Some 400 college and university presidents belong to the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration – see here – which advocates for ever more international students.
Follow the money, and you discover the huge advantage of recruiting foreign students, who are never allowed to receive school or federal aid, and so they always pay full tuition.
Take the University of California (UC) for example:
Foreign nationals pay UC about $70,000 a year. The same school charges $27,000 to an average American student (family earns $100,000, owns their home and has $100,000 assets). That’s a total subsidy of $43,000 from the school and federal programs.
The international student’s tuition and room and board is 2.5 times an American’s, so colleges and universities vie for foreigners to increase institutional revenue.
Money, not merit, may often be making admission decisions.
All together, post-secondary institutions receive $45 billion in extra tuition fees each year by refusing American students and giving openings to international applicants.
This is not a small problem.
In 2019, the total number of international students enrolled in US colleges was 1,095,299, including:
431,930 undergraduate students
377,943 graduate students
62,341 non-degree students
223,085 Optional Practical Training (OPT) workers
The most recent statistics available show foreign students – who made up 12% of the total student population – contributed nearly 30% of all tuition revenue at public universities.
The top five US schools displacing American students with foreign students in 2019 were:
New York University -19,605 foreign
University of Southern California Los Angeles -16,340 foreign
Northeastern University – 16,075 foreign
Columbia University – 15,897 foreign
University of Illinois/Urbana – 13,497 foreign
If you are concerned with what happens to these millions of international students after graduation, don’t worry – most of them have it made. The information industry is where many are headed, and big tech companies employ hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, who replace Americans under various government programs.
All told, Information Technology (IT) employment in the United States reached an estimated 12.1 million workers last year, growing by more than 307,000 in just 12 months.
A California lawyer, Randy Berholtz, told the San Diego Union-Tribune his experience with preferences for foreign, versus American students:
First, we are taking needed positions away from Californian and American students. My daughter’s guidance counselor at a San Diego high school told her students not to apply to UC San Diego, because she felt that even though they had top grades, they wouldn’t be accepted there, owing to its difficult admission policies.
The situation is compounded by the huge number (370,000) of international students from Communist China, Berholtz explained
Second, we are educating students from a fairly hostile communist country with which we are embroiled in a trade war, and we may eventually be involved in a major military conflict at some point.
In addition, there are many cases of China’s students, researchers and the like, who have been linked to an organized effort by that country to spy on us, and steal important inventions and other trade-secret information from American entities.
He also said that residents of other USA states are not being actively recruited, while schools seek applicants from China and elsewhere.
Third, it appears that UC admissions officers have decreased their efforts to attract other American students from outside of California in favor of students from China.
I am originally from the coal regions of Pennsylvania, where poverty rates are in the 50% to 60% range. Students from my hometown and region would love to attend UC San Diego, as well as students right here in outlying cities and communities in San Diego and the rest of California.
On a personal note, he added:
One of my daughters had very high grades from a well-known high school in San Diego, and did not get into UC San Diego. She instead was admitted to the Claremont Colleges.
My Shanghai colleague’s daughter, however, was admitted as an undergraduate into UC San Diego, which just isn’t right.
With the current Covid-19 scare, we are losing millions of jobs, many forever. It is time to prioritize Americans for remaining job openings. Those in the higher education business must help America’s “best and brightest”, and let other countries invest the time and money to take care of their own.
President Donald Trump’s recent proclamation to limit workers and students from China does not apply to undergraduate students and also allows in all graduate students, except those tied to the Chinese military or government. The move was nothing but a token effort – political optics at a time when we need insightful vision.
Next Tuesday: How the “Alliance” joined with FWD.US to put Americans last!
Republican and Democrat politicians, plus the Media brain trust, are missing the catastrophe coming from the $600-a-week Covid-19 unemployment compensation supplemental benefit for all 50 states.
In the ivory tower of statistic worship and technocratic analysis, the supplement makes sense. When millions lose jobs, unemployment insurance only covers about $400 average per week. With overtime, stock bonuses and such, the average earnings before taxes in America is about $970 a week, so $400 + $600 = $1,000, totally replaces the median wage.
The tragedy of this false logic: it ignores that half of the full time employed make more than $970, and half make less, many far less, as low as minimum wage: $270 weekly, after taxes.
Median high school grad 25 and older (26 million workers) earns $710 weekly after payroll taxes, laid off and receives $400 unemployment compensation, plus $600 supplemental – a total $1,000. Earnings are $290 a week more by not working.
Minimum wage worker earning $270 weekly, laid off and receives $210 unemployment compensation, plus $600 supplemental – a total of $810, three times as much by not working.
For millions of workers it pays to not work. Not only do they make more money, there’s no miserable boss, crazy deadlines, childcare costs, driving or transit expense. Even if the government payments were the same, let alone three times as much, wouldn’t nearly everyone stay home?
Some libertarians disagree, claiming that employees love their jobs, miss their fellow workers, find meaning in life by spending 40 hours or more away from home and family. This is another proof that libertarians are rich folks, who make up jobs they like, and just want to get away from the clatter of servants washing dishes (or a nagging spouse). For the rest of us, their golf and three-hour lunches are not real work.
Unfortunately, this supplemental unemployment cash will last until the end of July.
And that means going to work is stupid and irresponsible if you are the average person. Stay home. Enjoy the summer. You might even vacation with that earlier additional $1,200 per person stimulus check that went to every adult, except those claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return (including blind, crippled and senile).
For two more months the current 17 million unemployed, mostly in lower paying jobs, will make every effort not to return to work.
For many businesses no staff means no income, and they will close, go bankrupt.
Even when workers return, what will be their reaction when, for example, their weekly pay is $300, not $800?
However, you might ask, suppose your boss decides to reopen and offer you your job again?
You might hate your boss if this happens. An employer who makes someone accept $300 or $400 a week for working, instead of earning $700 or $800 by not working, is asking for serious labor troubles.
Most employers are smart. They won’t bring back the workers until after the end of July.
And so the shutdown must continue for many businesses, even though they might enter the green phase,
This will kill the economy as more business go bankrupt – a bonanza by the way for the hedge funds, banks and investors who snatch up distressed firms.
A recent interview with National Public Radio (NPR) illustrated the problem:
“The very people we hired have now asked us to be laid off,” according to shop owner Sky Marietta, “Not because they did not like their jobs or because they did not want to work, but because it would cost them literally hundreds of dollars per week to be employed.”
You also have to think [of] the benefit of not having to go to work, especially during a pandemic.
It’s not that we don’t wish that we could pay our employees at that level all the time. You’re always wanting to pay your staff the best you possibly can. But to be put in a position where you can’t compete with them being at home, unemployed, it’s really tricky. It’s a really difficult situation to be in.”
To make things worse, the Covid-19 stimulus act also includes a provision to lend businesses money that doesn’t have to be repaid if it is used to pay salaries to retain workers.
Jamie Black-Lewis, who owns Oasis Medspa & Salon and Amai Day Spa in Washington state, said she received two forgivable loans through the new federal Paycheck Protection Program, She thought it was great to help keep her 35 employees who had their pay halted when the spas closed.
No surprise, the loans and being kept on payroll made many of her employees angry. The reaction she got was a “firestorm of hatred about the situation,” Black-Lewis said.
These employees realized they could make more money from unemployment than employment.
It’s a windfall they see coming, In their mind, I took it away.
Of course, the unethical business owner can win big if they want to break the rules.
First, don’t offer jobs back to your past employees, who are now on unemployment benefits.
Then hire new workers, who are employed elsewhere at a lower wage, and report you are not cutting staff and deserve a forgivable federal loan.
In time for August 1, lay off the “replacement” workers and rehire the old staff.
That way, they get the extra money, you get the help, and taxpayers are on the hook for your scam.
And with the efficiency of our government whiz kids, no reviews will be made of cheating the program, even if there was any way or desire to recover our money.
The Senate has decided you have no right to privacy on your “private” phone or email. They can also examine the web sites you visit, keystrokes and clicks, all browsing and Internet searches.
If fed watchers might wonder why you get spam, especially goofy emails of millions from Nigerian ministers, how will you respond? Even checking the sale price of fertilizer might raise flags of possible explosive plans by you, worthy of investigation by an agency that discourages domestic bombing, but missed 9/11.
To spy on you, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) only needs their secret request approved by a secret court (FISA) with the results kept hidden from you. So that other agencies and big shots know you may be in trouble, virtually all “unmasking” requests are approved, because there are no opposition opportunities for you, no lawyers defending you, and you aren’t even allowed to appear yourself.
There are currently exceptions to this rule.
First, you can’t do this to Senators, or other politicians, or their friends in the Media. Eisenhower may have been right about the Military/Industrial complex in the 50s, but today it’s more like the Carpetbaggers/Communicators combine. One group claps for attention and the other cheers the news to a dumbed-down America.
Another institution is exempt – churches. Even Senators know that you must at least pretend justice for religious groups, or they’ll raise Holy Hell, and that means lost votes at power-renewal time.
There was almost hope Wednesday, last week, when a majority of the Senate voted 59-37 to go ahead with a change to the H.R. 6172 – USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020.
The proposed amendment (S.Amdt.1583) would have required the government to have a warrant approved before retrieving all your past and future web browsing and other personal Internet activities.
One of the co-sponsors, Bernie Sanders (I-VT), wasn’t present for the vote. Others missing in action included Patty Murray (D-WA), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN). All four are often on tv giving their opinions, but on Wednesday any one of them could have actually defended our Constitutional rights.
One vote was needed to move the amendment to a regular, not cloture, vote. In the world of Mitch McConnell, bills need 60 votes to avoid a filibuster, and since Mitch doesn’t want to force the opposition to give speeches for hours on end, he just gives up and says the law failed.
The Majority Leader thinks he’s the Super Majority Leader – 60 votes out of 100. No wonder nothing gets done, unless it’s bipartisan earned benefit cuts for the elderly or tax cuts for the rich.
If the Republican majority wanted to eliminate the 60-vote charade, they could do it with their 54 votes, but McConnell says he likes it this way.
And Mitch was one of the politicians who voted against the bill, which would have protected all Americans. He later pushed through another amendment that excludes, religious groups, elected officials and the denizens of newsrooms everywhere, but not you and me.
The Wednesday effort to really protect privacy rights was sponsored by Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Browser data and internet search history is some of the most personal and revealing information that can be collected on private citizens, Daines said.
Government should not have access to such private information without a warrant. This is about securing our most basic 4th Amendment rights to protect our citizens’ most personal data.
The Senate was closer than it has ever been before with over half the senate – 59 Senators – voting to protect Americans privacy.
“I’ll keep working on this issue with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as I believe it’s critical to increase the privacy of all Americans,” he added.
Democrats voting against the amendment, and voting for invading your privacy::
Thomas Carper (D-DE)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH)
Doug Jones (D-AL)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Many Republicans – the usual establishment supplicants – opposed the pro-privacy change:
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
James Inhofe (R-OK)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
James Lankford (R-OK)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
David Perdue (R-GA)
Rob Portman (R-OH)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Mitt Romney (R-UT)
Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Thune (R-SD)
Thom Tillis (R-NC)
Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Todd Young (R-IN)
Wyden said ahead of the vote:
The typical American may think to themselves, I’ve got nothing to worry about. I’ve done nothing wrong. The government has no reason to suspect me of anything. Why should I worry?
Unfortunately, the question is not whether you did anything wrong.
The question is whether a government agent believes they have the right to look at your web searches.
Future invasions of privacy can best be predicted by recent actions of the FBI.
Remember when the governors closed nearly all the states for months to fight the Flu in 2018, when high estimates showed 95,000 deaths, and even the average guess was 61,000?
Remember how President Donald Trump reacted in 2019, when that prior year analysis came true, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) decided the almost final number was 61,000 deaths, plus or minus 20,000 to 30,000 deaths?
Remember when Trump demanded to know why the CDC had no clue to the actual flu death numbers, despite the agency’s 10,899 employees and budget of $11.1 billion?
You can’t remember what didn’t happen, but the disaster of home imprisonment for hundreds of millions of Americans will long be recalled as record fear-mongering, more suited to electioneering than providing our people the truth.
Unfortunately, the President usually listens to the wrong advisors, and rarely reviews the actual statistics that might refute their talking points.
For example, in a recent interview in the Lincoln Memorial, he mused that many other countries kept their businesses open and didn’t force everyone to stay at home. He said they did the wrong thing by not closing, or re-opening too soon.
He mentioned Sweden and Japan. Sweden has been repeatedly castigated by the American Press for putting its citizens in danger by not closing stores and factories, and allowing residents to go forth in the great outdoors.
The table we assembled at the end of this blog lists the Covid-19 deaths by million, total deaths and cases by million yesterday for the states and most nations. Flu cases are only those patients seen by a doctor or hospital. Actual cases were much higher and included those who self-medicated, worked through the illness, or ignored symptoms.
By contrast, Covid-19 cases in the U.S. are either those presumed to have the virus, or were tested positive for the virus, regardless of symptoms or recovery. While about 96% of Covid-19 cases require no hospitalization, they are still continually reported as active cases, and never removed from the CDC reports, boosting perception of a larger infection rate than actual.
Sorted by the death rate, our table allows comparison of how well the pandemic was contained, and it paints an ugly picture for many states, especially New York, where daily press briefings by its governor hid a disaster that could only be properly attributed to incompetence, primarily in New York City.
New York state has 1,268 deaths per million residents. Compare that to Trump-target Sweden with 274 deaths or Japan with four deaths per million citizens!
New Jersey has suffered 888 deaths per million, Connecticut – 697, Massachusetts – 586, Louisiana – 431, Michigan – 407, Rhode Island – 323. Each of those states has a higher rate than one of the CDC estimates of U.S. flu deaths in 2018, the last year of verified data.
Across the nation the death per million average was 211 as of yesterday. Excluding New York it would be 170.
The President also trumpeted the accomplishment of performing more virus tests than South Korea, ignoring reality – endless testing won’t stop deaths. Instead, he should have credited South Korea with its five deaths per million citizens, a stunning 1/234th of New York and 1/42d the U.S. average.
And Trump should confront those unmasked health bureaucrats that flank him on press briefings and ask questions like these:
Explain how a “communist/socialist/backward/dictatorship” like Russia has a Covid-19 death rate of just nine, versus the lowest for any U.S. state – Alaska – which has 12 deaths per million?
How does a collapsing dictatorship like Cuba manage only a virus death rate of six?
Are you surprised that densely populated Egypt, which gets billions in foreign aid from the U.S. has a rate of just four deaths, versus New York’s 1,268?
Finally, how can one of the poorest nations on earth and second most populous – India – manage just one death per million?
Examine the following table:
Decide for yourself if hiding at home worked, and ponder why four states – New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts – represent nearly 60% of all deaths in the 50 states.
Is reporting both confirmed and probable deaths – as ordered by the CDC on April 15 without any certification – the correct way to compile data affecting hundreds of millions.
Why has third-world Africa virtually escaped the pandemic with just 1,848 total deaths in a continent of 1.2 billion.
Why is the death rate in Massachusetts higher than Spain or Italy, while both nations are portrayed as suffering the worst infections worldwide by the media?
How can Texas have only 889 deaths, while New York – with 8 million less population – totals 24,874?
“Right now Medicare is determining that if you (a doctor) have a Covid-19 admission to the hospital, you get $13,000. If that Covid-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much. Nobody can tell me after 35 years in the world of medicine that sometimes those kinds of things impact on what we do,” Minnesota Senator Dr. Scott Jensen explained.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging American doctors to over-count coronavirus deaths across the US, he added, showing a 7-page document coaching him to fill out death certificates with a Covid-19 diagnosis without a lab test to confirm the patient actually had the virus,” he said.
“…under the CDC guidelines, a patient who died after being hit by a bus and tested positive for coronavirus would be listed as having presumed to have died from the virus, regardless of whatever damage was caused by the bus,” he added.
Some have called the governor of Pennsylvania a sheep in wolf’s clothing (Thomas Westerman Wolf), and others describe him as a snotty rich guy, who went to private schools (The Hill School), and has no clue about how average folks live.
Transparency: I live in Montgomery County, PA, one of 840,000 citizens bordering northwest Philadelphia. I grew up in Kensington, the poorest neighborhood in that city of not always brotherly love.
Today, I can’t legally escape my suburban home, because of the Governor and Levine, his Secretary of Health, who have become partners to impose onerous Covid-19 (Wuhan Virus, Coronavirus, China Virus) regulations that may be for the rest of my life at age 78.
Is it time to move to California or South Carolina, where the beaches are open and folks in government have leaders who use at least half their brains? Even Georgia sounds tempting, despite those pesky June beetle bugs.
Wolf may be the dumbest Pennsylvania governor in history.
When deciding on “essential services”, the governor banned online car sales, perhaps not understanding that keyboards cannot be directly connected to auto showrooms, and viruses don’t travel through long wires to a computer.
While the rest of the state is missing its rums and cokes, Levine and Wolf can still enjoy their favorite vintage wine.
He closed all the state liquor stores, including curbside service, but continued to allow unlimited wine sales in supermarkets (for the better class of drunks?).
In a stark moment of reality he also permitted grocery store beer sales, because someone probably described the results of tar and feathers on even a wolf’s naked body. No beer means fast revolution, and aren’t we trying to “flatten the curve” to avoid riots and such?
Levine and Wolf’s biggest mutual sin is their plan to keep Southeaster Pennsylvania a possibly perpetual stay-at-home destination.
The map below shows all regions of the state. Every county will open within two weeks, including where Wolf and Levine go at night. Some freedom for all, except the Southeast – where I live along with 5.2 million other in-home incarcerated citizens.
Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, DO, – another not-so-bright bulb – seemed almost gleeful in a recent television interview, explaining the criterion to reopen the SE region.
This will also be viewed as a regional exercise. That is critically important because we all know that this virus doesn’t care about any borders. We know our workforce travels back and forth between counties, she said.
Arkoosh said the requirement is that in each county only 50 reported cases per 100,000 residents will be allowed for an entire 14-day period. If any county goes above that 50 total for two weeks, the region will remain in shutdown. If any single county meets the goal they can’t open unless all the counties in the region do the same.
Does this sound like announcing Nap Time in kindergarten?
For Montgomery County’s 831,000 residents that means a daily average of no more than 30 cases total at various testing centers.
The County’s daily total this past Sunday was 129 cases, which drops the following 13 days to average about 20 cases to meet the Phase 2 standard. In recent weeks the average has been 187 cases daily, making a 20-per-day result seemingly impossible.
Oddly, the first release of Levine and Wolf’s requirements indicated 50 cases each day for 14 days, and not one day exceeding that. When questioned, Levine said she meant 50 cases total for two weeks, and that’s where things stand today.
The federal government is only requiring a downward trajectory for two weeks.
There is another flaw – a big one – in using new cases as a criterion to just begin returning to normal life. Of the 129 cases reported in Montgomery County on Sunday, only 14 were hospitalized. The other 115 went home, but they still count against the threshold of averaging 30 cases daily to move out of the current Red Phase.
In recent findings, New York state had an estimated 2.7 million recovered active cases, so Pennsylvania should have 1.8 million – all of them unreported by testing. By that estimate, Montgomery County alone has some 140,000 unreported, recovered cases so far.
The regulations apply to all counties, and below is the breakdown of goals versus actual in the SE region. Remember that every county has to achieve these results or all the counties will continue in the red phase.
2019 population: 421,164
Population / 100,000: 4.21164
Current Numbers (4/24/20): 14 day – 1,517, Daily Average – 108
Target Numbers: 14 day – 211, Daily Average – 15 Deficit – 93 daily active tests. 14-day: 1,309
2019 Population: 628,270
Population / 100,000: 6.2827
Current Numbers (4/24/20): 14 day – 1,525, Daily Average – 109
Target Numbers: 14 days – 314, Daily Average – 22 Deficit – 87 daily active tests. 14-day: 1,218
2019 Population: 524,989
Population / 100,000: 5.24989
Current Numbers (4/24/20): 14 day – 736, Daily Average – 53
Target Numbers: 14 days – 262, Daily Average – 19 Deficit – 34 daily active tests. 14-day: 475
2019 Population: 566,747
Population / 100,000: 5.66747
Current Numbers (4/24/20): 14 day – 2,126, Daily Average – 152
Target Numbers: 14 days – 283, Daily Average – 20 Deficit – 132 daily active tests. 14-day:1,848
2019 Population: 545,724
Population / 100,000: 5.45724
Current Numbers (4/24/20): 14 day – 1,017, Daily Average – 73
Target Numbers: 14 days – 273, Daily Average – 19 Deficit – 54 daily active tests. 14-day: 756
2019 population: 830,915
Population / 100,000: 8.30915
Current Numbers (4/24/20): 14 day – 2,612, Daily Average – 187
Target Numbers: 14 day – 415, Daily Average – 30 Deficit – 157 daily active tests. 14-day: 2,058
2019 population: 1,584,064
Population / 100,000: 15.84064
Current Numbers (4/24/20): 14 day – 8,286 Daily Average – 592
Target Numbers: 14 day – 792, Daily Average – 57 Deficit – 535 daily active tests. 14-day: 7,490
2019 population: 141,359
Population / 100,000: 1.41359
Current Numbers (4/24/20): 14 day – 232 Daily Average – 17
Target Numbers: 14 day – 71, Daily Average – 5 Deficit – 12 daily active tests. 14-day: 168
Total Southeastern Pennsylvania Region
2019 population: 5,243,232
Population / 100,000: 52.43232
Current Numbers (4/24/20): 14 day – 18,051 Daily Average – 1,291
Target Numbers: 14 day – 2,622, Daily Average – 187 Deficit – 1,104 daily active tests. 14-day: 15,456
All of the SE counties would have to each eliminate their deficits in order to enter Phase 2 (Yellow), which still doesn’t open schools, bars, restaurants, or allow gatherings of more than 25 persons.
There is no word yet from Levine and Wolf on how we will enter the Green phase, which lifts nearly all restrictions, except CDC rules, also unannounced.
The Southeast region has the most testing, most urban city population, and yet the hospitalized cases seem to average about 10% of active cases, and these totals include those both tested and observed as having the virus.
Deaths in Pennsylvania – now either from testing or mere observation by recently diluted CDC rules – totaled 19 on Sunday in a population of more than 12 million. Yesterday was 37.
It’s a problem for me to imagine how Secretary of Health Levine can relate to average working Pennsylvanians.
For example, she regularly appears on television to reassure residents and provide them with updates and health guidelines. In a recent interview Levine described her job:
My day is busy. I get here at 7 and prepare for my day. Our meeting starts at 8, where first I talk with my team for an hour, and then I go and speak with the senior staff of the governor’s office. And then the senior staff, and I, and the FEMA director have a meeting and then it goes from there.
Many meetings, much sitting, talking, earning salary of $600 a day:
I have a daily press conference … sometimes by myself or with the governor to update the public on the status of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania and the response of our administration. I often speak with legislators and other stakeholders. And then we have a 5 o’clock sum-up meeting till 6. And then I go home and do emails.
While the rest of us are stalked by the “stay home” police, Levine is exempt:
No stay at home. And right now it is seven days a week. So we’ve been at this pace for a while. We’re going to do whatever is possible, whatever it takes to protect the public health of Pennsylvania.
If I had any hope that she would ease the testing insanity, this dashed it:
We’re working on expanding testing. So that is testing for priority populations such as health care workers, nursing homes, etc., to our public health laboratory. But then we also have worked with hospitals and health systems to [set] up testing centers.
And a lot of those tests are either done by the health system or through the commercial laboratories such as Quest or LabCorp.
The more testing, the more active (non-hospitalized) cases, and the longer it will take for SE Pennsylvania to open, if ever.
Levine wants everyone to know that life is tough at the top, even when you can go and do what you wish:
I’m trying to get enough sleep and I’m trying to eat well as best I can. I’m trying to practice what my message is, which is stay calm. I can’t stay home because I have to be here, but staying safe.
But really, I’m not going out anywhere except here and then home. So not too much exposure outside of here at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Association. But it is very important to stay calm and focused in the midst of emergencies.
And you know, that’s what I learned in my clinical years during my training and then at my time at Mount Sinai and then Penn State when we would see very ill children and adolescents. In those emergency clinical situations, it’s important to stay calm, and so that’s what I do now.
Rachel should realize that the state’s residents would explain to her -given the chance – that they don’t care how calm she is, or overworked.
They would tell her to change senseless rules and allow us to quickly get back to normal.
For a starter let’s stop counting “active” cases, and just use real hospitalized ones, not manufactured ones.
Then, have her tell us what are the goals for the final (Green) phase, so that officials don’t change them with each new statistic in order to further extend the shutdown.
Finally, Dr. Levine, please stop trying to be our nanny. All that does is make us dislike you more and more.
And would someone tell Levine we really don’t care about platitudes such as the following:
Hope is such an important thing. I think that we have to have hope for the future. I think we have to have hope for the future of our commonwealth in Pennsylvania, hope for the future of our nation.
And in relation to some of the things we’re talking about, hope for the future for the LGBTQ community. I firmly believe that we have made progress. We have been under challenges and faced a lot of challenges with this current administration.
Note to doctor: the real challenges are for the millions enduring this, and not for the folks at the top, who are causing it.
Late breaking good news for the “better” class of folks.: Governor Wolf just announced the opening of golf courses and yacht marinas, as of May 1. All factories, schools, restaurants, office buildings and other activities will remain closed until further notice and citizens are asked to continue cowering in their homes without jobs. (Will the “essential” country club waiters just serve wine, or sneak in a few cocktails at the clubhouse?)
Two deadly viruses and their prescription drug prices:
AIDS – BIKTARVY is a complete HIV-1 treatment that combines 3 powerful medicines into 1 small pill, taken once a day with or without food. The COSTCO price for Biktarvy oral tablets (50 mg-200 mg-25 mg) is $3,202.66 for a supply of 30 tablets. Prices are for cash-paying customers only, and are not valid with insurance plans. Biktarvy is available as a brand name drug only, a generic version is not yet available.
COVID-19 – 37% of 6,227 doctors across 30 countries felt the drug Hydroxychloroquine was the “most effective therapy” out of 15 options in treating coronavirus. COSTCO cash price is $14.33 for 30 tablets of this generic drug. If you have money to burn, a brand name version is available at $317.64 for the same dosage at COSTCO.
The outcry against a low cost COVID-19 treatment has begun in the United States – the country with the most expensive drugs in the world, a place where a patient spending $38,472 a year on an AIDS prescription is just big business as usual.
“Hydroxychloroquine needs months of clinical trials,” the government health brain trust maintains, despite it being safely used around the world for decades to treat various ailments.
“It could have serious side effects if administered improperly,” the American Medical Association declares, neglecting to mention that even too much aspirin at once can quickly kill you.
Hydroxychloroquine was approved for medical use in the United States in 1955. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed for a health system. In 2017, it was the 128th-most-prescribed medication in the United States, with more than five million prescriptions, according to Wikipedia.
If we follow the money, we learn why supplicants of Big Pharma discredit any drug that doesn’t reap huge profits by overpricing essential drugs in our for-very-big-profits health system.
Hydroxychloroquine is cheap, easy to produce, long in use, and judged effective enough that other nations prefer it as the major treatment for coronavirus.
This drug has been prescribed in 72% of coronavirus cases in Spain, 49% in Italy, 41% in Brazil, 39% in Mexico, 28% in France, and 23% in the United States, where about 19% of physicians have already used it for high-risk patients, and 8% for the low-risk ones.
Those same top government experts, we watch on tv daily, are the same ones who were involved in fighting AIDS. That epidemic’s solutions have resulted in billions of dollars spent on incredibly costly drugs and fabulous profits for healthcare system investors..
The current efforts to denigrate low-cost solutions to the COVID-19 crisis, even include the once independent New York Times:
The president’s advocacy of the anti-malarial drug has created tensions in his administration, and fears among doctors that it could unnecessarily expose patients to risks.
You can’t tell that lie to the pollster of the following Sermo global survey, showing doctors’ preferences.
Sermo CEO Peter Kirk explained:
Physicians should have more of a voice in how we deal with this pandemic and be able to quickly share information with one another and the world,” he said.
With censorship of the media and the medical community in some countries, along with biased and poorly designed studies, solutions to the pandemic are being delayed.
The survey also found that 63% of U.S. physicians believe restrictions should be lifted in six weeks or more, and that the epidemic’s peak is at least 3-4 weeks away.
In addition, the survey also reported that 83% of global physicians anticipate a second global outbreak, including 90% of U.S. doctors, but only 50% of physicians in China.
On average, U.S. coronavirus testing takes 4-5 days, while 10% of cases take longer than seven days. In China, 73% of doctors reported getting rest results back in 24 hours.
Other governments are not questioning the use of Hydroxychloroquine or waiting to use it until months or years of blind tests are completed.
Most nations have single-payer healthcare, which seeks the least expensive and most effective drugs for taxpayers. By contrast, the U.S. spends more than any other country for a fleece-the-public health system that nearly always benefits investors first, even if that impoverishes the rest of us, or ignores simple, inexpensive solutions.
While critics of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) bring up the $25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, there is virtually no reporting of the $10.8 billion authorized for three African development banks.
Funding for the Kennedy Center came with the stipulation it would help deal with fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. There is no such restriction connected to the huge sums for the African Development Fund (ADF), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Development Association (IDA)..
The ADF and the AfDB are two related organizations that are supposed to fund development and poverty eradication efforts in Africa. The IDA is a subsidiary of the World Bank that lends money to poor countries and then forces changes in their financial and social structures to promote privatization.
These agencies have been criticized for failing to be effective. For example, the average Sub-Saharan African lives on just $1 a day, while developers of infrastructure often build projects of little value to these mostly tribal countries.
In February David Malpass told the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) forum that the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the AfDB, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have a “tendency to lend too quickly and thereby aggravate the problem of country debt”. There are also hedge fund connections to create “securitization” of loans, including paid arrangements with Mariner Investment Group.
The President of the World Bank Group, Malpass criticized the AfDB specifically for its activities in Nigeria and South Africa. He urged “greater coordination among international financial institutions to coordinate lending and maintain high standards of transparency”.
How did all this money become part of the virus bill?
The Center for Global Development (CGD) told Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell in a letter that they must include funding for these groups, claiming that even after the virus is under control in the United States, it could come back if it surges in Africa.
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers heads the CGD board. A prominent member of the Trilateral Commission, Summers served as Treasury Secretary under President William Clinton. Other CGD board members include Judy Woodruff, Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour. CGD was founded in November 2001 by another Trilateral leader, Fred Bergsten, ex-director of the Peterson Institute.
There are 115 total reported deaths from the virus thus far in the entire continent of Africa among its 1.216 billion population. That compares to 1,342 deaths in just New York State with 19.54 million residents. Africa is the last place to send aid to fight a virus which has killed 39,000 worldwide.
What else could Congress have done with that $10.8 billion that went to the international development banks?
We could have replaced the $9.2 billion cut from the budget for the Department of Education, which would allow us to:
Restore programs and grants for teacher training, after-school and summer care, and aid to low-income students.
Add back Striving Readers/Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants and funding for Supporting Effective Instruction State grants of $2.3 billion.
In addition, we could restore $1.6 billion in cuts to the Department of the Interior, which eliminated 4,000 jobs, ended funding for 49 National Historic Sites and decreased funding for land acquisition and the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund.
The following is the relevant text of the bill, which was included in the original Republican draft and approved unanimously by Congress:
‘‘SEC. 31. NINETEENTH REPLENISHMENT.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—The United States Governor of the International Development Association is authorized to contribute on behalf of the United States $3,004,200,000 to the nineteenth replenishment of the resources of the Association, subject to obtaining the necessary appropriations.
‘‘(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—In order to pay for the United States contribution provided for in subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated, without fiscal year limitation, $3,004,200,000 for payment by the Secretary of the Treasury.’’.
(2) INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION AUTHORIZATION.— The International Finance Corporation Act (22 U.S.C. H. R. 748—314 282 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 18. CAPITAL INCREASES AND AMENDMENT TO THE ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT.
‘‘(a) VOTES AUTHORIZED.—The United States Governor of the Corporation is authorized to vote in favor of—
‘‘(1) a resolution to increase the authorized capital stock of the Corporation by 16,999,998 shares, to implement the conversion of a portion of the retained earnings of the Corporation into paid-in capital, which will result in the United States being issued an additional 3,771,899 shares of capital stock, without any cash contribution;
‘‘(2) a resolution to increase the authorized capital stock of the Corporation on a general basis by 4,579,995 shares; and
‘‘(3) a resolution to increase the authorized capital stock of the Corporation on a selective basis by 919,998 shares.
‘‘(b) AMENDMENT OF THE ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT.—The United States Governor of the Corporation is authorized to agree to and accept an amendment to article II, section 2(c)(ii) of the Articles of Agreement of the Corporation that would increase the vote by which the Board of Governors of the Corporation may increase the capital stock of the Corporation from a four-fifths majority to an eighty-five percent majority.’’.
(3) AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK.—The African Development Bank Act (22 U.S.C. 290i et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 1345. SEVENTH CAPITAL INCREASE.
‘‘(a) SUBSCRIPTION AUTHORIZED.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The United States Governor of the Bank may subscribe on behalf of the United States to 532,023 additional shares of the capital stock of the Bank.
‘‘(2) LIMITATION.—Any subscription by the United States to the capital stock of the Bank shall be effective only to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriations Acts.
‘‘(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In order to pay for the increase in the United States subscription to the Bank under subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated, without fiscal year limitation, $7,286,587,008 for payment by the Secretary of the Treasury.
‘‘(2) SHARE TYPES.—Of the amount authorized to be appropriated under paragraph (1)—
‘‘(A) $437,190,016 shall be for paid in shares of the Bank; and
‘‘(B) $6,849,396,992 shall be for callable shares of the Bank.’’.
(4) AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT FUND.—The African Development Fund Act (22 U.S.C. 290g et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 226. FIFTEENTH REPLENISHMENT.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—The United States Governor of the Fund is authorized to contribute on behalf of the United States H.R. 748—315 $513,900,000 to the fifteenth replenishment of the resources of the Fund, subject to obtaining the necessary appropriations.
‘‘(b) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—In order to pay for the United States contribution provided for in subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated, without fiscal year limitation, $513,900,000 for payment by the Secretary of the Treasury.’’.
(5) INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AUTHORIZATION FOR NEW ARRANGEMENTS TO BORROW.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—Section 17 of the Bretton Woods Agreements Act (22 U.S.C. 286e–2) is amended—
(i) in subsection (a)—
(I) by redesignating paragraphs (3), (4), and
(5) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively;
(II) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following new paragraph:
‘‘(3) In order to carry out the purposes of a one-time decision of the Executive Directors of the International Monetary Fund (the Fund) to expand the resources of the New Arrangements to Borrow, established pursuant to the decision of January 27, 1997, referred to in paragraph (1), the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to make loans, in an amount not to exceed the dollar equivalent of 28,202,470,000 of Special Drawing Rights, in addition to any amounts previously authorized under this section, except that prior to activation of the New Arrangements to Borrow, the Secretary of the Treasury shall report to Congress whether supplementary resources are needed to forestall or cope with an impairment of the international monetary system and whether the Fund has fully explored other means of funding to the Fund.’’;
(III) in paragraph (5), as so re-designated, by striking ‘‘paragraph (3)’’ and inserting ‘‘paragraph (4)’’; and
(IV) in paragraph (6), as so re-designated, by striking ‘‘December 16, 2022’’ and inserting ‘‘December 31, 2025’’; and
(ii) in subsection (e)(1) by striking ‘‘(a)(2),’’ each place such term appears and inserting ‘‘(a)(2), (a)(3),’’.
(B) EMERGENCY DESIGNATION.—The amount provided by this paragraph is designated by the Congress as being for an emergency requirement pursuant to section
251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
The World War reached a turning point in 1943 as the last of German troops at Stalingrad surrendered on January 31, but that celebration was soon forgotten, as some American officials learned of a new threat to our nation from the barbarians.
In a laboratory just outside Bremen, Germany, scientists had been studying new biological weapons, when they made a breakthrough in late 1942 by creating a deadly variant of the tobacco mosaic virus. It was named Brem-V.
After reviewing documents and making notes from an anonymous source, the story recalled here reveals a sinister plot that was thwarted by American resolve.
The virus was prepared in a liquid mixture, poured into small cologne perfume atomizers and sent through Switzerland into the United States, where the plan was to spray into the atmosphere at crowded events, and so the epidemic would begin.
Lab tests showed Brem-V was deadly, killing as many as 3% of those infected, and its symptoms were debilitating enough to keep victims in bed for at least two weeks if they survived. Should only 10 million got the infection, the 300,000 ensuing deaths would cause panic, shutdowns, even end much production of vital war materials.
On February 14th spies set the operation into motion in New York City’s Chinatown, as the virus was was released at three restaurants on two adjacent streets.
Within hours the White House learned of the attack and ordered a quiet tracking of those possibly affected. The virus was not extremely contagious, but it had a long period of gestation. The first step was a quarantine, extending 12 blocks in any direction. This area included about 8,000 residents.
Customs officials had intercepted one of the two shipments of the virus a week earlier. The government was already working on plans to fight a mass Brem-V epidemic if there were other virus bottles that had escaped detection.
Testing was vital. If those infected could be removed from the zone and treated off site, then life would return to normal in the neighborhood.
U.S. drug manufacturers had met with federal officials for several days, and none had tests that worked.
Prior to the Nazi attack on the U.S., the Germans had tested the virus on occupied Korea. Patriots, working in secret, had devised a simple test kit to identify the virus with only a four-hour turnaround. By isolating the affected, many lives were saved and the Germans were unaware of the breakthrough.
The chemical details and schematics for the test were subsequently spirited off to the Korean Liberation Army (KLA), which was fighting in China against the Japanese invasion.
An American military officer at one of the early Brem-V task force sessions told the group that he heard the KLA had created a virus test that was both safe and fast. He was ordered to get more details and samples.
In two days the test kits arrived by plane from China. The FDA examined them, and reported:
While the KLA Test shows great promise, particularly because of anecdotal reports that these were used on several hundred patients in Korea without ill effects, such a test must require further examination by our agency. We would prefer a four-month, small group examination of efficacy and subsequent adverse reactions, followed by a seven-month regimen with a larger group, including subjects with and without the virus. Using information gained from these studies we can make a recommendation after no more than a two-month review of the results.
This response from the Food and Drug folks was sent up the chain of command, ultimately to the White House, and a reply came back almost immediately to the task force:
We have much to fear from little men with great responsibility, and no war is won with cowardly sloth. Forget the bureaucrats, order 10,000 of the tests so we have some extras in case those SOB’s try this again.
-FDR, Feb. 16, 1943
Thanks to swift action, Brem-V was quickly eradicated by testing, isolating and treating for symptoms. Sadly, a handful of Americans died from the virus, but none from the testing.
No American drug company or medical device manufacturer was permitted to exploit the public with over-priced tests. The KLA donated the rights to formulas and methods – all for the sake of humanity.