Covid-173

Dan O'Heirity

A Mob Has Stormed Capitol Hill to Protest the American Election Result

On the 5th of January I came across a Sky News story which has Trump’s son stating that hundreds of thousands of protesters would be descending on Washington because the election has been a fraud. Trump’s son also said that any Republican who does not support Trump will no longer have a political career because “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) is “going nowhere”. He actually meant that MAGA will still be a political reality as opposed to MAGA having no future. What can I say. He’s a Trump and so not overly clever.

I didn’t really pay that much attention to Sky News report because it didn’t really seam significant. Then I read an article from The Guardian on Wednesday January 6th that started by covering Trump’s continuing attempts to overturn the American election results. Given that all of his legal challenges have failed, Trump really only has the option of trying to have the result overturned when Congress meets to confirm Biden as president. The Guardian article also reported that Washington’s chief of police had warned that the carrying of firearms is illegal in the city. This statement came amidst fears that Trump’s supporters, including the Proud Boys, might turn to violence. Such was the degree of concern that 300 local national guard members would be deployed to help police. I subscribe to The Guardian because the reporting is pretty much unbiassed as well as being accurate. However, when I read this story I thought “You’ve got to be kidding”. Really, there couldn’t be a serious threat of Trump loyalists turning to violence. It’s over. Biden is president. However, I was wrong about there being no violence. As reported by Sky News, there were Capitol riots and a woman was shot dead by police. Police also found improvised explosive devices.

Sky News also reports that protesters managed to disrupt the session that was meant to confirm Jo Biden as president and so, as of now, that process has come to a halt. I would recommend watching the entire report as it contains video footage of the protesters storming the Capitol building. The scenes are quite literally unbelievable and yet the violence happened. There is a second Sky News video with even more disturbing scenes from inside the Capitol building. At one point in the video we see armed secret service agents with guns drawn in a kind of stand off with some of the mob that stormed the building.

Trump is of course responsible for these scenes because he has continually claimed, with absolutely no evidence, that there was widespread voter fraud and a very large number of his supporters have believed him. It is those supporters who have reacted with violence after senior Republicans, including Mike Pence, made it clear that they would not be overturning the election result. Sky News has an excellent analysis of what this riot means for America. For now, I would just say that we have not even begun to understand the ramifications of these scenes for the idea and reality of democracy in America. I am also of the opinion that we have certainly not seen the last of Trump and that he will be doing everything that he can to undermine Biden’s presidency and to mobilize his extremist supporters. Trump is, in my opinion, certifiably insane and so one can really only dread what 2021 might hold for America and, consequently, for the rest of the world.

China Continues to Block the Independent Inquiry Into the Origins and Spread of Covid-19

It’s been more than a year since Covid was first identified in China. Sure China covered up the outbreak so the world did not really learn about the virus until early January. The rest is, as they say, history. China’s cover up led to a pandemic. Millions upon millions of people have been infected and nearly 1.9 million people have died from Covid. 2020 was the year that Australia called for an independent inquiry into the origins and spread of Covid and it was the year where the World Health Assembly finally voted that such an investigation would be conducted. Yet, here we are one year on and China is still blocking the investigation. As reported by The Guardian, China has blocked the arrival of an investigative team from the World Health Organization claiming that their visas were not up to date. Some members of the team were already on their way to China when the block was put in place. Ilona Kickbusch, the founding director and chair of the Global Health Centre in Geneva, makes the rather obvious point that it will now be very difficult to find the origins of the virus because so much time has passed since the initial outbreak in Wuhan. No kidding. The Chinese have had a year to do a clean up and to destroy any documents that might implicate them in a cover up of the outbreak. Anyone who reads my blog will know that I am not a fan of China. Once again Beijing is engaging in despicable behaviour in the belief that the world should bow to Beijing. To put it another way, China continues to assume its ascendancy on the world stage, a fact which in the mind of Beijing, means that China is untouchable.

First Published January 7th, 2021

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