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At a time when the news is full of speculation about what will happen when we take the first “baby steps” towards opening the American economy, an intriguing article appeared about a study on infection rates around the world that our epidemiologists might want to take into account.

Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University did a study of new coronavirus infection rates in the US, UK, Sweden, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany and Spain. What he found is is very...well, it’s hard to know what to make of it.

When he compared a quarantined nation such as Israel with a business-pretty-much-as-usual nation such as Sweden, the coronavirus peaked and subsided in exactly the same way. And ALL the graphs looked the same.

"His graphs show that all countries experienced seemingly identical coronavirus infection patterns,” reports Marina Medvin in her piece for TOWNHALL, “with the number of infections peaking in the sixth week and rapidly subsiding by the eighth week.” The Wuhan virus follows its own fixed infection pattern, the professor suggested, that is not dependent on freedom or quarantine. In other words, even if people are having contact with each other, there is a natural decline in the number of infections.

"Expansion begins exponentially but fades quickly after about eight weeks,” he said. He doesn’t know why this happens, but speculates that it’s climate-related or is just the life cycle of the virus. (I would add that if it's climate-related, we would likely have a "second wave" in the fall and winter. But maybe by then we'd have a much better idea of how to treat it.)


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The professor even has a possible explanation for Italy’s staggering 12 percent mortality rate: the health care system there. “The health care system in Italy has its own problems,” he said. “It has nothing to do with coronavirus. In 2017 it also collapsed because of the flu.” And Italy does have high flu mortality rates as well, especially compared with a country such as Germany, which has low coronavirus infections and mortality rates and also low flu rates. (I'm no epidemiologist, but I would add that Italy also has a population that skews very old.)

Although he does recommend moderate social distancing, Prof. Ben Israel says his data from the past 50 days do not support the quarantine or the economic shut-down. He calls the reaction in Israel “mass hysteria,” saying, “I have no other way to describe it...4,500 people die each year from the flu in Israel because of complications, so, close a country because of that? No. I don’t see a reason to do that because of a lower-risk epidemic.”

Of course, he has the benefit of hindsight, as well as the data he’s collected over the past 50 days. At the start of this, there was no way to plot the “life cycle” of the virus on a graph. For all we knew, the infection rate would increase exponentially and then just continue...exponentially. The British computer model used by Dr. Fauci was developed by a researcher named Professor Neil Ferguson, who reportedly has a history of wildly overestimating mortality rates. It was his model that predicted we’d have 2.2 million deaths in the United States and 500,000 deaths in the U.K. Both those figures have been revised very dramatically downward.

Certainly we had to err on the side of caution rather than risk millions of deaths. But this professor's research should be weighed now in any decision on when and how to start living our lives.

Here is his original interview with the Israeli news outlet Mako.

But wait, there’s more! In my recent commentary on revelations in newly declassified footnotes from the Horowitz report, I said the FBI would try to claim they were duped by the Russians but that they actually weren’t. As of yesterday, we have hard evidence that if the Russians were getting in on the act and supplying disinformation to Steele, FBI agents KNEW IT.

In other words, there was no “duping” going on. Well, maybe of Steele, but not of the FBI.

As Chuck Ross at the DAILY CALLER reports, Russian intelligence knew during the 2016 campaign that Christopher Steele was investigating Trump’s campaign. Just-declassified footnotes from the IG report show not only that Russian intelligence might have been collecting information on Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, but that in January of 2017, a member of the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” team had evidence of this.


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Recall that Steele started working for Fusion GPS on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee in June of 2016. There’s a footnote in the IG report that says a June, 2017, intel report “indicated that two persons affiliated with RIS [Russian Intelligence Service] were aware of Steele’s election investigation in early July 2016.”

So the Russians knew he was doing this almost from the beginning and very likely were feeding him disinformation; this would certainly help explain the many inaccuracies.

But, to me, this isn’t the most important part of the story. It was almost a given that the Russians would have known what Steele was up to and would have tried to create a little chaos. (It’s what they do.) The really important part is that the FBI agents KNEW about this. Information released on Wednesday, in the form of these declassified footnotes, shows that the FBI found out on January 12, 2017, two days after BUZZFEED published the “dossier.” At that point, they knew, for example, that the fake story Steele had provided about Michael Cohen going to Prague in August of 2016 was likely Russian disinformation.

Oh, and the fake story about Trump and the hookers in the Moscow hotel? On February 27, 2017, the FBI found out that might have been Russian disinformation, too.

In fact, the FBI had been questioning Steele’s value as a source since 2015 because of his multiple contacts with Russian oligarchs and/or their intermediaries.

There were problems with the sub-source, too (the person who passed information to Steele), and the agents knew about that, too, as of early June 2017. According to these footnotes, the sub-source (not identified) had contacts with an individual in the Russian presidential administration in June/July of 2016. Also, the sub-source had voiced “strong support” for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. (I would add that Steele had, too.)

So, once the FBI agents involved in “Crossfire Hurricane” knew that Russians might have compromised Steele’s information, did they go to the FISA Court and say, “Um, we see that there might be a problem with some of the information in our original warrant application...”? Heck, no, they just kept right on renewing the application and continuing their spying. Why spoil a good thing? And did they go to BUZZFEED and say, “You know that Trump ‘dossier’ you published a couple of days ago? There’s some false information in there that we are pretty sure was planted by the Russians.” Again, heck no.

As Chuck Ross reports, “The lead supervisory intelligence analyst on the FBI investigation told the IG’s office he did not know as of June 2017 that Steele’s source network “had been penetrated or compromised.”

Read the full report here.

On Wednesday’s HANNITY show, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes said, “...You’re beginning to see what we wanted you to see all along….Here’s the problem that we have with the dirty cops at the FBI and DOJ and elsewhere: ...House Republicans were running an investigation, starting in 2017, on everything ‘Russia,’ remember? Well, here, the whole time, who had this information? The FBI knew that Steele could be compromised.”

"I hope,” he said, “that---there better be people who are charged with lying and obstructing a congressional investigation, because we should have been given this information.”

Nunes also noted that in the Intel Community Report on Russia –- the one that concluded Russia had interfered in our election to help Trump –- Steele’s phony “dossier” had been used. (I would add that both John Brennan and James Comey were pushing hard for it to be included in that report.) “Now, if that is all of the information that we have from all of our intelligence assets, where was the information that we now learn from the Horowitz report? Why was that not in the ICA?”

House Judiciary Committee member Matt Gaetz added that when he questioned Robert Mueller directly, asking if the Steele “dossier” was part of the Russian disinformation campaign, he said, “That’s not my purview.” I would observe that if he really didn’t know the answer to this most basic of questions, then he couldn’t possibly have been in charge of the special counsel investigation into Trump/Russia “collusion” (as if we didn't already have plenty of reason to conclude that), and that makes the Mueller probe a big fraud. And if he did know, then he was lying his head off, which also makes the Mueller probe a big fraud and Mueller himself guilty of lying before Congress.

It’s all becoming clearer by the day. Lying (both to Congress and the FISA Court) and obstruction of a congressional investigation --- those are crimes, the sort of thing U.S. Attorney John Durham has been looking into and (let's hope) making a case. Attorney General Bill Barr had good reason to say that what happened to President Trump was “a travesty.”

Here's another excellent report on the story, from Law Enforcement Today.

Declassified Report: FBI knew Steele Dossier against Trump had ‘Russian disinformation’

Bergen-Belsen Anniversary

April 16, 2020

Wednesday, Germany observed a national moment of silence in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on April 15, 1945. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus shutdown, the memorial was closed, survivors who had planned to attend were forced to stay home, and events to mark the date had to be postponed to 2021.

Bergen-Belsen was one of the first camps to be liberated by the Allies. It’s estimated that more than 50,000 people died there. British troops found it riddled with disease and more than 13,000 unburied corpses. They freed about 60,000 prisoners who were in shockingly bad condition, sick and starving and in desperate need of medical care. The victims included Anne Frank and her sister Margot, who are now believed to have died of typhus about two months before the Allied troops arrived.

Even though current circumstances have forced the official commemoration to be postponed, you can learn more about this horrific chapter in history online at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum site. Once you read the story of Bergen-Belson, and the other concentration camps, you’ll understand why we must pass it on to future generations so that it is never forgotten and never allowed to happen again.

From Tom:

I keep writing to you here, Mike, and you keep missing my statement. The azithromycin is more dangerous to those most vulnerable to coronavirus than the virus (the solution is more dangerous than the problem) because the major side effect is heart arrhythmias, which cause heart attacks. The better mix is hydroxychloroquine with doxycycline with zinc. Doxycycline provides the same benefits without [the] side effects [of] azithromycin.

Please don't kill me (74 with heart issues) with kindness. Thanx Mike and keep smiling, young fella.

From the Gov (with a smile):

Actually, Tom, I have mentioned that azithromycin in combination with HCQ is associated with possible heart arrhythmias in some patients and that doxycycline might be prescribed as a safer alternative. I’ll mention it again and remind all that this is why no one should be on this or any prescription med or combination of meds without a doctor’s supervision --- certainly not someone with heart issues, such as yourself. Don't self-medicate, don't drink fish tank cleaner --- and don't blame President Trump if someone does.

From Jeremy:

I am a physician and know more than most about treatments for ailments. I use a lot of medications off-label because I was taught and shown in my residency that they work surprisingly well for conditions the drug was not labeled for. This is a very good article [on fact-checking the WAPO "fact-checkers"].

As Trump has stated, this medication (along with others to form a 'cocktail') has shown progress and has indeed 'cured' a good handful so far. There is no time, unless we want a total economic collapse, to wait for a trial, which takes years, typically. As mentioned in this article, most medications have the potential for multiple bad side effects...On that, as he [Trump] said, 'What do we have to lose?' Between taking an experimental drug for this virus or dying, I guarantee that the writers [the WaPo “fact-checkers”] would choose the former over the latter if they were in the situation of choosing. I cannot believe that the Democrats have no shame.

From the Gov:

Thanks for writing, Doctor. I would add that hydroxychloroquine is not just experimental, at least in the sense that it has been used quite safely for many years, just for other maladies. It's too soon to call this an outright "cure" for COVID-19. but Trump is being truthful about what we know so far.

A WASHINGTON POST “Fact-Checker” column (quotation marks deliberate), not by Glenn Kessler but by Elyse Samuels and Meg Kelly, gives “Four Pinocchios,” the worst rating for lying, to President Trump for allegedly promoting hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for the COVID-19 (Chinese –- that's a fact) coronavirus.

Where to begin? Aside from the headline, which makes sure to include the words “false hope” (they don’t know that), I suppose we could start right up front, with the quotes in which Trump allegedly tells his overwhelming LIES about it being a cure. Huge whoppers such as, “I don’t know, it’s looking like it’s having some good results. That would be a phenomenal thing.” And “It’s this powerful drug on malaria. And there are signs that it works on this. Some very strong signs.” And of course, “What do you have to lose?” Well, there’s a hardcore sales pitch!


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Likewise, the writers’ case for dismissing hydroxychloroquine (which is being used in combination with other drugs, not alone) is that there aren't yet any clinical trials proving efficacy. But here's a FACT: those take time, and people who might die in the next 24 hours don’t want to wait for results to come in months from now., especially with the many “anecdotal” accounts of the drug’s success. That’s why Trump said, “What do you have to lose?”

There have been some small-scale trials showing promise, such as those by French doctor Didier Raoult. But the authors wave his work off as “discredited.” But how? I followed the link in the story to the journal that allegedly “discredited” the study. Here is the entirety of what it said on that subject:

“The ISAC (International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy) Board believes the article does not meet the Society’s expected standard, especially relating to the lack of better explanations of the inclusion criteria and the triage of patients to ensure patient safety.”


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Does that mean the drug wasn’t shown to be effective? The WaPo writers certainly imply as much. We’ve talked about this very small study here, right after the news broke that a hydroxychloroquine “cocktail” of drugs had helped some patients in France. The news was encouraging, but very preliminary; I said at the time that it appeared to have been rushed out and that the French-to-English could have been smoother. My staff and I were as skeptical as anyone should be of the results of a preliminary study announced on Skype. But after that, there was another, larger study that supported the first, and French President Macron went to the institute where it had been conducted and reportedly received a three-hour presentation on the promising results. In light of this, it is not overselling the treatment for Trump to say there are “some very strong signs” that it works.

And there are other studies currently underway, including in South Dakota, the first state to launch one. None of this would be happening without a lot of encouraging “anecdotal” evidence.

The writers reference these studies and quote spokespeople as saying that’s it’s too early to know for sure.

But what about that growing mountain of “anecdotes” from the many people who report they believed they were about to die but quickly began recovering after receiving this treatment? One was the 96-year-old (!) father of Dr. Marc Siegel; he was quite ill before receiving the treatment but recovered in just a few days. Even a Democrat politician has credited Trump’s publicizing of the drug with saving her life. Well, ignore them all. The WaPo writers say that to a layperson, anecdotal evidence “may not sound bad, but it’s actually an insult in the scientific community,” akin to “a Yelp review.”

That assertion, in itself, is a distortion of fact. If someone cited only anecdotal evidence as “proof” of a “cure,” then, yes, that would be pseudoscience, but President Trump hasn’t claimed this. Personally, if my life were in the balance, there were no proven cure, and a few thousand Yelp reviews said “this medicine saved my life,” I would at least give it a try. And you know what? I’ll bet the authors of this hit piece masquerading as a “fact-check” would, too.

In FACT, according to a new survey by the healthcare staffing firm Jackson & Coker, 65 percent of physicians would prescribe the drug to a family member with COVID-19, and 67 percent would take it themselves. Only 11 percent said they would not use it. In other words, a vast majority of doctors are encouraged –- not insulted –- by the anecdotal evidence.

Another point they use to discredit the drug is that there can be serious side effects if not used under a doctor’s supervision. Isn’t that true of virtually all prescription drugs, which is why you need a prescription? Numerous doctors, even some cardiac specialists, have said this is one of the safest drugs on the market. (Read the list of possible side effects in the paperwork that comes with most prescriptions, and you’ll think twice before taking ANY drug.) This article even cites the very suspicious story about the man dying after deliberately swallowing fish tank cleaner containing a very different ingredient with a similar name. (Talk about relying on “anecdotal evidence” to prove your case!) Sorry, but I can’t find any example of Trump telling people to take this drug without seeing a doctor, or to ingest fish tank cleaner.

They also bring up the concern about lupus and rheumatoid arthritis patients facing shortages of this drug because of the demand. I would say that if there is a demand, it’s because a lot of doctors –- repeat, doctors –- see the value in prescribing it for their COVID-19 patients. (See survey, above.) Ironically, the problem of supply vs. demand might actually be exacerbated by the tendency of politicians to “play doctor” and try to limit the use of the drug. A solution might be to go the opposite way: green-light mass production and distribution. A supply should, of course, be reserved for those patients already depending on it for maintaining their health.

The article also warns that a focus on this drug might cause researchers to “put all their eggs in one basket” and miss finding more promising treatments. On the contrary, those studies are going on as well.

Here are a few FACTS for those in the “fact-check” business who have trouble recognizing one. Trump has never called this a “cure.” He’s said he’s heard good things (so have I, so I know that’s true). He’s said what have you got to lose (if there is no other treatment, and the alternative is dying on a ventilator, that sounds pretty accurate as well.) It’s impossible to have perfect, long-term clinical trials at this stage; this is a never-before-seen virus and a treatment that’s only recently been tried. Many doctors, when faced with no alternative for a possibly terminal patient and no available clinical trials, make recommendations based on anecdotal evidence, particularly when there is a vast and growing library of it.

The authors surely know that slapping a "Four-Pinocchio" rating on Trump's comments implies to the public that they've made an ironclad case for deliberate, malicious LYING. Yet the last paragraph in particular reads more like an overly dramatic editorial than a dispassionate assessment of facts. And it is inaccurate (a LIE!!) for them to say that politicians and the media have turned this “unknown drug” into a “100 percent coronavirus cure.”

After reading through this article, I have to award Samuels and Kelly Four Pinocchios for their claim to be objective “fact-checkers.”

The investigation into the “Crossfire Hurricane” surveillance of the Trump campaign and presidency has continued unabated while the media are focused on COVID-19. Nothing like a pandemic to distract from a hurricane.

Of course, the mainstream media would be doing their best to ignore these findings, anyway, but at least right now they have a convenient excuse. Still, the leading investigative reporters we’ve counted on --- John Solomon, Jeff Carlson, Lee Smith and others --- are on the case, and there’s plenty to report, especially after the document “dump” last Friday that confirmed what they’ve been saying all along. In this instance, it was in the form of newly unredacted footnotes from Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s handling of its FISA applications to spy on Trump associates.

These revelations absolutely undercut any claim that the FBI had legitimate reason to investigate the Trump team. That investigation, handled by the top echelon of the FBI rather than out of a field office as would have been the usual procedure, was a sham from the beginning, and they had to know that.


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p>We’ve learned from these footnotes that the FBI had in their file, dating from as far back as 2015, a caution that Steele might be a victim of Russian disinformation because of his contacts with certain Putin-connected oligarchs, and also in 2017 that the “dossier” contained false information planted by Russian intelligence. (BE WARNED: the media will use this to defend FBI officials as simply being duped by Russia. Don’t be fooled; that’s not what this means, as I’ll explain.)

The report by Solomon and others that Bruce Ohr warned the FBI in August 2016 of Steele’s worrisome political bias is now confirmed.

The report that Steele told the FBI in August of 2016 that his work was connected to the Hillary Clinton campaign is now confirmed.

The report that in October, 2016, Steele told Kathleen Kavalec at the State Department that he’d leaked to the media and had an Election Day deadline to get his information out is now confirmed. We also know he told her that he believed Russia was funding its hacking operations through their consulate in Miami. Russia doesn’t have a consulate in Miami.

Yes, Steele was indeed fired for violating his confidentiality agreement and leaking to the media. That happened just over a week before the election, on November 1, 2016.

Steele was also found, in October of 2016, to have been peddling a false story (also being spread by a DNC lawyer and a reporter) about Trump and Putin communicating through computer “pings” at a server for Russia’s Alfa bank.

The report that the FBI put together a spreadsheet with all the claims in the Steele “dossier” and found most to be either inaccurate, unsubstantiated or based on publicly available information: confirmed.

The report that Steele’s sub-source was interviewed in January, 2017, and said much of the information attributed to him was inaccurate or was just rumor or exaggeration: confirmed. They should have already known that nothing coming from Steele was of any value.

The report that the FBI possessed exculpatory evidence on Carter Page that undercut their allegations in the FISA applications: confirmed.

The report that the CIA had alerted the FBI that Page had worked as a friendly U.S. asset, NOT for the Russians, and that an FBI official (criminally) altered a document to hide this: confirmed.

The report that the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence on George Papadopoulos, in the form of a recorded conversation in which Mr. P said neither he nor the Trump campaign were involved with Russian hacking and that it would be “illegal”: confirmed. Information regarding Mr. P was supposedly the reason for opening “Crossfire Hurricane” in the first place.

The report that the FBI concluded in January of 2017 that former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn had not been deceptive in his “ambush” interview and had likely just had a faulty memory: confirmed. (Flynn attorney Sidney Powell must be very happy that this footnote finally saw the light of day.)

This is just a partial list. Solomon and others who have dug so hard and cultivated such great sources over the past few years should be extremely gratified now, seeing that the facts they uncovered are confirmed in Horowitz’ own footnotes. This story can’t be dismissed as “conspiracy theory” any longer.

Here’s John Solomon’s new report, which also contains links throughout to his original reports (vindicated!) and to the pdf of the actual footnotes.

With all of this in Horowitz’ report, it’s hard to fathom how he could have concluded that the opening of “Crossfire Hurricane” met the threshold of evidence (which admittedly is quite low). Other questions are raised as well, such as why, with all the FBI knew about Steele and his “dossier,” then-FBI Director Jim Comey and then-CIA Director John Brennan pushed so hard for it to be included in the 2017 report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Daniel Chaitin asks these and other questions in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER.

Finally, back to my “warning,” above: how can we say that the FBI weren’t taken in by the Russians? Because if they were taken in by anyone, it appears to have been John Brennan. Here's a taste of what's coming: in a discussion with Rachel Maddow in August of 2018, Brennan may have inadvertently disclosed how “incidental” collection of information on a U.S. citizen by the CIA was used as a way of targeting individuals --- "reverse targeting," a big no-no --- with the raw surveillance data being fed directly to the FBI. When you have time to explore this in detail, Jeff Carlson has a great piece from the archives of THE EPOCH TIMES. (Thanks to Dan Bongino for digging this up. When it comes to the wrongful investigation of the Trump team, Bongino calls John Brennan “the founder of the feast,” with good reason.)