Saturday, April 18, 2020

Coronavirus: WHO Director Has a Long History of Cover-Ups - Soeren Kern

by Soeren Kern

Ethiopia is now ensnared in a debt trap that leaves the country vulnerable to pressure from Beijing.

  • "WHO officials have complained privately that Ethiopian officials are not telling the truth about these outbreaks. Testing for Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which cause cholera, is simple and takes less than two days.... United Nations officials said more aid could have been delivered to Ethiopia had the truth been told." — The New York Times, May 13, 2017.
  • Tedros dismissed the accusations against him by playing the race card. He said that criticism of him stemmed from a "typical colonial mind-set aimed at... discrediting a candidate from a developing country." — The New York Times, May 13, 2017.
  • "By yielding to the Khartoum's regime's threat, you are complicit in the failure to respond to a disease that currently threatens many hundreds of thousands of Sudanese civilians — and is currently active in twelve Sudanese states." — Open letter to Tedros from a group of American physicians accusing him of failing to investigate outbreaks of cholera in Sudan, September 11, 2017.
  • A day after U.S. President Donald Trump accused the WHO of being "very China-centric," and threatened to cut funding to WHO, Tedros responded: "Please quarantine politicizing COVID. We will have many body bags in front of us if we don't behave." Tedros also said that criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic was motivated by racism.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, faces increased scrutiny over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Tedros has a long history of covering up epidemics and human rights abuses in Ethiopia, where he served as the minister of health and minister of foreign affairs. In that role, he oversaw a massive expansion of China's role in Ethiopia. China is Ethiopia's biggest foreign investor, largest trading partner and largest lender. Pictured: Tedros (left) meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on January 28, 2020. (Photo by Naohiko Hatta - Pool/Getty Images)

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is facing increased scrutiny over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than two million people around the world and killed at least 150,000.

Adhanom, who goes by the name Tedros, is an Ethiopian microbiologist who, with the help of China, began a five-year term as head of the WHO in July 2017. He has been accused of misrepresenting the severity and spread of the coronavirus in an attempt to pander to China.

The historical record shows that Tedros, the first African and the first non-physician to lead the WHO, has a long history of covering up epidemics and human rights abuses in Ethiopia, where he served as the minister of health and minister of foreign affairs.

In May 2017, when Tedros emerged as the top candidate in a three-way race to lead the WHO, the New York Times reported accusations that Tedros covered up three cholera epidemics in Ethiopia when he was the country's health minister between 2005 and 2012.

Tedros claimed that cholera outbreaks occurring in 2006, 2009 and 2011 were only "acute watery diarrhea" — an infectious disease known in the rest of the world as cholera. He said that the outbreaks were limited to remote areas of the country where laboratory testing was "difficult" and that international concerns were overblown. The epidemics eventually reached neighboring countries including Kenya, Somalia and Sudan. The New York Times explained:
"WHO officials have complained privately that Ethiopian officials are not telling the truth about these outbreaks. Testing for Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which cause cholera, is simple and takes less than two days.
"During earlier outbreaks, various news organizations, including The Guardian and The Washington Post, reported that unnamed Ethiopian officials were pressuring aid agencies to avoid using the word 'cholera' and not to report the number of people affected.
"But cholera bacteria were found in stool samples tested by outside experts. As soon as severe diarrhea began appearing in neighboring countries, the cause was identified as cholera.
"United Nations officials said more aid could have been delivered to Ethiopia had the truth been told."
The director of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, Lawrence O. Gostin, said that he called attention to Ethiopia's long history of denying cholera outbreaks because he believed the WHO "might lose its legitimacy" if it is run by a representative of a country that itself covers up epidemics.

"Dr. Tedros is a compassionate and highly competent public health official," Gostin told the New York Times. "But he had a duty to speak truth to power and to honestly identify and report verified cholera outbreaks over an extended period."

Tedros dismissed the accusations against him by playing the race card. He said that criticism of him stemmed from a "typical colonial mind-set aimed at... discrediting a candidate from a developing country."

The Guardian reported that the Ethiopian government has been reluctant to acknowledge the cholera outbreaks "for fear of damaging the economy." The Washington Post explained that Ethiopian authorities have a propensity for refusing to call bad news by its real name:
"Acute watery diarrhea [AWD] is a potentially fatal condition caused by water infected with the Vibrio cholera bacterium. Everywhere else in the world it is simply called cholera.
"But not in Ethiopia, where international humanitarian organizations privately admit that they are only allowed to call it AWD and are not permitted to publish the number of people affected.
"The government is apparently concerned about the international impact if news of a significant cholera outbreak were to get out, even though the disease is not unusual in East Africa.
"This means that, hypothetically, when refugees from South Sudan with cholera flee across the border into Ethiopia, they suddenly have AWD instead."
In a similar manner, when international aid groups in 2016 sounded alarm bells over the lack of rain, Ethiopian authorities, including Tedros, were divided over whether they should call it a drought. The Post reported:
"The narrative for Ethiopia in 2015 was a successful nation with double-digit growth, and the government did not want to bring back memories of the 1980s drought that killed hundreds of thousands and left the country forever associated with famine.
"'We don't use the f-word,' explained an aid worker... referring to famine."
Similar allegations of cover-up were reported while Tedros was Ethiopia's foreign minister between 2012 and 2016. In October 2016, for instance, Tedros wrote in a blog post that he opposed efforts by Human Rights Watch to force Ethiopia to accept an international investigation into the way the government responded to anti-government protests.

The protests began in November 2015 due to public anger over the government's heavy-handedness. They escalated in October 2016, when government security forces fired on a large crowd of festival-goers. The protests, which eventually spread across the country, left hundreds of people dead and tens of thousands detained.

Tedros's cover-ups continued after he became the director general of the WHO. In September 2017, a group of American physicians, in an open letter addressed to Tedros, accused him of failing to investigate outbreaks of cholera in Sudan:
"The mandate of the UN's World Health Organization (WHO) could hardly be clearer; in the words of the Organization: 'Our primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations' system. Our goal is to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world. Working through offices in more than 150 countries, WHO staff work side by side with governments and other partners to ensure the highest attainable level of health for all people.'
"And yet this impressive mandate is daily made a mockery of by WHO's refusal to refer to the cholera epidemic raging in Sudan by name. Neither your organization nor the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will refer explicitly to the fact that what you continue to call "Acute Watery Diarrhea" is in fact cholera, Vibrio cholera — a fact established by laboratory tests in Sudan....
"To be sure, the Khartoum regime has made clear that it will punish Sudanese journalists and health officials who dare to use the word 'cholera,' and no doubt threats have been issued to WHO, demanding that you be complicit in silence about this terrible disease. The regime's motive is transparently a desire that the 'reputation' of Sudan not be compromised by associations the regime perceives would inhere in any accurate designation of a disease that is clearly out of control. But the effect of WHO's silence is to ensure that Sudan has not received international medical resources necessary to combat cholera — preeminently massive supplies of re-hydration equipment; medical epidemiologists as well as specialists in treating cholera epidemics; and water/sanitation equipment and engineers.
"By yielding to the Khartoum's regime's threat, you are complicit in the failure to respond to a disease that currently threatens many hundreds of thousands of Sudanese civilians — and is currently active in twelve Sudanese states....
"Your silence about what is clearly a massive cholera epidemic in Sudan is reprehensible. Your failure to transport stool samples from victims in Sudan to Geneva for official confirmation of cholera makes you fully complicit in the terrible suffering and dying that continues to spread, out of control, with daily new reports confirming that this is indeed a cholera epidemic.
"The inevitable history that will be written of this epidemic will surely cast you in an unforgiving light."
In October 2017, Tedros appointed the late Robert Mugabe, the authoritarian leader of Zimbabwe, as a UN Goodwill Ambassador. Tedros had praised Zimbabwe as "a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the center of its policies to provide health care to all." After global outrage, Tedros rescinded the appointment.

Writing for the Sunday Times, Rebecca Myers wrote:
"Diplomats said [Mugabe's] appointment was a political payoff from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus — the WHO's first African director-general — to China, a long-time ally of Mugabe, and the 50 or so African states that helped to secure Tedros's election earlier this year...
"Chinese diplomats had campaigned hard for the Ethiopian, using Beijing's financial clout and opaque aid budget to build support for him among developing countries."
Columnist Frida Ghitis, writing for The Washington Post added:
"The WHO director's decision to honor the dictator is a misjudgment of breathtaking proportions. The stain it has left on the WHO will not be easily cleansed. We must find out what was behind it. If an investigation proves that giving this prestigious appointment to a brutal human rights violator was the result of corruption, Tedros must leave. In fact, Tedros's tenure should already be regarded as probationary, and his judgment in question....
"Some speculate that Tedros's decision to appoint Mugabe was a pay-off to China, which worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help Tedros defeat the United Kingdom candidate for the WHO job, David Nabarro. Tedros's victory was also a victory for Beijing, whose leader Xi Jinping has made public his goal of flexing China's muscle in the world."
In July 2018, China Global Television Network (CGTN), a state-owned media outlet, reported that Tedros had met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing. It was Tedros's second visit to China since he took over as the director general of WHO. CGTN stated:
"The Chinese state councilor [Wang Yi] went on to say that healthcare was an important part of global governance and China's national development strategy. He said Beijing was willing to deepen cooperation with the WHO under a number of initiatives, such as their joint 'Health Silk Road' project, various China-Africa health development plans, as well as the organization's five-year action plan for health, employment and inclusive economic growth.
"Dr. Tedros welcomed Wang's comments, saying their enhanced cooperation would improve health standards in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative."
As Ethiopia's foreign minister, Tedros, an executive member of the Marxist-Leninist Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), oversaw a massive expansion of China's role in Ethiopia. China is Ethiopia's biggest foreign investor, its largest trading partner and also its largest lender.

Writing for Politico, Simon Marks explained:
"Over the course of the last decade, Ethiopia has become increasingly dependent on Chinese investment.
"The Export-Import Bank of China put up $2.9 billion of the $3.4 billion railway project connecting Ethiopia to Djibouti, providing the landlocked country access to ports. Chinese funds were also instrumental in the construction of Ethiopia's first six-lane highway — an $800 million project — the metro system, and several skyscrapers dotting Addis Ababa's skyline.
"Beijing also accounts for nearly half of Ethiopia's external debt and has lent at least $13.7 billion to Ethiopia between 2000 and 2018, data compiled by John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies shows."
Ethiopia is now ensnared in a debt trap that leaves the country vulnerable to pressure from Beijing.

On April 15, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced that he will withhold funding to the WHO while his administration reviews the group's "mismanagement, cover-ups, and failures" related to the pandemic. The United States is the WHO's largest donor, providing approximately $900 million for the two-year budget cycle of 2018 and 2019.

In a statement, the White House said that the WHO "has longstanding structural issues that must be addressed before the organization can be trusted again." It added that the WHO was "vulnerable to misinformation and political influence" and that measures were needed to "counter China's outsized influence on the organization."

That same day, members of the U.S. Senate demanded that the WHO provide information, records and documents regarding the origins of the coronavirus as part of a larger investigation into the global response to the pandemic.

In a letter to Tedros, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson and other Republican Senators requested a sweeping list of materials regarding what they called "WHO's failed and delayed response to the Coronavirus."

Meanwhile, an online petition calling for Tedros's immediate resignation neared one million signatures. The petition, posted on the website, states: "We strongly think Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is not fit for his role as WHO Director General."

Timeline of WHO's Efforts to Pander to China

Several media outlets have published timelines of Chinese efforts to conceal the extent of the coronavirus from the rest of the world (here, here, here and here). Following is an abbreviated timeline of Tedros's complicity with China:
  • December 30. Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor, sounded the alarm about a new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. Li sent a message to a group of other doctors warning that seven patients had been quarantined at Wuhan Central Hospital after coming down with a respiratory illness that seemed like the SARS coronavirus. The police in Wuhan subsequently reprimanded and silenced Li, requiring him to sign a letter acknowledging that he was making "false comments."
  • December 31. Taiwan contacted the WHO after seeing Li's reports of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus in Wuhan, but the WHO kept it from the public.
  • January 1. An employee of a genomics company in Wuhan received a phone call from an official at the Hubei Provincial Health Commission, ordering the company to stop testing samples from Wuhan related to the new disease and to destroy all existing samples.
  • January 3. China's National Health Commission (NHC), the nation's top health authority, ordered institutions not to publish any information related to the unknown disease, and ordered labs to transfer any samples they had to designated testing institutions, or to destroy them.
  • January 9. China identified the new coronavirus as the cause of a mystery disease in Wuhan.
  • January 14. WHO tweeted: "Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus." A day earlier, WHO had reported the first case outside of China — in Thailand.
  • January 20. China confirmed human-to-human transmission of new coronavirus.
  • January 21. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the United States in the state of Washington. The patient had recently returned from Wuhan.
  • January 23. Wuhan, a city of 11 million, was placed in lockdown. China closed all internal transit from Wuhan to other cities in China, but did nothing to stop international flights.
  • January 28. Tedros praised China's "transparency" regarding the virus.
  • January 30. Tedros visited China and praised the country's leadership for "setting a new standard for outbreak response." He also declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
  • January 31. The Trump Administration announced travel restrictions to and from China, effective February 2.
  • February 4. Tedros rebuked President Trump's travel restrictions, saying that they "can have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit."
  • February 7. Doctor Li Wenliang, the coronavirus whistleblower, died in Wuhan after being infected with the virus. His death sparked an outpouring of grief and anger online in China.
  • February 14. Tedros said that WHO was "seeking clarity on how clinical diagnoses are being made so that other respiratory illnesses, including influenza, are not getting mixed into the COVID-19 data." He also warned against criticizing China: "This is the time for solidarity, not stigma."
  • February 28. WHO, in a 40-page report, praised China's response to COVID-19: "China's bold approach to contain the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic."
  • March 11. Tedros finally declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic: "We expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher."
  • March 18. An executive director of WHO, Mike Ryan, criticized President Trump: "We need to be careful of the language we use lest it lead to profiling. The pandemic flu of 2009 started in North America, and we didn't call it the North American flu. This is a time to move forward and fight the virus together. Viruses know no borders and they don't care about your ethnicity, the color of your skin or how much money you have in the bank."
  • March 20. Tedros said that Wuhan reported no new cases of coronavirus.
  • March 29. Ai Fen, a Wuhan doctor who was among the first to alert other medics to the spread of coronavirus, disappeared amid concerns that she had been detained by Chinese authorities. Her whereabouts are unknown.
  • April 8. A day after U.S. President Donald Trump accused the WHO of being "very China-centric," and threatened to cut funding to WHO, Tedros responded: "Please quarantine politicizing COVID. We will have many body bags in front of us if we don't behave." Tedros also said that criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic was motivated by racism.
  • April 16. A second wave of Covid-19 erupted in the northern Chinese city of Harbin.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.


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What happened in Wuhan? The single most important question - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

Was it the creation of a virology lab, mutation in a bat or a combination? Will we ever know?

Two years ago, US embassy officials visited a Chinese research facility in Wuhan several times and sent two dispatches to Washington about safety risk in that laboratory that was conducting risky studies of coronaviruses from bats. The Washington Post reveals that what American officials learned during their visits worried them to the point that they sent two classified cables to Washington. The first cable warned that the lab's work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represent the risk of a new Sars-like pandemic. There is no evidence that the virus that now plagues the world was created ad hoc, but that's not to say it didn't come from the lab that spent years testing coronaviruses, said Berkeley's Xiao Qiang.

The Wall Street Journal also reveals that “ aTG13" is the name and serial number of a bat of the Rhinolophus affinis species, or rather a sample of its feces collected in a cave in Yunnan, China. The sample was collected by scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The sample contains the virus that causes Covid-19. Bats are sold in markets and restaurants throughout China and Southeast Asia, but there is no evidence of their sale in the Wuhan market. 

So, we don't know how the virus passed from bats to humans, but now we know that Chinese researchers had a sample of the virus in Wuhan and that American diplomats after visiting the laboratory were alarmed that it could get out. Ah, we also know that the Chinese regime has done everything to keep this story hidden and that it seems to have gotten the West to submit to the point of not wanting to talk about it.

Forget knowing the truth about the origin of the pandemic. China has just imposed restrictions on publishing research on the origins of the coronavirus. Under the new policy, all academic papers on Covid-19 will be subject to additional checks before publication. Studies of the origin of the virus will receive a more thorough examination and must be approved by central government officials, according to the messages now removed from the web.

It is a perfect Chinese decision, as there is not a single international observer in Wuhan and the Chinese Communist Party must now close the mouth of its scientists, as it has already done to its doctors.

What happened in Wuhan?

Scary testimonies about the cremations came out. Radio Free Asia revealed them. Mourning relatives said they discovered anomalous objects in the boxes that could not have been linked to their relatives. A Wuhan Jiang'an district resident, “Liu”, said she found an unfamiliar belt clip in the urn allegedly containing her mother's ashes. A resident of the Hongshan district said he found the remains of a denture in his father's urn, although his father didn't have dentures.

They burned so many bodies that the cremation facilities cracked. A source close to the funeral industry nicknamed “Ma” said some incinerators stopped working after being operated day and night and that they were cremating several bodies together to meet the demand.

The Daily Telegraph also spoke to a cremation worker. At the peak, there were 5,000 bodies awaiting urgent cremation in one of the 8 crematoria in Wuhan, compared to two dozen a day before the virus.

What happened in Wuhan? This is the single most important question. And very few dare to ask it. Why? 

Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.


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Why the Coronavirus Poses a Unique Threat to Islamic Terrorists - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

The pandemic could turn terror networks into ‘super-spreaders.’

The shadowy alliance between Iran and the Taliban has killed countless American soldiers over the years. But Iran exported more than just IEDs and training to Afghanistan. The social problems of the Islamic dictatorship traveled along the same highways as the IEDs. But they didn’t kill Americans.

Iran has a huge meth problem. Now, so does Afghanistan.

Under President Trump, the United States has begun bombing Taliban meth labs as the junior Islamic terror regime in Afghanistan began imitating the meth export business of its big brother in Iran. But when Islamic republics get into the drug business, it’s their own people who get addicted to the stuff.

Iran’s coronavirus outbreak, like its meth crisis, has also been exported to its good friends, the Taliban.

The virus crosses Shiite-Sunni barriers as seamlessly as it does international time zones. And the estimated 500,000 infected in Iran are translating into rising infections in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan wasn’t the only country to be infected by Iran. Americans were also infected by Iran.

The first confirmed case in New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, was a traveler who came from Iran. But Iran’s shared border with Afghanistan and the millions of Afghans living in Iran, as workers, religious students, and terrorists, makes the spread impossible to stop.

Iran has a huge Afghan population. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, 200,000 Afghans fled the disease-ridden terror state for their home terror state and brought the disease along with them.

And the Taliban are getting nervous.

The Islamic terrorist group had famously gone after health care workers as part of a joint bid with Islamist allies in Pakistan fighting against the polio vaccine. But now the Taliban are promising not to kill health care workers and begging WHO to come back after previously banning the organization

 “Our Mujahideen are helping the health workers to spread out the messages about the dangers of COVID-19,” a Taliban spokesman declared.

The Taliban's General Commission for Public Health has issued bulletins advising Afghans to resist  the virus by wearing masks, gloves, eating Vitamin C, and Halal foods. Taliban fighters have begun detaining and quarantining Afghans coming back from Iran. While the Taliban's official position is that the coronavirus was sent by "Allah" because of the "sins of mankind" which is to be fought by reading the Koran, its willingness to embrace western medicine, from test kits to PPEs, shows it's worried.

In an unprecedented move for an Islamic organization that had murdered vaccine aid workers and treated medicine as a conspiracy against its regime, the Taliban is telling supporters that, “safety guidelines issued by health organizations, doctors and other health experts must be observed.”

In a further sign that its leadership fears that the virus might spread to its Jihadists and decimate their ranks, a Taliban spokesman announced that, “If, Allah forbid, the outbreak happens in an area where we control the situation then we will stop fighting in that area.”

What really has the Taliban so worried?

The Islamic terror movement has Iran as a cautionary example. Like Communist China, Iran lied to its people about the scope of the outbreak. Its death tolls and case numbers are equally unreliable.

Iran caught the pandemic from China. Both regimes chose to maintain open access as part of their alliance. Instead of protecting its people, the Iranian leadership prioritized its relations with the PRC. While the Iranian regime continued lying to its people, it was carefully taking precautions to protect its leadership, including its 80-year-old leader, even as the pandemic was quietly spreading across Iran.

Officially there was no coronavirus outbreak in Iran. In reality, it was burning through the country.

China’s dishonesty infected Iran and then Iran’s dishonesty infected Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia (the first confirmed fatality in that country was an Afghan), Syria, and spread outward to the United States.

Religious Islamic ties were behind the spread of the coronavirus to Iran with 700 Chinese students studying in seminaries in the Islamic sacred city of Qom identified as the source of the outbreak. Afghans returning from Qom, many of them fellow Shiites, then helped spread the disease into Afghanistan.

The IRGC, Iran’s terror hub, had been recruiting Afghan Shiites to fight in its wars, including in Syria. The Assad government has become an Iranian puppet and so failed to stop travel from Iran to Syria.

Iran needed China, Syria needed Iran, and the Taliban also need Iran. That’s how the virus spread.

The IRGC had provided the Taliban with IEDs, MANPADS, and political support in any “peace deal”. Despite the Taliban’s hostility to Shiites, the Sunni Islamist terror group was reliant on Iran, but it also had the inside information through its IRGC contacts of just how bad the situation in Iran really was.

That is what likely panicked the Taliban.

The pandemic has been at its worst in New York City's dense urban grid. And at 27,000 people per square mile, it's certainly dense. But Kabul, now under coronavirus lockdown, has 12,000 people per square mile. The Taliban would like to take Kabul, but they fear there may not be anything to take.

And the Taliban, like many Islamic terrorist groups, including ISIS, are worried that the virus spreading through the ranks of its fighters could be particularly deadly and cripple its terror campaign. If the virus gets into its training camps, then its entire force infrastructure could be badly compromised.

Even ISIS, which had been frantically urging foreign supporters to come and join the group to supplement its declining numbers, has asked them to stay away during the coronavirus crisis.

But the Taliban, despite being on track to take over the country from a conflicted government, can’t stop the flood of Afghans fleeing Iran and can’t sever its ties to the Islamic terror regime which has been training its Jihadists and providing it with weapons. And that’s why the Taliban are panicking.

While Iran has been happy to supply the Taliban with weapons to kill Americans, it’s not going to bail it out during a pandemic. Not when its own people are dying. If the Taliban needed any evidence of that, it comes from the Afghans in Iran who have come down with the coronavirus and been denied care.

And if the Taliban become infected, the next vector would be through the porous Pakistani border. Infected Afghans have already been detained trying to enter Pakistan, but the Taliban are interlinked with a variety of terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda, as well as Pakistani and Chinese Islamists.

If the Taliban become ‘super-spreaders’, they could take down quite a few other terror groups.

The world’s Islamic terrorist pipeline begins in Iran, Qatar, Turkey, and Pakistan, and flows outward across the Middle East and Asia. Its interlinked nature, uniting unlikely allies like Iran and the Taliban, is uniquely vulnerable in a pandemic. A wide variety of Islamic terror groups have been trained in Iran, many then check into Qatari hotels, and make contacts with Islamists in Pakistani and Turkish cities.

These secret networks have proven resilient in the War on Terror, but are vulnerable to the coronavirus where every contact potentially compromises everyone whom he comes into contact with ad infinitum.

The network’s very circuitousness, its dependency on human contact across different countries, makes it the best ally of the pandemic. It’s no wonder that the Taliban, ISIS, and other Islamic terrorists are worried. Even as their political Islamist allies dismiss the threat, the Jihadists understand that the pandemic risks destroying the global infrastructure that makes Islamic terrorism an international threat.

Islamic terrorism is dependent on a handful of ‘backer’ countries, on couriers and training camps, and the coronavirus risks making the entire network of Islamic terrorism into a pandemic vector.

Photo: Foreign Policy

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism


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COVID-19 Is A Man-Made Virus: HIV-Discoverer Says "Could Only Have Been Created In A Lab" - Tyler Durden

by Tyler Durden

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-charles Bensoussan

It's too early to make definitive claims about the origin of the Covid-19 virus. Here is one professional point of view contrary to the accepted theory.

As the mainstream media and politicians begin to raise/admit the possibilities that the source of COVID-19 was likely a lab in Wuhan (accidentally leaked or otherwise) - something we first brought to the world's attention in January before being mocked, censored, and chastised - it appears more actual 'scientists' (at least those not paid by or working for a lab in Wuhan) are willing to admit what we noted all along - this virus is man-made.'s Robert Miller writes that contrary to the narrative that is being pushed by the mainstream that the COVID 19 virus was the result of a natural mutation and that it was transmitted to humans from bats via pangolins, Dr Luc Montagnier the man who discovered the HIV virus back in 1983 disagrees and is saying that the virus was man made.

Professor Luc Montagnier, 2008 Nobel Prize winner for Medicine, claims that SARS-CoV-2 is a manipulated virus that was accidentally released from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Chinese researchers are said to have used coronaviruses in their work to develop an AIDS vaccine. HIV DNA fragments are believed to have been found in the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

We knew that the Chinese version of how the coronavirus emerged was increasingly under attack, but here’s a thesis that tells a completely different story about the Covid-19 pandemic, which is already responsible for more than 110,000 deaths worldwide.

According to Professor Luc Montagnier, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008 for “discovering” HIV as the cause of the AIDS epidemic together with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, the SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that was manipulated and accidentally released from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, in the last quarter of 2019. 

According to Professor Montagnier, this laboratory, known for its work on coronaviruses, tried to use one of these viruses as a vector for HIV in the search for an AIDS vaccine!

“With my colleague, bio-mathematician Jean-Claude Perez, we carefully analyzed the description of the genome of this RNA virus,” explains Luc Montagnier, interviewed by Dr Jean-François Lemoine for the daily podcast at Pourquoi Docteur, adding that others have already explored this avenue:

Indian researchers have already tried to publish the results of the analyses that showed that this coronavirus genome contained sequences of another virus, … the HIV virus (AIDS virus), but they were forced to withdraw their findings as the pressure from the mainstream was too great.

In a challenging question Dr Jean-François Lemoine inferred that the coronavirus under investigation may have come from a patient who is otherwise infected with HIV.

"No," says Luc Montagnier, "in order to insert an HIV sequence into this genome, molecular tools are needed, and that can only be done in a laboratory."
According to the 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine, a plausible explanation would be an accident in the Wuhan laboratory. He also added that the purpose of this work was the search for an AIDS vaccine.

The truth will eventually come out

In any case, this thesis, defended by Professor Luc Montagnier, has a positive turn. According to him, the altered elements of this virus are eliminated as it spreads:

“Nature does not accept any molecular tinkering, it will eliminate these unnatural changes and even if nothing is done, things will get better, but unfortunately after many deaths.”
Luc Montagnier added that with the help of interfering waves, we could eliminate these sequences and as a result stop the pandemic.

This is enough to feed some heated debates! So much so that Professor Montagnier’s statements could also place him in the category of “conspiracy theorists”:

“Conspirators are the opposite camp, hiding the truth,” he replies, without wanting to accuse anyone, but hoping that the Chinese will admit to what he believes happened in their laboratory.
To entice a confession from the Chinese he used the example of Iran which after taking full responsibility for accidentally hitting a Ukrainian plane was able to earn the respect of the global community. Hopefully the Chinese will do the right thing he adds.

“In any case, the truth always comes out, it is up to the Chinese government to take responsibility.”

Tyler Durden


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Prime Minister Netanyahu decides to reopen economy with restrictions - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Netanyahu approves reopening of economy with restrictions

Meeting on coronavirus exit strategy
Meeting on coronavirus exit strategy                                                                                           GPO

Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to reopen the economy with certain restrictions to be determined by the Health Ministry.

The fields of commerce, manufacturing and services will return to partial activity in compliance with the rules and restrictions to be publicized after this Shabbat on disinfection, social distancing, testing for fever, wearing masks and additional requirements to be formulated by the Ministry of Health.

Pilot businesses in each sector will be monitored for their ability to cope and comply with ongoing ongoing COVD-19 saftety measures.

The ministers decided that failure to comply with the guidelines would lead to the imposition of sanctions on business owners.

The decision was made during a meeting of the Cabinet with various health officials and experts invited to present their suggestions toward the formulation of an exit strategy for the coronavirus crisis.

Schools and malls are not expected to open next week despite the government's approval of "a full activation of the economy" on Sunday.

Individual one-on-one instruction in the special education sector will now be permitted as well as any sport conducted by only two people who are at least 500 meters from any residential structure. Within the next forty-eight hours professional teams will map out "pilot" companies and businesses that can participate in the initial reopening of the economy.

Policy decisions will be brought before the government when Shabbat is over tomorrow night. The number of those who have contracted COVID-19 in Israel reached 12,758 last night with 181 patients hospitalized in serious condition and 137 on ventilators. The number of COVID-19 deaths in Israel stands at 143. 2,818 people have recovered from the virus.

Arutz Sheva Staff


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A Double Game behind the Biden Double Standard? - Jonathan F. Keiler

by Jonathan F. Keiler

The New York Times does the bidding of the Biden campaign. Are we surprised?

On April 12, the Washington Post and New York Times broke – and really carefully soft-pedaled -- a story that a woman named Tara Reade had accused Joe Biden of a sexual assault dating from 1993. Some other mainstream news outlets covered the story as well (e.g., “NBC News Online” but evidently not broadcast) in a similarly dismissive manner. The Post put the small headline below the fold in its April 13 print edition. 

Conservative media immediately noted the obvious double standard between this skeptical reportage, and the hysterical “She must be believed!” coverage by the same outlets of much less credible accusations against Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. That’s a story in and of itself. But it is also worth asking why these outlets bothered to report Reade’s claim at all, given that some major outlets (such as CNN) ignored the story entirely. Their readership would not care, and the mainstream media routinely effectively controls what many Americans “know” simply by what it chooses report, and what it doesn’t. The coronavirus “crisis” being exhibit number one.

Vanity Fair breathlessly announced on April 14 that the “media floodgates” had opened on the story, but that’s certainly an exaggeration. For example, on the “NBC Nightly News” April 15, the coverage was entirely about the coronavirus outbreak, including a long and frankly embarrassing interview with a weeping middle-aged male nurse insisting the country remain on lockdown. There was no mention of the Biden allegations.

The decision by the Times, Post, and a few other mainstream outlets to report the story at all is worth examining given their power to drive national events and public attention. Let’s consider three possibilities.

First, as responsible news organizations run by highly ethical journalists they had a duty to report the allegations, given their seriousness, so that the American people could remain informed. Okay -- I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing before we move on to possibility number two. 

Second, they wanted to air the accusation, undermine it and then dismiss it, in order to inoculate Biden from Reade in the general election campaign. This presumption is entirely true to a degree. We know this because the Times executive editor, Dean Baquet, admitted as much in an extraordinary and humiliating interview with the Times’ own media reporter, who questioned Baquet about the evident double-standard in reporting. At the request of the Biden campaign, the Times edited the story to omit prior accusations that Biden’s touchy-feely habits and hair-sniffing violated the women subjected to it. 

Baquet’s coordination with the Biden campaign leaves little doubt that the Times story served the political purpose described above. We can also assume that the Post and “NBC Online” ran their own stories for similar reasons. Indeed, all the stories read almost exactly the same, as if written by drones programed in similar left-wing journalism schools. They all begin with excuses as to why it took three weeks to come out with the story after Reade’s most serious allegations went public. Then skeptical reporting of the allegation, followed by digressions into similar accusations against President Trump, followed by trumpeting of alleged inconsistencies and denials from the Biden camp. 

Quite a difference from the frenzied and credulous reportage by all these outlets of Christine Blasey Ford’s thin and completely unsubstantiated accusations against Kavanaugh, not to mention the uncritical parroting of even more outlandish claims, such as those promoted by convicted fraudster Michael Avenatti. 

And it might be coincidental that the news about Reade came out at roughly the same time Biden’s former rivals (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren), and former boss (Barack Obama) finally deigned to deliver endorsements, but it might not. The endorsements helped to tamp down further any damage the Reade accusations might do, and seemed to indicate that these Democrat worthies were unbothered by them.

However, while it’s fun to mock pseudo-journalists like Baquet, it is also unwise to underestimate them. Baquet is clearly well-connected to the Biden campaign. But it is also safe to assume he and his fellow travelers at the Post are similarly well-connected to the Democrat power brokers that ultimately will decide whether or not Joe Biden will be the nominee. 

This finally brings us to possibility number three, which is that airing and pooh-poohing Reade’s accusations now, doesn’t mean that they can’t be amplified and used against Biden later on, should that become necessary. Reporting the accusations now, however much these outlets soft-pedal it, will enhance their credibility later, should the Times and the Post want to take Biden down. 

It’s hard to think of a recent Democrat presidential candidate less enthusiastically supported by the mainstream press and his party than Biden. Sanders, Warren, and especially Obama took a good long time to deliver their endorsements, which were lukewarm at best. And the party’s hard left, as represented by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has yet to fall in line.

Biden’s many failings, but especially his utter lack of dynamism and mental lapses, still leave many wondering whether he will ultimately be the Democrat standard bearer. So speculation continues to run that the Democrats remain hungry for an alternative, be that Andrew Cuomo or someone else. 

The Reade accusations could, properly hyped up by the same press that’s protecting Biden now, help usher him out of the way, should the Democrat powers-that-be determine it’s necessary.

Jonathan F. Keiler


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Why Is Turkey Embracing Hamas? - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

It now remains to be seen whether the international community, including some Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, demand that Turkey distances itself from Hamas.

  • If the reports about Erdogan's readiness to invite Hamas leaders to live in Turkey are true, that would also turn Erdogan into the spiritual father of a terrorist group that seeks to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic state.
  • It now remains to be seen whether the international community, including some Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, demand that Turkey distances itself from Hamas.
  • A Hamas move to Turkey would mean the terrorist group would continue masterminding and carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel -- but this time, under the protective eyes of the Erdogan administration.

The leaders of Hamas living outside the Gaza Strip are desperately searching for a country that will agree to have them. According to a recent report, one country seems prepared to play host to the Hamas leaders: Turkey. Pictured: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then serving as prime minister) meets with Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal (center) and Ismail Haniyeh (left) in Ankara, Turkey on June 18, 2013. (Image source: Turkish Prime Minister Press Office/Yasin Bulbul/AFP via Getty Images)

The leaders of Hamas living outside the Gaza Strip are desperately searching for a country that will agree to have them. According to a recent report, one country seems prepared to play host to the Hamas leaders: Turkey.

Two senior Hamas officials, Ismail Haniyeh and Saleh Arouri, have already decided to settle in Turkey, apparently after getting the green light to do so from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Three other Hamas officials, Zaher Jabareen, Musa Abu Marzouk and Nizar Awadallah, have also relocated to Turkey, from Qatar and Lebanon respectively.

Haniyeh's wife and children, who are based in the Gaza Strip, are expected to join him in Turkey in the near future.

Haniyeh, who left the Gaza Strip in December 2019, has reportedly been banned by the Egyptians from returning to the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, home to some two million Palestinians. Reports in the Arab media have suggested that Haniyeh fell from Egypt's good graces when he broke a promise not to visit Iran after Egypt allowed him to leave the Gaza Strip through the Egyptian-Gazan Rafah border crossing.

Shortly after he left the Gaza Strip, Haniyeh traveled to Iran, where he attended the funeral of Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of Iran's Quds Force, who was assassinated in a targeted US drone strike on January 3 in Baghdad, Iraq. Soleimani, whom the US designated as a terrorist in 2005, was also personally sanctioned by the United Nations and the European Union.

In a speech at the funeral of Soleimani in Tehran, Haniyeh, head of the Hamas "political bureau," said: "I declare that the resistance project in Palestine will continue and will not be weakened, and it won't retreat." Haniyeh praised the slain Iranian military commander as a "martyr of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] who made great sacrifices in order to safeguard Palestine and the resistance."

Haniyeh's visit to Iran and Hamas's continued anti-Israel activities and terrorist attacks have enraged Egypt, which has been working hard to achieve a long-term ceasefire agreement between the Hamas faction based in Gaza, and Israel. The Egyptians are apparently also angered by Iran's continued military and financial support for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the two major players in the Gaza Strip.

Arab countries that have previously welcomed Hamas leaders and permitted them to establish bases and use their territories to plan terrorist attacks on Israel, now seem to be turning their back on Hamas.

In 2011, Hamas leaders were expelled from Syria after they refused to support President Bashar Assad in his conflict with Syrian opposition groups. The Syrians have since turned down requests by Hamas's friends in Iran and Hezbollah to restore ties with the Hamas leadership.

Qatar, Lebanon and Sudan are said to have cut back their relations with Hamas, apparently out of fear of being accused by the international community of harboring a Palestinian terrorist group that seeks the elimination of Israel.

Saudi Arabia has gone further, by putting dozens of Palestinians and Jordanian activists on trial for supporting Hamas. At least 68 Palestinians and Jordanians have been indicted in a "special terrorism court" in the kingdom. The suspects were detained by Saudi security authorities in April 2019. Among those arrested was Mohammed al-Khudari, 81, a long-time Palestinian resident of Saudi Arabia, who previously served as Hamas's official representative in the kingdom.

Arouri, the other Hamas official expected to join Haniyeh in Turkey, is wanted by Israel and the US for his involvement in terrorism. In 2018, the US State Department offered a reward of up to $5 million for information that would lead to the identification or location of Arouri, deputy head of Hamas's "political bureau."

According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Arouri is a key figure in forming ties between Hamas and Iran and Hezbollah, and is involved with the construction and handling of Hamas terrorist infrastructures in the West Bank. In 2014, Arouri, who has been shuttling between Lebanon and Turkey for the past few years, announced Hamas's responsibility for the June 12, 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank.

In 2015, Arouri left Turkey after unprecedented American and Israeli pressure on the Turkish authorities, according to a Hamas source. "He decided to leave Turkey voluntarily so as not to embarrass Turkey, which was facing huge pressure from Israel and the US Administration," the source said.

In recent months, Haniyeh has become a regular visitor to Turkey, where he is warmly received by Erdogan and other senior Turkish officials.

Last month, Haniyeh said that while Hamas has a "strategic relation" with Iran, it also maintains ties with Turkey and several other countries. "We need Arabs and Muslims to stand with us against the Deal of the Century," Haniyeh explained, referring to US President Donald Trump's recently unveiled plan for Middle East peace. "All Palestinian factions are entitled to preserve their strategy. Hamas believes that Palestine is from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea. Hamas will not recognize Israel."

Erdogan's reported willingness to host the Hamas leadership most likely comes from his longstanding support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Erdogan's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood go back to the 1970s, when he was one of the trusted political pupils of Necmettin Erbakan, the father of Islamism in Turkey.

Lorenzo Vidino, director of George Washington University's Program on Extremism, pointed out that since the July 2013 overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi as president of Egypt, Erdogan has sought to provide a safe haven for "persecuted" members of the movement.

The Ahval news website noted, in addition, that the dozens of Muslim Brotherhood figures living in exile today in Turkey are some of the movement's most powerful and influential figures. "These Brotherhood leaders and their relatives live a comfortable life, under the protection of the Erdogan administration, the website revealed.

As Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, Erdogan's reported readiness to welcome its leaders into Turkey comes as no surprise. It seems that Erdogan is trying to help the Muslim Brotherhood extend its influence across more regions while serving as the spiritual leader of the movement.

If the reports about Erdogan's readiness to invite Hamas leaders to live in Turkey are true, that would also turn Erdogan into the spiritual father of a terrorist group that seeks to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic state.

It now remains to be seen whether the international community, including some Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, demand that Turkey distances itself from Hamas.

A Hamas move to Turkey would mean the terrorist group would continue masterminding and carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel -- but this time, under the protective eyes of the Erdogan administration.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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