Infowars – The Netherlands has decided not to mandate the wearing of face masks in public, citing the fact that there is no scientific evidence to suggest they are effective against the spread of the coronavirus.
“From a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks, the Cabinet has decided that there will be no national obligation for wearing non-medical masks” announced Netherlands Minister for Medical Care Tamara van Ark.
The country’s National Institute for Health (RIVM) noted that it is aware of studies from other countries that purport to show masks slow the spread of disease, but will not be heeding them.
Indeed, RIVM chief Jaap van Dissel warned that wearing masks incorrectly, in addition to the effect masks have of eroding the perceived need for social distancing, could increase the risk of transmission because of a “false sense of security”.
“So we think that if you’re going to use masks (in a public setting) … then you must give good training for it,” he said.
Within the past week in the Netherlands, around 1400 new COVID-19 cases were reported, which equates to 342 more than the week before.
In Sweden, meanwhile, senior epidemiologist Anders Tegnell declared that there is “no point” in wearing masks in public.
“We see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” Tegnell said.
Sweden, which has not even instituted a lock down at any time, appears to be seeing a downward trend in cases.
At the beginning of this week, Sweden announced just 398 new cases, down from 767 the week before and 2,530 one month ago.
“The curves go down, and the curves over the seriously ill begin to be very close to zero. As a whole, it is very positive,” Tegnell asserted.
RT – The United States will establish a permanent military presence in Poland, deploying around 1,000 additional US troops there, the defense ministry in Warsaw said on Friday.
After meeting Polish President Andrzej Duda on June 12 last year, US President Donald Trump agreed to send 1,000 more troops to his NATO ally.
The two sides then began negotiations on the details of where the troops would be stationed and how much Poland would pay. “We did it. We have finished the negotiations on military cooperation,” Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said in a statement on Friday.
Poland currently hosts a rotating contingent of over 4,000 US troops. It was unclear from the statement where the additional 1,000 troops would come from, and whether some would be reassigned from Germany, Reuters reports.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
ZeroHedge – Just days after the establishment – via its Big Tech partners and liberal media propagandists – entirely disappeared a viral video of a dozen doctors discussing their real-life experiences of treating COVID-19 (and in some cases using the “extremely dangerous” medicine – if mainstream media is to be believed – hydroxchloroquine) and getting children back to school; the founder of “America’s Frontline Doctors” – Dr. Simone Gold – has been fired from her job as an Emergency Medicine Specialist in Los Angeles, CA.
As we previously noted, in the video, Dr. Gold said:
“We’re here because we feel as though the American people have not heard from all the expertise that’s out there all across our country.”
She is also the head organizer of an open letter signed by more than 600 doctors calling on President Trump to end lockdown. The letter described widespread state orders keeping businesses closed and children home from school as a “mass casualty incident” with “exponentially growing health consequences.”
The video was entirely disappeared from the web (except if you know where to look) within hours, and two days ago, Dr. Gold stated in a recent tweet that:
“Our website host @Squarespace has just completely and arbitrarily shut down our website, claiming a violation of their terms of service.”
Gold had defended her views – which reflected her real-life experience as a board-certified doctor specializing in emergency medicine, not a journalist playing one on TV! – saying in a tweet that “there are always opposing views in medicine,” but that opposition should not be grounds for censorship.
“Treatment options for COVID-19 should be debated, and spoken about among our colleagues in the medical field,” she wrote.
“They should never, however, be censored and silenced.”
But now, Dr. Gold has lost her job after her employer found out about the viral video where she dared to discuss hydroxychloroquine.
Until what seems like 5 minutes ago I was considered a ‘hero’ [as a frontline emergency physician] with people clapping at what I was doing… but now i have been summarily fired for appearing in what was told to me was ‘an embarrassing video’.”
It is unclear exactly who Dr.Gold works for but her most recent role seems to be an affiliation with Centinela Hospital Medical Center
Fake News network props up globalist eugenicist
Infowars – Bill Gates and Anderson Cooper navigate through a cringe fest of stutters and pauses as they talk about Jeffery Epstein, COVID-19 origins, conspiracy theories and vaccine hesitancy.
‘I can’t help but think that if I hadn’t been wearing a mask so much in the last 10 days or so, I really wonder if I would have gotten it.’
Infowars – Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) announced Wednesday he suspects wearing a face mask could have contributed to his later diagnosis of COVID-19.
In an interview with KETK-TV, Gohmert who tested positive for coronavirus ahead of a scheduled meeting with President Trump at the White House, said he may not have tested positive were it not for a possibly contaminated face mask.
“So you’re questioning the importance of wearing a mask once you are actually confirmed to have coronavirus, but it seems health experts are saying you should wear it even if you do not. Do you agree with that then, to protect yourself?” a reporter asked.
Gohmert answered, “There are an awful lot of people who think it’s a great thing to do all the time, but I can’t help but think that if I hadn’t been wearing a mask so much in the last 10 days or so, I really wonder if I would have gotten it.”
“But, I know, you know, moving the mask around getting it just right, I’m bound to have put some virus on the mask that I sucked in, that’s most likely what happened.”
In an update posted to Twitter Wednesday, Gohmert said he was showing no symptoms of the “Wuhan virus” and said reports of him being “admonished” for not wearing a mask during the Bill Barr hearing on Tuesday were false.
The U.S. top infectious disease expert is testifying Friday alongside the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the virus ‘testing czar.’
10News – There’s no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top government health experts will tell Congress on Friday.
“While it remains unclear how long the pandemic will last, COVID-19 activity will likely continue for some time,” Fauci, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Dr. Robert Redfield and Health and Human Services testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir say in prepared testimony for a special House panel investigating the pandemic.
Fox – Claiming at Thursday’s White House briefing that the 2020 elections could be “fixed” and “rigged,” President Trump again highlighted the risks of nationwide, universal mail-in balloting in stark terms — including by citing news articles and experts who have raised similar concerns.
Before taking questions, Trump honored former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, noting that “unfortunately, he passed away from a thing called the China virus.” Trump also hit Democrats’ plans to keep schools and businesses closed, saying they would cause “probably more death” and economic destruction than coronavirus itself.
Within seconds, Trump was pressed on his tweet earlier in the day that suggested the election could be delayed due to mail-in ballot fraud. He responded that delays in mail-in ballot results, including lost ballots, could mean the election winner isn’t clear for weeks or even months after Election Day.
“You’re sending out hundreds of millions of universal mail-in ballots. Hundreds of millions. Where are they going? Who are they being sent to? It’s common sense,” Trump said. “I want an election, and a result, much more than you. I think we’re doing very well. … I don’t want to see a rigged election.”
The president held up a Wall Street Journal article entitled “New York’s Mail-Vote Disaster,” as well as a CBS News article entitled “Vote-by-mail experiment reveals potential problems within postal voting system ahead of November election.” He cited a similar piece in The Washington Post.
The press conference followed a backlash against Trump’s comments from both sides of the aisle on Thursday, with Democrats railing against the suggestion and some Republicans saying they opposed it. The Senate’s top Republican, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, flatly told a Kentucky news station the election would not be moving.
SHFTPlan – Martial law should be considered nothing less than a straight-up war on the American people. Now, an Oregon senator is warning that Americans are “starring down the barrel” of martial law.
Anyone who relishes any level of freedom and security should not ever accept martial law. It’s by far, one of the evilest and most deceitful ways to conduct a war on the people who the ruling class has stolen from for years in order to ensure they can outgun the enemy. We are on the cusp of it too, and some areas are already under martial law. The government has declared war on its own people and they will not give up power willingly. You have two choices, obey or disobey. Neither are good.
In interviews with the Guardian, Democrat Ron Wyden said the federal government’s authoritarian tactics in Portland and other cities posed an “enormous” threat to democracy, while his fellow senator Jeff Merkley described it as “an all-out assault in military-style fashion.” Keep in mind, that it isn’t like the protestors in Portland are being peaceful either. If anything, they are being destructive and the regular citizens, are being restrained from protecting themselves in the midst of so many laws and regulations.
Speaking by phone, Wyden said: “Unless America draws a line in the sand right now, I think we could be staring down the barrel of martial law in the middle of a presidential election.” Protesting peacefully and rioting are two different things. Are some of the rioters paid agitators? That’s more likely than not. We know George Soros is funding the majority of this violence. So should cities just burn? No, that’s not a solution either. It is possible to be against the violence of the federal agents and the violence of the rioters at the same time. In fact, it’s hypocritical and immoral to take any other position.
Prepare for martial law and continued civil unrest. People are not going to be content nor will they accept the outcome of the election in November regardless of which puppet the Federal Reserve has already decided will sit on the throne. If you don’t know how to defend yourself and some of the fundamental basics of self-defense, now would be an excellent time to learn. The mainstream media and the politicians are using predictive programming to tell us what’s coming, and from what I can tell, it will not be a fun autumn or winter this year.
Newsmax – FBI Director Christopher Wray and other intelligence community officials are warning that China is an increasing threat to interfere with elections in the U.S.
Axios noted the warnings came in classified hearings with the Senate Intelligence Committee this week. Axios attributed the information to two sources familiar with the hearings.
Wray and the others reportedly voiced concerns over China’s ability to interfere with local election systems to target congressional lawmakers, who influence China policy.
Wray’s testimony before the committee came on Tuesday afternoon. It was followed the next day by appearances by William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, and other officials.
RT – The US secretary of state has taken a tough line on Beijing as he testified in the Senate by calling China nothing less than a “central threat of our times” and slamming the Chinese Houston consulate the US closed as a spies’ den.
Mike Pompeo virtually designated China America’s new number one adversary by telling the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee that Washington sees “the Chinese Communist Party for what it is: the central threat of our times.” He also boasted of the US’ success in building up an “alliance” to counter China’s influence on the world stage.
“Our vigorous diplomacy has helped lead an international awakening to the threat of the CCP. Senators, the tide is turning,” he said only to immediately admit that Beijing enjoys a lot of support as well. The secretary of state said he was “surprised and dismayed” by the number of countries that sided with China – particularly in its approach toward the longstanding protests in Hong Kong.
The State Department head also justified the closure of a Chinese consulate in Houston – a move that further soured the relations between the two nations and prompted a mirror response from Beijing – by bluntly calling the diplomatic compound a “den of spies.”
Earlier, Pompeo also gave an interview to Simon Conway of the Joe Pags radio talk show, where he did not mince his words either and squarely blamed China for “stealing our stuff and destroying millions of jobs here in the United States and creating enormous risk and security issues” – all while accusing the Obama-Biden administration of “doing nothing” to address this supposed injustice.
Unsealed docs say Bill Clinton was on ‘pedophile island’ w/ ‘young girls’ & cite Epstein saying former president ‘owed him favor’
RT – Newly unsealed files tied to the Jeffrey Epstein sex-trafficking case imply that former US President Bill Clinton visited the investor’s private island along with “young girls,” and that the FBI knew well about the minors’ abuse.
Comprising hundreds of pages of documents, the trove was released on Thursday night following a judge’s order last week to have it unsealed, over the objections of Ghislaine Maxwell, a former girlfriend to Epstein who has recently been charged as an accomplice in his alleged sex-trafficking operation.
The records stem from a 2015 defamation suit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre, which was placed under lock and key after the case was settled in 2017, but was recently unsealed, as a result of a lawsuit brought last year by conservative blogger Mike Cernovich and the Miami Herald newspaper.
Among other revelations, the documents indicate that former US president Bill Clinton consorted with “young girls” during at least one visit to Epstein’s private resort in the Virgin Islands, where the billionaire was said to host regular “sex orgies.”
“When you were present with Jeffery Epstein and Bill Clinton on the island, who else was there?” one witness – presumably Giuffre – was asked during an interview, to which she replied that Epstein, Maxwell, an unidentified woman named “Emmy” and “2 young girls” had been on the island with the former POTUS. The witness did not elaborate on Clinton’s interactions with the girls, however.
The same witness also told her attorney in 2011 that she had overheard Epstein saying that Clinton owed him “favors,” but noted she couldn’t tell whether he was joking.
“He would laugh it off. You know, I remember asking Jeffrey ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’… and he laughed it off and said ‘well he owes me a favor,’” she said. “He never told me what favors they were. I never knew. I didn’t know if he was serious.”
“He told me a long time ago that everyone owes him favors. They’re all in each other’s pockets.”
One of America’s top law enforcement agencies was also apparently aware that underage girls were still being abused at Epstein’s properties as far back as 2011 – years after he was sentenced for similar crimes in his first criminal case. During her defamation suit, Giuffre said she had provided the FBI a now widely circulated photo of herself and the UK’s Prince Andrew – where he is pictured smiling with an arm around her bare waist.
Economy & Business
Michael Snyder- For a very long time we have been warned that a U.S. economic collapse was inevitably coming, and now it is here. Fear of COVID-19 and unprecedented civil unrest in our major cities have combined to plunge us into a historic economic downturn, and nobody is exactly sure what is going to happen next. On Thursday, we learned that U.S. GDP was down 32.9 percent on an annualized basis last quarter. That officially makes last quarter the worst quarter in all of U.S. history, and many people believe that this new economic depression is just getting started. But of course not all areas of the country are being affected equally. According to USA Today, states such as Hawaii, Nevada, Michigan and New York were hit particularly hard last quarter…
Every state was walloped last quarter, though ones that rely heavily on travel and tourism, such as Hawaii and Nevada, were hit hardest by the downturn, according to employment figures analyzed by economist Adam Kamins of Moody’s Analytics. Michigan, the heart of the nation’s auto industry, was slammed as consumers put off car purchases. And densely populated Northeast states struck by the most severe virus outbreaks – like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts – absorbed among the heaviest economic losses as governors shut down earlier and residents stayed home.
Originally, the mainstream media was telling us that the U.S. economy would come surging back to life during the third quarter, but we continue to get more signs that indicate that the economy is starting to slow down again.
For example, the Labor Department just released some new numbers that were more than just a little bit startling. If you can believe it, another 1.434 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week. That was an increase over last week’s revised number, and it represents the second week in a row that initial claims have risen.
Overall, new claims for unemployment benefits have now been above one million for 19 weeks in a row.
Newsmax – New Jersey prisoners who are within a year of completing their state prison sentences would be eligible to be released up to eight months early if a proposed bill becomes law.
The New York Times reports that New Jersey lawmakers seemed close to backing the proposal on Thursday.
The bill would free more than 3,000 prisoners amid the coronavirus pandemic if it is signed into law.
The American Civil Liberties Union told the newspaper it believes the proposal is the first legislative initiative of its kind in the country. Prisoners eligible for the early release would receive credit for time served during the pandemic.
If approved, the law would not allow for the release of most sex offenders, but would apply to inmates sentenced for other violent crimes, including murder, according to the newspaper.
“There are people who were sentenced to long prison terms, but they weren’t sentenced to die in prison,” said Amol Sinha, executive director of the ACLU of New Jersey, one of the groups advocating for the passage of the legislation.
Science & Technology
National File – Major researchers and medical doctors support hydroxychloroquine, but it is banned. People on YouTube support apricot seeds, and they are allowed.
While Google and its subsidiary YouTube have come under Congressional scrutiny for the company’s decision to remove all content related to COVID-19 that does not correspond to the information provided by the China-adjacent World Health Organization, the big tech company allows users post videos where they both endorse and sell apricot seeds as a cancer cure, despite zero mainstream evidence and no word from the WHO on their efficacy.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) singled out Google for its decision to censor or remove of COVID-19 related content on YouTube and its other platforms if it does not strictly adhere to information provided by the WHO, noting that on “April 19, 2020, Google and YouTube announce a policy censoring the content that conflicts with recommendations of the World Health Organization.”
“Now, think about that. The organization that lied to us, the organization that shilled for China,” said Jordan, “You say something against them? You get censored.”
Newsmax- Donald Trump Jr., whose Twitter account was suspended because he posted a controversial video touting the benefits of hydroxychloroquine, said Thursday there’s “no question” that there is bias against conservative viewpoints among big tech and social media companies.
“If you’re religious, if you’re pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, you watch your metrics and you watch them get destroyed,” the president’s son said on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” “Conservatives and people who believe in conservative values have been targeted by these people who have no problem allowing a platform of free speech to the Ayatollah, to Communist China, to people who are committing genocide.”
Trump said the video he posted offered an “alternate thought, a different viewpoint by actual doctors,” but when the “Chinese government literally spread disinformation about coronavirus, they literally said, Twitter said that’s not a violation of their rules.”
RT – China said that its BeiDou-3 global satellite navigation system is now fully operational and ready to provide high-precision positioning services across the globe. The system is set to compete with GPS.
BeiDou-3 was inaugurated after its final satellite completed in-orbit tests and joined the network earlier this week. This means that China now has its own independent global navigation system, similar to GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and EU’s Galileo.
China has been developing BeiDou since the mid-1990s. Its network gradually grew to 35 operational satellites, with the last one launched on June 23.
According to Xinhua, the system has already been in use in various fields, including transportation and agriculture. The news agency said that BeiDou-based services are used in more than 100 countries and regions.
Independent Sentinel – Dr. Vladimir Zelenko thanked the President for securing approval for the use of hydroxychloroquine with Azithromycin. The doctor is a general practitioner in a Hasidic community, which is hit hard by Coronavirus — about 60 percent have the illness. He has had a 100 percent success rate with the drugs, using it on 350 patients.
Since the President mentioned it during pressers, the media has used it to harm the President and try to drive a wedge between the President and CDC’s Dr. Anthony Fauci. They claimed Dr. Fauci didn’t agree with him about the drug.
Dr. Fauci has said several times that they don’t have scientific proof but the President’s correct in saying that there is a lot of promising anecdotal evidence. Dr. Fauci told the media to stop trying to drive a wedge between him and the President (see video at the end).
Dr. Zelenko said he believes people should be first treated at home with these drugs. He has treated 350 patients with them successfully.
He told Sean Hannity on his radio show this afternoon that he used 200mg 2x daily Hydroxy Chloroquine, 500mg 1x daily Azithromycin, and 220mg 1x daily Zinc sulfate on 350 patients. Their breathing was fully restored in 3 to 4 hours, no one has died or was even hospitalized. There were zero intubations.
Newsmax – It’s “possible” that there could be a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, as things have been moving quickly, but the Food and Drug Administration “will not cut corners” to make that happen, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said Thursday.
“I know our team is looking at data in real-time from these trials,” Hahn told NBC “Today” host Savannah Guthrie. “That should help us expedite this. The most important message, I think, is we’re not cutting corners. We’re going to look at the data and make the right decision for the American people.”
There are a number of companies that have started second and third phase trials which are occurring in “record time,” and phase three trials will provide data determining if a vaccine is safe and effective.
“We’ve seen a huge number of Americans who signed up as potential volunteers for these trials, and that’s great news,” said Hahn, as that will help accelerate development.
Hahn also on Thursday addressed the ongoing controversy about the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus, which has gotten renewed attention this week after President Donald Trump retweeted a statement from doctors calling for its use.
The FDA has revoked the emergency use authorization for the anti-malaria drug, but still, Hahn said the question about its use is a “decision between a doctor and a patient,” because the FDA doesn’t regulate the practice of medicine.
“These drugs have been approved for a number of years for other indications by the FDA,” he said. “We know that they’re safe in those settings.”
NaturalNews – Eastman Kodak has been granted a $765 million Defense Production Act loan in order to help the United States bring drug manufacturing back to its own shores and away from China. The loan is expected to create 350 American jobs in Rochester New York, where they will manufacture the ingredients for essential pharmaceutical drugs like hydroxychloroquine that are currently largely imported.
Kodak will be manufacturing a range of ingredients that are in “chronic national shortage” and will eventually make as much as a quarter of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed for “non-biologic, non-antibacterial, generic pharmaceuticals.”
Right now, roughly 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients that are imported into the U.S. come from China and India. That percentage is even higher when it comes to some popular over-the-counter painkillers – 95 percent of the ibuprofen and 70 percent of the acetaminophen that is imported to the U.S. comes from China.
This deal marks the first time a company has been given a Defense Production Act loan to help bring manufacturing back into the country. It also means that Kodak is poised to become a major Big Pharma drug manufacturer. Kodak Chief Executive Jim Continenza said that they expect the production of drug ingredients to make up as much as 40 percent of their overall business, adding that he views the firm as being on a path to becoming an “arsenal of medicine.” He added that their existing infrastructure should help them get started on their new endeavor quickly.
Bringing drug manufacturing back into the U.S. in a big way could have an impact on the American economy, particularly the working class, not to mention all of the important benefits to be gained from ending the country’s reliance on foreign countries for essential medications.
It’s believed that if all drug manufacturing were reshored, it would add more than 800,000 jobs to the American economy. This effect is even felt outside of manufacturing as every manufacturing job in the country supports a further 7.4 American jobs in other industries.
Continenza said he believes it could take as much as four years for the Kodak pharmaceuticals to reach large-scale production. President Trump called the deal one of the most important ones in the history of the American pharmaceutical industries, calling Kodak “a great American company.”
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro said: “It’s about America losing its pharmaceutical supply chains to the sweatshops, pollution havens, and tax havens around the world that cheat America out of its pharmaceutical independence.”
Mercola – The benefits of vitamin D have been well-documented over the years. I believe that getting your vitamin D status optimized to between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL is one of the best things you can do to help protect yourself against the fall infectious disease season, which is expected to include both flu and COVID-19.
Health authorities are warning of a second wave of COVID-19, which means the time to start addressing your vitamin D level is now. But, as important as it is to get your level optimized by fall, it’s just as important to keep it there throughout the year.
Ideally, your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. This is why it’s also called the sunshine vitamin.1 The best indicator of your vitamin D level is a blood test measuring the concentration of 25-hydroxy vitamin D, also called 25-OH vitamin D.2
In addition to the crucial role it plays in your immune system, researchers have also found that it’s integral to optimizing leptin levels, which in turn are linked to obesity.3 In one study, researchers measured vitamin D and metabolic markers in two age- and gender-matched groups.4
They learned that individuals with deficient or insufficient vitamin D had a higher risk of metabolic syndrome. The results from several studies have also revealed a link between low levels of vitamin D and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, although the results have not been consistent.
Foot Pain Associated With Knee or Hip Osteoarthritis
Recently, insufficient levels of vitamin D have been associated with foot pain linked to knee osteoarthritis (OA). Before delving into the results of the research, it’s important to understand the relationship between low back pain and foot pain associated with severe knee OA.
In a study from 2010, researchers found that those who had OA in the knee and had pain in other joints in the body, were more likely to experience more intense knee pain.5,6 More specifically, the researchers found that when pain was present in the lower back, foot and elbow on the same side as the affected knee, the individual rated their knee pain as more severe than those who did not have pain in other joints.
The study was led by a physician from Harvard Medical School and involved the use of data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, a study of knee OA involving people from several locations in the northeastern area of North America. The researchers included 1,389 participants who were between 45 and 79 years of age. The results showed that 57.4% had pain in their lower back, and those same individuals had a higher pain score in their knee.
>> Power Mall Product of Interest: Vitamin D3 (4000 IU) – 100 Capsules
Science Daily – Even short, single antibiotic courses given to young animals can predispose them to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) when they are older, according to Rutgers researchers.
The study, published in Genome Medicine, provides further evidence supporting the idea that the use of antibiotics in children under 1 year old disrupts the intestinal microbiota — the trillions of beneficial microorganisms that live in and on our bodies — that play a crucial role in the healthy maturation of the immune system and the prevention of diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes.
“This study provides experimental evidence strengthening the idea that the associations of antibiotic exposures to the later development of disease in human children are more than correlations, but that they are actually playing roles in the disease causation,” said study co-author Martin Blaser, director of the Rutgers Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine.
Washington Man Rescues 2.4 Million Pounds of Farmers’ Crops Going to Waste, Gets Them to Food Banks Across State
Good News Network – When George Ahearn heard that farmers in Washington state were giving away onions and potatoes they suddenly couldn’t sell, his instinct for goodwill led him on a journey that would lead to the rescue of 200 tons of vegetables arriving in food banks to support people in need.
The breakdown of farm supply chains and customers due to COVID-19 shutdowns means crops are destroyed or left to rot—and in rural Washington, farmers knew that if they could get their crops to the food banks in Seattle, it would certainly be preferable.
Inspired by the farmers’ plight, Ahearn asked on Facebook to borrow someone’s truck or trailer for the day, to haul around 2,000 pounds of restaurant-grade onions and potatoes. The response to his altruistic post was dramatic, and soon 4 trucks and 2 trailers had hauled 9.3 tons of crops grown in the east to feed hungry people in the west.
This voluntary act of kindness grew into a nonprofit organization called EastWest Food Rescue. It has saved over 2.4 million pounds of food from fields, while also amassing enough donations to help compensate farmers for their loss.
“The whole thing started because of COVID,” Nancy Balin, one of the people who responded to Ahearn’s initial request, told Seattle Times. She now helps direct the program.
“They immediately lost all the restaurant contracts they had for these quality potatoes and onions. And since European countries were shut down, they weren’t exporting them because their restaurants were closed.”
On that first inaugural run, Ahearn relied on several Washingtonians beyond Nancy Balin with her trucks. Zsofia Pasztor, a farmer and fellow nonprofiteur began donating crates and boxes for transporting the crops because food banks originally admitted that they couldn’t accept a semi-truck load of ‘loose’ potatoes.
“The whole thing was extremely organic and took on a life of its own almost immediately,” said Balin, who is now president of the organization and runs it as a team with Pasztor and Ahearn, and more than ten staff members who volunteer.
The goal is to rescue 10 million pounds of food, for which Ahearn is trying to raise $250,000. Ahearn says one of the most important priorities is to get refrigeration capacity for fruit and other produce, as well as for milk and eggs.
Ahearn had originally planned to shut down the operation after they reached 70 tons, so he could spend more time with his family, but that was long ago, and he accepts that in this moment he “can’t stop.”