Covid-19


The graphs above show data from the world. It is clear that the Pandemic is worsening substantially. And because the number of cases in increasing very rapidly, it is very likely that the death rate will also increase very rapidly. 


The table below is taken from data from countries around the world. The USA has the 7th highest number of total cases per million people among the world's nations. And the countries with a higher rate are quite small, in some cases really city states, which because they live at a higher density are also likely to have more cases.


#Country,
Other
Tot Cases/
1M pop
Deaths/
1M pop
Total
Cases
Total
Deaths
Total
Recovered
Active
Cases
Serious,
Critical
Population
1Andorra100,3041,0737,756837,2034701577,325
2Montenegro73,1491,03845,94565236,1209,17368628,105
3Luxembourg72,47773745,72446537,5747,68535630,879
4San Marino65,6831,6492,231561,863312933,966
5Czechia62,2811,022667,56910,950563,45493,16561810,718,650
6French Polynesia58,75138316,5501084,84211,60021281,696
7USA57,8921,01919,216,971338,32111,260,9327,617,71828,659331,944,490

 

The USA is number 14 among total deaths per 1 million population.

#Country,
Other
Deaths/
1M pop
1San Marino1,649
2Belgium1,644
3Slovenia1,218
4Bosnia and Herzegovina1,193
5Italy1,181
6North Macedonia1,152
7Peru1,126
8Andorra1,073
9Spain1,065
10Montenegro1,038
11UK1,031
12Czechia1,022
13Bulgaria1,022
14USA1,019

Source:  The info above was extracted from

worldometers.info/coronavirus


Some of the lower death rate can be attributed to our better more sophisticated health care system. But our number of cases is are going way up and is a leading indicator for deaths, which will likely follow the increase in cases.







Our Family Tree

The story goes that when the theory of evolution was first announced the wife of a clergyman remarked,

"Descended from the apes! My dear, we will hope it is not true. But if it is, let us pray that it may not become generally known."





Family Tree Extracted From:


Primate family tree Smithsonian/National Museum of Natural History






Fake News Websites

Fake news websites (also referred to as hoax news websites) are Internet websites that deliberately publish fake newshoaxes, propaganda,and disinformation purporting to be real news—often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect.

Unlike news satire, fake news websites deliberately seek to be perceived as legitimate and taken at face value, often for financial or political gain. Such sites have promoted political falsehoods in India, Germany, Indonesia and the Philippines, Sweden, Mexico, Myanmar, and the United States. Many sites originate in, or are promoted by, Russia, North Macedonia Romania, and the United States.

Click to read the full article on Wikipedia









Russian Disinformation

 " A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand"

               Abraham Lincoln


"And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:"

              King James Verson Bible  Matthew 12:22-28


Russia is trying to weaken and destroy our democracies and they are doing a fine job.  Russia still has great power. They have a very large and capable military, a major nuclear force, and a will to dominate the west.


Through disinformation and propaganda they spread stories and lies to anger our citizens and turn them against one another. Their efforts are a cheap and easy way to spread falsehoods and weaken western democracies. And they are succeeding.


The level of trust American now have for one another and for governmental agencies and media are now extremely low. Russia and Putin are very happy about this. 


Russia spreads crazy stories in a variety of ways.  They email these stories to yellow rag blogs who are happy to post the misinformation, and embellish it. This gets the blogger attention, and clicks, which help their national exposure and their bottom line. They have no journalistic training, ethics, or oversight. The various blogs pick up conspiracy theories, embellish them, and keep on spreading falsehoods.


It is very hard to combat this. It is like playing whack a mole - you smash one rumor and ten more pop up.


Even intelligent people end up believing some of this malarkey. SAD.

______________________

How They Do It



Illustration/Jessica Tanny

In the run-up to the presidential election, BrandeisNOW asked faculty to provide analysis and insight into some of the most pressing issues facing the country. This is part of the series.

Over the last decade, the growth of social media has gone hand in hand with the increasing use of those platforms for the coordinated dissemination of disinformation. 

Russian pseudo-state operations such as the Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg and financed by allies of Putin, are of particular concern. They have been linked to dozens of international campaigns using “troll farms” of employees posting with fake accounts in addition to networks of automated bots to push disinformation on social media.

These campaigns have been global in reach, including efforts in both South America and Africa. The countries of the former Soviet Bloc have been intensely targeted, especially Ukraine in the wake of the Russian-supported insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

The United States has been the target of what can appear to be a bizarre cacophony of campaigns. 

In addition to extensive campaigns supporting Donald Trump leading up to the 2016 presidential elections, campaigns at various points focused on: a hoax about poisoned Thanksgiving turkeys, an invented chemical plant explosion, anti-vaccination propaganda, electoral college reform, anti-Muslim immigration, Black Lives Matter, and even the organization of anti-Trump protests once he was in office.

For the most part, these campaigns have co-opted existing organizations and content and repurposed and amplified their message. 

The campaigns exploit existing political fault lines like race and regionalism to increase polarization and disaffection with the political system. The complete lack of a coherent message across these campaigns is jarring until one realizes that the goal of the campaigns is not necessarily to convince anyone of anything, but rather to generate noise.

We can see this in action when we look at the internal propaganda of the Putin regime on specific topics like the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down over Ukraine in 2014 in which a plethora of completely contradictory – and largely obviously fictional – explanations  were pushed simultaneously. 

The proliferation of noise encourages the public to disbelieve everything and undermines the basic assumption that there is an objective truth that we can more or less trust media outlets to tell us. 

Democracy does not function without trust – in institutions, in the press, in fellow citizens. Russian disinformation campaigns have found social media a fertile field for destroying that trust.

Steven Wilson is an assistant professor of politics whose research focuses on Russia, cybersecurity, and the role of social media in shaping collective action, authoritarian resilience and de-democratization. 

Russia deploying coronavirus disinformation to sow panic in West, EU document says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russian media have deployed a “significant disinformation campaign” against the West to worsen the impact of the coronavirus, generate panic and sow distrust, according to a European Union document seen by Reuters.

the Russian campaign pushing fake news online in English
 

The Kremlin denied the allegations on Wednesday, saying they were unfounded and lacked common sense.

The EU document said the Russian campaign, pushing fake news online in English, Spanish, Italian, German and French, uses contradictory, confusing and malicious reports to make it harder for the EU to communicate its response to the pandemic.

“A significant disinformation campaign by Russian state media and pro-Kremlin outlets regarding COVID-19 is ongoing,” said the nine-page internal document, dated March 16, using the name of the disease that can be caused by the coronavirus.

“The overarching aim of Kremlin disinformation is to aggravate the public health crisis in Western countries...in line with the Kremlin’s broader strategy of attempting to subvert European societies,” the document produced by the EU’s foreign policy arm, the European External Action Service, said.

An EU database has recorded almost 80 cases of disinformation about coronavirus since Jan. 22, it said, noting Russian efforts to amplify Iranian accusations online, cited without evidence, that coronavirus was a U.S. biological weapon.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-disinformation/russia-deploying-coronavirus-disinformation-to-sow-panic-in-west-eu-document-says-idUSKBN21518F


Quotes below from the Commission on Security and cooperation in Europe

https://www.csce.gov/international-impact/events/scourge-russian-disinformation


Russian disinformation is a grave transnational threat, facilitating unacceptable aggression

On Thursday, September 14, 2017, the U.S. Helsinki Commission held a hearing on Russian disinformation in the OSCE region. Sen. Cory Gardner (CO) presided over the hearing on behalf of Commission Chairman Sen. Robert Wicker (MS). Witnesses included Mr. John F. Lansing, CEO and Director of the Broadcasting Board of Governors; Ms. Molly McKew, CEO of Fianna Strategies; and Ms. Melissa Hooper, Director of Human Rights and Civil Society Programs at Human Rights First.

In his opening statement, Sen. Gardner described the serious threat that Russian disinformation poses to the liberal international order, and underscored “how it undermines the security and human rights of people in the OSCE region.” Russia’s goal, he said, is “to sow fear, discord, and paralysis that undermines democratic institutions and weakens critical Western alliances such as NATO and the EU.”

Ranking Member Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) highlighted the impact of Russian disinformation campaigns in Ukraine in conjunction with the recent invasions of Crimea and the Donbas. He also noted the extent of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States, and observed that such disinformation campaigns take advantage of our democratic institutions to advance Russia’s strategic agenda.


The Russian strategy seeks to destroy the very idea of an objective, verifiable set of facts,” he said. “The BBG is adapting to meet this challenge head on by offering audiences an alternative to Russian disinformation in the form of objective, independent, and professional news and information.”


In her testimony, Ms. McKew described Russia’s disinformation campaign as “the core component of a war being waged by the Russian state against the West, and against the United States in particular.”




Click to read an excellent US State Department report on Russian Disinformation - Why and how they do it.

https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Pillars-of-Russia%E2%80%99s-Disinformation-and-Propaganda-Ecosystem_08-04-20.pdf


Subversion (from the Latin word subvertere, 'overthrow') refers to a process by which the values and principles of a system in place are contradicted or reversed, in an attempt to transform the established social order and its structures of powerauthorityhierarchy, and social norms. Subversion can be described as an attack on the public morale and, "the will to resist intervention are the products of combined political and social or class loyalties which are usually attached to national symbols. Following penetration, and parallel with the forced disintegration of political and social institutions of the state, these loyalties may be detached and transferred to the political or ideological cause of the aggressor".[1] Subversion is used as a tool to achieve political goals because it generally carries less risk, cost, and difficulty as opposed to open belligerency. Furthermore, it is a relatively cheap form of warfare that does not require large amounts of training.

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