Beltway Insider: Biden/Afghanistan, Theranos Scam, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Boosters, School Begins

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President Biden defended his Afghanistan withdrawal policy this week, amidst the swift fall of the nation into Taliban governance and shocking scenes of desperate Afghani's charging the runways hoping to escape the expected violence and hardline rule.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, for the period ending August 15, 2021, decreased by 0.6% to 49.4% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by 2.2% percentage points to 46.2%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.


Beltway Insider: Biden/Afghanistan, Cuomo Resigns, Hochul Ascends, AOC, COVID/Vaccine, Taliban, Haiti


Biden Accused of Botching Afghan Withdrawal

With the August 31, deadline for the U.S. Troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, still one week away, President Biden has adamantly defended his exit strategy and goals and impressed U.S. Troops will stay beyond the deadline date to ensure every remaining American, that wants to leave, will be evacuated.

The President took to the airwaves and addressed the American people over the chaos erupting in the streets of Kabul after the Taliban successfully regained control of the nation.

"I stand squarely behind my decision.  After 20 years, I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces. That's why we were still there.  We were clear-eyed about the risks.  We planned for every contingency. But I always promised the American people that I will be straight with you.  The truth is: This did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building.  It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland," President Biden said in a speech to the nation.

Plans Meet with G7

President Biden is schedule to meet with heads of state of the G& this week to discuss the ongoing Afghan situation.

"President Biden will virtually meet with G7 leaders on August 24, 2021. The leaders will discuss continuing our close coordination on Afghanistan policy and evacuating our citizens, the brave Afghans who stood with us over the last two decades, and other vulnerable Afghans. They will also discuss plans to provide humanitarian assistance and support for Afghan refugees," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a written release.

Taliban Takes Control

Acknowledging the Taliban regained control over the country more swiftly than anticipated, President Biden said, "If anything, the developments in the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war, and dying in a war, that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves," The Wall Street Journal reported.

"We gave them every tool they could need.  We paid their salaries, provided for the maintenance of their air force — something the Taliban doesn't have.  Taliban does not have an air force.  We provided close air support.  We gave them every chance to determine their own future.  What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future," Biden said.

While scenes of desperation by Afghani citizens have flooded the media, it isn't the first time in the last fifty years scenes such as these have played out in the media. The Fall of Saigon in 1975 and the end of the Vietnam War caused many of the same desperate attempts for citizens to flee the impending rule.

The Taliban, who is known for extreme torture, violence, terrorism, and a hardline against women, banning them from education and supports violence against their own citizens, also protected Osama Bin Laden, who was responsible for the World Trade Center and Pentagon Attacked nearly twenty years ago on September 11, 2001.

President Biden spoke with clarity on the weakness of the political leadership in Afghanistan, "If the political leaders of Afghanistan were unable to come together for the good of their people, unable to negotiate for the future of their country when the chips were down, they would never have done so while U.S. troops remained in Afghanistan bearing the brunt of the fighting for them. And our true strategic competitors — China and Russia — would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention into stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely," he said in his address to the nation.

Afghanistan President Surfaces

Days after fleeing Afghanistan, former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani surfaced in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday. He denied accusations that he fled the country with more than $100million in cash.

Vaccine Totals

Bloomberg.com has built a vaccine tracker which can be seen here. "In the U.S., 362 million doses have been given so far. In the last week, an average of 845,106 doses per day were administered," Bloomberg.com reported.

Coronavirus Totals

While the infection rates of the coronavirus have continued to decline around the world. A new strain, a mutation, has created global concern for leaders around the world are determining the best direction for the protection of the population. The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending August 22, 2021, coronavirus cases globally increased by 4,697,201 new confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 211,484,780 people with a total worldwide death toll of 4,423,743 deaths, a weekly death rate increase of 69,427. (Data from The New York Times).

COVID US Totals

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending August 22, 2021, the total confirmed cases rose to 36,684,028 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 1,060,626 with a seven-day average of 151,518 cases per day. The coronavirus has claimed 628,100 total deaths, adding 7,049 more deaths to the total of lives lost due to the coronavirus. (Data from The New York Times).

Texas Gov Tests Positive For Covid

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a longtime opponent of federally mandated Covid protections, including safe distancing and face masks, announced this week he has tested positive for the virus.


World News: Macron Debates Mandatory Vaccine Law


Booster Shots

For the millions of Americans who heeded the government directive and chose to vaccinate, the expectation was some sort of long-term protection, clearly more than the 200 hundred days of protection which the CDC and Health Experts finally announced.

Booster shots, which until a permanent vaccine is developed will become necessary, for the fully vaccinated population to receive a booster vaccine every eight months.

"The Biden administration will begin offering coronavirus booster shots the week of Sept. 20, top health officials announced Wednesday, after concluding that a third shot is needed to fight off waning immunity," reported The Washington Post.

Disgraced Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Trial Begins

The trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced former CEO of the blood testing start-up Theranos Inc., is set to begin September 8, 2021, after nearly a year of legal wrangling and motions to dismiss as much of the damaging information as possible.

"Ms. Holmes faces a dozen counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for what federal prosecutors say was a scheme to defraud investors and patients about the nature of Theranos's technology. The blood-testing startup closed in 2018 after raising nearly $1 billion from investors with a pitch to reinvent the laboratory testing business by creating a machine that could test for a wide range of health conditions using a few drops of blood," reported The Wall Street Journal.

Accused of perpetuating a massive multi-billion-dollar fraud and scamming even the world's best minds, Holmes is now facing 20 years in prison, along with fines totaling more than $2million, and victim restitution.


Justice Watch: And They Got Away With It (Part 4)


Once named by Forbes Magazine as "the youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire in America on the basis of a $9-billion valuation of her company," she allegedly managed an extremely complex and layered con scheme, that included a personal and intimate relationship with her Chief Operating Officer, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, who will be tried separately, copied Silicon Valley icon Steve Jobs style, manner, and attire, and used an extensive public relations campaign and media push to perpetuate the fraud scheme by bilking investors who were aware of the enormous paydays associated with the next big technology break-through.

Behind her carefully crafted façade, Holmes was manipulating data, creating the illusion of fast and effective blood workups, more than 240 tests, from samples as small as a pinprick using an analyzer which she named the Edison, "A miniaturized blood analyzer that would disrupt the $60 billion lab testing industry dominated by giants LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics," CBSnews.com reported.

The idea burned fast through the medical technology Silicon Valley ecosystem, and for nearly a decade went unnoticed by outsiders even as Holmes continued to attract big names and big investors.

Darling of Silicon Valley

"At that point, the company was flying high: In July 2015, the Food and Drug Administration approved one of the company's blood tests, leading to a party at headquarters and excitement about the company's future," Business Insider reported.

Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford University after two years, used her college tuition to seed her revolutionary start-up, after pitching the idea to several professors until she found one, dean of the School of Engineering Channing Robertson, who agreed with her hypothesis.

Holmes did more than present herself as Silicon Valley's next big thing, she presented herself as all-American, with a Stars Spangled Banner board of directors from the annals of public servants including two former Secretary of States, two former Senators, a former Navy Admiral, a former US Marine Corp General who also became Secretary of D, a Defense, a former Director of the CDC, business and industry leaders, an invitation to the Theranos board was at one time the most coveted board seat in America.

Scammed the World

"Theranos raised hundreds of millions of dollars from a who's who of investors, including the family of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the heirs of Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, members of Atlanta's billionaire Cox family, and Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox Corp. and executive chairman of News Corp, the Journal's parent company, " The Wall Street Journal reported.

With a one-time valuation of nearly $10billion dollars, and the esteemed public and private investors, when initial reports began to surface that Holmes' analyzer wasn't even in operation, that testing of samples were begin conducted on regular analyzers used by mainstream medical giants, it barely registered as an issue.

Internally it was accepted that the Edison, the proprietary technology developed by Holmes, was only used limitedly. By this time, 2014, Holmes had deals with major pharmacy chains across the southwest and healthcare providers had begun to question the results.

In a 2015 Wall Street Journal article, the façade began to crack under the pressure of false results. "Dr. Betz, the Phoenix doctor, says one of his female patients went to Theranos in August 2014 for a routine potassium test to monitor potential side effects from her blood-pressure medication. He says Theranos reported that her potassium level was close to the threshold considered critical. Another lab reran the test three days later. The results came back normal, " reported The Wall Street Journal.

On June 15, 2018, Elizabeth Holmes, and Chief Operating Officer Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani were indicted on nine counts of wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Jury selection begins August 31, 2021, with a trial date set for September 8, 2021.


Medical Science: Sending Kids to College? Read This First


School Opens Facemasks Optional

Schools across America are opening for in-person learning and some for the first time since the mandated by federal officials to close all schools and impose remote learning to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

With many school systems mandating face coverings, some states aligning themselves along political lines have chosen to attempt to force school districts to forego the mask mandate and subject their children to the very real potential threat of the infection.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, who has advocated against mask mandates and other protective measures, has contracted the virus. Florida, lead by Governor Rick DeSantis has seen cases in his state rise exponentially; Alabama has seen cases increase fivefold over the same time last year, "Between August 1 and August 12, 2020, Alabama had 1,356 reports of COVID-19 in the age range of 5 to 17 years. In this same date range in 2021, there were 6,181 reports among 5- to 17-year-olds," reported the Alabama Public Health organization.

Politics aside the health of our nation's children are more important the cultivating the 2024 electoral vote.

 

For more information on President Joe Biden www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection

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