Current Affairs

Professor Chris Exley: Aluminium in human brain tissue

AluminumExcerpted from the Blog of Professor Chris Exley, worldwide expert on aluminum and its effects on the human brain.

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We have now measured the concentration of aluminium in human brain tissue from over two hundred donors involving at least five different brain banks. This equates to several thousand individual brain tissue samples. We have information relating to sporadic and familial Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, epilepsy and autism. If I am honest, I am slightly bemused when, correctly, the question is asked about brain aluminium content in ‘control’ tissues. Bemused because such a question does suggest that the presence of an established neurotoxin, known to cause dialysis encephalopathy, is perhaps ‘normal’ and not a cause for concern.

We recently asked the question as to how much aluminium in human brain tissue is too much ( https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00775-019-01710-0) and we described an experiment in the paper to answer this question. We now have the data from this new study on the aluminium content of brain tissue from donors with no known neurological impairment and no identifiable neurodegenerative disease. The results are published in Nature’s Scientific Reports (www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-64734-6) and they are unequivocal.

Read more from Professor Exley at Aluminium in human brain tissue at The Hippocratic Post


America Goes From the Race to Space to Stay In Place

ShameBy Kim Rossi

Mayor encourages constituents to 'socially shame' people not wearing masks in Rhode Island Jack Perry The Providence Journal

Everything we have ever taught our children about bullying is WRONG. We should teach our kids that life is 100% situational based on the agenda.  Black can be as white as snow. Fire can be water. Freedom can be slavery. Shame your neighbor? Turn them in? Celebrate their loss of income, the collapse of their business to save others?  I saw an article about ankle bracelets in Kentucky for family members of COVID positive relatives to track if they leave the house. Kentucky orders quarantine-breakers to wear ankle monitors

We are in a 21st century version of The Industrial Revolution when life changed dramatically and entire industries were rendered obsolete by machines. We've seen technology do the same to a lesser degree since the 1980s, mostly displacing humans and cassettes. But this COVID iteration is different. It lacks the hope of a better future that has always been at the core of the American dream and backbone.

The United States of America once competed in the race to space.  Today? We're in a forced march to something I do not recognize. The Manhattan Project, for better and certainly for worse, created a bomb that made the nation feel strong and protected. Invincible even, for a time. Today? COVID has turned us into traitors to our friends and neighbors, cowering at home in fear, compliant, meek, scared.

By whom? For whom?

CUI BONO?





Lipstick Sales to PLUMMET in CT (Business Opening Criteria in Connecticut)

Lipstick blotYesterday, Governor Lamont in Connecticut announced that the following business will be able to open on the 20th of May. The criteria for opening are listed. For example, no blow dryers in hair salons. Embrace your curls, ladies! Limit your conversations. So much for "...Only her hairdresser knows..."  (Look it up, kids. Or scroll to the end of this post for the answer.) 

Dinner dates will sound like this: "dkslkdlsllo skdlsky ksdlskame sjdsls kdslkdschael alsnd alskd'll sdlskde dksld;ksour dksladlskerver...." And you should only remove your mask to eat. Skip the lipstick, it just smears on the mask. Better go to to town on that eye makeup ladies.

Finally, all restaurants will be required to play FOOTLOOSE on an never ending loop. No drinking. And NO DANCING.

Is no one concerned about exposure to serious disinfecting chemicals? Commercial chemicals, if not mixed correctly, can be toxic. And that's a cocktail no one wants, not even during COVID.  KIM

From NBC CT:

The four sectors of business that will be allowed to open on May 20 are restaurants, personal services, retail, and offices.

The guidelines for each of the sectors are as follows:

Restaurants

  • 50-percent capacity
  • Outdoor dining only
  • Tables 6 feet
  • Bars closed
  • Dance floors remain closed
  • Contactless payments preferred
  • High-contact areas and bathrooms cleaned frequently
  • Tables & chairs sanitized between groups
  • Paper or digital menus or posted on chalkboard/whiteboard
  • Packaged or rolled silverware
  • Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes available at entrance and exit
  • Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings
  • Table servers to wear disposable gloves, changed frequently
  • Customers wear facemasks or cloth face coverings except while dining

The governor is working with his legal team on an executive order to allow restaurants to use their indoor liquor licenses for outdoor serving, according to Lehman.

That order will only contain guidelines and the ultimate decision will lie with the individual municipalities, according to Lehman.

"This needs to work for the municipalities as we reopen the economy," Lehman said. "So, at the state level, we're trying to provide the toolkit to do this quickly and we believe safely, but if certain towns have the view that they don't want their restaurants having outdoor space or their retailers doing a sidewalk sale, they will have the ability to say no to that."

Continue reading "Lipstick Sales to PLUMMET in CT (Business Opening Criteria in Connecticut)" »


A Letter To Keele University on Rejecting a $15,000 Donation by Robert Kennedy Jr

Rejected-300x287By James Lyons-Weiler

5/5/2020

Pro Vice Chancellor and Professor David Amigoni

University of Keele

Dear Professor David Amigoni,

It is with great displeasure that I find that I must address this letter to you regarding the University of Keele’s blatant disregard and disdain for academic freedom. I am referencing your decision to decline a $15,000 donation by Mr. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in support of the research program of Dr. Chris Exley, a fully tenured professor on the faculty at the University of Keele.

Are you aware that the contradictions in you text and verbiage in your declination letter is stunning example of what George Orwell called “Doublespeak”? First, let’s review how Orwell defined “Doublespeak”:

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible … Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness … the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Where there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms…”

Now, let’s look at your communication to Mr. Kennedy in which you refused the $15,000 donation:

“Whilst the University is keen to support all its academics and wholly embraces freedom in the area of research, there are certain undeniably controversial research fields of which the University is tolerant: but for which accepting any large donations from prominent public figures or foundations could place the institution in an ethical and reputational predicament. To do so could generate potentially negative media coverage and may also jeopardise the strong relationships it holds with its existing major funders and partners.” (emphasis mine)

The University cannot “wholly embrace freedom in the area of research” and simultaneously be “tolerant” of certain research fields.

Further, by revealing that your decision was based on your expected loss of donation from “existing major funders and partners”, you have revealed that the University of Keele has a policy of biasing “allowed science” due to a serious conflict of interest, and thus it is abundantly clear that you have created a breach of ethics by your refusal of the donation.

Continue reading "A Letter To Keele University on Rejecting a $15,000 Donation by Robert Kennedy Jr" »


NYT Reports: Antivaccination Activists Are Growing Force at Virus Protests

Note: I hate to tell the Times, but most of the comments I see about any and all COVID vaccines are at the least very hesitant. Men and women on social media are openly questioning the ability to create a vaccine so fast, let alone a safe vaccine. I mumble, "welcome to the anti-vax club," under my breath as I scroll about town lists and Twitter. If the women profiled in the Times story and a photo were protesting at a Times-approved rally, I can assure you they'd be hailed as brave citizens standing up for their rights.  The Times took down their paywall for now - if you want to read the full article you can. Take off  your mask, in case you barf.

I think the summer of 2020 will rival or exceed the Summer of 1968 in terms of protests and even violence. You can not take away a nation's right to make a living, turn families upside down, create poverty, stop schooling, demand social changes, deny routine medical care, and not turn our nation into a cauldron of anger that will boil over. And burn us all.

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Antivaccination Activists Are Growing Force at Virus Protests

Public health experts fear that their messaging could further harm the country’s response to the pandemic.
The protest on Friday in Sacramento urging California’s governor to reopen the state resembled the rallies that have appeared elsewhere in the country, with crowds flocking to the State Capitol, pressing leaders to undo restrictions on businesses and daily life.

But the organizers were not militia members, restaurant owners or prominent conservative operatives. They were some of the loudest antivaccination activists in the country.

The people behind the rally are founders of a group, the Freedom Angels Foundation, which is best known in California for its opposition to state efforts to mandate vaccinations. And the protest was the latest example of the overlapping interests that have connected a range of groups — including Tea Party activists and armed militia groups — to oppose the measures that governors have taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Activists known for their opposition to vaccines have also been involved in protests in New York, Colorado and Texas, where they have found a welcome audience for their arguments for personal freedom and their suspicion of government. But their growing presence at the protests worries public health experts who fear that their messaging could harm the United States’ ability to turn a corner following the pandemic if Americans do not accept a future vaccine.

“One of the things that we’re finding is that the rhetoric is pretty similar between the anti-vaxxers and those demanding to reopen,” said Dr. Rupali J. Limaye, who studies behavior around vaccines at Johns Hopkins University. “What we hear a lot of is ‘individual self management’ — this idea that they should be in control of making decisions, that they can decide what science is correct and incorrect, and that they know what’s best for their child.”

Heidi Muñoz Gleisner, one of the three women who hosted the rally in Sacramento on Friday and were arrested by the police, said the stay-at-home orders that are now expiring in many states had mobilized people who span a variety of groups focused on individual liberty....  Read more here.


Bloomberg Admits Drugmakers Including Pfizer Are Compromising Safety For Rush To Market

DD2BE9B1-00E2-425A-ABBA-01552728CA0BYesterday was the 59th anniversary of the first American manned space flight by Alan Shepard. Now imagine that NASA was granted the power to demand that EVERY AMERICAN take a space flight starting on May 6th, 1961. THAT's the COVID vaccine.  For some, the vaccine might be a giant leap for health. For others? A Challenger far worse.

Pro-vax. Anti-vax. Doesn’t matter. Bloomberg is telling you that safety for a product already exempt from liability, safety is not the very first priority.   Anyone who takes the new vaccine will be participating in the world's largest clinical trial. "Vaccine trials normally start by looking at safety, but in order to hasten the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, the drugmakers are looking at both safety and the immune-system response from the experimental shots."

In March, Wayne Rohde wrote an article for us titled Meet The PREP "Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness" ActMeet The PREP "Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness" Act:  Here is the definition of the act. The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) added new legal authorities to the Public Health Service (PHS) Act to provide liability immunity related to the manufacture, testing, development, distribution, administration and use of medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents of terrorism, epidemics, and pandemics.   It also added authority to establish a program to compensate eligible individuals who suffer injuries from administration or use of products covered by the PREP Act’s immunity provisions.

Bloomberg News published an article yesterday about the race to bring COVID-19 vaccines to market.  Below is an excerpt and link. And I've taken a screen shot to preserve the critical phrasing.

Pfizer Starts U.S. Trials of Experimental Covid-19 Vaccine By Cynthia Koons

...New York-based Pfizer is working with BioNTech SE of Germany. The companies started testing the inoculations in patients in Germany in late April. Vaccine trials normally start by looking at safety, but in order to hasten the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, the drugmakers are looking at both safety and the immune-system response from the experimental shots.

Pfizer and BioNTech are in a race with companies including Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Inc. and dozens of other biopharmacuetical outfits and academic groups to come up with a safe and effective vaccine against the illness within the next year to 18 months. A handful are in human trials already, including Moderna’s and ones from CanSino Biologics Inc., the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Pfizer’s U.S. trial will involve 360 patients in two age groups: 18 to 55, and 65 to 85, though trials in the older population will start only after safety and immune response are established in the younger group. The University of Rochester Medical Center/Rochester Regional Health and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will eventually provide testing sites for the vaccines as well.

Continue reading "Bloomberg Admits Drugmakers Including Pfizer Are Compromising Safety For Rush To Market" »


Welcome To The United Gates of America

C80A5383-B612-4450-A9B8-EA112025643DNote: I did not coin that clever headline phrase. I saw it on Ginger Taylors Facebook page. I'm sure it will be everywhere soon. Yesterday, I read a Tweet from New York's Governor Cuomo who thinks that handing the reins of education over to the Gates Foundation is a nifty idea.  Since when does a private foundation have dominion over our nation's... anything? Bill Gates dropped out of college.  NO LETTERS AFTER HIS NAME!!!  (How many times has that been thrown at you?) And yet he is rapidly becoming a Technotator for the planet Earth. Take a peek at him a mere 22 years ago during a deposition. "Reader, reader what do you see?" 

Here's what Cuomo wrote:

As we prepare to reopen we have the opportunity to reimagine and build back our education system better. We will work with the @gatesfoundation and develop a blueprint to do this.

Bill Gates Rocks Back And Forth In His Chair When He's Thinking





A Prayer Request for AofA Friend & Contributor Who Had Terrible Accident

Good thoughtsNote: Laura called me last night to tell me about longtime contributor and active commenter David Burd's accident. Please take up her suggestion to leave a comment that his sister can read to him.  We've been conditioned to think COVID is the only health issue on the planet. Not so. Thank you.

Dear AoA readers, E774E455-CAD3-4586-AE87-1F3A3544B7A1

It is with a heavy heart that I write to share some sad news about one of our regular, intelligent, respected, and deeply appreciated contributors and commenters, David Burd. Three weeks ago, on April 13th, David fell from his roof and sustained severe injuries that have led him to be on a ventilator with a tracheostomy and a feeding tube. He is not paralyzed and still has cognitive abilities, per his sister Sally, with whom I have been in contact. She told me that according to many of the physicians caring for him, he is "broken, but fixable".

As of yesterday morning (Monday), however, his neurological status has deteriorated. A new CT scan revealed a "subdural hygroma" for which he is scheduled to have a Burr Hole procedure done this morning (Tuesday). This means that he will continue to remain in the ICU in Martinsburg, WV for now, with the continued hope that he will be transferred to a longterm acute care facility near his home in WV when able.

It is my sincere hope that AoA readers will join in prayer for David Burd, described as "passionate and vibrant" by his sister Sally, and to her description I would add that he is a man of great decency, kindness, courage, and integrity. He and I were to meet in person this summer, and I hope we still will.

In addition to praying for David and sending healing thoughts his way, I hope you might consider writing something below in the comments section that his brother Steve and sister Sally can read aloud to him, and so that they and David's relatives can know how special and valued David is to our community here at AoA.

In solidarity with our AoA community,

Laura Hayes


A Letter to My Member of Parliament: THE CRITICAL NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY AROUND COVID-19 VACCINES

image from pbs.twimg.comby John Stone

This is  the letter I sent to my Member of of Parliament yesterday forwarding the excellent  letter to the UK's Secretary of Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock (pictured with Bill Gates),  by Robert Verkerk and Damien Downing:

Dear ------,

 
RE: THE CRITICAL NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY AROUND COVID-19 VACCINES    
 
I am forwarding the excellent letter (attached) to Matt Hancock by Robert Verkerk of the Alliance for Nautal Health International and Damien Downing of the British Society for Ecological Medicine requesting transparency over the introduction of any COVID-19 vaccines in response to the current crisis, and I would suggest that it is necessary for the Secretary of State to make clear undertakings rather than vague professions of good faith. The letter can be found here on-line [1]. 
 
It was well understood even in the 19th century how statistics could be distorted for political purposes, since when the methods have only become more sophisticated and ultimately potentially more obfuscating. The safety, usefulness and effectiveness of universal vaccines should have to be meticulously and transparently established, yet we advance at reckless pace. It is certain that none of the candidates will have long term testing and it is questionable who on the face of it they could sensibly be given to [2].
 
There are other matters of transparency which go beyond the Verkerk/Downing letter. For example, the unusual arrangement by which the Secretary of State is also the main shareholder in the Porton Down Lab (as is now well-known). It was distressing to see how the Secretary of State began pumping public money into the speculative Porton Down vaccine project in the early stages of the epidemic, while failing to ensure that the puplic were immediately protected [3] (we are now heading for the worst fatality rate of any country). On the 19 March Public Health England put out a statement that they no longer considered COVID-19 to be a high risk disease [4] and within a day we were facing lockdown. Not much more convincing, now, are tub thumping references to British innovation by the Business Secretary or the Prime Minister.

Continue reading "A Letter to My Member of Parliament: THE CRITICAL NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY AROUND COVID-19 VACCINES" »


May the Fourth Be With Us

Star Wars autism
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.  Life as we knew it. How are you doing, friends? For real. Me? I'm getting way too comfortable with my inner Joan Crawford.

May the force be with you.
And also with you.
Let us go forth to love and serve.... each other*. As best we can.

Kim

*Catholics will get that reference. It's a rendition of the last lines of Mass.  Like the shirt? You can order it here.


COVID 19 Tips and Tools from the Natonal Autism Association

NAA logoOur friends at the National Autism Association have tremendous resources for autism families. Here is a smattering. Pop over to their site here to see the full array of help.  THANK YOU NAA!

COVID-19 Resources for Families and Individuals

Teaching Tools for Individuals with Autism:

Tips for Caregivers and Individuals:

See more at the NAA site HERE.


In Which New Jersery Denies FAPE

Special educationBelow is an excerpt from an opinion article in NewJersey.com by a Special Education atorney named Paul O'Neill that discusses how New Jersey is treating some special education students' right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).  No one likes distance learning. It's hard as hell with and FOR our children. It's hard on the teachers and therapists many of whom have their own children to tend to while working online with their students. It's frustrating. Time consuming. Gets in the way of other work, like our actual jobs. Like tending to our homes that we are now in 24/7. And in my home? Bella's programming means I'm ignoring my older two daughters with autism who ALSO have a distance version of their Day Program. I can't Zoom on two devices at once. Here in Connecticut, my daughter's school team has created a plethora of programming specific to her IEP and needs using ZOOM and a system called Schoology.com. Yesterday was our heavy day - we had five Zoom sessions of 40 minutes each. And I was present and facilitating for every minute.  I did not have to sign any sort of waiver of my daughter's rights, or mine as her Mother and the keeper of her education. Adding stress for families is a low blow.

By Paul O’Neill

The Huffington Post recently reported that some parents of students with disabilities in New Jersey are being required to sign waivers before their children with disabilities can access services and supports remotely during COVID-19 closures. These forms apparently require parents to give up their right to press charges for negligence and injuries of various sorts in connection with providing remote services and forbid parents from being present for, listening in on, or recording virtual educational sessions.

That is outrageous and at odds with the law. Students with disabilities are protected by a range of federal and state laws collectively ensuring that they can readily access the services and supports they need — this is called the right to a “free, appropriate public education.”

Our special education laws empower parents to play an active role in decision-making and assessing the success and sufficiency of services. Forcing parents to sign a mandatory contract requiring them to give up the right to be involved in their child’s education, remote or otherwise, undermines those rights. Insisting that they give up the right to hold the school or district accountable for doing a decent job is also unacceptable. On what viable grounds could public school authorities demand such concessions? What authority permits them to withhold special education services unless parents give up their rights? I have been an education lawyer for more than 20 years and I am unfamiliar with any such authority.

Continue reading "In Which New Jersery Denies FAPE" »


From Children's Health Defense: Critical Questions for Dr. Shiva About His Attempts to Splinter the Health Freedom Movement

 

Rally dan and rfk
Kennedy with Age of Autism's Dan Olmsted at the Green Your Vaccines Rally in 2008

Note: Yesterday, I was dismayed to see a video snippet on Twitter of one of Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai's Tweets wherein he uses a Trumpesque technique while discussing Robert Kennedy, Jr. It's buried on my Twitter feed somewhere, but it went like this. Shiva called Robert, "Robby." Kennedy goes by Bobby to friends and family,"Robby," is a diminutive name meant to belittle and marginalize. Yesterday President Trump called rival Joe Biden, "Droolin' Joe" in a Tweet. Love him or hate him, it's hardly Presidential to call a rival names. We teach our kids better, don't we?

Second, Shiva made fun of Kennedy's voice by mimicking it on his video.  Kennedy has a neurological condition called "spasmodic dysphonia." Well known NPR interviewer Dian Rhem has the same condition. There are claims - and I will add that there are also counterclaims - that President Trump made fun of a reporter with a condition at a SC rally during his 2016 Presidential bid by mimicking his body movements.

Dr. Ayyadurai is running for a Senate seat in my home state of Massachusetts. Against Robert Kennedy Jr's nephew, Joseph Kennedy III. (Insert sunbeam here, it's a better disinfectant than Clorox I'm told.)

Shiva has parachuted into the vaccine choice debate like a soldier onto the bloody beaches of Normandy. To many, he's a savior. Brash, outspoken, and unafraid of ripping off feathers, let alone ruffling them. After years of beatings, we're always holding out for a hero, aren't we? But those of us who've been in the autism and vaccine choice world for some two decades know that this has been a decathlon that always has another event to tackle.  We've seen this personality type come... and go. Chumming the waters.

Below, Kennedy asks you to ask tough questions of Shiva.

Critical Questions for Dr. Shiva About His Attempts to Splinter the Health Freedom Movement

By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman, Children’s Health Defense

 

For many months I have remained silent in the face of defamatory and dishonest attacks against me by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai. My approach was to ignore the sniping to preserve the unity of the Health Freedom Movement. However, Shiva has expanded his malevolent campaign to include venomous salvos against our community’s most prominent and effective leaders, including Del Bigtree, Mark Blaxill, Dr. Rashid Buttar, Polly Tommey and Samoan-Australian activist Taylor Winterstein. Because he now has some of our outstanding spokesmen in his gun-sites, and because his poisonous volleys have begun to damage the solidarity that is critical to our success, I reluctantly make this response.
Little Lies / Big Lies

I had never heard of Shiva when he approached me on the street following a January 6th, 2020 Trenton rally. We had a friendly chat and took a photo. Afterward, he tweeted that I had refused to shake his hand. A half-dozen photos of us shaking hands soon surfaced, proving his statements false. It was only then that I learned he was running as a fringe candidate for U.S. Senate against my nephew, Massachusetts Congressman Joseph Kennedy. It is axiomatic that a man who lies about small things, will also lie about the large. I made a note to fact check Shiva’s assertions. I advise others to take similar precautions.  Read more at Critical Questions for Dr. Shiva About His Attempts to Splinter the Health Freedom Movement.






Connecticut DDS Letter To Permit Hospital Support System for Disabled

CT DDS Covid Letter Download FINAL DDS Support Person- Hospital Admissions Emergency Department Notice- 4.28.20

One of the great concerns facing many of us is what would we do if our loved one with autism had to go to the hospital with COVID, or any other issue, and we could not go with him or her? Imagine your son or daughter alone in an Emergency room, in an ambulance, in a hospital ward. A nightmare yes?

Connecticut sent out a letter from the Department of Developmental Services to all of us who have loved ones in the system to help us. I'm sharing it so you can find out if your state or province  has something similar.

There are still details to work out. But this is a relief. I have three printed out and I hope I never need them.

Stay well.  KIM


The Greater Good Movie A Letter to Idaho’s Governor Brad Little

Greater Good banner
April 25, 2020

During today’s press conference, Governor Little said “We are not going to return to normal until we have a vaccine.” He added that that could be 12-18 months away. He also said he expected people to do the right thing and get vaccinated but that if people didn’t, they would change the code. The Governor literally threatened forced vaccinations. Little touted the success of the stay at home orders and said we would only normalize life if certain criteria were met.

We have a few questions for Governor Little:

How do you know what will happen in one month, let alone 12 months, with this new, unknown organism? How do you know it will behave any differently than other influenza-like respiratory infections which die out in the summer due to increased sun exposure which raises vitamin D levels boosting our immune systems? Please show us the independent science that supports that statement?

Why is the state of Idaho on lockdown when the peak in cases occurred April 10, 2020 at which point a mere 6% of hospital bed capacity was required in the state?

Why did you renew an executive order with many factual errors? Recent science has shown Covid-19 was in the US as early as September or December of 2019 yet you state it was not here till January 2020. You state the need to expand our health care system capacity but Idaho’s capacity utilization peaked at just 6% of beds on April 10, 2020. Why do you claim “extreme peril” exists in Idaho to justify your executive order when there were only 2 lab confirmed and 3 probable cases of Covid-19 in the entire state from April 20-22, 2020?

Continue reading "The Greater Good Movie A Letter to Idaho’s Governor Brad Little " »


A Weird Species by University of Amsterdam Professor Cees Hamelink

Mother GaiaNote: Thank you to Mary Holland for connecting me with Cees Hamerlink. 

Cees Hamerlink studied moral philosophy and psychology of religion and is emeritus professor of global communication at the University of Amsterdam. He continues to teach as Athena professor of public health and human rights at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. In July 2020 his 19th monograph “Communication and Pace” will be published by Palgrave MacMillan. Professor Hamelink is also a jazz musician. Among his albums are “September”” and “Sharing Shearing”.

I am pleased to share a fresh, new voice with readers. If you have a point of view to share with us, by all means, send it to me at KimRossi1111@gmail.com with SUBMISSION in the subject line. We review all submissions before publication.

By Cees J. Hamelink

Seated with the five children around the dinner table in the summer of 1957 my father presented us with a puzzling observation. He said when the Good Lord had created all the animals he decided to create one more. This one would walk upright and would be gifted with the capacity to reflect. And then our father  added, “Children that is what He should not have done because He created a weird species”. I often think of his comment in the bizarre days we presently go through.

We could have seen this coming. We could have known that one day in whatever form Mother Gaia, whom humans had made very angry, would retaliate. But we preferred to be not prepared, busy as we were running together towards our extinction. All the signs were there but we sat paralyzed as rabbits in the lights of the upcoming car. The weird species is now hastily cooking up all kinds of beautiful scenarios on how different the post-corona world will be. We offer each other generously pseudo-philosophical reflections about how beneficial this period is for us, how we turn to our inner selves, and how we focus on the here and the now. Few dare to say that what is now called the “new normal” is not normal at all. We are social animals and not made for life in isolation, we are touchers, kissers, and huggers.

It seems to me a mistake to believe that we will act in fundamentally different ways after the pandemic. In her great study on human history “The March of Folly”, Barbara Tuchman showed us that humanity does not learn from its own mistakes. We do not have the moral courage to face mistakes and change course. The international community made a solemn promise after World War II: “Never again!”. The ink of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had not yet dried up and we began again to kill each other massively. Of course, there are worldwide moving and encouraging signs of cooperative behaviour but that is always the case in moments of great catastrophes. The weird species does indeed have an altruistic side but it is a thin line that separates this from our selfish genes (Richard Dawkins).

Even if one does not expect that fundamental transformation towards a more human world is a realistic option, we may still learn from this global epidemic. It is conceivable that the virus confronts us with one of our most nasty characteristics: the weird species is an arrogant species. Arrogance is our most evil problem: white is better, male is better, rich is better, human is better than animal, private is better than public, winner is better than loser. Our obsessive arrogance seems to me to be the result of our ontological anxiety. We are the only species that knows life leads to death but we do not know when and how the sentence will be executed. In particular news media have rendered anxiety a shared perspective on life. For the first time in history millions of people can watch simultaneously stories of fear and crisis. For global audiences the media create a world that is dangerous and in which things may be getting worse. Media do not create people’s sense of risk and danger but they amplify the disposition to expect that things will work out the wrong way.

Our deepest worry may be that the human being is the most useless animal on the planet. That we are expendable and that in spite of all our achievements we do not matter. If we become extinct we will be the only species that will mourn our demise. We are morally not better or worse than non-human animals and yet we are so arrogant! Especially in our relation with the earth system. Humans are the leading force in killing other species at a rapid rate. Humans may -as the most powerful species – think of themselves as the centre of the planet but are increasingly unable to control it. It is debatable whether, as Pope Francis  states in “Laudation Si: On Care for our Common Home; encyclical Vatican, 2015) ”nature is our loving sister”. Clive Hamilton may have better cards when he writes in “Defiant Earth” “Now when Mother Earth opens her arms it is not to embrace but to crush us”. Hamilton argues that we no longer have to save nature but we should save ourselves from nature and from ourselves. The interesting conclusion is that we are not any longer free to treat the Earth as we please. Our enormous power comes with an unsettling moral responsibility: we no longer can choose between dominion or  stewardship. We must understand that the forces that were expected to bring us more freedom, more equality, and more civilization also brought disruption of the earth system, lethal arms systems, unprecedented ubiquitous surveillance and a tweeting culture that effectively erodes whatever minimal deliberative social processes we had developed.

Maybe the corona epidemic manages to confront us brutally with this human arrogance.  I deeply admire the healthcare people but how little do they know! The medical profession has to admit that inspite of brilliant minds and big labs it does not know how this virus did originate, how it spreads and how it can be cured. A smart virus has beaten us on all scores! We have no medical answer, but equally no psychological, paedagogical, economic or moral-philosophical answers.  We do not really understand how to deal with the pressures that the current crisis confront people with. How to cope with a social distancing, when physical contact is a biological necessity? How to live without the flow of oxytocin that is released in our brain by direct contact with others? And, arguably the most pressing concern is about children: citizens of post-corona societies. Did we sufficiently test -against the interests of children-, all the measures that governments propose, such as lockdown strategies (a.o. the closure of schools), the social distancing (a.o. the prohibition to visit grandparents), the surveillance initiatives, the stress caused by the constant media reporting on dying people, and the belligerent public discourse that focuses on “the war against the virus”and  our people in “the front lines”? Most of the measures , however well intended, would probably not stand up against the provisions in the International Convention on the Rights of Children. This is actually a much broader issue as most of the government measures around the world amount to restrictions of fundamental human rights. Among the rights that are violated are the right to family life, the right to education, and the right to assembly. Governments have an obligation to respect the rights of individuals and groups of their societies. However, this obligation is subject to limitation clauses which means that governments may derogate from their “obligation to protect” if this is strictly required by the national situation. Among the basic conditions for a permissible limitation of  fundamental rights are an official declaration of the state of emergency and a notification of this state to the pertinent international bodies and other states party to the relevant legal instrument. It is also required that there are judicial guarantees for a regular review by national courts of law.This is somewhat problematic since courts -however critical of limiting rights they may be- tend in emergency situations to loyally follow instructions of their governments.  It is essential that restrictions of human rights must be justified by demonstrating pressing social needs. It is at this point that we need to seriously look at how governments justify their Corona prohibitions and the fines and arrests they impose for those defying these prohibitions. At present I do not see governments offering solid arguments based on scientific evidence for their measures. Justification seems to be primarily based on televised virological babbles and their echo-chambering by government officials. Subjective political preferences are taking the place of a transparent, democratic exchange of different views. Even if these get a lot of popular support they do not justify limiting people’s fundamental rights. I do think that our arrogant claim to superior knowledge stands in the way of the much needed critical inquiry and dialogue. 

A major scientific finding of the 20th century has been to discover how little we know and that most of our scientific inquiries are not driven by knowledge but by ignorance.  And yet, in all our scientific endeavours we  continued to claim that we are the single proprietors of the ultimate truth.  This allowed us to deal with other opinions in very condescending ways. It is possible that once confronted with the limits to our knowledge we may realize that criticism of those who take alternative routes (for example in medicine) and raise fundamental questions about accepted wisdom (on such issues as for example vaccination) should be based upon more certainty than we presently have. The acceptance of our failures also opens up the possibility for moral reflection. If we were perfect we would not need moral guidance. It is precisely in the weaknesses of the human condition that we need to reflect on the moral choices we make.

Our current situation can be summed up –paraphrasing Merleau Ponty- in this metaphor: Together we are in a dense fog on our way to a goal that we do not know and that may not be there. On the way we don't know what we are doing and do what we do at random. With this ignorance it would suit us to humbly and patiently listen to each other and to the confused discourse of the world. This way we can walk together towards a world where people can interact in humane ways. We will have to walk towards that world in the company of a weird species.

Maybe my father was right but the Lord, or the blind watchmaker or genetic evolution decided otherwise and so the best we can do is to walk together (holding hands as soon as this is allowed again) with the other members of our weird species. It may be, as Richard Dawkins has argued, that  we are genetically disposed to selfish behaviour. However,  early in our evolutionary history we discovered that hunting  for game and especially big game had its own specific requirements. Coordination and cooperation were absolutely essential for the fitness of the group of hunters. Even more important than cooperative hunting was sharing the meat which was a source of good feelings and positive socializing. Efficient cooperation was good for all members of the group and therefore it paid off to encourage generosity.  Although there seems -today- to be more cultural support for ego-centered competition and greed than for sharing and altruism, the global youth rebellion- with iconic figures such as Greta Thunberg, may be an important sign of changing times. The good news is that we can learn altruistic behaviour: we have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth as Richard Dawkins wrote. The good news is that (as Charles Darwin proposed) we can rise above our origins and can extend positive feelings to all human beings.The good news is that this weird species is the only species on earth that can transcend its shortcomings, recognize its ignorance and defeat its arrogance! 

Cees J. Hamelink, studied moral philosophy and psychology of religion and is emeritus professor of global communication at the University of Amsterdam. He continues to teach as Athena professor of public health and human rights at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. In July 2020 his 19th monograph “Communication and Pace” will be published by Palgrave MacMillan. Professor Hamelink is also a jazz musician. Among his albums are “September”” and “Sharing Shearing”.


And You and Me Are Free To Be...

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If you're old enough to remember this 1974 project by Marlo Thomas and a cavalcade of celebrities, you may be as dismayed as I am today. I thought the political landscape was bad, divisive. And it is. But the COVID-19 state of the nation is even worse. Anti-vaxxers are now competing with anti-maskers for the role as the worst people on earth. My girls and I have been self-quarantined since March 12. They go in the car with me occasionally. They have not been out of the car. I have left about 6 times to race through the grocery store or CVS for mini food shopping trips. I even put on an American Flag mask every time I go into a store.  I hate it. I can't breathe well. It hampers my peripheral vision. It makes my ears itch. And I forget that I'm wearing lip gloss so it sticks to my mouth.

Dan Olmsted always tried to make us "Switzerland" when he was here guiding AofA. As a non-profit, we don't get involved in actual political opinions, that's a legal no-no and frankly, I'd rather talk about my sex life with strangers on MetroNorth than discuss politics with just about anyone today. I'm grateful we can't endorse or eviscerate candidates the way I see on social media. Speaking of which, social distancing is turning into social shunning. I see even more splintering in deeper, wider pockets of my social sphere.  Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. I have thousands of "friends" on Facebook. Rifts are chasms. COVID-19 is splitting communities, towns. Some of my town lists are a nightmare of shaming those who stand too close at the Stop & Shop and who dare ride a bike down a sidewalk past walkers, to those who want to stroll naked down Main Street defiantly waving masks like fig leaves and pasties in their hands. 

As a nation, I think we made great progress after 1974 and the spirit of the beautiful, funny, engaging songs on Free To Be You To Me. Take a listen to the entire album, it's terrific. But today, 46 years later, I see a country that is more divided than ever. As we sit alone in our homes. Not free at all.




There's a land that I see where the children are free
And I say it ain't far to this land from where we are
Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free
Come with me, take my hand, and we'll live

In a land where the river runs free
In a land through the green country
In a land to a shining sea
And you and me are free to be you and me

 

Continue reading "And You and Me Are Free To Be..." »


Professor Jonathan Rose: The Cure May Be Deadlier Than the Disease. Much Deadlier.

History news networkNote: Thank you to Jonathon Rose, frequent AofA contributor for allowing us to excerpt that ran on the George Washington University History News Network: Welcome to the History News Network (which is popularly known as HNN). Our mission is to help put current events into historical perspective. Given how public opinion is shaped today, whipsawed emotionally on talk shows this way and that in response to the egos of the guests, the desire for ratings by the hosts and the search for profits by media companies and sponsors, historians are especially needed now. They can help remind us of the superficiality of what-happens-today-is-all-that-counts journalism. Each week HNN features up to a dozen fresh op eds by prominent historians. Our archives, extending over the past decade, include thousands of well-researched pieces.

By Jonathan Rose

Jonathan Rose is William R. Kenan Professor of History at Drew University. His books include Readers’ Liberation, The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor, and The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes.

In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, we are being urged by governments and the media to “trust the experts” – that is, public health officials. It sounds straightforward and obvious, but historians are experts too. Of course our expertise is different, but what it tells us, and what we should communicate to the public, is that “trusting the experts” isn’t nearly as simple as it may seem.

By definition, experts know much more about a given subject than the rest of us: that’s their great strength. But experts can also suffer from tunnel vision: though they know their own specialties, they may fail to look left or right and see the larger contexts, consequences, or costs of their actions. (One antidote to tunnel vision is a liberal education that introduces students to a broad range of disciplinary perspectives, but liberal education is now very much in retreat, as humanities enrollments plummet and vocational classes are filled to capacity.) The single-minded mission of a public health expert is to stop the spread of disease, which is of course an important priority. But if he is not trained in history or economics, he may not realize how relevant these bodies of knowledge are to the general health of society, and he may not appreciate the full costs of drastic public health measures.

The current measures against coronavirus are bringing our economy to a frightening halt. Following the crash of 1929, it took more than three years for the US economy to hit rock bottom: now we are on track to reach that nadir in a matter of weeks. Never in history has an economic catastrophe descended so swiftly. “The speed and magnitude of the labor market’s decline is unprecedented,” warned Constance Hunter, head economist at the accounting firm KPMG. “We didn’t see this in the global financial crisis. We didn’t see this in the Great Depression. There’s been a total decimation of consumption,” which, she concluded, would soon destroy 20 million jobs. That prediction was published on April 2: by April 16, 22 million Americans had filed unemployment claims.

Dartmouth economist David Blanchflower, a policymaker for the Bank of England during the 2008 crash, now calculates that unemployment will swiftly rise to 21 percent in the UK and 32 percent in the US. (The respective numbers during the Great Depression were 15.4 and 24.9 percent.) The World Trade Organization predicts that global trade may shrink by almost a third, roughly equivalent to the contraction of 1929-1932 but far more rapid. Even relatively short lockdowns could have disastrous consequences. Austria now plans to reopen most shops by May 2, but by then 30 percent of them will be out of business, according to Barbara Kolm, vice president of the Austrian National Bank. We tell ourselves that Prohibition was an intolerable infringement of personal freedom, though we only gave up the right to a Merlot with dinner. We now acquiesce to vastly more oppressive restrictions that are causing far more economic damage.

Continue reading "Professor Jonathan Rose: The Cure May Be Deadlier Than the Disease. Much Deadlier." »


For Some Families Quarantine Means A Black and Blue Autism Awareness Month

Blue fluNote: This article describes perfectly some of the agony I've been reading on special needs lists, Facebook feeds and elsewhere. Many, many families with a loved one with autism and even/also Asperger's are facing dramatic violence at home. Others like the family in the article face exhaustion, stress and regression beyond the usual. This April, autism is like every other sickness, medical condition, trauma - told to sit the season one out while Coronivirus sucks up all the media and medical attention.  From the article: "In one household, a mother was forced to hire a removal truck to cart almost every piece of her furniture into storage after her fifteen-year-old daughter 'quite literally trashed the family home'." In another, a 16-year-old boy who is 'not coping at all' launched a mahogany dining chair straight at his parents.

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The forgotten faces of the coronavirus crisis: How COVID-19 has upended the worlds of exhausted parents caring for children with autism - leaving them to battle gut-wrenching regression and violent outbursts

Kathrine Peereboom is mother to three lively boys, Oliver, six, Joshua, five, and four-year-old Tyler, all of whom are profoundly autistic.

Together with husband Steve, Ms Peereboom raises her sons on the Gold Coast in Queensland while working full-time as the founder and CEO of Spectrum Support, a charity dedicated to people caring for loved ones with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

ASD is a range of developmental disabilities including autism and Asperger syndrome that cause significant social, communication and behavioural challenges.

People with ASD communicate, interact and learn differently to typically developing children, with cognitive abilities ranging from gifted to severely impaired. One in 70 Australians were diagnosed with the disorder in 2019.

Like all children with ASD, Ms Peereboom's boys crave routine and thrive in structured environments where they follow the same schedule every day.
Coronavirus upended the carefully crafted timetables that have taken parents like the Peerebooms years to perfect, after schools shut and carers were forced to suspend home visits as social distancing restrictions tightened across every state from March 23.

Ms Peereboom told Daily Mail Australia these sudden changes have caused enormous distress for her sons, who are still struggling to understand why they have not seen their teachers or caught the bus to school - their favourite activity - in well over a month.

She believes the pandemic has highlighted fundamental shortages in Australia's disability sector and a glaring lack of consideration for the autistic community that must be addressed when the crisis ends.

'I haven't heard the word autism come out of anybody's mouth [in relation to coronavirus]. Nothing from the government at all,' she said.

'It's been extremely difficult. The first week of home schooling was a complete and utter disaster. We've seen behaviours appear that are just totally outside their normal characters.'

Oliver, the eldest, has struggled most of all. The six-year-old simply cannot comprehend why - as he sees it - his parents have suddenly suspended his activities and confined him to the house.

Oliver wakes at 5am each morning and 'vocal stims' for roughly 14 hours a day until he goes to bed at 7.30pm.

Stimming is a form of repetitive behaviour like drumming fingers, rocking back and forth or making sounds from the mouth to relieve stress and discomfort. It is common in children and young adults classified on the autism spectrum disorder.

Fighting back tears, Ms Peereboom said she has seen Oliver's cognitive abilities unravel before her eyes since the country implemented stage two social distancing restrictions on March 23 in a bid to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

'It's been gut wrenching,' she said of his rapid regression....  Read more at DailyMail.uk.






When Doing Your Best Looks Like What Used to be Your Worst

Today was rough

I read this yesterday on Facebook. It's from the Crunchy Mama page @CrunchyMama0128 on Facebook. I think it applies to all of us right now, from cantankerous kids to apoplectic adults. Tantruming teens to ever-angry elderly. COVID quarantine is taking a toll on all of us. I even notice it here in our comments. We're all tired. We're out of routines. Out of sorts. Headed toward out of money. And all close to all out of patience.

We've gone from a nation of vax versus anti-vax to masks versus anti-masks.

I saw two people in my town all but schedule a duel in the parking lot of our local grocery story on social media over the weekend over masks.  "Yeah! You and what army!" might have been the last sentence in the spat.

I've growled at my daughters out of the blue over some nonsense or other. I'm tired of hearing Gianna listening to Peppa Pig. And Daddy Pig is NOT an expert in anything except loving his piggy family, so I guess that's pretty cool. Distance learning starts again today. Bella and I sit in front of the screen trying our best. Her team is awesome and while I've always respected their work, now I bow at their feet for guiding Bella 5 hours a day at school. Mia has pretty much turned into Mike TV from Willy Wonka.

Let us know how you're doing. For real. Use a fake screen name in your comment if you need anonymity. We won't squeal on you. Like the woman who called 911 on her next door neighbor for having an open flame in her yard - and it was one of those cool "fire looking" yard lanterns.  We're going to simmer over at some point. As someone said recently and I laughed out loud, "Do you smell boiling frog?"  The pot is getting hotter with each passing day. Night. Day. Night. The blur of days we face.

Be gentle to yourself. Be gentle to fellow readers. Stay well.

KIM


What Do You Miss

522F2DBF-C17F-4504-8A84-647F1BFECE53Yesterday morning, I brought out Gianna's lunchbox to package something I needed to keep cool to bring across town.  Gianna bebopped into the kitchen and stopped short. "My lunchbox!!" She looked happily surprised.

You know what she thought, right?

"I'm going back to my day program! My life!"

It broke my heart to tell her "No, G, no Kennedy Center today."

She launched into self-talk to calm herself. "It's OK, No Kennedy Center today. Maybe Kennedy Center will open in May."

Kennedy Center probably will not open in May. And G will not be carrying her lunch box anytime soon.

What do you miss? Whom do you miss? What about your loved one with autism? We have some rough situations going on in homes. We have families whose children are in residential school or group homes and unable to see family. There is a family where Mom, Dad and the teen with autism have COVID. Dad passed away. Alone. Mom is home sick.  And the teen with autism is in seclusion in a hospital with severe, severe behaviors for which he is being chemically restrained.  Alone.

Gianna uses Nick Jr and that calendar you see on the counter to calm herself and feel safe. Me?  I use the Siriusly Sinatra channel on Sirius Satellite radio. The old standards of Sinatra, Martin, Bennett, Lee, Horne, Satchmo and Darrin remind me of the safety of childhood and my parents listening to the record albums on the large, console stereo "hi-fi." This song came on and I thought it was appropriate in a way wholly unintended by the writer.

People who need people,
Are the luckiest people in the world
We're children, needing other children
And yet letting a grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside
Acting more like children than children

Listen, even if you aren't an old fogey like me.

Stay well. Stay safe.

Kim


British Government Plays With Fire Over COVID-19: Enter Prof Pollard

image from en.wikipedia.orgby John Stone

Next week Over Vaccine Group begin human testing for a COVID-19 vaccine with a with a view to marketing by the autumn. The speed of the process may be accelerated by the fact that Professor Pollard who heads the OVG is also advisor to the the UK's licensing body, the MHRA, and chair of the JCVI, the body which recommends vaccines to the British schedule. He very likely also sits on the British government’s mysterious Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.  Age of Autism has been higlighting the manifold and apparently contradictory roles of Prof Pollard for more than four years. In 2014 as recently appointed chair of the JCVI he recommended Bexsero meningitis B vaccine of which he was lead developer to the UK infant schedule, leading to a sudden leap in its commercial prospects. Even the package insert discloses serious dangers for Bexsero including a 3 in 1000 risk of Kawasaki Disease for an infant having three doses. 

While Pollard and likely the British government's plans rush forward many scientists have questioned either the wisdom of the COVID-19 vaccine or how fast one could be brought to the market. On the present time scale we will know nothing of the long term effects. Tests will be carried on healthy people 18-55 but rolled out for children, the sick and the elderly. It will be trialled against "a control injection" not genuine placebo, (in fact a Men ACWY vaccine). At present we do not even know if the disease itself results in long term immunity or any immunity against all the other mutations which are beginning to proliferate. Meanwhile, the OVG promotes discussion about whether vaccination should be made compulsory. Indeed, if it were it would be Prof Pollard's committee which would decide what every man, woman and child in the United Kingdom would receive, and would not be able to refuse.

This is Pollard’s most recent disclosure in the JCVI minutes:

Professor Pollard receives no personal payments from the manufacturers of vaccinesHe is Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and has current research funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institute for Health Research, the European Commission, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, InnovateUK, Meningitis Research Foundation, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. Hechairs the scientific advisory group on vaccines for the European Medicines Agency and is a memberof WHO’s SAGE.Other investigators in the Department conduct research funded by vaccine manufacturers and theDepartment has received unrestricted educational grant funding for a three-day course on paediatricinfectious disease from Gilead, and GSK in June 2019.

While it is inevitable that any scientist is going to be an enthusiast for is or her own research the long term indifference of the British government to traditional checks and balances is deeply concerning, and no less so at this difficult time. 


Recruitment begins for a clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine led by Andy Pollard

andrew pollard

Professor Andrew Pollard, Vice Master of St Cross College, is the Chief Investigator on a new study developing a possible vaccine for COVID-19. The 'ChAdOx1 nCoV-19' vaccine, as it is called, was developed by a team of University of Oxford researchers based on an adenovirus vaccine vector. A collaborative team from the Jenner Group and the Oxford Vaccine Group is now recruiting over 500 healthy volunteers for clinical trials of the vaccine. While applications for volunteers have closed, those interested in volunteering for future COVID-19 studies can register interest here.

Pollard is one of a team of academics, which includes himself, Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor Teresa Lambe, Dr Sandy Douglas and Professor Adrian Hill, who began the project on Friday 10 January 2020. Pollard said, ‘Starting the clinical trials is the first step in the efforts to find out whether the new vaccine being developed at Oxford University works and could safely play a central role in controlling the pandemic coronavirus that is sweeping the globe.’

You can read more about the study here.

Riley Lewis

7 April 2020


Did Fauci's NIAID Grant To Wuhan Lab Violate President Obama's Funding Halt

Bat cookies
Animal crackers in my soup...

Thank you to Robert Kennedy Jr for his tireless digging into the corruption across the government, including the global Coronavirus shut-down. From the CHD website: Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

U.S. Government’s $3.7 Million Grant to Wuhan Lab at Center of Coronavirus Outbreak

The Daily Mail reported that it has uncovered documents showing that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) gave $3.7 million to scientists at the Wuhan Lab at the center of coronavirus leak scrutiny. According to the British paper, “the federal grant funded experiments on bats from the caves where the virus is believed to have originated.”

Background: Following the 2002-2003 SARS coronavirus outbreak, NIH funded a collaboration by Chinese scientists, US military virologists from the bioweapons lab at Fort Detrick and National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists from NIAID to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks by studying the evolution of virulent strains from bats in human tissues. Those efforts included “gain of function” research which is “accelerated viral evolution” to create COVID Pandemic superbugs, enhanced bat borne COVID mutants more lethal and more transmissible than wild COVID.

Fauci’s studies alarmed scientists around the globe who complained, according to a December 2017 NY Times article, that “these researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic.” Dr. Marc Lipsitch of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Communicable Disease Center told the Times that Dr. Fauci’s NIAID experiments “have given us some modest scientific knowledge and done almost nothing to improve our preparedness for pandemic, and yet risked creating an accidental pandemic.”

In October 2014, following a series of federal laboratory mishaps that narrowly missed releasing these deadly engineered viruses, President Obama ordered the halt to all federal funding for Fauci’s dangerous experiments. NIAID-funded gain of function research continued after the moratorium in a Wuhan-based laboratory. Congress needs to launch an investigation of NIAID’s mischief in China. 

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.


Johnson and Johnson Creates TV Show with Lisa Ling to Follow The COVID-19 Vaccine "Birth Story"

1984Yesterday on Twitter I saw a sponsored Tweet from Johnson and Johnson promoting their TV series with Lisa Ling as they create the COVID-19 vaccine. That's right folks, vaccination is now Must Inject TV. Should be interesting to see the approach they take. This is a first, following a drug or vaccine as infotainment. This softens the seriousness and I assume is  meant to make Americans feel part of the process. Boy will they....  Grab a glass of metal filled infant Tylenol and powder yourself up with asbestos. It's time to recoup those $8 billion dollars in fines and what better way than with a globally mandated, liability free vaccine?

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Johnson & Johnson and Award-Winning Journalist Lisa Ling Explore What It Takes to End a Pandemic

Johnson & Johnson and Award-Winning Journalist Lisa Ling Explore What It Takes to End a Pandemic
A live weekly original video series will delve into the work underway to develop a vaccine to help bring the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic to an end.

Tune in live on Tuesdays at 12 PM EST on JNJ.com, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as producer, journalist and author Lisa Ling shares progress on work being done to create a potential vaccine for COVID-19.

The eight-episode original series will uncover the incredible scientific efforts underway around the world to develop a vaccine at unparalleled speeds. In each episode, we will discuss how it is being made possible—and what we might expect from an approved vaccine.

Each Tuesday Ling will be joined by expert Johnson & Johnson guests, like Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels, M.D., as well as leading scientists, public health experts and community health workers who are working tirelessly to help end the outbreak—from the lab to the front lines.

The 30-minute show will cover the latest news on the pandemic and the world’s progress on the road to a vaccine, as well as explore related topics affecting people globally and pay tribute to the unwavering commitment and dedication of healthcare workers who are leading the fight today and bringing hope and health to patients around the world.




Levi Quackenboss: Seven Silver Linings of the Pandemic

Heart cloudNote: It's been some time since we heard from Levi Quackenboss. This most recent post is sure to raise eyebrows and maybe even temperatures. Levi pulls no punches. While we're all coping with isolation or in many cases zero privacy at all, I'm reminded of the song, What the World Needs Now, Is Love Sweet Love.  Jackie Shannon is still performing - you can see her beautiful face on her website here. When I listen, my memory takes me to our kitchen in Attleboro, Massachusetts in 1966 and the smell of lemon Pledge, as sun streamed through the shutters. Safe times. When being in Mom's kitchen was the happiest room in the house.  Now, I'm Mom. And my office and kitchen and sitting area are all wrapped up in the end of our small ranch house. It's the only thing, that there's just, too little of....   Stay well.




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Seven Silver Linings of the Pandemic

A few weeks ago, as I was desperately looking for an upside to a national shutdown, a post about the Earth healing from pollution came my way. The world’s air was cleaner, the water was getting clearer. That was nice, I suppose. That was something to hold on to in such a crap situation. And then people finally started washing their hands for the first time in their lives, which was a miracle in itself, hopefully that habit will stay. Then homeschooling and homebirth came to the masses; both significant sub-movements of the health freedom and parental rights movement. As long as one has money to put food on the table, it’s lovely being home in the evening to go on a sunset walk and read books to your kids and tuck them into bed.

I try to hold onto these thoughts because this shutdown has been more divisive—in my personal life and in this community of ours— than the 2016 election. I have felt friendships die. I have read accusations that I don't think I'll ever get over. 

But it’s been three weeks now and I’m happy to report that my relentless optimism has bounced back three-fold on this wild ride, and I want to give you all my seven major pandemic wins to bounce around in your brains while you wander from your pantry to the sofa and back to the pantry again. 

  1. The whole world is waking up to the corruption at the W.H.O.

This massive pandemic win is only in the beginning stages of unfolding this week and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Today the President announced that the U.S. would be withholding funding from the W.H.O. because not only did their incompetence bungle the initial response to COVID-19, but they assisted China in covering it up while inexplicably praising China’s actions and alleged "transparency."

Senator Graham echoed the same defunding message this afternoon and assured Americans that there would be no W.H.O. funding in the next Appropriations Committee hearing. Last year the U.S. gave a total of $500M to the W.H.O., so this is no small potatoes. 

For those of you who don’t know, leading up to 2017, the Gates Foundation and China rallied hard for an Ethiopian warlord named Tedros Adhanom to become the W.H.O. Director despite his crimes against humanity, and despite the fact he is not a medical doctor. He defers completely to China, going so far as nominating a fellow Zimbabwean warlord as a Goodwill Ambassador to the W.H.O. at China’s request, because the guy allowed China to rape Zimbabwe of its natural resources with impunity. Here is an absolutely outstanding roundup of this madman’s resume.

Yesterday a few U.S. Senators began calling for the W.H.O. Director's resignation, and tonight there is a republican resolution for defunding the W.H.O. until he resigns. The brightest part of this event isn’t whether or not we are directly impacted by any decisions of the W.H.O. Director, but more so that that our fellow Americans have had their dreams shattered and realized that the W.H.O. is not an unbiased nearly-Godly public health entity doing what’s best for all of mankind.

  1. The N.I.H.’s Anthony Fauci has taken a hard tumble.

In just 14 days, Dr. Anthony Fauci went from having his face featured on New York cupcakes to trending #3 on Twitter with #FireFauci. It’s been a beautiful ball of fire. He’s been sidelined at press conferences, he’s been contradicted, he can’t keep his story straight, and he’s pivoted 180-degrees on whether America will return to normal soon because his buddy Bill Gates, captain of Team Apocalypse, told him to.

Continue reading "Levi Quackenboss: Seven Silver Linings of the Pandemic" »


COVID-19 and Vitamin D: Could We Be Missing Something Simple?

Alternative-sources-of-vitamin-dBy Katie Weisman and the CHD Team

[CHD note: With the United States largely shut down and the deaths from COVID-19 rising, we wanted to share the following information and questions with our readers.  Please share this widely on social media, particularly with health professionals on the front lines, government officials and anyone who might be interested in studying Vitamin D and coronaviruses.]

Briefly, the literature on Vitamin D’s role in immune health has exploded in the past 10 years, particularly in relation to viral infections and autoimmune disorders.  Approximately 80% of the literature is new in the past decade and much of it has been published overseas.  There are studies showing that Vitamin D sufficiency is important to reduce mortality in ventilated patients.  There is a large and growing literature on Vitamin D’s role in preventing viral infections and reducing their severity.

The populations at highest risk of severe cases of COVID-19 (the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) and the timing of the outbreak (end of winter in the Northern Hemisphere when population Vitamin D levels are typically lowest) are consistent with deficient Vitamin D status being a risk factor for COVID-19.  The relatively small percentage of infections in children may reflect children’s higher milk consumption since milk is fortified with Vitamins A and D.  Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a steroid hormone with hundreds of roles in our bodies.

A 2018 study based on NHANES data from 2001-2010 found that 28.9% of American adults were Vitamin D deficient (serum  25(OH)D<20ng/ml)  and an additional 41.4% of American adults were Vitamin D insufficient (serum 25(OH)D between 20ng/ml and 30ng/ml).  Americans who were black, less-educated, poor, obese, current smokers, physically inactive or infrequently consumed milk had higher prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency.  Those with intestinal disorders (Crohn’s or celiac) that reduce dietary uptake of Vitamin D and those with liver or kidney diseases that may reduce the body’s conversion of Vitamin D to its active form may also be at increased risk of deficiency regardless of age.  Vitamin D is a fat-soluble steroid hormone that regulates over 200 genes in the human body.  

Questions that need answers

Based on the breadth of the research on Vitamin D in acute respiratory disorders and the many viral infections in which Vitamin D status plays a role, the following questions need to be answered:

  • Are hospitalized COVID-19 patients Vitamin D deficient (serum 25(OH)D levels < 20ng/ml) or insufficient (levels between 20ng/ml and 30ng/ml)?
  • Are hospitalized COVID-19 patients more Vitamin D deficient than would be expected in matched controls?
  • Are hospitalized COVID-19 patients who need intensive care more Vitamin D deficient?
  • Does giving high-dose Vitamin D to COVID-19 patients reduce their need for mechanical ventilation and/or reduce the amount of time that they require mechanical ventilation?
  • Does giving high-dose Vitamin D to health-care workers reduce their risk of COVID-19?
  • If Vitamin D deficiency is found in severe COVID-19 patients, what recommendation should be made to the general public, particularly those who are quarantined and/or fighting infections at home?

While only time and studies will give us definitive answers to these questions, Vitamin D testing is widely available, supplements are inexpensive and in a COVID-19 critical care setting we should consider anything that might reduce the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.  Even a 10% reduction in one of these metrics would have a major impact.

The literature supports the importance of Vitamin D sufficiency

There are studies suggesting that sufficient Vitamin D reduces the risk of acute respiratory infections.  Also, the literature supports the importance of Vitamin D sufficiency in reducing morbidity and mortality in critical care settings.  This is a sample of the literature.

A 2017 article in the BMJ states the following: “25 eligible randomized controlled trials (total 11 321 participants, aged 0 to 95 years) were identified… Vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all participants (adjusted odds ratio 0.88, 95% confidence interval 0.81 to 0.96; P for heterogeneity <0.001).”  The protective effects were greatest in those who were deficient (serum levels <25 nmol/L = 10ng/ml) and in those who took Vitamin D regularly (on a daily or weekly basis) compared to large bolus doses. READ MORE AT CHD HERE

 


"Better Call Saul!" Social Security Commissioner on COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments

Money_tp
TP is precious indeed!

Note: Many of our adult children receive Supplemental Security Income, SSI. We've been wondering if they would be included in the COVID economic impact payments. Below is an announcement from Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul that is hopeful. It looks like The Treasury department may be issuing checks to SSI recipients and that the dollars will not count against the minimal amounts of money they are allowed to have.  My expenses have increased during quarantine. Utilities, certainly food, because we're in the house all day, every day. 
SSI doesn't support anyone fully, as we know. It nets out to $4.89 an hour, if working a 40 hour week. SNAP food payments for  a single head of household net out to $2.25 per meal for a month.  Not exactly a happy meal, is it? Usually it's parents who are subsidizing their adult children.  We pay for food, shelter, clothing, extras, everything beyond what SSI pays. In my case, and perhaps in many of our readers' cases, I subsidize all three of my daughters by myself.  I know single Dads who do the same. And there are widows in our community who have had to find a way forward without the breadwinner.  None of this is easy, even for two income families. Autism is expensive. Forever. My ex-husband has paid zero dollars to support Mia or Gianna since the divorce in 2017. They were over 18 at the time. He paid child support to Bella until her 18th birthday in 2018. He does not voluntarily provide any financial support. Not. A. Dime. (Snark alert - his lady friend is quite generous and buys them Christmas gifts of very nice clothing and even Ugg boots!!  And not to sound ungrateful, but to be honest, Uggs are difficult to season properly, even with tenderizer.) Commenter Aimee D asked a good question. What about families who have a deduction for the adult disabled children on their own taxes? There are still many questions and we might never know until a check arrives. Or doesn't. But if the rest of the nation gets help - whether you approve of the assistance or not - it seems a sin to exclude adults on SSI. Stay well friends.

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From Commissioner Saul:

“I want to provide an update to people who receive benefits from the Social Security Administration.

The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced on April 1 that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an economic impact payment. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 to generate $1,200 economic impact payments to Social Security beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019.

Treasury, not Social Security, will make automatic payments to Social Security beneficiaries. Beneficiaries will receive these payments by direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their Social Security benefits.

For updates from the IRS, visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

Note for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients:

We are working closely with Treasury to address outstanding questions about our SSI recipients in an attempt to make the issuance of economic impact payments as quick and efficient as possible. We realize people are concerned, and the IRS will provide additional information at www.irs.gov/coronavirus when available. Please note that we will not consider economic impact payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.

We will continue to update Social Security’s COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/ as further details become available.”

To get more Social Security news, follow the Press Office on Twitter @SSAPress.

Lisa Wallace, Public Affairs Specialist

Social Security Administration

Charlotte, NC


Autism Research Institute Offers COVID-19 Support for Families

COVID ARI
Note: Autism Research Institute, Dr. Bernie Rimland's organization, and the first to acknowledge autism as a medical condition worthy of treatment, is offering a series of webinars and other information during the COVID-19 shutdown. By all means, go to the site and look around, then share with your groups.

 Coping with the Covid-19 Pandemic Resources for Individuals and Families

We all need encouragement and support right now. For many, this quarantine is more of the same, but it's still a rough go since many of us are getting no breaks at all. I've been with my 3 daughters every day since March 12 without a break. We started "distance learning" with Bella's school today. That was two half hour ZOOM calls to attend with Bella, while Mia and Gianna clamored in the background. I looked like I was swatting invisible flies on the call, I'm sure with my arms flailing to try to move them out of camera range. Still, it was so wonderful to see Bella's teacher and speech therapist.

We don't have to be Supermen and women. We can't. Ask for help if you need it. Especially if you're a single parent, Mom or Dad. Tell friends that if they are going to the store, to please let you know. Early yesterday, a neighbor messaged me she was going to BJs Wholesale and did I need anything. I needed printer ink! I grabbed cash and walked it to her mailbox.

One of Mia's comforts is printing from YouTube Nursery Rhymes, Blues Clues, Sesame Street and other kids shows. I was going broke on ink. I now go into Word on my phone, snap a photo of the Kindle screen, and shrink it to about 1/4" in size, then I print it, cut it out and put the sheet back into the printer for the next screen shot. Mia then gets the tape, I put a square of tape onto the tiny picture, and she adds it to a sheet that is loaded with hundreds of quarter inch squares. She has about 8 sheets, both sides covered. Every so often, I slip one sheet out and hide it. If she doesn't notice, I throw it out.  That's Mia's comfort, and I let her have it. Gianna is tending to her calendar. I hear her wake up at about 4:30am every day, she goes downstairs to her whiteboard calendar and strikes off the day before.  The calendar gives her a sense of time, purpose and direction. Bella carries dollar store beads and rubs them and shakes them for her comfort. Me? I clean, cook, bake, write, try to engage readers on all of our social media and sometimes tick people off with my Tweets.

Enough about the little blue house in Connecticut, take a look at the ARI site - I think you'll find a lot of helpful info.  Stay well.  KIM

###

Disruptions to our personal and professional lives, schedule changes, and school closings present unique challenges individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. In these challenging times, we are sensitive to the needs of these individuals and their families. To help, we have compiled these resources aimed at reducing anxiety and restoring a sense of routine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Coping with the Covid-19 Pandemic Resources for Individuals and Families

Thursday, April 9

Emotional Support for Families during COVID-19

Lisa Latten, MsED,
Suzannah Joy Iadarola, Ph.D., &
Lisa Luxemberg, MSW
University of Rochester Medical Center
11 a.m. Eastern (U.S.)

Watch on the Website: Anxiety, Autism: Five Prime Suspects – with tips for coping at home during COVID-19

Christopher Lynch, Ph.D., is a child psychologist who specializes in stress and anxiety management for children and teens who are on the Autism Spectrum. He is currently the Director of the Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Department at Goryeb Children’s Hospital, where he developed the Aspirations life management program. In this webinar, Dr. Lynch explains the major underlying causes of anxiety, as seen in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and gives suggestions on how to tackle them. He also talks about how some of these evidence-based strategies can ease anxiety throughout COVID-19 disruptions.





President Trump Acknowledges Risks as COVID-19 Vax Quest Hurtles Forward

Risk-Management-ProgramNote: Thank to our Media Editor Anne Dachel for transcribing an important snip of President Trump's press conference yesterday.  The President has been a disappointment to many single issue voters who'd swung his way in the hopes he'd drain the swamp. That's not a political endorsement or disparagement. Just an observation, friends.

TRUMP VACCINES: 44 : 44min. C-SPAN April 5, 2020

Trump: “I want people to live, and I’m seeing people dying. I’ve seen people that are going to die without it. You know the expression, when that’s happening they should do it. What really do we have to lose?

"This medicine has been tested for many years for malaria and for lupus, so it’s been out there. So it’s a very strong, powerful medicine, but it doesn’t kill people. We have some very good results and some very good tests. You’ve seen the same tests that I have. …

"It’s incredible what it’s done for malaria, it’s incredible what it’s done for lupus, but it doesn’t kill people.

"That’s one of the things with a vaccine. When we have a vaccine we have to do tests because when you inject that vaccine, when they take whatever it is they have to take, we have to make sure it doesn’t have a horrible impact, destroy somebody. So we have to test it for a long period of time.

"This one, not so much because it’s been out there. "





Go to 44:44 for this clip.


A Plague on Both Your Houses

Richard Moskowitz MDBy Richard Moskowitz MD

Hunkered down at home like everyone else, I feel blessed and deeply grateful to be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of being alive and well among friends and loved ones, and to share these reflections on the present emergency, what led up to it, and where we may be headed with it.  They fall into two general categories: first, it's the real thing, not a hoax; and second, there are plans to make long-term use of it in ways that are both seriously unhealthy and unacceptably repressive.   

  1. It's the Real Thing.

In several respects, the illness we know as COVID-19 resembles and follows the pattern of the generic "flu syndrome" that the United States and much of the world experiences very year, notably in winter, consisting of various combinations of fever, fatigue, weakness, muscle aches, URI symptoms, and/or GI upset, and linked to an array of familiar viruses, including influenzas, coronaviruses, and others, as well as a definite risk of complicating bacterial and viral pneumonias, with tens of thousands of deaths in the US alone, according to the CDC. 

These are considered par for the course, and not thought to require any quarantine, extreme social distancing, hand-washing, or any other emergency public health measures, other than the annual flu shot, which is said to be the only thing we need to protect ourselves, despite the facts that

1) the flu vaccine doesn't work well, because influenza viruses are notoriously mutable, even within the same season; and because

2) it doesn't even cover the other viruses responsible for "the flu;" and

3) the new coronavirus is actually more virulent in flu vaccine recipients.

In any case, the illness known as COVID-19 is more dangerous than the seasonal flu in several important respects.  First, it is extremely contagious, more so even than the measles, which has an attack rate of nearly 100%, but can only spread by the sneezing and coughing of infected droplets through the air.  This new strain of coronavirus remains infective for hours or even days on various surfaces after being deposited by hand contact, and is commonly spread that way as well, onto the hands of those who touch it and then carry it up to their nose and mouth.

Second, to an equally unprecedented extent, this virus very often, indeed most often, produces no symptoms and no illness at all, or one with mild symptoms that never needs medical attention.  More so than for any other infectious disease, this means that measuring its true virulence and death rate, and accurately tracing the trajectory of the outbreak, depend on identifying and isolating these asymptomatic and minimally symptomatic cases, especially wherever significant clusters of the illness appear.

Containment has been accomplished quite effectively in countries with previous experience that were well-prepared with adequate testing materials, like South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, as well as in small communities, like one in northeastern Italy with a population of 3000, where in response to its first confirmed case an alert microbiologist tested and isolated the entire town, identified a large number of asymptomatic cases, and successfully brought the outbreak to a halt within a few weeks.  Even a huge and populous country like China, notwithstanding a delay of several weeks when the government minimized it and tried to cover it up, eventually succeeded in containing the outbreak by enforcing strict quarantine of large segments of the population.   In all of these cases, the outbreak lasted about 3 months, and has so far not reappeared since the restrictions were lifted.

The third distinctive feature of the outbreak, which is equally surprising in view of the large majority of cases with very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, has been the relatively small number of cases requiring hospitalization among children and healthy adults, and with deaths observed predominantly in the elderly and those weakened and immunocompromised with pre-existing chronic diseases, especially in nursing homes and extended-care facilities with residents in close contact. 

A related finding is the distinctive "ground-glass" appearance of the lungs in many fatal cases at autopsy, with bronchioles and alveoli completely occluded by thick, tenacious mucus, which may help explain their often remarkably sudden deaths, sometimes with no advanced warning, even when the clinical picture had actually been improving.  A fibrosing pneumonitis has also been identified as a chronic complication in some of those who survived.

Continue reading "A Plague on Both Your Houses " »


EdWeek Reports: Fierce Debate as DeVos Weighs Schools' Obligations to Students With Disabilities

Alone At SchoolBelow is an important article from Education Week on the state of Special Ed services during quarantine. Has your child gotten anything concrete from school? My Bella received materials and distance learning instructions this week. All incredibly well prepared. The day school shut down, she came home with a thick binder with activites and a clipped version of her IEP with instructions, social stories, and much more.  We do not know if the district will have to continue to pay tuition during this time - it's a private outplacement.  If they cease - I don't know what will happen to her. I'm home trying to work with her, and her two older sisters who are in a day program, and do my work for Age of Autism and all its platforms and running the household. Busy is an understatement. How are you  holding up??  KIM

###

Updated.

A provision in the massive coronavirus stimulus bill President Donald Trump signed into law last week has set off a fierce debate between schools, education groups, and advocates for students with disabilities: It gives U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos 30 days to tell Congress if she needs additional authority to waive parts of the nation's primary special education law.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act outlines an array of specific requirements for identifying, supporting, and equitably educating children with disabilities. As schools around the country have shuttered their buildings to slow the spread of the coronavirus, they've reported unforeseen challenges in meeting those mandates while quickly navigating the unprecedented and sometimes rocky transition to online learning.

But advocates for students with disabilities say waiving some of those requirements may let schools off the hook for meeting the needs of students with disabilities. And that might put students at risk of falling far behind their educational goals.

The deliberations put DeVos between two consituencies she's clashed with in the past. Since her divisive confirmation hearings, she's faced heavy criticism from civil rights advocacy groups and disabilities rights organizations that have questioned her commitment to civil rights enforcement.

On the other hand, she's faced distrust from organizations that represent public school administrators and educators as they question her advocacy of private school choice through publicly funded vouchers and tax-credit scholarships.

Now DeVos must consider the concerns of both sides as she weighs what additional waiver authority she should request from Congress.

In response to questions from Education Week, a spokesperson for the Education Department did not detail what waivers DeVos might request, or if she plans to request any at all.

"Congress requested the Department provide recommendations on any waivers it believes necessary to respond to the pandemic" spokesperson Angela Morabito said. "We are reviewing that request and will respond as appropriate. Secretary DeVos has been clear from the beginning that she is committed to ensuring all students, including students with disabilities, can continue their educations during this national emergency."

Continue reading "EdWeek Reports: Fierce Debate as DeVos Weighs Schools' Obligations to Students With Disabilities" »


The Conflicting Narratives of COVID-19

VaccineChoiceCanadaExcerpted from Vaccine Choice Canada.  The Conflicting Narratives of COVID-19

By Edda West

As more and more information pours in from around the world, what’s become crystal clear is that there are two conflicting narratives informing us about the ‘pandemic’. The dominant mainstream narrative wants us to believe that COVID-19 poses extreme health risks to individuals and all of society – that extreme measures are needed to stop the virus from proliferating – that the risk of death is very high and requires draconian measures to win this viral battle  and that we must all wait patiently in isolation until a vaccine is developed before the lock down is lifted.  Fear of COVID-19 apparently justifies the shut down of society and with it the economy we all depend on for survival.

Juxtaposed with this doomsday scenario is a growing alternate narrative that questions the validity of these draconian measures and challenges the dire straits projections of mainstream analysts.  A more nuanced and balanced perspective is found in international data sets that compare hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 with those occurring in previous annual surges of seasonal respiratory illnesses, of which coronavirus is one of many respiratory viruses that circulate every year.  The analyses of many skilled scientists reassures us that there is no evidence that warrants the lock down of society.  The focus should be on tracking down and isolating contacts of those who test positive and are ill while offering effective and safe treatments to those needing medical care.

Searching for answers, investigative journalist, Rosemary Frei, MSc, molecular biology, delves into the many unanswered questions a growing segment of the population is asking.  In this extensive report, she asks, Where’s the Evidence Supporting the Drastic Measures Against COVID-19?

Continue reading "The Conflicting Narratives of COVID-19" »


COVID vs MEASLES

73CD742A-CD19-4F9E-9590-E979D253D694My goodness, if we thought the measles scare was pitting neighbor against neighbor, based on vaccination status, we were amateurs. COVID is turning neighbors into informants.  I see this on social media, Facebook. We have several town lists - it's like Christmas meets the Fourth of July for Gladys Kravitz. AAAbner! There are children outside! Call the police!

These are the necessary prerequisites for civil war. Turn brother against brother and you can make men murder.  When the immediate chaos of COVID subsides into the next phase, will the public still fear measles or even flu as much? Or more? Will vaccination status be more important or less? Will exemptions be in the media and on legislative dockets. The flu vaccine is never reliable. What makes anyone think that a COVID vaccine would ever work especially when produced in a mass panic?


Autism Action Month Begins

83AB9885-6400-4DCB-A2C6-DE3047623649
Caption this photo of a young man with autism who climbs. And stands. His Mom gave me permission to run this photo. What purpose do you think climbing and balancing serves?  I have friends who children with ASD do this. On playsets. On the roof even. Perched. Guarding.


April Fools, Rules, Schools

Groundhogday
Aaaaand it's April 1, 2020.

Here we are, Autism Action month. Will anyone pay attention or care? The window dressing and blue lighting of years past seem quaint. COVID-19 has taken over our day to day life in an extreme way.   I've always thought the post below by Cathy Jameson set the right tone for each April, which is why I re-run it from time to time. It last ran in 2017. Image that. Three years have passed by like a flash. My Gianna was still in school, months away from her 21st birthday. Mia was a newcomer to day programming. Bella was a sweet sixteen year old.  I was still Kim Stagliano. Our community is hurting badly. And there's no realistic end in sight to this era of self-isolation, no school, limited work, routines built over time and with blood, sweat and tears shattered like fragile glass. Gianna keeps a calendar on our kitchen island. Each day has the name of someone with whom she'll be interacting. These are the people who help fill her day with meaningful moments. She just wrote out the 30 days of April.

MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM

Love to all our readers.  Kim

###

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it's 2017. "Y'all ready for this?" I want to do a reverse Punxatawny Phil and crawl INTO my den for the month. Kim

###

Aaaaand it's 2015.

Managing Editor's Note: We ran this post from Cathy Jameson last April -  2013.   I wish it were out of date.  366 days later and it still works...

By Cathy Jameson

Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.
--Shakespeare

It’s that time of year.  We’ve flipped a calendar page to a new month:  the month of April.  The month when autism groups, who make money off of our kids’ diagnoses, go into full-fledge fundraising mode.  From walking around in circles promoting awareness to slapping a puzzle piece on every-day household products, this type of fundraising saddens me.  While our children’s needs are used for another’s gain, these money-making tactics suck the life out of me. 

Continue reading "April Fools, Rules, Schools" »


Stimulus Package Likely to Leave Many Autism Families Behind

Sorry Charlie tunaThis is from a financial expert in the autism community. I had to chuckle at "consult your tax advisor.  I yelled at the Turbo Tax disc, but it didn't answer me. I tried to find a "bend over" graphic, but that search didn't go to well.....  KIM

###

"Update on Stimulus payments. According to the Wall Street Journal, the plan excludes anyone who isn't a child and who can be claimed as someone else's dependent. That includes:

"Some high-school students, college students and some disabled and elderly people, many of whom show up on the tax returns of the people they live with who provide most of their support."

Essentially, once a child turns 17, the parent will not get $500 for them. While not explicitly said, it appears that if your adult child is receiving SSI AND you claim them as a dependent on your tax return, they will not get the $1,200 nor will you get $500 for them (see the example of the 71 year old dependent). Consult your tax advisor to see your particular situation."

Below is the Wall Street Journal article he linked.

Who’s Left Out of Coronavirus Stimulus Payments? Many College Students, Adult Dependents Money will go to adults and children, but millions of others won’t get paid

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WASHINGTON—The government is preparing to send one-time payments to most Americans to help them cope with the coronavirus outbreak, but that is little comfort for many college students and adult dependents who are left out.

The economic-relief law signed by President Trump on Friday provides $1,200 to most adults and $500 for children under age 17. That money—$292 billion—will start flowing within weeks from the Internal Revenue Service into bank accounts. People with little or no income can qualify, which means money will flow to retired people and people who don’t normally file tax returns. The benefit phases out for individuals with income above $75,000 and married couples with income above $150,000.

However, the plan excludes anyone who isn’t a child and who can be claimed as someone else’s dependent. Who is in that group? Some high-school students, college students and some disabled and elderly people, many of whom show up on the tax returns of the people they live with who provide most of their support.


Why is "Karen" Seeing Autism Rates Drop?

Karen
Meet Karen. Her son does not have autism. Be like Karen.

Disease experts say the parents least likely to vaccinate their kids live in some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country. They’re well-educated, and have exceptional access to healthcare. And while some pockets of low-income communities of color are “under vaccinated” for religious or financial reasons, studies published in places like the American Journal of Public Health show that the parents opting out for “philosophical reasons” are mostly white and mostly wealthy.  Source: Money.com

And there's this "How the name “Karen” became an insult — and a meme. By Aja Romano@ajaromano Feb 5, 2020, 1:00pm EST: Karen: The anti-vaxxer soccer mom with speak-to-the-manager hair, explained

OOPS:

From SafeMinds:

A recent study showed autism rates dropping among wealthy whites while increasing in minority groups.  The Haves and the Have-nots have switched.

###

From Safeminds:

New Study Shows Rates Escalating Among Poor but Declining for Wealthy Whites in California

SafeMinds Interviews Lead Author to Gain Insight

A startling new study out of the University of Colorado Boulder exposed an unexpected trend. Autism rates are escalating for African American and Hispanic families as well as economically disadvantaged families, while the rates for wealthy Caucasian families have declined.

Fig. 1: California – Statewide Autism – By Ethnicity and Birth Year

California - Statewide Autism - By Ethnicity and Birth Year

Safeminds CA 2020Read the article at SafeMinds here.

Don't forget Senator Richard Pan, author of SB277 in Califorina, and his "white privilege" comment regarding vaccine exemptions.

White priv Pan


Another View on Influenza vs. COVID-19 Death Rates

World fluBy James Lyons-Weiler, PhD – 3/22/2020

IN MY LAST ARTICLE, I compared the number of symptomatic cases of influenza in the first 49 days of the 2019/2020 season to the number of symptomatic and estimated cases of COVID-19. While the number of current cases of COVID-19 – those presenting clinically and diagnosed based on symptoms – may be similar, the increase in estimated number of mild cases – including subclinical asymptomatic cases vastly outstrips what people have been referring to as “the number of flu cases”.

Readers have correctly pointed out that I’m comparing apples and oranges – because the number of flu cases is also not fully known. Many people w/influenza ALSO do not go to the doctor, and thus would be “mild” or asymptomatic.

My response is “100% correct” and that proves my point. Individuals comparing “flu cases” to COVID-19 to flu don’t know the asymptomatic rate for influenza. It is very difficult to estimate a case fatality rate during an outbreak – and it may vary from country to country depending on, obviously, the medical facilities’ ability to save lives during the critical phase of a disease, which for COVID-19 involves, I believe, an autoimmune attack leading to unresolvable pneumonia (symptomatic) but massive tissue damage to the lungs (lung immunopathology).

So let’s get into that. There’s a lot at stake in understanding the rate of spread of COVID-19 compared to influenza – as well as the case fatality rate.

The WHO publishes data on influenza cases in the US

Continue reading "Another View on Influenza vs. COVID-19 Death Rates" »


LA Times Goads Citizens During COVID-19

Bully vaccineNote: Look at how brave the editorial board at the LA Times was yesterday, posting this antagonistic op-ed without a single person taking actual credit. The Times’ editorial board determines the editorial positions of the organization. The editorial board opines on the important issues of the day – exhorting, explaining, deploring, mourning, applauding or championing, as the case may be. The board, which operates separately from the newsroom, proceeds on the presumption that serious, non-partisan, intellectually honest engagement with the world is a requirement of good citizenship.

Good citizenship? This board is full of plain old bullies. They never miss a chance to make fun of those of us who are vaccine injured or who have vaccine injured children. Think about that for a moment. The LA Times is actively mocking an large population of sick Americans. Aren't they clever? I can answer them for myself and many of our readers. "NO." A new virus for which their is no vaccine does NOT make me want to increase uptake of any previous vaccine on the market. Apples and oranges.  And by the way, I'd suggest that we credit Thomas Crapper, whose patents helped create modern indoor plumbing, with saving far more lives than any scientist.

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The person credited with saving the most lives ever is Edward Jenner, inventor of the smallpox vaccine. The disease had a much higher mortality rate than the novel coronavirus that is confining many people to their homes right now; about 80% of children and 60% of adults who contracted smallpox died of it. In the 20th century alone, it killed more than 300 million people before the vaccine eradicated it worldwide in 1979.

The polio vaccine is estimated to have saved 10 million people from paralysis just since 1988, and prevented 500,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. A global vaccination campaign for measles that began in 2000 prevented an estimated 23 million deaths by 2018, the organization reported.

But despite these extraordinary victories of science over disease, too many people have forgotten or are unaware of the havoc that certain diseases visited on the world before vaccines became available to fight them. This collective amnesia has allowed for the rise of the anti-vaccine movement, whose irresponsible adherents believe vaccines exist to line the pockets of Big Pharma. They ignore the fact that the smallpox vaccine was so overwhelmingly successful at eradicating the disease that it no longer is routinely given. Then there are the wild claims that autism is linked to vaccines, based on a fraudulent study that was long ago debunked.

Are anti-vaxxers ready to start believing in vaccines again? READ MORE HERE.


Whatever happened to Paul Offit’s 10,000 vaccines?

image from www.rescuepost.comThese are Paul Offit’s comments posted on his Facebook page earlier this week: an acknowledgment that vaccines are dangerous. Whatever happened to ten thousand vaccines are safe for an infant?

Which will do more harm, the virus or the fear of the virus?

Why are we so scared of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19? People are usually scared of viruses for three reasons:
One: the virus causes gruesome, disfiguring, permanent symptoms. Smallpox, for example, not only caused life-long facial scarring, it also was a frequent cause of blindness in those who survived.
Two: the virus has a predilection for children. Polio paralyzed tens of thousands of young children every year until a vaccine finally eliminated the disease from the United States.
Three: the virus is likely to kill you. Rabies kills virtually 100 percent of people who develop symptoms after a bite from a rabid animal.
The novel coronavirus currently circulating in the United States—the one that has caused us to shut down schools, restaurants, sporting events, and virtually every aspect of our culture—falls into none of these categories. Nonetheless, people are scared. Really scared. The reason is they think that if they catch COVID-19, they have a high likelihood of dying from the disease. Most public health officials have done little to lessen this fear, arguing that people are ten times more likely to die from this novel coronavirus than from influenza. Unfortunately, these officials haven’t made clear the difference between relative risk and absolute risk. Although people are more likely to die from COVID-19 than from influenza, they are far more likely to catch influenza. Therefore, they are far more likely to die from influenza.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of March 7, 2020, 36 million to 51 million people have suffered from influenza, 370,000 to 670,000 have been hospitalized, and 22,000 to 55,000 have died from the disease. To put these numbers in perspective, let’s look at countries that have dealt with COVID-19.

China, where COVID-19 originated, has reported roughly 3,000 deaths. The population of China is about 1.4 billion, three times greater than ours. If we suffer an equivalent proportion of deaths, then 1,000 Americans will die from COVID-19, one-twentieth to one-fiftieth of the number who have died from influenza.
Italy has reported roughly 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 and, as a result, has shut down the country; only grocery stores and pharmacies remain open. Italy has a population of 60 million, about one-fifth of the U.S. population. If we suffer an equivalent proportion of deaths, then 10,000 Americans will die of COVID-19, about one-half to one-fifth of the number of deaths from influenza.
Not everyone, however, is at equal risk of dying. The virus primarily kills the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases, which explains the situation in Italy, where 25 percent of its population is more than 65 years of age; in the U.S. it’s 16 percent. Wouldn’t it make more sense, then, to ask people who are elderly and infirm to stay away from crowds, thus lessening their chances of contracting the disease. Also, to ask people who are sick with respiratory symptoms to stay home. Focus on common sense things like washing hands several times a day and standing clear of people who are coughing or sneezing. The federal government can also help by making it easier for businesses to allow people who are ill to stay home.
In 2009-2010, the world suffered an influenza pandemic caused by swine flu; about 203,000 people were killed by the virus; 12,000 in the United States. The novel coronavirus has killed about 6,000 people to date; 62 in the United States. It doesn’t make sense to shut down our entire way of life to try and stop a virus that is unlikely to harm healthy people and will be far less devastating than the influenza epidemics that we experience every winter and the influenza pandemic we experienced ten years ago. Let’s take common sense measures to stop the spread. The precautionary principle dictates caution to prevent harm. But the precautionary principle also dictates that you don’t cause harm in the name of preventing harm. It will take years to recover from the draconian measures that we are currently instituting.

 


Jon Rappoport on Bologna Italy and Coronavirus

Italy coronavirusNote: Excerpted from Jon Rappoport's blog from March 17, 2020.  ...So, for those people straining to find a reason for the “devastation” overtaking Italy—it’s karma for ancient Rome trying to conquer half the known world; it’s the ghost of Martin Luther obtaining revenge against the Vatican; it’s a bioweapon with the power to cut down millions of people overnight; it’s a virus that came in with a small meteor and crashed outside Milan; it’s Chinese revenge against Marco Polo for stealing the concept of noodles—

Corona Bologna Italy: The Truth begins to leak out

The government of Italy, as everyone knows, has locked down the whole country of 60 million people. So how many Italians have died from COV? Even by the standards of the useless and misleading diagnostic tests?

Ready?

As far as the Italian Higher Institute of Health knows, at this point:

Maybe two.

Maybe.

Try to wrap your mind around that.

Good luck.

Seems the president of the Italian Higher Institute has some smarts. He understands that people who already have other serious health conditions, which have nothing to do with COV, can and do die from those other conditions, regardless of the fact that they’ve tested positive (on useless tests) for COV. He gets it. I predict a great future for him. If he keeps shooting his mouth off, he might find himself working as a weed puller in a forest. Or he might suddenly be diagnosed with the virus and find himself in isolation.

Grit your teeth and plow through this piece from Rome, 13 March 2020, Agenzia Nova: “Coronavirus: ISS [Italian National Institute of Health]: in Italy there are only two deaths ascertained so far due to Covid-19” (Italian, English)

“There may be only two people who died from coronavirus in Italy, who did not present other pathologies. This is what emerges from the medical records examined so far by the Higher Institute of Health, according to what was reported by the President of the Institute [Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), Italian National Institute of Health], Silvio Brusaferro, during the press conference held today at the Civil Protection in Rome. ‘Positive deceased patients have an average of over 80 years – 80.3 to be exact…The majority of these people are carriers of chronic diseases. Only two people were not presently carriers of [other non-COV] diseases’, but even in these two cases, the examination of the files is not concluded and therefore, causes of death different from Covid-19 could emerge. The president of the ISS has specified that ‘little more than a hundred medical records’ have so far come from hospitals throughout Italy.”

“…At present, in fact, the authorities are unable to distinguish those who died from the virus, from those who, on the other hand, are communicated daily to the public, but who were mostly carriers of other serious diseases and who, therefore, would not have died from Covid-19. In response to a question from ‘Agenzia Nova’, in fact, Brusaferro was unable to indicate the exact number of coronavirus deaths. However, the professor clarified that, according to the data analyzed, the vast majority of the victims ‘had serious [non-COV] pathologies and in some cases the onset of an infection of the respiratory tract can lead more easily to death.’ To clarify this point, and provide real data, ‘as we acquire the folders we will go further. However, the populations most at risk are fragile, carriers of multiple diseases’.”

Translation into non-medical language: the people dying in Italy have other very serious traditional diseases that have nothing to do with COV, and it’s obvious they could have died, and probably did die, from those other diseases. Nevertheless, we’re locking down the whole country.

So, for those people straining to find a reason for the “devastation” overtaking Italy—it’s karma for ancient Rome trying to conquer half the known world; it’s the ghost of Martin Luther obtaining revenge against the Vatican; it’s a bioweapon with the power to cut down millions of people overnight; it’s a virus that came in with a small meteor and crashed outside Milan; it’s Chinese revenge against Marco Polo for stealing the concept of noodles—

Take a break, relax, have a plate of pasta, turn on the TV, and because all the stadiums are empty, watch a rerun of a soccer match from 1979.   READ MORE: Corona Bologna Italy: The Truth begins to leak out


AP Exclusive: Coronavirus vaccine test opens with 1st doses

Jennifer Haller
AP Ted S. Warren

Meet Jennifer Haller and Neal Browning, first test participants of a COVID-19 vaccine.  Are they Sally Ride and John Glenn or Krista McAuliffe and Gus Grissom?

My overwhelming feeling in these COVID19 days is sadness. Not a lot of worry. There’s caution, of course. My 3 daughters are home, and it’s a struggle to explain the end of their routines. I'm a tidy housekeeper as a rule, though I'm cleaning more frequently.  I don’t feel any  panic. Just sadness at this situation. We are being told to act as if we have been attacked from coast to coast - as if Pearl Harbor and Bay of Pigs and Oklahoma City and the Twin Towers - were all rolled up into a speck we can not see with the human eye.  And yet we are not able to utter the name of the nation that was perhaps the birthplace of this virus. There's no mention of the Harvard Chemistry Chair who was taken into custody by the FBI for taking $50,000 a MONTH in secret deal from China - and the Wuhan Institute of Technology. I know I'm just a tinfoil hat wearing AofA non expert dummy - but that seems  at least worth a chat in this discussion of this maniacal virus from "nowhere."

Charles Lieber, the chair of Harvard University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, has been arrested and criminally charged with making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the U.S. Defense Department about his ties to a Chinese government program to recruit foreign scientists and researchers.

The Justice Department says Lieber, 60, lied about his contact with the Chinese program known as the Thousand Talents Plan, which the U.S. has previously flagged as a serious intelligence concern. He also is accused of lying about about a lucrative contract he signed with China's Wuhan University of Technology.  ...he was the principal investigator on more than $10 million in grants funded by the National Institutes of Health.  From NPR Acclaimed Harvard Scientist Is Arrested, Accused Of Lying About Ties To China.

Half the nation was clamoring for open borders a few weeks ago. Half the nation was arguing for a wall.  Half the nation would likely cheer if the President contracted COVID19 and died - I've read enough posts on social media to say that with a good degree of confidence.  Half the nation thinks this is an effort to topple the President.  We have been a nation of haves and have nots for a long time, but now we are nation of halfs and halfs.   In Italy, citizens are throwing open their doors and windows and singing together from house to house, in unity.  Is that even possible in the United States any longer? One nation, indivisible seems like a memory. Who benefits by this division?

I looked up Ms. Haller on Facebook.  She's a member of the COVID19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network whose description is, "Collective well-being thought class solidarity, disability justice, anti-racism, abolition, Neoliberal individualistic public health hurts us all."  I have no idea what any of that means.  I see a profile pic with a pretty youngster who might be a daughter in a photo with Senator Elizabeth Warren, probably during a political stop last summer. I’d steer clear of any vaccine trial personally. But I’m pro-choice.  And that means I am pro-choice. Still I wish those who decide to participate safe harbor. Haller is a Mom. I am a Mom.  I just don’t understand the storm.

Kim

SEATTLE (AP) —

AP Exclusive: Coronavirus vaccine test opens with 1st doses

U.S. researchers gave the first shots in a first test of an experimental coronavirus vaccine Monday, leading off a worldwide hunt for protection even as the pandemic surges.

With careful jabs in the arms of four healthy volunteers, scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle began an anxiously awaited first-stage study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in record time after the new virus exploded out of China and fanned out across the globe.

Continue reading "AP Exclusive: Coronavirus vaccine test opens with 1st doses " »


Meet The PREP "Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness" Act

Remove-resident-viruses-800X800By Wayne Rohde

What is this “PREP Act” that has entered our vocabulary this past week?

Several terms that were foreign to most just a couple of months ago are now becoming mainstream. Social Distancing. Congregate Settings. Sustained Community Transmission. Prep Act. And even proper personal hygiene for some.

I have been discussing the need for many to read and understand the complexities and pitfalls of this federal law for a few years. The PREP Act[i] or “Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act” was the product of President Bush 43 and his Health and Human Services (HHS) agency.

The PREP Act was passed in December of 2005. Most of the emphasis for this act was born upon the federal government’s response to the Anthrax scare immediately after 9/11.

The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) added new legal authorities to the Public Health Service (PHS) Act to provide liability immunity related to the manufacture, testing, development, distribution, administration and use of medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents of terrorism, epidemics, and pandemics.   It also added authority to establish a program to compensate eligible individuals who suffer injuries from administration or use of products covered by the PREP Act’s immunity provisions. [ii]

The first reading of this legislation would lend the reader to think that the act was reasonable. Think again. Promoting the Act as being similar to the NVICP, compensating persons for injuries and at the same time, sneaking freedom and liberty restrictions into our lives.

The Act would continue to be amended by legislation and by Executive Orders by Bush 43 and Obama.

The Act did create a CounterMeasures Compensation Fund and mechanism to award damages to those who suffered injury or death by any of the declared countermeasures by the Secretary of HHS.

What is not mentioned in this summary page provided by HHS is the scary and very concerning legal powerful  granted to the Secretary of HHS and further to the local and state health departments?

Hidden in the Act is subsection (7) under declarations by the Secretary of HHS.

(7) JUDICIAL REVIEW.-No court of the United States, or of any State, shall have subject matter jurisdiction to review, whether by mandamus or otherwise, any action by the Secretary under this subsection.[iii]

Now, how to interpret this? In the Declarations subsection, whereas the Secretary of HHS has sole power to decide which counter measure or measures used to combat an epidemic or pandemic, the manufacturer of the said countermeasure will receive immunity from liability resulting in injury or death. And there is NO Court system in the land that can override this provision.

There have been seven (7) declarations of Countermeasures covered by the PREP Act. Countermeasures can include vaccines, drugs, or medical devices to be used against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents of terrorism, epidemics, and pandemics.[iv]

The covered Countermeasures include anthrax, Ebola, Zika, and now, the Secretary of HHS has begun the process of adding Coronavirus vaccines as a covered measure. This process started in early February 2020. With a period of soliciting public comment, and waiting for the development of a vaccine, the declaration if approved will be ready to add the vaccine sometime in early 2021 or later.

Isolation and Quarantine Provisions.

The Act clarifies that the Secretary of HHS and her designees have the authority to declare a national or regional public health emergency. With declaration comes, the authority to quarantine person(s) who are deemed infected or suspected of being affected. Also those who refuse any mandatory countermeasure may also be subject to isolation or home quarantine. This provision allows state and local health authorities to isolate and quarantine suspected persons.

Continue reading "Meet The PREP "Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness" Act" »


Seattle Coronavirus Vaccine Skipped Critical Animal Testing

Haste makes wasteNote: Haste makes waste. Measure twice, cut once. A stitch in time, saves nine. But does a vax in time save any... when not tested according to standards?  I realize most AofAers would not participate in this or any vaccine trial.  But many will rush to the tests.  Here is the call to participants from Kaiser. There is payment of up to $1100 for participation. Here is the survey.

...ethicists aren’t so sure that the eventual benefits of rushing this unproven vaccine into clinical trials will outweigh the risks. “Outbreaks and national emergencies often create pressure to suspend rights, standards and/or normal rules of ethical conduct. Often our decision to do so seems unwise in retrospect,” wrote Jonathan Kimmelman, director of McGill University’s biomedical ethics unit, in an email to STAT. Researchers rush to test coronavirus vaccine in people without knowing how well it works in animals

From LiveScience.com. 

Researchers fast-track coronavirus vaccine by skipping key animal testing first

A clinical trial for an experimental coronavirus vaccine has begun recruiting participants in Seattle, but researchers did not first show that the vaccine triggered an immune response in animals, as is normally required. 

Now, biomedical ethicists are calling the shortcut into question, according to Stat News.

"Outbreaks and national emergencies often create pressure to suspend rights, standards and/or normal rules of ethical conduct," Jonathan Kimmelman, director of McGill University’s biomedical ethics unit, wrote in an email to Stat News. "Often our decision to do so seems unwise in retrospect."

Typically, vaccine development can take 15 to 20 years, start to finish, Mark Feinberg, president and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, told Stat News. The lengthy process requires that scientists first give the vaccine to animals to determine whether it's safe and effective at preventing the disease in question. Only after passing through iterative tests in animal models, and being adjusted along the way, can a formulation be tested in human trials.

"When you hear predictions about it taking at best a year or a year and a half to have a vaccine available … there’s no way to come close to those timelines unless we take new approaches," Feinberg said.  

From Seattle Pi on March 10:

COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin soon, volunteers being recruited in Seattle

The vaccine has never before been administered to humans, but it is similar to vaccines developed previously for the Zika virus.

"When injected into the body, the mRNA causes cells to make that protein, which can trigger an immune response. If the person is later infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, their prior immune response may help them react to the infection with an increased immune response to fight the invading virus. The vaccine mRNA breaks down naturally and does not remain in the body," Kasier Permanente said in its post.

Eligible volunteers include healthy adults ages 18 to 55. People with certain medical conditions affecting the immune system will not be eligible. Volunteers who take part in the study are expected to go to 11 in-person study visits -- one initial screening, two vaccination visits and eight follow-ups -- and participate in four phone calls over the course of 14 months.

The study will include three groups -- each made up of 15 people -- who will get varying doses of the vaccine, all 28 days apart. The first group will receive 25 microgram doses, the second 100 microgram and the third 250 microgram.

Participants will receive $100 for each visit they attend, with a total of $1,100 for attending all of the visits. Those interested are asked to fill out a survey online.

Please read James Lyons-Weiler's new article:-

Moderna and US NIAID Poised to Endanger the World Population?


Dr. Richard Moskowitz: Advisory on the Coronavirus

Richard Moskowitz MDNote: Thank you to Dr. Moskowitz, a practicing family physician outside of Boston, Massachusetts for this post. Yesterday, my daughter's school shut down until further notice. So did our town district and several surrounding towns here in Fairfield County, Connecticut. I'm thinking of keeping my older daughters out of their day program for now. Trader Joe's was a madhouse - with carts running from the cash registers to the back of the store. Stop & Shop has been utterly raided. We all want to remain healthy and avoid contracting COVID-19. Social media is chock full of remedies and ideas and suggestions - some seem logical, others, not as much. Dr. Moskowitz has decades of experience as a practicing physician. I value and trust his judgement and gentle suggestions. Stay healthy and well, friends. KIM

By Richard Moskowitz, M. D.

When I first heard of the outbreak, my attention was fixed on the coincidence that it began in Wuhan, near the Chinese bioweapons lab, and the obvious speculation that the virus was manmade, which still hasn't been ruled out. But the Trump Administration's slow, reluctant, and utterly incompetent response to it has created an honest-to-God public health emergency that has quite rightly upstaged the absorbing mystery of where and how it originated.

In particular, the systematic defunding of our public health infrastructure and the inexcusable lack of testing materials that it helped bring about, when combined with the large proportion of people carrying the virus and thus contagious with very mild illness or no symptoms at all, have prevented any accurate measure of the number of people infected, and thus also of the actual death rate, which can be expected to decline once these mild and asymptomatic cases are identified and included in the tally. This radical uncertainty has already eliminated the possibility of containing the outbreak; the best we can do now is to mitigate its spread by slowing it down, lest it overwhelm our clinics and hospitals and available personnel to staff them.  What seems virtually certain is that there will be a lot more cases once we begin testing on a wider scale.

The CDC has already publicized the main things we can and should do to protect both ourselves and everybody else, namely, 1) avoiding large crowds, postponing unnecessary travel, and keeping a safe distance from those you're in contact with; 2) washing hands often with soap and water, and wiping off objects and surfaces in common use that you've touched or grasped; 3) remembering not to touch nose, mouth, and face with your hands except when necessary; 4) limiting contact with the elderly and those weakened by chronic diseases as much as possible; and 5) getting tested if you fall sick, covering nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and staying home if you test positive: all good, sensible precautions.

In addition, many physicians are recommending high doses of Vitamin C, say 3000 mg. daily for prophylaxis, and even more for the actual illness, with coughing and shortness of breath, at which point Dr. Brownstein suggests adding Vitamins A, D3, and iodine as well.

Homeopaths have had and continue to have great success treating epidemic diseases like cholera, yellow fever, measles, influenza, and the like, using a simple method that deserves much wider recognition and use.  Once about 20 or 25 cases have been investigated, one remedy will be found to fit around 75% of the cases, and is therefore designated as the basic remedy or genus epidemicus of the outbreak.  It can then be given out prophylactically to people who are not yet sick, whether in the vicinity or recently exposed, and also to early cases.  More advanced illness may call for other remedies. 

In the US, too few cases have been seen and treated homeopathically to identify the main remedy; but colleagues in Hong Kong and Taiwan have had the most success with Gelsemium, followed by Bryonia and Eupatorium perfoliatum in advanced cases with their typical indications.  For prophylaxis, they therefore recommend

Gelsemium 30C once a week in towns, rural areas, and neighborhoods far from those most seriously affected; and in neighborhoods or crowded with many cases in the vicinity, Gelsemium 30C daily for seven days, and twice a week thereafter, until the outbreak is over.

Sounds good to me: definitely worth a try!


Physicians For Informed Consent Update On Enforcement of Medical Exemption Law

Hands tied breakLegal Update re Enforcement of Medical Exemption Law

PIC Supporters,

I am writing to provide you an update on our medical license defense for PIC Physician Ken Stoller, MD, who has been wrongly accused by the Medical Board of California of writing 10 medical exemptions without an adequate medical basis. The truth is that Dr. Stoller performed competently and professionally according to his discretion as an integrative physician. Indeed, the whole case depends on whether the Medical Board even recognizes integrative medicine in the field of vaccine medical exemptions, or whether there is only one standard of care (i.e., the CDC standard).

Dr. Stoller’s case will go to trial March 16, 2020, and it is particularly significant for its precedential value – this will be the first trial before the California Medical Board on the medical exemption question, namely, whether a doctor can rely on the Alternative Medicine defense for writing exemptions under SB277 that did not follow CDC guidelines.

First, click here to read my witness statement in support of Dr. Stoller as an integrative physician following the integrative standard of care.

Second, PIC is continuing to work with and support Dr. Stoller’s excellent defense lawyer Rick Jaffe. Rick is very experienced. With skill and credibility, Rick is asserting the Alternative Medicine defense for Dr. Stoller, which is supported by additional witness statements from PIC Physicians Dr. Sutton and Dr. Neuenschwander.

Third, I will provide you another newsletter update as we have more information. We expect to receive a final decision from the administrative law judge by the end of March.

Lastly, you can please show your support for Dr. Stoller by making a donation to his legal defense fund, and also sharing this link with your patients who are similarly concerned: https://gogetfunding.com/dr-ken-stoller-and-his-medically-vaccine-exempt-patients-need-your-help-again/

Thank you,

Greg Glaser
PIC General Counsel

PIC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run entirely on the donated time and energy of volunteers—people like you. Your contributions are tax-deductible as allowable by law. Please donate today!


Worried About Sickness? Here's a Bottle Opener for the Bottom of Your Sandal!

Reef flip flip
Look! It's a Bottle Opener! (BARF)

by Kim Rossi

This weekend, a friend on Facebook wrote about a sweatshirt that said MILWAUKEE and had a built in bottle opener at the waistband. Clever, yes? Think of the dental work saved by not having to crack a cuspid to open a Hasenpheffer Incorporated lager with your mouth.

Her story reminded me of a pair of Reef brand flip flops I bought last Fall. I purchased them on Amazon, and when they arrived, I was disgusted to see thaShoe phonet there was a bottle opener on the BOTTOM OF THE SANDAL. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to open a beer with the bottom of a shoe? Maxwill Not-so-Smart? 

The world is in a scandalous upheaval of fear and worry and anxiety and panic and changing behavior and destroying business and stopping travel and quarantining entire regions and hoarding toilet  paper and making homemade hand sanitizer to protect against a virus.  

The same people open beer with a dog poop, cigarette stub, chewing gum, rat hair, puddle water covered sandal.

States from Maine to California are demonizing healthy, "under"vaccinated children and putting them on permanent "quarantine" from the rest of their peers by the removal of religious exemptions and the strangling of the medical exemption and doctors' ability to write them.  Fear is out of proportion to the danger. That's not to say Corona virus is benign. If an elderly loved one dies from it, then it was a deadly epidemic for your family. 

The world has flipped.

And flopped.