Thursday News Executive Summary

Jordan Candler  Above the Fold

We need an exit strategy: Weekly jobless claims double to a whopping 6.6 million (CNBC)

Affirming what we already knew: China concealed extent of virus outbreak, U.S. intelligence says (Bloomberg)

The Latest on CoronavirusSo about those declining numbers… Chinese county goes into lockdown amid fear of second wave (South China Morning Post)

In typical communistic fashion, Chinese doctor disappears after blowing the whistle on threat (National Review)Coast Guard tells cruise ships with cases to stay away from U.S. ports (TPR)

Dr. Anthony Fauci given security detail after receiving threats (Washington Examiner)

Environmentally “woke” San Francisco ironically joins Massachusetts in banning reusable bags from grocery stores (Fox News)

For the record: Tom Cotton — the senator who saw the coronavirus coming (National Review)

National SecurityCalifornia engineer ran train “off the end of rail tracks” in attempted attack on USNS Mercy in Los Angeles (USA Today)

Trump, in preemptive maneuver, says Iran planning “sneak attack” on U.S. troops, assets in Iraq (Fox News)

“There is a growing threat that … malign actors will try to exploit the situation”: Trump launches massive military offensive on drug cartels (The Daily Wire)

Government & Politics

Rep. scumbag/liar-Adam Schiff drafting legislation to set up 9/11-style commission so Democrats can exploit coronavirus response (The Hill)

Rep. Matt Gaetz proposes commonsense bill blocking funds from Congress to China-owned businesses (Washington Examiner)


America’s civilian arsenal grows by some 2.5 million firearms after record-shattering gun sales in March (The Washington Free Beacon)

Massachusetts governor infringes on the Second Amendment by closing gun stores (NRA-ILA)

Florida issues statewide stay-at-home order (Fox News)Pennsylvania placed under stay-at-home order (NBC Philadelphia)

Closing Arguments

Policy: We can fight pandemics without the communist-allied World Health Organization (The Federalist)

Policy: Statewide lockdowns and the law (Hoover Institution)

Satire: Teachers urge government to reopen schools before students learn to think for themselves (The Babylon Bee)  

~The Patriot Post  

Trump announces enhanced narcotic operations amid coronavirus, deploys destroyers and Air Force assets

By Gregg Re { } ~ President Trump — flanked by Attorney General Bill Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and top military officials at the White House coronavirus briefing… announced on Wednesday a massive new “counternarcotics operation” in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea to “combat the flow of illicit drugs into the United States.” “We must not let the drug cartels exploit the pandemic to threaten American lives,” Trump said. “In cooperation with the 22 partner nations, U.S. Southern Command will increase surveillance, disruption and seizures of drug shipments and provide additional support for eradication efforts, which are going on right now at a record pace.” Included in the force package are Navy destroyers, other combat ships, Air Force surveillance planes and helicopters, and ten Coast Guard cutter ships, Trump said, noting that the new forces would double U.S. interdiction capacity in the region — and help slow the spread of the coronavirus by reducing illicit travel. Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the United States had obtained intelligence that cartels were seeking to “take advantage” of the coronavirus to smuggle drugs. Asked about the intelligence later in the briefing, Trump called it strong but wouldn’t elaborate. “We came upon some intelligence some time ago that the drug cartels as a result of COVID-19 were gonna try to take advantage of the situation and try to infiltrate additional drugs into our country,” Milley remarked. “As we know, 70,000 Americans die on an average annual basis to drugs. That’s unacceptable. We’re at war with COVID-19, we’re at war with terrorists, and we are at war with the drug cartels, as well.” “This is the United States military. You will not penetrate this country,” Milley continued matter-of-factly. “You will not get past Jump Street. You are not going to come in here and kill additional Americans.” The other assembled officials echoed his message. “Every year, tens of thousands of Americans die from drug overdose, and thousands more suffer the harmful effects of addiction,” Esper said. “Furthermore, corrupt actors, like the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela, rely on the profits derived from the sale of narcotics to maintain their oppressive hold on power.” Esper said he wouldn’t disclose how long the new force posture would last, but that an interagency team would regularly brief the president. Barr called the situation a “national security threat,” and said the U.S. was not interested in “half-measures.”…


ChiComs Lied About Virus, Affected U.S. Response. Wet Markets Still Selling Animals That Can Carry Pathogen

by R. Cort Kirkwood{ } ~ Red China lied about the Chinese Virus outbreak that at this writing has infected nearly 200,000 Americans and killed more than 4,000… Three U.S. officials divulged the gist of a classified report to Bloomberg News that says the Chinese Communist government purposely low-balled the figures in their country, which likely affected the U.S. response to it. The deadly pathogen oozed out of the “wet markets” of Wuhan, where bats and other exotic animals are sold for human consumption. Frighteningly, London’s Daily Mail reported just days ago that the markets in at least two Chinese cities are open for business and selling dogs, rabbits, and other hapless creatures. The White House received the report of the ChiCom lies last week, Bloomberg reported: China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials. The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret and declined to detail its contents. But the thrust, they said, is that China’s public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China’s numbers are fake. But the bogus numbers are just one problem. On Tuesday, as Bloomberg reported, Deborah Birx, Chinese Virus chief for the White House, explained that doctors “interpreted the Chinese data as: This was serious, but smaller than anyone expected…. I think probably we were missing a significant amount of the data, now that we see what happened to Italy and see what happened to Spain.” And, Bloomberg  reported, “China is not the only country with suspect public reporting. Western officials have pointed to Iran, Russia, Indonesia and especially North Korea, which has not reported a single case…. Others including Saudi Arabia and Egypt may also be playing down their numbers.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Bloomberg noted, has told China to fess up and tell the truth. “This data set matters,” he said on Tuesday. Stopping the virus and saving lives “depends on the ability to have confidence and information about what has actually transpired.”… 

Coronavirus vaccine race gets unlikely partner: big tobacco

by ~ Cigarette makers may seem like an unlikely source of life-saving vaccines… yet Philip Morris International Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc are trying to devise a defense against the coronavirus from the humble tobacco leaf. BAT said Wednesday that it’s in pre-clinical testing of a plant-based vaccine via a U.S. biotech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing. Philip Morris has said its partially owned Canadian unit Medicago expects to start human trials for a potential vaccine this summer. “We believe we have made a significant breakthrough,” said David O’Reilly, BAT’s director of scientific research. “We stand ready to work with governments and all stakeholders to help win the war against COVID-19.” Big Tobacco isn’t a total stranger to the field: BAT’s Kentucky BioProcessing was involved in developing ZMapp, an Ebola drug, with Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. in 2014 — but that treatment never made it out of the lab. The race to find a vaccine is essential as world leaders question how long countries can remain in lockdown without extinguishing future economic prospects. The involvement of tobacco companies in the fight against COVID-19 may strike some as paradoxical as the World Health Organization has said smoking may raise the risk of coming down with more severe reactions to the disease. Philip Morris’s Medicago uses a virus-like particle grown in a close relative of the tobacco plant. Plant-based vaccines mimic viruses and allow the body’s immune system to recognize them and create an immune response, without being able to infect or replicate. Kentucky BioProcessing recently cloned a portion of COVID-19’s genetic sequence, which led to a substance that induces the production of antibodies. The antigen was then inserted into tobacco plants for reproduction. According to BAT, the method generates the vaccine faster than conventional methods, reducing the time required from several months to about six weeks.BAT’s U.S. unit Reynolds American bought Kentucky BioProcessing in 2014 planning to use its tobacco extraction technology to develop alternatives to cigarettes. The company is now exploring partnerships with government agencies to bring the experimental vaccine to clinical studies. BAT said while the unit is a commercial business, its work on a COVID-19 vaccine will be on a not-for-profit basis. Researchers in China were quick to share the virus’s genetic sequence with other scientists, providing them with a headstart to hunt for treatments and vaccines. They are testing everything from drugs first developed for HIV and the flu to antibody-containing plasma from recovered patients.  

Scalise backs bill revoking $25M from Kennedy Center following layoffs

by Dominick Mastrangelo{ } ~ Rep. Steve Scalise said he would support a bill demanding the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to give back the $25 million it is set to receive… as part of the coronavirus relief funding passed by Congress last week. “It shows the misplaced priorities of liar-Speaker Pelosi,” Scalise said Monday on Fox News. “While everybody else was working together … liar-Nancy Pelosi literally held up the bill for days to get her pet projects including the money for the Kennedy Center. “Hours after President Trump signed the bill, 96 members of the National Symphony Orchestra were told they were furloughed until the center reopens. The NSO has canceled performances until mid-May, citing public health concerns related to the coronavirus. The president of the Local 161-710 of the American Federation of Musicians said the moves taken by the center are “illegal.” “This decision, from an organization with an endowment of nearly $100 million, is not only outrageous — coming after the musicians had expressed their willingness to discuss ways to accommodate the Kennedy Center during this challenging time — it is also blatantly illegal under the parties’ collective bargaining agreement. That agreement specifically requires that the center provide six weeks’ notice before it can stop paying musicians for economic reasons,” Ed Malaga said in a statement. Rep. Bryan Steil, a Republican, says he plans to introduce a bill that would take back the $25 million appropriated to the center. “This money should be spent fighting the virus or in taxpayers’ pockets!” Steil said. Trump previously said of the millions going to the center, “That was a Democrat request. That was not my request. But you got to give them something.”  

Tell Gov. Wolf to dump terror-tied, islamist group from census commission

By Leonard Getz { } ~ In preparation for this year’s nationwide census, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order in September 2018 establishing… the “Census 2020 Complete Count Commission,” an appointed body of commissioners, government officials, and community stakeholders tasked with ensuring that the commonwealth receives a full and accurate count of all its citizens. Seeking to be all-inclusive, Gov. Wolf selected over 40 organizations covering a wide spectrum of Pennsylvania’s population to assist in public outreach and education. One of these groups, however, does not speak on behalf of the people it purports to represent: The Pennsylvania chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-PA, an Islamist organization with documented ties to foreign terrorist groups. Reaching hard-to-count communities during the decennial census is crucial for all Pennsylvanians, since the final count will determine federal program funding, local redistricting, and the reapportionment of congressional seats. The U.S. Census Bureau is depending upon some 300,000 local and regional partners to carry out this imposing task. Yet, it is unclear how CAIR-PA will fit into this operation after the Census Bureau terminated its consultation with the group’s national branch following a public backlash stemming from CAIR’s troubling history. If CAIR is deemed too extreme for the federal Census Bureau, shouldn’t it be deemed too extreme for Pennsylvania’s Complete Count Commission? Nevertheless, it is understandable why Gov. Wolf selected CAIR-PA to join the commission; with strong name recognition and media presence, CAIR promotes itself as a benign Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. However, CAIR enjoys little support among many Muslims living in America, and moderate groups such as the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and American Islamic Congress have questioned CAIR’s Islamist roots and its attempts to speak for average Muslim Americans. Indeed, a 2011 Gallup poll demonstrated how less than 12 percent of Muslim Americans chose CAIR from a short list of Islamic organizations as being representative of their values. According to the Washington Times, CAIR’s membership in 2006 was a meager 1,700, a minuscule fraction of the estimated 5 million Muslims estimated to be living in the United States. CAIR’s latest reported online tax form shows zero membership revenue, and the nonprofit does not appear to seek new members, although foreign donations are prominently solicited…  

‘Not fooling anyone’: Marsha Blackburn rips liar-Pelosi for suggesting Trump isn’t doing enough on coronavirus

by Dominick Mastrangelo{ } ~ Sen. Marsha Blackburn slammed House Speaker liar-Nancy Pelosi for accusing President Trump of not adequately responding to the arrival of the coronavirus in the United States…”This is the same person that fiddled around with a sham impeachment* that wasted valuable time,” Blackburn, a Republican, tweeted. “You’re not fooling anyone, liar-Nancy.”Over the weekend, liar-Pelosi said Trump’s response to the coronavirus and the need for more medical supplies were causing people to lose their lives. “The president, his denial at the beginning, was deadly. His delaying of getting equipment to where it — continues his delaying in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly,” liar-Pelosi said Sunday. “This is such a tragedy. We don’t even know the magnitude of it because we don’t have adequate testing.” Trump responded to liar-Pelosi’s comments in a tweet early on Monday and also referred to her as a “sick puppy” in an interview with Fox & Friends. “liar-Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats delayed the Workers Help/Stimulus Bill by over a week, trying to add real ‘junk’ into the Bill,” Trump tweeted. “Got some bad things, having nothing to do with those affected by the Virus, included. Republicans need their votes until we WIN BACK THE HOUSE IN 2020!”  

.CARES Act Massively Expands Government

Thomas Gallatin 

As the dust settles following Congress’s hurried passage of the emergency relief package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, spending details of the 880-page, $2.2 trillion behemoth are now becoming known, and it’s not a pretty sight. While billions of dollars go for needed virus relief, roughly $600 billion goes into government coffers. It’s the biggest one-day expansion of government power ever, with the vast majority going to increase the welfare state.

It’s clear that Big Government proponents, especially the Democrats led by liar-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, followed Rahm Emanuel’s advice and didn’t let this crisis go to waste. What may be an even greater danger than government expansion is the precedent this crisis action has produced. Now, even more Americans will look first to the government to bail them out of a crisis, costing billions and saddling them with all the more Liberty-limiting regulations as the bureaucratic state grows exponentially.As The Wall Street Journal astutely notes, “Republicans waved much of this through, viewing it as the Democratic price for urgently needed business liquidity. But they should understand the left has every intention of making these spending levels the new normal. Long after this virus has passed, long after the economy is recovering, Democrats will cry foul at any cut. Should they win the presidency or the Senate this fall, the chances of rolling any of this back fall even further.”The bill’s most glaring and dangerous aspect is that it fails to distinguish between that which is expected to be a temporary expansion of government from that which is permanent — exactly as the Democrats wanted it. The Journal observes, “Democrats successfully exploited the crisis to expand the power of government overall — perhaps for the long term. That’s especially perverse, given it was government that imposed the restrictions that shut down the economy, necessitating this rescue bill in the first place.”Will Americans one day come to regret the Orwellian-named CARES Act and see it as the cure that was worse than the disease?  ~The Patriot Post 


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