing turn around in case rates in the country where it emerged. It also wasn’t so long ago that we were hearing about a Nepali variant too.

    For reference:

    It doesn’t appear to be more dangerous in the UK where hospitalisation-by-case figures have not increased.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      UK hospitalisation rates are increasing and have been since late May. Its a lagging indicator, its rising at the same level of infections, just several weeks after.

      1. Adrian D.

        Yes over all, but the absolute values are very low and the direction of travel in the ‘hot spots’ (where NHS capacity was never actually challenged anyway) are all in a positive direction. Bolton and Bedford (which were all over the news a few weeks ago have already peaked).

        This graphic from Prof Colin Angus shows this clearly in case rate terms (if you don’t follow him already you should – especially if you’re a R stats user as he always links to code and his visualisations are great):. As the tweet implies, he’s no sceptic and certainly not a cherrypicker.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          SAGE has pretty good modelling, there is no good reason to contradict it so far as I’m aware. Regional peaks and troughs are irrelevant to the big picture. Case rates are doubling every 9 to 14 days, and this is with a partial lockdown and high vaccination rates and so far there is no evidence that hospitalization rates will not follow (as Prof. Pagel pointed out, hospitalisation rates in England and Wales doubled between 4/6 and 13/6).

          SAGE states that the UK is 4 to 5 hospital admission ‘doubling’ scenarios away from the January and April peaks. They estimate that over 80% full vaccination rate would be required to prevent this. Good weather might help, but on current SAGE projections the UK is well on its way to 2000 plus hospitalization admissions a day by August, with worst case scenarios significantly worse. By way of comparison, the Spring 2020 peak was 3000 a day (England only).

          1. Adrian D.

            SAGE’s models (via SPIM-O) are far from ‘pretty good’ – their February estimates were for 7-12K hospitalisations a day right now – it’s currently about 900.

            Their recent central estimates without the easing of restrictions are for around 100K cases a day – which is about the same as the Office for National Statistics ONS estimation of the peak in January (107K) – that’s winter vs high summer. As far as it’s possible to tell from their graphs (their raw data releases are pitifully poor) they’re already over predicting for right now.


            1. PlutoniumKun

              That figure was based on the roadmap at the time, which was for a much earlier lifting of lockdown and a complete exit in May. Clearly, this did not happen.

              1. Adrian D.

                No, the chart in the tweet related to predictions produced in Warwick Uni’s June 8th model. Later in the thread Richard notes how wrong they were about the fatalities since February, but the figure in the first tweet is definitely from the June model. And it’s already over predicting – just like ALL of their previous ones (they were wrong in September too).

        2. R

          My friend does modelling for Sage and estimates that:
          – R for Indian strain is c.2 but masked by falling higher prevalence of Kent strain with R say 0.7: doubling time 7 days
          – mortality rate x2, before Vax effects. Higher viral load earlier (also explains transmission)
          – significant vaccine escape
          – vaccination is skewing figures in hard to interpret ways, e.g. hospitalisation rate per cases may not have reduced but time to hospitalisation may have increased, giving extended calm before the storm – this is a real worry.
          – some “hope” that Reffective may be an artefact of UK Indian (mainly Pakistani moslem) population in which it seeded: crowded housing, vaccine hesitancy, younger poorer demographic, high mixing (mosques). Once it burns through dry tinder, R may drop when it reaches wet wood of elderly, vaccinated, irreligious, atomised suburbanites. :-)

          Friend ran around like chicken licken since Easter, only just got Sage convinced when the numbers are baked in. Resigned fatalism is current stance.

          The “good” thing is that the outbreak is primarily in the young. But there are plenty if people of all ages unvaccinated and not through choice and any outbreak provides the virus with a chance to mutate again. If hospitalisation ratio is really half previous and stable, still only buys us one doubling time’s margin.

          Key worry is not crashing NHS recovery by turning it back into national covid service. So capacity for outbreak is lower….

    1. curlydan

      that was beautiful. And it took a guy like Cristiano who prides himself on his appearance and vitality to tell us the cold, hard facts to “drink water” not Coke. Coke will now no doubt find a way to create non-movable ad placements.

      CR7 admitted his son, like mine, drinks Coke and eats french fries, so it probably won’t sway a lot of the attitudes among the heavy users (they’ll have to find out the damage on their own later), but it was great to see him shove away those Coke bottles.

      1. junomas

        Sugar and salt are a seeming addiction to teens. Unfortunately, it’s a difficult habit to break.

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘Glenn Greenwald
    Come with me on a short journey of imagination, if you will, where we envision what would happen if the WashPost reported that Donald Trump overrode the urgent advice of his top State Dept. officials and instead lifted sanctions to give Putin his greatest prize: Nord Stream 2.’

    Maybe it is the wording of it but when I read this, I could almost hear Rod Serling saying this as an intro for an episode of – “​The Twilight Zone. ” Try it yourself.

    1. Carolinian

      Yes, I think that is deliberate.

      Of course many may be saying “who’s Rod Serling?”

  10. Tom Stone

    One thing that strikes me when I read about global warming and sea level rise is how little mention of what this will do to supply chains.
    A lot of major ports will become unusable and the North Atlantic is going to be much more dangerous to traverse at certain times of the year due to calving glaciers and a huge increase in the number of icebergs.
    i haven’t seen much discussion of this here or elsewhere.

    1. a different chris

      Even here we don’t really talk much about global warming. I dunno, maybe there isn’t anything really to say anymore.

      I’ve decided it’s like death to an individual, an inevitability he can’t do anything about so he still makes plans to learn to play piano, visit Paris, work for that promotion, whatever.

      So sad.

      1. juno mas

        …some of yesterday’s Link comments touched on sea level rise. (Scorched earth is not out of mind at NC.)

          1. cnchal

            > . . . already at 420 and heading to 500 by 2040. Disastrous indeed.

            Know what the world doesn’t need?

            6000 lb road crumbling, electric Ford F150 pickups with 600 tire shredding HP.

    2. Wukchumni

      If we really feel climate change is going to rise the sea level, it would make a lot of sense to construct inland ports @ higher levels where applicable, but we’re all talk and not much action.

      1. Robert Gray

        > but we’re all talk and not much action.

        I may have quoted this quip on NC previously or I may have seen it here. In any case, it is once again à propos:

        ‘When all is said and done, a lot more will have been said than done.’

    3. cnchal

      Supply chains are fucked already. The longer the chain, the moar fucked it is.

      Globalization is a disaster no matter where one cares to look. It looks constipated to me now, what with backlogs at major ports all over, container shortages, crews stuck on ships for years (WTF – really? . . .and no solution in sight), for starters, with covid as some kind of wild card.

      What happens to tightly coupled systems when even one part has a wobble? How many wobbles do we have today? Lots.

  11. tegnost

    Holy cow, I tried reading the politico mayors article but a pharmaceutical shill (why put their well known grifting name out here, I’m sure others saw the same irritating ad, not from NC, to be clear…a politico ad) After a QR code like shifting pattern a blurb…
    “Out of pocket costs… (next jumbled frame)
    don’t have to be confusing!

    You may see them drowning as you stroll along the beach
    But don’t throw out the lifeline till they’re clean out of reach

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Matt Taibbi
    The Domestic War on Terror rollout reads almost exactly like the original. Same calls for budget increases and expanded powers, same theme of organized transnational threats all around us, same surveillance state endgame.’

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this. I saw it on the news earlier and nearly all the footage was from the Jan 6th riots as an example of ‘white nationalism’ at work. So let’s talk numbers. I read that about 450 people have been arrested in connection with those riots. Out of 335 million people, this is tiny. You couldn’t fill a High School Auditorium with that many people. And now they want to bring out Patriot Act 2.0 because of all this? I’m going with the assumption that in some circles, people will think that this will be a way to target Trump Republicans. And I am willing to bet that some Republican areas may see this the same way – and having the full force of the federal agencies doing this. This will be outstandingly divisive if this if true and you can bet that Republicans will come back in full force in the mid-terms to cut this idea off at the knees and wind it back.

    1. Deuce Traveler

      Your local hated Libertarian lurker here.

      I think what will be more likely is that the Republicans sometime come back in force, find all the new tools available to them and use them against the Democrats. Maybe they’ll add some new tools of their own. Then the Democrats will come back into power, and do the same again to the Republicans. Rile up your base against the other while doing the same as them. Rinse and repeat while the central state continues its authoritarian march.

    2. km

      I am not now, nor have I ever been, a 9/11 Truther, but 9/11 was hella convenient for the enactment of the so-called “Patriot Act”.

      On 9/10 it would have gone nowhere. Biden had tried a similar proposal in the 1990s and it sank like a stone.

      On 9/12, we could not surrender our civil liberties quickly enough.

      1. rowlf

        Didn’t some reluctant members of Congress need invitations mailed to them to convince them to vote “yes”?

        1. km

          Please explain. Last i checked, the “Patriot Act” passed by a healthy bipartisan margin.

  13. antidlc

    ***URGENT VIDEO STATEMENT from Dr. @PierreKory
    addressing the $1.2B U.S. supply agreement with Merck for a drug that does not yet exist and “that cannot surpass” #ivermectin for efficacy against COVID-19.

    In a public statement, Dr. Pierre Kory, Chief Medical Officer of the FLCCC Alliance, said that the U.S. is “going to commit $1.2 billion of taxpayer money in order to enrich Merck for a drug that is not yet available, which has already been the source of a whistleblower complaint, and which has already failed in hospitalized patients. We already have a drug {ivermectin} which is low cost, safe, widely available which has been proven to work in many phases of disease—not only as outpatients but in all patients.” Kory also said that Merck’s actions on February 5, 2021 —when they issued a statement that there was no evidence to support the efficacy of ivermectin— and called into question the safety of “one of the safest drugs known in history” was a lie that is causing “an incalculable loss of life.”

    Merck signs $1.2 billion deal with US government for experimental COVID treatment

    The United States government has agreed to purchase $1.2 billion worth of an experimental COVID-19 treatment from Merck if the drug is approved by regulators, the pharmaceutical company announced Wednesday. This purchase would provide enough medication to fully treat 1.7 million people with the new drug.

    How close is Merck’s “experimental” drug to ivermectin?

  14. Ellis

    In “The Truth about the Water Crisis,” Joshua Frank whitewashes Big Agriculture, which uses 80 per cent of the water in California meant for human consumption. All 40 million people in the state, with their pools, lawns, washing machines only use 20 per cent of all the water. Big Ag grows almonds in the freaking desert! In the Imperial Valley they grow hay in order to ship it overseas! All with heavily subsidized water taken from the Colorado River. That only makes sense to bankers and Joshua Frank!

      1. Joe Renter

        Pecan tress take a lot of water as well. A mature tree can require 150 to 200 gallons per day. I was in the SW this winter on a bike tour and saw many acres in AZ, NM and TX.
        Recent production of the nut is 220 million pounds. I could find how many trees that represents in a quick search.
        Time to wake up to the fact we need to change water usage in this country.

        1. newcatty

          Alfalfa is grown in AZ. Farm land was bought by Saudis to grow it to feed their horses in Saudi Arabia. As is mostly known, it takes a lot of water to grow alfalfa.
          Time to wake up to the fact that we need to change water usage in this country.

          It’s been known for many decades that water needs to be used wisely and with conservation practices to ensure a safe, prioritized source for communities and the greater natural environment. Hmmm, what are any other readers’ pov on our precious life fluid being sold out to foreign investors, or used by wealthy owners to grow other thirsty, lucrative crops like: almonds, pistachios, pecans?

          1. Wukchumni

            I suspect large amounts of the 200 million to 300 million almond trees here will be allowed to die as the wholesale price of almonds is about $1.50 lb right now, versus $4.40 lb six years ago.

            How’d you like to be that smarty who planted almond trees in 2015, and now you’re looking at 2/3rds less in income, on the heels of the Big Dry?

            Bail out, crew!

    1. Louis

      It’s inconvient truth to those who want to pull up the drawbridge and prevent anyone else from coming in but agriculture accounts for the majority of water consumption in many Western states.

    2. freebird

      Well said. The author makes it appear poor little Big Ag is the victim. Not so. And if America’s Salad Bowl did get it’s wings clipped, good. We need our veg growing spread across many more states, especially the ones where there is more than 10″ of rain available.

      1. ambrit

        We live in such a Big Ten Inch state. The main agricultural product I see when driving about in the hinterlands is soy beans. Grown by the thousands of acres for export to the orient. There is something quite eerie about suddenly driving around a bend in the road and seeing the entire horizon filled with low growing green plants.
        Plain old fashioned truck gardens are generally a thing of the past. They might become popular again, but I fear that a severe food supply shock will be needed to spur the reintroduction of such enterprises.
        One big problem with Big Ag is that production at industrial scales tends to favour monocropping.

    3. David in Santa Cruz

      Water use in California is poorly understood — because the Powers That Be kowtow to both Big Ag and to Real Estate Developers. Per capita water use by individuals and households has been slashed by half since the last major drought of 1976-77. However, the population of California has doubled since that drought. Do the math.

      There is also too much hysteria about the effects of climate change, which are far more pronounced closer to the equator. The Stanford Water in the West project shows that we only have about 125 years of reliable rainfall data for California. The driest year on record was the aforementioned drought of 1976-77 with a mere 10 inches of rainfall, but ironically the wettest year on record was 1982-83, with over 40 inches. What the record shows is that annual rainfall varies widely — but evenly — through that broad spread.

      California water planning dates to the 1950’s, when the state had a quarter of the current population, a mere 50 years of rainfall data, and an agricultural sector that was already using water at 21st Century levels.

      What is a careerist politician to do? They choose to do nothing…

      1. freebird

        Thanks for the background on rainfall. In my eastern state rainfall was also fairly unpredictable and included erratic but roughly decadal ‘rescue years’ which put balm on the irrigators’ sins, allowing them to carry on as if there would always be enough water.

        I pulled 10″ out of the hat because I have spent the winter looking at crops planted in Arizona, NM, and the Colorado and Rio Grande Valleys, and did not take into account the whole of California.

        I should look up how much rain falls in the Imperial Valley and the Yuma area. Pretty sure we don’t need to be growing virtually all of our salad crops in places where it hardly ever rains.

    4. Skunk

      Read Michael Hiltzik’s book Colossus about the construction of the Hoover Dam. It recounts what the area was like before the dam was built. The watering of these areas is an anomaly. According to eyewitness accounts in the book, nothing would grow in the bone dry area. Not even succulent, drought-resistant plants!

  15. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Man-sized halibut

    170 lbs – that’s nothing!

    The article does note they get a lot bigger in Alaska. They hold a halibut tournament in Alaska every year – it used to last for several weeks but looks like it’s been shortened now: They used to tag a bunch of halibut and release them for the tournament, and then you could pay an entry fee and win a prize if you caught any of the tagged ones, with a rather significant grand prize (I’m thinking in the tens of thousands of dollars if my aging memory is correct) going to whomever caught the biggest halibut that summer. When I visited Alaska about 20 years ago, I heard that one guy had caught an absolute monster at around 500 lbs but he hadn’t paid an entry fee for the tournament so the prize went to someone else. Whoops.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      A fisherman I know claimed to have caught a 200lb halibut, but everyone said he was just codding.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Another he shad/she shad story – they should hold a herring to get to the bottom of it.

        1. ambrit

          What about the speed of that herring? Do we want a red shift or blue shift venue? That will be a pretty tough roe to hoe.
          [This message was bought to you by the Institute For Inferior Puns.]

          1. ambrit

            Don’t come crying to us when you realize that your ‘cod piece’ has been spiked. King Cod gets my vote. (Sorry about the patriarchial “joke.”)
            I am also glad that I haven’t had ‘mono culturalism’ foisted on me in school.

  16. a different chris

    >”Democrats could lose our razor-thin majority in the Senate at any moment,” warns Rep. Mondaire Jones

    Thank you Rep Jones.

    If Manchin didn’t have so much senority power to lose, if he was 20 years younger, I postulate he would flip to R just like his beloved Governor. Just like so many Dixiecrats did (he’s actually not a Dixiecrat or he’d have been gone awhile ago). There are more like him, though, and they may at any moment see the future as a Republican oligarchy, in which case they will need to get on the train to keep their job.

    Fortunately Trump has messed up his party so much that, unlike the Dixiecrats days, you won’t be able to change parties and still be sure keep your job. He will find some wackadoodle to primary you if you said anything bad about him in the past decade or so…another reason that I say the biggest Trumpists in the party really want Trump to die.

    Again, interesting times.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If your analysis is correct, then I wish Trump long life and good health and that’s no sarc.

      Let him keep stress-testing the system, and stress-testing it and stress-testing it and stress-testing it.

      If his presence can make ” the Republicans” loathsome enough to enough people, then such New Deal Reactionaries as may remain will have a rolling opportunity to try exterminating every single Manchin from out of the DemParty and from out of public life.

  17. allan

    Leading Manhattan DA Candidate Has Repeatedly Paid Virtually No Federal Income Taxes [ProPublica]

    … Tali Farhadian Weinstein, who is married to hedge fund manager Boaz Weinstein, is running for Manhattan district attorney in the Democratic primary, in which early voting has already begun. She and her husband reported income as high as $107 million in 2011, and she recently donated $8.2 million to her campaign — more than her seven Democratic rivals have raised in total.

    But in 2017, according to a trove of tax data obtained by ProPublica, she and her husband paid no federal income tax. In 2015 and 2013, they also paid no federal income tax. In 2014, she and her husband paid $6,584. …

    Now, that is oppo research.

    Inquiring minds also want to know whether hubby’s firm used basket options …

  18. drumlin woodchuckles

    Vaccine refusal throughout Trump Country makes the Trumpanons a sitting duck for the New Delta Variant?
    Good. It sounds like a “natural experiment” in the making.

    Let the new variant reach them all and let Darwin decide if they were right or wrong.

    1. ambrit

      Hmmm…. Next you’ll be calling “them” Trampons. {Sort of an ‘inside’ joke, I realize.}
      I won’t even think about any “jokes” with ‘red’ in the punch line.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Come to think of it, what if long term that those that took some of these vaccines had worse health outcomes than those that did not? It could happen you know.

  19. Duck1

    It does seem significant that they are catching man sized halibut in Homer.
    When will the Groening franchise cease it’s spread?

Comments are closed.