VIDEO: The Incredible Journey of Elon Musk — The Story Of SpaceX

Nerdiest reports:

In 2001, Musk conceptualized “Mars Oasis”; a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse on Mars, containing food crops growing on Martian regolith, in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration.

In October 2001, Musk traveled to Moscow with Jim Cantrell (an aerospace supplies fixer), and Adeo Ressi (his best friend from college), to buy refurbished Dnepr Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could send the envisioned payloads into space. The group met with companies such as NPO Lavochkin and Kosmotras; however, according to Cantrell, Musk was seen as a novice and was consequently spat on by one of the Russian chief designers and the group returned to the United States empty-handed.

In February 2002, the group returned to Russia to look for three ICBMs, bringing along Mike Griffin. Griffin had worked for the CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel, as well as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and was just leaving Orbital Sciences, a maker of satellites and spacecraft. The group met again with Kosmotras and were offered one rocket for US$8 million, however, this was seen by Musk as too expensive; Musk consequently stormed out of the meeting. On the flight back from Moscow, Musk realized that he could start a company that could build the affordable rockets he needed. According to early Tesla and SpaceX investor Steve Jurvetson, Musk calculated that the raw materials for building a rocket actually were only 3 percent of the sales price of a rocket at the time.

It was concluded that theoretically, by applying vertical integration and the modular approach from software engineering, SpaceX could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70-percent gross margin. Ultimately, Musk ended up founding SpaceX with the long-term goal of creating a “true spacefaring civilization”.

With US$100 million of his early fortune, Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, in May 2002.

Musk is chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technology officer (CTO) of the Hawthorne, California-based company. SpaceX develops and manufactures space launch vehicles with a focus on advancing the state of rocket technology. The company’s first two launch vehicles are the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets (a nod to Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon), and its first spacecraft is the Dragon (a nod to Puff the Magic Dragon).

In seven years, SpaceX designed the family of Falcon launch vehicles and the Dragon multipurpose spacecraft. In September 2008, SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket became the first privately funded liquid-fueled vehicle to put a satellite into Earth orbit.

On May 25, 2012, the SpaceX Dragon vehicle berthed with the ISS, making history as the first commercial company to launch and berth a vehicle to the International Space Station.

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Interrogating the Transgender Agenda

A psychiatrist questions the scientific and medical basis for current treatments of gender dysphoria.


Dr Paul McHugh is one of America’s leading psychiatrists. The article below is his testimony to the US Supreme Court in the case of R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

An employee of the funeral home, Aimee Stephens, decided to transition from a man to a woman in 2013. Her employer sacked her. Stephens sued. The case rose steadily through the courts. Although Stephens died of kidney disease last month at the age of 59, her estate is carrying on the lawsuit.

This is a very significant case. At stake is whether bans on sex discrimination in the United States also include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Dr McHugh’s expertise is helpful in questioning a so-called scientific imperative for gender affirmation. (Footnotes and references have been removed and the text has been slightly abridged.)


Sex refers to the two halves of humanity, male and female. It is well defined based on the binary roles that males and females play in reproduction. “In biology, an organism is male or female if it is structured to perform one of the respective roles in reproduction. This definition does not require any arbitrary measurable or quantifiable physical characteristics or behaviors, it requires understanding the reproductive system and the reproduction process.”

The structural difference for the purpose of reproduction is the only “widely accepted” way of classifying the two sexes. “This conceptual basis for sex roles is binary and stable, and allows us to distinguish males from females on the grounds of their reproductive systems, even when these individuals exhibit behaviors that are not typical of males or females.”

Sex is not and cannot be “assigned at birth,” despite the assertions of the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and Respondents. The language of “assigned at birth” is purposefully misleading and would be identical to an assertion that blood type is assigned at birth. Yes, a doctor can check your blood type and list it. But blood type, like sex, is objectively recognizable, not assigned. In fact, the sex of a child can be ascertained well before birth.

“Gender identity” has no bearing on a male’s or a female’s sex. Stephens [legal team] maintains that, although in every biological and physiological way a man, Stephens is really a woman. Stephens felt a deep affinity towards things that are culturally and stereotypically associated with girls. But Stephens was not, and is not, a girl no matter how many of the stereotypes about girls Stephens adopts and no matter how deeply Stephens believes that affinity for those stereotypes about females transforms Stephens into a female.

A boy mind in a girl body?

The “popular notion regarding gender identity” that says a person has a “boy mind in a girl body” or vice versa is merely an idiom used by a person seeking to describe some type of distress to others. Just as we have seen before during the height of the discredited multiple personality disorder era, such testimonials are not truth, even if one asserts it as a truth claim. Such a “view implies that gender identity is a persistent and innate feature of human psychology.” But based on “the neurobiological and genetic research on the origins of gender identity, there is little evidence that the phenomenon of transgender identity has a biological basis.” There are problems with the methodological limitations of any imaging study that assesses “girl brain” and “boy brain” theories:

[I]t is now widely recognized among psychiatrists and neuroscientists who engage in brain imaging research that there are inherent and ineradicable methodological limitations of any neuroimaging study that simply associates a particular trait, such as a certain behavior, with a particular brain morphology. (And when the trait in question is not a concrete behavior but something as elusive and vague as “gender identity,” these methodological problems are even more serious).

[Therefore] there are no studies that demonstrate that any of the biological differences being examined have predictive power, and so all interpretations, usually in popular outlets, claiming or suggesting that a statistically significant difference between the brains of people who are transgender and those who are not is the cause of being transgendered or not — that is to say, that the biological differences determine the differences in gender identity — are unwarranted. In short, the current studies on associations between brain structure and transgender identity are small, methodologically limited, inconclusive, and sometimes contradictory.

In short, science does not support the notion that gender identity is an innate, immutable physical property of human beings. One’s sense of self and one’s desire to present to others as a member of the opposite sex have no bearing whatsoever upon the objective biological reality that one is male or female.

Even if evidence existed that brain studies showed differences, which they do not, it would not tell us whether the brain differences are the cause of transgender identity or a result of identifying and acting upon their own stereotypes about the opposite sex, through what is known as “neuroplasticity.”

Regardless of the extent transgender identities and aspects of the brain could correlate in some way, none of this speaks to the question of biological sex. Even if there was a biological basis for people to think they’re the opposite sex, that does not make them so.

No matter how difficult the condition of gender dysphoria may be, nothing about it affects the objective reality that those suffering from it remain the male or female persons that they were in the womb, at birth, and thereafter – any more than an anorexic’s belief that she is overweight changes the fact that she is, in reality, slender.

Gender identity is not immutable, but is based on persons’ beliefs associating themselves with whatever stereotypes they have about people of the opposite sex. It is a subjective perception not limited to the two sexes, but expands to categories other than male or female. Contrarily, sex is not a belief. It is an objective and scientifically demonstrable reality.

Stephens, as well as the APA and AMA, asserts that “everyone has a gender identity, which is ‘one’s internal, deeply held sense of gender.’” The APA’s and the AMA’s proffered descriptions of gender identity operate, in all essentials, analogous to a religious belief system. But neither the sincerity of a religious belief nor the sincerity of a person’s beliefs about gender identity determine reality. Even the Sixth Circuit noted that gender identity has an “internal genesis that lacks a fixed external referent,” and much like religion, should be “authenticat[ed]” through professions of identity rather than “medical diagnoses.” But because it is more like a belief system, it does a great disservice to everyone, those suffering with gender dysphoria and others who are affected, to treat gender identity like sex. A person is either a man or a woman, regardless of what anyone — including that person — happens to believe.

Sex is not a social construct

Some of the errors described above may have led to the Sixth Circuit’s mistaken conclusion that employers that have sex-specific policies based on their employees’ sex instead of their gender identity “necessarily” rely on “stereotypical notions of how sexual organs and gender identity ought to align.” However, the exact opposite is true. Gender identity is a social construct that stands in contradistinction to sex. The biological reality of sex is not a stereotype or social construct.

The irony of course is that labeling sex itself as an illicit stereotype turns everything on its head and actually elevates stereotypes as a reason to treat members of the same sex differently. An employer that has sex-specific policies would be treating all employees equally based on their sex. But, an employer who instead, had “gender identity-specific” policies, would by definition be treating employees of the same sex differently, and basing the different treatment on socially constructed sex stereotypes.

Sex matters in various contexts. Getting the definition wrong affects those areas. If the definition of “sex” is rewritten to mean “gender identity,” doing so both deconstructs the meaning of “sex” and undermines the ability to account for those situations where the distinctions between the two halves of humanity matter.

In addition to bodily privacy in locker rooms, restrooms, and changing facilities (where sex distinctions are crucial based on the bodily differences between the sexes, which accounts for separate facilities in the first place) or the ability to maintain competitive athletic environments for females (again due to bodily differences), we must maintain both the language and the legal construct to recognize sex in other settings such as where strip searches must occur. An inability to do so will put those being searched — including children — in situations where a person of the opposite sex (who identifies with their sex) conducts the search.

Similarly, if we are to disconnect sex from our anatomical differences, other unreasonable demands will be made of persons, such as beauticians in the business of waxing being asked to wax the genitals of a man who identifies as a woman. Even our understanding of sexual orientation is based on sex, not gender identity. Because distinctions based on sex matter in myriad contexts (many of which may only be discovered as the consequences of this experiment unfold), this Court should be slow to muddle the definitions of sex and gender identity.

Treating gender dysphoria

While this case involves the question of whether the term “sex” in federal law means gender identity or includes gender identity, the AMA asks the Court to consider the policy implications, namely the notion that protections under Title VII are necessary to advance the treatment goals of those with gender dysphoria. It claims that science shows that transgender individuals benefit from being affirmed in their beliefs about their sex, from social transition, from hormonal interventions, and from surgeries.

However, these professional associations rely on mere testimonials rather than evidence-based medicine. They treat the supposed benefits of gender affirmation as fact, rather than a clinical judgment call. And we ought not make policy decisions in the name of science when the kind of evidence necessary to support these “treatments” simply does not exist. Instead, those who are affirmed in their gender beliefs progress from social transition to surgical interventions at their peril. Indeed, if the evidence shows us anything, it indicates that those who progress all the way through surgery fare poorly.

Gender affirmation and social transition

The AMA suggests that the many difficulties that are sadly experienced by those who identify with the opposite sex are caused by social stigma. What is necessary, they claim, is that those with gender dysphoria be affirmed in their beliefs. From there, the protocol calls for three phases: (1) social transition, (2) hormone therapy, and (3) surgical interventions.

However, subjecting gender dysphoric persons to this protocol is risky because there is little evidence that social transition is the panacea that the AMA makes it out to be. Often it is a self (or therapist) fulfilling prophecy. Worse, gender affirmation does not end with social transition, but leads to medical and surgical interventions. Even the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) itself admits that “no controlled clinical trials of any feminizing/masculinizing hormone regimen have been conducted to evaluate safety or efficacy in producing physical transition.”

Moreover, some patients wish to detransition, and “the potential that patients undergoing medical and surgical sex reassignment may want to return to a gender identity consistent with their biological sex suggests that reassignment carries considerable psychological and physical risk.” This also “suggests that patients’ pre-treatment beliefs about an ideal post-treatment life may sometimes go unrealized.”

This protocol begins with the notion that gender affirmation is necessary in order to avoid social stigma. And while we should all agree that all persons should be treated with respect, blame should not be laid at the feet of friends, relatives, or co-workers who believe that social transition may not be in a person’s best interest. In fact, even in environments that are fully supportive of transition, “a large number of people who have the surgery . . . remain traumatized — often to the point of committing suicide.”

The most thorough follow-up of sex reassigned people — extending over thirty years and conducted in Sweden, where the culture is strongly supportive . . . documents their lifelong mental unrest. Ten to 15 years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex- reassignment surgery rose to 20 times that of comparable peers. Clearly poor outcomes cannot be blamed on lack of acceptance.

Contrary to what the AMA proposes, there is insufficient evidence that any phase of treatment is helpful. Instead, some studies suggest that not following the protocol may have more positive results. It is unacceptable to have lower standards of care for a group already at a far greater risk for psychological problems and suicide. Doctor Susan Bewley told the BBC in a Newsnight special that “We must not miss the opportunity to do good research now, helping . . . concerned clinicians actually deal with the uncertainty of what they’re doing.”18

Failing to address root issues

Previous editions of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, as recent as 2013, listed “gender identity disorder” rather than “gender dysphoria.” And until recently, clinical distress was not a part of the diagnosis criteria, indicating professional concern for anyone who manifests an incongruence between biological sex and gender identity — not just those who experience distress.

People who identify as transgender “suffer a disorder of ‘assumption’ like those in other disorders familiar to psychiatrists.” “The ‘disordered assumption’ of those who identify as the opposite sex . . . is similar to the faulty assumption of those who suffer from anorexia nervosa, who believe themselves to be overweight when in fact they are dangerously thin.”

Dr Anne Lawrence, who is transgender, has argued that body integrity disorder, which involves a person who identifies as disabled and feels trapped by a fully functional body, draws parallels to gender dysphoria. Dr. Josephson describes this type of phenomenon as a “delusion . . . [to] a fixed, false belief which is held despite clear evidence to the contrary.”

To illustrate in another way, someone with anorexia may feel overweight and know that they are not. As a result, they struggle with their feelings until they come to believe that they are fat. Similarly, someone with gender dysphoria begins by feeling like they are the opposite sex but know they are not. They then struggle with those feelings until they come to believe they are the opposite sex and try to act accordingly.

Yet, just as you would not treat an anorexic person’s delusion by helping that person to lose weight, it is unwise to treat a gender dysphoric person’s delusion by encouraging them to indulge in that falsehood. When false beliefs about reality are not addressed by helping people come to accept reality, their false beliefs “are not merely emotionally distressing . . . but also life-threatening.” Treatment should “assess and guide them in ways that permit them to work out their conflicts and correct their assumptions.”

Instead, some in the scientific community want gender dysphoric individuals to “find only gender counselors who encourage them in their sexual misassumptions.” Indeed, there are no other health issues where doctors modify healthy bodies to align with a mind’s misperception or where they would call a healthy body a “birth defect” rather than working with the mind to accept bodily reality.

A more appropriate treatment would be to show gender dysphoric individuals that feelings are not the same as reality. “Psychiatrists obviously must challenge the solipsistic concept that what is in the mind cannot be questioned.”

“Disorders of consciousness, after all, represent psychiatry’s domain; declaring them off- limits would eliminate the field.” Indeed, when treatment is focused on helping patients align their subjective gender identity with their objective biological sex by use of normal counseling methods such as talk therapy, gender dysphoria has proven to be significantly reduced.

Given the harms of the next two phases of the WPATH protocol, social transition should not be encouraged. Not only does it not address the root issues causing clinical distress, it also makes it more likely for patients to forge ahead into hormone therapy and physical alteration of their body.

The harm of hormone therapy

Hormone therapy has not been proven to improve the overall quality of life or reduce psychological symptoms or other negative outcomes. At best, the scientific data is inconclusive. At worst, it is harmful.

Hayes Inc., a company which focuses on “unbiased” “evidence-based assessments of health technologies and clinical programs to determine their impact on patient safety,” gave the quality of evidence for hormone treatment its lowest possible rating. The Hayes Directory explains that some groups advocate for hormonal treatments as “medically necessary treatments.” However, these treatments do “not readily fit traditional concepts of medical necessity since research to date has not established anatomical or physiological anomalies associated with [gender dysphoria].”

After reviewing 21 studies, the Hayes Directory concluded that the studies “were inconsistent with respect to a relationship between hormone therapy and general psychological health, substance abuse, suicide attempts, and sexual function and satisfaction.” For quality of life, “[d]ifferences between treated and untreated study participants were very small or of unknown magnitude,” suggesting little evidence of effectiveness.

Alarmingly, and contrary to the AMA’s and the APA’s narrative, the Hayes Directory reports that the studies show the prevalence of suicide attempts was not affected by hormone therapy.

Additionally, hormone therapy increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular and thromboembolic events, osteoporosis, and cancer. No proof of improved mortality, suicide rates, or death from illicit drug use was observed.

Similarly, in 2010, Mohammad Hassan Murad of the Mayo Clinic studied the body of research involving the outcomes of hormonal therapies used in advance of sex reassignment procedures. He found there to be “very low quality evidence” that hormonal interventions “likely improve gender dysphoria, psychological functioning and comorbidities, sexual function and overall quality of life.”

Without well-designed studies that provide conclusive results that treatments designed to block natural maturation of the body are helpful, public policy should not be used to mandate the kind of gender affirmation that result in such treatments.

The harm of sex reassignment surgery

Scientific support for sex reassignment surgery is equally lacking. After one of the first studies addressing the efficacy of surgical transition occurred in 1979, Johns Hopkins Medical Center discontinued surgical intervention. A study performed by Jon K. Meyer and Donna J. Reter found that when individuals who underwent sex reassignment surgery reported improvement, it did not rise to the level of statistical significance, but those who opted not to undergo sex reassignment surgery showed statistically significant improvement. Those authors concluded that “sex reassignment surgery confers no objective advantage . . . .”

Other studies have shown negative consequences. In a study performed by Cecilia Dhejne with the Karolinska Institute and Gothenburg University in Sweden, it was found that “transsexual individuals had an approximately three times higher risk for psychiatric hospitalization than the control groups, even after adjusting for prior psychiatric treatment.” “[M]ost alarmingly, sex reassigned individuals were 4.9 times more likely to attempt suicide and 19.1 times more likely to die by suicide compared to controls.”

In 2009, a longitudinal study performed by Annette Kuhn in Switzerland found that over a 15-year period the quality of life for 55 sex-reassigned individuals was “considerably lower” than females who had pelvic surgery for other reasons. Moreover, “none of the studies included the bias-limiting measures of randomization . . . and only three of the studies included control groups.” While the Mayo Clinic report indicated that 80% of sex reassigned patients reported improvement in gender dysphoria, 78% improvement in psychological symptoms, and 80% improvement in quality of life, none of the studies included the bias-limiting measure of randomization or control groups. Thus, the claim that improvement occurred after surgical transition is merely comprised of testimonials.

Another Hayes Directory report, this time addressing surgical interventions, concluded that there is not good scientific evidence to support surgical modifications. It concluded that the “evidence was too sparse to allow any conclusion regarding the comparative benefits of different [sex reassignment surgery] procedures.”The “very low” quality of evidence was “due to limitations of individual studies, including small sample sizes, studies lacking evaluating any one outcome, retrospective data, lack of randomization, failure to “blind outcome,” lack of a control or comparator group, and other problems. Unbiased assessment of the claims leads to the following conclusion:

The scientific evidence summarized suggests we take a skeptical view toward the claim that sex reassignment procedures provide the hoped-for benefits or resolve the underlying issues that contribute to elevated mental health risks among the transgender population. While we work to stop maltreatment and misunderstanding, we should also work to study and understand whatever factors may contribute to the high rates of suicide and other psychological and behavioral health problems among the transgender population, and to think more clearly about the treatment options that are available.

There is no good evidence that this dramatic surgery produces the benefits espoused by the AMA. There is, however, evidence that surgical modification poses health risks.20 Moreover, one unalterable consequence is that anyone who goes through with “sex change” surgery will be sterilized. Without firm scientific evidence, the medical and psychiatric community should not follow the WPATH protocol to progress from social transition, to medical interventions, and ultimately to surgery, which therefore calls into question the AMA’s claim that government policy should require persons to affirm others’ beliefs that they are the opposite sex.

Other procedures

Another Hayes Directory report reviewed all the relevant literature on ancillary procedures and services for the treatment of gender dysphoria, such as voice training, facial modifications, reduction of the Adam’s apple, and other cosmetic surgeries to feminize or masculinize features. These too do “not readily fit traditional concepts of medical necessity since research to date has not established anatomical or physiological anomalies associated with [gender dysphoria].”

As with its conclusion on hormone therapies as well as surgical modifications, the Hayes Directory gave the scientific support for these treatments its lowest possible rating. The studies not only had limitations such as small sample sizes, separating procedures by category, and a lack of control or comparator group, they also measured “technical success and patient satisfaction” while ignoring “overall measure of well-being.” In fact, the Hayes Directory found that the “overall individual well- being is unknown.”

In conclusion, relevant to the Court’s present concern, the AMA’s suggestion that gender identity should be read into sex protections in furtherance of treatments goals for those suffering from gender dysphoria is misplaced. Given that the stated goal of transitioning people with gender dysphoria to their identified gender is to improve their overall well- being, altering a person’s body, sometimes permanently, should not be done without solid scientific evidence of its benefits. Since the known studies only measure self-reported satisfaction with the aesthetic result, and not improved quality of life, mental state, or overall well-being, these procedures should not be recommended treatment.

How about children?

… If this Court, for policy reasons, were to redefine sex to mean gender identity, that definition will impact children in educational settings. Indeed, such an interpretation has been used to force some schools to open privacy facilities to the opposite sex. Such an approach not only subjects students to sexual harassment through the systematic loss of bodily privacy, but such treatment is actually contraindicated for those children who suffer from gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoric children subjectively feel they are the opposite sex based on what they think it is like to be the opposite sex. Other than in this area, children who have persistent beliefs that do not conform with reality are not encouraged to persist in those beliefs. In the same way, counselors should assess and guide those with gender dysphoria in ways that permit them to work out their conflicts and correct their false assumptions.

Until recently when ideological imperatives took the place of scientific evidence, this is precisely what was done for gender dysphoric children. Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a leading authority on gender dysphoria, successfully helped children through psychosocial treatments like talk therapy, organized play dates, and family counseling. A follow-up study revealed that only 3 of 25 female children continued to struggle with gender dysphoria.

In contrast to the belief that we and our children are best served by observing and cooperating with our observable biological reality, the AMA and the APA say that children who suffer from gender dysphoria can relieve that dysphoria through social transition, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and eventually surgically altering sex-based anatomy to look like that of the opposite sex. This progression, however, is unhelpful since children who identify with the opposite sex but who are allowed to go through puberty without puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones cease identifying with the opposite sex 70% to 98% of the time for males and 50% to 88% of the time for females.

Conversely, when children are encouraged to progress through social transition to puberty blockers, they tend to persist with their dysphoria. Yet no longitudinal, controlled studies support gender-affirming treatments for gender dysphoria. The problem is that while some persons who go through all these stages may report satisfaction with an eventual surgery, they may still suffer the same morbidities and experience startlingly high rates of suicide and attempted suicide.

Not only does the progression from affirmation to surgery result in increased psychological problems, but the evidence is insufficient to suggest that each step along the way is safe and efficacious. While affirming a child’s gender identity may appear a compassionate way to help a child during a painful and confusing experience, it is not.

There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging young [gender dysphoric] children to impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression. . . . All of his same-sex peers develop into young men, his opposite sex friends develop into young women, but he remains a pre-pubertal boy. He will be left psycho-socially isolated and alone.

Repetition affects the structure and function of the brain through what is called neuroplasticity. Thus, children who are encouraged to live as the opposite sex may be increasingly unable to live as their own sex. As a result, some children who would otherwise overcome their gender dysphoria may be unable to do so.

Puberty blockers pose other health risks. For example, they impair bone growth, decrease bone accretion, interfere with brain development, and impair fertility.

Rather than encouraging the progression through these stages, children would be better served at the very first stage by not encouraging their belief that they are the opposite sex. If they are allowed to progress through puberty, the issues of gender dysphoria naturally resolves the vast majority of the time. Therefore, a more cautious approach, supplemented by individual or family psychotherapy would be most compassionate. In short, the notion that science requires gender affirmation, and thus for policy reasons gender identity should be read into the word “sex” is misplaced.

Activism, not medicine

We should treat everyone with dignity and respect, but there is significant disagreement in the particulars of what is helpful to those identifying as transgender and what should be asked of others in the process. Though some research has been conducted regarding treatment of those who identify as transgender, when “research touches on controversial themes, it is particularly important to be clear about precisely what science has and has not shown.”

As discussed above, the existing studies on treatment of and outcomes for transgender persons are poor support for gender affirmation or the progression to medication or surgery, yet the large medical associations like the AMA and APA ardently endorse these practices. Unfortunately, ideology rather than science is driving the support. And since dissent is systematically eliminated and those who disagree are loudly condemned, the kind of research necessary to inform the public debate is not occurring.

“Consensus” in the scientific community is more contrived than scientific. “Mainstream clinicians and scientists who consider gender discordance to be a mental disorder have been deliberately excluded in the makeup of the steering committees of academic and medical professional societies which are promulgating guidelines that were previously unheard of.” Id. For instance, when the Endocrine Society created its guidelines, “the panel selected included only those who supported the emerging practices and attempts by many of the endocrinologists present to raise concerns were muted.”

The American Psychiatric Association, in the most recent edition of DSM, removed gender identity disorder and replaced it with gender dysphoria.

“Changes in diagnostic nomenclature in this area were not initiated through the result of scientific information but rather the result of cultural changes fueling political interest groups within professional organizations.” Naturally, considering identity with the opposite sex to be a mental disorder is incompatible with social affirmation. Therefore, the nomenclature was changed so that only the anxiety caused by the incongruity between sex and identification is considered to be a disorder.

Yet, since we would neither affirm a person who believed themselves disabled when they have a fully functional body nor suggest surgeries to disable such persons to conform their bodies to their beliefs, we should carefully consider the approach we take concerning persons’ subjective beliefs about their sex.

Indeed, if something conflicts with our understanding of biological facts, is inconsistently applied, and defies common sense, we should demand more evidence to suggest that these factors are all pointing the wrong direction. The support for gender affirmation, medications, and surgery come from testimonials, but that is not evidence. It would be akin to asking consumers if they are satisfied with their vehicles, and publishing those testimonies, claiming it to be evidence of quality or reliability. It is not as if we do not know how to get good data, such as with control studies, but we refuse to conduct good science or follow the science — and that has everything to do with activism and ideology — not good medicine.

As confirmation of the power of activism over science, those who follow the science are often shut down. Consider Lisa Littman, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University, who coined the phrase “rapid onset gender dysphoria.” She made the observation based on various parental reports that those who identify as transgender during or after puberty appear to have underlying and preexisting psychiatric conditions, and she called for more research. After members of the transgender community criticized the research, Brown quickly distanced itself. And ultimately, she lost a consulting job due to the research.

Jeffrey S. Flier, M.D., former dean of Harvard Medical School, wrote, “I have never once seen a comparable reaction from a journal within days of publishing a paper that the journal already had subjected to peer review, accepted and published. One can only assume that the response was in large measure due to the intense lobbying the journal received. . . .”

Similarly, Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a leading expert on gender dysphoria in children, who headed the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic in Toronto, was removed from his clinic on baseless charges and the clinic shut down. Zucker helped to write the “standards of care” guidelines for the WPATH and led the group that developed criteria for gender dysphoria used in DSM-5. But as others increasingly pushed gender affirmation and social transition, Zucker’s clinic continued to be cautious, suggesting that it was better to “help children feel comfortable in their own bodies,” since it recognized the malleable nature of gender identity in children and the likelihood that it will resolve. Activists saw this as a rejection of children’s gender identities.

As a result, the parent organization running the gender identity clinic interviewed activists and clinicians critical of the clinic and fired Zucker and shut down the clinic based on false claims. Yet for the many families who benefited from Zucker’s work and others who would benefit, “a sustained campaign of political pressure” took away their options to find help feeling comfortable with their own bodies.

This, of course, was not the first time science took the back seat in the practice of medicine. Trendy diagnoses and treatments have lead us astray in the past. The practices of eliciting alternative personalities from patients as well as lobotomy  had many testimonials about their benefits to patients, but testimonials do not form the substance of evidence- based medicine. Thus we should be especially cautious when activism or ideology has the upper hand over science.

Ultimately, poor science exacerbated the suffering of those treated by lobotomy or diagnosed with multiple-personality disorders in the past, and appears to be doing the same with those suffering from gender dysphoria today.

As a matter of science, sex and gender identity are so distinct that gender identity cannot properly be read into or replace sex. And with regard to the underlying policy question, there is no reliable evidence that gender affirmation — understood as asking or requiring persons to affirm others’ beliefs that they are the opposite sex — is efficacious.

The original text of Dr McHugh’s essay may be consulted HERE.

COLUMN BY

Paul McHugh

Dr. Paul McHugh, M.D. is the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. From 1975 until 2001, Dr. McHugh was the Henry Phipps Professor… More by Paul McHugh

RELATED ARTICLE: Transgenderism: a pathogenic meme

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Evidence Suggests Kids Are Extremely Low Risk For Coronavirus

While much still remains unknown about the coronavirus, a consensus has emerged that the virus presents an extremely minimal risk for children.

As the Summer months arrive, debate has emerged over whether or not it’s safe for schools to reopen. Most colleges throughout the U.S. have already stated their intentions to reopen their campuses this Fall, and two-thirds of college students feel safe returning even without a vaccine, according to a recent poll. However, managing to return younger students to school could prove more complicated.

President Donald Trump recently clashed with White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci over the possibility of K-12 schools reopening in the Fall, noting that the virus presents an extremely low risk to children. On the surface, the president is indisputably correct. A study published in late April estimated that roughly 1/3 of children ages 6-10 who had the coronavirus were asymptomatic, and concluded “the role of children in transmission is unclear, but it seems likely they do not play a significant role.”

As of mid-May, in the coronavirus epicenter of New York, just nine children under the age of 18 had died with the virus, accounting for a total of 0.06% of the state’s deaths. On the flip side, nearly three-quarters of coronavirus deaths in the state came among those 65-years-old and older.

Fox Sports commentator Clay Travis noted that the odds of people under the age of 24 dying from the coronavirus are statistically lower than them getting struck by lightning. The odds of someone under the age of 24 dying of the coronavirus is roughly one in 1 million, while the odds of someone in that age group getting struck by lightning is roughly one in 700,000.

It is for these reasons that college campuses appear almost certain to open up, and major revenue generators, such as college football, appear likely to begin their season on time. Colleges will be easier to reopen than K-12 schools, as college campuses also serve as living spaces and thus can be insulated if necessary. However, K-12 schools do not have those advantages and will likely face more roadblocks to reopening as a result. While the kids are extremely low-risk, extra concern will have to be paid to older teachers, and kids with live-in relatives who are older or have pre-existing respiratory conditions. A USA Today poll published last week found that 20% of teachers said they would be “unlikely” to return to school in the Fall, even if they are allowed to.

Parents worried about their children returning to school in the Fall can rest easy, as evidence overwhelmingly shows that kids are low risk for the coronavirus. However, reopening schools and daycare facilities will present more roadblocks than just securing the health and safety of young children.

COLUMN BY

WILLIAM DAVIS

Repoprter

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: ‘A Year’s Worth of Suicide Attempts in Four Weeks’ — The Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Lockdowns

Stay-at-home orders come with a host of unintended consequences that we have not yet even begun to measure or understand.


he costs of the government responses to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic have been severe. New evidence suggests they could be even worse than we imagined.

An ABC affiliate in California reports that doctors at John Muir Medical Center tell them they have seen more deaths by suicide than COVID-19 during the quarantine.

“The numbers are unprecedented,” said Dr. Michael deBoisblanc, referring to the spike in suicides.

“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” deBoisblanc added. “I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

Kacey Hansen, a trauma nurse who has spent 33 years at the hospital, said she has never witnessed self-inflicted attacks on such a scale.

“What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,” Hansen said. “I have never seen so much intentional injury.”

To date, there is little evidence that lockdowns have reduced the spread of COVID-19. But even if there were compelling evidence that lockdowns were saving lives, it would be a mistake to ignore the manifold unintended consequences of stay-at-home orders.

As economist Antony Davies and political scientist James Harrigan explain, “every human action has both intended and unintended consequences. Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended.”

The problem with negative unintended consequences is two-fold.

First, as Ludwig von Mises, observed, every government intervention in markets creates unintended consequences, which often lead to more calls for government interventions which have more unintended consequences, and so on. Second, as Frédéric Bastiat pointed out, we tend to focus our attention more on the intended consequences than the unintended ones. (Think of government assistance and the poverty trap.)

The unintended consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have been severe. Most of the attention, however, has been focused on the economic consequences. Forty million US jobs lost. A looming recession. Hundreds of thousands of businesses wiped out and retirements destroyed.

The psychological and physiological unintended consequences of stay-at-home orders have received less attention. Media have been largely transfixed on COVID-19, reporting daily death tolls and rising case numbers in states easing lockdown restrictions (while failing to note that COVID cases are rising because of expanded testing).

To be sure, measuring the impact on mental health is trickier than measuring COVID-19 fatalities or job losses. But that is no reason to discount the psychological and physical impact of lockdowns, especially when evidence suggests the toll is severe.

A recent Wall Street Journal report shows a surge in the number of people taking drugs for anxiety and insomnia, prompting physicians to warn about the long-term risks of increased prescriptions, which include drug addiction and abuse.

Stay-at-home orders may seem relatively benign, but they are not. Science shows that human beings struggle mightily in isolation from one another.

As The New York Times reported in 2016, social isolation isn’t just harmful, it’s quite deadly:

A wave of new research suggests social separation is bad for us. Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormonesOne recent study found that isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent and stroke by 32 percent.

Another analysis that pooled data from 70 studies and 3.4 million people found that socially isolated individuals had a 30 percent higher risk of dying in the next seven years, and that this effect was largest in middle age.

Loneliness can accelerate cognitive decline in older adults, and isolated individuals are twice as likely to die prematurely as those with more robust social interactions. These effects start early: Socially isolated children have significantly poorer health 20 years later, even after controlling for other factors. All told, loneliness is as important a risk factor for early death as obesity and smoking.

Anecdotal evidence, like the testimony of doctors at John Muir Medical Center and reported surges in calls to suicide hotlines around the country, suggest the mental toll of lockdowns could be as great as the material costs. (Indeed, they likely go hand-in-hand.)

We’ll have months if not years to debate whether the lockdowns were effective or the right thing to do. What’s important to remember is the stay-at-home orders come with a host of unintended consequences that we have not yet even begun to measure or understand.

For his part, Dr. DeBoisblanc has seen enough to convince him that it’s time to lift stay-at-home orders and let people return to their communities.

“Personally, I think it’s time,” he said. “I think, originally, this was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that, and our other community health is suffering.”

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘Incredible’: President Trump Hails NASA, SpaceX For Successful Launch

President Donald Trump praised NASA and SpaceX for a successful launch minutes after he watched the Falcon 9 rocket take flight in Florida on Saturday.

The Demo-2 mission came as a partnership between public sector NASA and private sector SpaceX and launched American astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.

“I’m so proud of the people, of NASA, public and private. When you see a sight like that, it’s incredible,” Trump said. “When you hear that sound — the roar — you can imagine how dangerous it is.”

Trump also had praise for SpaceX founder Elon Musk, calling him a “great brain.” He also said the launch could be a symbol of recovery for Americans suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdown measures ease across the country.

“I think this is such a great inspiration for our country. Our country is doing well … We suffered something that was terrible. It should have never happened — it should have never come out of China,” Trump said. “That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to be here today and I think any one of you would say that was an inspiration to see what we just saw.”

The SpaceX rocket will take astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, but the company and NASA also plan on returning American astronauts to the moon and being the first to reach Mars.

Musk has found common ground with Trump throughout the pandemic, as both have emphasized the need to reopen world economies and criticized local and state leaders who have been slow to do so.

Musk threatened to move his Tesla automaker plant out of California due to the state’s social distancing rules, leading to tweets from Trump supporting the move, according to Fox News.

COLUMN BY

ANDERS HAGSTROM

White House Correspondent

RELATED ARTICLE: SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Launches After First Attempt Was Foiled By Inclement Weather

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Italy Returns to Masses

As of last week, lockdown restrictions have been almost fully lifted in Italy. Shops, restaurants, cafés, etc. are reopening. Italians can now see friends, family, and colleagues freely, with some local discretion being exercised by each region. Churches are also now in “phase 2” of re-opening. In one of the oldest basilicas in Rome, Santa Maria in Trastevere, built in the 4th century, the first Mass was just held after almost three months of the nation-wide lockdown.

A sign at the entrance of the Church, however, says that those who have a fever of 37.5 C (99.5 F) or higher, influenza symptoms, or have been in contact with someone positive with COVID-19 cannot enter. For everyone else, a facemask, hand sanitizing, and one-meter distancing are conditions of entry.

You would expect that after weeks of a forced lockdown, the first Mass after reopening would have drawn many faithful once again to their place of worship, especially in one of the most prominent basilicas in Rome. But there were only about fifty people attending, about five of whom were nuns. All the benches had been removed for social distancing purposes. Chairs a meter or more apart were carefully positioned across the inside of the Church.

“People are still afraid, even of coming back to God,” one woman said, who used to attend the basilica regularly. “Personally, I think the Church has been very helpful during this crisis. It went from serving inside the Church to serving outside of it,” she added.

Churches were among the first institutions to be quarantined in Italy. The Italian bishops were relatively silent at the beginning; and their passivity in the face of government restrictions generated quite a bit of controversy. But the initial silence changed as the clergy began to compensate, not just by organizing online streaming Masses and virtually keeping in touch with its faithful, but also by taking a more active part in the community.

In the piazza in front of Santa Maria in Trastevere, for instance, large breakfasts are organized three times a week for those in need. Before the pandemic, about ninety people would show up. That number has more than doubled. A volunteer explained: “People are coming from outside of Rome, by train, just to get our breakfast and food boxes.”

The church provides fruit juices, marmalade, bread, biscuits, coffee and tea, as well as lunches for people when they return home. Initially, most of the people in need were homeless. Now there are many who are struggling with poverty or who have lost their jobs during the pandemic. Volunteers have multiplied as well; several journalists, who initially came to report on the charity, now help out on a regular basis.

The volunteers, too, have to undergo strict checks by the church, which measures their temperatures to make sure they don’t have a fever; they have to sanitize their hands, use gloves, practice social distancing, and wear masks. And the church also routinely subjects itself to strict sanitization. Chairs are disinfected before and after someone sits on them, and four times a week the whole church is sanitized with a vaporizer.

“We bought all this equipment ourselves; we are more sterilized as a church than many supermarkets,” the parish priest of the basilica, Don Marco Gnavi told me. In order to keep the focus on helping people and defeating the virus, he refrained from commenting on why places of worship, unlike supermarkets, were not allowed to remain open during the lockdown.

A parish assistant, however, said that some regulations imposed by government authorities did not make much sense. For example, only a maximum of 200 people can enter a church for Mass, even though some churches can take in many more. Santa Maria in Trastevere, for example, has space for at least 250 people even with the 1-meter-plus distance between chairs. And that is nothing compared with a massive building like St Peter’s Basilica.

All this is mere detail, however, which clergy are willing to put up with – at least for now – to make the reopening of Masses as smooth as possible.

During the first reopening Mass, photographers were conspicuously rushing around trying to get the best shots – especially when the priests, wearing gloves, were distributing the Eucharist. Usually, the faithful receive Communion, of course, by lining up in front of the altar. In the current situation, the priests move among the faithful, who are seated in well-spaced chairs.

The change indicates how Church leaders now feel responsible to serve the laity for the common good. In fact, “common good” is a phrase routinely emphasized when people talk about the restrictions.

“We have a collective responsibility to be prudent and protect those who are most fragile with a vision for the common good,” Don Marco Gnavi told me. When I asked him about criticisms that the Church has received for not remaining open, he replied, “Faith is bold, but it is not fatalistic or presumptuous.”

Don Marco points to St. Luke, an evangelist and physician, as a counter-example to the false dichotomy between science and religion that is often used to claim the Church should rebel against scientific authorities. “Jesus cured the sick; he never said illness should be ignored.”

Italian churches, like churches in other nations, were forced into becoming a virtual presence during the lockdown. Whether that was necessary or an overreaction is debatable and will have to be sorted out when the virus recedes and we can form a better picture of what is it and is not.

But now they are reopening with a strong sense of civic duty and a demonstrable ability to adapt in carrying out their divine mission, even in the midst of a pandemic.

COLUMN BY

Alessandra Bocchi

Alessandra Bocchi, a new contributor, is an Italian freelance journalist and writer who focuses on politics, religion, and culture in Europe, the Arab world, and China. She studied political theory at University College in London and international relations at King’s College.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Born for each other: How family planning and porn keep company

Partners in the sex business.


You can tell something about a person by the company she keeps, and the same applies to organisations. Marie Stopes International, a high profile British birth control non-profit, was outed in The Mail on Sunday recently for receiving cash and goods worth 7.5 million pounds from American porn tycoon Phil Harvey over the past 15 years.

Harvey himself has been a direct player in the international “reproductive health” game since the 1970s, funding his own and other charities through Adam & Eve, a business that sold 60 million pounds worth of sex toys and pornographic film in 2019.

What does this say about Marie Stopes?

At best that it suffers from poor taste. It also has a strange attitude to women. MSI touts its contraceptive and abortion services as empowering “women and girls all over the world to choose when or whether to have children.” Yet it works hand in glove with an industry that disempowers women by making them sexual playthings, if not facilitating sexual assault and human trafficking.

Harvey’s sex business offers an array of pornographic material including female sex robots which promote the fact “her inflatable body is also practical if you need to store her or take her on journeys.” An huge list of pornographic films is also flaunted on his sex website.

But by peddling contraception and abortion to vulnerable women in developing countries, MSI, like Planned Parenthood and the rest of them, is handmaiden to every man who would sexually exploit a woman. Yet it is blasé about the connection.

Its response to the Mail on Sunday was: “Phil Harvey has spent his life defending sexual and reproductive health rights, and played a significant role in expanding access for women across the world. We are proud that he continues to contribute to the organisation.”

Harvey, 82, is not the only unsavoury mogul to cosy up to the birth control industry. Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, used his magazine to campaign for legalised abortion. Harvey Weinstein apparently posed as a cheerleader of Planned Parenthood. It makes sense: the women they used or encouraged other men to use might need the odd abortion, and it goes down well with the liberal crowd.

However, Phil Harvey’s US$9 million equivalent over a decade or two looks paltry compared to what Marie Stopes gets from other sources every year. The UK government alone gave them £48million last year which helped them deliver around five million abortions and pay its CEO £434,000 – among other things. Harvey’s position as a board member of MSI signals that he is much more important to the organisation than his cash grants.

profile of him in Mother Jones magazine back in 2002 reveals that the relationship between Harvey and Marie Stopes goes back more than 50 years, to when he was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health, on a Ford Foundation fellowship (Ford being one of the main powerhouses of the population control movement). There he worked with a young British doctor, Tim Black, who went on to rescue the bankrupt Marie Stopes Foundation in 1975 and turn it into a “social business” with its current name.

Both Harvey and Black had spent time in developing countries and were convinced that what the poor of the world needed more than food was fewer babies. As part of their thesis work they came up with a plan to test social marketing of contraceptives in the American marketplace. With a university grant they began a mail order business, running clever ads in college newspapers and selling condoms to students. Next they added other merchandise and eventually struck gold when they threw in sex magazines. This was the genesis of Adam & Eve, which under Harvey surfed the wave of the home video boom in the 1980s and survived efforts to shut it down under the Reagan administration.

But Harvey and Black hadn’t forgotten the poor: perhaps social marketing of condoms would work in the developing world as well. To this end they set up a dual venture: a profit-making arm called Population Planning Associates, and a separate nonprofit, Population Services International (PSI), which by 1975 was running condom-marketing programmes in Kenya and Bangladesh. PSI remains one of the big guns of population control alongside International Planned Parenthood.

Harvey left PSI in the late 1970s and focussed on his porn business, but a few years later he founded another non-profit, DKT International, to take up marketing and supplying cheap condoms to the poor again.

In 2017 DKT launched a “WomanCare” platform “to dramatically increase the use of high-quality contraceptive, safe abortion, and reproductive health products.” In 2019, DKT WomanCare sold 222,123 manual vacuum aspiration abortion kits, 1.8 million cannulae and 1.4 million implants (linked with high rates of HIV in some African countries) in 90 countries. The organisation’s homepage currently features an example of its social marketing in the form of an article headed, “5 People Share Why Their Abortion Was Beautiful”.

This seems to be the real value of Phil Harvey to MSI and the whole international birth control industrial complex. As an entrepreneur he will use some of his own profits from porn to boost the supply of something like manual vacuum aspiration kits where, say, the British foreign aid agency or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or the UN Population Fund might hold back until the product is more acceptable to recipient governments.

Perhaps in somewhere like Kenya, where, although Marie Stopes says it only does abortions where they are legal, it more or less openly flouts the country’s highly restrictive law, and cloaks its activity with the saintly garb of “after abortion care” – that is, cleaning up after illegal abortions, which MSI dramatises (and inflates?) in order to push its abortion rights barrow.

On its home turf in Britain, MSI has had to clean up its own operations after unannounced official inspections. A highly critical Care Quality Commission report found major safety flaws at MSI clinics, with more than 2,600 serious incidents reported in 2015. A follow-up report in 2017 found there were 373 botched abortions in just the first two months of that year. MSI had issues with infection control and staff at one clinic complained of a “cattle market” approach with incentives for putting through as many abortions as possible.

No doubt there was some kind of idealism driving the founders of MSI and PSI/DKT, as there may be among those working for the organisations today – an actual belief that preventing births is a real favour to women and to the world in general. After all, the rich and respected of the world, the Fords, the Hewletts, the Gates and others have thought and continue to think so.

But the pornography connection that has helped so many of their projects along shows the true character of the birth control enterprise. Harvey told Mother Jones in 2002 that in the early days he was “terrified that, because of Adam & Eve, we were going to lose support for some of our programs.” Then he added: “But it never happened. I think part of the reason was that the key people in charge of family planning overseas, even in conservative governments, are not the types who are likely to be upset by sex products. After all, they’re in the sex business themselves.”

Yes, sex boils down to business for the so-called family planning establishment. A business requiring certain products to make it “safe” if not enjoyable for all concerned. And porn is one of those products, nearly as important as the condom itself, and often more effective since it removes the need for any human contact whatsoever. In that way, however, the pornographers could drive MSI and company out of business, ending a beautiful friendship – one as beautiful as abortion.

COLUMN BY

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet More by Carolyn Moynihan.

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EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Snake Oil of Social Distancing, Face Masks and Contact Tracing

“The propaganda of communism possesses a language which every people can understand. Its elements are simply hunger, envy, death.” –  Heinrich Heine, German poet

“Scientists do not collect data randomly and utterly comprehensively. The data they collect are only those that they consider *relevant* to some hypothesis or theory.” –  J. David Lewis-Williams, South African archaeologist

“In dealing with the Communists, remember that in their mind what is secret is serious, and what is public is merely propaganda.” –  Charles E. Bohlen, U.S. Diplomat

“Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest.” –  Napoleon Bonaparte


Our entire nation has been shut down by hysteria and fear.  If you think this is all about your health you’re mistaken. It’s all about getting a Democrat back in the White House.

Americans have complied, with wearing masks, social distancing and sheltering at home. Our country is destroyed and our debt is impossible to repay.  Christian churches were not allowed to open, (like China).  People are arrested for not wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart, or opening their businesses in a still locked down state.  That’s not freedom!  That is communism!

In North Carolina a federal judge said unequivocally that, “There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution of the United States or the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”  Yet throughout the country, we are seeing fascist tactics instituted by those in power.

The only way we get rid of this virus is with immunity.  Only those with compromised immune systems or the elderly should have been sheltered, the rest of the economy, businesses, schools, restaurants, etc. should have remained open.  The media won’t report that 98 percent of those who contract this Chinese bioweapon disease recover, and that cheap drugs are available to Americans who get Covid-19.

Remember, those selling the panic are the same ones selling the vaccine.  Bill Gates, Fauci, Birx and other New World Order globalists all have interests in promoting a vaccine and drugs that will increase their billions and to hell with saving American lives.  Senator Rand Paul rightfully claims Fauci’s policies have emasculated the medical care system and ruined the economy.

Dr. Paul is right.  Fauci and his globalist friends promoted “national suicide” hoping to bring America down to the level of other third world countries.

Anthony Fauci was photographed with a coterie of globalist elites in 2001 at the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy event. The unassuming government bureaucrat was present alongside such titans of globalism as Ted Turner, David Rockefeller, George Soros, and Bill Gates Sr. Records reveal that Gates Sr. was a board member of Planned Parenthood prior to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, and Bill Gates himself said in a video clip that his father was the “head of Planned Parenthood.”

How easily we have snowballed into a full-fledged Marxist/fascist nation, with political dictators releasing criminals from prison and imprisoning those who refuse lockdown orders.

Resistance to Tyranny

A Mississippi church fighting the lockdown order was burned to the ground and a disturbing message was left in the parking lot that made mention of the congregation’s fight to worship freely as the church fought a government-imposed stay-at-home order.  “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits,” the painted message said.

It is reported that at least 60 sheriffs in more than twelve states are publicly opposing unconstitutional orders issued by governors.  That’s not enough, but most Americans are indoctrinated mental cripples who can’t think for themselves.

Of course, you will not see any feature stories about the “resistance” in America. To the contrary, major media and local governments are lambasting all such actions as ludicrous, short-sighted, selfish and harmful…….bah humbug!  What the global governance crowd has accomplished in just a few short weeks is astounding.  And too many fell for it.

Truth and Lies

In an important article by Dr. David Williams, he discusses the truth and lies about Covid-19.  Although there is a central author, it is being written on behalf of multiple physicians in West Alabama and will be distributed through multiple medical offices. It should be read by every American.

LIES:  Covid-19 is more dangerous than influenza.  Yearly flus globally kill far more than Covid-19.  We have slightly over 2 million confirmed Covid-19 cases globally. By comparison, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (Google Influenza Update-NCBI), influenza is responsible for up to a billion infections annually. Flu season is basically from the start of October until April. At the flu’s three-and-a-half-month mark, that works out to 583 million cases globally. Even accounting for the fact COVID-19 is underreported that is a huge difference.

The fact one doesn’t know they have it makes Covid-19 more dangerous. Influenza and other viruses also are infectious while asymptomatic.

We don’t know much about Covid-19.  We vaccinate domestic animals from coronaviruses and there are four types of colds that are coronaviruses and sometimes they are deadly as with SARS and MERS.

Truth: The Chinese bioweapon, Covid-19, is an actual medical disease that will lead to tragic deaths. Respiratory failure is a terrible way to die. That is true if that death is due to asthma, COPD, pneumonia, influenza, and more.  And it’s true that the virus is more dangerous to the elderly and immunocompromised, but everything is more dangerous to these individuals.

It is now almost impossible for anyone in the general public or general medical community to know the actual number of deaths from Covid-19.  Numbers have been purposely inflated.

The media as a whole has grossly misrepresented this disease and used fear to hype the hysteria.  This amounts to psychological warfare.  Media will continue to fight reopening this country by stating “experts” predict a spike in deaths if we do so.

This is not a medical crisis, but a political crisis.  Covid-19 has been treated as a world-ender and it’s not remotely close.  The current policies instituted by our local, state, and national governments are causing greater health problems than the virus ever will.  And that’s the key…the destruction of our economy is only part of it…totalitarian control and vanquishing our God-given civil liberties is the ultimate aim.  (h/t Lucy)

Social Distancing

There’s a reason that “social distancing” wasn’t a buzzword common to the American lexicon prior to 2020.  There’s very little science behind “social distancing” at all.  Sadly only a few Americans had a gut feeling they were being manipulated.

Where in science does it say that keeping a distance of six-foot space between healthy people, even outdoors is based on scientific fact?  It is an arbitrary suggestion and we all hopped to it and did as our totalitarian leaders told us to do.  Stores have markings where you stand…we have been conditioned to accept without evidence.  Some grocery aisles even have arrows that you can only enter one way, so you wouldn’t get close to anyone passing in the other direction!  Yes, we’re programmed sheep.

“It turns out,” Julie Kelly writes at American Greatness, “as I wrote last month, “social distancing” is untested pseudoscience particularly as it relates to halting the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. On its website, the CDC provides no links to any peer-reviewed social distancing studies that bolster its official guidance.”

There’s a reason for the lack of peer-reviewed studies on the CDC website.  She continues, “The alarming reality is that social distancing never has been tested on a massive scale in the modern age; its current formula was conceived during George W. Bush’s administration and met with much-deserved skepticism.”

“People could not believe that the strategy would be effective or even feasible,” one scientist told the New York Times last month. A high school science project—no, I am not joking—added more weight to the concept.

“Social distancing” is very much a newfangled experiment, not settled science.  And, Kelly writes, the results are suggesting that our “Great Social Distancing Experiment of 2020” will be “near the top of the list” of “bad experiments gone horribly wrong.”  The history of science, sadly, is littered with bad experiments gone horribly wrong.

There will be plenty of soul searching after this crisis abates: demanding to know the scientific rationale for keeping us six feet apart when people needed each other most should be at the top of the list.

Face Masks, False Sense of Security?

If you are elderly, ill, or have a compromised immune system you might just want to shelter at home until there is immunity throughout America, just as you would do in flu season.

For others wearing masks, they represent indoctrination and subjugation.  It is also the very elimination of your personhood, or individuality.  The masked faces are making everyone into dehumanized objects…and afraid of everyone else.  You’ve succumbed to control or as Dennis Prager states, “a dress rehearsal for a police state in the name of global warming.”

The lunatic CDC, which Dr. Birx says she doesn’t trust, is telling us that when schools open, every teacher must wear a mask.  Forcing people to breathe their own CO2 is deleterious.  Even the frauds in the WH press corps dump their masks when the cameras stop running.  Sweden believes masks offer a false sense of security.

Dr. Russell Blaylock warns that not only do face masks fail to protect the healthy from getting sick, but they also create serious health risks to the wearer. The bottom line is that if you are not sick, you should not wear a face mask.

We believed that this pandemic (media and government’s name for Covid-19) would act like other respiratory viruses in terms of its spread among communities.  After months of studying the virus and how it behaves, Dr. Blaylock tells us there is little to change this perception.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams has doubled down on his advice against healthy people wearing face masks to protect themselves from coronavirus, saying that wearing one improperly can “actually increase your risk” of getting the disease. But pressure from above told him to change his story.  The false narrative is sickening.  Betsy McCaughey says our homemade masks aren’t doing squat.

Choose your poison, wear a mask or not. For me and mine, we breathe fresh air.

Contact Tracing

Most folks have seen H.R.6666, a perfect number for this despotic pile of dung.  It was introduced by Bobby L. Rush (D-Il) on May 1st, 2020.  (Years back, Rush formed the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party.) His bill calls for $100 billion in funding for 2020, and hiring thousands of government employees as the new “brown shirts.”

Alex Newman’s latest article in the New American regarding Contact Tracing states, “Under the guise of fighting the coronavirus, governments across the United States and beyond are partnering with shady organizations connected to the Clintons and George Soros (Chelsea Clinton sits on the board of Partners in Health) to deploy Orwellian “contact tracing” schemes involving technology and tens of thousands of new government workers to track everyone. Families may be forcibly separated. And military forces and war-like rhetoric are already being used as the effort to shred all vestiges of privacy advances. At least one world leader even suggested putting microchips under children’s skin to track them.”

Titled TRACE, “Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone,” it officially embeds the snitch culture.  The bill states that the Secretary of Health and Human Services “may award grants to eligible entities to conduct diagnostic testing for Covid–19, to trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts.” The bill goes on to explain that this will be accomplished by mobile health units and “testing individuals and providing individuals with services related to testing and quarantine at their residences.”

H.R.6666 would give government the authority, if a government official suspects that you have been exposed to Covid-19, to place you under house arrest or remove you from your home and place you in indefinite quarantine.

House Bill H.R.6666 and the corresponding Senate Bill S.3624 must be stopped.

The authoritarian police state is already here.  Gov. Abbott of Texas has said he wants a total of 4,000 tracers for his state.  Washington Governor Jay Inslee indicated that people who refuse to cooperate with contact tracers or refuse coronavirus testing won’t be allowed to leave their homes even to go to the grocery store or pharmacy. My so-called Christian conservative Governor Bill Lee is onboard with this insanity and believes he needs to hire 2,000 tracers.

What is your governor doing?

Conclusion

Keeping the economy open would have brought us total immunity throughout the country by now and the virus would be gone.  America is paying heavily, but most politicians don’t care, and they’re now obfuscating the much higher collateral deaths and damage caused by the false narrative of the World Health Organization (WHO).  Dying because of delayed surgeries, suicide because of loss, overwhelmed 911 calls because of domestic abuse, businesses going out-of-business and jobs that will never come back…we’re not “better safe than sorry.”  We’re sorry!

The lockdown was radically ineffective and destructive, and it doubled the deaths of Americans. We must open everything up again and go back to normal, and not a “new normal.” Unfortunately, almost half of the shutdown-induced layoffs will be permanent.

This virus was not only planned and executed to destroy Trump’s economy, but there were ancillary plusses to destroying America and her elderly.  Those elderly knew real freedom, unlike today’s youth whose education has been dumbed down since the 1880s.

Behind the mask of America’s freedom lie millions of Marxist/Leninist politicians.  We’ve been sold the “snake oil” by WHO’s globalist comrades Fauci, Birx and Redfield, appointed by Coronavirus Task Force Chair, VP Mike Pence.

©All rights reserved.

Vaccination and Domination [+Videos]

Billionaire Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., is called entrepreneur, normal guy, and Potential Savior of the World.  Gates’s raison d’etre, however, is his father’s globalism, to have one world under one master because most humans are superfluous “reckless breeders,” the concept behind Planned Parenthood, supported by Melinda Gates.  He believes in Lebensunwertes Lebens, life unworthy of life, the term I chose judiciously because of the Gateses’ eugenicist ideology of population control.  The family legacy is domination and control of the world’s systems, including technology, medicine, and agriculture.  The foundation has provided unbidden contraception to 120 million women across the globe, which is social engineering and authoritarian eugenicist thinking.  The basic premise is that it is easier to eliminate the poor and suffering than it is to eliminate the sources of poverty and suffering.  Click here for more on the notorious Gates family.

Much has been written about Common Core, the nationalization of American schools forced by the Obama administration, the United Nations, Bill Gates, and others for globalized education, which caused our academic disintegration.  The children’s reading skills were intentionally reduced, their math proficiency scores worst internationally, their creativity discouraged, and overall achievement degenerated.   They’ve been robbed of their pride in country, their individuality supplanted by a tribal mentality, the very young exposed to myriad sexual activities.  The essence of their femininity and masculinity is under constant attack, adding to depression and seriously increased incidence of suicide – an end to family life – population reduction.   And where G-d and religion have been disparaged and removed from daily life, Gates seized the reins.  The schools are collecting unprecedented data from the students for the total regimentation of human society, all linked to the globalist UN Agenda 21.

Bill Gates has admitted to his failed educational experiment, but his underlying goals remain unaltered.  He is undeterred from pursuing another treacherous scheme with impunity.  Not only has he new ideas for the next student generation, which academics already rated inferior, he has assumed a leading role in the coronavirus pandemic, with the ultimate goal of enforced vaccinations with properties that result in sterilization.

The Gates Foundation funds international consortia that influence vaccination policies and disseminate propaganda, despite Gates’s lack of medical background and expertise.  The effort to replace President Trump and capitalism with a new global economy and humanism is supported by the Vatican, George Soros, and Jeffrey Sachs, American economist and special advisor to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals.  Their vision is to ensure population control through universal sexual and reproductive healthcare,” through family planning, abortions, gay marriage and sterilization.  The globalists are conducting a clandestine war, using misinformation and subterfuge to attain their goals.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman, Children’s Health Defense, nailed it in his article, “Gates’ Globalist Vaccine Agenda: A Win-Win for Pharma and Mandatory Vaccination,” dated April 9, 2020.  “Gates has many vaccine-related enterprises that give him dictatorial control over global health, all geared to increase pharmaceutical companies’ profits” (and reduce human life).  Funding $450 million alleged to eradicate polio in India enabled experimentation on 490,000 children who, as a result, became disabled by a Non-Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis; he and his vaccine program were expelled. India’s Supreme Court is suing the foundation for ethical violations for their 2009 experimentation with HIV vaccines on 23,000 young girls, 1,200 of whom suffered severe side effects and seven died – poor health decreases population.  He has never acknowledged or apologized for his wrongdoing, and he continues to sow pain and death with his pseudo-scientific pursuits, encouraged by pharmaceutical corporations.

Italian Parliamentarian, Sara Cunial, accused Bill Gates of sterilizing millions of women in Africa, paralyzing hundreds of thousands of children in India, causing the coronavirus lockdown and isolation, and violating people’s free will and sovereignty.   She demanded his arrest for crimes against humanity.

In 2002, The Gates MenAfriVac campaign forcibly vaccinated thousands of African children, presumably against meningitis.  At least 40 of the 500 children were left paralyzed and suffering hallucinations and convulsions.  In 2010, the foundation funded a malaria vaccine trial on 5,949 children, ages 5-17 months; 151 African infants died and 1,048 had serious side effects.  A 2017 study showed that 500 African children were vaccinated with DTP vaccine, of which 50 developed paralysis.  Many such experiments are reported as failures from a medical view, but perhaps considered successes from the globalist-eugenicist’s perspective.

With his self-proclaimed vision of saving the world, Gates is collaborating with the government of Bangladesh to establish a means whereby all who are vaccinated are free to return to an active world, their private information held by the globalists; but those who are not immune to disease are penalized, ostracized from society. Bangladesh is hardly technologically equal to an enormously wealthy globalist with authoritarian tendencies. The end game of Gates’s vaccination plan is total power over population size.  More than immunity, “the infamous ID2020” is an electronic identification program using vaccination as a platform for digital identity.  With his history, and fully supported by the UN and civil society, it could carry elements that are destructive to health and the reproductive system.

Closer to home, Gates is partnering with the City of Austin (Texas), working with their vulnerable homeless and 3,000 refugees from the International Rescue Committee in Thailand who are receiving treatment for chronic conditions.  They fall outside the purview of America’s regulations over ethical and safe procedures, and are prey to the ID2020 experimentation.

The Global Vaccine Action Plan (announced in 2010) was the discovery, development and delivery of lifesaving vaccines to the most vulnerable populations in the poorest countries, as agreed by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Dr. Anthony Fauci, director), George Soros, David Rockefeller, Dr. Deborah Birx, Bill Gates’s father, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – globalists all – who would conspire to peddle vaccines worldwide.  How does one define “lifesaving” when the purpose is population reduction and siphoning riches into the globalists’ coffers?

Consider Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which has been used in high dosage on millions of patients worldwide since its FDA approval in 1934 and 1955, with an excellent success rate.  Dr. Vladimir Zelenko used HCQ with Azithromycin, a $20 treatment, on 669 patients, with a 100 percent success rate, their breathing restored within 3 to 4 hours.  When eighty patients and staff members came down with the Coronavirus at a Texas nursing home, HCQ was used for treatment and all but one patient survived (patients were debilitated from other conditions).  Why are Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx reluctant to admit that an inexpensive drug is successful, and advocating instead for something with the potential of generating enormous wealth for the patent holders?

Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, woman’s health specialist,  revealed that healthcare workers in several countries are using HCQ prophylactically when dealing with infected patients – which negates the need for expensive preventive vaccinations.  Where HCQ is used worldwide, there is a high patient success rate.  Before this pandemic, “the WHO ranked HCQ as among the safest and most effective medicines in our arsenal!”  The media’s unprecedented fear mongering is against common sense, except that globalists may be testing and preparing for more fears and greater acquiescence, and that HCQ’s replacement will produce greater profits.

Despite obvious HCQ successes reported, Dr. Fauci repeatedly urged extreme caution, until he had to walk back his skepticism.  He would rather wait months or years to develop another vaccine or recommend Remdesivir, at a cost of $4,460 per ten-day course of medication, with a mere 52% success rate, but of greater financial gain to hospitals.  Project Veritas investigated News York’s higher illness and death statistics and reported that physicians were told to write COVID as cause of death even if it was the secondary condition. Such protocols yield Big Pharma more federal dollars, and Bill Gates had already begun discussing his mandatory digital-tracking implants.  The power and freedom of the individual is relentlessly being leeched into the globalists’ camp.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, American physician and diplomat, serving as the Coronavirus response coordinator for the White House, explained that whenever someone dies of any cause but also has COVID19, cause of death must be listed as COVID19.  Many doctors’ objections were overruled.  This deceptive tactic, combined with quarantine, will have fearful people begging for Gates’s vaccinations.

Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, virologist, has clarified that people do not die WITH, but FROM, an infection.  The deceptive death certificates are financially beneficial to hospitals.  She exposed Dr. Fauci and President Obama as the chief financiers and benefactors of Wuhan’s labs (confirmed by Mayor Giuliani); the virus was lab-manipulated.  Fauci had unethically appropriated Mikovits’s work, delayed testing her findings, thereby killing millions of HIV victims since 1984.  Dr. Fauci has become the trusted voice of medical wisdom; he merits close examination.

In 2006, Mikovits cofounded and developed the first neuroimmune disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, originally dismissed as feminine hypochondria. She later discovered that vaccines were being tested on mouse brains, and were uncontrollably contagious, causing an alarming national health crisis, including cancers and women having children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Fauci silenced her and confiscated her computers and notebooks.  He abused his power, misused his office, and removed her funding, which resulted in hundreds of millions of Americans’ being inoculated with the injurious vaccines.

Dr. Mikovits says Hydroxychloroquine, used with azithromycin, has proven to cure coronavirus victims at ~50 cents per treatment, but came under attack by the manufacturer of a competing, higher priced drug, Remdesevir.  President Trump recommends HCQ to help victims immediately, which Dr. Fauci strongly opposes and recommends Remdesevir, patented by Gilead Sciences.  Gilead, George Soros and Unitaid are working to penetrate China’s closed pharmaceutical market for enormous royalties.

Leo Hohmann reminds us that the compliance of governors, mayors, church leaders, the richest foundations, and leftist mainstream media, have censored those who would speak against the damage being done to our air traffic system, automobile traffic, food chain, healthcare system, school system, our once-bustling cities – the foundation of our entire society.  Bill Gates and his corrupt associates at the United Nations – World Health Organization medical-industrial complex are responsible for engineering the Great Panic of 2020.

If all the previous information doesn’t alarm, consider this: once we accept the enforced vaccination, the slide into population enslavement will be precipitous and impossible to reverse.  It is becoming more evident that vaccinations are being linked to identification in order to constrain and control human activity.  People who comply with the digital implants will be able to get financing, secure jobs, purchase products, participate in democracy, etc.; those who do not will be pariahs of the state and have their freedoms rescinded. Thus, world population will be subjugated to the globalist elite, and too many in authority are already wilting before the globalists who are making the most of this crisis to further their agenda.

The damage to the health of countless thousands has been a crime against humanity but the proposed ownership of millions by a few wealthy, influential people will be a crime against heaven.  It must not be permitted, ever.

©All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEOS:

Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet “The War on Today’s Pandemic” via America Newscape.

Top Doc Says “Dr Fauci has Failed”, 3043.

Tale of 2 States: New York’s COVID-19 Death Toll Far Greater Than Florida’s

Florida and New York are states with similar population sizes, but dramatically different approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York has almost 30 times as many coronavirus-related deaths as Florida, with a heavy concentration among senior citizens, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, gained praise in the media for his performance in press conferences if nothing else, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has been heavily criticized in media reports.


When can America reopen? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, is gathering America’s top thinkers together to figure that out. Learn more here>>>.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


New York has had about 348,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 28,000 deaths as of May 17, according to the CDC. Florida, meanwhile, had about 46,000 cases and 2,000 deaths.

The population of New York state is 19.5 million, while Florida is home to 21.5 million.

“Gov. DeSantis understands Florida and knows how to interpret data and use science to guide the state during this health care pandemic,” the governor’s communications director, Helen Aguirre Ferre, told The Daily Signal in an email. “He worked quickly to protect the vulnerable, increase testing, promote social distancing, support hospitals and protect health care workers, and prevent introduction [of the virus] from outside of the state.”

Ferre added:

When the media was howling because there were folks on the beach, Gov. DeSantis prohibited visitations to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. In addition, Gov. DeSantis prohibited nursing homes and long-term care facilities to [allow] COVID-19 patients who were discharged from hospitals to be returned to their facilities.

He established COVID-19 dedicated nursing homes. In addition, he required comprehensive screening of staff and vendors entering these long-term care facilities. Testing and contact tracing was a priority for all Florida residents in addition to providing precious PPE [personal protective equipment]. Impeding those who were fleeing from other states where there was community spread of this virus was also important.

In New York, senior Cuomo administration officials contend that the federal government was too slow to ban European flights that primarily stop at major airports in New York or New Jersey.

From January through March, about 13,000 flights came through these airports from European locations carrying about 2 million passengers, the officials told The Daily Signal on background.

New York also does more testing for the coronavirus than other states, which is one reason the recorded rates are higher, they said. Add to that, New York City has the most dense population in the United States.

New York and Florida have a similar percentage of total COVID-19 deaths among those 65 and older. Seniors made up 83% of deaths in Florida, 77% in New York.

“In general, on a statewide basis, Florida is doing much better than New York,” Norbert Michel, director of the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “Florida has much fewer deaths and deaths per capita and per 100,000 than New York; this fact holds even if you remove New York City from the state data, though the differences are much smaller.”

The high fatality rate in New York City from the coronavirus skews the statewide numbers, he said.

Florida also is doing better during the pandemic across every category of those 45 and older, as the New York death toll is 15 to 20 times higher than Florida across every category, Michel said.

“Regardless, the death rates by age are worse in New York. If New York City is the primary driver of high death totals and high death rates, then the same comparison still applies; the only thing that would change is that we would have to say New York City is doing much worse than Florida,” Michel said.

Cuomo also has faced criticism for a March decision, later reversed, to send patients back to nursing homes after they tested positive for COVID-19.

“Florida and New York had very different protections for nursing home patients,” Michel said. “The nursing home policy [in New York] was insane. The state was basically sending someone to an early grave. … If it is the case that the infection was already widespread before anyone knew about it, the state was still literally sending people back into it.”

To help free up beds in hospitals in late March, the New York state Health Department issued an order to nursing homes: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”

The Long Term Care Community Coalition in New York opposed the Cuomo policy of sending COVID-19 patients back to nursing homes.

Similarly, the American Medical Directors Association, in a March 26 statement, said: “Unsafe transfers will increase the risk of transmission in post-acute and long-term care facilities, which will ultimately only serve to increase the return flow back to hospitals, overwhelming capacity, endangering more healthcare personnel, and escalating the death rate.”

Cuomo administration officials said residents returning to nursing homes after testing positive for the virus were quarantined from other residents, following federal guidelines for them to be kept in separate facilities with different caretakers from the rest of the population. A total of 12% of the state’s fatalities were from nursing homes, a Cuomo administration official said. 

“It was one of the giant red herrings of all time,” the official told The Daily Signal. “I would take our state law over any state law that says you can discriminate [against] potentially the most feeble, at-risk, vulnerable people in our society.”

In early May, The New York Times reported that 1,600 previously undisclosed deaths occurred in New York nursing homes, bringing the total number of deaths at nursing homes to almost 5,000.

One more factor: Cuomo didn’t order the New York City subway to be sterilized on a nightly basis until early May, even though the first COVID-19 cases were reported March 1.

Another Cuomo administration official contended that new cleaning policies were in place March 3, two days after the state’s first confirmed coronavirus case.

New York is unique among U.S. cities in having a subway that operates around the clock; closing it was not an option. As more people stayed home more often, however, it was feasible to close down for nightly sterilization beginning May 5, the official said.

COVID-19 deaths in New York City total 1,403.72 per 100,000 for those ages 75 and older, according to the city’s data. The death rate drops to 560.85 per 100,000 for those 65 to 74; 171.49 for ages 45 to 64; and 18.4 for ages 18 to 44. The rate is 0 for those under 18.

Although New York City has more people living in close proximity than any other American city, specific policies played a role in the death toll for both the city and state, said Arpit Gupta, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute who co-authored a report with recommendations for reopening New York City.

“I would point to large, dense cities in Asia such as Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, and in Hong Kong,” Gupta told The Daily Signal. “Density is not destiny. Those cities made policy decisions that New York didn’t that have contributed to the death toll we’ve seen.”

As of May 13 in Florida, COVID-19 had claimed the lives of 53 people ages 45 to 54, or 0.24 per 100,000; 138 ages 55 to 64, or 0.64 per 100,000;  296 ages 65 to 74, or 1.4; 391 ages 75 to 84, or 1.82; and 378 ages 85 and older, or 1.8.

In New York state as of May 13,  COVID-19 had killed 1,267 people ages 45 to 54, or 6.5 per 100,000; 3,039 ages 55 to 64, or 15.6 per 100,000; 4,818 ages  65 to 74, or 24.7; 5,603 ages 75 to 84, or 29; and 5,881 ages 85 and older, or 30.2.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

YouTube bans content that contradicts WHO on Covid-19, despite its track record of misinformation

The policy represents a betrayal of the pioneering platform’s founding principles.


YouTubers are being silenced if they don’t agree with the United Nations on public health. As The Verdict reports:

YouTube will ban any content containing medical advice that contradicts World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus recommendations, according to CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Wojcicki announced the policy on CNN on Sunday. WHO is an agency of the UN, charged with overseeing global public health. The Verdict report continues:

Wojcicki said that the Google-owned video streaming platform would be “removing information that is problematic”. She told host Brian Stelter that this would include “anything that is medically unsubstantiated”.

“So people saying ‘take vitamin C; take turmeric, we’ll cure you’, those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she said. “Anything that would go against World Health Organisation recommendations would be a violation of our policy.”

While the decision has been welcomed by many, some have accused the streaming giant of censorship.

To be clear, for American YouTubers, this kind of censorship is not a violation of their constitutional right of free speech. The First Amendment protects citizens against government censorship, and YouTube is a private platform. Were the US government to force the private owners of YouTube to continue broadcasting certain videos against their will, that would be much more a violation of the First Amendment.

While YouTube’s decision is not unconstitutional, it is unwise, exhibiting far too much deference to central authority in general and to WHO especially.

The World Health Organization is far from infallible. Its handling of information throughout the coronavirus emergency has been a long string of failures. As policy analyst Ross Marchand has recounted here on FEE last week, WHO failed to raise the alarm as the coronavirus rapidly spread through China during the crucial early period of the global crisis in January of this year. Then, as Marchand wrote:

The global bureaucracy uncritically reported that Chinese authorities had seen “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus” on January 14, just one day after acknowledging the first case outside of China (in Thailand). WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for his “political commitment” and “political leadership” despite these repeated, reprehensible attempts to keep the world in the dark about the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump recently announced that the US would cease its funding of WHO over its many coronavirus-related failures.

And it is not just American conservatives who have been critical. As FEE’s Jon Miltimore wrote:

Our World in Data, an online publication based at the University of Oxford, announced on Tuesday that it had stopped relying on World Health Organization (WHO) data for its models, citing errors and other factors.

This raises an interesting question: would YouTube censor Oxford if it posted a video on the coronavirus issue with recommendations based on data that contradicts WHO’s?

As Miltimore wrote, “Recent reports suggest US intelligence agencies relied heavily on WHO in its national assessment of the COVID-19 threat.”

This is gravely concerning because bad information leads to bad policies. This is true not only for government policy (like mayors, governors, and heads of state deciding to largely shut down the economy in their jurisdiction), but for the policies of private decision-makers like doctors, business-owners, and individuals making decisions about the health and overall lives of themselves and their families.

Indeed, WHO’s misinformation early in the crisis squandered the most precious part of the world’s prep time, which likely crippled the public’s responses and may have cost many lives.

YouTube risks compounding that tragedy by now insisting that the public’s response to the coronavirus emergency conforms even more strictly with WHO’s dubious pronouncements. Wojcicki wants to protect WHO’s recommendations from contradiction. But WHO’s recommendations are necessarily informed by WHO’s information, which has proven to be extremely suspect. Sheltering untrustworthy pronouncements risks amplifying their dangerous influence.

So, it is ironic that YouTube justifies this policy in the name of protecting the public from dangerous misinformation.

It is true that many videos contradicting official pronouncements are themselves full of medical quackery and other misleading falsehoods. But, censorship is the worst way to combat them.

For one, censorship can actually boost the perceived credibility of an untruth. Believers interpret it as validation: evidence that they are onto a truth that is feared by the powers-that-be. And they use that interpretation as a powerful selling point in their underground evangelism.

Censorship also insulates falsehoods from debunking, allowing them to circulate largely uncriticized in the dark corners of public discourse.

This makes censorship especially counterproductive because it is open-air debunking that is one of the most effective ways to counter misinformation and bad ideas. As Justice Louis Brandeis expressed in a US Supreme Court opinion, the ideal remedy for bad speech, “is more speech, not enforced silence.”

Again, YouTube has a right to set the terms of service of its own website. But the general principle applies here as well: the truth has a much better fighting chance with a proliferation of competing voices than with inquisitorial efforts to circumscribe discourse within a narrow orthodoxy.

Moreover, WHO’s track record of misinformation is not exceptional among government organizations in neither its degree of error nor in its disastrous impact. Governments and the experts they employ not only get things wrong but have frequently proven to be fundamentally wrong-headed on big questions.

To take another example in the realm of public health, it is increasingly widely recognized that the high-carb, low-fat diet recommendations, as depicted by the the USDA’s “Food Pyramid,” and successfully promoted for decades to the population by the US government and the most respected authorities on dietary science and epidemiology, was basically backward. Science journalist Gary Taub tells the whole story of bad science, corrupt influence, and obtuse orthodoxy in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Again, bad information leads to bad advice which leads to bad choices. So how much illness and even death was caused by generations of Americans uncritically swallowing “official” diet advice and by Americans largely only having one choice on the “menu” of diet advice?

The more we centralize decision-making and the management of actionable information, the wider the scope of the damage caused by any single error. But if we let a thousand errors bloom along with a thousand truths, any single error will be circumscribed in its damage and more likely to be corrected through experience and counter-argument.

Champions of policies like YouTube’s like to cast the issue in simplistic terms: as a black-and-white battle between respectable experts and wild-eyed crackpots. But the issue is more complex than that.

It is just as often a matter of overweening technocrats making pronouncements on matters that are way beyond them in complexity, that involve factors that fall way outside their domain of expertise, and that drastically impact the lives of millions or even billions. For example: a few dozen epidemiologists, with limited understanding of economics and a great many other relevant disciplines, holding sway over whole economies.

It is also a matter of dissenting experts being silenced along with the actual crackpots.

And, perhaps most fundamentally, it is a matter of weakening the individual’s ability to discern between truth and falsehood, good advice and bad, by denying them the responsibility and practice of doing so in the first place—of turning self-reliant, free men and women into irresponsible wards to be led by the nose like dumb, deferential livestock by their “expert” caretakers.

That is not where we are, but that is the direction that the rigid enforcement of centralized orthodoxies tends toward.

Let’s choose a different direction. YouTube, do better. Trust your users more. Treat them like human beings with all the capacities for learning, growth, discourse, and cooperation that are the distinctive glories of being human.

After all, that is what made you great in the first place. Your very name is derived from your original faith in the individual. YouTube (a crowd-sourced, individual-driven, pluralistic platform) is what made the boob tube (centralized, institutionalized, and homogenizing broadcast television) largely obsolete. As such, you had a starring role in the internet’s democratization of information and learning.

Don’t betray that legacy. Not now. Not when we need open platforms for the free flow of information and discourse more than ever.

COLUMN BY

Dan Sanchez

Dan Sanchez is the Director of Content at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and the editor-in-chief of FEE.org. He co-hosts the weekly web show FEEcast, serving as the resident “explainer.” … More by Dan Sanchez.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Rigid Lockdowns vs. Relative Freedom: A Tale of Two Southern Governors

How do you explain the vastly different approach to the pandemic from two red states with similarly low coronavirus impact?


In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper has adopted the policy premise that anything done in the name of safety from the coronavirus trumps all other interests, including economic, religious, or other health considerations. Despite comparatively low numbers in the Tar Heel state, the ninth most populous state in the United States, and with no evidence of the healthcare system being overwhelmed, North Carolina has been in full lockdown for over a month.

It matters not if you live in the mountains or on the coast—rural or urban—all residents are required to shelter in place. Despite the crippling effect COVID-19 has had on the $25 billion tourism industry, the devastation to the small business community, and over a million job losses, “thou shalt not work” unless the good governor has deemed you “essential.”

In Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves has operated under an alternative premise: that medical safety is a major consideration, but so is allowing people to protest, or to fish, or to earn a living. The governor in the Magnolia State has taken a lot of heat for being slow to slam the economy shut and quick to discuss reopening it. He has also caught a lot of flak for allowing counties and cities to determine what works best in their own communities and for refusing to tell Mississippi churches how to conduct their affairs. Like North Carolina, Mississippi has relatively low numbers of COVID-19 deaths and no apparent strain on the healthcare system, despite having a very high rate of citizens with obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Small businesses are on life support across both states. Jobless claims have risen to historic levels in the state of the Dogwood and in the state of the Magnolia—now higher than during the financial crisis. Medical advisers in both states are giving warnings and covering all their bases at daily briefings as they stand beside their respective governors. There is no question that both governors have taken this disease seriously and offered intelligent advice about how we should protect ourselves. So, how do you explain the vastly different approach to the pandemic from two red states with similarly low coronavirus impact?

The difference is in the tone, in the language, and in the viewpoint of how best to mitigate risks and protect citizens. Cooper’s instincts are to restrict the personal freedoms of his citizens; Reeves’ instincts are to protect the personal freedoms of his. Cooper believes shutting down businesses won’t lead to shortages of food and paper products and that denying the constitutional rights of his residents won’t lead to a citizen uprising. (Note citizens are staging weekly protests at the state capital and the governor’s mansion in Raleigh.) By contrast, Reeves has moved to open retail shops, acknowledged the rights of protestors to peacefully assemble at the Capitol, and refused to accept the premise that we must choose between prudent healthcare measures and protecting our economy.

In the state of Michael Jordan, hospitals are losing revenue and laying off personnel because the governor won’t allow the treatment of non-coronavirus patients. In the state of Archie Manning, elective procedures have begun again because the governor recognizes cancer surgeries are pretty “essential” to the patient.

History will judge how these two governors, and the other 48, managed this pandemic. But as data comes in, it’s looking like the quarantines will not prevent us from getting sick. It appears we’re basically delaying the inevitable infection rate. As these long days go by, the models continue to indicate initial predictions were vastly overstated. However, the data on the destruction of our economies and on the hopes and dreams of our citizens may be far worse than ever imagined.

The American economy is the greatest in the world because of all of the interconnected and voluntary exchanges that take place every day, in every community. It remains to be seen if this economic miracle of free enterprise can survive the kind of body blows delivered by the heavy hand of government—especially by the kind of authoritarian governors who seem hellbent on taking a sledgehammer to our economies when a scalpel would have been more useful.

COLUMN BY

Jon L. Pritchett

Jon L. Pritchett is president and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the state’s non-partisan, free-market think tank. Prior to his work in public policy, he worked as an investment banker, executive, and entrepreneur over a 28-year career in private business.

Ed Tiryakian

Ed Tiryakian is the chief strategist and managing director of Argentum Group; a former first vice president at UBS/Paine Webber, serving on the President’s Council. Ed is starting his 10th year at Duke University as a visiting associate professor, teaching corporate finance and business economics at Duke University and is a Contributing Fellow at the Publius Institute.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

White House Challenges Left’s Pandemic Playbook Narrative

The White House pushed back on the media narrative that the Obama administration left behind a pandemic “playbook” for the Trump administration.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that the playbook from the Obama administration was an insufficient packet of paper, and that the Trump administration’s own pandemic response exercise in 2019 exposed its shortcomings.

On Thursday, Dr. Rick Bright, a senior adviser at the National Institutes of Health who filed a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump, told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health that the administration should have known more about the coronavirus.

As a result, Bright said, “we were not as prepared as we should have been.”


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


“We missed early warning signals and we forgot important pages from our pandemic playbook,” Bright said. “There will be plenty of time to identify gaps for improvement.”

Much of the mainstream media, including CNN, Politico, and PBS, ran with the narrative that the Obama administration left a pathway for the Trump administration to better handle the coronavirus.

That wasn’t the case., McEnany said during the Friday press briefing.

“Some have erroneously suggested that the Trump administration threw out the pandemic response playbook left by the Obama-Biden administration,” McEnany said, holding up documents from the podium. “What the critics fail to note, however, is that this thin packet of paper was replaced by two detailed, robust pandemic response reports commissioned by the Trump administration.”

“In 2018, the Trump administration issued our pandemic crisis action plan,” she said, adding:

Further, from August 13th to the 16th, the Trump administration conducted the Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise. This was a pandemic simulation to test the nation’s ability to respond to a large-scale outbreak.

In January of 2020, [the Department of Health and Human Services] issued the Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise after-action report. This exercise exposed the shortcomings in legacy planning documents, which informed President Trump’s coronavirus response.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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RELATED VIDEO: Hopkins: Britain, Boris and Lethal Socialized Healthcare.


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive: Local Businesses Keep Doctors Safe

Our small business success story this week comes from Arizona. A doctor who, after seeing his colleagues contract COVID-19 while providing care to COVID patients, became sick and tired of the risks and decided to act. He designed an intubation box to protect medical professionals during the intubation process and went to local businesses for help in creating it.

They stepped up. Via AZ Central:

Reeser first took his design to Phoenix-based mattress company, Tuft & Needle, which has built and donated dozens of intubation boxes to hospitals across the Valley using his plans. Hundreds more have been sent across the country with the help of additional partners. 

While Tuft & Needle didn’t have the resources on hand to make these boxes for Dr. Reeser, they did know who to call. Soon, they were on their way to building the boxes for Reeser and his colleagues.

However, Reeser wasn’t finished. He approached Urban Plough Furniture, which normally serves hospitality and office space firms, to make the same safety devices. Founder Matthew Moore, who had seen six months worth of business dry up, jumped on the chance to help his community and his company:

“And magically, Dr. Reeser shows up at our doorstep,” Moore said. 

Like Tuft & Needle, Moore’s company has been producing the intubation boxes at cost and donating them to doctors in need — they’re not making up for lost profits. But he says the work has given him purpose. 

This is what it means to “buy,” or in this case “ask,” local. Small businesses are always going to fight – and often lose – to faceless corporations that have lower per-product costs and thus can sell everything at a lower price. However, your local small business sees purpose in helping you and your family – whether it’s during the pandemic or during more normal economic times.

Serving communities takes all kinds of shapes. Buying local means that when times are tough, you have allies and friends to get you, your family, and your neighbors through tough times. Reeser and Moore are just a single example of the amazing community teamwork that is taking place across America.

How can you be a part of supporting local?

This post is part of 2ndVote’s coverage of business charity during the COVID-19 public health, social, and economic crises. We are highlighting companies large and small which are doing their part to help their communities.

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EDITORS NOTE: This 2ndVote column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

See what Nancy Pelosi stuffed in her partisan ‘Coronavirus’ bill

Nancy Pelosi’s left-wing wish list

If House Democrats are focused on helping Americans get through this global pandemic safely, they sure have a funny way of showing it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s latest extravagant, $3 trillion spending proposal is Washington at its worst—and most predictable. While President Trump, governors of both parties, and frontline workers band together to fight this virus as one country, House Democrats see an opportunity to exploit this crisis to pass their partisan agenda.

Millions of Americans are out of work. President Trump is trying to get them back on the job by safely reopening our country. Instead of helping him do it, here is what Democrats in Congress have decided is worth holding Coronavirus relief hostage for:

  • A BAN on information about low-cost health insurance. That’s right—House Democrats want to forbid the government from sharing any information with you about lower-cost health options such as association plans or short-term plans. Even as families try to cope with job and wage losses, Speaker Pelosi doesn’t want them to learn about options that are up to 60 percent cheaper than Obamacare.
  • Mass voting by mail. A “Coronavirus relief” bill might seem like the wrong time and place to dictate how states run their elections. Democrats disagree.
  • Stimulus checks for illegal aliens. Rather than protect American citizens by requiring a Social Security Number for taxpayer-funded stimulus, Pelosi’s bill would give illegal immigrants the ability to receive up to $1,200 in direct payouts.
  • Bailouts… for government. Democrats want more than $1 trillion in cash for state and local governments, mostly in the form of unrestricted aid that doesn’t need to be used to offset Coronavirus costs. They also threw in a $25 billion bailout for the Post Office.

The list goes on. At a moment when Americans most need Washington to look out for them and cut the partisan drama, Democrat leaders once again chose to put their far-left base first.

MORE: “Democrats’ new $3 trillion Coronavirus spending wishlist is another embarrassing farce”


President Trump is protecting our national stockpile

When the Coronavirus struck, President Trump knew that America needed to act quickly. He worked with Congress to secure $16 billion to build up our national stockpile with ventilators, masks, respirators, pharmaceuticals, and other critical supplies.

As a result, America today has an abundant supply of ventilators, N95 respirators, and resources for testing—a crucial area where we now lead the world.

But that’s only the start. President Trump knows that America’s long-term self-reliance depends on our supply chain. “Our goal for the future must be to have American medicine for American patients, American supplies for American hospitals, and American equipment for our great American heroes,” he says.

“Now, both parties must unite to ensure the United States is truly an independent nation in every sense of the word.”

Today, the President traveled to Pennsylvania, visiting a distribution center that’s played a key role in helping to restock America.

Just since February, the Owens & Minor Distribution Center in Upper Macungie has deployed 1.75 million N95 respirators, 3.4 million gowns, 80 million gloves, and much more across our country. “You’re making America proud,” President Trump told them.

President Trump: “We are reclaiming our heritage as a nation of manufacturers!”

WATCHOur supply chains need to be HERE, not overseas