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Chinese state media outlets are claiming that “all available evidence suggests” the coronavirus did not originate in Wuhan but instead came to China via imported frozen food.

“All available evidence suggests that #COVID19 did not start in central China’s Wuhan, but may come into China through imported frozen food products and their packaging: experts,” the Chinese state-run People’s Daily tweeted.

The claim was also pushed by the Chinese tabloid Global Times, but it has been disputed by health experts worldwide, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said there is “no evidence” handling or consuming food transmits the disease.

“When and where did the virus start circulating? Tracing the virus cannot answer all questions, but it is very likely that the virus had co-existed in multiple places before being spotted in Wuhan,” Zeng Guang, the former chief epidemiologist of China’s Center for Disease Control, said in a Global Times article.

Most health experts have concluded that the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, although there is a dispute as to where specifically in that region the spread began.

There is some data to suggest, however, that the virus was present in other places earlier than scientists previously thought, including a study released last week suggesting that the virus was circulating in Italy in September 2019.

The social media platform Twitter has been criticized since China’s claim was reported for not warning users of possible “misinformation” in a similar fashion to how the company handles concerns of other coronavirus claims or voter fraud.

“There is no Twitter misinformation label on this tweet,” Spectator contributor Stephen L. Miller tweeted. “It’s been up for 14 hours.”

“The CCP needs to tread carefully,” Sen. Ted Cruz’s national security adviser Omri Ceren posted. “If they post nonsense like this 16 or 17 more times, they may find themselves tagged by Twitter with a warning label, maybe.”

“Honestly, why doesn’t this have a disclaimer from Twitter?” Heritage Foundation social media manager Lyndsey Fifield tweeted. “This is not just a debunked story — this is literal Chinese communist propaganda.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.

Author: Andrew Mark Miller

Source: Washington Examiner: Chinese state media claims ‘all available evidence’ suggests coronavirus came to country via imported frozen food

A Danish study released on Wednesday suggests face masks did not significantly protect wearers from the coronavirus compared to those without masks.

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, concluded that the “recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use.”

“Recommendation to wear a surgical mask when outside the home among others did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, incident SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with no mask recommendation.”

The researchers added: “The findings, however, should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection. During the study period, authorities did not recommend face mask use outside hospital settings and mask use was rare in community settings. This means that study participants’ exposure was overwhelmingly to persons not wearing masks.”

In short, the study gives little insight into whether a majority masked population would have an effect on reducing COVID-19 transmission. Therefore, the study is likely to have little effect on policymakers going forward who will be unable to draw conclusive findings on the efficacy masks have in places with mask mandates.

Three thousand and thirty participants were randomly assigned to wear masks, and 2,994 were assigned to the control group in the study, which took place in Denmark between April and May.

“Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%),” the study reads. “The between-group difference was −0.3 percentage point (95% CI, −1.2 to 0.4 percentage point; P = 0.38) (odds ratio, 0.82 [CI, 0.54 to 1.23]; P = 0.33). Multiple imputation accounting for loss to follow-up yielded similar results. Although the difference observed was not statistically significant, the 95% CIs are compatible with a 46% reduction to a 23% increase in infection.”

The study’s limitations are listed as: “Inconclusive results, missing data, variable adherence, patient-reported findings on home tests, no blinding, and no assessment of whether masks could decrease disease transmission from mask wearers to others.”

The study, which is the first published randomized clinical trial studying the effectiveness of masks against the coronavirus, comes weeks after several top journals refused to publish its findings, leading to some researchers involved questioning the motive of the journals.

Thomas Lars Benfield, one of the researchers on the study, said that it would not be published until a journal was “brave enough” but walked back those comments later, saying, “The quote [is] a bit out of context. The article is being reviewed by a respected journal. We have decided not to publish data until the article has been accepted.”

Studies conducted in the past looking at the effectiveness of face masks in stopping the spread of the coronavirus showed possible benefits but were observational studies, which Carl Heneghan of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine argued isn’t adequate.

“We consider it is unwise to infer causation based on regional geographical observations as several proponents of masks have done,” Heneghan said.

News of the study quickly spread on social media, with many mask critics arguing the study confirms their suspicions that mask wearing does not provide a noticeable difference in protection.

“Large scientific study of mask wearing in Denmark finally comes out: Mask wearing basically doesn’t do a damn thing,” radio host Buck Sexton tweeted. “‘Statistically insignificant.’ Scientists quoted in the article: ‘mask wearing is essential because we say so! SCIENCE!’”

“The Danish mask study is out and it’s the first step in recovering our collective memories from 100 years ago,” Rational Ground’s Justin Hart tweeted. “Namely – that masks don’t work.”

“Danish mask study :After 1 mth …1.8% of the participants in the mask group and 2.1% of the participants in the control group had an infection,” author Peter Hitchens tweeted. “The study thus does not confirm the expected halving of the risk of infection of the wearer of the mouthpiece.”

“MASKS FAILED,” former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson tweeted. “Least surprising finding ever.”

The study comes during a time when mask wearing has become a contentious political issue, with prominent Democrats, including President-elect Joe Biden, calling for states to impose mask mandates in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

On the other side, prominent Republicans, including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Sen. Rand Paul, have pushed back on that plan and questioned the need for masks and the authority to impose a mandate.

Author: Andrew Mark Miller

Source: Washington Examiner: First randomized control trial shows face masks ‘did not reduce’ coronavirus infections with ‘statistical significance’

On Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul pledged to do everything in his power to stop President-elect Joe Biden from imposing a coronavirus lockdown.

“I’m going to do everything I can to try to prevent Biden from locking us up and locking us down and forcing us to wear masks forever,” the Kentucky Republican told New York’s WABC-AM 770. “We can’t go on like this forever.”

Paul added: “Today, Biden’s talking more about a lockdown. This is absolutely why he’s going to be a terrible president if we get him. He’s going to ruin the country. Lockdowns don’t work. And in fact, all of the evidence on mandatory masks show that they don’t work either. There’s about 10 different countries or venues, maybe 20, that instituted mandatory masks, and every one of them to a T, the infection rate or the COVID rate went up after the mask mandate. Now, this is just showing that … all these mitigation strategies — washing our hands, staying 6 feet apart — they really don’t work, frankly. And the virus, as the Wall Street Journal put it, is insidious. It does what it’s going to do. The only thing that’s going to stop it is either enough immunity among individuals in the community or a vaccine.”

Paul, a practicing eye doctor, has been a vocal critic of coronavirus lockdowns, the media’s coverage of the virus, and White House coronavirus response team member Dr. Anthony Fauci’s handling of the virus.

“I think we’ve made a big mistake in the lockdown,” Paul said in July. “We’ve crippled the economy, but I don’t know that we’ve done much to the virus.”

Paul also called Biden out on social media last week for his potential plan to stop the spread of the coronavirus by pushing face mask mandates.

“So ⁦@JoeBiden⁩ wants to lock us down and force everyone to mask up,” Paul tweeted. “Doesn’t anyone care to know if mask mandates help? The data on mask mandates actually shows an INCREASED rate of COVID cases after the mandates.”

Biden won’t have the power to enforce a nationwide mask mandate but has signaled his plan to encourage governors across the country to impose one. The prospective plan has drawn pushback from Republicans, including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who rejected the idea, citing incomplete science on the effectiveness of masks.

Author: Andrew Mark Miller

Source: Washington Examiner: Rand Paul pledges to do what he can to stop Biden from imposing lockdowns: ‘We can’t go on like this forever’

WATCH: Former ICE Director explains the situation at the border

He’s not getting any credit for it but Ben Carson has been doing a really solid job at HUD.

Trump has appointed a lot of people to positions of power over the last couple years and some have been solid and some not so much.

You can put Carson’s name in the solid column. Here’s another example why…

From The Daily Caller:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be proposing a new rule that further prevents illegal immigrants from taking advantage of public housing assistance, The Daily Caller has learned.

Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act prevents non-citizens from obtaining financial housing assistance. However, the presence of so-called “mixed families” has complicated the enforcement of the rule. Illegal immigrants have previously been able to skirt the restrictions by living with family members who are U.S. citizens and receive subsidized housing through HUD.

HUD intends to roll out a proposal over the next few weeks that prohibits any illegal immigrant from residing in subsidized housing, even if they are not the direct recipient of the benefit. HUD currently estimates that tens of thousands of HUD-assisted households are headed by non-citizens.

Great move.

Ben Carson understands the many ways illegal immigration hurts this country and he doesn’t sound like he’s afraid to do what it takes to stop it.

Author: Andrew Mark Miller

Source: Chicksonright: Ben Carson Has Enough: Moves to Kick Out Illegals from HUD Housing Program, Give Priority to AMERICANS Instead

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