Tag Archives: USA

Russia and China Cement Relationship – Slam Biden’s “Illegal” Sanctions of Russia

Joe Hoft
April 4, 2022 

Russia and China cement their relationship and together claim that Biden’s sanctions against Russia are “Illegal”.

Radio Free Asia reported on the recent meeting between Russia and China.  Biden’s actions to date have emboldened the two countries while bringing them closer together.

Russia and China further cemented their alliance on Wednesday, hitting out “illegal” international sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

“The ministers had a thorough exchange of views on the situation around Ukraine,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement following talks between Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in the eastern province of Anhui on Wednesday.

“The head of the Russian foreign ministry informed his Chinese counterpart about the progress of the special military operation … and the dynamics of the negotiation process with the Kyiv regime,” the statement said.

“The sides noted the counterproductive nature of the illegal unilateral sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and its satellites.”

The article continues:

“There is no limit to China-Russia cooperation, no limit to our efforts to achieve peace, safeguard security and oppose hegemony,” Wang told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

“China-Russia relations are non-aligned, non-confrontational and not targeted at any third party,” the spokesman said.

On Ukraine, Wang Wenbin said China would “play a constructive role and provide assistance to normalize the situation in Ukraine,” adding, “any action that could add fuel to the fire or exacerbate controversies must be prevented.”

Lavrov, who is in the country ostensibly for talks about the future of Afghanistan, said the international community is “living through a very serious stage in the history of international relations.”

It’s clear that China and Russia know that Biden is weak and as a result, America is the most vulnerable it has been for a century.  It appears these two countries are on a joint mission to destroy the US.  China has been at war with the US for years, both economically and with information.

Under Biden, China is winning.  The response from Biden related to Russia’s efforts in Ukraine leads many to think China will do the same and invade Taiwan.

These two countries have never had an opportunity like they do today to destroy the US.  By acting together they are a formidable foe for the US after only one year with Biden in power.

Billions of Dollars in Ukraine Have Gone Missing Yet US Politicians Send Off Billions More

Joe Hoft
March 17th, 2022

Via The Gateway Pundit

We reported on numerous US politicians who all have their hands in the cookie jar in Ukraine.  But the fact is, Ukraine politicians also have their hand in the jar as well.

In 2019 we reported on Ukrainian businessman Igor Kolomoisky who controlled Ukraine’s largest commercial bank, Privat Bank.  This bank was said to control Burisma, the oil and gas company that gave Hunter Biden millions.  John Kerry was involved in Burisma as well.  There were reports that Kolmiosky somehow lost $1.8 billion of the bank’s money.  It was suspected that this money went offshore some place.

We also reported on all the US politicians who were involved in Ukraine and it wasn’t just for world peace.  It wasn’t to help out the people of Ukraine either.

US politicians weren’t the only people involved in suspect money transactions in Ukraine.  Former Ukrainian President Poroshenko promised to put his business aside when he became President.

“If I get elected, I will wipe the slate clean and sell the Roshen concern. As President of Ukraine I plan and commit to focus exclusively on welfare of the nation,” Poroshenko told the German newspaper Bild less than two months before the election.

Instead, actions by his financial advisers and Poroshenko himself, who is worth an estimated US$ 858 million, make it appear that the candy magnate was more concerned about his own welfare than his country’s – going so far as to arguably violate the law twice, misrepresent information and deprive his country of badly needed tax dollars during a time of war.

Poroshenko did this by setting up an offshore holding company to move his business to the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a notorious offshore jurisdiction often used to hide ownership and evade taxes.

However, the release of the Panama Papers showed:

Poroshenko’s action might be illegal on two counts: he started a new company while president and he did not report the company on his disclosure statements.

The current President of Ukraine ran against corruption in the country.  But he had blemishes too.  He had connections to banker Kolomoisky and he was accused of having $41 million in offshore funds.

Zelensky capitalized on widespread public anger at corruption, but his 2019 campaign was dogged by doubts over his anti-graft bona fides, given that his campaign was boosted by media belonging to Kolomoisky — who is accused of stealing US$5.5 billion from his own bank and funneling it offshore in concert with his partner, Hennadiy Boholiubov.

In the heat of the campaign, a political ally of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko published a chart on Facebook purporting to show that Zelensky and his television production partners were beneficiaries of a web of offshore firms that allegedly received $41 million in funds from Kolomoisky’s Privatbank.

That ally, Volodymyr Ariev, didn’t provide evidence, and his accusations have never been proven. But the Pandora Papers show that at least some of the details in this alleged scheme correspond to reality. The leaked documents show information on 10 companies in the network that match structures detailed in Ariev’s chart.

We all know Russia invading Ukraine is horrible.  Innocent Ukrainians are dying.  However, the US should pause before giving any money to Ukraine.  How much of it will never make it there?

US People’s Convoy Was a ‘gigantic Display of Freedom’ Despite Media Ignoring It

Joseph Farah
March 14th, 2022

I had a dream, a nightmare, that a righteous cause would be subverted, undermined, made to look foolish by forces of the Swamp as the breathtaking truckers caravan arrived in the D.C. area last weekend.

It would have been easy – if they were not ALL of the right heart.

The truckers were suppressed, beyond question. The media ignored them, even – dare I say it – Fox News. The fake news didn’t know what to do with them. Some of them lied about the convoy. They excoriated the truckers as dangerous zealots, skinheads, Nazis and malcontents – just like they had done with the Canadian version.

But the media had a surprise coming. You can demean people all day, but good people rise to the occasion. And these were good-hearted people – salt-of-earth human beings who were fed up with the federal government, like all of us. And this was their moment – passing through the D.C. Beltway and doing an end run against the District of Criminals.

The People’s Convoy staging at the Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Maryland, before driving on the D.C. Beltway around the nation’s capital on Sunday, March 6, 2022. (Video screenshot)

Cleverly bypassing Washington, the destination was Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland. They avoided the fences, the shock troops, the feds, Joe Biden’s illegitimate government, the regime, or whatever you want to call them. On Sunday, it was just beautiful, spectacular, a triumphant ending to a long nationwide protest of perfection. Let March 6 supersede Jan. 6. We’re getting too smart for another “insurrection.”

It was gigantic display for freedom, with American flags everywhere you turned. And it was another day for the good guys, the working people, the MAGA crowd, the CANCELED crowd to make themselves heard – just as our neighbors to the north did until Justin Trudeau show his colors as a tyrant.

They showed up in force. They showed up for their country. They showed up as the People’s Convoy. Just look at the pictures that cannot be denied, that cannot be forgotten or trivialized. EVER!

Trucks park next to each other at the conclusion of The People’s Convoy around the nation’s capital on Sunday, March 6, 2022. (Video screenshot)

These patriots were protesting the same actions that have been taking place all over the once-free world – mask mandates, vaccine terrorism and one embarrassment after another for America.

“People are tired, they are fed up” with their freedoms being chipped away, said Kris Young, who was livestreaming the event on Facebook from the truck her husband drove. “Our kids and our grandkids are not going to be living in the same country that many of us grew up in.”

She called the event “very fluid,” as the truckers decided against clogging the streets of Washington, D.C.

Trucker Stan Sasnak, right, clowns with fellow trucker Reuben from Florida whom he dubbed ‘Sam Elliott’ due to his resemblance to the actor during The People’s Convoy around the nation’s capital on Sunday, March 6, 2022. (Video screenshot)

“We can’t just go in there like a bull in a china shop and lock down D.C. and be infiltrated,” she said. “There is no long-term plans made. We never knew how big it was going to grow from one day to the next and we still don’t know that. … We want the emergency powers ended, which will do away with mask mandates. We want congressional hearings for accepting transparency.”

I played the “reluctant prophet” in my earlier column, “Who’s really in charge of America?” of Saturday. I was wrong, fainthearted, weak-minded. I did not believe in these people – there had to be wise guys, saboteurs in the pack, I thought. I attribute it to my early days growing up in New Jersey witnessing too much crime. I freely admit it.

I was still in a sad daze about the war in Ukraine. I was still stunned by Biden’s State of the Dis-Union address. I was still amazed at how the Demoncrats were still comparing the Jan. 6 kerfuffle to Pearl Harbor, the Civil War, and 9/11.

So mea culpa.

God bless America! The good guys won this round.

The People’s Convoy on the D.C. Beltway around the nation’s capital on Sunday, March 6, 2022. (Video screenshot)

Reprinted with permission by the WND News Center

Breaking: Russia Releases Alleged Captured Documents Before UN Special Council Meeting Exposing Evidence of US Military Biolabs in Ukraine (VIDEO)

Jim Hoft
March 11, 2022

As The Gateway Pundit reported last night — Russia called to convene the United Nations Security Council this morning to present evidence of military biological activities by the United States in Ukraine.

** The presentation will start at 11 AM ET on Friday morning.

US officials have offered varying responses to Russia’s claims. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, for example, told lawmakers on Tuesday that Ukraine does, in fact, have “biological research facilities” in the country.

According to Russian officials:

The Russian Defence Ministry continues to study materials on the implementation of military biological programs of the United States and its NATO allies on the territory of Ukraine.
Original documents and translations ➡️ https://disk.yandex.ru/d/62hsNB8kC7MXPQ

Russian officials released a preliminary report before the hearing today.

The information received from various sources confirms the leading role of the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency in financing and conducting military biological research on the territory of Ukraine.

Details of the UP-4 project became known, which was implemented with the participation of laboratories in Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa and was designed for the period up to 2020.

Its purpose was to study the possibility of the spread of particularly dangerous infections through migrating birds, including highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza, the mortality rate of which reaches 50 percent for humans, as well as Newcastle disease.

Due to the fact that Ukraine has a unique geographical location where transcontinental migration routes intersect, 145 biological species were studied within the framework of this project. At the same time, at least two species of migratory birds were identified, whose routes pass mainly through the territory of Russia. At the same time, information about migration routes passing through the countries of Eastern Europe was summarized.

Of all the methods developed in the United States to destabilize the epidemiological situation, this is one of the most reckless and irresponsible, since it does not allow to control the further development of the situation. This is confirmed by the course of the pandemic of a new coronavirus infection, the occurrence and features of which raise many questions.
In addition, the R-781 project is interesting, where bats are considered as carriers of potential biological weapons agents.

Among the priorities identified are the study of bacterial and viral pathogens that can be transmitted from bats to humans: pathogens of plague, leptospirosis, brucellosis, as well as coronaviruses and filoviruses.

It is noteworthy that the research is carried out in close proximity to the borders of Russia – in the areas of the Black Sea coast and the Caucasus.

The project is being implemented with the involvement of not only Ukrainian, but also Georgian biological laboratories controlled by the Pentagon in cooperation with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the US Geological Survey.

The analyzed materials on the UP-8 project, aimed at studying the Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever virus and hantaviruses in Ukraine, clearly refute the US public statement that only Ukrainian scientists work in the Pentagon biolabs in Ukraine without the intervention of American biologists. One of the documents confirms that all serious high-risk studies are conducted under the direct supervision of specialists from the United States.

The payroll of Ukrainian contractors clearly demonstrates how they are financed. It has been confirmed that the US Department of Defence paid the money for research participation directly, without the involvement of intermediaries. The extremely modest pay, by US standards, is noteworthy. This indicates a low estimation of the professionalism of Ukrainian specialists and the neglect of their American colleagues.

In addition, the studied materials contain proposals for the expansion of the US military-biological program in Ukraine. Thus, there was evidence of the continuation of completed biological projects UP-2, UP-9, UP-10, aimed at studying the pathogens of anthrax and African swine fever.

The Pentagon is also interested in insect vectors capable of spreading dangerous infectious diseases. The analysis of the obtained materials confirms the transfer of more than 140 containers with ectoparasites of bats – fleas and ticks from the biolab in Kharkov abroad.

Significantly, similar research was carried out in the 1940s on the development of biological weapons components by the Japanese unit 731, whose members later fled to the US to escape prosecution for war crimes.

I would like to remind you that representatives of Western countries are extremely cautious about handing over their biomaterials.

At the same time, available documents confirm numerous cases of transferring biological samples of Ukrainian citizens abroad. For example, 350 cryocontainers with blood serum samples were transferred from the Public Health Centre of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to the reference laboratory for infectious diseases of the Australian Doherty Institute under the pretext of determining antibody titers.

Another example is the German-funded project No. 68727 EN on the study of Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever pathogens and hantaviruses. As part of this project, one thousand blood serum samples of citizens from different regions of Ukraine belonging exclusively to the Slavic ethnic group were donated to the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (Hamburg).

It is highly likely that one of the objectives of the US and its allies is to create bioagents capable of selectively targeting different ethnic populations.

During a hearing of the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on 8 March, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland reported on the presence of bioweapons in Ukraine where biosecurity research had been conducted. She expressed concern about the possibility of these bio-laboratories and the materials there being taken over by the Russian Armed Forces.

According to available information, the Americans have already managed to evacuate most of the documentation, including databases, biomaterials and equipment from laboratories in Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa to the Lvov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene and the US Consulate in Lvov. The possibility of transferring part of the collection to Poland has not been excluded.
In fact, with her statement, Nuland indirectly confirmed the Pentagon’s military-biological program in Ukraine in circumvention of existing international agreements.

U.S. Funds Ukrainian Former Bioweapons Facility Handling ‘Dangerous Materials… With Windows Wide Open’

Raheem J. Kassam
March 10th, 2022

A Ukrainian biolab receiving funds from the U.S. government was formerly a bioweapons factory under the control of the Soviet Union, with experts recently reporting a “lack of modern biosafety equipment” as well as “lethal microbes that in the West would be locked away in high-containment laboratories,” the National Pulse can reveal.

An article published by the Washington Post on August 30th, 2005 – “U.S. to Aid Ukraine in Countering Bioweapons” – reveals a lab now receiving U.S. government funds formerly “supplied highly lethal pathogens to Soviet bioweapons factories”:

“One lab to receive funding is the I.I. Mechnikov Antiplague Scientific and Research Institute, in the Black Sea port city of Odessa. The institute was part of a Cold War network of “antiplague” stations that supplied highly lethal pathogens to Soviet bioweapons factories.”

In 2008, researchers from the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies in Monterey California noted of the the Mechnikov facility:

“…its management claimed in 2003 that it knew nothing about either the Soviet offensive or defensive [bioweapons] program. We question the second since it was in effect a closed facility until the late 1980s and worked on highly dangerous Group II pathogens and, probably, at least at time on some Group I pathogens since at least 1965. It would make sense if at least one of its laboratories worked on Problem 5 projects.

“Problem 5” was the codename given to the Soviet bioweapons program.

Another report by the James Martin Center revealed disturbing practices at the U.S.-funded facility (emphases added):

The lack of modern biosafety equipment is also raising concern among U.S. officials about the potential for an accidental release of deadly bacteria and viruses. In Odessa, where 44 scientists and about 140 support staff carry out research in the I.I. Mechnikov Anti-plague Scientific and Research Institute, scientists wearing cotton smocks and surgical masks work with lethal microbes that in the West would be locked away in high-containment laboratories and handled only by scientists in spacesuits. The lab’s scientists said their training in handling dangerous materials allowed them to work safely with pathogens without Western-style safety equipment—which they viewed as unnecessary and which in any case they cannot afford. “Many of the institutes are located in downtown areas, and some work with pathogens with windows wide open,” said Sonia Ben Ouagrham, who coauthored the Monterey study with Zilinskas and Alexander Melikishvili.

The news follows Biden State Department official Victoria Nuland telling the U.S. Senate that the American government is concerned about biological research facilities falling into Russian hands as a result of the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe, despite the department appearing to correct her testimony the following day.

The unearthed article also confirms a previous National Pulse report revealing how former President Barack Obama spearheaded negotiations leading to the lab eventually receiving U.S. government funds as part of a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Defense.

“The agreement, the result of more than a year of negotiations, was announced by Sens. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) during a visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev,” notes The Washington Post.

A separate article from The Irish Times – “Odessa Labs Host Deadly Legacy” – explains the Odessa-based laboratory’s former connections to the Soviet Union’s biological weapons programs.

Dubbed a “repository of knowledge, equipment and lethal pathogens that could be useful to bioterrorists,” the lab Obama negotiated to receive U.S. funds was highlighted for its inadequate safety precautions.

“The institutes were not officially part of the Soviet bioweapons complex, so they have been ineligible for the tens of millions of dollars given each year by western governments to keep former weapons scientists from selling their expertise. These governments are just beginning to look for ways to help the institutes, and not only because of the bioterrorism threat. In a two-year study of Russia’s biotech industry, a panel of the US National Academy of Sciences recently urged former Soviet republics to modernize the anti-plague labs and integrate them with other global networks working to prevent pandemics,” added the article.

“They often have culture collections of pathogens that lack biosecurity, and they employ people who are well-versed in investigating and handling deadly pathogens,” said Raymond Zilinskas, a bioweapons expert and co-author of a draft report by scholars from the Centre for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies on the role of Ukrainian labs in Soviet bioweapon efforts

“Some are located at sites accessible to terrorist groups and criminal groups,” he added.

The unearthed bio lab facility follows intense scrutiny over the U.S. government’s decision to fund risky, “gain-of-function” research in Wuhan at a Chinese Communist Partyrun lab with military ties.

While The Political Elite Play War Games, People Are Dying & Being Displaced

FEBRUARY 26th, 2022

Anytime geopolitical issues escalate into full-blown war, it can be a terrifying situation for onlookers and those who become the sacrifice of the political elite. War and conflict is something necessary for the military industrial complex to thrive.

While bullets are flying and bombs are dropping, legacy media outlets typically use a tremendous amount of propaganda to sway public perception with regards to what’s really happening. We’ve seen this in the past with conflicts in the Middle East. Countries have been completely destroyed, with tens of millions of innocent people either losing their lives or forced to flee their homeland in search of a new life. All of this was done under the guise of good will, while countries claiming to be going after terrorist groups like ISIS, for example, were caught funding, arming and in many ways, creating them.

The US alone has displaced between 38 and 60 million people across eight countries since 2001. Keep this in mind the next time you hear US government officials pledge to defend “international law,” “human rights,” or “sovereignty and territorial integrity” abroad, or any government for that matter.

When international conflict arises on such a scale to the point where people fear the use of nuclear weapons or the beginning of World War 3, finger pointing begins and the citizenry becomes divided, not united. When this happens, is it necessary to try and decipher what’s really going on?

I would argue yes, because you can’t solve a problem without properly identifying the real issue. Legacy media has long been unreliable for serving the public in this way. Often times their work does the complete opposite – make people more confused. That being said, a part of me would also argue no, because politics has become such a large cesspool of corruption that nearly all ‘political elite’ can be implicated in atrocities and human rights abuses. In this case, perhaps both Russia and Ukraine.

But imagine a country that is self sufficient that wasn’t taking part in the globalised world as we know it. What if ‘the powers that be’ decided they wanted to take it over for no reason. What is this country supposed to do? What other options would it have? What if the invading countries create lies & propaganda to justify what they are doing, because their own citizens would not stand for such a reckless act of aggression and power grabbing? What can counter this?

What’s unfortunate about these ‘political games’ and war mongering is that innocent people are always the ones to suffer and not the political elite. If nuclear war was to begin, these elites would be sitting cosy in their massive and highly advanced “bunkers” while the citizens of the world suffer.

I published an article yesterday that goes deep into a discussion about what’s happening with Russia and Ukraine. Even after that, I’m still confused. It’s become near impossible to trust legacy media, and presenting multiple perspectives, especially ones that legacy media continues to ignore, is vital to even attempt to understand what’s really happening.

But I ask myself, again, is this even necessary? I’ve grown tired of trying to present views that the masses in the western world seem to condemn, yet I feel it’s necessary to present a holistic view of a conflict given the fact that we are so inundated with propaganda and a one sided perspective. The greatest tool used against the population is the manipulation of human consciousness via information warfare. It’s become nearly impossible to decipher what’s really happening.

People may be divided in their views of what’s happening, but seem to be united in one thing: we don’t want war and conflict, we are tired of watching innocent people suffer, lose their lives and homes due to the continuation of politics by other means (war).

Some of us seem to want to create a human experience where everybody can thrive. And humanity has so much potential to do this. But politics, big business and corruption continue to plague mother earth to the point where I wonder, what role is government really playing in our world?

Some argue the world would be in chaos if government as we know it did not exist. But what do you call what’s happening today?

Why do we keep relying on governments to make change? Why do we continue asking them? Why do we allow them to participate in such atrocities and how can we change it?

I don’t have the answers, but I know keeping my mouth shut isn’t part of the solution. Day by day efforts to silence those who expose the destructive actions of various governments continue to grow. These days, if you present information, evidence and even opinions that call into question what your government is doing, you are censored, ridiculed, and may even be labelled a terrorist or an enemy of the state.

Just look at what’s happened with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.

A favourite quote of mine when referring to what’s happening with Assange comes from Nils Melzer, Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of Int Humanitarian Law and has served as UN Rapporteur on Torture and Other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

“How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes? How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals? Because we identify more with them, than we identify with the people that actually expose these crimes. What does that tell about us and about our governments? In a democracy, the power does not belong to the government, but to the people. But the people have to claim it. Secrecy disempowers the people because it prevents them from exercising democratic control, which is precisely why governments want secrecy.”

Nils Melzer

No matter what our beliefs are, I’m sure everyone can agree that aggression such as war does not sit right, and there is no justification for it. Pointing fingers and claiming one side is “good” and the other is “bad” seems to be useless. War should simply not be an option, no matter what.

Is it enough for us to simply understand the ‘truth’ behind what’s happening in these wars? Or are we being asked to inquire about larger questions? Why do wars really happen? Who is behind them? What stories within our worldview uphold the idea of “mine” and “yours” that cause us to fight over things? Are we truly separated? Or are we actually connected in a way many of us have forgotten, and perhaps a return to those ways of thinking will help birth a new world and an end to this type of conflict?

“It is our earth, not yours or mine or his. We are meant to live on it, helping each other, not destroying each other. This is not some romantic nonsense but the actual fact. But man has divided the earth, hoping thereby that in the particular he is going to find happiness, security, a sense of abiding comfort. Until a radical change takes place and we wipe out all nationalities, all ideologies, all religious divisions, and establish a global relationship – psychologically first, inwardly before organizing the outer – we shall go on with wars. If you harm others, if you kill others, whether in anger or by organized murder which is called war, you, who are the rest of humanity, not a separate human being fighting the rest of mankind, are destroying yourself.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

The USD Is Still the Dominant “Global Reserve Currency” But Under Biden It Reaches a 25-Year Low

Joe Hoft
February 26th, 2022

There is pressure on the US dollar from entities like the IMF and nations like Saudi Arabia.  But how bad is it?  

We previously reported that Russia and the Saudis signed an agreement some believed would be the end of the US ‘Petrol’ Dollar.  The USD was the currency used in oil trades and this was likely being replaced in an agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

As far back as 2011, the IMF thought it would be a good idea to replace the USD as the world’s reserve currency.

The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

The IMF said Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, could help stabilize the global financial system.  SDRs represent potential claims on the currencies of IMF members. They were created by the IMF in 1969 and can be converted into whatever currency a borrower requires at exchange rates based on a weighted basket of international currencies. The IMF typically lends countries funds denominated in SDRs

A report from Wolfstreet discusses the current situation of the USD as the world’s reserve currency.

The global share of US-dollar-denominated exchange reserves declined to 59.15% in the third quarter, from 59.23% in the second quarter, hobbling along a 26-year low for the past four quarters, according to the IMF’s COFER data released today. Dollar-denominated foreign exchange reserves are Treasury securities, US corporate bonds, US mortgage-backed securities, and other USD-denominated assets that are held by foreign central banks.

In 2001 – the moment just before the euro officially arrived as bank notes and coins – the dollar’s share was 71.5%. Since then, it has dropped by 12.3 percentage points.

In 1977, when inflation was raging in the US, the dollar’s share was 85%. And when it looked like the Fed wasn’t doing anything about inflation that was threatening to spiral out of control, foreign central banks began dumping USD-denominated assets, and the dollar’s share collapsed.

The plunge of the dollar’s share bottomed out in 1991, after the inflation crackdown in the early 1980s caused inflation to abate. As confidence grew that the Fed would keep inflation more or less under control, the dollar’s share then surged by 25 percentage points until 2000 when the euro arrived.

Since then, over those 20 years, other central banks have been gradually diversifying away from US dollar holdings.

Under Biden it seems that everything is going in the wrong direction. 

Canadian Truckers’ Freedom Convoy Coming to the US

Neenah Payne
February 8th, 2022

A convoy of 2,700 trucks entered Ottawa, Canada’s capital, on January 29 to protest the Covid-19 policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau including mandatory vaccination for truckers entering Canada through the US-Canada border. Dubbed the ‘Freedom convoy’, it has amassed support from all sections of the public. The protest is being organized by Canada Unity.

The convoy is 45-50 miles long with supporters lining highways and overpasses along the route. Since January 23, the group’s GoFundMe page raised over ten million dollars Canadian to cover the cost of the journey and to take care of truckers who have settled into Ottawa; the amount was subsequently confiscated by GoFundMe, drawing even more attention. The protests received an additional boost when farmers joined. According to Twitter users, hundreds of farmers have arrived in Ottawa in their tractors. It is a growing protest against the COVID “vaccine” mandates that is inspiring the world and is reportedly coming to the US in March.


Freedom Convoy: Longest Convoy In History!

“As per reports, the truckers have been camping near Parliament Hill and demanding reversal of all vaccine mandates in the country. A truck driver Harold Jonker told BBC, ‘We want to be free, we want to have our choice again, and we want hope – and the government has taken that away.’  He added, ‘The intent is to stay until all these mandates are dropped…all the truck drivers are used to camping in their trucks all week long. We are staying here until we can go back to work.’”

While Trudeau dismissed the truckers as a “fringe minority”, Freedom Convoy: Canadian truckers, more protest vaccine mandate reports:

“The convoys broke world records on the longest convoys in history with many over 40 miles long! The total number of trucks is unknown but it is in the tens of thousands. American truckers have joined. Canadians citizens have rallied to the cause and at every overpass and side road they gathered waving flags, holding signs and giving out supplies to the drivers.”

Canada Says “Enough Is Enough!”

‘COUNTRY IS IN REVOLT’: Joe Rogan talks Ottawa-bound truck convoy

“At the top of Wednesday’s edition of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Rogan asked his guest Montreal native Valentine Thomas whether she was aware of the convoy. ‘Your country is in revolt. It’s a giant convoy of trucks. That’s apparently some insane amount of people,’ said Rogan. ‘Fifty thousand trucks that are headed to Ottawa to protest the vaccine mandates.’ Rogan told Thomas. ‘Apparently, they are all being mandated to be vaccinated,’ said Rogan. ‘They’re like, ‘Hey, we’re not even in contact with anybody. We’re in our truck. Like, we just drive.’

On Wednesday, Ottawa police estimated there could be up to 2,000 demonstrators in Ottawa to protest their opposition to the vaccine mandate. The demonstration is predicted to last several days.”

“A vaccine mandate for truckers and travelers entering Canada was proverbially the straw that broke the camel’s back and a group of truckers who lost their jobs decided to drive to the nation’s capital Ottawa, Ontario to voice their dissention. The movement has grown exponentially with thousands of semis and private vehicles joining in convoys from across the nation converging on Ottawa on January 29.

The Canadian government has asserted that vaccination is an essential component in moving past the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective Jan. 15, 2022, all travelers entering Canada, including truck drivers, must use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel information, including proof of vaccination. The United States has also followed suit with a similar mandate for truckers coming from Canada and Mexico.

‘The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other, who know of that following the science and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to continue to ensure our freedoms, our rights, our values, as a country,’ Prime Minster Trudeau said the 26th of January…..These statements angered many Canadians as they have come out in support of their freedoms regardless of their vaccination status and ethnic background in large numbers.

The convoys officially broke world records on the longest convoys in history with many over 40 miles long…. The total number of trucks is of yet unknown but it is in the tens of thousands. American truckers have also joined. Canadian citizens have rallied to the cause and at every overpass and side road they gathered waving flags, holding signs and giving out supplies to the drivers.

Brian Hunstad of Saskatchewan said that on Monday the 24th when the convoy came through, it met with much support…. ‘we’ve been to a few protests but this was different. No anger, everyone was happy and ready to be done with all these mandates and lockdowns. Just regular people with their families ready for this to be done. Very joyful.’….

The Freedom Convoy organized by Tamara Lich, Benjamin Dichter and Chris Barber held a press conference on Jan. 30…. They plan to peacefully remain in Ottawa until the government restores the freedom of all Canadians by lifting all Covid mandates and allowing the country to return to normal. They said they have enough funds to remain in the capital for years if necessary. The Prime Minister has declined to meet with the truckers and is currently quarantining after a positive Covid test.

The organizers have joined forces with locals and are supplying the needs of the truckers, showers, hot meals, and food. While some of the trucks are lining the streets of Ottawa, many are parked in fields around the city. The group is committed to remaining peaceful, are guarding monuments, shoveling snow, playing hockey, picking up garbage, and feeding the homeless…..

In the last election, Prime Minister Trudeau received 21 percent of the vote but Canada doesn’t have term limits for its leaders. The convoy leaders feel that they are representing the other 80 percent that doesn’t have a voice and have lost jobs and businesses due to the lockdowns.

In some of the provinces, those without a vaccine passport are restricted from shopping, going to gyms, attending sporting events and Quebec was even going to implement a tax on the unvaccinated but that plan is now going to be abandoned.

While thousands gathered in provincial capitals and in Ottawa, many from both sides of the border gathered at several major US/Canada entrances points. The Sweet Grass, Montana/ Coutts, Alberta crossing saw large numbers gather. Jake Zacharias was there with his drone filming on the 29th. ‘We saw people, all kinds, vaccinated, unvaccinated uniting, coming together for the first time in 2 years. We saw hope, we saw people who are done with all the mandates, we saw the Canada we used to have. Freedom to choose. Freedom of speech.’ He estimated that over 1,000 vehicles were at that crossing.”

Why Trudeau’s Head of Security Quit

Freedom Convoy – Canadian Truckers Inspire the WORLD! (video)

The video reports that Corporal Bulford, Prime Minister Trudeau’s head of personal security for 8 years, just resigned! Bulford is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The video explains that the truckers’ movement is turning into a working class revolution in Canada.

Corporal Bulford resigns from his position of personal security of Trudeau

“Commenting on the restrictions and mandates that are against the Charters of Rights and Freedoms in Canada.”

This is a very powerful speech.

US Trucker Convoy In March

Freedom Convoy: Canadian truckers, more protest vaccine mandate says:

“The Freedom convoy had sparked interest and support world-wide. Across Europe, Central America, Australia and the US truckers are organizing their own convoys for freedom. According to the press conference, “the convoy has started a cultural movement for cultural unity in Canada that has blossomed into a global cultural movement, pushing back against the political class who have failed us and are pushing us into serfdom.”

US trucker convoy coming: Joe Biden will ignore protests at his peril

“As hard as it is to imagine, President Biden’s political fortunes are about to get worse. The massive trucker convoy that crossed Canada to protest against that country’s new vaccine mandates will almost certainly be replicated in the U.S. and will bring with it huge headaches for the Biden White House. Biden pretends to be the champion of the “little guy”; he claims to support blue-collar workers. Truckers are exactly the kind of folks Biden is meant to embrace, but he will not do that.

The drivers protesting the vaccine mandates have already been portrayed by the liberal media as right-wing zealots and science deniers, which is only one notch above climate deniers. A Facebook group organizing the U.S. convoy that had amassed 130,000 members has been tossed off the social media platform amid allegations that the movement was being promoted by right-wing extremists, which the organizers deny.

Biden will not dare stand up for the truckers. And yet, if he dismisses them as a ‘small fringe minority,’ as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently did with the ‘Freedom Convoy’ drivers up north, they could get mad. They could, if pushed, call for a sick-out of America’s vital truckers. Whatever supply chain problems we have had would pale before the catastrophe that could unfold if tens of thousands of drivers simply walked off the job for a day or two. Imagine what would happen to transportation costs, and inflation.

The convoy protests would come at an awkward time. The public has had it with the government’s draconian (and largely ineffective) measures to combat COVID-19. Polling shows people are ready to move on. They are emboldened by a growing body of evidence indicating that the restrictions and rules promulgated by our government – under both Presidents Trump and Biden – were a mistake.

new study from Johns Hopkins University shows that shutting down the country reduced COVID mortality by only 0.2 percent, while causing ‘devastating effects’ on the economy and drastic social ills. Further, the research suggests that lockdowns ‘are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.’ People are also tired of being told not to question the ‘authorities.’ They are fed up with officials who say immodestly that they represent science even as many of their pronouncements turn out to be worthless.

The recent flap over Joe Rogan’s interview with cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough, who is critical of the vaccines and the approach the government has taken, is ridiculous. Why should we not question the science around COVID treatments and approaches? And especially when the costs to society and the economy have been so desperately high? It is a sign of weakness that the authorities are so afraid of debate.

Truckers were driven to protest by new mandates from North America’s governments that anyone driving a rig across the U.S.-Canada border must be vaccinated or quarantined as a condition of being allowed to enter either country. Just like that, truck drivers went from being essential workers, highly lauded for risking their personal health to deliver goods to locked-down communities, to being officially classified as “non-essential” functionaries. They feel jilted by an ungrateful populace.

But the trucker protests have become a rallying point for millions irate about what many view as COVID-inspired overreach by autocratic governments. Thousands turned out to cheer the miles-long convoy across Canada, even though the government of Nova Scotia, literally making the protesters’ case, outlawed people from lining the highways and imposed stiff fines on those who disobeyed.

Trudeau went into hiding when the convoy reached Ottawa, the nation’s capital. Trudeau did himself no favors, condemning the large assembly but refusing to meet with them. Despite his apparent concerns, there was in the large crowd not a single arrest over the past weekend. There were no acts of violence. The liberal media made a big fuss over a supposed desecration of a monument (someone peed on it, apparently) and because someone spotted a Confederate flag.

To the chagrin of the left, it was, to use a once-popular description, a ‘largely peaceful’ protest. This sort of scene will likely be replicated in coming weeks in Washington, D.C. Biden, who constantly reminds voters of his middle-class roots, will face the same issue as Trudeau. Will he demonize the truckers? Will he listen to their grievances? Or will he scurry back to Delaware and hope they all go away?

The trucker rally will draw support from people who are angry that governments have shown indifference to the plight of restauranteurs, hairdressers and countless other small business owners whose livelihoods were callously destroyed by officious bureaucrats. People who are angry that their children have lost immeasurable learning because schools were closed and have suffered emotional impairment as they wear pointless masks day in and day out. They are angry at the stupidity of it all.

Biden misled the public when he promised he had a plan to shut down the virus. Now he has a choice: rebuff the truckers or hear their pleas. Stick to his failing policies or change course and admit mistakes have been made. Declare the vaccines important and helpful, but not the only answer. Admit that we need to accept the virus as part of our lives, that we can move forward and that one size does not fit all.

Can Biden reboot? We shall see.”

‘The Five’ skewer Biden, Trudeau over COVID leadership

Truckers are planning to launch a California to DC protest starting March 1

U.S. truckers gearing up for Convoy to D.C. 2022

“Brian Brase, a truck driver from Ohio, is one of the core organizers of a group planning the Convoy to D.C. 2022. Brase said. ‘This is bigger than any one person, company or organization.’ Brase said the convoy is organizing to protest vaccination mandates. He stressed it is not an anti-vaccination movement but rather about ‘human and constitutional rights.’

‘This isn’t about the trucking mandates. There’s so much more in play there. We are just truck drivers standing up for our human rights, and as Americans it’s about our constitutional rights,’ he said. ‘It’s about a human being deciding what gets injected into them. We’re not about shaming people who aren’t vaccinated or shaming those who are. It’s about choice.’

The vaccination mandates in the private sector and at lower government levels are hindering access to healthcare, education and law enforcement – to name a few basic needs – according to Brase. ‘There are good people, good teachers, good nurses, good police officers losing their jobs over these mandates,’ he said.”

Research contributions from Elba Cornier

Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post and Natural Blaze

India–China Stalemate Pulls India, US Closer

August 24, 2020

The stasis on the India–China border is setting in motion closer relations between India and the United States as well as the emergence of India as more of balancing power in relation to China, experts say.

India’s defense establishment hosted a high-level meeting on Aug. 22 to discuss the stalemate between the Indian and Chinese militaries on India’s western border.

India’s military had a bloody conflict with the People’s Liberation Army on June 15, in which 20 Indians and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed. The faceoff between the two militaries on the disputed border called the line of actual control (LAC) began in May, following a decade-long pattern of temporary incursions across the LAC.

The clash badly damaged the bilateral relations between the world’s two most-populous nations, although the developments imply that India is becoming more of a balancing power against China, Zack Cooper, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told The Epoch Times in an email.

“From an American point of view, this is healthy for the region, as it will help to provide more of a counter-balance to China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific,” Cooper said, when asked how the India–China stalemate will affect the United States.

With a combined population of more than 2.74 billion people, India and China comprise 36 percent of the world’s population and are two of the world’s top five economies. However, the two neighbors contrast politically—one a communist nation and the other a democracy.

The current stalemate between India and China is the outcome of Chinese “revisionism and expansionism,” which is visible in other contested areas such as the South China Sea, Priyajit Debsarkar, the author of several books and a geopolitical analyst with the London-based think tank Bridge India, told The Epoch Times in an email.

“It is a crisis, which is symptomatic of the Chinese Communist Party’s behavior, that is deliberately trying to undo all rules of international order created by notions of democracy and liberal values,” Debsarkar said.

“Obviously, the U.S. can hardly ignore the bearing of this bilateral issue on the current global order. At the same time, the U.S. understands that while the Chinese see the peaceful rise of India, as a threat, the U.S. and the liberal world see India’s rise as inevitable and in the greater interest of liberal international order,” he added.

Epoch Times Photo
Indian soldiers walk at the foothills of a mountain range near the northern Indian town  of Leh on June 25, 2020. (TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP via Getty Images)


India’s Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat told the Indian daily Hindustan Times in an Aug. 24 report that a “military option” is possible if talks don’t succeed between India and China. Meanwhile, defense minister Rajnath Singh chaired a two-hour meeting on Aug. 22 with the country’s national security adviser and the heads of its army, navy, and air force.

This meeting was preceded by the Army head meeting the top seven army leaders from around India to discuss the “security situation and operational preparedness on both the northern and western fronts” with China and Pakistan, The Times of India (ToI) reported.

A week ago, India’s top defense leaders had a meeting with its external affairs ministry and defense ministers after which the Indian media was replete with reports about the country not relenting from its stand of the LAC being non-negotiable.

“The LAC is simply not negotiable. Our troops will remain forward deployed in eastern Ladakh till the Chinese soldiers withdraw,” an unnamed official told ToI.

After the Aug. 22 meeting, Indian officials again said there’s no change in the conflict on the LAC.

“China is indulging in ping-pong tactics by shuttling the ball between diplomatic and military talks, without any serious attempt at conflict resolution,” another senior official told the ToI.

Aparan Pande, a research fellow and the director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia, told The Epoch Times on a chat platform that the India–China stalemate will deepen what’s already started between India and the United States and its allies.

“The more China refuses to budge, the more India will come closer to the U.S. and the more U.S. will be happy to provide military and economic support,” said Pande, who on Aug. 21 released a book, “Making India Great: The Promise of a Reluctant Global Power.”

In response to a question about the changing U.S. relationship with China and its emerging partnership with India, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 15 at a press conference that India is a great partner.

Sandeep Kaur (C) and her brother Prabhjot Singh (2R) react after laying the wreaths of flowers on the coffin of their father and soldier Satnam Singh who was killed in a recent clash with Chinese forces in the Galwan valley area, during the cremation ceremony at Bhojraj village near Gurdaspur on June 18, 2020. (Narinder Nanu / AFP via Getty Images)

“We talked about the conflict they had along their border with China. We’ve talked about the risk that emanates to India from the Chinese telecommunications infrastructure there,” Pompeo said.

“I think the whole world is coalescing around the challenge that we face and the democracies, the free nations of the world, will push back on these challenges together,” he added. “I’m very confident of that.”

The situation on India’s western border will bring more institutionalized cooperation between the world’s two largest democracies, India and the United States, said Krzysztof Iwanek, the head of the Asia Research Centre, War Studies University (Poland), and contributor to The Diplomat magazine.

“While New Delhi is unlikely to become a U.S. formal ally, this deepening of ties will take a form of more frequent and possibly partially more institutionalized cooperation: more intelligence sharing, more equipment transfers, strengthening of QUAD, maybe even new defense agreements or American training for chosen members of Indian armed forces,” he told The Epoch Times in an email.

QUAD refers to the quadrilateral security dialogue between the United States, India, Japan, and Australia. The think tank Stimson Center describes it as  an “important part of the geopolitical rebalancing in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Pande emphasized that while Indo–U.S. ties will become closer and the partnership will deepen, it’ll not lead to a military treaty between the two.

“Indian External Affairs Ministry said a no to the alliance,” she said. “Things don’t change so soon. Between countries like India and the U.S., it always takes time.”

Meanwhile, as the stalemate continues with both sides refusing to budge, Pande said the coming months are going to become tougher on the rough Himalayan terrain where even in June when the bloody conflict happened, the temperatures were sub-zero degree Celsius.

“We had military exercises in the mountains before. Whether both will do it right now, not sure but will all depend on if both DC and Delhi want to send a message to China and also if they want to ramp up or cool things down,” said Pande when asked if the world should expect joint military exercises between India and the United States in the coming months.

She noted that Chinese behavior can be unpredictable as the last and the only war between India and China started when China attacked India in October during the “snow and winter” of 1962.

“Normally both sides withdrew during winter and left small numbers [at the heights.] This time it will be large numbers all through snowy winter,” said Pande adding that China will try to send a message to the world that it is stronger than India, and India will counter it.

“The U.S. will support India,” said Pande.

india china
Indian Congress Party supporters leave Chinese goods on a flag displaying the country of China, along with an inscription reading “Boycott Made in China,” during an anti-China demonstration in Kolkata, India, on June 18, 2020. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP via Getty Images)

‘Collaboration of the Century’

Debsarkar said that the stalemate between India and China is a “defining moment” in unfolding power arrangements in which he believes India will play a crucial role globally into the distant future. He defined the trajectory of the Indo–U.S. relationships in this context as “robust, bipartisan, and multidimensional.”

“India will fulfill the aspirations of the U.S., be it by supplying medicines to heal the planetary pandemic apart from the ties enshrined in trade and people. The relationship is every day evolving and is deeply rooted and can be certainly coined as the ‘Collaboration of the Century,’” he said.

Iwanek said the stalemate will accelerate various emerging geopolitical equations in the region.

“Growing U.S.-India cooperation, growing India-China rivalry (and the failure of their dialogue), growing China-Pakistan cooperation, and India’s deepening interest in modern Western defense technology: American, French and Israeli,” he said, adding that a major change would be India “apparently” abandoning its policy of keeping its political and economic relations with China separate.

Iwanek says Beijing has the capacity to simultaneously sustain tensions on India’s border as well as with its neighbors, and India remains at the “weaker side of the conflict.”

Debsarkar said in this scenario, the United States has an “abiding interest” in preventing a major catastrophe and helping to restore “tranquility for the world order of peace, prosperity, and democracy.”

“The bilateral bond between the U.S. and India is manifested in multiple layers with the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act [ARIA] as one focused in the Indo Pacific region. Joint collaboration and commitment to generate a policy framework is something that will bring lasting peace and prosperity for the entire region,” Debsarkar said.

The $2.5 billion ARIA, which was passed by Congress in December 2018, provides a broader statement for the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy.

“Without strong leadership from the United States, the international system, fundamentally rooted in the rule of law, may wither … It is imperative that the United States continues to play a leading role in the Indo-Pacific,” ARIA (pdf) notes.

Debsarkar says the United States must stand up against “unprovoked naked aggression especially to defend the free world order.”

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya

COVID-19: Why You Can’t Compare US Stats to Other Countries’

July 22, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak is dynamic, hitting some places and some people hard and others less so, then tapering off and sometimes resurging.

To track it, we use data, but even the most robust counts have limitations.

The Oxford-based nonprofit Our World in Data explains the conundrum: “Without data, we can not understand the pandemic. Only based on good data can we know how the disease is spreading, what impact the pandemic has on the lives of people around the world, and whether the countermeasures countries are taking are successful or not.

“But even the best available data on the coronavirus pandemic is far from perfect.”

It may seem obvious that no single graph, figure, or stat is sufficient to give a meaningful picture of the situation, yet some circulate the internet with little explanation, as though they are capable of this.

For example, in early June, some media mentioned, without any explanation or context, the fact that the United States was reporting the highest number of COVID deaths of any country. This fact was true. But without context, one might infer that thus the United States was doing a poorer job handling the crisis.

The first and most obvious mitigating factor is that the United States has a larger population than other developed countries. Those countries closest in population size—India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria—are third world nations, and thus their governments won’t have the resources to test and track to the same extent as the United States. It’s common sense that we wouldn’t compare the United States to them.

So is it fair if we compare disease rates in other developed countries to the United States? Somewhat, as long as differences in testing and data are taken into consideration.

Media reports in early July compared the number of cases in the United States to the number of cases in the European Union (EU) due to their somewhat comparable population sizes: 328 million in the United States, and 446 million people in the 27 countries of the EU.

The Our World in Data website on July 5 shows that the United States had counted 2.9 million cases of COVID with 132,000 deaths, while the EU reported 1.3 million cases and 134,000 deaths.

Although the United States has reported more than twice as many cases, it has only a slightly higher rate of death: 0.04 percent in the United States, compared with 0.03 percent in the EU.

There are a few factors behind these numbers to consider.

One is who/what is being counted in test numbers. There is no international standard of testing for the pandemic, and different countries are following different methods. Some are counting the number of people tested, while some are counting numbers of tests given. And some countries, as in the case of Italy and France, changed their reporting criteria midway.

A second factor is scale of testing. According to Our World in Data, most EU countries (19) are only testing people with symptoms, while the United States is testing asymptomatic people.

The United States also is testing more aggressively than EU countries. Of the 27 EU countries, only Luxembourg, Denmark, and Portugal have conducted more tests per capita (1,000 persons) than the United States.

More testing will, of course, uncover more cases. In the United States, the number of daily tests given is still rising, whereas the tests in Europe are flat.

Case Fatality Rates Don’t Necessarily Indicate Mortality

Case fatality is the number of known cases compared to the number of known deaths.

A common misconception is that the case fatality rates indicate how severe a disease is. This isn’t necessarily the case.

To give a hypothetical example: If two people come to a hospital with a strange new disease (both somehow test positive) and both then die of the disease, in this sample, the case fatality rate is 100 percent.

So this number is relative to the number of positive tests. In countries where many tests have been conducted, the case fatality rate will be low, such as in the United States.

The case mortality rate in the United States is around 4.6 percent (Johns Hopkins University calculated the U.S. case fatality rate at 4.2 percent on July 12). Case mortality in the EU was 10.3 percent as of July 5.

Mortality Assessment Differences

Then, there’s the criteria for classifying a death as being from COVID-19.

In the first week of April, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said at a press conference, “I think in this country, we’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality.”

She said that in other countries, if someone had a preexisting condition and came to the hospital and died of COVID, it might not be counted as a COVID death, while in the United States, it might.

Additionally, deaths classified as COVID-19 in the United States “can include … cases without laboratory confirmation,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC acknowledges that this lack of testing will introduce some error for mortality figures for COVID-19, flu and flu-like illnesses, and pneumonia.

“Deaths due to COVID-19 may be misclassified as pneumonia or influenza deaths in the absence of positive test results, and pneumonia or influenza may appear on death certificates as a comorbid condition. Additionally, COVID-19 symptoms can be similar to influenza-like illness, thus deaths may be misclassified as influenza. Thus, increases in pneumonia and influenza deaths may be an indicator of excess COVID-19-related mortality.”

In hard-hit EU countries such as Italy and France, lab confirmation is required.