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Government Response To The Coronavirus


James Daulton

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22 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

Can the same argument be made for nuclear weapons research?  Only bad things can come from the testing of nuclear devices (accidents), so why pursue it at all?

Since your second sentence isn't true the answer to your first question is no.

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Half of pandemic's unemployment money may have been stolen

"Criminals may have stolen as much as half of the unemployment benefits the U.S. has been pumping out over the past year, some experts say. 

Why it matters: Unemployment fraud during the pandemic could easily reach $400 billion, according to some estimates, and the bulk of the money likely ended in the hands of foreign crime syndicates — making this not just theft, but a matter of national security.

Catch up quick: When the pandemic hit, states weren't prepared for the unprecedented wave of unemployment claims they were about to face. 

They all knew fraud was inevitable, but decided getting the money out to people who desperately needed it was more important than laboriously making sure all of them were genuine.

By the numbers: Blake Hall, CEO of ID.me, a service that tries to prevent this kind of fraud, tells Axios that America has lost more than $400 billion to fraudulent claims. As much as 50% of all unemployment monies might have been stolen, he says.

Haywood Talcove, the CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, estimates that at least 70% of the money stolen by impostors ultimately left the country, much of it ending up in the hands of criminal syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere................"

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4 hours ago, kodycutter said:

Half of pandemic's unemployment money may have been stolen

"Criminals may have stolen as much as half of the unemployment benefits the U.S. has been pumping out over the past year, some experts say. 

Why it matters: Unemployment fraud during the pandemic could easily reach $400 billion, according to some estimates, and the bulk of the money likely ended in the hands of foreign crime syndicates — making this not just theft, but a matter of national security.

Catch up quick: When the pandemic hit, states weren't prepared for the unprecedented wave of unemployment claims they were about to face. 

They all knew fraud was inevitable, but decided getting the money out to people who desperately needed it was more important than laboriously making sure all of them were genuine.

By the numbers: Blake Hall, CEO of ID.me, a service that tries to prevent this kind of fraud, tells Axios that America has lost more than $400 billion to fraudulent claims. As much as 50% of all unemployment monies might have been stolen, he says.

Haywood Talcove, the CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, estimates that at least 70% of the money stolen by impostors ultimately left the country, much of it ending up in the hands of criminal syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere................"

Uh, how did they do that exactly?  Impersonate US residents through identity theft?

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4 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

Uh, how did they do that exactly?  Impersonate US residents through identity theft?

In my state a significant amount of the $650,000,000 of unemployment fraud was traced to Nigeria.

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CDC plans "emergency meeting" on rare heart inflammation following COVID-19 vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it will convene an "emergency meeting" of its advisers on June 18th to discuss rare but higher-than-expected reports of heart inflammation following doses of the mRNA-based Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

So far, the CDC has identified 226 reports that might meet the agency's "working case definition" of myocarditis and pericarditis following the shots, the agency disclosed Thursday. The vast majority have recovered, but 41 had ongoing symptoms, 15 are still hospitalized, and 3 are in the intensive care unit.

The reports represent just a tiny fraction of the nearly 130 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna's doses.

"It's a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison because, again, these are preliminary reports. Not all these will turn out to be true myocarditis or pericarditis reports," cautioned Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a CDC vaccine safety official.

Shimabukuro said their findings were mostly "consistent" with reports of rare cases of heart inflammation that had been studied in Israel and reported from the U.S. Department of Defense earlier this year.

The CDC is working on more data and analysis on the reports ahead of the emergency meeting of its own advisers next week, he said, and also planned to analyze the risk of heart inflammation posed by catching COVID-19.

The new details about myocarditis and pericarditis emerged first in presentations to a panel of independent advisers for the Food and Drug Administration, who are meeting Thursday to discuss how the regulator should approach emergency use authorization for using COVID-19 vaccines in younger children.

After earning an emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in Americans as young as 12 last month, Pfizer announced this week it had decided on doses to use in a clinical trial in children as young as 6 months old and hoped to submit data by October. Moderna said Thursday that it too had requested the FDA's permission to give its mRNA vaccine to adolescents.

While Pfizer has said they expect to wrap up trials for children as young as 2 by September, FDA officials have previously cautioned that authorizing vaccines for these age groups could take longer — "mid to late fall" at the earliest — citing the additional follow-up data needed for children after they receive the shots.

"We recognize that some adverse reactions, for example myocarditis or pericarditis as discussed earlier today, may be too infrequent to detect in a safety database of typical size for pre-licensure clinical trials," said Dr. Doran Fink, a top official in the FDA's vaccine office.

The CDC previously disclosed that reports of heart inflammation were detected mostly in younger men and teenage boys following their second dose, and that there was a "higher number of observed than expected" cases in 16- to 24-year-olds. Last month, the CDC urged providers to "ask about prior COVID-19 vaccination" in patients with symptoms of heart inflammation.

"Risk-benefit considerations to determine whether to issue an emergency use authorization for use of a COVID-19 vaccine into healthy pediatric individuals will need to account for this information, and risk-benefit consideration will likely be different, not only compared to those for adults, but also they may be different for younger versus older pediatric groups," Dr. Marion Gruber, director of the FDA's vaccine office, said at the meeting.

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Israel reports link between rare cases of heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccination in young men
 

The COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech appears to put young men at elevated risk of developing a heart muscle inflammation called myocarditis, researchers in Israel say. In a report submitted today to the Israeli Ministry of Health, they conclude that between one in 3000 and one in 6000 men ages 16 to 24 who received the vaccine developed the rare condition. But most cases were mild and resolved within a few weeks, which is typical for myocarditis. “I can’t imagine it’s going to be anything that would cause medical people to say we shouldn’t vaccinate kids,” says Douglas Diekema, a pediatrician and bioethicist at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Israeli health officials first flagged the issue in April, when they reported more than 60 cases, mostly in young men who had received their second dose of vaccine a few days earlier. Around the same time, the U.S. Department of Defense began to track 14 such cases. In mid-May, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it, too, was reviewing myocarditis cases. Officials at the European Medicines Agency said on 28 May they had received 107 reports of myocarditis following the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or about one in 175,000 doses administered. But relatively few people under age 30 have been vaccinated in Europe.

The Israeli panel’s findings come as Israel and many European countries are debating whether younger adolescents should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Israel has been vaccinating teenagers 16 and older since late January, and the Ministry of Health is scheduled to announce tomorrow whether vaccinations will be opened to children 12 and older. Other countries, including the United States and Canada, began vaccinating children 12 and older in mid-May.

“From a parent’s perspective, this really comes down to risk perception, assessment of the data,” says Diekema, who has studied risk-benefit trade-offs. Even if a link between myocarditis and the vaccine holds up, the condition is usually mild, requiring treatment only with anti-inflammatory drugs, whereas COVID-19 infection can also cause serious disease and long-term side effects, even in young people. As suspicion has percolated about a possible connection, “I don’t know many physicians who are changing their minds about vaccinating their kids,” Diekema says.

In Israel, which relied almost exclusively on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in its early and fast vaccination drive, the Ministry of Health in January assembled a panel led by Dror Mevorach, head of internal medicine at the Hadassah University Medical Center, to investigate the issue. Mevorach tells Science he and his colleagues identified 110 myocarditis cases among 5 million people in Israel who had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the month before their diagnosis. That translates to about one in 50,000 vaccine recipients, a number that isn’t concerning given the background rate of myocarditis in the general population, where it is typically triggered by viral or bacterial infections, including COVID-19. 

But the rate of myocarditis following vaccination among young men was higher. Ninety percent of the cases picked up in Israel appeared in men, and although myocarditis is normally more common among young men, the rate among those vaccinated was somewhere between five and 25 times the background rate, the report says. (Two cases of fatal myocarditis have also been reported in Israel, but the panel says investigations of those deaths were inconclusive; one patient may have had a more generalized inflammatory syndrome, and the other diagnosis was "not verified," the report says.)

The new analysis “is very suggestive of a causal nature,” between the vaccine and myocarditis, Mevorach says. “I am convinced there is a relationship.”

“It does suggest that this is, at least statistically, a real phenomenon,” says Peter Liu, a cardiologist and chief scientific officer of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Diekema says it’s important to investigate “even a hint of a signal,” but cautions that “while this report is suggestive … it requires validation in other populations by other investigators before we can be certain the link exists.” Other factors may be in play, Diekema says. Now that children are back to socializing and playing sports, his hospital’s emergency room is “seeing more viral diseases than we’ve seen in a year,” and as a result, “I would expect to see a little bump in myocarditis versus a year ago.” Ideally, scientists should compare cohorts of vaccinated and unvaccinated youngsters at the same time, Diekema says, and he’s heartened that such studies are now gearing up.

Myocarditis cases following the Moderna vaccine, which isn’t in use in Israel, are also being investigated in the United States. It’s not clear why the two vaccines, which both rely on messenger RNA (mRNA), might heighten the risk. One possibility is that the very high antibody levels that both generate in young people may also, in rare cases, lead to a sort of immune overreaction that inflames the heart. “There’s no question these [vaccines] are extremely immune-generating,” Liu says. Mevorach says he suspects the mRNA itself might be playing a role. The innate immune system recognizes RNA as part of the body’s defense against microbes—including RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2, he notes. “I think that actually the mRNA is a kind of natural adjuvant,” which ramps up the immune response, he says.

Diekema says the medical community is now on alert for youngsters with chest pain and other symptoms soon after vaccination—allowing them to be quickly identified, treated, and reported to health departments. Mevorach agrees that awareness among vaccinees, their parents, and their doctors is important for prompt and effective treatment. He says he and his colleagues treated about 40 cases. Only a few needed corticosteroids, he said, and most have recovered fully.

One important question is whether delaying the second vaccine dose might reduce any potential risk. There may be an opportunity to find out: Several countries have stretched the interval between the two doses from the 3 weeks tested and recommended by Pfizer to 12 or even 16 weeks, because they want to give as many people as possible at least one shot. A drop in myocarditis cases among those whose second dose was delayed might show up in data in the months ahead. Lowering the dose in young people may also be worth considering, Liu says. Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines are now being tested at lower doses in children under 12, with results expected in the coming months.

Even if the link between the shots and myocarditis firms up, Liu says the vaccine’s benefit—being well-protected from COVID-19—outweighs the risks, even for young people, who are generally at lower risk of severe disease. But Mevorach says the trade-offs may be different in Israel, given its extremely low numbers of SARS-CoV-2 infections—just 15 new cases were diagnosed yesterday. He hopes the Ministry of Health will leave the decision on whether to vaccinate younger teens to their parents and doctors. “At the moment, we no longer have an emergency,” he says.

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5 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

They exist, but only for rich countries. 

The US will be giving away a ton of vaccines now.   Thankfully.

Also:

1) China has a lot of money

2) the cost per dose would pay for itself quickly for any country via lower healthcare costs and faster economic recovery

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9 hours ago, Alex P Keaton said:

The US will be giving away a ton of vaccines now.   Thankfully.

Also:

1) China has a lot of money

2) the cost per dose would pay for itself quickly for any country via lower healthcare costs and faster economic recovery

I have a hard time coming up with anything offering a better ROI than vaccination.  Even if we heartlessly ignore the humanitarian concerns, the international goodwill we can buy by pumping out vaccine doses makes this a no-brainer.

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9 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I have a hard time coming up with anything offering a better ROI than vaccination.  Even if we heartlessly ignore the humanitarian concerns, the international goodwill we can buy by pumping out vaccine doses makes this a no-brainer.

I have friends and family who tell me about vaccine tourists from Brazil and Peru coming to Miami. These tourists are people with money and/or relatives living in the US. I hear that they don't trust the China vaccines. Some Peruvians say if the US had sent free vaccines to Peru months ago, the socialist candidate would've lost a very close election (Fujimori was not a good candidate, BTW).

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Pendulum swings back on lab leak theory.

link  

Quote

“[I] should have softened the phrase ‘smoking gun’ because I don’t believe that it proves the origin of the furin cleavage site but it does sound that way.

“I believe that the question of whether the sequence was put in naturally or by molecular manipulation is very hard to determine but I wouldn’t rule out either origin.”

Prof Baltimore also clarified his stance in an exchange with Nature, saying: “There are other possibilities and they need careful consideration, which is all I meant to be saying.”

 

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22 minutes ago, -fish- said:

Pendulum swings back on lab leak theory.

link  

 

As I said before, without some human intel or a breakthrough in science, we are unlikely to ever know the origin.

Regardless, I do think GoF research should only be conducted (if at all) in very high biocontainment facilities.  Places where they handle smallpox, ebola, etc.  But I do want to hear a very through accounting for the plusses/minuses of GoF research (from scientists and bioethicists).  

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23 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

As I said before, without some human intel or a breakthrough in science, we are unlikely to ever know the origin.

Regardless, I do think GoF research should only be conducted (if at all) in very high biocontainment facilities.  Places where they handle smallpox, ebola, etc.  But I do want to hear a very through accounting for the plusses/minuses of GoF research (from scientists and bioethicists).  

My thought is that if it was a lab leak we will find out eventually, probably via a Chinese scientist who spills the beans.

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https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2021/06/11/maher-the-pandemic-is-over-and-how-we-handle-emerging-from-it-looking-like-a-big-liability-for-democrats/

On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher said that the coronavirus pandemic is “over” and “how we react to coming out of this is looking like a big liability to the Democrats.”

Maher said, “I think how we react to coming out of this is looking like a big liability to the Democrats. I think somehow — sometimes their whole attitude toward this was a liability.”

After citing a Gallup poll that 71% of Democrats believe that people without COVID symptoms and who are otherwise healthy should stay at home as much as possible, Maher added, “I see people on the street walking outside with a mask on. Like you f*cking moron, I just want to shout at them outside the car, you’re a moron. You never could get it outside, really, and you’re alone walking on the street with a mask?”

Maher further stated, “It’s over. Can we just say it’s over? I know it was great fun to have a pandemic and order Grubhub every night.”

He later added that if you’re vaccinated, you shouldn’t be afraid of people who aren’t.

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12 hours ago, The General said:

Take notes rest of US - This is how you get #### done

First large metro city to 70% vax.

If the nation had fought off the virus as well as Seattle did, America would have suffered 413,000 fewer deaths as of Friday.

 

 

Whether it’s our rule-following nature, the demographics of the city, the Seattle “freeze,” our outdoorsiness, our tech culture, our wealth, or maybe just biological or geographic luck, it’s now apparent that something about Seattle made this place an almost perfect redoubt against a once-in-a-lifetime invader.

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On 6/10/2021 at 4:36 PM, The Z Machine said:

Uh, how did they do that exactly?  Impersonate US residents through identity theft?

some although most is just people filling out a bunch of forms & seeing if they get money.  A bunch did including my lazy *** brother who bilked them for a lot & he is not that smart.   It's just government is that dumb.  My mother who has been in a nursing home-wheelchair bound for 14 years received 2 stimulus checks.

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On 6/10/2021 at 4:36 PM, The Z Machine said:

70% of the money stolen by impostors ultimately left the country, much of it ending up in the hands of criminal syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere..

This is the part I don't get.  If the majority of the theft was by Americans making fraudulent claims, how did it leave the country to go to criminal syndicates?

10 minutes ago, shadrap said:

My mother who has been in a nursing home-wheelchair bound for 14 years received 2 stimulus checks.

Stimmy checks were sent out based on last year's tax info.  If her income was below the threshold, she got stimmy bux.  It had nothing to do with employment status.  As for your brother, if he defrauded the state government for unemployment... that's a shame. 

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1 hour ago, ekbeats said:

Whether it’s our rule-following nature, the demographics of the city, the Seattle “freeze,” our outdoorsiness, our tech culture, our wealth, or maybe just biological or geographic luck, it’s now apparent that something about Seattle made this place an almost perfect redoubt against a once-in-a-lifetime invader.

Lots of factors. What’s important are the results.

At this point the vax is doing the work. But you have to actually get it. These areas sitting below 50% are just a joke.

 

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2 minutes ago, The General said:

Lots of factors. What’s important are the results.

At this point the vax is doing the work. But you have to actually get it. These areas sitting below 50% are just a joke.

Yeah I will never understand the anti-vaccine mentality.  I’m in CT and it’s a nice feeling knowing that we are nearing herd immunity.

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Just now, ekbeats said:

Yeah I will never understand the anti-vaccine mentality. 

Yup. We hit the lotto with this thing and folks are passing. If it didn’t effect everyone else it would be fine, do what ever you want. 

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11 minutes ago, The General said:

Yup. We hit the lotto with this thing and folks are passing. If it didn’t effect everyone else it would be fine, do what ever you want. 

Exactly.  There’s a communal responsibility here that the anti-vaccers don’t appreciate.  The longer this virus stays out there the bigger chance there is that it mutates into something far worse.

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Just now, ekbeats said:

Exactly.  There’s a communal responsibility here that the anti-vaccers don’t appreciate.  The longer this virus stays out there the bigger chance there is that it mutates into something far worse.

Yup. Other countries can’t get enough of the vax and we are doing million dollar lotteries for if you take it. Giving away PS5’s and Nintendo Switches, etc. 

Pretty embarrassing behavior. 

 

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8 minutes ago, identikit said:

Hopefully Seattle won't celebrate by burning down stuff.

Nothing to report. Rode bike all around Ballard yesterday hitting breweries and neighborhood art walk. Perfect summer day…today not so much.

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Not sure what the US media is saying, and  judging by this thread, it isn't much, but I saw this while perusing world news:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/us-scientist-says-he-overstated-wuhan-lab-leak-smoking-gun-1.4588965

Probably the most interesting part of the article is near the end:

Quote

“I believe that the question of whether the sequence was put in naturally or by molecular manipulation is very hard to determine but I wouldn’t rule out either origin.”

which is the position  stringently mocked by our resident "experts" here in the PSF.  My view continues to be, we will likely never know for sure and if we do it won't be for another 10-15 years.

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1 hour ago, The Commish said:

Not sure what the US media is saying, and  judging by this thread, it isn't much, but I saw this while perusing world news:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/us-scientist-says-he-overstated-wuhan-lab-leak-smoking-gun-1.4588965

Probably the most interesting part of the article is near the end:

which is the position  stringently mocked by our resident "experts" here in the PSF.  My view continues to be, we will likely never know for sure and if we do it won't be for another 10-15 years.

Remember when there were people who said Trump could announce we have found a cure for cancer and the left would have rejected it?  Yeah well that sure is seeming to be more true now.

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2 minutes ago, supermike80 said:

Remember when there were people who said Trump could announce we have found a cure for cancer and the left would have rejected it?  Yeah well that sure is seeming to be more true now.

No idea what this comment has to do with the post you replied to.  Trump wasn't mentioned at all...nor was "right" or "left".  The article is about the complexity of figuring out origins and a US scientist walking back his comments (as he should have).  The quip of course being those of us talking about exactly how difficult it will be to figure out origins and being mocked for suggesting such.  Hopefully that's clearer.

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1 minute ago, The Commish said:

No idea what this comment has to do with the post you replied to.  Trump wasn't mentioned at all...nor was "right" or "left".  The article is about the complexity of figuring out origins and a US scientist walking back his comments (as he should have).  The quip of course being those of us talking about exactly how difficult it will be to figure out origins and being mocked for suggesting such.  Hopefully that's clearer.

No no..I Mentioned Trump.   It was in my post not yours.  And I also mentioned the left...Did I somehow attribute that to you?  I looked back at what I wrote and I don't see it there sooooo

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42 minutes ago, supermike80 said:
45 minutes ago, The Commish said:

No idea what this comment has to do with the post you replied to.  Trump wasn't mentioned at all...nor was "right" or "left".  The article is about the complexity of figuring out origins and a US scientist walking back his comments (as he should have).  The quip of course being those of us talking about exactly how difficult it will be to figure out origins and being mocked for suggesting such.  Hopefully that's clearer.

No no..I Mentioned Trump.   It was in my post not yours.  And I also mentioned the left...Did I somehow attribute that to you?  I looked back at what I wrote and I don't see it there sooooo

Guess this is the ultimate question....had nothing to do with the post you replied to.  Normally when people reply to posts it's because they are commenting on something directly in the post or something that has to do with the post in some way.  I am aware of one exception to that norm on this board, am I now aware of two?

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22 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Guess this is the ultimate question....had nothing to do with the post you replied to.  Normally when people reply to posts it's because they are commenting on something directly in the post or something that has to do with the post in some way.  I am aware of one exception to that norm on this board, am I now aware of two?

Cool.  Good job.

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On 6/12/2021 at 7:52 PM, ekbeats said:


https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2021/06/11/maher-the-pandemic-is-over-and-how-we-handle-emerging-from-it-looking-like-a-big-liability-for-democrats/

On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher said that the coronavirus pandemic is “over” and “how we react to coming out of this is looking like a big liability to the Democrats.”

Maher said, “I think how we react to coming out of this is looking like a big liability to the Democrats. I think somehow — sometimes their whole attitude toward this was a liability.”

After citing a Gallup poll that 71% of Democrats believe that people without COVID symptoms and who are otherwise healthy should stay at home as much as possible, Maher added, “I see people on the street walking outside with a mask on. Like you f*cking moron, I just want to shout at them outside the car, you’re a moron. You never could get it outside, really, and you’re alone walking on the street with a mask?”

Maher further stated, “It’s over. Can we just say it’s over? I know it was great fun to have a pandemic and order Grubhub every night.”

He later added that if you’re vaccinated, you shouldn’t be afraid of people who aren’t.

The Right taking sides with Bill Maher says more about Bill Maher than it does the 'Left'

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2 minutes ago, Navin Johnson said:

The Right taking sides with Bill Maher says more about Bill Maher than it does the 'Left'

Im actually shocked he hasn't been called out for saying it's great we had a pandemic"  

Or maybe he has....

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