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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

NY State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker Tries To Clear His Boss Gov. Cuomo For the Nursing Homes' Deaths...He Fails

Firemen don personal protective equipment as they enter the Cobble Hill Health Center nursing home, one of the worst hit residences by the pandemic in Kings County. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Dr. Howard Zucker

The conclusion, below, of Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State Health Commissioner, that the numerous deaths which led to the "nursing homes scandal" can actually be pinned on staff members, is a joke. A sad one. 

We have posted what happened:



Michael Goodwin: Cuomo’s Nursing Home Reversal is Too Little, Too Late For Those Now Dead


Zucker's motive, it seems to me, is to divert blame away from his boss, Governor Andrew Cuomo in the numerous deaths. Good luck with that!

We aren't buying this incredible claim and blame. Governor Cuomo ordered that patients testing positive for COVID-19 must be returned to their residences at the nursing homes. That was his mistake.

By Brooklyn Paper, July 7, 2020

Months before science and experience revealed the devastating spread and dangerous nature of COVID-19, staff members, and visitors at New York’s nursing homes unknowingly exposed their patients to the highly infectious and deadly disease.

That was the primary conclusion of the state Health Department’s report on the COVID-19 pandemic in New York state nursing homes released Monday. State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker outlined the details of the report, which sought to dispel widely-spread falsehoods about the state’s handling of the health crisis, during a July 6 press conference in Manhattan.

Critics of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the crisis have blamed him for the high number of nursing home deaths in New York during the height of the pandemic. They’ve pointed to a March 25 directive on admission policy for patients hospitalized and later discharged for COVID-19 as evidence of the alleged mismanagement.

But Dr. Zucker said Monday that the facts simply do not support such a conclusion.

Nursing home patients who wound up in the hospital with COVID-19 were no longer contagious upon their return and therefore did not introduce COVID-19 to the facility.

If anything, Zucker said, the COVID-19 virus was in the facility long before any patient wound up becoming infected.

The report concluded that nursing home staff members likely contracted COVID-19 as early as mid-February and wound up spreading it to patients while asymptomatic. Though the first official New York state COVID-19 case was detected on March 1, a study by the Mount Sinai Health Care System of blood samples collected in February found COVID-19 antibodies in the samples as early as the week of Feb. 23.

That means that a number of New Yorkers, including health care workers, likely had the coronavirus in February and didn’t realize it. At that point in the global pandemic, there were suspected COVID-19 cases in New York, and the only tests available to the state were based out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta.

“I want to be clear… this is not to place the blame on nursing home staff,” Zucker said Monday. “We’re here to look at the signs and try to figure out the data. We need to look at this from that moment in time.”

The report found that nearly a third of all nursing home workers in New York state contracted COVID-19, likely picking the virus up through community spread. They then unknowingly brought the disease to work with them, infecting nursing home patients.

Visitors to nursing homes likely also exposed nursing home patients to COVID-19 before the pandemic took hold in New York state, Zucker added.

The peak in nursing home fatalities, on April 8, occurred six days before the peak of nursing home admissions following COVID-19 infection, April 14, Zucker added. There was also a direct correlation between nursing home staff infections and the number of nursing home deaths.

“COVID-19 was already in the nursing homes,” he said. “From innumerable conversations [with nursing home administrators], the vast majority of residents who went to the hospital had respiratory issues, invariably caused by COVID. The admissions and readmissions did not introduce COVID to the nursing homes.”

While that explains the spread of the infection, the commissioner went into the reasons for such high numbers of nursing home deaths. He suggested that the frailty of most under care at nursing homes contributed to their demise from COVID-19.

“It goes without saying that most nursing home residents are frail,” Zucker said. “Their bodies have weathered the test of time. The slightest challenge to their physiology can be catastrophic. Any disruption to their life pattern can have adverse effects on the elderly.”

He also dispelled the notion that lower-quality nursing homes had higher rates of death from COVID-19, noting that five-star rated facilities had a 12% higher mortality rate.

If there’s a scapegoat for the horrors suffered in New York’s nursing homes, the commissioner concluded, it’s the virus itself.

“If you’re going to place blame, I would blame the coronavirus,” Zucker told reporters. “We didn’t know [then], no one knew the virus was here when it was here. … The data from the antibody studies confirmed that. They (nursing home staff) worked diligently to care for those in the nursing homes.”

Read the full report on the state Health Department’s website, health.ny.gov.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court Gives Religious Schools Access To State Aid, Validates Parents' Rights


A Decision 144 Years In the Making: SCOTUS Takes On BlaineReality Check with Jeanne Allen
SUPREME COURT RULING GIVES RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS MORE ACCESS TO STATE AID



Monumental decision affirms the right of parents to direct the education of their children.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The decision of the Supreme Court in favor of the plaintiff in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue validates a parent’s constitutionally protected right to direct the education of their children.

“The weight that this monumental decision carries is immense, as it’s an extraordinary victory for student achievement, parental control, equality in educational opportunities, and First Amendment rights,” said Jeanne Allen, the founder and chief executive of the Center for Education Reform (CER).

“For many families, Espinoza not only provides the potential for expanded opportunities for them to educate their children, including the choice of religious education, but also the right to decide what they believe is the most effective way to do so.”

As the plaintiffs argued, and CER reinforced in its amicus brief, denying parents their school of choice because of its religious nature — on the basis of Blaine Amendments enacted by many states decades ago — injures parents and children by violating bedrock constitutional principles. This is especially true for low-income families who are bound by their zip codes and financial barriers to chronically substandard schools. The Espinoza victory represents monumental progress toward reversing damage that has been done for nearly 150 years and which states can now address.

Former Solicitor General Paul Clement, author of CER’s amicus brief, adds, “In some states, legislation may be sufficient to enjoin application of a Blaine Amendment. In other states, an advisory opinion (from the Attorney General or state supreme court) may be the preferred course. In still other states, it may be necessary to bring a declaratory judgment action seeking a court ruling. And a state’s particular law and circumstances may call for some combination of these efforts — even all three.”

In the coming days, CER will be reviewing the literature as to how states can best proceed given the complexity of the decision.

For more information about Espinoza and the history of the Blaine Amendments, visit CER’s “Blaine” microsite. The site links to, among other things, Jeanne’s interview with Kendra Espinoza and Jeanne’s op-ed with Paul Clement for Time.

JUNE 30, 2020
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case:
"Today’s decision is a historic victory for America’s students and all those who believe in fundamental fairness and freedom. Each and every student needs the freedom to find their education fit, and today the Highest Court in the Land has protected that right by ensuring that families can use taxpayer funds to choose schools that match their values and educational goals, including faith-based schools. I applaud the Court’s decision to assign a manifestation of the 'last acceptable prejudice' to the dustbin of history where it belongs. Montana and other states should be very clear about this historic decision: your bigoted Blaine Amendments and other restrictions like them are unconstitutional, dead, and buried. Too many students have been discriminated against based on their faith and have been forced to stay in schools that don’t match their values. This decision represents a turning point in the sad and static history of American education, and it will spark a new beginning of education that focuses first on students and their needs. I’m calling on all states to now seize the extraordinary opportunity to expand all education options at all schools to every single student in America."

Betsy Combier
betsy.combier@gmail.com
Editor, ADVOCATZ.com
Editor, ADVOCATZ Blog
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, Parentadvocates.org
Editor, New York Court Corruption
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Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Large Numbers of the NYPD Leave Their Jobs After Calls For Defunding Get Louder


Defund the police? This is crazy.

Reform the police? Yes, absolutely. And give the NYPD MORE money for training that meets the ideals of the public in the areas of respect for all, equality, zero tolerance for bias, hate crimes, intentional harm, intimidation, or false claims. Open the records and hold anyone who violates these rules accountable with punishment equal to the crimes they commit, just like anyone else.

Defund the police? No, but make each officer accountable for his/her actions, and Do No Harm unless in danger of being killed with a lethal weapon. Keep all body cams on at all times, have the public give input on what happened. Give the public a voice, hear what people say, act on it.

We were walking our dog down second avenue about two weeks ago at 10:00pm when we saw two cars roll up to the Verizon Wireless store across the street. About 6-8 men rushed out of the cars, ran to the glass windows of the store, broke the glass, entered the store through the broken windows and grabbed all the telephones and other equipment on the walls and on the tables, and then jumped back into the waiting cars and took off. Police were called and there in 4 minutes, blocking off the sidewalk from pedestrians (and their pets) so no one got hurt.

We were glad that they came.

Defund the police? Who takes their place? Where will funding for the newbies come from?

This issue is so hot, our Mayor has no idea what to do:
De Blasio and lawmakers in budget stalemate over NYPD cuts, layoffs
Betsy Combier
betsy.combier@gmail.com
Editor, ADVOCATZ.com
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Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
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Editor, New York Court Corruption
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272 uniformed NYPD cops file for retirement after George Floyd death
Dean Balsamini, NY POST, June 27, 2020

Cops are hanging up their handcuffs in huge numbers.
The flurry of Finest farewells began after the police-involved killing of George Floyd on May 25, with 272 uniformed cops putting in retirement papers from then through June 24, the NYPD says.
That’s a 49 percent spike from the 183 officers who filed during the same period last year, according to the department.
An NYPD source suggested the recent departures could signal a coming crisis for the 36,000-member department, which also faces a $1 billion budget reduction amid the “defund the police”  furor.
“We are worried about a surge in attrition reducing our headcount beyond what we can sustain without new recruits, and are afraid the City Council has not taken the surge into account,” he said.
Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said cops are “at their breaking point, whether they have 20 years on the job or only two. We are all asking the same question: ‘How can we keep doing our job in this environment?’ And that is exactly what the anti-cop crowd wants. If we have no cops because no one wants to be a cop, they will have achieved their ultimate goal.”

Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said an “exodus” from the NYPD has begun. He said nearly 80 of his members have recently filed for retirement, and that morale is “at the lowest levels I’ve seen in 38 years.”
The fiery union leader added, “People have had enough and no longer feel it’s worth risking their personal well-being for a thankless position.”
“There is no leadership, no direction, no training for new policies,” he said. “Department brass is paralyzed (and) too afraid to uphold their sworn oath in fear of losing their jobs. Sadly, the people of this city will soon experience what New York City was like in the 1980s.”
Outrage over Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests, and some NYPD officers see themselves as collateral damage.
“It’s an all-out war on cops and we have no support,” said one veteran Brooklyn cop, who is retiring next month. “I wanted to wait for my 30th anniversary in October, but the handwriting is on the wall.”
Many men and women in blue are fed up, feeling targeted and frustrated that they are expected to fight crime with fewer tools than ever, while getting no backing from politicians, injured in protests, and constantly scrutinized, according to agitated officers and angry police unions.
The weary rank and file also wonder if one bad decision on the job could get them arrested and charged with a crime.

“If you have your time in and have an opportunity to do something else, get out while you can,” advised Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.
Giacalone said he’d received three emails in “the past week or so” from students asking for advice about changing their career choice. Giacalone said he has not gotten “these kinds” of emails since the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.
He said he “never discourages anyone” about the job, he just “lays out the pros and cons” and also reminds students there are federal law enforcement jobs.
On Thursday, The Post exclusively reported that Bronx NYPD precinct commander Richard Brea is quitting to protest the department’s handling of police reform and anti-brutality protests. The Deputy Inspector, who led the Bronx’s 46th Precinct, will retire after nearly three decades on the force.

NYPD Sgt. Joseph Imperatrice, founder of Blue Lives Matter, which formed after NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were assassinated in 2014, claims close to a dozen cops per day are putting in their papers. Imperatrice believes the number is “noticeably higher” than usual and due to the “anti-police and anti-criminal accountability” climate.
Imperatrice contends the number of cops leaving the job since the end of March is “approaching the 700 to 1,000 range between COVID and the anti-police narrative.”
“I feel sorry for the cops who just began their career and have 20 years to go,” Imperatrice said. “Morale across the nation for anybody who puts on that uniform is at an all-time low … Officers are showing up to work putting on their uniform and within a few days thereafter being put into handcuffs.”
He said one “fed-up” Manhattan detective, a 22-year-veteran with a wife and kids, is just waiting to hear back about a new job and then he’s putting in his papers and moving to Arizona. He believes the city is “going down the tubes quick and it’s not going to turn around anytime soon.”
Imperatrice said the heartbroken mom of an anti-crime unit cop killed in the line of duty recently contacted him, “beside herself” because the NYPD disbanded the unit and thus “disbanded the legacy of her son.”
“The politicians are spitting in the faces of families of cops killed in the line of duty and now they’re handing over the keys to the city to these criminals. This is insane,” Imperatrice fumed.
“Of course, if a police officer is acting criminal or abusing their authority, they should be held accountable. But the majority of incidents we are seeing do not warrant officers losing their job and being locked up.”
Said John Jay professor Giacalone: “We are living in the Twilight Zone — where the good guys are the bad guys and the bad guys are the good guys. No bail, no jail, selective prosecution — unless you’re a cop, then game on.
“People have lost their collective minds.”

Friday, June 26, 2020

Tom Fitton From Judicial Watch on Michael Flynn, Hunter Biden, Susan Rice and the Benghazi Attack, and More

Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch
This week (June 21-26 2020) Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, has so many interesting documents discussed in Tom Fitton's weekly video, I decided to put the entire post from Judicial Watch.

Betsy Combier
betsy.combier@gmail.com
Editor, ADVOCATZ.com
Editor, ADVOCATZ Blog
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, Parentadvocates.org
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials 



Revealed: Obama Effort to ‘Evolve’ Explanation of Benghazi Attack

It’s hard to keep your story straight if you’re making it up as you go along, which was the modus operandi of Obama fabricator Ben Rhodes.

The Justice Department released 80 pages of records showing top Obama White House officials scrambling to “evolve” its false claims that the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. Government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, began “spontaneously” in response to an anti-Muslim video on the Internet.

The emails reveal top Obama White House official Ben Rhodes and Clinton State Department Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan joking about being called “liars” and “leakers.”

The records were produced in response to our 2016 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-02046)). We filed the lawsuit after the Justice Department failed to comply with a July 7, 2016, FOIA request for records of the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure.

On September 16, 2012, then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday television talk shows claiming the Benghazi attack was incited spontaneously by an anti-Muslim Internet video. The newly released records show a redacted official’s email from September 27 to then-Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and then-NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor, copying then-Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, saying, “What’s the plan here?” Rhodes responds:
Broader plan is IC [intelligence community] acknowledgement of an evolving assessment of what took place, which happens to be true (unlike just about everything else we’ve seen reported on Benghazi.)
Further along in the email thread, an official whose name is redacted, says, “Everyone know [sic] Susan [in her TV appearances] was using not just IC approved guidance, but IC created.”

Additionally, Rhodes says to Sullivan and other redacted officials:
At least you’re only a liar. Could be worse – we’re liars and also allegedly leakers. So you’ve got that going for you, which is something.
Sullivan replies: “We’re only lying footsoldiers [sic]. You’re lying masterminds. That’s cooler.”
A redacted official replies to Sullivan: “I prefer that we go by henchmen. Has more of a Marvel comic sinisterness to it. There should be a cable show where all the guests, and the anchor, have to wear polygraphs. Or, when there’s a dispute between source, the aggrieved parties take a poly, with some neutral third party rendering judgment. The Biggest Liar.”
Rhodes says to Sullivan: “I’d like to go on television and tell everybody what I think…. Look at it this way. I[t] could be worse. You could be a career bureaucrat whose greatest thrill in life is leaking half-truths, self-justifications and outright lies to the likes of Eli Lake, Kim Dozier, and whoever picks up the phone at Fox News.”
We previously uncovered that on September 14 Rhodes and other Obama administration officials were attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.” Also included were numerous emails sent during the assault on the Benghazi diplomatic facility. The contemporaneous and dramatic emails describe the assault as an “attack:”
September 11, 2012, 6:41 PM – Senior Advisor Eric Pelofsky, to Susan Rice:

As reported, the Benghazi compound came under attack and it took a bit of time for the ‘Annex’ colleagues and Libyan February 17 brigade to secure it. One of our colleagues was killed – IMO Sean Smith. Amb Chris Stevens, who was visiting Benghazi this week is missing.  U.S. and Libyan colleagues are looking for him…
At 8:51 pm, Pelofsky tells Rice and others that “Post received a call from a person using an [sic] RSO phone that Chris was given saying the caller was with a person matching Chris’s description at a hospital and that he was alive and well.  Of course, if he were alive and well, one could ask why he didn’t make the call himself.”
Later that evening, Pelofsky emailed Rice that he was “very, very worried.  In particular that he [Stevens] is either dead or this was a concerted effort to kidnap him.”  Rice replied, “God forbid.”
The new records show a December 2, 2015, communication from NASA Regional Counterintelligence Director Arthur Payton to the FBI Counterintelligence Division in which Payton returns a review of evidence obtained in the course of the FBI investigation of Clinton’s email server, specifically, a “classification and determination review.” The contents of the classification review and determination were not included among the records released.

In an April 20, 2016, memorandum from Robert Zanger, of DOJ’s Office of Records Management and Policy, to Peter Strzok memorializing an earlier request by Strzok, Zanger indicates that Strzok had requested that DOJ produce “‘all electronic and transactional records between any @clintonemail.com email account’ and thirty-nine (39) specified DOJ email accounts …’” Strzok also asked the DOJ for a “general, or gateway, search of its [DOJ’s] systems for any other electronic and transactional records involving the identified external e-mail domain [@clintonemail.com].” The April 20 memo indicates DOJ complied with the request, saying, “JMD  [Justice Management Division] searched for any appearance of the @clintonemail.com domain in the electronic information (including emails and documents) of current and departed named custodians from the components for which JMD maintains electronic information. JMD located a small number of documents, but no email between the @clintonemail.com domain and any named custodian.” The memo notes that JMD had other DOJ components search their records too, and that:
The Civil Division located nine documents containing the term @clintonemail.com. A review of the content of the nine records by the Civil Division confirmed that the responses were related to the Division’s handling of Freedom of Information Act litigation, not communications between the custodian and the @clintonemail.com domain.
The memo noted that while it conducted a search of DOJ’s email gateway server for any email between DOJ email accounts and the @clintonemail.com domain, “The server log is maintained for a period of two years. [Emphasis added] JMD performed a search [April 2016] in the JMD-managed Email Gateway Server Log for the @clintonemail.com domain covering the period of 2/3/14 to 2/3/16 and found no email to or from the @clintonemail.com domain. [By the time this search was conducted, and no records were found, Clinton had been out of office as secretary of state since January 2013, a period of three years and three months.]

In a January 28, 2016, memo from Peter Strzok to the Counterespionage Group at the CIA, Strzok says that – due to a Section 811(c) referral under the Intelligence Authorization Act from the Intelligence Community Inspector General relating to the unauthorized release of classified information – the FBI is requesting a copy of a document, the title of which is redacted. Strzok notes that, “The assessment was provided to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Security Council (NSC) and to the Department of State (DoS) in, or around, October of 2009.”

In connection with an apparent response to the above “Request for Records,” an FBI memo dated June 27, 2016, indicates that the CIA provided the document sought. The synopsis of the memo reads: “CIA response to FBI LHM [Letterhead Memo] dated January 28, 2016 regarding a document request.” The memo further notes: “[redacted] document attached to CIOL [apparently referring to a Counterintelligence Operations Letter].”

Joking about being called ‘liars’ after being caught lying about the Benghazi terrorist attack says a lot about the Obama-Clinton team’s contempt for the rule of law and those four innocent Americans murdered in Libya September 11, 2012. The documents also show that Ben Rhodes, the Obama White House official who created the false story for Susan Rice to use on Benghazi, was planning to orchestrate again an ‘evolving’ explanation about the Benghazi attack by the Intelligence Community in time for then-President Obama’s reelection.  You can see how this manipulation is a prelude to Obama’s extensive abuse of the “intelligence community” during the next election to go after President Trump!


Secret Service: Hunter Biden Took 411 Flights, Visited 29 Countries, Including 5 Visits to China

New Secret Service records show Hunter Biden’s significant overseas travels during the first part of the Obama-Biden administration.

Judicial Watch investigators uncovered records from the U.S. Secret Service showing that, for the first five and a half years of the Obama administration, Hunter Biden traveled extensively with a Secret Service protective detail. During the time period of the records, the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden took 411 separate domestic and international flights, including to 29 different foreign countries. He visited China five times.
Our February 7, 2020, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request sought:
Records reflecting the dates and locations of travel, international and domestic, for Hunter Biden while he received a U.S. Secret Service protective detail; please note whether his travel was on Air Force One or Two, or other government aircraft, as applicable and whether additional family members were present for each trip; time frame is 2001 to present.
The Secret Service did not indicate, as was requested, whether Biden’s travel was on Air Force One, Air Force Two or other government aircraft, or whether additional family members were present.

The records show that countries and territories visited by Hunter Biden, between June 2009 and May 2014, included:
  • Ethiopia and India on June 14-22, 2009
  • Argentina on September 14-17, 2009
  • France and Spain on November 9-13, 2009
  • Canada on February 12-15, 2010
  • Dominican Republic on February 18-22, 2010
  • Puerto Rico on March 20-27, 2010
  • China on April 6-9, 2010
  • Belgium, Spain, and the United Kingdom on May 5-8, 2010
  • UK, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Ascension Island, U.S. Virgin Islands on June 6-13, 2010
  • Denmark and South Africa on August 9-24, 2010
  • Hong Kong, Taiwan and China on April 16-22, 2011
  • Mexico on May 15-17, 2011
  • Colombia, France, United Arab Emirates and France again on November 1-11, 2011
  • UK and Russia on February 15-18, 2012
  • Germany, France and UK on February 1-5, 2013
  • UK and Ireland on March 20-22, 2013
  • China on June 13-15, 2013
  • Switzerland and Italy on July 26-August 7, 2013
  • Japan, China, South Korea and the Philippines on December 2-9, 2013
  • China and Qatar on May 7-14, 2014
The records were also provided, but were not made public, to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson in a response to a request the senators sent to Secret Service Director James Murray on February, 2020.

In its cover letter to Grassley and Johnson, which was included in the records we received, the Secret Service said that the senators’ request was time and labor intensive, and they could only provide a limited amount of information by the senators’ imposed turnaround time of February 19.

Given the Burisma-Ukraine-China influence peddling scandals, Hunter Biden’s extensive international travel during the Obama-Biden presidency, including at least 5 trips to China, will certainly raise additional questions.

According to reports, Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden flew on Air Force Two for the official trip to Beijing in December 2013. The records we obtained show Hunter Biden arrived in Tokyo on December 2, 2013, and departed for Beijing two days later. While it is typical for the families of the president and vice president to travel with them, questions have been raised about whether Hunter Biden used the government trip to further his business interests.

NBC reporter Josh Lederman, who was one of four reporters on the December 2013 trip, noted in an October 2, 2019, report that, “What wasn’t known then was that as he accompanied his father to China, Hunter Biden was forming a Chinese private equity fund that associates said at the time was planning to raise big money, including from China.”

His travel is only one of our inquiries.

During the last year and a half of the Obama administration, Hunter Biden served on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings while his father was heading up Ukraine policy. We are seeking records through six lawsuits and dozens of FOIA requests related to Hunter Biden’s dealings with the Ukrainian Burisma Holdings and the Chinese BHR Partners.


FDA Bought ‘Fresh’ Human Fetal Parts for ‘Humanized Mice’ Creation

Your federal government has been an active customer of the abortion industry, and we have new details of the sordid transactions.

We received 165 pages of records from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showing that between 2012 and 2018 the FDA entered into eight contracts worth $96,370 to acquire “fresh and never frozen” tissue from 1st and 2nd trimester aborted fetuses for use in creating “humanized mice” for research.

These documents are a horror show. They show that the FDA was trafficking in human fetal parts. Incredibly, there continues to be a push to reopen these monstrous experiments!

The contracts were with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), a nonprofit firm that has been the subject of criminal referrals from House and Senate committees investigating whether Planned Parenthood or any other entity was illegally profiting from the handling of fetal tissue from aborted babies.

Federal law regulates the purchase and acceptance of human fetal tissue for research purposes. It is unlawful to knowingly transfer fetal tissue for profit.

We received the records after filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department Health and Human Services (No. 1:19-cv-00876)) after HHS failed to respond adequately to our September 28, 2018, FOIA request seeking:
  • All contracts and related documentation between FDA and Advanced Biosciences Resources (ABR) for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.
  • All records reflecting the disbursement of funds to ABR for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.
  • All guidelines and procedural documents provided to ABR by FDA relating to the acquisition and extraction of human fetal tissue for its provision to the FDA for humanized mice research.
  • All communications between FDA officials and employees and representatives of ABR related to the provision by ABR to the FDA of human fetal tissue for the purpose of humanized mice research.
The records show a June 28, 2017, email exchange with the subject line “FDA RFQ” (Request for Quotation) between a redacted FDA contract specialist and an ABR official named Ms. Larton, in which the FDA official tells the ABR official, “I am tasked with the purchase of tissues suitable for HM [humanized mice] research. I would like to request a quote. Please review the Statement of Work and quote your pricing as outlined.” She then includes a table for 16 “Human Fetal Tissue – Liver”, 16 “Human Fetal Tissue – Thymus”, 16 HIV, HepA, HepB, HepC tests, and shipping and delivery. The Statement of Work notes:
The Division of Applied Regulatory Science (DARS) OCP/OTS/CDER is conducting a research program to evaluate the usefulness of humanized mice (HM) for regulatory purposes. The HM are created by surgical implantation of human tissue into mice that have multiple genetic mutations that block the development of the mouse immune system at a very early stage. The absence of the mouse immune system allows the human tissues to grow and develop into functional human tissues. As part of this process DARS needs to repeatedly acquire the proper type of tissues. In order for the humanization to proceed correctly we need to obtain fetal tissue with a specific set of specialized characteristics.
Among the specific characteristics are that the tissue be “Age range 16-24 weeks” and “Tissue must be fresh and never frozen.” An ABR official responds, saying, “Your quote is attached.”

In a June 12, 2017, email thread related to a “contract closeout” of a $24,500 contract between the FDA and ABR in a project titled “Human Tissue,” an FDA official emails an ABR official asking to “confirm all the items/services requested under this order were delivered and all payments processed, so that I may close out this contract…. Our records indicate funds in the amount of $15,090.00 to be de-obligated as a result of this closeout.”

A screenshot of a database (called UFMS) print-out indicates a “Matched Amount” of $9,410. The difference between the “matched amount” and the contract value is $15,090. An ABR official responds on June 26, 2017, saying, “I confirm there are no outstanding invoices or [redacted] P.O. #HHSF223201510746P, and it is my understanding that there are no pending requests for tissue procurements on this P.O. at this time.”

In an email thread beginning July 14, 2017, an FDA contracting specialist advises ABR that, “In order to properly document pricing, I require some documentation of your prices as offered to the public.” They ask for either redacted invoices or “a place on your website that lists prices.” An ABR representative responds:
We do not have a website, and we don‘t allow ‘the public’ to request tissue. It is only sent to verified researchers who have applied and have been approved to receive tissue.
As we are not selling items, we do not have prices. We assess fees for our services. The only document provided then to qualified recipients would be our Fees For Services Schedule. I’ve attached another copy of our current Fee Schedule for your reference. We’re a small non-profit company, and the fees are the same for everyone.
I hope this fulfills your requirement. We’ve done business with the F.D.A. for many years and we‘ve not experienced such rigorous procedures for the production of purchase orders. Will this process be necessary for each P.O. created now?
The “Fees for Services Schedule” provided by ABR lists “Fetal Cadaverous Specimen Procurement” that includes pricing for “2nd trimester specimen (13 – 24 weeks)” and “1st trimester specimen (8 – 12 weeks),” with the pricing amounts redacted. Under a section titled “Special Processing/Preservation” are fees for “Specimen ‘cleaning,’” “Snap freezing (LN2),” “Passive freezing (dry ice)” and “Foreign shipments.”

A July 25, 2018, FDA “Order for Supplies or Services” to ABR called for the purchase of “humanized mice” for the period July 26, 2018, to July 25, 2019, for a contract amount of $15,900. The contract called for the provision of 15 sets of second trimester livers and thymuses, along with associated “HIV/HA/HB blood testing,” and shipping.

In a September 17, 2018, email from the FDA to ABR notifying ABR of the “Closeout” of a contract for “Tissue procurement for humanized mice”, the FDA notes the contract value was $9,900, and that remaining funds of $2,430 for the purchase order existed. The FDA asks ABR to “confirm if all the items/services requested under this order were delivered so that I may close out this contract.” The responding ABR official notes that the FDA said that no invoices were submitted under the purchase order, and the ABR official adds that the FDA acknowledged that “there is a $7,470 difference between the noted Contract Value of $9,900 and REMAINING FUNDS of $2,430.” ABR further advises they would submit nine invoices under the contract, all of which were paid.

On September 24, 2018, the FDA terminated a contract with ABR to provide fetal tissue, saying: “[T]he Government is not sufficiently assured that the human tissue provided to the Government to humanize the immune systems of mice will comply with the prohibitions set forth under 42 U.S.C. § 289g-2.” The letter adds that “[T]he Government has concerns with the sufficiency of the sole-source justification.”

The law 42 USC 289g-2 involves “Prohibitions regarding human fetal tissue.”

HHS said in a statement on September 24, 2018, that it was “conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations.”

In February, we uncovered 676 pages of records from NIH showing that the agency paid thousands of dollars to California-based ABR to purchase organs from aborted human fetuses to create “humanized mice” for HIV research.

These documents are the most disturbing I’ve reviewed in my 22 years at Judicial Watch. Both the Trump administration and Congress should launch emergency investigations into this barbarism.

Until next week …