Reader’s Links for October 19th, 2022

Here is a link to the VladTepesBlog social media Mastodon Pod. Please feel free to check it out and sign up for an account if you are sufficiently annoyed with Twitter and Facebook to try something new.

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

66 Replies to “Reader’s Links for October 19th, 2022”

  1. “Knock knock.”
    “Who’s there?”
    “Dirty screws.”
    “Dirty screws who?”
    “The cops. The Man. The fuzz.”
    “You’re under arrest.”
    “Mr. U you are charged with mixing metaphors.”
    “But the goose is cooked.”
    “Open up.”
    “The patient is unplugged.”
    “Open up.”
    “Stick a fork in it.”
    “Open up!”
    “The ship is going down!”
    “Open up!”

    Bill Holter 40 min:

  2. We all have a voice. It may be small, it may be meek, but it is a voice. When it joins others it can be a force for great goodness. Use yours.

  3. Revealed: PR firm that represents Pfizer and Moderna also sits on CDC vaccine division – sparking major conflict of interest concerns
    Weber Shandwick is helping run communications around the vaccine program
    But the PR group is already working for Moderna, and has worked for Pfizer
    Critics slammed the CDC’s hire today as ‘irresponsible’, it was revealed

    A PR company that represents Pfizer and Moderna has staff ’embedded’ in the CDC’s vaccine division, it has emerged.

    New York-based firm Weber Shandwick has been responsible for elevating Pfizer’s profile since at least 2006. It partnered with Moderna in June this year, after the small biotech firm became a household name following its vaccine success.

    Yet questions are being raised about a possible conflict of interest as it emerged the company was hired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the pandemic to boost its ‘health communication’.

    It was involved in PR campaigns that encouraged Americans to get vaccinated against Covid.

    But a spokesperson for Weber Shandwick told it had a ‘thorough vetting and mitigation process to avoid conflicts’.

    Vaccine makers made more than $34billion in profits last year from the Covid jabs alone — equivalent to $1,000 a second, according to estimates.

  4. Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed his calls for the “reunification” of China and Taiwan on Sunday during the opening session of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

    “We will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary,” Xi said.

    China is “determined to pursue reunification on a much faster timeline,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday.

    “So, now it’s sort of pretty clear that the Chinese are thinking seriously of making a move. So, why aren’t we acting like it?” says Elbridge Colby, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development in the Defense Department.

    “Why aren’t we acting on a national mobilization effort precisely to avoid a war? Because once we get into a war, it’s definitely going to be far more expensive and costly in terms of lives and resources. And it may be too late if we wait that long,” Colby says.

  5. GoV – “Since it Doesn’t Prevent Contagion, What Was the Vax For?”

    Matteo Bassetti is an Italian virologist who has been a vigorous proponent of the experimental mRNA treatment […]

    twitter @profmbassetti

    Curo il Covid con l’aspirina da aprile del 2020. Questo studio dimostra che usare l’aspirina come antinfiammatorio riduce la mortalità senza aumentare il rischio di sanguinamenti. Viva l’aspirina

    Bassetti – Basta fake news sui vaccini!! (17.10.22)

    • WaPo – Whites now more likely to die from covid than Blacks: Why the pandemic shifted

      SOMERVILLE, Tenn. — Skill Wilson had amassed more than three decades of knowledge as a paramedic, first in Memphis and then in Fayette County. Two places that felt like night and day.

      With only five ambulances in the county and the nearest hospital as much as 45 minutes away, Skill relished the clinical know-how necessary to work in a rural setting. Doing things like sedating patients to insert tubes into their airways.

      But when it came to covid-19, despite more than 1 million deaths nationwide, Skill and his family felt their small town on the central-eastern side of Fayette County, with its fields of grazing cattle and rows of cotton and fewer than 200 covid deaths since the start of the pandemic, was a cocoon against the raging health emergency.

      “It was a lot easier to stay away from others,” his widow, Hollie Wilson, said of the largely White and predominantly conservative county of about 42,000 residents. “Less people. Less chance of exposure.”

      Covid seemed like other people’s problems — until it wasn’t.

      The imbalance in death rates among the nation’s racial and ethnic groups has been a defining part of the pandemic since the start. To see the pattern, The Washington Post analyzed every death during more than two years of the pandemic. Early in the crisis, the differing covid threat was evident in places such as Memphis and Fayette County. Deaths were concentrated in dense urban areas, where Black people died at several times the rate of White people.

      “I don’t want to say that we weren’t worried about it, but we weren’t,” said Hollie, who described her 59-year-old husband as someone who “never took a pill.” After a while, “you kind of slack off on some things,” she said.

      Over time, the gap in deaths widened and narrowed but never disappeared — until mid-October 2021, when the nation’s pattern of covid mortality changed, with the rate of death among White Americans sometimes eclipsing other groups.

      A Post analysis of covid death data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from April 2020 through this summer found the racial disparity vanished at the end of last year, becoming roughly equal. And at times during that same period, the overall age-adjusted death rate for White people slightly surpassed that of Black and Latino people.

      The nature of the virus makes the elderly and people with underlying health conditions — including hypertension, diabetes and obesity, all of which beset Black people at higher rates and earlier in life than White people — particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death.

      That wasn’t Skill.

      The virus also attacks unvaccinated adults — who polls show are more likely to be Republicans — with a ferocity that puts them at a much higher risk of infection and death.

      That was Skill.

      He joined the choir of critics opposing vaccination requirements, his rants in front of the television eventually wearing on Hollie, who, even if she agreed, grew tired of listening and declared their home “covid-talk free.”

      So, she said, Skill commiserated with like-minded people in Facebook groups and on Parler and Rumble, <the largely unmoderated social networking platforms popular with conservatives.

      “We’re Republicans, and 100 percent believe that it’s each individual’s choice — their freedom” when it comes to getting a coronavirus shot, Hollie said in January. “We decided to err on the side of not doing it and accept the consequences. And now, here we are in the middle of planning the funeral.”

      Capt. Julian Greaves Wilson Jr., known to everybody as Skill, died of covid Jan. 23, a month after becoming infected with the coronavirus. He fell ill not long after transporting a covid patient to the hospital. At the time he died, infection rates in Fayette County had soared to 40.5 percent among people taking coronavirus tests.

      ‘A different calculus’
      When the coronavirus appeared in the United States, it did what airborne viruses do — latched onto cells in people’s respiratory tract, evaded innate immune responses and multiplied. The pathogen, free of politics or ideology, had a diverse reservoir of hosts and found fertile pathways for growth in the inequalities born from centuries of racial animus and class resentments.

      Unequal exposure, unequal spread, unequal vulnerability and unequal treatment concentrated harm in communities that needed protection the most yet had the least. Cumulatively, Black, Latino and Native American people are 60 percent more likely to die of covid.

      But as the pandemic progressed, the damage done by the virus broadened, and the toxicity of modern-day politics came to the fore.

      The Post analysis revealed the changing pattern in covid deaths. At the start of the pandemic, Black people were more than three times as likely to die of covid as their White peers. But as 2020 progressed, the death rates narrowed — but not because fewer Black people were dying. White people began dying at increasingly unimaginable numbers, too, the Post analysis found.

      In summer 2021, the nation saw some of the pandemic’s lowest death rates, as vaccines, shoring up the body’s immune response, became widely available.

      Then came the delta variant. The virus mutated, able to spread among the vaccinated. As it did, an erosion of trust in government and in medicine — in any institution, really — slowed vaccination rates, stymieing the protection afforded by vaccines against severe illness and death.

      After delta’s peak in September 2021, the racial differences in covid deaths started eroding. The Post analysis found that Black deaths declined, while White deaths never eased, increasing slowly but steadily, until the mortality gap flipped. From the end of October through the end of December, White people died at a higher rate than Black people did, The Post found.

      That remained true except for a stretch in winter 2021-2022, when the omicron variant rampaged. The Black death rate jumped above White people’s when the spike in cases and deaths overwhelmed providers in the Northeast, resulting in a bottleneck of testing and treatment.

      When the surge subsided, the Black death rate once again dropped below the White rate.

      “Usually, when we say a health disparity is disappearing, what we mean is that … the worse-off group is getting better,” said Tasleem Padamsee, an assistant professor at Ohio State University who researched vaccine use and was a member of the Ohio Department of Health’s work group on health equity. “We don’t usually mean that the group that had a systematic advantage got worse.”

      That’s exactly what happened as the White death rate surpassed that for Black people, even though Black Americans routinely confront stress so corrosive it causes them to age quicker, become sicker and die younger.

      The shift in covid death rates “has vastly different implications for public health interventions,” said Nancy Krieger, professor of social epidemiology at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Officials must figure out how to connect with “communities who are ideologically opposed to the vaccine” while contending with “the cumulative impact of injustice” on communities of color.

      “Think about the fact that everyone who is age 57 and older in this country was born when Jim Crow was legal,” she said. “What that did was intersect with covid-19, meaning that embodied history is part of this pandemic, too.”

      So what contributed to the recent variation in death rates? And why?

      The easy explanation is that it reflects the choices of Republicans not to be vaccinated, but the reasons go deeper. The Post interviewed historians and researchers who study the effects of White racial politics and social inequality on health, spoke with relatives and friends of those lost to covid, and compiled data from federal databases and academic studies.

      What emerged is a story about how long-standing issues of race and class interacted with the physical and psychological toll of mass illness and death, unprecedented social upheaval, public policies — and public opinion.

      Resilience gave way to fatigue. Holes left by rural hospital closures deepened. Medical mistrust and misinformation raged. Skeptics touted debunked alternatives over proven treatments and prevention. Mask use became a victim of social stigma.

      Many Republicans decided they would rather roll the dice with their health than follow public health guidance — even when provided by President Donald Trump, who was booed after saying he had been vaccinated and boosted.

      Researchers at Ohio State found Black and White people were about equally reluctant to get the coronavirus vaccine when it first became available, but Black people overcame that hesitancy faster. They came to the realization sooner that vaccines were necessary to protect themselves and their communities, Padamsee said.

      As public health efforts to contain the virus were curtailed, the pool of those most at risk of becoming casualties widened. The No. 1 cause of death for 45-to-54-year-olds in 2021 was covid, according to federal researchers.

      “I still remember when I was doing the mayor’s press conferences a few months into this, and I made note of the fact that most of those people who had died look like me,” said James E.K. Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s oldest and largest private, historically Black academic health sciences center, in Nashville. Hildreth played a central role in the city’s pandemic response.

      “I wondered aloud if it were reversed, would the whole nation not be more galvanized to fight this thing?” recalled Hildreth, an immunologist and member of an expert panel that advises the Food and Drug Administration on vaccines, including coronavirus shots.

      After it became clear that communities of color were being disproportionately affected, racial equity started to become the parlance of the pandemic, in words and deeds. As it did, vaccine access and acceptance within communities of color grew — and so did the belief among some White conservatives, who form the core of the Republican base, that vaccine requirements and mask mandates infringe on personal liberties.

      “Getting to make this decision for themselves has primacy over what the vaccine could do for them,” said Lisa R. Pruitt, a law professor at the University of California at Davis who is an expert in social inequality and the urban-rural divide. “They’re making a different calculus.”

      It’s a calculation informed by the lore around self-sufficiency, she said, a fatalistic acceptance that hardships happen in life and a sense of defiance that has come to define the modern conservative movement’s antipathy toward bureaucrats and technocrats.

      “I didn’t think that that polarization would transfer over to a pandemic,” Pruitt said.

      It did.

      A lifesaving vaccine and droplet-blocking masks became ideological Rorschach tests.

      The impulse to frame the eradication of an infectious disease as a matter of personal choice cost the lives of some who, despite taking the coronavirus seriously, were surrounded by enough people that the virus found fertile terrain to sow misery. That’s what happened in northern Illinois, where a father watched his 40-year-old son succumb to covid-19.

      For Robert Boam, the increase in White deaths is politics brought to bear on the body of his son, though he’s reluctant “to get into the politics of it all, but it all goes back to that.”

      Brian Boam was a PE teacher at an elementary school in suburban Chicago. On Christmas Eve, the entire family gathered at the elder Boam’s home in an Illinois town where the first Lincoln-Douglas debate was held. Brian Boam was there with his 10-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son.

      Robert Boam said his son had survived covid the year before, so “we got on his butt to get that booster shot when he was here for Christmas.” And he did — but got sick again, the 73-year-old said. “Being vaccinated, and all that, and getting covid again kind of bummed him out.”

      Just after the new year, Brian Boam, who was hypertensive, went to a hospital feverish and vomiting. It took 10 hours to be seen and even longer for a bed to become available. As he waited, he sent what would be his last text message to his parents. Thanks for all you do. I love you.

      He went into cardiac arrest in the emergency room and was transferred to Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, one of the nation’s top academic hospitals. There, his family hoped he would be healed, but his organs began to fail. He died Jan. 8.

      “The thing that gets me is the people who still don’t believe it’s serious or even real, but when they get sick, they run to the hospital,” Robert Boam said. “You’re taking away from heart attack patients and stroke patients.”

      The pandemic, he said, “should’ve been taken seriously from the very beginning, and it wasn’t. It was denied. It was downplayed. And it all goes back to one person, as far as I’m concerned.”

      Asked who that was, Boam would say only: “I’ll give you three guesses. The first two don’t count.”

      Stress, and its burden
      While almost three years of chaotic public health crises have left Americans of all races uncertain about the future, they have also revealed the enduring nature of racial and class politics — and the cost they exact, including for White Americans.

      Those triggers are layered upon each other, stoking stress, said Derek M. Griffith, who co-leads the Racial Justice Institute and directs the Center for Men’s Health Equity at Georgetown University

      “Whether it’s ‘I can’t pay my rent and mortgage as easily as I used to,’ or ‘I want to show I’m not worried about covid,’ your body doesn’t care where the stress is coming from. It’s just experiencing stress,” he said. “Then add to that how people are coping with the stress.”

      When it comes to racism, most people think of something that occurs between individuals. But it’s as much about who has access to power, wealth and rights as it is about insults, suspicion and disrespect. Prejudice and discrimination, even if unconscious, can be deadly — and not just for the intended targets.

      A growing body of research, outlined in the book “Caste,” by Isabel Wilkerson, shows that even the most anodyne of social exchanges with people of different races, such as glancing at faded yearbook photos, can raise White people’s blood pressure and cortisol levels.

      Stress is a hard-wired physiological response, triggered at the first sign of danger. The brain sounds an alarm, setting off a torrent of neurological and hormonal signals. Persistent surges of cortisol and other stress hormones can wear down the body, increasing the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart attack or premature death by damaging blood vessels and arteries. Overexposure to stress can weaken the immune response and can make it harder to develop antibodies after being vaccinated against infectious diseases.

      Sometimes, the harm is not just biological but also behavioral.

      Researchers at the University of Georgia found that White people who assumed the pandemic had a disparate effect on communities of color — or were told that it did — had less fear of being infected with the coronavirus, were less likely to express empathy toward vulnerable populations and were less supportive of safety measures, according to an article in Social Science & Medicine.

      Perhaps, the report concludes, explaining covid’s unequal burden as part of an enduring legacy of inequality “signaled these disparities were not just transitory epidemiological trends, which could potentially shift and disproportionately impact White people in the future.”

      Translation: Racial health disparities are part of the status quo.

      And because of that, government efforts to bring a public health threat to heel are seen by some White Americans as infringing on their rights, researchers said.

      “This is reflective of politics that go back to the 19th-century anxieties about federal overreach,” said Ayah Nuriddin, a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University who studies the history of medicine.

      Us vs. them
      Questions about the government’s role in ensuring the public’s health and well-being hang heavy with historical inflections in states such as Tennessee, once home to the president who argued that Reconstruction-era legislation to help and protect newly freed enslaved people violated states’ rights.

      And so in many ways, the roots of the consternation over recent pandemic-control measures began sprouting a century and a half earlier.

      But that hasn’t stopped people such as Civil Miller-Watkins from wondering why those roots are choking so many now.

      The former Fayette County school board member, who possesses an abiding belief in the power of the common good, said she finds the mind-set “I know what’s good for me, and if it’s harmful for you, you’re going to have to deal with it” worrisome amid a pandemic.

      “Living in a rural county is not for the faint of heart, especially as a Black person,” the 56-year-old said. Still, she can’t help but wonder, “if I’m the same neighbor you give sugar to, and you know I have an 84-year-old in my house and a little-bitty baby at home, why wouldn’t you wear a mask around me?”

      It’s a question that dogged her over Christmas when two of her grandchildren were infected with the coronavirus days before they were scheduled to be vaccinated.

      “We put it on Republicans and politics,” she said, “but I think we should dig deeper.”

      That’s what Jonathan M. Metzl, director of Vanderbilt University’s Department of Medicine, Health, and Society, did for six years while researching his book “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland.”

      Published in 2019, it is a book about the politicization of public health and mistrust of medical institutions. It is a story about how communal values take a back seat to individuality. It’s an exploration of disinformation and how the fear of improving the lives of some means worsening the lives of others.

      “I didn’t know it at the time, but I was writing a prehistory of the pandemic,” Metzl said in an interview. “You’re seeing a kind of dying-of-Whiteness phenomenon in the covid data that’s very similar to what I saw in my data.”

      Metzl and Griffith, a Vanderbilt professor at the time, conducted focus groups on the Affordable Care Act throughout middle Tennessee including White and Black men who were 20 to 60 years old. Some were small-business owners and security guards. Others were factory workers and retirees.

      The divergent medical experiences of Black and White patients permeated Metzl’s focus groups, particularly when the conversation veered toward the politics of health and government’s role in promoting well-being.

      “Black men described precisely the same medical and economic stressors as did White men and detailed the same struggles to stay healthy,” Metzl wrote. “But Black men consistently differed from White men in how they conceived of government intervention and group identity. Whereas White men jumped unthinkingly to assumptions about ‘them,’ Black men frequently answered questions about health and health systems through the language of ‘us.’ ”

      Tennessee has yet to expand Medicaid under the ACA, a decision fueling rural hospital closures at a rate that eclipses nearly every other state because there isn’t enough money to keep the doors open. Not only would expanding Medicaid have saved hospitals, Metzl wrote, it would have saved thousands of lives — White and Black.

      Metzl said watching the pandemic unfold felt like a flashback to past battles over federal health-care reform. Messaging that leaned into quantitative data about masks and vaccines sounded eerily similar to the mistakes made, “at least for this part of the country,” with the ACA, he said.

      “The minute public health infrastructure started to talk about the statistical public health benefits of the mask” and not how everyone needed to be on the same page to stay safe, Metzl said, “I just knew that it was going to open a door for the same kind of anti-ACA stuff, which is ‘the government’s telling you what to do.’ ”

      As Metzl conducted research for his book in 2016, a 41-year-old uninsured Tennessean named Trevor who was jaundiced and in liver failure told him “I would rather die” than sign up for the ACA. When asked why, Trevor, who was identified by first name only, said: “We don’t need any more government in our lives. And in any case, no way I want my tax dollars paying for Mexicans or welfare queens.”

      Now during the pandemic, there are people like 39-year-old Chad Carswell of North Carolina whose kidneys functioned recently at just 3 percent. He was denied a new kidney in January after refusing to take a coronavirus vaccine as required for the transplant at the time, saying: “I was born free. I’ll die free.”

      Much like protests to “repeal and replace” the ACA, Metzl said rejecting public health measures is about dogma more so than a mistrust of the science of vaccines or masks.

      “We’ve oversimplified this with morality tales about the vaccine is good, and anti-vaxxers are bad, and they’re automatically racist,” Metzl said. “Being anti-vaccine or anti-mask is part of an ideology. When people get more desperate, they get more ideological.”

      A funeral, a cause
      Skill Wilson’s funeral in January was a public testimony to the complexity of people. The room was draped in the unmistakable symbols of patriotism, a steely declaration that this was someone who believed in service and sacrifice for country and community. Firefighters sat in row upon row, their dress uniforms — crisp white shirts and formal blue blazers — marking the solemn occasion. Maskless faces abounded.

      His urn, embossed with the firefighters’ “thin red line” flag — a black-and-white U.S. flag with a single red stripe across it — sat between two firemen’s helmets. It is a flag that some have come to see as a political statement, while others view it as a way to honor fallen firefighters. Behind them, a burial flag folded into a crisp triangle.

      A succession of eulogies told the story of a man who could make you drive past your highway exit in a fit of rage, who harassed the fire chief until every station in the county had a flagpole that displayed the Stars and Stripes, who loved sneaking up behind his children and yelling, “Boo!”

      Husband. Father. Friend.

      Sarcastic. Goofy. Joker.

      “Skill was one of the constants in my life. For people who didn’t really know our friendship, they’d think we hated each other,” said Debbie Patterson, a division chief with Emergency Medical Services at the Memphis Fire Department. “We were constantly going to battle and name-calling. Some of them are dork, idiot, slacker. But our true term of endearment for each other, for years, has been ‘b—-es.’ ”

      He would call at 6 a.m., even when she wasn’t on shift, to “wake me up and tell me I was a slacker for being on vacation,” she said, laughing.

      During those phone calls, they figured out the day’s menu for lunch, bragged about their children and personal lives, and solved the fire department’s problems “as firefighters do.”

      “Of course, we rarely saw eye to eye on anything,” she said. “The best part about Skill was he could laugh at himself for being a dumb ass, too.”

      It was a scene of mourning and hope, of bravado and brokenness. There was as much laughter as sorrow, wounds healed by scripture and classic ’70s rock. It was a paragon of Southern, White masculinity.

      Last to the lectern was Hollie’s uncle, who looked out at the sea of uniforms, at the men and women in government service, and assured them that the uncomfortable truths he said he was about to share were not directed at anybody in the room.

      Skill, he said, was a warrior who put his faith in the system that “betrayed him and left him laying on this battlefield” during a “war he was willing to fight.”

      “How many more good men and women — fathers, brothers, mothers and sisters — will be sacrificed on the altar of money before we all stand up and say this is enough?” he continued, adding that “Skill and I were on the same page. We had the same worldview.”

      He never specified the war, though he said it was one we’re all fighting “no matter what lines they try to draw between us.” Faith, he said, lies with God and each other, “not in those who are solely motivated by profit.”

      But it wasn’t about what he said. It was about what he left unsaid: the far-right extremist views that go beyond the bounds of traditional conservative politics and ideals of patriotism.

      Online, he and the family have shared social media posts and, until recently, sold customized insulated plastic cups bearing the insignia of Three Percenters, a decentralized militant movement named after the myth that just 3 percent of the population fought the British in the American Revolution. It’s founded on the idea that armed “patriots” should protect Americans from the tyranny of big government, including gun laws, pandemic shutdowns and racial justice protests.

      Later, outside in the parking lot while smoking a cigarette, Hollie’s uncle clarified that the battle is against covid and shared the popular — yet false — conspiracy that potentially lifesaving covid medications are being withheld by the health-care system. What he wouldn’t do was provide his name, saying he didn’t want “little black SUVs showing up at my house.”


      The Post applied the standard technique used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to calculate age-adjusted covid death rates by race using the CDC’s provisional covid death data that includes race, ethnicity, age and date of death. Under that procedure, The Post calculated death rates for age groups by dividing the number of deaths by the population in that age group. The Post then used a standardized age distribution to create an overall rate for each race-ethnicity group.

      Age-adjusted rates are especially necessary for understanding covid deaths because the majority of people killed by covid are age 75 or older, even though that group represents less than 9 percent of the U.S. population. Additionally, more than 90 percent of covid deaths are in people age 50 and older.

      The covid death age pattern is important in reviewing deaths by race because White people are disproportionately older. More than 40 percent of White people are age 50 or older, but less than 30 percent of Black people are in those older age groups. Hispanics are even younger, with less than 25 percent age 50 or older.

      The age-adjusted rates offset that difference in age distribution to compare deaths as if the races or ethnic groups had the same age distribution.

      Whites, Blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaskan Natives are non-Hispanic. Hispanics are of any race, so the racial groups and the Hispanic groups do not overlap.

      For maps, The Post calculated age-adjusted covid death rates for each race in each state over the course of the pandemic using provisional covid death data by state.

    • EU drug watchdog EMA gives the green light for children older than six months to get either Pfizer or Moderna’s mRNA injections.

      EMA recommends approval of Comirnaty and Spikevax COVID-19 vaccines for children from 6 months of age

      EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended extending the use of Comirnaty and Spikevax targeting the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. The Committee recommended including the use in children aged 6 months to 4 years for Comirnaty and use in children aged 6 months to 5 years for Spikevax. Comirnaty and Spikevax are already approved in both adults and children aged from 5 and 6 years, respectively.

      Compared to the doses for already authorised age groups,1 the doses of both vaccines in these new younger age groups will be lower. In children from 6 months to 4 years of age, Comirnaty can be given as primary vaccination consisting of three doses (of 3 micrograms each); the first two doses are given three weeks apart, followed by a third dose given at least 8 weeks after the second dose. In children from 6 months to 5 years of age, Spikevax can be given as primary vaccination consisting of two doses (of 25 micrograms each), four weeks apart. For children within these age groups, both vaccines are given as injections in the muscles of the upper arm or the thigh.

      For Comirnaty, a main study in children from 6 months to 4 years of age showed that the immune response to the lower dose of Comirnaty (3 micrograms) was comparable to that seen with the higher dose (30 micrograms) in 16- to 25-year-olds. For Spikevax, a main study in children from 6 months to 5 years of age showed that the immune response to the lower dose of Spikevax (25 micrograms) was comparable to that seen with the higher dose (100 micrograms) in 18- to 25-year-olds. Both studies evaluated the immune response triggered by the vaccines by measuring the level of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

      The most common side effects for both vaccines, in children aged from 6 months to 4 or 5 years, were comparable to those seen in older age groups. Irritability, sleepiness, loss of appetite, rash and tenderness at the injection site were also common side effects in children aged 6 to 23 months with Comirnaty, while irritability, crying, loss of appetite and sleepiness were common side effects in children aged 6 to 36 months with Spikevax. For both vaccines, these effects were usually mild or moderate and improved within a few days of vaccination.

      The CHMP therefore concluded that the benefits of Comirnaty and Spikevax in children aged from 6 months to 4 and 5 years, respectively, outweigh the risks.

      The safety and efficacy of both vaccines, in children and adults, will continue to be monitored closely as they are used in vaccination campaigns in EU Member States through the EU pharmacovigilance system and ongoing and additional studies conducted by the company and coordinated by European authorities.

      The originally authorised vaccines, Comirnaty and Spikevax, are both effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalisation and death associated with COVID-19 and continue to be used within vaccination campaigns in the EU, in particular for primary vaccinations. National authorities in the EU Member States will determine who is recommended to be vaccinated and when, taking into account factors such as infection and hospitalisation rates, the risk to vulnerable populations, vaccination coverage and vaccine availability.

      The CHMP recommendations will now be sent to the European Commission, which will issue final decisions applicable in all EU Member States.

      How the vaccines work

      Both vaccines work by preparing the body to defend itself against COVID-19. Each vaccine contains a molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA) which has instructions for making the spike protein. This is a protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which the virus needs to enter the body’s cells.

      When a person is given the vaccine, some of their cells will read the mRNA instructions and temporarily produce the spike protein. The person’s immune system will then recognise this protein as foreign and produce antibodies and activate T-cells (white blood cells) to attack it.

      If, later on, the person comes into contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, their immune system will recognise it and be ready to defend the body against it.

      The mRNA from the vaccine does not stay in the body but is broken down after vaccination.

      Where to find more information

      The product information approved by the CHMP for Comirnaty and Spikevax contains prescribing information for healthcare professionals and a package leaflet for members of the public.

      Assessment reports, with details of EMA’s evaluations of the use of Comirnaty and Spikevax in children from 6 months of age, will be published on the EMA website.

      The studies in children were carried out in accordance with the paediatric investigation plan (PIP) for each vaccine, which was agreed by EMA’s Paediatric Committee (PDCO). Clinical trial data submitted by the companies in their applications for the paediatric extensions of indication will be published on the Agency’s clinical data website in due course.

      More information is available in the overviews of the vaccines in lay language, including a description of the vaccine’s benefits and risks and why EMA recommended their authorisation in the EU.

      Monitoring the safety

      In line with the EU’s safety monitoring plan for COVID-19 vaccines, Comirnaty and Spikevax are closely monitored and subject to several activities that apply specifically to COVID-19 vaccines. Independent studies of COVID-19 vaccines coordinated by EU authorities will give more information on the vaccines’ long-term safety and benefits in the general population.

      These measures allow regulators to swiftly assess data emerging from a range of different sources and take appropriate regulatory action to protect public health if needed.

      1For a primary vaccination course with Comirnaty, adults and adolescents from the age of 12 are given 30 micrograms per dose; children aged 5 to 11 years are given 10 micrograms per dose. For a primary vaccination course with Spikevax, adults and adolescents from the age of 12 are given 100 micrograms per dose; children aged 6 to 11 years are given 50 micrograms per dose.

    • AUSTRALIA – Russian roulette COVID warning for South Australians ahead of Christmas

      South Australians are playing Russian roulette with COVID simply by hopping on a tram – that is the warning from a top epidemiologist.

    • CDC drops BOMBSHELL covid vaccine decision for U.S. children

      The CDC has voted to add the Covid vaccine to regular vaccine schedules for children. This gives big pharma permanent liability for the vaccines, which they may not have had due to the state of emergency, or lack thereof.

      Each state will have to now decide if the Covid vaccine will be recommended for children to attend public schools.

      This makes the Covid vaccine the first vaccine to be added to children’s vaccine schedules without full clinical trials and data.

  6. reuters – Putin declares martial law in occupied parts of Ukraine, boosts Russia’s war footing

    LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he was introducing martial law in four Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine that Moscow claimed last month as its own territory but is struggling to defend from Ukrainian advances.

    In televised remarks to members of his Security Council, Putin boosted the powers of Russia’s regional governors and ordered the creation of a special coordinating council under Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to step up the faltering war effort.

    He said the “entire system of state administration”, not only the specialised security agencies, must be geared to supporting what Russia calls its “special military operation”.

    The package of moves, nearly eight months into the war, marked the latest escalation by Putin to counter a series of major defeats at the hands of Ukrainian forces since the start of September. A Kyiv official said it would change nothing.

    The published Kremlin decree ordered an “economic mobilisation” in eight regions adjoining Ukraine, including Crimea, which Russia invaded and annexed in 2014.

    It placed them in a special regime one step below martial law and allowed for the restriction of people’s movements.

    Putin conferred additional powers on the leaders of all Russia’s 80-plus regions to protect critical facilities, maintain public order and increase production in support of the war effort.

    But it was far from clear how fast or how effectively the new measures might bolster Russia’s military position on the ground, and what effect they would have on public opinion.

    The Russian-installed acting governor of occupied Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, confirmed that he would hand power to the military, according to Russian news agencies. But several Russian regions including Moscow that were named in parts of the decree said nothing would change for them.

    Putin’s order came on the day that Russian-installed officials in Kherson told civilians to leave some areas as soon as possible in anticipation of an imminent Ukrainian attack.

    Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on Twitter: “This does not change anything for Ukraine: we continue the liberation and de-occupation of our territories.”

    Ukrainian gains have forced Putin into a series of escalatory steps within the past month: the unpopular call-up of hundreds of thousands of extra troops, the unilateral annexation of the four Ukrainian regions – condemned as illegal by an overwhelming majority of nations at the U.N. General Assembly – and a threat to resort to nuclear weapons to defend what Russia sees as its own lands.

    After months of assurances from the Kremlin that the campaign was going according to plan, the increasingly urgent measures have brought the reality of the war much closer to home for many ordinary Russians.

    The failings of the military and the chaotic state of the mobilisation – which prompted hundreds of thousands of men to flee abroad – have drawn unprecedented criticism even from Putin allies.

    Some regions have resorted to public appeals to provide newly mobilised soldiers with basic equipment to head to the front – a problem implicitly acknowledged by Putin.

    “Our soldiers, no matter what tasks they perform, must be provided with everything they need. This applies to the equipment of barracks and places of deployment, living conditions, kit and gear, food and medical care,” he said.

    “We have every opportunity to resolve all the issues that arise here – and they do exist – at a modern level that is worthy of our country.”

    He said the steps he was ordering would increase the stability of the economy and industry and boost production in support of the military effort.

    “We are working on solving very complex, large-scale tasks to ensure a reliable future for Russia, the future of our people,” he said.

    • Why Putin is evacuating all citizens from the right bank to the left bank of the Dnieper river in Kherson? By all citizens, between 15,000 to 60,000.

      The main reason, according to the Russian commander, would be NATO via Zelensky is planning to wipe out the area’s hydroelectric power plant and destroy the dam thus major flooding will occur.

      This is going to be one hell of a battle.

    • CBC – NATO surveillance plane watches Russia’s activity in Ukraine

      CBC’s David Common gets rare access to NATO’s sophisticated surveillance aircraft that monitors Russian war activity in and around Ukraine, and provides information to allies, allowing Ukraine to quickly respond.

    • europravda –Silvio Berlusconi: Polish MEP urges former Italian premier to send vodka back to Putin

      A European lawmaker urged Silvio Berlusconi to send vodka back to Putin after the former Italian PM appeared to say in a leaked recording that he’d received a gift from the Russian president for his birthday.

    • President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,

      Before we proceed to the current agenda, I would like to speak about an exceptionally important matter.

      During the referendum, residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions firmly and conclusively expressed their will. They want to be with Russia. The constitutional laws on incorporating these four new regions into the Russian Federation have taken effect.

      As we know, the Kiev regime refused to recognise the will and choice of the people, declining any proposals for talks. On the contrary, shelling continues and civilians continue to die. The neo-Nazis are using plainly terrorist methods, plotting sabotage at critical infrastructure, attempting to murder members of local authorities. Just like their ideological predecessors – Bandera’s followers and Hitler’s accomplices, they are trying to create a criminal underworld, sending sabotage groups to our territories.

      The Ukrainian intelligence services plotted the explosion on the Crimean Bridge. We managed to prevent terrorist attacks in other Russian regions, specifically, at mass gatherings, on public transport, at energy facilities, including – and I want to stress this – at nuclear energy facilities.

      In this context, I would like to remind you that before their accession to Russia, martial law was in effect in the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Lugansk People’s Republic, the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. Now we must introduce the same mode under Russian law. This is why I have signed the Executive Order introducing martial law in these four regions. It will be submitted to the Federation Council for approval immediately. The State Duma has been informed about this decision.

      Also, I consider it necessary in the current circumstances to give additional powers to the heads of all Russian regions. An Executive Order to this effect was signed today as well.

      Top officials in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation should see to it that measures are taken to ensure the safety of people, the security and counterterrorism protection of critical infrastructure facilities, maintain public order, enhance the stability of the economy and industry, as well as launch and increase the manufacturing of products necessary for the special military operation. The regional heads will be authorised to establish corresponding headquarters to coordinate these efforts. I hereby instruct the Government, the Defence Ministry and other agencies to give them all the support necessary.

      It is obvious that the situation and state of affairs differ from region to region, and so the range of measures and the tasks set for the regional heads will differ depending on the situation in any given constituent entity of the Federation. Therefore, the Executive Order provides for several levels of response to arising risks.

      I am asking the Moscow Mayor, who heads the State Council Commission on State and Municipal Government, working jointly with the Presidential Executive Office, to take part in ensuring coordination of the regions’ efforts to implement the measures set out in this Executive Order and interaction between the constituent entities of the Federation with federal authorities. I hereby instruct the heads of all Russian regions to immediately start implementing the provisions of this Executive Order.

      Next, not only the security and law enforcement agencies concerned but the entire system of public administration shall take part in providing supplies for the special military operation. Work must continue to improve coordination. In this connection, the Government is to draft a Presidential Executive Order on establishing a special coordinating council. It will be chaired by the Prime Minister and will comprise deputy prime ministers and representatives of security and law enforcement agencies, the social and economic bloc of the Government, the Presidential Executive Office and the State Council, which will ensure close interaction with all Russian regions.

      I would like to emphasise once again that we are proud of everyone who joins our armed forces and who is doing their duty to defend the Motherland. All our soldiers, no matter what tasks they are assigned, must be provided with everything they may need. This concerns the equipment of barracks and deployment areas, living conditions, uniforms, weapons, meals and medical services. We have the necessary capabilities to deal with all arising questions, which do exist, at a modern level worthy of our country.

      It is also known that problems with paying allowances to servicemen drafted as part of the partial mobilisation have emerged in recent time. Today, I have signed an instruction on strict compliance with the established timeframes for and amounts of payments. Let me remind you that they should amount to no less than 195,000 rubles per calendar month, including, I want to stress this in particular, the period of training and instruction.

      I also authorise heads of regions, jointly with the Russian Popular Front, the #WeAreTogether movement and volunteers, to take control of efforts to provide all-out support to families whose relatives have been mobilised for military service – to children, parents, wives and the next of kin of all our defenders.


      We are working to resolve highly complicated, large-scale challenges related to ensuring the security and reliable future of Russia. We are working to defend our people. Those who are now at the front or undergoing training at training grounds and centres should feel our support and know that they are backed by a huge and great country, by a united and closely-knit people. I am confident that our workers, engineers and entrepreneurs will continue to effectively address the tasks facing the defence industry and the economy.

      Let me stress once again: good organisation is required today at all levels of power. The heads of regions, who have been vested with additional powers, are charged with special responsibility. All heads of constituent entities of the Russian Federation must take concerted efforts and be ready to make quick and precise decisions. It is necessary to be constantly in contact with people, enterprises, labour collectives.

      We will work hard, steadily and smoothly. But we also need additional coordination and concentration of efforts in the most important, priority sectors. This is imperative. And we will do it. I count on your support.


      We will now move on to the Security Council’s agenda and discuss certain issues related to the migration policy. This sphere is highly sensitive for national security and for the stable development of Russia and our society.

      The situation in the world is changing dynamically. There are new global and regional factors that affect the migration sphere, and we should respond to these factors in a timely and effective manner, improving our work based on a thorough analysis of the new realities.

      It is obvious, for example, that we need to upgrade the existing State Migration Policy Concept. It should fully take into account the entire range of both existing and potential challenges and become the basis for further legislative improvements. I issued the relevant instruction in March 2020, and today I expect to hear detailed reports on what has been done and what priorities we will have to focus on in the near future.

      Let us move on to the discussion. The floor goes to Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev.

    • TASS – Russian troops thwart Ukrainian army attempt to seize Zaporozhye nuke plant — top brass

      According to Igor Konashenkov, as a result of active operations by the Russian troops protecting the external perimeter of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the enemy’s assault force was destroyed

      MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military made another attempt to land an assault force of up to two companies on the left bank of the Kakhovka reservoir and seize the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, with the attack repelled by Russian troops, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Wednesday.

      “The Kiev regime does not cease provocations with the aim of creating the threat of a man-made disaster at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Today, at about 4:00 a.m., up to two enemy companies made another attempt to land an assault force on the left bank of the Kakhovka reservoir and seize the territory of the nuclear station. The enemy involved 37 boats and craft with Ukrainian troops to land the assault force, including 12 heavy and 25 light vessels,” the spokesman said.

      As a result of active operations by the Russian troops protecting the external perimeter of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the enemy’s assault force was destroyed, the general said.

      “The Ukrainian army’s losses amounted to over 90 troops and 14 boats. The remnants of the assault force were dispersed by artillery fire in the area of the Kakhovka reservoir,” Konashenkov reported.

      Chairman of the We Are Together with Russia movement Vladimir Rogov earlier reported the Ukrainian army’s attempt to land an assault force in the town of Energodar to seize the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

      • Last night there was another attempt to “liberate” the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe, ZNPP. Power has been knocked out completely, essential cooling rods sustained by generator. Yet our own American HIMARS just keep hitting it…
        Potentially {Fukushima x 10}

        NATO has war-gamed a knock-out strike on the enormous Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro. Kherson oblast, upstream from the city that’s looking like the next big front. (The bridge has already been destroyed.)

        Game outcome ==> Monstrous flood, mass death, the entire region destroyed. Staggering implications.

        Practice run for impending war with China, hit the Three Gorges Dam?

        Why are “we” doing this ????????
        Who are “we” ????????

  7. There’s been no unified command till now: 85% of the fighting has been done by the poorly-trained, uncoordinated regional militias. Now post-referenda, the separatist breakaway provinces come under the RF umbrella. Things are changing fast. Maybe kick it up from “Special Military Operation” to “Counterterrorism Special Op”, the penultimate stage before calling war _WAR_.

    Uncle Vlad has been waiting for widespread buy-in from the Russian people. That’s definitely happening. It appears as if they’re more bellicose than he is.

    Plus the reassurance that Russia will not be isolated by “NATOstan”. (Usage of that term marks an anti-American agenda.)
    But the best materiel will continue to be held in reserve - in case NATO goes kinetic.

    SouthFront is viciously anti-American and altogether distasteful, but it has posted the first interview with Gen. Sergey Surovikin – aka Gen. Armageddon. He’s just been appointed Commander of the “SMO”. This is a biggie.

    South Of Ukraine Expects Military Shocks – First Interview Of Russian Top Commander Amid Appeal From Regional Governor

  8. Michael Doran, hard-hitting as ever:
    Iran is killing Ukrainians — why is Biden still courting them?
    His article last year, written together with Tony Badran – THE go-to guy on the Levant – remains absolutely essential reading:

    The Realignment
    In the Middle East, Biden is finishing what Obama started. And his top advisers are all on board.

  9. Iranian climber who competed without hijab gets hero’s welcome at home

    Iranian competitive climber Elnaz Rekabi received a hero’s welcome on her return to Tehran early Wednesday, after competing in South Korea without wearing a mandatory headscarf required of female athletes from the Islamic Republic.

    Rekabi’s decision not to wear the hijab while competing Sunday comes as protests sparked by the Sept. 16 death in custody of a 22-year-old woman have entered a fifth week. Mahsa Amini was detained by the country’s morality police over her clothing — and her death has seen women removing their mandatory hijabs in public.

    The demonstrations, drawing school-age children, oil workers and others to the street in over 100 cities, represent the most-serious challenge to Iran’s theocracy since the mass protests surrounding its disputed 2009 presidential election.

    Supporters and Farsi-language media outside of Iran have worried about Rekabi’s safety after she choose to compete without the hijab…

  10. Barnes Praises Khamenei, Hopes to Be ‘Dennis Rodman’ of the Assad Regime

    Mandela Barnes, the Democratic Senate candidate in Wisconsin, praised Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei for supporting Black Lives Matter, said he wanted to be the “Dennis Rodman” of the Assad regime, and used his Twitter account to defend some of the world’s most notorious dictators and repressive regimes….

    Barnes’s social media posts could raise questions about the candidate’s willingness to align himself with anti-American and undemocratic leaders. The news comes as Barnes, the Wisconsin lieutenant governor and former state legislator, has faced criticism over his repeated appearances on RT…

    Barnes also wrote several posts opposing any U.S. effort to oust Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in 2013, while the embattled dictator was massacring his own people and using chemical weapons.

    “I’d like to pull a Rodman next. I should have hopped that fence to Syria when I had the chance,” wrote Barnes on April 9, 2013, a few weeks after Assad’s regime carried out a deadly Sarin gas attack against its opposition…..

  11. Marwa Osman–MidEaStream

    Turkish journalist who follows the movements of extremist groups, Mustafa Kilic, confirms that the leader of “Caucasus Soldiers” has moved with a group of his fighters, to Ukraine to fight the Russians.

    The ability of states to mobilize opposing ideologies in one trench confirms the strategy of expanding the “political money” that controls religion, ideology, concepts and principles, so that the left supporting al-Qaeda and Islamists supporting “Shia” Azerbaijan, “Neo-Nazi” Ukraine, “Crusader” America and others can be seen all together in one camp.

    A time of chaos concepts indeed.

  12. Juan Sinmiedo/Fearless John/Ukraine exposed.

    • Ukrainian Neo Nazi and war criminal Ivan Zaliznyak is offering bribes to individuals for carrying terrorist actions in the territory of Russia.

    • Apparently there are several “offices” set up in Russian territory from before the conflict started, ready to pay big sums of money to people whiling to commit criminal activities against Russia.

    • Some of the examples of actions Zaliznyak illustrated in the video are “stab a Russian police officer to death”, “burn a police car” or to “blow up a enlistment office”.

    • Good rewards are offered in crypto currency which is impossible to trace.

    • Who is financing these offices? Ukraine ran out of money long ago. All cash cames from the US and the EU, who in the end are sponsors of terrorist activities against the Russian Federation.

    (subtitled video at the link)

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