AP – Two Russian doctors have died and one remains in the intensive care unit in serious condition after falling out of windows in hospitals under mysterious circumstances.
The tragic incidents last week made national headlines, with media reports saying all three have come under pressure from their superiors over working conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent weeks, medical workers all over Russia have decried shortages of protective equipment and questionable infection control procedures that turned dozens of hospitals into virus hotbeds, with hundreds of doctors and nurses contracting the virus. Many said they have been threatened with dismissal or even prosecution for going public with their grievances.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Dallas News – A Dallas salon owner will spend a week in jail after she was found in contempt of court Tuesday for violating an order to close her salon during the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, Shelley Luther was fined $7,000 for continuing to operate her business, Salon à la Mode, in violation of a judge’s temporary restraining order issued against the business.
Infowars – Police in West Texas arrested a group of armed men and a bar owner during a protest of the state order mandating businesses to close.
Gabrielle Ellison, owner of Big Daddy Zane’s in Odessa, decided to open her establishment on Monday in defiance of Governor Abbott’s decree.
“We can’t take it no more, we’re not going to make it,” Ellison said. “I am aware of what’s going on down the road. I am shocked. I had customers come through saying, ‘You know they have SWAT built up, they have SWAT built up.’ Why would you bring in SWAT on a peaceful situation?”
A group of armed protesters who have been supporting businesses deciding to open amid the government-mandated shutdown gathered at an Odessa Anytime Fitness location that opened on Friday.
The same group asked if they could show up to Big Daddy Zane’s to support Ellison’s decision to open, she told them to stay in the back of the bar, which is her private property.
Ellison said she even spoke with the Sheriff’s Office before the demonstration and was told everything would be fine as long as the armed individuals were not on the bar’s property.
When the police arrived in a massive SWAT tank, they arrested the six armed men who stood with their arms raised in the air.
“This was not a protest of their second amendment rights. It was a show of force to ensure this lady could violate the governor’s order,” Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis told reporters.
The men were charged with carrying weapons on a licensed property and the bar owner was charged with violating Governor Abbott’s order.
The protesters maintain the arrests were illegal because they were behind the bar and on private property, not within the bar’s property line.
Defiance: Crowd Converges After Cops Threaten to Arrest Woman Protesting Beach Closure Infowars – ‘One patriotic woman breaches. The cops go to arrest, and then everybody breaches!’
Footage out of California shows a patriotic crowd come to the defense of a lone female protester after police threaten to arrest her for violating lockdown orders.
In the video, a woman carrying a “1776” flag and carrying an “Open Kali” sign dares to venture out onto the surf before two police officers approach her, grabbing her by the arms in attempts to arrest her.
The woman is next seen kneeling on the beach arguing with police who’ve taken her flag, as protesters filming begin yelling at the cops and invading the beach.
As the cops appear to stand down while conversing with other protesters, more people begin walking past the officers towards the beach.
“The breach has been opened!” one man yells.
Later, the woman who was initially approached by officers evades them and reveals a swimsuit before jumping into the ocean and urging others to do the same.
“That’s the girl right there,” the man filming says.
“She opened the beach,” another man says.
The woman was hailed as a hero on social media.
“One patriotic woman breaches. The cops go to arrest, and then everybody breaches!” wrote Twitter user Susan St. James. “They can’t arrest them all! This is the way it’s done.”
The incident, which happened in Laguna Beach, stemmed from large demonstrations at several California beaches over the weekend, where citizens protested Gov. Gavin Newsom’s authoritarian beach closures.
Jerusalem Post – While police are treating the death as a homicide, they have yet to find any evidence that it was related to his research.
A University of Pittsburgh researcher who claimed to have been on the verge of a significant breakthrough in his research on the coronavirus was killed in what appears to me a murder-suicide on Saturday, WTAE, a local ABC News affiliate, reported.
Police found 37-year-old Bing Liu, who worked as an assistant professor at the university, dead in his house in Ross Township, having been shot by someone who then went to his car and shot himself.
The second man, identified as 46-year-old Hao Gu, was found dead in his vehicle.
Liu was working at the Pitt School of Medicine’s department of computational and systems biology and was supposedly on the verge of a significant breakthrough in his studies on the coronavirus, according to a written statement by the department.
“Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications,” the department said.
“We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence.”
While police are treating Liu’s death as a homicide, “we haven’t had anything at this point that has come to the investigation that has anything to do with Mr. Liu’s employment or his research,” Ross Township Detective Brian Kolhepp told WTAE.
AFP – A host of celebrities and scientists including Madonna, Robert de Niro and a clutch of Nobel Prize winners have called for radical change in the world rather than “a return to normal” after the coronavirus lockdowns.
Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett, Jane Fonda, Marion Cotillard and Monica Bellucci also added their names to the open letter published in the French daily Le Monde pleading for an end to unbridled consumerism and a “radical transformation” of economies to help save the planet.
“We believe it is unthinkable to ‘go back to normal’,” said the letter which was also signed by Nobel laureates for medicine, chemistry and physics as well as peace prize winner Muhammad Yunus.
They said the pandemic was a tragedy but it was a chance for humanity to “examine what is essential”.
“Adjustments are not enough. The problem is systemic,” the letter added.
“The ongoing ecological catastrophe is a meta-crisis. Unlike a pandemic… a global ecological collapse will have immeasurable consequences,” it said.
The 200 signatories said it was time for leaders “to leave behind the unsustainable logic that still prevails and to undertake a profound overhaul of our goals, values, and economies.
“The pursuit of consumerism and an obsession with productivity have led us to deny the value of life itself: that of plants, that of animals, and that of a great number of human beings,” the short letter added.
“Pollution, climate change, and the destruction of our remaining natural zones has brought the world to a breaking point.”
Mercola – The coronavirus pandemic is bringing hunger to millions of people around the world because of national lockdowns, social distancing, loss of tourism and tanking oil prices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted food production and supply chains, especially in poor countries, and deprived poor children of the food they received at now-shuttered schools.
Migrant workers have lost their jobs and cannot afford to eat or send money home.
Many U.S. slaughterhouses have closed because of hundreds of workers stricken with COVID-19.
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and the environmental destruction they foster are driving the COVID-19 pandemic
Trump says coronavirus task force will continue ‘indefinitely,’ shift focus to reopening and vaccines
Fox – President Trump on Wednesday said the coronavirus task force would continue “indefinitely” but would shift its focus to safely re-opening the country amid the coronavirus pandemic — following indications from his administration that officials were considering winding the group down.
“The White House Coronavirus Task Force, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, has done a fantastic job of bringing together vast highly complex resources that have set a high standard for others to follow in the future,” the president tweeted.
Economy & Business
Fox – Sen. Rand Paul said on Wednesday that while states continue to keep their economies shut down due to coronavirus, there will be an “economic calamity” because the federal government is already so deep in debt.
“We have no money, we have no rainy day account, we have no savings account. The three trillion that we’ve already passed out is imaginary money,” the Republican Kentucky lawmaker told “America’s Newsroom.”
Paul said that money is being borrowed from China, highlighting the irony that the United States is going to be more dependent upon the country that is responsible for spreading the coronavirus to Americans.
Meanwhile, California borrowed $348 million after receiving approval to use up to $10 billion in federal funds until the end of July, a Treasury Department spokesman told the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Illinois and Connecticut have also been approved to tap into federal funds to aid with the unemployment claims — $12.6 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively – but neither state had requested to borrow the money as of the end of April.
California, who would boast the world’s fifth-largest economy if it was an independent nation, has been hit hard economically by the coronavirus pandemic. About 3.7 million people have filed unemployment claims in the state since mid-March.
There is also mounting pressure on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to relax the state’s stay-at-home orders and reopen parts of the economy.
Breitbart – According to the FBI, there were 2,911,128 background checks conducted in April 2020. The closest any other April came to that figure was in 2019, when 2,334, 294 NICS checks were done.
April’s surge in background checks followed a March that shattered all one-month records. Breitbart News reported March 2020 witnessed 3,740,688 background checks, which were the most checks conducted in any single month since the inception of NICS.
The March and April surge came amid an unprecedented run on guns and ammunition during the issuance of coronavirus shutdowns, coupled with doomsday scenarios with civil unrest.
On March 19, 2020, Breitbart News quoted Kyle Olsen, owner of Arizona’s Olsen Firearms, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this.”
He noted that the sales surge eclipsed what his store witnessed in January 2013, a time when Joe Biden was pushing numerous post-Sandy Hook gun controls for Barack Obama.
Bloomberg – The economic carnage caused by the coronavirus outbreak has torn through Michigan Maple’s already slim profit margins and made it impossible to continue as a viable business, company President Ann Dau Conway said in a letter to staff. “My family has operated Michigan Maple Block through many adverse economic time periods including two world wars, the Great Depression, and multiple recessions. I am
Although Covid-19 fatalities in the U.S. haven’t started to trend down yet, economists are beginning to see signs that the recession is bottoming out. Decision makers from President Trump down to company chief executive officers are hoping more than $2 trillion in fiscal stimulus and the gradual lifting of restrictions could set the stage for a significant rebound this summer.
Yet what’s happening to Michigan Maple points to a worrying trend emerging from the stacks of layoff notices filed by businesses in California, Florida, and New York, where service industries have been hammered by lockdown orders, as well as politically important swing states such as Michigan and Ohio, where key industries such as steel and autos already faced headwinds going into 2020. Plenty of layoffs that just a month ago were labeled “temporary” are now tagged “indefinite” or “permanent.” Alongside announcements of sweeping staff cuts by major employers such as Boeing Co. and U.S. Steel Corp. and the accelerating pace of downsizing in brick-and-mortar retailing, such notices are a sign that even as businesses continue to hope for a speedy recovery, they are starting to plan for a slow one.
Science & Technology
Guardian – China has successfully launched a new rocket and prototype spacecraft, according to state media, in a major test of its ambitions to operate a permanent space station and send astronauts to the Moon.
A Long March 5B rocket took off from the Wenchang launch site on the southern island of Hainan and eight minutes later an unmanned prototype spacecraft successfully separated and entered its planned orbit, Xinhua reported. A test version of a cargo return capsule also successfully separated from the rocket, Xinhua said.
China hopes that the craft will one day transport astronauts to a space station that it plans to complete by 2022 – and eventually to the Moon. It will have capacity for a crew of six.
The spacecraft and capsule were slated to return to a landing site by Friday after completing their test flights, said Ji Qiming of China’s manned space agency.
Science Times – Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have successfully disabled a gene in specific mouse cells, preventing mice from becoming obese even after being fed a high-fat diet.
Macrophages, vital inflammatory cells which are responsible for detecting, engulfing and destroying pathogens, were blocked by scientists. Since obesity is correlated with chronic low-grade inflammation, the researchers tested if reducing inflammation could help control weight gain and obesity.
The study was published on April 20, 2020, in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
According to Steven L. Teitelbaum, MD, the principal investigator of the study and Wilma and Roswell Messing Professor of Pathology & Immunology, their study has developed a proof of concept that it is possible to regulate weight gain by modulating the activity of the inflammatory cells.
He adds that it might work in several ways, but their team believed that it might be able to control obesity and its complications by managing inflammation better.
Mercola – Content that questions or contradicts the biased edicts of the World Health Organization is now being blocked, taken down or tagged as fake news on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
April 26, 2020, Twitter suspended the account of the publicly traded biotech company AYTU BioScience for sharing information about its novel UV light therapy for COVID-19, which it is developing in collaboration with Cedars-Sinai medical center. YouTube also removed a video demonstrating how the technology works
NewsGuard recently classified mercola.com as fake news because we reported the SARS-CoV-2 virus as potentially having been leaked from the biosafety level 4 laboratory in Wuhan City, China, despite U.S. and U.K. government officials admitting they are considering this possibility.
Facebook is also censoring posts that refer to SARS-CoV-2 possibly originating in a lab. The “fact check” basis for this censorship is an article written by a researcher who works with the Wuhan lab.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki — wife of Google product director Dennis Troper — says the platform will ban videos that contradict World Health Organization guidance on the pandemic or share “fake or unproven coronavirus remedies”
Newsmax – If you’ve ever wondered what your brain is doing while you sleep, a new study gives the first direct evidence that it’s busy “replaying” our waking experiences.
The finding comes from a research project called BrainGate, which is testing new technology for people who are paralyzed or have lost a limb. Participants have “micro-electrodes” implanted in their brains, to allow them to exert mind control over assistive devices or prosthetic limbs.
The work also let researchers catch a glimpse of what happens in the brain during rest — specifically after participants had played a new game. It turned out that the same brain cells that were firing during the game kept firing as people drifted into light sleep.
In a nutshell, the brain seemed to be “replaying” the experience, said researcher Beata Jarosiewicz, a senior scientist at NeuroPace, Inc., a California-based company that makes implantable medical devices.
That’s not direct proof that sleep helps us consolidate memories or learn more efficiently, Jarosiewicz emphasized. But, she said, the findings add to the list of reasons to get enough rest.
“Sleep is important for many reasons, including your brain function,” she said.
The findings, published May 5 in the journal Cell Reports, are not surprising.
Based on past research in animals and humans, researchers have believed that replay happens during sleep, according to Dr. Phyllis Zee, a sleep researcher who was not involved in the study.
Newsmax – Cellphones carry all kinds of germs, a new study finds, and researchers say phones should be cleaned regularly to cut the risk for coronavirus transmission.
The advice follows a review of 56 studies that looked at the risk of cellphones being contaminated with bacteria, fungi or viruses. The investigations were conducted across 24 countries between 2006 and 2019, prior to the advent of COVID-19.
The review shows “that mobile phones not only carry bacteria but also viruses, fungi, and protozoa in the thousands,” said study author Lotti Tajouri, an associate professor of genomics and molecular biology at Bond University in Queensland, Australia.
On average, the review found that 68% of the mobile phones had been contaminated with a wide range of microorganisms. And some of those contaminants showed resistance to standard antibiotics.
The investigators did not conduct any new tests to search for the presence of the COVID-19 virus on phones. However, Tajouri said his team “hypothesize strongly that mobile phones are responsible for the rapid propagation of COVID-19.”
Why? First of all, “the virus responsible for COVID-19 can live on glass, plastic, stainless steel for days,” Tajouri noted. And cellphones, he added, are “particularly receptive hosts for germs simply because we first never wash them, and we take them everywhere and all the time with us.”
That includes where people eat, where they sleep, and where they go to the bathroom, he observed, as well as on board the planes and trains people use to travel the globe.
And while acknowledging that all everyday objects are contaminated in some way, Tajouri warned that “mobile phones are like international ambulatory five-star luxury hotels” for germs. In fact, he said, “no other type of everyday object can compete.”
Mercola – Since the COVID-19 infection was categorized a pandemic, there has been a 16% to 20% rise in calls to poison control centers related to cleaning solutions.
Disinfectants and cleaning solutions must never be ingested or injected.
Mixing cleaning solutions can produce dangerous gas from the chemical reactions, including chlorine or chloramine gas.
Before disinfecting a surface, clean it with soap and water. Wet the surface with an alcohol-based disinfectant or hydrogen peroxide