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Michael Novakhov’s favorite articles on Inoreader: The News And Times: 5:39 AM 1/6/2021 – Shared Links and Articles Review: GERMANS! New Abwehr! Old WW2 Nazi and Japanese human experiments and research – this is the most likely answer, in my opinion. And this is even much greater and much more consequential story that no one wants to look into, because it is awesome and very scary. And more might yet to come. WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!! | New life pumped into theory COVID-19 is result of China experimental lab leak

 5:39 AM 1/6/2021 – Shared Links and Articles Review

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5:17 AM 1/6/2021 – Tweets by ‎@mikenov

 Michael Novakhov Retweeted

Distance offers perspective. Out January 12.

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An American novelist is breathing new life into the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of a lab leak in China — a notion that several scientists agree is “absolutely” possible.

In a nearly 12,000-word cover story for New York Magazine, Nicholson Baker floats the idea that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was tampered with by money-hungry scientists eager to capitalize on a new, “emerging” disease.

“I keep returning to the basic, puzzling fact,” Nicholson writes in the story, out Monday. “This patchwork pathogen, which allegedly has evolved without human meddling, first came to notice in the only city in the world with a laboratory that was paid for years by the U.S. government to perform experiments on certain obscure and heretofore unpublicized strains of bat viruses — which bat viruses then turned out to be, out of all the organisms on the planet, the ones that are most closely related to the disease.

“What are the odds?”

The story quotes several scientists and experts who say the virus that’s infected 85 million and killed 1.8 million globally likely escaped from the lab in Wuhan.

“There is a reasonable chance that what we are dealing with is the result of a lab accident,” Alina Chan, a scientist at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, told Baker in July.

But she noted there was a chance that the disease developed naturally — which has long been suspected after being linked to bats early on in the pandemic.

Chan said we may never know the truth.

“I don’t know if we will ever find a smoking gun, especially if it was a lab accident. The stakes are so high now,” she told Baker. “It would be terrifying to be blamed for millions of cases of COVID-19 and possibly up to a million deaths by year end, if the pandemic continues to grow out of control. The Chinese government has also restricted their own scholars and scientists from looking into the origins of SARS-CoV-2. At this rate, the origin of SARS-CoV-2 may just be buried by the passage of time.”

Another expert told Baker, 63, that he “absolutely, absolutely” believed the deadly outbreak was due to a lab accident.

Baker spent three months reporting the piece — which focuses on the consequences of gain-of-function research — and conducted more than two dozens interviews, the magazine said.

Gain-of-function research involves “experimentation that aims or is expected to (and/or, perhaps, actually does) increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens,” according to an article published by the National Institutes of Health.

“It could have happened in Wuhan, but — because anyone can now ‘print out’ a fully infectious clone of any sequenced disease — it could also have happened at Fort Detrick, or in Texas, or in Italy, or in Rotterdam, or in Wisconsin, or in some other citadel of coronaviral inquiry,” Baker wrote.

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“No conspiracy — just scientific ambition, and the urge to take exciting risks and make new things, and the fear of terrorism, and the fear of getting sick. Plus a whole lot of government money.”

Baker, who authored “Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act,” points to a number of other lab leaks around the globe involving influenza, hand-and-mouth disease and live anthrax.

He also argues that those who believe this coronavirus naturally evolved haven’t effectively shown how the highly infectious bug “traveled from the bat reservoirs of Yunnan all the way to Wuhan, seven hours by train, without leaving any sick people behind and without infecting anyone along the way.”

“This may be the great scientific meta-experiment of the 21st century,” Baker concluded his piece. “Could a world full of scientists do all kinds of reckless recombinant things with viral diseases for many years and successfully avoid a serious outbreak? The hypothesis was that, yes, it was doable. The risk was worth taking. There would be no pandemic.

“I hope the vaccine works.”

The cover story, however, also notes numerous denials from leading US virologists and health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, that COVID-19 stemmed from a lab.

Among Baker’s 10 works of fiction are three erotic novels, including one titled “House of Holes.”

New York Magazine wrote that its fact-checking team spent a month vetting Baker’s story, which was sent around to “multiple scientists, including two molecular biologists who believe that SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic virus, who all provided critical feedback to help ensure the accuracy of the work.”

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January 2, 2021 | 8:44pm | Updated January 4, 2021 | 10:55am


Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017.

AFP via Getty Images


The campus of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the central Hubei province.

AFP via Getty Images

US national security adviser Matthew Pottinger is doubling down on the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese government-run lab in Wuhan.

Pottinger, a staunch critic of Beijing, allegedly made the claim in a recent Zoom meeting with British officials.

“There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus,” Pottinger reportedly said, according to the Daily Mail.

The Trump appointee pushed the theory as the European Union made a new investment deal with China last week over protests from Pottinger and hesitance from the incoming Biden administration.

Pottinger, one of the first US officials to raise alarms inside White House walls about the origins of the virus back in January 2020, has reportedly suspected since the early days of the outbreak that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab.

He ordered US intelligence agencies to search for evidence that it had, the New York Times reported in April.

A Chinese virologist who said she did some of the earliest research on COVID-19 has publicly claimed COVID-19 was man-made, and that the Chinese government covered up its dangers. Western medical experts have discredited the theory.

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The World Health Organization has been investigating the source of the virus since the first case was made public in January 2020. Patient Zero has not been found.

Pottinger suggested in the recent call with British officials that the WHO probe is a ruse.

“MPs around the world have a moral role to play in exposing the WHO investigation as a Potemkin exercise,” Pottinger told the parliamentarians, referring to fake villages created in Crimea in the 18th century to convince the visiting Russian Empress Catherine the Great that the region was in good health.

“Even establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story,” Pottinger allegedly said, referring to another theory that the virus was transmitted from animals to humans inside a wildlife market in Wuhan, where the first cluster of cases emerged.

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The head of the

 World Health Organization 

(WHO) said on Tuesday he was “very disappointed” that China has still not authorized the entry of a team of international experts to examine the origins of the coronavirus.

The 10-strong team had been due to set off in early January as part of a long-awaited mission to probe early cases of the coronavirus, first reported over a year ago in China’s Wuhan.

“Today we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalized the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told an online news conference in Geneva.

“I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials and I have once again made it clear the mission is a priority for the WHO,” he said of the trip he said was developed with Beijing.

The mission was due to be led by Peter Ben Embarek, WHO’s top expert on animal diseases that cross the species barrier, who went to China on a preliminary mission last July.

Two members of the international team had already set out on their journey to China. One has now turned back and the other is in transit in a third country, emergencies chief Mike Ryan said.

However, he added: “We trust and hope that is just a logistic and bureaucratic issue that can be resolved very quickly.”

Ahead of the trip, Beijing has been seeking to shape the narrative about when and where the pandemic began, with senior diplomat Wang Yi saying “more and more studies” showed that it emerged in multiple regions. Ryan has previously called this “highly speculative.”

China has dismissed criticism of its handling of early cases that emerged in late 2019, although some including US President Donald Trump have questioned Beijing’s actions during the outbreak.

Washington, which has announced plans to leave the WHO, has called for a “transparent” investigation and criticized its terms under which Chinese experts conducted the first phase of research.

This blockage comes a week after a Chinese court handed down a

 four-year jail term

 to a citizen-journalist who reported from the central city of Wuhan at the peak of last year’s coronavirus outbreak in China.

The journalist stood accused of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” fielding interviews with foreign media outlets and “maliciously spreading” misinformation about the viral outbreak within the Chinese city, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). Prosecutors initially recommended a sentence of four to five years.

Zachary Keyser contributed to this report.

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Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) Director and Epidemiologist Dr. Paba Palihawadana has warned the public to take precautions to protect themselves from Rat Fever (Leptospirosis) due to the current rainy weather, when the virus tends to spread.

A total of 1,574 suspected cases of Leptospirosis have been reported to the Epidemiology Unit (EPU) of the Ministry of Heath within the six months of this year.

Five districts, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Ratnapura and Moneragala, have reported over a hundred cases of Leptospirosis, while Colombo and Kegalle have reported 92 and 97 cases respectively.

Rat fever is spread from the urine of infected animals and rodents, especially rats. It can spread to humans through contact; especially in it comes in contact with open wounds. Rat fever is It potentially fatal, but preventable with Doxcycyline.

The number of cases reported in June so far is forty-nine. Health Promotion Bureau officials have warned that the onset of the monsoon rains could cause the figures to spike. According to Epidemiologists some of the increased reporting of Rat Fever was from districts, which have traditionally had a low number of cases, and are non-endemic districts.

They said all Regional Directors of Health Services, had been alerted on controlling and preventing the current Leptospirosis outbreak following floods and heavy rains as a priority health issue and to ensure that adequate stocks of Doycycline are available for chemoprophylaxis to target groups (if necessary).

Officials said that patients should seek healthcare very early with initial symptoms, from a government hospital or a qualified medical practitioner to prevent deaths and complications.

Information on symptoms and the drug Doxycycycline used to prevent it can be obtained by dialling the 24 hour hot line 0710107107 which is free and manned by specialists in the field. (GID)

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By Eunice Ruth

The increase in the number of suspected rat fever cases reported this year is due to the unexpected weather, specifically monsoon related changes and the cultivation of abandoned fields, said Consultant Epidemiologist of the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Manjula Kariyawasam.

As of mid June, the number of such suspected cases stands at 3,500.

When contacted, he noted that Ratnapura has turned out to be a high-risk area with 25.3 per cent infections whereas the other Districts of Kalutara, Kegalle, Galle, Badulla, Colombo, Anuradhapura, Hambanthota, and Kurunegala listed 40% of infections involving farmers, as they mostly work in fields where water stagnates.

He noted that the public recently started cultivating their abandoned lands after more than 10 years without agricultural activity, and that this made the public get infected with the bacteria easily. 

This bacteria found in the water, stagnating in these fields can enter the body via damaged skin (minor cuts and scratches) and also through contact with the mucus membranes (eyes and mouth), he added.

Kariyawasam noted that it is important for the farmers, gemstone miners and persons who work on drains to obtain prophylactic treatment from nearest Medical Officer of Health and for this treatment to be taken once a week.

Meanwhile, he noted that this bacterial infection can be successfully treated with antibiotics once detected in its early stages while delay in receiving treatments can lead to serious consequences or even death due to damage caused to vital internal organs.

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News 12 Staff

Jan 05, 2021, 9:51am EST

Updated on:Jan 05, 2021, 9:51am EST

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The first case of a new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus has been confirmed in New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a state lab detected the strain in a man in his 60s who works at a jewelry store in Saratoga Springs. Medical experts say the variant is 70% more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain.

Gov. Cuomo says the high transmission rate is a concern. He says the man didn’t travel, which is an indication the variant is in the community.

The United Kingdom is under lockdown right now, and will remain that way for at least the next month. It’s an effort to combat the new fast-spreading coronavirus variant. Schools and colleges will be closed for in-person instruction, except for children of essential workers. People will be allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons like shopping for essentials, exercise, and medical assistance.

The U.K.’s chief medical officer warns that without further action hospitals could be overwhelmed in a matter of weeks.

Today, the Food and Drug Administration says it will not change recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccines. It comes after reports that the agency was considering giving half doses of Moderna’s vaccine.’

The head of Operation Warp Speed says clinical data shows the vaccine can be just as effective at half-doses for those aged 18 to 55.

In a statement, the FDA says in part, “at this time, suggesting changes to the fda-authorized dosing or schedules of these vaccines is premature.”

Johnson and Johnson says its coronavirus vaccine trial is still on track. The company says it should have enough data soon to determine if its Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is safe, and provides protection against the virus. The Janssen vaccine is a single dose shot, different from those made by Moderna and Pfizer, which require two shots each.

Johnson and Johnson hopes to submit an emergency use authorization application to the FDA next month.

This morning, News 12’s Anthony Carlo is joined by Dr. Hugh Cassiere to discuss COVID-19 hospitalizations and the new virus variant.

Dr. cassiere is the chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Northwell Health.

There were more than 128,000 people hospitalized with the virus Monday, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. That’s several thousand more than the previous record, set just one day earlier.

It’s also the 34th consecutive day that more than 100,000 people have been hospitalized with the virus. What is it like right now inside tri-state hospitals? Dr. Cassiere responds in the video below:

Is there any difference with how hospitals handle patients that could come in with the new COVID-19 variant? Below is what Dr. Cassiere has to say:

A negative COVID-19 test doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. The FDA is warning a test made by Curative Labs can return false negatives if it’s not administered correctly. It uses a saliva swab, which is analyzed for the virus’ genetic material. The FDA suggests retesting anyone who may have gotten an inaccurate result from the test in the last two weeks. Dr. Cassiere discusses how common is it to get false results with the rapid tests:

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Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of an Indictment charging MARIANNA LEVIN, TETYANA GOLYAK, ELENA LOKSHIN, SVITLANA ROHULYA, MARINA ZAK, ALINA KUPTSOVA, MALIHA IJAZ, MAKHINBONU NARZULLAEVA, NATALYA SHVARTS, and INNA GEKELMAN with conspiracy to commit mail, wire and healthcare fraud; substantive counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and healthcare fraud; and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, in connection with a  scheme to fraudulently bill Medicaid for home-health and personal-care services that were not actually rendered.  The ten defendants were arrested earlier this morning and will be presented today before United States Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger in Manhattan federal court.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge John P. Cronan.

Manhattan Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “These ten defendants allegedly attempted to swindle the managed healthcare system by billing for no-show cases, where aides provided no actual assistance to patients.  Now more than ever, the Medicare system is critical for so many Americans who depend on its services for their well-being. Conduct such as the alleged scheme today not only beleaguers the healthcare system, it unfairly penalizes those who depend on it most – the patients.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Money that’s earmarked for Medicaid-approved services, and fraudulently paid out to those who don’t render these services, is a crime that’s ultimately paid for by taxpayers themselves. In this case, as we allege, there were even patients involved in the kickback scheme who were willing to play along with the no-show scam in order to earn a few extra bucks. With a nearly $5 billion increase in managed long-term care plan spending recorded over a recent six-year period, the money paid out to those charged today is no drop in the bucket.”

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

Since in or about 2015, the defendants have been engaged in a widespread fraud scheme through which the defendants defrauded Medicaid for home-health and personal-care services that were not actually rendered.  At all times relevant to the Indictment, the defendants worked at or were otherwise associated with one of two affiliated licensed homecare service agencies based in Brooklyn, New York (“Agency-1”, “Agency-2”, collectively referred to as the “Agencies”), that provide home-health and personal-care services to patients residing in all five boroughs of New York City and Nassau County.  Combined, the Agencies employed approximately 3,000 home-health and personal-care aides (the “Aides”).  Most of the Aides were licensed to provide home-health aide services and personal-care services.

Home care is a health service provided in the patient’s home to promote, maintain, or restore health or lessen the effects of illness and disability.  Home care includes personal-care services, administered by Aides, including housekeeping, meal preparation, bathing, toileting, and grooming.

At all times relevant to this Indictment, eligible Medicaid beneficiaries in New York were able to seek government-funded home-health and personal-care services through managed long-term care plans (“MLTCs”).  In turn, MLTCs received Medicaid funding to pay for their beneficiaries’ home-health and personal-care services.  In recent years, home-health costs in New York have ballooned.  In or about January 2020, New York’s State budget director announced, in substance and in part, that spending on MLTCs tripled between the 2013 and 2019 fiscal years, representing a $4.8 billion increase.

The Agencies administer home-health and personal-care services to Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in New York MLTCs.  From in or about 2015 to in or about December 2020, Medicaid reimbursed the Agencies hundreds of millions of dollars for home-health and personal-care services.  A significant portion of the Agencies’ billings were fraudulent.  In particular, the Agencies billed Medicaid for “no-show” cases in which Aides claimed to be performing home-health or personal-care services when they were not.  At times when Aides falsely claimed to be performing home-health or personal-care services, they in fact, stayed home, ran personal errands, vacationed, and socialized with family and friends.  For example, on or about September 9, 2017, TETYANA GOLYAK was at a vineyard and winery in New Jersey at a time she claimed to be performing personal-care services for a patient residing in Brooklyn, New York; in or about January 2019, NATALYA SHVARTS was on a Caribbean cruise at a time she claimed to be performing personal-care services for a patient residing in Brooklyn, New York; and, on or about March 1, 2019, MALIHA IJAZ was at a Brooklyn restaurant at a time IJAZ claimed to be performing personal-care services.  These no-show arrangements caused the Agencies to submit false Medicaid claims to MLTCs. 

With no-show cases at the Agencies, an Aide’s fraudulently-obtained wages were often split between the no-show Aide and the no-show patient.  In addition to paying kickbacks to no-show patients, no-show Aides sometimes paid kickbacks to conspirators who referred no-show cases to Aides at the Agencies.   

The defendants are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and healthcare fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of healthcare fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences and minimum sentence in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

*                      *                     *

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York FBI, New York City Police Department, and the Office of Medicaid Inspector General for New York State. 

This case is being handled by the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Nicholas Folly, Nicholas W. Chiuchiolo and Daniel G. Nessim are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.       







Manager at Agency-1




Director of Case Coordinators at Agency-1




Director of Human Resources at Agency-1

Howell, NJ



Case Coordinator and Supervisor of Case Coordinators at Agency-1




Case Coordinator and Supervisor at Agency-1 and Supervisor at Agency-2

Staten Island



Case Coordinator at the Agencies

Avenel, NJ



Intake Employee and Aide at Agency-1




Case Coordinator and Aide at Agency-1




Coordinator and Aide at Agency-1




Recruiter for Agency-1


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

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*This article appears in the January 4, 2021, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

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Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the first confirmed case of the UK strain of COVID-19 virus has been detected in Saratoga Springs. The new strain was detected by the Department of Health’s Wadsworth laboratory as part of the state’s UK strain testing program. The strain was traced back to an individual affiliated with a Saratoga Springs jewelry store – N. Fox Jewelers located on 404 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY – and all individuals who visited the store from December 18 through December 24 are encouraged to contact the Department of Health and receive a COVID-19 test immediately. 

AUDIO is available here.   

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:

As you know, the State Department of Health has been aggressively looking for the UK strain of COVID, and we’re doing more testing than any state in the country and we’re doing more testing for the UK strain. The Wadsworth lab confirmed a case of the UK strain in Saratoga County, New York. It’s a gentleman who is in his 60s. He was symptomatic, but he is on the mend and he’s doing better. He did not travel recently, so this suggests that it’s in the community, it was community spread as opposed to having traveled to the UK, et cetera. He’s affiliated with a jewelry store in Saratoga. The sample was originally done in Saratoga Hospital and then was one of the samples that Wadsworth received as part of their UK testing program. There are 3 other cases in the jewelry store. We don’t know if they are the UK strain of COVID, we’re testing for them now. So, Wadsworth will run those, but we have 3 other people in the jewelry store who did test positive for COVID. The store was closed from December 24th through today, but we want people who visited the store from December 18th until the store closed on December 24th to get a test. The name of the store is “N” as in Nancy – N. Fox Jewelers. It’s located at 404 Broadway in Saratoga Springs. 

So, if you went to the N. Fox Jewelers store in Saratoga Springs from December 18th through December 24th you should contact us and get a test immediately. From a public health point of view now it’s about contact tracing, and this UK strain is reported to be 70 percent more contagious than the normal COVID strain. So, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to do effective contact tracing on this case. And we’re going through the employees of the jewelry store, but as it was a retail establishment we need the cooperation of the public. With that, I’m joined by Dr. Zucker, and Melissa DeRosa, and Robert Mujica, and Beth Garvey, and Gareth Rhodes. We will take questions at this point. You know that the UK strain is technically the B117 strain, and it’s been identified in California, Colorado, Florida and 33 countries. And my guess is the states that are effective at looking for it will find it. 

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The post The News And Times: 5:39 AM 1/6/2021 – Shared Links and Articles Review: GERMANS! New Abwehr! Old WW2 Nazi and Japanese human experiments and research – this is the most likely answer, in my opinion. And this is even much greater and much more consequential story that no one wants to look into, because it is awesome and very scary. And more might yet to come. WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!! | New life pumped into theory COVID-19 is result of China experimental lab leak first appeared on My News Links – – Current News.

Michael Novakhov’s favorite articles on Inoreader