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The Pronk Pops Show 1403, February 26, 2020, Story 1: President Trump Press Conference on Coronavirus (COVID-19) — Videos — Story 2: Democrats Play Politics With COVID-19 — Have No Shame and No Sense — Videos — Story 3: Democrats Demolition  Debates — Chaos Clowns Clash — Bloomberg Bashing Bombs — Moderators Missing Moments — Trump Triumphs – Videos —

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Story 1: President Trump Press Conference on Coronavirus (COVID) — Videos —

Trump takes coronavirus questions, says virus response shouldn’t be political

FULL: Pres. Trump and CDC give press conference on U.S. coronavirus threat

President Trump Holds Press Conference On Coronavirus

President Trump gives update on coronavrius with CDC officials

Tucker Carlson Tonight 2/26/20 FULL | Breaking TRUMP February 26, 2020

Tucker: Global leaders said coronavirus was under control

Story 2: Democrats Play Politics With COVID-19 — Have No Shame and No Sense — Videos —

Ingraham: The pandemic party

Gutfeld on the media reaction to the coronavirus

Trump: Pelosi is “Trying to Create a Panic” with Coronavirus

McCarthy blasts Dems on coronavirus: It’s not the time to play politics

February 26, 2020: Senator Cotton joins the Ingraham Angle

US working ‘aggressively’ to mitigate coronavirus in America: Alex Azar

Trump’s handling of coronavirus is comforting to Americans: RNC spokeswoman

Trump takes flak from Dems after proposing $2.5B to fight Coronavirus

President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force holds briefing on the outbreak

Schumer: CDC Cannot Access ‘Rapid Response Dollars’ To Fight Deadly Coronavirus In U.S.

 

Story 3: Democrats Demolition  Debates — Chaos Clowns Clash — Bloomberg Bashing Bombs — Moderators Missing Moments — Trump Triumphs – Videos —

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Watch Highlights Of The South Carolina Democratic Debate In 5 Minutes | NBC News

Can’t Risk Another Trump Presidency | Mike Bloomberg for President

Michael Bloomberg defends record on race

Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg Duke it Out at Democratic Debate | NowThis

‘Ingraham Angle’ panel breaks down latest Dem debate

Sanders and Bloomberg come under attack in Democratic debate

February 2020 Democratic Debate in South Carolina | The Daily Show

Lou Dobbs Tonight 2/25/20 | Breaking Fox News February 25, 2020

The Ingraham Angle 2/27/20 | Breaking Fox News February 27, 2020

Democrats shout at each other, turn on ‘racist’ Mike Bloomberg and gang up on ‘unelectable’ Bernie Sanders in messy debate – while the CBS moderators lose control so badly even Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell start arguing

  • The debate in South Carolina on Tuesday night kicked off at 8pm, as candidates Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer took the stage
  • Right off the bat, the candidates began targeting Sanders, arguing he is backed by Vladimir Putin, is unelectable and is divisive
  • Moderators Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell quickly lost control with the candidates shouting over another
  • At various points, the crowd booed the notion of billionaires, which includes Bloomberg and Steyer 
  • The blows went in all directions. Joe Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure, and referenced the Charleston church shootings 
  • Bloomberg was labelled a ‘racist’ and Warren blasted him for NDAs at his media company, claiming he told an employee to ‘kill it’ after she informed him she was pregnant 
  • Once the candidates wrapped up, O’Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely, but King had to quickly correct her, saying it wasn’t quite over yet

Democratic presidential candidates got into a series of angry and personal exchanges at Tuesday night’s debate in Charleston – with Bernie Sanders attacking Mike Bloomberg for being a billionaire, Bloomberg labeling Sanders as Vladimir Putin’s favorite and a trio of candidates blasting Bloomberg for his ‘racist’ stop-and-frisk policy.

It was the kind of full-on circular firing squad that commentators had warned might be coming in South Carolina, with Joe Biden’s ‘firewall’ claims on the line and Sanders having the potential to pad his delegate lead in the rush to Super Tuesday.

The debate featured chaotic exchanges where multiple candidates sought to talk over each other, with CBS moderators Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King losing all control of the discussion about 40 minutes into the debate, either failing to referee or being completely ignored by the over-eager candidates.

Candidates flouted 75-second response times, cut each other off, and yelled out retorts out of turn. ‘Not true,’ interjected Sanders when Amy Klobuchar questioned how he’ll pay for his programs. ‘Can I say something?’ pleaded hedge funder Tom Steyer later in the heated exchange. ‘Let me go,’ he demanded.

Then the former vice president complained when he finally got called on. ‘Whoa. Whoa. Whoa,’ he said. ‘I guess the only way you do this is jump in and speak twice as long as you should.’ Later, he boiled over and announced he would defy the unenforced rules. ‘I’m not out of time. You spoke over time and I’m going to talk,’ Biden said.

Sanders proved to be the Democrat to take down, as he joined his six primary rivals – including Biden, Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Steyer – onstage at Charleston’s Gaillard Center.

Democratic presidential candidates got into a series of angry and personal exchanges at Tuesday night's debate in Charleston ¿ with Bernie Sanders attacking Mike Bloomberg for being a billionaire, Bloomberg labeling Sanders as Vladimir Putin's favorite and a trio of candidates blasting Bloomberg for his 'racist' stop-and-frisk policy

The candidates repeatedly talked over each other – with CBS moderators losing all control of the discussion about 40 minutes into the debate

Moderators Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell quickly lost control with the candidates shouting over another. Once the candidates wrapped up, O'Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely, but King had to quickly correct her, saying it wasn't quite over yet

Moderators Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell quickly lost control with the candidates shouting over another. Once the candidates wrapped up, O’Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely, but King had to quickly correct her, saying it wasn’t quite over yet

Bloomberg quickly labeled Sanders as Vladimir Putin's favorite and a trio of candidates blasted Bloomberg for his 'racist' stop-and-frisk policy while he was mayor of New York City

Bloomberg quickly labeled Sanders as Vladimir Putin’s favorite and a trio of candidates blasted Bloomberg for his ‘racist’ stop-and-frisk policy while he was mayor of New York City

At various points, the crowd loudly booed the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer

At various points, the crowd loudly booed the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer

The debate in South Carolina on Tuesday night kicked off at 8pm, as candidates (l-r) Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer took the stage. It was the kind of full-on circular firing squad that commentators had warned might be coming, where Sanders' rise is being put to the test in a diverse state

The debate in South Carolina on Tuesday night kicked off at 8pm, as candidates (l-r) Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer took the stage. It was the kind of full-on circular firing squad that commentators had warned might be coming, where Sanders’ rise is being put to the test in a diverse state

 Warren attacked Sanders early, saying his plan doesn’t show ‘how to get’ to universal health care like hers does.

‘I dug in. I did the work. And then Bernie’s team trashed me for it,’ she vented.

With South Carolina’s primary just four days away, candidates who might have needed break-out performances didn’t get them.

Sanders avoided enduring an all-out pile-on, despite having a path to the nomination that would only accelerate with a strong showing here and on Super Tuesday. He was put on the defensive several times for his socialist background, the cost of his programs, and his statements about left-wing leaders. Sanders got to explain that the greatest misconception about him ‘is that the ideas I’m talking about are radical.’

Biden, who predicted a win in South Carolina, delivered forceful defenses of his record, tied himself to Barack Obama, and avoided serious stumbles.

No longer the front-runner, he was forced to plead for time from the moderators. He won laughs when he was one of the few to honor a time limit. ‘Why am I stopping? No one else stops. Catholic school training,’ he quipped.

Bloomberg performed better than when he got pummeled in Las Vegas, but some of his remarks fell flat, as when he took a stab at a self-deprecating joke.

‘I really am surprised that all of these, my fellow contestants up here I guess would be the right word for it… I’m surprised they show up because I would’ve thought after I did such a good job in beating him last week that they’d be a little afraid to do that,’ Bloomberg said, in a remark that didn’t play in the room.

Klobuchar was mostly on the sidelines, though she kept up her argument that she is ‘Donald Trump’s worst nightmare’ and that the party doesn’t want a nominee who proposes $60 trillion in new spending.

Buttigieg kept his cool, but wasn’t a major player in many of the most dramatic exchanges. He said he would raise taxes on billionaires, needled Bloomberg by saying he released his own tax returns, and made the case against Sanders’ electability.

Joe Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure, and referenced the Charleston church shootings

Bloomberg drew fire for stop-and-frisk, a policy he has apologized for in stark terms despite thousands of arrests during his tenure as New York City mayor

Bloomberg drew fire for stop-and-frisk, a policy he has apologized for in stark terms despite thousands of arrests during his tenure as New York City mayor

Since New Hampshire primary night, which Biden left the Granite State for to instead kick off campaigning in South Carolina, Biden has argued that the states that truly matter are the ones that have a more diverse population, which reflect the makeup of the Democratic Party

Proving to be the night’s punching bag, Sanders was slammed and accused of being backed by Putin, unelectable and divisive.

Sanders got the first question in recognition of his new status as the favorite to become the party’s candidate. He was asked by CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell how he could justify being a socialist at a time of booming employment.

The Vermont senator quickly pivoted and attacked Bloomberg, saying that the economy was only doing well for ‘billionaires,’ but the former New York mayor was ready with a dig of his own.

Bloomberg said: ‘I think that Donald Trump thinks it would be better if he’s president. I do not think so.

‘Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States. And that’s why Russia is helping you get elected, so you will lose to him.’

Sanders shot back: ‘Oh, Mr. Bloomberg. Let me tell Mr. Putin, OK, I’m not a good friend of President Xi of China. I think President Xi is an authoritarian leader.

‘And let me tell Mr. Putin, who interfered in the 2016 election, try to bring Americans against Americans, hey, Mr. Putin, if I’m president of the United States, trust me, you’re not going to interfere in any more American elections.’

A question to Bloomberg about his past comments that China’s Xi Jinping wasn’t a dictator provoked a vigorous exchange about authoritarianism – and Sanders’ past positive comments about Fidel Castro’s Cuba and other left-leaning regimes.

‘We have to deal with China if we’re ever going to solve the climate crisis,’ said Bloomberg, who made billions through his global media and financial company.

‘He does serve at the behest of the Politburo,’ Bloomberg said, defending Xi’s political accountability.

‘They must play by the rules, period, period, period,’ said Biden, who Republicans immediately accused of being soft on China.

‘I have opposed authoritarianism,’ said Sanders, defending comments running through his career about Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Russia, and Venezuela.

‘But who the hell is the Politburo responsive to?’ Sanders continued. ‘What I said is what Barack Obama said in terms of Cuba,’ Sanders insisted, defending his comments that Cuba had a ‘massive literacy program’ under Castro.

At various points, the crowd loudly booed the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, with estimated personal fortunes of $60 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively

At various points, the crowd loudly booed the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, with estimated personal fortunes of $60 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively

There were angry exchanges early-on in the debate between Bloomberg and Warren, who brought up a woman who sued his media company, Bloomberg LP, and reached a settlement after claiming Bloomberg told her to ‘kill it’ after she informed him she was pregnant

'Never said that!' Bloomberg exclaimed. 'Oh, come on!' From there the conversation turned back to Bloomberg's company's previous use of non-disclosure agreements, something that Warren hammered him for on the debate stage last week in Las Vegas. It was 'probably wrong to make the jokes, I don't remember what they were, but if it bothered them, I was wrong and I apologize and I'm sorry for that'

At various points, the crowd loudly booed at the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer

At various points, the crowd loudly booed at the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer

‘Really? Really?’ Biden responded, saying Obama had merely been acknowledging Cuban gains while speaking overseas.

‘Authoritarianism of any stripe is bad,’ said Sanders. ‘But that is different than saying the governments occasionally do things that are good.’

Buttigieg issued a warning about running a candidate with ‘nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960s.’

The blows went in all directions.

Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure and referenced the Charleston church shootings.

The city is still grieving from the 2015 killings at Mother Emanuel AME Baptist Church when gunman Dylann Roof entered the church and gunned down nine members of the congregation.

‘Bernie voted five times against the Brady bill … I’m not saying he’s responsible for the nine deaths, but… [Roof]  would not have been able to get that weapon with the waiting period’ of the Brady bill, Biden said.

Biden is trying to gain back lost ground after coming in fourth place in Iowa and fifth place in New Hampshire. He then came in a distant second to Sanders in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses.

Sanders later attacked former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg for accepting contributions from billionaires.

‘I can’t allow this to stand because it’s just untrue,’ the former South Bend mayor shot back. He said he got more money out of 2,000 small contributors in Charleston than he did from bigwigs.

The early hits on Sanders, who has called himself the frontrunner, followed last week’s Las Vegas debate, which featured a multi-candidate pile-on on Bloomberg.

Asked directly by O'Donnell if Bloomberg's use of stop-and-frisk in New York was racist, Klobuchar answered: 'Yes'

. Buttigieg, who has been criticized for failing to attract black supporters, agreed the policy was racist

Joe Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure, and referenced the Charleston church shootings. 'Bernie voted five times against the Brady bill ... I'm not saying he's responsible for the nine deaths, but that would not have been able to get that weapon with the waiting period' of the Brady bill, Biden said

Joe Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure, and referenced the Charleston church shootings. ‘Bernie voted five times against the Brady bill … I’m not saying he’s responsible for the nine deaths, but that would not have been able to get that weapon with the waiting period’ of the Brady bill, Biden said

Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders became an instant punching bag for his presidential rivals on Tuesday night as they lined up to slam him at the debate before the South Carolina primary ¿ accusing him of being backed by Vladimir Putin, unelectable and divisive

 

Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders became an instant punching bag for his presidential rivals on Tuesday night as they lined up to slam him at the debate before the South Carolina primary – accusing him of being backed by Vladimir Putin, unelectable and divisive

There were angry exchanges early-on in Tuesday’s debate between Bloomberg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who brought up a woman who sued his media company, Bloomberg LP, and reached a settlement after claiming Bloomberg told her to ‘kill it’ after she informed him she was pregnant.

‘Never said that!’ Bloomberg exclaimed. ‘Oh, come on!’

From there the conversation turned back to Bloomberg’s company’s previous use of non-disclosure agreements, something that Warren hammered him for on the debate stage last week in Las Vegas.

On Friday, Bloomberg announced that he would release three female former employees from NDAs that were specifically about complaints made about Bloomberg, as he’s been accused of making insensitive jokes.

It was ‘probably wrong to make the jokes, I don’t remember what they were, but if it bothered them, I was wrong and I apologize and I’m sorry for that,’ Bloomberg said on Tuesday night.

Nevertheless, Warren persisted, continuing to go after Bloomberg for the NDAs.

‘I don’t know what else she wants us to do,’ Bloomberg said. ‘The trouble is with this senator, enough is never enough.’

He added: ‘I never said it, period, end of story. Categorically never said it. When I was accused of doing it, we couldn’t figure out what she was talking about.

‘But right now I’m sorry if she heard what she thought she heard, whatever happened, but I didn’t take pleasure in any of that.’

Bloomberg continued to draw fire for stop-and-frisk, a policy he has apologized for in stark terms despite thousands of arrests during his tenure.

Asked directly by O’Donnell if Bloomberg’s use of stop-and-frisk in New York was racist, Klobuchar answered: ‘Yes.’

Warren went straight for Sanders at the start of the debate, saying she would be a better president than him because she'll be able to get more progressive policies passed. She said she's 'dug in' when it comes to fighting big banks and actually explaining how she'd enact universal health care

Warren went straight for Sanders at the start of the debate, saying she would be a better president than him because she’ll be able to get more progressive policies passed. She said she’s ‘dug in’ when it comes to fighting big banks and actually explaining how she’d enact universal health care

Biden said he would also go after those trying to gentrify neighborhoods traditionally occupied by minority residents. Following up on Biden's comments, Steyer said he would work toward trying to 'correct injustice' in the loan service industry. He then launched into his common campaign trail theme of arguing his support for a conversation on reparations

Biden said he would also go after those trying to gentrify neighborhoods traditionally occupied by minority residents. Following up on Biden’s comments, Steyer said he would work toward trying to ‘correct injustice’ in the loan service industry. He then launched into his common campaign trail theme of arguing his support for a conversation on reparations

The early hits on Sanders, who has called himself the frontrunner, followed last week's Las Vegas debate, which featured a multi-candidate pile-on on Bloomberg

The early hits on Sanders, who has called himself the frontrunner, followed last week’s Las Vegas debate, which featured a multi-candidate pile-on on Bloomberg

Buttigieg, who has been criticized for failing to attract black supporters, agreed the policy was racist.

‘I am conscious of the fact that there’s seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice,’ he added, in the first primary state where African-Americans make up a big share of the electorate.

Since the New Hampshire primary, which Biden left to instead kick off campaigning in South Carolina, Biden has argued that the states that truly matter are the ones that have a more diverse population, which reflect the makeup of the Democratic Party.

But in Nevada, the Latino population propelled Sanders to an overwhelming victory, as he bested Biden by 26.6. points, with 100 percent reporting.

Now Biden is looking to black voters in South Carolina to keep him in the race. On Tuesday, he declared that he’s the candidate best situated to appeal to black voters, citing his commitment to equitable wealth creation and housing opportunities.

Biden said he would also go after those trying to gentrify neighborhoods traditionally occupied by minority residents.

It follows his Monday roll out of a $640 billion national housing policy, which would prevent mortgage servers from foreclosing during loan modification and set up a timely notification system for such changes.

Following up on Biden’s comments, Steyer said he would work toward trying to ‘correct injustice’ in the loan service industry.

He then launched into his common campaign trail theme of arguing his support for a conversation on reparations and the creation of a commission to study race relations in America.

As the debate clock wound down, the candidates were asked by CBS This Morning host Gayle King to name the biggest misconception about themselves – and to state their personal motto.

Biden took the opportunity to pander more to black South Carolina voters.

As the debate clock wound down, the candidates were asked by CBS This Morning host Gayle King to name the biggest misconception about themselves - and to state their personal motto

As the debate clock wound down, the candidates were asked by CBS This Morning host Gayle King to name the biggest misconception about themselves – and to state their personal motto

Bloomberg used the opportunity to turn one of Trump's favorite insults against him - that he's short - into a joke. 'The misconception is that I'm six-feet tall,' the ex-mayor said. Given the same opportunity, Klobuchar argued that she wasn't boring

Bloomberg used the opportunity to turn one of Trump’s favorite insults against him – that he’s short – into a joke. ‘The misconception is that I’m six-feet tall,’ the ex-mayor said. Given the same opportunity, Klobuchar argued that she wasn’t boring

Once the candidates wrapped up, moderator Norah O'Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely. 'That concludes our debate,' O'Donnell told the audience. King then had to correct her, saying it wasn't quite over yet. 'No, we have time for one more break,' King said. 'Times flies when you're having fun,' she said, as the debate truly ended after the next commercial break

Once the candidates wrapped up, moderator Norah O’Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely. ‘That concludes our debate,’ O’Donnell told the audience. King then had to correct her, saying it wasn’t quite over yet. ‘No, we have time for one more break,’ King said. ‘Times flies when you’re having fun,’ she said, as the debate truly ended after the next commercial break

‘I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a black woman on the Supreme Court,’ he said, which was a segue from him talking about his embrace of equality. ‘And no one is better than me and I’m not better than anybody else.’

He cracked a joke about his receded hairline when asked what his biggest misconception is. ‘I have more hair than I think I do,’ he said.

Given the same opportunity, Klobuchar argued that she wasn’t boring, while Warren said she actually eats – a lot.

‘In fact, I eat all the time,’ Warren said, adding, ‘because I get teased about this,’ if the comment seemed to come out of thin air.

Buttigieg used the opportunity to tell the audience he is indeed passionate. ‘I get kind of level, some say I’m unflappable,’ the 38-year-old said. ‘I don’t think you want a president who’s flappable,’ he added.

Steyer volunteered that ‘everyday I write a cross on my hand to remind myself to tell the truth and do what’s right, no matter what,’ explaining that’s his ‘motto.’

Sanders stayed on brand. ‘Misconception and you’re hearing it here tonight is that ideas I’m talking about are radical. They’re not. In one form or another they exist in countries all over the world,’ the democratic socialist said.

He then quoted Nelson Mandela, ‘Everything is impossible until it happens,’ Sanders said.

Bloomberg used the opportunity to turn one of Trump’s favorite insults against him – that he’s short – into a joke.

‘The misconception is that I’m six-feet tall,’ the ex-mayor said.

Once the candidates wrapped up, moderator Norah O’Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely.

‘That concludes our debate,’ O’Donnell told the audience. King then had to correct her, saying it wasn’t quite over yet.

‘No, we have time for one more break,’ King said. ‘Times flies when you’re having fun,’ she said, as the debate truly ended after the next commercial break.

Joe Biden says he WILL win in South Carolina with the African-American vote making Saturday’s primary a do-or-die – then talks about his ‘friend’ former segregationist Fritz Hollings  

Joe Biden went all in on winning South Carolina on Tuesday night, saying he will secure victory there – then mentioned his friendship with one of the state’s most infamous segregationists.

The former vice-president was just four points ahead of Bernie Sanders in the latest poll in the Palmetto state ahead of Saturday’s primary.

He used the CBS News debate to say that he will win in South Carolina, by winning the African-American vote – meaning by extension that he will have to drop out if he loses.

But then he offered a potentially spectacular gaffe, talking about his friendship with Fritz Hollings, who was a committed segregationist Dixiecrat until he shifted his positions.

Joe Biden went all in on winning South Carolina on Tuesday night, saying he will secure victory there - then mentioned his friendship with one of the state's most infamous segregationists

Joe Biden went all in on winning South Carolina on Tuesday night, saying he will secure victory there – then mentioned his friendship with one of the state’s most infamous segregationists

Friends: Fritz Hollings was a segregationist in the Dixiecrat moved who 'evolved,' his friend Biden said at his 2019 funeral

Friends: Fritz Hollings was a segregationist in the Dixiecrat moved who ‘evolved,’ his friend Biden said at his 2019 funeral

Asked by moderator Gayle King about his ability to secure the black vote, which is critical in South Carolina, he said: ‘I’ve earned the vote, I’ve worked like the devil to earn the vote of the African-American community, not just here but across the country.

‘I’ve been coming here for years and years, creating jobs here, making sure that the port, for example, that employs one in 11 people, we put $500 million, in our administration, just into this county.

‘We’ve created jobs for people. The people know me. My entire career has been wrapped up in dealing with civil rights and civil liberties. I don’t expect anything. I plan to earn the vote.

‘I’m here to ask. I’m here to earn it. But, folks, I intend to win in South Carolina, and I will win the African-American vote here in South Carolina.’

King then asked: ‘Mr. Biden, will you continue if you do not win South Carolina? You have said that South Carolina will determine the outcome of this presidential race. If you don’t win South Carolina, will you continue in this race?’

He replied: ‘I will win South Carolina.’

But later in the debate he raised Hollings’ name – an echo of a string of gaffes in which he was hammered for speaking about his friendship with segregationist senators, Mississippi’s James Eastland and Georgia’s Herman Talmadge.

 

Making an appearance ahead of the debate was Reverend’s Jesse Jackson (left) and Al Sharpton (right). Remarking on the performances during Las Vegas’ debate last week, Sharpton said it was overall lackluster and he couldn’t see anyone beating Trump at the moment because no candidate was taking charge

Biden has been counting on strong support among African-American voters in South Carolina to recharge his flagging campaign

Biden has been counting on strong support among African-American voters in South Carolina to recharge his flagging campaign

A climate change activist dressed as a polar bear demonstrates while Trump supporter in a MAGA hat is interviewed outside of the Charleston Gaillard Center

A climate change activist dressed as a polar bear demonstrates while Trump supporter in a MAGA hat is interviewed outside of the Charleston Gaillard Center

‘Look, a guy who’s a friend of mine down here named Fritz Hollings – he passed away – he said, you want to know what a woman will do, look what they have done. Look what they have done,’ he said.

Hollings’ biography is more complicated than other Dixiecrats.

He was South Carolina governor from 1959 to 1963 and a vocal backer of keeping segregation in place when he was a member of the state’s House.

He was elected to the Senate in 1966 and became a close friend of Biden when the 29-year-old ran for the upper chamber, helping him when he lost his first wife and daughter in a car crash.

Biden eulogized Hollings at his funeral in April 2019, a week before his entry into the race, and said: ‘People can change.

‘We can learn from the past and build a better future.’

WHO ARE THE 8 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

JOE BIDEN

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 78

Entered race: April 25, 2019

Career: No current role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee’s notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.

Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph ‘Beau’ and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter’s marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau’s widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is ‘most progressive’ Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: Our Best Days Still Lie Ahead

Age on Inauguration Day: 78

Entered race: November 24, 2019

Career: Currently multi-billionaire CEO of Bloomberg PL, the financial information firm he founded in 1981 and which remains a private company. Educated at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, he became a Wall Street trader at investment bank Salomon Brothers and was laid off in 1981, walking away with $10m in stock which he used to set up his own financial information firm, now one of the world’s largest. Three times mayor of New York 2002 to 2013, running first as Republican then as independent; had to get term limits suspended for final term. Once flirted with running for mayor of London where he has a home; holds an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Has spent large amounts on philanthropy in line with his political views as well as on political campaigns

Family: Born in Brookline, MA, to first-generation Jewish immigrant parents whose own parents had fled Russia. Divorced wife of 18 years, Susan Brown-Meyer, in 1993; former couple have daughters Emma, who has a son with her former boyfriend, and Georgina, who has daughter Zelda with her husband Chris Fissora. The child has a portmanteau surname, Frissberg. Partner since 2000 is Diana Taylor, former New York state banking commissioner, 13 years his junior

Religion: Jewish

Views on key issues: Self-professed fiscal conservative, although painted as a Democratic moderate by other conservative groups. Opposed to Medicare for all. Social progressive who backed gay marriage early, but has flip-flopped on marijuana legalization, most recently opposing it.. Wants firm action on climate change. Fiercely in favor of gun control. As New York mayor banned smoking in public places and tried to outlaw large sugary drinks. Backs increased immigration. Apologized for his stop-and-frisk policing strategy as mayor

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president; richest president ever; first New York mayor to become president

Slogan:  Fighting For Our Future

PETE BUTTIGIEG

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019. Formally entered race April 14, 2019

Career: Currently mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana. Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Bend mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015

Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics; his father was Maltese-American. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge

Religion: Raised as a Catholic, now Episcopalian

Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown 

Would make history as: First openly gay and youngest-ever president. First veteran of post-World War II conflict 

Slogan: A Fresh Start For America

TULSI GABBARD

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever

Slogan: Lead with Love 

AMY KLOBUCHAR

Age on Inauguration Day: 60

Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis

Career: Currently Minnesota senator. Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018

Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher

Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)

Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE

Would make history as: First female president

Slogan: Let’s Get To Work 

BERNIE SANDERS

Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deborah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. 

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president

Slogan: Not me. Us.

TOM STEYER 

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 63

Entered race: July 9, 2019

Career: Currently retired. New York-born to wealthy family, he was educated at elite Phillips Exeter Academy, and Yale, then Stanford Business School. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs banker who founded his own hedge fund in 1986 and made himself a billionaire; investments included subprime lenders, private prisons and coal mines. Stepped down in 2012 to focus on advocating for alternative energy. Longtime Democratic activist and donor who started campaign to impeach Trump in October 2017. Net worth of $1.6 billion has made him one of the Democrats’ biggest single donors

Family: Married Kathryn Taylor in 1986; they have four adult children who have been told they will not inherit the bulk of his fortune. Announced last November he and his wife would live apart. Father Roy was a Nuremberg trials prosecutor

Religion: Episcopalian

Views on key issues: On the left of the field despite being a hedge fund tycoon. Backs single-payer health care, minimum wage rises and free public college. Previously spoke in favor of Bernie Sanders’ agenda. Aggressive backer of climate change action, including ditching fossil fuels

Would make history as: Richest Democratic president ever

Slogan: Actions Speak Louder Than Words 

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Warren Has A Plan For That

AND THE 21 WHO HAVE WITHDRAWN   

MICHAEL BENNET, Colorado senator

  • Entered race: May 2, 2019 
  • Quit:  February 12, 2019, evening of New Hampshire primary

CORY BOOKER, New Jersey Senator 

  • Entered race: February 1, 2019
  • Quit: January 13, 2020 

STEVE BULLOCK, Montana governor 

  • Entered race: May 14, 2019 
  • Quit: December 2, 2019

JULIÁN CASTRO, former Housing Secretary

  • Entered race: January 18, 2019
  • Quit: January 2, 2020 

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, New York senator

  • Entered race: January 16, 2019
  • Quit: August 28, 2019

BILL DE BLASIO, New York City mayor 

  • Entered race: May 16, 2019
  • Quit: September 20, 2020

JOHN DELANEY, former Maryland Congressman

  • Entered race: July 8, 2017
  • Quit: January 31, 2019 

MIKE GRAVEL, Former Alaska governor

  • Entered race: April 2,2019
  • Quit: August 2, 2019 

KAMALA HARRIS,California senator  

  • Entered race: January 21, 2019
  • Quit: December 3, 2019 

JOHN HICKENLOOPER, Former Colorado governor

  • Entered race: March 4, 2019
  • Quit: August 15, 2019 

JAY INSLEE, Washington governor 

  • Entered race: March 1, 2019
  • Quit: August 21, 2019

WAYNE MESSAM, mayor of Miramar, Florida 

  • Entered race: March 28, 2019
  • Quit: November 20, 2019 

SETH MOULTON, Massachusetts congressman

  • Entered race:  April 22,2019
  • Quit: August 23, 2019

RICHARD OJEDA, former West Virginia state senator

  • Entered race: November 12, 2018
  • Quit: January 25, 2019

BETO O’ROURKE, former Texas congressman

  • Entered race: March 14, 2019 
  • Quit: November 1, 2019  

DEVAL PATRICK, former Massachusetts governor 

  • Entered race: November 13, 2019
  • Quit:  February 13, 2019, morning after New Hampshire primary

TIM RYAN, Ohio congressman

  • Entered race: April 4, 2019
  • Quit: October 24, 2019

JOE SESTAK, former Pennsylvania congressman 

  • Entered race: June 23, 2019
  • Quit: December 1, 2019

ERIC SWALWELL, California congressman

  • Entered race: April 8, 2019
  • Quit: July 8, 2019  

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, author

  • Entered race: November 15, 2018
  • Quit: January 10, 2020 

ANDREW YANG, entrepreneur

  • Entered race: November 6, 2018
  • Quit: February 12, 2019, evening of New Hampshire primary

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8044731/Democrats-hammer-Bernie-Sanders-final-2020-debate-South-Carolina.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1402, February 25, 2020, Story 1: Progressive Panic Pandering Propaganda — Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Coronavirus Goes Global — What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger — Are You In Fear of Your Life — Videos — Story 2: Stock Market Correction Linked To Impact of COVID -19 on China Supply Chains — Create More Money — Just Stay Home — Consumer Confidence Crashes — Stagflation Recession 2021 –Panic Propaganda — Do Not Believe It — Videos — Story 3: Neither Government Dependency Nor Country Dependency Are Reliable When A Real Crisis Hits — United States Gets Most of Its Drugs From Communist China and India — Cheap But Risky and Maybe Deadly — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1402 February 25, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1401 February 24, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1400 February 21, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1399 February 14, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1398 February 13, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1397 February 12, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1396 February 11, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1395 February 10, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1394 February 7, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1393 February 6, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1392 February 5, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1391 February 4, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1390 February 3, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1389 January 31, 2020

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Pronk Pops Show 1385 January 27, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1384 January 24, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1383 January 23, 2020

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If by Rudyard Kipling – Inspirational Poetry

If—

Launch Audio in a New Window

(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

If – Rudyard Kipling (by John Hurt) with lyrics

{youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow5xbBnOU2A]

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Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak — United States, February 24, 2020

Daniel B. Jernigan, MD1; CDC COVID-19 Response Team (View author affiliations)

View suggested citation

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States.

What is added by this report?

Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, in addition to 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. The U.S. government and public health partners are implementing aggressive measures to slow and contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this virus and the outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.

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An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, and has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States (1). As of February 23, 2020, there were 76,936 reported cases in mainland China and 1,875 cases in locations outside mainland China (1). There have been 2,462 associated deaths worldwide; no deaths have been reported in the United States. Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, and an additional 39 cases have occurred among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. This report summarizes the aggressive measures (2,3) that CDC, state and local health departments, multiple other federal agencies, and other partners are implementing to slow and try to contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States. These measures require the identification of cases and contacts of persons with COVID-19 in the United States and the recommended assessment, monitoring, and care of travelers arriving from areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission. Although these measures might not prevent widespread transmission of the virus in the United States, they are being implemented to 1) slow the spread of illness; 2) provide time to better prepare state and local health departments, health care systems, businesses, educational organizations, and the general public in the event that widespread transmission occurs; and 3) better characterize COVID-19 to guide public health recommendations and the development and deployment of medical countermeasures, including diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. U.S. public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely, and CDC is coordinating efforts with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global partners. Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action by CDC, state and local health departments, health care providers, and communities.

Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to occur mainly by respiratory transmission. How easily the virus is transmitted between persons is currently unclear. Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath (4). Based on the incubation period of illness for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses, as well as observational data from reports of travel-related COVID-19, CDC estimates that symptoms of COVID-19 occur within 2–14 days after exposure. Preliminary data suggest that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems might be at greater risk for severe illness from this virus (5).

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COVID-19 Cases in the United States

As of February 23, 14 COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed in the following six states: Arizona (one case), California (eight), Illinois (two), Massachusetts (one), Washington (one), and Wisconsin (one). Twelve of these 14 cases were related to travel to China, and two cases occurred through person-to-person transmission to close household contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19. An additional 39 cases were reported among repatriated U.S. citizens, residents, and their families returning from Hubei province, China (three), and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Yokohama, Japan (36). Thus, there have been 53 cases within the United States. No deaths have been reported in the United States.

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CDC Public Health Response

As of February 24, 2020, a total of 1,336 CDC staff members have been involved in the COVID-19 response, including clinicians (i.e., physicians, nurses, and pharmacists), epidemiologists, veterinarians, laboratorians, communicators, data scientists and modelers, and coordination staff members. Of these CDC staff members, 497 (37%) have been deployed to 39 locations in the United States and internationally, including CDC quarantine stations at U.S. ports of entry, state and local health departments, hospitals, and U.S. military bases that are housing quarantined persons, as well as WHO and ministries of health around the world. CDC staff members are working with state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments and other public health authorities to assist with case identification, contact tracing, evaluation of persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19,* and medical management of cases; and with academic partners to understand the virulence, risk for transmission, and other characteristics of this novel virus.

CDC teams are working with the Department of Homeland Security at 11 airports where all flights from China are being directed to screen travelers returning to the United States, and to refer them to U.S. health departments for oversight of self-monitoring. CDC is also working with other agencies of the U.S. government including the U.S. Department of Defense; multiple operational divisions with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Administration for Children and Families; and the U.S. Department of State to safely evacuate U.S. citizens, residents, and their families to the United States from international locations where there is substantial, sustained transmission of COVID-19, and to house them and monitor their health during a 14-day quarantine period.

Specific guidance has been developed and posted online for health care settings, including for patient management; infection control and prevention; laboratory testing; environmental cleaning; worker safety; and international travel. Guidance is updated as more is learned. To prepare for the possibility of community spread of COVID-19, CDC has developed tailored guidance and communications materials for communities, health care settings, public health, laboratories, schools, and businesses. Chinese and Spanish versions of certain documents are available.

Information for travelers. Several recent travel notices have been posted by CDC to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues that could affect travelers’ health.§ A Level 3 travel notice (avoid all nonessential travel) for China has been in effect since January 27. On February 19, Level 1 travel notices (practice usual precautions) for travelers to Hong Kong and Japan were posted. On February 22, the Level 1 travel notice for Japan was raised to Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions). A Level 2 travel notice was posted for South Korea on February 22, which was updated to Level 3 on February 24. Level 1 travel notices were posted for Iran and Italy on February 23, and then updated to Level 2 on February 24. In addition, CDC has posted information for travelers regarding apparent community transmission in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, and recommendations for persons to reconsider cruise ship voyages in Asia.

Airport screening. As of February 23, a total of 46,016 air travelers had been screened at the 11 U.S. airports to which all flights from China are being directed. Since February 2, travelers to the United States who have been in China in the preceding 14 days have been limited to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and others as outlined in a presidential proclamation. Incoming passengers are screened for fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Any travelers with signs or symptoms of illness receive a more comprehensive public health assessment. As of February 23, 11 travelers were referred to a hospital and tested for infection; one tested positive and was isolated and managed medically. Seventeen travelers were quarantined for 14 days because of travel from Hubei Province, China, an area that was designated as high risk for exposure to COVID-19**; 13 of these 17 have completed their quarantine period.

Persons under investigation (PUIs). Recognizing persons at risk for COVID-19 is a critical component of identifying cases and preventing further transmission. CDC has responded to clinical inquiries from public health officials, health care providers, and repatriation teams to evaluate and test PUIs in the United States for COVID-19 following CDC guidance. As of February 23, 479 persons from 43 states and territories had been or are being tested for COVID-19; 14 (3%) had a positive test, 412 (86%) had a negative test, and 53 (11%) test results are pending.

Laboratory testing. As part of laboratory surge capacity for the response, CDC laboratories are testing for SARS-CoV-2 to assist with diagnosis of COVID-19. During January 18–February 23, CDC laboratories used real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to test 2,620 specimens from 1,007 persons for SARS-CoV-2. Some additional testing is performed at selected state and other public health laboratories, with confirmatory testing at CDC. CDC is developing a serologic test to assist with surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 circulation in the U.S. population. The test detects antibodies (immunoglobulin [Ig]G, IgA, and IgM) indicating SARS-COV-2 virus exposure or past infection. In addition, CDC laboratories are developing assays to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and antigens in tissue specimens. Finally, following CDC’s establishment of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture, CDC shared virus isolates with the Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources Repository to securely distribute isolates to U.S. public health and academic institutions for additional research, including vaccine development.

Repatriation flights from areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission. During January 29–February 6, the U.S. government repatriated 808 U.S. citizens, residents, and their families from Hubei Province, China, on five chartered flights. At the time of departure, all travelers were free of symptoms for COVID-19 (fever or feverishness, cough, difficulty breathing). After arriving in the United States, the repatriated travelers were quarantined for 14 days at one of five U.S. military bases. CDC and U.S. government staff members monitored these travelers’ health. As of February 23, 28 (3%) of these persons developed COVID-19-related symptoms and were evaluated for infection; three were found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were referred for medical care and isolation. As of February 24, the remaining 805 travelers had completed their 14-day quarantine.

On February 3, passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess cruise ship were quarantined off Yokohama, Japan; a passenger who had recently disembarked in Hong Kong was confirmed to have COVID-19, and ongoing transmission was identified on the ship. By February 16, a total of 355 cases of COVID-19 had been identified among passengers and crew,†† including 67 U.S. citizens or residents. As a result, during February 16–17, the U.S. government assisted in the repatriation of 329 U.S. citizens or residents from the ship. These travelers returned on two chartered flights. As of February 23, 36 (11%) of these repatriated persons had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and are under appropriate medical supervision. The remaining repatriated persons are in quarantine for 14 days. CDC is working with the U.S. embassy in Japan and the Japanese government to support U.S. passengers and crew who remained in Japan.

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Discussion

COVID-19 is a serious public health threat. Cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the United States, primarily in travelers from China and quarantined repatriates, and also in two close contacts of COVID-19 patients. Currently, COVID-19 is not recognized to be spreading in U.S. communities. If sustained transmission in U.S. communities is identified, the U.S. response strategy will enhance implementation of actions to slow spread in communities (2,6). Implementation of basic precautions of infection control and prevention, including staying home when ill and practicing respiratory and hand hygiene will become increasingly important.

Community-level nonpharmaceutical intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings (e.g., postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and telework and remote-meeting options in workplaces). These measures can be disruptive and might have societal and economic impact on individual persons and communities (6). However, studies have shown that early layered implementation of these interventions can reduce the community spread and impact of infectious pathogens such as pandemic influenza, even when specific pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines are not available (7,8). These measures might be critical to avert widespread COVID-19 transmission in U.S. communities (2,6). Mitigation measures implemented in China have included the closing of major transport hubs and preventing exit from certain cities with widespread transmission, cancellation of Chinese New Year celebrations, and prohibition of attendance at school and work (5). However, the impact of these measures in China has not yet been evaluated.

In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators are working on development of candidate vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. In China, multiple clinical trials of investigational therapeutics have been implemented, including two clinical trials of remdesivir, an investigational antiviral drug.§§ An NIH randomized controlled clinical trial of investigational therapeutics for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States was approved by the Food and Drug Administration; the first investigational therapeutic to be studied is remdesivir.¶¶ In the absence of a vaccine or therapeutic, community mitigation measures are the primary method to respond to widespread transmission and supportive care is the current medical treatment.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath), and the current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses, including other coronaviruses that cause the “common cold,” are highly prevalent. To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons aged ≥6 months should receive an annual influenza vaccine; vaccination is still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza (9). To decrease risk for respiratory disease, persons can practice recommended preventive measures.*** Persons ill with symptoms of COVID-19 who have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or recent travel to countries with apparent community spread††† should communicate with their health care provider. Before seeking medical care, they should consult with their provider to make arrangements to prevent possible transmission in the health care setting. In a medical emergency, they should inform emergency medical personnel about possible COVID-19 exposure.

Areas for additional COVID-19 investigation include 1) further clarifying the incubation period and duration of virus shedding, which have implications for duration of quarantine and other mitigation measures; 2) studying the relative importance of various modes of transmission, including the role of droplets, aerosols, and fomites; understanding these transmission modes has major implications for infection control and prevention, including the use of personal protective equipment; 3) determining the severity and case-fatality rate of COVD-19 among cases in the U.S. health care system, as well as more fully describing the spectrum of illness and risk factors for infection and severe disease; 4) determining the role of asymptomatic infection in ongoing transmission; and 5) assessing the immunologic response to infection to aid in the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.

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Corresponding author: Daniel B. Jernigan, eocevent294@cdc.gov, 770-488-7100.

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1CDC COVID-19 Response Team, CDC.

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The author has completed and submitted the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

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* Criteria to guide evaluation and testing of patients under investigation for SARS-CoV-2 include 1) fever or signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) in any person, including a health care worker, who has had close contact with a patient with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection within 14 days of symptom onset; 2) fever and signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) in any person with a history of travel from Hubei Province, China, within 14 days of symptom onset; or 3) fever and signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) requiring hospitalization in any person with a history of travel from mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset. Additional information is available at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00427.asp and https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00426.asp.

 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

§ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

 Office of the President. Proclamation on suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who pose a risk of transmitting 2019 novel coronavirus. Washington, DC: Office of the President; 2020. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/external icon.

** https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-china.html.

†† https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200216-sitrep-27-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn = 78c0eb78_2pdf iconexternal icon.

§§ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04257656?cond = remdesivir&draw = 2&rank = 1external iconhttps://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04252664?cond = remdesivir&draw = 2&rank = 2external icon.

¶¶ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04280705?cond = COVID-19&draw = 4&rank = 22external icon.

*** https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html.

††† https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html.

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References

  1. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report–34. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2020. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200223-sitrep-34-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=44ff8fd3_2pdf iconexternal icon
  2. Holloway R, Rasmussen SA, Zaza S, Cox NJ, Jernigan DB. Updated preparedness and response framework for influenza pandemics. MMWR Recomm Rep 2014;63(No. RR-6). PubMedexternal icon
  3. Reed C, Biggerstaff M, Finelli L, et al. Novel framework for assessing epidemiologic effects of influenza epidemics and pandemics. Emerg Infect Dis 2013;19:85–91. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  4. Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet 2020;395:507–13. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  5. The Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Emergency Response Epidemiology Team. The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19)—China, 2020. China CDC Weekly 2020. Epub February 17, 2020.
  6. Qualls N, Levitt A, Kanade N, et al.; CDC Community Mitigation Guidelines Work Group. Community mitigation guidelines to prevent pandemic influenza—United States, 2017. MMWR Recomm Rep 2017;66(No. RR-1). CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  7. Hatchett RJ, Mecher CE, Lipsitch M. Public health interventions and epidemic intensity during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007;104:7582–7. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  8. Markel H, Lipman HB, Navarro JA, et al. Nonpharmaceutical interventions implemented by US cities during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. JAMA 2007;298:644–54. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  9. Dawood FS, Chung JR, Kim SS, et al. Interim estimates of 2019–20 seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness—United States, February 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:177–82. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon

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Suggested citation for this article: Jernigan DB. Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak — United States, February 24, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 25 February 2020. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6908e1external icon.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6908e1.htm

 

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients

TO THE EDITOR:

Figure 1.Viral Load Detected in Nasal and Throat Swabs Obtained from Patients Infected with SARS-CoV-2.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic, which was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization, may progress to a pandemic associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. SARS-CoV-2 is genetically related to SARS-CoV, which caused a global epidemic with 8096 confirmed cases in more than 25 countries in 2002–2003.1 The epidemic of SARS-CoV was successfully contained through public health interventions, including case detection and isolation. Transmission of SARS-CoV occurred mainly after days of illness2 and was associated with modest viral loads in the respiratory tract early in the illness, with viral loads peaking approximately 10 days after symptom onset.3 We monitored SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in upper respiratory specimens obtained from 18 patients (9 men and 9 women; median age, 59 years; range, 26 to 76) in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, including 4 patients with secondary infections (1 of whom never had symptoms) within two family clusters (Table S1 in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org). The patient who never had symptoms was a close contact of a patient with a known case and was therefore monitored. A total of 72 nasal swabs (sampled from the mid-turbinate and nasopharynx) (Figure 1A) and 72 throat swabs (Figure 1B) were analyzed, with 1 to 9 sequential samples obtained from each patient. Polyester flock swabs were used for all the patients.

From January 7 through January 26, 2020, a total of 14 patients who had recently returned from Wuhan and had fever (≥37.3°C) received a diagnosis of Covid-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2) by means of reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction assay with primers and probes targeting the N and Orf1b genes of SARS-CoV-2; the assay was developed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Samples were tested at the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirteen of 14 patients with imported cases had evidence of pneumonia on computed tomography (CT). None of them had visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan within 14 days before symptom onset. Patients E, I, and P required admission to intensive care units, whereas the others had mild-to-moderate illness. Secondary infections were detected in close contacts of Patients E, I, and P. Patient E worked in Wuhan and visited his wife (Patient L), mother (Patient D), and a friend (Patient Z) in Zhuhai on January 17. Symptoms developed in Patients L and D on January 20 and January 22, respectively, with viral RNA detected in their nasal and throat swabs soon after symptom onset. Patient Z reported no clinical symptoms, but his nasal swabs (cycle threshold [Ct] values, 22 to 28) and throat swabs (Ct values, 30 to 32) tested positive on days 7, 10, and 11 after contact. A CT scan of Patient Z that was obtained on February 6 was unremarkable. Patients I and P lived in Wuhan and visited their daughter (Patient H) in Zhuhai on January 11 when their symptoms first developed. Fever developed in Patient H on January 17, with viral RNA detected in nasal and throat swabs on day 1 after symptom onset.

We analyzed the viral load in nasal and throat swabs obtained from the 17 symptomatic patients in relation to day of onset of any symptoms (Figure 1C). Higher viral loads (inversely related to Ct value) were detected soon after symptom onset, with higher viral loads detected in the nose than in the throat. Our analysis suggests that the viral nucleic acid shedding pattern of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 resembles that of patients with influenza4 and appears different from that seen in patients infected with SARS-CoV.3 The viral load that was detected in the asymptomatic patient was similar to that in the symptomatic patients, which suggests the transmission potential of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients. These findings are in concordance with reports that transmission may occur early in the course of infection5 and suggest that case detection and isolation may require strategies different from those required for the control of SARS-CoV. How SARS-CoV-2 viral load correlates with culturable virus needs to be determined. Identification of patients with few or no symptoms and with modest levels of detectable viral RNA in the oropharynx for at least 5 days suggests that we need better data to determine transmission dynamics and inform our screening practices.

Lirong Zou, M.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Feng Ruan, M.Med.
Zhuhai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhuhai, China

Mingxing Huang, Ph.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Lijun Liang, Ph.D.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Huitao Huang, B.Sc.
Zhuhai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhuhai, China

Zhongsi Hong, M.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Jianxiang Yu, B.Sc.
Min Kang, M.Sc.
Yingchao Song, B.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Jinyu Xia, M.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Qianfang Guo, M.Sc.
Tie Song, M.Sc.
Jianfeng He, B.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Hui-Ling Yen, Ph.D.
Malik Peiris, Ph.D.
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Jie Wu, Ph.D.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org.

This letter was published on February 19, 2020, and updated on February 20, 2020, at NEJM.org.

Ms. Zou, Mr. Ruan, and Dr. Huang contributed equally to this letter.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2001737

Coronavirus illustration - CR: Maurizio De AngelisTo assist health workers and researchers working under challenging conditions to bring this outbreak to a close, The Lancet has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre. This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All content listed on this page is free to access.

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Focus

A modelling study published in The Lancet estimates that Egypt, Algeria and South Africa are at the highest risk of importing new coronavirus cases in Africa. The three countries are estimated to have the most prepared health systems in the continent and be least vulnerable. However, the authors call for increased resources, surveillance, and capacity building to be urgently prioritised in countries with a moderate risk which are more likely to be ill-prepared to detect cases and limit transmission.

Research

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Case Report

Clinical Picture

Correspondence

Data sharing

The Lancet journals endorse the Wellcome Trust Statement on sharing research data and findings relevant to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

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Infographics

Explore our infographics on the first published information on COVID-19 cases in Wuhan.

 

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Novel Coronavirus Information Center

Elsevier’s free health and medical research on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

3D illustration of Coronavirus (© istock.com/Dr_Microbe)
3D illustration of Coronavirus (© istock.com/Dr_Microbe)

Welcome to Elsevier’s Novel Coronavirus Information Center. Here you will find expert, curated information for the research and health community on Novel Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19 and its temporary title 2019-nCoV). All resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients. Under the ‘Research’ tab you will find the latest early stage and peer-reviewed research from journals including The Lancet and Cell Press, as well as a link to the Coronavirus hub on ScienceDirect, where you will find every article relevant article to Coronavirus, SARS, and MERS freely available. Under the Clinical Solutions tab you will find resources for nurses, clinicians and patients, including FAQs on symptoms.


Introduction

Margaret Trexler Hessen, MD, Director, Point of Care, Elsevier

Recent events have shown us (again) how rapidly a new disease can take root and spread. Such events are accompanied by an explosion of clinical and epidemiological information and research. The goal of this website is to open whatever resources we can to help public health authorities, researchers and clinicians contain and manage this disease. We will provide continually updated resources from Elsevier’s content and experts. Our resources span scientific and medical journals and textbookseducational products, and a variety of other resources, like travel precautions from the CDC and media posts of interest to our community. We have also created a  interactive global map of experts based on Scopus data.

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Expert guidance and commentary

COVID-19: Seeking reliable information amid uncertainty

By Ian Chuang, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Elsevier

Medicine is continuously evolving in terms of refining, revising and discovering new knowledge. This is heightened in importance and compressed in timeframe during a crisis such as the current viral outbreak of the COVID-19.

The COVID-19 that originated in Wuhan, China, has exceeded more than 71,000 confirmed cases and over 1,700 deaths since the first case was detected in December 2019. As of February 18, the number of confirmed cases in Singapore has risen to 77. The World Health Organization (WHO) has termed this current epidemic as a global emergency, and it is a public health responsibility at a massive scale.

Read more

JAMA Medical News Podcast: Coronavirus and Beyond: Responding to Biological Threats

The 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak exemplifies ongoing biothreats to global security, as each new threat tests principles of preparation and response at national, regional, and clinical levels. Tom Inglesby, MD, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discusses biosecurity with Angel Desai, MD, JAMA Fishbein fellow. Listen to the interview

6 of the most common coronavirus questions the media is asking

By Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, Professor and Chair, Clinical Laboratory Program, Texas State University | Feb 6, 2020

As an infectious disease and clinical microbiology expert, Prof. Rodney E. Rohde of the Texas State University College of Health Professions receives daily calls from the media, government and university officials, and public health and professional organizations asking him about the emerging novel coronavirus outbreak. In this article, he shares some of the most common questions and his responses.

Read more

Interactive map: global disease outbreak experts

The map represents the most active institutions researching disease outbreak and control. We ran a search in Scopus — a source-neutral abstract and citation database of over 75 million records — for publications researching the coronavirus and related diseases such as SARS from 1996 to the present (Feb 6, 2020). We then used the resulting ~22,000 publications to identify the researchers and institutions that are working in these areas. The map shows the 500 most prolific global institutions, along with the 200 most prolific Chinese institutions by publication count.

Click on a pin to see more about the institution, the numbers of researchers and their publications. Then link through to the researcher’s profiles in Scopus to learn more about their areas of expertise.

Explore the interactive map here


Video: Novel Coronavirus Update

Livestreamed on Feb 6, 2020

JAMA Editor-in-Chief Howard Baucher, MD, interviews Anthony Fauci, MD, Director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Key facts for clinicians

By Margaret Trexler Hessen, MD, Director, Point of Care, Elsevier | Updated Feb 21, 2020

Background: In December, China notified the World Health Organization of several cases of human respiratory illness, which appeared to be linked to an open seafood and livestock market in the city of Wuhan. The infecting agent has since been identified as a novel coronavirus, now called SARSCoV-2 (initially called 2019-nCoV). Although the virus is presumed zoonotic in origin, person-to-person spread is evident. Novel Coronavirus associated infection is now designated as COVID-19. Cases have now been reported in many parts of mainland China and in other countries in Asia, Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, Australia, Asia Pacific and North America. Travel within China has been restricted and travel to and from China markedly reduced. Screening of travelers is being implemented in other countries and quarantine measures have been enacted under some circumstances. Despite these precautions, it is anticipated that more cases will be seen both inside China and internationally.

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Clinicians need reliable and current information to combat novel coronavirus

By Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, Consultant, PracticeUpdate, Elsevier

Coronaviruses are incredibly diverse, found in many animal species, and are commonly encountered in clinical practice during the cold and flu season, yet many primary care clinicians are not familiar with these respiratory pathogens. We rarely test for them, and when we do it’s usually when we’re looking for something else. Moreover, we have no specific treatments for these viruses.

Read more


Elsevier Clinical Solutions

We’ve selected content from ClinicalKey, Clinical Solutions Nursing, Interprofessional Practice and Patient Education collections to share what we know to date about the novel coronavirus.

Clinical Overviews on ClinicalKey

Clinical Overviews are easy-to-scan clinically focused medical topic summaries designed to match the clinician workflow. Elsevier’s Point-of-Care Editorial team develops Clinical Overviews through a process that includes review and revision by a medical editor; peer reviews performed by subject matter experts; a production review to ensure consistency in style, grammar, and punctuation; and a final evaluation by the editor-in-chief.

Clinical Skills for Nursing

Clinical Skills for Nursing provides the highest quality evidence for nursing practice procedures for nurses to care for patients. Our Isolation Precautions and Personal Protective Equipment checklists align with CDC and OSHA guidelines:

Interprofessional Care Plans

These Interprofessional Care Plans provide an evidence-based and individualizable Interprofessional plan of care to manage fever and the possible development of pneumonia, which is consistent with the presentation of this virus. Using an interprofessional approach to patient care that aligns current evidence with the individual needs of the patient results in improved patient care outcomes.

Patient engagement resources

Patient engagement resources use plain language to support shared decision-making between patients and healthcare providers. The goal is to deliver the right message in the right way at the time the patient is most ready to learn. The following resources provide an overview of the novel coronavirus to help patients and their families understand their risk, identify signs and symptoms, and prevent it from spreading:


Video overview of Coronavirus from 3D4Medical – Watch now:

https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

Cause

SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) – virus identified in 2003. SARS-CoV is thought to be an animal virus from an as-yet-uncertain animal reservoir, perhaps bats, that spread to other animals (civet cats) and first infected humans in the Guangdong province of southern China in 2002.

Transmission

An epidemic of SARS affected 26 countries and resulted in more than 8000 cases in 2003. Since then, a small number of cases have occurred as a result of laboratory accidents or, possibly, through animal-to-human transmission (Guangdong, China).

Transmission of SARS-CoV is primarily from person to person. It appears to have occurred mainly during the second week of illness, which corresponds to the peak of virus excretion in respiratory secretions and stool, and when cases with severe disease start to deteriorate clinically. Most cases of human-to-human transmission occurred in the health care setting, in the absence of adequate infection control precautions. Implementation of appropriate infection control practices brought the global outbreak to an end.

Nature of the disease

Symptoms are influenza-like and include fever, malaise, myalgia, headache, diarrhoea, and shivering (rigors). No individual symptom or cluster of symptoms has proved to be specific for a diagnosis of SARS. Although fever is the most frequently reported symptom, it is sometimes absent on initial measurement, especially in elderly and immunosuppressed patients.

Cough (initially dry), shortness of breath, and diarrhoea are present in the first and/or second week of illness. Severe cases often evolve rapidly, progressing to respiratory distress and requiring intensive care.

Geographical distribution

The distribution is based on the 2002–2003 epidemic. The disease appeared in November 2002 in the Guangdong province of southern China. This area is considered as a potential zone of re-emergence of SARS-CoV.

Other countries/areas in which chains of human-to-human transmission occurred after early importation of cases were Toronto in Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, and Hanoi in Viet Nam.

Risk for travellers

Currently, no areas of the world are reporting transmission of SARS. Since the end of the global epidemic in July 2003, SARS has reappeared four times – three times from laboratory accidents (Singapore and Chinese Taipei), and once in southern China where the source of infection remains undetermined although there is circumstantial evidence of animal-to-human transmission.

Should SARS re-emerge in epidemic form, WHO will provide guidance on the risk of travel to affected areas. Travellers should stay informed about current travel recommendations. However, even during the height of the 2003 epidemic, the overall risk of SARS-CoV transmission to travellers was low.

Prophylaxis

None. Experimental vaccines are under development.

Precautions

Follow any travel recommendations and health advice issued by WHO.

https://www.who.int/ith/diseases/sars/en/

 

China’s early warning system didn’t work on covid-19. Here’s the story.

Lies and coverups halted vital information.

Feb. 24, 2020 at 4:13 a.m. CST

Chinese authorities have placed an estimated 760 million people into lockdown as part of an epic campaign to contain the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. As of Sunday, there were over 77,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,500 deaths in China, mostly in Hubei province. Wuhan, the provincial capital and the epicenter of the outbreak, has been hard hit.

Why did China’s CDC system, once touted as among the world’s best disease control programs, fail to help contain the virus early on? And what has the crisis exposed about China’s system of governance? Here’s what you need to know.

China built a system to prevent another SARS crisis

In the aftermath of the 2003 SARS crisis, China invested heavily to improve its system for infectious disease control and prevention. These measures included new laboratories and a nationwide Infectious Diseases Reporting System, as well as new laws on infectious diseases control and public health emergencies. The reporting system is extensive, covering all of China’s more than 2,800 county-level jurisdictions.

This sentinel system for infectious diseases helped China tackle various outbreaks — including H1N1avian flu and malaria. Successive China CDC directors have taken great pride in this system. In a March 2019 interview, Gao Fu, the China CDC director general, said he was “very confident that the SARS incident will not recur. This is due to our country’s well-built infectious disease surveillance network; we can block the virus when it appears.”

The system worked, according to local authorities

The Wuhan Health Commission (WHC) began to release information on its website on the atypical pneumonia cases on Dec. 31, 2019.

But local authorities didn’t tell the full story

The China CDC official line, however, suggests a different timeline. According to Feng Zijian, deputy director general of the China CDC, the direct reporting system was “not activated that expeditiously.” In fact, the award to Zhang for reporting on Dec. 29 reminds us that the pre-Dec. 29 cases were not reported, let alone filed into the disease reporting system in real time.

Two separate sources reveal that Gao himself was the real sentinel of the coronavirus outbreak. In the evening of Dec. 30, Gao Fu noticed from scanning group-chats that the WHC had just issued two internal notices on atypical pneumonia cases. Alarmed that such information had not been submitted to the national reporting system, he called the Wuhan CDC head and learned that the number of cases was well above the threshold for reporting. Troubled by what he heard — and didn’t hear — Gao immediately alerted the National Health Commission (NHC) leadership. The following day, Dec. 31, the NHC dispatched a national team of experts to Wuhan to investigate.

Local authorities also silenced whistleblowers

As the national team was on its way to Wuhan, the WHC issued its first public statement about the atypical pneumonia outbreak, reassuring the public that the health administrations and hospitals were managing the situation well. Of the 27 cases, “seven were critical, but the rest were stable and controllable, including two that … are expected to be discharged.” In fact, the latest retrospective study by China CDC reveals there were already 104 cases, including 15 deaths, in December.

In contrast, on Jan. 2, health authorities in Singapore and other countries began to screen passengers from Wuhan.

The case of Li Wenliang has captured global attention. Early on Dec. 31, the Chinese doctor was reprimanded by WHC and the Wuhan Central Hospital he worked at for spreading false rumors about SARS-like cases on Dec. 30. Police later forced him to sign a document promising not to spread “false rumors” again. Other doctors were also admonished for “irresponsible behavior that caused social panic and disrupted Wuhan’s development and stability.”

Systemic fissures contributed to further delays

Local officials, including Wuhan’s mayor, blamed their inadequate public disclosure on the need to secure approval from above. But the truth is more complicated. We now know that on Dec. 30, a joint Hubei-Wuhan CDC investigation team concluded that there were no clusters of cases but there were nonetheless a family of several members that became infected.

Had China CDC experts seen this report — or engaged with the infectious disease doctors at the major Wuhan hospitals — they would likely have recognized earlier that the virus was spreading from human to human. Three crucial weeks would elapse before a new national experts team, including Zhong Nanshan and Gao, finally concluded that the coronavirus was highly contagious.

The infectious diseases sentinel system only works if the hospitals and local health administrations actively engage with it and contribute to the information. In Wuhan, the system failed, monumentally. The failure has laid bare the inherent tensions of a reporting system that is also beholden to the political imperatives of provincial and municipal Communist Party bosses.

For now, President Xi Jinping has replaced the top leaders of Hubei and Wuhan. China remains in the midst of an unprecedented and enormously costly effort to contain covid-19. While the Chinese leadership can lay some of the blame for the crisis on local missteps, a more effective public health emergency response system will depend on encouraging information flows and realigning institutional interests.

Dali L. Yang is the William C. Reavis Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His research has emphasized governance and regulation in China.

Read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/24/chinas-early-warning-system-didnt-work-covid-19-heres-story/

Updated COVID-19 (Coronavirus) statistics

Data update dates: World Health Organisation: 25 Feb | Hubei: 25 Feb | China: 25 Feb

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is the number 1 issue facing investors at the moment. Given issues with data from China, we have put together these charts (updating throughout the day) to highlight the data from outside of China. Often the final data point will only include countries which have reported that day and so will change throughout the day. 

NOTE: China has re-classified statistics at least three times. There are also numerous revisions to prior numbers. We have made some adjustments to the charts below to normalise these statistics where possible, but treat China and Hubei data with scepticism. We now use both suspected and confirmed cases in Chinese ratios. 

COVID-19 cases caught outside of China

Whilst at first most cases of COVID-19 outside China were people who had flown from China to another country, we now seeing transmission of the virus outside of China taking off:

Source of new Covid-19 cases

Number of new Covid-19 cases

 

Total Covid-19 cases outside China

 

Given that a single cruise ship made up the bulk of cases outside China in early February, it is still useful to look at cases with and without that ship.

Total Covid-19 cases caught outside of China

New Covid-19 cases caught outside China each day

The average incubation period of COVID-19 probably less than a week (but could be as much as 24 days), and then an additional 3-4 days before diagnosis. So, you would expect measures like quarantines and travel restrictions to take around 10 days before showing up in statistics.

Time to doubling

This is an examination of how long it takes for cases or deaths to double.

Days taken for Covid-19 cases outside China to double to double

Number of days for Covid-19 cases and deaths in China to double

 

Winter is here

If we limit cases to only those caught in a particular country, exclude China, and then split countries into:

  • Winter countries: Northern Hemisphere Countries currently in winter (including Vietnam as the domestic transmission cases are in the north)
  • Summer/Equatorial countries: Southern Hemisphere countries currently in summer or Countries near the equator where temperatures are relatively high all year

Covid-19 cases by season

Covid-19 cases by season

Note: Countries near China are more likely to have contact with Chinese citizens and these countries are in winter which probably distorts this data.

New and total COVID-19 case numbers in Hubei, the rest of China

Our analysis (and the analysis of many others) suggests reporting of COVID-19 cases in Hubei province were under-reported.

Then, on the 7th of February, China changed its definition of how it is reporting new cases to exclude patients who test positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed. This means up to 80% of cases might no longer be reported. On the 13th of February Hubei reclassified how it classifies cases. On 20th February Hubei reclassified again. All changes affect the quality of the data. Confirmed + suspected cases in China are our key measure.

We are tracking data from Hubei and the rest of China separately. We are sceptical of the China data, but there is some information in the series.

Total number of Covid-19 cases in China

On 7 Feb China made some adjustments to how they report data. Below we have made an estimate of what the case count might look like if China did not make this adjustment:

Extrapolated and suspected Covid-19 cases in Hubei province

Extrapolated, suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases in China province

 

New confirmed Covid-19 cases in China

Daily change in confirmed & suspected Covid-19 cases

New and total Coronavirus death toll in Hubei, the rest of China, and the rest of the world

Total Covid-19 death toll in China

 

New daily Covid-19 deaths in China

 

Total Covid-19 deaths outside China & Iran

COVID-19 Mortality Rate using lag periods

The mortality rate is where we can see distinct differences in data. Dividing the number of deaths by the number of cases during the early stages of an outbreak is very misleading. People who were diagnosed today with the disease are still alive, but they still might die from the disease in the coming days.

A better way is to compare the current deaths to the number of cases from “x” days ago. We still don’t know how many days we should be looking back. The stats so far suggest that the median days from the first symptom to death is 14. But with a broad range from 6 to 41. And, we don’t know how long on average after the first symptom a person would take to become a case.

The below charts show the death rate if the right period to look back is 4, 8 or 12 days. Using data without Hubei, a mortality rate of somewhere between 0.5% and 3% is likely.

In recent days, data from Iran has skewed the results. There is likely a significantly larger outbreak in Iran than what is being reported. We have started showing our mortality rates for the rest of the world excluding Iran.

For more on what this means, see our article on understanding COVID-19 statistics

 

China Covid-19 mortality rate using different lag periods

 

Hubei province Covid-19 mortality rate using different lag periods

 

Worldwide Covid-19 mortality rate

More Analysis

See our latest investment view and here for our latest podcast. Keep in mind that the economic impact is not particularly related to the number of deaths, more important is the disruption to business which already looks to be significant.

Data sources

This is a list of some of the main data sources we use:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/  Probably the best one

https://ncov.dxy.cn/ncovh5/view/pneumonia  Faster than worldometers for Chinese data, but slower on rest of the world data

http://www.nhc.gov.cn/yjb/pqt/new_list.shtml Official source for Chinese Data. Explains data adjustments.

http://wjw.hubei.gov.cn/fbjd/tzgg/ Official source for Hubei Data. Usually comes out a few hours before the China data.  Doesn’t always explain adjustments.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports The slowest to update, but the most authoritative in our view. More consistent with definitions than other sources.

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 The prettiest pictures, but one of the slower sites to update. I don’t find the charts that useful.

https://www.youtube.com/user/MEDCRAMvideos has a daily youtube wrap-up

https://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisMartensondotcom has a daily youtube wrap-up

Updated COVID-19 statistics and analysis

Story 2: Stock Market Correction Linked To Impact of COVID -19 on China Supply Chain — Create More Money — Just Stay Home — Consumer Confidence Crashes — Stagflation Recession 2021 –Panic Propaganda — Do Not Believe It — Videos —

Coronavirus outbreak could threaten a US recession: Michael Farr

A coronavirus outbreak in the US could be cause for global recession: Moody’s Mark Zandi

Wait to buy the dip until there’s bigger shift in risk aversion, strategist says

Kudlow: Not hearing Fed will make panic rate moves due to virus

Former Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher on the economic effects of coronavirus

Gottlieb on coronavirus spread: ‘We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg’

[youube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rel6TDmAnbE]

Allianz’s El-Erian: Resist the inclination to buy the coronavirus-driven dip

The slowdown still isn’t fully baked in these stocks, Jim Cramer says

Jim Cramer: These are the five things investors must consider after a major sell-off

Bond market telegraphing more rate cuts this year

Markets rocked for second straight day, Dow down 1,900 points total

How Badly Will the Coronavirus Hurt China’s Economy?

The Economic Effects of Coronavirus Are Spreading Says El-Erian

Supply chains are going to have massive disruptions if outbreak continues to build: Strategists

Big Tech tumbles: Apple, Microsoft, Facebook are in correction territory

The David Knight Show – (HD) 02/17/2020 – China Corona-Effect: Destroying, Hoarding

Keiser Report 1506

Toilet Paper

Civil forfeiture in the United States

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Civil forfeiture in the United States, also called civil asset forfeiture or civil judicial forfeiture,[1] is a process in which law enforcement officers take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. While civil procedure, as opposed to criminal procedure, generally involves a dispute between two private citizens, civil forfeiture involves a dispute between law enforcement and property such as a pile of cash or a house or a boat, such that the thing is suspected of being involved in a crime. To get back the seized property, owners must prove it was not involved in criminal activity. Sometimes it can mean a threat to seize property as well as the act of seizure itself.[2] Civil forfeiture is not considered to be an example of a criminal justice financial obligation.

Proponents see civil forfeiture as a powerful tool to thwart criminal organizations involved in the illegal drug trade, with $12 billion annual profits,[3] since it allows authorities to seize cash and other assets from suspected narcotics traffickers. They also argue that it is an efficient method since it allows law enforcement agencies to use these seized proceeds to further battle illegal activity, that is, directly converting value obtained for law enforcement purposes by harming suspected criminals economically while helping law enforcement financially.

Critics argue that innocent owners can become entangled in the process to the extent that their 4th Amendment and 5th Amendment rights are violated, in situations where they are presumed guilty instead of being presumed innocent. It has been described as unconstitutional by a judge in South Carolina[4][5]. Further, critics argue that the incentives lead to corruption and law enforcement misbehavior. There is consensus that abuses have happened but disagreement about their extent as well as whether the overall benefits to society are worth the cost of the instances of abuse.

Civil forfeitures are subject to the “excessive fines” clause of the U.S. Constitution‘s 8th amendment, both at a federal level and, as determined by the 2019 Supreme Court case, Timbs v. Indiana, at the state and local level.[6]

History

Legal origins

The idea of going at people through their property has a long history. The theories are quite old. The prevalence of the practice is comparatively recent.

— Daniel C. Richman, Fordham Law School, 1999[7]

Civil forfeiture has a history dating back several hundred years with roots in British maritime law to the British Navigation Acts around the middle 1600s. These laws required ships importing or exporting goods from British ports to fly the British flag; ships that failed to do this could be seized regardless of whether the ship’s owner was guilty of doing any wrongdoing.[8] It was easier to seize a vessel than try to apprehend an owner on the other side of the ocean,[9] as explained by Supreme Court justice Joseph Story:

… (A) vessel which commits the aggression is treated as the offender, as the guilty instrument or thing to which the forfeiture attaches, without any reference whatsoever to the character or conduct of the owner. (The seizure of the ship is justified by …) the necessity of the case, as the only adequate means of suppressing the offense or wrong, or insuring an indemnity to the injured party.

During the later Colonial years, forfeiture practices by the Crown officials using writs of assistance were one of the many activities that angered colonists, who saw the writs as “unreasonable searches and seizures” that deprived persons of “life, liberty, or property, without due process”.[9] The early Congress wrote forfeiture laws based on British maritime law to help federal tax collectors collect customs duties, which financed most of the expenses of the federal government in the early days of the republic.[8] Seizures allowed government to confiscate property from citizens who failed to pay taxes or customs duties.[7] The Supreme Court upheld these forfeiture statutes in situations where it was virtually impossible to get hold of guilty persons on the high seas while possible to get hold of their property.[8] During much of the 19th century there was not much attention paid to forfeiture laws.[8]

Prohibition era

During ProhibitionDetroit police inspect equipment suspected of being used to make alcohol; under civil forfeiture laws, police could seize the equipment without having to charge any owners with a crime.

Government used forfeiture during the Prohibition years 1920–1933.[8] Police seized vehicles and equipment and cash and other property from bootleggers.[7] When Prohibition ended in 1933, much of the forfeiture activity ended as well, and modern forfeiture was an “infrequent resort” until the last few decades.[9]

War on Drugs (1980–present)

Civil forfeiture activity increased substantially in the past thirty years.[10] It stepped up forfeiture during the War on Drugs during the early 1980s and onwards.[8] It became harder for criminal organizations to launder dirty money by means of the financial system, so drug cartels preferred bulk payments of cash.[11] Illegal drugs are a big business; one estimate was that the annual profit from selling illegal drugs was $12 billion, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.[8] The initial intent, similar to methods used to try to fight alcohol trafficking and use during the Prohibition era, was to use civil forfeitures as a weapon against drug kingpins.[12]

According to journalist Sarah Stillman, a major turning point in forfeiture activity was the passage of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984.[13] This law permitted local and federal law enforcement agencies to share the seized assets and cash.[9] Civil forfeiture allowed federal and local governments to “extract swift penalties from white-collar criminals and offer restitution to victims of fraud”, according to Stillman.[9] From 1985 to 1993, authorities confiscated $3 billion of cash and other property based on the federal Asset Forfeiture Program, which included both civil and criminal forfeitures.[13] The methods were supported by the Reagan administration as a crime fighting strategy.

It’s now possible for a drug dealer to serve time in a forfeiture-financed prison after being arrested by agents driving a forfeiture-provided automobile while working in a forfeiture-funded sting operation.

— Reagan attorney general Richard Thornburgh in 1989.[9]

The politics of civil forfeiture were somewhat unusual. The federal forfeiture laws were introduced and pushed through by Republicans in the 1980s, with support from some Democrats; but efforts to reform forfeiture laws have also come from the right,[14] as libertarians in Congress have focused on the basic idea as offensive to property rights.[14] In many areas civil forfeiture adversely affects persons from minorities and low-income communities, in which the typical seizure is less than $500, and Democrats have also been critical of civil forfeiture programs.[14] The ACLU has also been a long time opponent.[14]

Forfeiture was used for purposes other than trying to discourage illegal drug activity, such as attempts in New York City to discourage drunk driving. Forfeiture rules were used to confiscate cars of intoxicated motorists.[7] In such instances, there are two types of cases: a criminal case against the drunk driver as a person, and a civil case against the property used to facilitate the drunk driving, specifically their car.[7] Critics contend that the punishment can be “deemed out of proportion with the offense”; for example, after a drunk driver is arrested and convicted and possibly imprisoned, is it proper to punish him or her additionally by civil forfeiture means by confiscating a $50,000 car?[7] Civil forfeiture has been used to discourage illegal activities such as cockfightingdrag racinggambling in basements, poaching of endangered fish, securities fraud, and other illegal activity.[9]

A chart showing that payouts are growing, according to the equitable sharing arrangement. Source: United States Justice and Treasury Departments.

Courts helped set up the legal framework to help law enforcement stem the drug tide while sometimes trying to rein in abuses. A 1984 law set up the equitable sharing arrangement in which state and local police can share the seizures with federal agents.[15] While the 1993 Supreme Court case Austin v. United States ruled that a forfeiture could be considered as an excessive fine,[16] the court upheld the principle of civil forfeiture generally.[8] A 1996 Supreme Court decision ruled that prosecuting a person for a crime and seizing his or her property via civil forfeiture did not constitute double jeopardy, and therefore did not violate the Constitution.[16] However, in 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that civil forfeiture was not permitted if the amount seized was “grossly disproportional” to the gravity of the offense.[7]

Legislatures played a role as well. Since the 1990s, the number of federal statutes permitting government forfeiture doubled from 200 to 400.[15] In 2000, lawmakers passed the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, or CAFRA, which stipulated protections for individuals and increased the level of proof required.[15] Critics said that the new guidelines did not require poor persons to have free access to legal services.[15] CAFRA guidelines suggest that if a claimant wins a civil-forfeiture case, that some of the legal fees paid to recover the property are partially payable by the government.[15] CAFRA was supposed to raise government’s burden of proof before seizing property.[17] CAFRA meant if government loses a forfeiture challenge, government must pay the victim’s attorney costs, but often victims are unaware of this fact, so they fail to hire lawyers thinking the cost will be prohibitive.[17]

Police forces heeded instruction from a law enforcement consultant named Joe David who had an “uncanny talent for finding cocaine and cash in cars and trucks”, according to one report.[18] Officers trained in David’s so-called Desert Snow stop-and-seizure techniques raked in $427 million from highway encounters during a five-year period.[18] A contract allowed David’s consulting firm to keep 25% of the seized cash.[18]

But when innocent owners were sometimes ensnarled in seizure proceedings, it spurred criticism. In the early 1990s, San Francisco-based defense attorney Brenda Grantland organized a group called Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (which spells the letters FEAR), with branches in New JerseyVirginiaCalifornia, and Massachusetts.[13] Debate about reforming civil forfeiture procedures happened in the late 1990s but after public scrutiny died down, lawmakers quietly relaxed the reforms at the behest of police groups and prosecutors without much public debate.[10]

Civil forfeiture was used successfully on many occasions. For example, it was used to seize assets by corrupt foreigners, such as against Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who stole money from the African nation of Equatorial Guinea and was convicted.[19] Overall, the pattern in recent decades has been a substantial increase in forfeiture activity. According to government records, Justice department seizures went from $27 million in 1985 to $556 million in 1993 and $4.2 billion in 2012.[9]

In 2015, Eric Holder ended the policy of “adoptive forfeiture”, which occurred “when a state or local law enforcement agency seizes property pursuant to state law and requests that a federal agency take the seized asset and forfeit it under federal law” due to abuse.[20] Although states proceeded to curtail the powers of police to seize assets, actions by the Justice Department in July 2017 have sought to reinstate police seizure powers that simultaneously raise funding for federal agencies and local law enforcement.[21]

Legal background

Civil versus criminal forfeiture

Civil
forfeiture
Criminal
forfeiture
Police against
thing
or in rem
Police against
person
or in personam
Legal test is
Preponderance of evidence
Legal test is
Beyond a reasonable doubt
Court can weigh
defendant’s taking
the 5th in their decision[22]
Court can not
do this[22]
Assets returned if owner proves innocence Assets returned if prosecution cannot prove guilt
Example:
United States v. Forty-Three Gallons of Whiskey
Example:
United States v. John Doe

Civil procedure cases generally involve disputes between two private citizens, often about money or property, while criminal procedure involves a dispute between a private citizen and the state, usually because a law has been broken. In legal systems based on British law such as that of the United States, civil and criminal law cases are handled differently, with different tests and standards and procedures, and this is true of forfeiture proceedings as well. Both civil and criminal forfeiture involve the taking of assets by police.

In civil forfeiture, assets are seized by police based on a suspicion of wrongdoing, and without having to charge a person with specific wrongdoing, with the case being between police and the thing itself, sometimes referred to by the Latin term in rem, meaning “against the property”; the property itself is the defendant and no criminal charge against the owner is needed.[1]

In contrast, criminal forfeiture is a legal action brought as “part of the criminal prosecution of a defendant”, described by the Latin term in personam, meaning “against the person”, and happens when government indicts or charges the property that is either used in connection with a crime, or derived from a crime, that is suspected of being committed by the defendant;[1] the seized assets are temporarily held and become government property officially after an accused person has been convicted by a court of law; if the person is found to be not guilty, the seized property must be returned.

The tests to establish the burden of proof are different;[15] in civil forfeiture, the test in most cases[23] is whether police feel there is a preponderance of the evidence suggesting wrongdoing; in criminal forfeiture, the test is whether police feel the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a tougher test to meet.[3][15]

If property is seized in a civil forfeiture, it is “up to the owner to prove that his cash is clean”.[3] Normally both civil and criminal forfeiture require involvement by the judiciary; however, there is a variant of civil forfeiture called administrative forfeiture, which is essentially a civil forfeiture that does not require involvement by the judiciary, which derives its powers from the Tariff Act of 1930, and empowers police to seize banned imported merchandise, as well as things used to import or transport or store a controlled substance, money, or other property that is less than $500,000 value.[1]

Justification

The Supreme Court has generally upheld the principle of civil forfeiture.

According to the Justice Department, there are three main justifications for civil forfeitures:

  1. Punishment and deterrence. To punish and deter criminal activity by depriving criminals of property used or acquired through illegal activities.[22]
  2. Enhance police cooperation. To enhance cooperation among foreign, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, through the equitable sharing of assets recovered through this program.[22]
  3. Revenue for law enforcement. As a byproduct, to produce revenues to enhance forfeitures and strengthen law enforcement.[22]

Since a prosecutor can charge a person with a crime in a criminal case and charge his or her things in a civil case, issues such as double jeopardy have been raised. Further, there has been debate about whether seizures of property are considered as a fine or as a punishment in a legal sense. The distinction was clarified by the Supreme Court in United States v. Bajakajian, which decreed that a criminal forfeiture could be considered as both a type of fine and a punishment, while a civil forfeiture was not intended as a punishment of a person but rather a “legal fiction of punishing the property”.[24] As a result, the court decreed that civil forfeitures that served as remedial were not considered as a type of fine.[24][25]

The United States Supreme Court has upheld the principle of civil asset forfeiture at the federal level.[10][26] The Court ruled in Austin v. United States (1993) that such civil forfeiture, treated as punitive actions, are subject to the Excessive Fines clause of the Eighth Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled in Timbs v. Indiana (2019) that protection against excessive fees in civil forfeiture is also incorporated against state and local government.[27][28]

In addition, there are more than 400 federal statutes that empower police to take assets from convicted criminals, as well as from persons not charged with criminality.[15] Sometimes the seizures happen as a result of different government agencies working together, such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice.[29] Police at national and state levels cooperate in many instances according to procedural laws known as equitable sharing. In addition, there are laws that make it difficult for criminals to get dirty money clean by methods of money laundering; for example, law requires that cash deposits greater than $10,000 to a bank account be reported by the bank to the federal government,[30] and there have been instances in which repeated cash deposits under this amount have looked suspicious to authorities even though they were done legitimately, leading to civil forfeiture seizures directly from a bank account. What has caused controversy is when the property of innocent persons is seized by police who believe that the seized items were involved in criminal activity.

A June 2019 study found that more equitable sharing funds do not translate into more crimes solved, not improving overall police effectiveness. Such funds also do not lead to less drug use. And forfeiture rates are linked to local economic performance, increasing when the local economy suffers, suggesting that such tactics are more geared towards raising revenue, not fighting crime.[31]

Prevalence

Although there are accessible statistics of seizures at the federal level, it often happens that the totals of forfeitures from both criminals and innocent owners are combined; for example, one report was that in 2010, government seized $2.5 billion in assets from criminals and innocent owners by forfeiture methods,[15] and the totals of assets seized incorrectly from innocent owners was not separated statistically. Further, since the United States is a federal republic with governments at both the national and state level, there are civil forfeiture seizures at the state level, which are not tracked and recorded in any central database,[11] which make it difficult to make assessments, since state laws and procedures vary widely. According to The Washington Post, federal asset forfeiture in 2014 accounted for over $5 billion going into Justice and Treasury Department coffers, while in comparison, official statistics show that the amount stolen from citizens by burglars during that same year was a mere $3.5 billion.[32]

Methods

Civil forfeiture begins when government suspects that a property is connected with illegal drug activity, and files a civil action:[22]

The government simply files a civil action in rem against the property itself, and then generally must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the property is forfeitable under the applicable forfeiture statute. Civil forfeiture is independent of any criminal case, and because of this, the forfeiture action may be filed before indictment, after indictment, or even if there is no indictment. Likewise, civil forfeiture may be sought in cases in which the owner is criminally acquitted of the underlying crimes …

— Craig Gaumer, Assistant United States Attorney, 2007[22]

Properties that can be confiscated include real estate property such as a house or motel, cars, cash, jewelry, boats, and almost anything[15] suspected of being related to the manufacture and sale and transportation of illegal controlled substances, such as:

  1. controlled substances[22]
  2. raw materials needed to make them[22]
  3. containers to hold them[22]
  4. vehicles to transport them[22]
  5. information for manufacture and distribution, such as books, records, and formulas[22]
  6. money and other valuables “used or intended to be used” to buy or sell them[22]
  7. property facilitating illegal transactions[22]
  8. chemicals needed to make them[22]
  9. machines for making capsules and tablets[22]
  10. drug paraphernalia[22]
  11. firearms[22]

Traffic stops

A motorist stopped by police in Tennessee.

In a civil forfeiture case in the United States, the state is the plaintiff and a thing is the defendant—in this case, the thing is $25,180 cash that was seized by police under suspicion of being involved in illegal activity. In legal terms, it is an in rem case (against a thing) as opposed to an in personam case (against a person). Here is the docket for a real case that happened after police seized money.

From 2006 to 2008, currency deposits alone exceeded $1 billion for each year. Source: the Institute for Justice[33]

One method of intercepting funds is by highway interdictions, typically along highway routes suspected to be used regularly by drug smugglers, often between Mexico and the United States.

News media have reported many examples:

  • Mandrel Stuart was not charged with a crime and there was no evidence of illegal activity but police seized his money because they assumed it was drug-related:[34]

    Mandrel Stuart and his girlfriend were on a date driving on Interstate 66 … The traffic stop on that balmy afternoon in August 2012 was the beginning of a dizzying encounter that would leave Stuart shaken and wondering whether he had been singled out because he was black and had a police record. Over the next two hours, he would be detained without charges, handcuffed and taken to a nearby police station … stripped of $17,550 in cash … earned through … a small barbecue restaurant … he was going to use the money that night for supplies and equipment.

    — report in The Washington Post, 2014[34]
  • Javier Gonzalez was carrying $10,000 cash in a briefcase and got pulled over in Texas; deputies handed Gonzalez a waiver, that if he signed over the money and did not claim it later, he would not be arrested, but if he refused to sign the waiver, Gonzalez would be arrested for money-laundering.[17] Gonzalez signed the waiver wondering if the officers were real “officers of law” and wondering if he got robbed, but later sued the county, which lost, and returned his cash plus paid him $110,000 in damages plus attorney’s fees.[17]
  • Matt Lee of Clare, Michigan, was driving to California with $2,500 cash when pulled over by police in Nevada, who seized almost all of the cash under suspicion that it was a “drug run”; Lee hired an attorney who took half as his fee, leaving Lee with only $1130 remaining.[34]

    I just couldn’t believe that police could do that to anyone … It’s like they are at war with innocent people.

    — Matt Lee, interviewed in The Washington Post, 2013[34]
  • Tan Nguyen. In 2008, a federal judge ordered $50,000 returned to a man after police seized the money during a traffic stop in Nebraska, after reviewing a recording of the seizure in which a sheriff’s deputy suggested that we “take his money and, um, count it as a drug seizure”.[15] Tan Nguyen’s $50,000 was confiscated by police during a traffic stop, and the county agreed to return the funds after a legal challenge.[35]
  • In May 2010 a couple was driving from New York to Florida and they were stopped by police because of a cracked windshield.[34] During questioning, the officer decided that $32,000 cash in the van was “probably involved in criminal or drug-related activity”, seized it, shared it with federal authorities under equitable sharing.[34] The victim hired a lawyer to get back the seized money who urged settling for half of the seized amount, and after the lawyer’s fees, the victim got back only $7,000.[34]
  • A 2013 The New Yorker piece detailed abuses in Tenaha, Texas, where police would target out-of-state drivers using rental cars, often not issuing traffic tickets, and disproportionately pulling over African Americans and Latino-Americans.[9] Police sometimes ask stopped motorists to sign “roadside property waivers”, which, unless signed, threaten criminal charges unless valuables are handed over; the waivers say, in effect, that victims will not contest the seizure in exchange for not being arrested.[9]

If a passing motorist does not sign a waiver and it becomes recorded as a legal case, the case names are often unusual.[9] In a civil forfeiture case, the asset itself is listed as the “defendant”.[15] For example, one case was titled State of Texas v. One Gold Crucifix, based on a traffic stop in which a woman was pulled over, no charges were filed, but this item of jewelry was seized.[9] Another case name was United States v. $35,651.11 in U.S. Currency.[30]

The Washington Post analyzed 400 seizures in 17 states that were examples of equitable sharing arrangements.[34] Police stop motorists under the pretext of a minor traffic infraction, and “analyze” the intentions of motorists by assessing nervousness, and request permission to search the vehicle without a warrant; however, of the 400 seizures studied by The Washington Post, police did not make any arrests.[34]

Other cash seizures

Cash has been seized in peculiar circumstances. For example, New York businessman James Lieto’s $392,000 in cash was seized by federal authorities, since his legitimate funds mixed up with illegal funds in an armored car that was seized by an FBI probe.[15] Lieto had to wait until the government’s criminal case was finished before he could get his money back, which took considerable time, and caused considerable financial hardship and stress.[15]

Police have broken into homes. In March 2012, in the middle of the night, without a warrant, New York City police burst into the home of Gerald Bryan, ransacked his belongings, ripped out light fixtures, arrested him, and seized $4,800 of his cash, but after a year, the case against him was dropped.[10] When Bryan tried to get back his money, he was told it was “too late” since the money had already been put into the police pension fund.[10] Victims of forfeiture often find themselves faced with fighting in a “labyrinthine” procedure to get their money back.[10]

In May, 2013, IRS agents seized $32,821 from the account of a restaurant owner in Arnolds Park, Iowa, on suspicion of tax evasion,[36] but the seizure was contested by lawyers from the Institute for Justice.[37][38]

The IRS is increasingly taking money from legitimate businesspeople who … run an honest cash business and make frequent cash deposits … The government doesn’t allege that she evaded taxes. The government doesn’t allege that she was depositing money from an illicit source. She’s simply depositing her own lawfully-earned money … that she gets from customers in her restaurant …

— Institute for Justice attorney Larry Salzman, 2014[37]

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has been seizing cash from passengers on domestic flights. Agents seized $209 million in cash from travelers at the 15 busiest airports from 2006 to 2016, according to an investigation by USA Today.[39] Agents seized $82,373 from a passenger, transporting her father’s life savings, while boarding a domestic flight, despite any indication of criminal activity or drug use or charges, leading to a lawsuit to get the funds returned.[39]

Seizures of real estate

Prosecutors threatened to seize a motel, similar to this one owned by the Caswell family, when there was illegal drug use on the premises in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Police can seize not only cash from cars but real estate such as a person’s home. For example, homes have been seized even if someone other than the homeowner on the premises committed drug crimes without the owner’s awareness.[10] If the IRS suspects that property is involved with crime, or has been produced as a result of crime, then it has a pretext with which to seize it.[30] From 2010 to 2013, two motel owners were under constant threat of their property being seized after there were incidents of drug selling on the motel premises.[2] A judge ruled in 2013 that the owners could keep their motel since the owners did not know about the illegal activity and took all reasonable steps to prevent it.[2]

I’d like to see this law done away with, or heavily modified … This law, where you are presumed guilty and have to prove yourself innocent, is completely backward from any other law I’ve ever heard of. It’s hard to believe the government has that kind of power. It’s ridiculous. Prosecutors abuse it, and the average person can’t afford to fight it.

— Russell Caswell, motel owner, 2013[2]

Police seized a house on the pretext that it was being used for selling drugs, after a couple’s son was arrested for selling $40 worth of illegal drugs.[12] In another case, homeowners Carl and Mary Shelden sold their house to a man who was later convicted of fraud, but because of the real estate transaction, the Sheldens got caught up in a 10-year legal battle that left them “virtually bankrupt”; after years, they finally got back their house but it was in badly damaged condition; the Sheldens had done nothing wrong.[13]

Seizures of vehicles

In Detroit, men suspected of hiring prostitutes had their automobiles seized.[10][13] An owner’s sailboat was taken after he was caught with a negligible amount of marijuana.[13] Members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office were charged with fraud after knowingly selling counterfeit goods at an asset forfeiture auction.[40]

Seizures of firearms

Five states (CaliforniaConnecticutIndianaNew York, and Oregon) have statutes that allow law enforcement officials to seize a person’s firearms without a warrant or court order if there is probable cause the individual is mentally unstable or may use the weapons to commit a crime. The weapons are to be held in the custody of the law enforcement agency until the case against the individual is dispositioned in a court of law; or the weapons must be returned to the owner if no criminal charges are filed within the timeframe specified by law. In practice, some law enforcement agencies in these states have been known to either sell or destroy seized firearms without compensating the owner after the legal matter that led to the initial seizure has been settled.[citation needed]

Seizures of funds in a bank account

The government can seize money directly from a bank account. One way this happens is when there are large numbers of cash deposits that government investigators suspect are structured as a way to avoid deposits exceeding $10,000, since deposits greater than that amount must be reported to the federal government. But it can happen that legitimate businesses have regular large deposits of cash. In one instance, the Internal Revenue Service waited for large deposits to be placed into an owner’s bank account, and then forced the bank by legal means to surrender it to the agency by means of a secret warrant;[30] authorities took $135,000 from Michigan restaurant owners, named the Cheung family, who made cash deposits from their Chinese restaurant.[29] In another instance, a businessman in New Jersey made repeated cash deposits to save for purchasing a house; each payment was below the $10,000 threshold for reporting to the government, but there were 21 deposits over a period of four months, which caused government to suspect that criminal activity was involved; as a result, the IRS seized $157,000 and the businessman was forced to hire an attorney to get his funds returned.[15] Officials seized $35,000 from the bank account of a grocery store “without any warning or explanation” in 2013.[29]

Contested seizures

After police and authorities have possession of cash or other seized property, there are two ways in which the seized assets become permanently theirs: first, if a prosecutor can prove that seized assets were connected to criminal activity in a courtroom, or second, if nobody tries to claim the seized assets.[41] What happens in many instances is that the assets revert to police ownership by default. If a victim challenges the seizure, prosecutors sometimes offer to return half of the seized funds as part of a deal in exchange for not suing.[17] Sometimes police, challenged by lawyers or by victims, volunteer to return all of the money provided that the victim promises not to sue police or prosecutors; according to The Washington Post, many victims sign simply to get some or all of their money back.[34] Victims often have “long legal struggles to get their money back”.[34] One estimate was that only one percent of federally taken property is ever returned to their former owners.[42]

Statistics

Asset forfeitures selected years
Year Total forfeitures Notes
1986 $93.7 million DOJ’s Asset
Forfeiture Fund
[8]
2004 $567 million [3]
2005 $1.25 billion [15]
2007 $1.58 billion [11]
2008 $1.6 billion DOJ Asset Forfeiture
fund
 took in
$1 billion
[3][8]
2010 $2.50 billion [15][15]

Statistical evidence suggests a strong upward trend in recent years towards greater seizure activity. In 1986, the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund took in $93.7 million; in 2008, it took in $1 billion.[8] Much of this growth happened in the past decade; one analysis suggested that seizures had grown 600 percent from 2002 to 2012.[42] From 2005 to 2010, government seizures of assets from both criminals as well as innocent citizens went from $1.25 billion to $2.50 billion.[15] Federal authorities seized over $4 billion in 2013 through forfeiture, with some of the money being taken from innocent victims.[29] In 2010, there were 15,000 cases of forfeitures.[15] Over 12 years, agencies have taken $20 billion in cash, securities, other property from drug bosses and Wall Street tycoons as well as “ordinary Americans who have not committed crimes”.[42] One estimate was that in 85% of civil forfeiture instances, the property owner was never charged with a crime.[10] In 2010, there were 11,000 noncriminal forfeiture cases.[15] In 2010, claimants challenged 1,800 civil forfeiture seizures in federal court.[15]

States

Standards of proof in state forfeiture laws
Source: Institute for Justice[43]
Note: “9” means most protection for citizens
State Standard Rank
Alabama Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Alaska Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Delaware Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Massachusetts Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Missouri Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Rhode Island Prima facie/Probable cause 1
South Carolina Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Wyoming Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Georgia Probable cause/Preponderance 2
North Dakota Probable cause/Preponderance 2
South Dakota Probable cause/Preponderance 2
Washington Probable cause/Preponderance 2
Arizona Preponderance 3
Arkansas Preponderance 3
Hawaii Preponderance 3
Idaho Preponderance 3
Illinois Preponderance[44] 3
Indiana Preponderance 3
Iowa Preponderance 3
Kansas Preponderance 3
Louisiana Preponderance 3
Maine Preponderance 3
Maryland Preponderance 3
Michigan Preponderance 3
Mississippi Preponderance 3
New Hampshire Preponderance 3
New Jersey Preponderance 3
Oklahoma Preponderance 3
Pennsylvania Preponderance 3
Tennessee Preponderance 3
Texas Preponderance 3
Virginia Preponderance 3
West Virginia Preponderance 3
Kentucky Preponderance
Clear & convincing
4
New York Preponderance
Clear & convincing
4
Oregon Preponderance
Clear & convincing
4
Colorado Clear & convincing 5
Minnesota Clear & convincing 5
Nevada Clear & convincing 5
Ohio Clear & convincing 5
Utah Clear & convincing 5
Vermont Clear & convincing 5
California Clear & convincing
Beyond a reasonable doubt
6
Wisconsin Preponderance of the Evidence (greater weight of the credible evidence).
Florida Beyond a reasonable doubt[45] 7
Connecticut Criminal conviction
required before seizure[46]
8
North Carolina Criminal conviction
required before seizure[47]
8
Montana Criminal conviction
required before seizure[48]
8
Nebraska Criminal conviction required
before seizure[49]
9
New Mexico Abolished[48] 9

Civil forfeiture varies greatly state by state. An analysis by Sarah Stillman in The New Yorker suggested that states that place seized funds in neutral accounts, such as MaineMissouri (which puts seized funds in accounts for public education), North Dakota, and Vermont, have been much less likely to have major scandals involving forfeiture abuse.[9] States like Texas and Virginia and Georgia, which have few restrictions on how police use the seized funds have had more scandals, as have states that allow the Equitable sharing program. With Equitable Sharing, state police can “skirt state restrictions on the use of funds”, according to Stillman.[9] In Florida, using Equitable Sharing, the small village of Bal Harbour raked in at least $71.5 million in three years by its vice squad by carrying out an undercover money laundering sting operation, but in the end, made no arrests.[9] In 2019, Arkansas enacted a new law that requires felony conviction before forfeiture of related assets with few exceptions.[50]

Florida
Allows Equitable sharing between state and federal agencies.[9]
Georgia
There are few restrictions on how police use seized assets.[9] Georgia investigators found more than $700,000 in “questionable expenses” by Camden County’s sheriff between 2004 and 2008, including a $90,000 Dodge Viper and a $79,000 boat.[14]
Maine
Seized funds go into neutral accounts.[9]
Maryland
In Maryland, police forfeitures were $6 million in 2012 and $2.8 million in 2013.[41]
Minnesota
Minnesota passed a law in 2014 forbidding authorities from confiscating a suspect’s property unless they have been convicted of a crime or plead guilty to committing it.[51]
Missouri
Seized funds go into accounts earmarked for public education.[9]
Montana
In June 2015, governor Steve Bullock signed a law requiring authorities to first get a criminal conviction before seizing property through civil forfeiture.[48]
Nebraska
State civil forfeiture standard was beyond a reasonable doubt[8] but in 2016 it was changed to require a criminal conviction first before any assets could be seized.[49]
Nevada
There were allegations that Nevada police unlawfully took tens of thousands of dollars from motorists.[35]
New Mexico
Government took $800,000 from a used car dealer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and held his money for many months before giving it back, but the seizure had an adverse effect on his business and on the owner’s health.[29] In 2015, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed a bill into law making Civil Forfeiture illegal in New Mexico. The prohibition does not apply to property directly connected to the commission of a crime (e.g., money or property obtained through drug trafficking, or stolen property)[48][52]
New York
New York City ransacked a home, seized cash, but it was later returned.[10]
North Carolina
Abolished civil forfeiture almost entirely.[47]
North Dakota
Seized funds go into neutral accounts.[9]
Oklahoma
Seized funds or property are forfeited if any connection to any drug crime is proved by a preponderance of the evidence. Once forfeited, the seizing agency can keep and use the funds largely at its discretion. Due to the lack of any state reporting or centralized accounting, no accurate total of seizures is available, but estimates tend to run in the tens of millions each year, much from known drug trafficking corridors such as Interstate 40.[53] Notable abuses of forfeiture funds include prosecutors paying off student loans and living in seized houses rent free.[54]
Pennsylvania
In Philadelphia, it is often the homes of African-Americans and Hispanics who are targeted by civil forfeiture abuses; what happens in many instances is that a child or grandchild who doesn’t own the home is nabbed on a drug-related offense, and police use this as a pretext to seize the entire home.[9] In Philadelphia, authorities made thousands of “small-dollar seizures”; in 2010, the city filed 8,000 forfeiture cases, which amounted to $550 for the average take.[12] From 2002 to 2012, Philadelphia seized $64 million by means of its forfeiture program, a total that was more than that seized by Brooklyn and Los Angeles combined.[12]
Texas
In Texas, in Jim Wells County, authorities seized more than $1.5 million during a four-year period mostly off of U.S. Route 281, described as a “prime smuggling route for drugs going north and money coming south”.[17] Seized cash is a third of the budget of the sheriff’s department, allowing it to buy more equipment, high-powered rifles, and police vehicles.[17] There are few restrictions on how police use seized funds.[9] In some counties in Texas, 40% of police revenue comes from forfeitures.[9] Texas, with many smuggling corridors to Mexico, and police seized $125 million in 2007.[3]
Vermont
Seized funds go into neutral accounts.[9]
Virginia
Few restrictions on how police use seized assets.[9]
Washington, D.C.
Victims seeking to get their seized property back in Washington, D.C., may be charged up to $2500 for the right to challenge a police seizure in court, and it can take months or years for a decision to finally happen.[9]
Wisconsin
State civil forfeiture standard is preponderance of the evidence (Wis Stat sec. 961.555(3).

Controversy

Civil forfeiture has generated substantial controversy.

Proponents

FBI special agent Douglas Leff argues that civil forfeiture is a necessary tool for law enforcement to combat money laundering by criminal operatives.

Proponents argue that civil forfeiture tactics are necessary to help police fight serious crime.[42] It is seen as a vital and powerful weapon in the continuing battle against illegal drugs,[13][26] and effective at discouraging criminal activity.[15][30] It makes it easier for law enforcement to fight organized crime when they had trouble imprisoning offenders, since they could deprive them of their property and income when it is much harder to prove their guilt in a court of law.[10]

Prosecutors choose civil forfeiture not because of the standard of proof, but because it is often the only way to confiscate the instrumentalities of crime. The alternative, criminal forfeiture, requires a criminal trial and a conviction. Without civil forfeiture, we could not confiscate the assets of drug cartels whose leaders remain beyond the reach of United States extradition laws and who cannot be brought to trial. Moreover, criminal forfeiture reaches only a defendant’s own property. Without civil forfeiture, an airplane used to smuggle drugs could not be seized, even if the pilot was arrested, because the pilot invariably is not the owner of the plane. Nor could law enforcement agencies confiscate cash carried by a drug courier who doesn’t own it, or a building turned into a “crack house” by tenants with the knowing approval of the landlord.

— Gerald E. Mcdowell Chief, Asset Forfeiture & Money Laundering Section, Dept. of Justice, 1996, writing in The New York Times[26]

The head of the asset forfeiture section of the Department of Justice said that civil forfeiture of cash from innocents was insignificant compared to the “thousands of traffic stops” that bust major drug money couriers.[17]

What’s troubling to you? That a drug trafficker who’s bringing money from the U.S. to Mexico, who’s carrying hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars in cash in their pickup truck, who just sold dope and crack and cocaine to children in your playgrounds, and his money is being taken away? That troubles you?

— Richard Weber, US Justice Department, 2008[17]

Police used civil forfeiture laws to help return swindled funds to their owners. Photo: Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff.

Civil forfeiture has been used to restore money stolen by fraud and other schemes by corrupt politicians.[55] Civil forfeiture targets cybercrime, fraud, and scams in high finance at Wall Street, and money-laundering on a global scale.[42] It enables police to have sufficient power to “return money to crime victims” in instances of swindling or fraud.[15] Civil forfeiture laws were helpful in enabling authorities to seize and return swindled funds by the Bernard Madoff fraud.[15]

Proponents argue that government has sufficient safeguards in place so that individuals can challenge seizures if the need arises.[17] Justice William H. Rehnquist said in a Supreme Court decision that federal forfeiture in drug-related cases was not a punishment but served nonpunitive purposes such as encouraging people to be careful that their property was not used illegally.[16] A lobbyist for the Maryland State Police named Thomas Williams argued that bills to require police to keep better records of seized property would cost law enforcement more time and money, and that trying to track seizures by multi-agency task forces would not be easy.[41] Proponents say that when claimants contest the seizures, they rarely win back their money, suggesting that the “system is working properly”.[15] Proponents say the system is monitored to make sure seizures are properly done.[15] In addition, the funds enable police forces to equip themselves further for more effective crime prevention; for example, a $3.8 million drug bust let officers equip their cars with $1,700 video cameras and heat-sensing equipment for a seven-member force.[13]

Critics

Critics include citizens, defense attorneys, and advocates for civil rights.[13] They point to serious instances of abuse in which innocent owners have been victimized.[42] Critics are from both sides of the political spectrum, from left-leaning groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and right-leaning groups such as The Heritage Foundation.[15] The main criticisms of civil forfeiture proceedings are as follows:

  • Flawed judicial process. Critics suggest that civil forfeitures are mostly “devoid of due process”.[30] Arguments have been made that the seizures violate the Due Process Clause of the Constitution since owners have few means to challenge the seizures.[51] They see some seizures as assaults against individual rights.[29] Critics argue that criminals are treated better in the courts than innocent owners who have property seized, since criminals are often told they have a right to an attorney, and that the beyond a reasonable doubt standard of proof is much higher in criminal trials than in civil trials.[30] Burden of proof is shifted to victims to prove innocence.[8] Victims of civil forfeiture are considered guilty until proven innocent, thereby turning the principle of innocent until proven guilty on its head.[12][29][30] Because it is part of the civil justice system, there are no attorneys provided for defendants as can happen in some criminal trials; people who can not afford an attorney have slim chances of recovering their property.[12] Most cases are never heard by a jury or judge since victims are unable to fight the seizures by hiring a lawyer.[29] In contrast to principles of open justice, seizures are often done through sealed documents with a lack of transparency.[42] Clinical law professor Louis Rulli of the University of Pennsylvania said that a piece of property does not have the same rights as a human: no right to an attorney, no presumption of innocence.[9]
  • Excessive punishment. Justice John Paul Stevens said in a single dissenting vote in 1996 that civil forfeiture of a house, in which marijuana had been illegally processed, was an example of an excessive fine, and a violation of the Eighth Amendment, although the majority of the court disagreed.[16]

Critics contend that the lure of cash tempts police towards subverting the rules for personal gain.

  • Motivates police misbehavior. Critics contend that the system is set up in a way as to incentivize “perverse behavior” by “predatory government agencies”.[30] It makes it possible for government officials to seize property such as cash, vehicles, houses, and jewelry from people without ever convicting them for wrongdoing in a court or even charging them with a crime.[29] The cash and assets are a major temptation for police to presume that activity is illegal. Critics say the huge amount of money involved have a distorting effect on police, such that they are more interested in seizing cash rather than illegal drugs.[3] Seized assets can be used for police office expenses, new equipment, vehicles.[3] The profit motive, in which police can keep 90% or more of profits, “forms the rotten core of forfeiture abuse”.[8] Prosecutors and police have a strong incentive to seize property since the funds can be used to pay expenses of the District Attorney’s office, including salaries. Over a ten-year period, the forfeiture money collected was $25 million in Philadelphia, with seized funds being used to pay salaries for people working in the District Attorney’s office.[12] When funds are returned to the victim, it can happen that the funds come out of taxpayer money, not out of police funds such as a pension fund.[10] Seized amounts of money have gone for new police equipment, parties, travel expenses, training seminars, sometimes held in distant locations such as Las Vegas or Hawaii.[10] A Texas prosecutor used $25,000 in seized cash to take his office staff including spouses and a judge on a vacation to Hawaii.[10] There are no penalties for wrongful seizures, particularly when taxpayers pay when ill-gotten gains from innocent citizens must be returned, so there is an incentive to “find” a drug-related issue when police come across cash.[10] The incentives work against police seizing drugs but push them to seize cash instead:

If a cop stops a car going north with a trunk full of cocaine, that makes great press coverage, makes a great photo. Then they destroy the cocaine … If they catch ’em going south with a suitcase full of cash, the police department just paid for its budget for the year.

— Jack Fishman, former IRS agent, criminal defense attorney, 2008[3]
  • Innocent owners ensnared. Critics argue that innocent owners suffer emotionally and financially.[34]
  • Difficult to challenge seizures. The process forces property owners with limited financial abilities to have to hire attorneys and take time and money simply to “prove their innocence”.[30] Victims must actively fight to recover their seized property; if they do nothing, or wait, then they will lose everything.[30] If victims do not seek help from sympathetic lawyers such as those of the Institute for Justice, they can sometimes be offered to have a fraction of their property returned as part of a deal; critics have described the IRS as “bullies” practicing “extortion” against innocent citizens.[30] Procedures to get money back are often fraught with difficulty.[10] Retrieving seized property can be a “bureaucratic nightmare” where victims meet not with a judge or jury but with a prosecutor.[12]
  • Arbitrary punishments. Critics suggest that civil forfeitures can be arbitrary, varying significantly from one case to another; for example, Alan Finder in The New York Times wondered whether it was “fair that one driver loses a car worth $45,000 and another loses one worth $700?”, if each situation resulted from drunk driving arrests.[7]
  • Unfairly targets poor and politically weak persons. Many victims of civil forfeiture are “poor and politically weak” and unable to mount a sustained battle in the courts to get their property returned.[51]
  • Subverts state law. Local and state police often cooperate with federal authorities in what has been called equitable sharing agreements.[14] Since many states have laws restricting or limiting civil forfeitures, as well as requiring higher standards of proof before property can be taken, local police can sidestep these rules by treating the suspected criminal activity as a federal crime, and bringing in federal authorities.[14] As a result, after the seizure, local and federal agencies share the proceeds with 10% to 20% of it going to the federal agency and the remainder to the local police force.[14] Accordingly, equitable sharing “effectively subverts the will and intent of the state legislatures” and has been criticized by prominent civil rights attorney and property rights advocate Scott Bullock as being a “complete violation” of the principle of federalism.[14]
  • Extent of abuse. Proponents and critics differ about the extent of cases in which innocent persons had their property seized. Proponents argue that the cases are few in number, while critics contend that many instances of abuse happen without awareness by the public as a result of the signing of waivers, victims not challenging seizures for lack of knowledge, and other reasons related to a general lack of judicial transparency. The Baltimore Sun made reports that in 2012, half of victims with seized assets were not convicted of a crime.[41]

Efforts at reform

Comedian and political commentator John Oliver did a sixteen-minute segment on his show Last Week Tonight in 2014 discussing civil forfeiture.

There have been numerous reports in the media about systemic abuse of civil forfeiture. USA Today described it as “an increasingly common—and utterly outrageous—practice that can amount to legalized theft by police”.[56] Reporter Sarah Stillman writing in The New Yorker interviewed numerous police officers, lawyers, prosecutors, justices and plaintiffs around the United States and found that many had reservations that innocent Americans were being abused.[9] The New Yorker published a “sprawling investigation” about how cities abuse civil forfeiture to “bolster their cash-strapped coffers by seizing the assets of the poor, often on trumped up charges”.[10] Comedian John Oliver devoted a presentation to a satirical exposure of civil forfeiture in 2014.

Organizations working for reform, as well as helping individual victims, include the Institute for Justice, a libertarian nonprofit law firm in Washington, D.C., which works to end civil forfeiture abuse.[30] It has helped numerous clients recover property seized by the government.[30] The Institute of Justice is helping one forfeiture victim sue the federal district court as well as the mayor, district attorney, and police commissioner in Philadelphia.[12] Scott Bullock, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, advocates that civil forfeiture should be abolished except for use in enforcing maritime and customs laws, and require that any seizures be linked to criminal convictions of specific people.[57] If that is not possible, Bullock recommends that seized revenues be placed in neutral funds such as drug treatment efforts, that standards of proof for law enforcement be raised to ensure that police provide “clear and convincing evidence” of wrongdoing, that the burden of proof should be moved to government to prove wrongdoing, that seized assets should be tracked such that information is easily accessible by the public, and that the equitable sharing arrangement be abolished.[57] Sometimes victims turn to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for legal assistance in winning back their seized property.[42]

There has been opposition to civil forfeiture in some lower courts.[16] There have been attempts by lawmakers to introduce legislation to prevent abuses based on civil forfeiture procedures; one proposal was to raise the standard of proof necessary before property could be seized, and require government to prove that an owner of property was involved in an illegal criminal activity before such seizures could happen.[14] There have been class action lawsuits against authorities, such as one in East Texas by black and Latino drivers; the suit alleges that police took $3 million from 2006 to 2008 in 140 separate incidents.[35] One reform effort is to require authorities to keep better records about seized assets.[41]

In 2015, the New Mexico legislature outlawed civil forfeiture.[52] Also in 2015 a number of criminal justice reformers, including the Koch family foundations and the ACLU, announced plans to advocate the reduction of asset forfeitures due to the disproportionate penalty it places on low-income wrongdoers; the forfeiture of private property in such cases often results in the deprivation of the majority of an individual’s wealth.[58]

As civil forfeiture may not be allowed a new practice has emerged. By classifying valuables such as cars, cellphones, and wallets with cash as evidence the police can keep them and by making it very difficult and time consuming to get them back. After 120 days the police can sell the items.[59]

Marijuana legalization and forfeiture

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been using civil forfeiture as one way of funding their efforts to combat the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, which continues to be illegal to possess under Federal law as of 2019.[60][61] According to government figures, the DEA collected $18 million in 2013 as part of its Cannabis Eradication Program.[62] Proponents in favor of legalizing marijuana have objected to this practice, which includes DEA seizures of properties in which marijuana is used and sold. A bill has been proposed in the United States Congress to eliminate this source of funding.[63][64] As more states progress towards legalizing marijuana for medical use and for recreational use, there are more businesses to sell marijuana, sometimes called dispensaries or “weed shops”. A report in The Guardian in 2015 suggested that such shops operated in a “tricky gray zone”, so that even in the 23 states where medicinal cannabis is legal, such dispensaries can be “wiped out by a single visit from law enforcement”.[65] While state law may recognize such establishments as having a legal purpose, federal law does not recognize this, and conflicting interpretations can emerge, which can result in properties being confiscated.[65] It has sparked controversy and, in some instances, public outrage.

See also

References…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_forfeiture_in_the_United_States

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Story 1: President Trump “America Loves India” — Videos

Trump speaks at massive rally during India visit: ‘America loves India’

Trump Takes On Motera Stage, Thanks India For Grand Welcome | Watch Full Speech

US President Trump Discusses Military Deal, Trade Pact with India at Rally

PM, Trump Get To Business, Crucial Bilateral & Trade Talks Today

 

Donald Trump visits the REAL Taj Mahal (as opposed to his old Atlantic City casino namesake): The Trumps hold hands in front of world famous ‘monument of love’

  • Donald and Melania Trump capped off their first day in India with a visit to the Taj Mahal
  • President Trump called the Taj Mahal ‘incredible’ while Melania Trump said it was ‘beautiful’ 
  • Earlier, President Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi got a raucous welcome when they held a rally at the world’s largest cricket stadium 
  • ‘You have done a great honor to the American people. Melania, my family, we will always remember this remarkable hospitality,’ President Trump said
  • Modi praised the ‘new history’ being created in U.S.-Indian relations 
  • Donald Trump hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he arrived in India in a rare display of affection from president 
  • The Trumps also joined Modi to visit Gandhi’s home where Trump tried his hand at a loom similar to that Gandhi used  

Donald and Melania Trump stopped by the Taj Mahal Monday evening, capping off their first day in India with a sunset visit to the world’s most famous monument to love.

They held hands as they posed for photographers and spent a few minutes staring at the white marble tomb as the sun started to dip below the horizon.

‘It’s incredible, truly incredible,’ Trump said. ‘Really incredible, an incredible place.’

Melania also weighed in: ‘Lovely, beautiful,’ she said. 

The couple signed the guest book and walked through the gardens as part of their tour of the tomb, built by a 16th century emperor for his deceased wife.

‘Taj Mahal inspires awe, a timeless testament to the rich and diverse beauty of Indian culture! Thank you, India,’ the president wrote in the guest book. Melania Trump signed her name under her husband’s.

It is not the president’s first experience of a Taj Mahal; one of his Atlantic City casinos also held the name and after a checkered history of corporate bankruptcy, was sold to Carl Icahn in 2016, closed, and bought for just $50 million by the Seminole Indian tribe of Florida who have re-opened it as a Hard Rock casino and stripped it of its minarets and dome.

One thing appeared to be missing from the visit to the real Taj: monkeys.

There was no sign of the nearly 1,000 rhesus monkeys who live around the tomb and who sparked fears of a diplomatic incident should they act out. India put extra ‘monkey police’ – guards with sling shots – on duty to keep away the animals.

Donald and Melania Trump stopped by the Taj Mahal to cap off their first day in India

The Trumps visited the famous monument at sunset

President Trump and Melania Trump pose in front of Taj Mahal

President Trump and Melania Trump pose in front of Taj Mahal

President Trump called the Taj Mahal 'incredible' while Melania Trump said it was 'beautiful'

President Trump called the Taj Mahal ‘incredible’ while Melania Trump said it was ‘beautiful’

The president and first lady ended their first day in India at its most famous monument

The Trumps were given a photo of themselves in front of the Taj Mahal

President Trump and Melania Trump walk into the Taj Mahal to tour the tomb

White House senior advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner pose in front of the Taj MahalEdit

White House senior advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner pose in front of the Taj Mahal

President Trump and Melania Trump arrived in Delhi Monday night to spend the night

President Trump and Melania Trump arrived in Delhi Monday night to spend the night

Melania Trump waves from the Beast as the president limo makes it way toward their hotel

Melania Trump waves from the Beast as the president limo makes it way toward their hotel

 

Not to be confused with...: Donald Trump had his own Taj Mahal, an Atlantic City casino whose fate ended in being sold to Carl Icahn in 2016 after a checkered career

Not to be confused with...: Donald Trump had his own Taj Mahal, an Atlantic City casino whose fate ended in being sold to Carl Icahn in 2016 after a checkered career

Not to be confused with…: Donald Trump had his own Taj Mahal, an Atlantic City casino whose fate ended in being sold to Carl Icahn in 2016 after a checkered career

Inspired by: The Trump Taj Mahal is now a Hard Rock casino which was stripped of its minarets and domes - and Trump branding - after being soold to the Seminole Indian tribe of Florida in 2016

Inspired by: The Trump Taj Mahal is now a Hard Rock casino which was stripped of its minarets and domes – and Trump branding – after being soold to the Seminole Indian tribe of Florida in 2016

Landmark: The Trump Taj Mahal was designed to invoke the grandeur of the original with a distinct gold theme inside and out

Landmark: The Trump Taj Mahal was opened in 1988 by Trump who brought along Michael Jackson

Landmark: The Trump Taj Mahal was designed to invoke the grandeur of the original with a distinct gold theme inside and out. It was opened in 1988 by Trump who brought along Michael Jackson

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner also posed in front of the famous monument to love and then Kushner moved aside so Ivanka could get solo shots in front of the tomb.

Built by a Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1643, the Taj Mahal is a tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. He built it for his favorite wife after she died giving birth to their 14th child. He is also buried there.

President Trump could have a special interest in the Taj. During his building days in the 1980s, he built the Trump Taj Mahal hotel and casino in Atlantic City. It opened in 1990 and cost nearly $1 billion to construct.

It came to closing in 2014 as its parent company went through bankruptcy, but ultimately remained open under the new ownership. It was sold again in October 2016 to the Hard Rock Cafe and reopened under that name.

The Trumps were given a framed photo of themselves in front of the monument when they returned to Air Force One to leave Agra for New Delhi, where they will spend the night.

The sunset trip to India’s most famous location came after the Trumps’ spent the day with Narendra Modi in his home state of Ahmedabad, where the president and prime minister got a raucous welcome when they entered the world’s largest cricket stadium.

The day gave the president the kind of pageantry and adoration he likes to see.

The 110,000 stadium was filled to capacity and Trump acknowledged the spectacle when he addressed the Indian people.

‘America loves India. America respects India. And America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people,’ the president said to cheers.

‘You have done a great honor to the American people. Melania, my family, we will always remember this remarkable hospitality,’ he said.

He later told reporters it was a ‘fantastic event.’

‘I thought it was fantastic,’ he said on his way to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. ‘They worked really hard.’

President Trump received the welcome he wanted when he touched down in India Monday morning – a spectacle of Indians lining the streets cheering on his motorcade, guards on camels standing by, and native dancers in bright costumes moving to live music and the beat of the drum.

Modi designed the day to appeal to an audience of one: Trump, wooing the president as the two nations struggle to end a trade war that has damped relations between them.

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive for a 'Namaste Trump' event at Sardar Patel Stadium

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive for a ‘Namaste Trump’ event at Sardar Patel Stadium

President Donald Trump hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he and Melania arrived in India, which was a rare display of affection from the president and spoke of his affection for Modi

President Donald Trump hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he and Melania arrived in India, which was a rare display of affection from the president and spoke of his affection for Modi

President Trump and Melania Trump - who donned prayer shawls and removed their shoes - visited the home of Gandhi where Trump tried his hand at the loom

President Trump and Melania Trump – who donned prayer shawls and removed their shoes – visited the home of Gandhi where Trump tried his hand at the loom

The stadium, which was filled with capacity saw people sitting in the sun head out as the two leaders wrapped up their remarks

The stadium, which was filled with capacity saw people sitting in the sun head out as the two leaders wrapped up their remarks

Melania Trump and President Trump exit Sardar Patel Stadium - the world's largest cricket stadium - after Trump's remarks

Melania Trump and President Trump exit Sardar Patel Stadium – the world’s largest cricket stadium – after Trump’s remarks

The colorful and festive arrival ceremony in India featured dancers and live music as the Trumps and Modi walked the red carpet

The colorful and festive arrival ceremony in India featured dancers and live music as the Trumps and Modi walked the red carpet

Security forces and their camels greet President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they arrive at the Namaste Trump event

Thousands lined the streets to welcome the Trumps but it was not the million people the president predicted would come out to greet him

Thousands lined the streets to welcome the Trumps but it was not the million people the president predicted would come out to greet him

Ivanka Trump and Jared Trump, the president's daughter and son-in-law who serve as White House advisers,  joined the president on the trip

Ivanka Trump and Jared Trump, the president’s daughter and son-in-law who serve as White House advisers,  joined the president on the trip

President Trump's motorcade moves through Ahmedabad as Indians lined the streets to cheer him on one said and the other side shows a wall officials built to cover the nation's infamous slums

President Trump, for his part, hugged Modi upon his arrival in the country in a rare display of affection that spoke volumes for his fondness for the prime minister.

Their three hours on the ground in Modi’s home state of Ahmedabad brought out thousands of cheering Indians, but not the millions Trump predicted would come out to greet him. Officials estimated about 100,000 people lined the 14-mile route the Trumps took through the city.

The Trumps were headed to the Taj Mahal after their time in Ahmedabad.

In their first stop in India, President Trump and Melania joined Modi for a visit to the home of Mohandas Gandhi, where the president donned a prayer shawl and removed his shoes to learn about the life of the famed independence leader.

Then it was on to the main event – the massive rally Modi had promised Trump, held at the biggest cricket stadium in the world.

Trump, who loves a large crowd, added on to the 110,000 capacity size when he thanked the crowd for its warm welcome.

‘To the hundreds of thousands of everyday citizens who come out and line the streets in a stunning display of Indian culture and kindness, and to the 125,000 people in this great stadium today, thank you for the spectacular welcome,’ he said.

Sardar Patel Stadium was packed to capacity, with thousands wearing white ‘Namaste Trump’ hats and waving masks of Trumps and Modi, cheering as the two leaders entered to the Village Men song ‘Macho Man.’

But the sections of the stadium facing the sun emptied out as the leaders wrapped up their remarks. The day was hot and baking.

Seats in Sardar Patel Stadium started to empty as President Trump and Prime Minister Modi wrapped up their remarks as the day was hot and baking

Prime Minister Modi welcomed President Trump to the world's largest cricket stadium

Prime Minister Modi welcomed President Trump to the world’s largest cricket stadium

President Trump and Prime Minister Modi enter the stadium to a warm welcome and 110,000 cheering supporters

Prime Minister Modi and first lady Melania Trump - seated on stage -  listen as President Trump addresses the crowd

First lady Melania Trump, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi stand as the national anthems are played

First lady Melania Trump, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi stand as the national anthems are played

President Trump praised Prime Minister Modi and American-Indian relations in his remarks

President Trump praised Prime Minister Modi and American-Indian relations in his remarks

‘India will soon be the home of the biggest middle class anywhere in the world, and within less than ten years, extreme poverty in your country is projected to completely disappear,’ Trump said.

Trump India Schedule

Monday: Trumps arrive in Ahmedabad

They visit the Gandhi Ashram

Event with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Motera Stadium, the world’s largest cricket stadium

Then the first couple will travel to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal

First couple then travels to Delhi, where they will stay the night

Tuesday will include ceremonial events, bilateral meetings, and business event with Indian investors

Trump will have a meet-and-greet with embassy staff

He will have a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Modi

He will meet with Ram Nath Kovind, the president of India

First couple will attend a state dinner at the presidential palace, called Rashtrapati Bhavan

Trumps depart for the United States on Tuesday evening

He stumbled over Indian names, including over one of their spiritual gurus and famous cricket player Sachin Tendulkar.

The president also hit upon some of the talking points he uses in his campaign rallies, touting the strong U.S. economy, advocating for stronger border control, and bragging about the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

‘Every nation has the right to secure and patrol borders,’ Trump said.

He also discussed relations with Pakistan, India’s neighbor and rival, and said the U.S. was working with them to fight terrorism.

The president also mentioned the trade war that has aggravated relations between Delhi and Washington.

Trade talks are at the top of the agenda even as American officials down played expectations a deal would be reached during Trump’s two-days on the ground.

‘Modi and I will discuss the efforts to expand the economic ties,’ President Trump said. ‘We will be making very very major, the biggest ever trade deals.’

‘I am optimistic that working together the prime minister can reach a fantastic deal that would be good – even great – for both countries,’ he noted and then added: ‘Except he’s a very tough negotiator.’

Modi rallied the crowd by calling out ‘Namaste Trump.’

He praised the U.S.-Indian friendship, saying ‘new history is being created.’

‘Welcome all of you to the world’s biggest democracy,’ Modi said, telling Trump all of India welcomed him, adding that U.S. India relationships are ‘no longer just another partnership.’

The rally was designed to appeal to Trump’s love of big events, a crowd of thousands cheering him on as he and first lady Melania Trump came in.

Modi lavished on the praise to the president and his entire family, calling out the accomplishments of Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. He even mentioned the first lady’s ‘Be Best’ campaign by name and praised the work she has done with children.

Trump has touted his friendship with Modi and he hugged the prime minister when he touched down in India, a rare display of affection.

Indian officials rolled out the red carpet for the Trumps and have dubbed the visit as ‘two dynamic personalities, one momentous occasion.’

Modi was on hand to greet the first couple as they stepped off Air Force One as were an array of dancers in colorful native costumes, who gave a festive start to the visit.

They danced alongside the red carpet amid live music as the prime minister led the Trumps to their car.

Melania Trump wore white pants with a long-sleeved white shirt and green sash around her waist for the arrival.

Trump hugged Modi, a rare display of affection that showed his friendship for the prime minister

Trump hugged Modi, a rare display of affection that showed his friendship for the prime minister

It was a festive arrival ceremony with music and dancers in native costume greeting the party as they walked the red carpet

It was a festive arrival ceremony with music and dancers in native costume greeting the party as they walked the red carpet

Melania and Donald Trump descend the steps of Air Force One for their two-day visit

Melania and Donald Trump descend the steps of Air Force One for their two-day visit

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are also on the trip; they spoke with Prime Minister Modi at the airport

President Trump gives his daughter Ivanka a kiss

A woman explains about a charkha, or spinning wheel, to President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks on

The area where President Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak in the stadium

The stadium holds 110,000 and will be the largest cricket stadium in the world

Indian people arriving at stadium
Trump sent a tweet in Hindi saying he was on his way

Trump sent a tweet in Hindi saying he was on his way

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who serve as White House advisers, were also on the trip and watched the arrival festivities from the sidelines.

And the president showed his enthusiasm for the state visit, sending a tweet from Air Force One in Hindi while he was in route that read: ‘We are ready to come to India, we are on our way, we will be meeting everyone in a few hours.’

Modi and the Trumps first stopped at the home of Mahatma Gandhi, where the president tried his hand at a loom – the same type used by the revered Indian leader.

 The Trumps took a tour of the small complex made of a series of small houses. Modi explained to them how to use a charkha, a traditional spinning wheel used by Gandhi.

While the Trumps made their way through the city, thousands filled Motera Stadium – which will be the world’s largest cricket stadium after Trump formally opens it Monday – to greet the president.

The massive rally was dubbed ‘Namaste Trump,’ which translates into ‘Greetings Trump.’

The president loves a big show and has bragged this could be the biggest event India has ever seen with millions in attendance. The stadium, which is still under construction, holds 110,000 although many more Indians are expected to line the 14-mile route Trump will traverse from the airport to the rally site.

‘I hear it’s going to be a big event. Some people say the biggest event they’ve ever had in India. that’s what the prime minister told me – this’ll be the biggest event they’ve ever had. So it’s going to be very exciting,’ he told reporters at the White House Sunday as he prepared to leave for India.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend a welcoming ceremony with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the airport

A cow walks past a banner welcoming President Trump to India

Native dancers were on hand to greet the president

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House for a two-day trip to India

Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel stand guard at the cricket stadium ahead of Trump’s visit

 

Billboards welcoming the Trumps have been hoisted around the towns of India they will be visiting

 

A monkey sits on a billboard featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump

And the place will be spick and span for the president.

Workers cleaned the roads and erected billboards welcoming the first couple. And a four-foot wall has been built to hide the nation’s infamous slums, which house more than 2,000 people, from the Trumps’ view.

Modi loyalists and police will line the road side in Ahmedabad – where the Trumps land Monday – to greet the first couple in the kind of pomp and circumstance the president adores – providing a grand lead-up to the world’s largest largest cricket stadium where Trump will hold the biggest rally of his presidential career.

Trump’s campaign rallies average between 10,000 and 20,000 depending on the venue size.

Trump said last week 7 million people in total would be out to welcome him, which would include the 14-mile route from the Ahmedabad airport to Motera Stadium.

‘He told me we’ll have seven million people between the airport and the event,’ Trump said last Tuesday.

Two days later, he raised crowd estimates.

‘I hear they’re going to have 10 million people,’ he said at a campaign rally. ‘They say anywhere from six to 10 million people are going to be showing up along the route to one of the largest stadiums in the world.’

It’s unclear how many will actually appear to cheer the president on his route but it is unlikely to be 10 million and may not hit six digits.

Ahmedabad has a population of eight million.

Modi’s government is dropping more than $14 million, according to the Associated Press, to woo President Trump as the two countries are embroiled in a trade war that shows no signs of abating.

That includes four-foot brick wall that has been quickly erected close to the stadium with some saying it is  being built to block the view of a slum area inhabited by more than 2,000 people.

It will shield the President as he arrives at the event.

The stadium, which was built for $100 million, is a perfectly round venue that promises unobstructed views from every angle. It seats 110,000.

When Modi visited the United States last year, he and President Trump attended a ‘Howdy Modi’ rally in Houston that drew a crowd of 50,000 Indian Americans. Trump compared Modi to Elvis Presley at that event.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8036815/Crowds-line-greet-Donald-Melania-Trump-couple-touches-India.html

 

Story 2: Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) Bernie Sanders Wins in Nevada with 46.6% of Vote On Way To Losing To President Trump in November 2020 —

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Conway says Bernie’s ‘electability’ is no match for Trump’s ‘electricity’

 

Bernie celebrates huge Nevada caucuses win with ‘future first lady’ Jane: Donald Trump congratulates ‘Crazy’ Sanders for landslide victory and mocks ‘weak’ Democratic opponents struggling to catch the front-runner

  • Bernie Sanders has won the Nevada caucuses with 46.64% of the vote – a resounding victory 
  • President Trump congratulated ‘Crazy Bernie’ for his performance, with Fox News calling the caucuses for Sanders early 
  • Trump also said, ‘Biden & the rest look weak,’ and made fun of Mike Bloomberg’s Nevada debate performance
  • Early results showed Biden in a distant second place, and he maintained that with 23.78% of the vote
  • The Nevada Democratic caucuses kicked off at noon Saturday where Sanders was leading in entrance polls 
  • Democratic presidential candidates were campaigning in the state all week and participated in a debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday  

Bernie Sanders was declared the winner of the Nevada caucuses Saturday despite only a fraction of the vote in.

Sanders had a formidable lead, taking 46.6 per cent of the delegates with 22 per cent of precincts reporting.

‘I’m delighted to bring you some very good news,’ a jovial Sanders announced to a crowd of supporters at his rally in San Antonio, Texas Saturday evening, alongside his wife Jane.

‘I think all of you know we won the popular vote in Iowa. We won the New Hampshire primary. And, according to three networks and the AP, we have now won the Nevada caucus,’ Sanders said as audience members erupted in chants and cheers.

Trump went ahead and congratulated Sanders before most networks had called the race.

‘Looks like Crazy Bernie is doing well in the Great State of Nevada. Biden & the rest look weak, & no way Mini Mike can restart his campaign after the worst debate performance in the history of Presidential Debates,’ Trump said.

‘Congratulations Bernie, & don’t let them take it away from you!’ the president wrote.

In response to the president’s tweet, Sanders told rally-goers not to reveal how much support he had in the country’s most populous red state.

‘Don’t tell anybody, I don’t want to get them nervous, we are going to win the Democratic primary in Texas. And you know, this is also important the president gets very, very upset easily, so don’t tell him we’re going to beat him here in Texas,’ Sanders said.

Bernie Sanders won Nevada, taking 46.6 per cent of the delegates with 22 per cent of precincts reporting. He was pictured with his wife Jane, who he introduced as 'the future first lady'

Bernie Sanders won Nevada, taking 46.6 per cent of the delegates with 22 per cent of precincts reporting. He was pictured with his wife Jane, who he introduced as ‘the future first lady’

Joe Biden, who came in second with 19.25 per cent of the vote, claimed his second place finish was enough to reboot his struggling campaign

In Iowa, Buttigieg beat Sanders in the delegate count by a hair, but placed third in Nevada with 15.38 per cent of the vote

Joe Biden, who came in second with 19.25 per cent of the vote, claimed his second place finish was enough to reboot his struggling campaign. In Iowa, Buttigieg beat Sanders in the delegate count by a hair, but placed third in Nevada with 15.38 per cent of the vote

Elizabeth Warren, whose debate performance against newbie Mike  Bloomberg dominated the headlines in Nevada all week after Wednesday night's Democratic de, took 10.27 per cent of the vote

Amy Klobuchar, who took 4.5 per cent of the vote, headed back to her home state of Minnesota soon after the results were called

 

Elizabeth Warren, whose debate performance against newbie Mike Bloomberg dominated the headlines in Nevada all week after Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, took 10.27 per cent of the vote. Amy Klobuchar, who took 4.5 per cent of the vote, headed back to her home state of Minnesota soon after the results were called

Sanders left Nevada before precinct locations had adjourned their caucuses and headed to Texas for two rallies Saturday.

Texas is a state Sanders will likely struggle to gain support in the Democratic primary, since voters are generally more moderate in the Lone Star State.

During his first rally Saturday in border city of El Paso, Texas, Sanders did not bring up his jarring lead.

As Trump tweeted, NBC News said the race was ‘too early to call.’ The network then called the race as Sanders’ rival Joe Biden was speaking in Nevada, claiming his second place finish, with 19.25 per cent of the vote, was enough to reboot his struggling campaign.

‘I know the press is ready to declare people quickly dead,’ Biden told his supporters.  ‘We’re alive and we’re coming back and we’re going to win.’

One person loudly yelled that Biden was the ‘comeback kid,’ while Biden boasted he would go on to win South Carolina, where voters will head to the polls in a week.

Sanders is coming off a win in New Hampshire, with Pete Buttigieg coming in a close second in the Granite State. He came third in Nevada, with 15.38 per cent of the vote. In Iowa, Buttigieg beat Sanders in the delegate count by a hair, while the Vermont senator won the popular vote. Biden finished in fourth place in Iowa and fifth place in New Hampshire.

Reporting for Nevada started to filter in the early afternoon Saturday, though stayed at 3 per cent for more than an hour, as Democrats tried to avoid having reporting problems like they did in Iowa thanks to a malfunctioning app. CNN reported that some precinct chairs had trouble calling in and reporting the results.

Despite the major momentum for the Vermont senator in the Silver State, the candidate had already left to campaign in Texas before the Nevada caucus sites adjourned.

Sanders is holding two campaign rallies in the Lone Star State Saturday, where a more moderate Democratic electorate could spell trouble for the democratic socialist. He’ll also hold a Houston rally Sunday. Texas votes on March 3, with 13 other ‘Super Tuesday’ states.

Bernie Sanders declared victory in the Nevada caucuses as he rallied supporters in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday evening

Although only 4 per cent of reporting was in by the time of Sanders' rally, several networks had called the caucus for Sanders as he took a substantial lead with more than

Although only 4 per cent of reporting was in by the time of Sanders’ rally, several networks had called the caucus for Sanders as he took a substantial lead with more than 50 per cent

Sanders claimed at his rally in Texas, and on Twitter, that Donald Trump would get 'nervous' if he found out how much support he has in Texas – the most populous red state

Sanders claimed at his rally in Texas, and on Twitter, that Donald Trump would get ‘nervous’ if he found out how much support he has in Texas – the most populous red state

Buttigieg and Biden stayed in Las Vegas, while Amy Klobuchar – who came fifth with 4.51% of the vote – headed back to her home state of Minnesota for a rally. Minnesota is one of the 14 so-called ‘Super Tuesday’ states.

 Buttigieg used his event to both congratulate Sanders and warn Democratic voters about the victor.

‘I congratulate Senator Sanders on a strong showing today, and we certainly celebrate many of the same ideals,’ Buttigieig admitted, although he rarely likens himself to the Democratic socialist candidate.

‘But before we rush to nominate Senator Sanders, in our one shot to take on this president, let’s take a sober look at the consequences – for our party, for our values, and for those with the most at stake,’ he urged.

The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana also reminded the 300 or so audience members that he won against Sanders in Iowa.

‘Ours is the only campaign that has beaten Senator Sanders anywhere in the country,’ he said to a cheering crowd gathered at a the Spring Preservation nature area just five miles from the Vegas strip.

Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire 2020 hopeful who decided to skip the four opening states, had his campaign manager send out a statement also warning of what Sanders win could mean.

‘The Nevada results reinforce the reality that this fragmented field is putting Bernie Sanders on pace to amass an insurmountable delegate lead,’ Bloomberg’s campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said. ‘We are going to need Independents AND Republicans to defeat Trump – attacking your own party is no way to get started. As Mike says, if we choose a candidate who appeals to a small base – like Senator Sanders – it will be a fatal error.’

Bernie Sanders easily won Saturday's Nevada caucuses, with networks reporting the double-digit win with only a small percentage of precincts reporting

Bernie Sanders easily won Saturday’s Nevada caucuses, with networks reporting the double-digit win with only a small percentage of precincts reporting

Sanders, however, left Nevada before caucus sites adjourned Saturday for two rallies in Texas, a state where he struggles among more moderate Democratic voters

Sanders, however, left Nevada before caucus sites adjourned Saturday for two rallies in Texas, a state where he struggles among more moderate Democratic voters

President Trump sent a back-handed congratulatory tweet to Bernie Sanders before most networks had called the race for the Vermont senator. Trump said Biden and the other Democratic hopefuls looked 'weak'

President Trump sent a back-handed congratulatory tweet to Bernie Sanders before most networks had called the race for the Vermont senator. Trump said Biden and the other Democratic hopefuls looked ‘weak’

The caucuses kicked off at noon on Saturday, though 75,000 Nevada Democrats had participated in early voting.

At the Bellagio Hotel on the iconic Las Vegas strip, 123 people participated in the caucuses, with the room breaking out into chants for Sanders and Biden – as the vast majority only supported those two candidates.

The site consisted of residents from a 2.5 mile radius as well as shift workers from the hotel who wanted to participate in the middle of the work day.

There was a small showing for Elizabeth Warren – who came fourth, with 10.27% – as well, whose debate performance against newbie Bloomberg dominated the headlines in Nevada all week after Wednesday night’s Democratic debate.

At the Bellagio, for candidates to be ‘viable’ at least 19 caucus participants had to back them.

Only Sanders and Biden qualified during the first counting, while seven people came out for Warren.

Joe Biden's second place finish was enough for the ex-vice president to delcare victory and move on

Bernie Sanders, alongside his wife Jane Sanders, held a rally in El Paso, Texas Saturday before the full results of the Nevada caucuses were in

Bernie Sanders supporters in El Paso, Texas cheer on the Nevada caucus result. Sanders moved ahead to Texas, which holds its Democratic primary on March 3, along with 13 other 'Super Tuesday' states

Bernie Sanders supporters hold up a bumper sticker at the Bellagio, one of the large caucus sites on the iconic Las Vegas strip

Bernie Sanders' supporters at the Bellagio hotel cheered for their candidate, who won that particular caucus site

Bernie Sanders’ supporters at the Bellagio hotel cheered for their candidate, who won that particular caucus site

Bellagio hotel workers check in because caucusing Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada for Democratic presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders' supporters raise their hands at the Liberty High School in Henderson, Nevada Saturday afternoon

Bernie Sanders’ supporters raise their hands at the Liberty High School in Henderson, Nevada Saturday afternoon

Sen. Bernie Sanders held a final Get Out the Caucus Rally at the Springs Preserve Ampitheater in Las Vegas Friday night

Vice President Joe Biden greets Democratic caucus-goers Saturday at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas

Vice President Joe Biden greets Democratic caucus-goers Saturday at Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas

Joe Biden looked poised to have a stronger showing in Nevada than he did in Iowa and New Hamsphire, coming in a disappionting fourth and fifth place

Elizabeth Warren only had a handful of supporters caucus for her at the Bellagio Hotel caucus site

Elizabeth Warren only had a handful of supporters caucus for her at the Bellagio Hotel caucus site

2020 hopeful Tom Steyer talks with caucus-goers Saturday at t Cheyenne High School in North Las Vegas

Pete Buttigieg showed up to caucuses being held at Sierra Vista High School on Saturday. Buttigieg and Biden both stuck around in Nevada, while the other top candidates left

 

Pete Buttigieg showed up to caucuses being held at Sierra Vista High School on Saturday. Buttigieg and Biden both stuck around in Nevada, while the other top candidates left

A supporter of Pete Buttigieg holds up a 'caucus for Pete' sign as the presidential candidate greets voters at Sierra Vista High School in Las Vegas, Nevada

Caucus totals were reported on these paper worksheets, one for each precinct. Caucus volunteers had to factor in early vote totals along with totals on-site

us totals were reported on these paper worksheets, one for each precinct. Caucus volunteers had to factor in early vote totals along with totals on-site

The vote totals from caucus sites are being entered into an iPad. The Nevada Democrats are hoping to avoid what happened in Iowa, in which an app malfunctioned and a full counting of the vote wasn't available for days

e early realignment was announced over the microphone, Sanders’ supporters cheered enthusiastically while Biden supporters booed.

The site only required one realignment, with Sanders ultimately earning 76 total ballots cast for him after one person moved to the senator’s camp and Biden earned support from 45 caucus-goers – earning 6 more after the realignment.

The president of the caucus-site announced that they would send 32 delegates to the county convention for Sanders and 19 for Biden.

The Bellagio is an at-large caucus site, encompassing several hotel and casino workers, and there were tables set up outside of the ballroom where attendees could register to vote.

Ahead of the caucuses, the tables were surrounded by individuals filling out the paperwork to be able to participate.

A rideshare driver on the way to the site told DailyMail.com that he wanted to cast a ballot, but after finding out it was a bigger ordeal than pressing a button, decided he had to work and earn money instead.

At Rancho High School in north Las Vegas two precincts simultaneously caucused in a gymnasium. At both precincts, Sanders was the only viable candidate – and early voters far outnumbered those who showed up to the school.

In one precinct, just 20 people caucused in person, while another 61 had cast early votes. Sanders picked up 46 of those early votes, while another 13 caucused for him Saturday in person, during the precinct’s first alignment.

Happening directly beside that precinct was another that overwhelmingly felt the Bern.

Of the 16 Democrats who came to caucus in person, 12 were there to support the Vermont senator. Sanders was supplemented by an additional 20 early votes.

He won all 13 delegates from that precinct, while earning 24 from the adjacent precinct. No other candidate won any.

However, there were 11 precincts caucusing at Rancho High School overall, with Biden and Steyer also winning some delegates.

Nevada began caucusing in primary contests in 1981, but the state did not earn early primary status until 2008, when the Democratic National Committee made Nevada the second-in-the-nation caucuses following Iowa’s caucuses and New Hampshire’s primary election.

The final two Nevada polls that dropped Friday had shown Sanders with a comfortable lead. And he was leading in entrance polls Saturday as well.

Mike Bloomberg made his debate debut in Nevada Wednesday night, but then headed to Utah - a Super Tuesday state. The billionaire has staked his chances on competing in the 14 states that vote on March 3, instead of competing in the first four, which includes Nevada

Mike Bloomberg made his debate debut in Nevada Wednesday night, but then headed to Utah – a Super Tuesday state. The billionaire has staked his chances on competing in the 14 states that vote on March 3, instead of competing in the first four, which includes Nevada

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez told DailyMail.com earlier in the week that he couldn't predict when the results of the Nevada caucus would come out

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez told DailyMail.com earlier in the week that he couldn’t predict when the results of the Nevada caucus would come out

Democrats are hoping that Nevada’s caucuses go off without a hitch after an app glitch led to chaos in Iowa at the beginning of the month, with Sanders’ campaign still challenging the count that saw Buttigieg win by a tiny fraction.

Earlier in the week, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez told DailyMail.com he couldn’t predict when results would be up for Nevada.

Perez couldn’t guarantee whether the crop of 2020 presidential candidates competing in the Democratic primary would see results by the end of Saturday.

‘I don’t know how many people are going to show up, so that’s an impossible question to answer,’ Perez said. ‘I know we’re going to try to get results as soon as possible. But we want to get results that are accurate and we want to make sure we count every vote.’

While the Nevada Democratic Party is holding its official nominating contest on Saturday, the state experienced days earlier a massive number of participants in its first-ever early voting in Nevada.

Nearly 75,000 people cast early voting ballots, the party announced Friday, which is only 10,000 voters shy of the entire caucus count from 2016, which stood around 84,000.

In the 2016 primaries, around 1.3 million of the 3 million residents in Nevada voted.

The population of the western state is mostly contained to Las Vegas, Henderson and Reno, its three largest cities.

The state ended up voting to nominate Hillary Clinton and in the primaries voted for Clinton by a margin of 2.4 per cent more than Donald Trump.

WHO ARE THE 8 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

urrent role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee’s notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.

Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph ‘Beau’ and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter’s marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau’s widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is ‘most progressive’ Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: Our Best Days Still Lie Ahead

Age on Inauguration Day: 78

Entered race: November 24, 2019

Career: Currently multi-billionaire CEO of Bloomberg PL, the financial information firm he founded in 1981 and which remains a private company. Educated at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, he became a Wall Street trader at investment bank Salomon Brothers and was laid off in 1981, walking away with $10m in stock which he used to set up his own financial information firm, now one of the world’s largest. Three times mayor of New York 2002 to 2013, running first as Republican then as independent; had to get term limits suspended for final term. Once flirted with running for mayor of London where he has a home; holds an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Has spent large amounts on philanthropy in line with his political views as well as on political campaigns

Family: Born in Brookline, MA, to first-generation Jewish immigrant parents whose own parents had fled Russia. Divorced wife of 18 years, Susan Brown-Meyer, in 1993; former couple have daughters Emma, who has a son with her former boyfriend, and Georgina, who has daughter Zelda with her husband Chris Fissora. The child has a portmanteau surname, Frissberg. Partner since 2000 is Diana Taylor, former New York state banking commissioner, 13 years his junior

Religion: Jewish

Views on key issues: Self-professed fiscal conservative, although painted as a Democratic moderate by other conservative groups. Opposed to Medicare for all. Social progressive who backed gay marriage early, but has flip-flopped on marijuana legalization, most recently opposing it.. Wants firm action on climate change. Fiercely in favor of gun control. As New York mayor banned smoking in public places and tried to outlaw large sugary drinks. Backs increased immigration. Apologized for his stop-and-frisk policing strategy as mayor

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president; richest president ever; first New York mayor to become president

Slogan:  Fighting For Our Future

PETE BUTTIGIEG

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019. Formally entered race April 14, 2019

Career: Currently mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana. Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Bend mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015

Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics; his father was Maltese-American. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge

Religion: Raised as a Catholic, now Episcopalian

Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown 

Would make history as: First openly gay and youngest-ever president. First veteran of post-World War II conflict 

Slogan: A Fresh Start For America

TULSI GABBARD

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever

Slogan: Lead with Love 

AMY KLOBUCHAR

Age on Inauguration Day: 60

Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis

Career: Currently Minnesota senator. Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018

Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher

Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)

Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE

Would make history as: First female president

Slogan: Let’s Get To Work

 

BERNIE SANDERS

Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deborah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. 

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president

Slogan: Not me. Us.

 

TOM STEYER 

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 63

Entered race: July 9, 2019

Career: Currently retired. New York-born to wealthy family, he was educated at elite Phillips Exeter Academy, and Yale, then Stanford Business School. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs banker who founded his own hedge fund in 1986 and made himself a billionaire; investments included subprime lenders, private prisons and coal mines. Stepped down in 2012 to focus on advocating for alternative energy. Longtime Democratic activist and donor who started campaign to impeach Trump in October 2017. Net worth of $1.6 billion has made him one of the Democrats’ biggest single donors

Family: Married Kathryn Taylor in 1986; they have four adult children who have been told they will not inherit the bulk of his fortune. Announced last November he and his wife would live apart. Father Roy was a Nuremberg trials prosecutor

Religion: Episcopalian

Views on key issues: On the left of the field despite being a hedge fund tycoon. Backs single-payer health care, minimum wage rises and free public college. Previously spoke in favor of Bernie Sanders’ agenda. Aggressive backer of climate change action, including ditching fossil fuels

Would make history as: Richest Democratic president ever

Slogan: Actions Speak Louder Than Words 

 

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Warren Has A Plan For That

AND THE 21 WHO HAVE WITHDRAWN

MICHAEL BENNET, Colorado senator

  • Entered race: May 2, 2019 
  • Quit:  February 12, 2019, evening of New Hampshire primary

CORY BOOKER, New Jersey Senator 

  • Entered race: February 1, 2019
  • Quit: January 13, 2020 

STEVE BULLOCK, Montana governor 

  • Entered race: May 14, 2019 
  • Quit: December 2, 2019

JULIÁN CASTRO, former Housing Secretary

  • Entered race: January 18, 2019
  • Quit: January 2, 2020 

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, New York senator

  • Entered race: January 16, 2019
  • Quit: August 28, 2019

BILL DE BLASIO, New York City mayor 

  • Entered race: May 16, 2019
  • Quit: September 20, 2020

JOHN DELANEY, former Maryland Congressman

  • Entered race: July 8, 2017
  • Quit: January 31, 2019 

MIKE GRAVEL, Former Alaska governor

  • Entered race: April 2,2019
  • Quit: August 2, 2019 

KAMALA HARRIS,California senator  

  • Entered race: January 21, 2019
  • Quit: December 3, 2019 

JOHN HICKENLOOPER, Former Colorado governor

  • Entered race: March 4, 2019
  • Quit: August 15, 2019 

JAY INSLEE, Washington governor 

  • Entered race: March 1, 2019
  • Quit: August 21, 2019

WAYNE MESSAM, mayor of Miramar, Florida 

  • Entered race: March 28, 2019
  • Quit: November 20, 2019 

SETH MOULTON, Massachusetts congressman

  • Entered race:  April 22,2019
  • Quit: August 23, 2019

RICHARD OJEDA, former West Virginia state senator

  • Entered race: November 12, 2018
  • Quit: January 25, 2019

BETO O’ROURKE, former Texas congressman

  • Entered race: March 14, 2019 
  • Quit: November 1, 2019  

DEVAL PATRICK, former Massachusetts governor 

  • Entered race: November 13, 2019
  • Quit:  February 13, 2019, morning after New Hampshire primary

TIM RYAN, Ohio congressman

  • Entered race: April 4, 2019
  • Quit: October 24, 2019

JOE SESTAK, former Pennsylvania congressman 

  • Entered race: June 23, 2019
  • Quit: December 1, 2019

ERIC SWALWELL, California congressman

  • Entered race: April 8, 2019
  • Quit: July 8, 2019  

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, author

  • Entered race: November 15, 2018
  • Quit: January 10, 2020 

ANDREW YANG, entrepreneur

  • Entered race: November 6, 2018
  • Quit: February 12, 2019, evening of New Hampshire primary

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8032979/Sanders-strong-showing-Las-Vegas-caucus-sites.html

Delegates Needed to Win the 2020 Democratic Nomination

Summary:  The math behind how the Democratic National Committee calculates the number of delegates a candidate needs to win.


First Ballot

A candidate will need 1,991 of the 3,979 pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot. Per the Democratic National Committee, a candidate needs a majority of those eligible to vote on the ballot. Most importantly for the calculation, the candidate needs “a whole unit of delegate above half.”

Half of 3,979 is 1,989.5. As there are no delegates in this round with a half vote, a whole unit of delegate is one. Therefore, the requirement is 1,990.5 (1,989.5 + 1) delegates, which is rounded to 1,991.

Additional Ballots

If no candidate wins on the first ballot, all delegates become unpledged. There are 4,750 delegate votes on the second – and any subsequent – ballot. This total is comprised of the 3,979 formerly-pledged delegates from the first ballot as well as 767 automatic delegates with a full vote and 8 automatic delegates with a half vote.1  This means there are 775 automatic delegates with a total of 771 votes, with 4,750 equal to 3,979 + 771.

Since there are delegates with a half vote, a half vote is considered a whole unit of delegate for any ballot after the first round.  Half of 4,750 is 2,375. Therefore, the requirement is 2,375.5 delegates to win the nomination when all delegates are voting.

Note that since automatic delegates are specific people or positions, the number can vary slightly – up or down – over time. For example, all Democratic members of the U.S. House are automatic delegates. If there was to be a new vacancy that remained unfilled at the time of the convention, there would be one less delegate in this category.

A Fine Point

If a candidate earns pledged delegates greater than a majority of all delegate votes (i.e., 2,375.5 or greater) during the primary and caucus contests, that person’s nomination will be a foregone conclusion. In this scenario, all delegates will be able to vote on the first ballot. This outcome seems unlikely given the size of the field and the party’s proportional allocation of delegates in each contest.

https://www.270towin.com/content/delegates-needed-to-win-2020-democratic-nomination

Story 3: Stock Market Falls As Coronavirus Spreads Around The World — Videos —

See the source image

Tucker Carlson Tonight 2/24/20 FULL | Breaking TRUMP February 24, 2020

Navarro on coronavirus: Trump is focused on moving supply chains to US

Tucker: Coronavirus pandemic is a real fear

Get the facts on coronavirus

How Coronavirus Kills: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) & Treatment

[youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okg7uq_HrhQ]

How does Coronavirus compare to Ebola, SARS, etc?

Comparing the novel coronavirus to past outbreaks SARS & MERS

Dow plunges 1,000 points on coronavirus fears, 3.5% drop is worst in two years

Stocks fell sharply on Monday as the number of coronavirus cases outside China surged, stoking fears of a prolonged global economic slowdown from the virus spreading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,031.61 points lower, or 3.56%, at 27,960.80. The S&P 500 slid 3.35% to 3,225.89 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 3.71% lower at 9,221.28. It was the Dow’s biggest point and percentage-point drop since February 2018. The Dow also gave up its gain for 2020 and is now down 2% for the year. The S&P 500 also had its worst day in two years and wiped out its year-to-date gain as well.

“The second-largest economy in the world is completely shut down. People aren’t totally pricing that in,” said Larry Benedict, CEO of The Opportunistic Trader, adding a 10% to 15% correction in stocks may be starting. He also said some parts of the market, particularly large-cap tech stocks, appear to be over-owned. “It seems like there’s much more to come.”

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Warren Buffett answers your questions

Coronavirus-impacted names led the way lower. Airline stocks Delta and American were both down more than 6% while United closed 5.4% lower. Shares of casino operators Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts dropped at least 5.2% each. MGM Resorts slid 5.4%.

Chipmakers, which are highly leveraged to the global economy, were also down broadly. Nvidia shares were down 7.1% while Dow-component Intel ended the day down 4%. AMD dipped 7.8%. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) was down by 4.5%.

CH 20200224_biggest_dow_point_drops.png

“The market had been sanguine about the spread of the coronavirus,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “That sanguine stance is being tested today.”

“Companies are assessing their suppliers and their supply chains and seeing whether or not their revenue is going to slow,” Krosby said. “Because of that, this has become a sell-first, ask-questions later type of market.”

Apple and its suppliers took a hit as well. Shares of the iPhone maker were down by 4.8%. Skyworks Solutions and Qorvo dropped more than 1.8% each.

Overseas markets fell sharply. The European Stoxx 600 dropped more than 3% while Korea’s Kospi index slid 3.9%.In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 1.8%.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett said the coronavirus spread has softened up the U.S. economy, but noted growth is still healthy. “Business is down but it’s down from a very good level,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick on “Squawk Box.” “You look at car holdings —railcar holdings, moving goods around. And there again, that was affected by the tariffs too because people front-ended purchases, all kinds of things.” Buffett added he still recommends buying stocks for the long term.

The coronavirus outbreak that was first reported in China, but has spread rapidly in other countries especially South Korea and Italy, which reported a spike in the number of confirmed cases in recent days.

South Korea raised its coronavirus alert to the “highest level” over the weekend, with the latest spike in numbers bringing the total infected to more than 800 — making it the country with the most cases outside mainland China.

Meanwhile, outside of Asia, Italy has been the worst affected country so far, with more than 130 reported cases and three deaths.

“There remains a large degree of uncertainty surrounding the virus, and no one knows how this will ultimately play out,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at Truist/SunTrust Advisory. “With stock prices and valuations still near cycle highs, the risk of a worsening virus outbreak has not been priced into the market to a great extent.”

The major averages hit record highs all hit record highs earlier this month despite lingering concerns over the coronavirus.

In the earlier days after the outbreak, many economists had predicted a V-shaped recovery, which describes downturns that see a steep fall before recovering sharply. However, traders are loading up on traditional safe havens such as U.S. Treasurys and gold.

The benchmark 10-year note yield fell to 1.369% on Monday, putting the key rate close to it all-time low closing around 1.36%. Yields move inversely to prices. Gold futures jumped 1.7% to around $1,676.60 per ounce and hit its highest level since January 2013.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) — considered to be the best fear gauge on Wall Street — jumped more than 7 points, or about 46%, to 25.04.

“Simply put, the markets were not setup for where we are today,” said Gregory Faranello, head of U.S. rates trading at AmeriVet Securities, in a note. It’s an “extremely dynamic environment. And one which continues to warrant respect and caution.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/24/us-futures-coronavirus-outbreak.html

Story 4: Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein Convicted of Committing A Sexual Act and Rape — Faces 4 to 29 Years in Prison — Videos

Judge Napolitano: Judge in Weinstein case showing ‘no mercy’

‘The Five’ reacts to Harvey Weinstein’s conviction

Harvey Weinstein Says “But I’m Innocent” After Guilty Verdicts In Rape Trial; Sentencing Set For March 11

Harrvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape in the third degree and criminal sexual acts in the first degree, bringing his seven-week New York trial to a conviction in the central criminal case of the #MeToo movement.Weinstein was remanded to custody by New York Supreme Court Judge James Burke pending sentencing on Wednesday, March 11. His defense attorney Donna Rotunno made an unsuccessful last-ditch plea to keep Weinstein free on bail due, in part, to his ill health and pain as a result of an auto accident last summer, but the judge did not grant the request. Weinstein was remanded to a medical unit, likely on Rikers Island.“But I’m innocent,” Weinstein whispered several times after the verdicts were announced, one of his attorneys later told reporters. The comment from the now-convicted rapist was inaudible to spectators in the courtroom.

Harvey Weinstein Appeal Already Heading To New York Court

Four New York court marshals immediately surrounded Weinstein, seated at the defense table. As many as nine other officers were stationed alongside walls and doors in the Lower Manhattan courtroom as the seemingly stunned former producer was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Weinstein remained immobile throughout the verdict delivery, staring forward toward the judge’s bench.

In a post-verdict press conference, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. called Weinstein “a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silence his victims.” He praised the women who testified as “brave” and “heroic,” saying the accusers, including the trial’s primary complainants Miriam “Mimi” Haley and Jessica Mann, have “changed the course of history.”

“This is the new landscape for sexual assault survivors in America, I believe, and this is a new day, Vance said at a news conference following the verdict announcement. “It’s a new day because Harvey Weinstein has finally been held accountable for crimes he committed. The women who came forward courageously and at great risk made that happen. Weinstein is He’s been found guilty of the first degree and will face on that count a state prison sentence of no less than five years and up to 25 years.”

 conviction stems from allegations by former Project Runway production assistant Haley that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her at his Soho apartment in 2006. The guilty verdict could see the Miramax co-creator face up to 25 years in prison, with a minimum of four years.

Hollywood Figures React To Harvey Weinstein Verdict: He’ll “Forever Be Known As A Convicted Serial Predator”

The third-degree rape count, based on a 2013 rape allegation by Weinstein’s former hairstylist and aspiring actress Mann, could bring up to four years in prison, though probation on that count is possible. A third-degree rape conviction means the jury found Weinstein guilty of sexual intercourse without consent. A first-degree conviction required the use of physical force or the threat of death or physical injury.

Mann, 34, claimed Weinstein raped her on March 18, 2013 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Her case, like that of Haley’s, presented crucial challenges to the prosecution due to the women’s continued and seemingly affectionate contact with Weinstein following their encounter. Those challenges seem to have been me by the prosecutors, who repeatedly referenced expert testimony indicating that rape victims often maintain contact with their abusers.

Mann provided one of the lengthy trial’s most emotional and dramatic moments when she broke into sobs and left the witness stand during what she described to the judge as a panic attack. Testimony was halted for the day, and she returned to the stand the following morning carrying a squeezable stress ball.

With the 25 year maximum for the criminal sexual act conviction, the verdict could see the 67-year-old Weinstein spend the rest of his life in prison. He also faces a sexual misconduct trial in Los Angeles involving two women, one of whom – Lauren Marie Young – testified in New York to bolster the Haley and Mann cases.

Harvey Weinstein Guilty Verdict “Historic Moment,” Time’s Up Says

The New York jury found Weinstein not guilty on two counts of predatory sexual assault, apparently dismissing or deadlocking on a rape allegation made by actress Annabella Sciorra. In order to convict on the predatory counts, the jury had to find that Weinstein was guilty in the cases of Mann and/or Haley, plus Sciorra.

If the jury had unanimously agreed on either count of the predatory charges, Weinstein could have been sentenced to life in prison.

Asked by Deadline how he read the jury’s verdicts in the charges involving Sciorra, Weinstein attorney Aidala said jurors did not find Sciorra’s allegations “credible beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The criminal sexual assault (against Haley) carries a possible prison sentence of five to 25 years; the third degree rape conviction (in the Mann case) carries a sentence from probation to four years in prison.

Haley, now 42, was a Project Runway production assistant in 2006 when, she says, Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his Soho apartment on a July night in 2006. (Haley’s account of having sex with Weinstein later that month at the TriBeCa Grand Hotel, under duress but not physically forced, did not produce criminal charges.)

Manhattan D.A. “Not Dissatisfied” With Harvey Weinstein Rape Verdict; Producer Guilty On Two Of Five Counts

Although Sciorra’s rape allegation against Weinstein couldn’t be tried due to exceeding the statute of limitations – she says the incident occurred in her Gramercy Park apartment during the winter of 1993-1994 – New York law allowed her testimony to be used in conjunction with that of Haley and Mann to establish predatory behavior.

Three other women, including Young, testified to their own accounts of sexual misconduct involving Weinstein, as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office attempted to portray the producer as a longtime abuser who preyed on young woman attempting to gain a foothold in the film industry.

Since deliberations began Feb. 18, jurors repeatedly requested to re-hear testimony and review evidence relating to Sciorra, a possible indication the jury was focusing heavily – and disagreeing – on the predatory sexual abuse charges.

In addition to requesting to re-hear the January 24 testimony of actress Rosie Perez – including her account of a phone call in the early 1990s in which her friend Sciorra spoke of the rape – the jury requested all Sciorra-related emails, including those between Weinstein and his private investigators Black Cube and Guidepost Solutions. The Miramax co-creator hired the companies in 2017 to investigate Sciorra and other women he suspected were co-operating with Ronan Farrow for what turned out to be the journalist’s blockbuster Weinstein exposé in The New Yorker.

Anita Hill Says The Hollywood Commission Intends “To Change The System” That Allows Harassment And Bias

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1400, February 21, 2020, Story 1: Send in the Clowns — Mini Mike Bloomberg Busted High Hopes — My Way or The Highway — Videos — Story 2: Roger Stone Sentenced To 40 Months in Prison For Lying To Congress in A Political Prosecution — Jury Foreperson Was Biased Trump Hating Democratic Activist — Miscarriage of Justice — Conviction Should Be Vacated — Videos — Story 3: The Real Threat Is Influenza Viruses Not Novel Coronavirus- Videos –Story 4: President Trump Holds Keep America Great Rally In Las Vegas — 500 Miles of Border Barrier in 2021 — Videos

Posted on February 21, 2020. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Blogroll, Breaking News, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Flu, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, James Comey, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Military Spending, National Security Agency, Obama, People, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Psychology, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Spying on American People, Subornation of perjury, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States Constitution, Videos, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Bloomberg Booster StoolSee the source image

See the source imageNinety-nine per cent of cases have been in China, where tens of millions of residents are in lockdown to contain the escalating crisis. The COVID-19 virus has killed at least 1,873 peopleSee the source image

 

Story 1: Send in the Clowns — Mini Mike Bloomberg Busted High Hopes — My Way or The Highway — Videos

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageBloomberg The Farmer

Judy Collins Send in the Clowns

Send in the Clowns

Judy Collins

Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air,
Where are the clowns?
Isn’t it bliss?
Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move,
Where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns?
Just when I’d stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines
No one is there
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want
Sorry, my dear!
But where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here
Isn’t it rich?
Isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career
But where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns
Well, maybe next year
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Stephen Sondheim
Send in the Clowns lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

The Democratic Debate in About a Minute

Tucker: Bloomberg paid to be humiliated

Ingraham: Why Bloomberg is failing

Ari Fleischer gives Bloomberg these debate tips

Everything Mike Bloomberg Said at the Las Vegas Democratic Debate | NBC New York

Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg spar at the open of the Democratic debate

Warren attacks Bloomberg over sexist comments and non-disclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg at Tonight’s Debate | Mike Bloomberg for President

Frank Sinatra — High Hopes

“High Hopes” Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra – My Way (Live At Madison Square Garden, 1974)

And now the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case of which I’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full,
I travelled each and every highway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it My Way.
Regrets, I’ve had a few,
But then again too few to mention
Did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
Planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this,
I did it My Way.
Yes there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it My Way.
I’ve loved,
I’ve laughed and cried,
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no not me
I did it My Way
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows
I took the blows –
And did it my way!
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Claude Francois / Gilles Thibaut / Jacques Revaux / Paul Anka
My Way lyrics © Warner Chappell Music France, Jeune Musique Editions, BMG Rights Management, Concord Music Publishing LLC

Calvin Harris – My Way (Official Video)

My Way

Calvin Harris

Why wait to say
At least I did it my way
Lie awake, two faced
But in my heart I understand
I made my move
And it was all about you
Now I feel so far removed
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way
My way
My way
Why wait to say
At least I did it my way
Lie awake, two faced
But in my heart I understand
I made my move
And it was all about you
Now I feel so far removed
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
You were the one thing in my way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
My way, oh way, oh way, oh way
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Calvin Harris
My Way lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Mike Bloomberg is declared the LOSER of the Democratic debate after his disastrous start and relentless attacks – while Warren and Sanders come away the winners

  • Pundits declared Bloomberg the loser of Wednesday night’s debate in Las Vegas 
  • Senators Warren and Sanders were declared the top two winners of the debate  
  • Warren attacked Bloomberg over the treatment of women at his company 
  • Sanders criticized the former NYC mayor over his past stop and frisk policy 
  • Pete Buttigieg was also declared a winner, while Biden and Klobuchar lost out 

 

Mike Bloomberg has been declared the loser of Democratic debate after Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders relentlessly attacked the former New York mayor over his past ‘racist’ policies and treatment of women.

Six candidates took the stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas to face-off for a 5-to-1 face-off that ended disastrously for Bloomberg.

Pundits chose Bloomberg as the loser after he became the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt within the first five minutes of the debate.

What is becoming an increasingly bitter nomination fight, the Democratic presidential candidates focused their attacks on Bloomberg on the debate stage.

He has spent more than $400 million so far on advertising that in turn has given him strong standing in state and national polls.

Sanders recalled Bloomberg’s support of stop-and-frisk policing targeting minorities while Warren spoke about how Bloomberg had mocked women.

‘I’d like to talk about who we’re running against, a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,’ Warren said.

Pundits chose Bloomberg as the loser of Wednesday night's debate after he became the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt within the first five minutes

Pundits chose Bloomberg as the loser of Wednesday night’s debate after he became the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt within the first five minutes

Six candidates took the stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas to face-off for a 5-to-1 face-off that ended disastrously for Bloomberg

Six candidates took the stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas to face-off for a 5-to-1 face-off that ended disastrously for Bloomberg

‘And no I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.’

Amy Klobuchar also quipped that, ‘I don’t think you look at Donald Trump and say I think we need someone richer in the White House’.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Bloomberg condoned racist police practices, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said Bloomberg was trying to ‘buy out’ the Democratic Party.

But his biggest struggle came when Warren hammered him over allegations of sexism and mistreatment of women in his company.

Bloomberg attempted to defend his record and deflect the attacks on him by turning them into attacks on President Donald Trump.

And he effectively raised questions about whether Americans would embrace a socialist like Sanders.

CNN's Chris Cillizza compared Bloomberg's performance to that of a pro-wrestling match where 'everyone decided to gang up on a single wrestler in the ring - and that wrestler was totally and completely caught off-guard'

Cillizza also said the 'first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor' who was also the third most tweeted about candidate Wednesday night

Cillizza also said the ‘first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor’ who was also the third most tweeted about candidate Wednesday night

But the glare was harsh, and the attacks landed with force. Even if you are worth $60billion it is hard to win a 5-on-1 fight.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza said the ‘first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor’.

‘He looked lost at times – and those were the best times for him! Warren dunked on him repeatedly. Sanders slammed him. Biden bashed him,’ Cillizza wrote.

Cillizza compared Bloomberg’s performance to that of a pro-wrestling match where ‘everyone decided to gang up on a single wrestler in the ring – and that wrestler was totally and completely caught off-guard’.

ELIZABETH WARREN: RETURN OF THE FIGHTER (WINNER)

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling.

But on Wednesday, Warren got back in the fight.

She slammed Bloomberg – which was no surprise as she’s been an antagonist of billionaires playing in politics for years.

But Warren also attacked Klobuchar, saying her health care plan was just a ‘Post-it note’.

She accused Buttigieg of being in debt to his rich campaign supporters and having a healthcare plan that was just a ‘PowerPoint’ designed by his consultants.

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling. But on Wednesday, Warren got back in the fight

Warren rose to prominence in the Democratic field with a fighting spirit that defined the early months of her campaign. But her disappointing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire left her campaign struggling. But on Wednesday, Warren got back in the fight

Warren slammed also fellow liberal Sanders, accusing him of letting his supporters trash anyone with a plan. But it was her prosecutorial approach to Bloomberg over his company’s treatment of women that stood out.

She hit the former mayor hard when it came to his refusal to release women from the nondisclosure agreements with his company regarding complaints of a hostile working environment.

Warren was relentless, leaving the former mayor stumbling and fumbling for a response.

‘Anybody that does anything wrong in our company, we investigate it and if it’s appropriate, they’re gone that day,’ Bloomberg said.

‘Let me tell you what I do at my company and my foundation and in city government when I was there. In my foundation, the person that runs it is a woman, 70 per cent of the people there are women,’ he added.

She slammed Bloomberg - which was no surprise as she's been an antagonist of billionaires playing in politics for years. But Warren also attacked Klobuchar, saying her health care plan was just a 'Post-it note'

‘In my company, lots and lots of women have big responsibilities. They get paid exactly the same as men. In city hall, the top person, my deputy mayor was a woman and 40 per cent of our commissioners were women,’ he said.

Warren then hit him harder.

‘I hope you heard what his defense was. I’ve been nice to some women. That just doesn’t cut it. The mayor has to stand on his record. What we need to know is exactly what’s lurking out there,’ she said.

‘He has gotten some number of women, dozens, who knows, who sign nondisclosure agreements both for sexual harassment and for gender discrimination in the workplace.

Van Jones tweeted about Warren shortly after the debate, saying: ‘Elizabeth Warren needs Bloomberg like a “lion needs an antelope.” He is the human embodiment of everything she’s against. If @ewarren is effective at landing those blows, the air could very well come out of the Bloomberg bubble.’

BERNIE SANDERS: LEADING THE PACK (WINNER)

Sanders has continuously tried to cement himself as the Democratic frontrunner, and he may have just pulled that off, according to some pundits.

‘The ganging-up on Bloomberg was just fine for Sanders, who, in case you forgot, is the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination,’ Cillizza wrote.

Before Wednesday night, Sanders has been hammering Bloomberg for weeks for trying to buy the election, though at a CNN town hall Tuesday night he wouldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t take Bloomberg’s money, which the billionaire candidate promised to the Democratic nominee, should he not be chosen for the job himself.

‘I don’t think we’re going to need that money,’ Sanders eventually said.

Sanders has sprung to the lead for the nomination in the RealClearPolitics polling average on the race with Biden in second and Bloomberg in third.

Sanders has continuously tried to cement himself as the Democratic frontrunner, and he may have just pulled that off, according to some pundits

Sanders has continuously tried to cement himself as the Democratic frontrunner, and he may have just pulled that off, according to some pundits

Sanders and Bloomberg locked horns on political philosophy during the debate, arguing over who’s a communist and who’s a socialist.

Bloomberg was defending his net worth, pointing out he earned it through ‘hard work’ and that he was giving his money away when Sanders argued the workers helped make that money.

‘Mr Bloomberg, it wasn’t you who made all that money. Maybe your workers played some role in that as well,’ Sanders said.

‘And it is important those workers are able to share the benefits also. When we have so many people who go to work every day and they feel not good about their jobs.

‘They feel like cogs in a machine. I want workers to be able to sit on corporate boards as well so they can have some say over what happens to their lives.’

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: THE GIFTED DEBATER (WINNER)

Some pundits crowned Buttigieg as one of Wednesday night’s winners.

‘Buttigieg is, without question, the most naturally gifted debater in the Democratic field, meaning he is simply not going to turn in a clunker. He was steady if not spectacular in this debate,’ Cillizza said.

According Cillizza, Buttigieg spent parts of the night taking on Sanders, which is a  ‘clear effort to send a signal to voters that he is the most credible alternative to the Vermont senator’.

Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders.

Some pundits crowned Buttigieg as one of Wednesday night's winners. Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders

Some pundits crowned Buttigieg as one of Wednesday night’s winners. Buttigieg, who finished in the top two in Iowa and New Hampshire with Sanders, reserved some of his harshest criticism for Sanders

He warned that Democrats could wake up after more than a dozen states vote on Super Tuesday on March 3 and have only Bloomberg and Sanders left on the ballot.

Buttigieg then quipped that the party may want to nominate ‘someone who is actually a Democrat’.

The crowd inside the Las Vegas casino hadn’t yet finished chuckling and hooting when he continued by saying Sanders ‘wants to burn this party down’ and Bloomberg ‘wants to buy this party out’.

Sanders, a senator from Vermont and avowed democratic socialist, responded by saying that Buttigieg’s campaign has been too reliant on ‘billionaire’ big donors, kicking off another intense exchange.

Their back and forth continued through criticism of Sanders supporters who have frequently been accused of bullying behavior online.

Sanders said he personally had denounced such behavior. This prompted Buttigieg to say he believed the senator but, ‘What it is it about your campaign in particular that seems to be motivating this type of behavior?’

On this night, Buttigieg had the most at stake, with Sanders standing in Nevada polls well ahead of the man who has run even with him in the first two contests.

AMY KLOBUCHAR: WHERE’S THE  KLOBENTUM? (LOSER)

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada.

But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice.

The Minnesota senator was often drowned out in the high-octane bickering Wednesday, or pulled down into the mud.

At one point she pulled from her supply of ready quips, saying of Sanders and Bloomberg as they argued over capitalism that there is ‘a boxing rematch in Vegas on Saturday and these guys should go down there’.

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada. But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice

The last debate was rocket fuel for Klobuchar. Her strong performance vaulted her to a third-place finish in New Hampshire and onto Nevada. But it may be hard for lightning to strike twice

The most damaging exchange was between Klobuchar and Buttigieg, who have tangled before.

When asked about her embarrassing gaffe in forgetting the name of Mexico’s president, she had to fend off Buttigieg, who claimed it disproved her argument that her work in Washington has prepared her to be president.

She also alternately scrapped with and aligned with Warren.

‘Are you calling me dumb?’ Klobuchar asked Buttigieg incredulously. Later, she added: ‘I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete.’

A little over a week ago in New Hampshire, Klobuchar clearly stood out. This time was much harder as everyone battled for survival.

FORMER VP JOE BIDEN: THE BYSTANDER (LOSER)

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden.

For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges.

Biden called the stop and frisks ‘abhorrent’ and the former mayor admitted that it ‘got out of control’.

‘When we discovered – I discovered – that we were doing many, many – too many – stop and frisks, we cut 95 per cent of it out,’ Bloomberg asserted.

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden. For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges

Another candidate in need of a big night to reverse perceptions that his campaign was struggling was Biden. For a good portion of the debate, he receded. He joined in the attacks on Bloomberg, but largely avoided some of the more testy exchanges

The former mayor said he is and was trying to ‘learn’ how to change policies to help continuing reduce crime in New York City.

Biden hit back at Bloomberg, claiming he couldn’t apologize it away and said it violated every right people posses.

‘Let’s get something straight. The reason that stop and frisk changed is because Barack Obama sent moderators to see what was going on. When we sent them there to say “this practice has to stop,” the mayor thought it was a terrible idea we send them there – a terrible idea,’ Biden said, invoking the name of one of the most famous Democrats.

‘It’s not whether he apologized or not, it’s the policy. The policy was abhorrent, and it was, in fact, a violation of every right people have,’ he said, claiming Bloomberg pushed back against stopping the policies.

‘He figured out it was a bad idea after we sent in monitors and said it must stop. Even then he continued the policy,’ Biden said on stage.

When Warren said that Biden was ‘in the pocket’ of Republican Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, Biden fought back.

He also tried to return to his ‘Middle Class Joe’ biography about his family’s financial struggles.

Biden did not offer voters any new rationale for voting for him.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8023581/Mike-Bloomberg-declared-loser-Democratic-debate.html

Story 2: Roger Stone Sentenced To 40 Months in Prison For Lying To Congress in A Political Prosecution — Jury Foreperson Was Biased Trump Hating Democratic Activist — Miscarriage of Justice — Conviction Should Be Vacated — Videos —

Trump: Jury forewoman in Roger Stone case was ‘totally tainted’

Trump speaks in Las Vegas at ceremony for former prisoners, says what happened to Roger Stone was unbelievable.

Gowdy: No one believes Russia prefers Trump over ‘comrade Sanders’

Robert Ray expects it will be months before Roger Stone’s fate is settled

ROGER STONE SENTENCED: Friend of President Trump Gets 3 Years in Prison

Napolitano explains why Roger Stone is ‘absolutely entitled’ to a new trial

‘The Five’ panel gets heated over Roger Stone trial

Roger Stone gets THREE YEARS and four months but will not go straight to prison while he asks for a retrial – as federal judge rejects prosecutors’ demand for nine years but savages Donald Trump for interfering and says Stone ‘covered up for the president’

  • Roger Stone, 67, arrived at Washington’s federal court with his wife Nydia for sentencing hearing Thursday
  • Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson said his punishment for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction will be 40 months in prison
  • But because he is asking for a retrial over claims of bias by the jury foreperson, the sentence will not take effect
  • Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, said she had rejected prosecutors’ demand  for nine years on her – not because of outside pressure
  • That was a reference to Trump, who had raged about the initial demand – and for whom a 40 month sentence can be portrayed as a win
  • Judge issued a stunning rebuke not just of Stone but of Donald Trump himself for trying to interfere in the case
  • Case has plunged attorney general Bill Barr into crisis as he pleaded with Donald Trump to stop tweeting about it – and president refused
  • Within an hour of his arrival, Trump was tweeting again about the case this time suggesting the prosecution was unfair 
  • He claimed James Comey had lied to Congress but was not prosecuted 
  • Trump called himself the nation’s ‘chief law enforcement officer,’ and Barr was reported to be considering resigning 

Roger Stone swerved a federal prison cell Thursday despite a judge slapping the longtime Donald Trump ally with a 40-month sentence for lying to Congress – and savaging not just him but the president.

Stone was convicted last fall of lying to lawmakers over his efforts to procure stolen Democratic Party emails from WikiLeaks in 2016 to boost Donald Trump’s chances of becoming President.

The self-declared political dirty trickster was spared immediate incarceration Thursday while U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson decides whether or not to grant his request for a retrial.

The sentence was far below the nine years demanded by the prosecution before that was over-ruled in a political tumult and furious tweets by Trump.

ROGER STONE DID A LOT WRONG: WHAT HE WAS CONVICTED OF

Roger Stone was found guilty on all charges of:

1. Obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering by trying to get Randy Credico to lie to Congress. Sentenced to 40 months

2. Lying to Congress that he did not have emails or texts about Julian Assange. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

3. Lying when he claimed his references to being in touch with Assange were actually about a ‘go-between’ – Randy Credico. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

4. Lying that he didn’t ask his ‘go-between’ to communicate with Assange. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

5. Lying that he didn’t text or email the ‘go-between’ about WikiLeaks. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

6. Lying that he had never discussed conversation with his ‘go-between’ with anyone in the Trump campaign. Sentenced to 12 months concurrent with the first count

Instead she turned his sentencing hearing into a stunning rebuke not just of Stone but of the president himself, saying the prosecution was not brought by ‘political enemies,’ and that there was no ‘anti-Trump cabal’ at the hear of the case.

‘He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president, he was prosecuted for covering up for the president,’ she said.

‘There was nothing unfair, phony or disgraceful about the investigation or the prosecution.’

Trump tweeted in rage against the prosecution accusing it of lacking ‘FAIRNESS’ as the hearing was under way in federal court in Washington D.C.

”They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.’ OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?’ the president tweeted.

It was unknown whether Berman Jackson was aware of his latest intervention but it came amid a case roiled by politics and mounting speculation Stone will be pardoned.

Even before she spoke, prosecutors staged their own revolt against the president calling the case ‘righteous’ and demanding a lengthy prison sentence despite their initial call for nine years being over-ruled by Attorney General Bill Barr in one of the main acts of an unfolding constitutional crisis.

Stone, 67, stood in silence as Jackson told a federal courtroom Washington, D.C. that he should spend 40 months -three years and four months – behind bars.

She had savaged him in his sentencing remarks – and rebuked the president himself, possibly for his tweet this morning which was during the first part of her hearing.

‘This case did not arise because Roger Stone was being prosecuted by his political enemies,’ Berman Jackson said.

She said Stone told ‘flat out lies,’ and that his conviction had nothing to do with whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

He was guilty of a ‘corrupt, unlawful,’ campaign to stop his lies being exposed when he threatened Randy Credico, who he named as his ‘go-between’ to Julian Assange, to stop Credico revealing the truth, that there was another go-between.

Stone was also guilty of withholding texts and emails from Congress, prompting Berman Jackson to again lash out at the president. 

Off home: Roger Stone left court to return to Florida

Free to go - for now: Roger Stone is escorted from the Washington D.C. federal courthouse after his sentencing. He remains gagged from speaking to the press

Happy outcome: A grinning Roger Stone left the court to get into a waiting car

On his way: Roger Stone steps out of the court and into the crowd after his sentencing

Not over: Roger Stone's case is not at an end because he has applied for a retrial, which the judge is considering. She went ahead with the sentencing and will rule later on his call for a fresh hearing

Crowd: Roger Stone walked through a crowd of waiting photographers and reporters as he left the court

Grinning: Roger Stone had shown no emotion as he was sentenced, and left the court building with a smile on his face

Grinning: Roger Stone had shown no emotion as he was sentenced, and left the court building with a smile on his face

Lightning rod: Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Roger Stone in a case which has caused a crisis to engulf Bill Barr who pleaded with Donald Trump to let him do his job and stop the tweeting about his Department of Justice

Lightning rod: Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Roger Stone in a case which has caused a crisis to engulf Bill Barr who pleaded with Donald Trump to let him do his job and stop the tweeting about his Department of Justice

Lightning rod: Federal judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Roger Stone in a case which has caused a crisis to engulf Bill Barr who pleaded with Donald Trump to let him do his job and stop the tweeting about his Department of Justice

And she pointed out that it was a Republican-led inquiry which he had initially defied.

Then she laced into the president, without naming him, saying it was right for sentencing to be done by a judge, ‘Not someone who has a longstanding friendship with the defendant, not someone whose political career was aided by the defendant.’

Stone was joined by a vast entourage led by his wife Nydia as he walked into the federal court, where his legal team has been bolstered by a Mafia lawyer who helped keep John Gotti Jr., head of the Gambino crime family and son of the ‘Teflon Don,’ out of prison.

Pro-Stone demonstrators brought a ‘pardon Roger stone’ banner which they held behind him when he arrived while counter-protesters tried to hurriedly erect an inflatable effigy of Trump as a rat as Stone arrived.

Hours before he arrived Trump launched another fusillade against Stone’s conviction, tweeting: ‘What has happened to Roger Stone should never happen to anyone in our country again.’

Trump’s tweets have plunged his own attorney general, Bill Barr, into a crisis over the rule of law, with the president declaring himself the ‘chief law enforcement officer,’ and demanding Barr ‘clean house.’

His wife Nydia was behind him in the courtroom as Stone, wearing a dark gray chalk stripe double-breasted suit, blue shirt with cutaway collar and sober gray tie, sat beside his attorneys.

Department of Justice attorneys had originally requested a far harsher punishment of seven to nine years only to see their recommendation ripped up by Attorney General William Barr, who drew praise from Trump for labeling it ‘excessive and unwarranted’.

The intervention sparked accusations of political interference, forcing Barr on the defensive as he denied bowing to White House influence and appealed for Trump to curb his explosive Twitter criticisms of Judge Jackson and the supposedly ‘tainted’ case against Stone.

More than 2,000 former justice department employees have since signed a petition calling on the Attorney General to resign.

The original prosecution foursome of Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed and Michael Marando were replaced for today’s proceedings at Washington, D.C. District Court, having all resigned in protest.

Stone’s sentencing got off to a rocky start when U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that anyone in the court who did not have a medical reason to wear sunglasses should remove them. Stone had arrived in round sunglasses.

Jackson took the opportunity to grill prosecutors on why the Department of Justice decided last week to submit a second sentencing memorandum, a nod to Attorney General William Barr’s controversial decision to rip up the original seven to nine year recommendation submitted by his own attorneys.

It fell upon newly-assigned federal prosecutor John Crabb to apologize for the ‘miscommunication’, insisting that the original prosecution team – who resigned last week in protest – had acted in ‘good faith’.

Stone stood in silence as Jackson recalled the seven offences of which he was convicted: five counts of making false statements to Congress, a single count of obstructing a congressional proceeding and single count of witness tampering.

That final charge would be of particular significance as she warned Stone his sentence would likely be higher because it involved specific threats of violence.

Last November’s trial heard how Stone bullied the radio host Randy Credico into pleading the Fifth to avoid contradicting his 2016 testimony before Congress, branding him a ‘rat’ and threatening to take away his therapy dog.

Political point: An anti-Bill Barr protest was being made outside the federal court while Roger Stone was being sentenced - resulting in the advertising van being pulled over by D.C. cops

He's here: Roger Stone was accompanied by his wife Nydia and an almost 20-strong entourage as he arrived at federal court in Washington D.C. to be sentenced

In front of the protest: Roger and Nydia Stone walked past the inflatable Trump rat as they made their way into court

Grin and bear it: Roger Stone kept a fixed smile as he headed into court with his wife Nydia on his arm

Grin and bear it: Roger Stone kept a fixed smile as he headed into court with his wife Nydia on his arm

Raised a smile: Roger Stone's wife Nydia reacted positively to a group of supporters' banner calling for Donald Trump to issue the dirty trickster with a pardon

Raised a smile: Roger Stone’s wife Nydia reacted positively to a group of supporters’ banner calling for Donald Trump to issue the dirty trickster with a pardon

Arm-in-arm: Roger Stone wore a navy blue double-breasted topcoat with contrasting collar, blue cutaway collared shirt and sober gray tie, topped off with a black trilby as he arrived in court with Nydia, his second wife

 

Arm-in-arm: Roger Stone wore a navy blue double-breasted topcoat with contrasting collar, blue cutaway collared shirt and sober gray tie, topped off with a black trilby as he arrived in court with Nydia, his second wife

 

Asked if he had anything to say, Stone, dressed immaculately in a pinstripe suit, grey tie and suspenders, told Washington, D.C. District Court: ‘Your honor I choose not to speak at this time, thank you very much.’

Jackson slammed the 67-year-old defendant as an ‘insecure person who craves and recklessly pursues attention.’

‘This case did not arise because Roger Stone was being pursued by his political enemies,’ she added.

‘It arose because Roger Stone characteristically injected himself smack into the middle of one of the most significant issues of the day.’

Judge Jackson said Stone had interfered with matters of ‘grave national importance’ and repeatedly lied under oath. She characterized his defense as: ‘So what?’

‘Nothing about this case was a joke. It wasn’t funny,’ she cautioned.

‘This was not Roger being Roger. He lied to congress, he lied to elected representatives.’

The no-nonsense judge praised the ‘professionalism’ of the original four prosecutors, saying their recommendation was ‘true to the record’ and in line with Department of Justice guidelines.

However she agreed with Barr’s revision and said she was concerned seven to nine years would be ‘greater than necessary.’

She sentenced Stone to 40 months for obstruction, 12 months each for the counts of lying to Congress and 18 months for witness tampering, all sentences to be served concurrently.

He was also fined $20,000 and will have to serve two years’ probation. Federal rules means he has to give the court his tax returns.

Judge Jackson quizzed Crabb about how she came to receive two competing sentencing memorandums, noting that the original recommendation had never been formally withdrawn.

Crabb agreed and confirmed the prosecution was still asking for a substantial prison term for Stone, insisting the Justice Department had operated ‘without fear, favor or political influence’.

‘This prosecution was and is righteous,’ he said. ‘This confusion was not caused by the original trial team. There was nothing in bad faith about the prosecution team’s recommendation.’

Quizzed over who had ordered the new memorandum and why, Crabb replied: ‘What I understand is, there was a miscommunication between the Attorney General and the United States Attorney.’

Asked to explain who wrote the second memorandum, he repeatedly declined to say.

‘I cannot engage in discussions on internal deliberations,’ he said, to Judge Jackson’s obvious displeasure.

Ginsberg told the court that Stone had a history of ‘rough, provocative and hyperbolic language’ and that his threats to Credico should not influence his sentence, given that Credico and Stone went back decades and he knew Stone was ‘all bark and no bite.’

Judge Jackson disagreed, saying the sentencing seriousness level jumped from 14 to 27 because of Stone’s threats, witness tampering and efforts to disrupt justice.

‘The defendant refers to this as banter, which it hardly is,’ Jackson added, reeling off a list of insults Stone had directed toward Credico, including ‘rat’ and ‘c**sucker’.

She also slammed Stone over his repeated outbursts during last year’s prosecution, in particular his speaking out via InfoWars host Alex Jones to relay a message to Trump pleading for a pardon the night before he was found guilty.

That was in defiance of a gag order Judge Jackson had earlier slapped on Stone after he posted a mocked up photo of her face in rifle crosshairs online.

Jackson said Stone was deliberately trying to undermine proceedings and was stoking anger towards court officials, risking a scenario in which someone with ‘even less judgment’ could actually do something violent.

‘This is intolerable to the administration of justice. The court should not sit idly by, shrug its shoulders and say, that’s just Roger being Roger,’ she said.

Ratcheting up his sentencing level another two notches, she added: ‘It wasn’t an accident he had a staff that helped him do it. Using the new social media is his sweet spot.

‘He knew exactly what he was doing and in using Twitter and Instagram he deliberately magnified his message.’

Stone’s decades-long career on the shadier  margins of US politics appeared to be over last November after he was found guilty of five counts of making false statements to Congress and single counts of obstructing a congressional proceeding and witness tampering.

Jurors agreed the smooth-talking agent provocateur, who briefly served on Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign, told a series of ‘whoppers’ when he testified before members of House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian collusion in the 2016 election.

Stone lied to lawmakers when he denied asking Julian Assange for the cache of Democratic Party messages stolen by Russian hackers and further lied about the identity of his go-between to the WikiLeaks founder.

He also concealed numerous texts, emails and telephone conversations in which he discussed WikiLeaks and Assange with then candidate-Trump and senior campaign figures including former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, ex Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign official Rick Gates.

In he goes: Roger Stone took off his trilby to enter court, where he will be sentenced

Acknowledgment: Roger Stone gave a salute to supporters outside court

Acknowledgment: Roger Stone gave a salute to supporters outside court

Tailored: Roger Stone revealed he is wearing a double-breasted dark gray chalk stripe suit under his navy blue double-breasted overcoat as he got out of his car before going into court

Counter-protest: Anti-Trump activists put up an inflatable effigy of the president as a rat in time for Roger Stone's arrival

 

Counter-protest: Anti-Trump activists put up an inflatable effigy of the president as a rat in time for Roger Stone’s arrival

Publicity opportunity: The Stone spectacle has also been a magnet for a local tour company whose placard made a return to the entrance to court for the sentencing

Publicity opportunity: The Stone spectacle has also been a magnet for a local tour company whose placard made a return to the entrance to court for the sentencing

Ready for the walk: Nydia Stone grasped her husband's arm as they prepared to walk into court

Ready for the walk: Nydia Stone grasped her husband’s arm as they prepared to walk into court

Trump praises Bill Bar for ‘taking charge’ of Roger Stone case
The trial heard Stone was trying to procure the emails as a way to win favor with Trump and help him beat Hillary Clinton to the White House.

The net result of him lying ‘over and over and over again’ was that the House Intelligence Committee was impeded in its inquiries and its final report into Russian election inference was inaccurate because it didn’t mention Stone’s true intermediary, prosecutors said.

The tampering charge referred to his effort to bully the comedian and radio host Randy Credico into pleading the Fifth so he would avoid contradicting Stone’s sworn September 26, 2017 testimony.

Stone had told lawmakers that Credico was his ‘back channel’ to WikiLeaks when it was actually the conspiracy theorist and author Jerome Corsi.

When Credico threatened to set the record straight, Stone branded him a ‘c**ksucker’, a ‘rat’ and urged the rattled comic to do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’, referencing a character in Godfather Part II who lies to a congressional committee to help the Corleone family before committing suicide.

He also took aim at Credico’s therapy dog Bianca, a 13-year-old Coton de Tulear, writing in an text message: ‘I’m going to take that dog away from you.’

Prosecutors cited the threats of physical harm and Stone’s repeated media outbursts attacking Judge Jackson as aggravating factors against the former Nixon campaign adviser who has the disgraced former president’s face permanently tattooed on his back.

However Credico was among those who argued against incarceration, saying in a January letter to the judge: ‘I never in any way felt that Stone himself posed a direct physical threat to me or to my dog.’

Tomeka Hart, a former Memphis City Schools Board President, stoked the flames further when she outed herself last Wednesday as the jury forewoman in a Facebook post voicing support for the overruled prosecutors.

‘I have kept my silence for months. Initially, it was for my safety. Then, I decided to remain silent out of fear of politicizing the matter,’ Hart wrote.

Back channels: Stone had fraudulently told lawmakers that Randy Credico, a left-wing radio comedian, was his 'back channel' to WikiLeaks when it was actually the conspiracy theorist and author Jerome Corsi (pictured)

Back channels: Stone had fraudulently told lawmakers that Randy Credico (pictured), a left-wing radio comedian, was his 'back channel' to WikiLeaks when it was actually the conspiracy theorist and author Jerome Corsi

Center of case: Roger Stone  also took aim at Randy Credico's therapy dog Bianca, a 13-year-old Coton de Tulear, writing in an text message: 'I'm going to take that dog away from you.'

‘But I can’t keep quiet any longer. I want to stand up for Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando, and Jonathan Kravis – the prosecutors on the Roger Stone trial.

‘It pains me to see the DOJ now interfere with the hard work of the prosecutors. They acted with the utmost intelligence, integrity, and respect for our system of justice.

‘For that, I wanted to speak up for them and ask you to join me in thanking them for their service.’

Hart, it further emerged, had unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2012 and had participated in anti-Trump rallies and protests.

She had frequently denounced Trump on social media, calling the President and his supporters racists, and posted emojis of hearts and fist pumps after finding Stone guilty last November.

Hart had also re-tweeted a post by pundit Bakari Sellers dismissing Stone’s claims that the FBI used excessive force when they arrested him at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida home in January 2019.

Sellers had listed black victims of ‘police force’, including Sandra Bland, Walter Scott and Eric Gardner, scoffing: ‘But Roger Stone!!! Think about that.’

Stone’s lawyers have already made one failed attempt to secure a re-trial, arguing that a completely different juror, an IRS employee who worked with the Justice Department on criminal tax cases, should have been struck.

The juror admitted reading news articles about Stone’s arrest but denied having any opinions about Stone when asked about it by Judge Jackson in court.

The defense had failed to demonstrate the ‘sort of inherent bias’ that would prompt a retrial, Judge Jackson ruled.

Stone entered the political arena in 1972 when he ditched his studies at George Washington University, supporting Nixon in his re-election campaign then landing a job on his administration.

In one of his first stunts he contributed $135 to one of Nixon’s Republican rivals in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance – then slipped the receipt to a journalist.

During congressional hearings into the Watergate scandal in 1973 it emerged Stone had recruited a spy to infiltrate the campaigns of several of Nixon’s Democratic rivals.

He was fired from his job with then-Senator Bob Dole but went on to work for several more presidential campaigns: those of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and, eventually, his longtime friend Donald Trump, who first hired Stone to lobby for his casino businesses in the 1990s.

The National Enquirer in 1996 revealed that Stone had placed ads on a swingers website seeking sex partners for himself and his second wife Nydia Bertran Stone, 72. Stone later referred to himself in an interview as ‘a libertarian and a libertine’ and a ‘trysexual – I’ve tried everything’.

The six Trump associates to be convicted in Mueller probe

GUILTY: ROGER STONE 

Convicted in November 2019 on seven counts including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress about his communications with WikiLeaks. Sentenced to 40 months in prison. 

Stone was a person of interest to Mueller’s investigators long before his January 2019 indictment, thanks in part due to his public pronouncements as well as internal emails about his contacts with WikiLeks.

In campaign texts and emails, Stone communicated with associates about WikiLeaks following reports the organization had obtained a cache of Clinton-related emails. 

According to the federal indictment, Stone gave ‘false and misleading’ testimony about his requests for information from WikiLeaks. He then pressured a witness, comedian Randy Credico, to take the Fifth Amendment rather than testify, and pressured him in a series of emails. Following a prolonged dispute over testimony, he called him a ‘rat’ and threatened to ‘take that dog away from you’, in reference to Credico’s therapy dog, Bianca. Stone warned him: ‘Let’s get it on. Prepare to die.’  

GUILTY: MICHAEL FLYNN 

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in December 2017. Awaiting sentence

Flynn was President Trump’s former National Security Advisor and Robert Mueller’s most senior scalp to date. He previously served when he was a three star general as President Obama’s director of the Defense Intelligence Agency but was fired. 

He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his conversations with a Russian ambassador in December 2016. He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

GUILTY AND IN JAIL: MICHAEL COHEN

Pleaded guilty to eight counts including fraud and two campaign finance violations in August 2018. Pleaded guilty to further count of lying to Congress in November 2018. Sentenced to three years in prison and $2 million in fines and forfeitures in December 2018

Cohen was investigated by Mueller but the case was handed off to the Southern District of New York,leaving Manhattan’s ferocious and fiercely independent federal prosecutors to run his case. 

Cohen was Trump’s longtime personal attorney, starting working for him and the Trump Organization in 2007. He is the longest-serving member of Trump’s inner circle to be implicated by Mueller. Cohen professed unswerving devotion to Trump – and organized payments to silence two women who alleged they had sex with the-then candidate: porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. He admitted that payments to both women were felony campaign finance violations – and admitted that he acted at the ‘direction’ of ‘Candidate-1’: Donald Trump. 

He also admitted tax fraud by lying about his income from loans he made, money from  taxi medallions he owned, and other sources of income, at a cost to the Treasury of $1.3 million.

And he admitted lying to Congress in a rare use of the offense. The judge in his case let him report for prison on March 6 and  recommended he serve it in a medium-security facility close to New York City.

Campaign role: Paul Manafort chaired Trump's campaign for four months - which included the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016, where he appeared on stage beside Trump who was preparing  to formally accept the Republican nomination

GUILTY AND IN JAIL: PAUL MANAFORT

Found guilty of eight charges of bank and tax fraud in August 2018. Sentenced to 47 months in March 2019. Pleaded guilty to two further charges – witness tampering and conspiracy against the United States. Jailed for total of seven and a half years in two separate sentences. Additionally indicted for mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney, using evidence previously presented by Mueller. That indictment was dismissed by the DA is appealing

 Manafort worked for Trump’s campaign from March 2016 and chaired it from June to August 2016, overseeing Trump being adopted as Republican candidate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He is the most senior campaign official to be implicated by Mueller. Manafort was one of Washington D.C.’s longest-term and most influential lobbyists but in 2015, his money dried up and the next year he turned to Trump for help, offering to be his campaign chairman for free – in the hope of making more money afterwards. But Mueller unwound his previous finances and discovered years of tax and bank fraud as he coined in cash from pro-Russia political parties and oligarchs in Ukraine.

Manafort pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of tax and bank fraud but was convicted of eight counts in August 2018. The jury was deadlocked on the other 10 charges. A second trial on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent due in September did not happen when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and witness tampering in a plea bargain. He was supposed to co-operate with Mueller but failed to. 

Minutes after his second sentencing hearing in March 2019, he was indicted on 16 counts of fraud and conspiracy by the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., using evidence which included documents previously presented at his first federal trial. The president has no pardon power over charges by district and state attorneys.

GUILTY: RICK GATES 

Pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in February 2018. Awaiting sentence

Gates, a Trump campaign official, was Manafort’s former deputy at political consulting firm DMP International. He admitted to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government on financial activity, and to lying to investigators about a meeting Manafort had with a member of congress in 2013. As a result of his guilty plea and promise of cooperation, prosecutors vacated charges against Gates on bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, filing false tax returns, helping prepare false tax filings, and falsely amending tax returns.

GUILTY AND JAILED: GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in October 2017. Sentenced to 14 days in September 2018, and reported to prison in November. Served 12 days and released on December 7, 2018

 Papadopoulos was a member of Donald Trump’s campaign foreign policy advisory committee. He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his contacts with London professor Josef Mifsud and Ivan Timofeev, the director of a Russian government-funded think tank. 

He agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation but is now highly critical of it.  

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8025217/Roger-Stone-sentenced-three-years-judge-rebukes-Donald-Trump-tweeted-spoke.html

‘The American people cared. And I care.’ Top lines from Judge Amy Berman Jackson during the Roger Stone sentencing

The Roger Stone Sentencing Fiasco

Some Justice Department personnel handled it questionably, but Trump’s reaction was worse.

The first thing to grasp about the Roger Stone sentencing fiasco is that Stone, even accepting the worst plausible gloss on his crimes, is a 67-year-old nonviolent first offender. If the criminal-justice “reform” fad were authentic, and not a stratagem of social-justice warriors who have taken Washington’s surfeit of useful idiots for a ride, then we could all agree that the original seven-to-nine-year sentence advocated by prosecutors was too draconian — even if it was, as we shall see, a faithful application of the federal sentencing guidelines as written.

But no. Like criminal-justice “reform,” the Stone prosecution is more politics than law enforcement. It was the Mueller probe’s last gasp at pretending there might be something to the Russia-collusion narrative – notwithstanding that, when the “gee, it sure feels like there could be some collusion here” indictment was filed, over a year and a half after special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed, it had long been manifest that there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy.

So, the Left has a quandary here: Do they hate Trump more than they love sentencing “reform”? We could have predicted the decision to go with hating Trump, and thus fomenting outrage over DOJ’s retraction of its original sentencing recommendation of about nine years’ imprisonment, now slashed to a far more reasonable range of four years or less. To be fair, though, Trump critics could not have been expected to resist the combination of DOJ missteps and Trump Twitter taunts that mark Stone’s sentencing, the combination that has managed to turn Mueller’s maulers into media martyrs.

Some background: In a ridiculously overblown, overcharged prosecution, Mueller slammed the ineffable Stone with seven felony counts of obstructing Congress’s Russia investigation. One of these involved tampering with a witness, left-wing radio host Randy Credico (through whom Stone sought a communications channel with WikiLeaks honcho Julian Assange).

At a certain point, Credico let it be known that he intended to cooperate with investigators. A ballistic Stone, when not uttering lunatic references to Watergate and Frank Pentangeli (the Mafioso character goaded into suicide when a plot to take out the Don fails in Godfather II), warned the “stoolie” “rat” Credico to “prepare to die” and vowed to steal his pet dog. Even in context, these seem to be puerile ravings, not real threats. (Stone added that his lawyers were anxious to “rip [Credico] to shreds,” so any murder and dognapping was apparently going to await cross-examination.) And though Stone is patently guilty of witness tampering, Credico himself told the court that he did not take Stone’s threats seriously.

DOJ: We Overstepped By Keeping Tabs On Trump Campaign Adviser For Too Long

Stone being the sort of Einstein who commits his obstructions in writing (the Credico contacts were mostly text messages), the jury convicted him in nothing flat. That meant DOJ would give the court its take on how the sentencing guidelines applied to the case, as it does with every convicted defendant.

In Stone’s case, the guidelines worked a severe result. In tampering cases, a guidelines enhancement calls for a drastic increase in the sentence if the defendant threatened the witness with physical injury. This drove Stone’s “offense level” from 21 to 29 on the guidelines grid, so even though he is a first offender (offense history “Category I” in guidelines-speak), his recommended sentence zoomed to 90 to 108 months — instead of 37 to 46 months, as it would have been at offense level 21 (i.e., without the threats).

With Mueller’s shop closed down, the Stone prosecution was run out of the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia. But it was still being overseen by two Mueller staffers, Aaron S. J. Zelinsky (on loan from the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland, where he had worked for Rod Rosenstein, who, as Trump’s deputy attorney general, later appointed Mueller), and Adam C. Jed (an appellate lawyer from the Obama Justice Department who first came to public attention in 2013, arguing that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional). Also assigned to the case were Jonathan Kravis, a former associate White House counsel to Obama, and Michael Mirando, an experienced assistant U.S. attorney in the D.C. office.

This team of prosecutors filed a sentencing memorandum on Monday, laying out the guidelines and advising Judge Amy Berman Jackson that they called for a prison sentence of about seven to nine years (i.e., the offense-level guidelines range of 90 to 108 months). Like the indictment itself, the memo is gross overkill.

As the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross notes, the prosecutors tied Stone to “foreign election interference,” breathlessly framed as the “most deadly adversary of republican government,” even though he was never charged with any such crime — underscoring yet again that the deadliest adversary of republican government is actually domestic — viz., the politicized use of executive police powers. Far from offering any theory in mitigation of the 90-to-108-months range, the prosecutors pooh-poohed Credico’s perception that Stone’s threats were not serious, factitiously insisting that the guidelines enhancement is triggered by the threat, not whether the target is actually intimidated. Plus, prosecutors maintained, Stone’s crimes were exacerbated by his flouting of Judge Berman Jackson’s gag orders during the prosecution.

All that said, the prosecutors’ submission was an accurate (if extreme and unyielding) rendition of federal sentencing law. The enhancement that inflates Stone’s sentencing range does literally apply — even if he is not the kind of violent criminal that the guidelines commissioners had in mind when they wrote it. Prosecutors are not required to argue for clemency, though they should do so when the circumstances call for it. The Justice Department’s default position in criminal cases is that the guidelines should be applied as written, and that it is up to the court to decide whether to follow them.

While Stone awaited sentence, the prosecutors were supervised, at least nominally, by Jessie Liu, the U.S. attorney for D.C. I say “nominally” because the Trump Justice Department has always been leery about being seen as interfering in Mueller-based prosecutions. Moreover, the D.C. office was in transition while court submissions pertaining to Stone’s sentencing were being prepared.

In December 2019, President Trump announced his nomination of Liu to become the Treasury Department’s undersecretary overseeing financial sanctions on terrorists. Liu continued running the U.S. attorney’s office, albeit with one foot out the door, until the end of January. With her Treasury confirmation hearing scheduled for February 13 (i.e., tomorrow), Attorney General Bill Barr appointed one of his top advisers, Timothy Shea (a well-regarded longtime prosecutor, litigator, and Capitol Hill staffer), to become acting U.S. attorney for D.C. on January 30. That was eleven days before the Stone team filed its sentencing submission.

How much participation Shea had in the recommendation is unclear. The New York Times reports that both he and Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen opined that the seven-to-nine-year sentencing recommendation was too severe. Yet, it does not appear that they put their foot down and instructed the Stone prosecutors to ameliorate it before the government’s submission was filed on Monday.

As is his wont, the president went bonkers on Twitter upon learning of the recommendation, calling it “horrible and very unfair” and a major “miscarriage of justice” because “the real crimes are on the other side” — i.e., the Russia-probe investigators — yet “nothing happens to them.” While the Justice Department was obviously aware of the president’s tweet, as well as press reporting about the harshness of the prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation, the DOJ and the White House have had no communications about the case, according to both the president and a spokeswoman for the attorney general.

Nevertheless, the DOJ made it known that the sentencing memo would be rescinded and a new one filed. That announcement prompted the recusals of all four prosecutors, some of whom are quitting the DOJ entirely and some apparently just stepping aside from the Stone case.

Late Tuesday, the DOJ filed a revised sentencing memo, which does not recommend a specific sentence but strongly suggests that a term calculated without the eight-point enhancement — i.e., between 37 and 46 months’ imprisonment — would be just. The new memo concedes that the prosecutors’ calculation in the original memo was “arguably” correct, but contends that it would be unreasonable under the circumstances. On that score, the memo relies on (a) Credico’s dismissal of the threat (though it acknowledges that this is not dispositive); (b) the fact that a sentence driven by the guidelines enhancement would be wildly out of proportion with prison terms imposed in cases similar to Stone’s; (c) Stone’s being a first-offender with no organized-crime or gang connections and thus not typical f the offenders the enhancement is meant to cover; and (d) Stone’s advanced age and failing health.

This is an entirely reasonable recommendation, even if the process of arriving at it has been a train wreck.

The Justice Department correctly observes that the sentence to be imposed is entirely up to the court. The DOJ’s recommendations are non-binding and frequently ignored by judges. Judge Berman Jackson has been thoroughly informed about what the non-binding guidelines say, as well as the cases for and against applying the enhancement.

Furthermore, let’s imagine that, instead of orchestrating a fiasco, DOJ had efficiently managed any internal disputes (which are not uncommon) and had filed a single memo recommending a 37-to-46-month sentence — a memo that explained both the enhancement for threatening witnesses and why applying it would be unreasonable under the circumstances. Does anyone doubt that such a recommendation would nevertheless have been panned as excessive by the president?

For now, while Trump has taken to attacking both the resigning prosecutors and Judge Berman Jackson on Twitter, it appears that former U.S. attorney Liu is taking the fall. Within hours of the prosecutors’ trumpeting their departures in grand Sally Yates style, the White House announced that the president had pulled Liu’s appointment to the Treasury Department position — even though her confirmation hearing was just two days away, and Barr had lavished praise on her upon appointing Shea as her replacement.

Liu certainly had a tumultuous tenure. Besides the thankless task of inheriting the Mueller cases against Stone and former national-security adviser Michael Flynn (the implosion of which is a story for another day), her office foolishly pursued a threadbare Mueller-generated prosecution of Greg Craig for false statements based on lobbying for Ukraine. Craig, former White House counsel to President Obama, was speedily acquitted by a jury last year. Meanwhile, there was also a mini-revolt on the Senate Judiciary Committee a few months back when the president floated the idea of elevating Liu to the No. 3 leadership slot at the DOJ — though she was vigorously defended by AG Barr, and suspicions that she lacked conservative bona fides appear overwrought (the fact that Liu may be pro-choice hardly means she would not enforce laws regulating abortion; and a claim that, 15 years ago, she opposed Justice Samuel Alito’s appointment to the Supreme Court appears to be false).

I would not suggest that Liu and others at the DOJ distinguished themselves in the Stone sentencing debacle. But at this point, the main fault lies with the president.

Yes, the Mueller probe was specious. But for his connection to Trump, Stone would never have been pursued in a collusion fever dream that Mueller’s prosecutors knew was bogus when they charged him. Yet his crimes, while exaggerated, were real. He was convicted by a jury and, under federal law, that presumptively warrants incarceration, though he could be spared by the judge (whom the president has picked a strange time to antagonize). If the president thinks that Stone and Flynn (among others) have been given a raw deal, the Constitution empowers him to pardon them, or at least commute their sentences.

If President Trump is afraid, in an election year, to take the political hit that a pardon for Stone would entail, that is understandable. But then he should bite his tongue and click out of Twitter. The Justice Department’s job is to process cases, including Mueller cases, pursuant to law. If the president wants to make those cases disappear, he has to do it himself and be accountable. His provocative running commentary only ensures that the DOJ will be accused of kowtowing to him. It also guarantees that, if the ongoing criminal probe of the Russiagate investigation eventually yields any indictments, they will be assailed as political persecutions rather than good-faith law enforcement.

 

Story 3: The Real Threat Is Influenza Viruses Not Novel Coronavirus- Videos

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What Bill Gates is afraid of

Spanish Flu: a warning from history

Top 5 Deadliest Diseases

Coronavirus vs. flu: which is the bigger threat?

Coronavirus vs flu: Which is more dangerous? | DW News

The 1918 Flu Pandemic – Emergence – Extra History – #1

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The 2020 Flu Season So Far

 

Worrying about coronavirus? This other virus is the real threat.

Worrying about coronavirus? This other virus is the real threat.

There’s a deadly virus spreading from state to state. It preys on the most vulnerable, striking the sick and the old without mercy. In just the last few months, it has claimed the lives of at least 39 children.

The virus is influenza, and it poses a far greater threat to Americans than the coronavirus from China that has made headlines around the world.

“When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza, there’s just no comparison,” said William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison. The risk is trivial.”

To be sure, the coronavirus outbreak, which originated last month in the Chinese city of Wuhan, should be taken seriously. The virus can cause pneumonia and is blamed for more than 7,000 illnesses and more than 170 deaths.

The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the outbreak a global emergency requiring a coordinated international response after the number of cases spiked sharply over the last few days. But officials warn much remains unknown.

In the United States, at least six cases of the virus have been reported, including the first case of person-to-person infection. Public health workers are monitoring dozens of additional patients.

And yet, Americans aren’t particularly concerned.

Fewer than half of adults got a flu shot last season, according to the CDC. Even among children, who can be especially vulnerable to respiratory illnesses, only 62% received the vaccine.

If Americans aren’t afraid of the flu, perhaps that’s because they are inured to yearly warnings. For them, the flu is old news. Yet viruses named after foreign places — such as Ebola, Zika, and Wuhan — inspire terror.

“Familiarity breeds indifference,” Schaffner said. “Because it’s new, it’s mysterious, and comes from an exotic place, the coronavirus creates anxiety.”

Some doctors joke that the flu needs to be rebranded.

“We should rename influenza; call it XZ-47 virus or something scarier,” said Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

 

Measles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has killed 5,000 people in the last year — more than twice as many as Ebola. Yet UNICEF officials have noted that the measles, which many Americans no longer fear, has gotten little attention. Nearly all the measles victims were children under 5.

Because the Wuhan virus is new, humans have no antibodies against it. Doctors haven’t had time to develop treatments or vaccines.

The big question, so far unknown, is just how easily the virus is transmitted from an infected person to others. Officials warn much remains unknown, but each patient with the new coronavirus appears to be infecting about two other people.

By comparison, patients with SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, spread the infection to an average of two to four others. Each patient with measles — one of the most contagious viruses known to science — infects 12 to 18 unvaccinated people.

Health officials worry that the new coronavirus could resemble SARS — which appeared suddenly in China in 2002 and spread to 26 countries, sickening 8,000 people and killing 774, according to the WHO.The U.S. dodged a bullet with SARS, Schaffner said. Only eight Americans became infected and none died, according to the CDC. Yet SARS caused a global panic, leading people to shutter hotels, cancel flights, and close businesses.

Coronaviruses can be unpredictable, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. While some patients never infect anyone else, people who are “super-spreaders” can infect dozens of others.

At Seoul, South Korea’s Samsung Medical Center in 2015, a single emergency-room patient infected 82 people —patients, visitors, and staff — with a coronavirus called MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The hospital partly shut down to control the virus.

“This is one of the finest medical centers in the world, on par with the Cleveland Clinic, and they were brought to their knees,” Osterholm said.

Yet MERS has never posed much of a threat to the United States.

Only two patients in this country — health-care providers who had worked in Saudi Arabia — have ever tested positive for the virus, according to the CDC. Both patients survived.

Hotez, who is working to develop vaccines against neglected diseases, said he worries about unvaccinated children. Most kids who die from the flu haven’t been immunized against it, he said. And many were previously healthy.

“If you’re worried about your health, get your flu vaccination,” Hotez said. “It’s not too late.”

https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus-infection-death-risk-influenza-20200129.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deadly coronavirus ‘kills 15 PER CENT of patients over 80’ and the never-before-seen strain is ‘up to 20 TIMES more infectious than SARS’

  • Chinese health officials carried out the biggest ever study on the coronavirus
  • Results showed SARS-CoV-2 virus posed the greatest threat to older patients 
  • It is also dangerous for those with underlying conditions, such as heart disease
  • More than 73,000 cases have been recorded, with up to 99% of them in China 
  • Do you have a study about coronavirus? Email sam.blanchard@mailonline.co.uk 

The deadly coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world kills up to 15 per cent of patients over the age of 80, scientists have revealed.

Chinese health officials carried out the biggest ever study on the never-before-seen strain of the virus, using data from 72,000 cases.

Results showed the SARS-CoV-2 virus posed the greatest threat to older patients and those with underlying conditions, such as cancer and heart disease.

Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention researchers also found 80.9 per cent of infections are mild. Less than five per cent are critical.

More than 73,000 cases have been recorded worldwide, with 99 per cent in China. Almost 1,900 patients have already died.

Residents walk through a disinfection channel set up as a protective measure against the coronavirus at the entrance to their compound in Tongzhou, east of Beijing

Residents walk through a disinfection channel set up as a protective measure against the coronavirus at the entrance to their compound in Tongzhou, east of Beijing

A child wearing a face mask plays near a slide at a commercial and residential complex in a residential complex in Beijing

A child wearing a face mask plays near a slide at a commercial and residential complex in a residential complex in Beijing

A police officer wearing a face mask patrols in front of the Sunwill factory in Foshan, China

A medical worker takes a swab for testing from a Chinese paramilitary police officer in Shenzhen, Guangdong province

 

A medical worker takes a swab for testing from a Chinese paramilitary police officer in Shenzhen, Guangdong province

Cases of a mysterious pneumonia-causing virus first emerged in the now-deserted Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Researchers blamed a seafood market in Hubei city that illegally sold wild animals for being the source of the virus.

The virus has no known cure and most patients who are struck down recover within a couple of weeks without needing medical treatment.

Those who develop more serious infections in their lungs, such as pneumonia, need expert medical care to stop their illness turning deadly.

They looked at 72,314 confirmed, suspected, clinically diagnosed, and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 illness across China as of February 11.

COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the virus, which has effectively been named as SARS-2 by the World Health Organization.

Results showed the overall case-fatality ratio – the percentage of patients who die – was just 2.3 per cent.

Ninety-nine per cent of cases have been in China, where tens of millions of residents are in lockdown to contain the escalating crisis. The COVID-19 virus has killed at least 1,873 people

And more than 73,000 patients have been struck down with the deadly SARS-CoV-2 infection, including nearly 1,000 outside of China

And more than 73,000 patients have been struck down with the deadly SARS-CoV-2 infection, including nearly 1,000 outside of China

Almost 1,900 people have now died from the killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world

Almost 1,900 people have now died from the killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world

In comparison, SARS – which only infected a fraction of patients during the 2002/03 epidemic – killed around 10 per cent.

While the death rate for MERS, another type of coronavirus that was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, is even higher (34 per cent).

One of the world’s deadliest diseases, Ebola, kills around half of all patients it strikes. Ebola is not caused by any type of coronavirus.

When data for the SARS-CoV-2 infection was broken down, researchers found over-80s had the highest fatality ratio at 14.8 per cent.

The likelihood of death was just eight per cent of patients aged between 70 and 79, and 3.6 per cent for those in their sixties.

The case-fatality ratio was less than 1.5 per cent for patients in their fifties, and less than 0.5 per cent for everyone else – meaning roughly one in 200 will die.

There were no deaths among children aged up to nine, despite at least two cases of newborn babies infected through their mothers.

In contrast, the death rate for flu is around 0.1 per cent, according to the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC).

Older adults have weaker immune systems, meaning it is harder for the body to fight off a virus such as SARS-CoV-2 or flu.

Patients with heart disease were most likely to die from the virus, followed by those with diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and hypertension.

CCDC academics also found 80.9 percent of infections were classified as mild, 13.8 percent as severe and only 4.7 percent as critical.

And men are more likely to die (2.8 per cent) than women (1.7 per cent). But experts have yet to work out why men are more vulnerable.

Nearly 86 percent of those who have contracted the illness either lived in or travelled to Wuhan.

British cruise ship passenger David Abel and his wife Sally (pictured in their cabin on the Diamond Princess) have tested positive for coronavirus in Japan

David Abel believes he is going to test negative for coronavirus

Steve Abel (pictured today) said his parents David and Sally Abel were 'not getting any communication' from Whitehall and were 'feeling very unloved'

The Diamond Princess (pictured today) remains in lockdown and hundreds face a longer spell in quarantine even after the official incubation period ends tomorrow

American passenger details life on Diamond Princess ahead of evacuation

SON OF BRIT COUPLE WITH CORONAVIRUS ON CRUISE SHIP BEGS GOVERNMENT TO RESCUE THEM

The son of a British couple who caught coronavirus on a cruise ship in Japan has today savaged the government’s ‘appalling’ handling of the case.

Steve Abel said his parents David and Sally were ‘not getting any communication’ from Whitehall and were ‘feeling very unloved’ despite repeated pleas for help.

The British couple were among 88 people who tested positive for the virus in Japan today, taking the number of infections on board the ship to 542.

They are now being taken into a further quarantine on the mainland just a day before their stay on board the Diamond Princess was due to end.

The Abels will also be unable to join an evacuation flight which the British embassy is preparing today amid growing pressure after the US evacuated 340 of its citizens.

And 3,019 health workers have been diagnosed and five had died as of February 11, the report said.

The epidemic, which has seen cases in almost 30 countries, reached its ‘first peak’ between January 24 and 26, the report said.

It suggests there is has been a ‘downward trend’ in the overall epidemic curve since February 11 – meaning the spread of the disease was slowing.

A separate group of scientists published their findings about the virus on bioRxiv – an archive of papers before they have been peer-reviewed.

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin found SARS-CoV-2 was 20 times more likely to bind to human cells than its original predecessor.

South China Morning Post reports the team said the virus shares the same host-cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), with SARS.

The researchers wrote: ‘Compared with SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV appears to be more readily transmitted from human to human.

‘The high affinity of 2019-nCoV for human ACE2 may contribute to the apparent ease with which 2019-nCoV can spread from human to human.’

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT T