Open mike 22/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 22nd, 2021 - 77 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

77 comments on “Open mike 22/09/2021 ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1

    Liar, liar pants on fire.

    Judith Collins, this morning on TVNZ Breakfast.

    Collins touching on the one of the Far Right talking points. Even if it means she has to lie.

    "We are concerned about mandatory vaccination creeping in."

    "Non-jab, no job"

    "No other job has mandatory vaccination, (other than border workers)" Judith Collins

    In fact the NZDF has mandatory vaccination is required before deployment overseas.

    All Water Care employees and contractors at Mangere waste water treatment plant, must be vaccinated to work on that site.

    Is Collins advocating that NZDF should have voluntary vaccination, before deploying to vulnerable and isolated third world countries?

    Is Collins advocating that Water Care workers should be allowed to have a choice whether they are vaccinated before working with sewerage?

    What is most disgusting about Collins reach out to the anti-vax conspiracy theorists, is that it comes hard on the heels of the violent anti-vax and neo-nazi attack on the CFMEU trade union office in Australia.

    Construction to shut down in Victoria after violent protests at CFMEU office

    'It was orchestrated by rightwing extremists and that is something that we've seen – the targeting of other blue-collar unions over the last few months,' ACTU president Michele O'Neil says….

    • Jenny, our media is pretty average, but (if you've got the stomach) check out some clips of Murdock's Sky News on youtube.

      Frankly, they are inciting resistance to being vaccinated. As well as being blatant climate deniers!

      Gutter press.
      Just one example among so many: hold your nose before viewing.

    • Anne 1.2

      The anti vaxxer movement has infiltrated the construction industry in Victoria. I read it online somewhere last night. They are getting better organised by the day and undermining all the hard work by the authorities and the police.

      “Voices for Freedom” are doing the same thing here. Apart from pamphlet drops (got one in my letterbox last week) they are assembling outside schools and trying to coerce teenagers from being vaccinated. I expect they are spreading the lie they will become sterile.

      They are becoming more vociferous and daring and imo should be outlawed. There is plenty of precedence in history during times of emergencies.

      Sep 22, 2021 8:55 AM
      RNZ Live
      Anti vaccination protesters are outside Taita College in the the Hutt Valley where students are getting vaccinated this week.

      The group called Voices for Freedom are standing at the entry to the school with signs saying 'can we trust the media?' and "vaccines are bioweapons".

      RNZ has spoken to some students who were confused and concerned, while others were laughing.

      Police are at the scene, and teachers are helping students get inside.

      • dv 1.2.1

        There need to be tent(s) in hospital ground for Anti vax that get covid. They should nt be let into wards.

  2. tc 2

    Collins plays to her dwindling audience on the provided tvnz soapbox.

    She's using the supplied rope very effectively. Was she given another free ride or actually challenged ?

    Predictably appalling that’s Judith.

  3. Gezza 3

    Is Collins advocating that NZDF should have voluntary vaccination, before deploying to vulnerable and isolated third world countries? Is Collins advocating that Water Care workers should be allowed to have a choice whether they are vaccinated before working with sewerage?

    Who knows? Collins reacts to everything that happens with a knee-jerk complaint about the government. Who even listens these days

    What is most disgusting about Collins reach out to the anti-vax conspiracy theorists, is that it comes hard on the heels of the violent anti-vax and neo-nazi attack on the CFMEU trade union office in Australia.

    True, but Collins is invested in whining about the guvermint purely for the sake of it. I seriously doubt any anti-vaxers who might harbour notions of organising disruptive, violent protests in NZ are going to be influenced by whatever new, daft outburst Collins has to say.

    She's crashing the National Party's credibility towards zero every day. Shelf-life now very close to expiry, imo.

    • Jenny how to get there 3.1


      22 September 2021 at 7:36 am

      …..Collins is invested in whining about the guvermint purely for the sake of it. I seriously doubt any anti-vaxers who might harbour notions of organising disruptive, violent protests in NZ are going to be influenced by whatever new, daft outburst Collins has to say.

      I don't think that Judith Collins was inciting any anti-vaxers into organising disruptive violent protests, (though that could be a side-effect). What Collins is doing with her comments,about creeping mandatory vaccination, is opportunistically scraping the bottom of the barrel for their votes.

      In the same interview she attacks the government for low vaccination rates.

      And then claims she has a plan.

      I would be very interested in seeing it.

      Just how does the National Party propose to get us out of Lockdowns and/or raise vaccination levels above the 90% threshold, that the medical experts tell us will be needed to lift all Lockdown restrictions, and prevent the collapse of our health system?

      I would really like to know.

      It would be ironic, if Judith Collins’ plan has some level of mandatory vaccination. Now that she has gone on the record as being opposed to it.

      • Gezza 3.1.1

        In the same interview she attacks the government for low vaccination rates.
        And then claims she has a plan. I would be very interested in seeing it

        … … … …

        "Almost every other country that we compare ourselves to is rolling out vaccinations as quickly as they can. Our closest neighbour, Australia, has prioritized this with vaccinations starting within the next few weeks.

        This means their citizens will be safer. They’ll have the certainty to get back to business. They’ll see international students and visitors return, and life for Kiwis who live in Australia will start to get back to normal.

        New Zealanders can’t afford another lockdown. But even more than this, failing to secure vaccinations for our frontline workers, border staff and those who work in and around managed isolation and quarantine shows a massive disregard for the sacrifice New Zealanders made last year. It is not good enough.

        We need to match Australia’s schedule. We should be like Singapore, rolling out the vaccine to frontline workers and those vulnerable New Zealanders who need it urgently."
        … … … …

        … … … …
        If that's it, it's blimmin vague; lacking any useful particulars. (As is usual for Judith when reporters question her.)

        I'm betting – beyond this – she doesn't actually have one.

  4. Adrian Thornton 5

    MSM Russiagate and MSM lies on Syrian gas attacks both crumble even further into the gutter where they belong..but of course not one person in the media that uncritically pushed these obviously bullshit stories 24/7 will be held to account…nope just like all the media and journalist who willingly pushed war in Iraq in the service of power, they will face no consequences…probably because there is so much crossover in who benefits from those lies.

    • francesca 5.1

      Hmmmm looks like those pesky Hunter Biden emails were real after all.

      The disinformation wasn't Russian , it came from all those partisan journos ready to ditch the integrity of their trade so they could belong to the "right" crowd

      Politico was one of those outlets.Now one of its writers has come out with a book verifying the emails , with recipients affirming .

      But what the hell, moving on, who cares? job done.

      Just like your piece about the Clinton campaign lawyer lying, silence from all those ardent truth seekers…

      • Jenny how to get there 5.1.1

        Still running interference for Russian imperialism and Assad fascism?

        American imperialism is not the only evil in the world.

        • Adrian Thornton

          @Jenny how to get there…can you please explain to us exactly how highlighting the fact that Liberal MSM has been disseminating misinformation on the completely fabricated Russian collusion conspiracy for years on end, also completely disregarding all public information on the Douma chemical attack that didn't fit with their state sanctioned narrative, to the point that the BBC has been forced into a pubic apology is "running interference for Russian imperialism and Assad fascism"?…I would be interested to see what tortured logic you come up with…I am sure it couldn't be any worse than the years of bullshit that has been spewed out by the usual suspects around here defending their masters like good little soldiers…but who knows you might be a better soldier than them….fire away.

          • Jenny how to get there

            I am not going to play google tag with you, and waste my time to go over line by line the specifics of the Douma gas attack. Not because I can't, but what's the point.

            The vast majority of Syrian civilians killed by the Assad regime are not being killed in gas attacks.

            The vast majority of Syrian civilians being killed by the Assad regime and their Iranian allies and Russian patron, are not by gas attacks, but by so called 'conventional weapons', and in industrial scale extermination camps, into which tens of thousands of Syrians have been disappeared into.

            Everyone who knows anything of Syria has heard of Sednaya, the biggest and most notorious of the Assad regime's death camps.

            19 kilometres North of Damascus everbody knows where Sednaya is.

            But I tell you what. Not one of the Western journalists and apologists who have visited the Damascus as guests of the Assad regime, have ever asked for a tour of Sednaya.


            • Brigid

              " industrial scale extermination camps"


              • Jenny how to get there


                For you Brigid, I have one word.


                Sednaya Prison
                See also: Sednaya Prison

                To the west of Saidnaya, the government has a military prison with estimated of 14,000 prisoners. The prison lies 30 km on the outskirts of Northern Damascus.[17] In February 2017 Amnesty International released a report saying: "that between 5,000 and 13,000 people were extra judicially executed at Saydnaya between September 2011 and December 2015."[18] On May 15, 2017, the US State Department reiterated the charge of 50 secret executions a day, concealed by subsequent cremation on site.[19][20]


                Don't support fascism. (It really shouldn't have to be said).

              • Jenny how to get there


                You can dispute the evidence, (Something I notice you don't do).

                So my question for you Brigid;

                Is what sort of low life laughs at the mass extermination of human beings?.

                Syria: Assad regime kills so many detainees it amounts to 'extermination' of civilian population, UN says

                UN investigators called the deaths of those detained by the regime a crime against humanity

                Adam Withnall

                Monday 08 February 2016

                The Assad regime is killing so many detainees in Syria that it now amounts to the crime against humanity of "extermination", a UN report has found.

                In a document published by the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, investigators found the Syrian government responsible for "massive and systematised violence".

                The crimes against humanity committed by the Assad regime, according to the UN, far outnumber those of Isis militants and other jihadist groups….


                At least three detainees belong to Syria's minority Christian community were identified among leaked mass torture photos, according to the Syrian Association for the Missing and Prisoners of Conscience.

                Syrian Christian community with total population of 1.75 million has faced growing violence since the uprising erupted in March 2011. But mass torture photos inside Syrian regime's security chambers have revealed gruesome revenge of Christians who supported Syrian revolution.

                For long decades, Assad's family (Father and Son) has presented itself as minorities protector. But Syrian conflict disclosed the real face of such allegations, activists said.


                According to reports, in 2012 the first Christian Free Syrian Army unit formed, yet it was reported that the Assad government still had the reluctant support of the majority of the country's Christians of various ethnicities and denominations. By 2013 an increasing number of Christians favored the opposition. In 2014, the predominantly Christian Syriac Military Council formed an alliance with the FSA, and other Syrian Christian militias such as the Sutoro had joined the Syrian opposition against the Assad regime.

                The atrocious photos of mass torture by Syrian security had been taken between 2011 and mid 2013 in the well-known 601 military hospital in Mezzah neighborhood of Damascus. The photos showed hundreds of lifeless bodies with signs of starvation, brutal beatings, strangulation and other forms of torture and killing.

                The Syrian Network for Human Rights, in report issued last September, said at least 215,000 people were arrested by Syrian security since the revolution erupted in March 2011. (4500 of them are women and 9,000 are less than 18).

                According to the report, 2630 detainees were tortured to death and 70,000 cases documented as enforced disappearance…..


            • Adrian Thornton

              This thread is about Russiagate and Douma specifically…your obfuscating has not answered my question even slightly…of course.

              But then you and others seem to be quite OK with your media lying right to your face..infact you seem to like it, which is kind of weird…but hey different strokes for different folks I say.

              • Jenny how to get there

                Douma at the time was under heavy rocket and air attack by the Assad regime.

                The pattern is much the same, and still being practiced by the regime's forces, indiscriminate bombing and shelling of all rebel held towns and cities.

                The contested Douma gas attack was only one incident in a much broader government offensive that killed many more civilians and rebel fighters.

                Weapons of mass destruction like nuclear weapons arnd gas weapons are only for our side to have. Third World totalitarian leaders like Kim Jong-Un of Basha Al Assad are not allowed to have them, let alone use them.

                Their use is what captures the Western powers attention, and makes our military and political leaders nervous.

                Generally I have chosen not to battle through the fog of war and following propaganda enslaught over each separate incident of chemical weapons use, to concentrate on the more massive acts of genocide that even the most gullible or ablest knowing apologists of Assad fascism can't deny.

                I am talking here of the genocidal destruction of Homs and Hama and rebel held Aleppo, and the extensive network of government extermination camps and prisons, into which tens of thousands of Syrian civlians and activists have disappeared into.

                But if we are going to do the google thing around the Douma gas attack, you couldn't do better than this report from the Intercept.

                For those who are genuinly interested in what is happening in Syria I can personally reccomend this report..


                The next world war may begin with a grainy, contested, online image launched onto the pages of a newspaper that has recently sacked all its journalists.

                James Harkin

                February 10 2019, 8:32 a.m.


  5. Stephen D 6

    The 90% target is too broad. It should be 90% for every age bracket, and every ethnicity.

    • Chris T 6.1

      Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but has she clarified whether it is 90% had1 jab, both jabs, or had the opportunity to get a jab?

      It seems to get mixed up depending who is talking.

    • McFlock 6.2

      From what I've heard ever since the press conference, there is no "90% target". Let alone by geographic, demographic, or number of jabs.

      At least 90%. That's what they said. That's what they mean about loosening things up with "high" vax rates. The specifics depend on the circumstances when we get to a "high" rate. Don't fall into the tory trap of assuming 90% is a target. It's not, they're just laying the groundwork to bitch again.

      "It depends" sucks for people who have an attachment to firm and precise numbers, but the real world requires fuzzy logic processing sometimes.

      • chris T 6.2.1

        Sorry mate but that is a cop out on their part.

        90% of what

        • McFlock

          No, not a cop out. They made the cardnial sin of not boring people to death using language that even the 1980s HHGTTG text-based computer game could parse, probably because if they had then a lot of knobs would parrot "explaining is losing" instead of "we don't know what's going oooonnnn".

          Let's break this down further, shall we?

          90% is in the region that is denoted "high". Probably near the base of that region, but don't be super-surprised if they start announcing things loosening up from the mid 80 percentages.

          But, gosh, a high percentage of what? Fuck, we might never know.

          I'll take a punt and say maybe it's to do with vaccination levels. But fully vaxed or partial? Of over 12s or over 5s? omagerd, it needs to be written in stone right now!!!

          fucksake. Who gives a shit. We get there when we get there.

          • chris T

            Yes obviously vaccinations.

            But 90% of Aucklanders?

            1 jab or both?

            All regions at 90%

            All races at 90% (Admittedly it would only be Maori and Pacifica, as for some odd reason Asians and Indians never appear in figures as apparently don't matter)

            I heard on the radio that Bloomfield idiot said not unless Maori were at 90% (Again 90% in what contexts?)

            As an aside, if the figures are still double figures at that time, do you think they will open up the country to Aucklanders at the same time school holidays start?

            • Incognito

              All races at 90% (Admittedly it would only be Maori and Pacifica, as for some odd reason Asians and Indians never appear in figures as apparently don't matter)

              Some things never change and it seems that you’re still a trolling idiot.


              Also scroll down to Vaccine uptake per 1,000 people by ethnicity

              Indians and Chinese, for example, are Asians. Humans are a race.

            • McFlock

              You do unbderstand that the reason for high vaccination is to stop the ICUs being overloaded so people other than covid patients can be treated?

              Opening up if the ICUs will be flooded by people from a particular region or ethnicity just creates the same outcome, with the extra icing that the region or ethnicity is viewed as expendable by the government.

              If you genuinely don't know why your questions can come across as trolling, try thinking harder about that.

  6. Gezza 7

    Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi is not happy about possible govt plans to open two more quarantine facilities in Rotorua. He says one will be a fourth MIQ and the other a quarantine facility for Covid-19 infectious people.
    … … … …

    "Waititi said his information had come from "sources" and he was concerned about leaks of Covid-19 into the community if a quarantine facility was established in the city.

    This only increases the potential for a MIQ breach leading to a community outbreak," he said. "It adds more pressure on the local health system and ultimately means more lockdowns.

    "This would be disastrous for Rotorua, and especially Māori who make up 45 per cent of the Rotorua population."

    There was a major difference between isolation and quarantine, Waititi said.
    … … …

    (Waititi seems to be creating a very high media profile by complaining about all sorts of things. He's very telegenic, imo, & personally I currently expect Te Pāti Māori to do very well at the next election – Gez)

    … … …

    "Rotorua keeps and brings those infectious, to our community," Waititi said.
    'This would be disastrous for Rotorua, and especially Māori who make up 45 per cent of the Rotorua population.'"
    … … …

    Hard to say if this is primarily a political ploy or stunt, but I think he's got a point. Hope he's doing all he can meantime to arrange for eligible Rotorua district ngā tāngata katoa (everybody) to get their Covid vaccinations asap.

    • Stuart Munro 7.1

      It's the only thing he's done so far that could be mistaken for work – going ballistic over ties was just grandstanding, as is his push on Aotearoa.

      • Gezza 7.1.1

        Both of those high value PR opportunities for Waititi. He knows his target audience.

        I was watching Parliament live the day he suckered Mallard into giving awesome free publicity. The rules were that male MPs were expected to wear “business attire”, which tos most Pākehā is a suit & tie.

        But there are tons of prominent Māori leaders, academics, & businessmen who wear a large hei tiki draped around their necks & hanging over their shirt front. It’s a perfectly, & very common normal tāne Māori business attire.

        Mallard threw a classic Pākehā stale male hissy fit, not thinking it thru. Bingo. Waititi gets the opportunity to do – for a Māori man whose mana has just been impugned – a rollicking & very culturally appropriate haka of protest & utu – reciprocation.

        Within days, Mallard lifted the requirement for men to wear ties. Big ups to Rawiri.

        The “call NZ Aotearoa” petition & his & his Party’s commitment to keep calling for a name change is pure theatre, but he’ll get a lot more profile-raising mileage out of this issue too. I’m not in favour personally, bur I know two Pākehā acquaintences who agree with him.

        Rawiri sometimes sails too close to the “all Pākehā are racist colonisers” line for my liking.

        As for how much work he’s doing, I don’t know but I bet it’s a lot more than many Pākehā think. Māori electorates are huge, They involve talking at a lot of marare, with Māori orgs, hapu iwi, constituents, & a lot of travelling. That gets pretty wearing I imagine.

        • Ghostwhowalksnz

          The Speaker was the hall monitor for what Parliaments ' rules committee' decides.

          I thought he was in favour of a less literal interpretation of 'neck thingy' and once the committee met and changed it then the Speaker could follow the new direction

          • Gezza


            "Speaker Trevor Mallard has announced that ties are no longer mandatory in Parliament.

            It comes days after a dress code stoush between him and Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi, which saw Waititi booted out for not wearing a tie.

            Mallard said a Standing Orders committee meeting discussed appropriate business attire tonight and a submission on the topic was heard from Te Paati Māori (Māori Party).

            "The committee did not reach a consensus but the majority of the committee was in favour of removing a requirement for ties to be part of 'appropriate business attire' for males," he said in a Tweet.

            'As Speaker, I am guided by the committee's discussion and decision, and therefore ties will no longer be considered required as part of 'appropriate business attire'. I acknowledge those who felt this was an important issue worthy of further consideration.'"

            … … …

            Where Mallard did Waititi a huge favour was in objecting to the hei tiki being worn instead of a tie. Hugely boosted Rawiri's profile, & his mana with Māori.

            Mallard could've just let it go.

  7. Wow. Crazy stuff in Melbourne. Anti-lockdown, antivaxx zombies gather to riot, harass nurses and spread chaos.

    Unions deny any association with the mob of grifters and denialists

  8. Enough is Enough 9

    Are we the last country on earth talking about noting else other than COVID? I am becoming very fatigued that after 18 months it seems to be the only thing the media or government are focussed on. It has almost become an obssession. We are still having daily press conferences on this, and every new bulletin opens with a daily case update, or story about people buying KFC.

    Yes, it is the issue of our time, but there are other things happening out there in the world, which warrant our attention. How long will our daily obesseion continue?

    A quick scan of international media shows, that something which started 18 months ago, isn't really news worthy anymore. COVID doesn't really get much of a mention out there

    We are a peculiar little nation at time.

    Rant over.

    • roblogic 9.1

      Here's hoping for daily 1pm updates of the other crises afflicting NZ and the world: housing, inequality and climate change.

      • Enough is Enough 9.1.1


        I have general faith in the MoH to do their job when it comes to COVID. Contact trace, isolating people and slowly rolling out the vaccine. They are doing it reasonably well to the point I don't think we need the minute by minute commentary, that we were doing in March last year.

        I have a lot less faith in other government departments doing their job, so I wish we would turn, at least some of, our attention to them. Imagine if we had a daily press conference to announce the housing waiting list, homelessness statisitics and climate change targets.

      • Ad 9.1.2

        Climate change and homelessness are Green Party Ministerial responsibilities, so Chloe Swarbrick could always start with some accountability from her own colleagues.

        Chloe's current push is the futile and exceedingly middle class pursuit of rebuilding St James Theatre.

        Chloe Swarbrick should pull her head out of her ass.

    • Maurice 9.2

      Perhaps it is all distraction as continuing legislative changes take place out of the spotlight. It is quite instructive to have pending legislation and Parliament Order papers fed to your email.

    • gsays 9.3

      I agree with you on the inevitable stories about coffee, KFC, buying flour etc.

      It's not news, it's trivia at best. As Chloe Swarbrick says about updates on housing and CC, and Maurice eludes to, there are other important issues that are being ignored.

      That will learn me for watching TV news after years of giving it a wide berth.

    • Gezza 10.1

      Yes. They’re very rare, but they DO sometimes happen. Even in the centre of their landmass. That whole continent’s tectonic plate is always being squeezed by others. And sometimes I guess some ancient fold or fault cracks or shudders. Or there’s some local geographic collapse deep down under.

      My understanding anyway.

      • Gezza 10.1.1

        🙄 *geographic = geological

      • Scud 10.1.2

        Yes Earthquakes are very over rare over here in Oz, there is a very large number of various fault lines in Oz to ancient volcanos & hotspots from the east coast of Nth’ern Qld all the way down to Victorian- SA Border & within the greater Melbourne area.

        • Gezza

          I live in Wellington, Scud. We get a lot of small earthquakes in Tawa, many coming from a slow slip event happening off the Western Kapiti Coast.

          And there are about four or five major fault lines in the Welly region that generate huge quakes when they go. We're always waiting for The Big One on the Wellington fault.

          But I hail from New Plymouth, Taranaki, where I grew up. Now ma & pa have both passed away here, I've been thinking about whether I should move back there, like ma wanted me to after she died. To be with my siblings up there.

          The thing is, I grew up in the shadow of the beautiful & magnificent Mt Taranaki. And volcanologists say, geologically speaking it's due for an eruption, which might be small, or it might be blimmin massive. It's unusual for the number of times it's blown itself apart, & then just rebuilt itself.

          It's only short. But this is what my Taranaki Maunga does:

          • Scud

            I’m ex CHCH until 1998, so I’m quite used to Mother Nature rocking & rolling. We get a few deep earthquakes from Indonesia- Timor-Leste Area rattling Darwin & the odd from Tennant Creek Area. I’ve just finished reading up the Halls Fall Faultline that runs from the Halls Falls area in WA all the way up to the other side of Darwin Harbour & out to the sea.

  9. AB 11

    We are approaching the point in the pandemic where we move from collectivising risk to individualising it. In the first phase it was collective, action, equality of sacrifice and no-one left behind. In the second phase it is get vaccinated, take precautions that are suitable for your risk profile, and if you are unlucky the healthcare system should (but might not) be there to help you. Normal transmission is being resumed and the government has not used the pandemic as a catalyst for changing anything important. Last year in the first L4 lockdown, we were as ripe as we'll ever be for UBI and significant poverty and inequality reduction efforts. Under pandemic conditions such things would arguably be rational, rather than political. Operationally, this government has handled the pandemic superbly, but strategically and ideologically not so much. The lessons we learned will go down the memory hole of history as we scramble back into a dysfunctional BAU.

    • weka 11.1

      yep. Although I'm not convinced we will go back to BAU. The vaccine isn't a silver bullet.

      • Chris 11.1.1

        I'm thinking AB means BAU in a very broad sense, that in the end the interests of "the economy" prevail, back to the dysfunctional neo-liberal-driven way of life. Illustrated, possibly, by Auckland’s move from L4 to L3, described by some experts as a “calculated risk”, and by others as more ideologically-driven than anything else.

        • AB

          I used "BAU" too loosely (this damn writing thing is so hard to get right), but meant in that broad sense you suggest.

  10. Adrian 12

    How many lives has Covid lockdown saved in Melbourne this morning? Bet the mad mob leaders say "It was the fucking gummint mate ".

  11. Adrian 13

    Just out of interest I looked up the Polio Vaccine info and in 1956 there was 90% parental approval for child vaccination compared to only 29% in England, 42% in Scotland and 74% in NSW. We should be good for 90% here for Covid if our history of doing the right thing still holds. Interestingly the same problems were apparent then, production problems, the US refusing to export and lack of refrigeration, ( only a day or so leeway in ambient temp then).

  12. Cricklewood 14

    More and more stories coming out about the what was going on in the Wuhan Lab and frankly it now seems more and more likely we are dealing with a virus that had been tinkered with… fucking insanity.
    “They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested US$14 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.”

    • Forget now 14.1

      Where does that link to; Cricklewood? I have learned not to click on concealed links on this site, as I imagine; so have others. Gain of Function Research is not that unusual – if that is what you are referring to?

      A quick google threw up this Intercept article (limited to 3 free article views, but not otherwise paywalled) though I am not disposed to trawl through all 900+ pages of FOIA primary sources to confirm what they are saying.

      On August 27, Biden announced that the intelligence inquiry was inconclusive.

      Biden blamed China for failing to release critical data, but the U.S. government has also been slow to release information. The Intercept initially requested the proposals in September 2020.

      It doesn't seem that unreasonable to me to fund and conduct research into SARS & MERS in a virology lab. Though if it was done at the Biosafety Level 3 Wuhan University Center for Animal Experiment, rather than the BL4 Wuhan Institute of Virology, then the denials that the WIoV was involved might be a way of deflecting attention from the WUCfAE. The evidence does not seem conclusive.

      In any case, there is more noise than sound in the speculations on both sides of these lab leak "theories" (ie conjectures beyond what is supported by evidence). I doubt there is much good faith on either side, even if one, or both, speculations are eventually confirmed. Personally, I think all labs licensed to operate beyond BL1 (eg university teaching labs using low risk biologicals level), should be subject to regular un-notified inspection by independent teams of international experts. That's not going to happen though!

      Mr Zhao, who is known for his aggressive style of diplomacy, has played an important role in spreading the "US origin" theory. Several tweets from his account last year first drew wide attention to Fort Detrick. "What's behind the closure of the biolab at Fort Detrick?" he wrote in July 2020, "When will US invite experts to investigate the origin of the virus in US?"

      In recent months, his calls have been joined by Chinese diplomats based in various countries, and the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV even aired an hour-long special report, "The Dark History behind Fort Detrick", focusing on breaches of containment at the lab in 2019, to bolster claims of lax lab security echoed by Chinese officials and state media. A related hashtag has had more than 100 million views on Weibo, China's Twitter equivalent.

    • Incognito 15.1

      Yesterday, seven were infectious in the community, FFS. They’re chasing the tail, which is wagging the dog. Stomp on it, hard and fast and don’t mind the yelping dog, FFS.

      • McFlock 15.1.1

        I've generally found it helpful every few months to go back to the implementation criteria for different alert levels.

        It's a dangerous habit to get into chasing the gauges of the daily numbers and demand level 4 for any community cases above zero.

        It's a process they're working through. they're identifying connections with previous cases for almost all new cases within a day of diagnosis. They're not getting randos coming in so much with absolutely no connection with any previous cases. So they have several clusters that are being reasonably well contained, and that will burn themselves out eventually.

        Level 3 matches that risk profile. We're using the same playbook that got us out of it last time, and it seems to be working about as well as it did last time. Better, even, because we started it sooner.

        • Incognito

          I hear you but the risk with smouldering fires is that they can flare up and burst into flames at any time. I believe that a more stringent ‘bespoke’ approach is justified and warranted to place a higher firewall around existing known clusters. The persistent tail is reason enough to up the ante, IMO.

          • McFlock

            Fire is a fair analogy.

            At the moment, the assessment is that the winds have died down, the main blazes have been extinguished, so it's just the slog of finding the hot spots and digging them out. that means the evacuation orders can be cancelled and people can return to the properties that were in danger.

            If the winds pick up and embers transfer again, back come the monsoon buckets and evacuations. But the full court press takes a heavy toll on everyone, so only gets done when times are desperate.

  13. Whispering Kate 16

    Changing topic. There is a major grizzle going down with importers about the backlog of vessels waiting to come alongside at Auckland Port. History repeats itself. I well remember in 1972 on a voyage to Japan with my partner (wives privilege of accompanying officers of the sea going vessels) and arriving in Tokoyo to see rows and rows of vessels waiting to go alongside or being off loaded by barges way out in the bay. 50 plus vessels at least. I also remember the sea was like glue it was so polluted. We were going into drydock at Yokohama but the sight was one I never forgot.

    Now there are 60+ vessels out in the bay in LA waiting for a berth alongside. It seems our ports have been suffering from logjams for ever and a day.

    In comparison Auckland has no problems and maybe there should be less whinging from the importers and accept the circumstances.

  14. aj 17

    we are dealing with a virus that had been tinkered with… fucking insanity.

    I'm not sure I'd be trusting the source of that article. Not one jot.

    • Papers, confirmed as genuine by a former member of the Trump administration, show they were hoping to introduce "human-specific cleavage sites" to bat coronaviruses which would make it easier for the virus to enter human cells.
    • When Covid-19 was first genetically sequenced, scientists were puzzled about how the virus had evolved such a human-specific adaptation at the cleavage site on the spike protein, which is the reason it is so infectious.
    • The documents were released by Drastic, the web-based investigations team set up by scientists from across the world to look into the origins of Covid-19.
    • In a statement, Drastic said: "Given that we find in this proposal a discussion of the planned introduction of human-specific cleavage sites, a review by the wider scientific community of the plausibility of artificial insertion is warranted."

    DRASTIC (Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19) is a loose collection of scientists and researchers investigating the origins of COVID-19, in particular the COVID-19 lab leak theory. Most scientists maintain COVID-19 likely had a natural origin, but a lab leak is still a possibility worth investigating. DRASTIC is composed of about 30 core members, whose activity is primarily organized through the social media website Twitter. They formed in February 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. DRASTIC members have called for a "full and unrestricted investigation" into the origins of COVID-19, conducted independently of the World Health Organization.

    Many of DRASTIC's members use pseudonyms, while identified members have backgrounds including mycology, neuroscience, and data science. Members of DRASTIC have engaged in personal attacks against virologists and epidemiologists on Twitter, falsely accusing some of working for the Chinese Communist Party.

    • Cricklewood 17.1

      Perhaps but no one is flat out denying what they have released in terms of documents and given the USAs likely involvment in funding work in the Lab I think its the mostly likely source of what has proven a remarkably well adapted virus.

      But it very much suits those in power not to have that exposed.

      • McFlock 17.1.1

        or, like, shit just happens sometimes. and this virus is that shit this time.

      • Subliminal 17.1.2

        It can be a long process finding the animal source of an outbreak. Not only have you got to stumble across the correct population but additionally, you have to sample the animal at the time it is infected with the virus. Progress is however being made. A bat population in the Northern Laos region has been sampled and found to contain a very closely related covd virus. It contains the human ace receptor site though not however the furin cleavage site. But the existence of the human ace receptor site is enough to allow the possibility of the evolution of the furin cleavage site in repeated human contacts. Or a wild furin cleavage site may still be found. These things take a lot of time.


    • Brigid 17.2

      Good reason not to trust the source

      "The WHO team's main public conclusion so far is that it's "extremely unlikely" that the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan. The scientists think the virus most likely started in bats, then jumped to other animals, then to humans.

      Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans was part of that team that "reconstructed every step in that initial outbreak" in two weeks of investigation."

      "So from everything that we've looked at and we've also visited three labs involved and also three labs that work on these viruses. From that, we have not been able to find any credible link there."

      "How open and transparent were the Chinese once they let you in?

      This is a topic and a mission. There are sensitivities around it … big political tensions that are around it. And that's something you cannot completely avoid in a situation like this. But once we got out of our quarantine, got into the face-to-face meetings, I think we've managed to get into real good scientific exchange with stiff discussions here and there, because [people] start from different backgrounds and different views. But I tell everyone, wait and read the report and let's discuss then. But I think we managed to get a good outcome of this meeting. I think it was in that sense quite successful."

      "Is there anything that you think is necessary to know that you don't have access to?

      Not really. So if you say, did the Chinese colleagues hand over the complete raw data files? No, they did not. But then again, I did not expect that in a mission like this. So we've seen a lot of information. We've been given a lot of information. We've had access to the people working on the data, aggregating the data, looking at what exact questionnaires that they used, what does the data file look like. To me, that is quite extensive data access."

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