March 15, 2023

Lab Owner Pockets $83M in COVID Scam

1783: In an emotional speech in Newburgh, New York, George Washington asks his officers not to support the Newburgh Conspiracy. His plea is successful and the threatened coup d’etat never takes place.

Federal prosecutors have accused a Chicago man of allegedly running a bogus COVID-19 testing lab that sent out made-up results while pocketing millions of taxpayer dollars, which he spend on cars and cryptocurrency.

Authorities have charged Zishan Alvi, 44, with 10 counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of government funds for allegedly scheming to “defraud and to obtain money and property” through false COVID tests between February 2021 and February 2022, according to the federal indictment. Prosecutors say the company raked in $83.5 million from the federal government within that time.

Alvi allegedly told employees to give customers negative results without even testing their samples at the height of the Omicron surge, prosecutors said.

From Block Club Chicago:

Alvi’s lab sought reimbursement from the federal government for tests Alvi knew had not been performed, for tests the lab had “modified” so the results weren’t reliable and for tests already paid for by customers, prosecutors said.

Alvi told workers to give customers negative test results, despite knowing that they’d actually been tossed out and not tested, according to the indictment. Workers “eventually” completed the tests, but when the found positive results, they didn’t inform customers — since they’d already given them false negatives, prosecutors said.

In the indictment, federal prosecutors call for Alvi to forfeit the property from the alleged crimes if he’s convicted — up to $83.5 million.

When federal authorities seized Alvi’s accounts in Feb. 2022, he had more than $6.8 million in his personal bank account, roughly $810,000 in an E*Trade account, about $500,000 in an investments account, and more than $245,000 in a Coinbase account, prosecutors said. He also allegedly used the fraudulent funds to purchase several luxury cars: a 2021 Mercedes-Benz, a 2021 Range Rover, a 2021 Lamborghini Urus, a 2021 Bentley, and a 2022 Tesla.

Alvi faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and 10 years for the theft charge.

Source: Block Club Chicago

February 28, 2023

US Energy Dept Now Says Lab Leak Most Likely Caused COVID-19 Pandemic

1983: The final episode of M*A*S*H airs on CBS. A record 125 million Americans tuned in to watch the 2-hour special finale, titled “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen,” directed by series star Alan Alda.

Based on new intelligence on the matter, the U.S. Energy Department reportedly concluded that a lab leak in China most likely caused the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Energy Department’s new conclusion marks a change from its earlier position that it was undecided on the pandemic’s origins. The Wall Street Journal first reported the new intelligence and the department’s updated opinion on Sunday.

Some officials who read the classified intelligence report said that the Energy Department’s conclusion was made with “low confidence.”

The department gathered many of its insights via the network of national labs that it oversees, some of which conduct biological research, according to the Journal.

The Energy Department is not the only U.S. agency to conclude that the virus first emerged from an accidental lab leak from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. In 2021, the FBI concluded, with moderate confidence, that a lab leak caused the pandemic. The bureau still hold this view, the Journal reported.

However, there is a divide among intelligence agencies. In October 2021, the director of national intelligence’s office announced that four other intelligence agencies and the National Intelligence Council had concluded, with low confidence, that the virus most likely emerged through natural transmission.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the intelligence community is still divided over the pandemic’s origins.

“There is a variety of views in the intelligence community,” Sullivan said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “Some elements of the intelligence community have reached conclusions on one side, some on the other. A number of them have said they just don’t have enough information to be sure.”

Sullivan noted that while he “can’t confirm or deny” the information in the Journal report, he can confirm that President Joe Biden “specifically requested that the national labs, which are a part of the Department of Energy, be brought into this assessment because he wants to put every tool at use to be able to figure out what happened here.”

“And if we gain any further insider information, we will share it with Congress, and we will share it with the American people. But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question,” he added.

Meanwhile, China is dismissing the Energy Department’s conclusion.

“Certain parties should stop rehashing the ‘lab leak’ narrative, stop smearing China and stop politicizing origins-tracing,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a press conference on Monday.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

February 21, 2023

‘Amazing Coincidence’: Senator Blasts Moderna’s Suspicious Timing

1972: Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. President to visit China, normalizing relations between the countries in a meeting with Chinese leader Mao Zedong in Beijing.

Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced a plan to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured Americans the same day a Senate committee asked them to testify — a move that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) suggested “maybe was just a wild and crazy coincidence.”

Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee asked Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel to appear before a panel next month, looking into proposed plans to increase the COVID-19 vaccine’s price from $110 to $130 per dose.

On Wednesday, Moderna announced that it will grant Americans access to vaccines “regardless of ability to pay.”

Sanders, the chair of the committee, addressed the move on CBS’s Face the Nation.

“Amazing coincidence, that happened the same exact day we announced that we were inviting them to testify,” Sanders said.

The senator said the committee also wants to examine Moderna’s proposal to provide uninsured people in America with access to vaccines.

“We also want to take a look at what that patient program is about,” Sanders said. “We’re talking to them about that, but, obviously, it’s a step in the right direction.”

The senator noted that the COVID-19 vaccine’s development was funded by taxpayer dollars.

Moderna, along with the vaccine maker Pfizer, are preparing to transition to a commercial market as federal COVID-19 emergency declarations expire.

Source: Politico

February 3, 2023

DeSantis Responds to Trump’s Criticism: I Was Reelected

1870: Iowa ratifies the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution, allowing suffrage for all races and ethnicities.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to former President Donald Trump’s criticism of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that he won a substantial reelection victory.

During a press conference in Bradenton, Florida, DeSantis was asked about Trump’s recent jabs at him.

“I roll out of bed, I have people attacking me from all angles, it’s been happening for many, many years,” DeSantis responded.

“The good thing is, is that the people are able to render a judgment on that whether they re-elect you or not. And I’m happy to say — you know in my case — not only did we win re-election, we won with the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican governor candidate has had in the history of the state of Florida. … That verdict has been rendered by the people of the state of Florida.”

During campaign stops over the weekend, Trump took a few swings at DeSantis. Trump accused the governor of “trying to rewrite history” regarding his response to the pandemic, including his decision to permit lockdowns in the beginning stages and that he “promoted the vaccine as much as anyone.”

Trump also addressed the possibility of DeSantis entering the 2024 presidential race, saying: “When I hear that he might [run] I think it’s very disloyal.”

So far, Trump is the only major Republican candidate to enter the race. POLITICO noted that DeSantis will likely join the race later this year, possibly in or around May, after the Florida Legislature’s annual session.


February 2, 2023

WATCH: Biden Grabs Reporter’s Hand in Bizarre Interaction

1848: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican–American War. The U.S. acquires Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona for $15 million.

President Joe Biden awkwardly grabbed a reporter’s hand and squeezed under her umbrella after being asked about his recent decision to end the federal COVID-19 emergency.

The up-close-and-personal interaction came Tuesday afternoon, shortly before the 80-year-old president departed the White House for a trip to New York City.

As Biden was approaching the Marine One helicopter, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Kristen Welker asked: “What’s behind your decision to end the COVID emergency?”

Welker was referring to an announcement made on Monday, wherein Biden said that his administration was ending the public health emergency declaration that the Trump administration put in place at the start of the pandemic.

At that point, Biden approached Welker, grabbed her hand, and pulled her umbrella towards him. He asked her to repeat the question, as it was drowned out by noise from the helicopter.

“What’s behind your decision to end the COVID emergency?” Welker repeated.

“The COVID emergency will end when the Supreme Court ends it,” Biden answered. “We’ve extended it to May the 15th to make sure we get everything done. That’s all. There’s nothing behind it at all.”

He continued to address other reporters that shouted questions, keeping his hand firmly on top of Welker’s hand.

Watch the interaction below:

Source: Daily Mail

December 15, 2022

DeSantis Calls for Grand Jury Investigation on COVID-19 Vaccines

1791: U.S. Bill of Rights ratified when Virginia gives its approval, establishing Amendments 1-10 of the U.S. Constitution.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has called for a statewide grand jury to investigate “crimes and wrongdoing” related to the COVID-19 vaccine.

The governor’s office announced “aggressive actions to hold the federal government and Big Pharma accountable” following a roundtable discussion with physicians and researchers on the “adverse events of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.”

The roundtable discussion partially centered on the fact that pharmaceutical companies haven’t provided their data on the vaccines to independent researchers.

“We’ll be able to get the data whether they want to give it or not,” DeSantis said. “In Florida, it is illegal to mislead and misrepresent, especially when you are talking about the efficacy of a drug.”

DeSantis, who is often discussed as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said he expects that the Florida Supreme Court will approve the statewide grand jury.

“That will come with legal processes that will be able to get more information and to bring legal accountability to those who committed misconduct,” DeSantis said.

Another one of the “aggressive actions” announced by the governor’s office is the creation of the Public Health Integrity Committee.

“The Committee will be overseen by the Surgeon General to assess federal public health recommendations and guidance to ensure that Florida’s public health policies are tailored for Florida’s communities and priorities,” DeSantis’ office said in a press release.

DeSantis noted that some people have lost faith in public health institutions since the start of the pandemic, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sources: CNBC | Governor Ron DeSantis

December 14, 2022

Musk Causes Commotion with Controversial Tweet About Fauci

1774: First incident of American Revolution – 400 New Hampshire militiamen successfully attack Fort William and Mary.

Elon Musk caused a commotion after calling for Anthony Fauci to be prosecuted in a tweet, writing: “My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci.”

Musk’s concise tweet garnered more than a million likes on the platform.

“I affirm your pronouns Elon,” tweeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) in response.

But not everyone appreciated the sentiment, including some of those within the medical community.

“This is antithetical to what we stand for, insulting science, infectious disease, and people with trans/nonbinary identities who suffer from enough stigma,” tweeted Emory University’s Division of Infectious Diseases, urging other ID programs to leave Twitter if Musk doesn’t delete the post.

Kent State Epidemiology Professor Tara Smith tweeted: “Hey @TwitterSafety what happens when the owner of the platform is tweeting to get a scientist harassed or killed?”

Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly responded to Musk, asking him to not “mock and promote hate toward already marginalized and at-risk-of-violence members” of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Musk responded, writing: I strongly disagree. Forcing your pronouns upon others when they didn’t ask, and implicitly ostracizing those who don’t, is neither good nor kind to anyone.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed Musk’s tweets during a press briefing on Monday, condemning the posts as “incredibly dangerous.”

Musk’s “personal attacks … are disgusting and they are divorced from reality, and we will continue to call that out and be very clear about that,” Jean-Pierre said.

“We are fortunate that he has devoted his career and his life and his exceptional talent to America’s public health,” she added.

Musk’s tweet came the morning after Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya visited the Twitter headquarters. One of the installments of the “Twitter Files” revealed that Bhattacharya was previously placed on a “Trends Blacklist,” limiting the reach of his posts, after he warned that COVID-19 lockdowns would be harmful to children.

Sources: The Blaze | The Daily Beast | Axios

December 2, 2022

Bill Clinton Reveals His Diagnosis

1845: U.S. President James K. Polk announces to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West, a widely held belief termed “manifest destiny” by newspaper editor John O’Sullivan.

Former President Bill Clinton announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Clinton, 76, said that he was experiencing mild symptoms.

“I’ve tested positive for Covid. I’ve had mild symptoms, but I’m doing fine overall and keeping myself busy at home,” he tweeted.

“I’m grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, which has kept my case mild, and I urge everyone to do the same, especially as we move into the winter months,” he added.

Clinton has experienced several health problems in the past. Last year, he was hospitalized after a urinary tract infection spread to his bloodstream. In 2004, he underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery. In 2010, he had two stents inserted to open an artery.

Clinton, who served as the nation’s 42nd President, is the latest commander-in-chief to test positive for the coronavirus.

Both President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year. In October 2020, then-President Donald Trump contracted the virus.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bill’s wife, also tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year.

“Well, I’ve tested positive for COVID. I’ve got some mild cold symptoms but am feeling fine. I’m more grateful than ever for the protection vaccines can provide against serious illness,” she tweeted in March. “Please get vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t already!”

In October, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky tested positive for the virus, completed a course of Paxlovid, tested negative — but then tested positive again.

“COVID-19 vaccines may not prevent every infection, but they do provide us important protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19,” Walensky tweeted last month. “My updated [COVID-19] vaccine helped ensure my immune system was equipped to protect me against severe illness.”

Sources: The Blaze | CNN

November 26, 2022

Vaccinated People Accounting for Majority of COVID Deaths in US: Report

A new analysis revealed that for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, most Americans dying from the virus were vaccinated or boosted.

The analysis published by the Washington Post found that 58% of COVID-19 deaths in August “were people who were vaccinated or boosted.”

The outlet described a “troubling trend” as the percentage of deaths among the vaccinated has been “steadily rising” over the last year.

In September 2021, vaccinated individuals made up just 23% of coronavirus deaths. In January and February 2022, that figure had jumped to 42%, the WaPo report noted.

The diminishing efficacy of coronavirus vaccines and “increasingly contagious strains of the virus being spread to elderly and immunocompromised people” have caused more deaths among those who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the analysis.

“We can no longer say this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Cynthia Cox, the vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which conducted the analysis on behalf of WaPo.

Outgoing White House Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci has emphasized the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing severe illness and deaths, encouraging people to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

“My message, and my final message, maybe the final message I give you from this podium, is that please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family and your community,” Fauci said. “I urge you to visit vaccine.gov to find a location where you can easily get an updated vaccine, and please do it as soon as possible.”

Fauci has previously acknowledged that the vaccines don’t necessarily protect against coronavirus infection and transmission.

Sources: Washington Post | Fox News

October 20, 2022

Boston University Creates New COVID Strain with 80% Kill Rate

1917: U.S. suffragette Alice Paul begins a 7-month jail sentence for peacefully picketing in support of the women’s Suffrage (right to vote) Amendment at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Researchers at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories have been condemned for creating a deadly new strain of COVID-19.

The new strain — a hybrid of the highly-contagious Omicron variant and the original virus that was discovered in Wuhan, China — killed 80% of the mice that researchers infected, according to the Daily Mail.

Boston University’s new research, which has not been peer reviewed, centers around the role of spike proteins in the pathogenic and antigenic behaviors of the virus.

Researchers wrote: “In…mice, while Omicron causes mild, non-fatal infection, the Omicron S-carrying virus inflicts severe disease with a mortality rate of 80 percent.”

The experiments eerily mirror similar research that was carried out by scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China ahead of the pandemic. The lab is just 8 miles from where the original virus was found.

“This should be totally forbidden, it’s playing with fire,” said Professor Shmuel Shapira, a top scientist in the Israeli Government.

Gain of function research the practice of manipulating a virus to become more infectious or deadly.

“The research is a clear example of gain of function research,” said Dr. Richard Ebright, a chemist at Rutgers University.

“If we are to avoid a next lab-generated pandemic, it is imperative that oversight of enhanced potential pandemic pathogen research be strengthened,” Ebright added.

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