Despite a population that is 61% black, Montgomery Alabama has five white men on its nine person City Council. That council failed last night, mostly along racial lines, to enact an ordinance that would require masks to be worn in public, despite hospitals now being nearly overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, most of whom are black.
Author Archive for: Jim White
About Jim White
Many years ago, Jim got a BA in Radiation Biophysics from the University of Kansas. He then got a PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA and did postdoctoral research in yeast genetics at UC Berkeley and mouse retroviruses at Stanford. He joined biosys in Palo Alto, producing insect parasitic nematodes for pest control. In the early 1990’s, he moved to Gainesville, FL and founded a company that eventually became Entomos. He left the firm as it reorganized into Pasteuria Biosciences and chose not to found a new firm due a clash of values with venture capital investors, who generally lack all values. Upon leaving, he chose to be a stay at home dad, gentleman farmer, cook and horse wrangler. He discovered the online world through commenting at Glenn Greenwald’s blog in the Salon days and was involved in the briefly successful Chris Dodd move to block the bill to renew FISA. He then went on to blog at Firedoglake and served a brief stint as evening editor there. When the Emptywheel blog moved out of Firedoglake back to standalone status, Jim tagged along and blogged on anthrax, viruses, John Galt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is now a mostly lapsed blogger looking for a work-around to the depressing realization that pointing out the details of government malfeasance and elite immunity has approximately zero effect.
Alachua County in Florida has added 91 new COVID-19 cases over the past two days, raising its total by about 20 percent. This outbreak, when coupled with similar outbreaks among migrant agricultural workers in Immokalee and across the state, bring to light the conditions amounting to a version of modern day slavery under which these workers are forced to labor.
Last week, I asked how many COVID-19 deaths Ron DeSantis is hiding. We can now account for about 1300 and it seems likely there may well be more.
Ron DeSantis fired Rebekah Jones, who developed and managed the Florida database for COVID-19 deaths on May 1, just as he “reopened” the state. Since her departure, the number of deaths reported has dropped even though the reported number of new cases per day has been reported as steady. Floridians are now confronted with relying on a database that may well have been manipulated when they are trying to make life and death decisions that depend on accurate information.
Two reports (possibly based on the same fabrication) claiming the SARS CoV-2 virus was accidentally released by the Wuhan Institute of Virology have been thoroughly debunked by the media in the US and Australia. Mike Pompeo has been at the forefront in catapulting the false propaganda in these reports. A significant portion of the “documentation” for the propaganda appears to have originated with State Department leaks. All of which leads one to wonder whether Steve Linick was looking into Pompeo’s role in spreading this demonstrably false information.
The parallels between 1961 and 2020 in Albany are striking. The citizens of Albany took a stand for what is right in 1961 and were locked up for it. They realized that this suffering while locked up would help everyone in the struggle for civil rights. Today, the citizens of Albany are once again organizing and this time they’re locking themselves up. Just like before though, this round of being locked up is being undertaken with the knowledge that it is for the good of their community and their country.
The Trump Administration is supporting an effort to present dubious information as confirmed intelligence on the escape of SARS CoV-2 from a Chinese lab, apparently in an effort to deflect blame from Trump’s poor response to the outbreak and to stoke tension between the US and China.
Shi Zhingli of Wuhan Institute of Virology has provided convincing evidence to Scientific American that SARS CoV-2 is the result of a natural jump to humans from an animal host and was not accidentally released from her lab, which had no isolates of any viruses that match closely enough to be the outbreak virus.
Scientific analysis says SARS CoV-2 is very closely related to coronaviruses seen in bats. There is evidence suggesting, but not proving, that the virus made the jump to humans at the Wuhan wet market, possibly through an intermediate animal other than bats. There is no concrete evidence at this time for the alternative explanation of the virus accidentally escaping a lab in Wuhan, despite many claims that that is the case.
The Defense Logistics Agency has awarded a $415 million contract to Battelle to sterilize N95 masks for re-use. It is hard to understand why this contract is so expensive, given the stated deliverables.