Daily Archives: May 10, 2020

Coronavirus, Government Overreach, and Christian Prophecy — The Aquila Report

The hazards involved in questioning dominant media narratives highlight that freedom of speech and expression are definitely on the endangered list in much of the West, and unending vigilance is required to guard our God-given freedoms. Perhaps our temporary ‘house arrest’ in North America will help us value and fight for our freedoms more attentively when the virus component of this crisis passes.

 

“This article has a controversial but valid analysis of the COVID 19 situation, a point of view that all our friends of the TXC family would doubtless find useful. The author has requested to remain anonymous.” -Peter Jones.

As the most bizarre Easter week many can ever remember begins to fade from view – police invading churches and some Christians in America trying to find the money to pay fines for attending services in their cars – [i] some very big questions are looming, and widespread street protests have begun.[ii] The media’s relentless editorializing about the unprecedented nature of the situation continues unabated, yet viruses and plagues are not unprecedented, even in recent history. The response – quarantining entire healthy populations under extreme lockdown and closing up the economy – is. The beginnings of public protest are therefore hardly surprising as people start to weigh for themselves the seemingly low mortality of this virus strain against the human cost of shutting down the world.[iii] Soaring levels of unemployment, business closures and the mass displacement of people have spiralled around the world amidst a colossal self-inflicted economic disaster – France now facing its worst economic contraction since 1945[iv], Canada looking at its deepest recession ever (at least in the short- term with possible long-term ramifications),[v] the U.K in the same situation with the worst downturn in a century,[vi] and the US debt-laden economy in the balance.[vii] Every thinking Christian should read some of the more thought-provoking articles of the last few weeks and reflect on the questions raised by them.[viii]

Freedom and Choices

The hazards involved in questioning dominant media narratives highlight that freedom of speech and expression are definitely on the endangered list in much of the West, and unending vigilance is required to guard our God-given freedoms.[ix] Perhaps our temporary ‘house arrest’ in North America will help us value and fight for our freedoms more attentively when the virus component of this crisis passes.

Questioning the official line of governments and health officials is not to undermine or underappreciate the efforts of those serving diligently in the medical profession. All should recognise these past weeks have been very difficult for many doctors and nurses and we should be truly thankful for their dedication and labor. I for one pray I am as troubled by the tragic loss of any life, as those first responders who care for the sick or dying at their bedside. That being said, my central concern as a Christian thinker is with weighing the risk posed by the virus and the societal response in the lives of everyone – not just medical workers – as well as meditating on what God might be saying in the midst of it all.

In view of this, as we think of our health professionals with gratitude at this time, it is also worth reflecting on the choices we all make to pursue any vocation – each involves certain risks. I know several businessmen whose small companies have already been decimated by the shutdowns and may not pull through. The restaurant industry will take decades to recover, with numerous real people having already lost everything. It invokes a false and dangerous dichotomy to accept popular mantras like ‘people over profits,’ as if economic concerns can somehow be isolated from our health and life as human beings. The health consequences of unemployment and business loss are well-known and can be devastating.[x] Many people are not aware of the high suicide rate recorded after the 2008 global market crash. The work of researchers from the University of Oxford, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in June 2014 identified a huge spike in what they call ‘economic suicides’ (10,000+) and a deep mental health crisis that followed due to job loss, home foreclosures and debt. Of course, business inescapably involves risk and can lead to various health-threatening losses.[xi]

Millions of other people across North America, who live paycheck to paycheck in laboring industries (not funded by the taxpayer) have lost their jobs and cannot pay their rent – in fact unemployment is now at its highest in the USA since the Great Depression, and Canada’s economic prospects hang on the edge of the abyss.[xii] It is not a lack of care or compassion to point out the risks to the health and wellbeing of everyone in this crisis; it is simply facing a human reality. I see no reason to single out healthcare workers as alone at the point of this spear nor the healthcare system as the only arena of serious strain.

Models, More Models, and Real Data

As the daily news feeds continue, many people have already reached ‘model’ or ‘projection’ fatigue. The secular prophecy of scientific prediction is notoriously unreliable.[xiii] No sooner has one model been suggested, than an alternate is offered in its place. Interestingly, almost all recent projections have revised mortality dramatically downward.[xiv] No computer model can accurately predict the course of this virus, in part because we simply do not have sufficient relevant information. Dr. Rosalind Smyth, professor of child health at UCL in Britain, has said that the data is so misleading in the UK, it should not be used.[xv] There is no doubt our medical workers are facing a serious outbreak of a novel, highly infectious respiratory disease which is placing serious strain on parts of the healthcare system. Yet this should not prevent people from asking serious questions, nor calling for an urgent review of the unprecedented reactionary measures not seen with SARS (2003), H1N1 (2009), nor even the deadly Spanish Flu (1918). To be a thinking Christian involves shunning a docile herd mentality that follows the crowd wherever it wanders. The Levitical laws for quarantining the sick are a vital biblical model for dealing with disease. But I question the humanity, validity, legality, and value of the practice of total population quarantine, bringing the world to a halt, rather than isolating the sick and vulnerable.

Researchers at the University of Oxford suggested weeks ago that up to 50% of the UK population may already have been infected, which if true, alters mortality projections and brings to the fore the question and importance of herd immunity and the wisdom of shutting down the entire economy.[xvi] Likewise, in North America, it seems there may be untold numbers of undiagnosed cases with different presenting symptoms or none at all.[xvii] Other experts have recommended the Swedish model of allowing children to go to school and pass the virus around to develop immunity – whilst protecting the elderly and vulnerable in isolation for a few weeks. They argue this virus is following the pattern of other similar respiratory diseases. Some have even suggested that containment and lockdown just prolongs the epidemic and risks bringing it back more aggressively in the future.[xviii] A top German epidemiologist has written an open letter to the German Chancellor citing critical questions that he believes need to be answered and calling for a serious review of current measures.[xix] A good friend of mine and leading medical professional has told me he believes we will all have immunity soon enough through wide community spread and that the optimal response would be targeted – isolating the elderly and immunocompromised demographic who are clearly most at risk. Factoring in the issue of co-morbidities (dying with but not simply from the virus), or dying of Covid-19 instead of common influenza or another respiratory disease (the well-known phenomenon of a new virus displacing the other ones),[xx] it is going to be a long time before we get to an accurate understanding regarding those whose tragic deaths are directly attributable to Covid-19 and what the real excess mortality for any nation really is.

As a philosopher I don’t pretend to have the expertise to authoritatively sort through all the scientific opinion and my friends in the medical profession themselves offer only tentative responses based on limited information. As such, it remains vitally important to reiterate that computer models used to justify a course of action are not the same as rear-view-mirror analysis of real data. In addition, the data is not self-interpreting – just like a philosophy of life, assumptions are always built in. It is because of this that the response to the crisis should be measured and targeted, lest the destruction and havoc caused by our panicked actions be the dreadful product of our ignorance. At the very least, public debate and creative alternatives to the current approach need to be advanced.

Consequences for Human Wellbeing

Factors like these should encourage us all to reflect carefully on the dangerous employment of special legal powers and to question the unprecedented use of mass quarantine; in particular, how long it should be prolonged! Together, these measures are extending business lockdown, social dislocation and isolation, furthering market uncertainty and decline and leading the globe to the brink of a potentially catastrophic economic depression. The long-term health implications of these decisions for the poor, unemployed and isolated elderly must be seriously reviewed. In addition, we should consider what is happening with displaced people in India and other developing nations right now because of their attempt to copy Western lockdown measures.[xxi] The real suffering and eventual death toll from this mass displacement of people and economic disaster is unimaginable to us with our relatively comfortable lives in the West.

My appeal then is for communities and nations not to approach the problem of public health in a one-dimensional way. Civil authorities can lock down a business, but they cannot switch off the essence of human nature. We are cultural beings made specifically to work (Gen. 1:28; 2:15) and social beings made for fellowship (Gen 2. 18; 21-23). To deny human beings these things, even amidst sickness, is to deny part of the essence of their humanity and fundamentally undermine their life and well-being. Work is part of the normative structure of human life and existence and is therefore pre-political because political life presupposes it.  Human governments do not bestow on people a right to work, they are merely called to recognize and protect it. It is God himself who commands human beings to rule and subdue, to work and serve (and observe sabbath rest), so we might reasonably ask if we are not presently being forbidden to do what God commands?

Whatever we make of these biblical considerations, we must responsibly weigh the outcomes of our actions legally, economically, socially in terms of human wellbeing as a whole, and then not just for ourselves, but for poor and developing nations.

The Dark Side

It is my view that our lack of level-headedness in this pandemic has highlighted again that we are an end-stage culture in the West. We are ready to demand that ‘government’ save us and are happy to surrender measured judgment for media soundbites. One of Britain’s finest legal minds and former Supreme Court judge, Lord Sumption, has called the response to Covid-19 a ‘collective hysteria’ and warned of the dire consequences. In an interview with BBC Radio 4 he said:

The real problem is that when human societies lose their freedom, it’s not usually because tyrants have taken it away. It’s usually because people willingly surrender their freedom in return for protection against some external threat. And the threat is usually a real threat but usually exaggerated. That’s what I fear we are seeing now. The pressure on politicians has come from the public. They want action. They don’t pause to ask whether the action will work. They don’t ask themselves whether the cost will be worth paying. They want action anyway. And anyone who has studied history will recognise here the classic symptoms of collective hysteria. Hysteria is infectious. We are working ourselves up into a lather in which we exaggerate the threat and stop asking ourselves whether the cure may be worse than the disease.[xxii]

Epidemics have frequently reshaped political and cultural life in human history and one outcome seen before is the growth of authoritarianism.[xxiii] We seem strangely blind to the fact that this health crisis is being exploited to expand evils like abortion,[xxiv]assault historic freedoms,[xxv] mortgage the future of our children and further the control, reach and power of a secular interventionist state, with their big banks and corporations too big to fail – how much of the American private sector does the Federal Reserve now own or control? The longer current measures persist, the deeper the economic hole we dig for ourselves, the more incomprehensible our debt load, and the greater the loss of freedoms, long-term health and the prospects of the next generation.[xxvi] In this crisis we have already witnessed a definitive end, in our lifetime, to fiscal conservatism and limited government – even in the United States. Fiscal conservatism was never going to survive without social conservatism, which itself cannot survive without a Christian world-and-life-view underpinning it. It is hard not to be concerned now, not only about an inevitable recession, but with the looming threat of inflation and geo-political shifts in influence and power waiting in the wings. Statism and welfarism are now entrenched and will be for decades in the West. It is going to take nothing short of a massive Christian reformation to recover Western nations.

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May 10 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

May 10.—Morning. [Or September 16.]
“God is greatly to be feared.”

1 Chronicles 13

AND David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the Lord our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us: And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul. And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people. (The son of Jesse loved the Lord too well to be forgetful of his honour, his earliest thoughts when he was confirmed upon his throne were concerning the glory of his God. How different this from the conduct of those whose wealth and honours render them forgetful of him to whom they owe so much!)

So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjath-jearim.

And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjath-jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the Lord, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.

And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart. (Here they fell into a grievous error for they neglected the precept of the law which commanded the priests to bear the ark with staves upon their shoulders. God will be served in his own way and not in ours; the slightest neglect of this rule may lead to serious consequences. The two young men that drove the cart had probably grown so familiar with the ark, that they felt little reverence for it, and a solemn lesson was needed to teach all Israel that the Lord is greatly to be feared.)

And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

¶ And when they came unto the threshing-floor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.

10 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark; and there he died before God. (We have in our day too many among us who commit the sin of Uzza, for they dream that Christianity will suffer greatly unless they bring it into conformity with the ruling taste of society. They alter its doctrines, adorn its worship artistically, overlay its simplicities with philosophy, and its plain speech with oratory, and all with the zealous but presumptuous intent to help Him who needs not such helpers, and to preserve that religion which they only insult by their unbelieving anxiety. We must beware of even imagining that our hand is needed to steady God’s ark, the thought is blasphemy.)

11 And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perez-uzza to this day.

12 And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?

13 So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.

Thus religious joy was interrupted because it had not been sufficiently seasoned with holy awe. This was good for David and all Israel, it suspended their rejoicing, but it purged their hearts from levity and presumption. It also taught them to be obedient to the Lord’s word, as well as zealous in his praise. Such lessons we all need to be taught.

14 And the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that he had. (May we as a family always cheerfully open our doors to entertain the Lord’s servants and worship, for full many a household has been blessed in so doing.)

Just and true are all Thy ways,

Great Thy works above our praise;

Humbled in the dust, we own,

Thou art holy, Thou alone.

In Thy sight the angel band,

Justly charged with folly stand,

Holiest deeds of creatures lie

Meritless before Thine eye.

May 10.—Evening. [Or September 17.]
“Serve the Lord with gladness.”

2 Samuel 6:12–23

AND it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.

Obed-edom’s prosperity was a sure token that the Lord was ready to bless all who would treat his ark with reverence. When God blesses men of like passions with ourselves, we are encouraged to expect that he will bless us also.

This time the ark was carried by the priests, for the king said to the priests and Levites, “Sanctify yourselves, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.”

13 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.

14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. (His royal robes were laid aside, and to shew that he was the Lord’s servant he put on the Levite’s simple dress, and “danced before the Lord with all his might;” that is, says Krummacher, “he gave expression in outward movements, and by a rhythmic action of his body, to the feelings which swelled in his bosom. The conception which the world of the present day is wont to associate with the word dance is here not at all appropriate. The dance was, in Israel, a form of divine worship, in which the highest and holiest inspiration oftentimes expressed itself; as, for example, in the case of Miriam and her companions at the Red Sea. If it had not been so, how would the spirit of prophecy have said by the prophet Jeremiah, ‘Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.’ ” And how would the singer of the hundred-and-fiftieth Psalm have exhorted the pious, saying to them, “Praise ye the Lord: praise him with timbrel and dance”!)

15 So David and all the house of Israel, brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.

17, 18, 19 ¶ And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.

20 ¶ Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! (She could not enter into David’s enthusiasm, and doubtless thought him half insane. Even thus at this day, cold, heartless religionists cavil at zeal, and call holy excitement cant and fanaticism.)

21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord. (He reminded her of God’s electing love; truly, if anything can make a man’s heart dance this will.)

22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour. (One is here reminded of Paul’s counting all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. To promote God’s glory we should rejoice to become less and less esteemed among men.)

23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death. (She acted rather as the daughter of Saul than as the wife of David, and therefore like her father she died, leaving no heir to the throne of Israel.)[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 273–274). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

May 10 Life-Changing Moments With God

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Lord God, I do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Inasmuch as I have partaken of flesh and blood, Jesus Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Having disarmed principalities and powers, Jesus made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. John the apostle heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death.”

Thanks be to You, Almighty God, who gives me the victory through my Lord Jesus Christ.

The battle is real, Lord, but the victory is sure—and You give me strength in the meantime! I praise You!

1 John 3:8; Ephesians 6:12; Hebrews 2:14; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 12:10–11; 1 Corinthians 15:57[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 145). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 10 Thoughts for the quiet hour

The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin

1 John 1:7

Learn a lesson from the eye of the miner, who all day long is working amid the flying coal dust. When he emerges in the light of day his face may be grimy enough; but his eyes are clear and lustrous, because the fountain of tears in the lachrymal gland is ever pouring its gentle tides over the eye, cleansing away each speck of dust as soon as it alights.

Is not this the miracle of cleansing which our spirits need in such a world as this? And this is what our blessed Lord is prepared to do for us by His cleansing blood, if only we will trust Him.

  1. B. Meyer[1]

 

[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

May—10 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.—Psalm 36:1.

How striking is this scripture, and how true! Yes, my soul; thou needest not to look abroad into another’s heart to see iniquity, for at home, in thine own, a voice may be heard continually proclaiming it. Renewed as thou art by grace, still thou feelest the workings of corrupt nature; and “though,” as the apostle said, “with thy mind thou thyself servest the law of God, yet with thy flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25.) Pause over the solemn subject, and observe the workings of a body of sin and death, which is virtually all sin: “The carnal mind,” the apostle saith, “is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7); not only an enemy, but in enmity, so that the very nature is so; it is averse, naturally averse to God, and is everlastingly rising in opposition to his holy law. And this not only (as some have supposed; but all men, if they would confess the truth, find to the contrary) before a work of grace hath passed upon the soul, but after. Else wherefore doth the apostle say, “the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would?” (Gal. 5:17.) He saith this to the regenerate, to the Church at large. And consequently this conflict is after grace hath been manifested to the soul, and not before. A sinner unawakened may indeed feel at times compunction of conscience, and be alarmed at what will be the consequence of his sins; but these are only the alarms of conscience, not the workings of grace: and for the most part these alarms are but momentary. His affections are all on the side of sin. His soul still remains “dead in trespasses and sins;” and he himself, like a dead fish, swims down the stream of sin uninterrupted, without resistance, and without concern. But when a child of God is renewed, and the soul that was before dead in trespasses and sins, becomes quickened and regenerated, then it is that the conflict between the renewed part in grace, and the unrenewed part in nature, begins, and never ends but with life. My soul! hath the Lord taught thee this, made thee sensible of it, and caused thee to groan under it? Dost thou find this heart of thine rebelling against God; cold to divine things, but warm to natural enjoyments; framing excuses to keep thee from sweet communion with the Lord; and even in the moment of communion, running off with a swarm of vain thoughts, that “like the flies in the ointment of the apothecary causeth it to send forth an ill savour?” Are these in thy daily, hourly experience? Why then the transgression of the wicked saith within thine heart, and not another’s for thee, this solemn truth, there is no fear of God at such seasons before the eyes of thy sinful body; for “by the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” (Prov. 16:6.) Oh! precious, precious Jesus! how increasingly dear, under this view of a nature so totally corrupt, art thou to my poor soul! What but the eternal and unceasing efficacy of thy blood and righteousness could give my soul the smallest confidence, when I find that I still carry about with me such a body of sin and death? Let those who know not the plague of their own heart, talk of natural goodness; sure I am, there is nothing of the kind in me. “I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.” And were it not, dearest Lord, for the holiness of thy person, blood, and righteousness, the very sins which mingle up with all I say or do, yea, even in prayer, would seal my condemnation. Lamb of God! it is the everlasting merit of thy atonement and intercession, thy blood sprinkled upon my person and offering, by which alone the justice of God is restrained and satisfied, and that it breaks not forth in devouring fire, as upon the sacrifice of old, to consume me upon my very knees! Blessed, blessed for ever be God for Jesus Christ![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 144–145). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Sunday Talks – Devin Nunes Discusses Released Transcripts and Flynn Status…. — The Last Refuge

 

HPSCI ranking member Devin Nunes appears on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo to discuss the events of the past week.  Within the interview Nunes discusses the 53 released House transcripts from their Trump-Russia investigation and outlines how the Trump-Russia fraud transfers into the Flynn case.

It’s now May of 2020.  The presidential election is six months from now.  Devin Nunes has confidence the DOJ will take action based on an investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham.  It’s now May of 2020.  CTH remembers James Wolfe.

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Virus Enters Through Eyes | Daily Mail

Scientists have claimed the coronavirus can enter the body through the eyes after finding they contain a protein used by the infection to bind to cells.

The coronavirus – scientifically called SARS-CoV-2 – latches onto ACE-2 receptors, known as the ‘gateway’ into cells inside body.

These receptors are found in the respiratory tract and the lungs, which is where the virus first infiltrates cells, as well as other organs.

A team led by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have now found the eyes produce ACE-2, making them a target for the virus.

It means if droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough were to land on the surface of the eye, the virus could begin infiltrating cells there.

It may explain why some patients have suffered conjunctivitis – an inflammation of the eye which causes it to become red and infected.

Not only could the virus enter the body through the eyes, but tears may serve as a spread of infection, scientists said.

Scientists have claimed the coronavirus can enter the body through the eyes after finding they contain a protein used by the infection to bind to cells. Pictured: Healthcare worker in Ukraine

Scientists found ACE-2 was expressed in the cornea (A and B, magnified in C) and the limbus (E, magnified in F), which is the border between the cornea and the white of the eye

The team was led by Lingli Zhou of the Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

They analysed ten human post-mortem eyes from people who did not die of COVID-19 for the expression of ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2).

ACE-2 is understood to be the entry point for the virus. Its spiky surface binds to the receptors and, from there, infects the cell and replicates.

It’s suggested that someone with more ACE-2 receptors may be more susceptible to a large viral load – first infectious dose of a virus – entering their bloodstream.

The team also looked for TMPRSS2, an enzyme that helps viral entry following binding of the viral spike protein to ACE2.

ACE2 and TMPRSS2 must both be present in the same cell for the virus to effectively replicate.

WHAT IS AN ACE-2 RECEPTOR AND WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH COVID-19?

ACE-2 receptors are structures found on the surface of cells in the lungs and airways which work with an enyzme called ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) to regulate blood pressure.

Its exact function in the lungs is not well understood but studies suggest it is protective against lung damage and low levels of it can worsen the impact of viral infections.

Scientists say that the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 enters the body through the ACE-2 receptor, which the shape of it allows it to latch on to.

This means that someone with more ACE-2 receptors may be more susceptible to a large viral load – first infectious dose of a virus – entering their bloodstream.

ACE-2 receptors have a shape which matches the outside of the coronavirus, effectively providing it with a doorway into the bloodstream, scientists say

People who have higher than usual numbers of ACE-2 receptors may include those with diabetes or high blood pressure because they have genetic defects which make them produce more. Emerging evidence shows that smokers may also produce more.

High levels of ACE-2 receptors may also be protective, however.

They are thought to be able to protect the lungs during infection and a study on mice in 2008 found that mice which had ACE-2 blocked in their bodies suffered more damage when they were infected with SARS, which is almost identical to COVID-19.

Smoking has in the past been repeatedly linked to lower than normal levels of ACE-2 receptors, potentially increasing the risk of lung damage from COVID-19.

All eye specimens expressed ACE-2 in the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelids, called conjunctiva, the clear outer layer of the eye, called the cornea, and the  limbus, which is the border between the cornea and the white of the eye.

TMPRSS2 was also expressed, according to the pre-print paper on MedRxiv yet to be reviewed by other scientists.

Dr Zhou and colleagues wrote: ‘Together, these results indicate that ocular surface cells including conjunctiva are susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2, and could therefore serve as a portal of entry as well as a reservoir for person-to-person transmission of this virus.’

The research was triggered by ‘extensive speculation’ that eye surfaces are a possible site of virus entry.

Although the virus primarily spreads through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose from an infected person lands on the insides of another person’s nose or mouth, scientists have said it’s entirely possible it could enter through the eye.

Reports have suggested that COVID-19 may cause conjunctivitis, which was a symptom in around 30 per cent of patients in one study.

The researchers explained this could be as a result of the virus travelling from the respiratory tract to the eyes – a secondary complication often linked with a virus.

But it could also be a direct result of the virus attacking the eye cells in the first place by binding to ACE-2 receptors.

Dr Zhou noted that viral particles can be found in tears that ‘could result in transmission to other individuals’.

‘Infection of ocular surface cells could lead to the eye as being an important carrier, with ocular virus shedding constituting a significant mechanism for infection of other individuals,’ they wrote.

‘This highlights the importance of safety practices including face masks and ocular contact precautions in preventing the spread of COVID-19 disease.’

It was not specified if the general population would benefit at all from eye protection, or if the academics meant health workers specifically.

Medics on the pandemic frontline are supposed to wear goggles or face visors in order to protect their eyes.

Doctors first warned the killer coronavirus could be spread through the eyes in January, when the epicentre was in Wuhan, China, and had reached only a handful of other countries.

Just 26 patients have died in the outbreak in China when doctor Wang Guangfa said he thought he had contracted the SARS-like infection because he wasn’t wearing protective goggles.

Several days before the onset of pneumonia, Dr Wang – a Peking University respiratory specialist – complained of redness of the eyes.

Paul Kellam, professor of virus genomics at Imperial College London, told MailOnline at the time it was ‘absolutely possible’.

‘If you have droplets sneezed at you, they will wash from your eye to your nose,’ he told MailOnline. ‘Your eye connects to your nose through the lacrimal duct.

‘If you suffer from allergies and if your eyes run, so will your nose. Or if you put medication in your eyes, you’ll taste at the back of your throat.

‘It isn’t unusual for flu and other viruses to be transmitted this way. You can also get respiratory infections through the eye.’

Woman wears cloves and goggles for protection while visiting no. 10

Source: Virus Enters Through Eyes

Report: Pence Says He’d ‘Certainly Consider’ Bringing Michael Flynn Back Into The Trump Administration

His comments come a few days after the Justice Department dropped its case against Trump’s former national security adviser.

Source: Report: Pence Says He’d ‘Certainly Consider’ Bringing Michael Flynn Back Into The Trump Administration

Cotton: Publicly Available Cell Phone Data Suggests Roads Around Wuhan Lab Were Closed in Mid-October

Sunday, during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) highlighted how cell phone data suggests the Chinese government had closed the roads around the Wuhan Institute of Virology in mid-October.

Source: Cotton: Publicly Available Cell Phone Data Suggests Roads Around Wuhan Lab Were Closed in Mid-October

The Federalist’s Ben Domenech on Obama, Biden Oval Office meeting being ‘key to entire anti-Trump operation’ | FOX news

https://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=6155622178001&w=466&h=263Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech appeared on “Media Buzz” on Sunday saying that a January 2017 Oval Office meeting with former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, then-FBI Director James Comey, then-Vice President Joe Biden and members of the National Security Council to discuss Russian election interference “proves that we need to be asking questions both of former President Obama and of, frankly, Joe Biden.”

Domenech added that those questions should include “what that meeting entailed, about what they were thinking in this time.”

Newly declassified documents, including an FD-302 FBI witness report, revealed that on Jan. 5, 2017, Yates, Comey, Biden, then-CIA Director John Brennan and then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, along with National Security Adviser Susan Rice and other members of the National Security Council, attended the meeting.

After the briefing, Obama asked Yates and Comey to “stay behind,” and said he had “learned of the information about [then-incoming National Security Adviser Michael] Flynn” and his conversation with Russia’s ambassador about sanctions. Obama “specified that he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information.”

A previous memo from Rice stated that Biden also stayed behind after the main briefing had ended.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY CALLS OUT CNN FOR HAVING GUESTS PUSH RUSSIAN COLLUSION NARRATIVE, FOLLOWING TRANSCRIPT REVELATIONS

In an article published on Friday in The Federalist, “Obama, Biden Oval Office Meeting On January 5 Was Key To Entire Anti-Trump Operation,” Mollie Hemingway wrote, “Information released in the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the case it brought against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn confirms the significance of a Jan. 5, 2017, meeting at the Obama White House.”

“It was at this meeting that Obama gave guidance to key officials who would be tasked with protecting his administration’s utilization of secretly funded Clinton campaign research, which alleged Trump was involved in a treasonous plot to collude with Russia, from being discovered or stopped by the incoming administration.”

The article then noted that “in an unusual email” Rice wrote to herself about the Jan. 5 meeting, “President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.

On Sunday, Domenech weighed in saying the email “opens up a lot of questions.”

“That was the meeting where Sally Yates apparently found out that James Comey was circumventing their normal practices when it came to going through the White House counsel before interviewing Michael Flynn,” he continued. “This creates, I think, a question that really needs to be asked of the Democratic presumptive presidential nominee about what happened in that meeting, what his role might have been in spinning this up.”

Domenech made the comments three days after the Justice Department moved to drop its case against Flynn, in a stunning development that comes after internal memos were released raising serious questions about the nature of the investigation that led to Flynn’s late 2017 guilty plea of lying to the FBI.

Speaking from the White House on Thursday President Trump said Flynn “was an innocent man.”

“He is a great gentleman,” Trump continued. “He was targeted by the Obama administration and he was targeted in order to try and take down a president and what they’ve done is a disgrace. They’re scum and I say it a lot. They’re scum. They’re human scum.”

On Sunday, Domenech said that some news outlets will now have to reevaluate their protocols

“There have been so many people who have run away from this story because it would force them to have to go back and look at the leaks that they were basing their earlier stories on about the way that this played out with Michael Flynn,” he said.

“It would also in many instances force them to examine the comments from paid contributors to their networks who have been saying one thing when they go on-air for the past several years, but other things behind closed doors as we’ve learned from the transcripts that have been released this week from the House Intelligence Committee.”

“This is going to be a continually unraveling story as we go forward and I think that a lot of these media entities need to go back and look at the kind of original reporting that they did on this subject and whether they can trust those types of sources in the future, whether they need to make changes in order to vet things more thoroughly,” he added.

Domenech made the comments three days after the media watchdog group NewsBusters determined that the guilty plea from the former Trump official received nearly four times the coverage than the latest developments that virtually reverse the legal drama that took place prior.

Fox News’ Gregg Re, Joseph Wulfsohn and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Source: The Federalist’s Ben Domenech on Obama, Biden Oval Office meeting being ‘key to entire anti-Trump operation’

Andrew McCarthy: Flynn case — Obama officials, FBI collaborated to invent ‘Russian collusion’ narrative

The FBI coordinated very closely with the Obama White House on the investigation of Michael Flynn, while the Obama Justice Department was asleep at the switch.

Source: Andrew McCarthy: Flynn case — Obama officials, FBI collaborated to invent ‘Russian collusion’ narrative

The Coronavirus Response: The Ultimate Goal is Control of All Humanity

Article Image
https://www.lewrockwell.com by Gary D. Barnett

Propaganda is the most useful tool of those that desire to hold power over others, and for the global ruling class, this equates to power over all. It is first necessary to create some sort of broad chaos or crisis in order to present a particular scenario meant to initiate fear. This will immediately trigger the herd mentality in the masses, and an escape toward safety will be sought. The next step once the herd is gathered is to first offer protection, and then to offer a solution to guarantee future safety. Once the herd accepts this premise, control by small outside forces becomes possible. As long as the propaganda continues and is accepted by the herd, which requires a continuance of fear, the more control that will evident.

This is exactly what has happened as of late due to a false pandemic called Covid-19, which in effect is simply a normal flu-like sickness blown completely out of proportion by design. The only way that this fraud could have advanced to this current level, is if the propaganda campaign not only fooled large numbers of people, but the entire world’s populations.

Pence Calls Michael Flynn An “American Patriot,” Says He’s Welcomed Back To White House | ZeroHedge News

In a ‘yuge’ victory for the Trump administration last week, the Justice Department dropped the prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe in 2017 to misleading Vice President Mike Pence and FBI agents about his communications with a former Russian official. Now it seems Flynn could be welcomed back into the administration as Vice President Pence told “Axios on HBO” that he welcomes the idea.

“I think Gen. Michael Flynn is an American patriot,” Vice President Pence told an Axios reporter in Iowa on Friday.

“And for my part, I’d be happy to see Michael Flynn again.”

Pence and Axios reporter in Iowa on May 8 talking about Flynn returning to government. h/t Axios 

It has not just been Vice President Pence suggesting that Flynn would be welcomed back — President Trump told reporters on April 30 that he would consider returning his former national security advisor to his inner circle.

Last week, President Trump praised the DOJ in their decision to drop the charges against Flynn. On Friday, the president tweeted: “Yesterday was a BIG day for Justice in the USA. Congratulations to General Flynn, and many others. I do believe there is MUCH more to come! Dirty Cops and Crooked Politicians do not go well together!” 

Washington insiders told Axios, they would not be surprised if Flynn were to join the president on the campaign trail later this year.

However, not everyone was thrilled to see the charges against him cleared, both former President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed the DOJ for their decision.

The former president said the DOJ’s decision to drop its prosecution puts the nation’s ‘rule of law at risk.’ The wave of negative criticism from Democrats and some law enforcement officials was shared with Speaker Pelosi, who said Attorney General William Barr is attempting to “cover-up” the Russian investigation.

“Attorney General Barr’s politicization of justice knows no bounds,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators in the face of overwhelming evidence – but now, Attorney General Barr’s Justice Department is dropping the case to continue to cover up for the President,” she added.

The episode of “Axios on HBO” with Vice President Pence debuts on Monday at 11 pm ET/PT.

Vice President Pence is still willing to take back Flynn despite being reportedly lied to during Muller investigations…

Source: Pence Calls Michael Flynn An “American Patriot,” Says He’s Welcomed Back To White House

Report: China President Xi Pressured WHO Leader To Hold Back On Virus Warning

China’s President Xi Jinping reportedly pressured the director of the World Health Organization in January to hold off issuing a global warning about the coronavirus outbreak.German media outlet Der Spiegel, citing intelligence from the country’s intelligence service,…

Source: Report: China President Xi Pressured WHO Leader To Hold Back On Virus Warning

President Obama was in on plot to ‘frame’ Flynn, attorney says

Former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn’s lead attorney accused top officials of orchestrating a plot to frame her client, insisting that former President Barack Obama himself was in on it.

Source: President Obama was in on plot to ‘frame’ Flynn, attorney says

It’s The 10th Anniversary of WikiLeaks’ Publication of the Collateral Murder video …

Article Image
https://www.lewrockwell.com by Arjun Walia

The video shows how two Apache helicopters murdered 11 Iraqi people including two Reuters journalists. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.  This is one of the publications Julian Assange is being indicted for espionage. He faces 175 years in a US jail if extradited from the UK.  WikiLeaks obtained the video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. They analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material and spoke to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.

WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work. (source)