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What is ‘luxury wellness’?

Posh spas and rehab centres, available only to the wealthy.

Let’s open the door and find out more.

Villa Stéphanie Spa & Wellbeing, Baden-Baden, Germany

When it comes to spas, wealthy women already look beautiful, so one wonders how much extra lingering beauty a week-long stay at one actually produces.

On October 2, 2021, the Daily Mail published an article about Victoria Beckham’s stay at Villa Stéphanie Spa & Wellbeing in Baden-Baden, Germany (emphases mine):

The retreat – which is described as an entire house dedicated to the world of spa – on its website, offers rooms starting from €270 a night (£231) and massages from €170 (£145). A seven night programme starts from €4,000 (£3,430) per person.

That means treatments are added on to the base price.

The article has several photographs from Mrs Beckham’s Instagram account. The photos look as if she were asking, ‘Don’t you wish you were here?’ Of special note is the one with Dr Harry Koenig, who tailors treatments to individual needs:

Showing off her slim figure in a black tank top and accessorising with a black cap, Victoria told fans: ‘So we are here in Baden-Baden in Germany having our annual checkups, MRIs… gosh checking literally everything. It is absolutely incredible.’ 

The former Spice Girl said she was also taking the opportunity at the lavish retreat to ‘detox and have infusions and go for lots of amazing hikes’. 

Victoria shared a photo of herself clad in khaki sweats and embracing Dr Harry Koenig who tailored all of their treatments at the retreat based on their test results …

Victoria shared photos of an egg white omelette with sliced avocado and a dish of fresh salmon and vegetables, and said she’s learnt a lot about food and diet’ that has now ‘influenced’ how she eats at home.

Also detailing the more expensive treatments on offer, Victoria shared a photo of nurses Ellen and Sophia bringing her tray of ‘daily vitamins and amino acids’.

She also opted for a ‘heavy metal chelation supplement’ which is said to aid in detoxification and protect the liver and kidneys, daily IV drips, and a hyperbaric oxygen treatment. 

Victoria also used the opportunity to flaunt her own skincare line as she showed off her radiant and makeup-free visage during a beauty treatment, and shared stunning footage of herself hiking through the Black Forest surrounding the retreat. 

This woman needs none of that, because she barely eats when she goes to a restaurant:

It comes after last week Victoria’s revelation that her favourite meal of all time is salt on whole grain toast left fans in disbelief.

Speaking to Ruth Rogers on the River Café’s Table 4 podcast the fashion designer admitted she was a restaurant’s ‘worst nightmare’ because she was happy with just a slice [of bread] with a sprinkling of the seasoning. 

Ugh!

Judith Woods of The Telegraph wrote a great article about the Beckhams’ stay at the retreat:

When Victoria Beckham gave us a sneak peek into her recent physical MOT at a lavish spa retreat in Baden-Baden, it was hard to decide which delicious treat we envied most.

Was it her daily personalised IV drips? The artisan-crafted egg-white omelettes? Or the hyperbaric oxygen treatment? Yum. Or maybe it was the presence of husband David, who was also getting his annual once-over? Because nothing screams enduring love more loudly than his ’n’ hers MRI scans followed by a hearty hike in the Black Forest.

Here she is, face scrubbed and smooth as a preternaturally girlish 47-year-old milkmaid, snuggling up next to Dr Harry Koenig, the handsome silver fox who tailored all her treatments.

Meanwhile:

Back in Britain we struggle even to catch sight of a GP, who are second only to HGV drivers and slaughtermen in their scarcity. Yet here was Mrs B with a buff Bavarian medic all to herself, personalising every esoteric infusion and rejuvenating elixir. This isn’t just wellness: this is luxury wellness. Actually, scrap that. This is exclusive, bespoke, ultra-luxury wellness.

We discover how much a week’s stay can actually cost:

At up to £19,000 a pop for a week’s stay, that is one shock and awe shellac. And let’s not forget the integrative holistic medicine and the “vampire facelift”, where the client’s own platelets are injected under the skin along with a hyaluronic acid filler.

On the Beckhams, Woods concludes:

Sorry to be blunt but this sort of high-end “Because I’m worth It” intervention really isn’t for amateurs.

In the competitive wellness stakes, the Beckhams pretty much ace it. Just as engagement ring metrics traditionally equate purchase price with strength of ardour, so do modern lavish spa treatments convey exactly how much self-love a celebrity possesses.

Goop at Sea, floating spa

Woods tells us about a spa cruise scheduled for 2022 that is attracting American women on the celebrity circuit:

Happily, celebrities really do excel at leading by example. Why, Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow has entered into a pact – sorry partnership – with Celebrity Cruises and will set sail round the Med next summer in a venture dubbed Goop At Sea.

Aimed at the sort of person who uses “juice” as a verb, this gorgeous floating spa will feature “trailblazing healers and transformative workshops for mind, body and soul” along with personal butlers, a private restaurant and an exclusive lounge.

Woods rightly points out that female celebrities already look good. These spa visits are a pampering top-up:

Ageless and wrinkle-free; not young per se but not old. Therein presides the spa delusion; civilians imagine that they will emerge relaxed, rested and youthful, just like the beautiful people.

Except they were already beautiful before they handed over their Amex cards. It’s their day job. A-listers have no problem being stripped down and rebuilt like a Formula 1 car every so often; it counts as red-carpet running repairs in a profession where optics matter more than anything else.

Agreed.

It is far better and cheaper to book an appointment with a licensed aesthetician, especially in the UK, as they can provide a wide range of beauty treatments and detoxes.

Gentlemen, if these are what the lady in your life wants, get her a gift certificate for a half-day session for Christmas. She will love you even more for it.

Paracelsus Recovery, Zurich, Switzerland

On the rehab side of things, The Telegraph‘s food critic William Sitwell noticed he was having a few physical problems at the age of 51:

… I don’t like sitting down and I’m scared of food. Lower-back pain and acid reflux are now rendering me nervous at the prospect of eating out, uncomfortable doing it, in pain writing about it, and in fear at the physical consequence of it.

The Telegraph treated their treasured food critic to a three-day stay at Paracelsus Recovery in Zurich. The clinic:

promises a ‘safe haven’, with ‘individualised treatment programmes that are designed to address a client’s unique set of needs.’

I’m dispatched by The Telegraph, which is fortunate because regular clients at Paracelsus are high-profile, high-net-worth individuals, and the price tag for a week’s admission is £75,000

Sitwell tells us that many of the clinic’s patients enter a three-month programme. Incredible.

Before going, he spoke with Paracelsus’s founder and CEO, Jan Gerber, who told him:

‘We’ll give you your own apartment with views over Lake Zurich. You’ll have a housekeeper who will cook and clean for you as well as a team of 10 of us caring for you,’ he tells me. ‘We’ll conduct an array of assessments: physical, emotional and biochemical. We’ll identify areas of concern or ones to watch, and with treatments, therapy, yoga and massage we’ll implement a programme. Our aim is to add quality years to your life.’

‘These are first-world problems, right?’ I say. ‘That may be true,’ he replies, ‘and we work with a lot of financially privileged people, but that doesn’t mean they don’t experience very real emotional or physical pain. What we do here is super complex. Are you willing and able to help us open your can of worms? Don’t worry, our responsibility is not to go to places where we leave the doors open.’

The clinic is used to dealing with drug and alcohol addiction. Sitwell went in order to resolve his food issue:

I really love to eat and also hate it – gives me a little wind in my sails. I am worthy of a brief visit. Paracelsus, here I come.

The article comes with photos of his stay, which are well worth looking at.

The clinic’s managing partner Pawel Mowlik, a German, met Sitwell at Zurich’s airport. A chauffeur drove them into the city centre:

Whisked out of the airport and into the clinic’s Bentley Flying Spur, we are soon in the city centre and turning into a nondescript car park behind an apartment block.

Luggage taken care of, doors held open, we go through an entrance with no signage. ‘This place is very discreet and highly confidential,’ says Mowlik. ‘We have the very famous – the richest people, heads of state – and no one needs to know that they are here.’

The apartment was fully kitted out, with a separate area for a live-in therapist:

My apartment is airy and light, with lake views, a large bedroom, comfortable sitting room, kitchen and dining area and my own therapy room. Behind the kitchen is another bedroom and bathroom. ‘That’s for a therapist to stay,’ says Mowlik. ‘We can provide that 24/7 if need be. We sent a therapist back to the Middle East with one client,’ he adds, ‘and they stayed out there for five years.’

The housekeeper, Elizabeth, is there to unpack my things.

Founder and CEO Jan Gerber was already there to greet his new patient:

We sit down to discuss my schedule. Across three days I’ll have an intense programme of clinical, psychiatric, fitness, lifestyle and nutritional assessments as well as yoga, psychotherapy, physical training, intravenous therapy, something called bioresonance and then a presentation of results by the team.

Gerber told Sitwell that coronavirus has exacerbated every type of mental health problem.

Chaperones are de rigueur, in case a patient tries to escape. Gerber’s mother:

Christine Merzeder, is the senior clinical coordinator. She will chaperone me from meeting to meeting. Mowlik, it turns out, will chaperone me for anything else.

I mention a swim in the lake. ‘A lovely idea, we can go tomorrow at 8am,’ he says …

I note that the physical assessment and training are at a private gym. ‘Is it far to walk?’ I ask. ‘It’s a simple route,’ says Mowlik. ‘I will show you… and then bring you home.’

The super rich need a crafty chaperone, and this one knows how they think. By his early 20s Mowlik, working for a Zurich-based hedge fund, was earning up to £2 million a month. He began splashing it on private jets, alcohol, drugshe checked into Paracelsus and liked the place so much he later became a partner. Clients can relate to him, and he’s quite handy at finding new recruits, too.

Paracelsus isn’t any ordinary rehab clinic:

‘Being famous and wealthy can be a very lonely place,’ says Mowlik. ‘You can’t trust anyone, you find yourself exploited and that can be a vicious circle that brings separation from people. Which can lead to depression and medication with substances. We exist because such a person can’t go to an average rehab.’

‘Did you know that the incidences of addiction among the wealthy are much higher – maybe five-fold – than the average?’ states Gerber.  ‘And it is relative. Pain is very real for the person who feels the pain. In fact it can be harder for someone who is famous and very wealthy to find empathy. Emotionally we are all human, we all need love and social interaction.’

Gerber also argues it is vital the rich and powerful can get confidential help. They can have a lot to lose if the public learns of their difficulties.

‘If a head of state or famous entertainer is unwell, that can have a very large effect on their family network or across their business empire: a head of state with a nation in crisis, a lead actor in a major production…’ he explains. ‘So what we do here is a big lever to heal the world.’

He adds that his therapists need to understand the reality of being rich. ‘We call it affluent neglect,’ he says. ‘There are children brought up by nannies and sent to boarding school.’

Sitwell underwent a battery of physical tests, from blood to stool to urine and more:

I’m wired up to a Metatron, which scans my body for inflammation, I have a portable heart monitor attached to my chest, a live-monitoring glucose implant on my upper left arm, they take blood from my veins, blood from my fingertips, I have strict timetables to deliver urine and stool samples.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Thilo Beck was Sitwell’s therapist, asking him all about his recent life history:

he teaches me the fascinating concept of the observing self, watching the theatre of life as it progresses. ‘The next time you feel angry, pause for a second and consider the idea that you’re noticing yourself becoming angry… You are the driver of your bus; your anxiety and fears, the parts you don’t like, are parts of you. They are your passengers, stroke them, soothe them, be proud of your bus and drive towards your values.’

Nicole Züllig, a psychotherapist, conducted a separate session on trauma:

‘I specialise in trauma,’ she tells me. ‘I have discovered that most people have unresolved trauma.’ It sounds like Prince Harry’s been in this chair, I think to myself, recollecting his habit in the press, for example, of describing partying antics in his 30s as not ‘fun’, but ‘unresolved trauma’.

Where is that trauma, that loss?’ she asks. ‘I look for that very deep loss. We have a tendency to put it away in anger, to deep-freeze it, we must get it out of the freezer, thaw it and deal with it…

‘So tell me about your relationship with your mother.’

Sitwell described his beautiful mother in glowing terms. The article has a picture of her holding him as a boy.

Züllig asked him how he felt, and he replied, ‘Guilty’ for having spoken to someone about her behind her back.

Then came the real issue, his schooldays, including at Eton, which were not his best days:

As I talk, I laugh at various moments. ‘Why are you laughing?’ she asks, appalled.

‘Because I think it’s funny,’ I reply.

‘Funny?’ she exclaims. ‘You think this is funny? It is not funny. It is tragic. You were abandoned. This is trauma. You must take this trauma, understand it and thaw it. You must not laugh to avoid it.’

‘Whatever,’ I mutter. Soon I’m chatting about my more recent work; a few big awards, books, television I ponder how I’ve turned out compared with the boy at Eton aged 16, having failed the annual exams, officially labelled in front of 600 of my peers as a General Total Failure.

And I sob. Züllig has done her work and is on hand, brandishing tissues. ‘How does this make you feel?’ she asks. ‘Exhausted,’ I reply.

Sitwell fell asleep during his yoga session, after which he received a deep massage, which he described as ‘rigorous’.

Another session involved physical training at the Dolder Grand spa, in the city’s grandest hotel:

Mowlik lurks outside to prevent any attempt at escape. Later, as I lie on a sunbed for a moment, I look to the plunge pool to my right – and jump with fright as Mowlik emerges from the water.

Sitwell rode in the Bentley there and back.

When he returned to the clinic, Dr Manuel Riegner gave Sitwell the results of his physical exams. On the one hand, he has a ‘biological age of 29’. On the other hand:

I have high levels of mercury and uric acid, low levels of zinc, and a very concerning, almost negligible, level of iron. ‘No wonder you feel fatigued,’ he says.

Nutritionist Priscilla Sanchez gave Sitwell diet and eating advice, which included omitting milk and most carbohydrates as well as cutting down on alcohol:

Then I’m strapped to an intravenous drip, fed amino acids, vitamin C and a detoxmix, given two weeks’ worth of supplements, and told I must have an infusion of iron back in the UK, urgently.

Then it was time to pack his bags and leave:

I have a last swim in Lake Zurich, the water and distant sight of the Alps soothing my mind. ‘Time to leave,’ says Mowlik, coming up for air beside me.

He doesn’t leave my side until I’m through departures at the airport.

Once at home, Sitwell stuck to the eating and exercise plans and had not experienced any of his old symptoms.

But something equally important also happened — a sense of gratitude:

Three days of gratuitous self-reflection and I realise I’m so lucky to have the family I have, the wife, the kids, the home, the friends, the most utterly fabulous job writing about my most favourite subject.

Good for him. I have read this article a few times and enjoyed it more every time.

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Well, that’s it for an introduction to ‘luxury wellness’, something few of us will ever experience.

Sunday, June 6, 2021, was the 77th anniversary of D-Day, the Longest Day:

https://image.vuukle.com/22960bff-3d6b-4a49-a432-932c3bcb0216-0b634bbf-66d0-4fa6-87f7-d50f45ed7cf5

This map shows the landings in Normandy:

https://image.vuukle.com/42c85f62-4bbb-4aff-b15a-100d5034d7aa-ef9ba589-c623-406a-8fba-3ce6e0827859

While preparing Sunday dinner, I listened to C-SPAN’s Sunday morning show, broadcast on BBC Parliament. Sarah Rose, the author of D-Day Girls, was the guest. Her book is a novel, but she did a lot of historical research showing the intelligence work that women did behind the scenes as part of a carefully-managed international network.

The phone-in included many sons and daughters of Second World War veterans. Nearly all said that those veterans were, understandably, highly reluctant to talk about their war experiences. However, some said that their fathers or grandfathers opened up in their later years. One caller said that she has several hours of memories that she has recorded for posterity, particularly for younger family members.

With more and more of those veterans passing from this mortal coil, now is the time for children and grandchildren to record and catalogue those memories, if they can. One person who has done so is the author of Pacific Paratrooper, remembering Everett A Smith, their father. It’s an excellent website, which also documents much history about the battles and conditions in the Pacific theatre. I am delighted to have the author as one of my regular readers.

We will always remember those heroic men and women:

Incidentally, the Houses of Parliament were bombed in 1941 and had to be reconstructed authentically in the 19th century manner. Both were faithfully restored. The next tweet shows the House of Commons:

Seventy-seven years later, we are still in the grip of the coronavirus crisis and a loss of freedom the troops involved in D-Day would have found unthinkable.

In Britain, former Prime Minister Tony Blair (Labour) appeared on The Andrew Marr Show to say that Britons who have had two vaccinations should be allowed greater freedoms, thereby creating a two-tier society:

If a Conservative had said that, Marr would have heaped criticism all over him or her.

It is mystifying that Tony Blair even gets airtime on this topic. He isn’t in government, nor is his party.

It appears I am not alone, judging from the replies to this tweet:

On the topic of vaccines, Tony Blair has never said if his son Leo, born when he was in No. 10, had the MMR vaccine, which was highly controversial at the time. So, it was okay for him to refuse to give his son a vaccine that every other child born in Britain had/has to have. It is very difficult to get separate children’s vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella. One imagines that Blair managed to get them for his son.

Tony Blair also wanted national ID cards. The debate raged for a few years in Parliament. Fortunately, nothing happened.

On Monday, Guido Fawkes’s cartoonist Rich, recalling the ID card debate from the Blair years, posted this:

On the topic of vaccines, the Government is talking about giving them to children. Highly dangerous, one would have thought. The Telegraph‘s Bob Moran was moved to create this cartoon a week ago:

ITV’s Good Morning Britain stoked the flames by asking whether the vaccinated should refuse to associate with the unvaccinated:

Fortunately, most Britons disagree with Good Morning Britain:

June 21 is supposed to be Freedom Day, according to the Government, with the caveat that full reopening of Britain will be based on data rather than dates.

It should come as no surprise that the Government could now backtrack on that date:

On June 1, we had no coronavirus deaths, but that did not make the news:

TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer is fed up with the delays. In fact, as the chart below from Peston shows, the UK’s actual coronavirus stats are much better than SAGE’s models:

On June 3, Portugal, the only European country on the UK’s green list for travel, was moved to the amber list, yet these charts tell a different story:

One suspects that it was only ever on the green list for the Champions League final in Porto:

Oddly, we had more freedom a year ago — with no masks and no vaccines — than we do now:

In Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford (Labour) says that social distancing will not be disappearing any time soon:

Data for the UK should be available on June 14, at which point the Government will announce their decision regarding June 21:

The Government have paid for coronavirus advertising and COVID marshals, extending to 2022. Former London Assembly member David Kurten tweeted a reminder:

I, too, want my country back.

In Germany, scientists from Munich University say that lockdown had no effect on the virus spread:

Something is very wrong when, in a five-minute speech on television, a prime minister or a president can remove everyone’s civil liberties at a stroke.

Monday, March 23, 2020, will be etched on my memory forever. That was the date of the UK’s first lockdown.

D-Day. Freedom Day. What has happened to us — and for a ‘pandemic’ with fatality rates no worse than influenza? We are in a very bad way, not only in the UK, but also elsewhere in the West.

Following on from my post of last week, below is a continued timeline about herd immunity and the coronavirus crisis in Britain.

Old news, perhaps, but it will be interesting to see how much of this, if any, is mentioned at the Government’s hearing, scheduled for 2022.

May 2020

On May 17, 2020, journalist Robert Peston tweeted about a conference in Edinburgh that could have been a super-spreader event:

One of Peston’s readers said that he was partly to blame, because, in March, he wrote an article for The Spectator‘”Herd immunity” will be vital to stopping coronavirus’.

It begins with this (emphases mine):

The key phrase we all need to understand is ‘herd immunity’ – which is what happens to a group of people or animals when they develop sufficient antibodies to be resistant to a disease.

The strategy of the British government in minimising the impact of Covid-19 is to allow the virus to pass through the entire population so that we acquire herd immunity, but at a much delayed speed so that those who suffer the most acute symptoms are able to receive the medical support they need, and such that the health service is not overwhelmed and crushed by the sheer number of cases it has to treat at any one time.

Infection figures were starting to recede in May. This could partly be explained by a month of glorious weather, apart from two days. It was one of the warmest and sunniest on record. I fantasised that I was in Cannes.

On May 18, Freddie Sayers of UnHerd interviewed Prof Karl Sikora, the Founding Dean and Professor of Medicine at the University of Buckingham Medical School and an ex-director of the WHO Cancer Programme:

Prof Sikora said:

The serology results around the world (and forthcoming in Britain) don’t necessarily reveal the percentage of people who have had the disease.

He estimates 25-30% of the UK population has had Covid-19, and higher in the group that is most susceptible.

Pockets of herd immunity help *already* explain the downturn.

Sweden’s end result will not be different to ours – lockdown versus no lockdown.

On May 10, Nic Lewis wrote a post about the UK and Sweden for Climate Etc.: ‘Why herd immunity to COVID-19 is reached much earlier than thought’.

It says, in part:

A study published in March by the COVID-19 Response Team from Imperial College (Ferguson20[1]) appears to have been largely responsible for driving government actions in the UK and, to a fair extent, in the US and some other countries. Until that report came out, the strategy of the UK government, at least, seems to have been to rely on the build up of ‘herd immunity’ to slow the growth of the epidemic and eventually cause it to peter out.

The ‘herd immunity threshold’ (HIT) can be estimated from the basic reproduction rate of the epidemic, R0 – a measure of how many people, on average, each infected individual infects. Standard simple compartmental models of epidemic growth imply that the HIT equals {1 – 1/R0}. Once the HIT is passed, the rate of new infections starts to decline, which should ensure that health systems will not thereafter be overwhelmed and makes it more practicable to take steps to eliminate the disease.

However, the Ferguson20 report estimated that relying on herd immunity would result in 81% of the UK and US populations becoming infected during the epidemic, mainly over a two-month period, based on an R0 estimate of 2.4. These figures imply that the HIT is between 50% and 60%.[2] Their report implied that health systems would be overwhelmed, resulting in far more deaths. It claimed that only draconian government interventions could prevent this occurring. Such interventions were rapidly implemented in the UK, in most states of the US, and in various other countries, via highly disruptive and restrictive enforced ‘lockdowns’.

A notable exception was Sweden, which has continued to pursue a herd immunity-based strategy, relying on relatively modest social distancing policies. The Imperial College team estimated that, after those policies were introduced in mid-March, R0 in Sweden was 2.5, with only a 2.5% probability that it was under 1.5.[3] The rapid spread of COVID-19 in the country in the second half of March suggests that R0 is unlikely to have been significantly under 2.0.[4]

Very sensibly, the Swedish public health authority has surveyed the prevalence of infections by the SARS-COV-2 virus in Stockholm County, the earliest in Sweden hit by COVID-19. They thereby estimated that 17% of the population would have been infected by 11 April, rising to 25% by 1 May 2020.[5] Yet recorded new cases had stopped increasing by 11 April (Figure 1), as had net hospital admissions,[6] and both measures have fallen significantly since. That pattern indicates that the HIT had been reached by 11 April, at which point only 17% of the population appear to have been infected.

How can it be true that the HIT has been reached in Stockholm County with only about 17% of the population having been infected, while an R0 of 2.0 is normally taken to imply a HIT of 50%?

A recent paper (Gomes et al.[7]) provides the answer. It shows that variation between individuals in their susceptibility to infection and their propensity to infect others can cause the HIT to be much lower than it is in a homogeneous population. Standard simple compartmental epidemic models take no account of such variability. And the model used in the Ferguson20 study, while much more complex, appears only to take into account inhomogeneity arising from a very limited set of factors – notably geographic separation from other individuals and household size – with only a modest resulting impact on the growth of the epidemic.[8] Using a compartmental model modified to take such variability into account, with co-variability between susceptibility and infectivity arguably handled in a more realistic way than by Gomes et al., I confirm their finding that the HIT is indeed reached at a much lower level than when the population is homogeneous. That would explain why the HIT appears to have been passed in Stockholm by mid April. The same seems likely to be the case in other major cities and regions that have been badly affected by COVID-19.

On that topic, Prof Sunetra Gupta, one of the signatories to The Barrington Declaration which came out that summer, entered the picture. Prof Gupta is the Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford. Freddie Sayers of UnHerd interviewed her on May 21:

The accompanying article says:

Her group at Oxford produced a rival model to Ferguson’s back in March which speculated that as much as 50% of the population may already have been infected and the true Infection Fatality Rate may be as low as 0.1%.

Since then, we have seen various antibody studies around the world indicating a disappointingly small percentage of seroprevalence — the percentage of the population has the anti-Covid-19 antibody. It was starting to seem like Ferguson’s view was the one closer to the truth.

But, in her first major interview since the Oxford study was published in March, Professor Gupta is only more convinced that her original opinion was correct.

As she sees it, the antibody studies, although useful, do not indicate the true level of exposure or level of immunity. First, many of the antibody tests are “extremely unreliable” and rely on hard-to-achieve representative groups. But more important, many people who have been exposed to the virus will have other kinds of immunity that don’t show up on antibody tests — either for genetic reasons or the result of pre-existing immunities to related coronaviruses such as the common cold.

The implications of this are profound – it means that when we hear results from antibody tests (such as a forthcoming official UK Government study) the percentage who test positive for antibodies is not necessarily equal to the percentage who have immunity or resistance to the virus. The true number could be much higher.

Observing the very similar patterns of the epidemic across countries around the world has convinced Professor Gupta that it is this hidden immunity, more than lockdowns or government interventions, that offers the best explanation of the Covid-19 progression:

“In almost every context we’ve seen the epidemic grow, turn around and die away — almost like clockwork. Different countries have had different lockdown policies, and yet what we’ve observed is almost a uniform pattern of behaviour which is highly consistent with the SIR model. To me that suggests that much of the driving force here was due to the build-up of immunity. I think that’s a more parsimonious explanation than one which requires in every country for lockdown (or various degrees of lockdown, including no lockdown) to have had the same effect.”

June 2020

On June 4, Freddie Sayers interviewed Prof Karl Friston, a computer modelling expert, world-renowned for his contributions to neuroscience. He had been applying his ‘dynamic causal modelling’ approach to the Covid-19 pandemic:

The accompanying article says that his Bayesian models were showing that up to 80% of the population might be naturally immune to coronavirus:

His models suggest that the stark difference between outcomes in the UK and Germany, for example, is not primarily an effect of different government actions (such as better testing and earlier lockdowns) but is better explained by intrinsic differences between the populations that make the “susceptible population” in Germany — the group that is vulnerable to Covid-19 — much smaller than in the UK.

As he told me in our interview, even within the UK, the numbers point to the same thing: that the “effective susceptible population” was never 100%, and was at most 50% and probably more like only 20% of the population. He emphasises that the analysis is not yet complete, but “I suspect, once this has been done, it will look like the effective non-susceptible portion of the population will be about 80%. I think that’s what’s going to happen.”

Theories abound as to which factors best explain the huge disparities between countries in the portion of the population that seems resistant or immune — everything from levels of vitamin D to ethnic-genetic and social and geographical differences may come into play — but Professor Friston makes clear that it does not primarily seem to be a function of government coronavirus policy. “Solving that — understanding that source of variation in terms of this non-susceptibility — is going to be the key to understanding the enormous variation between countries,” he said …

His explanation for the remarkably similar mortality outcomes in Sweden (no lockdown) and the UK (lockdown) is that “they weren’t actually any different. Because at the end of the day the actual processes that get into the epidemiological dynamics — the actual behaviours, the distancing, was evolutionarily specified by the way we behave when we have an infection.”

Most significantly, it would mean that the principal underlying assumption behind the global shutdowns, typified by the famous Imperial College forecasts — namely, that left unchecked this disease would rapidly pass through the entire population of every country and kill around 1% of those infected, leading to untold millions of deaths worldwide without draconian action — was wrong, out by a large factor. The largest co-ordinated government action in history, forcibly closing down most of the world’s societies with consequences that may last for generations, would have been based on faulty science.

When I put this to Professor Friston, he was the model of collegiate discretion. He said that the presumptions of Neil Ferguson’s models were all correct, “under the qualification that the population they were talking about is much smaller than you might imagine”. In other words, Ferguson was right that around 80% of susceptible people would rapidly become infected, and was right that of those between 0.5% and 1% would die — he just missed the fact that the relevant “susceptible population” was only ever a small portion of people in the UK, and an even smaller portion in countries like Germany and elsewhere. Which rather changes everything.

With such elegant formulations are scientific reputations saved. Practically, it makes not much difference whether, as per Sunetra Gupta, the 40,000 officially-counted coronavirus deaths in the UK are 0.1% of 40 million people infected, or, as per Karl Friston’s theory implies, they are more like 0.5% of 8 million people infected with the remaining 32 million shielded from infection by mysterious “immunological dark material”. If you are exposed to the virus and it is destroyed in your body by mucosal antibodies or T-cells or clever genes so that you never become fully infected and don’t even notice it, should that count as an infection? The effect is the same: 40,000 deaths, not 400,000.

However, on Sunday, June 7, SAGE member Prof John Edmunds was still backtracking on his earlier claims about herd immunity from March. He was all about lockdown and told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the UK should have locked down sooner to prevent deaths:

Speaking of lockdown, Britons were increasingly angry about being told not to leave the house, especially when people were protesting with no social distancing:

June in the UK — Part 1: the angry, yet law abiding, silent majority (June 3)

June in the UK — Part 2: angry silent majority questions lockdown (June 5; masks; no arrests for destructive protestors, two for eccentric Piers Corbyn)

June in the UK — Part 3: the angry silent majority on lockdown (June 5)

June in the UK — Part 4: coronavirus and the public’s anger about health during lockdown (June 5)

June in the UK — Part 5: the hypocrisy surrounding coronavirus and social distancing (June 6, protests)

—————————————————————-

Writing a year later, I do wonder whether getting vaccinated is really worth it for most of us.

Unfortunately, we have to do it to have any semblance of normality.

I’m a big believer in natural herd immunity, less so the artificially engineered type.

More to follow on herd immunity next week.

Prince Philip’s funeral took place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Saturday afternoon, April 17, 2021.

Exactly two months earlier, he had been admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London, a private health care establishment where he went for minor ailments:

He then was transferred to St Bartholomew’s, a specialist NHS hospital in London, for heart surgery. Afterwards, he was sent back to the King Edward VII to recuperate. He spent a month in hospital before being discharged:

Because of coronavirus restrictions, the Queen did not visit her husband. However, Prince Charles visited once. On March 18, The Express reported:

Prince Philip’s 28-day hospital stay is the longest ever, and he was only visited by Prince Charles, likely due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

The Prince of Wales visited his father during his first week in hospital, having made the 200-mile round trip to London from his Gloucestershire home, Highgrove.

Prince Philip has been treated for heart problems in the past, and this time, his stay isn’t understood to be Covid related at all.

On April 11, after the Prince died, The Sun reported on the significance of that visit. Royal insider Andrew Morton wrote (emphases mine):

It was a meeting of vital importance, especially as visitors to the private King Edward VII’s hospital were permitted to see patients only under “exceptional circumstances”.

This private exchange clearly came under that heading as the future king emerged from their 30-minute conversation clearly upset and preoccupied.

It had been an emotional encounter — one where, it could be assumed, Philip outlined his final wishes to his eldest son.

The Duke, who had been the head of the family for as long as anyone could remember, was finally stepping down and bowing out.

Now it was Charles’s time to step up to the plate and finally take over control of the first family.

Doubtless his father, who had the reputation for writing thoughtful letters to family members, set down his thoughts on paper beforehand …

Though Philip is remembered with enormous affection by the family — William and Harry call him The Stud in reference to a picture of their grandfather with his hair slicked back and wearing sunglasses — his relationship with his eldest son was never easy.

Princess Diana told me it was “very tricky, very tricky”.

She recalled: “Prince Charles longs to be patted on his head by his father.”

Once at home, the Prince appeared to be recovering, until he took a turn for the worse. On his better days, he took advantage of the occasional mild weather we enjoyed in southern England. On April 10, The Sun reported on his final weeks:

The Queen was by Prince Philip’s bedside when her husband of 73 years passed away, with the Duke having spent his final days in “good form” reading in the sun, it was reported today.

The Duke of Edinburgh is believed to have spent his last few days reading and writing letters and sleeping in the sun weeks before his 100th birthday.

Despite officials at the Palace declined to “go into any specifics” about the Duke’s passing, it is understood that his condition worsened overnight on Thursday with insiders warning that he had become “gravely ill”.

However, any talk of whisking Prince Philip back to the hospital was reportedly dismissed by the Queen.

One well-placed source told the Telegraph: “He spent most of the four weeks he was in hospital trying to get home.

“They operated on his heart in a bid to give him a little longer, maybe with the 100th birthday in mind.

“But he didn’t really care about that.

“He just wanted to be back in his own bed. There is no way he would have wanted to die in hospital.”

According to reports, there had been no dramatic decline in Philip’s health but it was gradual.

Staff said that the Duke was “on good form”, still writing and reading letters earlier this week.

On warm days over the last few weeks, Philip would reportedly ask to sit in the sunshine with a rug over his legs and nod off.

The Prince wanted to be self sufficient to the end. He was livid when he first saw a wheelchair in his room:

One aide told the Daily Mail he insisted on bending to the floor and picking up his dropped reading glasses, saying “I’ll do it” when a footman sprung forward.

And the Queen was said to be overheard saying he wouldn’t use his hearing aid, which “means we have to shout”, she noted.

Prince Philip was still reportedly dressing himself until recently and heading out of his room in a smart shirt and jumper on good days.

He would use a stick to walk around his rooms, and rarely allowed himself to be pushed in a wheelchair.

A royal source revealed when it was first put in his rooms he shouted: “Get that bl***y thing out of my sight”.

In his last few weeks, the prince was well enough to still speak to family and close friends on the telephone but unlike the Queen, the Duke was not a fan of Zoom calls.

Days before the funeral, the Queen made a decision about attire for her sons and grandsons:

Meanwhile, hours of military rehearsal took place:

On Saturday, I watched the funeral coverage on Sky News. Alastair Bruce OBE, a senior British Army reservist, did an excellent job of commentary from start to finish. That video is now private, although a podcast exists, but the Royal Family channel has the funeral in full:

Sky News posted three minutes of highlights:

The Prince had been closely involved in ‘every detail of planning’ the ceremony, including the music and the readings.

Within the grounds of Windsor Castle, a procession took place with the Prince’s casket placed on a Land Rover Defender he helped to design. The casket was draped in his own standard, or colours. In the video shot above, you can see the flag of Greece in one quadrant.

On the casket were a few items personal to him, such as his Royal Navy covering, and a naval sword that his father-in-law George VI gave him.

A carriage was also part of the procession, as the Prince enjoyed carriage racing. On the seat were his riding gloves and, it was said, sugar cubes for the horses.

Sky News reported:

A naval sword, gi[ven] to Philip by King George VI when he married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, was placed on top of the duke’s coffin as it was carried into the chapel.

The coffin was also covered with a wreath, naval cap and the duke’s personal standard.

It was one of several details which reflected the royal’s naval career and lifelong association with the armed forces.

Philip designed his own custom-built Land Rover to carry the coffin at his funeral.

The modified Land Rover Defender TD5 130 chassis cab vehicle was unveiled two days before the service.

The duke first began the long-lasting venture to create the bespoke hearse in collaboration with Land Rover in 2003, the year he turned 82.

He made the final adjustments to the vehicle in 2019, the year he turned 98.

The Defender was made at Land Rover’s factory in Solihull in 2003 and Philip oversaw the modifications, in collaboration with the company, throughout the intervening years.

The duke requested that the original Belize Green bodywork be switched to Dark Bronze Green, a colour used for many military Land Rovers.

Along the route, the men of the Royal Family and Princess Anne walked behind the Land Rover. The women, except for the Queen who was in the ceremonial Bentley, stood along the route, awaiting the procession.

The Queen rode with her lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey, who did not attend the funeral, in order to keep the numbers to the state-required 30 persons during coronavirus restrictions:

Once at St George’s Chapel, eight Royal Marines carried the Prince’s casket up the steps. On the second landing, they stopped for the one-minute national silence at 3 p.m. Featured in this video is a clip of students from his alma mater Gordonstoun in Elgin, Moray (Scotland):

Although a lot of this video is about Prince Harry, Alan Jones of Sky News Australia said that Prince Philip’s coffin was designed to be biodegradable:

Inside the chapel, various medals had been placed on velvet cushions on the altar. Sky’s article says:

Military medals handpicked by the duke featured inside the chapel at his funeral.

Philip’s chosen insignia, the medals and decorations conferred on him by the UK and Commonwealth countries – together with his Royal Air Force wings and Field Marshal’s baton, were pre-positioned on nine cushions on the altar.

The duke also included insignia from Denmark and Greece – Order of the Elephant and Order of the Redeemer respectively – in a nod to his birth heritage as a prince of Greece and Denmark.

Insignia on display from across the Commonwealth included the Zanzibar Brilliant Star of Zanzibar, the Brunei Esteemed Family Order and the Singapore Order of Darjah Utama Temasek.

Insignia, orders, decorations and medals are a way of a country saying thank you and recognising someone’s achievements.

The insignia were sewn in place at St James’s Palace by two seamstresses using transparent fishing wire.

The Queen was met by the Dean of Windsor before the minute’s silence. This is a photo of her before the rest of the Royal Family took their places. The Queen placed her handbag on the seat next to her, where her beloved husband sat on so many other occasions. Her brooch was a gift from the Prince:

Our hearts went out to the monarch, especially during this time of coronavirus restrictions:

Barrister Francis Hoar was livid:

The Duchess of Cambridge attracted much attention at the weekend for this filmic, yet unsettling, photograph. Note that a ‘Karen’ posted it! You could not make this up:

Members of the Royal Family were spaced apart in the chapel, sitting in their respective familial bubbles. Princes Harry and Andrew sat alone.

Three members of Prince Philip’s family were also in attendance. They flew in from Germany and stayed with a mutual friend in Ascot, near Windsor. They left immediately after the funeral.

The Sun reported (photos at the link):

THREE of Prince Philip’s German relatives will attend his funeral and are in isolation ahead of the service, it is claimed.

Two great-nephews and a cousin are said to be staying with a mutual friend in Ascot, Berkshire, so they can safely be there on Saturday.

Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden, Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse, and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg are locked in a Covid-compliant bubble, the Daily Mail reports.

The Duke of Edinburgh allegedly made it clear he wanted his “blood” family to be included in his funeral arrangements.

Prince Philipp, 51, said in a statement from the house where he and his relatives remain isolated until the weekend: “It really is an incredible honour and we are all extremely touched and privileged to be included on behalf of the wider family.”

Contrast the social distancing and self-isolation with the scene in London that afternoon. It doesn’t make sense:

The ceremony had a lot of music, which the Prince himself chose:

You can read the Order of Service in its entirety here. The liturgy was in traditional language.

A choir of four, socially distanced in another part of the chapel, sang the hymns.

The service began with ‘sentences’, Bible verses:

I AM the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

John 11. 25-26

I KNOW that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.

Job 19. 25-27

WE brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

1 Timothy 6. 7, Job 1. 21

Among others, the Prince chose the hymn I refer to as ‘For Those in Peril on the Sea’:

ETERNAL Father, strong to save,

Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,

Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep

Its own appointed limits keep;

O hear us when we cry to thee

For those in peril on the sea.

O Saviour, whose almighty word

The winds and waves submissive heard,

Who walkedst on the foaming deep,

And calm amid its rage didst sleep:

O hear us when we cry to thee

For those in peril on the sea.

The first reading was one that only Prince Philip would have chosen:

Ecclesiasticus 43. 11-26 read by the Dean of Windsor

LOOK at the rainbow and praise its Maker; it shines with a supreme beauty, rounding the sky with its gleaming arc, a bow bent by the hands of the Most High.

His command speeds the snow storm and sends the swift lightning to execute his sentence. To that end the storehouses are opened, and the clouds fly out like birds.

By his mighty power the clouds are piled up and the hailstones broken small. The crash of his thunder makes the earth writhe, and, when he appears, an earthquake shakes the hills.

At his will the south wind blows, the squall from the north and the hurricane. He scatters the snow-flakes like birds alighting; they settle like a swarm of locusts. The eye is dazzled by their beautiful whiteness, and as they fall the mind is entranced.

He spreads frost on the earth like salt, and icicles form like pointed stakes. A cold blast from the north, and ice grows hard on the water, settling on every pool, as though the water were putting on a breastplate.

He consumes the hills, scorches the wilderness, and withers the grass like fire. Cloudy weather quickly puts all to rights, and dew brings welcome relief after heat.

By the power of his thought he tamed the deep and planted it with islands.

Those who sail the sea tell stories of its dangers, which astonish all who hear them; in it are strange and wonderful creatures, all kinds of living things and huge sea-monsters.

By his own action he achieves his end, and by his word all things are held together.

The second lesson was the story of Jesus and Martha discussing her brother Lazarus. This exchange took place before Jesus raised him from the dead:

John 11. 21-27 read by the Archbishop of Canterbury

MARTHA said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”

The choir sang the Lord’s Prayer, a beautiful rendition.

A series of prayers read by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury followed, beginning with these:

The Archbishop of Canterbury shall say

O ETERNAL God, before whose face the generations rise and pass away, thyself unchanged, abiding, we bless thy holy name for all who have completed their earthly course in thy faith and following, and are now at rest; we remember before thee this day Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, rendering thanks unto thee-for his resolute faith and loyalty, for his high sense of duty and integrity, for his life of service to the Nation and Commonwealth, and for the courage and inspiration of his leadership. To him, with all the faithful departed, grant thy peace; Let light perpetual shine upon them; and in thy loving wisdom and almighty power work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Dean of Windsor, Register of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, shall say

O LORD, who didst give to thy servant Saint George grace to lay aside the fear of man, and to be faithful even unto death: Grant that we, unmindful of worldly honour, may fight the wrong, uphold thy rule, and serve thee to our lives’ end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

GOD save our gracious Sovereign and all the Companions, living and departed, of the Most Honourable and Noble Order of The Garter. Amen.

O GOD of the spirits of all flesh, we praise thy holy name for thy servant Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who has left us a fair pattern of valiant and true knighthood; grant unto him the assurance of thine ancient promise that thou wilt ever be with those who go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business in great waters. And we beseech thee that, following his good example and strengthened by his fellowship, we may at the last, together with him, be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then came the military music, which included Pipe Major of The Royal Regiment of Scotland playing A Lament, followed by the Buglers of the Royal Marines, who sounded The Last Post, Reveille and, perhaps the most meaningful of all as a final message from the Prince to his family: Action Stations.

At the end, the choir sang the National Anthem:

Afterwards, the Queen returned to her private apartments in the Bentley.

Cars awaited the other royals, but Prince Charles gestured for them to drive on. The Mirror reported that this was perhaps a move to give younger members of the family time to spend chatting with Prince Harry.

The Queen’s 95th birthday is Wednesday, April 21. The Mirror reported:

The widowed Queen went for a solo drive and stopped at one of her favourite spots for a moment of quiet reflection the day after Prince Philip’s funeral, it is claimed …

She will celebrate the first birthday of her reign without her husband when she turns 95 on Wednesday, just four days after the funeral and 12 days after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.

Events will be shelved or toned down, as the Royal Family remains in mourning, and the Queen is likely to do the same things she did 24 hours after Philip’s funeral at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

On Sunday, the 94-year-old drove herself alone from the castle, where she has been shielding during the coronavirus pandemic, to her nearby Frogmore estate for some quiet reflection, the Daily Mail reported.

There, the monarch, who isn’t required to have a driving licence, took in the cherry trees that are still in bloom and the spring flowers lining the banks of the ornamental lakes.

Sources told the newspaper that she is likely to spend her birthday in similar fashion – making the short drive alone to Frogmore to walk her new puppies, a dorgi named Fergus and a corgi named Muick.

Fergus is named after her uncle Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who was killed as he led an attack on the Germans during the First World War, while Muick (pronounced “Mick)” is named after Loch Muick on the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland.

My prayers go to the Queen for many more years of sentient life and for the Lord’s peace and comfort upon her at this most difficult time.

This is my longest post to date, but it is informative. You might need a cuppa and a snack.

At the weekend, I read a few articles on the mid-November raid on the CIA server farm in Frankfurt, Germany.

It sounds like something out of a blockbuster film, but when I saw two retired generals’ names in the mix, I began to pay closer attention.

First, my thanks to reader john cheshire who sent me the link to a Bill Still video on this topic from Saturday, November 28.

Unlike the usual Bill Still videos, this one is only seven minutes long and well worth watching, especially for the night-time footage of Ospreys flying over the server farm:

Still is reserving comment until more information comes out to authenticate everything.

Secondly, consider everything developing, although we do have the recently-pardoned General Michael Flynn’s word that the election was stolen. More on that later in this post.

Before proceeding, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) brought news of the raid on Friday, November 13:

On Sunday, November 29, Andrea Widburg wrote another considered article for American Thinker: ‘New reports about election manipulation read like a Tom Clancy novel’. They certainly do.

First of all, for those who want to know what the Kraken is in US military intelligence parlance, it is (emphases mine):

the nickname of the 305th military intelligence battalion; that The Kraken identified China, Iran, and Russia as being involved in using the Hammer & Scorecard system to manipulate American votes; that the servers used for this were in a CIA facility in Frankfurt; that special forces raided the facility; and that there were casualties

However, Kraken — especially as top lawyer Sidney Powell refers to it — also encompasses the US Department of Defense’s:

cyber warfare weapons (“Kraken”)

Widburg did a good job of summarising what allegedly happened:

On Friday, a retired top Air Force intelligence analyst stated with certainty during an interview that special forces had secured a CIA-run facility in Germany that had computers showing election manipulation. If this report is real, we are witnessing the biggest coup attempt, sabotage, and treason in American history. No matter what, though, because this report is out there and comes from serious people, it deserves serious investigation.

I have no idea whether this raid happened. Its having taken place, however, is consistent with my ruminations about Trump’s peculiarly-timed shake-up at the Pentagon: Firing defense secretary Mark Esper and replace him with Christopher Miller, a special forces man; moving special forces into their own command, rather than having them function as subsets of other military branches; and firing potentially disloyal members of the civilian Defense Policy Board. These actions indicated that Trump was clearing the decks for something big.

In this post, I’ll sum up the most recent reports about events in Germany, although without taking any stand as to their veracity because I can’t take a stand. I don’t know enough.

For several days, rumors have swirled that there was a “military” raid in Germany, either against Scytl (the Spanish company that processes American voting data in a facility in Frankfurt, Germany) or against a CIA station that is also located in Germany. On Friday, those rumors coalesced into an affirmative report about the CIA station in Germany.

Widburg then cited an article from Friday, November 27 from Dr Mike Adams, AKA Healthranger: ‘Situation Update — Nov. 27th — DoD vs. CIA firefight in Frankfurt as covert war against the deep state RAGES across the globe’.

Excerpts follow, emphases in the original. Mine are in purple:

At this very minute, a covert war is raging across the globe, pitting Trump’s DoD and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) against black hat deep state factions running the CIA.

The good news is: Trump is winning.

As you know by now, the DoD launched a raid on a CIA-run server farm in Frankfurt, Germany, to secure servers that contain proof of CIA interference with the 2020 election (i.e. backdoor manipulations of election results via Dominion voting machines). But new information is now surfacing that indicates there was a firefight at the server farm facility, involving US Army Special Forces units, engaging with CIA-trained paramilitary units that were flown in from Afghanistan in an emergency effort to defend the facility.

One CIA officer was killed during the firefight, and he is now being reported across the mainstream media as being “killed in Somalia.” Five US Army soldiers were also killed, and they are being explained away as dying in a “helicopter crash” in Egypt.

Despite the deaths, the servers were successfully acquired by the DoD, and those servers were turned over to President Trump’s private intelligence group, which is now once again led by Gen. Michael Flynn, recently pardoned and now allowed to process top secret information, since his security clearance has been restored.

Enter the fearless Sidney Powell:

Sidney Powell is about to roll out expert witnesses in the Georgia and Michigan lawsuits. One of these witnesses has been handed details of the vote theft which were acquired through two means: 1) The “Kraken” cyberwarfare program run by the DoD, and 2) Information found in the servers which were acquired during the multiple raids. (There were also server farm raids in Bercelona and Toronto, we are told.)

One of these witnesses is Dr. Keshavarz-Nia, a well-known cybercrimes investigator, who has a long history of working with U.S. military counterintelligence, as well as the NSA and CIA.

He has now offered sworn statements to Sidney Powell, which can be viewed at this link.

Dr Adams shares a portion of Dr Keshavarz-Nia’s testimony:

I have previously discovered major exploitable vulnerabilities in DVS and ES&S that permit a nefarious operator to perform sensitive functions via its built-in covert backdoor. The backdoor enables an operator to access to perform system updates and testing via the Internet without detection. However, it can also be used to conduct illicit activities such as shifting votes, deleting votes, or adding votes in real-time… I conclude with high confidence that the election 2020 data were altered in all battleground states resulting in a hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump to be transferred to Vice President Biden.

I really hope Mike Adams is correct:

And so the circle is complete: DoD forces deploy cyber warfare weapons (“Kraken”) as well as kinetic troops (Special Forces, under the US Army) to acquire physical servers, all the information derived from these operations is extracted by DIA forensic analysts, it is then handed over to various expert witnesses who are prepared to testify under oath, resulting in the courts nullifying the fraudulent vote manipulations in the swing states.

This is how Trump gets to 300+ electoral votes and secures his second term as President. If successful, these revelations will also utterly destroy the Democrat party and result in thousands of treasonous actors going to prison for their roles in this attempted cyber warfare election theft to overthrow the United States government.

Wow. You could not make this up.

Some of us are familiar with a retired US military officer who writes under the pseudonym of Turcopolier.

On November 15, two days after Louis Gohmert’s news of the raid emerged, Turcopolier posted an article by former long-time CIA analyst Larry Johnson, ‘Unraveling the Deep State Coup’. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

I have been reading Larry Johnson since 2008. He has never been wrong.

Johnson explains why many of us doubted not Gohmert as much as the information he received:

When I saw this it did not make sense. Let me explain. I spent four years working at State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism (now it is the Bureau of Counter Terrorism). I was one of two officers who dealt directly with the FBI in the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103. I learned through this experience that US law enforcement cannot operate in other countries without the permission of those countries.

I also spent 22 years scripting terrorism exercises for U.S. military special operations. My job was to replicate State Department and Embassy communications that would occur during a terrorist crisis. So, I have a lot of experience in working real world with US law enforcement, US military and our Embassies in sorting out the issues that arise when the United States wants to pursue a law enforcement or military operation in a foreign country.

The U.S. Army did not conduct a raid in Germany on either Sctyl or Dominion offices or servers. They are foreign nationals and we must operate in accordance with German law. Moreover, the U.S. Army does not have law enforcement powers with respect to such entities.

However, there is a group who can bypass these restrictions:

So what happened? I am reliably informed that a unit under the command of USEUCOM (i.e., United States European Command) did in fact conduct an operation to take control of computer servers. But these servers belong to the CIA, not Dominion or Sctyl. The U.S. military has full authority to do this because any CIA activity in the European theater is being conducted using military cover. In other words, CIA officers would be identified to the German government (and anyone else asking) as military employees or consultants.

Such an operation would have been carried out with U.S. law enforcement present to take custody of the evidence. That means that the evidence will be under the control of the Department of Justice through US Attorneys and can be used in court or other judicial proceedings.

This is not the first time that a military unit attached to EUCOM has compelled a CIA computer facility to hand over evidence. A dear friend of mine (a retired DEA officer) told me about an incident where he entered a CIA facility in Frankfurt backed up by the US Army to get info the CIA was withholding (this took place in the 1980s).

Johnson surmises that the CIA and FBI directors were unaware of the raid at the time:

I also have confirmed what Jim Hoft reported the other night–the CIA’s Gina Haspel was not informed in advance of this operation. Based on this fact, I think it is correct that action was taken in Germany on territory under U.S. control and that a CIA facility was targeted.

I also have learned that FBI Director Christopher Wray was excluded from this operation. Wray, more than Haspel, has been working aggressively to undermine and sabotage Donald Trump. This means that some other U.S. law enforcement agency (e.g., US Marshals, DEA, Secret Service, etc) had the lead in collecting the evidence.

But there’s more.

On Saturday, November 28, retired US Army Generals Michael Flynn and Thomas McInerney, an expert in cyber warfare, gave an interview to WorldViewWeekend.com on Brannon Howse’s show, World View Report. Mary Fanning also participated. She is the author of the book: THE HAMMER is the Key to the Coup “The Political Crime of the Century”: How Obama, Brennan, Clapper, and the CIA spied on President Trump, General Flynn … and everyone else.

Healthranger kindly provided a full transcript of the interview. Excerpts follow. I have divided the text into paragraphs for easier reading.

Healthranger provided a useful summary before going into the transcript:

  • HAMMER and various cyber weapons were previously used by the USA against other countries, now the weapons are being deployed against us. Obama is behind everything.
  • Creator of HAMMER and Scorecard is Den[n]is Montgomery, former CIA analyst.
  • Fox flipped against America, deep state coup coordinators recruited the entire U.S. media and Big Tech to defeat the Republic and overthrow the U.S. Constitution.
  • The Dec. 14th deadline doesn’t matter. President Trump should not leave office until all the facts surrounding election theft are analyzed, including vote count distributions “caused by fraudulent electronic manipulation of targeted voting machines.”
  • The fact that all 5 battleground states stopped counting at the same time, “Demonstrates prior coordination by election officials in five battleground states.” Then they used HAMMER and Scorecard, plus Dominion, to move Joe Biden into the lead. It is a “mathematical impossibility” the way the votes came in. An algorithm was used.
  • In PA, 1.8 million ballots mailed out to people. 2.5 million came back in. Someone had a printing press and was printing them out.
  • The 305th Battalion military intelligence is “Kraken.”
  • China, Iran, Russia were all involved in manipulating votes.
  • Confirmed that US Special Forces Command seized servers from the CIA server farm in Frankfurt.
  • Confirmed there were US soldiers killed during the raid on the CIA server farm in Frankfurt. (As we reported in yesterday’s Situation Update.)
  • Chris Miller is Secretary of Defense because of the 305th Battalion. Consider why…
  • Chris Krebs at CISA committed treason and is part of the coup.
  • What went down during the election is TREASON at the highest level, not just politics.
  • Trump can maintain control over the White House, under oath, until a full investigation is complete, and there are no artificial deadlines that can stop him.
  • The President took an oath that obliges him to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This is why he cannot turn over the White House to political puppets (Biden) controlled by America’s enemies (China, Iran).
  • The big evidence from the seized servers is going to come out at SCOTUS, not before.
  • Once caught, mid-level treasonous actors will point fingers at Biden and Obama, saying they were ordered to carry out the treasonous acts.
  • Georgia’s runoff election is already stolen by the Democrats unless we stop the vote theft. It’s just a digital theft for them. This means the Senate will be lost to the Democrats unless this vote fraud infrastructure is exposed and defeated.
  • A lot of instability is coming if we allow the government to be seized by communists.
  • All this goes up to the very top, implicating Joe Biden, Adam Schiff, Barack Obama and others.
  • Trump knew all this was going to happen and had planned for it.

This was Gen Flynn’s first interview after President Trump pardoned him.

Brannon Howse invited him to speak first.

Flynn said:

… I would tell you what’s happening in this country should never happen, and we are going through, there’s no doubt in my mind, we’re going through a crucible of history.

If we don’t correct what it is that’s happening right now over the next couple of weeks, then I really hate to even think about what will happen in our country going forward into the latter part in December and certainly into the next month. I do not believe for a second that the country will accept Vice-President Biden as the next president, based on what we know to be probably the greatest fraud that our country has ever experienced in our history.

What we’re seeing, what I’m in right in the middle of it right now, and I will tell you that, first of all, the President has clear paths to victory. They have clear paths to victory, and they actually don’t require a lot of courtroom action. What they require is they require a lot of honesty out of elected officials and frankly, a lot of Americans who are coming forward and telling us their stories. The hundreds and hundreds of Americans around the country in different states, not just the swing states, but many, many other states that are coming forward with their stories and putting them down on affidavits as witnesses.

We had probably 10 or 12 affidavits come in from one particular state today, and because there’s been a number of threats to people, these particular Patriots, they sent their photos in with their affidavits and said, “Put mine up at the top of the list because I want people to know that I’m not going to be afraid of these people that are threatening our country and our way of life.”

I say all that and on one hand and the other hand as I just described, we have clear paths to victory for this President. Frankly, he’s going win Pennsylvania. He’s going to win Arizona. He’s going to win Georgia. He’s going to win Nevada. He’s going to win Michigan. The other one that he’s probably going to pull in is Wisconsin too, because there’s a discrepancy in Wisconsin of 130,000 … ballots that they just found, they just discovered. There’s a lot of things happening and it’s all, to me, it’s all positive.

I was asked today on a scale of 1 to 10, who will be the next President, and I said, 10 it’ll be Donald Trump. It’ll be president Trump. There’s no doubt in my mind that he won this election hands down in a landslide, probably somewhere between 350 and 400 electoral college votes.

What we have seen is over, and I know this, over the last probably two decades and probably longer, I can give you a little bit of a history lesson in that, but I won’t. But over the last couple of decades, what we have seen is a complete shift in how fast I believe that communist China in their long-term plan decided that to sort of move up their plans to become the global superpower, sole global superpower on the planet.

Their sort of plan was by about the middle of this century that we’re in right now, and I believe when during the last 2016 election, when they didn’t get the candidate that they needed and the kind of ideology that they saw America moving towards, they were not going to allow 2020 to happen, and so now what we have is this theft with mail in ballots.

The theft with this software, Smartmatic software and Dominion, these Dominion systems. These are systems that are not owned by this country. They’re owned by other — they were introduced into this country. How can we say as the United States of America, how can we say that we accept a system that is not made in this country and in many cases, the ballots aren’t even tallied in this country?

They weren’t in 2012, either. I remember reading that the Obama-Romney votes were counted in … Spain. Romney was ahead until the very end, when the votes flipped. I could not believe my eyes as I watched a major US network’s coverage.

Flynn continued:

We probably, in fact, we know we have evidence of previous elections where this happened as well, but we’re now focused on this one. I’m going to tell you, we’re not in this to lose. We are not in this to lose these battles, we’re in this to win these battles and I believe we’re going to. I believe we’re going to win, and I’m confident we are because we have the right people, we have the right plan and strategy, and it’s a little bit of direct and a little bit of indirect that we’re taking, and people are talking all the time to each other. I’m anxious and you probably hear it in my voice that I’m a little anxious because I just cannot believe the media and the censorship that is going on. Just look at what they do to the President of the United States of America. Look what Twitter is doing to the President of the United States of America. This is, it’s infuriating to me … It’s an abomination of the first amendment, our freedom of speech. Frankly, for the President of United States of America, the only means that he really has to be able to communicate is when he walks outside, or he goes in front of a group of people, or he walks outside and talks to the press, or he uses social media to communicate because the media is not going to allow him to get his message out there.

He cited the case of a retired military officer, now a state senator, who gave a closing speech at the hearing in Pennsylvania last Wednesday. Twitter removed the man’s account:

It was an extraordinary hearing with politicians from Pennsylvania centers on a panel, and the one Senator that ran the panel for the state of Pennsylvania, that listened to the hearing, listen to a bunch of witnesses, listen to Rudy, listened to Jenna Ellis, and others on their team. The individual that ran it was a retired Military Colonel, and he’s now a state senator in Pennsylvania, and he gave, at the very end of it, he gave a really good short summary speech, and it was heartwarming because it was sort of a mom and apple pie that, “Hey, we can’t allow this to happen in our country. We cannot portray ourselves to the world as a third world nation”. It was a really, really good closing speech, and what did Twitter do? Twitter took him offline immediately. They completely removed his Twitter account so people couldn’t follow this guy. It’s just outrageous, it’s outrageous. That’s a social media company that is a part of the public square. They are taken advantage of what they have been given, which is a real privilege and they’re abusing it. I could go on and on, I’m going to stop and just see if you have any questions on anything or you want to jump in on anything I said, but I, I’m upset, I am determined, I’m going to be resilient, and I believe that I reflect millions and millions of millions of people across this country who feel the exact same way that I do.

Howse asked Flynn about his use of the word ‘coup’ in his thank you speech to President Trump.

Flynn gave a long reply, the nub of which follows:

This COVID situation that we we’re having to deal with now. That’s the first phase if you will. That’s something that’s been going on for years. Now, we’re moving into something different. Not different in terms of it, this is still a coup in progress, but now it’s a little bit different and it’s actually — it’s sort of they upped their game when they lost in 2016. I think that there was a decision and I believe this, but there was some type of decision to say, “We’re not going to allow this to happen again”.

All you got to do is go back and listen to some of the comments this past summer from some of the senior people that are part of this, this democratic party, right? I mean, Hillary Clinton, I think it was back in July or certainly mid-summer timeframe where she said, no matter what Joe Biden should not concede. What are we talking about there? I mean, why would she say that in the middle of the summer, three, maybe four months before an election?

One of the things that I do know from my experience in the military and in different places around the world, is when your enemy tells you that they’re going to do something, you better pay attention to what they said, and you better have some plans, and you better have some ideas about how to deal with that if in fact that does come to fruition.

Well, in this case, we have opposing camps and in our opposing camps of our political parties, and we know that the political party on the left is really way, way over on the left. I have a hard time calling it or calling someone a Democrat or the democratic party. That’s a name only folks, because it’s really the democratic socialist party of America that has usurp to taken over that element, and they are a very loud voice. So, they sort of [do a] ‘Katy, bar the door’ assault on us, on our country and our way of life, and they’re doing anything they can right now to try to pretend like, okay, nothing to see here, and Joe is going to be our next president here.

Flynn said that Democrats are also filing affadavits about what they saw during the election:

People who have stood up and said, “I’m sick of it”. These are Democrats and Republicans. We just got another piece tonight in another part of the country from a Democrat, a woman who’s just absolutely sick and tired of what she saw, and she just wasn’t sure what to do, and she finally said, “I got to go forward, and I got to report this. I can’t live with myself”. That is what’s happening with people who are feeling in their heart that sense of patriotism to still say, “Look, I don’t want my country to turn into something else because that’s what these people want” … People want to live the life that they have with the liberties and freedoms that we have under this great constitutional republic that we have. That’s sort of where we are and that’s what I mean by that. This is an ongoing effort.

Flynn said that the media have been an essential element to the Democrats’ efforts:

The only way you can do that in a country our size, with all of the ways that we communicate is you got to basically get the media on your side. That’s taken some number of years, but I can’t stand here and tell you that that’s not the case because it is, everybody knows. Everybody knows the, “mainstream media”, which is a pretty robust group of organizations and that includes the tech companies, right? I say tech companies, the social media tech companies, everything from Facebook to Instagram, of course, Twitter I mentioned. All of these things, they are trying to control a narrative and tell the American people what they should know instead of allowing the American people information and letting each of us decide what’s important or not.

Brannon Howse asked if this was a form of information warfare.

Flynn replied, mentioning China:

It’s more than that but yes, it’s kind of the type of warfare.

In fact, if you study Chinese doctrine, Chinese doctrine has six phases. The first five phases all have to do with information. The last part of it would be if those failed or if you needed an additional “umph” so to speak, you go to the gates I say. That’s when you may see something kinetic. We’re in this sort of period of information warfare that it’s unprecedented.

I’m going to stand on my box here and say the President of the United States of America is being censored by US companies. Think about that, I’m at a loss sometimes when I talk about it and I talk about it a couple of times a day to different people in different groups, and I’m trying to say, “Okay, at a certain point in time, that has to stop being allowed”.

He brought up the woeful Thanksgiving Day press conference from November 26:

Look at the interview that he did yesterday, where we had, somebody is talking to the President of United States in his office there, and he had to counsel the person. “Don’t talk to them. Don’t talk to me like that. Don’t talk to the President of United States like that”. It’s like a bunch of school punks in a school yard. We can’t have that in this country. Debate and sharp questions but not totally, totally disrespect, to not just the President.

You may not like him and that’s fine, but he represents the Presidency of the United States of America. He represents our flag, our constitution, our country.

Everything that we’re experiencing right now actually is more than just an assault on President Trump. This is an assault on the American Republic, on this great country that we have and people around the country.

I know they’re fed up with it and they’re not going to put up with it. What they’re waiting to see is they’re waiting to see the outcome of their own elected officials in the states do their job. Just because CNN or Fox News or a governor or a secretary of state certify an election, if the state legislature has not certified the election then it’s not certified in a particular state. If there’s a challenge and there’s a legitimate legal challenge then they can’t sit there and certify it while there’s a legal challenge ongoing, it’s just not the way it works.

The media is not going to cover any of that for you. The big media, they’re just not going to cover it, and it’s sad because they’re trying to shove it down our throat, and the American public, they see right through it.

While Flynn gave Sidney Powell credit for ‘some really good filings’, he did not want to discuss her work.

However, he did include her in the group of lawyers working hard for Trump. He concluded:

With people like Sidney Powell, like Rudy Giuliani and his team, like people like Lin Wood, who’s fighting tooth and nail. Most people don’t even know, his case that he’s got going on in Georgia just got picked up by the 11th circuit, down in Georgia, and that’s a good sign, because that means that the one judge down there that thought he was going to dismiss his case, the 11th circuit pulled it out of him and brought it up to their level, to an appeals level because they saw that there was enough evidence. So, I believe we’re going to see some momentum changing here. There are already is an undercurrent of momentum shifting for the president, and I believe that at the end of the day, we’re going to find out that he won by a massive landslide, and he’ll be inaugurated this January.

Howse segued to the part of the interview with Gen McInerney.

Flynn said:

Great friend, and Tom, thank you for giving me the invite. God bless America. Thank you. Thank you.

Gen McInerney spoke:

Well, it is absolutely vital because this was the first time that I believe that General Flynn has been able to speak publicly and in such environment, and so I want to thank you for setting this up, and I know Mary talked to you and it’s very important what you have are doing tonight because it is a fast moving train, and that’s why I wanted you to do it because we are seeing the most unprecedented situation in the history of America.

This is the most dangerous situation since the Civil War of keeping this nation united, and why do I say that? The Civil War, it was just warfare, the day you and General Flynn talked about cyber warfare. Cyber warfare is hiddenYou don’t see it coming, it happens. All of a sudden, 138,000 votes or 150,000 votes, all of a sudden they show up, and because we’re looking at computers, we assume they’re all legitimate, but in this particular case, they are not legitimate, and because of what Sidney Powell has been doing with General Flynn’s lawyer and what she submitted in the state of Georgia and Michigan on a Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving, we got a document in that log, in those lawsuits from a doctor.

Navid Keshavarez-Nia, who is a 59-year-old resident of California, who spent 40 years almost in the DC metropolitan as a career intelligence community expert. I won’t go into his background very much, but because of this declaration that he made in which I am quoted and independently confirming he uses my name. Kurt Weeby, who was a former NSA official, a good friend of ours, and working with Mary and I, and Dennis Montgomery, a former CIA analyst who was really the creator, inventor of the Hammer and Scorecard capabilities, and that we broke, and we broke it on Sunday and Monday before the election saying that this was going to be an action that will happen, and what transpired did in fact transpire.

Mary was very instrumental in informing me of this information, and all of a sudden, two days before, two and a half days before the voting started on the 3rd of November, this was the 1st of November, I became involved in the Voting gate. My background is a military analyst, and for 16 and a half years I was on Fox News as a military analyst. I have been the number three man in the air staff in the Air Force, and so I had a great background, but what made this so easy for me, Brannon, is I run a cloud company, an edge cloud company. I am intimately familiar with this kind of technology and what it’s doing and live by it in my military days.

Everybody remembers when we attacked Tripoli in 1986. I was the commander and they launched from my bases in England. Now, I got that information from the British and other sources, but my whole life has been based on this, and what I’m seeing now is those technologies now are used against the American people. They are trying to seize control of this nation through technology and through cyber warfare. They have enlisted to include Fox News who flipped on us. They have enlisted the mainstream media and the First Amendment to try to get on their side and General Flynn talked about the censorship.

For instance, Twitter does and determines what president Trump can say. That is ridiculous. It must stop, but because of all these assets and they are using and misusing the constitution of the United States, they have put us in a position that our forefathers were not aware of cyber warfare, and so when they set out in the constitution, the process of our election and going through the electoral college, the voters meeting on 14 December, announcing who the president will be, and then going through in the 20th of November, the inauguration, that was not based upon cyber warfare, and so we have a time clock and I bring this up to our listeners.

We have a time clock, and we have to go through the legal system. This was not designed to operate in the cyber world, and so we had many judges turning down and not recognizing what has happened. That is the challenge that we are facing and what my point I wanted to get across tonight. It doesn’t matter if we have locked and sealed this decision process by the 14th of December, the president should not leave office until it is adequately heard.

We, the American people will demand that these facts be analyzed and looked at, and I’m going to cover some of those facts that have made it so compelling to me that there is no question about it. Let’s start with the vote count distribution in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia are not based on normal system operation. They are caused by fraudulent electronic manipulation of the targeted voting machines. For instance, at 2:30 AM of the 4th of November, TV broadcast reported that Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada and Georgia have decided to seize vote counting operations and will continue the following day. This unanimous decision to initially and intentionally stopped counting by all five battleground states is highly unusual.

As a matter of fact, it is unprecedented, and it demonstrates prior coordination by election officials in battleground states. Those five states that General Flynn mentioned, and because of this big flashing light to anybody that understands the voting process, it immediately flagged this. We start looking at each one of those states because they didn’t stop counting. All of a sudden in Michigan at four o’clock in the morning, 138,000 votes show up, all for, guess who: Biden. He was behind in all those States where they decided to cease voting, and that’s where they employed cyber warfare, the Hammer and Scorecard, the Dominion voting machines and the software in them. That’s where they put these applications on, like your iPhone and they got a smooth voting.

Now, when the numbers came, started coming back in those five states, they were different numbers. 138,000 in Michigan, 90,000 in Arizona, this is notional. The different one in Nevada and Georgia and Pennsylvania. The important point was they were exactly at the same percentage.

This is a mathematical impossibility that this could have happened, and it means that algorithm was used, and this algorithm was designed to stay within the bounds, and when the assembled numbers were put together, it wouldn’t be obvious that these numbers of votes were inserted. This is a huge flashing red light, and it’s important that people understand what this kind of data that we’re seeing.

Sidney pointed out in Georgia, that they’re 96,000 absentee votes that were disregarded in Fulton County, they had a water leak. Pennsylvania, the state of Pennsylvania mailed out 1.8 million votes to their citizens. The state did, these are not absentee ballots. These were balanced that had no chain of custody, lo and behold Brannon, 2.5 million came back.

If someone had to have a printing press and we’re cranking them out, that is just the pure sniff test. It doesn’t require a genius to understand if you mail out 1.8 and get 2.5 million ballots, something is wrong.

Now, Sidney and the president’s crew, I believe General Flynn, got the crack in the organization. The 305 military intelligence battalion working with them because in all of this, we have not seen any footprints of the DOJ or the FBI, nor the CIA on the friendly side.

Howse asked about the Kraken.

McInerney replied:

Sidney got the term Kraken. It was actually the nickname of the 305th military intelligence battalion, and that has been her source along with other sources that Mary and I know about, but we don’t want to talk about.

We’re getting the different sources that are relaying this, but the important thing is they identified, now get this, they identified China, Iran and Russia as being involved in this and manipulating the vote.

In addition, the US special forces command seized a server farm in Frankfurt, Germany, because they were sending this data from those six states through the internet to Spain and then into Frankfurt, Germany. Special operation forces seized those from that facility so they have those servers and they know all this data they are providing.

Howse asked if the raid went down ‘without incident’.

McInerney answered:

Well, I’ve heard it didn’t go down without incident, and I haven’t been able to verify it. I want to be careful in that. It’s just coming out, but I understand my initial report is that there were US soldiers killed in that operation.

Now, that was a CIA operation, and so that’s the very worrisome thing. Did that occur because of what Mary and I and Allen were notifying on the Sunday and the Monday in different networks that this was going to happen, that they were using Hammer and Scorecard, and so they decided to bounce it overseas, so the server farms and the Hammer and Scorecard we’re using in the continental United States, couldn’t be used? I don’t know that.

In any case, it makes it more vulnerable because when you start moving that kind of data overseas, other people look at it.

Howse asked for confirmation that the server farm was a CIA operation located in Germany.

McInerney responded:

That’s correct. Frankfurt, Germany.

We have all this information, General Flynn of course, people most realized, was the senior military intelligence officer in the US commands as a defense intelligence agency. He’s a career intelligence officer, knows this stuff, backwards and forwards.

From my experience in the cloud business, this was a trivial operation, relatively speaking, but the magnitude, because so many people, Brannon, were involved. So many people like General Flynn mentioned, the Democratic persons who saw this are coming forward, but what we are doing, we are competing with the Constitution and the 14th December date for the electoral college. Why? Because we have this information and we know that not only did we have the deep state and the executive that President Trump had to fight, we also had it in the legislature where you have Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Schumer, all of those people were involved in this.

They were involved in the Russian hoax. They were involved in this coup d’état, but we also had the judiciary, Judge Sullivan, who was General Flynn’s judge, outdid himself on this. You had the compromise there, and that’s why the 305th, the Krakens were targeted and selected, I believe, because the President could trust them. That’s why Chris Miller, who is now the acting secretary of defense and a former special operations hero

Howse asked:

What about his speech that’s gone viral of him directing all special operations forces to answer directly to him?

McInerney replied:

Well, that tells you something. It tells you that we had that tighten-up because there are people that are a part of this conspiracy. This is treason what we’re talking about. Some people may just think, “Oh, it’s just politics”. No … So, President Obama used it in 2012 to win, Biden used it to win Florida. The Democrats used it during the primary so Bernie Sanders would lose, and Biden would win. You know that’s politics, we’ve been cheating. No, it’s not politics, this is treason … We haven’t seen treason this magnitude ever in our history, and those politicians, those people like Chris Krebs, who was the head of the cyber warfare infrastructure security agency. He was until he was fired a couple of weeks ago by the President because this was a perfect election. He is guilty of treason. He had to be complicit, and people must understand that. You people that have done this are guilty of treason against the United States, and we are going to demand this President, insist this president not leave office until the American people have had a full disclosure of what’s going on.

Howse asked if Trump needed to fulfil the oath he took at his inauguration.

McInerney said that he must do so:

That is exactly what you heard me say, Brannon. The president has in his oath to the constitution to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and we shouldn’t let a schedule that we know is so blatantly flawed that anybody can understand that with just the items I’ve given our listeners tonight. When you have hundreds of thousands of votes that were falsified, and we know they’re falsified. I believe those servers are going to show that, and I believe that he is going to show that. It’ll probably have to be done at the Supreme Court because you have judges like some of it in that that are going to try to protect themselves because the fingers are going to start pointing to everybody. “Well, I didn’t know this, I didn’t know that”, they’re going to use the Nuremberg trial. “Well, the fear told me to do this”. They’re going to say, “Well, President Obama knew what I was doing because he told me to do it”, or vice-president Biden. “Biden was the runner here. He told me to do it”. They’re going to point fingers. When you have people that are driving up in cars with carloads of ballots, some not even folded, and they’re driving them into these five or six battleground states, they’re going to talk. They don’t want to be involved in treason

Howse said that the intelligence community wanted him to be quiet:

In general, I received three phone calls from three different people, tied to the intelligence arena a couple of weeks ago, trying to tell me that I was going to be embarrassing myself. If I didn’t quit talking about this, that it was all conspiracy and fake, and it’s now being revealed that those I guess, were calls to try to get me to stop using our network, our platform, to inform the American people, because now we just are starting to figure out what a lot of these words like Kraken and other things mean. It is all coming out. There are those inside the intelligence arena that were trying to shut this down. Now, I think there’s some inside of the intelligence arena that are trying out to take the story and control it. Are they not?

McInerney replied:

Yes, and they are guilty of treason.

Mary Fanning spoke next, very much to the point:

I will tell you that bad actors, both foreign and domestic use these man in the middle proxies to cover their tracks. There was an attempt not just to steal the election, but to steal America. The founding fathers may not have known about cyber warfare, but they certainly recognized tyrannyPresident Trump cannot leave office. When we have China and Iran having access to our elections, we cannot let them steal America through their illegal acts of treason and act of war against this country.

McInerney said something interesting, not about Democrats — about whom we knew — but two people working for Trump — John Durham and Bill Barr:

Now we’ve got to know if John Durham, what is the status of John Durham and the attorney general? What is the status of their work? What have they done?

Mary Fanning brought up a rather recent quote from Joe Biden:

Well, there’s an abundance of evidence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Trump on behalf of Joe Biden, with Joe Biden’s assistance, because Joe Biden said he had the greatest voter fraud group in history put together. We cannot let this stand. It will be the theft of America. The American people must stand up.

The interviews concluded with an interesting exchange between Fanning and Howse.

Fanning said that this ‘treasonous activity’ had gone on ‘far too long’:

This came directly out of the Obama administration when John Brennan and James Clapper illegally commandeered the foreign surveillance tool known as the Hammer.

Then Dennis Montgomery’s name, as well as Robert Mueller’s, entered the conversation.

Brannon Howse asked about the Hammer:

It was designed by Genesis Montgomery in 2003, to keep America safe, as you write. Commandeered by them about two weeks after Obama was sworn into office and put on servers. You write of the FBI honor … director … Mueller, correct?

Fanning replied:

That’s correct. According to Dennis Montgomery, Robert Mueller provided the computers for the Hammer.

Wow.

Early in Trump’s tenure, Dennis Montgomery appeared on a few programmes — few to none on the big networks — to warn about the depth of what goes on behind the scenes in intelligence. I always found him credible. However, his name was dragged through the mud by some commentators.

Howse said:

And of course, they tried to discredit Dennis Montgomery because you can see why now, but as we’ve discussed in past programs, you got two immunity deals after being interviewed and recorded. So apparently, he didn’t lie, or he’d be in jail. He kept it; he got his immunity deals kept some of his security clearances is not in jail, so that should tell us a lot to the people trying to smear the guy.

If you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Howse dropped this bombshell from his own shows and from Fanning’s book:

Not to mention Mary, as you report in your excellent report, the perfect storm, the Jafar family, the Gulftainer family, Doctor Jafar, as you guys report, used to be the head of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program, making the nuclear beach ball as miniaturized nuclear device.

I think he was on the kill list during the war, and then his family and his business get a contract running Port Canaveral in Florida and in Wilmington, Delaware [Joe Biden’s hometown], cargo containers, and yet there is some kind of business deals back with the 100% Russian owned export of the Club K Cargo that has four cruise missile silos that pop up and can deliver cruise missiles, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, and it could easily be planted down here in the US as you have translated Russian Manuals for Pearl Harbor 2.0 into English, they call for a Russian strategy of doing just that.

As you know, live on our show a few years ago, Phil Haney, former Department of Homeland Security whistle blower, revealed right on this show, “Hey, Brannon, you want another piece of interesting information to go with that?” Look at Citgo owned by Venezuela, they’re in financial crisis with massive inflation. Guess who’s come in and bought up a big chunk of their company? Russia. Look at all their oil terminals, up and down the Eastern seaboard. Now, Russia can bring in through the oil terminals, the cargo terminals can bring in the Club K Cargo missile launching system into this relationship with Dr. Jafar and Gulftainer, have caused now to move them into the US and plop them down at all refiners up and down the East Coast is a Trojan horse, and that’s your perfect Pearl Harbor 2.0 that you’ve been warning about, and Phil Haney dropped that right on the news desk of our show live, and you happen to be watching that night.

So, there’s way more to this than just the election. We’re talking about them being inside the wire and a lot of these people, the Bidens, the Obamas, Hillary tied to some of these actors, correct?

Fanning replied in the affirmative:

Well, that’s correct. Beyond which the Jafars were put on the Pentagon’s blacklist meant that they were wanted for capture or [to] kill Dr. Jafar, and he’s the nuclear mastermind or Saddam Hussein. In order to take back our country, we must take back this election that Donald Trump won fair and square before they started cheating with foreign actors, Russia, China, Iran, that their hand is in here for the theft of this election. That’s why the American people must stand up, and that is … President Donald Trump must abide by his oath to protect this country. He cannot step down until this election is fairly, legally settled.

General McInerney had the final word:

Now this is going directly to those that want to seize this country because they’ve hacked my cell phone, and so everything I say on this particular open channel, they are coming. They mean business. They are deeply into this, and they now know that because of what you’ve done and what we’ve done tonight, that they are in even more trouble. We are coming against after you and the American people are going to come after you and this President won this election, and he was going to be the president for the next four years, but we’re after you. You will not seize this country because this would be the last re-election we ever had, and I’m in agreement with you and Mary, that Joe Biden should step down right now.

Well, there you have it.

The coup continues — with no let up in sight.

Good grief.

This is unbelievable.

Robert F Kennedy Jr went to Berlin late last week to speak at a rally for personal freedom in the city on Saturday, August 29, 2020:

The rally continued into the night with music:

For several years, Robert F Kennedy Jr has been concerned about the effect of modern vaccines on children and, as a result, founded Children’s Health Defense.

The day before the Berlin rally, he launched Children’s Health Defense Europe:

A press conference was held:

The press release says, in part:

On Friday August 28, 2020, Mr. Kennedy, chair of Children’s Health Defense, held a press conference and met with the leaders of the newly-formed Children’s Health Defense Europe Chapter. In attendance were Senta Depuydt and Tina Choy (board members of CHD Europe), RA Markus Haintz (Querdenken-731 Ulm), and Heiko Schöning (MD, Ärzte für Aufkärung). While in Berlin he will also meet with colleagues from all over Europe to discuss global challenges to health and human rights …

In photo [above], RFK, Jr. is with organizers Dr Heiko Schoening, M.D. and Attorneys Markus Haintz & Rolf Karpenstein in front of Brandenburg Gate where his uncle, President John F Kennedy, gave his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in 1963.

Kennedy gave an 18-minute speech at the launch:

He spends the first seven minutes discussing vaccines, then moves on to the current coronavirus situation in Western nations.

In those seven minutes, he says that Big Pharma is much larger and much more powerful than Big Oil. Big Pharma is also working with governments all over the world.

After that, he warns us about our compliance with government guidelines on coronavirus.

At 7:54, he says that when Herman Goering was interviewed at the Nuremberg Hearings, he said that the German government created a climate of fear to get people to obey. When pressed further on the nature of the German people, he replied, ‘It wasn’t just Germany’, explaining that any government can successfully create a climate of fear causing people to do all sorts of things they would not normally do.

Kennedy noted that, by contrast, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told the American people in that era:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

He says that present-day Western governments have created a climate of coronavirus fear, using ‘science’ as a weapon. He wants to see the details on ‘Bill Gates’s and Dr Fauci’s “science”‘.

He discusses 5G and Alexa. Those who own an Alexa are allowing spying on them and their households. He says that 5G isn’t there for the benefit of gamers, allowing seconds-long downloads of video games. Rather, it is there to enable phone networks, governments and the private sector to gather vast amounts of information on citizens.

With 5G, Western governments would be able to target individuals who are not obeying the system. They could freeze people’s bank accounts for making notionally unauthorised purchases. (This is already being done in China, with deleterious effects on private citizens. It’s called a ‘social credit score’. Some Chinese have lost not only access to their money but also their jobs and, in some cases, their university places. Their next of kin can be similarly affected: guilt by association.)

He says he does not know whether coronavirus is a ‘plandemic’, as many have said, but understands how one could draw that conclusion.

Therefore, with all of this in mind, we need to be careful about complying with government directives en masse. Kennedy says that it would be very easy for governments to take away our precious civil liberties. He said that his father, the late Attorney General Robert F Kennedy who was assassinated during his run for president, told him as a child:

People in authority will lie to you.

Interestingly, on the day of the rally in Berlin, news emerged that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) did an about-face on America’s coronavirus deaths, revising them downwards. They are not the sky-high totals we’ve been shown over the past several months:

The Gateway Pundit reported (emphasis mine):

The CDC silently updated their numbers this week to show that only 6% of all coronavirus deaths were related to the coronavirus aloneThe rest of the deaths pinned to the China coronavirus are attributed to individuals who had other serious issues going on.  Also, most of the deaths are related to very old Americans.

The article also said (emphasis in the original):

So get this straight – based on the recommendation of doctors Fauci and Birx the US shut down the entire economy based on 9,000 American deaths to the China coronavirus …

Earlier this year, after the WHO seeded panic:

Doctors Fauci and Birx were next to push ridiculous and highly exaggerated mortality rates related to the coronavirus:

** Dr. Tony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx used the Imperial College Model to persuade President Trump to lock down the ENTIRE US ECONOMY.
** The fraudulent model predicted 2.2 million American deaths from the coronavirus pandemic
** The authors of the Imperial College Model shared their findings with the White House Coronavirus task force in early March
** Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx then met with President Trump privately and urged him to shut down the US economy and destroy the record Trump economy based on this model

But the Imperial College model Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx pushed was garbage and they recommended the destruction of the US economy using this model.

Today we now have empirical evidence that the WHO, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx were all wrong.  They were charlatans.  They lied.

Robert F Kennedy was right: authorities DO lie.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was also correct. His maxim about fear still holds true today.

Be careful out there with statistics. Question today’s ‘science’. Today’s technology is not there primarily for our benefit, either.

Today, Friday, July 24, 2020, face coverings became mandatory in shops in England.

Early in the pandemic, Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that masks were not necessary for the general population and could make people more vulnerable to COVID-19, because they would be adjusting them, thereby touching their faces, potentially spreading the virus. This video first appeared in March, if I remember rightly:

On Thursday, March 12, The Independent reported on what Dr Harries told BBC News (emphases mine):

Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer, said the masks could “actually trap the virus” and cause the person wearing it to breathe it in.

“For the average member of the public walking down a street, it is not a good idea” to wear a face mask in the hope of preventing infection, she added …

Asked about their effectiveness, Dr Harries told BBC News: “What tends to happen is people will have one mask. They won’t wear it all the time, they will take it off when they get home, they will put it down on a surface they haven’t cleaned.

“Or they will be out and they haven’t washed their hands, they will have a cup of coffee somewhere, they half hook it off, they wipe something over it.

“In fact, you can actually trap the virus in the mask and start breathing it in.”

Asked if people are putting themselves more at risk by wearing masks, Dr Harries added: “Because of these behavioural issues, people can adversely put themselves at more risk than less.”

However, she said those who are advised to wear one by healthcare workers should follow their guidance.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of the United Kingdom, gave testimony on COVID-19 last week. When asked about the apparent change on face covering advice, he said that, early on, it made no sense for people to wear masks during lockdown because no one was on the streets. He said that the advice had never changed: masks provided some benefit. Now that lockdown has been lifting, he explained, it makes sense for people to wear them.

Of course, earlier this year, there was also a worldwide mask shortage, so it could also be that officials discouraged the general public from buying them because medical staff needed them badly.

This happened not only in England, but also in other countries.

In the United States, Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams did an about-face on masks early in April. Since then, they have been mandatory in some states:

President Trump said the advice from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was only an advisory, yet the public wondered how such a change could have come about in so little time, only a matter of weeks:

The same change in advice occurred in Germany:

Yet, at that time, Good Morning Britain‘s long-time, trusted Dr Hilary Jones stated that masks were a no-no for the public, citing the same reasons as Dr Jenny Harries did. On April 28, Metro reported:

If there is one thing Hilary has been consistent on, it is that the general public do not need to wear a mask.

He has previously explained how the particles of coronavirus are so small, they can easily pass through the fibres of a mask or scarf, making them completely useless to the average person.

‘For healthy people who are doing their essential journey who are socially distancing, the use of masks is not effective,’ he recently told Piers Morgan.

‘Most masks have gaps in them to which the virus can drive a bus through. When you are inhaling in a mask the virus can come in.’

The GP added: ‘It can do harm if you do wear a mask, you adjust it, it gets itchy and moist – which means you are putting your hand to your face more often.

‘If the mask gets moist it traps the virus.’

A week later, Guido Fawkes reported that PPE items, including masks, were plentiful in Britain and available to medical as well as care home staff:

By the end of May, Good Morning Britain‘s Piers Morgan criticised London mayor Sadiq Khan for not mandating face coverings on the capital’s public transport. The policy at the time left the option open to passengers, putting more emphasis on social distancing.

In England, masks became mandatory on all public transport on June 15.

On June 6, some in the NHS criticised Health Secretary Matt Hancock for giving them only a week to get all hospital staff to wear masks. The Daily Mail reported that NHS England had been apprised of the new rules before Hancock made a public announcement:

The Department of Health and Social Care said NHS England had known Mr Hancock was going to make the announcement, adding that hospitals still had more than a week to prepare.

On Monday, July 20, in France, masks became mandatory in all indoor spaces as well as some outdoor venues. Fines start at €135. The original date was August 1, but that was brought forward.

This is what one French shopping mall looks like since the requirement came into force:

Some people have been wearing them in the street and inside commercial premises.

This is what one observer has noted, proving what Dr Harries said earlier this year:

Dr Rashid Buttar has posted several videos to YouTube on the dangers of healthy people wearing masks. This is a short but instructive clip from one of them:

On April 7, the BMJ featured an article which said that, while masks might make members of the public more comfortable psychologically, face coverings can also help to spread the virus.

Excerpts from statistician Karla Hemmings’s ‘Covid-19: What is the evidence for cloth masks?’ follow:

… the question of whether facemasks work is a question about whether they work in the real world, worn by real people, in real situations …

There is little doubt that masks works in controlled settings – they stop particulates penetrating the air [Leung 2020]. Facemasks also seem to prevent infection spreading when worn by people who are infected [Brainard 2020]. Yet, this doesn’t tell us if they will work in the real world …

Systematic review of facemasks vs no mask [Brainard 2020]

There are three RCTs identified in this review where people wore masks to try to prevent other people becoming infected (primary prevention). The authors of the review interpret the evidence from these three RCTs as a small non-significant effect on influenza like illness. But, this is an incorrect interpretation of the result (RR=0.95, 95% CI: 0.75 to 1.19) as this result is compatible with both benefit and harm. The evidence from these three trials should therefore be interpreted as uninformative (or consistent with either benefit or harm). There are observational studies in this review, but these do not allow us to answer the question of whether the masks provide protection as they will be subject to confounding. The largest of the three RCTs was a pragmatic cluster trial in pilgrims [Alfelali 2020]. This is a well conducted pragmatic cluster randomized trial with low risk of bias, but suffered from low compliance. This found OR 1.35, 95% CI 0.88-2.07 which although non-significant, is more suggestive of harm than benefit.

Conclusion: The largest and most pragmatic trial (which informs on how facemasks will perform in the real world) assessing the benefit of facemasks vs no mask is suggestive of more harm than benefit.

Evidence from trials comparing different sorts of facemasks
(This is not based on a systematic review, so there may be other evidence that I am unaware of) …

Conclusion: The evidence from pragmatic trials (people wearing masks in everyday settings) suggests wearing of facemasks both induces risk compensation behavior and increased virus spreading from poor mask quality.

England’s new rules on face coverings do not mandate actual masks. We can wear what we want, within reason.

I still believe all the advice from March and early April stated above.

Here — and no doubt elsewhere — this has been a political decision taken to get more people shopping and putting money into the economy and businesses.

On Tuesday, July 14, Matt Hancock made a statement in Parliament about mandatory face coverings, which included the following:

Local action is one way in which we can control the spread of the virus while minimising the economic and social costs. Another is to minimise the risk as we return more to normality. In recent weeks we have reopened retail and footfall is rising. We want to give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops. Both of those can be done by the use of face coverings. Sadly, sales assistants, cashiers and security guards have suffered disproportionately in this crisis. The death rate of sales and retail assistants is 75% higher among men and 60% higher among women than in the general population. As we restore shopping, so we must keep our shopkeepers safe.

There is also evidence that face coverings increase confidence in people to shop. The British Retail Consortium has said that, together with other social distancing measures, face coverings can

“make shoppers feel even more confident about returning to the High Street.”

The chair of the Federation of Small Businesses has said:

“As mandatory face coverings are introduced, small firms know that they have a part to play in the nation’s recovery both physically and financially, and I’m sure this will welcomed by them.”

We have therefore come to the decision that face coverings should be mandatory in shops and supermarkets. Last month, we made face coverings mandatory on public transport and in NHS settings, and that has been successful in giving people more confidence to go on public transport and to a hospital setting when they need to, providing people with additional protection when they are not able to keep 2 metres from others, particularly people they do not normally come into contact with. Under the new rules, people who do not wear face coverings will face a fine of up to £100 in line with the sanction on public transport and, just as with public transport, children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

The liability for wearing a face covering lies with the individual. Should an individual without an exemption refuse to wear a face covering, a shop can refuse them entry and can call the police if people refuse to comply. The police have formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine. That is in line with how shops would normally manage their customers and enforcement is, of course, a last resort. We fully expect the public to comply with these rules, as they have done throughout the pandemic.

I want to give this message to everyone who has been making vital changes to their daily lives for the greater good. Wearing a face covering does not mean that we can ignore the other measures that have been so important in slowing the spread of this virus— washing our hands and following the rules on social distancing. Just as the British people have acted so selflessly throughout this pandemic, I have no doubt they will rise to this once more. As a nation, we have made huge strides in getting this virus, which has brought grief to so many, under control. We are not out of the woods yet, so let us all do our utmost to keep this virus cornered and enjoy our summer safely. I commend this statement to the House.

I agree that we need to stimulate the economy by shopping. I disagree that face coverings are the answer.

I also wonder about shop staff dying. I see the same smiling faces week after week in my local shops. I never heard anything on the BBC News about shopkeepers dying: it was front line medical staff and bus drivers.

This is purely a political decision. Purely political.

I had looked forward to visiting a garden centre. I now think I’ll shop online for the plant pots I’d planned to buy.

We have been told that our coronavirus lockdowns will not end until a vaccine has been successfully developed.

Meanwhile, in France, Professor Didier Raoult has been successfully using chloroquine, where suitable, on his COVID-19 patients at the IHU Méditerranée Infection facility, where he is the Director.

Professor Raoult is also a physician. A number of his fellow doctors oppose his use of an anti-malarial drug, which is cheap as chips, to treat this novel (new) coronavirus, said to have no known remedy, much less cure, at this time.

Raoult describes himself as a ‘renegade’ physician. Other doctors in France certainly agree. They doubt his claims. Now they want to suspend him from France’s national medical association, l’Ordre des Médecins (The Order of Physicians).

On Saturday, April 25, Geopolintel (French language, translated below) reported that the ANSM (French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety), INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and the biopharmaceutical drug company Gilead are out to get Raoult.

The article is an open letter to Raoult’s critics:

The Covid-19 crisis shows the destructive ideology of your policies as well as that of the health institutions of our country.

Given the sums of money involved, it takes any and all costs to transfer the professor from Marseille for the generalized vaccination agreement between Macron and Bill Gates to be realized.

Censors, you have lost public opinion and you cannot regain it by threatening Professor Raoult with suspension by the Order of Physicians.

He makes fun of your stories of cash and corruption, unlike you, he treats and does not bear responsibility for death by organized shortage.

What displeases you in him is his indifference to lobbies and sirens of glory and as a professor, researcher and doctor; he cares while you polish your the seats of your trousers on the leather armchairs of the circles of initiates who have done nothing in their lives other than lying and earning dirty money.

There have been major pharmaceutical scandals in France in recent years, yet the establishment is going after Raoult, who has provided patient relief in an inexpensive prescription anti-malarial drug available at pharmacies. The medical establishment has accused the professor of employing ‘illegal medical research protocols’:

Regarding the “illegal clinical research protocols” which are attributed to Didier Raoult, what about the scandals of the Pick (Médiator), Depakin and other drugs approved in the so-called respect for randomized trial protocols?

As for his possible suspension by the Order of Physicians:

The Council of the Order of Physicians threatens Professor Raoult with immediate suspension of activity, because his clinical trials “do not comply with official procedures”, and he risks up to a year in prison and 15,000 euros in fines.

Yet, President Macron visited Raoult in Marseille recently to find out more about the doctor’s success with his COVID-19 patients. About this, the article says:

As a reminder, Professor Raoult presented Emmanuel Macron with the results of his work on 1,061 patients.

Almost 92% of patients cured in ten days,
Nearly 5% of patients cured “late”
Less than 5% of “patients with complications”.
Or 31 patients hospitalized for more than ten days,
10 transferred to intensive care,
and 5 deaths. On 1061: do your accounts and compare to the rest of France…

The abstract and summary table of the data in our article on the treatment of 1061 patients are online!
The abstract and the summary table of our paper on the treatment of 1061 patients are online! https: //t.co/mTWj6aGpTk https: //t.co … pic.twitter.com/PLdygNolxG
– Didier Raoult (@raoult_didier) April 10, 2020

These are the full results of Raoult’s study:

The article concludes:

The first reaction of the simple man that I am, in the delusional French context that I observe from afar, is this: Raoult heals while the profession flounders. It has no response, no treatment, adding the humiliation of the mandarins to the resentment of the rascals. In short, Raoult must be suspended. It is urgent: he risks treating even more people.

Now, it must be said that chloroquine doesn’t work on everyone. Nor does a similar drug, hydroxychloroquine, often combined with azithromycin (which contains zinc), in COVID-19 treatment. The latter is the treatment that President Trump has been championing for weeks.

Both should be used with caution and under medical supervision. They can harm patients with certain types of heart ailments. Never self-medicate!

As is true in France, the American medical establishment is eager to pour cold water on Trump’s claims.

On April 16, 2020, MedRxiv published an abstract of one such study: ‘Outcomes of hydroxychloroquine usage in United States veterans hospitalized with Covid-19’, which ends as follows:

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found no evidence that use of hydroxychloroquine, either with or without azithromycin, reduced the risk of mechanical ventilation in patients hospitalized with Covid-19. An association of increased overall mortality was identified in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone. These findings highlight the importance of awaiting the results of ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled studies before widespread adoption of these drugs.

Yet, nearly half of America’s 50 states are stockpiling the drug, as Axios reported on April 25 (emphases in the original):

At least 22 states and Washington, D.C., are building up stores of the anti-malarial drug President Trump previously touted as a possible solution for the novel coronavirus, AP reports.

Why it matters: The Food and Drug Administration advised doctors Friday against prescribing hydroxychloroquine or the related drug chloroquine to coronavirus patients as it appears to be causing some serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.

    • ‘The warning comes as doctors at a New York hospital published a report that heart rhythm abnormalities developed in most of 84 coronavirus patients treated with hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin, a combo Trump has promoted,” AP notes.

What they’re saying: “While clinical trials are ongoing to determine the safety and effectiveness of these drugs for COVID-19, there are known side effects of these medications that should be considered,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said.

The state of play: Some health experts worry the public could misuse the drug if it is made more widely available.

The FDA has authorised use of hydroxychloroquine under the following conditions, summarised on page 4 of their guidelines:

The hydroxychloroquine sulfate may only be used to treat adult and adolescent patients who weigh 50 kg or more hospitalized with COVID-19 for whom a clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible.9

South Dakota is the first state to participate in a trial of the drug:

Kudos to their governor, Kristi Noem, who ignored calls for lockdown. South Dakotans rewarded her with a parade:

But I digress.

Health Feedback is a site that debunks current coronavirus remedies or possible cures. Another is Poynter. Both must be busy.

There has been much talk of using ventilators on ICU patients with COVID-19. However, in some cases, ventilators do not always work and, in some instances, have worsened patients’ outcomes.

On March 20, Cleveland Clinic published an explanation of the damage that COVID-19 can do to the lungs, leading to the need for intensive care and, likely, a ventilator. Excerpts follow (emphases mine):

Although many people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, a subset of patients develop severe respiratory illness and may need to be admitted for intensive care.

In a new video, lung pathologist Sanjay Mukhopadhyay, MD, lays out in detail how the lungs are affected in these severe cases. The 15-minute video walks through how COVID-19 causes a “dangerous and potentially fatal” condition known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) while providing stark images that underscore the severity of the damage that condition can cause to your lungs.

As Dr. Mukhopadhyay explains, Chinese researchers have linked COVID-19 to ARDS. Their study examined risk factors for 191 confirmed coronavirus patients who died while being treated in two hospitals in Wuhan, China.

The researchers found 50 of the 54 patients who died had developed ARDS while only nine of the 137 survivors had ARDS

If you have ARDS, you’ll have symptoms like sudden breathlessness, rapid breathing, dizziness, rapid heart rate and excessive sweating.

But the four main things doctors will look for are:

    • If you have an acute condition, symptoms that started within one week of what they call a “known clinical insult,” or new or worsening symptoms.
    • If your shortness of breath isn’t explained by heart failure or fluid overload.
    • Having low oxygen levels in your blood (severe hypoxia).
    • Both lungs appearing white and opaque (versus black) on chest X-rays (called bilateral lung opacities on chest imaging) …

There might have been other articles like this circulating recently, ones that mention hypoxia.

Hypoxia has been mentioned often in online discourse and in some online articles, such as one from April 5, posted on Medium, ‘Covid-19 had us all fooled, but now we might have finally found its secret’, written by a non-medic whose Medium account has since been deleted.

That article has appeared all over various fora over the past few weeks.

It does sound really plausible, even though Poynter and Health Feedback have both debunked it, which I’ll get to below.

Not being a medic or have anyone in the family who is, I’m just going to throw these excerpts out there.

As such, I wonder if this is accurate, i.e. something that front line physicians will mention a year from now. Anyone with a medical background reading this should feel free to leave a comment below.

The author explains why ventilators don’t always work on COVID-19 patients. This is what caught my eye:

There is no ‘pneumonia’ nor ARDS. At least not the ARDS with established treatment protocols and procedures we’re familiar with. Ventilators are not only the wrong solution, but high pressure intubation can actually wind up causing more damage than without, not to mention complications from tracheal scarring and ulcers given the duration of intubation often required… They may still have a use in the immediate future for patients too far to bring back with this newfound knowledge, but moving forward a new treatment protocol needs to be established so we stop treating patients for the wrong disease.

Then the author quotes someone in the medical profession who published a paper that seems to have gone nowhere (see below). Unfortunately, there is no reference to what or whom he quotes, which is this:

The past 48 hours or so have seen a huge revelation: COVID-19 causes prolonged and progressive hypoxia (starving your body of oxygen) by binding to the heme groups in hemoglobin in your red blood cells. People are simply desaturating (losing o2 in their blood), and that’s what eventually leads to organ failures that kill them, not any form of ARDS or pneumonia. All the damage to the lungs you see in CT scans are from the release of oxidative iron from the hemes, this overwhelms the natural defenses against pulmonary oxidative stress and causes that nice, always-bilateral ground glass opacity in the lungs. Patients returning for re-hospitalization days or weeks after recovery suffering from apparent delayed post-hypoxic leukoencephalopathy strengthen the notion COVID-19 patients are suffering from hypoxia despite no signs of respiratory ‘tire out’ or fatigue.

I only found the Medium article last week, but I have many COVID-19 links bookmarked, including this one from April 10:

The article is behind a paywall, but you can read it here in its entirety. The doctors the Telegraph interviewed seem to be saying the same as the Medium author does: no ARDS, no pneumonia, therefore, no ventilator, which can do more harm than good:

British and American intensive care doctors at the front line of the coronavirus crisis are starting to question the aggressive use of ventilators for the treatment of patients.

In many cases they say the machines, which are highly invasive and require the patient to be rendered unconscious, are being used too early and may cause more harm than good. Instead they are finding that less invasive forms of oxygen treatment through face masks or nasal cannulas work better for patients, even those with very low blood oxygen readings.

Dr Ron Daniels, a consultant in critical care at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, on Thursday confirmed reports from US medics that he and other NHS doctors were revising their view of when ventilators should be used.

At the heart of the issue was the “bizarre” and “frankly baffling” phenomenon of Covid-19 patients presenting with catastrophically low blood oxygen levels but few other ill effects.

The Telegraph says that this new protocol goes against prior received wisdom on the unknown COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been in intensive care that week, released back to a general ward on the evening of Maundy Thursday, April 9:

The initial recommendations from doctors in China and Italy were to ventilate Covid patients early and aggressively, with the so-called “PEEP” pressure on the machines turned up high so their lungs did not contract when they exhaled.

The initial message was treat as if you were treating for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with a high PEEP,” said Daniels. “But now we are becoming braver. We are tolerating much lower blood oxygen levels and using lower pressures. We are learning as we go along”.

The alternative to mechanical ventilation is oxygen treatment delivered via a mask or a nasal cannula or via a non-invasive high flow device. This is the sort of treatment the Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be receiving in an intensive care unit at St Thomas’s hospital London. His blood oxygen levels are not known.

Increasingly doctors in the UK, America and Europe are using these less invasive measures and holding back on the use of mechanical ventilation for as long as possible

Doctors in Italy and Germany wrote to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine last week making a similar point. They urged other doctors to be “patient” with Covid patients, arguing for “gentle ventilation” wherever possible

It is not known why Covid-19 allows some patients to tolerate such low blood oxygen readings without air hunger or obvious confusion. One clue may be that patients are still able to exhale carbon dioxide – a toxin – through their lungs even if they are having difficulty absorbing oxygen.

“The patients in front of me are unlike any I’ve ever seen,” one American doctor working in a Brooklyn hospital told the specialist health publication STAT this week. “They looked a lot more like they had altitude sickness than pneumonia.”

Dr Daniels agreed that there were similarities with altitude sickness, itself a potentially fatal condition. “We’ve seen a lot of headache and dizziness”, he noted …

You might have heard of Drs Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, whose two-part press briefing in California was removed last week from YouTube. The two went against the received wisdom of the WHO. I watched both videos when they came out at the beginning of April. In the second video, they warned against the aggressive use of ventilators when treating COVID-19.

Therefore, the Medium article might not be either wrong or fake news with regard to ventilators.

It has an explanation of what might be happening whereby blood gets starved of oxygen through COVID-19, and it is this which has proven to be controversial with physicians:

Your red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to all your organs and the rest of your body. Red blood cells can do this thanks to hemoglobin, which is a protein consisting of four “hemes”. Hemes have a special kind of iron ion, which is normally quite toxic in its free form, locked away in its center with a porphyrin acting as it’s ‘container’. In this way, the iron ion can be ‘caged’ and carried around safely by the hemoglobin, but used to bind to oxygen when it gets to your lungs.

When the red blood cell gets to the alveoli, or the little sacs in your lungs where all the gas exchange happens, that special little iron ion can flip between FE2+ and FE3+ states with electron exchange and bond to some oxygen, then it goes off on its little merry way to deliver o2 elsewhere.

Here’s where COVID-19 comes in. Its glycoproteins bond to the heme, and in doing so that special and toxic oxidative iron ion is “disassociated” (released). It’s basically let out of the cage and now freely roaming around on its own. This is bad for two reasons:

1) Without the iron ion, hemoglobin can no longer bind to oxygen. Once all the hemoglobin is impaired, the red blood cell is essentially turned into a Freightliner truck cab with no trailer and no ability to store its cargo. It is useless and just running around with COVID-19 virus attached to its porphyrin. All these useless trucks running around not delivering oxygen is what starts to lead to desaturation, or watching the patient’s spo2 levels drop. It is INCORRECT to assume traditional ARDS and in doing so, you’re treating the WRONG DISEASE. Think of it a lot like carbon monoxide poisoning, in which CO is bound to the hemoglobin, making it unable to carry oxygen. In those cases, ventilators aren’t treating the root cause; the patient’s lungs aren’t ‘tiring out’, they’re pumping just fine. The red blood cells just can’t carry o2, end of story. Only in this case, unlike CO poisoning in which eventually the CO can break off, the affected hemoglobin is permanently stripped of its ability to carry o2 because it has lost its iron ion. The body compensates for this lack of o2 carrying capacity and deliveries by having your kidneys release hormones like erythropoietin, which tell your bone marrow factories to ramp up production on new red blood cells with freshly made and fully functioning hemoglobin. This is the reason you find elevated hemoglobin and decreased blood oxygen saturation as one of the 3 primary indicators of whether the shit is about to hit the fan for a particular patient or not.

2) That little iron ion, along with millions of its friends released from other hemes, are now floating through your blood freely. As I mentioned before, this type of iron ion is highly reactive and causes oxidative damage. It turns out that this happens to a limited extent naturally in our bodies and we have cleanup & defense mechanisms to keep the balance. The lungs, in particular, have 3 primary defenses to maintain “iron homeostasis”, 2 of which are in the alveoli, those little sacs in your lungs we talked about earlier. The first of the two are little macrophages that roam around and scavenge up any free radicals like this oxidative iron. The second is a lining on the walls (called the epithelial surface) which has a thin layer of fluid packed with high levels of antioxidant molecules… things like ascorbic acid (AKA Vitamin C) among others. Well, this is usually good enough for naturally occurring rogue iron ions but with COVID-19 running rampant your body is now basically like a progressive state letting out all the prisoners out of the prisonsit’s just too much iron and it begins to overwhelm your lungs’ countermeasures, and thus begins the process of pulmonary oxidative stress. This leads to damage and inflammation, which leads to all that nasty stuff and damage you see in CT scans of COVID-19 patient lungs. Ever noticed how it’s always bilateral? (both lungs at the same time) Pneumonia rarely ever does that, but COVID-19 does… EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Poynter says this is clearly wrong:

The claim that COVID-19 causes hypoxia because the causative virus binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells is unsupported. For starters, no scientific evidence demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 can enter red blood cells. The claim that the virus binds to hemoglobin is founded on the conclusions of a single pre-print, which solely involves computational analysis, without experimental verification or peer-review. The mechanism proposed is also inconsistent with clinical evidence from COVID-19 patients.

Health Feedback posted their refutation on Wednesday, April 15. It is lengthy and thorough. Excerpts follow:

Scientists told Health Feedback that the claim was not supported by experimental and clinical evidence. “There is no direct biological evidence that SARS-CoV-2 proteins interact with hemoglobin. The claim is based on a single study performed purely in silico without proper wet lab validation,” explained Victor Tseng, pulmonologist and assistant professor of medicine at Emory University. Eva Nozik-Grayck, clinician-scientist and critical care specialist at the Children’s Hospital Colorado, stated that “without any experimental evidence, it is dangerous and misleading to make these claims.”

David Irwin, associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver, who studies hemoglobin and hypoxia, questioned the conclusions of the ChemRxiv pre-print that served as the basis for the claim. “The authors show no convincing data to suggest that the [viral] proteins of interest, such as Orf8, etc., actually bind heme other than in modeling theories. Most troubling is that there is no way that we know of to suggest that the virus accesses hemoglobin in red blood cells to attack the heme as described in the manuscript,” he said.

A Medium article authored by Matthew Amdahl, a clinician-scientist and hemoglobin researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, details the numerous problems with [Medium author] Gaiziunas’ hypothesis. Notably, he pointed out that SARS-CoV-2 is larger than the entire hemoglobin protein, but according to Gaiziunas’ hypothesis, would somehow manage to fit into “a space barely large enough for two-atom molecules like oxygen (O2)” in order to eject iron from hemoglobin and bind to porphyrin:

To put it charitably, this would be an entirely novel and seemingly impossible sort of chemistry, and there is absolutely no scientific evidence that supports such a possibility. It’s this seemingly impossible interaction that forms the foundation of the blog post’s entire argument, and so the remainder of the conclusions drawn by the blogger simply don’t carry any weight.

Furthermore, clinical evidence from COVID-19 patients contradict Gaiziunas’ hypothesis. Firstly, supposing that the virus did bind to hemoglobin and ejected iron from red blood cells, this would have produced a modified form of hemoglobin that has an altered ability to bind to oxygen, which can be detected by measuring the oxyhemoglobin dissociation constant

In summary, while scientists have not ruled out a potential link between changes in red blood cell physiology and hypoxia observed in COVID-19 patients, the mechanisms proposed by Gaiziunas are founded on little to no scientific evidence, are highly implausible given what we already know of hemoglobin and the virus, and are contradicted by clinical evidence in COVID-19 patients.

We might find out more about hypoxia in COVID-19 patients in a year’s time.

For now, I can’t help but wonder if this type of hypoxia explains why hospitals have been refusing more ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

In the meantime, returning to Prof Didier Raoult, it seems that renegades are never in vogue with the establishment.

More power to him for successfully trialling on his coronavirus patients an inexpensive, prescription anti-malarial that has been on the market for decades. Well done. Millions of us support him in his work.

Yesterday’s post was about the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a historic and happy occasion, to put it mildly.

However, while reunification has not been easy, the relationship between the western and eastern regions of Germany has been a historically uneasy one in some ways.

James Hawes, the author of The Shortest History of Germany, on sale in 20 different countries, wrote a short but information-packed article for UnHerd: ‘It wasn’t the Berlin Wall that divided Germany’. It is well worth reading. Even though I took World History in school, there is much here about Germany that I did not know.

A summary with excerpts follows. Emphases mine.

In the Middle Ages, as the Church was gaining adherents in the western half of what we know as Germany, the eastern half was comprised of pagan tribes. The river Elbe was the demarcation line between these two groups of people:

While early medieval western Europe was developing its unique signature, the power-sharing of international Church and national-state, the lands beyond the river Elbe were still populated by pagan, illiterate tribes. No real attempt was made to exert German control and settlement beyond that point until 1147; Cologne had already been a flourishing western European city for 1,200 years when the first German conqueror-farmers reached Berlin.

… East of the Elbe, the Germans never entirely supplanted the Slavs (some, the Sorbs, remain even in the truncated eastern Germany of today, just north of Dresden).

Hence the importance of subsequent Prussian rule and influence over the East:

The Germans of the east came to accept rule by a caste of warlords — the famous Prussian Junkers — and, later, the new Lutheran paradigm of a state which controlled its very own Church and against which there was hence no appeal.

Not for nothing did Friedrich Hayek see Prussia as the template for all modern totalitarian states, whether of the Left or of the Right. Max Weber constantly referred to a place he called Ostelbien, East Elbia, palpably different, for all its local variation, to ciselbian, western Germany.

Once suffrage was granted, voting patterns were very different between these two regions:

Of course, psychologists, philosophers and sociologists can all be wrong and often are. Electoral maps, however, do not lie. They show that ever since Germans have had votes, eastern Germans have voted very differently from western Germans.

Under the German Empire (1871-1918), the Prussian Conservatives — conservative in this context meaning supporters of royal and militarist rule under an agrarian Junker elite — depended almost completely on votes from the East, having scarcely any traction at all in the West.

The First World War changed nothing. In the first normal elections of the Weimar Republic, the extreme Prussian conservatives of the DNVP (officially anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic, violently antidemocratic, their members implicated in several high-profile political murders) were the second largest party nationally but — exactly as with the AfD today — that position was entirely dependent on votes from the East.

And when the deluge finally came in 1933 it was, again, only thanks to heavy votes in the East that Hitler got 43.9% nationally, enabling him (with support from the rump DNVP) to seize power by semi-constitutional means. If the whole country had voted like the Rhineland or Munich, he could only have attempted an armed coup, which the Army would have crushed.

Such patterns have continued to the present day, with nationalist and populist parties more popular in the east than the west.

Further disparity has resulted economically, from the western regions propping those up on the east:

well over €2 trillion has been pumped from Western taxpayers to the East. The so-called Reunification has dragged West Germany back into the role which Bismarck assigned it: to subsidise the economically moribund East because it is their patriotic duty.

Western German voters, rather sick of this, are more and more wary of keeping up this settlement, on top of their traditional role as paymasters of the stable Europe from which German industry benefits so greatly. Yet the Prussian myth of “reunification” has trumped economic reality, which goes to show something we in Britain should know all too well: that there is nothing worse for a country than to misunderstand its own history …

The founder of West Germany, Conrad Adenauer, knew his history. After the First World War he begged the French and British to help him split Prussia off from Germany. When he had to visit Berlin, he would always draw the curtains of his train compartment as he crossed the fatal River Elbe, muttering “Here we go, Asia again!” (“Schon wieder Asien!”) After the second war, though obliged in public to support re-unification, he told the British most secretly that he was determined it should never happen.

To top it all off, both sides of Germany also have a different opinion on the EU, a further source of friction, according to German journalist Sabine Beppler-Spahl in ‘After the Berlin Wall: whither democracy’:

Sabine Beppler-Spahl explains that the calls for reunification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall were as surprising as the fall of the Wall itself in 1989. The GDR was the German Democratic Republic — East Germany:

It is true that the first banners demanding reunification only appeared after the wall fell, and the GDR had all but collapsed. But that was because of the great dangers involved in demanding reunification in the GDR while it still existed. Hence the original protest slogan was ‘Wir sind das Volk’ (‘We are the people), which was directed at the GDR’s Stalinist government. But from mid-November onwards, it changed to ‘Wir sind ein Volk’ (‘We are one people’), which was directed at the establishment in the West. Soon calls for reunification became so powerful that they could no longer be ignored.

In calling for reunification, people were demanding rights that had been withheld for decades. These included an end to the command economy, with all its hardships, and above all, democracy. When the first free elections were held in March 1990, an impressive 93.4 per cent of the population in the old East took part – which remains the highest ever turnout in any free election in Germany. East Germans didn’t need to be convinced of the virtues of civil liberty and democracy. That’s because, as political scientist Robert Rohrschneider put it in 1999, they knew what it meant to live in an authoritarian system (1).

One of the most amazing aspects of 1989 was that, across Europe, few in power expected it. ‘Of course we said that we believed in reunification, because we knew that it would never happen’, said former UK prime minister Edward Heath in 1989. When reunification did appear on the popular agenda, it became apparent how large and diverse the opposition to it was. It included the most unlikely of allies, from prominent former East German civil-rights activists (2) and the West German SPD and Green Party, to many Western European heads of state.

The Greens were against reunification and wanted reform of the GDR instead:

Several former East German dissidents, like Bärbel Bohley, campaigned for reform of the GDR system. She and others identified with the environmentalist and anti-consumerist rhetoric of the West German Green Party, which was very successful during the 1980s. The Greens, like large sections of the West German Social Democrats and others, identified with Stalinism more than they liked to admit. They were turned off by the sight of so many people demanding democracy and an end to the command economy. So they became supporters of the status quo. ‘We were anti-nationalists’, explained former Green Party leader Ralf Fücks in 2015.

That should tell you something about why opponents to the Greens call them the ‘watermelon party’ — green on the outside, red on the inside.

That said, Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister at the time, also opposed reunification. So did France’s Socialist president, François Mitterand:

Outside of Germany, the speed and turn of events also prompted apprehension. On 28 November, [Chancellor Helmut] Kohl presented his ’10-point programme for the formation of a contractual community’ (effectively, a plan for German reunification). The then British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, who had made no secret of her hostility to reunification, quickly demanded that any talk of a united Germany should be postponed for at least five to 10 years (3). French president François Mitterrand informed a group of journalists that he considered German reunification a ‘legal and political impossibility’. A reunited Germany ‘as an independent, uncontrolled power was unbearable for Europe’, he concluded.

The then-US president George HW Bush — Bush I — was Chancellor Kohl’s greatest ally:

With Western Europe’s most powerful states opposed to reunification, Kohl’s most reliable ally became US president George HW Bush. As journalist Elizabeth Pond wrote, the US played a decisive role in reversing the resistance of the British and French. There was, however, one condition placed on German reunification – it was to take place within the European Community.

Although reunification took place on October 3, 1990, it did not happen overnight. The terms of the controversial Maastricht Treaty, signed in 1992, were the only way France would agree to a formally reunified Germany:

The most far-reaching part of Maastricht – and the most contested within Germany itself – was the decision to create a monetary union, with a common currency, namely, the Euro. According to historians Andreas Rödder and Heinrich August Winkler, Kohl accepted that a reunified Germany would have to enter a monetary union in order to win support for reunification from France. It was a concession that came at a price for the French, too. It meant the French state was also to be bound to the fiscal rules and regulations of the EU. As French political scientist Anne-Marie Le Goannec explains in L’Allemagne Après la Guerre Froide, it was France’s admiration for the ‘German Model’ that helped Kohl push through the fiscal rules of the EU. Maastricht, however, was unpopular from the start. And in a referendum held in France in September 1992, only 50.8 per cent voted in favour of it.

Whereas the French public were consulted over Maastricht, the Germans had no say:

Maastricht was also unpopular in Germany. Unlike the French electorate, however, the German electorate was never consulted. The absence of any public vote was compounded by the weakness of the opposition SPD, which had never recovered from its position on reunification. It meant that Kohl’s government was given a free hand to reunify Germany as a part of the European Union.

Although most Germans approved of Maastricht when Kohl’s government ratified it, by the mid-1990s, sentiment had changed dramatically:

Admittedly, support for a united Europe had been high in the early 1990s, especially in the former GDR, where over 85 per cent were in favour, compared with 70 per cent in the former West. By 1996, however, support had dropped to 35 per cent in the east and 40 per cent in the west (4). Christopher J Andersen, a professor of political science at New York State University, attributes the sharp drop-off in enthusiasm for the EU to the job losses and economic problems that plagued the former East German economy (5).

In brief, reunification under EU rules brought about years of change that no one had expected:

It wasn’t just the abolition of the well-loved Deutsche Mark, pushed through by Kohl, which annoyed so many Germans. Other deeply unpopular policy measures, which would probably have been rejected by the electorate, if they’d ever been asked, included: the expansion of the EU; the free movement of cheap labour from impoverished eastern Europe (leading to wage depression); the German military intervention in the Yugoslav war; the handling of the Greek debt crisis; and the temporary loss of control over borders. Again and again the structures of the EU have allowed different German governments to ignore the opinions of the electorate and pursue unpopular policies.

This year, the East has shown that it sees reunification differently to the West and is reacting against the EU:

The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party has led three successful election campaigns in the former East German states of Brandenburg and Saxony (in September 2019) and Thuringia (October 2019), using the slogan, ‘Vollende die Wende’ (‘complete reunification’). The slogan was widely criticised in the media. ‘People are told to go back on to the streets, like they did in 1989, and bring the system down’, said one journalist on a programme entitled How the AfD has appropriated reunification. Elsewhere, an open letter, written by a group of former GDR civil-rights activists, accused the AfD of ‘historical lies’. But the AfD can also point to several former dissidents who sympathise with it. And so the battle over the meaning of 1989, which is simultaneously about today’s politics, is set to continue.

No doubt some Germans living in the East would agree with another article from UnHerd, ’10 things I hate about Germany’, which discusses various economic and political policies from Angela Merkel. EU-loving Britons point to Germany as the be-all and end-all, the role model to which we must look up. Ultimately:

the Germans may be no worse than we are, but they’re certainly no better.

I could not agree more.

Germany is a great place to visit. The German people I’ve met have been courteous and friendly. The architecture is fabulous. Shopping is excellent.

However, no EU nation is a be-all and end-all — not under Brussels and the Maastricht system.

Were you around when the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989?

I remember it. What an exciting time it was, too, even for those of us watching events unfold on television news.

This short video from Germany’s Federal Foreign Office explains its history from 1961 to 1989:

Professional photographer Tom Stoddart was fortunate to track down a brother and sister whose photo he took on November 9, 1989. Amazing:

Here is another Tom Stoddart image of the fall of the Wall:

The following video from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office features two British diplomats serving in Berlin at the time. One explains that they had diplomatic passports to allow them into the East, but, even then, the Stasi had their eyes on them the entire time. Families could not travel together from West Berlin to see other family members in East Berlin. Only one family member could go from West to East for visits. Of course, there was no traffic by East Berliners to the West, which explains the mix of anger and joy that people from East Berlin felt once the barrier came down:

I was unaware that people dug tunnels under the Wall in order to escape from East to West:

East-West passport control was risky, especially for those who had escaped:

This is an excellent ‘before and after’ photo, followed by one of Checkpoint Charlie:

Here is a photo of one of the many men who chipped away at the Wall:

Once it came down, yes, we thought the hankering for left-wing politics would end. Unfortunately, we were wrong:

This has implications for the UK’s upcoming general election on December 12:

And, if we look at Venezuela, Marxist politicians and their rich friends are thriving when everyone else is attempting to survive:

But I digress.

Now to conclude on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, which took place on October 3, 1990. It hasn’t been easy for either side to reunite economically. What was East Germany still suffers as the western half continues to attract new business investment. This brief report from a German business channel with English subtitles explains the situation:

However, at least personal freedom continues to flourish in a reunited Germany.

To mark that freedom, one upon which President Ronald Reagan insisted at the time, the American Embassy in Germany unveiled a statue in his honour last week. It is sad that people in Berlin did not want it accessible to the general public. Reagan was a huge influence in the fall of the Wall:

On a seasonal note, Germany’s Christmas markets are open, including those in Leipzig and Dresden, once again flourishing cities after decades of communist rule:

We should be grateful for the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago.

May such a division and an oppressive political regime never be repeated. Pray that North Korea will be reunified with its southern neighbour.

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