Airport Deploys ‘Virus-Killing Robots’ During Holidays As Mall Santas Turn To Plexiglass Barriers And ‘Sanitation Elves’ Tyler Durden
Fri, 11/27/2020 – 19:30
Holidays during the pandemic were always going to be interesting, as fears over a second wave have been met with a flood of lockdowns and restrictions on gatherings.
Yet, many Americans aren’t buying it, or don’t care about a virus that kills less than 1% of those it infects – as over 1 million travelers flew through US domestic airports last Friday, the 2nd highest daily total since the pandemic hit last spring.
Airlines, meanwhile, are jumping through all sorts of hoops to keep regulators and worried passengers happy – mandating that passengers wear masks throughout their flights, while airports employ measures of their own such as thermal imagingto scan for fevers (which has ‘accuracy issues‘ per experts). Airports are also employing touchless kiosks and attempting to enforce social distancing recommendations.
San Antonio International Airport in Texas has gone one step further – deploying a virus-fighting robot that shoots powerful bursts of UV light onto surfaces, according to the Washington Post.
It’s called LightStrike, and other airports are considering whether to invest in the $125,000 device that has been shown to be effective against the coronavirus. Some airports are watching to see whether travel improves over the coming weeks, according to officials at Xenex, the company behind the device.
Xenex says that its robot business has increased 600 percent amid the pandemic. Most of the increase is related to the health-care industry, but the robot also has entered new markets such as hotels, professional sports facilities and police stations. –Washington Post
“When you bring something like SARS-CoV-2 into focus, institutions like hotels, airlines, professional sports teams, they’re looking for what’s best-in-class to kill it,” according to Xenex CEO, Morris Miller.
The 43″ tall UV-producing robots with a seven-foot effective radius were initially developed for hospitals as a method of eliminating viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and was recently picked up by a local school district in Texas, according to the report.
It’s been known for decades that UV radiation can destroy viruses by chemically altering their genetic material. However, different pathogens are susceptible to UV light at varying wavelengths. Many traditional UV devices use low-intensity mercury bulbs, which means they may take longer to kill organic material such as viruses. By contrast, LightStrike robots have a powerful xenon UV-C light source capable of damaging the DNA and RNA of viruses in a matter of minutes. –Washington Post
In a test conducted by the Texas Biomedical Research Instituted in San Antonio, the LightStrike robot destroyed COVID-19 in two minutes, and has shown to be effective at killing certain superbugs such as C. diff.
Meanwhile, mall santas have also been forced to adapt to Christmas with COVID – with some now appearing for photos from inside ‘acrylic snow globes’ and other barriers.
Old Saint Nick will pose for photos from inside an acrylic snow globe in Richmond. He’ll be barricaded behind a eight-foot picture frame in Lakewood, Colo. And in Gruene, Tex., Cowboy Kringle, who wears red leather chaps and a cowboy hat, will keep socially distant by asking visitors to sit on a saddle positioned six feet away.
This year’s holiday photos will have a decidedly pandemic feel: No more sitting on Kriss Kringle’s lap or whispering in his ear. Instead, venues are increasingly requiring reservations, masks and temperature checks. Santa is hosting drive-through events, attaching face shields to his hat and trading in his white cloth gloves for disposable ones to protect himself — and others — as coronavirus cases skyrocket to new highs around the country. –Washington Post
“Everything is different this year, but people are finding a way to keep that traditional Santa experience,” said Mitchell Allen, owner of the Hire Santa staffing firm – where ‘virtual bookings have grown tenfold,’ yet only constitute a fraction of the company’s total revenue according to the report.
“It’s unexpected, to be honest.”
At Bass Pro Shops, which also owns Cabela’s, Saint Nick is stuck behind an acrylic shield, while elves serve as “Santa’s sanitization squad,” as some 95,000 families stopped by for photos during Santa’s first week at 176 stores.
With struggling retailers being sent into bankruptcy thanks to a sharp dropoff in foot traffic during the pandemic, mall santas have been a longstanding reason for families to set foot in malls. And with Santa-booking companies reporting a 40% dropoff in appointments, and many Santas dropping out of the workforce over health concerns.
Santas are also nervous. Many are in their 70s and 80s and have health conditions such as diabetes that put them at particularly high risk of coronavirus complications. Brenneman, who owns the booking firm Santa Claus and Co. in Phoenix, said about half of the 30 white-bearded men he employs are sitting the season out, and a few are doing only outdoor events. -WaPo
In trying to adjust to the ‘new normal,’ mall owners “have spent months — and tens of thousands of dollars — trying to reimagine Santa’s Wonderland for the coronavirus era. The goal, they say, is to spread holiday cheer (but not the virus),” according to the report.
“Santa can’t give out hugs or candy canes this year, but people still want to see him,” said 70-year-old Mark Brenneman, who has been playing Santa for nearly 50 years. “They want hope. They want normal.“
The post-election push to pressure President Donald Trump to concede, despite numerous credible allegations of voter fraud and ongoing legal challenges, is not an isolated incident.
It is the culmination of a four-year-long campaign against him, which started during his first run for president in 2016 when the FBI launched a politically motivated investigation of his campaign. During his subsequent four years in office, there have been consistent efforts to remove him from office, first through the Russia-collusion narrative and then through impeachment.
The Epoch Times here provides an overview of some of the main efforts made against the sitting president of the United States.
This is an issue that transcends party lines, as it is not only an assault on Trump, but an assault on the office of the presidency, and with it, an assault on the foundation of America.
Click on infographic to enlarge.
Politically Motivated Investigation
The FBI under the Obama administration in 2016 launched a politically motivated investigation of the Trump campaign. Based on publicly available information, we know the investigation was initiated based on the thinnest of evidence: remarks made by a junior Trump campaign adviser to the Australian ambassador in London. In reality, the investigation primarily relied on the discredited “Steele dossier,” produced by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
President Donald Trump boards Air Force One in Butler, Pa., on Oct. 31, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
The Trump–Russia Shadow
While the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation itself would not find any evidence of Trump–Russia collusion, the ongoing investigations, including selective leaks to the media, would create the public narrative that Trump had colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. This cast a shadow over the first few years of his presidency and constrained his actions both domestically and internationally. Some members of Congress had gone so far as to call for Trump’s impeachment over the false allegations.
Former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey, speaks via a TV monitor during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 30, 2020. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images)
FBI Under Comey and McCabe
The FBI under Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe pro-actively worked against Trump. McCabe was directly involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, working with FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page. After Comey was fired by Trump in May 2017, McCabe actively pushed the agency to further investigate Trump. McCabe’s FBI went as far as suggesting Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr reach back out to Steele, despite that many of the claims in his dossier had been disproven by that time and the FBI had cut ties with him over his leaks to the media.
The New York Times building is seen in New York City on Feb. 7, 2013. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
Perhaps one of the most powerful forces working against Trump during his presidency has been the news media. Over the past five years, they have relentlessly published skewed and inaccurate information about Trump while minimizing or ignoring his accomplishments, seeking to portray him publicly as an illegitimate president. This type of reporting has created a climate of anger, hate, and instability in America. It has resulted in threats made to the president’s life and acts of violence against his supporters.
The White House stands at dusk in Washington on Feb. 5, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
The House of Representatives on Dec. 18, 2019, impeached Trump along partisan lines. Though the Senate would later dismiss the charge, it left a mark on his presidency and dragged the country through months of public attacks in the media. At the center of the impeachment was a phone call Trump made on July 25, 2019, to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump expressed his hope that allegations of potential corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden would be investigated. Given even the publicly available information at the time, there were legitimate concerns that American political influence and taxpayers’ funds were misused in Ukraine. At the time, it was publicly known that Biden’s son Hunter had received tens of thousands of dollars a month from a Ukrainian energy giant, while then-Vice President Biden—in his own words—had pressured the Ukrainian president to fire a prosecutor as a prerequisite for receiving $1 billion in foreign aid. That same prosecutor had been investigating the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, as well its board, which included Hunter Biden.
A medical worker in protective suit conducts nucleic acid testings for residents at a residential compound in Wuhan, the Chinese city hit hardest by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Hubei province, China, on May 15, 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)
Trump’s opponents have accused the president of mishandling the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, by acting too late. This, however, is contrary to the events of early 2020. The Trump administration on Feb. 2, 2020, banned all foreign travel from China, the source of the CCP virus. This decision was made by the president against the advice of some of his top advisers and exceeded actions taken by most other nations at the time. Meanwhile, his opponents in politics and media described it as xenophobic and an overreaction. In hindsight, the decision proved immensely valuable in helping to slow the spread of the virus. As the virus spread in the United States, the Trump administration increased testing capacity, coordinated with state governments to provide them with the federal assistance they needed, used the defense production act to compel companies to produce critical health equipment such as ventilators, and provided billions in federal funding and eased federal regulations for major drug companies to push for the development of a vaccine.
Chinese troops march during a military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, on Oct. 1, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)
It would be accurate to say that Trump is communist China’s biggest adversary. The president broke a decades-long U.S. policy toward China that was based on the belief that, through engagement and economic development, the People’s Republic would evolve from a totalitarian regime toward a more democratic country. In reality, this strategy of appeasement merely resulted in trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs going to China. And instead of becoming more democratic, the Chinese regime used this wealth to advance its dictatorship, creating the most technologically advanced tyranny the world has ever witnessed. The CCP has consistently worked against Trump during his presidency, both publicly and behind the scenes. Beijing has used its domestic and overseas propaganda channels—often by relying on the United States’ own media—to vilify Trump, going as far as to suggest that the outbreak of the CCP virus in Wuhan was because of the American military.
A police armored vehicle patrols an intersection while a building set afire by rioters burns in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter (BLM) has been behind the riots that have plagued American cities for much of this year. The group has hijacked the concerns people have over racism and used them to justify its advance of a Marxist agenda. In a 2015 video, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors described herself and her fellow founders as “trained Marxists.” Just like in Russia, China, Cuba, and Venezuela, trained Marxists have hijacked righteous causes to advance the communist agenda. Many of those who lived through the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960s have commented that the riots in the United States over the summer, which included the toppling of historical statues, were eerily similar. The result is a climate of chaos and insecurity that affects the entire country.
Antifa extremists in Berkeley, Calif., on Aug. 27, 2017. (Amy Osborne/AFP via Getty Images)
Dressed in full black gear including armor, helmets, and masks, and trained in agitation and basic combat, Antifa extremists have been involved in numerous acts of violence during Trump’s presidency. In many cases, these acts of violence, which include the use of weapons, rocks, and Molotov cocktails, were directed at law enforcement and government property. But Antifa members have also directly targeted unarmed common citizens for simply supporting Trump. We saw this happen twice in Washington, where those who had gathered to support Trump were later attacked when alone in the city at night. Antifa’s use of a militia-style force to intimidate and physically attack citizens for their political beliefs creates a powerful climate of fear and stands against the most basic American values.
Aerial photo of the Washington Memorial with the Capitol in the background in Washington D.C. in this file photo. (Andy Dunaway/USAF via Getty Images)
The Permanent Government
Though Trump as president is the leader of the executive branch, when he came to office he inherited a federal government staffed with hundreds of thousands of employees. It’s no secret that many career officials in the U.S. government have actively sought to undermine or even openly work against Trump. Many in government have been led by false information published by media organizations to believe that they are doing the right thing, and that by working against Trump, they are putting the interests of the country first. In fact, they have done the country a disservice by blocking a rightfully elected president from executing the will of the people.
Robert Mueller in Washington, on May 29, 2019. (Reuters/Jim Bourg)
Mueller Special Counsel Investigation
Following the firing of FBI Director Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein assigned former FBI Director Robert Mueller to continue the FBI’s investigation of alleged Trump–Russia collusion. Mueller would conclude in a final report that there was no evidence of such collusion. But this only came after a nearly two-year-long investigation, giving the media and Trump’s political opponents leeway to portray Trump as an illegitimate president because of his supposed affiliation with Russia.
President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office of the White House on Jan. 28, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Throughout the past four years, the Trump administration has been plagued by selective leaks aimed at damaging Trump’s presidency. Some of these leaks have been criminal in nature, such as the leak of the transcripts of Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders—a felony offense. Treasury official Natalie Edwards was found guilty of illegally leaking suspicious activity reports (SARs) on financial transactions by former Trump campaign associate Paul Manafort, among others.
Poll workers board up windows so ballot challengers can’t see into the ballot counting area at the TCF Center where ballots are being counted in downtown Detroit on Nov. 4,2020. (Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images)
2020 Election Fraud
Following the Nov. 3 elections, dozens of credible allegations of voter fraud or other illegal acts connected to the counting of ballots have emerged. Dozens of poll workers across multiple states have given testimony in sworn statements—under penalty of perjury—detailing irregularities in how ballots were counted, as well as how the workers were instructed to make otherwise illegal changes to ballots, how they were unable to properly observe ballot counting, and how they witnessed new ballots mysteriously appear out of nowhere. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee launched a number of lawsuits to challenge the process. They’ve argued that in Pennsylvania alone, 600,000 ballots should be invalidated, as Republican election observers weren’t allowed to witness the ballot processing.
President Donald Trump speaks at Trump Tower, fielding questions from reporters about Charlottesville, in New York City, on Aug. 15, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
The use of manufactured narratives to attack Trump has been pervasive since he assumed the presidency. Perhaps the most notable is the claim that he defended neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, when in fact he said that that there were “very fine people on both sides,” referring to people who “were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.” Trump specifically added, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally—but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.” Yet despite this being on public record, Trump would continue to be asked throughout his presidency, especially during the election season, whether he was ready to “denounce white supremacy,” despite having done so on many occasions, even before becoming president
At the time of this writing, the United States currently maintains the highest number of Covid-19 deaths and ranks 11th for the highest deaths per capita. There have been approximately 262,000 recorded Covid-19 deaths in the United States, which is certainly a concerning number.
The study – which is still being vetted – simply examines the raw data that should have been questioned months ago.
The overall conclusion is that Covid-19, at least according to collected data, is not the killer disease that it is currently hyped up to be. AIER is not endorsing the study as is without further study, but we are interested in the argument being examined and discussed.
Viewing Covid-19 Deaths in Context
It is already well established that Covid-19 is a disease that is most dangerous to those over the age of 65 and who have preexisting conditions. In the United States, there has been an observed 2.1% mortality rate, with elderly individuals making up over half that number.
Young and healthy people are not by any significant capacity threatened by Covid-19.
One of the most important factors when it comes to Covid-19 is preventing excess death. According to the CDC,
“Estimates of excess deaths can provide information about the burden of mortality potentially related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including deaths that are directly or indirectly attributed to COVID-19. Excess deaths are typically defined as the difference between the observed numbers of deaths in specific time periods and expected numbers of deaths in the same time periods.”
Essentially, there is an average number of deaths every year due to a variety of causes that for the most part have remained constant through the years. This includes morbidities such as heart disease, which has long been the leading cause of death, and cancer, which has long plagued our existence. For Covid-19 to be a serious cause of alarm, it would need to significantly increase the number of average deaths.
However, according to the study,
“These data analyses suggest that in contrast to most people’s assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States.”
Total deaths in the United States show no significant change and even mirror past trends of seasonal illness.
Source: CDC Data, Methodology Included in this Video
According to this graph constructed using data provided by the CDC from the last 6 years, total deaths have remained relatively constant and increases can be explained by various factors such as a larger population. The spikes in deaths in 2020 are consistent with historical trends, only topping 2018 by 11,292 deaths. There have been over 262,000 deaths attributed to Covid-19 in the United States, yet total deaths have not increased in any alarming capacity; they have only mirrored existing trends. In short, according to 6 years of data collected by the CDC, Covid-19 has not led to any significant increase in deaths.
What is even more interesting if not more alarming is that the spike in recorded Covid-19 deaths seen in 2020 has coincided with a proportional decrease in death from other diseases.
“This suggests, according to Briand, that the COVID-19 death toll is misleading. Briand believes that deaths due to heart diseases, respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia may instead be recategorized as being due to COVID-19.”
Deaths have remained relatively constant, yet reported deaths due to deadly conditions such as heart disease have fallen while reported Covid deaths have risen. This suggests that the current Covid death count is in some capacity relabeled deaths due to other ailments. According to the graph, reported Covid deaths even overtook heart disease as the main cause of death at one point, which should raise suspicion.
This aligns with many other well-established facts about the virus, such as those with comorbidities are the most at risk. According to the CDC, about 94% of Covid deaths occur with comorbidities. This suggests that it could be possible that a large number of deaths could have been mainly due to more serious ailments such as heart disease but categorized as a Covid-19 death, a far less lethal disease.
According to this graph provided by the study, deaths labeled under Covid-19 increased while deaths labeled under others decreased. It is important to note that this sample only applies to the month of April as the author notes these were the weeks with the highest reported deaths. Gu writes
“The CDC classified all deaths that are related to COVID-19 simply as COVID-19 deaths. Even patients dying from other underlying diseases but are infected with COVID-19 count as COVID-19 deaths. This is likely the main explanation as to why COVID-19 deaths drastically increased while deaths by all other diseases experienced a significant decrease…
“If [the COVID-19 death toll] was not misleading at all, what we should have observed is an increased number of heart attacks and increased COVID-19 numbers. But a decreased number of heart attacks and all the other death causes doesn’t give us a choice but to point to some misclassification,” Briand replied.”
Furthermore, Briand’s research notes that the percentage of death has remained relatively constant through all age groups. Covid death statistics seem to mirror the normal distribution of death amongst age groups, further lending credence to the argument that many Covid deaths are recategorized deaths.
Briand provides this graph constructed from CDC data that shows that deaths amongst various age groups have remained relatively constant.
By simply looking at the raw data presented by the CDC Gu writes that
“All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers. We found no evidence to the contrary,” Briand concluded.
What Do We Do With This Information?
Briand and likely many others suppose that the extreme emphasis on Covid-19 has led to the unintended classification of the disease as the cause of death. She further stresses that although this data challenges the idea that Covid is an unprecedented and lethal disease, we should still be concerned with mitigating death in general.
However, it is clear that this significant accounting error regarding Covid deaths, if true, is not productive. It has caused mass hysteria and misinformed public policy. Closing down communities to fight a virus that according to the data, has had no significant contribution to total deaths, reduces our overall capacity to build a healthy society.
[ZH: Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) noted on Twitter: “Folks: I know a lot of you are referencing this Johns Hopkins paper that’s been pulled. Unfortunately it is wrong. The excess deaths are real. Yes, they’re very, very skewed by age, but they’re real. Pretending otherwise doesn’t help.”]
Lockdowns have resulted in severe damage to our capacity to improve the general health of society. From the catastrophic economic damage that lowers the standard of living for everyone to surgeries being deemed “unessential,” our current policies are not helping in preventing deaths in general; they are likely leading to more. Suicides and substance abuse are up, mental and physical health are down, all due to lockdowns.
The late Dr. Donald Henderson, who led the eradication of smallpox, noted in 2006 that
“Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted.”
The hysteria over Covid-19 has likely led to the alleged accounting error noted in Briand’s study, the reclassification of expected deaths from all causes into Covid deaths.
That accounting error has likely led to a number of policy decisions that have drastically crippled our ability to support the general welfare of society, economically, socially, and spiritually. Going forward these findings should give us pause and reconsideration over the threat Covid-19 actually poses and realize how much avoidable damage we have done to ourselves as a result.
Real Vision managing editor Ed Harrison and senior editor Ash Bennington discuss the all-time highs set on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite on this holiday-shortened trading day in U.S. equity markets. Harrison and Bennington also take a step back to evaluate the broader context for rising stock prices during the month of November. Specifically, the pair explores the apparent recent decrease of political risk in the U.S., the impact of increasing case counts and virus fatalities, the potential effects of a Covid-19 vaccine on the global economic climate, and the risk of future lockdowns and growing geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East.
Page’s 59-page complaint lists as defendants a veritable “Who’s Who” of the SpyGate scandal, including former FBI Director James Comey, Assistant Director Andrew McCabe, and the disgraced team of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Also singled out were Kevin Clinessmith, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to falsifying an email to hide Page’s past service as a source to the CIA, and FBI Agents Joe Pientka, Stephen Somma, and Brian Auten, with additional defendants identified merely as John Doe 1 – 10 and Jane Doe 1 – 10.
The first four counts of his complaint allege claims under FISA, with one count seeking damages for each of the four FISA court orders the defendants obtained against Page. FISA provides a private right of action to allow “an aggrieved person. . . who has been subjected to an electronic surveillance or about whom information obtained by electronic surveillance of such person has been disclosed,” to sue those responsible.
While Page’s attorneys are filing a civil claim under FISA, the filing notes that the same act makes it a criminal offense to illegally “engage in electronic surveillance under color of law.”
Page also claims that the United States government is responsible for civil wrongs “in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances,” a Federal tort claim which allows Page to sue the government for wrongful conduct, as if it were a private person.
Meanwhile (thanks to expert analysis by Cleveland – a lawyer and CPA), Page alleges a Bivens claim, named after a Supreme Court case in which a plaintiff was determined to be entitled to damages from the individual government actors responsible for violating their Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure – “which describes precisely what the Crossfire Hurricane team did in submitting the four false and misleading FISA applications to the FISA court.”
Lastly, Page seeks justice in a pair of complaints under the federal Act – the first of which seeks to force the DOJ to update his “individual records,” and the second which seeks an injunction to force the government to do so – as he says “he was falsely portrayed as a traitor to his country.”
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