By MATTHEW HOLT
The new Supreme Court, in all likelihood including just nominated Justice Amy Coney Barrett, will be hearing the California v Texas suit against the ACA on November 10th, seven days after the election. The lower courts have already ruled the ACA unconstitutional. Some hopeful moderates among my Democratic friends seem to believe that the justices will show cool heads, and not throw out the ACA. But it’s worth remembering that in the NFIB vs. Sebelius decision which confirmed the legitimacy of most of the ACA back in 2011 all the conservative justices with the exception of John Roberts voted to overturn the whole thing. With Ginsburg being replaced by Barrett there’s no reason to suppose that she won’t join Thomas, Alito, Kavanagh & Gorsuch and that Robert’s vote won’t be enough to stop them this time. The betting odds must be that the whole of the ACA will be overturned.
There is nothing the Democrats can realistically do to prevent Barret filling RBG’s seat on the court, but assuming Biden wins and the Democrats take back the Senate, the incoming Administration can give the Supremes something to think about regarding the ACA. I would not suggest this level of confrontation before the election but, if Biden wins, the gloves must come off.
Assuming he wins and that the Dems win the Senate, this is the speech Biden should give on November 9th. (The TL:DR spoiler is, “Keep the ACA or I’ll extend Medicare to all ages”)
“I’m directing this speech to an extremely select number of people, just the Supreme Court Justices appointed by Republican Presidents. It is obviously no secret that we have political differences on many issues and we find ourselves in the strange situation in which I am the incoming President with an incoming Democratic Senate majority and yet you are considering overturning the signature bill of the administration in which I was Vice-President. You may recall that at the time of its signing I told President Obama that it was a “big f****** deal” and, although many of my colleagues in the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party have criticized the ACA since its passage, it turns out that I was right.
I am not referring here to the apoplexy that the ACA created amongst the Republican Party including not only the current and outgoing President but also almost all Republican members of Congress between 2010 and 2018. Instead I’m referring to the ACA’s impact on the nation and its health care system.
Since 2010 there have been many changes to the way our nation’s health care system operates; almost all of them have their roots in the ACA.
First, the ACA gave access to health insurance coverage to many people who had great trouble getting it before. That includes young people moving between their parent’s home, college and getting into the workforce; small business owners; freelance workers; the unemployed; people with low incomes; and people with underlying “pre-existing” health conditions. I remind you that due both to the pandemic and changes in our economy, there are many, many more of these people now than there were in 2009.
Before the ACA these people were either not well served by the private health insurance industry or literally were unable to buy coverage at all. This not only caused extreme personal and financial suffering and in some cases death to the people affected, but also impacted the economy. It restrained innovation and entrepreneurship, and it meant that the participants in the health care system–including very many well meaning clinicians and provider organizations–had to play very inefficient games in order to try to provide those people with much-needed care, which drove up the cost of care to everyone else. Warren Buffet calls that the tapeworm in the US economy.
The ACA changed this in two main ways.
First it created a system of standardized insurance benefits and mandated insurers to provide those benefits to anybody regardless of health status. It also directly subsidized the cost of insurance for people of low to moderate-incomes. Given that median household income is around $ 63,000 in the US and the current cost of family insurance is around $ 28,000, these subsidies are essential. Otherwise people who do not have employment-based insurance would not be able to purchase coverage.
Second, the ACA expanded Medicaid coverage for the poor, creating a standardized set of benefits for those earning up to 133% of poverty. Sadly, the conservative majority on the court, joined (in my view to their everlasting shame) by Justices Breyer and Kagan, decided that the federal government did not have the right to force states to expand Medicaid even though the federal government paid 100% of the cost. It turned out that many states with Republican governors chose not to expand Medicaid, even though this meant that many rural hospitals in their states were forced to close. Numerous studies have shown that Medicaid expansion has improved the financial and emotional health of the poor, and other work has shown that the current Administration’s policy of allowing states to restrict access to Medicaid, by using such tricks as work requirements, have been cruel and counterproductive–and that they have not reduced health care costs or increased employment. States that have not expanded Medicaid have left their most vulnerable and poor populations in an extremely difficult state. For example in Texas a single parent with two children is only eligible for Medicaid if the children are on Medicaid and total household income doesn’t exceed $ 230 a month, which would barely cover your clerks’ daily lunch bill. Some estimates suggest that nearly three-quarters of a million people in Texas are in the coverage gap between Medicaid and qualifying for the ACA.
However, the ACA was not just about expanding insurance for those who had trouble getting it before. It also closed several loopholes that had confronted many other people who needed to use the health care system. This included closing the donut hole in the drug coverage for seniors provided by the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003. It also did away with maximum coverage benefits which severely compromised the care received by extremely sick people–often children or those with very rare diseases. And, in a great benefit to many, many young Americans from middle class and even wealthy families, the ACA allowed parents to keep their children on their insurance up until the age of 26, when they were usually established in the workforce.
Many of you on the Supreme Court believe that private delivery of insurance and health care services are superior to those delivered by the government. For you the ACA should indeed have been a very welcome piece of legislation. All of the new enrollment coming through the ACA exchanges went through private health insurance companies, and the vast majority of Medicaid expansion is also managed by private health insurers. While federal tax dollars are subsidizing this coverage expansion, it’s worth pointing out that a IRS decision in 1954 confirmed the tax-free status of private health insurance premiums paid by employers which translates to an annual subsidy to private employers that exceeds the cost of the premium subsidies in the ACA. On the night that the ACA was passed a Canadian journalist reported that America had just seen the largest expansion of private health care coverage ever–and he was right.
This coverage expansion was by no means all that the ACA did. It was also the legal and regulatory basis for a substantial modernization of the nation’s health care system. Of course since the 1930s, US health care has largely been based on a fee-for-service payment approach, acknowledged by experts to be both inefficient and inflationary. The ACA created the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation which has been at the forefront of creating programs that encourage improved care at a lower cost by, for instance, bundling payments for joint surgery, cancer and other care. It also created the system of accountable care organizations which encourages doctors and hospitals to work together to more efficiently and effectively manage the health of large populations of Medicare recipients. And while the ACA did not create the Medicare Advantage program, it put in place an environment in which private health insurance companies were able to use government funding within the Medicare program to deliver innovative programs that are improving the quality of care received by our seniors.
In addition, since the passage of the ACA, and assisted by it and the HITECH Act passed in 2009, there has been a considerable boom in the development of new types of health care technologies, particularly digital technologies. These show amazing promise for delivering 24/7 care to many vulnerable populations. The significant spread of telehealth and remote patient monitoring during the current COVID-19 pandemic was only possible because of the innovation of numerous private companies. They developed those technologies in large part in response to incentives created by the ACA.
Finally, although the cost of health care in the United States is still significantly higher than it is in other countries, since the passage of the Affordable Care Act the rate of increase of health care cost has slowed and up until this year the health care system was barely growing as a share of the overall economy for the first time ever (other than a brief blip in the mid 1990s).
This is just a brief overview of the impact of the Affordable Care Act. It has directly meant access to health care coverage for around 20 to 30 million people and, as health futurist Ian Morrison points out, has tentacles impacting every single part of the health care system. This was not the case when four conservative justices including two currently on the bench (Alito & Thomas) voted to throw out the ACA in 2012. And it has not escaped my attention that the two justices who have replaced Scalia and Kennedy appear to have similar or perhaps even more conservative viewpoints.
If following the arguments you will hear this week, the Supreme Court decides to uphold the lower court hearing and abolish the entire ACA on what is pretty much a technicality, the consequences will be dramatic. And they will be very bad.
Tens of millions of people will lose their health insurance. Of course they will still require care. The cost of delivering that care will fall upon the nation’s health care providers, and eventually on the taxpayer. That cost will be distributed in an unplanned and chaotic manner –resulting in much actual and financial pain.
In addition, virtually every current organization funding, delivering or involved in care delivery will have to completely reformat the business operations it has spent the last decade putting in place. American health care will be thrown into chaos and the cost in both dollars and human suffering will be extreme.
Given the extreme impact of throwing out the ACA, I will appeal to all the justices to maintain the ACA in place.
Unlike the outgoing president, I respect the institutions and separation of powers inherent in the constitution of our nation. But given that I and my colleagues in the Senate have just been elected by a significant majority of Americans, and also given that none of the conservative justices on the court were appointed by a President who won the majority of the vote of his fellow citizens, I would recommend that the court consider its actions very carefully. Unlike some in my party, I am not advocating significant constitutional changes such as appointing more justices, but the more the court bends against the arc of history, the more likely it is that such actions may be taken in the future.
However, in regards to the nation’s health care system I am hereby telling you exactly what I will do–should the court return a verdict overturning the ACA.
You are well aware that in the Democratic primary campaign, which was largely settled before the covid-19 pandemic had its full effect, my opponent Senator Sanders was campaigning to create Medicare for All. While I was and am opposed to this policy, it is clear that a significant majority of Democrats and in some polling a majority of Americans were in favor of expanding Medicare For All even before the full effect of the pandemic was realized.
The world of course is radically different now compared to how things were even at the start of 2020. Not only has our health care system had to deal with the onslaught of the pandemic, but the recession that it caused has placed many more millions of Americans out of work, and some 5 million of those have already lost their health insurance. I pledged in the election campaign both to get the economy moving and also to support those who were victims of the recession, which includes those millions who lost their health insurance.
In my campaign I pledged to build on the successes of the ACA. As you are well aware, two of the most significant policies I proposed were to create a public option and to reduce the eligibility age for Medicare to 60 years old. If the Supreme Court throws out the ACA, it will be by definition impossible for me to build on the ACA’s infrastructure.
But at a time of a pandemic during a recession I will not stand by and allow tens of millions of Americans to suffer.
Instead let me tell you what I will do.
As you know under the current rules of the Senate and from the convoluted passage of the ACA itself, it is virtually impossible to pass significant legislation without 60 votes. In the election that just happened we Democrats have retaken control of the Senate, but only with a slight majority. However, as you also know, the Senate can pass legislation impacting budgets under the process of reconciliation with a simple majority. You will recall that using reconciliation the Republican majority in the Senate tried to repeal the ACA in 2017, and were only prevented from doing so by the deciding vote of my friend the late Senator John McCain.
On the day which I hope never comes that the Supreme Court invalidates the ACA, my colleagues in the House and Senate will immediately introduce legislation amending Title 18 of the 1965 Social Security Act that created Medicare to reduce the age of eligibility not to 60 but to zero. At the same time we will amend title 19 of the 1965 Social Security Act that created Medicaid to reduce its budget to $ 0 other than to pay the premiums into Medicare for those known as “dual eligibles” and to pay for long term care and other services that Medicare currently doesn’t cover.
You and other conservatives might believe that we will not be able to complete this because of the Byrd Rule for reconciliation which was designed in the 1980s to ensure that reconciliation did not radically change the budget of the federal government. But the Senate Republican majority in the Congress before last essentially already violated these rules by passing a scandalously unfair and unfunded tax cut, and my colleagues in the Senate will be prepared to override the Byrd Rule. This, I point out, is significantly less controversial than overriding the filibuster or changing the number of justices on the Supreme Court.
Conservatives might also believe that Medicare expansion would significantly increase the budget of the federal government. This would be true but is ignoring two salient facts. The first is that the expansion to the federal budget would be something of the order of 2 trillion dollars a year, as the federal government already spends roughly 1.5 trillion of the 3.5 trillion the United States spends on health care. That level of expansion of government is somewhat similar to the deficit spending which just happened under the CARES act and other stimulus money spent during the current pandemic. So it’s not that large a leap for the country to make.
In addition while the expansion of Medicare under reconciliation would not directly abolish private health insurance in the manner that my colleague Senator Sanders has proposed, the fact that Medicare part A is free to Medicare recipients, and that parts B & D are very heavily subsidized, will mean that it is not only those who have lost their insurance or have trouble buying it in the individual market, or those who were previously on Medicaid, who will voluntarily enter the Medicare program. It is extremely likely that the vast majority of employers who are currently providing health insurance for their employees, which to be noted would be voluntary if there is no ACA, will cease to do that. After all their employees could now enter the Medicare program at no extra cost to them. While this will cost the government more, it will save employers and individuals an approximately equal amount and so the net effect on the economy will be limited.
Part of the reason that I am not a proponent of Medicare for all, has been that the change it would cause to employer-based health insurance, and to the finances of our nation’s health care system would be too extreme. It is worth noting that Rand recently showed that employer-based health insurance paid hospitals and doctors at nearly 250% the rate they receive from Medicare. There will certainly be high transition costs for the health care system from this move but everyone in the health care system already understands how Medicare works. My Administration will to work with providers and care delivery organizations to make sure that they are able to fulfill their mission of providing high-quality care to Americans.
Even though I have been a political centrist my entire life and have never been a proponent of Medicare For All–despite the fact that every other industrialized nation has something pretty similar to it–if you strike down the ACA I will act immediately. I would view the suffering of Americans as being too great not to respond. With no ACA in place there is no available legislative option other than this Medicare expansion.
I am well aware of the ideology of many on the political right in the US including most of the conservative justices on the Supreme Court. I would stress that this type of radical expansion of Medicare is not what I would ordinarily want to see. But if the ACA is abolished in the middle of a pandemic and a massive depression, my first duty to the American people as their President will be to relieve the suffering of as many of them as possible.
As you consider your judgement in the California v Texas case I would ask you not to put me in the position where I would have to take such a radical step.
But I assure you that if necessary I will have no hesitation in doing so.
Matthew Holt is the publisher of THCB. He has not written a speech for Joe Biden before but would happily lend him this one
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What You Need to Know About the Latest COVID Jab Rollout
As you’ve likely heard by now, the U.S. government is rolling out a new COVID shot1 this fall that is recommended for all people, including those who have not taken the initial series. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,2 the reformulated shots by Pfizer and Moderna are “approved” for individuals 12 years of […]
As you’ve likely heard by now, the U.S. government is rolling out a new COVID shot1 this fall that is recommended for all people, including those who have not taken the initial series.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,2 the reformulated shots by Pfizer and Moderna are “approved” for individuals 12 years of age and older, and “authorized under emergency use” for children between the ages of 6 months and 11 years.
This despite the fact that no emergency declaration exists to warrant it. The federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration ended May 11, 2023.3 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory panel has not yet announced its official recommendations,4 but per the FDA:
- Individuals 5 years of age and older, regardless of previous COVID jab status, will be eligible to receive a single dose of the reformulated shot. Those who have received previous shots should wait at least two months since the last dose.
- Children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years who have previously received one or more COVID shots will be eligible to receive one or two doses of the updated jab, depending on the last injection received.
- Unjabbed children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years will be eligible to receive three doses of the updated Pfizer shot or two doses of the updated Moderna jab.
FDA Continues the Propaganda Spin
The new shots are formulated to include a single mRNA corresponding to the Omicron variant XBB.1.5., the dominant variant in the U.S. for most of 2023, but which has since been replaced by other variants.
As explained by the FDA, they anticipate the COVID jab will be updated once a year going forward, just like the seasonal flu vaccine, which, by the way, is notoriously ineffective due to mismatched strains. Will the reformulated shot be any safer or more effective than the previous ones? I doubt it. As noted by the FDA:5
“The updated mRNA vaccines are manufactured using a similar process as previous formulations …
[The] extent of neutralization observed by the updated vaccines against currently circulating viral variants causing COVID-19, including EG.5 and BA.2.86, appears to be of a similar magnitude to the extent of neutralization observed with prior versions of the vaccines against corresponding prior variants against which they had been developed to provide protection.
This suggests that the vaccines are a good match for protecting against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants. The benefit-risk profile of previously authorized and approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccines is well understood as these vaccines have been administered to hundreds of millions of people in the United States.”
Those familiar with the evidence will of course realize that, a) previous shots have been woefully ineffective, offering minimal protection at best, and only for a short time, and b) the benefit-to-risk profile is “well-understood” to be markedly skewed toward “high risk” and “minimal benefit” for most people.
Adults 60 and over are also encouraged to get the flu shot and/or a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) concomitant with the COVID jab to prevent a “tripledemic.” Pregnant women are also encouraged to get all of these shots, which really ought to be considered a crime at this point.
As for cost, the updated COVID shots will have a price tag between $ 110 to $ 130 per dose. The flu shot will cost anywhere from $ 20 to $ 70, depending on the vaccine you get, and the RSV vaccine is predicted to run anywhere between $ 180 and $ 295.6 All three shots are covered by private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare, but for the uninsured, getting all three could get costly.
Where Have We Heard This Before?
As expected, Pfizer and Moderna are also spinning the same old weave, claiming the reformulated shots are “effective” against several Omicron strains, including XBB.1.5, BA.2.86 (nicknamed Pirola), EG.5 (Eris) and FL.1.5.1 (Fornax).
Interestingly, they’re not bragging about percentages this time. Instead, we’re simply being told the shots are “significantly effective” or just “effective,” whatever that means.
Remember when Pfizer and Moderna claimed their shots were 95% effective and had no serious safety concerns?7 Fast-forward to February 2023 and data from the Office of National Statistics in the U.K. revealed the shots have increased all-cause mortality for all age groups while doing nothing to reduce deaths from COVID.8,9,10,11,12,13,14
Pfizer documents released by the FDA in response to a lawsuit have also revealed that in the first three months of the rollout (December 2020 through the end of February 2021), Pfizer received 42,086 adverse event reports, including 1,223 deaths.15,16 The 1976 swine flu vaccine was pulled after only 25 deaths.
We’ve also learned that Pfizer documented17,18 no fewer than 158,000 different “side effects of special interest” in its trials, all while claiming there were no safety concerns.
The first side effect on this shockingly exhaustive list is a rare condition known as 1p36 deletion syndrome. This condition, caused by the deletion of DNA in chromosome 1p36, results in developmental delays, severe intellectual disability, seizures, vision problems, hearing loss, breathing problems, brain anomalies, congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathy, renal anomalies, genital malformation, metabolic problems and more.19,20
Life expectancy depends on the amount of DNA that has been deleted. This, at bare minimum, sounds like something a pregnant woman might want to know before she gets the shot.
Pfizer also claimed its shot was 100% effective in children between 12 and 15,21 but according to a June 2022 paper,22 the vaccine effectiveness against infection in children aged 12 to 17 ended up being only 64%.
Not only did breakthrough infections occur in “fully immunized” adolescents,23 we also started seeing a rise in multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS24) and myocarditis, both of which can be life threatening, whereas COVID poses a negligible risk to children, adolescents and young adults.
Mouse Experiments Tell Us Nothing
The bivalent boosters25,26 were tested only on mice before they were rolled out, which tells you nothing about their safety, and effectiveness is based on antibody titers alone, which doesn’t tell you anything about effectiveness in the real world.
Moderna now claims “clinical trial data” prove their new shot is effective27 against several of the strains in the Omicron lineage, but they haven’t released any details. Was it done on mice or men? Pfizer, meanwhile, admits its claims are based on mouse trials.28 Considering how far off the mark they were when they were actually doing human trials, how far off do you think they’ll be when all they’re basing their claims on are mice experiments?
FDA Refuses to Provide Safety Data
The fact that the FDA is refusing to provide safety data for the shots is another red flag. In January 2023, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., asked the FDA to release the results of its Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data analyses.29
As previously reported by The Epoch Times, the first time the CDC ran a proportional reporting ratio (PRR) analysis, hundreds of signals were triggered, and more than 500 of them have a stronger safety signal than myocarditis.
The FDA has conducted a different kind of analysis, called Empirical Bayesian (EB) data mining. According to former CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s PRR results “were generally consistent with EB data mining, revealing no additional unexpected safety signals.”
When Johnson wanted the CDC to clarify what Walensky meant by no “unexpected” safety signals, they pointed him to the FDA, which in turn told Johnson they can’t give him any data because the “FDA’s EB data mining analyses of adverse events contained in VAERS reports for COVID-19 vaccines are currently the subject of pending FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] litigation,” and that “FDA is unable to … provide information or data that is currently being considered in pending litigation.”
The litigation the FDA refers to is a lawsuit filed by Children’s Health Defense. The CHD had filed a FOIA request for the EB data, and when the agency refused, CHD sued to have them released. In a September 5, 2023, response to FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, Johnson wrote:30
“As you are well aware, Congress has a right to information contained at U.S. federal agencies as it conducts its constitutional oversight responsibilities. It is outrageous that FDA would assert that pending litigation, and particularly FOIA litigation, would allow your agency to obstruct my congressional oversight.
Any pending litigation FDA may have relating to its EB data mining records has no bearing on its responsibility to comply with a congressional request.
The notion that FDA is actively hiding information about vaccine safety signals from Congress and the American people is beyond despicable, particularly given the fact that COVID- 19 vaccine adverse events can and do occur.
According to VAERS, as of September 1, 2023, there have been 1,589,970 adverse events and 36,080 deaths associated with the COVID-19 vaccines.”
Johnson gave the FDA a deadline of September 19, 2023, to hand over the EB data mining results.
Florida Surgeon General Warns Against New COVID Shot
In a September 7, 2023, “Mandate Freedom” press conference in Jacksonville, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis denounced mask and vaccine mandates, saying any such federal mandates will not be enforced in Florida, now or in the future.31
“They are trying to do this again, and here in the state of Florida, we will say ‘No,’” he said.
DeSantis called it “troubling” to see states starting to push for mask and jab mandates again when the evidence is now in. We know masks don’t work. We know the efficacy of the COVID jabs becomes negative over time and that there are serious side effects.
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo also warned against the new COVID shots, saying there are “no clinical trials in human beings” showing that they’re safe and effective. “They actually cause cardiac injury in many people,” he said, adding that several studies have shown the shots increase your risk of contracting COVID. “There are a lot of red flags,” he said.
Indeed, there are. We now also have a clear view of how COVID was (and still is) used to usher in the idea that we need more centralization of power and social control, and that we must relinquish freedom, human rights, privacy and bodily autonomy “for the greater good.”
That’s what all the hysterical fearmongering over colds and flus is all about, so I’m grateful that Florida will not go along with this moving forward. Hopefully, leaders in other states and countries around the world will do the same, and call on their people to just say no, because that’s what it’s going to take to stop the global takeover.
Unique service from STN transforms the reliability and security of satellite broadcasting in the MENA region
Dob, Slovenia, May 02, 2023. Broadcasters in the MENA region can now benefit from unprecedented reliability and security thanks to global content distribution solutions provider, STN. As part of its existing offering, STN is now able to offer a guarantee of no weather outages and enhanced interference protection when uplinking to Eutelsat 8West B satellite.
Zero weather-related outages are assured by using two uplink sites located over 5,000 kilometres apart. Switching between them is a seamless, totally automatic process based on the measured signal to noise ratio and link margin values. These are pre-configured according to the downlink levels in the region, so guaranteeing no signal disruption regardless of the weather.
8West B is equipped to mitigate interference, due to its use of frequency converters behind the satellite receive antennas. This means that the uplink frequency can be changed without any impact on the downlink frequency. STN has gone one step further to minimize the likelihood of intentional or accidental jamming. The signals are uplinked from two geographically diverse sites located on a different continents.
“We’re excited to be able to offer this additional level of service to our customers in the MENA region,” said CEO of STN, Mitja Lovsin. “We pride ourselves on our customer service, and by offering this geographically remote and diverse uplink facility for Eutelsat 8West B, our customers have the most secure and reliable service available for the region.”
STN is a leading global teleport; renowned for its high-quality solutions, customer service, attention to detail and its young vibrant workforce. STN offers a complete range of innovative full end-to-end services for content distribution. These include satellite, IP, playout, cloud storage and delivery, and OTT, both live and on-demand. Colocation and occasional use services for sports and special events are also available. Everything is fully supported and monitored 24/7 by a team of skilled, responsive professionals.
7/8o West orbital position (also Nilesat) is the premier broadcasting neighbourhood for the Middle East and Africa and STN also uplinks to Eutelsat 7West A. Channels broadcast from 7/8o reach 90% of TV homes, 95% of DTH (Direct-To-Home) homes and 73% of hotels in the region. 60% of these channels are exclusive to this video neighbourhood. Always popular, this video neighbourhood is continually increasing its channel line-up, which now numbers over 1,000 channels. HD is also becoming increasingly popular. 60% of homes served by this video neighbourhood are equipped to receive HD and there has been a 26% increase in the number of free-to-air (FTA) HD channels carried since 2020.
STN will be exhibiting at CABSAT from 16-18 May 2023 at Dubai World Trade Centre. As part of the MEASA region’s leading show for innovation in the content, broadcast and satellite communities, STN will showcase the latest developments and services on offer from the award-winning teleport and content distribution solutions provider. For more information visit STN at booth S3-A21 Hall 3 or please visit https://www.stn.eu/
STN is a leading content distribution provider with a mission to connect businesses and individuals globally through seamless delivery of digital content. With its award-winning, certified teleport facility based in Slovenia, state-of-the-art technology infrastructure and extensive network of partners, STN has the capability to deliver content to any device, anywhere in the world, with unparalleled speed and security.
STN offers a comprehensive suite of services that enable content providers to reach their audiences through various delivery channels, including satellite, IP, playout, OTT, cloud storage and delivery. Colocation and occasional use services for sports and special events are also available. The cutting-edge technology is fully supported and monitored 24/7 by a team of skilled, responsive professionals.
For more information please visit https://www.stn.eu/
Proactive International PR
oneM2M specifications approved by more than 190 ITU member countries as ITU standard to simplify IoT adoption
The ITU-T’s SG20 Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities and communities (SC&C) approved oneM2M’s security specifications for IoT systems as part of the ITU-T Y.4500.3 series, making the entire suite of oneM2M specifications available for use nationally by ITU -T member states.
oneM2M is an open set of specifications that define a common set of horizontal IoT service functions, to enable secure data exchange and information interoperability across different vertical sectors, service providers and use cases. The standardized APIs future proof the IoT ecosystem by reducing costs and enable interworking with existing IoT technologies. oneM2M standards provide an interoperability testing framework and support a global certification program by the Global Certification Forum (GCF) for oneM2M based products.
With this latest milestone, the ITU-T has further added IoT security capabilities to its Recommendations of the M2M common service layer, built on middleware concepts, standardized by oneM2M. The approval happened over a multi-step process involving interactive discussions between ITU-T members and oneM2M experts.
Roland Hechwartner of Deutsche Telekom and the Technical Plenary Chairman of oneM2M said: “Security-related capabilities are an essential and complementary component in all IoT systems. oneM2M treats security as a common service function that can be applied in the same way across many applications in different verticals. It also emphasizes the use of open standards so that service providers can control all entities and services in their deployments without relying on a single company or proprietary set of technologies.”
Since its inception in 1865, the ITU-T’s contribution-led, consensus-based approach to standards development allows countries and companies, no matter how large or small, to exercise equal rights in the development of ITU-T Recommendations. Through its Study Group 20 (SG 20), ITU-T participants provide commonly agreed guidance for implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) and its applications, as well as smart cities and communities.
Ms. Rana Kamill of British Telecom, who is the ITU-T WP1/20 Vice Chair and has been leading oneM2M’s collaboration with the ITU-T, commented that, “the rapport between the ITU-T and oneM2M benefitted from international and oneM2M experts working in close collaboration to deliver common IoT standards and security that benefit the widest community.” She noted that the oneM2M Security Solutions document went through the ITU-T’s Typical Approval Process (TAP). This is the default method for international standards (Recommendations) with regulatory or policy implications (e.g., numbering plans and tariffs). It has also been translated into the ITU’s 6 official languages (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian).
The full set of oneM2M’s specifications, approved as the ITU-T Recommendation Y-4500 series, is available at https://www.itu.int/md/T22-SG20-R-0003/en.
oneM2M is the global standards initiative that covers requirements, architecture, API specifications, security solutions and interoperability for Machine-to-Machine and IoT technologies. oneM2M was formed in 2012 and consists of eight of the world’s preeminent standards development organizations: ARIB (Japan), ATIS (North America), CCSA (China), ETSI (Europe), TIA (North America), TSDSI (India), TTA (Korea), and TTC (Japan), together with GlobalPlatform (industry forum) and over 200 member organizations. oneM2M specifications provide a framework to support applications and services such as the smart grid, connected car, home automation, public safety, and health. oneM2M actively encourages industry associations and forums with specific application requirements to participate in oneM2M, in order to ensure that the solutions developed support their specific needs. For more information, including how to join and participate in oneM2M, see: www.onem2m.org.
Kids Intentionally Poisoned by Artificial School Lunches
The quality of school lunches has been deteriorating for decades, and it just got another downgrade. As reported by CNN,1 two Kraft Heinz ready-to-eat prepackaged Lunchables are being added to K-12 school lunch programs across the U.S. as of this fall semester.
The school Lunchables have reportedly been reformulated to meet the National School Lunch Program’s (NSLP) nutritional requirements, which include higher grain content and lower sodium, compared to the Lunchables sold in stores.
But if you have even the slightest knowledge about diet and nutrition, you’ll realize that NSLP nutritional requirements really don’t amount to much. They certainly do not guarantee that your children are being well-fed.
Schools are required to offer students five meal components: fruit, vegetable, protein, grain and milk, and students must take at least three, including a fruit or vegetable option, as part of their lunch.
While that seems sound, once you start looking at what qualifies as fruit, vegetable, protein, grain and milk, you quickly realize that what the kids are actually getting is ultraprocessed junk food loaded with artificial ingredients.
Pizza, for example, has been a staple in schools for a long time, with tomato sauce qualifying as “vegetable.” The Lunchables “extra cheesy pizza” isn’t even regular pizza. It’s basically an ultraprocessed imitation of an ultraprocessed junk food.
Not surprisingly, Kraft Heinz is a partner of the School Nutrition Association, and has reportedly been pushing to get their wares into the lunch program for some time.2
Meanwhile, the Kraft Heinz Company is primarily owned by institutional shareholders.3 As of this writing, the top four owners are Berkshire Hathaway, BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street4 — the same entities that have a monopoly on the world’s resources in general.
Kraft Heinz has also partnered with Del Monte to provide a Lunchables with Fresh Fruit option, where the processed lunch meat and cheese is served with pieces of fruit (apples, pineapple, grapes or clementines) rather than crackers.
According to foodsided.com,5 the fruit-based Lunchables is an effort to create a more “balanced eating school lunch option.”
These products are not being rolled out as part of the school lunch program, however. They’ll be available in grocery stores across the South-Central region of the U.S. this fall, and are being marketed to children who bring their own lunches.
Lunchables Raise Concern Among Child Nutritionists
According to The Washington Post,6 the new Lunchables offerings “could appeal to schools that are struggling with labor shortages in cafeterias and supply chain kinks that have limited their menu options.” However, “many nutrition experts greeted the news with a heaping side of skepticism” — as they well should. The Washington Post writes:7
“Katie Wilson, the executive director of the Urban School Food Alliance, said the approval of Lunchables points to bigger problems with federal guidelines. ‘The fact that a processed, packaged food meets school lunch standards is part of what needs to change in the national school lunch program,’ she said …
Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and professor at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition, said he wouldn’t have a problem with Lunchables — if they didn’t include processed meat or high sodium levels.
The World Health Organization considers products such as sandwich meats, hot dogs and bacon to be ‘Group 1’ carcinogens, the same category as cigarettes and asbestos, he noted …
‘These are products that could be used in an emergency situation, but I certainly hope they don’t become the norm in school meals,’ Wilson said. ‘What message are we sending our children about healthy eating?’ And then there’s the packaging — plastic trays and wrappers — which some critics say is wasteful.”
Plastic Contamination — Another Pressing Concern
Indeed, each Lunchables product comes in a plastic tray with plastic wrap cover, so just how much plastic trash will be added by serving Lunchables to 30 million students, every day of the school year?
Without getting bogged down in actual math, we can conclude it’s going to be quite a lot, so where’s the environmental concern? Aren’t we eliminating livestock and cutting agriculture to save the planet? Shouldn’t we leave the cows and rice paddies alone and eliminate processed foods wrapped in plastic instead?
Both food and water are becoming increasingly contaminated with these toxic bits. Microplastic particles, which are less than 5 millimeters long, are literally clouding the oceans in spots.
Carried along with the ocean’s currents, swirling gyres of “plastic smog”8 now cover about 40% of the world’s ocean surfaces.9 Plastic bits are eaten by fish and other marine life, which are then eaten by us.10
Remarkably, the annual release of plastics to land is estimated to be four to 23 times greater than that released to oceans.11 Eighty-three percent of tap water samples tested worldwide, and 94% of samples in the U.S., are also contaminated with plastic.12
While media report the content of these Lunchables in terms of the amounts of grains, meat/meat alternatives, saturated fat and sodium in them, most nutritionally-aware people know that there’s more to nutrition than that. Just what is in these products?
Here’s the Nutrition Facts label and list of ingredients for the Lunchables Extra Cheesy Pizza (4.2-ounce package) sold in U.S. grocery stores:13
The school lunch program version comes in a 5.05-ounce container and is formulated to contain 2 ounces of meat/meat alternative, 2 ounces of grains, one-eighth cup of red vegetable (tomato sauce), 7 grams of saturated fat and 700 milligrams of sodium.
Aside from those details, I’ve not been able to locate a full list of ingredients for the school version, but I believe it’s reasonable to assume that most of the individual ingredients will be the same as the grocery store version.
Topping my list of concerns for the “pizza” version is the presence of soybean oil, which is loaded with harmful omega-6 linoleic acid (LA). Evidence suggests LA is a key contributor to chronic diseases, as it impairs mitochondrial function and energy production.
“Vital wheat gluten” is another concern. This has been described as “normal wheat flour on steroids.”14 It’s basically pure gluten, which can contribute to or cause leaky gut. Other questionable ingredients include artificial flavors of unknown constitution, sodium benzoate preservative and food coloring.
It’s worth noting that they’re not using real mozzarella cheese but rather two kinds of “cheese product.” The food coloring (apocarotenal) is a yellow-red compound used to give it a familiar yellowish cheese color.
They also add “cellulose powder” as an anticaking agent, which is a fancy name for refined wood pulp.15 Bon Appetit! Wood pulp also provides bulk (cutting down on the amount of “real” ingredients required) and can have a laxative effect in sufficient quantity.
Even Worse Garbage
Taking a look at Lunchables Uploaded, which are sold in stores but not part of the school lunch program, provides an even more revolting read. These 15.12 ounce trays come with an artificially-flavored, artificially- and naturally-sweetened drink, a bag of Cheez It and Trolli gummy candy. And Kraft Heinz wants you to think they’re concerned with “balanced nutrition.”
Here’s the complete ingredients list for Lunchables Uploaded Ultimate Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza with Cheez It & Trolli Candy:16
“Purified Drinking Water; Pizza Sauce (Water, Tomato Paste, Sugar, Contains Less than 2% of Modified Food Starch, Garlic Powder, Salt, Onion Powder, Spice, Citric Acid, Dried Basil, Sea Salt, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate [Added as Preservatives], Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavor)
Pizza Crust: (Enriched Flour [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Water, Whole Wheat Flour, Soybean Oil, Yeast, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Reduced Sodium Salt Blend [Salt, Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavor], Dough Conditioner [Whey (Milk), L-Cysteine], Vital Wheat Gluten, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Mono-Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Rice Bran Extract, Calcium Propionate, Dough Conditioner [Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate), Enzymes], Dehydrated Garlic, Cellulose Powder)
Baked Snack Crackers (Enriched Flour [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], Vegetable Oil [Soybean and Palm Oil], Cheese Made with Skim Milk [Skim Milk, Whey Protein, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto Extract for Color], Contains Two Percent or Less of Salt, Paprika, Yeast, Paprika Oleoresin for Color, Soy Lecithin)
Gummy Worms: (Corn Syrup, Sugar, Gelatin, Modified Corn Starch, Fumaric Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Calcium Lactate, Sodium Lactate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Titanium Dioxide [Color], Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1)
Cheese Blend (Mozzarella Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product [Part-Skim Milk, Water, Milk Protein Concentrate, Milkfat, Contains Less than 2% of Salt, Cheese Culture, Sodium Citrate, Sorbic Acid as Preservative, Enzymes, Vitamin A Palmitate, Cellulose Powdered Added to Prevent Caking]
Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product [Pasteurized Part-Skim Milk, Water, Milk Protein Concentrate, Milkfat, Contains Less than 2% of Salt, Cheese Culture, Sodium Citrate, Sorbic Acid as Preservative, Enzymes, Apocarotenal (Color), Vitamin A Palmitate, Cellulose Powder Added to Prevent Caking])
Pepperoni Made with Pork and Chicken (Pork, Mechanically Separated Chicken, Salt, Contains 2% or Less of Pork Stock, Spices [Including Mustard], Dextrose, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Oleoresin of Paprika, Flavoring, Sodium Ascorbate, Sodium Nitrite, BHA, BHT, Citric Acid)
Tropical Punch Artificial Flavored Soft Drink Mix (Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid, Contains Less than 2% of Ascorbic Acid [Vitamin C], Natural and Artificial Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose [Sweeteners], Calcium Phosphate, Artificial Color, Red 40, Blue 1, BHA [Preserves Freshness]).”
Vegetable oils, pure gluten, refined wood pulp, soy, corn syrup, sugar, artificial flavors, artificial colors, nitrites, preservatives and artificial sweeteners — this is what passes for “food” for growing children whose development and IQ depend on proper nutrition. It’s beyond sad. And it certainly helps to explain the explosion of chronic diseases in childhood.
Processed Food Diets Are Deadlier Than Smoking
Research has shown refined high-carb diets are as risky as smoking, increasing your risk for lung cancer by as much as 49%,17 while other estimates suggest processed foods kill more people prematurely than cigarette smoking.18
Many studies have also demonstrated that the more processed a food is, the worse it is for your health, and more than $ 1 trillion is spent on treating junk food-related diseases in the U.S. each year.19
Processed foods promote a wide variety of chronic health problems, including obesity,20 cardiovascular diseases, Type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and cancer.
A 2018 study published in BMJ,21 which included 104,980 participants who were followed for an average of five years, found that each 10% increase in ultraprocessed food intake raised the cancer rate by 12%. This works out to nine additional cancer cases per 10,000 people per year. The risk of breast cancer, specifically, went up by 11% for every 10% increase in ultraprocessed food.
Processed foods also raise your risk of premature death,22,23,24,25,26 which makes sense, considering how health issues like heart disease and cancer can shave years, if not decades, off your life span.
French research27 published in 2019 found that for each 10% increase in the amount of ultraprocessed food consumed, the risk of premature death rose by 14%. This then also means you have a significant degree of control over your expected life span. Cut your processed food consumption by half and you’re already 70% less likely to die early than you were before.
Food processing occurs on a spectrum, with traditionally canned or fermented foods being “processed” but minimally so, whereas ultraprocessed foods have not only been cooked or altered, but also contain unnatural ingredients — such as those found in Lunchables.
Generally, ultraprocessed foods can be defined as food products containing one or more of the following:
- Ingredients that are not traditionally used in cooking
- Unnaturally high amounts of sugar, salt, processed industrial oils and unhealthy fats
- Artificial flavors, colors, chemical sweeteners and other additives that imitate sensorial qualities of unprocessed or minimally processed foods (examples include additives that create textures and pleasing mouth-feel)
- Preservatives and chemicals that impart an unnaturally long shelf-life
- Genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, which in addition to carrying potential health risks also tend to be heavily contaminated with toxic herbicides
As described in the NOVA classification of food processing,28 “A multitude of sequences of processes is used to combine the usually many ingredients and to create the final product (hence ‘ultraprocessed’).” Examples include hydrogenation, hydrolysation, extrusion, molding and preprocessing for frying.
Ultraprocessed foods also tend to be far more addictive than other foods, thanks to high amounts of sugar (which has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine29), salt and fat. The processed food industry has also developed “craveabilty” into an art form. Nothing is left to chance, and by making their foods addictive, manufacturers ensure repeat sales.
Processed Food and the Obesity Epidemic
For a clear illustration of what processed food has done to public health, just look at photos of beachgoers in the 1960s and ‘70s and compare it to a beach scene of today. Even as recently as my childhood in the 1970s, obesity was uncommon and even older people were relatively trim.
The obesity rate among adults through the 1960s and ‘70s was only 13%.30 In 2020, the U.S. obesity rate hit 42%,31,32 and another 30% of adults were overweight.33 Combined, that means more than 7 out of 10 people are carrying excess weight, placing them at increased risk for preventable health problems, mental health issues, chronic disease and early death.34
A main culprit behind this obesity epidemic is the omega-6 fat, linoleic acid (LA), which is found most abundantly in seed (commonly referred to as vegetable) oils that processed foods are loaded with.
As the takeover and transformation of our food system ramps up, the problems associated with processed foods will only get more severe, as the globalists’ goal is to replace most natural and whole foods with unhealthy patented ultraprocessed products.
Animal farming will be regulated into oblivion in order to be replaced by insect farms (so-called micro livestock), gene-edited food, lab grown meat and synthetic animal-free dairy products — all in the name of safeguarding public health and protecting the environment.
Back in 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published an article titled “What Will We Eat in 2030?”35 The article proposed to improve the food system by increasing food processing and the engineering foods in “ways that are better for our health.”
“’Ultraprocessed’ foods need not be unhealthy,” the WEF claimed. But this is as big a lie as “Roundup is safe enough to drink,” “Smoking is safe for pregnant women,” “DDT is good for me” and “COVID vaccines are safe and effective.” There is no way to make ultraprocessed food healthy. Period. And the sooner people realize this, the sooner we can turn the obesity and childhood disease trends around.
Healthy Eating Habits Start at Home
In my view, eating a diet consisting of 90% whole (ideally organic) food and only 10% or less processed foods is an achievable goal for most that could make a significant difference in your weight and overall health, and that of your children. You simply need to make the commitment and place a high priority on it.
Remember, your children’s eating habits are formed at an early age, at home. If they’re used to eating healthy whole food at home, they may be less inclined to opt for Lunchables at school, especially if they’ve been told why one is better than the other.
And, if you’re tucking Lunchables into your child’s lunch bag out of sheer convenience, please consider the long-term ramifications to your child’s health. Review the disease and mortality statistics for processed food diets again. The fact is, eating healthy isn’t all that complicated.
Simply focus on whole foods. Your child’s lunch could consist of some white rice with a piece of cooked chicken from last night’s dinner, for example, along with some fresh fruit and/or vegetable.
Smart home management app opens up new revenue streams for service providers
Broadband Service providers can use comprehensive and GDPR-protected data insights from a smart home management app to improve customers’ Wi-Fi experience and unlock new revenue streams thanks to Gamgee’s upgrade to AVM’s FRITZ!Box Wi-Fi Router.
The “Gamgee App for FRITZ!Box” presents service providers with a management capability that maps the home network, user behaviour and app usage analytics. This offers a powerful tool for service providers as they can gain understanding of their subscriber and use this knowledge to optimize and personalize service offering and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
“The evolution of the smart home has shifted service providers’ focus towards effectively managing and monetizing user experience inside the home,” said Gamgee CEO, Paul Hendriks. “We are delighted to add further to the FRITZ!Box’s quality and performance by enabling service providers the precious opportunity of reclaiming relationships with their subscribers, providing them with a personalized and customizable experience with our white label app. It also allows operators to differentiate their product from others in the marketplace through the extra services they offer consumers.”
Service providers can guarantee a high-quality Wi-Fi experience for customers via the seamless management of users and devices, network-wide application of cybersecurity and parental controls, and other features such as Wi-Fi speed boost, online time scheduling and blocking harmful content.
The app can be used on the end users’ mobile devices, providing an overview of all the devices connected to the router, while measuring Wi-Fi traffic and performance. It can allocate and prioritize bandwidth for certain devices when needed, such as a laptop for a work meeting over another user in the home network streaming videos on a tablet. Gamgee’s full feature set for FRITZ!Box includes cybersecurity, identity protection, and soon other services, like a VPN service.
Users can manage all connected users and devices, and the entire home network from the app’s centralized digital home management panel, meaning they can deploy for example, a ‘content blocking algorithm’ for all devices on the network.
For more information, visit the Gamgee website: https://www.gamgee.com/pages/s/home-page?language=en_US.
Gamgee is a high-tech user experience company from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The company offers an integrated service by which users can manage their wireless network, smart devices, internet access, parental controls, cybersecurity, identity protection, work from home, smart home monitoring and automation services via its digital services platform.
Advanced Satellite Data and Monitoring to Transform Disaster Response and Environmental Monitoring in Southeast Asia
Enhanced disaster response, environmental monitoring, agricultural productivity and infrastructure planning has been made available to businesses in Thailand thanks to a new partnership announced between Tokyo-based SAR satellite data and solutions provider, Synspective Inc., and Asia’s leading satellite operator and space technology service provider, Thaicom.
Synspective and Thaicom will supply a joint solution to government, defense, agriculture, and finance sectors in Thailand that enhances disaster response, environmental monitoring, agricultural productivity, and infrastructure planning. The collaboration will combine Synspective’s expertise in SAR technology and Thaicom’s knowledge in the satellite and space technology in Thailand.
Benefits of SAR technology include rapid assessment of the damage caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and landslides, to monitoring changes in the environment such as deforestation. SAR can also be used to monitor infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and buildings for damage and displacement, as well as monitoring agricultural land and crop growth.
Vincent Kessler, General Manager of Synspective SG Pte. Ltd., said: “We are delighted to partner with Thaicom to expand our offering in Thailand. Combining our SAR technology with Thaicom’s capabilities means that the Thai market can benefit from a solution that quickly and accurately assesses data to provide detailed and timely information for effective response and monitoring management. This is a productive step for yielding new opportunities for businesses in Thailand and creating a widespread sustainable community.”
Piyawat Jriyasetapong, Thaicom’s Chief Commercial Officer, stated that “Our partnership with Synspective will enable governments and businesses to make informed decisions on sustainable development and allows for effective maintenance and planning in Thailand. From saving lives and minimizing disaster impact on society after natural disasters to increased agricultural productivity by using SAR data and monitoring services means Thailand can become a more sustainable and resilient society.”
Notes to Editors
About Synspective (https://synspective.com/) Established in 2018, Synspective is an end-to-end satellite data and solution provider with a SAR satellite constellation that enables high-frequency and high-resolution Earth observation. Synspective delivers satellite data and various solutions that combine SAR and IoT data to provide data solutions to government and commercial organizations.
PR Team (K. Kumasaki & S. Miyamoto)
COVID Reemerges: Why You Shouldn’t Panic
According to news reports, new COVID-19 variants are on the rise and are being closely monitored for pandemic spread. In the U.S., EG.5, nicknamed Eris, has been declared a “variant of interest” (VOI), which means it is being monitored for mutations that might make it more hazardous.1
Australian news are highlighting the BA.2.86 variant, nicknamed Pirola,2 while Irish news are warning about an Omicron offshoot dubbed “the real deal” by World Health Organization officials3,4 — just in case you decided that COVID was no big deal anymore.
Seven other COVID variants are also being monitored by the WHO, and an additional three variants have been declared VOI, which calls for more extensive monitoring.5
Considering the many variants that have come and gone since 2020, isn’t it curious that media are now all of a sudden focusing on particular COVID strains again, just as we’re moving into fall and influenza season?
As previously predicted, we were given a short respite over the summer, and in the fall, the fearmongering will ramp up again to drive people into the vaccination clinics where they will be pressured to get not just one but three different shots — a booster for COVID, a flu vaccine and a brand-new fast-tracked vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
And, despite proof that masking is useless and lockdowns were a devastating mistake that should never be repeated, these failed strategies will likely be reimplemented as well. Our only hope, really, is mass disobedience, because those in charge are ignoring both science and the law.
Pirola Detected in Four Countries
Pirola has currently only been detected in Denmark, Israel, the U.S. and the U.K. As a “variant under monitoring” (VUM), the epidemiology of Pirola is being investigated and its characteristics and spread are being tracked.6
The WHO declared Pirola a VUM due to the number of mutations it carries, but according to some experts, it’s not expected to behave any differently than other Omicron substrains. Francois Balloux, Ph.D., a professor of computational systems biology at University College London, told ABC Australia:7
“BA.2.86 is the most striking SARS-CoV-2 strain the world has witnessed since the emergence of Omicron. Over the coming weeks we will see how well BA.2.86 will be faring relative to other Omicron subvariants.
Even in the worst case scenario where BA.2.86 caused a major new wave of cases, we are not expecting to witness comparable levels of severe disease and death than we did earlier in the pandemic when the Alpha, Delta or Omicron variants spread.
Most people on Earth have now been vaccinated and/or infected by the virus. Even if people get reinfected by BA.2.86, immune memory will still allow their immune system to kick in and control the infection far more effectively.”
No Reason to Worry About the ‘Real Deal’ Subvariant
Despite its ominous nickname, the “real deal” variant has only infected three people worldwide as of August 18, 2023, and according to a state medical lab in Denmark, there are no indications to suggest the new strain can cause severe illness.8
However, like Pirola, this strain is being monitored due to its collection of mutations, and some scientists are already calling for a return to lockdowns and mask-wearing to “slow down the spread.” Meanwhile, more logically-inclined experts have pointed out that most communities will have high immunity from exposure to previous Omicron strains.9
A Coordinated Fear Campaign
A quick look at the latest top mainstream media stories clearly reveal that we’re again facing a coordinated fear campaign orchestrated by government and media:10
CBS News: “CDC Tracking New COVID Variant BA.2.86 After Highly Mutated Strain Reported in Michigan”
NBC News: “CDC Monitoring New COVID Variant: What to Know About Cases and Guidance”
Bridge Medicines: “New COVID Variant Confirmed in Michigan. What to Know About BA.2.86”
The Guardian: “New COVID Variant Causing Concern Among Scientists Detected in London”
CNBC: “Moderna Says New Vaccine Was Effective Against Eris Variant in Early Trial”
ABC News: “CDC Tracking New COVID Lineage BA.2.86 After It Was Detected in the US”
Washington Post: “When to Get Your COVID Booster, RSV Vaccine and Flu Shot This Fall”
The Times of Israel: “New ‘Very Different’ COVID-19 Variant Detected in Israel, Denmark and US”
Reuters: “US CDC Tracks New Lineage of Virus That Causes COVID”
New York Post: “Amid ‘Summer Surge’ of New COVID Variant — Should We Be Wearing Masks?”
Media are also pushing the idea of a “tripledemic” this fall, and they’re all reading from the same cue cards.
TSA Whistleblower Warns Mask Requirements Will Soon Return
August 18, 2023, Alex Jones of InfoWars reported he’d been contacted by a high-level Transportation Security Administration (TSA) manager who warned that “by the middle of September,” TSA managers and airport employees will have to wear masks again.
By mid-October, all airline passengers will be required to mask up as well, and sometime in December, the TSA expects a full return to the 2021 COVID protocols.11 When managers asked why this would be occurring, they were told it was “because of the new variant in Canada.” Another federal contact that Jones spoke with said the same thing.
Likewise, the U.S. government is again stocking up on COVID-19 equipment and is hiring consultants to enforce COVID-19 “safety protocols.” Some of these contracts have start dates in September and October 2023, and will run into 2024 or 2025.12
Supposedly, the variant referred to is Eris (EG.5) — which currently accounts for an estimated 17.3% of new COVID cases in the U.S.13 — but how can they know, in mid-August, that this particular variant will suddenly become problematic in mid-September? Obviously they can’t, which means the coming “safety protocols” will again be based on fiction and fabrications.
Are They Gearing Up for Election Interference?
As noted by Jones, the coming COVID restrictions are likely part of “a deliberate attempt by the Biden administration to influence the outcome of the 2024 presidential election” by insisting it’s too dangerous to vote in person so we need mail-in ballots and absentee ballot harvesting14 — two strategies that make it easier to rig the election results.
The first COVID scare was pushed for two years, and the elections are only a little over a year away. More than likely, they will try to keep the second round of COVID fear porn going for longer than the first round, considering the intention is to make rolling lockdowns and restrictions a permanent state of affairs.
If we give in and go along with this charade, the globalist cabal will get their One World Government and the rest of the global population will be reduced to slaves and serfs.
There’s no question that that is the plan, and all they need to succeed is for people to go along with their false narratives. My recommendation remains the same as it was before: Peaceful civil disobedience. Do not comply. Remember, you cannot comply your way out of tyranny.
Common Risk Factors for Hospitalization and Death
As reported by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC),15 Eris appears no more dangerous than previous Omicron variants, all of which have been far milder than the original COVID strain. There are lots of “cases,” yes, but few cases of severe illness and hospitalization. Risk factors for hospitalization and death include:16
- Being older than 60
- Comorbidities, especially obesity, metabolic syndrome and frailty
- Delayed treatment
- High D-dimer level
- Recent COVID booster
“The good news is that the advice we’ve been sharing from the FLCCC all along still stands — do what you can to prevent getting ill and if you do get it, treat immediately. Early treatment is critical,” the FLCCC writes.17
Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out For
Common symptoms experienced by those infected in the latest COVID-19 wave (in which BA.4, BA.5, BQ.1.1 and XBB1 variants have predominated) include:18
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
Tiredness and fatigue
Nasal congestion and sinus pain
Dental pain and soreness of gums and teeth
Swelling and/or pain related to the orbit of the eye
If any of these symptoms arise, begin treatment immediately. You can download the FLCCC’s latest treatment recommendations here. As noted by the FLCCC, there is NO need to wait for a confirmed PCR test, as the tests were developed for older variants and have always been unreliable at best anyway.
Another simple and inexpensive yet highly effective treatment strategy that I’ve promoted throughout the COVID pandemic is nebulized hydrogen peroxide. You can find more information about that here, here and here, and in the video below.
As for prevention of COVID-19, influenza and RSV, the FLCCC suggests:19
- Following their prevention protocol, which includes antimicrobial mouthwash, a nasal spray with 1% povidone-iodine, and immune-boosting supplements like quercetin and zinc, vitamins C and D, melatonin and elderberry syrup.
- Intermittent fasting and balancing your gut microbiome.
- Reduce stress.
- Get good sleep. On average, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
- Spend more time outside in the sun and fresh air.
Regarding the use of ivermectin, the FLCCC comments:20
“… if you have significant comorbidities, lack natural immunity, or have a suppressed immune system you may want to try a twice-weekly dose of ivermectin at 0.2 mg/kg.
Likewise, consider it if you are currently suffering from long COVID or post-vaccine syndrome and are not currently being treated with ivermectin.
If you have an upcoming situation where you may have high possible exposure — such as travel, weddings, or conferences — taking daily ivermectin starting two days before departure and either daily or every other day during the period of high exposure is a reasonable approach.
Remember to immediately initiate daily ivermectin at treatment doses (0.4 mg/kg) at the first signs of any kind of viral syndrome. It bears repeating: Early treatment is essential! Most of all, pay no mind to the ongoing drumbeat of fear-mongering that the mainstream media is providing. We know the routine. We’ve been here before.”
Fearmongering Is a Tool to Foster Obedience
Indeed, it’s important to realize that the alleged “threats” posed by COVID, flu and RSV are being magnified for a reason. The biosecurity crisis needs to continue indefinitely because it’s the primary justification behind The Great Reset. At regular intervals, there must be another Chicken Little warning that the sky is still falling.
At some stage, you must realize that the more you give in and obey, the more you must give in and obey. There really is no end to what they can and will take from you, and holding on to the belief that your government would never [fill in the blank] is becoming more dangerous by the day.
It’s also important to realize that your government isn’t the ultimate power. Our government officials take orders too, from what is often referred to as the deep state. It’s not a government at all, but a global, hidden power structure that is accountable to no one, while influencing and manipulating everyone to bring about a new world order.
In years past, this shadowy cabal of power brokers were referred to under the term the New World Order. In 2020, the World Economic Forum came out on the public stage and announced The Great Reset, which is nothing but the NWO rebranded.
Don’t Get Fooled Twice
We can no longer afford to disbelieve the lengths to which this globalist cabal can and will go to seize control. They’ve already told us what the ultimate plan is — to use bioterrorism to take control of the world’s resources, wealth and people.
All we need to do is to believe it, and realize that the only thing giving them the power to impose their will is our fear. As long as we choose fear and demand our government keep us safe, they have every chance of winning.
Hopefully, a clear majority of people will have learned this lesson by now, and won’t fall for the same tricks again, even though they’ve upped the ante with a triple threat, rather than just one. Fear is a tool used to control you, but that only works if you buy into it.
Help Seize This Opportunity to Abolish Mercury Fillings
New Opportunities to Phase Out Amalgam
This spring, an unexpected — but highly welcome — development compels Consumers for Dental Choice to search for additional revenue. Several African nations submitted a proposal to amend the Minamata Convention to add a 2030 phase-out date for dental amalgam.
The proposal also adds common-sense measures to facilitate this phase-out, including (1) submitting to the Secretariat a national plan for phasing out the use of dental amalgam and (2) excluding the use of dental amalgam in government insurance policies and programs. Now we must gear up for the intense global debates over this proposal at the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP5), starting 30 October in Geneva, Switzerland.
Phasing Out the Past
The dental amalgam we know today was developed in the nineteenth century. And it was controversial from the start. Many practicing dentists opposed it.
Even in some 19th century advertisements, dentists proclaimed that amalgam was “poisonous”. And they had the support of some of the leading names in nineteenth century dentistry. For example, Dr. Chapin A. Harris, long considered the father of American dental science said amalgam “is one of the most objectionable articles for fillings teeth that can be employed.”
This view was reflected in one of the earliest dental associations – the American Society of Dental Surgeons. In 1845, the Association went so far as to adopt a resolution: “That any member of this Society who shall hereafter refuse to sign a certificate pledging himself not to use any amalgam and moreover, protesting against its use under any circumstances in dental practice, shall be expelled from this Society.”
Sadly, the dental profession took an ugly turn. Unscrupulous “dentists” found that they could market this cheap mercury product as silver – and thereby compete with the better-trained dentists who preferred gold. (The white composite fillings that are the primary alternative to amalgam today were not around at this time.)
As one physician observed in 1896, “Certain dentists are themselves aware of the popular dread of mercury and hence the false term of ‘silver filling,’ which is a deliberate swindle and a disgrace to the dental occupation.”
Promoting amalgam as “silver fillings” had an additional perk for the dental industry: customarily, dentists priced their work based on the intrinsic value of the material used. Hence, they could charge more for a gold filling than a silver filling, and more for a supposedly silver filling than for an amalgam filling.
As dental publications in the late 1800s urged dentists to “[e]liminate the idea that the amalgam filling is a cheap filling,” use of the term “silver fillings” proliferated even though mercury remained the major ingredient. To this day, polling shows that many people still believe that “silver fillings” are really silver – and not toxic mercury.
Two decades back, Consumers for Dental Choice began by fighting the “silver fillings” deception and by protecting mercury-free dentists. Fighting and winning at the state level, then the federal level, then the international level, we are now closer than ever to completely abolishing this threat to our health and environment as we approach the debates for the amalgam phase-out amendment to the Minamata Convention.
During this Mercury Awareness Week, Dr. Mercola doubles your donations up to $ 150,000 to help Consumers for Dental Choice get the funding we need to build on the momentum from the FDA safety communication. He matches your gift until midnight your time on August 19 (or postmarked by August 21). Click the button below to donate online:
Or you may mail a check to …
Consumers for Dental Choice
727 15th St. NW, Suite 701
Washington, DC 20005
With your help, we will be well-prepared for the moment at hand, having already laid the groundwork in five key ways. Consumers for Dental Choice:
1) Won Protections for Dentists
Consumers for Dental Choice has always worked closely with dentists to abolish amalgam. Early on, only about 3% of dentists were mercury-free. We had to defend the right of these mercury-free dentists to advise, advertise, and advocate for mercury-free dentistry. We had to win back the licenses of dentists who stood up against this toxic product.
We had to fight to get mercury-free dentists – who represent almost half of all dentists now! – appointed to state dental boards over the pro-mercury state dental associations strenuous objections.
Now Consumers for Dental Choice is on the offensive, reaching out to dentists about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s new safety communication. We wrote articles and met with government health officials, advising dentists that in light of FDA’s amalgam safety communication, their only prudent course of action is to use only mercury-free fillings.
And we made sure that dental schools knew about FDA’s new safety communication – and heard that some are stopping amalgam use in their clinics in response to concerns raised by FDA.
For example, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) ended the use of amalgam in patient care on 14 October 2020 in direct response to FDA’s safety communication. As explained on its website:
“By eliminating dental amalgam from our Patient Treatment Centers, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our patients and fully embracing the future of dental restorations – while simultaneously doing our part to protect the environment,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter.
“GSDM has a well-deserved reputation for innovation, and I believe this decision is yet another example of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine being ahead of the curve when it comes to trends in dentistry and oral healthcare.”
As more and more dental schools reject amalgam and embrace mercury-free materials, the next generation of dentists will be better prepared to not only save teeth but also protect their patients and communities from the unnecessary exposure to amalgam’s mercury.
2) Took on the ADA
The main lobbying force for amalgam since the Civil War, the American Dental Association, has realigned its position. After promoting and profiting from mercury in the mouth and loudly proclaiming its safety, this double amalgam patentholder has started to pull back from its former hard-line position of pushing amalgam onto American consumers.
Here’s what we are seeing in the ADA’s new official 2022 policy statement Use of Amalgam as Restorative Material:
- The ADA’s policy no longer says amalgam does not pose a health hazard — The ADA’s policy no longer says that amalgam “does not pose a health hazard.” Instead it merely “recommends that clinicians review the risks and benefits of all restorative options with their patients.”
- The ADA’s policy supports reducing environmental mercury — In 2022, with the Minamata Convention in its fifth year, the ADA at last “supports the globally recognized need to reduce environmental mercury as set forth in the Minamata Convention on Mercury … as a common good.”
- The ADA’s policy backs away from using state dental boards as weapons — The ADA withdraws its long-time policy of openly aiding dental boards in attacking mercury-free dentists. It deletes its written policy of assisting boards with “expert witnesses” in cases involving dentists opposed to amalgam use.
There can be no doubt that our campaign is succeeding. The ADA beats a retreat to higher ground – we clearly have them on the run. But the new policy makes clear that this multimillion dollar lobbying machine is continuing its unconscionable fight to keep using this mercury product – especially in the poor, the unaware, and those dependent on government programs like our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and their families.
3) Gained Protections for Children and Vulnerable
After more than a decade of battle, Consumers for Dental Choice won amalgam warnings from FDA in 2020! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication on dental amalgam, finally recommending against amalgam use in people who are at higher risk from the adverse effects of mercury exposure, including …
Pregnant women and their developing babies
Women who are planning to become pregnant
Nursing women and their newborns and infants
Children, especially those younger than six years of age
People with pre-existing neurological disease
People with impaired kidney function
People with known heightened sensitivity (allergy) to mercury or other components of dental amalgam
This list, of course, encompasses a significant part of the population. As such, FDA’s action has the potential to protect millions and millions of Americans from mercury in their mouths. FDA’s safety communication also had another significant effect – it created a momentum for mercury-free dentistry that was unimaginable just a few years ago.
In 2013, Consumers for Dental Choice and our global team – the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry – won an amalgam reduction requirement in the new Minamata Convention on Mercury. Every country that is party to this international environmental treaty must phase down its use of amalgam.
Now armed with the FDA’s safety communication advising against amalgam use in high-risk populations, we knew it was time to ask the nations of the world to go further by amending the Minamata Convention on Mercury to protect all children from amalgam.
Consumers for Dental Choice and our international allies undertook a multi-pronged campaign: convincing the Minamata Secretariat that mercury-free alternatives to amalgam are feasible … persuading the World Health Organization to acknowledge that an amalgam phase-out is possible … sharing the science and practical policy solutions with governments from every region … and battling misinformation from the pro-mercury World Dental Federation (FDI).
The mercury-free dentistry movement was present in force during the amendment debates in Bali, Indonesia in March 2022 and we succeeded in winning what became known as the Children’s Amendment! On 25 March 2022, the parties to the Minamata Convention decided unanimously to amend the treaty to …
“… Exclude or not allow, by taking measures as appropriate, or recommend against the use of dental amalgam for the dental treatment of deciduous teeth [baby teeth], of patients under 15 years and of pregnant and breastfeeding women …”
This amendment represents a worldwide consensus that dental amalgam is not safe for children and other vulnerable populations – it is not safe in their mouths and it is not safe in their environment.
4) Changed Dental Manufacturing
For more than a decade, Consumers for Dental Choice has held news events in amalgam manufacturers’ home cities … organized petitions … filed shareholder resolutions demanding that companies reconsider amalgam sales … and urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue manufacturer guidance. But the industry dug in to defend its mercury product until …
The FDA safety communication was the straw that broke the manufacturers’ back. Consumers for Dental Choice and our allies followed up with letters to manufacturers signed by 118 environmental, consumer, and children’s groups from across America and throughout the world.
Dentsply Sirona – one of the world’s largest manufacturer of dental products – was the first to exit the amalgam market. In its annual report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, this industry behemoth quietly noted:
“[W]e have discontinued sales for all amalgam products as of December 2020.”
The coup de grâce for Dentsply appears to have been FDA’s recommendation against amalgam use in high-risk. As Dentsply explained:
“In September 2020, the FDA issued an updated recommendation that certain people are at higher risk for health problems from mercury-containing amalgam dental fillings, such as pregnant women and their developing fetuses, women who are planning to become pregnant, nursing women and their newborns and infants, children, especially those younger than six years of age, people with pre-existing neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, or Parkinson disease, people with impaired kidney function, and people with a known allergy to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.”
When Dentsply Sirona stopped its amalgam sales, we turned our attention to other manufacturers who still needed persuasion, including going directly to the major shareholders. Soon, the other major U.S. amalgam manufacturer, Kerr (currently a subsidiary of Envista Holdings Corporation and previously a subsidiary of Danaher), announced that it has:
“… ceased manufacturing all Alloy products, including all of our amalgam products that may contain mercury.”
Kerr goes on to explain that …
“Specifically, we ceased manufacturing these products in the third quarter of 2021 and communicated this decision to our customers in November of 2021. As part of this communication, we cancelled many of our customers outstanding orders for amalgams containing mercury and directed our customers to our other materials that do not contain mercury.
We also engaged in a vigorous campaign to assist our customers in swapping their amalgam products containing mercury to materials that do not contain mercury.”
With Dentsply and Kerr is out of the amalgam business, they can now focus on what they do best: developing and selling the many excellent mercury-free fillings available today!
5) Built a Winning Coalition
Consumers for Dental Choice helped found the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry in 2010. Since then, this umbrella coalition has grown to more than 50 organizations from around the globe that are working to end the use of amalgam.
This is the team that got an amalgam reduction requirement into the Minamata Convention, won the Children’s Amendment to that treat to protect the most vulnerable, and winning amalgam phase-outs and restrictions in their own individual countries.
We are honored to lead this team of talented and energetic nonprofit group leaders and dental experts from around the world, including Bangladesh, Cameroun, Germany, Great Britain, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Nigeria, Uruguay, and Vietnam. We are preparing for a showdown at COP5 as we fight for the proposed phase-out amendment to the Minamata Convention. But we never put all eggs in one basket – even if amendment doesn’t go as far as we want, we’ve got other plans to win!
Help Consumers for Dental Choice Phase Out Amalgam
The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, led by and funded by Consumers for Dental Choice, is counted on by the developing countries to provide the technical and legal expertise on dental amalgam at the Minamata Convention conferences; these governments lack the staff depth of the developed countries of North America, Europe, and East Asia.
Consumers for Dental Choice needs to bring its worldwide team to advocate for the amalgam phase-out proposal at this fall’s weeklong Conference of the Parties in Geneva and the preparatory regional consultations.
Consumers for Dental Choice is an amazing nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to advocating mercury-free dentistry. Our talented team of consumer advocates, environmentalists, and health professionals work tirelessly — and effectively — to continue the fight against dental mercury around the world.
Consider donating to this worthwhile cause to help eliminate dental mercury. This week, until midnight your time on August 19 (or postmarked by August 21) Dr. Mercola doubles your donations up to $ 150,000 to help Consumers for Dental Choice get the funding we need to build on the momentum from the FDA safety communication. Click the button below to donate online:
Or you may mail a check to …
Consumers for Dental Choice
727 15th St. NW, Suite 701
Washington, DC 20005
With your help, we can aim high — for a worldwide amalgam phase-out — and notch a victory like none before.
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