Breitbart – Thousands of Germans from across the political spectrum turned out to protest the Wuhan coronavirus lockdown measures in several cities for a second weekend.
Demonstrations took place in several major cities including Berlin and Munich. Stuttgart administrators had issued a permit for 5,000 attendees, but more than 5,000 protested on Saturday, resulting in overflows out of the designated area.
RT – India will run more special trains and buses to allow millions of distressed migrant workers to leave big cities, the federal government said on Tuesday.
Workers are walking long distances to their homes in the countryside ever since PM Narendra Modi imposed a vast lockdown in March to control the spread of coronavirus, shutting down all public transport.
After initially trying to keep workers in their cities of employment, authorities are now helping them get home. The federal home ministry is in talks with states to run trains and buses, and set up rest stops for those on foot.
The move comes as India’s confirmed cases surged past 100,000 on Tuesday, outstripping China, where the virus emerged late last year, Reuters said. Concerns also grow in some states over rising infections from those returning home
Newsmax – President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to permanently halt funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) if it did not commit to improvements within 30 days, and to reconsider his country’s membership of the agency.
Trump suspended U.S. contributions to the WHO last month, accusing it of promoting Chinese “disinformation” about the novel coronavirus outbreak, although WHO officials denied the accusation and China said it was transparent and open.
“If the WHO does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the WHO permanent and reconsider our membership,” Trump told its chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a letter posted on Twitter.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Washington Examiner – A top lawyer who defended President Trump during his Senate impeachment trial believes the Constitution grants the government “power” to vaccinate citizens against their will.
Speaking with Crowdsource the Truth host Jason Goodman over the weekend, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz said the public’s safety outweighs any private liberty concerns of U.S. citizens who do not wish to be vaccinated for the coronavirus.
“Let me put it very clearly, you have no constitutional right to endanger the public and spread disease, even if you disagree,” he said. “You have no right not to be vaccinated, you have no right not to wear a mask, you have no right to open up your business.”
Goodman interjected to clarify whether Dershowitz was saying the federal government has the ability to mandate vaccinations for all citizens.
“Absolutely,” Dershowitz replied. “And if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.”
The lawyer said that U.S. residents don’t have a right to infect others and that if they wish to opt-out of vaccination, they could be given an alternative in which people rejecting the state mandate could remain in their homes permanently so as not to risk infecting others.
“That’s what a democracy is about,” he said. “If the majority of the people agree and support that, for public health measures, you have to be vaccinated, you have to be vaccinated. They should give you an alternative. The alternative is to live in your home, don’t get vaccinated, but never ever leave your home or live in a bubble. But if you want to interact with other people, you cannot become Typhoid Mary. The Constitution doesn’t give you the right to spread your illness to other people.”
Dershowitz argued that healthcare workers and officials forcibly vaccinating the public through a legislative and judicial process that comes to a consensus on widespread vaccination is the best defense against the spread of disease.
On Friday, President Trump announced “Operation Warp Speed,” which, in part, created a vaccination initiative with a stated “goal” of producing 300 million coronavirus vaccines by January 2021.
Global Research – The US White House has appointed a coronavirus “Vaccine Czar” from Big Pharma to oversee something dubbed Operation Warp Speed. The goal is to create and produce 300 million doses of a new vaccine to supposedly immunize the entire US population by year-end against COVID-19. To be sure that Big Pharma companies give their all to the medical Manhattan Project, they have been fully indemnified by the US government against liabilities should vaccine recipients die or develop serious disease as a result of the rushed vaccine. The FDA and NIH have waived standard pre-testing on animals in the situation. The US military, according to recent remarks by the US President, is being trained to administer the yet-to-be unveiled vaccine in record time. Surely nothing could go wrong here?
Warp speed is a term out of the sci-fi Star Trek media, defined as a speed faster than the speed of light. In recent weeks billions of dollars have been pledged from governments, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others to fast-track a vaccine as well as test medical treatments to combat the VODIV19 illness said to originate from a novel coronavirus first discovered late 2019 in Wuhan China. This rush to create a “miracle” vaccine is ominous and suggests some hidden agenda.
At this point the leading US Government candidate for winning the “warp speed” race to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine is Slaoui’s Moderna Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The focus by Fauci on Moderna’s mRNA experimental COVID-19 vaccine while Slaoui was heading its development at Moderna is impressive to say the least. The company states that on April 16, Moderna got an award from US government agency BARDA for $483 million to accelerate development of mRNA-1273. This award will fund the development of mRNA-1273 to FDA licensure and manufacturing process scale-up to enable large-scale production in 2020 for pandemic response. At that point the stock value of Slaoui’s Moderna stock options jumped 184%. Then, on May 1, Moderna and Lonza Group announced a worldwide strategic collaboration to manufacture mRNA-1273 at a planned 1 billion doses per year. This is no small deal.
The Conflicted Czar
Washington’s Operation Warp Speed is reportedly the brainchild of Presidential Adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. It is being formally run by the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Defense Secretary Mark Esper who will work with a new Vaccine Czar. The Vaccine Czar selected for Kushner’s Operation Warp Speed is former GlaxoSmithKline Chairman of its Vaccines Division, Morrocan-born US citizen, Dr. Moncef Slaoui. From 2006 through 2017 Slaoui was Chairman of Global R&D and Vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline and sat on the company’s Executive team and Board of Directors.
While at GSK Slaoui headed the development of Cervarix. Its Cervarix HPV cervical cancer vaccine was reported tied to multiple deaths or severe crippling effects in many recipients. A 2017 WHO monitoring report revealed that serious adverse effects from Moncef Slaoui’s HPV vaccine included complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) that “exceeds any other vaccine.” That is not reassuring in terms of the new Czar of a rushed coronavirus vaccine.
In 2015 the Indian Supreme Court investigated charges that young Indian village girls died after being given Cervarix from Slaoui’s GSK. It was done in illegal vaccine “human guinea pig” tests of the HPV vaccine where neither the girls nor their parents were told what it was. The study was reportedly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Moderna and Slaoui
All this, despite the evidence of extreme conflicts of interest between NIAID and other agencies of the US Government with Moderna and now-Vaccine Czar and former Moderna director Slaoui, might be treated more lightly, were it not for the fact that Moderna’s mRNA gene-edited vaccine technology is entirely experimental and never before approved for use as a vaccine. The company itself admits as much. It says, “mRNA is an emerging platform… we are still early in the story. Our most advanced vaccine program (CMV) is in Phase 2 clinical testing and we have no approved drugs to date.”
Moderna and others working with the experimental gene-edited mRNA vaccines claim they are safer than the admittedly unpredictable gene-edited DNA vaccines. DNA vaccine research is thirty years old but to date, has failed to produce a single licensed DNA vaccine. Moderna is only 11 years old and the CRISPR gene-editing technology it uses is barely 5 years old. We are told mRNA is completely different and safe.
Dangers of mRNA?
However, numerous scientists warn that once inside the cell nucleus, mRNA vaccines have a risk of permanently changing a person’s DNA in unpredictable ways. Tony Faudi’s own NIH published a scientific paper regarding the new mRNA vaccine prospects. It read in part, “innate immune sensing of mRNA has also been associated with the inhibition of antigen expression and may negatively affect the immune response. Although the paradoxical effects of innate immune sensing on different formats of mRNA vaccines are incompletely understood, some progress has been made in recent years in elucidating these phenomena.” This is highly experimental science.
68% Of Unemployed Workers In The U.S. “Are Eligible For Payments That Are Greater Than Their Lost Earnings”
Michael Snyder – Can anyone explain how we are going to motivate unemployed workers to go back to work when most of them can actually make more money camped on their sofas watching Netflix?
Over the past couple of months, 36.5 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and Congress understandably wanted to do something to address this unprecedented spike in unemployment.
But by giving all of these unemployed workers a repeating 600 dollar bonus on top of existing unemployment benefits, Congress has actually created a very powerful incentive for Americans to be unemployed and to stay unemployed for as long as the bonuses last.
According to a group of prominent economists at the University of Chicago, 68 percent of those that are currently unemployed can now bring home more money than when they were actually employed…
A new analysis by Peter Ganong, Pascal Noel and Joseph Vavra, economists at the University of Chicago,1 uses government data from 2019 to estimate that 68 percent of unemployed workers who can receive benefits are eligible for payments that are greater than their lost earnings. They also found that the estimated median replacement rate — the share of a worker’s original weekly salary that is being replaced by unemployment benefits — is 134 percent, or more than one-third above their original wage.
Of course you don’t have to be bringing home 100 percent of your former income for there to be an incentive to stay unemployed.
For example, if you had a job that you really hated, you would almost certainly jump at the chance to stay home every day and still make 90 percent of what you formerly earned.
So yes, those that had very high paying jobs will be motivated to get back to work, but everyone else will be highly tempted to ride the gravy train for as long as it lasts.
And the less you made when you were actually working, the more intense that temptation will be.
Reuters – The U.S. government’s handling of its massive economic response to the coronavirus pandemic will come under scrutiny on Tuesday as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testify before the Senate Banking Committee.
Senators are expected to grill Mnuchin and Powell about actions still needed to keep the world’s largest economy afloat and about missteps in rolling out some $3 trillion in aid so far.
As more states reopen businesses, the government is closing in on the end of an eight-week program to funnel money to small businesses to avoid layoffs, prompting calls to extend the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program. President Donald Trump said on Monday that such an extension “should be easy.”
Other programs aimed at helping larger companies and municipal bond issuers through a sharp recession are just getting started, and Powell and Mnuchin may provide details on their application at the hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. (1400 GMT).
Powell said in prepared remarks for the hearing released on Monday that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was “critical” to the U.S. central bank’s ability to expand credit throughout the economy to offset the blow from the coronavirus.
In remarks broadcast on Sunday night, Powell said unemployment may hit 25% before it begins to fall, with a contraction in gross domestic product of 20% or more. He added that positive “medical metrics” that can build consumer confidence would be critical.
Mnuchin, in his own written testimony on Tuesday, said he also sees high unemployment during the second quarter, but that the overall situation is expected to improve as the U.S. economy starts to reopen.
AFP – NFL players could wear modified facemasks next season, with league engineers and equipment maker Oakley already testing prototypes, according to NFL Players Association medical director Thom Mayer.
Speaking on ESPN’s The Adam Schefter Podcast, Mayer said: “there probably will be a recommendation” for players to use the face coverings to protect from coronavirus when the NFL season begins, now scheduled for September.
“The league’s bioengineers are testing prototypes with Oakley,” Mayer said. “They’re looking at every issue, including when masks fog up.”
The masks being tested by Oakley, which makes visors for NFL helmets, could include N95 or surgical grade materials and could cover the full area behind a typical helmet face guard.
Mayer advised players with elevated risk factors to be extra cautious about such details as pulling helmets on and off on the sidelines, social distancing and keeping a personal hydration bottle.
“Just every little detail,” Mayer said. “Anybody who has got a risk, I would advise them to be zealous, religious and, frankly, almost maniacally committed to minimizing the chance of spreading the virus.”
WSJ – Louisiana and Mississippi, among the biggest gambling markets in the U.S., are opening their casino doors after two-month closures
Economy & Business
CBS – Harold’s Chicken on Broadway created quite a stir over the weekend, with one item on its receipt: what the restaurant called a COVID-19 surcharge of 26 percent. Restaurant manager Jacquelyn Santana said their food suppliers raised their prices by 26 percent on Saturday “due to the COVID pandemic.”
The restaurant’s owner told us a case of chicken wings, for example, jumped from $60 to $90, and the restaurant had no choice but to pass on some of the increase to customers.
“We’re trying to keep other employees employed, including myself. We are just opening up so we really need to be able to makes ends meet,” Santana said.
The restaurant industry has been devastated by the coronavirus outbreak, and many eateries have been forced to shut down. Those offering curb-side and carry-out services have seen costs go up, says food journalist and hospitality consultant Erica Bethe Levin.
“Restaurants are now finding themselves in a position where they are spending more money than they were before,” she said.
Still, Harold’s Chicken on Broadway took a lot of heat for the COVID-19 surcharge, notably on social media.
Harold’s dropped the surcharge Sunday.
AFP – Construction of new homes plunged just over 30 percent in April from the previous month, amid the widespread US lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to government data released Tuesday.
The collapse to just 897,000 units put the annual rate of housing starts 29.7 percent below the same month of 2019, the Commerce Department reported.
The declines were widespread across the country, with the Northeast taking the worst hit — a 44 percent drop in construction starts — while the Midwest saw a relatively small 15 percent decline.
Building of multifamily housing saw the most severe impact in most regions.
Meanwhile, permits for new construction, which in normal times is a sign of demand in the pipeline, fell 20.8 percent compared to March.
The memo, issued ahead of his bank’s annual shareholder meeting, served as an update to the New York-based bank’s response to the pandemic. Dimon also detailed the steps his firm has taken to support customers and employees since the crisis began two months ago, as well as his thinking about returning employees to work sites.
“It is my fervent hope that we use this crisis as a catalyst to rebuild an economy that creates and sustains opportunity for dramatically more people, especially those who have been left behind for too long,” Dimon said. “The last few months have laid bare the reality that, even before the pandemic hit, far too many people were living on the edge.”
Michae Snyder – The last recession was really, really bad, but it was never like this. It is time for us to face reality, and that means admitting that the U.S. economy has plunged into a depression. This is already the worst economic downturn that America has experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and we are right in the middle of the largest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin. Of course it was fear of COVID-19 that burst our economic bubble, and fear of this virus is going to be with us for a very long time to come. So we need to brace ourselves for an extended economic crisis, and at this point even Time Magazine is openly referring to this new downturn as an “economic depression”. Needless to say, there will be a tremendous amount of debate about how deep it will eventually become, but everyone should be able to agree that our nation hasn’t seen anything like this since before World War II.
#1 According to a study that was just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, more than 100,000 U.S. businesses have already permanently shut down during this pandemic, and that represents millions of jobs that are never coming back.
#2 The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is now projecting that U.S. GDP will shrink by 42.8 percent during the second quarter
#3 On Friday we learned that U.S. retail sales were down 16.4 percent during the month of April, and that is a new all-time record.
#4 U.S. factory output was down 13.7 percent last month, and that was the worst number ever recorded for that category.
#5 U.S. industrial production fell 11.2 percent last month, and that represented the worst number in 101 years.
#6 On Thursday, we learned that the number of Americans that have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits during this pandemic has risen by another 2.9 million, and that brings the grand total for this entire crisis to 36.5 million. To put that number in perspective, at the lowest point of the Great Depression of the 1930s only about 15 million Americans were unemployed.
#7 According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the real rate of unemployment in the U.S. is now 30.7 percent.
#8 According to a survey Fed officials just conducted, almost 40 percent of Americans with a household income of less than $40,000 a year say that they have lost a job during this crisis.
#9 One study has concluded that 42 percent of the job losses during this pandemic will end up being permanent.
#10 According to a professor of economics at Columbia University, the U.S. homeless population could rise by up to 45 percent by the end of this calendar year.
We have never seen economic numbers this horrifying, and more awful economic numbers are coming in the months ahead.
At this point, things are so bad that even Fed Chair Jerome Powell is openly admitting that he doesn’t really know how long this new economic downturn will last
Energy & Environment
Washington Post – India and Bangladesh are preparing to evacuate up to 3 million people in the path of a potentially devastating cyclone, a challenge made even more daunting by the rising number of coronavirus infections in both countries.
Cyclone Amphan is expected to slam into the river delta at the top of the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday local time, bringing dangerous winds, heavy rain, surging tides and flooding. It is currently classified as a “super cyclonic storm,” the most powerful type of cyclone and only the second such storm in the area since 1999. Forecasters believe it will weaken slightly before making landfall.
The pandemic is intensifying the difficulty of preparing for the storm. India has more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, while Bangladesh has 25,000. Both countries have imposed crippling lockdowns that have left tens of millions of people with no income.
Science & Technology
AP – Public health officials in at least two-thirds of U.S. states are sharing the addresses of people who have the coronavirus with first responders. Supporters say the measure is designed to protect those on the front line, but it’s sparked concerns of profiling in minority communities already mistrustful of law enforcement.
An Associated Press review of those states found that at least 10 states also share the names of everyone who tests positive.
Sharing the information does not violate medical privacy laws, under guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Law enforcement officials say the information helps them take extra precautions to avoid contracting and spreading the coronavirus.
But civil liberty and community activists have expressed concerns of potential profiling in African-American and Hispanic communities that already have an uneasy relationship with law enforcement. Some envision the data being forwarded to immigration officials.
In Tennessee, the issue has sparked criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who only became aware of the data sharing earlier this month.
“The information could actually have a ‘chilling effect’ that keeps those already distrustful of the government from taking the COVID-19 test and possibly accelerate the spread of the disease,” the Tennessee Black Caucus said in a statement earlier this month.
Metro – Covid-19 could soon be detected by sneezing or coughing… onto a smartphone. A US-based research team are developing a sensor that attaches to a phone and can tell a user if they are infected within 60 seconds. It is hoped the relatively cheap sensor, costing around £45, will be available within three months. Project leader Professor Massood Tabib-Azar, an engineer at the University of Utah in the US, believes it will play a big role in tracking the pandemic.
The gadget was originally developed to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus that triggered a global health emergency in 2016 after being linked to severe birth defects.
The Science Times – A study conducted by researchers from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, have found that the amygdala in mice’s brain can significantly control their sense of pain.
According to Fan Wang, the lead author of the study and the Morris N. Broad Distinguished Professor of neurobiology in the School of Medicine, recent studies have determined parts of the brain that could ‘turn on’ pain signals, but this was the first time they were able to pinpoint where pain could be ‘turned off.’
The researchers also discovered that general anesthesia also stimulates a specific subgroup of inhibitory neurons in the central amygdala called the CeAga neurons. Although mice have a comparably bigger central amygdala than humans, Wang says she doesn’t think there would be any difference in the two brain systems from controlling pain.
The mice were initially given a pain stimulus, and the researchers mapped out the brain’s pain-activated regions. They then uncovered that about 16 brain centers that could process the sensory or emotional aspects of pain were receiving inhibitory pain input from the CeAga.
When the scientists diminished the activity of these CeAga neurons, the mice responded and displayed behavior indicating intense pain. They also determined that low-dose ketamine activated the CeAga center and wouldn’t function without it.
The team’s next step is to search for drugs that can activate only these specific cells to suppress pain. According to Wang, they could potentially develop pain killers in the future using their discoveries from the study.
The team’s research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the W.M. Keck Foundation, the Holland-Trice Scholar Award, and a predoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
The findings of their study were published in the journal Nature Neuroscience on May 18.
Newsmax – Ordering a cheeseburger and fries might literally be a dumb move, new research suggests.
A recent, small study from Ohio State University indicates eating a single meal high in saturated fats may hamper your ability to mentally focus.
Saturated fats are found in red meat, dairy products and tropical oils, including coconut and palm. They can raise cholesterol and clog arteries, according to the American Heart Association.
Study author Annelise Madison, a graduate student in clinical psychology, said it’s a common belief that food affects your performance.
“Anecdotally, a lot of people struggle to focus during the time after lunch,” she said.
This study looked at what short-term effect a single meal might have, Madison said.
The study examined data from work done in the lab of her mentor, Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, director of the university’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. That earlier study examined if high-fat meals contribute to fatigue and inflammation in cancer survivors.
The new study looked at 51 women given one of two meals: one high in saturated fat, the other high in unsaturated fats. Both meals contained 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. Their mental skills were tested five hours later with a computerized challenge to distinguish targets from distraction. The test was repeated one to four weeks later, with the women fed the opposite of what they ate the first round. Prior to both meals, the women fasted for 12 hours.
Madison’s team discovered the women scored 11 percent lower on the computer test after they had eaten the saturated-fat meal than they had after eating the unsaturated-fat meal made with sunflower oil. In their journal article, the researchers said earlier studies have shown long-term consumption of a high-fat diet can affecting thinking skills.
A second finding was women who had high levels of a blood chemical indicating they had a “leaky gut” scored poorly after both meals. This syndrome is somewhat controversial, as not all medical practitioners recognize leaky gut, in which bacteria and toxins are said to leach into the bloodstream from the intestines. Madison questioned whether a regular diet high in saturated fats might contribute to leaky gut.
The study doesn’t prove foods high in saturated fat diminish your attention, but it does indicate that may be the case, Madison said. More research is needed to see if the results are replicated with a larger number of participants, male and female, she said.
Newsmax – Preventing heart disease may protect you from dementia, researchers say.
The new study looked at nearly 1,600 people, at an average age of 79.5, who were followed for 21 years. Their heart disease risk was assessed at the outset, and participants had annual memory and thinking tests.
The takeaway: People with a higher risk of heart disease also had greater mental (cognitive) decline, including an increase in markers of Alzheimer’s disease. That suggests that monitoring and controlling for heart disease may be important to cognitive health later in life, the researchers said.
The findings were published May 18 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“In the absence of effective treatments for dementia, we need to monitor and control cardiovascular risk burden as a way to maintain patients’ cognitive health as they age,” said study author Weili Xu of the School of Public Health at Tianjin Medical University in China.
Newsmax – Experts say this year’s allergy season will be troublesome because pollen levels are extremely high. It’s bad enough having to worry about COVID-19 without having to deal with watery, itchy, and burning allergy eyes, says Dr. Bruce Wylde, BSc., a leading alternative health expert. Unfortunately, many over-the-counter eye drops make your eyes sting and allergy drugs can give you “medicine head” feeling, he tells Newsmax.
Here are some natural tips on how to handle allergies:
- Understand that allergens are everywhere. “It’s a common misconception that allergens are seasonal and only occur outdoors,” says Wylde. “Your indoor air — including home, car, and office — is often more polluted.” Change your home filter at least every three months, says the expert, and always use a HEPA filter. If you love having the windows open, get a special screen that helps filter out 50% of pollen.
- Wear sunglasses and a hat. “This can help keep allergens from getting into your eyes and hair,” says Wylde.
- Remove outdoor allergens once you come home. Wylde advises changing your clothes when you walk through the door, washing your hair, and putting your pillow and pillow case regularly in the washer and dryer to avoid sleeping on the same pollen to which you were exposed to outdoors.
- Give your nose and eyes natural support. “Cleansing your nasal passages with a neti pot is a safe and natural way to keep sinus passages clear of bacteria and allergens,” Wylde says. He also recommends using a gentle product like Similasan Allergy Eye Relief for red, watery, and itchy eyes, which contains only natural ingredients so you can use it frequently. It also helps activate your body’s natural defense mechanisms to address the underlying problem, says Wylde.
- Exercise indoors on days when the pollen count is high or the air appears smoggy. “Nearly every city or market has a weather network or allergy association that monitors the pollen and smog indexes,” says the expert, who has been featured in interviews with Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and other television personalities.
“The key to beating allergies is to change your behavior before symptoms become severe,” Wylde concludes. “That way, you can help your body respond more effectively when it is exposed to allergens and finally enjoy all the good things that the season has to offer.”