Escape from Wuhan

Sec. of State Pompeo: “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan…”

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There have been escalating problems, a cascade if you will, of issues that followed the escape of COVID-19 from the Wuhan lab in Communist China. Today, Americans wonder how long before we can escape the chokehold this virus has on our lives.

The shutdown continues, and as governors extend their emergency powers, the natives are getting restless. There are 30.2 million who have filed for unemployment out of the 130.6 million full-time workers in the US. President Trump’s virus task force established “gating criteria” for getting the country back to normal—but is it too restrictive? Many Americans have had enough of the shutdown and are protesting the perceived tyranny of their leaders.

How we Got Here

At the outset of the outbreak, the Chinese Communist Party prohibited people from Wuhan from flying to other provinces in China, but they were allowed to travel internationally. January 31, President Trump issued a ban on travelers from China. But it was too late: coronavirus had already landed on our shores.

  • President Trump believes the Chinese allowed the spread, either on purpose or by accident
  • Secretary of State Pompeo agrees, telling ABC’s Martha Raddatz, “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan…”
  • Confidence is high among 70-75% of the 17 US intelligence agencies that the lab is the source of the outbreak.
A stand-off in California

California

Criminals released – In order to protect from viral infections in overcrowded jails, California now allows immediate release of criminals after arrest. One man was arrested three times in 12 hours for stealing (vehicle, property, illegal drugs).

Sex offenders on the loose – By order of Court Commissioner Joseph Dane–and against the warnings of several district attorneys and sheriffs departments who say the jails aren’t overcrowded–seven high-level sexual predators were released in California. District Attorney Todd Spitzer warned that these were the most dangerous kind of criminal and likely to re-offend.

The criminals are being monitored, but have repeatedly tampered with their GPS devices. One of the released men was re-arrested almost immediately for exposing himself.

Folks barred from parks and beaches went anyway – California Governor Gavin Newsom made trespassing on beaches and in parks a criminal offense. That didn’t deter Laguna Beach protesters, who walked through net barricades to demonstrate on the beach. One man on a loudspeaker shouted: “Open up the beaches or we will open them up ourselves!” Police kept a watchful eye, allowing the peaceful protest to proceed.

Protesters in Michigan

More Restrictions

  • Tyranny in Oregon – Governor Kate Brown extended Oregon’s lockdown to July 6, just past Independence Day. Surprisingly, there have only been 104 deaths in her state of 4.14 million residents.
  • Masks Mandatory – Governors in Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania require masks be worn in public. In most cases, this is a non-expiring, permanent order.
  • Chicago Mayor will put partiers in jail – Chicago is under a stay-at-home order, and when Mayor Lori Lightfoot heard that people were having parties in their homes, she threatened them from a street corner. Using a loudspeaker, she warned, “Don’t make us treat you like a criminal, but if you act like a criminal and you violate the law and you refuse to do what is necessary to save lives in this city in the middle of a pandemic, we will take you to jail, period.”
  • Governor Being Sued – Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who gained notoriety for closing down lawn care businesses, stopping the sale of paint and garden supplies, and prohibiting travel to a second home, was challenged by the Republican-controlled legislature last week. Whitmer declared she would continue to use her emergency powers, defying a 1976 law. She is now being sued. 
  • Mayor Taking Church Attendees’ Names – Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas is allowing gatherings of up to ten people, but demanding to track and surveil attendees–including those who worship in church. The order also extends to businesses, who must take names, phone numbers and addresses for anyone who is in the building for more than ten minutes.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (L), Candace Owens (R)

Silencing Dissenters

A huge loss is American’s free speech, as tech giants, Democrat leaders, and the media silence alternative voices. It began with President Trump’s mention of a drug that works very well in combination with other elements to combat the virus. Anyone who promoted this as a solution or suggested that improving the immune system with vitamins and supplements is being throttled. Even worse, those who challenge the edicts of the nation’s mayors, the CDC, or the WHO are losing their platforms. 

Leading conservative Candace Owens was suspended from Twitter for criticizing Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. She tweeted:

“Apparently Gov. Whitmer believes she is a duly elected dictator of a socialist country. The people of Michigan need to stand up to her. Open your businesses. Go to work. The police think she’s crazy too. They are not going to arrest 10,000,000 people for going to work.” 

Owens’ tweet violated Twitter policy because it denied “government body recommendations to decrease an individual’s likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 with the intent to influence users into acting contrary to recommended guidance.”

Defeating Doctors’ Findings

Two doctors from Bakersfield, CA, gave a press briefing on the virus and published it on YouTube, racking up 5.46 million views before YouTube took it down for “content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of local health authority recommended guidance on social distancing…” The doctors suggested ending the lockdown because isolation destroys a person’s immune system and leads to a myriad of other problems, including abuse, alcoholism, depression, suicide and economic collapse. Hospitals have had to cancel elective surgeries, and people who should have gone to the hospital or doctor, didn’t.

Dr. Daniel Erickson and Dr. Artin Massih operate Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield. They told the press, “Typically you quarantine the sick. When someone has measles you quarantine them. We’ve never seen where we quarantine the healthy.” 

Rep. Adam Schiff, President Obama with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, advisor of new political action committee designed to defeat President Trump

The Throttling Turns Official

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent a letter to YouTube, Google, and Twitter CEOs requesting they clamp down on misinformation. He urged them to follow Facebook’s example by showing fact-checked messages to users who have “interacted with false information, conspiracy theories, or harmful messages” related to the coronavirus. Schiff said the debunked theories linking the virus to 5G cell towers, conspiracies that the virus was engineered, and rhetoric encouraging unsafe methods to combat the virus were among the most harmful to the public.

  • If you have liked, commented on, or shared “harmful” misinformation, these tech companies will redirect you to what they consider to be a reliable source. The same is being considered for political speech on the various platforms. 

A new political action committee called Defeat Disinfowill use artificial intelligence and analysis to intervene on social media. The PAC will target President Trump’s messages and direct 3.4 million “influencers” to attack his statements. Those who have large followings will be paid to take sides against President Trump. 

  • General Stanley McChrystal, who led the American forces in Afghanistan under President Obama, has agreed to be Defeat Disinfo’s official advisor.

The Same as the Seasonal Flu?

On Friday the CDC equated the Wuhan coronavirus to the seasonal flu and rolled back the number of deaths. CDC data for week ending April 25th shows:

  • Just 37,308 total coronavirus deaths (recent past years’ seasonal totals are between 12,000 and 61,000)
  • There were an additional 16,564 deaths for the dual diagnoses of pneumonia and coronavirus
  • As a caveat: Provisional death counts are based on death certificate data received and coded by the National Center for Health Statistics as of May 1, 2020. Death counts are delayed and may differ from other published sources.

The CDCsays COVID-19 hospitalization rates are similar to those in the 65 and older category during “recent high severity influenza seasons.” COVID-19 hospitalizations for children 17 and under is much lower than the seasonal flu hospitalization rates during recent influenza seasons. 

On Friday, the US FDA approved the emergency use of remdesivir to treat coronavirus. It does not significantly improve survival rates, but does shorten the course of the disease by about 30 percent.

  • Remdesivir costs $4,500 per treatment course.
  • Manufacturer Gilead Sciences is first in line for a Chinese patent on it.
  • Several people on the coronavirus task force have connections to Gilead. 

Despite the attempt to suppress information on it, hydroxychloroquine is the preferred treatment by some doctors. A Rockland County, New York, physician said he successfully treated 350 patients showing early signs of the coronavirus using a combination of HCQ, azithromycin and zinc sulfate.

  • HCQ is not universally available, as certain governors have outlawed the drug,
  • The FDA has approved it only for those with advanced cases—yet, HCQ must be taken early on in order to be effective.
  • HCQ costs about $1 or less per pill.

Why this Matters: For Christians, there is a fine line between civil disobedience and violating scripture. We are told to obey those in authority over us—yet what are we to do when those in authority violate the constitution? Our authority is even higher, so should we be good sheep and follow our shepherds off a cliff?

Jesus tore the veil that separates us from God. We can go boldly before the throne of grace to find help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). We will all stand before Him and answer for our actions and inactions (Romans 13:1-7). Let’s follow His guidance as we walk through this difficult time and do what we hear Him say to each one individually.

How to Pray: That our Father would heal the sick, restore the lost jobs, and sustain each one. Pray for those who suffer from depression and anxiety that they would turn to the Word for strength and joy. Ask for the truth to be revealed in such a way that liars and tyrants are exposed and discredited.

1 Peter 1:3-7 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, 
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

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