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Daily Archives: April 21st, 2020



Monday, April 20, 2020

By Debra Adams Simmons, HISTORY Executive Editor


Experience is a good teacher. During the American Revolution a smallpox outbreak threatened to wipe out the Continental Army as it had thousands of Native Americans. Despite political opposition, George Washington, the army’s commander in chief, embraced science-based medicine, ushering in the new country’s first public health policy.


Washington’s initial move: immediately isolating anyone suspected of infection and limiting outside contact. He “prevented a disastrous epidemic among the Continental troops,” historian Ann Becker says. The military forbade anyone in Boston from entering the military zone. But Washington did more than that, Andrew Lawler writes for National Geographic. He moved to contain the threat.


As a teenager, Washington had suffered from the disease, caused by a variola virus, which killed as many as one in two victims. He, like many of the soldiers who had previously been exposed to the virus, was immune. As the epidemic spread, however, thousands—including many soldiers—died.


Washington, in conflict with the Continental Congress, ordered all troops inoculated against the virus, arguing that “necessity not only authorizes but seems to require the measure.” The procedure, called variolation, was controversial because it entailed making a small incision in a patient’s arm and inserting a dose of the live virus—large enough to trigger immunity but small enough to prevent severe illness or death. Infection rates dropped from 20 percent to one percent.


As infection rates dropped, colonies lifted their bans on variolations, America’s first major public health legislation. Today, research teams around the world are trying to identify a vaccine to halt the spread of the new coronavirus that has infected more than 2.4 million people and killed more than 165,000 worldwide.


The legacy of Washington’s order to inoculate his troops lived on . Army recruits for World War II received medical injections in Virginia in 1942.


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Indications of the so called “deep state” or Conservative factions who apparently back the extremes of TOTUS as allies or as a cover are attacking folks who contradict the current administrations fictions. MA

Ben Gilbert Apr 19,2020,2:21 PM

Bill Gates has advocated for pandemic preparedness for years and famously gave a TED talk in 2015 that warned of the potentially staggering death toll a worldwide pandemic could create.

As the coronavirus pandemic has spread around the world, Gates has pledged $250 million to fight the disease and create a vaccine.

Incredibly, it’s these two factors that provide the foundation of a new set of conspiracy theories that point to Gates as the origin of coronavirus — and those conspiracy theories have rapidly gone from fringe online conspiracy theorists to the mouths of conservative pundits.

Here’s what we know:

In 2015, Bill Gates gave a TED talk titled, “The next outbreak? We’re not ready.”


In his 2015 TED talk, Gates examined the ebola outbreak that killed thousands of people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. He highlighted the factors that kept the disease from spreading worldwide, and warned against the potential for a much more contagious, worldwide pandemic.

“The failure to prepare could allow the next epidemic to be dramatically more devastating than ebola,” he said. “You can have a virus where people feel well enough while they’re infectious that they get on a plane, or they go to a market.”

Indeed, that is exactly the case with the novel coronavirus — symptoms of the disease don’t necessarily manifest for up to 14 days, and potentially longer.

Citing that talk, and the Gates Foundation’s $250 million contribution to fight the disease, some right-wing conspiracy theorists claim Gates is the mastermind that created the novel coronavirus.

The conspiracy theories connecting Gates to coronavirus started in late January, according to a recent New York Times investigation, with a “YouTube personality linked to QAnon” who claimed Gates had prior knowledge of the coronavirus pandemic.

Days later, the website Infowars — the site run by Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist who claims the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax — published a piece that incorrectly stated the Gates Foundation “co-hosted a pandemic exercise in late 2019 that simulated a global coronavirus outbreak.”

The Infowars piece attempted to connect the Gates Foundation’s ongoing investments in fighting global pandemics to prior knowledge of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a followup, “There was in fact an exercise (called ‘Event 201’) that took place in October that was hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security — which the Gates Foundation participated in — that focused on emergency preparedness in the event of a ‘very severe pandemic.’ But it didn’t deal with 2019-nCoV [novel coronavirus], and it didn’t make real-life predictions about death tolls.”

That distinction, however, was ignored by conspiracy theorists.

For the next two months, conspiracies that Gates knew of the virus beforehand or was directly responsible for its creation exploded. And now it’s reached one Fox News host.

Two examples of coronavirus-related Bill Gates conspiracy theories online, in shareable meme form, found on Twitter in April. Twitter

Mentions of coronavirus-related Bill Gates conspiracy theories have exploded on social media and TV: They were mentioned 1.2 million times in the last two months, according to data provided to the New York Times by the media intelligence firm Zignal Labs.

Those conspiracy theories have spread from fringe right-wing conspiracy theorists, like Alex Jones, to conservative pundits like Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “Digitally tracking Americans’ every move has been a dream of the globalists for years,” Ingraham tweeted in early April. “This health crisis is the perfect vehicle for them to push this.”

The commentary was attached to another tweet, which linked to an article about Bill Gates on a conspiracy theory website that cites an answer Gates gave during a Reddit AMA earlier this year. Gates spoke of a hypothetical “digital certificate” that would certify if people were vaccinated from coronavirus.

According to the piece, “The inevitable mass vaccination campaign to eradicate COVID-19 would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a worldwide digital ID. This system would store a wealth of information about each individual (including vaccination history) and would be used to grant access to rights and services.”

It baselessly claimed that Gates — alongside other rich and powerful people — is using the coronavirus pandemic as a means of instilling a worldwide caste system based on a digital ID.

Ingraham’s followers understood the message: “I will not take a #BillGatesVaccine,” one responded.

Former Trump staffer Roger Stone, who was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison earlier this year, was more direct than Ingraham. “Whether Bill Gates played some role in the creation and spread of this virus is open for vigorous debate,” Stone said in a radio interview, according to a New York Post report. “I have conservative friends who say it’s ridiculous and others say absolutely.”

Why Bill Gates? Why now? Even pandemics are partisan.

Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the billions that Gates earned from co-founding Microsoft and turning it into an international powerhouse is being used to fight contagious disease around the world. They’ve spent millions on the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and polio.

Gates also co-founded The Giving Pledge with his friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffet, a campaign to get billionaires to promise to give away the majority of their fortunes to philanthropic causes. But Gates has also voiced opposition to President Trump’s federal coronavirus response.

“Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds,” he tweeted on April 15, just after President Trump announced intentions to cut funding for the World Health Organization. “Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.”

Despite Gates not mentioning the president, responses to his tweet are notably partisan — and several challengers accuse Gates, through association with former President Bill Clinton and the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, of being part of an Illuminati-esque cabal.

Despite being especially vocal lately, Gates hasn’t said much in response to the conspiracies. “It’s ironic,” he told GCTN in a televised interview.

Gates declined an interview with the New York Times for its report on coronavirus-related Bill Gates conspiracy theories — a rare no from a man who’s made numerous press appearances lately in an attempt to get out the message on coronavirus prevention.

He did, however, answer a question about those conspiracy theories in a televised interview with Chinese broadcast channel GCTN.

“I’d say it’s ironic that you take someone who’s doing their best to get the world ready and putting, in my case, billions of dollars into these tools for infectious diseases, and really trying to solve broadly infectious diseases — including those that cause pandemics,” Gates said. “But we’re in a crazy situation, so there’s going to be crazy rumors.”


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“As painful as it is” to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines, “it’s going to backfire” if the process is rushed, he cautioned.

Top White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Monday that protests against coronavirus safety measures could “backfire” and that the economy cannot recover until the virus is under control.

“Clearly this is something that is hurting from the standpoint of economics … but unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen,” Fauci told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“If you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re going to set yourself back,” Fauci warned. “So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening, it’s going to backfire” if the process is rushed. “That’s the problem.”

Protests have erupted in various cities against stay-at-home restrictions to stem the surge of COVID-19. The largest protest last week in Michigan was organized by a reelection campaign group for President Donald Trump, who has encouraged the actions. Trump has also urged his supporters to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, which some view as a call to armed insurrection. Each of those states is headed by a Democratic governor.

Hundreds of protesters turned out in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Monday.

The protesters often ignore social distancing guidelines recommended by Trump’s own administration.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also discussed the national need for far more testing before people can start going back to safe workplaces. In addition, he said there needs to be “a partnership” between the federal government and states on testing. Trump has largely blamed testing shortfalls on governors, who have been pleading for help from the Trump administration to boost the number of tests.


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“Donald Trump at the moment is failing the American people,” warned Morgan.

Morgan, who won Trump’s reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2007, said he’s been watching the president’s daily press briefings on the pandemic with mounting horror.

“All that’s required from the president in those moments, and any world leader, frankly, is they’ve got to be calm, they’ve got to show authority, they have to be honest, they have to be accurate, entirely factual with what they’re telling the people and they have to have an ability to show empathy,” Morgan told Brian Stelter on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

“On almost every level of that, Donald Trump at the moment is failing the American people,” he added.

Morgan said it seemed as if Trump believes it’s more important to win the election in November than defeat the outbreak.

“No, it’s not, Donald Trump,” Morgan said. “What is more important right now is saving American lives.”

Morgan also said the tricks that populist leaders like Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson used to get elected don’t work in a crisis.

“It’s not about partisan politics anymore,” he said. “It’s about plain war crisis leadership.”


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