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Bernie Sanders is the only candidate whose platform is consistent with what needs to be done so is a good faith effort. Biden's platform ignores GATS existence, and barring his getting out of GATS which in his case simply would never happen, cannot work because he ignores GATS rules which invariably would apply to partially subsidized programs of the type he is proposing. Biden is ignoring many GATS rules that apply such as standstill, ratchet, progressive liberalization and limits on subsidies, minimal trade restrictiveness, and more. So I don't think he actually intends to win, he just hopes to push out Bernie Sanders.

"Where are the jobs the Clinton Administration promised us?" some developing countries are asking.

An entire nation's minds are a horrible thing to waste.

The Global Value Chains ideology of neoliberalism, via GATS, TISA promotes changes which will destroy public higher and its likely eventually even public primary education, its logic is, "If the young people in a country are too expensive to hire, why educate them" saving (oligarchy) greatly on taxes. What is wrong with this picture?

progressive liberalization

the entire text of GATS' 'progressive liberalization' (Part IV) Progressive liberalization (along with similar concepts like standstill/rollback, the ratchet effect, or "trade creep") Lock in all deregulation, preventing re-regulation, nomatter what people vote for in afflicted countries. Once a service has been privatized, countries get a situation that they cannot afford to reverse. This traps them in a race to the bottom whose only endgame is a complete capture of government where government is replaced by corporate rule, because re-regulation of corporations is prohibited by trade treaties. Inhabitants have to move to other countries that have not adopted the particular bad policies yet. But not under Mode 4, because Mode 4 disenfranchises and disempowers workers. There really is no acceptable option.

We need to prevent the creation of a hospital to prison pipeline.

One of my anxieties about the capture of the US by corporations, is what seems to me to be a slow slide back into the worst aspects of the past. This is due to the global forces so afraid that the positive changes that happened in the last century would continue that neaar the end of the last century they set up a scheme to lock the entire planet into their bad movie, for good. they have literally been trying to take over the planet in order to reverse all that progress, and they have been succeeding. And we're letting them, largely because we dont know, which is a huge mistake. They are not normal people or normal politicians, they are compulsive liars.

Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2)

"Estimation of the prevalence and contagiousness of undocumented novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) infections is critical for understanding the overall prevalence and pandemic potential of this disease. Here we use observations of reported infection within China, in conjunction with mobility data, a networked dynamic metapopulation model and Bayesian inference, to infer critical epidemiological characteristics associated with SARS-CoV2, including the fraction of undocumented infections and their contagiousness. We estimate 86% of all infections were undocumented (95% CI: [82%–90%]) prior to 23 January 2020 travel restrictions. Per person, the transmission rate of undocumented infections was 55% of documented infections ([46%–62%]), yet, due to their greater numbers, undocumented infections were the infection source for 79% of documented cases. These findings explain the rapid geographic spread of SARS-CoV2 and indicate containment of this virus will be particularly challenging."

"Breaking the rules to prevent rule-breaking? The GATS and service mobility: drawing lines between genuine immigration control and protectionism"

Essential article on DS-503 WTO dispute that could drastically impact the size of the middle class in the US and in many other countries all around the world. (by reducing its size due to large scale job outsourcing) Would also lower the wages across the board for workers. Would heavily impact public services. GATS 'movement of natural persons' (Mode Four) and its Mode Three are the most controversial parts of the longstanding trade deal because they attempt to create new rights to which seem to allow companies bypassing national labor laws. This case could take intra-company cross border labor for work- "non-immigrant" temporary migration to work out of hands of governments and put it in the hands of the WTO. The US is a test case and the decision might be binding on many other countries as well. Could dramatically lower wages for many professions at all skill levels, from professional to fairly basic. Any job that has been the subject of GATS commitments in a country, which are very broad. In the US could easily impact tens of millions of jobs cutting many careers short. Even with visa quotas IT has already been greatly impacted, leaving many workers struggling to find work. Situation is likely to get much much worse if the WTO panel decides in India's favor. Indian-affiliated "US" IT firms are notorious for not hiring US workers, even US workers with Indian backgrounds. They want dis-empowered workers whose status in the US depends on their job. This is a very bad situation that could become the norm in dozens of high employment fields. Might cause extreme loss of trust in government, a shift we might not recover from.

Made up interview imagining a (WTO dispute) DS503 loss, answering my own made up imagined questions from readers about it.

A WTO dispute thats currently open and active (since 2016) is part of the GATS, a trade agreement, to trade jobs for markets (corporate travel, defined as non-immigrant behavior) , that's been delayed in implementation in a number of developed countries (including the US) by allegedly "immigration" quotas that a group of countries led by India say are illegal, under the GATS agreement. No matter what the outcome of the dispute is, the WTO is unlikely to declare the entire scheme illegitimate. Whether a win by India might lead to the loss of tens or even hundreds millions of high wage jobs in developed countries such as the US also is unclear, but the likelihood would be large changes will occur if they win.

Trojan Horse Clauses

Two authoritative presentations to Australia's government by Australian trade expert and legal scholar Matthew Rimmer. They explain a lot of the concepts in trade agreements. The name of these two papers is very appropriate - it describes what they do well.

Additional measures concerning non-immigrant visas - Request for Consultations by India from the US.

Please look up these GATS sections because the impact on Americans of this DS503 case could be astronomical. If people are disillusioned now imagine how they would feel if their jobs were transitioned to training new workers from the other side of the world and then laid off, reason being that other workers were cheaper. Under the GATS plus GPA that MAY entitle other countries firms to the jobs.

A Country in Denial, and not just about COVID-19

With our for-profit system being too expensive for the vast majority of Americans to afford without being bankrupted, due to very very high rates of uninsurance and underinsurance, a very great fear is that this COVID-19 epidemic will be the straw that breaks the camels back.

COVID-19 and Defenses in the Law of State Responsibility

As it stands today, International law obligations in the GATS block most of the things we urgently need to do to prevent an additional potentially large number of deaths from the COVID-19 - These two documents on international law discuss "Force Majure" - a legal strategy to get out of contractual obligations when a situation changes in fundamental ways.

governmental authority exclusion

These are articles on the all important exclusion that defines what member government activities can be called "public services" and be excluded from the onerous GATS rules.

Indian Company Offers to Supply AIDS Drugs at Low Cost in Africa (New York Times, Feb. 7, 2001)

(This is the story depicted in the Fire in the Blood film) By Donald G. McNeil Jr. In a move that could force big drug multinationals to cut the prices of their AIDS drugs in poor countries, an Indian company offered today to supply triple-therapy drug ''cocktails'' for $350 a year per patient to a doctors' group working in Africa. The Indian company, Cipla Ltd. of Bombay, a major manufacturer of generic drugs, made the offer to Doctors Without Borders, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for its work in war-torn and impoverished areas. In Africa the group sets up small pilot programs to develop models for broader approaches to combat AIDS, and would distribute the Cipla drugs free. As part of its program, Cipla would also sell the drugs to larger government programs for $600 a year per patient, about $400 below the price offered by the companies that hold the patents. ''This is the way to break the stranglehold of the multinationals,'' said Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied, chairman of Cipla, who will meet with the doctors' group on Feb. 15 to discuss strategy. For two years, Doctors Without Borders has led an aggressive campaign to force multinationals to cut prices on life-saving drugs for the world's poorest patients. Other parties in the campaign are the Philadelphia and Paris chapters of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, and the Consumer Project on Technology, a Washington group started by Ralph Nader. The normal cost of the AIDS cocktail in the West is $10,000 to $15,000 a year. Last May five multinationals, backed by the World Health Organization and other United Nations agencies, offered to sell their components to poor nations at sharply reduced prices. But Cipla and other makers of generic drugs in Brazil, Thailand and other countries have not been part of the talks with W.H.O., a situation that Cipla hopes to change with its aggressive entry onto the scene. The country-by-country negotiations about how the multinationals distribute the drugs have gone slowly, and so far only Uganda, Senegal and Rwanda have agreements. The companies refuse to release figures, but the cost of a typical cocktail in Senegal is $1,000 a year, according to Doctors Without Borders. Dr. Bernard Pecoul, director of the Access to Essential Medicines project for Doctors Without Borders, said the Cipla offer, which he learned of only today, ''will let us start up our pilot projects on a larger scale.'' The doctors' group has 40 AIDS projects around the world, about half in Africa, where the infection rate reaches as high as 36 percent. Only five of these pilot programs are giving out antiretroviral cocktails. With the Cipla offer, or matching ones from other companies, up to 20 could be distributing the drugs by the end of year. Cipla is offering to sell the agency as many doses as it is wants at $350 a year. Dr. Hamied said that his company would lose money at that price, but that he would supply ''10,000 doses or 20,000 or 30,000, however many they want.'' The $600 price to governments is near Cipla's break-even point, he said, but costs could drop with greater production. If that happens, he would cut prices further. In India he sells the same cocktail for about $1,100 a year. But he denied that he was trying to grab market share in Africa. ''What do I want with market share?'' he asked. ''I don't have a monopoly, and the only way to make real money in drugs is with a monopoly. In this disaster, there is room for everybody.'' Wide distribution of the drugs in Africa is not without critics, given the attendant need for careful monitoring. Some experts argue that it would be better to spend the money on providing clean water, controlling malaria and increasing the use of condoms. But Doctors Without Borders says that the dangers and side effects of the drugs pale beside the immensity of the epidemic itself, and that Western testing standards are overcautious. The typical AIDS cocktail is a combination of any three of about nine protease inhibitors or reverse transcriptase inhibitors. The chemicals suppress the human immunodeficiency virus but, as with any chemical therapy, they are toxic and can damage the liver. In the West, doctors carefully monitor the levels of the drug in the blood, test for organ damage and check the levels of the virus in the bloodstream. If the virus mutates to resist the therapy, the combinations are changed. Careful monitoring may not be possible in many African settings. But with 25 million Africans infected with the AIDS virus, Doctors Without Borders and other agencies argue, imperfect treatment is better than none. Dr. Pecoul pointed out that large numbers of infected Africans live in urban areas where, ''with a quite simple clinic, you can deal with anti retrovirals.'' He is also ''not convinced'' that the batteries of tests routinely ordered for Western patients are really necessary. ''Some people suggest that H.I.V. testing and clinical followup can be enough,'' he added. The Cipla drug combination is two tablets of 40 milligrams of stavudine, two tablets of 150 milligrams of lamivudine and two tablets of 200 milligrams of nevirapine. In the United States and many other countries, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company holds the patent on stavudine, also known as Zerit or d4T; Glaxo-Wellcome of Britain holds the patent on lamivudine, also known as Heptovir or 3TC, and Boerhinger Ingelheim G.m.b.H. of Germany holds the patent on nevirapine, or Viramune. Western drug companies have shown themselves determined to defend their patent rights to be sole distributors throughout the world, and Dr. John Wecker, head of Boerhinger Ingelheim's efforts to negotiate cheaper prices in Africa, said he did not yet know what his company would do if Cipla undercut its prices. ''We offer a standard quality from the original manufacturer and can meet any demand that exists out there that can be delivered with safe procedures,'' he said. He refused repeatedly to say at what price Boerhinger Ingelheim sells nevirapine to Senegal or Uganda, saying, ''Affordability is an issue, but not the major issue.'' Representatives from Glaxo-Wellcome and Bristol-Myers did not return phone calls, but the three companies can be expected to wage a hard fight against the distribution of generic versions of their drugs. Late last year, Glaxo-Wellcome threatened to sue Cipla when it tried to sell Duovir, its generic version of Glaxo's Combivir, a lamivudine/zidovudine combination, in Ghana. Cipla offered the drug for $1.74 a day; Glaxo had cut its price to $2, from $16. But even though the African regional patent authority said Glaxo's patents were not valid in Ghana, Cipla backed down and stopped selling Duovir. Asked what he would do if the three drug companies sued to stop him, Dr. Hamied said: ''We won't fight it. I don't look at it as a fight. There's room for everybody. This is a holocaust in Africa. It's like the earthquake in India right now -- everybody is helping out. I'm not looking to pick anybody's business; there's room for the multinationals at their price and room for us at our price, a partnership.''

The race to patent the SARS virus: the TRIPS agreement and access to essential medicines

by Matthew Rimmer. "[This article considers the race to sequence the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus (‘the SARS virus’) in light of the debate over patent law and access to essential medicines. Part II evaluates the claims of public research institutions in Canada, the United States, and Hong Kong, and commercial companies, to patent rights in respect of the SARS virus. It highlights the dilemma of ‘defensive patenting’ — the tension between securing private patent rights and facilitating public disclosure of information and research. Part III considers the race to patent the SARS virus in light of wider policy debates over gene patents. It examines the application of such patent criteria as novelty, inventive step, utility, and secret use. It contends that there is a need to reform the patent system to accommodate the global nature of scientific inquiry, the unique nature of genetics, and the pace of technological change. Part IV examines the role played by the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization in dealing with patent law and access to essential medicines. The article contends that there is a need to ensure that the patent system is sufficiently flexible and adaptable to accommodate international research efforts on infectious diseases.]"

Recommendation, the US should strongly consider leaving the (WTO) GATS (Jobs and services) and TRIPS (drugs) and LINKING THE TWO TOGETHER.

We seem to me to be required to do that in order to cope with multiple national issues, and the health emergency. Leaving GATS and the procurement provisions in other FTAS would allow us to implement Medicare For All and Green New Deal otherwise we would be required to allow those jobs to go to low bidding firms in low bidding "authoritarian bargain" and LDC countries.. That does not mean we cannot import doctors and nurses if need be, but it would prevent the predatory kind of modern day slavery we see today. It would also relax the restrictions we impose on other countries to pay the high prices on drugs.

Biden says he will veto Medicare-for-All bill if it lands on his desk. This is proof that he knows that its banned by 'GATS', an obscure WTO trade agreement that only Bernie may have the cajones to repudiate and dump.

Thanks to 25 years of GATS being hidden, which renders our healthcare mess UNFIXABLE unless people know the truth, how to GET OUT OF IT. That is contrary to any democratic process. Biden is rejecting something that would work, that would be WTO-legal, instead pushing his half-baked ideas that would not pass WTO muster. the reason why is obvious, Biden is an owned man, owned by the corporate superstate that is being created over the United State's objections. Without those facts, people are voting for a LIE. The election has been a fraud. They are also hiding a major crime against humanity. A very real hidden holocaust.

Insurance companies clarify co-pays waived for corona virus testing only, not treatment

If you are an ordinary INSURED person who gets tested for coronavirus, the test will be a "covered service" if you know what that means, its not the same thing as cost waived, so it will likely apply against your deductible or perhaps less likely, all charges may be waived. It probably depends on your insurance, Its not really clear. However if you test positive, and need care, you may not have the coverage to afford regular care let alone ICU care. But the healthcare system here, which has been killing a huge number of people for decades, is now locked into bad policies by a stealth treaty, GATS.

WTO Dispute DS503 - over visa quotas and whether national laws on minimum wages apply to guest workers (or can they be paid less than US minimum wage) and irreversibly opening the nation to vast expansions in numbers of disempowered guest workers to replace allegedly overpaid US workers could lead to large scale job losses

in all the service sectors committed in the US Schedule of Specific Commitments, and at all skill levels, from very skilled workers like doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, computer programmers, engineers, adult education, construction and energy and environmental workers, etc. Jobs would be put up for international bidding. Filed March 2016, could be decided by the DSB whenever it is able to convene a quorum which is currently being blocked by the US. Likely would be able to rule and require us to conform all our laws. Could lead to a GATS visa automatically being granted to guest worker supplying companies as an entitlement we would be unable to deny, because guest workers are not immigration, they are intra-corporate transferees.

The Hidden Holocaust -

25 years ago a scheme, to make drugs much more expensive, came into force - along with the WTO. with the creation of the WTO -and tellingly, this was also in the middle of an epidemic, like today.

Clinical characteristics of 24 asymptomatic infections with COVID-19 screened among close contacts in Nanjing, China.

Previous studies have showed clinical characteristics of patients with the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the evidence of person-to-person transmission. Limited data are available for asymptomatic infections. This study aims to present the clinical characteristics of 24 cases with asymptomatic infection screened from close contacts and to show the transmission potential of asymptomatic COVID-19 virus carriers. Epidemiological investigations were conducted among all close contacts of COVID-19 patients (or suspected patients) in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, from Jan 28 to Feb 9, 2020, both in clinic and in community. Asymptomatic carriers were laboratory-confirmed positive for the COVID-19 virus by testing the nucleic acid of the pharyngeal swab samples. Their clinical records, laboratory assessments, and chest CT scans were reviewed. As a result, none of the 24 asymptomatic cases presented any obvious symptoms while nucleic acid screening. Five cases (20.8%) developed symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, etc.) during hospitalization. Twelve (50.0%) cases showed typical CT images of ground-glass chest and 5 (20.8%) presented stripe shadowing in the lungs. The remaining 7 (29.2%) cases showed normal CT image and had no symptoms during hospitalization. These 7 cases were younger (median age: 14.0 years; P=0.012) than the rest. None of the 24 cases developed severe COVID-19 pneumonia or died. The median communicable period, defined as the interval from the first day of positive nucleic acid tests to the first day of continuous negative tests, was 9.5 days (up to 21 days among the 24 asymptomatic cases). Through epidemiological investigation, we observed a typical asymptomatic transmission to the cohabiting family members, which even caused severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Overall, the asymptomatic carriers identified from close contacts were prone to be mildly ill during hospitalization. However, the communicable period could be up to three weeks and the communicated patients could develop severe illness. These results highlighted the importance of close contact tracing and longitudinally surveillance via virus nucleic acid tests. Further isolation recommendation and continuous nucleic acid tests may also be recommended to the patients discharged. KEYWORDS: COVID-19; China; asymptomatic infections; close contact PMID: 32146694 DOI: 10.1007/s11427-020-1661-4

The socio-economic distribution of exposure to Ebola: Survey evidence from Liberia and Sierra Leone

Socio-economic factors are widely believed to have been an important driver of the transmission of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) during the West African outbreak of 2014–16, however, studies that have investigated the relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and EVD have found inconsistent results. Using nationally representative household survey data on whether respondents knew a close friend or family member with Ebola, we explore the SES determinants of EVD exposure along individual, household, and community lines in Liberia and Sierra Leone. While we find no overall association between household wealth and EVD exposure, we find that pooled data mask important differences observed within countries with higher wealth households more likely to have been exposed to EVD in Sierra Leone and the opposite relationship in Liberia. Finally, we also generally find a positive association between education and EVD exposure both at the individual and the community levels in the full sample. There is an urgent need to better understand these relationships to examine both why the outbreak spread and to help prepare for future outbreaks.

Concentration and detection of SARS coronavirus in sewage from Xiao Tang Shan Hospital and the 309th Hospital of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

"In this study, we found that the virus can survive for 14 days in sewage at 4 degrees C, 2 days at 20 degrees C, and its RNA can be detected for 8 days though the virus had been inactivated. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the RNA of SARS-CoV could be detected from the concentrates of sewage of both hospitals receiving SARS patients before disinfection and occasionally after disinfection though there was no live SARS-CoV; thus much attention should be paid to the treatment of stools of patients and the sewage of hospitals receiving SARS patients." This from the earlier SARS epidemic but likely is applicable to SARS-CoV-2 also - This is likely to be particularly problematic in developing countries that use "night soil" as fertilizer and/or do not treat sewage.

Has China faced only a herald wave of SARS-CoV-2?

The attack rate of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) calculated by mathematical models, from estimates of the basic reproduction number, R0, of 2–3, suggests that 50–60% of the population should eventually be infected because the population seems to be entirely naive to the new virus.1 The observed attack rate on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship remained slightly below 20% (705 of 3711 passengers and crew members became infected).1 It is of upmost importance to know whether the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in China is subsiding, as local authorities and the entire international community might wish. With 80 026 COVID-19 cases officially reported from China as of March 2, 2020,2 the proportion of the population affected remains far from 50%, or even 20%, of China's 1·4 billion people. Has China just experienced a herald wave, to use terminology borrowed from those who study tsunamis, and is the big wave still to come?

Bernie Sanders health plan would make coronavirus vaccine (and treatment) free.

The difference in cost to a hypothetical uninsured (the term thats used may be "self-insured") patient could easily be many tens or quite likely even hundreds of thousands of dollars- given the cost of an intensive care bed. Also, Bernie Sanders plan, which we could possibly expedite by declaring a state of emergency to the WTO, and pulling out, saving us a multi-year battle in the WTO, Single payer would insure that patients would receive care based on medical necessity and not be denied care because they had inadequate insurance as many are today (generally, I am not talking about coronavirus)

Coronavirus: ‘We must choose who to treat,’ says Italian doctor

In Italian doctor in Lombardy, a region of Italy that has been quarantined due to the new coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, has stated that doctors have to choose who to treat “according to age and state of health, as in war situations.” “To say that you do not die from the coronavirus is a lie that fills me with bitterness,” said Dr. Christian Salaroli, an anaesthetist, in an interview with the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera on Monday. Salaroli said that the emergency is so big in Italy that he and his colleagues must now select the patients who will or will not be able to access mechanical resuscitation (by intubation) from among the most seriously ill. Patients with viral pneumonia, and are in acute respiratory failure, are first placed on non-invasive ventilation (NIV), using an oxygen mask. “It’s a first step, but after a few days, we have to choose. Since there is, unfortunately, a disproportion between hospital resources, resuscitation beds and critically ill patients, not everyone can be intubated,” Salaroli said. “We decide based on age and state of health,” he added. “If a person between 80 and 95 years old has severe respiratory failure, it’s likely we will not go ahead. If they have multi-organ failure, with more than two or three vital organs, it means that their mortality rate is 100%,” he added. Asked about the Italian government’s decision to quarantine more than 15 million people in northern Italy in an attempt to contain the epidemic, Salaroli said it was “fair but a week late.”

"Its why US healthcare never gets fixed" A plea to Bernie Sanders and his campaign, to please tell the country about GATS

...because you must win and win big. And you wont be able to, without the national catharsis that telling people about this evil thing will bring about. Because GATS is the Rosetta Stone to our current political malignancies. A trade "agreement" from hell that has hijacked our government more than any other thing, ever. Its why US healthcare never gets fixed, and why we always have to get the worst deal of all, Its why our lives are being sacrificed, and its the thing, that should you win, that you will have to deal with first. To do anything in your platform, first we have to leave GATS and quite possibly the rest of the WTO, because they set up a huge phony debt in our names that we "Americans" are now expected to pay in our jobs. Obviously its a huge con job and your opponents are both in on it, they're pulling a major fast one on the country to deliver the goods to their buddies in the global oligarchy. Bernie, you need to stop being silent.

Market Spiral Pricing of Cancer Drugs

By Donald W. Light. "Companies are spiraling up high prices, not because of costs or better value, but because they can get away with it, in - only the USA. Senior oncologist, Hagop Kantarjian, and I show that very high prices for cancer & specialty drugs are not due to high costs of research, nor to added clinical value. Companies are simply spiraling up prices already 2-3 times greater than other capitalist countries allow, because we allow them to. High co-pays hurt patients and impede good clinical care. This exploitation of serious ill patients and taxpayers is ethically troubling and must stop."

How Do Your Morals Shape Your Politics?

By Zaid Jiliani This is very good, These concepts can be used to do good, but they can also be used to manipulate people into letting down their guard and allowing great injustices, as the GATS shows.

Chinese man who said Xi Jinping's belated response to coronavirus "was clueless" now faces 15 years in jail.

Xu Zhiyong, a former law lecturer and founder of the social campaign New Citizens Movement, was taken away by police on 15 February during a fresh crackdown on freedom of speech precipitated by the coronavirus crisis. ..... His family said Xu had been placed in “residential surveillance at a designated location” – a form of solitary detention that can last up to six months in an unknown location without lawyer or family access. Many human rights lawyers who have been held in this form of secret detention were tortured for months before being formally charged and jailed on state security crimes

Inside America's woefully ill-prepared health system

"by Jacob Greber: The US healthcare system, so expensive that people actively avoid hospitals, could become the defining political issue of a presidential election year." "One American every 30 seconds is bankrupted by medical bills."

Coronavirus Time Bomb: America's Uninsured and Brutal Work Culture

As the virus began spreading in the west of the country, where the nation's first death was reported on February 29, public health experts warned the US has several characteristics unique among wealthy nations that make it vulnerable. These include a large and growing population without medical insurance, the 11 million or so undocumented migrants afraid to come into contact with authorities, and a culture of "powering through" when sick for fear of losing one's job. "These are all things that can perpetuate the spread of a virus," said Brandon Brown, an epidemiologist at UC Riverside. The number of Americans without health insurance began falling from a high of 46.7 million in 2010 following the passage of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), but has risen again over the past two years.

Indian Authorities Propose Use of "Homeopathy" to "Prevent Coronavirus":Critics of the practice say the guidance is irresponsible and could give users a false sense of security.

It is more than hugely irresponsible to represent "homeopathy" as science - it is criminal in a poor country that has a long history of taking any excuse it can to cut corners. India still has not fully funded universal public primary education and hundreds of millions of poor Indian children do not even get to attend school, unless their parents pay fees they cannot afford. At the same time they are spending billions of dollars to send expensive toys for rich people to the moon.

Coronavirus outbreak worries hourly workers without paid sick time

In addition to missed business opportunities, those who are self-employed or hourly workers, like Placido Borrequero, a Pilsen father of three, who is worried about how he will continue to put food on the table if the virus spreads to him. Borreguero works in landscaping and lawn care. "I don't have any sick days. If I am sick I don't work that day, I don't get paid that day. That's why I am really worried," he said. Leone Bicchieri is the executive director of Working Family Solidarity, located in the Pilsen neighborhood. He says he has been hearing from people on the south and west sides who are already struggling to make ends meet, concerned about access to healthcare and supporting their families. "If they miss one or two days work and they are already behind a month or two in the bills, they are going to be evicted and now they're going to be homeless," Bicchieri said. He wants to know what the plan is to help these workers if the virus continues to spread. "The government really need to get behind this, needs to tell businesses and companies. Please do not fire or discipline low wage workers who have to stay home," Bicchieri said. "I have a wife and three children. What's going to happen to them. I am the main bread winner," Borreguero said.

A Miami man who flew to China worried he might have coronavirus. He may owe thousands.

You really must read this story, which shows how America's healthcare system is criminally deficient. The Trump Administration, in conformance with our extensive WTO (GATS) commitments, such as the standstill clause in the Understanding on Financial Services Regulation is rolling back all post 1998 changes in financial service regulations, (like health insurance and banking) leaving the financially unsophisticated poor wide open to exploitation by sellers of what we unfortunately frame as 'innovative financial services'. Its the official US trade position that governments cannot be allowed to interfere with even predatory forms of business. Even to protect people from the worst kinds of practices. Even to protect us from emergencies. Profit is Job #1.

Achmea search on italaw_com

The Achmea case shows how a small country that, while part of a country, Czechoslovakia, that did/does not exist any more mistakenly signed a trade deal that was highly unfavorable to their ability to determine their own health care through voting. When the Czech and Slovak nations split, both countries inherited these bad deals between powerful and legally savvy Western European countries rushing to take advantage of the naivete of the Eastern Europeans in matters of trade, after communism fell. (this happened all throughout eastern Europe in a problem that was collectively called the IntraEUBITS. ) The case also spotlights the destruction of democracy by ISDS because after voting in a landslide for single payer in 2006 the country was immediately sued by a health insurer for the tort of "indirect exxpropriation" of "their property" (the policy space was treated like a piece of property) in an ISDS case. Notable for many reasons, particularly to me because in the end (Slovakia eventually won on a EU-specific technical issue) the EU high court did NOT touch what I consider to be the core issue, whether countries (in this case EU Member States) have the right to regulate, especially important in life and death issues like health care. The case could have decided that but did not, leaving that all important issue alone. In fact, if one looks at the later documents and the legal articles on it later on the health insurance versus single payer issue is almost never mentioned. Showing how out of touch the international law community in Europe is with the common peoples needs, among other things. Something like it could easily happen here - Look at what happened to South Africa and it's NHI, for example. South Africa voted for NHI a long time ago but it's voters wishes have been frustrated by GATS, and politicians have not been straightforward with the country about why, similar to the US, GATS has become a mother lode of politician dishonesty that will cause endless corruption and lock in as long as the country remains bound by it. In South Africa's case, GATS is also a binding but little known legacy of the apartheid regime that continues to frustrate the hopes of South Africans for change.

The neuroinvasive potential of SARS-CoV2 may be at least partially responsible for the respiratory failure of COVID-19 patients

"The most characteristic symptom of COVID-19 patients is respiratory distress, and most of the patients admitted to the intensive care could not breathe spontaneously. Additionally, some COVID-19 patients also showed neurologic signs such as headache, nausea and vomiting. Increasing evidence shows that coronaviruses are not always confined to the respiratory tract and that they may also invade the central nervous system inducing neurological diseases. The infection of SARS-CoV has been reported in the brains from both patients and experimental animals, where the brainstem was heavily infected. Furthermore, some coronaviruses have been demonstrated able to spread via a synapse-connected route to the medullary cardiorespiratory center from the mechano- and chemoreceptors in the lung and lower respiratory airways".

Avoiding coronavirus may be a luxury some US workers can't afford

Stay home from work if you get sick. See a doctor. Use a separate bathroom from the people you live with. Prepare for schools to close and to work from home. These are measures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended to slow a coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Yet these are much easier to do for certain people — in particular, high-earning professionals. Service industry workers — like those in restaurants, retail, child care and the gig economy — are much less likely to have paid sick days, the ability to work remotely or employer-provided health insurance. The disparity could make the new coronavirus, which causes a respiratory illness known as COVID-19, harder to contain in the U.S. than in other rich countries that have universal benefits like health care and sick leave, experts say. A large segment of workers are not able to stay home, and many of them work in jobs that include high contact with other people. It could also mean that low-income workers are hit harder by the virus.

Coronavirus: In the US, Covid-19 may have spread undetected for weeks

Might this mess have something to do with the US's healthcare system preventing sick people from seeking care due to fear of out of control costs? Because of the long existing GATS and pending TISA agreements, we basically "have to" get the worst deal of all, to show we "mean business"! American lives are being sacrificed in extremely high numbers - most figures I have seen estimate between 50-100/day on the altar of profit. This has arguably been going on for 25 years, because that's how long the US healthcare system has been rigged - in order to convince the world the only permissible healthcare system is the for-profit system. Public healthcare systems could have been set up freely before Jan 1, 1995 ( the date of the WTO's creation or possibly as early as before September 20, 1986, the date of the Punta Del Este Declaration) They work better than for profit systems, whose intent is to prevent people from seeking care with costs they cannot afford.. However, epidemics like Coronavirus show what a criminally bad policy that is. )

A look at the "affordable" "health insurance" the global corporate state has in store for the poorer of us.

Surprised? The US health care system is literally on a very "fast track" to total and mandatory crapification, in the form of shedding by the government of all "moral hazard" by the pretext of irreversible services liberalization (total one way, binding privatization and globalization). Weve already been sold down the river - starting decades ago with GATS. Negotiations to pile it higher and deeper - until our hands look just like the sculpture on the beach in Punta Del Este where it all began, back in September 1986, are ongoing. And have been for all that time. This is not a little thing, its a global war on the very idea of a middle class. Far more thefts in the form of more "trade and investment agreements" are ongoing. Its an urgent race by the world's oligarchies to steal as much as possible before people wise up, and in the US, both Fast Track expires, and the November election. We could see announcements within the next couple of weeks. True to form, we and many other countries are being fed an endless pile of bullshit. This ad - from Hindu Business Line was actually more informative than many US ads for similar "crapsurance" -if you read between its lines. Read it.

Yale Study Says Medicare for All Would Save U.S. $450 Billion, Prevent Nearly 70,000 Deaths a Year!

(Democracy Now video, BUT- please read the text below it carefully and note what is being said, I totally agree, I have seen the raw figures and struggled with how to break the news to the country that thanks to GATS hijacking our healthcare system for 25 yrs behind our backs, when at least a million poorer Americans have died in that time, we're going to run into a brick wall OF OUR OWN MAKING, one even worse than the UK's is. There is no answer for this, except, one. Exposure of the crime. And admission that this has been and continues to be a mass murder of the poor that has no justification, especially from fraudulent deals to put aside, no throttle democracy. And democracy must be restored and the hijacking must immediately stop, and everybody who has had a hand in continuing this dishonest situation with more and more lies, including hiding GATS - making it- at least officially seem that we could not vote to fix it, something many knew , which has also been discussed in the academic and scholarly press, but we were never officially told. So the media pretends its still 1992. Before FTAs. Those who perpetuate/perpetuated this gridlock system should immediately be arrested. For murder. It can be seen that depending on when we start counting, an unspeakably large number of people have died in that time. Time during which we were led to believe we could just vote to fix it. Like many think today. That's not the case, the system has been rigged, not just superficially, rigged as in hijacked by deals that put everything we need to do off the table. Both US parties are hiding this, and it also is being hidden in an incredibly shameless way in the UK..

Jed Jones, 28, and his wife Liu pan, a British Chinese Couple, married five years, together for seven fled Wuhan on an evacuation flight,

Now they are getting told that having their baby in the UK could expose them to a $10,000 cost. Since they have been married so long, shouldn't Liu pan be eligible for UK permanent residency and eventually citizenship? What about their baby, who will likely be born in the UK? WTF? I think I am beginning to understand that there remain some deep seated differences, not so far removed from the ones in the past, why the US revolted, seriously. SHAME on the Tory Party. Healthcare should be a human right. I suppose they are lucky its not the US where a difficult pregnancy can cost in some cases, >$280,000 if a woman is "self-insured" (uninsured). This is a good example of why healthcare needs to be free. The UK's NHS would be in a different category and would not be being forced to suffer this "death of a thousand cuts" (no pun intended) if the UK had been smart enough to follow the rules it itself helped write and abolished commercial for profit health insurance in the UK for rich people BEFORE it joined the WTO efective January 1, 1995. Whoever was PM then shares responsibility with our Bill Clinton for this accursedness . Only if their NHS had not been a public option, and pre-existed the WTO, could the UK's NHS have avoided its 25 year long ordeal of cuts as its gradually privatized in accordance with the WTO rules. Leaving the EU and attempting to re-enter the WTO as a separate entity likely will require they make the UK conformant with the rules and result in the loss of the portions that don't conform, basically everything, *sigh* See the Skala paper- the first link in the external links directory for a list Oops!

India offers the US market access for exported chickens, and dairy in exchange, we give India market access so they can replace our "overpaid" programmers, nurses, teachers and engineers. Yes, engineers.

This is what trade deals do. Make no mistake about it, what India wants is JOBS, lots and lots of jobs currently done by Americans in US businesses. Workers train their replacements over a nine month, three phase period that makes them ineligible for benefits of any kind besides the US meagre unemployment insurance. India's elites broker jobs and take the lions share of the profits Its a total scam, and they know it, and we know it, and both US parties and the US political class is in on it, its an inside job. FTAs like GATS promise (they claim) unlimited access without limits on wages and quotas, (the group of nations most aggressively fighting for expanded Mode Four and a trade facilitation agreement on services, dispute their (now mostly IT, but if the quota is struck down, it will be all services committed under GATS, basically all the good professional and semiprofessional jobs first, then working downward.) firms having to pay their "temporary" workers a legal US wage) They also don't hire Americans despite, in many cases, claiming to be US companies. which could replace a huge percentage (a recent study said 41% but it left out public services which under GATS would be heavily impacted. They are already suing us for more jobs in WTO dispute DS503, which could become a major disaster for the middle class around the world. People have no idea. What they want there could also destroy Social Security. We should not sign any more FTAs with any country, especially not India or the UK, because we just are enabling elites to get rid of the safety nets. Everything about these deals is a shameless lie..

Farmers outraged water from drought-stricken regions "sold to China"

Conflict over water mining illustrates how FTAs are literally a global "Second Enclosure" of everything, giving global extractive industries rights to sell what they mine which would seem to conflict with what is basically common sense and expected behaviors by governments in the last century. (Both in the case of services, or goods, arguably the biggest shift occurred on January 1, 1995, the date the WTO came into force.) The problem is the rules have been changed and we, the people, are invariably the last to know. Goods and services of all kinds became tradable and once exported, even just a little bit, the entire shift is locked in (the ratchet, its called) and from that point onward all "measures" (basically any and every law and policy or lack of activity by governments at all levels, and quasi-governmental bodies) which impacts the "supply" of it in the commodity sense, for example, by reducing its value by restricting the sale (for example, the NHS reduces the value of health insurance even if few can afford it, it will have to be phased out in favor of market based services people can buy, if they are healthy enough, and dont have any genetic issues) A shift occurs such that providing it, (or that of "like" services, see the EC-Bananas case) are under the jurisdiction of international treaties, like the WTO's, and others, and all laws must conform to them at least by being minimally trade restrictive. Once it begins, all laws that conflict with international trade are subsumed to the rules of the trade body, like the WTO. So even if people are dying of thirst due to water being exported, or freezing to death of cold because the fuel has been exported, international trade export takes precedence. Similar to the Irish Potato Famine when lots of food was exported from Ireland (which was part of the UK, the richest country in the world at that time). People who got in the way were also exported, (transported) we may recall. To Australia which was a British colony.

GATS Mode 4

Please excuse me, this is about a huge, global scam. A job trading deal, I think anybody would be challenged by describing it. But I think you will see why.

Vaccine efficacy in senescent mice challenged with recombinant SARS-CoV bearing epidemic and zoonotic spike variants.

BACKGROUND: In 2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was identified as the etiological agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome, a disease characterized by severe pneumonia that sometimes results in death. SARS-CoV is a zoonotic virus that crossed the species barrier, most likely originating from bats or from other species including civets, raccoon dogs, domestic cats, swine, and rodents. A SARS-CoV vaccine should confer long-term protection, especially in vulnerable senescent populations, against both the 2003 epidemic strains and zoonotic strains that may yet emerge from animal reservoirs. We report the comprehensive investigation of SARS vaccine efficacy in young and senescent mice following homologous and heterologous challenge. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Using Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus replicon particles (VRP) expressing the 2003 epidemic Urbani SARS-CoV strain spike (S) glycoprotein (VRP-S) or the nucleocapsid (N) protein from the same strain (VRP-N), we demonstrate that VRP-S, but not VRP-N vaccines provide complete short- and long-term protection against homologous strain challenge in young and senescent mice. To test VRP vaccine efficacy against a heterologous SARS-CoV, we used phylogenetic analyses, synthetic biology, and reverse genetics to construct a chimeric virus (icGDO3-S) encoding a synthetic S glycoprotein gene of the most genetically divergent human strain, GDO3, which clusters among the zoonotic SARS-CoV. icGD03-S replicated efficiently in human airway epithelial cells and in the lungs of young and senescent mice, and was highly resistant to neutralization with antisera directed against the Urbani strain. Although VRP-S vaccines provided complete short-term protection against heterologous icGD03-S challenge in young mice, only limited protection was seen in vaccinated senescent animals. VRP-N vaccines not only failed to protect from homologous or heterologous challenge, but resulted in enhanced immunopathology with eosinophilic infiltrates within the lungs of SARS-CoV-challenged mice. VRP-N-induced pathology presented at day 4, peaked around day 7, and persisted through day 14, and was likely mediated by cellular immune responses. CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies gaps and challenges in vaccine design for controlling future SARS-CoV zoonosis, especially in vulnerable elderly populations. The availability of a SARS-CoV virus bearing heterologous S glycoproteins provides a robust challenge inoculum for evaluating vaccine efficacy against zoonotic strains, the most likely source of future outbreaks. PMID: 17194199 PMCID: PMC1716185 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030525

On the Origins of the 2019-nCoV Virus, Wuhan, China

RECOMBINATION technology has been in use in molecular virology since the 1980’s. The structure of the 2019-NCoV virus genome provides a very strong clue on the likely origin of the virus. Unlike other related coronaviruses, the 2019-nCoV virus has a unique sequence about 1,378 bp (nucleotide base pairs) long that is not found in related coronaviruses. Looking at the phylogenetic tree recently published derived using all the full genome sequence, we see the 2019-nCoV virus does not have clear monophyletic support given the bootstrap value of 75 (Fig 1).

Americans should be aware of a very important difference between the US Presidential candidates

Trade agreements (treaties) allege to block a great deal of what many candidates are promising, and have since the mid 1990s, and the body of changes they have made make it highly unlikely most of them could happen without an potentially costly international fight. We should prepare for that and understand, we're being fed a bill of goods by virtually all of them. The only one who seems a cut above the rest is still leaving this super important fact out. As his platform's proposals basically violate so many restrictive treaty rules, it seems highly unlikely his party would nominate him because that would result in exposure of this huge body of really shameless lying. So he will have to win by a really huge margin in a way that cannot be hidden by cheating. Which is inevitable-Both parties are clearly cooperating to hide their decades long deception. (Its important to them for this theft of democracy to remain hidden because its something the entire country would agree is totally evil. Also, a great many poor Americans have died unnecessarily of treatable diseases in the more than 25 years our healthcare system has been rigged in a way that is impossible to fix without this knowledge they have all been hiding from us, that's murder.)

Virus more transmissable than had been thought: New insights into the transmissibility of the virus

A joint press release by Charité, Munich Clinic Schwabing and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology ( https://www.charite.de/en/service/press_reports/artikel/detail/novel_coronavirus_infectious_virus_detected_in_the_nose_and_throat_of_patients_with_mild_symptoms/ ) Laboratory testing by Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology and Munich Clinic Schwabing has revealed that infectious virus can be isolated from nose and throat swabs even where these have been obtained from patients with mild symptoms. The research groups have therefore come to the conclusion that even persons with mild symptoms are capable of transmitting the virus.

2019-nCoV: Infectious virus can be isolated from nose, throat swabs of patients with mild symptoms

"Laboratory testing by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology and Munich Clinic Schwabing has revealed that infectious virus can be isolated from nose and throat swabs even where these have been obtained from patients with mild symptoms. The research groups have therefore come to the conclusion that even persons with mild symptoms are capable of transmitting the virus."

Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro

This letter discusses the Wuhan Institute of Virology's evaluation of ribavirin, penciclovir, nitazoxanide, nafamostat, chloroquine and two well-known broad-spectrum antiviral drugs remdesivir (GS-5734) and favipiravir (T-705) against a clinical isolate of 2019-nCoV in vitro. Notably, remdesivir and chloroquine (an 80-year-old malaria drug) potently blocked virus infection at low-micromolar concentration.

WTO GATS Glossary

This Public Citizen PDF includes a great deal of useful information on GATS, for example, how schedules are written.

'Thou shalt not be indifferent': from Auschwitz's gate of hell, a last, desperate warning

This article is about a commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz. Survivors are worried about a growing hostility to both Jews and refugees (and the poor and disposessed, who are increasinly the losers of globalization also) Homelessness is rising at an ever increasing rate. We all have good reason to be fearful that governments are scapegoating marginalized groups to cover up actions taken largely because of greed. I really worry quite a bit that GATS with its hidden ratchets and standstills, is making dishonesty in governments the norm. It and other FTAs - because they use trade as a pretext to end compassion just as it is most needed (as jobs go away) are gradually setting up a global genocide of the poor. A world government that secretly rules human society for the rich, that forbids governments - in a noose-like way (the ratchet in FTAS) from helping the poor is more than close to it, it's doing it.

Trade Liberalization and Universal Access to Education Services

"The exclusion therefore does not appear to apply to education services in cases where such services are provided on a non-commercial basis but which are supplied in competition with another service provider. Similarly, the exclusion would not appear to apply to education services that are supplied on a commercial basis even where these services are supplied in the absence of competition with any other service supplier. The exclusion would seem to apply only in those cases where education services are provided by completely non-commercial, absolute monopolies. In most countries, however, education services are normally supplied through a mixture of public and private suppliers, or frequently include certain commercial aspects. A strict reading of Article 1:3 would indicate that such services fall outside the exclusion. In any case, wherever uncertainties about the scope of the exclusion arise, the language will almost certainly be interpreted narrowly. The WTO Council for Trade in Services, for instance, has supported the view that even in the context of sensitive public service sectors such as health and social services, the exclusion “needed to be interpreted narrowly”. "Despite the significance of GATS coverage for education services, there are indications that some member governments may not fully appreciate the limited scope of the “governmental authority” exclusion. Many governments may not recognize that certain aspects of education services and their regulation are likely already subject to those GATS obligations that apply horizontally, including most-favoured-nation treatment and transparency."

Democratization or repression?

by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson "Regimes controlled by a rich elite often collapse and make way for democracy amidst widespread social unrest. Such regime changes are often followed by redistribution to the poor at the expense of the former elite. We argue that the reason why the elite may have to resort to full-scale democratization, despite its apparent costs to themselves, may be that lesser concessions would be viewed as a sign a weakness and spur further unrest and more radical demands. The elite may therefore be forced to choose between repression and the most generous concession, a transition to full democracy."

What is 'genelining'?

Genelining is the practice of using genetic information in health insurance underwriting, in other words, deciding who to offer health insurance, and for what price based on the results or genetic screening tests or family history. Other means of assessing risk may be geographically based, information thats getting very easy to access due to the widespread practice of including GPS chips in cell phones. .

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Releases Updated Report: 1.04 Million Households in NYC are Unbanked or Underbanked

NEW YORK, NY – Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) today released a research brief illustrating the updated number of unbanked and underbanked households in NYC and where they live. The brief shows that 354,100 households (11.2 percent) have no bank account (unbanked) and another 689,000 households (21.8 percent) have a bank account but use alternative financial products for some banking needs (underbanked). The estimated number of unbanked and underbanked households are disproportionately in neighborhoods that have higher rates of vulnerable residents and residents struggling in other areas of financial health.