Discover more from ☕️ Coffee & Covid 2023 🦠
☕️ UPSIDES AND DOWNSIDES ☙ Tuesday, September 26, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
CBS finds value in Ukraine "investment"; covid narrative shifts on long covid, anti-virals, and side-effects; SADS actor; covid dictator falls; surprise debate announcements; UFO confiscation; more.
Good morning C&C, it’s Tuesday! Your roundup today includes: CBS helps Americans see the value in their investment in Ukrainian oligarchs; three stories in one week show the covid narrative shifting big time: ‘long covid’ is not as bad as we thought; Merck drug study shows the antiviral is making new variants; covid expert shifts opinion on long-term effects; SADS actor; woke covid dictator suddenly and unexpectedly toppled in Australia; surprise debate announcements; and the feds propose a law to confiscate captured UFO technology like ray guns and flying saucers and stuff.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 CBS’s 60 Minutes answered a question nobody was asking Sunday in a heartwarming personal-interest story headlined, “What U.S. taxpayers are getting for their money in Ukraine.”
Wait! Let’s try to guess first! I’ll do my top 3, you put your guesses in the comments, then we’ll see what CBS’s answer was. Ready? Here are my top three guesses as to what we’re “getting for our money”:
A nuclear sandwich.
Runners-Up included: (4) a massive humanitarian crisis, (5) a depleted arsenal, (6) back-breaking inflation, and (7) crab lice.
Now let’s compare with CBS’s notes.
CBS said: we’re not only getting fantastically expensive military gear that blows up ten seconds after it arrives in Ukraine, we’re also bribing, I mean paying, sorry, I mean subsidizing every man, woman, and child in that country and propping up its economy:
Russia's invasion shrank Ukraine's economy by about a third. We were surprised to find that to keep it afloat the U.S. government is subsidizing small businesses like Tatiana Abramova's knitwear company. In total, America's pumped nearly $25 billion of non-military aid into Ukraine's economy since the invasion began – and you can see it working at the bustling farmers market on John McCain Street in central Kyiv.
While in Kyiv, we learned that three of McCain's former colleagues were also in town: Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Richard Blumenthal and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. They don't normally agree on much – together, though, they're some of the staunchest supporters of U.S. funding for Ukraine's resistance.
As the war grinds towards its third year, Ukrainians are dying in trenches, in the streets of their cities and in their own homes. The country's fighting for its survival, bankrolled in large part by U.S. taxpayers. The outcome may be decided by America's willingness to keep paying.
John McCain street! There’s another thing Americans are getting for their money!
I can understand your skepticism, but even if you don’t trust CBS, trust these trustworthy people:
By the way, you can order some of Tatiana Abramova's hastily-assembled knitwear off the Pentagon’s website, since we own all her ugly sweaters and mittens now. Don’t worry if supplies run low, she’s knitting up a storm and is outsourcing to India.
If CBS meant for this story to stir Americans’ sense of charity and desire to help prop up Ukraine’s faltering fake government (the story absurdly claimed 100% of its budget is being used to fund the war), CBS’s plan backfired. The online response was swift and sarcastic:
I think that about covered it. So.
💉 Look out below! Covid’s Science narrative is shifting again. And this story wasn’t even the best one yesterday. But first, Sky News UK ran a delightfully optimistic article yesterday headlined, “Long COVID risks are 'distorted by flawed research', study finds.”
So, never mind!
Savor the article’s first sentence, describing a new study published in the British Medical Journal’s conclusions:
The risk of contracting long COVID may have been exaggerated due to ‘major flaws’ in the research, leading to unnecessarily high levels of anxiety about suffering from it, a new study has suggested.
Major flaws? What do you call it when majorly-flawed scientific research creates “unnecessarily high levels of anxiety?” Manslaughter? Malpractice? Iatrogenics? Nope. It’s Science, so shut up.
The researchers explained that the ‘scientific’ definition of long covid is just getting totally out of hand: ”In general, in the scientific literature, imprecise definitions have resulted in more than 200 symptoms being associated with the condition termed long COVID.” They argued none of the existing definitions even "requires a causal link" to a confirmed covid infection, such that any symptoms following even a suspected infection can be labeled long covid.
Science requires precision. Except when government grant money is involved. You submitted your long covid study grant application, right?
Postscript: Don’t get me wrong; some folks have credibly reported lingering symptoms following covid, even unjabbed people. This story catalogs the astounding narrative shifts this week.
💉 But wait! There’s more! The next — but not the last — narrative-bending story ran yesterday in Bloomberg, headlined “Merck’s Covid Drug Linked to Virus Mutation Patterns, Study Says.” The sub-headline explained, “Research raises concerns about accelerating Covid’s evolution.”
Uh-oh. This can’t be good for business.
Merck’s Lagevrio, known generically as molnupiravir, works by creating mutations in covid’s genetic structure, allegedly to stop the virus from replicating, which Merck claims reduces covid’s ability to cause severe illness in some immeasurable degree.
But according to the new study, which was published Monday in the journal Nature, viral samples from unlucky patients who took molnupiravir show a “signature mutation profile,” meaning the viral changes were triggered by the drug. Hopefully the drug doesn’t mutate patients own cells. But in any case, the emergence of a treatment-associated viral mutation pattern suggests some mutant variants are surviving and spreading, even after exposure to the drug, the researchers concluded.
Unstated was the obvious fact that it could be only a matter of time before one of these antiviral-induced mutants catches on and wreaks a lot of damage. I’m old enough to remember back when new covid variants were bad.
Anyway, this unexpected “feature” of molnupiravir brings us to the issue of unanticipated long-term side effects. Which until this week, officially did not exist regarding any of the officially-approved covid treatments. Long-term side effects? What nonsense!
💉 Now we arrive at celebrity vaccine scientist Dr. Paul Offit, a central figure on the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee, the one that approved the jabs for kids without any debate. Call me naive, but I was actually reassured when Dr. Offit’s name first came up, back in the halcyon days of the early pandemic, back when I still believed the government had some idea it knew what it was doing.
After all, I had read Dr. Offit’s book, “Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong.” In the book, Offit described all kinds of horrible mistakes that science plus government has made over the years, such as by repeatedly approving successive generations of opioids for pain treatment, each one more destructive than the last. I figured if anyone understood the potential for the horrifying long-term risks inherent in hasty, politically-driven drug approvals, it would be Dr. Paul Offit.
He also has a calm, capable, grandfatherly way of explaining things that is soothing and very reassuring. For example, last year in this clip Dr. Offit explained to jab takers why they didn’t need to worry about any long-term side effects from the covid jabs:
We also know historically when you look at vaccines and you find safety problems — and certainly, there have been safety problems, severe safety problems associated with vaccines — they virtually always been found within two months of getting the vaccine, and now we have really two years worth of data. And I don’t think there are going to be any surprises at this point.
And that’s why it’s important to be vaccinated. Thank you.
See? Just wait two months and you’ll be fine. Or at least, that was 2022 science. Now it’s 2023, the Science™ is evolving. Yesterday, Dr. Offit published a new video clip, in which he explained his rationale for not getting the new and improved booster shot. Wait till you hear this:
What the CDC needs to do is they need to tell us who is getting hospitalized this year and who’s dying. What are their ages? What — exactly — are their co-morbidities? Did they get a vaccine? If so, when was their last dose?
More importantly, did they get an antiviral?
I’ll take myself as an example. I’ve had three doses of the Wuhan-1 strain. My last dose was in November of 2021. I had a mild, two-day infection in May of 2022. I think I’m protected. I didn’t get last year’s bivalent vaccine. I’m not getting this year’s vaccine.
I would like the CDC to answer those questions.
One thing that kind of bothers me a lot is when people say, well, there’s no downside. First of all, whenever you take any medicine or any biological, there’s a downside. If there’s an upside, they’ll have a downside. The downside may be rare. It may be um, very rare. But nonetheless, there’s ALWAYS a downside.
And we’re going to find out about this vaccine over time.
It is a novel strategy. We certainly were surprised by myocarditis, and pericarditis. And you’ll see whether or not, over time, you know, when we’re five years into this, ten years into this, fifteen years into this, whether there’s any evidence of residual myocardial disease.
Because the reason you have myocarditis is you’re making immune response to your own heart muscle. I mean, it appears to be generally transient and short-lived, but there’s invariably a spectrum of disease, and we’ll find out about that over time.
It’s perfectly reasonable to take those risks if the benefits are clear. But when the benefits aren’t clear, then it’s not so reasonable to risk, even rare risk.
Sadly, some people could have used the information that “there’s ALWAYS a downside” and “we’ll find out the side effects over time.”
Opinions, like viruses, evolve. But some people (like your humble author) shared Dr. Offit’s questions for the CDC — but we had those questions back in 2021. And we wondered about the long-term side effects back in 2021. Back when the government swore the jabs were the safest, most studied drugs in history.
But now the narrative is shifting. Again! Mark your score cards.
💉 Last week, Tony Award-winning stage and film actor Michael McGrath, 65, died suddenly and mysteriously AT HOME.
According to the actor’s publicist, McGrath died at home in Bloomfield, New Jersey on Thursday the 14th. Never even called the hospital. His cause of death was not disclosed, of course, but the family’s GoFundMe page, set up by McGrath’s daughter, included a few scraps of information.
You can read between the lines that McGrath’s death was very sudden and very unexpected:
It's been a week since the sudden passing of my father, Michael McGrath. We are still grappling with this disbelief that he is truly gone. Due to the unexpected nature of his death, certain financial protections were not put in place— which means my mother is left with some difficulty.
My dad was set to start a new job in just a few weeks.
McGrath won a Tony for his role in the Broadway production of Monty Python's Spamalot. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, actress Toni Di Buono, and his daughter, actress Katie Claire McGrath.
See you on the Bright Side of Life, Michael.
🔥 Speaking of sudden and unexpected things, in more great news this week, another woke covid dictator abruptly resigned in disgrace yesterday. The UK Daily Mail covered the story in an article headlined, “Daniel Andrews resigns LIVE: Victoria Premier quits politics.”
In his territory of Victoria, Australia, Dan Andrews supervised the longest covid lockdown in the world and some of the harshest, most punitive jab mandates anywhere. To say Dan Andrews is hated and reviled by many badly understates the case.
His name has become a hissing and a byword. Australians even use his name as an insult. Bugger off, you Dan Andrews!
The premier, who allegedly won re-election just last year in a landslide, announced his resignation with one day’s notice at a hastily-arranged press conference yesterday. “When it’s time, it’s time,” Andrews curtly told reporters. I guess it’s time. He’s leaving office effective tomorrow. I suspect our Australian C&Cers will share some spicy comments.
Victorians are even throwing Dan a goodbye party, of sorts:
Don’t worry, Dan will probably land a lucrative gig at the WEF or something. But at least he won’t be infesting Australians anymore.
🔥 It’s turning out to be a week of surprises. Here’s another one I didn’t see coming. The Hill ran a startling story yesterday headlined, “Newsom and DeSantis agree to debate on Fox News.”
Sean Hannity announced yesterday that on November 30th, he will moderate a 90-minute “red versus blue debate” between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom. It’s totally not a presidential debate. Hannity explained, sort of, “I’m looking forward to providing viewers with an informative debate about the everyday issues and governing philosophies that impact the lives of every American.”
Oh. Alrighty then. We’re just all going to pretend like it’s the first-ever non-campaigning gubernatorial debate. Okey dokey.
Back in August, the DeSantis campaign agreed to the idea of debating Newsom, who is not officially a presidential candidate, but nothing further was announced till this week.
In related news, the second Republican presidential debate is scheduled for tomorrow night starting at 9pm EST. You’ll be forgiven for not already having it in your calendar. But Governor Newsom had it in his calendar. Check out this little news nugget:
As far as I can tell, instead of the actual candidate — Biden — Governor Newsom will deliver the DNC’s response to the GOP debate. Onsite. Live.
The articles about busy-bee Newsom’s recent activity all say that Newsom has “sub-zero” interest in running for the democrat nomination. He’s sure spending a lot of time on presidential politicking though.
🔥 Hide your UFO parts. Right in time for Halloween, the UK Daily Mail ran an eery story yesterday headlined, “Is the US government preparing to announce aliens? This is the Senate's proposed UFO 'controlled disclosure plan' and how it would work.”
The Mail’s article savored every tiny detail of the pondering logistal mechanics of the Senate’s proposed 64-page UFO amendment to 2024’s National Defense Authorization Act. They even created a brilliantly-colored artistic infographic to help people who live in Portland understand all the various deadlines and involved officials.
Bottom line, they want to form another committee. Yawn.
Two years following its approval, assuming that it’s approved, the new UFO committee (called the “Review Board”) would be required to consider each known UFO case and then publish a “finding” about them. Nearly every branch of the government is required to submit their reports. Oh, and the committee’s “finding” can just be that national security precludes them from even making a finding.
So don’t hold your breath.
But then, further down the article, the Mail reported the NDAA amendment also declares that the federal government will have 'eminent domain' over any “recovered technologies of unknown origin.“ So take note. If you’ve found a ray gun or an anti-gravity saucer somewhere, the government now owns it. Presumably, this unwarranted federal confiscation only applies to un-“recovered” tech, not any stuff our space brothers are still using.
This UFO thing is not going away anytime soon. The Senate’s amendment promised alien entertainment for at least seven more years: “The Review Board and the terms of its members shall terminate not later than September 30, 2030, unless extended by Congress.”
So. Now you have something to look forward to. It’s totally not crazy, either. At least, it’s not as crazy as some of the other stuff going on these days. Probably.
Have a terrific Tuesday! And return back here tomorrow, for another thought-provoking and sarcastic roundup.
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