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RealClearInvestigations' Picks of the Week

RealClearInvestigations' Picks of the Week
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RealClearInvestigations' Picks of the Week
Dec. 19 to Dec. 25, 2021

Featured Investigation:
Did Dismissals of Safe Outpatient Drugs
Cause Needless Covid Deaths?
Dissenting Doctors Say Yes

At a time when authorities were urging covid patients to simply quarantine until hospitalization became their last hope for survival, proactive dissenting doctors in the U.S. and around the world fought the coronavirus successfully with improvised outpatient treatments using off-label drugs, Clayton Fox reports for RealClearInvestigations. Their track record suggests countless more lives could have been saved early in the pandemic, which claimed more than 500,000 American victims and nearly 3 million worldwide in its first year. Fox reports:

  • The medical community appeared to interpret the Hippocratic dictum of "first, do no harm" as a call to wait for explicit guidance from authorities such as Dr. Anthony Fauci. 
  • But RealClearInvestigations found dissenting physicians around the world who made educated guesses to implement inexpensive drug protocols that saved many lives.
  • The drugs included hydroxychloroquine, widely ridiculed when President Trump touted it, and ivermectin, scorned by the FDA as a horse drug. 
  • Declines in deaths and hospitalizations in Honduras, India, Peru, Mexico and elsewhere raise hard questions about the responsible practice of medicine when there are no approved treatments in the face of likely widespread death.
  • Among public health officials’ reasons for dismissing the protocols: a priority to develop more costly vaccines and novel therapeutics.
  • The medical establishment has also pushed back against researchers investigating the efficacy of early treatments.
  • GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, a harsh critic of the authorities, says they “prefer to mischaracterize, conflate and misconstrue anything that goes against the mainstream narrative and the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Featured Investigation:
No Critical Race Theory in Schools?
Here's the Abundant Evidence Saying Otherwise

Progressives have been denying lately that critical race theory has a major and growing role in K-12 education -- disavowals amplified by major media – but that flies in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, John Murawski reports for RealClearInvestigations. Murawski reports:

  • Leftists like teachers union leader Randi Weingarten are defensive about the teaching of CRT in schools after Democrat setbacks at the polls this year in part over the “white supremacy”-focused pedagogy. Observers say the issue could weigh down Democrat candidates in the 2022 midterms too.
  • But far from backing away, committed educators are pushing forward with CRT class lessons and school curricula, steps reinforced by their own public statements.
  • Some high schools are already teaching lessons on CRT, while others are introducing CRT concepts – i.e., systemic racism, white privilege, microaggressions, intersectionality.
  • CRT is poised to grow at an unprecedented scale in bellwether California, through a new ethnic studies curriculum that draws heavily on it.
  • Extrapolating from recent surveys by EducationWeek and the Association of American Educators, more than 150,000 middle- and high-school teachers now teach or discuss CRT barely a year after the murder of George Floyd by a Minnesota cop.
  • Some CRT proponents believe progressives shouldn’t be hiding the ball. “It seems foolish to engage in this subterfuge if CRT principles are part of the curriculum,” says one.

Coronavirus Investigations

Fauci, Head of NIH Tried to Smear Opponents
Daily Mail
In October 2020, a distinguished group of scientist released the Great Barrington Declaration, which proposed that the young and other individuals at significantly lower risk of dying from COVID-19 should be allowed “to resume their normal lives” while protective measures should focus on the elderly and other at-risk populations. This article reports that newly disclosed emails from that time show that Dr. Anthony Fauci and the head of the National Institute of Health (NIH), Dr. Francis Collins, “colluded on a way to discredit” the statement.

In an October 8 email from Collins to Fauci, the head of the NIH calls the GBD [authored by scientists from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford as] the work of 'three fringe epidemiologists' that 'seems to be getting a lot of attention.' Collins adds that 'there needs to be a quick and devastating published takedown of its premises. I don't see anything like that online yet - is it underway?' 

The article suggests that Fauci and Collins had a hand in a flurry of pieces – published in Wired, The Nation and The Washington Post at that time – that challenged the Declaration.   

One of its authors, Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, recently tweeted in response to the disclosed emails: 'So now I know what it feels like to be the subject of a propaganda attack by my own government. Discussion and engagement would have been a better path.'

CDC Struggles to Track Covid Cases as Omicron Looms
Almost two years into the pandemic the CDC is struggling to gather accurate and timely data about covid. This article reports that the CDC’s reliance on state health departments who use a mix of often incompatible and outdated state systems to identify cases impedes the nation’s understanding of where and how fast the virus is spreading. Other Western countries, by contrast, have tapped into their modern health systems that can easily track patient data and seamlessly share epidemiologic information across a broad spectrum of health care facilities and public health departments. Quote:

The fact that the data gaps have been apparent since the start of the pandemic makes the lack of substantial improvement particularly galling to many infectious disease specialists. “I think we've done a horrible job from day one in data tracking for the pandemic,” said Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research and former advisory board member of the Covid Tracking Project, a team that worked to collect and synthesize local Covid-19 during the peak of the pandemic. “We're not tracking all the things that we need to get a handle on what's going on. It is embarrassing.”

Although the government has spent trillions of dollars to fight the pandemic and its consequences, Dan Jernigan, the deputy director of the CDC’s Public Health Science and Surveillance office, said the CDC had not yet secured additional future funding to improve state data collection. 

Other Coronavirus Investigations

CDC Overcounted Vaccinated by Millions Bloomberg
Key CDC Mask Study Full of Holes, Scientists Say Atlanti
Rapid Covid Test Development Stymied by FDA Process ProPublica
Behind New Pill to Treat Covid Wall Street Journal

Biden, Trump and the Beltway

Jan. 6 Probers Eye Congress Obstruction Charge for Trump Daily Beast
Capitol Cops' Inspector: Most Reforms Not Implemented CBS News
Durham Zeroes In on Clinton Campaign  Just The News
Videos Hiding Alleged Vote Fraud Evidence Federalist

Other Noteworthy Articles and Series

Pentagon Files: Patterns of Failure in Deadly Airstrikes
New York Times
During World War II, Allied forces killed hundreds of thousands of civilians by firebombing German and Japanese cities. In the decades since, the U.S. military has embraced precision campaigns, using drones to target specific individuals. Mistakes, however, happen. This article, which draws from a trove of documents from a hidden Pentagon archive of the American air war in the Middle East since 2014, reports:

The trove of documents — the military’s own confidential assessments of more than 1,300 reports of civilian casualties, obtained by The New York Times — lays bare how the air war has been marked by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting, and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children, a sharp contrast to the American government’s image of war waged by all-seeing drones and precision bombs.

The documents show, too, that despite the Pentagon’s highly codified system for examining civilian casualties, pledges of transparency and accountability have given way to opacity and impunity. In only a handful of cases were the assessments made public. Not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action. Fewer than a dozen condolence payments were made, even though many survivors were left with disabilities requiring expensive medical care. Documented efforts to identify root causes or lessons learned are rare.

How TikTok Inundates Teens With Eating-Disorder Videos 
Wall Street Journal
While debates over critical race theory have raised concerns in some corners about government efforts to indoctrinate children, the bigger threat to parental authority may be online. This article reports that TikTok is flooding teen users with videos of rapid-weight-loss competitions and ways to purge food that health professionals say contribute to a wave of eating-disorder cases spreading across the country. 

Some included tips about taking in fewer than 300 calories a day, several recommended consuming only water some days, another suggested taking laxatives after overeating.

Other videos showed emaciated girls with protruding bones, a “corpse bride diet,” an invitation to a private “Christmas-themed competition” to lose as much weight as possible before the holiday and a shaming for those who give up on getting thin: “You do realise giving up after a week isn’t going to get you anywhere, right?…You’re disgusting, it’s really embarrassing.”

This echoes Abigail Shrier’s reporting in her book “Irreversible Damage” that some YouTube videos encouraged troubled young girls to change their sex.

How Amazon Leans on Federal Enforcers
Journalism thrives on sizzle, but it shouldn’t manufacture it. Here’s a textbook case of making ordinary behavior seem controversial. The gist of the story is that Amazon, which has been roundly criticized for allowing third-parties to sell stolen or counterfeit merchandise on its site, is now working more closely with law enforcement to police itself. While the words Politico uses to open this article communicate that, the tone is accusatory:

Amazon has found a powerful ally to help it protect its sprawling operations from fraud and abuse: the U.S. government. The company has increasingly tipped off the Justice Department and FBI to investigate Amazon’s own employees and the sellers using its platform, according to a POLITICO analysis and a dozen interviews with Amazon employees, former federal prosecutors and financial crime experts. In addition, it has hired dozens of former DOJ and FBI employees, some of whom are filling out its internal teams aimed at policing its platform.

In the process, Amazon has built a closer relationship than many large companies have with federal law enforcement, a deep cooperation with one branch of the federal government that could help the company’s reputation in Washington as Amazon faces intensifying scrutiny from Congress and federal agencies over its market dominance and fraud on its platform.

He Wore Wire and Risked Life to Expose KKK
Associated Press
For nearly 10 years, Joseph Moore donned a white robe and hood as a hit man for the Ku Klux Klan in North Florida. However, Moore wore something else during his years in the klan – a wire for the FBI. This article reports that U.S. Army veteran and married father of four would help the federal government foil at least two murder plots until 2015. He was also an active informant when the FBI exposed klan members working as law enforcement officers in Florida at the city, county and state levels.

Moore said he noted connections between the hate group and law enforcement in Florida and Georgia. He said he came across dozens of police officers, prison guards, sheriff deputies and other law enforcement officers who were involved with the klan and outlaw motorcycle clubs. … “The FBI wanted me to gather as much information about these individuals and confirm their identities,” Moore said of law enforcement officers who were active members of or working with the klan. From where I sat, with the intelligence laid out, I can tell you that none of these agencies have any control over any of it. It is more prevalent and consequential than any of them are willing to admit.”

In a separate article, the New York Times reports that some Justice Department officials worry that F.B.I. surveillance operations inside Portland’s often violent protest movement “could undermine the First Amendment right to wage protest against the government.”

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