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WHO’s COVID ‘investigation’ was dishonest Chinese propaganda: Devine



WHO's COVID 'investigation' was dishonest Chinese propaganda: Devine

Surprise, surprise! The crack team of investigators the World Health Organization sent to China to investigate the origins of the pandemic has ruled out a leak from a Wuhan lab. Phew. That’s China off the hook, then. Carry on.

It’s all such a tragic farce. The WHO team spent almost four weeks in Wuhan, half in quarantine, but they spent just three hours at the Wuhan Institute that credible virologists across the world say is the most likely source of the outbreak.

They were convinced during their visit that it was impossible for any lab accidents to have occurred there, because standards are so high. No needle pricks, animal bites or any other human error that occurs regularly in every other biosecurity lab in the world.

Case closed.

Strange, then, that accidents seemed to be enough of a concern on Nov. 15, 2019, for two of the institute lab’s staff to file their only lab-accident-related patent. It is for a tourniquet to treat fingers wounded when working with pathogenic viruses, and it was uncovered by a group of scientists and open-source intelligence researchers who call themselves “Drastic.”

Maybe it’s not such a great idea to be doing that research in a city of 11 million people.

While dismissing the lab-leak theory, WHO investigators also echoed China’s most farcical propaganda point, musing that the virus might have been imported into China via frozen food such as Australian beef and sold at the Wuhan market.

Speaking alongside Chinese apparatchiks in Wuhan at a three-hour event Tuesday billed the “WHO-CHINA Joint Study Press Conference,” Peter Embarek, spokesman for the investigators, said the frozen-food theory merited further study but the possibility of a lab leak was “extremely unlikely” and should not be further investigated.

Who knows? Anything is possible. Maybe a spaceship from Mars dropped off the coronavirus in Wuhan, which just happens to be the only place in China with the highest-level biosecurity lab that was experimenting on bat coronaviruses that are the closest relative to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In fact, the institute is one of three Wuhan labs studying bat coronaviruses, and the WHO team never bothered visit­ing the others.

Team members spent more time dining with their hosts and visiting a propaganda museum celebrating Wuhan’s fight against COVID, replete with giant portraits of President Xi Jinping.

Among the patents uncovered by the Drastic online sleuths is one that describes in detail how researchers at one of the other Wuhan labs capture wild bats known to carry the SARS coronavirus in mountain caves and transport them thousands of miles, to breed them in the lab and feed their young daily by hand.

This lab has a lower biosecurity level, BSL2, about what you’d find in dental surgery, than the Wuhan Institute’s top level, BSL4. But no possibility of lab accidents, of course.

WHO conducted a fake investigation from the start, with a team of experts vetted by Beijing and a pre-planned conclusion designed to take the heat off China.

Any report produced by them is a waste of time. It is Chinese Communist Party propaganda that only exposes how fatally compromised by China WHO has become.

No one demonstrates the problem more obviously than America’s only representative on the WHO team in Wuhan, British-born Dr. Peter Daszak, who runs the New York-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance and has a whopping conflict of interest.

He helped fund the risky “gain of function” research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute, and co-authored scientific papers with the scientist who conducted the lab’s research, China’s so-called bat woman Shi Zhengli.

He has long been one of the most vocal opponents of the “lab leak” theory, dismissing it as asserting that the virus is more likely to have spontaneously emerged from the wild.

Of course he would.

After Tuesday’s press conference, he tweeted at President Biden, saying he “has to look tough on China. [But] please don’t rely too much on US intel: increasingly disengaged under Trump & frankly wrong on many aspects.”

The tweet was linked to an article in which State Department spokesman Ned Price expressed skepticism about the inquiry and the level of China’s cooperation: “I think the jury’s still out.”

That’s an understatement.

Now WHO has provided the Biden administration with a perfect out. Team Biden can say let China off the hook, repudiate the dreaded Trump and continue ­cozying up to Beijing.

If it does accept the WHO whitewash as holy writ, then the labs in Wuhan will continue catching wild bats in remote caves and meddling with their corona­viruses to make them more dangerous to humans. There will be no pressure to change their ways, to at least move their research out of a megatropolis of 11 million people.

Three weeks ago the Wuhan Institute published a patent for a new bat breeding program so it can continue its risky research. It’s business as usual.

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Joe Biden is even more of a ‘master of disaster’ than Jimmy Carter



Joe Biden is even more of a 'master of disaster' than Jimmy Carter

President Joe Biden entered office poised to oversee a record recovery and a return to the booming economy and all-round stability of pre-pandemic life. Instead, he’s turned out to be a master of disaster, with self-inflicted crises across the board threatening to set America back to the 1970s — with that era’s infamous “stagflation” as well as a foreign policy in flames.

When Biden took office in January, the nation was on the mend from a post-holiday surge in COVID cases and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines produced at unprecedented speed and nearly a million jabs a day going into American arms. With the unemployment rate — 3.5 percent — at a five-decade low in February 2020, Biden inherited a strong pre-pandemic economy that was already bouncing back strong as the pandemic and lockdowns began to end.

President Donald Trump had also done him a favor at the southern border, getting what was once a real crisis under control by prioritizing strong border security, negotiating a Remain in Mexico policy that saw asylum-seekers await the conclusion of their cases outside the country and instituting a public-health order that kept migrants out while we focused on eradicating the virus.

Biden even looked set to negotiate more peace deals in the Middle East, building on Trump’s Abraham Accords, the first deals in decades between Arab nations and Israel.

But barely four months into his presidency, it’s disaster after disaster as Biden wastes every opportunity his predecessor left him.

US consumer confidence fell unexpectedly this month as rising prices, a hiring slowdown and energy uncertainty hit hard. On Friday, the University of Michigan said its Index of Consumer Sentiment declined to 82.8, from 88.3 in April. Economists had predicted it would rise to 90.4.

It wasn’t the first disappointment for prognosticators this month. Economists expected the country to tack on 1 million jobs in April after seeing gains of 770,000 in March. Instead, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported just 266,000, as the unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent.

And then it announced that consumer prices rose 4.2 percent year-over-year in April — far worse than economists had predicted. It was the largest such jump since September 2008, when the financial crisis was at its height. Oh, and core inflation rose 0.8 percent from March to April, the biggest rise in nearly four decades.

You can thank Biden’s focus on expanding government at the expense of everyone else. Democrats (alone) passed his $1.9 trillion COVID “relief” bill — which had little to do with either — in March, as things were finally picking up. Throwing money into the economy without much consideration of its necessity directly led to the inflation we’re seeing now, with the money supply up by 25 percent over last year.

That “relief” bill also extended the $300 weekly federal unemployment supplement to Sept. 6, meaning nearly half of people getting checks make more by staying home than going back to work. Employers coast to coast have cited it as a reason they’re having trouble hiring.

Biden claims the jobs numbers show his two other big proposals ($5 trillion total for “infrastructure” and “families”) are desperately needed, but that “medicine” would mean more disasters, not least because they’re (partly) paid for via huge tax hikes on investments and business.

He’s also adding fear and gloom now, by refusing to rule out making his planned tax hikes retroactive.

Gas prices were already on the rise under Biden before the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline led to long lines at the pump. It now costs $1.05 more per gallon than it did a year ago. With Biden closing the Keystone XL Pipeline on his first day in office and generally vowing to wage war on all fossil fuels, it’s no wonder there’s uncertainty and higher prices.

Nowhere is the self-inflicted nature of Biden’s disasters more plain than on the border. He put a moratorium on deportations his first day in office and ended the Remain in Mexico program as well as all construction on any border barriers. Border apprehensions were at a 20-year high last month, but deportations were at a record monthly low.

And the feds have a record number of unaccompanied minors in custody — around 22,000 — because Biden ordered the public-health rule keeping migrants out to be lifted for solo kids.

Meanwhile, Hamas and its allies have gone on the attack against Israel, leaving it no choice but to defend itself. As Jonathan Schanzer notes, the Biden team’s drive to restore the Iran nuclear deal plainly inspired Tehran’s terrorist clients to start firing, even as it makes Israel less willing to listen to Washington’s efforts to broker a ceasefire.

It’s stunning how much success Biden has managed to reverse in not even four months. With long lines at the pump, slowing growth and rising inflation, it’s looking like the Jimmy Carter era — except that it took Carter years to produce the disasters that this president has fostered in scant months.

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Attacking test-in schools is anti-Asian



Attacking test-in schools is anti-Asian

On Wednesday, a handful of students — including a couple of Brooklyn Tech kids — demonstrated against the specialized high school entrance exam in front of Stuyvesant HS in Lower Manhattan. Teens Take Charge, the group sponsoring the event, chose Stuyvesant as the venue because it is 70 percent Asian and this year just eight black students did well enough on the test to win entry.

What made this affair sad, besides the low turnout, was that The New York Times and NY1 took the rally seriously — thinking this somehow represents a majority opinion. Democratic politicians also pretend that the existence of elite schools, and the tests required to enter them, is a problem. During Thursday’s mayoral debate, only Eric Adams and Kathryn Garcia (a Stuyvesant grad) stood up for the entrance exam.

The problem is not the test. It’s a sign of the larger problem of too many underperforming elementary and middle schools in our city — and the absence of Gifted & Talented classes — in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

The SHSAT is a color-blind admissions test where neither political influence nor money can buy entrance. For over 80 years, these schools have offered advancement to all through a high-quality, merit-driven education.

Remarkably, many of the same voices decrying the surge in anti-Asian assaults as the product of “systemic racism” also denounce a race-blind exam that happens to lead to elite high schools being predominantly Asian high schools, even suggesting that this, too, is somehow the product of (extremely well-hidden?) racism.

Dropping admission standards for the specialized high schools means sending in students who aren’t prepared for the rigorous workload, which helps no one and robs others of the challenging education they’ve earned. It’s the pursuit of “equity” at the expense of justice and excellence.

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Letters to the Editor — May 16, 2021



Letters to the Editor — May 16, 2021

End tribalism

Thank you to Ayaan Hirsi Ali (“The tyranny of tribalism,” May 12) for an amazing article about what is happening in America today. It’s a unique look at the old “divide and conquer” issues that have plagued Ali’s native country of Somalia, and are now plaguing America.

There is no longer freedom of speech because you are judged, called names and even canceled if you do not agree with another person’s narrative.

Our country is not perfect, and we’ve certainly have come a long way over the past century. But in the past eight years, it feels like we have stepped back in time, and our politicians and the media are turning our countrymen against each other more and more.

If we do not learn from the past, our failures or the failures of other countries, then what hope do we have?

Gina Beckmann
Salt Point

History’s heroes

Sohrab Ahmari’s column at first seemed to be another lament about “wokeness” (“Wisdom of Ages,” PostOpinion, May 10).

It was so much more. Telling Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s story of heroism transcends the loud voices of the crowd and speaks to a way of living a truly free life.

As he says, “Freedom meant choosing what one ought to do.”

We need to tell these human stories over and over to our children, so they can understand what takes a lifetime to understand, not erase them.

Jayne Lee

Cop’s tot save

Bravo to Police Officer Alyssa Vogel for her heroic actions in rushing a wounded child out of harms way and to medical attention (“Hero cop’s assurance,” May 10).

Kudos also to the NYPD and Florida police for catching the suspect. It’s a desperately needed reminder of what police here and throughout the country face daily, and another stark example of how the vast majority of officers handle dangerous situations bravely and effectively.

Conspicuously absent are the usual tweets from the usual suspects decrying police actions. Right-minded people of all stripes need to push back against the selective outrage that fuels the anti-police rhetoric that endangers all of us.

David Perez

Economy truths

Two of the primary rules in economics are that people act in their own self-interest and they respond to incentives (“Biden’s relief doesn’t ‘work,’ ” Charles Gasparino, May 8).

President Biden’s “stimulus” has created incentives that result in people not wanting to seek work. It’s in their self-interest to stay home because their compensation is on par with what it would be if they went out to work.

Democrats are creating an economy where government drives the market, and that is a recipe for disaster. History is loaded with failed societies where the collective made decisions at the expense of the individual.

When Biden says: “The economy is on the right track,” it just exposes his ignorance of basic economics.

Peter Kelly
Hazlet, NJ

Mother madness

As I read Matthew Walther’s column on mothers now being called “birthing people,” I shudder to think what’s next in the name of “political correctness” (“The Mother of All PC,” PostOpinion, May 12).

Will I be celebrating “sperm donor day” next month with my children? We all need to speak up and stop the madness before all traditions are canceled.

Lou Aiani
Staten Island

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