Rush Limbaugh: Don’t Trust ‘Deep State’ Health Experts About Covid! Reply

Contra Kyle, Rush is not wrong to say that we should question medical and scientific authorities. Historically, there are plenty of examples of the medical and scientific establishment being not only wrong but complicit in systems of tyrannical political authority (e.g., eugenics, Lysenkoism, the “racial hygiene” policies of the Third Reich, Chinese organ harvesting). See Foucault’s work in this area or Thomas Szasz’s critique of the “therapeutic state.” Where Rush goes wrong is with the selectively of the authorities that he criticizes.

Alaska’s Remote Villages Are Cutting Themselves Off to Avoid Even ‘One Single Case’ of Coronavirus Reply

By Alejandro de la Garza

Time

With a deadly coronavirus epidemic creeping northward and the nearest hospital 230 miles away, Galen Gilbert, First Chief of Arctic Village, Alaska, knew his 200-person town could not afford to take any chances. A single case of COVID-19 could lead to the virus quickly spreading around the tight-knit community, but anybody who needed hospitalization would likely face an overstretched medevac system. As national infection rates rose, the 32-year-old leader and his village made an agonizing decision: rather than risk a potentially devastating outbreak, Arctic Village cut itself off almost entirely from the outside world.

“It’s a sacrifice we have to do for our people, because it’s such a small community,” Gilbert says. “You gotta do what you gotta do to survive.”

In recent weeks, dozens of villages like Gilbert’s, mainly populated by indigenous Alaskans or Gwich’in and overseen by tribal authorities, have restricted or completely halted travel in order to keep COVID-19 at bay, in addition to instituting social distancing rules within their borders. Barring travel is an extreme measure for such isolated communities, but leaders say it’s better than risking outbreaks in settlements where a lack of local medical capacity means an infection could easily become a death sentence. “They really don’t have any way other than that to protect themselves,” says Victor Joseph, chief and chairman of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, an Alaska Native non-profit corporation that provides social and health services to 37 federally-recognized tribes spread across an area a bit smaller than the state of Texas.

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Federal prisons are fighting coronavirus with home release and a quarantine, but that may not be enough Reply

By Sean Collins

Vox

he Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced late Wednesday that, due to Covid-19 concerns, all of those incarcerated in federal facilities will be under quarantine for the next 14 days.

The guidelines come as a growing number of incarcerated people and prison employees have begun testing positive for and displaying symptoms indicative of the novel coronavirus, and represent the BOP’s latest effort to reduce the rate of transmission in federal facilities.

But while the new guidance is certainly better than taking no action, critics of the policy argue there are better ways to curb prison-based coronavirus cases: namely, improved sanitation and commuting sentences to reduce the number of people in prison.

While all 146,000 federally incarcerated people will be confined to their cells for two weeks, the BOP said they will be allowed into communal areas on a limited — and, as much as is possible, socially distant — basis to eat, do laundry, bathe, access the internet, and use the phone. Incarcerated people will also still have normal access to educational and mental health services. New prison arrivals will be reduced during the quarantine period.

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Innocent Prisoners Are Going to Die of the Coronavirus Reply

“Let my people go.” -Moses

By Barbara Bradley Hagerty

The Atlantic

While millions of Americans shelter in place, one group simply cannot escape the coronavirus: prisoners. Among them are hundreds of people who have plausible claims that they are innocent, whose cases were working their way through the courts—until the coronavirus ground regular court business to a halt. What these stories reveal is the threat the virus poses to prisoners, both innocent and guilty, and to the wider population as a whole.

Walter Ogrod is one of those prisoners. February 28 brought the news that Ogrod had been waiting for ever since he was convicted of killing a 4-year-old girl and placed on death row 23 years ago: The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office told a court that Ogrod was “likely innocent,” and that his conviction was a “gross miscarriage of justice” based on evidence that was “false, unreliable, and incomplete.” He should be released. The judge set a hearing for March 27, then rescheduled it for June. Delays happen. Most everyone believed that Ogrod would soon walk out of prison.

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“Shelter in place” is impossible if you can’t afford a home Reply

By Roge Karma

Vox

As of March 31, 270 million people in at least 33 states, 89 counties, and 29 cities across the US have been urged by their government officials to stay home. While these policies often come with seismic life disruptions, the vast majority of Americans are taking them seriously. Most of us don’t even think twice about it: We just stay home.

But “stay-at-home” orders are impossible to follow if you don’t have a home in the first place. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that there are around 550,000 homeless individuals on any given night in America (others estimate that around 2 million people find themselves homeless in a given year).

The coronavirus has exposed the massive weaknesses in our already lacking social support infrastructure for the homeless. Shelters are too understaffed, under-resourced, and crowded to enforce proper social distancing and hygiene measures. Outdoor encampments lack basic sanitation. In some instances, the homeless are being shuttled into empty parking lots and told to sleep on asphalt.

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Trump shifts tone with grim coronavirus warnings 1

President Trump’s coronavirus task force shared grim projections for the country’s future amid the coronavirus crisis, estimating that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die before the crisis is over. The tone of the press conference marks a stark departure from Mr. Trump’s previous media appearances, where he mostly touted the success of his administration’s response. Weijia Jiang is at the White House where she breaks down the president’s latest message.

Questioning Conventional Wisdom in the COVID-19 Crisis, with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya Reply

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is a professor of medicine at Stanford University. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a senior fellow at both the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Stanford Freeman Spogli Institute. His March 24, 2020, article in the Wall Street Journal questions the premise that “coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines.” In the article he suggests that “there’s little evidence to confirm that premise—and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.” In this edition of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson we asked Dr. Bhattacharya to defend that statement and describe to us how he arrived at this conclusion. We get into the details of his research, which used data collected from hotspots around the world and his background as a doctor, a medical researcher, and an economist. It’s not popular right now to question conventional wisdom on sheltering in place, but Dr. Bhattacharya makes a strong case for challenging it, based in economics and science.

Don’t let reasonable prison releases turn into a mass coronavirus jailbreak Reply

Uh, no, Mr. Tobin. Let’s have a coronavirus jailbreak.

Jonathan Tobin

New York Post

No, we shouldn’t release prisoners en masse

The coronavirus has hit all New Yorkers hard, but among the places where the contagion is presenting an especially acute problem are the jails.

With confined spaces and so many people living in close proximity to each other, lockup conditions may be a perfect breeding ground for the disease; the city’s Rikers Island prison could prove among the worst examples in the country.

And with ever more cases of inmates and guards coming down with the bug, pressure is building for the state, the courts and prosecutors to both stop sending criminals to jail and start emptying out ­facilities. But that’s madness. A real solution has to be more targeted and careful.

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Coronavirus prompts prisoner releases around the world 1

The silver linings keep on coming. The question is: How do we make this permanent?

By Adela Suliman, Andy Eckardt and Gabe Joselow

NBC News

As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, some countries are freeing prisoners to stem the spread of the virus in crowded jails or free up space for COVID-19 patients.

Iran have already released 80,000 prisoners, according to official reports. Among them were British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, who was jailed in 2016 on what the United Nations, activists and her family say are trumped-up allegations of trying to overthrow the Iranian regime, and U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, 48, who has been in prison since his 2018 after he was sentenced to 13 years for insulting the country’s top leader and displaying a private photo publicly.

The U.N.’s special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, said in a statement that “recent reports indicate that the COVID-19 virus has spread inside Iranian prisons,” adding that “overcrowding, poor nutrition and a lack of hygiene” were also causes for concern.

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House Dems call for release of ‘as many prisoners as possible’ due to coronavirus pandemic Reply

“Houses Dems” are finally doing what they should have been doing decades ago?

By Tyler Olson

FOX News

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter Monday to Attorney General Bill Barr asking him to “release as many prisoners as possible” as federal prisons work to deal with uniquely difficult circumstances during the coronavirus pandemic.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, sent the letter Monday in response to the death of the first federal prisoner due to the coronavirus and the hospitalization of one guard who worked in the same facility.

“We call on you, in the most urgent terms, to do the right thing and exercise this authority [to modify prisoners’ sentences] and immediately move to release medically-compromised, elderly and pregnant prisoners from the custody of the BOP,” the letter reads. “In addition, we urge that you use every tool at your disposal to release as many prisoners as possible, to protect them from COVID-19.”

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‘Jails Are Petri Dishes’: Inmates Freed as the Virus Spreads Behind Bars Reply

By Timothy Williams, Benjamin Weiser and

Some jails are releasing people to stem outbreaks, but critics say it is not happening quickly enough to save lives and resources.

The coronavirus is spreading quickly in America’s jails and prisons, where social distancing is impossible and sanitizer is widely banned, prompting authorities across the country to release thousands of inmates in recent weeks to try to slow the infection, save lives and preserve medical resources.

Hundreds of Covid-19 diagnoses have been confirmed at local, state and federal correctional facilities — almost certainly an undercount, given a lack of testing and the virus’s rapid spread — leading to hunger strikes in immigrant detention centers and demands for more protection from prison employee unions.

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s chief prosecutor, is going through a similar exercise, but has also announced that she will decline to prosecute certain low-level cases, including trespassing, drug possession, prostitution and urinating in public, during the coronavirus outbreak.

“We believe that no longer prosecuting individuals for substance-use disorder or sex work — that’s not going to increase crime,” she said. “The thing that we’re concerned with is public safety, and we don’t want to prescribe someone with substance-use disorder to a death sentence.”

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Andrew Cuomo, Stop a Coronavirus Disaster: Release People From Prison Reply

A headline I never thought I would see in the Voice of the Ruling Class.

By Mary Bassett, Eric Gonzalez and

Dr. Bassett was the New York City health commissioner. Mr. Gonzalez is the district attorney of Brooklyn. Mr. Walker is the president of the Ford Foundation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been an exemplar of leadership in this time of crisis, someone to whom other state and local officials are looking for guidance. On Friday, the governor took the crucial step of ordering the release of 1,100 people from New York’s jails and prisons. But he must do more. If we don’t act fast, we jeopardize the lives of many. Worse yet, we risk creating a uniquely deadly incubator for the virus.

America incarcerates more people than any other nation on earth — some 2.3 million people, nearly 80,000 of whom are locked up in various New York correctional facilities for young people and adults. No other country in the world faces the kind of threat gathering in our jails and prisons.

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