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The Pronk Pops Show 1413, March 13, 2020, Story 1: President Trumps Declares A National Emergency — Unleashes Full Power of United States Government — $50 Billion in New Funding To Deal With COVID-19 Pandemic — Videos- Story 2: House Expected To Pass Family First Coronavirus Response Bill Supported By President Trump — Videos –Story 3: United State Stock Market Rallies — Best Day Since 2008 — Consumer Sentiment Beating Expectations At 95.9 — Videos

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Story 1: President Trumps Declares A National Emergency — Unleashes Full Power of United States Government — $50 Billion in New Funding To Deal With COVID-19 Pandemic — Videos

 

BREAKING: Donald Trump declares a national emergency

Trump declares National Emergency over coronavirus

Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus pandemic

Tucker: Regular life is all but suspended

Hannity: Major businesses working with Trump on coronavirus

 

Trump declares virus emergency; Pelosi announces aid deal

President Donald Trump on Friday declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency in order to free up more money and resources. But he denied any responsibility for delays in making testing available for the new virus, whose spread has roiled markets and disrupted the lives of everyday Americans.

Speaking from the Rose Garden, Trump said, “I am officially declaring a national emergency,” unleashing as much as $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak.

Trump also announced a range of executive actions, including a new public-private partnership to expand coronavirus testing capabilities with drive-through locations, as his administration has come under fire for being too slow in making the test available.

Trump said, “I don’t take responsibility at all” for the slow rollout of testing.

Late Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a deal with the Trump administration for an aid package from Congress that aims at direct relief to Americans — free testing, two weeks of sick pay for workers, enhanced unemployment benefits and bolstered food programs.

“We are proud to have reached an agreement with the Administration to resolve outstanding challenges, and now will soon pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” Pelosi announced in a letter to colleagues. The House was poised to vote.

The crush of late-day activity capped a tumultuous week in Washington as the fast-moving virus shuttered the capital’s power centers, roiled financial markets and left ordinary Americans suddenly navigating through self-quarantines, school closures and a changed way of life.

The White House was under enormous pressure, dealing with the crisis on multiple fronts as it encroached ever closer on the president.

Trump has been known to flout public health advice — eagerly shaking hands during the more than hour-long afternoon event — but acknowledged he “most likely” will be tested now after having been in contact with several officials who have tested positive for the virus. “Fairly soon,” he said.

Still, Trump said officials don’t want people taking the test unless they have certain symptoms. “We don’t want people without symptoms to go and do that test,” Trump said, adding, “It’s totally unnecessary.”

Additionally, Trump took a number of other actions to bolster energy markets, ease the financial burden for Americans with student loans and give medical professionals additional “flexibility” in treating patients during the public health crisis.

“Through a very collective action and shared sacrifice, national determination, we will overcome the threat of the virus,” Trump said.

Central to the aid package from Congress, which builds on an emergency $8.3 billion measure approved last week, is the free testing and sick pay provisions.

Providing sick pay for workers is a crucial element of federal efforts to stop the rapid spread of the infection. Officials warn that the nation’s healthcare system could quickly become overwhelmed with gravely sick patients, as suddenly happened in Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by the virus.

The ability to ensure paychecks will keep flowing — for people who stay home as a preventative measure or because they’re feeling ill or caring for others — can help assure Americans they will not fall into financial hardship.

Hopes for swiftly passing the package seemed to be fading throughout the day as talks dragged on and Trump dismissed it during as “not doing enough.”

Ahead of Trump’s new conference, Pelosi delivered a statement from the speaker’s balcony at the Capitol imploring the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to “put families first” by backing the effort to provide Americans with relief.

“Our great nation has faced crisis before,” Pelosi said. “And every time, thanks to the courage and optimism of the American people, we have prevailed. Now, working together, we will once again prevail.”

Pelosi and Mnuchin engaged in days of around-the-clock negotiations with cross-town phone calls that continued even as Trump was speaking, both indicating earlier they were close to a deal.

They both promised a third coronavirus package will follow soon, with more aggressive steps to boost the U.S. economy, which economists fear has already slipped into recession.

The financial markets closed on an upswing after one of the worst nosedives since the 1987 downturn.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to be over it.

Trump said he was gratified that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested negative for the virus, after the pair sat next to each other for an extended period of time last weekend at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. A senior aide to Bolsonaro tested positive.

Trump’s daugher, Ivanka Trump, worked from home Friday after meeting with Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, now in isolation at a hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus. White House spokesman Judd Deere said she was evaluated by the White House Medical Unit and it was determined that because she was exhibiting no symptoms she does not need to self-quarantine.

Attorney General William Barr, who also met with the Australian official, was staying home Friday, though he “felt great and wasn’t showing any symptoms,” according to his spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.

Several lawmakers, including some close to Trump, have also been exposed to people who tested positive for the virus, and are self-isolating.

Among them are Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott, who were at Trump’s club on the weekend. Graham announced Friday that he also met with the Australian official who has now tested positive. And GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who had previously isolated himself after a potential exposure at a conservative conference in Washington, said Friday he met with a Spanish official and is now self-quarantining.

Hospitals welcomed Trump’s emergency declaration, which they and lawmakers in Congress had been requesting. It allows the Health and Human Services Department to temporarily waive certain federal rules that can make it harder for hospitals and other health care facilities to respond to an emergency.

The American Medical Association said the emergency declaration would help ensure America’s health care system has sufficient resources to properly respond to the ongoing outbreak.

Trump has struggled to show he’s on top of the crisis, after giving conflicting descriptions of what the U.S. is doing to combat the virus. On Wednesday he announced he would ban travel to the U.S. from Europe, and on Friday he suggested extending that to the U.K. because of a recent rise in cases.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health, said more tests would be available over the next week, but warned, “We still have a long way to go.”

Fauci said Friday, “There will be many more cases. But we’ll take care of that, and ultimately, as the president said, this will end.”

___

Associated Press writers Aamer Madhani, Alan Fram, Lauran Neergaard, Martin Crutsinger, Laurie Kellman, Michael Balsamo and Kevin Freking in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.

https://apnews.com/83b0c8e168548fd453b0c177dd1f203a

 

Story 2: House Expected Passes Family First Coronavirus Response Bill Supported By President Trump — Videos

House Passes Coronavirus Relief Bill

House approves coronavirus response bill supported by Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will pass coronavirus legislation

Mnuchin: Trump is very interested in putting money into the economy

PBS NewsHour West live episode, March 13, 2020

Story 3: United State Stock Market Rallies — Best Day Since 2008 — Consumer Sentiment Beating Expectations At 95.9 — Videos

The Dow Is Soaring – Here’s Why the Stock Market Is Cheering Trump

Barry Sternlicht: Stock market will make a comeback from coronavirus

El-Erian on markets: ‘It’s getting less scary than it has been for a while’

Cramer’s game plan for the trading week of March 16

Jim Cramer: Not sure this stock market sell-off can be stopped

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The Pronk Pops Show 1409, March 9, 2020, Pronk Pops Show 1368 December 4, 2019  Story 1: President Trump and Cornavirus Task Force Addresses The American People — Senior Citizens Over Age 60 With Serious Underlining Existing Medical Conditions Including High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes Are At Higher Risk For COVID -19 — Overall Risk Is Still Low For All Others — Videos — Story 2: Progressive Pandemic Propaganda Panic Pushers — High Blood Pressure Is A Risk Factor Along With Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes — Videos — Story 3: People of Italy Go Into Quarantine — Videos — Story 4: Stock Market Crashes With Biggest One Day Loss Ever — Nearing 20% Drop Ending Bull Market — Economy Keeps  Growing Despite Progressive Pandemic Propaganda People Panic — Betrayed By Big Government Parties and Big Lie Media Mob — American People Outraged — Videos — Story 5: Hillary Clinton Wants to Be Vice-President To Replace Biden When He Goes Full Dementia — One Problem — President Trump Wins Second Term With Landslide Victory — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1368 December 4, 2019 

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Story 1: President Trump and Coronavirus Task Force Addresses The American People — Senior Citizens Over Age 60 With Serious Underlining Existing Medical Conditions Including High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Cancer, Decreased White Cells, Diabetes Are At Higher Risk For COVID -19– Overall Risk Is Still Low For All Others — Videos

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WATCH LIVE: President Trump and coronavirus task force hold briefing as outbreak widens – 3/9/2020

 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:

  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. (An outbreak is when a large number of people suddenly get sick.) Depending on how severe the outbreak is, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

Get Ready for COVID-19 Now
  • Have supplies on hand
    • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
    • If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
    • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
    • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
  • Take everyday precautions
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Take everyday preventive actions
      • Clean your hands often
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
      • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
      • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
      • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
      • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
      • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
      • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
      • Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
  • If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.
    • Stay home as much as possible.
      • Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks
  • Have a plan for if you get sick:
    • Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
    • Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
    • Determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick

Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs

  • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

What to Do if You Get Sick
  • Stay home and call your doctor
  • Call your healthcare provider and let them know about your symptoms. Tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
  • If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow CDC instructions for how to take care of yourself at home.
  • Know when to get emergency help
  • Get medical attention immediately if you have any of the emergency warning signs listed above.

What Others can do to Support Older Adults
Community Support for Older Adults
  • Community preparedness planning for COVID-19 should include older adults and people with disabilities, and the organizations that support them in their communities, to ensure their needs are taken into consideration.
    • Many of these individuals live in the community, and many depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their health and independence.
  • Long-term care facilities should be vigilant to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19. Information for long-term care facilities can be found here.
Family and Caregiver Support
  • Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
  • Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.
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Prevention and Treatment
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Get Your Household Ready

Story 2: Progressive Pandemic Propaganda Panic Pushers — High Blood Pressure Is A Risk Factor Along With Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes — Videos —

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Coronavirus: Doctor says high blood pressure a major death risk

Of a group of 170 patients who died in January in Wuhan about 50% had hypertension

 

blood pressure (BP)


While there’s been no published research yet explaining why, Chinese doctors working in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus first emerged, have noticed that infected patients with that underlying illness are more likely to slip into severe distress and die.

Of a group of 170 patients who died in January in Wuhan – the first wave of casualties caused by a pathogen that’s now raced around the world – nearly half had hypertension.

“That’s a very high ratio,” said Du Bin, director of the intensive care unit at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, in an interview with Bloomberg over the phone from Wuhan. He was among a team of top doctors sent to the devastated city two months ago to help treat patients there.

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“From what I was told by other doctors and the data I can see myself, among all the underlying diseases, hypertension is a key dangerous factor,” said Du, one of the most respected critical care experts in China. “Though there is no research published on that yet, we believe hypertension could be an important factor in causing patients to deteriorate, leading to a bad prognosis.”

As the outbreak picks up speed in Europe and the US, plunging countries like Italy into crisis, doctors are struggling to treat the highly-infectious pathogen that’s infected over 108,000 people globally in just three months.

Understanding the course of the disease and identifying individuals at greatest risk are critical for optimizing care for a global contagion that’s killed more than 3,700 people since emerging in China in December.

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Answers may lie in studying the large pool of patients in China, where more than 15,000 remain hospitalized although new infections have slowed dramatically. The disease turns critical in 6% of patients and deterioration can happen very quickly.

“We’ll keep an eye on old people and those with high blood pressure. They are the key focus,” said Du.

Besides the hypertension factor, Du’s other insights into treating the disease are:

Move aggressively to ventilate

Du said that doctors should not hesitate to escalate measures for patients facing respiratory distress, as organ failure can set in quickly after. That means doctors should intervene aggressively with invasive ventilation measures – inserting a tube into a patient’s throat or cutting the throat open to create an airway – when low blood oxygen levels can’t be improved by less invasive measures.

Almost half of the patients who require invasive mechanical ventilation end up dying, but most of those who recover are those who were put on invasive ventilation early, said Du.

“Patients need to use invasive ventilation as early as possible, there’s no point of doing it late,” he said.

Respiratory therapists – doctors that specialise in ventilation and oxygen treatment – are becoming all the more important in treating patients critically ill with Covid-19 as they are more knowledgeable and can fine-tune ventilators to suit patient conditions.

No ‘Magic Bullets’ in drugs

There is growing anticipation over drugs being developed to treat the virus, with investors adding billions to the market value of pharmaceutical companies testing treatments now. But Du said drugs alone cannot save patients, especially those in severe condition.

The experience of SARS, the epidemic 17 years ago that sickened almost 8,000 people, showed that most patients can be cured without a specific anti-viral drug, said Du. And the abundance of antibiotics has not prevented deaths by bacterial infections, he added.

“When there’s a virus infection, we hope there’s a drug that can kill the virus and change the clinical outcome. But there’s no magic bullet.”

Instead, teamwork among specialists and nurses in intensive care units can be more crucial in keeping patients alive, he said. “An ICU doctor should work like a conductor in an orchestra to provide life-sustaining treatment while taking into consideration different specialist views,” he said.

Threat of re-infection

Reports that people who have recovered and been discharged from hospital later test positive again – and even die from the disease – have ignited fears that the virus can somehow re-emerge.

Du said that patients becoming re-infected again within days of leaving the hospital makes no sense “theoretically” as the anti-bodies in their bloodstream generated from fighting the disease do not disappear so quickly, although they don’t necessarily stay forever.

“What we need to look at in terms of those who tested positive again is concerns over the authenticity of their negative results,” he said. For example, samples taken from different areas of the same patient could test differently depending on where the virus resides.

Test kits made by different manufacturers could also have inconsistencies that impact test results, he said.

https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/coronavirus-doctor-says-high-blood-pressure-a-major-death-risk-1.1583772143148

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The Pronk Pops Show 1406, March 4, 2020, Story 1: President Trump Wins All 14 States and Over 740 Delegates On Super Tuesday and Has Total Delegates of 859 With 1,276 Delegates Needed To Win Republican Nomination for President — Americans Love A Winner — Videos — Story 2: Democrats Deeply Divided — Democratic Establishment Candidate Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden vs. Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) Bernie Sanders — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers vs. Trump The Winner — Americans Love A Winner — Videos — Story 3: Containing Circulating COVID-19 Communist Chinese Cough Crisis  Chaos — Do Not Touch Your Face and Wash Your Hands to Prevent Droplet Spreading and Infecting — Videos — Story 4: Federal Reserve Cuts Target Federal Fund Rate By 50 Basis Points or .5% To 1.00% to 1.25% — Return of Easy Monetary Policy — Bubble Blowing — Is Quantitative Easing or Money Printing Next? — Absolutely — Videos– Story 5: United States Stock Market Corrected for Bubble Prices —  Stock Market Prices Surge

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Story 1: President Trump Wins All 14 States and Over 740 Delegates On Super Tuesday and Has Total Delegates of 859 With 1,276 Delegates Needed To Win Republican Nomination for President — Americans Love A Winner — Videos

Patton (1/5) Movie CLIP – Americans Love a Winner (1970) HD

President Trump delivers remarks at CPAC

President Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

President Donald Trump Sweeps Super Tuesday

The president picked up hundreds of delegates in an unsurprising victory in more than a dozen states.

Story 2: Democrats Deeply Divided — Democratic Establishment Candidate Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden vs. Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) Bernie Sanders — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers vs. Trump The Winner — Americans Love A Winner — Videos

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Super Tuesday results show clear two-man race for Democratic nomination

Rubio on Biden vs. Sanders: It’s either old Obama policies or Marxism

Trump calls Warren ‘selfish’ for staying in 2020 race

Mike Bloomberg drops out of the 2020 race

Gowdy: Biden only looks moderate because he is next to Bernie

NOT A JOKE: Biden Has Dementia?! | Louder with Crowder

 

Mike Bloomberg QUITS 2020 race after disastrous Super Tuesday saying winning is ‘impossible’ after spending $1 BILLION for just 44 delegates – and immediately endorses Joe Biden, while Elizabeth Warren ‘assesses her path forward’

  • Mike Bloomberg and  Elizabeth Warren are the dramatic losers on Super Tuesday
  • Bloomberg quit at 10.11am having spent $1 billion to only win 44 delegates
  • Warren came in third in her own state of Massachusetts and came in third in nearby Maine too; aides said she was ‘assessing the path forward’
  • Dramatic count in Texas ends with Joe Biden winning the state – securing a sensational comeback from the political dead after he joked: ‘They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing.’ 
  • Bernie Sanders seized a victory in California in the last act of a dramatic Super Tuesday which saw Joe Biden win state after state in landslides across the nation – only for his rival to take the biggest prize of all 
  • Biden started Super Tuesday off strong, sweeping a swath of the south after first winning Virginia then picking up North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Minnesota, Arkansas, Massachusetts and Texas
  • Sanders currently has four states under his belt: California, Vermont, Utah and Colorado 
  • Both Sanders and Biden claimed victory, and both said they will take the nomination 
  • The path to the nomination in Milwaukee now runs through a mini-Super Tuesday on March 10, when Missouri, Michigan, Washington and Mississippi vote

Mike Bloomberg dramatically quit the presidential race Wednesday morning after a disastrous Super Tuesday and immediately backed Joe Biden.

The billionaire gained just 44 delegates by 10.11am, the time he announced his departure – but ran up a bill of $1 billion.

He immediately and whole-heartedly backed Biden, the night’s big winner, hinting that his vast fortune is now at the former vice-president’s disposal.

‘I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it,’ he said.

‘I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country – including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs.

‘Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States.’

Democrats are also urging Elizabeth Warren to drop out after further pulling votes from frontrunners Biden and Bernie Sanders without winning any states – including her home of Massachusetts.

She was reported by NBC News to he holding talks with aides about ‘the path forward,’ suggesting that she too is on the brink.

And in yet another blow to Warren early Wednesday morning, Biden was declared winner in Maine, the last of the 14 Super Tuesday states to declare – and Warren did not even get the 15 per cent threshold to pick up delegates there.

In the White House Donald Trump took time out of the coronavirus crisis to send a string of mocking tweets about his richer would-be rival and notably about Bloomberg’s campaign aide Tim O’Brien. Trump had tried and failed to sue O’Brien for libel for writing in 2006 that he was not a real billionaire.

Bloomberg had been a late bloomer to the race.

Seeing the relative weakness of frontrunner Biden, and after first saying he would not run for the White House in 2020 the billionaire decided to jump in after all around Thanksgiving.

Out: Mike Bloomberg quit the race hours after a drubbing, saying: 'After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists.'

Out: Mike Bloomberg quit the race hours after a drubbing, saying: ‘After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists.’

Still not out: Elizabeth Warren - who lost her home state of Massachusetts to both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders Tuesday night

 

 

 

I’M ALL IN FOR JOE – HOW BLOOMBERG QUIT

This is Bloomberg’s statement as he left the race  

Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump. 

Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.

I’m a believer in using data to inform decisions. After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists. 

But I remain clear-eyed about my overriding objective: victory in November. 

Not for me, but for our country. And so while I will not be the nominee, I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life. 

I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. 

After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden. 

I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country – including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs. 

I’ve had the chance to work with Joe on those issues over the years, and Joe has fought for working people his whole life. 

Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States. 

Like another former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who ran for the White House in 2008, Bloomberg decided to skip the first states that held primaries – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

But a change in the Democratic National Committee rules allowed for Bloomberg to still make the Las Vegas debate stage last month.

It was the first time for American voters to see Bloomberg the candidate outside the flurry of television ads his hundreds of millions had bought.

And while the expectation was for Sanders, a democratic socialist, to push back on Bloomberg being there, within the first 10 minutes Warren brought up some of the alleged sexist behavior from the ex-mayor’s past.

‘I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: A billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’ And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,’ Warren said. ‘Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk.’

Warren’s debate performance was the beginning of the end.

The results of the single-biggest primary contest night essentially narrowed the field to a two-horse race with Biden edging Sanders.

On Super Tuesday, 14 states and the U.S. territory of American Samoa voted, and Bloomberg only walked away with a win in Samoa – where six delegates were up for grabs.

Every other state was won by either the former vice president or senator from Vermont.

The scale of Biden’s comeback is not in doubt – and neither is Sanders’ ability to keep going, possibly even to the convention in Milwaukee in July.

Biden began by winning state after state, and appeared to stumble when California went to Sanders just after the polls closed there at 8pm – 11pm Eastern.

For the two frontrunners, Sanders’ win in California initially threatened to upend the narrative of the night being a sensational comeback for Biden.

However, the state may yet deliver the kind of resounding win or delegate haul for Sanders that had been forecast.

Sanders had a strong lead, with 87 per cent of the vote in, Biden was running nearly 9 points ahead, and the Vermont senator had garnered over a million votes. In California, Bloomberg also slipped below the 15 per cent threshold he would need to hit in order to collect delegates.

There was a dramatic race playing out through the night in Texas, the night’s second biggest prize. Biden opened up a lead over Sanders early Wednesday morning.

By the time the race was called around 2 am, he was leading Sanders by 50,000 votes, with 89 per cent reporting. Biden was at 33 percent, Sanders was at 30 per cent, and Bloomberg was at 15 per cent – just enough to earn delegates.

As votes continued to come in Wednesday morning, Bloomberg had slipped below that 15 per cent.

There were long lines in Harris County, home to Houston, where Biden was running up strong margins. As in southern states, Biden was running up big margins with the state’s African American voters, but Sanders heavily targeted Latino voters in the state. Biden’s margin, however was bigger.

Some voters were online for six hours, in a state that had pared back polling locations. Biden cleaned up among those who decided who to back late – winning the group 49 to 20 per cent in the state.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called it ‘astounding,’ noting that Biden didn’t spend ‘a penny’ there, speaking on CNN.

Biden staged a dramatic rally in Dallas Monday where he secured endorsements from former presidential rivals Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke. Earlier Monday, Pete Buttigieg had also endorsed the former vice president.

O’Rourke later took Biden out to a Whataburger, a regional chain, for a milkshake.

Across the map there were signs of Biden’s sudden revival.

Biden dealt a humiliating blow to Warren in her home state of Massachusetts – snagging at least 28 delegates out of the state and beating her in her backyard. She vowed to stay in the race all the way to the conventions even as more centrist candidates flocked to 77-year-old former vice president.

He also denied the prize to Sanders, who hails from a neighboring state.

Bloomberg was born there, and had actor Michael Douglas stumping for him in Boston.

But the region where he dominated was the south, with wins stretching from Virginia to Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Biden scored a surprise win in Minnesota.

Warren, hosting a rally in downtown Detroit, called herself ‘the woman who’s going to beat Donald Trump.’

The final details of delegate distribution were yet to be determined as the night wore on. But Biden’s overwhelming performance, and the collapse of Bloomberg and Warren, immediately reset the race, with the prospect that Sanders and his political ‘revolution’ would be up against a long slog against the Demoratic establishment-backed candidate as he was against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Biden rushed to win after win early in the night, with Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama falling in rapid succession.

He took Minnesota without spending a dime on advertising and despite being third in the polls until Amy Klobuchar dropped out on Sunday. She endorsed Biden on Monday.

‘Prediction has been a terrible business and pundits have gotten it wrong over and over,’ she said. ‘Here’s my advice. Cast a vote that will make you proud.’

Then Sanders took some western wins in Utah and Colorado and snared the biggest state of all.

Bernie Sanders seized a victory in California in the last act of a dramatic Super Tuesday which saw Joe Biden win state after state in landslides across the nation – only for his rival to take the biggest prize of all

Bernie Sanders seized a victory in California in the last act of a dramatic Super Tuesday which saw Joe Biden win state after state in landslides across the nation – only for his rival to take the biggest prize of all

Biden rushed to win after win early in the night, with Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama falling in rapid succession. He took Minnesota without spending a dime on advertising and despite being third in the polls until Amy Klobuchar dropped out on Sunday

As Biden raced to a series of state victories, Mike Bloomberg's campaign said he plans to 'reassess' whether he should stay in the race tomorrow. His aides said his campaign chiefs were considering their next move. Dropping out would hand a huge victory to Biden and also the potential for Bloomberg's almost unlimited resources to be thrown behind him immediately

s Biden raced to a series of state victories, Mike Bloomberg’s campaign said he plans to ‘reassess’ whether he should stay in the race tomorrow. His aides said his campaign chiefs were considering their next move. Dropping out would hand a huge victory to Biden and also the potential for Bloomberg’s almost unlimited resources to be thrown behind him immediately

TRUMP ROASTS HIS RIVALS AND TOASTS HIS OWN SUCCESS

Donald Trump skewered his critics while toasting his own successes on Twitter as results rolled in from Super Tuesday ballots across the country.

The President reserved most of his ire for ‘Mini’ Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, who both had poor showings in the polls.

Hitting out at fellow New York billionaire Bloomberg, Trump branded him ‘the biggest loser of the night, by far’.

‘His ‘political’ consultants took him for a ride,’ Trump tweeted.

‘$700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike!’

Trump also took aim at Warren after she failed to win her home state of Massachusetts, landing her a distant third in the delegate stakes.

‘Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, other than Mini Mike, was the loser of the night. She didn’t even come close to winning her home state of Massachusetts,’ he wrote.

While Trump made sure to put down his rivals, he donated most of his energy to cheering his own successes – albeit while facing token opposition.

As each win rolled in he tweeted out a message of thanks to his supporters, while vowing to retake the presidency in November.

In Los Angeles, before California was called for Sanders, Biden took to the stage and cast himself the victor, regardless if Sanders took both California and Texas.

First, he mixed up his wife Jill and sister Valerie, a characteristic gaffe which has clearly done nothing to put off Democratic voters.

Biden declared: ‘It’s a great night and it seems to be getting even better. They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing!’

The former vice president recalled how just days ago the suggestion was that Super Tuesday would mark the end of his campaign.

‘Well it may be over for the other guy,’ Biden said, a clear shot at Sanders.

Energized, coherent and not put off even by two militant vegan protesters who ran onto the stage to protest against the dairy industry, he painted himself as the one Democrat who can take on Trump.

‘A lifelong Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat,’ he said to cheers – a pointed way to contrast himself to Sanders, who is an independent senator.

Jill Biden was captured in a photograph grabbing the protester by the arm and grimacing.  Symone Sanders, Sanders’ former press secretary who’s not a top Biden adviser, had rushed across the stage to pull a protester off.

It was a return in part to the early days of the race, when Biden held a strong polling lead before the first states voted and caucused. With Sanders on the rise days ago and party leaders warning the democratic socialist could seize the nomination Tuesday, forces coalesced around Biden in South Carolina.

A key factor was the endorsement there of James C. Clyburn, the state’s most senior African American elected official.

In Vermont, Sanders pinned his hopes on California, pivoting to a victory speech and a string of attacks on Biden.

‘Tonight I tell you with absolute confidence we are going to win the Democratic nomination,’ he said.

The path to the nomination in Milwaukee now runs through a mini-Super Tuesday on March 10, when Missouri, Michigan, Washington and Mississippi vote.

Sanders had appeared to be ahead in Michigan but Biden’s upset in Minnesota is likely to weigh heavily there, and the combined demographic of African-Americans and disaffected blue collar voters could play to Biden’s strengths.

The following Tuesday, March 17, offers another selection of massive delegate counts when Florida, Illinois and Ohio all vote, along with Arizona.

The following week, March 24, sees Georgia vote, which Biden’s southern firewall should make a surefire victory.

For Sanders, the loss of momentum from a rocky Super Tuesday could be critical.

In 2016 he stayed in by rallying his base and railing against an ‘establishment’ determined not to give him the nomination and to install an ‘inevitable’ candidate in Hillary Clinton.

That may be more difficult as he faces in Biden an opponent whose comeback narrative offers him some of the advantages of the underdog, and whose narrative of empathy and standing up for those who were left behind overlaps with Sanders’ more radical rhetoric.

The string of endorsements Biden has garnered in the last few days from centrist party figures, including three of his former rivals, have been crucial in driving momentum.

In Los Angeles, before California was called for Sanders', Biden took to the stage and cast himself the victor, regardless if Sanders took California and Texas

Energized, coherent and not put off even by two militant vegan protesters (pictured) who ran onto the stage to protest against the dairy industry, Biden painted himself as the one Democrat who can take on Trump

Energized, coherent and not put off even by two militant vegan protesters (pictured) who ran onto the stage to protest against the dairy industry, Biden painted himself as the one Democrat who can take on Trump

Biden's early lead caused a dramatic shift and left Sanders, until last week the frontrunner, clinging to the hope of doing well in California before polls closed in the nation's most populous state. Shortly after polls in California closed, he was named the winner

Biden's campaign had suggested that the key to Super Tuesday was to minimize Sanders' lead and a Virginia victory appeared to put them on the path to that goal. The sign of momentum for the former vice president came as he saw a boost in last-minute opinion polls despite having trailed Sanders in recent weeks

WARREN LOSES HER HOME STATE

Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for president fell flat on Super Tuesday as she was unable to win even her home state of Massachusetts.

Warren lost to both Joe Biden – whose South Carolina win Saturday night restored his frontrunner status – and Bernie Sanders, who represents neighboring state Vermont. Warren was in third place with 22 per cent of the vote with 70 per cent of the votes counted.

‘Predictions are a terrible business. Pundits have gotten it wrong over and over,’ Warren told the Michigan crowd. ‘Cast a vote that will make you proud. Vote from your heart. And vote for the person who you think will make the best president of the United States.’

During her final rally in California Monday night, Warren dismissed the surging Biden as a same-old, same-old Washington politician.

Sanders supporters cheer as they hear election results during a party held at Central Machine Works Brewery in Austin, Texas

Sanders supporters cheer as they hear election results during a watch party held at Central Machine Works Brewery in Austin, Texas - a state he eventually lost to Biden

Supporters of Bernie Sanders look over Super Tuesday election results at a campaign center in Denver, Colorado

Supporters of Democratic Presidential hopeful Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren attend a rally in Detroit

Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, remains in the race though has only campaigned sporadically. She did make a pitch to voters in American Samoa, where she was born, to vote for her Tuesday

Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, remains in the race though has only campaigned sporadically. She did make a pitch to voters in American Samoa, where she was born, to vote for her Tuesday

People wait to vote during the presidential primary in Santa Monica, California on Super Tuesday

People wait to vote during the presidential primary in Santa Monica, California on Super Tuesday

Voters cast their ballots in the Democratic presidential primary election at a polling place in Armstrong Elementary School o in Herndon, Virginia

Rochelle Marks, 77, votes at a polling station on Super Tuesday in Beverly Hills, California

People line up to vote at a polling station on Super Tuesday in Beverly Hills, California

Students at the University of Vermont Franklin fill out voter registration forms at a polling place on Super Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont. At the close of the polls on Tuesday night, Sanders won his home state

Students at the University of Vermont Franklin fill out voter registration forms at a polling place on Super Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont. At the close of the polls on Tuesday night, Sanders won his home state

Voters cast their ballots at a polling location inside an elementary school in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Those included former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas, Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, former Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Rep. Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, among others.

Now Biden will have Bloomberg out of his way in order to capture more moderate voters – and Bloomberg’s commitment to help him remove Trump from office.

President Trump, for his part, touted his string of Republican primary victories Tuesday night, tweeting his thanks after state after state was called in his favor.

The president only had token competition – former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – in the Super Tuesday contests and one state, Virginia, canceled its GOP primary as Trump, like most incumbent presidents, is easily expected to win his party’s nomination.

Trump has played armchair pundit on Twitter as he’s watched the shake-up on the Democratic side.

‘Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, other than Mini Mike, was the loser of the night. She didn’t even come close to winning her home state of Massachusetts. Well, now she can just sit back with her husband and have a nice cold beer!’ Trump tweeted early Wednesday.

The president relished the news that Bloomberg had bowed out.

‘Mini Mike Bloomberg just “quit” the race for President. I could have told him long ago that he didn’t have what it takes, and he would have saved himself a billion dollars, the real cost,’ Trump wrote. ‘Now he will pour money into Sleepy Joe’s campaign, hoping to save face.’

‘It won’t work!’ Trump said.

Biden talks with actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key as he campaigns before his evening rally on Super Tuesday in LA

Meanwhile Bernie Sanders, who was earning frontrunner status, spoke to thousands at his rallies in Super Tuesday states including one Monday night in Minneapolis. With Amy Klobuchar out, her state is up for grabs

On Monday night at a really in Los Angeles Warren pitched herself as the candidate who could split the difference between Biden and Sanders. 'Voters deserve a choice of someone with unshakeable values who can also get things done and bring all kinds of Democrats along with her,' she argued

Voters from 14 states head to the polls on 'Super Tuesday,' with about a third of Democratic delegates at stake in a single day

WHO ARE THE 4 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

 

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 

 

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.

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

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8074295/Democrats-tell-Mike-Bloomberg-Elizabeth-Warren-quit-Joe-Bidens-dramatic-comeback.html

 

Story 3: Containing Circulating COVID-19 Communist Chinese Cough Crisis  Chaos — Do Not Touch Your Face and Wash Your Hands to Prevent Droplet Spreading and Infecting You and Others — Videos

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What’s New

You can also keep up with CDC updates on Coronavirus Disease 2019 by signing up for email updatessyndicating available content, and subscribing to Coronavirus Disease 2019 RSS Feed.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/whats-new-all.html

 

10 Things to Know About CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 + TOP 3 SOURCES to Follow—For

Family & Friends

These are the 10 things you MUST KNOW about CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 to keep your family safe. The video also explains why you should take this outbreak seriously and where to go for CREDIBLE INFORMATION to help you stay ahead of the news curve.

1) Coronavirus Covid-19 is not the flu, it’s not SARS, and it’s not MERS. It’s a completely new virus.

2) Coronavirus Covid-19 is 20x deadlier than the flu.

3) Although 81% of people experience mild symptoms, Coronavirus Covid-19 has a high complication rate.

4) If you contract the virus and you’re older, your chances of dying are higher. But young people in their 20’s and 30’s have died too, so don’t be complacent.

5) Coronavirus Covid-19 can have a very long incubation period, and it spreads asymptomatically.

6) Coronavirus Covid-19 spreads via droplets in the air and AEROSOL!

7) The R0 factor of this virus is incredibly high.

8) There have been reports out of Asia of people getting Covid-19 again, so recovering once does not guarantee immunity afterward.

9) In the United States, we are in the early part of the curve, where it looks like nothing much is happening.

10) Vaccines are not yet available and probably won’t be for 6-18 months, no matter what you read in the headlines.

*****3 TO FOLLOW***** Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVQC1…

Dr. Roger Seheult, MedCram: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quDYb…

Dr. John Campbell, Retired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmIRM…

*****SOURCES***** Lessons from the Coronavirus outbreak in China 2019: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama…

Age of Coronavirus deaths: https://www.worldometers.info/coronav…

Outbreak country charts: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitica…

Why some Covid-19 cases are worse than others: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-op…

Too early to compare Coronavirus to Flu: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/w…

Covid-19 Coronavirus reinfection in Japan raises questions:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/202… #coronavirus #covid19

 

 

WHO says coronavirus death rate is 3.4% globally, higher than previously thought

  • World health officials say the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 3.4% globally, higher than previous estimates of about 2%.
  • “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

World health officials said Tuesday the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 3.4% globally, higher than previous estimates of about 2%.

“Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. In comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected, he said.

The World Health Organization had said last week that the mortality rate of COVID-19 can differ, ranging from 0.7% to up to 4%, depending on the quality of the health-care system where it’s treated. Early in the outbreak, scientists had concluded the death rate was around 2.3%.

During a press briefing Monday, WHO officials said they don’t know how COVID-19 behaves, saying it’s not like influenza. They added that while much is known about the seasonal flu, such as how it’s transmitted and what treatments work to suppress the disease, that same information is still in question when it comes to the coronavirus.

“This is a unique virus, with unique features. This virus is not influenza,” Tedros said Monday. “We are in uncharted territory.”

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said Monday that the coronavirus isn’t transmitting the same exact way as the flu and health officials have been given a “glimmer, a chink of light” that the virus could be contained. 

“Here we have a disease for which we have no vaccine, no treatment, we don’t fully understand transmission, we don’t fully understand case mortality, but what we have been genuinely heartened by is that unlike influenza, where countries have fought back, where they’ve put in place strong measures, we’ve remarkably seen that the virus is suppressed,” Ryan said.

Do face masks work? Medical experts explain how to protect yourself from coronavirus

KEY POINTS
  • Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have been at pains to emphasize against an unwarranted scramble for face masks in recent weeks.
  • South Korea, Italy and Iran have all recorded sharp upticks in cases of the coronavirus in recent days, with many other countries imposing travel restrictions on virus-hit areas worldwide.
  • Infections have now been reported in every continent except Antarctica.

GP: CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS - 106419119 200203 EU

This photo taken on February 28, 2020 shows workers producing face masks at a factory in Handan in China’s northern Hebei province.
STR | AFP via Getty Images

Medical experts have urged people to stop panic buying face masks, warning that such equipment is not an effective way to protect yourself from the fast-spreading coronavirus.

The advice comes at a time of intensifying concern about COVID-19, which has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide since late last year.

The outbreak was first identified in Hubei province, China, where over 90% of the deaths have been reported. More recently, the virus has been spreading at a faster rate outside China than inside the country.

VIDEO02:38
Face mask shortage sparks global race to fulfill orders

The WHO has declared the outbreak a global health emergency, with almost 60 countries reporting cases of the coronavirus.

Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have been at pains to emphasize against an unwarranted scramble for face masks in recent weeks, particularly because such hoarding behavior elevates the prospect of an equipment shortage for medical workers.

“Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS!” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said via Twitter over the weekend.

“They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

U.S. Surgeon General

@Surgeon_General

Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!

They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching , but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!
http://bit.ly/37Ay6Cm 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

cdc.gov

47.8K people are talking about this

The warning from America’s top doctor is consistent with medical advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has said there is no evidence to support wearing face masks.

Instead, Adams said “the best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventative actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of the respiratory illness.”

‘Not a lot of evidence’ to support wearing face masks

It has been suggested wearing face masks could be useful if you’re sick in order to prevent you from sneezing or coughing into somebody’s face, David Heymann, who led WHO’s infectious disease unit at the time of the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003, said at a Chatham House press briefing last month.

But, “a mask that is used to stop getting an infection is sometimes not very effective because people take it off to eat, many times they are worn improperly (and) if they get wet and somebody sneezes on that mask it could pass through.

So, there is really not a lot of evidence (to support wearing masks).”

GP: THAILAND-CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS 200204 EU
Children with face masks wash their hands before prayer at Erawan shrine, a popular spritual landmark in Bangkok on January 27, 2020.
MLADEN ANTONOV | AFP via Getty Images

“One of the most important ways of stopping respiratory outbreaks such as this is washing hands,” Heymann continued.

That’s because “if you touch a patient, if you shake hands, if you touch a door that has a droplet on it — which could theoretically happen — then you touch your face (or) your mouth and you become infected.”

“So, handwashing is the most important. And second is, people who are suspected as being patients, be very careful when you are dealing with them. Avoid face-to-face contact and wash hands when you’re treating,” Heymann said.

“It is very important that people understand that they can prevent themselves from being infected if they follow a few simple measures,” he added.

‘Don’t touch your face’

South Korea, Italy and Iran have all recorded sharp upticks in cases of the coronavirus in recent days, with many other countries imposing travel restrictions on virus-hit areas worldwide.

Infections have now been reported in every continent except Antarctica.

Emily Landon, medical director for infection control at the University of Chicago Medical Center, told CNBC late last week that face masks were “not a great choice” for everyday use.

“First of all, there are multiple different kind of face masks. There is the surgical mask that people wear that doesn’t really seal up very well. That’s super good if you put it on the patient who’s sick because that will contain their secretions and protect everyone around them.”

“However, if you are the one who wants to protect yourself, those N95 masks … are much better,” Landon said.

Face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms: University of Chicago Medical Director
“You need to be fit-tested in order to know exactly which size you should be wearing, you have to be trained on how to wear it properly and they can get pretty uncomfortable, so they are not a great choice for just going out in the public,” she continued.

“Keeping your hands clean so that you don’t touch your face no matter what things you are touching with your hands is a really important piece of preventing infection in hospitals, in schools and everywhere you go.”

“Soap and water works really well. It can dry your hands out a little bit more but when you do it, you want to do it right. That means getting your hands wet with warm water, cleaning them, getting all of the surfaces with soap for 20 seconds — that’s a full time through ‘Happy Birthday’ — and then also rinsing them off afterwards,” Landon said.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/02/coronavirus-do-face-masks-work-and-how-to-stop-it-from-spreading.html?recirc=taboolainternal

Story 4: Federal Reserve Cuts Target Federal Fund Rate By 50 Basis Points or .5% To 1.00% to 1.25% — Return of Easy Monetary Policy — Bubble Blowing — Is Quantitative Easing or Money Printing Next? — Absolutely — Videos

See the source image

Federal Reserve cuts interest rates to combat coronavirus

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What Happens When the Fed Lowers Interest Rates

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BlackRock’s Mike Pyle outlines three big uncertainties in the markets because of coronavirus

Story 5: United States Stock Market Corrected for Bubble Prices —  Stock Market Prices Surge Fueled by Easy Money Policy of Federal Reserve and Biden Victory on Super Tuesday — Videos

Stockman Warns: Coronavirus Will Crash Stock Market, ‘The Jig Is Up’

Hannity: Dems, media mob will do anything to stop President Trump

Dow soars more than 1,100 points as market rallies off Biden win, UnitedHealth pops 10%

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/03/dow-futures-show-300-point-pop-as-early-super-tuesday-results-favor.html

 

 

Trump Job Approval Relapses Amid Coronavirus Threat: IBD/TIPP Poll

Impeachment couldn’t stop President Donald Trump’s job approval from rising, but the coronavirus might. As Americans’ near-term view of the economy soured in February, amid worry over the coronavirus and a Dow Jones correction, Trump’s job approval rating relapsed.

President Trump Job Approval

Just 41% of Americans approve of how President Trump is handling his job, while 54% disapprove, the March IBD/TIPP Poll finds. That negative 13-point differential has nearly doubled in the past month. In late January, Trump’s job approval registered 44% and disapproval 51%.

Now just 37% of independents give Trump positive reviews, while 57% disapprove. That’s down from 39%-53% in late January.

Trump Job Approval Slumps With Economic Outlook

The drop in Trump’s job approval coincides with a sudden shift in the economic outlook. The U.S. economic outlook just suffered its biggest one-month drop since October 2013 amid spread of the coronavirus, the March IBD/TIPP Poll finds.

The six-month economic outlook index fell to a modestly pessimistic 47.8 from a strongly optimistic 57. Readings above the neutral 50 level reflect optimism.

Trump continues to get positive ratings for his handling of the economy, with 47% approving and 35% disapproving. Still, that’s a big comedown from late January. Back then, 53% of Americans rated his handling of the U.S. economy as good or excellent, while just 28% give him a negative rating.

Trump Slips In Matchups Vs. Democrats

Joe Biden leads Trump 49% to 46%, the March IBD/TIPP Poll finds, after Trump had cut the margin to 49%-48% in late January.

Sanders now leads Trump 49% to 47%, having trailed 47%-49% a month earlier. Warren leads Trump 48% to 46%, a reversal of her 46%-50% deficit.

Still, a narrow popular vote edge would not necessarily translate into an Electoral College victory for Democrats.

Trump leads all Democrats among self-described investors, with a four-point lead over Biden. He leads Sanders by seven points.

The IBD/TIPP Poll reflects responses from 908 adults contacted via mobile phones and landlines from Feb. 20-29 and carries a 3.3-point margin of error.

Please follow Jed Graham on Twitter at @IBD_JGraham for coverage of economic policy and financial markets.

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https://www.investors.com/politics/trump-job-approval-relapses-amid-coronavirus-threat-ibd-tipp-poll/

Story 1: President Trump Wins All 14 States and Over 740 Delegates On Super Tuesday and Has Total Delegates of 859 With 1,276 Delegates Needed To Win Republican Nomination for President — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show 1404, February 27, 2020, Story 1: All U.S. Stock Market Indices Correcting As Progressive Panic Propaganda Propagates Planet — Great Investment Buying Opportunities Ahead — Videos — Story 2: Chinese Communist Cough Containment Crisis Crashes Capitalism or Communism? — Are You Scared Yet — Not One Bit — Buy On The Correction and Hold On — Government Not The Answer — Government Is The Problem — Videos — Story 3: Coronavirus or COVID-19 Exposed America’s Heavy Reliance On China For Medicines — Trump Administration May Use Defense Production Act To Manufacture Protective Gear — What About Replacing Medicine, Drug and Ingredients  Imported From Communist China By Establishing American Producers in United States As In The Past? — Video

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Story 1: All U.S. Stock Market Indices Correcting As Progressive Panic Propaganda Propagates Planet — Great Investment Buying Opportunities Ahead — Videos — 

Maria Bartiromo warns against knee-jerk reactions to market selloff

Keiser Report: Billionaires re-gifting Some of the Fed’s free money (E1507)

 

Dow plunges 10% from peak and enters correction after largest one-day point drop in HISTORY as coronavirus fears fuel the worst week on Wall Street since the Great Recession

  • US major stock indexes closed down more than 4% for the day on Thursday
  • Markets have now entered correction, or declines from peak of more than 10%
  • Dow dropped 1,190.95 points, the index’s largest one-day point drop in history
  • Follows report of first US community transmission of coronavirus in California 
  • Netflix and other ‘stay at home’ companies saw shares rise, however 

 

U.S. stock indexes plunged dramatically yet again on Thursday, as the rapid spread of the coronavirus outside China deepens investor worries about growth and corporate earnings. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 1,190.95 points, or 4.42 percent, to 25,766.64, the largest one-day point drop in history. It comes during the quickest market plunge on a percentage basis since the financial crisis of October 2008.

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all closed more than 10 percent below their recent highs. That means the market is officially in a correction, which is a normal phenomenon that analysts have said was long overdue.    T

At their heart, stock prices rise and fall with the profits that companies expect to make — and Wall Street’s expectations for profit growth are sinking as more companies warn that the virus outbreak will hit their bottom lines

Trader Peter Tuchman reacts at the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday as the Dow opens down another 500 points and the market enters correction territory

Trader Peter Tuchman reacts at the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday as the Dow opens down another 500 points and the market enters correction territory

Adding to worries, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed an infection in California in a person who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient.

‘In the recent week, markets have come to realize that the outbreak is much worse and are now realistically pricing in the impact of the virus on the economy,’ said Philip Marey, senior U.S. strategist at Rabobank.

‘In that sense it’s a bit of a catching up from the relative optimism that was there in the beginning when markets thought (the virus) will be contained to China with some minor outbreak outside.’

Rising fears of a pandemic, which U.S. health authorities have warned is likely, have erased about $1.84 trillion off the benchmark S&P 500 this week alone.

Industry analysts and economists continued to sound the alarm as they assessed the impact of the coronavirus, with Goldman Sachs saying U.S. companies will generate no earnings growth in 2020.

Apple and Microsoft, two of the world´s biggest companies, have already said their sales this quarter will feel the economic effects of the virus.

Microsoft’s stock lost 2.8 percent after it told investors that the virus will hurt revenue from its Windows licenses and its Surface devices.

A one-day view of the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows Thursday's punishing losses

A one-day view of the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows Thursday’s punishing losses

A five-day view of the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows the cumulative declines this week

A five-day view of the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows the cumulative declines this week

Traders work during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. About five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.8 percent

Traders work during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. About five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.8 percent

Budweiser maker AB InBev projects 10% hit to profits in first quarter due to decline in Chinese sales

The world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev forecast a 10 percent decline in first-quarter profit on Thursday after the coronavirus outbreak hit beer sales during the Chinese New Year, sending its shares skidding.

The maker of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois said the virus had led to a significant decline in demand in China – both at bars and drinking at home, notably during the Chinese New Year.

AB InBev stock plunged on Thursday after the beer maker said that it expected profits to be down 10% for the first quarter due to slumping Chinese sales

AB InBev stock plunged on Thursday after the beer maker said that it expected profits to be down 10% for the first quarter due to slumping Chinese sales

The outbreak, along with an expected weaker Brazilian market, could lead to a 10 percent drop in first-quarter core profit (EBITDA) on-year, AB InBev said, adding that it expected 2020 core profit growth of between 2 percent and 5 percent, with most expansion occurring in the second half.

The Belgium-based company, which sells more Budweiser in China than in the lager’s key U.S. market, said the disease shaved up to $285 million off its revenue in China in the first two months of this year, 2.3 percent of its first-quarter group revenue last year.

American Airlines plunged 8.5 percent as airlines continue to feel pain from disrupted travel plans and suspended routes. 

Delta Airlines, which is reducing flights to South Korea because of the outbreak in that nation, fell 4.5 percent.

Bank of America slashed its world growth forecast to the lowest level since the peak of the global financial crisis.

Financial warnings also came from Budweiser maker InBev and cloud-computing company Nutanix.

The virus has now infected more than 82,000 people globally and is worrying governments with its rapid spread beyond the epicenter of China.

The price of crude oil fell 4.7 percent. The price has been falling sharply as investors anticipate that demand for energy will wane as the economy slows.

Bond yields continued sliding as investors shifted money into lower-risk assets. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell further into record low territory, to 1.28% from 1.31% late Wednesday. Gold prices edged higher.

Medical mask makers and ‘stay at home’ companies see shares rise as investors anticipate high demand

A number of companies that could see their business jump if coronavirus reaches epidemic levels in the U.S. saw their shares rise in mid-morning trading on Thursday.

Shares of 3M, which counts surgical masks among its many products, rose 1.5 percent.

Canadian company Alpha Pro Tech, which makes medical protective garments, saw shares skyrocket 57 percent on Thursday.

Chlorox, which makes the popular bleach brand that can be used to sterilize surfaces, was up 2.8 percent. 7

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Thursday

Netflix stock was up on Thursday, with investors betting that binge-watching at home could become more appealing than going out during an outbreak

Chlorox, which makes bleach that can be used to sterilize surfaces, was also up Thursday

Chlorox, which makes bleach that can be used to sterilize surfaces, was also up Thursday

Gilead Sciences jumped 6.4 percent, as the drugmaker said it had started two late-stage trials to test its experimental antiviral drug, remdesivir, in patients with cases of illness caused by coronavirus.

While travel stocks were punished, companies that focus on ‘stay at home’ products also saw shares rise, as investors anticipated that consumers will be more likely to avoid crowds and remain indoors.

Netflix was up 1.6 percent, with investors betting that binge-watching at home could become more appealing during an outbreak.

Teleconferencing company Teladoc, which offers remote medical consultations with doctors over the internet, surged 19.8 percent.

Story 2: Chinese Communist Cough Containment Crisis Crashes Capitalism or Communism? — Are You Scared Yet — Not One Bit — Buy On The Correction and Hold On — Government Not The Answer — Government Is The Problem — Videos —

Outbreak starts to look more like worldwide economic crisis

11 minutes ago

The coronavirus outbreak began to look more like a worldwide economic crisis Friday as anxiety about the infection emptied shops and amusement parks, canceled events, cut trade and travel and dragged already slumping financial markets even lower.

More employers told their workers to stay home, and officials locked down neighborhoods and closed schools. The wide-ranging efforts to halt the spread of the illness threatened jobs, paychecks and profits.

“This is a case where in economic terms the cure is almost worse than the disease,″ said Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “When you quarantine cities … you lose economic activity that you’re not going to get back.′

The list of countries touched by the illness climbed to nearly 60 as Mexico, Belarus, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Iceland and the Netherlands reported their first cases. More than 83,000 people worldwide have contracted the illness, with deaths topping 2,800.

China, where the outbreak began in December, has seen a slowdown in new infections and on Saturday morning reported 427 new cases over the past 24 hours along with 47 additional deaths. The city at the epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, accounted for the bulk of both.

New cases in mainland China have held steady at under 500 for past four days, with almost all of them in Wuhan and its surrounding Hubei province.

With the number of discharged patients now greatly exceeding those of new arrivals, Wuhan now has more than 5,000 spare beds in 16 temporary treatment centers, Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission, told a news conference in Wuhan on Friday.

South Korea, the second hardest hit country, on Saturday morning reported 571 new cases, the highest daily jump since confirming its first patient in late January. Emerging clusters in Italy and in Iran, which has had 34 deaths and 388 cases, have led to infections of people in other countries. France and Germany were also seeing increases, with dozens of infections.

The head of the World Health Organization on Friday announced that the risk of the virus spreading worldwide was “very high,” citing the “continued increase in the number of cases and the number of affected countries.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all governments to “do everything possible to contain the disease.”

“We know containment is possible, but the window of opportunity is narrowing,” the U.N. chief told reporters in New York.

The economic ripples have already reached around the globe.

Stock markets around the world plunged again Friday. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index took yet another hit, closing down nearly 360 points. The index has dropped more than 14% from a recent high, making this the market’s worst week since 2008, during the global financial crisis.

The effects were just as evident in the hush that settled in over places where throngs of people ordinarily work and play and buy and sell.

“There’s almost no one coming here,” said Kim Yun-ok, who sells doughnuts and seaweed rolls at Seoul’s Gwangjang Market, where crowds were thin as South Korea counted 571 new cases — more than in China, where the virus emerged. “I am just hoping that the outbreak will come under control soon.”

In Asia, Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan announced they would close, and events that were expected to attract tens of thousands of people were called off, including a concert series by the K-pop group BTS. The state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea shut down its headquarters in Seoul after a worker tested positive for the virus, telling 800 others to work from home. Japanese officials prepared to shutter all schools until early April.

In Italy — which has reported 888 cases, the most of any country outside of Asia — hotel bookings are falling, and Premier Giuseppe Conte raised the specter of recession. Shopkeepers like Flavio Gastaldi, who has sold souvenirs in Venice for three decades, wondered if they could survive the blow.

“We will return the keys to the landlords soon,” he said.

The Swiss government banned events with more than 1,000 people, while at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, basins of holy water were emptied for fear of spreading germs.

In a report published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine, Chinese health officials said the death rate from the illness known as COVID-19 was 1.4%, based on 1,099 patients at more than 500 hospitals throughout China.

Assuming there are many more cases with no or very mild symptoms, the rate “may be considerably less than 1%,” U.S. health officials wrote in an editorial in the journal. That would make the virus more like a severe seasonal flu than a disease similar to its genetic cousins SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or MERS, Middle East respiratory syndrome.

Given the ease of spread, however, the virus could gain footholds around the world and many could die.

“It’s not cholera or the black plague,” said Simone Venturini, the city councilor for economic development in Venice, Italy, where tourism already hurt by historic flooding last year has sunk with news of virus cases. “The damage that worries us even more is the damage to the economy.”

Europe’s economy is already teetering on the edge of recession. A measure of business sentiment in Germany fell sharply last week, suggesting that some companies could postpone investment and expansion plans. China is a huge export market for German manufacturers.

In the U.S., online retail giant Amazon said Friday that it has asked all of its 800,000 employees to postpone any non-essential travel, both within the country and internationally.

The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said that the U.S. economy remains strong and that policymakers would “use our tools” to support it if necessary.

Larry Kudlow, the top economic advisor to President Donald Trump, told reporters that the selloff in financial markets may be an overreaction to an epidemic with uncertain long-term effects.

“We don’t see any evidence of major supply chain disruptions. I’m not trying to say nothing’s happening. I think there will be impacts, but to be honest with you, at the moment, I don’t see much,” Kudlow said.

The pain was already taking hold in places like Bangkok, where merchants at the Platinum Fashion Mall staged a flash mob, shouting “Reduce the rent!” and holding signs that said “Tourists don’t come, shops suffer.”

Tourist arrivals in Thailand are down 50% compared with a year ago, according Capital Economics, a consulting firm.

Kanya Yontararak, a clothing store owner, said her sales have sunk as low as 1,000 baht ($32) some days, making it a struggle to pay back a loan for her lease. The situation is more severe than the floods and political crises her store has braved in the past.

“Coronavirus is the worst situation they have ever seen,” she said of her fellow merchants.

Economists have forecast global growth will slip to 2.4% this year, the slowest since the Great Recession in 2009, and down from earlier expectations closer to 3%. For the United States, estimates are falling to as low as 1.7% growth this year, down from 2.3% in 2019.

But if COVID-19 becomes a global pandemic, economists expect the impact could be much worse, with the U.S. and other global economies falling into recession.

“If we start to see more cases in the United States, if we start to see people not traveling domestically, if we start to see people stay home from work and from stores, then I think the hit is going to get substantially worse,” said Gus Faucher, an economist at PNC Financial.

After the WHO raised its alert level, the agency’s Emergencies Program Director Michael Ryan called the situation “a reality check for every government on the planet.” Friday. “Wake up, get ready. This virus may be on its way.”

https://apnews.com/7d1a054f19cf1f33b4ee22c244603ebe

 

The Cantillon Effect

Expansionary monetary policy constitutes a transfer of purchasing power away from those who hold old money to whoever gets new money. This is known as the Cantillon Effect, after 18th Century economist Richard Cantillon who first proposed it. In the immediate term, as more dollars are created, each one translates to a smaller slice of all goods and services produced.

How we measure this phenomenon and its size depends how we define money. This is illustrated below.

Here’s GDP expressed in terms of the monetary base:

Here’s GDP expressed in terms of M2:

And here’s GDP expressed in terms of total debt:

What is clear is that the dramatic expansion of the monetary base that we saw after 2008 is merely catching up with the more gradual growth of debt that took place in the 90s and 00s.

While it is my hunch that overblown credit bubbles are better liquidated than reflated (not least because the reflation of a corrupt and dysfunctional financial sector entails huge moral hazard), it is true the Fed’s efforts to inflate the money supply have so far prevented a default cascade. We should expect that such initiatives will continue, not least because Bernanke has a deep intellectual investment in reflationism.

This focus on reflationary money supply expansion was fully expected by those familiar with Ben Bernanke’s academic record. What I find more surprising, though, is the Fed’s focus on banks and financial institutions rather than the wider population.

It’s not just the banks that are struggling to deleverage. The overwhelming majority of nongovernment debt is held by households and nonfinancials:

The nonfinancial sectors need debt relief much, much more than the financial sector. Yet the Fed shoots off new money solely into the financial system, to Wall Street and the TBTF banks. It is the financial institutions that have gained the most from these transfers of purchasing power, building up huge hoards of excess reserves:

There is a way to counteract the Cantillon Effect, and expand the money supply without transferring purchasing power to the financial sector (or any other sector). This is to directly distribute the new money uniformly to individuals for the purpose of debt relief; those with debt have to use the new money to pay it down (thus reducing the debt load), those without debt are free to invest it or spend it as they like.

Steve Keen notes:

While we delever, investment by American corporations will be timid, and economic growth will be faltering at best. The stimulus imparted by government deficits will attenuate the downturn — and the much larger scale of government spending now than in the 1930s explains why this far greater deleveraging process has not led to as severe a Depression — but deficits alone will not be enough. If America is to avoid two “lost decades”, the level of private debt has to be reduced by deliberate cancellation, as well as by the slow processes of deleveraging and bankruptcy.

In ancient times, this was done by a Jubilee, but the securitization of debt since the 1980s has complicated this enormously. Whereas only the moneylenders lost under an ancient Jubilee, debt cancellation today would bankrupt many pension funds, municipalities and the like who purchased securitized debt instruments from banks. I have therefore proposed that a “Modern Debt Jubilee” should take the form of “Quantitative Easing for the Public”: monetary injections by the Federal Reserve not into the reserve accounts of banks, but into the bank accounts of the public — but on condition that its first function must be to pay debts down. This would reduce debt directly, but not advantage debtors over savers, and would reduce the profitability of the financial sector while not affecting its solvency.

Without a policy of this nature, America is destined to spend up to two decades learning the truth of Michael Hudson’s simple aphorism that “Debts that can’t be repaid, won’t be repaid”.

The Fed’s singular focus on the financial sector is perplexing and frustrating, not least because growth remains stagnant, unemployment remains elevated, industrial production remains weak and America’s financial sector remains a seething cesspit of corruption and moral hazardwhere segregated accounts are routinely raided by corrupt CEOs, and where government-backstopped TBTF banks still routinely speculate with the taxpayers’ money.

The corrupt and overblown financial sector is the last sector that deserves a boost in purchasing power. It’s time this ended.

The Cantillon Effect

Richard Cantillon

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Richard Cantillon
Richard Cantillon.png
Born 1680s[1]

Died 1734[2] (aged about 54)

Era Age of Reason
Region Western philosophy
School Physiocracy
Main interests
Political economy
Notable ideas
Entrepreneur as risk-bearer,
monetary theory,
spatial economics,
theory of population growth,
cause and effect methodology
Signature
Richardcantillonsignature.png

Richard Cantillon (French: [kɑ̃tijɔ̃]; 1680s – May 1734) was an Irish-French economist and author of Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général (Essay on the Nature of Trade in General), a book considered by William Stanley Jevons to be the “cradle of political economy“.[4] Although little information exists on Cantillon’s life, it is known that he became a successful banker and merchant at an early age. His success was largely derived from the political and business connections he made through his family and through an early employer, James Brydges. During the late 1710s and early 1720s, Cantillon speculated in, and later helped fund, John Law‘s Mississippi Company, from which he acquired great wealth. However, his success came at a cost to his debtors, who pursued him with lawsuits, criminal charges, and even murder plots until his death in 1734.

Essai remains Cantillon’s only surviving contribution to economics. It was written around 1730 and circulated widely in manuscript form, but was not published until 1755. His work was translated into Spanish by Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, probably in the late 1770s, and considered essential reading for political economy. Despite having much influence on the early development of the physiocrat and classical schools of thought, Essai was largely forgotten until its rediscovery by Jevons in the late 19th century.[5] Cantillon was influenced by his experiences as a banker, and especially by the speculative bubble of John Law’s Mississippi Company. He was also heavily influenced by prior economists, especially William Petty.

Essai is considered the first complete treatise on economics, with numerous contributions to the science. These contributions include: his cause and effect methodology, monetary theories, his conception of the entrepreneur as a risk-bearer, and the development of spatial economics. Cantillon’s Essai had significant influence on the early development of political economy, including the works of Adam SmithAnne TurgotJean-Baptiste SayFrédéric Bastiat and François Quesnay.[6]

Biography

While details regarding Richard Cantillon’s life are scarce,[7] it is thought that he was born sometime during the 1680s in County Kerry, Ireland.[1][6] He was son to land-owner Richard Cantillon of Ballyheigue.[8] Sometime in the middle of the first decade of the 18th century Cantillon moved to France, where he attained French citizenship.[9] By 1711, Cantillon found himself in the employment of British Paymaster General James Brydges, in Spain, where he organised payments to British prisoners of war during the War of Spanish Succession.[10] Cantillon remained in Spain until 1714, cultivating a number of business and political connections, before returning to Paris.[11] Cantillon then became involved in the banking industry working for a cousin, who at that time was lead-correspondent of the Parisian branch of a family bank.[12] Two years later, thanks in large part to financial backing by James Brydges, Cantillon bought his cousin out and attained ownership of the bank.[13] Given the financial and political connections Cantillon was able to attain both through his family[14] and through James Brydges, Cantillon proved a fairly successful banker, specialising in money transfers between Paris and London.[15]

At this time, Cantillon became involved with British mercantilist John Law through the Mississippi Company.[16] Based on the monetary theory proposed by William Potter in his 1650 tract The Key of Wealth,[17] John Law posited that increases in the money supply would lead to the employment of unused land and labour, leading to higher productivity.[18] In 1716, the French government granted him both permission to found the Banque Générale and virtual monopoly over the right to develop French territories in North America, named the Mississippi Company. In return, Law promised the French government to finance its debt at low rates of interest.[19] Law began a financial speculative bubble by selling shares of the Mississippi Company, using the Banque Générale’s virtual monopoly on the issue of bank notes to finance his investors.[20]

Richard Cantillon amassed a great fortune from his speculation, buying Mississippi Company shares early and selling them at inflated prices.[21] Cantillon’s financial success and growing influence caused friction in his relationship with John Law, and sometime thereafter Law threatened to imprison Cantillon if the latter did not leave France within twenty-four hours.[22] Cantillon replied: “I shall not go away; but I will make your system succeed.”[22] To that end, in 1718 Law, Cantillon, and wealthy speculator Joseph Gage formed a private company centred on financing further speculation in North American real estate.[23]

In 1719, Cantillon left Paris for Amsterdam, returning briefly in early 1720. Lending in Paris, Cantillon had outlying debt repaid to him in London and Amsterdam.[24] With the collapse of the “Mississippi bubble”, Cantillon was able to collect on debt accruing high rates of interest.[25] Most of his debtors had suffered financial damage in the bubble collapse and blamed Cantillon—until his death, Cantillon was involved in countless lawsuits filed by his debtors, leading to a number of murder plots and criminal accusations.[26]

On 16 February 1722, Cantillon married Mary Mahony, daughter of Count Daniel O’Mahony [fr]—a wealthy merchant and former Irish general—spending much of the remainder of the 1720s travelling throughout Europe with his wife.[27] Cantillon and Mary had two children, a son who died at an early age and a daughter, Henrietta,[28] wife successively of the 3rd Earl of Stafford and the 1st Earl of Farnham. Although he frequently returned to Paris between 1729 and 1733, his permanent residence was in London.[29] In May 1734, his residence in London was burned to the ground, and it is generally assumed that Cantillon died in the fire.[2] While the fire’s causes are unclear, the most widely accepted theory is that Cantillon was murdered.[30] One of Cantillon’s biographers, Antoine Murphy, has advanced the alternative theory that Cantillon staged his own death to escape the harassment of his debtors, appearing in Suriname under the name Chevalier de Louvigny.[31]

Contributions to economics

Although there is evidence that Richard Cantillon wrote a wide variety of manuscripts, only his Essai Sur La Nature Du Commerce En Général (abbreviated Essai) survives.[6][32] Written in 1730,[33] it was published in French in 1755,[34] and was translated into English by Henry Higgs in 1932.[35] Evidence suggests that Essai had tremendous influence on the early development of economic science. However, Cantillon’s treatise was largely neglected during the 19th century.[5] In the late 19th century and it was “rediscovered” by William Stanley Jevons, who considered it the “cradle of political economy”.[4] Since then, Cantillon’s Essai has received growing attention. Essai is considered the first complete treatise on economic theory,[36] and Cantillon has been called the “father of enterprise economics”.[6][37]

William Petty is considered to be one of Richard Cantillon’s greatest influences.[38]

One of the greatest influences on Cantillon’s writing was English economist William Petty and his 1662 tract Treatise on Taxes.[39] Although Petty provided much of the groundwork for Cantillon’s Essai,[38] Anthony Brewer argues that Petty’s influence has been overstated.[40] Apart from Petty, other possible influences on Cantillon include John Locke,[41] CiceroLivyPliny the ElderPliny the YoungerCharles DavenantEdmond HalleyIsaac NewtonSébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, and Jean Boisard.[3] Cantillon’s involvement in John Law’s speculative bubble proved invaluable and likely heavily influenced his insight on the relationship between increases in the supply of money, price, and production.[42]

Methodology

Cantillon’s Essai is written using a distinctive causal methodology, separating Cantillon from his mercantilist predecessors.[6][43] Essai is peppered with the word “natural”, which in the case of Cantillon’s treatise is meant to imply a cause and effect relationship between economic actions and phenomena.[44] Economist Murray Rothbard credits Cantillon with being one of the first theorists to isolate economic phenomena with simple models, where otherwise uncontrollable variables can be fixed.[45] Cantillon made frequent use of the concept of ceteris paribus throughout Essai in an attempt to neutralise independent variables.[46] Furthermore, he is credited with employing a methodology similar to Carl Menger‘s methodological individualism,[47] by deducing complex phenomena from simple observations.[48]

A cause and effect methodology led to a relatively value-free approach to economic science, in which Cantillon was uninterested in the merit of any particular economic action or phenomenon, focusing rather on the explanation of relationships.[49] This led Cantillon to separate economic science from politics and ethics to a greater degree than previous mercantilist writers.[45] This has led to disputes on whether Cantillon can justly be considered a mercantilist or one of the first anti-mercantilists,[50] given that Cantillon often cited government-manipulated trade surpluses and specie accumulation as positive economic stimuli.[51] Others argue that in instances where Cantillon is thought to have supported certain mercantilist policies, he actually provided a more neutral analysis by explicitly stating possible limitations of mercantilist policies.[52]

Monetary theory

Differences between prior mercantilists and Cantillon arise early in Essai, regarding the origins of wealth and price formation on the market.[53] Cantillon distinguishes between wealth and money, considering wealth in itself “nothing but the food, conveniences, and pleasures of life.”[54] While Cantillon advocated an “intrinsic” theory of value, based on the input of land and labour (cost of production),[55] he is considered to have touched upon a subjective theory of value.[56] Cantillon held that market prices are not immediately decided by intrinsic value, but are derived from supply and demand.[57] He considered market prices to be derived by comparing supply, the quantity of a particular good in a particular market, to demand, the quantity of money brought to be exchanged.[58] Believing market prices to tend towards the intrinsic value of a good, Cantillon may have also originated the uniformity-of-profit principle—changes in the market price of a good may lead to changes in supply, reflecting a rise or fall in profit.[59]

Rendition of Cantillon’s primitive circular flow model[60]

In Essai, Cantillon provided an advanced version of John Locke’s quantity theory of money, focusing on relative inflation and the velocity of money.[61] Cantillon suggested that inflation occurs gradually and that the new supply of money has a localised effect on inflation, effectively originating the concept of non-neutral money.[62] Furthermore, he posited that the original recipients of new money enjoy higher standards of living at the expense of later recipients.[63] The concept of relative inflation, or a disproportionate rise in prices among different goods in an economy, is now known as the Cantillon Effect.[64] Cantillon also considered changes in the velocity of money (quantity of exchanges made within a specific amount of time) influential on prices, although not to the same degree as changes in the quantity of money.[65] While he believed that the money supply consisted only of specie, he conceded that increases in money substitutes—or bank notes—could affect prices by effectively increasing the velocity of circulating of deposited specie.[66] Apart from distinguishing money from money substitute, he also distinguished between bank notes offered as receipts for specie deposits and bank notes circulating beyond the quantity of specie—or fiduciary media—suggesting that the volume of fiduciary media is strictly limited by people’s confidence in its redeemability.[67] He considered fiduciary media a useful tool to abate the downward pressure that hoarding of specie has on the velocity of money.[68]

Addressing the mercantilist belief that monetary intervention could cause a perpetually favourable balance of trade, Cantillon developed a specie-flow mechanism foreshadowing future international monetary equilibrium theories.[69] He suggested that in countries with a high quantity of money in circulation, prices will increase and therefore become less competitive in relation to countries where there is a relative scarcity of money.[70] Thus, Cantillon also held that increases in the supply of money, regardless of the source, cause increases in the price level and therefore reduce the competitiveness of a particular nation’s industry in relation to a nation with lower prices.[71] However, Cantillon did not believe that international markets tended toward equilibrium, and instead suggested that government hoard specie to avoid rising prices and falling competitiveness.[69] Furthermore, he suggested that a favourable balance of trade can be maintained by offering a better product and retaining qualitative competitiveness.[72] Cantillon’s preference towards a favourable balance of trade possibly stemmed from the mercantilist belief in exchange being a zero-sum game, in which one party gains at the expense of another.[73]

A relatively advanced theory of interest is also presented.[74] Cantillon believed that interest originates from the need of borrowers for capital and from the fear of loss of the lenders, meaning that borrowers have to recompense lenders for the risk of the possible insolvency of the debtor.[75] In turn, interest is paid out of earned profits originating from the return on invested capital.[76] While previously it was believed that the rate of interest varied inversely to the quantity of money, Cantillon posited that the rate of interest was determined by the supply and demand on the loanable funds market[77]—an insight usually attributed to Scottish philosopher David Hume.[78] As such, while saved money impacts the rate of interest, new money that is instead used for consumption does not; Cantillon’s theory of interest is therefore similar to John Maynard Keynes‘s liquidity preference theory.[79]

Other contributions[edit]

Traditionally, it is Jean-Baptiste Say who is credited for coining the word and advancing the concept of the entrepreneur, but in fact it was Cantillon who first introduced the term in Essai.[6][80] Cantillon divided society into two principal classes—fixed income wage-earners and non-fixed income earners.[81] Entrepreneurs, according to Cantillon, are non-fixed income earners who pay known costs of production but earn uncertain incomes,[82] due to the speculative nature of pandering to an unknown demand for their product.[83] Cantillon, while providing the foundations, did not develop a dedicated theory of uncertainty—the topic was not revisited until the 20th century, by Ludwig von MisesFrank Knight, and John Maynard Keynes, among others.[84] Furthermore, unlike later theories of entrepreneurship which saw the entrepreneur as a disruptive force, Cantillon anticipated the belief that the entrepreneur brought equilibrium to a market by correctly predicting consumer preferences.[85]

Spatial economics deal with distance and area, and how these may affect a market through transportation costs and geographical limitations. The development of spatial economics is usually ascribed to German economist Johann Heinrich von Thünen; however, Cantillon addressed spatial economics nearly a century earlier.[86] Cantillon integrated his advancements in spatial economic theory into his microeconomic analysis of the market, describing how transportation costs influence the location of factories, markets and population centres—that is, individuals strive to lower transportation costs.[87] Conclusions on spatial economics were derived from three premises: cost of raw materials of equal quality will always be higher near the capital city, due to transportation costs; transportation costs vary on transportation type (for example, water transportation was considered cheaper than land-based transportation); and larger goods that are more difficult to transport will always be cheaper closer to their area of production.[88] For example, Cantillon believed markets were designed as they were to decrease costs to both merchants and villagers in terms of time and transportation.[89] Similarly, Cantillon posited that the locations of cities were the result in large part of the wealth of inhabiting property owners and their ability to afford transportation costs—wealthier property owners tended to live farther from their property, because they could afford the transportation costs.[90] In Essai, spatial economic theory was used to derive why markets occupied the geographical area they did and why costs varied across different markets.[91]

Cover of the Ludwig von Mises Institute’s edition of Cantillon’s Essai

Apart from originating theories on the entrepreneur and spatial economics, Cantillon also provided a dedicated theory on population growth. Unlike William Petty, who believed there always existed a considerable amount of unused land and economic opportunity to support economic growth, Cantillon theorised that population grows only as long as there are economic opportunities present.[92] Specifically, Cantillon cited three determining variables for population size: natural resources, technology, and culture.[93] Therefore, populations grow only as far as the three aforementioned variables allowed.[94] Furthermore, Cantillon’s population theory was more modern than that of Malthus in the sense that Cantillon recognised a much broader category of factors which affect population growth, including the tendency for population growth to fall to zero as a society becomes more industrialised.[95]

Influence

While Essai was not published until 1755 as a result of heavy censorship in France, it did widely circulate in the form of an unpublished manuscript between its completion and its publication.[96] It notably influenced many direct forerunners of the classical school of thought, including Turgot and other physiocrats.[97] Cantillon was a major influence on physiocrat François Quesnay, who may have learned of Cantillon’s work through Marquis of Mirabeau.[98] While it is evident that Essai influenced Quesnay, to what degree remains controversial. There is evidence that Quesnay did not fully understand, or was not completely aware of, Cantillon’s theories.[99] Many of Quesnay’s economic beliefs were elucidated previously in Essai,[100] but Quesnay did reject a number of Cantillon’s premises, including the scarcity of land and Cantillon’s population theory.[101] Also, Quesnay recognised the scarcity of capital and capital accumulation as a prerequisite for investment.[99] Nevertheless, Cantillon was considered the “father of physiocracy” by Henry Higgs, due to his influence on Quesnay.[102] It is also possible that Cantillon influenced Scottish economist James Steuart, both directly and indirectly.[103]

Cantillon is one of the few economists cited by Adam Smith, who directly borrows Cantillon’s subsistence theory of wages.[6][104] Large sections of Smith’s economic theory were possibly directly influenced by Cantillon, although in many respects Adam Smith advanced well beyond the scope of Cantillon.[105] Some economic historians have argued that Adam Smith provided little of value from his own intellect, notably Schumpeter[6][106] and Rothbard.[107] In any case, through his influence on Adam Smith and the physiocrats, Cantillon was quite possibly the pre-classical economist who contributed most to the ideas of the classical school.[108] Illustrative of this was Cantillon’s influence on Jean-Baptiste Say, which is noticeable in the methodology employed in the latter’s Treatise on Political Economy.[6][109]

References…

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

Story 3: Coronavirus or COVID-19 Exposed America’s Heavy Reliance On China For Medicines — Trump Administration May Use Defense Production Act To Manufacture Protective Gear — What About Replacing Medicine, Drug and Ingredients  Imported From Communist China By Establishing American Producers in United States As In The Past? — Videos

New information on finding a coronavirus treatment

HOW DOES COVID-19 AFFECT THE BODY?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses that cause sicknesses like the common cold, as well as more severe diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain – one that hasn’t previously been recognized in humans. Coronaviruses cause diseases in mammals and birds. A zoonotic virus is one that is transmitted between animals and people. When a virus circulating in animal populations infects people, this is termed a “spillover event”.

How does CoVID-19 affect the body? The virus is fitted with protein spikes sticking out of the envelope that forms the surface and houses a core of genetic material. Any virus that enters your body looks for cells with compatible receptors – ones that allow it to invade the cell. Once they find the right cell, they enter and use the cell’s replication machinery to create copies of themselves. It is likely that COVID-19 uses the same receptor as SARS – found in both lungs and small intestines. It is thought that CoVID-19 shares many similarities with SARS, which has three phases of attack: viral replication, hyper-reactivity of the immune system, and finally pulmonary destruction.

Early on in infection, the coronavirus invades two types of cells in the lungs – mucus and cilia cells.

Mucus keeps your lungs from drying out and protects them from pathogens. Cilia beat the mucus towards the exterior of your body, clearing debris – including viruses! – out of your lungs. Cilia cells were the preferred hosts of SARS-CoV, and are likely the preferred hosts of the new coronavirus. When these cells die, they slough off into your airways, filling them with debris and fluid. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and breathing difficulties.

Many of those infected get pneumonia in both their lungs. Enter the immune system. Immune cells recognize the virus and flood into the lungs. The lung tissue becomes inflamed. During normal immune function, the inflammatory process is highly regulated and is confined to infected areas.

However, sometimes the immune system overreacts, and this results in damage to healthy tissue. More cells die and slough off into the lungs, further clogging them and worsening the pneumonia. As damage to the lungs increases, stage three begins, potentially resulting in respiratory failure. Patients that reach this stage of infection can incur permanent lung damage or even die. We see the same lesions in the lungs of those infected by the novel coronavirus as those with SARS. SARS creates holes in the lungs, so they look honeycomb-like. This is probably due to the aforementioned over-reactive immune response, which affects tissue both infected and healthy and creates scars that stiffen the lungs. As such, some patients may require ventilators to aid breathing.

The inflammation also results in more permeable alveoli. This is the location of the thin interface of gas exchange, where your lungs replace carbon dioxide in your blood with fresh oxygen you just inhaled. Increased permeability causes fluid to leak into the lungs. This decreases the lungs’ ability to oxygenate blood, and in severe cases, floods them so that you become unable to breathe. Sometimes, this can be fatal. The immune system’s over-reaction can also cause another kind of damage.

Proteins called cytokines are the immune system’s alarm system, recruiting immune cells to the infection site. Over-production of cytokines can result in a cytokine storm, where there is large-scale inflammation in the body. Blood vessels become more permeable and fluid seeps out. This makes it difficult for blood and oxygen to reach the rest of the body and can result in multi-organ failure. This has happened in the most severe cases of CoVid-19.

Although there are no specific treatments for coronaviruses, symptoms can be treated through supportive care. Also, vaccines are currently in development. What can you do to protect yourself from CoVid-19? Basic protocol comes down to regular hand washing, avoiding close contact with anyone coughing or sneezing, avoiding unnecessary contact with animals, washing hands after contact with animals, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs prior to consumption, and covering your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. Respiratory viruses are typically transmitted via droplets in sneezes or coughs of those infected, so preventing their travel stops the spread of disease.

 

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UPDATED February 29, 2020

Coronavirus outbreak: President Donald Trump confirms 1st death in U.S., talks virus response

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supply Chain Update

For Immediate Release:Statement From:

Commissioner of Food and Drugs – Food and Drug Administration

Stephen M. Hahn M.D.

As I have previously communicated, the FDA has been closely monitoring the supply chain with the expectation that the COVID-19 outbreak would likely impact the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S.

A manufacturer has alerted us to a shortage of a human drug that was recently added to the drug shortages list. The manufacturer just notified us that this shortage is related to a site affected by coronavirus. The shortage is due to an issue with manufacturing of an active pharmaceutical ingredient used in the drug. It is important to note that there are other alternatives that can be used by patients. We are working with the manufacturer as well as other manufacturers to mitigate the shortage. We will do everything possible to mitigate the shortage.

Additional Information on Human Drugs

Since January 24, the FDA has been in touch with more than 180 manufacturers of human drugs, not only to remind them of applicable legal requirements for notifying the FDA of any anticipated supply disruptions, but also asking them to evaluate their entire supply chain, including active pharmaceutical ingredients (the main ingredient in the drug and part that produces the intended effects, e.g., acetaminophen) and other components manufactured in China.

Also, as part of our efforts, the FDA has identified about 20 other drugs, which solely source their active pharmaceutical ingredients or finished drug products from China. We have been in contact with those firms to assess whether they face any drug shortage risks due to the outbreak. None of these firms have reported any shortage to date. Also, these drugs are considered non-critical drugs.

We will remain in contact with manufacturers so that we can continue to assist them with any potential issues in the fastest way.

Medical Devices

We are aware of 63 manufacturers which represent 72 facilities in China that produce essential medical devices; we have contacted all of them. Essential devices are those that may be prone to potential shortage if there is a supply disruption. We are aware that several of these facilities in China are adversely affected by COVID-19, citing workforce challenges, including the necessary quarantine of workers. While the FDA continues to assess whether manufacturing disruptions will affect overall market availability of these products, there are currently no reported shortages for these types of medical devices within the U.S. market.

Regarding personal protective equipment—surgical gowns, gloves, masks, respirator protective devices, or other medical equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or the spread of infection or illness—the FDA has heard reports of increased market demand and supply challenges for some of these products. However, the FDA is currently not aware of specific widespread shortages of medical devices, but we are aware of reports from CDC and other U.S. partners of increased ordering of a range of human medical products through distributors as some healthcare facilities in the U.S. are preparing for potential needs if the outbreak becomes severe.

It is important to note that no law exists requiring medical device manufacturers to notify the FDA when they become aware of a circumstance, including discontinuation of a product, that could lead to a potential shortage, and manufacturers are not required to respond when the FDA requests information about potential supply chain disruption. As with prior emergencies, the FDA has taken proactive steps to establish and remain in contact with medical device manufacturers and others in the supply chain, including hospitals and group purchasing organizations. The agency also encourages manufacturers and healthcare facilities to report any supply disruptions to the device shortages mailbox, deviceshortages@fda.hhs.gov. This mailbox is closely monitored and has proven to be a valuable surveillance resource to augment FDA efforts to detect and mitigate potential supply chain disruption.

Biologics and Blood Supply

The FDA is not aware of any cellular or gene therapies that are made in China for the U.S. market. There are no shortages of biologics to report at this time.

The potential for transmission of COVID-19 by blood and blood components is unknown at this time; however, respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion. Further, there have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted COVID-19.

The FDA has made information available to blood establishments and to establishments that manufacture human cells, tissues, or cellular or tissue-based products that may wish to consider additional donor screening measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Food

We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.

Animal Drugs

There are 32 animal drug firms that make finished drugs or source active pharmaceutical ingredients in China for the U.S. The FDA has contacted all 32 firms and no shortages have been reported at this time. However, six of those firms have indicated that they are seeing disruptions in the supply chain that soon could lead to shortages. The FDA is working with these firms to help identify interventions to mitigate potential shortages.

Additional Resources

The FDA is using all our existing authorities to address COVID-19, and we welcome the opportunity to work with Congress to further strengthen our response capabilities and emergency preparedness. There are four specific proposals included in the President’s budget that would better equip the FDA to prevent or mitigate medical product shortages.

  1. Lengthen Expiration Dates to Mitigate Critical Human Drug Shortages: Shortages of certain critical drugs can be exacerbated when drugs must be discarded because they exceed a labeled shelf-life due to unnecessarily short expiration dates. By expanding the FDA’s authority to require, when likely to help prevent or mitigate a shortage, that an applicant evaluate, submit studies to the FDA, and label a product with the longest possible expiration date that the FDA agrees is scientifically justified, there could be more supply available to alleviate the drug shortage or the severity of a shortage.
  2. Improve Critical Infrastructure by Requiring Risk Management Plans: Enabling the FDA to require application holders of certain drugs to conduct periodic risk assessments to identify the vulnerabilities in their manufacturing supply chain (inclusive of contract manufacturing facilities), and develop plans to mitigate the risks associated with the identified vulnerabilities would enable the FDA to strengthen the supply chain by integrating contingencies for emergency situations. Currently, many medical product manufacturers lack plans to assess and address vulnerabilities in their manufacturing supply chain, putting them, and American patients, at risk for drug supply disruptions following disasters (e.g., hurricanes) or in other circumstances.
  3. Improve Critical Infrastructure through Improved Data Sharing and Require More Accurate Supply Chain Information: Empowering the FDA to require information to assess critical infrastructure, as well as manufacturing quality and capacity, would facilitate more accurate and timely supply chain monitoring and improve our ability to recognize shortage signals.
  4. Establish Reporting Requirements for Device Manufacturers: The FDA does not have the same authorities for medical device shortages as it does for drugs and biological products. For instance, medical device manufacturers are not required to notify the FDA when they become aware of a circumstance that could lead to a device shortage or meaningful disruption in the supply of that device in the U.S., nor are they required to respond to inquiries from the FDA about the availability of devices. Enabling the FDA to have timely and accurate information about likely or confirmed national shortages of essential devices would allow the agency to take steps to promote the continued availability of devices of public health importance. Among other things, the FDA proposes to require that firms notify the agency of an anticipated meaningful interruption in the supply of an essential device; require all manufacturers of devices determined to be essential to periodically provide the FDA with information about the manufacturing capacity of the essential devices they manufacture; and authorize the temporary importation of devices where the benefits of the device in mitigating a shortage outweigh the risks presented by the device that could otherwise result in denial of importation of the device into the U.S.

Overall, this remains an evolving and very dynamic issue. We are committed to continuing to communicate with the public as we have further updates.

We also continue to aggressively monitor the market for any firms marketing products with fraudulent COVID-19 diagnosis, prevention or treatment claims. The FDA can and will use every authority at our disposal to protect consumers from bad actors who take advantage of a crisis to deceive the public, including pursuing warning letters, seizures or injunctions against products on the market that are not in compliance with the law, or against firms or individuals who violate the law.

We know the public may have questions or concerns for the FDA as a result of this outbreak, including you and your family’s risk of exposure, or whether your critical medical products are safe and will continue to be available in the future. The FDA is working around the clock to monitor and mitigate emerging coronavirus issues through collaborative efforts with federal partners, international regulators and medical product developers and manufacturers to help advance response efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-supply-chain-update

 

 

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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

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Pronk Pops Show 1398 February 13, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1397 February 12, 2020

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Pronk Pops Show 1395 February 10, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1394 February 7, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1393 February 6, 2020

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Pronk Pops Show 1389 January 31, 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.

Media queries

For media enquiries in relation to content published below, please contact pressoffice@lancet.com.

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

View more…

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.

Register to receive email updates:

Infographics

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

 

Comment

News

Editorial

Obituary

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.

Read more


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.

Read more

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

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

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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The Pronk Pops Show 1369, December 5, 2019, Story 1: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Green-lights Impeachment of President Trump — I Don’t Hate Nobody — Don’t Mess With Me — In Your Guts You Know She Is Nuts —  Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now — Video Story 2: Creepy, Sleepy, Dopey Joey Biden Lacks Temperament To Be President — Attacks Senior Citizen Voter — Videos

Posted on December 7, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Abortion, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Chemistry, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption,