COVID-19 is having a greater impact on people of color. Here’s how one extended family struggled to get care during the pandemic.
The numbers are clear: The coronavirus pandemic hits people of color harder. Black and Hispanic people are more likely to get COVID-19, need to be hospitalized for it, and are far more likely to die from it than White or Asian people, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But why?
Economic and social differences play a part in explaining the racial disparity during this public health emergency, says Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhD, a general practitioner, professor of public health at Columbia University, board adviser of Inseparable and president of Fountain House, two non-profits dedicated to increasing access to mental health services in Black and brown communities.
People of color are more likely to live in multigenerational households and densely populated areas and make up a higher percentage of incarcerated populations, all of which are situations that increase transmission of the virus. Black and brown people are also more likely to have conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, which have been shown to increase the risk and severity of the illness. And they are more likely to be poor or have jobs with inadequate benefits, which limits their access to insurance and healthcare—and ability to take time off—when they do get sick.
While it may not be overt, what all of these factors add up to is an insidious type of racism in healthcare, Dr. Vasan says. This issue is every bit as important as police violence to the well-being of people of color, he adds.
“As people from across the country unite in an effort to dismantle the systems that have oppressed the Black community for far too long, we need to identify which specific systems are broken and how they can be fixed,” he says. “Healthcare for people of color is one vital area that must be addressed in this great reckoning.” Find out some ways you can keep up the momentum of anti-racism even after the protests.
Getting a COVID-19 test is more difficult
Good treatment starts with an accurate diagnosis, and you can’t get diagnosed without a test. While COVID-19 test problems have been widely reported throughout the country, minorities and immigrants are having an even harder time getting tested, says Siobhan Davenport, president of Crittenton Services of Greater Washington, a non-profit program that helps at-risk teen girls and their families.
“Ninety-four percent of the community we serve are Black and brown, and our families often report to us difficulties in their experience with the healthcare system,” she says. “During this time, many people have told us they are having difficulty getting a COVID-19 test, even after a person in their household tested positive.”
The Santiago family shows just how complex this issue is. “I didn’t have any symptoms at the beginning. My first sign that I might be sick was when I lost my sense of taste,” says Maria, 36, a phlebotomist and mother of two in Montgomery County, Maryland. At that time, in early April 2020, that wasn’t a well-known symptom of COVID-19 but she still had good reason to think she might have become infected. Her brother, sister-in-law, mother, and son all had the illness—at least they thought they did. Even though they were all sick only some were able to get a test.
On April 16, 2020, Maria got tested through the doctor’s office where she works, allowing her to circumvent the long line for county tests. Two days later it came back positive.
Her brother, Alvaro, 22, had a much different experience. “My brother works in a nursing home, a very high-risk job, but he was denied a test multiple times,” she says. While it’s true that tests were scarce at that time, Alvaro Santiago was an essential worker in a nursing home who knew he’d been exposed; he should have been at the top of the list to get tested. The county health department didn’t give an official reason but told him to continue working and quarantine himself if he felt sick.
While some people of color have been flat-out denied a test, the discrimination usually happens through more understated ways, says Davenport, who has been working with the Santiago family. For instance, Black and brown people are less likely to have health insurance and more likely to have language barriers, she says, both of which were issues for Alvaro and may have contributed to his not being able to get tested. Disparities like these are some of the reasons you should stop saying “I don’t see color.”
Robin Gentry/EyeEm/Getty Images
Treating COVID-19 at home is a privilege many people of color don’t have
After Maria received her positive diagnosis, she was told to go home, quarantine, and not to come back to work until she’d tested negative for 14 days. Once home, the illness set in and she felt very sick, with body aches and a fever. Her 20-month-old son, Dylan, also became ill. She called her doctor, who told her there was no treatment so they should simply drink hot tea and stay home. She followed the doctor’s orders but it was well over a month before she could return to work. She was able to manage such a long time off only because she had help from her husband and daughter, who never showed symptoms.
Staying at home, whether to quarantine or to recover, is often more complicated for people of color. Sixty-three percent of Americans who live in poverty are Native American, Black, or Hispanic, according to Poverty USA. People of color are more likely to work “essential” jobs where they are paid hourly and don’t have benefits like time off, Davenport adds. They may also feel pressure from their employers to continue working even if they don’t feel good. These factors can make Black and brown people reluctant to seek a diagnosis and resist staying home to recover as the financial toll would be too great or they fear losing their job.
Medical treatment for COVID-19 is harder to get
Maria, Dylan, and Alvaro Santiago recovered on their own eventually but their mother, Elida, 63, was a different story. “She was very, very sick. She couldn’t get out of bed for a week,” Maria says. “We got her some medicine but it didn’t help. We knew she was at high risk because of her diabetes. We were crying and crying. We were really scared she was going to die.” The doctor said to keep her home but her condition got so bad that they took her to the hospital.
“You could see there were two lines into the hospital, one for people with insurance and one for people without,” Maria says. Elida did not have health insurance—just like 11 percent of Black people, 19 percent of Hispanic people, and 22 percent of Native Americans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. She was not admitted and did not receive medical treatment.
While Maria says she doesn’t personally feel like she was treated differently because of her race, she does admit it is a problem in her community. Dr. Vasan says it’s common for people of color to have their symptoms minimized or to not be believed. They’re also less likely to receive adequate treatment and pain management, he adds.
Fortunately, Elida recovered on her own but she is still very weak and may never be the same, Maria says. Many people of color are not so lucky. Black people are more than twice as likely, and Hispanic people 1.5 times more likely, to die of COVID-19 than white people, according to the CDC. Read this story of how one man survived COVID-19, and what he wants you to know.
Less access to healthcare overall
People of color often lack access to preventive health services and have many more barriers to getting healthcare when they do get sick, Dr. Vasan says. “Healthcare access is lower in communities of color, as they are more likely than White Americans to not have health insurance, so are less likely to be connected to long-term primary care and mental health care, and thus more likely to rely on emergency rooms as their main source of care, which is lower quality especially for chronic issues like mental health,” he says. “Also, they are more likely to live in areas that have fewer healthcare facilities and healthcare workers, making care harder to access.”
This has become even more complicated during the coronavirus pandemic as people have been limited from going out, even as more are getting sick.
Another issue is cultural insensitivity on the part of healthcare institutions, including a lack of religious and language accommodations, which can be especially difficult for immigrants, Davenport says. Maria emigrated here from El Salvador 13 years ago but says she still sometimes has difficulty navigating the complicated healthcare system.
“It’s not uncommon to have young children acting as translators for their parents in complicated medical conversations,” Davenport says. Find out 11 signs you may have already had COVID-19.
A lack of trust in the healthcare system
“All of these things taken together lead to a deep, but well-earned, mistrust of the healthcare system by many communities of color, which can result in delaying care or not seeking care at all,” Dr. Vasan says. This mistrust has broad implications for communities during the coronavirus pandemic where getting testing and care early are essential to containing the virus.
Solving this issue and getting people of color the healthcare they need isn’t an easy fix; systemic problems need a systemic fix. The first step should be establishing universal health coverage, Dr. Vasan says. “No one should have to choose between paying the rent or paying their healthcare bill,” he says.
Addressing needs on a community level is essential to building trust. “We need to combine improvements in healthcare access and quality with investment in social issues,” he says. “Things like housing, education, jobs, and public safety are health issues; they play a big part in physical and mental health.”
America also needs to invest in alternatives to systems that focus primarily on punishment and control. “Right now the jail and prison system is the largest provider of mental healthcare in the country, and 60 percent of incarcerated people are people of color,” he says.
Where we go from here
For many people with COVID-19, simply surviving the illness doesn’t mean you’re finished with it. It remains to be seen how long-lasting the health effects will be but there is some evidence that patients could be affected for years to come or even the rest of their lives. Then there is concern for people who have not been infected yet. It’s clear the coronavirus is going to be affecting individuals and communities long after the pandemic is declared over.
“Overall this was a very scary experience. I felt like my hands were tied because no one cared, unless we were dying no one would help us,” Maria says. “I’m still worried about my mom’s health and I’m scared for my daughter because she has asthma. What do I do now?”
Ultimately it’s up to us to insist that basic healthcare is a human right. Everyone, regardless of race, should be engaging in community and legislative advocacy to ensure Black and brown people’s needs are represented by their elected officials, Dr. Vasan says. In the meantime, we need to work together to set up better procedures and protocols to ensure that everyone has access to COVID-19 tests and treatment. Next, find out some charities and organizations that support BIPOC and need your support right now.
For more on this important issue, see our guide to the Fight Against Racism.
An international stage for small yet innovative companies: Helping business where it matters most
SMEs hard hit by multiple international crises Focused business development programs are in high demand Taiwan Excellence gives international platform to brilliant companies and products who could not otherwise afford it Taipei, 22. September 2022 – Covid-19, Inflation, Energy crisis. The global economy cannot catch a break right now. Among those hardest hit in the […]
- SMEs hard hit by multiple international crises
- Focused business development programs are in high demand
- Taiwan Excellence gives international platform to brilliant companies and products who could not otherwise afford it
Taipei, 22. September 2022 – Covid-19, Inflation, Energy crisis. The global economy cannot catch a break right now. Among those hardest hit in the business world are SMEs. This is cause for concern since SMEs form the backbone of many national economies. In Germany, for example, about 2.6 million out of a total of roughly 3 million companies are SMEs. It is often these SMEs who are drivers of innovation. They also offer employment opportunities to a vast number of people.
International trade has taken a hit
As a side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy came to a near standstill in 2020. 2021 proved to be just a hard on the economy, given this unprecedented global health crisis, which meant restricted travel abroad, the adjustment to working from home and a rise in sick days among workers. This has meant that small and medium-sized companies with excellent ideas and brilliant new products were unable to present those ideas and products on the world stage. It has taken until this year for the world to slowly and cautiously open up again.
Diminished purchasing power puts businesses at peril
Inflation has burned a hole into the pockets of consumers everywhere. With their money now worth less, consumers have had to rethink their spending habits. This will without a doubt lead to fewer purchases of what are seen as “non-essential” and “luxury” items, such as new technological products.
Putting energy back into the ICT sector
On top of the above, an energy price crisis is currently in full swing. As families everywhere are scrambling to make sure they’ll stay warm during winter, SME’s, especially in energy-consuming industries, are struggling to stay solvent. Money that might otherwise have gone to marketing, travel, and networking now has to go towards keeping the electricity running.
Helping businesses get back out there
This is where focused business development programs can have a real impact. Especially, if they offer not only a quality label or prize money, but also international exposure. One such program is Taiwan Excellence. Every year, innovative products and outstanding companies “Made in Taiwan” are awarded the Taiwan Excellence Award – an excellence initiative launched by the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs and Taiwan External Trade Development Council. The Taiwan Excellence jury evaluates products according to strict standards and ensures that only truly innovative products are awarded. Their focus is on the criteria of research & development, design, quality, and marketing. More importantly, Taiwan Excellence then helps the awarded companies to meet the world and show off their products to interested buyers and distributors around the world.
Taiwan Excellence at IFA: exemplary help in dire times
Such was the case at IFA, the electronics trade show in Berlin that ended just a fortnight ago. Here, 14 different companies gathered under the Taiwan Excellence label with over 40 technology products from a wide range of fields. Although some internationally renowned companies such as Asus, D-Link, or Acerpure were also represented at the booth, most of the companies represented would hardly have been able to bear the costs of a trade fair appearance on their own. Amid these times of crises, is initiatives like Taiwan Excellence that help reconnect manufacturers of truly innovative products with buyers and distributors from all around the world.
About Taiwan Excellence
The Taiwan Excellence Awards were established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 1993. Every year, eligible candidates are subjected to a rigorous and stringent selection system that covers four major aspects of “R&D”, “Design”, “Quality” and “Marketing” to identify outstanding products that offer “Innovative Value” while satisfying the key criterion of being “made in Taiwan”. Products that have been selected for the Taiwan Excellence Awards would serve as examples of the domestic industries and be promoted by the government in the international market in an effort to shape the creative image for Taiwanese businesses.
About Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT)
The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), under The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) of Taiwan, is responsible for implementing policies and regulations governing foreign trade, economic cooperation, and foreign investments. Established in January 1969, the BOFT’s role and position have undergone continual adjustments to meet the needs of the shifting international economic and trade environment. The BOFT has been guiding and working with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) in numerous trade promotion projects and activities both internationally and domestically. Having worked closely with TAITRA for many decades, the BOFT continues to entrust TAITRA with various critical government projects relating to business trade and/or investments, promoting Taiwan on every international aspect.
About Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA)
Founded in 1970 to help promote foreign trade, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is the foremost non-profit, semi-governmental trade promotion organization in Taiwan. Jointly sponsored by the government, industry associations, and several commercial organizations, TAITRA assists Taiwanese businesses with reinforcing their international competitiveness and in coping with the challenges they face in foreign markets. TAITRA boasts a well-coordinated trade promotion and information network consisting of over 800 international marketing specialists stationed throughout its Taipei headquarters and their 60 branches worldwide. Together with its sister organizations, the Taiwan Trade Center (TTC) and Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC), TAITRA has created a wealth of trade opportunities through effective promotion strategies.
Manuel Dengler | firstname.lastname@example.org | +49.152.21821141
Manuka Honey Helps Combat Antibiotic Resistant Lung Infection
Honey has been valued for its antimicrobial properties for thousands of years. Made from flower nectar, honey contains sugars, amino acids, phenolics and other compounds that combine to exert a wealth of medicinal properties. When it comes to broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, however, manuka honey deserves top billing.
Produced from certain manuka plants — also known as tea trees — of the Leptospermum species native to New Zealand and Australia,1 manuka is used for a variety of medical-grade applications, including honey gel, honey for wound dressings and nebulized honey used to treat asthma.2
The nectar from manuka flowers contains dihydroxyacetone, a precursor to methylglyoxal (MGO), an antimicrobial compound not found in most other honey. The presence of MGO is credited for much of manuka honey’s medicinal prowess, which includes the ability to combat complex antibiotic-resistant respiratory infections.3
Manuka Honey Treats Aggressive Lung Infection
Mycobacterium abscessus is a type of mycobacteria that often cause aggressive lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis and other preexisting lung conditions. Conventional treatment often involves more than 12 months of antimicrobial chemotherapy, which still doesn’t get rid of the infection in many cases.4
According to researchers with the U.K.’s Aston University, patients often stop taking the drugs due to severe side effects, including nausea, vomiting, liver damage, low platelet levels and low white blood cell count. Even among those who do stick with the intensive drug treatment, it’s only successful 30% to 50% of the time.5
“New and novel strategies are urgently required to combat these infections,” the researchers wrote. “One such strategy thus far overlooked for mycobacteria is manuka honey.”6
The Aston University team conducted a study using samples of Mycobacterium abscessus from 16 infected patients with cystic fibrosis to determine the effectiveness of manuka honey against it.7 All four varieties of manuka honey tested showed antimicrobial activity against the bacteria, including 16 drug-resistant clinical isolates.8
The researchers used a nebulizer and lung model to test the results of manuka honey with the drug amikacin, which is used to treat bacterial infections. A typical dosage of amikacin used in the treatment of Mycobacterium abscessus is 16 micrograms per milliliter.
When combined with manuka honey, however, not only was the duo effective but far less amikacin — just 2 micrograms per milliliter — was needed.9 According to study author Jonathan Cox, a senior lecturer in microbiology at Aston University:10
“By combining a totally natural ingredient such as manuka honey with amikacin, one of the most important yet toxic drugs used for treating Mycobacterium abscessus, we have found a way to potentially kill off these bacteria with eight times less drug than before. This has the potential to significantly reduce amikacin-associated hearing loss and greatly improve the quality of life of so many patients — particularly those with cystic fibrosis.
I am delighted with the outcome of this research because it paves the way for future experiments and we hope that with funding we can move towards clinical trials that could result in a change in strategy for the treatment of this debilitating infection.”
Honey Works for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), otherwise known as the common cold, are a common reason why people are prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily, exacerbating antimicrobial resistance.11 Honey makes a suitable option for symptom relief, working better than usual care, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.12
After reviewing 1,345 records from 14 studies, the researchers found that, compared with usual care, honey improved cough frequency and cough severity, as well as the combined symptom score. They noted:
“Honey was superior to usual care for the improvement of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. It provides a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics. Honey could help efforts to slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance, but further high quality, placebo controlled trials are needed.”
The results support previous studies with similar results. In one Italian study involving 134 children with a nonspecific cough, researchers compared the use of multiple doses of honey to the use of dextromethorphan and levodropropizine, two commonly prescribed over-the-counter cough medications in Italy.13
The children were given either a mixture of milk and wildflower honey or a dose of one of the medications, based on the group they were assigned to. The researchers found that the milk and honey mixture was at least as effective as the medications. Similar results were found by a study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews that looked into honey for the treatment of acute cough in children. It concluded:14
“Honey probably relieves cough symptoms to a greater extent than no treatment, diphenhydramine, and placebo, but may make little or no difference compared to dextromethorphan. Honey probably reduces cough duration better than placebo and salbutamol.”
How Do Manuka Honey’s Antibacterial Properties Work?
Different types of manuka honey have varying levels of antibacterial potency, which is related to its Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating. UMF is correlated to a particular honey’s content of MGO and total phenols. While some types of manuka honey may be more potent than others, no bacterial resistance to honey has been identified to date, possibly because it’s made up of such a complex mixture of MGO and other substances.15
Honey may also affect bacterial cell morphology and growth by altering its shape and size, according to an overview published in AIMS Microbiology.16 It also noted that manuka honey can stimulate macrophages to release mediators such as interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α, which are necessary for reducing microbial infections and promoting tissue healing.17 Other active compounds in honey that may affect its antibacterial activity include:18
- Hydrogen peroxide (especially in non-manuka honey)
- Acidic pH level
- Hyper-osmolality effect
- Bee defensin-1, an antimicrobial bee-derived peptide19
“Manuka honey can be safely used as an alternative natural antibiotic,” the researchers noted, adding, “Finally, the conclusion is that honey is a natural and safe antibiotic, since no literature published has reported bacterial resistance for honey, which is attributed to the complexity of honey components working solely or in a synergistic manner with other components.”20
Manuka Honey’s Wound-Healing Powers
Manuka honey has been widely explored for wound healing, in part due to its ability to wipe out bacteria living in biofilms, which often adhere to wound surfaces. Manuka honey is capable not only of disrupting existing biofilms, which can cause persistent infections, but also of preventing their formation.21
In addition to inhibiting the growth of all bacterial pathogens it’s been tested against, researchers noted, “Treatment with manuka honey results in a unique signature of differential gene expression with down-regulation of stress response and virulence-related genes.”22 When combined with antibiotics, it also works synergistically or enhances their effects, while preventing the development of resistance and even making resistant bacterial strains more susceptible to treatment.23
In the case of wound healing, honey has been used for this purpose for thousands of years, and in the U.S. the use of medical grade honey for wound care is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.24 Manuka honey has immunomodulatory properties that enhance wound healing and tissue regeneration.25
Even in cases of chronic, nonhealing wounds, such as diabetic leg ulcers, manuka honey dressings have been found to mostly heal the sores within three months. “The antibacterial component of manuka honey is a small water-soluble molecule that diffuses easily, which explains why manuka honey has also exhibited efficacy against bacteria contained in biofilms,” according to a review published in Wounds.26 The researchers explained:27
“The manuka honey used in wound-care products can withstand dilution with substantial amounts of wound exudate and still maintain enough activity to inhibit the growth of bacteria. There is good evidence for honey also having bioactivities that stimulate the immune response (thus promoting the growth of tissues for wound repair), suppress inflammation, and bring about rapid autolytic debridement.”
Choosing High-Quality Honey
Medical grade honey is now widely available and used by some hospitals for wound healing and wound infection control. Medicinal honey products are also available over the counter for home use. However, keep in mind that the health benefits of honey do not extend to the processed honey you find on grocery store shelves, which is often little more than fructose syrup.
Contamination with chemicals, including glyphosate, most commonly known as the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, is also a concern. In their National Chemical Residues Program Report released January 2020, it’s noted that 300 raw extracted archival and retail packed honey samples were tested for glyphosate residues during 2017/2018, while another 60 retail packed Manuka honey samples were tested for the herbicide during 2018/2019.28
Out of the 300 samples, 22.3% contained glyphosate residues above the laboratory limit of reporting, with clover or pasture floral types testing positive more often than other varieties. About 1.7% of the unblended or unprocessed (raw extracted) honey samples contained glyphosate residues at levels above the regulatory limit.
Among the 2018/2019 retail samples tested, 18.3% contained glyphosate residues, though they were below the regulatory maximum. Beekeepers are, unfortunately, at the mercy of their neighbors’ glyphosate usage, as they can’t control which plants their bees choose to visit. Some beekeepers, however, are carefully managing where they put their hives to minimize pesticide exposure and keep track of when spraying occurs to help reduce exposures.29
If you see the Detox Project’s glyphosate-residue-free certification on Manuka honey, it means the product has no glyphosate residues down to government-recognized limits of detection (usually 0.01 parts per million), and lower levels than the default government Maximum Residue Limits in the European Union and Japan.30
For manuka honey, also keep an eye out on the UMF rating, which can range from UMF5+ to UMF30+. The higher the rating, the more MGO and other beneficial compounds it contains, so for medicinal purposes, generally the higher the UMF, the better.
Google — A Dictator Unlike Anything the World Has Ever Known
Robert Epstein, who received his Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard in 1981 and served as the former editor in chief at Psychology Today, is now a senior research psychologist for the American Institute of Behavioral Research and Technology, where for the last decade he has helped expose Google’s manipulative and deceptive practices. In this interview, he explains what got him interested in investigating the internet search monopoly in the first place:
“In 2012, January 1st, I received some emails from Google saying my website contained malware and that they were somehow blocking access. This means I had gotten onto one of Google’s blacklists.
My website did contain some malware. It was pretty easy to get rid of, but it turns out it’s hard to get off of a Google blacklist. That’s a big problem. I started looking at Google just a little bit differently. I wondered, first of all, why they were notifying me about this rather than some government agency or some nonprofit organization? Why was a private company notifying me?
In other words, who made Google sheriff of the internet? Second, I learned they had no customer service department, which seemed very strange, so if you have a problem with Google, then you have a problem because they don’t help you solve the problem.
I learned also that although you can get onto a blacklist in a split second, it can take weeks to get off a blacklist. There have been businesses that have gotten onto their blacklists and have gone out of business while they’re trying to straighten out the problem.
The thing that really caught my eye — because I’ve been a programmer my whole life — was I couldn’t figure out how they were blocking access to my website, not just through their own products … Google.com, the search engine, or through Chrome, which is their browser, but through Safari, which is an Apple product, through Firefox, which is a browser run by Mozilla, a nonprofit organization.
How was Google blocking access through so many different means? The point is I just started to get more curious about the company, and later in 2012, I happened to be looking at a growing literature, which was about the power of search rankings to impact sales.
This was in the marketing field and it just was astonishing. In other words, if you could push yourself up one more notch in their search results, that could make the difference between success or failure for your company; it could mean a lot more income.
It turns out that this initial research was saying that people really trust those higher ranked search results. I simply asked a question. I wondered whether, if people trust those higher rank search results, I could use search results to influence people’s opinions, maybe even their votes.”
What Epstein discovered through his subsequent research, which began in 2013, is that yes, biased search results can indeed be used to influence public opinion and sway undecided voters. What’s more, the strength of that influence was shocking. He also eventually discovered how Google is able to block website access on browsers other than their own. His findings were published in 2016 in U.S. News & World Report.1
Google’s Powers Pose Serious Threats to Society
Google’s powers pose three specific threats to society:
1. They’re a surveillance agency with significant yet hidden surveillance powers. As noted by Epstein:
“The search engine … Google Wallet, Google Docs, Google Drive, YouTube, these are surveillance platforms. In other words, from their perspective, the value these tools have is they give them more information about you. Surveillance is what they do.”
2. They’re a censoring agency with the ability to restrict or block access to websites across the internet, thus deciding what people can and cannot see. They even have the ability to block access to entire countries and the internet as a whole.
The most crushing problem with this kind of internet censorship is that you don’t know what you don’t know. If a certain type of information is removed from search, and you don’t know it should exist somewhere, you’ll never go looking for it. And, when searching for information online, how would you know that certain websites or pages have been removed from the search results in the first place? The answer is, you don’t.
For example, Google has been investing in DNA repositories for quite a long time, and are adding DNA information to our profiles. According to Epstein, Google has taken over the national DNA repository, but articles about that — which he has cited in his own writings — had vanished in 2020.
Some of the articles have now resurfaced, but to get a better view of what Google has been doing since at least 2011, a new search engine, Freespoke.com, is a great source for those searches.
3. They have the power to manipulate public opinion through search rankings and other means.
“To me, that’s the scariest area,” Epstein says, “because Google is shaping the opinions, thinking, beliefs, attitudes, purchases and votes of billions of people around the world without anyone knowing that they’re doing so … and perhaps even more shocking, without leaving a paper trail for authorities to trace.
They’re using new techniques of manipulation that have never existed before in human history and they are for the most part, subliminal … but they don’t produce tiny shifts.
They produce enormous shifts in people’s thinking, very rapidly. Some of the techniques I’ve discovered are among the largest behavioral effects ever discovered in the behavioral sciences.”
While surveillance is Google’s primary business, their revenue — which in 2022 exceeds $ 256 billion a year2 — comes almost exclusively from advertising. All that personal information you’ve provided them through their various products is sold to advertisers looking for a specific target audience.
How Google Can Shift Your Perception Without Your Knowledge
Epstein’s controlled, randomized, double-blind and counterbalanced experiments have revealed a number of different ways in which Google can shift public perception. The first effect he discovered is called SEME, which stands for search engine manipulation effect. For a full description of the basic experiment used to identify this effect, please listen to the interview.
In summary, the aim of his experiment was to see whether search results biased toward a particular political candidate would be capable of shifting users’ political opinion and leanings.
“I had predicted, when we first did this, that we would get a shift,” Epstein says, “because … people do trust higher ranked search results, and of course we had biased the search results so that, if in that first group, someone was clicking on a high-ranking search result, that would connect them to a webpage which made one candidate look much better than the other …
I predicted we could get a shift in voting preferences of 2% to 3%. I was way off. We got … a shift of 48%, which I thought must be an error because that’s crazy …
I should note that in almost all of our experiments, especially those early ones, we deliberately used undecided voters. That’s the key. You can’t easily push the opinions or voting preferences of people who are partisan, who are strongly committed to one party or another, but people who are undecided, those are the people who are very vulnerable. In our experiments, we always find a way to use undecided voters.
In these early experiments, the way we guaranteed that our voters were undecided was by using people from the U.S. as our participants, but the election we chose was the 2010 election for the prime minister of Australia.
They’re real candidates, a real election, real search results, real webpages, and of course, because our participants were from the U.S. they were not familiar with the candidates. In fact, that’s why, before they do the search, we get this almost perfect 50/50 split regarding who they’re going to vote for, because they don’t know these candidates. The information they’re getting from the search, that, presumably, is why we get a shift.”
Simple Trick Effectively Masks Search Bias
Another thing Epstein noticed was that very few seemed to realize they were seeing biased search results. In other words, the manipulation went virtually undetected.
In a second experiment, they were able to achieve a 63% shift in voter preference, and by masking the bias — simply by inserting a pro-opponent result here and there — they were able to hide the bias from almost everyone.
“In other words, we could get enormous shifts in opinions and voting preferences with no one being able to detect the bias in the search results we were showing them,” Epstein says. “This is where, again, it starts to get scary. Scarier still is when we moved on to do a national study of more than 2,000 people in all 50 states.”
What this large-scale investigation revealed is that the few who actually notice the bias are not protected from its effects. Curiously, they actually shift even further toward the bias, rather than away from it.
As evidenced by other studies, the pattern of clicks is a key factor that makes search bias so powerful: 50% of all search selections go to the top two items and 95% of all clicks go to the first page of search results.
“In other words, people spend most of their time clicking on and reading content that comes from high-ranking search results. If those high-ranking search results favor one candidate, that’s pretty much all they see and that impacts their opinions and their voting preferences,” Epstein says.
Subsequent experiments revealed that this click pattern is the result of conditioning. Most of the things people search for are simple matters such as local weather or the capital of a country. The most appropriate and correct answer is always at the very top. This conditions them to assume that the best and truest answer is always the most high-ranked listing.
Google May Have Shifted Millions of Votes in 2016 Elections
The ramifications of the search engine manipulation effect can be immense. Of course, having power to shift public opinion is one thing; actually using that power is another. So, Epstein’s next target was to determine whether Google is using its power of influence or not.
“Early 2016, I set up the first-ever monitoring system, which allowed me to look over the shoulders of people as they were conducting election-related searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election. I had 95 field agents (as we call them), in 24 states.
We kept their identities secret, which took a lot of work. And this is exactly, by the way, what the Nielsen company does to generate ratings for television shows. They have several thousand families. Their identities are secret. They equip the families with special boxes, which allow Nielsen to tabulate what programs they’re watching …
Inspired by the Nielsen model, we recruited our field agents, we equipped them with custom passive software. In other words, no one could detect the fact that they have the software in their computers. But that software allowed us to look over their shoulders as they conducted election related searches …
We ended up preserving 13,207 election-related searches and the nearly 100,000 webpages to which the search results linked … After the election, we rated the webpages for bias, either pro-Clinton or pro-Trump … and then we did an analysis to see whether there was any bias in the search results people were seeing.
The results we got were crystal clear, highly significant statistically … at the 0.001 level. What that says is we can be confident the bias we were seeing was real, and it didn’t occur because of some random factors. We found a pro-Clinton bias in all 10 search positions on the first page of Google search results, but not on Bing or Yahoo.
That’s very important. So, there was a significant pro-Clinton bias on Google. Because of the experiments I had been doing since 2013, I was also able to calculate how many votes could have been shifted with that level of bias… At bare minimum, about 2.6 million [undecided] votes would have shifted to Hillary Clinton.”
On the high end, Google’s biased search results may have shifted as many as 10.4 million undecided voters toward Clinton, which is no small feat — all without anyone realizing they’d been influenced, and without leaving a trace for the authorities to follow.
According to Epstein’s calculations, tech companies, Google being the main one, it was possible to shift 15 million votes leading up to the 2020 election, which means they had the potential to select the next president of United States.
Google Has the Power to Determine 25% of Global Elections
Many who look at Epstein’s work end up focusing on Google’s ability to influence U.S. politics, but the problem is much bigger than that.
“As I explained when I testified before Congress, the reason why I’m speaking out about these issues is because, first of all, I … think it’s important that we preserve democracy and preserve the free and fair election. To me, it’s pretty straight forward.
But the problem is much bigger than elections or democracy or the United States. Because I calculated back in 2015 that … Google’s search engine — because more than 90% of searches worldwide are conducted on Google — was determining the outcomes of upwards of 25% of the national elections in the world.
How can that be? Well, it’s because a lot of elections are very close. And that’s the key to understanding this. In other words, we actually looked at the win margins in national elections around the world, which tend to be very close. In that 2010 Australian election, for example, the win margin was something like 0.2% …
If the results they’re getting on Google are biased toward one candidate, that shifts a lot of votes among undecided people. And it’s very, very simple for them to flip an election or … rig an election … It’s very, very simple for Google to do that.
They can do it deliberately, which is kind of scary. In other words, some top executives at Google could decide who they want to win an election in South Africa or the U.K. or anywhere. It could be just a rogue employee at Google who does it. You may think that’s impossible … [but] it’s incredibly simple …
[A] senior software engineer at Google, Shumeet Baluja, who’s been at Google almost since the very beginning, published a novel that no one’s ever heard of called ‘The Silicon Jungle’ … It’s fictional, but it’s about Google, and the power that individual employees at Google have to make or break any company or any individual.
It’s a fantastic novel. I asked Baluja how Google let him get away with publishing it and he said, ‘Well, they made me promise I would never promote it.’ That’s why no one’s ever heard of this book.”
A Dictator Unlike Anything the World Has Ever Known
Another, and even more frightening possibility, is that Google could allow its biased algorithm to favor one candidate over another without caring about which candidate is being favored.
“That’s the scariest possibility,” Epstein says, “because now you’ve got an algorithm, a computer program, which is an idiot … deciding who rules us. It’s crazy.”
While this sounds like it should be illegal, it’s not, because there are no laws or regulations that restrict or dictate how Google must rank its search results. Courts have actually concluded that Google is simply exercising its right to free speech, even if that means destroying the businesses they demote in their search listings or black listings.
The only way to protect ourselves from this kind of hidden influence is by setting up monitoring programs such as Epstein’s all over the world. “As a species, it’s the only way we can protect ourselves from new types of online technologies that can be used to influence us,” he says. “No dictator anywhere has ever had even a tiny fraction of the power that this company has.”
Epstein is also pushing for government to make the Google search index a public commons, which would allow other companies to create competing search platforms using Google’s database. While Google’s search engine cannot be broken up, its monopoly would be thwarted by forcing it to hand over its index to other search platform developers.
The Influence of Search Suggestions
In 2016, Epstein also discovered the remarkable influence of search suggestions — the suggested searches shown in a drop-down menu when you begin to type a search term. This effect is now known as the search suggestion effect or SSE. Epstein explains:
“Initially the idea was they were going to save you time. That’s the way they presented this new feature. They were going to anticipate, based on your history, or based on what other people are searching for, what it is you’re looking for so you don’t have to type the whole thing. Just click on one of the suggestions. But then it changed into something else. It changed into a tool for manipulation.
In June 2016, a small news organization … discovered that it was virtually impossible to get negative search suggestions related to Hillary Clinton, but easy to get them for other people including Donald Trump. They were very concerned about this because maybe that could influence people somehow.
So, I tried this myself, and I have a wonderful image that I preserved showing this. I typed in ‘Hillary Clinton is’ on Bing and on Yahoo, and I got those long lists, eight and 10 items, saying, ‘Hillary Clinton is the devil. Hillary Clinton is sick’ … all negative things that people were actually searching for.
How do I know that? Because we checked Google trends. Google trends shows you what people are actually searching for. Sure enough, people were actually searching for all these negative things related to Hillary Clinton. Those [were] the most popular search terms.
So, we tried it on Google and we got, ‘Hillary Clinton is winning, Hillary Clinton is awesome.’ Now you check those phrases on Google trends and you find no one is searching for ‘Hillary Clinton is awesome.’ Nobody. Not one. But that’s what they’re showing you in their search suggestions.
That again got my research gears running. I started doing experiments because I said, ‘Wait a minute, why would they do this? What is the point?’ Here’s what I found in a series of experiments: Just by manipulating search suggestions, I could turn a 50/50 split among undecided voters into a 90/10 split — with no one having the slightest idea that they’ve been manipulated.”
YouTube’s Up Next Algorithm
YouTube, which is owned by Google, also has enormous influence on public opinion. According to Epstein, 70% of the videos people view on YouTube are suggested by Google’s top secret Up Next algorithm, which recommends videos for you to view whenever you’re watching a video.
Just like the search suggestions, this is a phenomenally effective ephemeral manipulation tool. There’s no record of the videos recommended by the algorithm, yet it can take you down the proverbial rabbit hole by feeding you one video after another.
“There are documented cases now in which people have been converted to extreme Islam or to white supremacy, literally because they’d been pulled down a rabbit hole by a sequence of videos on YouTube,” Epstein says.
“Think of that power. Again, it’s not powerful for people who already have strong opinions. It’s powerful for the people who don’t, the people who are vulnerable, the people who are undecided or uncommitted. And that’s a lot of people.”
The Creepy Line
Most people now have Amazon Prime. If you are one of those who do, you can watch the following documentary on Prime. It is well worth your time to do so. Epstein and many other experts provide a very compelling overview of the dangers that we discuss in our interview. In my view, this is a must-watch and one to recommend to your friends and family.
A question Epstein raises is, “Who gave this private company, which is not accountable to any of us, the ability to determine what billions of people around the world will see or will not see?”
That is perhaps one of the biggest issues. Epstein and others attempt to answer this question in this documentary, “The Creepy Line,” which is a direct quote from Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
“Traditional media have very serious constraints placed on them, but Google, which is far more penetrating and far more effective at influencing people, has none of these constraints,” Epstein says.
“There are lots of good people in [‘The Creepy Line’], lots of good data, and it explains my research very clearly, which is wonderful. It explains my research better than I explain my research. ‘The Creepy Line’ is available on iTunes and on Amazon. I think it costs $ 3 or $ 4 to watch … If you’re an Amazon Prime Member it’s free [from time to time]. It’s an excellent film.”
Google Runs a Total Surveillance State
In his article3 “Seven Simple Steps Toward Online Privacy,” Epstein outlines his recommendations for protecting your privacy while surfing the web, most of which don’t cost anything.
“My first sentence is ‘I have not received a targeted ad on my computer or mobile phone since 2014.’ Most people are shocked by that because they’re bombarded with targeted ads constantly.
More and more people are telling me that they’re just having a conversation with someone, so they’re not even doing anything online per se, but their phone is nearby — or they’re having a conversation in their home and they have Amazon Alexa or Google Home, these personal assistants — and the next thing they know they start getting targeted ads related to what they were talking about.
This is the surveillance problem … The point is that there are ways to use the internet, tablets and mobile phones, to preserve or protect your privacy, but almost no one does that. So, the fact is that we’re now being surveilled 24/7, generally speaking, with no awareness that we’re even being surveilled.
Maybe some people are aware that when they do searches on Google the search history is preserved forever … But it goes so far beyond that because now we’re being surveilled through personal assistants, so that when we speak, we’re being [surveilled].
It goes even beyond that, because a few years ago Google bought the Nest company, which makes a smart thermostat. After they bought the company, they put microphones into the smart thermostats, and the latest versions of the smart thermostats have microphones and cameras.
Google has been issued patents in recent years, which give them, basically, ownership rights over ways of analyzing sounds that are picked up by microphones in people’s homes.
They can hook you up with dentists, they can hook you up with sex therapists, with mental health services, relationship coaches, et cetera. So, there’s that. Location tracking has also gotten completely out of hand. We’ve learned in recent months that even when you disable location tracking … on your mobile phone, you’re still being tracked.”
This is one of the reasons I strongly recommend that you use a VPN on your cellphone and computer, as this will prevent virtually anyone from tracking and targeting you. There are many out there but I am using the one Epstein recommends, Nord VPN, which is only about $ 3 per month and you can use it on up to six devices. In my view, this is a must if you seek to preserve your privacy.
How Google Tracks You Even When You’re Offline
You can learn a lot about a person by tracking their movements and whereabouts. Most of us are very naïve about these things. As explained by Epstein, location tracking technology has become incredibly sophisticated and aggressive.
Android cellphones, for example, which are a Google-owned operating system, can track you even when you’re not connected to the internet, whether you have geo tracking enabled or not.
“It just gets creepier and creepier,” Epstein says. “Let’s say you pull out your SIM card. Let’s say you disconnect from your mobile service provider, so you’re absolutely isolated. You’re not connected to the internet. Guess what? Your phone is still tracking everything you do on that phone and it’s still tracking your location.”
As soon as you reconnect to the internet, all that information stored in your phone is sent to Google. So, even though you may think you’ve just spent the day incognito, the moment you reconnect, every step you’ve made is shared (provided you had your phone with you).
In terms of online tracking, it’s also important to realize that Google is tracking your movements online even if you’re not using their products, because most websites use Google Analytics, which tracks everything you do on that website. And, you have no way of knowing whether a website uses Google Analytics or not.
Steps to Protect Your Online Privacy
To protect your privacy, Epstein recommends taking the following steps, seven of which are outlined in “Seven Simple Steps Toward Online Privacy.” The last one, Fitbit, is a more recent concern.
Use a virtual private network (VPN) such as Nord, which is only about $ 3 per month and can be used on up to six devices. In my view, this is a must if you seek to preserve your privacy. Epstein explains:
Nord, when used on your cellphone, will also mask your identity when using apps like Google Maps.
Do not use Gmail, as every email you write is permanently stored. It becomes part of your profile and is used to build digital models of you, which allows them to make predictions about your line of thinking and every want and desire.
Many other older email systems such as AOL and Yahoo are also being used as surveillance platforms in the same way as Gmail. ProtonMail.com, which uses end-to-end encryption, is a great alternative and the basic account is free.
Don’t use Google’s Chrome browser, as everything you do on there is surveilled, including keystrokes and every web page you’ve ever visited. Brave is a great alternative that takes privacy seriously.
Brave is also faster than Chrome, and suppresses ads. It’s based on Chromium, the same software infrastructure that Chrome is based on, so you can easily transfer your extensions, favorites and bookmarks.
Don’t use Google as your search engine, or any extension of Google, such as Bing or Yahoo, both of which draw search results from Google. The same goes for the iPhone’s personal assistant Siri, which draws all of its answers from Google.
Alternative search engines suggested by Epstein include SwissCows and Qwant. He recommends avoiding StartPage, as it was recently bought by an aggressive online marketing company, which, like Google, depends on surveillance.
Don’t use an Android cellphone, for all the reasons discussed earlier.
Don’t use Google Home devices in your house or apartment — These devices record everything that occurs in your home, both speech and sounds such as brushing your teeth and boiling water, even when they appear to be inactive, and send that information back to Google. Android phones are also always listening and recording, as are Google’s home thermostat Nest, and Amazon’s Alexa.
Clear your cache and cookies — As Epstein explains in his article:4
Don’t use Fitbit, as Google purchased it in 2021, a move that will provide them with all your physiological information and activity levels, in addition to everything else that Google already has on you.
Why Government Health Care Kills More People Than It Helps
After botching the COVID response in every possible and improbable way, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now wants more money — and more power.
August 17, 2022, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky publicly admitted the agency’s COVID response “fell short,” and that an internal reorganization has been launched to improve response times and data sharing, and to make health guidance easier to understand.1,2
“My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness,” Walensky said in a statement.
The problem is that reorganization will not fix the foundational problem, which is that the CDC can’t seem to quit protecting Big Pharma the expense of public health. Americans have lost faith in the CDC for the simple reason that it’s been lying to us day in and day out for two and a half years.
They’ve flouted basic rules and regulations, they’ve redefined well-established medical terms to suit the chosen narrative, they’ve made recommendations without scientific support while telling us to “trust the science.” They’ve completely ignored massive, unprecedented safety signals for both the COVID jabs and remdesivir, flatly refusing to answer questions about the mounting deaths and injuries from these drugs.
They’ve refused to take into account other public health parameters such as suicides and alcoholism caused by lockdowns, and deaths due to lack of treatment for chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. They’re also refusing to address what is clearly deteriorating immune function among the COVID-jabbed. The list goes on.
In March 2022, Walensky admitted they “never suspected” the effectiveness of the shots might wane, despite clear and abundant evidence — shared on alternative media platforms — that the shots were not working.
What’s more, she admitted her source for the “95% effective” claim was a CNN report (which in turn pulled its information directly from a Pfizer press release). That’s the level of data gathering for decision making we’re dealing with here.
I guess that’s what happens when the vast majority of CDC employees, including Walensky herself, work from home for years on end. Considering Walensky STILL works from home to this day,3,4 one also wonders how effective these supposed reorganization efforts can actually be.
The CDC is a wholly captured agency, beholden to Big Pharma, and as long as a single decision maker remains, they can reorganize and restructure to their hearts’ content. It won’t change a thing. As noted by The Defender,5 the CDC needs to be replaced with “a public health model that operates independently from Big Pharma.”
Health and Human Services to Get $ 1.7 Trillion
Failures and ineptitudes be damned, the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposed budget6 for 2023 is now an eye-popping $ 1.7 TRILLION in mandatory spending (up from 1.5 trillion in 20227), and another $ 127.3 BILLION in discretionary spending (down from 131.8 billion in 20228).
Operating divisions9 under the HHS include not only the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, but also the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid and several others. In total, the HHS employs some 80,000 people.10
Of those budgeted trillions, the CDC will in 2023 receive 1% of the HHS budget or $ 10.6 billion11 — $ 2.3 billion more than its 2022 appropriation — and this includes “mandatory funding to establish a Vaccines for Adults program.”
Yet with all that supposed brain power and money, what exactly do they accomplish? I would argue “precious little,” and the CDC’s COVID response is a perfect example of how our taxpayer funds are being wasted on advice that range from bad to worse.
The problem with concentrated power is that it gets corrupted. After 69 years, it seems the HHS is finally entering its death throes, as corruption within many of its operating divisions is now shockingly blatant.
The same goes for the World Health Organization. Incidentally, its biannual budget for 2022-2023 of $ 6.7 billion12 is dwarfed by the HHS budget. Still, the WHO is now seeking to gain control over health decisions globally. I explain why this is such a horrendous and unworkable idea in “The WHO Is a Corrupt, Unhealthy Organization.”
The CDC being wrong on everything about the pandemic, and taking two and a half years to admit even a fraction of it, is proof positive that centralizing health care decisions is a bad idea. Ideally, all that money should be divided among the states. We’d be far better off with local community programs handling current HHS services — including pandemic response.
CDC’s Botched Test Kits
The errors of the CDC are too numerous to recount in a single article, but let’s take a look at one of the doozies, namely its botched COVID test. As reported by HealthDay reporters Robert Preidt and Robin Foster, back in December 2021:13
“Along with being contaminated, there was also a basic design flaw in COVID-19 testing kits created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention early in the pandemic, a new agency review shows.
It was already known that the PCR kits were contaminated, but the CDC’s findings published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE14 are the first to note a design error that caused false positives.
When the CDC’s test kits were developed and distributed in the early weeks of the pandemic, there were no other authorized tests available … The agency started shipping the test kits to public health laboratories in early February 2020, but many labs soon told the CDC that the tests were producing inconclusive results.
The CDC acknowledged later that month that the kits were flawed, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials said in April that poor manufacturing practices had caused contamination of the kits …”
So, the tests had not just one but two problems. First, they were contaminated with synthetic fragments, sequences of genetic material from the virus that are used to ensure the test is working properly. These synthetic sequences are thought to have contaminated the kits during quality testing, as they were being manufactured in the same CDC lab where quality testing took place.
Secondly, the CDC failed to catch a serious design flaw. The test was designed to detect the presence of three specific genetic regions or sequences of the virus. The test kit included a set of primers that bound to and made copies of those regions (when they were present in the patient, indicating exposure to the virus), as well as probes that fluoresced to signal that copying was taking place.
To work properly, these primers and probes had to bind to the genetic sequences, but not to each other. Here, one of the probes had a tendency to bind to one of the primers, thereby triggering a fluorescent signal, suggesting a positive result. This is how the test ended up producing an unacceptable number of false positives.
Eventually, smaller private companies ended up providing most of the PCR tests — without encountering these contamination and design flaw problems. The fact that the PCR test cannot identify an active infection and were used to create a false “casedemic” is another story, which we’ve covered multiple times. Here too, the CDC displayed shocking dishonesty, alternatively hiding and manipulating data to make the pandemic out to be something it really wasn’t.
They also recommended mask wearing despite overwhelming scientific evidence showing masks don’t prevent the spread of viruses. Time and again, CDC leadership made public health decisions on what appears to have been nothing more than assumption, personal opinion or fear — and that’s if you’re kind enough to exclude the possibility of fraud and collusion to benefit Big Pharma and the globalist Great Reset agenda.
Did HHS Create the Problem?
As mentioned, the HHS runs the NIH and CDC, both of which are implicated in the creation of SARS-CoV-2. So, basically, the same circle of people who may have created the problem are also in charge of solving it and providing a cure.
We’ve already seen how “effective” they’ve been in that regard. They’ve devastated public health with useless lockdowns, mask mandates and social distancing, and killed an as-yet undetermined but extraordinarily high number of people with improper, dangerous and experimental treatments.
As noted in “Why the COVID Jab Should Be Banned for Pregnant Women,” the CDC to this day insists pregnant women get the COVID shot,15 despite trial data suggesting it may cause miscarriage in 8 out of 10 cases.16,17,18 Will reorganization eventually correct this murderous advice?
In an August 2, 2022, Current Affairs interview,19 professor Jeffrey Sachs, chair of The Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission, said he believes the U.S. government is preventing a thorough investigation into the origin of the pandemic, for the simple reason that the virus was the result of U.S. research. Indeed, there are patents spanning decades to suggest that’s true (see “Patents Prove SARS-CoV-2 Is a Manufactured Virus”).
If our very worst suspicions are true, then the U.S. government funded not only one bioweapon but two — the original SARS-CoV-2 and the gene transfer injections misrepresented as “COVID vaccines.” And the HHS divisions of the FDA and CDC went along with all of it, not even pausing at the possibility of killing or injuring 6-month-old infants and toddlers.
Waging War on Pathogens Is a Failed Strategy
In an August 10, 2022, Brownstone Institute article, Aaron Vandiver, a wildlife conservationist, writer and former litigator, reviews why the global war on pathogens is a failed strategy that needs to end:20
“Bill Gates has called the global response to COVID-19 a ‘world war.’ His militaristic language has been echoed by Anthony Fauci and other architects of COVID-19 policy for the last two and half years … I believe that an ecological perspective reveals many of the flaws inherent in an aggressive high-tech attack on a pathogen…
To me, the ‘war’ on COVID-19 has been characterized by a destructive set of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that appear to be deeply engrained in our political and economic institutions, and which form a pattern that should be recognizable to conservationists and ecologists.
1. Aggressive intervention in complex natural processes using new, poorly understood technologies designed to achieve narrowly defined short-term goals, with disregard for the potential long-term ramifications;
2. Profiteering by private interests that own the technologies, enabled by government entities and ‘experts’ that have been financially captured by those interests;
3. Followed by a cascade of unintended consequences.”
In the remainder of the article,21 Vandiver goes into several aggressive and destructive COVID interventions in greater detail — and their consequences. I recommend reading through it.
Importantly, when we go to war against pathogens, we go to war against ourselves, because without pathogens we cannot exist. The key to health is balanced co-existence with bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, which exist by the trillions in and on our bodies.
The Twisted Logic Behind Gain-of-Function Research
Vandiver, like Sachs, also points out that gain-of-function research funded by the NIH appears to be the most logical and most heavily supported theory as to the origin of the pandemic, and that denial of the lab leak theory is underpinned by reckless scientists unwilling to recognize the risks inherent in their work.
“Most fail to realize that Fauci and other proponents of ‘gain of function’ have long shown reckless disregard for the risks of tampering with natural viruses, expressing a paranoid attitude toward nature that is the antithesis of respect for ecology,” Vandiver writes.
“Fauci and others claim that ‘Mother Nature Is the Ultimate Bioterrorist’ to justify their Frankenstein-like efforts to hunt down the most dangerous viruses that exist in wild nature, take them to labs like the one in Wuhan, and tinker around with them to make them more dangerous and deadly.
Their twisted logic seems to be that if they intentionally create superviruses, they can somehow anticipate and prepare for natural pandemics. Most objective observers, however, say that ‘gain of function’ is a military-industrial boondoggle that has no practical benefit whatsoever and dramatically increases the risk of pandemics …
It remains inconclusive whether ‘gain of function’ research actually caused the COVID-19 pandemic, but its potential to have done so is a vivid example of how powerful actors like Fauci use technological tools to interfere with natural processes, with disregard if not outright contempt for the long-term ecological consequences, thereby creating opportunities to exercise more power.”
In conclusion, Vandiver notes:22
“If we carefully analyze each aspect of ‘world war’ on COVID-19, we can see how each tactic and high-tech ‘weapon’ has harmed human health, destabilized civil society, and possibly disrupted the ecological balance between the human population and the virus, while enriching private interests and empowering financially captured government regulators.
The ‘war’ has been characterized the distinct pattern that I described at the beginning of this essay … This destructive pattern appears to be deeply ingrained in our institutions and in the outlook of our leaders. It largely defines our society’s dysfunctional relationship with the natural world.
An ecological perspective that keeps this pattern in mind, and takes into account all of the consequences of launching high-tech ‘wars’ on pathogens or any other part of our environment may help us avoid similar catastrophes in the future, or at least to recognize them.”
Death by Medicine
In “Are Medical Errors Still the Third Leading Cause of Death?” I review the now decades-long history of modern medicine being a leading cause of death, at times spinning up to take first place, and rarely dipping below fourth. Several studies and investigations over the years have placed medicine and medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
The pandemic has revealed just how dangerous it is to listen to dog whistles like “trust the science.” Which science? The one Big Pharma concocts to make money or the one that double checks and investigates claims independently?
The CDC’s COVID policies were all wrong — consistently 180 degrees from helpful — and have only recently been updated23 to match what all of us “misinformation spreaders” have been saying for well over two years. That update was published August 11, just six days before Walensky announced the CDC’s reorganization plans.
I’m not buying the idea that the CDC suddenly realized it was going in the wrong direction. They knew it from the start, and they did it intentionally. I suspect they’re only now starting to course correct because mainstream media are losing its grip on the public.
Mainstream media were their cover for every obnoxious, unscientific recommendation, and without that brainwashing arm, the CDC has no way to turn but back. Like Dr. Anthony Fauci, they probably realize that the political tide is turning, people are fed up with the “1984” double-speak, and if Republicans take the House in November, the CDC could well be facing any number of investigations.
Senators Promise Investigations
August 23, 2022, two U.S. senators promised a “full-throated investigation” of Fauci’s and former NIH-chief Francis Collins’ potential roles in the origin of the pandemic, and issued a formal request for the HHS and NIH to preserve documents and communications.24
Leadership at the CDC and FDA also need to be investigated and questioned about the ins and outs of their decision making. Not that I think they’ll ever admit to “working for the devil,” meaning the Deep State cabal that is using COVID as a cover for a global takeover, but there needs to be a reckoning nonetheless.
Those willing to sacrifice the lives, futures and Constitutional rights of Americans on behalf of these transhumanist psychopaths need to be ruthlessly weeded out. And then, we need to implement new public health systems, perhaps new agencies, with powers that are more limited in scope and state-run rather than federal.
Never, ever, should an agency like the CDC be allowed to ban doctors from treating patients, for example, based on their own expertise and experience. What has happened during this pandemic, and is still happening, is a true crime against humanity. We must never forget how health officials, government officials, media and other influencers tried to foment hatred against the unvaccinated, and how they’ve been willing to discriminate to the point of death.
The CDC has now backtracked on discrimination, agreeing people should not be treated based on their vaccination status. But we remember the calls for “re-education camps” and no-fly lists. Backtracking is not going to erase the attempts to destroy the lives of those who refused to play their Russian roulette.
I, for one, would love to hear the CDC explain why they have ignored the blaring safety signal of nearly 1.3 MILLION reports of COVID jab injuries in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).25 Wouldn’t you?
How Leucine in Whey Helps Prevent Muscle Loss
This article was previously published October 28, 2019, and has been updated with new information.
The loss of muscle mass that occurs with age is known as sarcopenia, the most obvious cause of which is inactivity. Sarcopenia can progress at a rate of approximately 0.8% skeletal muscle loss per year from the fifth decade in adult life.1 It has an estimated prevalence of 10% in adults older than 60 years,2 rising to more than 50% in adults older than 80 years.3,4
Your diet also plays a role, as your muscles need sufficient amounts of protein to stay viable, as does your ability to digest and absorb protein. As noted in a 2011 paper5 in the American Journal of Nutrition:
“Sarcopenia has been attributed to a diminished muscle protein synthetic response to food intake. Differences in digestion and absorption kinetics of dietary protein, its amino acid composition, or both have been suggested to modulate postprandial muscle protein accretion.”
In other words, while you need protein to build and maintain muscle, some protein is more easily digested and absorbed than others, so eating the right kind of protein can make a difference in your risk for sarcopenia.
Whey protein, a byproduct of cheese production, has long been acknowledged as an excellent source of protein. In this 2011 study, in which whey protein was compared to casein and casein hydrolysate, whey protein was found to stimulate muscle protein accretion (and hence stave off sarcopenia) the best — in part due to its higher leucine content.
The type of exercise you do can also make a big difference. I now believe blood flow restriction (BFR) training is one of the best ways to prevent sarcopenia. Taken together, leucine supplementation through whey and BFR can go a long way toward protecting your muscles as you age.
Leucine Regulates Protein Turnover in Muscle
One of the reasons why leucine is so important for the prevention of sarcopenia is because it helps regulate the turnover of protein in your muscle. According to a 1975 paper6 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, leucine may also “play a pivotal role in the protein-sparing effect of amino acids.” As explained in a more recent study,7 published in 2017:
“Protein ingestion produces a strong anabolic stimulus that elevates muscle protein synthesis. The ability of a serving of protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is dependent on absorption and blood kinetics of amino acids, amount of protein ingested, and the amino acid composition of the protein source.
Only the essential amino acids (EAA), especially leucine, initiate an immediate increase in MPS. Being a rapidly digested protein with a high leucine content, whey has been shown to stimulate MPS more than equal amounts of casein and soy in the first hours after exercise …
At the molecular level the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and its substrates … are believed to largely be responsible for the protein synthetic response to resistance exercise and protein intake, with resistance exercise potentiating the effect of protein ingestion.”
In other words, the most effective way to optimize muscle building is to use a combination of resistance training followed by a protein meal, with leucine-rich whey being one of the most efficient.
Ori Hofmekler, author of “Unlock Your Muscle Gene: Trigger the Biological Mechanisms That Transform Your Body and Extend Your Life,” is an expert on how to use food to build muscle and improve your health, and we have previously discussed the profound benefits of whey protein for muscle building in particular.
It is important to understand, though, that simply taking leucine is likely to be ineffective, as demonstrated by a recent Harvard study.8 In it, men over the age of 65 with a daily intake of 0.8 grams of protein per kilo per day were compared to men receiving 1.3 grams of protein per kilo per day. They found the higher protein group did not increase lean body mass, muscle strength or physical function, most likely because they were not exercising.
The Importance of Glutathione for Prevention of Sarcopenia
Whey protein also contains another really important health component: glutathione. While many whole foods contain glutathione or its precursors, organic grass fed whey protein is one of the richest sources of this “master antioxidant.”
Glutathione is found in every cell of your body. It protects your cells from free radical damage, and is especially important for liver health. It differs from other antioxidants in that its intracellular and has the unique ability to optimize the activity of all other antioxidants.
It plays a crucial role in detoxification, and protects your cells form the damaging effects of radiation, chemicals and environmental pollutants. It’s also an essential factor in energy utilization and healthy immune function, and glutathione deficiency has been linked to a wide range of health problems, including Alzheimer’s9 and Parkinson’s,10 heart disease,11 autoimmune diseases,12 inflammatory conditions13 and mitochondrial dysfunction.14
Glutathione is thought to play an important role in sarcopenia specifically, as patients with sarcopenia tend to have higher levels of oxidative stress.15 As noted in the 2012 review,16 “Rationale for Antioxidant Supplementation in Sarcopenia:”
“Sarcopenia is an age-related clinical condition characterized by the progressive loss of motor units and wasting of muscle fibers resulting in decreased muscle function.
The molecular mechanisms leading to sarcopenia are not completely identified, but the increased oxidative damage occurring in muscle cells during the course of aging represents one of the most accepted underlying pathways.
In fact, skeletal muscle is a highly oxygenated tissue and the generation of reactive oxygen species is particularly enhanced in both contracting and at rest conditions.
It has been suggested that oral antioxidant supplementation may contribute at reducing indices of oxidative stress both in animal and human models by reinforcing the natural endogenous defenses …
Antioxidants are substances able to inhibit the rate of oxidation. Mainly, antioxidant enzymes (e.g., catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase) work to maintain a state of balance preventing the transformation of ROS and to convert them into more stable molecules (like water and molecular oxygen).”
Prevent Muscle Wasting With BFR
While high-quality protein intake is important, to effectively build and maintain muscle you also need strength training. Unfortunately, many elderly individuals shy away from resistance training for fear of injury.
BFR is ideal in such situations, as the amount of weight you use is so low that your risk for injury is minimal. It is important to know that BRF involves exercising your muscles while partially restricting arterial inflow and fully restricting venous outflow in either both proximal arms or legs.17 Venous flow restriction is achieved by using thin elastic bands on the extremity being exercised.
By restricting the venous blood flow, you create a relatively hypoxic (low oxygen) environment in the exercising muscle, which in turn triggers a number of physiological benefits, including the production of hormones such as growth hormone and IGF-1, commonly referred to as “the fitness hormones.”18
It also increases vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which acts as “fertilizer” for growing more blood vessels and improving their lining (endothelium).
I believe BRF is one of the best strategies available to address the epidemic of sarcopenia,19 and for most people who are not competitive athletes it may be the only form of resistance training they need.
It’s important to realize that sarcopenia is not just cosmetic, and it’s not just about frailty. Your muscle tissue, which makes up about half of your body’s tissues, is a metabolic organ, an endocrine organ. Your muscle tissue makes cytokines and myokines, and is a sink for glucose.
Insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes accelerate sarcopenia, and research shows glucose fluctuations are independently associated with this condition. As noted in one 2019 study,20 “glucose fluctuations were significantly associated with a low muscle mass, low grip strength, and slow walking speed.”
BFR Effectively Counteracts Sarcopenia
The effectiveness of BFR for the prevention and reversal of muscle wasting is directly addressed in an April 2019 study21 in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle:
“Muscle wasting leads to significant decrements in muscle strength, cardiorespiratory, and functional capacity, which increase mortality rates. As a consequence, different interventions have been tested to minimize muscle wasting.
In this regard, blood flow restriction (BFR) has been used as a novel therapeutic approach to mitigate the burden associated with muscle waste conditions.
Evidence has shown that BFR per se can counteract muscle wasting during immobilization or bed rest. Moreover, BFR has also been applied while performing low intensity resistance and endurance exercises and produced increases in muscle strength and mass.
Endurance training with BFR has also been proved to increase cardiorespiratory fitness. Thus, frail patients can benefit from exercising with BFR due to the lower cardiovascular and join stress compared with traditional high intensity exercises.
Therefore, low intensity resistance and endurance training combined with BFR may be considered as a novel and attractive intervention to counteract muscle wasting and to decrease the burden associated with this condition.”
Leucine Dosage and Timing
As mentioned, leucine is a branched-chain amino acid that serves multiple functions, one of which is signaling the mTOR mechanism, which causes protein to be created and builds your muscle. However, according to Hofmekler, for optimal results you need far higher amounts of leucine than the recommended daily allowance.
The reason for this is because most of the leucine is used up as an energy substrate or building block rather than an anabolic agent. The typical requirement for leucine to maintain body protein is 1 to 3 grams daily. However, to optimize its anabolic pathway, Hofmekler insists you need somewhere between 8 to 16 grams of leucine per day, in divided doses.22,23
Getting that amount of leucine from your regular diet could be pretty difficult. For example, one egg will provide you with 0.5 grams of leucine,24 which means you’d have to eat about 16 eggs to reach the 8-gram minimum.
For most, that simply wouldn’t be possible and would overdose you on protein (105 grams of protein from the eggs alone). High-quality whey, on the other hand, contains about 10% leucine (10 grams of leucine per 100 grams of protein).25 So, 80 grams of whey protein will give you 8 grams of leucine.
Ideally you’ll want to consume the whey about 30 to 60 minutes before exercise, and again about an hour after your workout. This will help increase both fat burning and muscle building.
A 2010 study26 found that consuming whey protein (20 grams of protein per serving) 30 minutes before resistance training boosts your body’s metabolism for as much as 24 hours after your workout.
Other Health Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey protein has undergone extensive study, revealing an impressive array of benefits over and above its ability to support healthy muscle growth. For example, studies show whey consumption may also:
- Help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function if you’re overweight and/or have high blood pressure27
- Support normal blood sugar levels and boost insulin sensitivity in Type 2 diabetics28
- Reduce inflammation,29 including inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)30 — In the case of IBD, researchers have suggested its protective actions may be the due to its ability to stimulate intestinal mucin synthesis and modify the composition of the gut microbiome
- Help normalize your weight — Not only is whey protein very filling, thereby reducing hunger pangs31,32,33 it also boosts metabolism34 (allowing you to burn more calories) and helps maintain lean muscle mass while shedding excess fat stores35
Guidelines for Buying High-Quality Whey
Whey derived from cheese manufacturing that uses raw grass fed milk is the highest quality whey you can possibly find today. One of the most important components of the whey is glycomacropeptides (GMP), which have amazing immuno components that are critically important for your gut flora.
However, only whey produced from raw milk cheese contains GMP. Other varieties do not. Whey isolate is a clearly inferior form of whey that should be avoided, because once the fat has been removed, you lose some of the most important components of its immunological properties. So, to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product, make sure the whey you’re buying is:
Organic (no hormones or genetically engineered ingredients)
Made from unpasteurized (raw) milk
Cold processed (as heat destroys whey’s fragile molecular structure)
Full of rich, creamy flavor
Sweetened naturally, not artificially
Highly digestible — Look for medium chain fatty acids (MCTs), not long chain fatty acids
Sarcopenia Is Not an Inevitable Outcome of Aging
While muscle loss occurs with age, it’s not an inevitable outcome — provided you take proactive measures. To summarize, the way you prevent it is by regularly engaging in some form of resistance training, and BFR has many advantages that makes it an ideal choice.
This is especially true for those who are older, frail or struggling with a condition that makes regular strength training difficult or potentially dangerous. In addition to that, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough high-quality protein.
Organic grass fed whey protein is ideal, as it provides high amounts of both leucine and glutathione, both of which are important for muscle growth and maintenance.
‘AIE GmbH’ inform about a public recall of the product ‘6000 Lumen Worklight’ of the brand ‘Workzone’ distributed by ALDI Nord
(Essen) The article ‘6000 Lumen Worklight’ of the brand ‘WORKZONE’ supplied by ‘AIE GmbH’ has been withdrawn from sale immediately for reasons of preventive consumer protection.
It cannot be ruled out that the item ‘6000 Lumen Worklight’ poses the risk of an electrical shock. For this reason, the product shall not be used any further. Please switch off the work light before removing it from the socket.
The product was on sale in all ALDI Nord stores from 2nd of May 2022 in Germany, Denmark, Spain and France. Customers can return the product at any ALDI Nord store in the mentioned countries and get the purchase price, naturally also without proof of purchase.
‘AIE GmbH’ regrets any correlated inconvenience.
For queries, a hotline has been set up by the supplier, which can be reached at the following telephone number:
Germany: +49 6313428462 / Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm
Denmark: +45 699 18408 / Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm
France: 0800 917435 / Mon-Fri 8.30am to 6pm
Spain: +34 965022972 / Mon-Fri 10am to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm
email@example.com; 0151 400 27672; Markus Mühle
First in the World: Irish-Owned Ethos Engineering Earns Well Performance Rating for Dublin HQ “Living Lab”
Using Data and Occupant Experience to Create Healthier, Safer and More Productive Offices and Workspaces.
DUBLIN, Ireland – Ethos, one of EMEA’s leading providers of Data Centre Mechanical and Electrical Design Consultancy, sustainable commercial and smart fit-out buildings, today announced it is the first business in the world to achieve the WELL Performance Rating through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). IWBI is the global authority for transforming health and well-being with a people-first approach to buildings, organizations and communities.
This new, industry-leading benchmark is designed to help organisations leverage building performance data and occupant experience insights to shift business decisions and drive health and well-being outcomes. The WELL Performance Rating serves as a roadmap to implement best practices for continuous monitoring and performance across key indoor environmental quality (IEQ) metrics related to indoor air quality, water quality management, lighting measurements, thermal conditions, acoustic performance and occupant experience. The rating is comprised of features from the WELL Building Standard (WELL).
Projects must achieve 21 features to achieve the WELL Performance Rating– Ethos achieved 24 such features for its Living Lab initiative.
Ethos pioneered a Living Lab initiative using its own HQ in Sandyford, Dublin as a testing ground, installing several smart building technologies and sensors that significantly enhance the amount of information that a building can provide. These included sensors for Air Quality, People Counting, Desk Occupancy, Energy Metering and Acoustics. When combined, the data provided allowed the firm to regulate and manage the work environment, providing optimum levels of ventilation, space management and staff engagement.
The WELL Performance Rating was developed by IWBI and informed by collaboration with a host of industry leaders in smart building technologies and with input from the IWBI Performance Advisory, WELL Performance Testing Organizations (PTOs) and WELL Enterprise Providers (EPs). The rating was launched in April 2022.
Ethos founder and CEO Greg Hayden said: “We’ve witnessed a big cultural change in the past two years in terms of the world of work. We’re honoured to achieve this rating as it recognises our belief that offices and workplaces globally need to be healthy, safe, productive spaces that are very much people centric. My congratulations to Müge Karasahin, our Digital Sustainability and Wellness Lead for spearheading this rating initiative with Brian Coogan, Director, Digital Services (Smart Buildings) and the team at Ethos for participating.”
Ethos has now adapted its newly rated Living Lab experiment to become a new service offering for clients and building owners who want to reimagine their spaces as ones that are smarter, more connected and healthier.
As part of this suite of services, it also launched a tenant engagement mobile App that allows employees to interact with their building via their mobile phone, checking building information, room/ desk bookings, carpark bookings, providing touchless access to the building etc. – it’s the ultimate in back to the office planning / coordination in an efficient, safe manner.
Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) said: “By making the invisible visible, the WELL Performance Rating communicates to anyone entering a building that it meets or exceeds industry-recognized benchmarks for health. Congratulations to Ethos Engineering on its significant achievement of the WELL Performance Rating, signaling its commitment to put people first.”
Müge Karasahin, Digital Sustainability & Wellness Lead, Ethos, said: “Ireland’s Zero Carbon/Sustainability commitments for 2030-2050 are challenging without designing and embedding the correct digital interventions – (IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, analytics, intelligent automations etc.) She added: “Living Lab” is an initiative that matters now – as an industry leader with a progressive Sustainability and Innovation agenda, we’re not waiting for 2030 to happen – we want to be ahead of the curve, digitally transforming buildings to deliver verifiable sustainability and human health and wellness targets. Overall, this initiative allows us to demonstrate to clients how this approach can work when applied to their own buildings. It’s a way to get to the future we all hope for.”
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation and the world’s leading organization focused on deploying people first places to advance a global culture of health. IWBI mobilizes its community through the administration of the WELL Building Standard (WELL) and the WELL Health-Safety Rating, management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellbeing everywhere. More information on WELL can be found here: https://www.wellcertified.com/.
Ukraine War: Biowarfare and the Theft of Billions
For years, Ukraine was recognized as one of the most, if not “the” most, corrupt nation in Europe. It held on to that reputation all the way up to the day Russia invaded, at which point media worldwide suddenly started rewriting history.
Whitewashing Ukraine’s Corruption and Authoritarianism
As noted by Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, in a sober and clear-eyed article, published in April 2022:1
“Statements from U.S. and other Western officials, as well as pervasive accounts in the news media, have created a stunningly misleading image of Ukraine. There has been a concerted effort to portray the country not only as a victim of brutal Russian aggression, but as a plucky and noble bulwark of freedom and democracy …
The promoters of that narrative contend that the ongoing war is not just a quarrel between Russia and Ukraine over Kiev’s ambitions to join NATO and Moscow’s territorial claims in Crimea and the Donbas. No, they insist — the war is part of a global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism …
The notion that Ukraine was such an appealing democratic model in Eastern Europe that the country’s mere existence terrified Putin may be a comforting myth to U.S. politicians and pundits, but it is a myth. Ukraine is far from being a democratic-capitalist model …
The reality is murkier and troubling: Ukraine has long been one of the more corrupt countries in the international system … Ukraine’s track record of protecting democracy and civil liberties is not much better than its performance on corruption. In Freedom House’s 2022 report,2 Ukraine is listed in the ‘partly free’ category, with a score of 61 out of a possible 100 …
Even before the war erupted, there were ugly examples of authoritarianism in Ukraine’s political governance … The neo-Nazi Azov Battalion was an integral part of President Petro Poroshenko’s military and security apparatus, and it has retained that role during Zelensky’s presidency …
[O]ne can condemn Putin’s actions and even cheer on Ukraine’s military resistance without fostering a false image of Ukraine’s political system. The country is not a symbol of freedom and liberal democracy, and the war is not an existential struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. At best, Ukraine is a corrupt, quasi-democratic entity with troubling repressive policies.
Given that sobering reality, calls for Americans to ‘stand with Ukraine’ are misplaced. Preserving Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity most certainly are not worth the United States risking war with a nuclear-armed Russia.”
Media ‘Rediscovers’ Ukraine’s Corrupt Past
Given how mainstream media have been fawning over Zelensky, picturing him as a fierce fighter for democracy, it was surprising to see The Associated Press and NPR suddenly revisiting Ukraine’s history of corruption. A July 20, 2022, article, originally published by AP and republished by NPR, states:3
“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s dismissal of senior officials is casting an inconvenient light on an issue that the Biden administration has largely ignored since the outbreak of war with Russia: Ukraine’s history of rampant corruption and shaky governance.
As it presses ahead with providing tens of billions of dollars in military, economic and direct financial support aid to Ukraine and encourages its allies to do the same, the Biden administration is now once again grappling with longstanding worries about Ukraine’s suitability as a recipient of massive infusions of American aid.”
The sudden critique comes on the heels of Zelensky’s firing of his top prosecutor, his intelligence chief and several other senior officials, claiming they are spies or collaborators with Russia.
Zelensky has also dragged his feet when it comes to assigning a new anti-corruption prosecutor, something that should have occurred last December, and which, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, “undermines the work of anti-corruption agencies.”
Zelensky Blacklists Americans After Getting Millions From Taxpayers
A few days after firing his top officials, Zelensky’s Center for Countering Disinformation — established in 2021 — also issued a blacklist of American “pro-Russian propagandists,” which includes Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, independent journalist Glenn Greenwald, retired Col. Douglas Macgregor and University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer.4
As noted by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, “Now the Ukrainian government has decided that they can impose censorship in our country.” Carlson questioned how President Biden can possibly claim that we’re “defending democracy” by sending millions of American taxpayer dollars to Ukraine.
This is being done while Zelensky bans all opposition parties — 11 in all — and blacklists American politicians and journalists who question the use of U.S. taxpayer funds and our involvement in the Ukraine conflict.5 It rather appears we’re aiding authoritarianism, doesn’t it? Greenwald, who appeared on Carlson’s show to discuss the blacklisting stated:6
“The Ukrainians have a conflict with this neighboring country in Russia. They’re totally free to pursue whatever war policies they want. They can fight Russia in the next 10 years if they choose. But that’s not what they’re doing.
They’re begging and in a sense, demanding that other countries, including my own, the United States, provide them with a seemingly endless supply of weapons and money, which means we not only have the right, but the obligation to debate that and ask whether that’s in the interest of the American people to do.”
Ukraine Is No Defender of Democracy
In the video at the top of this article, I’ve included three episodes of “The Jimmy Dore Show” in which Dore discusses this and other news surrounding the Ukraine war. In the first segment, he reviews past news articles discussing Ukraine’s corruption. Repeatedly, in 2014, 2015 and beyond, Ukraine was declared the most corrupt country in Europe.
In the second segment, Dore reviews how Zelensky was supposed to clean out corruption and usher in a new era of good governance. That didn’t happen though.
The Panama Papers7,8 — described as “a giant leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records [which] exposes a system that enables crime, corruption and wrongdoing” — have revealed Zelensky, his wife and several associates own “hidden offshore assets,” raising suspicions that Zelensky may be just as corrupt as his forerunners.
The third Dore Show segment reviews Ukraines’ blacklist of pro-Russian journalists, which, as mentioned, includes Greenwald, Scott Ritter, Jeffrey David Sachs and many others. The beauty of being discredited by mainstream media is that they revealed to you who is actually telling the truth.
What Happens to US Weapons in Ukraine?
One wonders whether the U.S. “aid” to Ukraine might also be a corrupt scheme in and of itself. As admitted by CNN,9 the U.S. government doesn’t know what happens to the billions of dollars’ worth of military hardware and munitions shipped to Ukraine.
The supplies cannot be tracked, and the obvious risk is that the weapons can end up in the hands of militias and terrorists. However, this is “a conscious risk the Biden administration is willing to take,” CNN says. In the meantime, the U.S. and NATO are simply shipping over whatever Zelensky claims he needs. According to CNN:10
“Trucks loaded with pallets of arms provided by the Defense Department are picked up by Ukrainian armed forces — primarily in Poland — and then driven into Ukraine, Kirby said, ‘then it’s up to the Ukrainians to determine where they go and how they’re allocated inside their country.'”
Theft Through Endless Warfare
As noted by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in 2011, the purpose of the Afghan war — the longest war in U.S. history, which lasted from 1999 until 202111 — was not to subjugate Afghanistan. It was to launder money through war.
“The goal was to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax base of the United States, out of the tax bases of the European countries, through Afghanistan, back into the hands of transnational security elite. That is the goal. I.e., the goal is to have an endless war; not a successful war,” Assange said.
Is Ukraine just another repeat of this same scheme? It’s starting to look that way. Rather than sending diplomats and urging Ukraine to negotiate peace, the NATO alliance insists Ukraine fight to the last man, and send weapons and financial aid that quickly vanish into a proverbial black hole.
What’s the Goal in Helping Ukraine?
The problem facing NATO and the U.S. is that people are increasingly becoming aware of the fact that things don’t add up. Why are we involved in this conflict? We’re clearly not defending “democracy”; quite the opposite. We’re aiding and abetting an authoritarian regime — and actual real-world Nazi adherents.
As reported by Jeff Childers, president and founder of the Childers Law firm, in a July 19, 2022 blog post:12
“The Economist ran a story yesterday headlined, ‘Is America Growing Weary of the Long War In Ukraine?’ Well. I was immediately suspicious, because the Ukraine war hasn’t been that long …
Late in the article, the Economist put its tobacco-stained finger right on the squidge that marks the real problem: ‘Mr. Biden’s aim in the war is unclear. His administration has stopped talking about helping Ukraine to ‘win,’ and instead speaks of preventing it from being defeated.’
That’s the problem, all right. What IS the goal, Joe? If it’s ‘winning,’ what does that even look like and how do we get there? … It seems the pro-war Ukrainians want the U.S. to just skip the messy middle and jump right into direct war with the Russians, to teach them a lesson or something.
But the Russians have nuclear missiles and doomsday submarines and even nuclear torpoedos for goodness’ sake. A fully-kinetic global war won’t help the Ukrainians, at all. Probably just the opposite. It’s magical thinking.”
The Rise of Totalitarianism in America
The U.S. support of an authoritarian regime like Ukraine is perhaps best explained by the realization that the U.S. itself has shifted in that direction. According to American philosopher, social critic and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky,13 who appeared on Russell Brand’s podcast in July 2022, the U.S. is “living under a kind of totalitarian culture, which has never existed in my lifetime and is much worse in many ways than the Soviet Union before (Mikhail) Gorbachev.”
The cause for this cultural change, Chomsky believes, can be traced back to the censorship of global news. Basically, most Americans live in an echo chamber, where there’s no diversity of views, especially not from perceived adversaries:
“If today in the United States, you want to find out what Minister (Sergey) Lavrov of Russia is saying, you can’t do it. It’s barred. Americans are not permitted to hear what Russians are saying,” Chomsky told Brand. “Can’t get Russian television, can’t access Russian sources …
You wanna find out what the adversaries are saying, which is of utmost importance … But the United States has imposed constraints on freedom of access information, which are astonishing and which in fact go beyond what was the case in post (Joseph) Stalin and Soviet Russia.”
The Biolab Angle
Another angle that can help explain the U.S. support of a clearly authoritarian and anti-democratic regime is the fact that we have a number of biolabs in Ukraine, the purposes of which the U.S. government is keen to obscure. Childers addresses this as well:14
“The next story may possibly be the most significant news I’ve ever reported, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating. The news is that Deputy Chairwoman of the Russian State Duma (congress) Irina Yarovaya gave an update yesterday on Russia’s official investigation into US Biolabs in Ukraine.
What the Russians are saying isn’t pretty. And they claim to have a mountain of evidence. So far, the U.S. has not deigned to respond to any of the deadly serious allegations.
Remember that back in May, the Russians presented evidence to the U.N. Security Council arguing that the U.S. had been performing illegal bioweapons development — AND TESTING — in Ukraine, including accusing the last three Democrat administrations of working with George Soros, Bill Gates, and big pharma to break treaties, develop illegal weapons technology, release bioweapons into Ukraine, test the weapons on soldiers and mental patients, and — most significantly — infect the Russian people and crops …
A remarkable diagram shows all the alleged players that goes far beyond those named above, and includes Pfizer, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and others.
The Russians accused the top Democrats of facilitating the illegal research for military purposes in league with big pharma, which was brought in whenever there were tests or leaks, to develop lucrative treatments for the new diseases.
In return, argued the Russians, big pharma funneled massive campaign contributions back to Democrats, making a sinister and demonic viral feedback loop.”
According to Yarovaya, the key masterminds of this conspiracy include the U.S. Democratic party, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and George Soros. The U.S. government, meanwhile, has done nothing to counter these Russian allegations, other than dismiss them as “Russian misinformation” unworthy of so much as a reply.
Childers suspects Biden’s attempt to set up a Disinformation Governance Board might even have been an “effort to screw an even tighter lid” on the biolabs story, seeing how Nina Jankowicz, selected to lead the board, previously worked for Zelensky himself. She also worked for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.15
Russian Report to Drop Before the US Midterms
According to Yarovaya, the Russian government intends to release a comprehensive report about the U.S. biolabs in Ukraine sometime before the U.S. midterm elections. In her July 18, 2022, status update to the Russian legislature, she stated:16
“As evidence today, the parliamentary commission may already present the facts that bio laboratories supervised by the Pentagon on the territory of Ukraine did not meet safety criteria. In the current mode of their activity, they posed and pose a colossal threat for citizens of Ukraine and for the whole world.
The facility was not only insecure. Despite the fact that they were working with dangerous viruses and pathogens, there was also a leak. It is quite likely that this explains the growth of epidemics in Ukraine.
But most likely, those who created these laboratories were interested in ensuring [they] were not adequately protected, not only for corruption, but also in order to carry out a live experiment; in this way, to monitor what the reaction from the population would be, what the mortality rate would be, what the consequences would be.”
Russians Accuse US of Intentional Negligence
To be clear, the Russians are accusing the U.S. of intentional negligence, which is no small matter. As noted by Childers, the same thing appears to have happened in Wuhan.
From 2018 onward, the U.S. State Department issued reports in which investigators warned the lab was poorly run and primed for an accident. Fast-forward to late 2019, and SARS-CoV-2 mysteriously emerged right in the vicinity of that same lab.
Now, any official that admits COVID was or might be the result of a lab leak is also careful to say that it must have been an accident. But if a lab is intentionally negligent, is a subsequent leak really accidental?
The point the Russians seem to make is that it’s not accidental at all. However, intentional neglect allows the responsible party to pretend that an intentional release was accidental. That way, they’re not guilty of a crime. But that’s not all. Childers continues:17
“The Russians also alleged that the U.S. culprits are hiding behind ‘animal research;’ further concealing their guilt by genetically grafting human infection capabilities onto existing animal viruses, so they can claim natural origins for the newly-developed bugs. Like with COVID. Or monkeypox …
Yarovaya said the result of all this intentional negligence has been ‘unforeseen situations all over the world.’ She fingered the U.S. for the novel monkeypox outbreak. ‘Everything related to coronavirus, monkey pox, should be searched in the test tubes of American laboratories,’ she said.
By a totally random coincidence, the very same Wuhan Institute of Virology where COVID was developed was also experimenting with monkeypox … Because the Russians are naming specific individuals, it is starting to look like the Russians plan to launch a Nuremberg-style international criminal complaint along the lines that so many Americans have been wishing for.”
‘Game of Nuclear Chicken’
If Childers suspicion that the Russians are planning a Nuremberg-style complaint, it’s no wonder the U.S. government is trying to keep a lid on the accusations, even at the risk of having their silence appear incriminating in and of itself.
Childers also believes China may join with Russia in this effort, as Russia’s justification for invading Ukraine to take down dangerous biolabs would also “create a neat justification for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.” As it turns out, Taiwan is home to a staggering 1,251 biolabs that serve “medical, agricultural, food and environmental needs.”
At least 31 of those labs work with “virology, bacteriology, parasitology, mycology and vector biology,” and one, a biosecurity level 4 (BSL4) lab in northern Taiwan belongs to the military. So, China could easily justify an invasion of Taiwan by saying there are unsecured biowarfare facilities there.
“All these allegations — completely ignored by corporate media — are incredibly serious,” Childers notes.18 “The Russians are accusing the U.S. of a biological weapons of mass destruction attack. It has long been the official policy of the U.S. that a bioweapons attack is equivalent to a nuclear attack, and would justify a nuclear response.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re right. The Russians appear to believe they are legally justified in retaliating against the U.S. using weapons of mass destruction. And they’re building the case using a lot of shady stuff that the U.S. and its deep-state corporate allies have been up to.
It sure would be a good time for the U.S. government to speak up and get totally transparent about the legitimate purpose behind all these labs. Assuming there IS a legitimate purpose.
But perpetrators, whoever they are, would almost certainly risk nuclear war to protect their secrets if only half of what the Russians are saying is true. So, wittingly or not, we are all involved in a deadly game of nuclear chicken. And our driver is Joe Biden.”
Is There a Way Out?
In an interview with Lex Friedman, filmmaker Oliver Stone discussed the history of corruption in Ukraine — detailed in his film “Ukraine on Fire” — the propaganda surrounding the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, and his understanding of why Russia is acting the way it is.
At the end of that interview, Friedman asked Stone whether he thinks we can walk back from the brink of nuclear war. Stone replied:
“Yes, [through] reason … and then diplomacy. Talk to the guy. Mr. Biden, why don’t you calm down and go talk to Mr. Putin in Moscow. And try to have a discussion without falling into ideologies.”
Assuming the U.S. government in general and Biden in particular are not embroiled in criminal biowarfare activity in Ukraine, then Stone’s suggestion is reasonable. However, if their actions are based on a need to protect a dirty secret (or two), then diplomacy wouldn’t even be on the menu of options.
Russia would probably want its pound of flesh. They would want justice to be settled, which in the case of illegal biowarfare manufacturing could include the lifelong incarceration of certain individuals. Seeing how Biden is on Russia’s list of “key mastermind conspirators,” it seems reasonable to assume he wouldn’t easily be let off the hook.
And that brings us right back to Childers’ prediction, which is that the perpetrators “would almost certainly risk nuclear war to protect their secrets if only half of what the Russians are saying is true.”
So, while World War III has so far been an information war waged against the public, nuclear war between nations is still a possibility — thanks to corruption at the highest levels, which prevents diplomatic solutions.
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