The Netherlands has decided not to mandate the wearing of face masks in public, citing the fact that there is no scientific evidence to suggest they are effective against the spread of the coronavirus.
“From a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks, the Cabinet has decided that there will be no national obligation for wearing non-medical masks” announced Netherlands Minister for Medical Care Tamara van Ark.
The country’s National Institute for Health (RIVM) noted that it is aware of studies from other countries that purport to show masks slow the spread of disease, but will not be heeding them.
Indeed, RIVM chief Jaap van Dissel warned that wearing masks incorrectly, in addition to the effect masks have of eroding the perceived need for social distancing, could increase the risk of transmission because of a “false sense of security”.
“So we think that if you’re going to use masks (in a public setting) … then you must give good training for it,” he said.
Within the past week in the Netherlands, around 1400 new COVID-19 cases were reported, which equates to 342 more than the week before.
In Sweden, meanwhile, senior epidemiologist Anders Tegnell declared that there is “no point” in wearing masks in public.
“We see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” Tegnell said.
Sweden, which has not even instituted a lock down at any time, appears to be seeing a downward trend in cases.
At the beginning of this week, Sweden announced just 398 new cases, down from 767 the week before and 2,530 one month ago.
“The curves go down, and the curves over the seriously ill begin to be very close to zero. As a whole, it is very positive,” Tegnell asserted.
Australian Health Authorities Call For More COVID Boosters… But The Public Says No
Australia and New Zealand suffered some of the worst pandemic mandate conditions of any country in the western world, crossing the line into totalitarianism on a number of occasions.
Australian authorities restricted residents of larger cities to near house arrest, with people not being allowed to go more than 3 miles from their homes. Citizens were given curfew hours between 9pm and 5am. They were banned from public parks and beaches without a mask, even though it is nearly impossible to transmit a virus outdoors and UV light from the sun acts as a natural disinfectant.
In the worst examples, Australian citizens received visits from police and government officials for posting critical opinions about the mandates on social media. Some were even arrested for calling for protests against the lockdowns. In Australia and New Zealand, covid camps were built to detain people infected with covid. Some facilities were meant for those who had recently traveled, others were meant for anyone who stepped out of line.
As the fears over covid wane and the populace realizes that the true Infection Fatality Rate of the virus is incredibly small, restrictions are being abandoned and things seems to be going back to normal. It’s important, however, to never forget what happened and how many countries faced potentially permanent authoritarianism under the shadow of vaccine passports. If the passports rules had been successfully enforced, we would be living in a very different world today in the west.
Luckily, the passports were never implemented widely. Australian health authorities are once again calling for the public to take a fourth covid booster shot, but with very little response. Only 40% of citizens took the third booster, and new polling data shows that 30% are taking the fourth booster.
With an astonishing rise in excess deaths by heart failure in Australia coinciding exactly with the introduction of the covid mRNA vaccines, perhaps people are deciding to finally er on the side of caution. Why take the risk of an experimental vaccine over a virus that 99.8% of the population will easily survive?This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
NIH Failed To Monitor EcoHealth Alliance: Federal Watchdog
After an 18-month audit, a federal watchdog says that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) failed to adequately monitor and address problems involving EcoHealth Alliance, a New York City-based nonprofit that was used to offshore risky gain-of-function research to Wuhan, China after the Obama administration banned the practice in 2014.
According to the report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the “NIH did not effectively monitor or take timely action to address” compliance issues with EcoHealth.
In April 2020, after then-President Donald Trump claimed the SARS-CoV-2 virus could have come from the WIV lab, NIH terminated the EcoHealth grant with little explanation. That step was widely condemned by scientists, and OIG’s report now says NIH improperly executed the termination because it did not provide a valid reason or provide EcoHealth with required information for appealing the decision.
A few months later, NIH reinstated the award but immediately suspended it, setting conditions for resumption that EcoHealth said it could not meet. NIH permanently terminated the WIV subaward as of August 2022 for compliance issues, including WIV’s failure to provide NIH with laboratory notebooks related to the funded experiments. –Science
The audit examined the above grant, as well as two others from 2014 to 2021 which totaled $8 million, but largely focused on $600,000 of it which went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The NIH faulted EcoHealth for failing to promptly report gain-of-function results in some experiments, however the company has blamed a computer glitch at NIH for the 2-year delay.
Digging into the report is US Right to Know’s Emily Kopp, who has broken down various aspects of the OIG report.
Meanwhile, the audit also found that the nonprofit billed NIH for $89,171 in disallowed costs, including expenses such as alcohol, and a staffer’s $3,285 trip to a conference that was miscoded, and should have instead been billed to a non-NIH grant.
The OIG recommends that the WIV (but not EcoHealth) be banned from receiving future NIH funds.
Meanwhile, EcoHealth just scored a fresh $3 million grant from the Department of Defense.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Rand Paul, GOP Senators Push Bill To Reinstate Service Members Fired For Refusing COVID Vaccines
“We still have service members who have not been rehired, promoted, or received back pay and benefits.”
GOP Senator Rand Paul has joined others in promoting an updated bill to reinstate military service members who were previously fired for refusing to comply with the Biden Administration’s COVID vaccine mandate.
The legislation, named the Allowing Military Exemptions, Recognizing Individual Concerns About New Shots (AMERICANS) Act of 2023, includes a requirement that the Secretary of Defense offer reinstatement to active members who were removed from duty for not taking the shots.
Senator Paul noted “The COVID-19 vaccine mandate has ruined the livelihoods of men and women who have honorably served our country. This inept bureaucratic policy should have never been imposed, and while it has since been rolled back, we still have service members who have not been rehired, promoted, or received back pay and benefits.”
He continued, “The AMERICANS Act will address these issues and others that the Biden administration has failed to consider at the expense of service members’ lives and our nation’s national security interests.”
Senator Ted Cruz, who is also co-sponsoring the bill added “Our military continues to feel the effects of the Biden administration’s reckless, misguided, and now-prohibited vaccine mandates.”
“I’m glad that we were able to remove the COVID-19 vaccine mandate last Congress, but there is more work to do,” Cruz urged, adding “The AMERICANS Act would correct the wrongs done to unvaccinated service members who were discharged for exercising their conscience.”
As they noted in their statements, the Senators were previously successful in getting the mandate scrapped by threatening to block the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Representative Dan Bishop, who has introduced a companion bill in the House, also noted that “While last year’s NDAA directed that SECDEF rescind the DOD’s authoritarian COVID vaccine mandate, it didn’t prohibit the DOD from issuing a similar mandate in the future.”
He continued, “The bill also didn’t provide any meaningful remedies for service members who were kicked out due to the mandate. This is completely unacceptable. Sen. Cruz and my bill, the AMERICANS Act, will close these glaring loopholes and bring justice to military members who were purged by Secretary Austin’s egregious vaccine mandate.”
Specifically, the legislation will require the Department of Defense to:
- Reinstate any service member separated solely for COVID-19 vaccine status who wants to return to service, crediting the service member with the time of involuntary separation for retirement pay calculations;
- Restore the rank of any service member demoted solely for COVID-19 vaccine status, compensating the service member for any pay and benefits lost due to that demotion;
- Adjust to “honorable” any “general” discharge given to a service member solely due to COVID-19 vaccine status;
- Expunge from a service members’ record any adverse action based solely on COVID-19 vaccine status, regardless of whether the service member previously sought an accommodation;
- Make every effort to retain service members not vaccinated against COVID-19, providing them with professional development, promotion, and leadership opportunities equal to that of their peers; and
- Provide a COVID-19 vaccine exemption process for service members with natural immunity, a relevant underlying health condition, or a sincerely held religious belief inconsistent with being vaccinated.
The Military Times estimates that more than 3,400 troops were “involuntarily separated from the service” due to non-compliance with the vaccine mandate.
Despite Republican attempts to stop mandatory vaccines for active duty personnel, and to uphold exemption rights, the Biden administration has continually pushed for dishonourable discharges and even court martialing for troops who disobey orders to get the shots.
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