US Military’s All-Out Effort to Throttle Cartels

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President Trump surprised the nation by using the usual coronavirus press conference on Wednesday to announce a huge narcotics operation to crack down on drug cartels and to keep them from exploiting the pandemic. Navy destroyers, combat ships, and aircraft carriers are heading to the Caribbean and East Pacific.

Several top defense department officials joined Mr. Trump to describe the operations, including the effects it will have on Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan dictator who relies on cartel profits to stay in power. His network smuggles up to 250 metric tons of cocaine a year into the U.S., about half of it by sea.

  • Sec. of Defense Mark Esper announced that the Department of Defense had begun “enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea… to combat the flow of illicit drugs into the US.” A group of 22 nations have joined the effort.
  • Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, stated that the Navy and Coast Guard will work with domestic law enforcement to interdict drug traffickers. Milley stated, “We are at war with Covid-19, we are at war with terrorists, we are at war with the drug cartels as well. This is the US military. You will not penetrate this country, you will not get past jump street, you’re not going to come in here and kill additional Americans.”
  • Attorney General Bill Barr described how the President’s action granted additional enforcement authority to stop vessels that are suspected traffickers. He said the Department of Justice aims to destroy the Mexican cartels, which are responsible for the 70,000 Americans who die every year from drug overdoses. The department is doubling its capacity to interdict traffickers in the oceans.

The Army Corps of Engineers has assisted with construction of field hospitals and treatment space in New York City, Seattle and California. The Naval hospital ships Mercy and Comfort are docked in Los Angeles and New York, respectively, to treat non-virus patients referred by local hospitals. So far, just a few have been treated for gastrointestinal issues, heart problems, and injuries. 

Virus Updates

  • Under US governors’ directions, 32 states have declared a stay-at-home order.
  • Unique symptoms – About 30 percent of sufferers in South Korea lost their sense of smell and/or taste for five to ten days while fighting the coronavirus. 
  • Masks are effective – The mucous membranes of the inside of the mouth, nose and of the eyes have receptors to which the virus attaches. Using a mask and wearing glasses can help protect sensitive membranes.
  • Treatment – Dr. Stephen Smith, an infectious disease expert in New York promoted the benefits of Hydroxychloroquine. He told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, “I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I’m very serious.” His findings on hydroxychloroquine confirm a French study and are “a game changer.”

The Small Business Administration is offering paycheck protection loans to businesses with 500 or fewer employees. As long as the money is used to pay workers, mortgage interest, rent and utilities, the loans will be forgiven. There are 30 million small businesses in the US who can expect to receive these federal loans through their locals banks.

Stimulus checks in the amount of $1200 per adult ($500 per child) will be directly deposited into bank accounts in two weeks–those on Social Security will receive their deposits shortly thereafter.

Why this MattersIt’s important to keep things in perspective. Two-thirds of those who develop serious issues with coronavirus suffer from underlying heath problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, kidney disease, or a weakened immune system.

  • US deaths totaled 61,000 during the 2017-2018 flu season (the latest for which there are stats)
  • US deaths from coronavirus just reached 5,000, with 236,339 infected
  • The typical flu season ends in May 
  • On average, there are 7,400 deaths per day in the US–2 percent of which are due to influenza and pneumonia

Insider Trading?

Several members of Congress have been caught in the appearance of insider trading based on their classified briefings on the coronavirus. Under law, they are prohibited from making any trades based on information that isn’t publicly available.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made $2 million, according to financial disclosure filings. She and her husband purchased $5 million of Amazon stock at the time Congress held secret coronavirus meetings. On Tuesday, Amazon share prices climbed to $2,000 and Nancy had earned $1.1 million
  • Paul Pelosi bought 3,000 shares on Jan. 17 at $1,600 per share and held an 40 additional call options on Amazon. He sold those on Jan. 17, netting between $500,000 and $1 million.
  • Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), who sits on the Senate Health Committee, began selling stock on January 24–the same day of a secret virus briefing– and continued making trades through early March. Loeffler dumped $18.7 million in investments following the briefing and then turned around to invest in a company that creates medical gear and supplies. She explained that all her trades were handled by third-party advisors.
  • Loeffler’s husband Jeffrey Sprecher is chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and chair and CEO of its holding company, Intercontinental Exchange.
  • Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, sold between $628,000 and $1.7 million in publicly traded stocks—and didn’t buy any new ones—starting on February 13, the day before the market crashed due to the coronavirus panic. Burr has denied any wrongdoing. 
The First family walking to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo by William Moon.

Rep. Schiff Calls for Yet Another Investigation of President Trump

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who led the House investigation into the President regarding his phone call with Ukraine’s president, is calling for another investigation. This time he wants a “9/11-style” review of President Trump’s response to the coronavirus.

Schiff said he is drafting legislation to establish a nonpartisan commission to review the response and come up with recommendations to prepare for the next pandemic, suggesting it would be after Congress finishes the stimulus packages related to the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Trump re-election campaign has been donating meals to hospitals during the crisis. Doctors, nurses, and first responders in New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan have been the recipients of the meals purchased through local restaurants and paid for by the Trump campaign.

Why this Matters: Where was Mr. Schiff during the Obama administration? He has been in Congress since 2001, but neither he nor his peers suggested investigating the H1N1 pandemic. The CDC estimated that from April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, there were 60.8 million H1N1 cases, with 274,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the U.S. alone.

How to Pray:For all those who are sick, that they might recover. For those whose time has expired, that they would turn their lives over to Jesus. For those on the front lines of medical care, that they would find comfort and strength in the Lord Jesus. May the Almighty God use this time of shutdown to purify the body of Christ. 

Consider these instructions:

1 Tim. 1:5 – Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

Ecc. 12:13-14 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

2 Tim. 4:7 (paraphrased) – Fight the good fight, finish the course, keep the faith.

Comments

  1. barbara L says:

    Thank you dearest friend and sister, just found this page, must have missed this one, Bless you and miss you, Ba

    Like

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  1. […] President Trump and others during Wednesday’s press conference View on YouTube President Trump surprised the nation by using the usual coronavirus press conference on Wednesday to announce a huge narcotics operation to crack down on drug cartels and to keep them from exploiting the pandemic. Navy destroyers, combat ships, and aircraft carriers are heading to… — Read on prayingcitizen.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/us-militarys-all-out-effort-to-throttle-cartels/ […]

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