Category Archives: Profiteering

How Mis- And Disinformation Campaigns Online Kneecap Coronavirus Response – Note

NewsGuard, a startup by two former journalists that vets the internet for misinformation, has identified 217 websites in Europe and the United States that publish “materially false” information about COVID-19. The volume is so great that NewsGuard, which was launched to check political fabrications, has pivoted to full-time COVID-19 fact-checking.

 

Source: How Mis- And Disinformation Campaigns Online Kneecap Coronavirus Response – Note

US buys up world stock of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir | US news | The Guardian – (3-month supply from sole source Gilead – who recently bought a lot of Gilead stock?)

The Trump administration has now bought more than 500,000 doses, which is all of Gilead’s production for July and 90% of August and September. (Sets stage for only rich getting the medicine and Gilead getting $3,000 per patient)

Source: US buys up world stock of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir | US news | The Guardian

Two Friends in Texas Were Tested for Coronavirus. One Bill Was $199. The Other? $6,408. – The New York Times

The emergency room charged Mr. Harvey $199 in cash. Ms. LeBlanc, who paid with insurance, was charged $6,408. “I assumed, like an idiot, it would be cheaper to use my insurance than pay cash right there,” Ms. LeBlanc said. “This is 32 times the cost of what my friend paid for the exact same thing.” Ms. LeBlanc’s health insurer negotiated the total bill down to $1,128. The plan said she was responsible for $928 of that. During the pandemic, there has been wide variation between what providers bill for the same basic diagnostic test, with some charging $27, others $2,315. It turns out there is also significant variation in how much a test can cost two patients at the same location.

After Functioning for 28 Days, U.S. Election Regulator Will Be Powerless Again – The New York Times – AKA: Koch Brothers buy out commissioner to cripple agency that monitors elections.

Ms. Hunter, whose resignation will take effect July 3, said that she planned to join Stand Together, a philanthropic organization founded by the billionaire Charles G. Koch. She has served on the commission since 2008, when President George W. Bush nominated her to the post. Her term technically expired in April 2013, and she and two fellow commissioners — one Democrat and one independent — have continued to serve beyond their respective terms while waiting for the president and the Senate to replace or renominate them.

Corona in the Slaughterhouse: The High Price of Cheap Meat – DER SPIEGEL

The coronavirus outbreaks in the meat plants – with 1,400 cases in the Rheda-Wiedenbrück factory alone, combined with lockdowns this week in the regions surrounding the towns of Guterslöh and Warendorf – is forcing us not only to address the question as to why the virus is able to spread so quickly in slaughterhouses. It is also shining the spotlight on the industry as a whole: What actually goes on in the meatpacking industry? What conditions are workers forced to endure? And is it worth it for a couple slices of ham on your breakfast sandwich?

Source: Corona in the Slaughterhouse: The High Price of Cheap Meat – DER SPIEGEL

A Company Run by a White House “Volunteer” With No Experience in Medical Supplies Got $2.4 Million From the Feds for Medical Supplies — ProPublica

Mathew J. Konkler, who worked in the Department of Defense during the George W. Bush administration, formed BlackPoint Distribution Company LLC in August 2019 in Indiana, state records show, but had won no federal work until May 26. The Bureau of Prisons chose the company with limited competition for a contract to supply surgical gowns to its facilities.

It is at least the second contract awarded to a company formed by an individual who had worked in or volunteered for the Trump administration; a company formed by Zach Fuentes, a former White House deputy chief of staff, won a $3 million contract just days after forming to supply face masks to the Indian Health Service. The masks did not meet FDA standards for use in health care settings, and an IHS spokesman said this week that the agency is trying to return the masks to Fuentes. Members of Congress called for investigations into the contract, and the Government Accountability Office now plans to review the deal “in the coming few months, as staff become available,” spokesman Charles Young said last week.

Source: A Company Run by a White House “Volunteer” With No Experience in Medical Supplies Got $2.4 Million From the Feds for Medical Supplies — ProPublica

Toxic Ghosts – The New York Times

Throughout the entire site the E.P.A. found volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and high concentrations of metals and cyanide. The creek, groundwater and the marsh were also contaminated. Arsenic, nickel, iron and manganese were discovered in plumes that flowed into the marsh and, eventually, into Country Pond, where residents in the 1970s reported fish kills.

Now, decades later, there are fresh worries that water near the site is contaminated by PFAS, a ubiquitous family of chemicals that can be found in nonstick cookware, stain-resistant rugs, firefighting foams and other common products. PFAS have been linked to a litany of serious health problems, including autoimmune diseases (like ulcerative colitis) and some cancers.

‘They Just Dumped Him Like Trash’: Nursing Homes Evict Vulnerable Residents – The New York Times

More than any other institution in America, nursing homes have come to symbolize the deadly destruction of the coronavirus crisis. More than 51,000 residents and employees of nursing homes and long-term care facilities have died, representing more than 40 percent of the total death toll in the United States. But even as they have been ravaged, nursing homes have also been enlisted in the response to the outbreak. They are taking on coronavirus-stricken patients to ease the burden on overwhelmed hospitals — and, at times, to bolster their bottom lines.

The Trump Administration Paid Millions for Test Tubes — and Got Unusable Mini Soda Bottles — ProPublica (Pathetic incompetence!)

The Fillakit deal shows the perils of the Trump administration’s frantic hiring of first-time federal contractors with little scrutiny during the pandemic. The federal government has awarded more than $2 billion to first-time contractors for work related to the coronavirus, a ProPublica analysis of purchasing data shows. Many of those companies, like Fillakit, had no experience with medical supplies.

The U.S. has lagged behind many European countries in its rate of testing people for the coronavirus, partly because of supply shortages or inadequacies. Epidemiologists say testing is vital to tracking the virus and slowing transmission. In at least one state, the shipment of unusable Fillakit tubes contributed to delays in rolling out widespread testing.

“They’re the most unusable tubes I’ve ever seen,” said a top public health scientist in that state, who asked to remain anonymous to protect his job. “They’re going to sit in a warehouse and no one can use them. We won’t be able to do our full plan.”

Source: The Trump Administration Paid Millions for Test Tubes — and Got Unusable Mini Soda Bottles — ProPublica