“Irreparable Harms”: How the Flynn Case Became a Dangerous Game of Legal Improvisation

Author: Jonathan Turley

Below is my column in USA Today on the D.C. Circuit ordering Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. After this column ran, new evidence emerged that further undermined the FBI and the targeting of Flynn, as discussed in  another recent column. Notes from fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok show that former FBI Director James Comey told President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that Flynn’s call to the Russian diplomat “appear legit.” Nevertheless, Biden (who denied having anything to do with the case) is noted as raising the idea of a charge under the facially unconstitutional Logan Act, a law that has never been used successfully to charge a single person since the beginning of this Republic. Comey of course was the one who later bragged that he “probably wouldn’t have … gotten away with it”  in other administrations, but he sent “a couple guys over” to question Flynn, who was settling into his new office as national security adviser. We now know that, when Comey broke protocols and sent the agents, he thought the calls were legitimate and that agents wanted to dismiss the investigation in December for lack of evidence. They were prevented from doing so as Strzok, Biden, and others discussed other crimes, any crime, to nail Flynn just before the start of the Trump Administration.

If all of that seems “illegitimate” and “irregular,” it pales in comparison to how two judges on the D.C. panel reviewed the handling of the Flynn case by Judge Emmet Sullivan. It seems that everyone from the President to the Vice President to the FBI Director to ultimately the federal judge have engaged in a dangerous form of improvisational law when it came to Michael Flynn. That will now hopefully end though many questions still remain.
It is possible for Judge Sullivan to appeal, though the upcoming hearing on Flynn has been removed from the docket.

Here is the column:

The dismissal of the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn sent shock waves across Washington, including Congress which was hours away from a hearing addressing the case. Any appellate decision taking unprecedented measures to stop “irreparable harms” and “irregular” conduct is newsworthy. However, those admonishments were not describing Flynn’s conduct but that of his trial judge, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. The D.C. Circuit panel took the exceptionally rare step of ordering Sullivan to stop further proceedings and dismiss the case to avoid further damage caused by his prior orders.

The case should have been dismissed

One month ago, I wrote a column criticizing the handling of the Flynn case by Judge Sullivan after the government moved to dismiss its own prosecution.
The law in this case is clear and the case should have been dismissed. Instead, Sullivan took the extraordinary action of appointing a retired judge, John Gleeson, to argue positions that neither of the actual parties supported. Gleeson not only had publicly denounced the administration over its handling of the case but, as a judge, was reversed for “irregular” conduct in usurping the authority of prosecutors. In addition, Sullivan suggested that he might charge Flynn with perjury for alleging that he was wrongly charged despite the support of the Justice Department in finding abuses in his case.
Criticizing Sullivan, who I have appeared before for years as counsel and previously complimented for his demeanor, was not popular. Legal analysts in The Washington Post, CNN and other outlets insisted that his actions were entirely appropriate and justified. Yet, another letter from “former prosecutors” was given unquestioning media coverage to show that Sullivan should deny the motion in the case.

In an opinion piece, UCLA Law Professor and former U.S. Attorney under Bill Clinton, Harry Litman even explained how Sulllivan could “make trouble” for the Trump administration in these hearings. Litman insisted that I was “a very lonely voice in the wilderness” of academia in contesting the use of an outside lawyer to make arguments in a criminal trial case that neither the defense nor the prosecution supported.
The wilderness now appears to include at least two other voices from the D.C. Circuit. The panel specifically denounced the “irregular” use of Gleeson and his hyperbolic arguments in the case. Gleeson suggested that the court should actually send Flynn to jail despite prosecutors raising evidence of misconduct and abuse as the basis for dismissal. He also argued that, rather than give Flynn a trial on a new charge from Sullivan of perjury, Flynn should just be sentenced in light of such perjury as part of his prior non-perjury charge.
Even for those of us who believed that Sullivan was operating well outside of the navigational beacons for a court in such case, the decision was breathtaking. Most of us expected that the appellate court would remand the case to allow Sullivan a face-saving hearing with an inevitable order to dismiss. The panel, however, clearly had little trust in the plans for this hearing or any true judicial purpose. Indeed, it may have been convinced that the primary purpose was indeed to “make trouble” for the administration.
As some of us wrote previously, the appellate court was particularly alarmed by the implications of Sullivan’s orders, including noting that the “invitation to members of the general public to appear as amici…” The panel said that such an invitation by Sullivan “suggests anything but a circumscribed review.” Moreover, it noted that the Justice Department had submitted troubling evidence of possible misconduct. And that “each of our three coequal branches should be encouraged to self-correct when it errs.”

Gleeson, wrong appointment

The greatest irony is that Sullivan’s unwise decision to appoint Gleeson to make the case was perhaps too successful. Gleeson ultimately proved not the case against Flynn but against Sullivan. In reviewing Gleeson’s brief, the panel declared “we need not guess if this irregular and searching scrutiny will continue; it already has.” The panel noted that Sullivan’s appointed counsel “relied on news stories, tweets, and other facts outside the record to contrast the government’s grounds for dismissal here with its rationales for prosecution in other cases.”

The panel was also aware of past concerns raised in the case, including the rather bizarre first sentencing hearing held in December 2018. In that hearing, Sullivan suggested that Flynn might be guilty of treason in a case involving comparatively minor charges of false statements to federal investigators. Sullivan dramatically used the flag in the courtroom as a prop and accused Flynn of being “an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser to the president of the United States. Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out.” (He later apologized for his comments.)
The irony, however, is that Sullivan proved the best thing that could have happened to Flynn. After that unnerving exchange, Sullivan asked if Flynn still wanted him to sentence him or wait. He indicated that he might go substantially beyond what Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team had demanded. Flynn wisely decided to wait. The resulting delay allowed the damaging evidence from his case to be review and released. Had Sullivan simply sentenced Flynn last December, it would have been much more difficult for Flynn to have raised these issues.
Sullivan then handed down his novel orders including appointing his own counsel to argue for prosecution against the actual prosecutors.

This record proved too much for the appellate court. Rather than order Sullivan off the case, it decided to order Sullivan to dismiss the case. Short of an order of actual recusal of a judge, a mandamus order is the most stinging indictment of the handling of a case that can come from an appellate court.
The ruling in this case is unlikely to force any real circumspection by legal analysts or the media in the prior coverage. Nuanced legal questions quickly evaporate in this age of rage. Conflicting case law is dismissed in favor of the clarity demanded by echo journalism. The law however brings its own clarity and the message of this opinion could not be clearer. Sullivan’s actions in the case did not spell “trouble” for the Trump administration, but rather, they spelled trouble for the administration of justice in our court system.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley

DeWine is Delinquent When it Comes to Schools Reopening

Every year right before Independence Day stores begin to fill up their shelves with backpacks and an array of school supplies. It is a time-honored tradition.

But this year Ohio parents remain in limbo regarding their children’s education opportunities this fall. To date, Governor DeWine has not publicly stated whether public schools will reopen this fall and if so what the parameters for the opening will include. Will schools be open part of the week and home schooled the other part, or just fulltime home schooling, no one knows.

This lack of guidance is adding to the stress on families. Those impacted especially hard are parents who work. They either need to find someone to take care of their child during the work day or leave their job. If they continue to work from home due to COVID-19 they have the added challenge of home schooling their public-school student and juggling their job at the same time.

For parents who take on the additional financial burden of sending their child to parochial, religious, or private schools the issue is even more cumbersome.

One family whose six children attend Catholic school has already made the “heartbreaking” decision they will not spend the money to send their children to parochial school next year.

“The Governor could shutter the school again at any time making the financial risk of paying for a religious education for our children too great.” The parent continued, “Many of the families from our school are also facing this tough decision.”

They are considering joining a home-schooling network for their children.

The fiscal impact on Catholic, and other private schools could easily result in permanent closures.

For many parents the burden of online education either public or private is too great. First there is the cost of securing computers for all or most the children in the home. Not all communities have access to the internet. Parents have reported the online classroom appear to be unorganized and thrown together. They require parents to be hands on throughout the day to ensure their child is learning. Parents have to snap photo’s or fax in copies of their children homework each day. The onus for learning is on the parent not the teacher or the online program. One parent was stunned when they realized they couldn’t help their child with the new common core math.

“I went to help my daughter with math only to realize they don’t teach children to carry the tens any longer. It’s all about boxes and approximation.”

Another parent is so stressed working a minimum wage job with odd hours that they simply have given up on trying to ensure their child is receiving any instruction at all.

“I wasn’t good in school and now with working odd hours, it is too much for me to try to teach my child too.”

With no children under the age of 20 dying from COVID-19 Governor DeWine must assess the high cost of children losing another year of education during his shut down or fully re-opening schools.

While DeWine ponders his options, stressed out parent are already scrambling to make theirs.

Ragged Old Flag Proud

Johnny Cash said it best. ‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged old flag.

By Del Duduit

Everyone likes music and songs.
I have a variety of musicians I enjoy listening to.
A few months ago, Angie and I visited Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley and we got a taste of what it was like to live like a King.
Within the span of a few weeks, about three years ago, we watched Norah Jones perform in Washington D.C. and then Columbus, Ohio.
I like a mixture of classics, blues and jazz and some country.
But one of my all-time favorite writers and singers was Johnny Cash.
He was a rebel at times throughout his career, but you could never question his patriotic flare.
One of the songs he wrote applies today, especially since we just celebrated Flag Day.
There are things that happen in this nation that I don’t agree with but can try to understand circumstances.
People have the right to protest events or happenings I might not like but that is what makes the United States of America the greatest nation on the planet.
But I cannot understand why any person who lives here would burn the symbol of freedom – our flag.
Johnny Cash wrote a song in 1974 amidst the Watergate scandal to let everyone know how he felt about the red, white and blue.
This nation is not perfect, but it’s the greatest in the word, and we should appreciate its heritage.
The song became a mainstay in his shows, and he often preceded it with this quote:
“I thank God for all the freedom we have in this country, I cherish them and treasure them – even the right to burn the flag,” he said. “We also got the right to bear arms, and if you burn my flag — I’ll shoot you.”
Read the lyrics to this magnificent song; “Ragged Old Flag” and listen to Cash’s version of his song. Johnny Cash, Ragged Old Flag audio
I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench an old man was sitting there
I said, your old courthouse is kinda run down
He said, no, it’ll do for our little town
I said, your old flagpole has leaned a little bit
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hanging on it
He said, have a seat, and I sat down
Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?
I said, I think it is
He said, I don’t like to brag
But we’re kinda proud of that ragged old flag
You see, we got a little hole in that flag there when
Washington took it across the Delaware
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing say can you see
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin’ at its seams
And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg
And the south wind blew hard on that ragged old flag
On Flanders field in World War One
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun
She turned blood red in World War Two
She hung limp and low a time or two
She was in Korea and Vietnam
She went where she was sent by Uncle Sam
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
And now they’ve about quit waving her back here at home
In her own good land here she’s been abused
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied, and refused
And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land
And she’s getting threadbare and wearing thin
But she’s in good shape for the shape she’s in
‘Cause she’s been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more
So we raise her up every morning
We take her down every night
We don’t let her touch the ground and we fold her up right
On second thought, I do like to brag
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged old flag.
Events over the past few weeks have brought about confusion and discouragement when I think about how men and women died so some could do what they are doing today with our flag.
This is a lack of respect for authority, life, and God. But it’s not too late to turn the corner.
I wish everyone would love our country the way I do and enjoy the freedom we have in the USA, while it lasts.

Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.

Ohio Elder Abuse Day Tarnished by Governor’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Crisis

Families are unable to be with their loved one at their hour of greatest need.

Today Ohio recognizes Elder Abuse Day with the slogan, “If you see something say something.”

Well we see something unthinkable happening in Ohio’s nursing homes, the unchecked spread of COVID-19 and the unspeakable abuse of separating vulnerable patients from their loved ones.

Ohio has over 2000 COVID-19 nursing home deaths which represents 71% of the total deaths in Ohio. Yet, the Governor, Lt. Governor and former Health Director focused their efforts on business and school closures. They prioritized testing in the Ohio prison system and not nursing homes. They went so far as to release prisoners from lockup to help decrease the spread of the disease.

There has been no such effort to increase testing in care facilities or relocate nursing home patients to help stop the spread of infection.

Perhaps even more incomprehensible is the Governor, Lt. Governor and former Health Directors decision to prohibit family members from having access to their loved ones in the nursing homes. The elderly are passing away without their loved ones, and families are unable to be with their loved one at their hour of greatest need.

More than three months into the coronavirus pandemic, around 70,000 Ohio nursing home residents remain in visitor isolation. Those in assisted living facilities or homes for people with disabilities can have only restricted outdoor visits. Dayton Daily News

Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted are promoting new pop-up testing sites around Ohio. The trouble is, individuals who are in nursing homes can’t travel to a pop-up site to secure testing.

Why the delay is addressing the source of Ohio’s COVID19 epidemic?

As we acknowledge Elder Abuse Day, let’s take a moment to ask the Governor and his team critical questions about the ongoing crisis in Ohio’s nursing homes.

Commentary: The “New” Democratic Party is a Scary Place

Commentary by Cheryl Stephen & Del Duduit

The Democratic party has been hijacked.

What was once a proud centrist party for the working-class has been commandeered by left-wing radical socialists.

Now, it appears that Black Lives Matter and the militant anti-American group Antifa has also carved out a spot in the platform.

Recent events show just how far the party has fallen in a few years.

Major cities with Democrat leaders have been taken over by rioters, looters, criminals and arsonists. Blocks of city streets have been destroyed and a portion of Seattle, Washington has been claimed by radicals.

Thugs have proclaimed a six-block section of Seattle a ‘No Cop Co-Op’ zone called CHAZ that has its members armed, which the mayor calls a peaceful demonstration. She is delusional.

Instead of confronting the law breakers, Democrat leaders take a knee and bow before them.

This new breed of progressive Democrats has taken control in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and other urban centers that are now under siege.

The party’s decent into darkness can be traced back to Marxist billionaire George Soros.

Soros donated $5.1 million to promote Democratic candidates in the 2020 election, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. This is just a fraction of the $20 million Soros gave the Democratic party in 2016 – and this includes only documented amounts. Read: Billionaire George Soros Creates Super PAC to support 2020 Democrats

Why is this Hungarian follower of Marxism financing the Democrat candidates? And why are they following his lead?

Soros has provided financial backing to Black Lives Matter and is linked to militant Antifa. Soros funds over 200 active left-wing organizations in the U.S.

BLM received at least $33 million from Soros since 2016.

Soros also bought out our news media – to the tune of $48 million. It’s a strategy that Soros has been deploying in the media in both the United States and abroad since 2003. He’s had a plan to bring down America for a long time.

The scheme to abolish police departments is not new. It’s been a pet-project of Soros’ for decades.

What will these Democrat-run cities do without a police presence? Soros may have a plan for that.

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, a group that contends that when a state proves either unable or unwilling to protect civilians from mass atrocities occurring within its borders, it is the responsibility of the international community to intervene — peacefully if possible, but with military force if necessary.  Soros funds this organization.

Soros backs Midwest Academy, an entity that has trained tens of thousands of radical activists in the tactics of direct action, targeting, confrontation, and intimidation – tactics used in riots.

The Democratic party of today is nothing like what we remember.

There is no way Democrats 10 or 20 years ago would have agreed with these antics or philosophy.

The new Democratic party is a scary place.

UPDATED: Governor DeWine Suppresses Data Disproving COVID-19 Policies

Ohio Governor DeWine, Director of Health Acton and Lt.
Governor Husted started handling the Coronavirus outbreak with faulty modeling, while ignoring critical real-time data. Now the trio suppresses critical data. Ohioans: aware, enraged and bracing to fight for the truth.

The backdrop

COVID-19 first made an indelible mark on Ohioans when
Governor Mike DeWine canceled the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival, which was
schedule to start March 5.
On March 16, Governor DeWine backed a lawsuit seeking to
postpone the primary election scheduled for the next day. The suit was filed by Ohioans who feared voting in person would expose voters and poll workers to COVID-19.

 Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Fry declined to postpone the election, but Fry’s decision did not stop DeWine. On March 9, Executive Order 2020-01D declared a state of emergency. In the late
hours of election eve, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton issued an order to force the polls closed. The Director’s powers are granted by the Ohio Revised Code.
On March 23, DeWine announced a two-week shelter-in-place
plan, made enforceable because Ohio was in a state of emergency. By that date, the world had seen horrifying videos and data on the COVID-19 outbreak in northern Italy.
If the Governor’s announcement and citizens’ compliance
constitutes a social contract, as DeWine has said in press conferences, then that contract was inked on March 23, 2020. DeWine promised to make decisions based on the best science, medicine, and data, and to deploy all necessary resources to flatten the curve and ramp hospital capacity. DeWine and his team also pledged to be transparent with data. Ohioans committed to stay home to flatten the curve and buy hospitals time.

Early data flawed

Nearly a week before the stay-at-home order was issued, Imperial College epidemiologist Neil Ferguson  modeled the COVID-19 outbreak. Ferguson’s model became the point of reference for leaders across the globe, influencing lockouts and sheltering policies.
Ferguson himself backtracked on his model’s accuracy just
weeks later after the projections tanked. The swing and miss on COVID-19 is not Ferguson’s first projection whiff. Ferguson predicted 200 million would die from the bird flu in 2005–deaths totaled 455. In 2009 Ferguson predicted 65,000 people would die in the U.K. from swine flu—the death toll was 392.
Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton delivered
early projections and modeling based on Ferguson’s wildly inaccurate Imperial College model. Acton guessed 100,000 Ohioans were already infected when she introduced her modeling. She also projected
the COVID outbreak would: peak in April, overwhelm hospitals, produce 62,000 new cases a day and infect 40% to 70% of Ohioans. Like Ferguson’s model, Acton’s projections were exponentially inaccurate.
The ODH model was revised twice, alongside researchers at
The Ohio State University. The first revision dropped new cases per day down to 10,000, while the second revision ratcheted new cases per day down to 2,000. Outside of sampling a full prison
with thousands of inmates, Ohio has never seen more than 100 cases in any given day throughout the health emergency. Ohio has tested approximately over 9,000 inmates  and over 4,600 have tested positive.
Where Acton erred on projections, Ohioans extended grace
because COVID-19 was pitched as a novel virus without clear data on contagiousness, how it spreads, who is at risk and how many people would need hospital and intensive care.
Up-front information did exist—information directly related
to COVID-19, and studies related to the secondary impact of shut-it-all-down policies.

Early data ignored

Information out of Italy and China revealed two critical factors
DeWine and Acton could have used to laser-focus their response to Coronavirus: 1) people aged 79 and older with other diseases are most at risk for serious health outcomes, especially death; 2) People
above 30 with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease were at
accelerated risk, though much lower than risks to the age ranges 60-80 years and older.
Information out of Italy and China was available before ODH
Director Amy Acton signed the first stay-at-home order.
The perils of economic fallout and sheltering-in-place were
also documented for consideration as the administration formed policies.
After the first SARS outbreak, Studies on the secondary impact to mental health showed serious distress among those quarantined, causing PTSD and depression when the sick were quarantined for just two weeks or less.
The 2008 financial crisis spiked suicides due to unemployment : rates were four-times higher; a 1% increase in unemployment resulted in a 1% increase in suicides among males.
Instead of using a scalpel to carve-out policies to target
the most vulnerable, alleviate economic impact and spare the uninfected from sheltering, DeWine, Acton and Husted did the opposite—they swung a wrecking ball.
What we know today about COVID-19, we knew in March. Regardless, Acton, DeWine and Husted implemented draconian measures and then defended their decisions by pointing to data and case studies from the Spanish Flu pandemic, which happened over 100 years earlier.
Acton shared a tale of two cities: Philadelphia and St.
Louis. Philadelphia was not as diligent about sheltering, resulting in higher
infections and deaths. St. Louis was compliant and produced fewer infections and deaths. Ohioans were encouraged to be like St. Louis. nd deaths. Ohioans were encouraged to be like St. Louis.
According to the CDC, sheltering-in-place, social distancing, disinfecting, and practicing good hygiene made sense in 1917—it was, essentially, all the world had to combat the H1N1 outbreak. Influenza vaccines did not yet exist, did antibiotics for secondary infections did not exist (secondary infections drove the second surge of the Spanish Flu), nor did pharmaceutical interventions for therapeutic relief.
The Spanish flu killed children under five (5), healthy
adults aged 20-40 and elderly over age 65. A much larger percentage of the
population was at risk of death during the 1917 pandemic than people in 2020 exposed to COVID-19.
Technology, communication, vaccines, therapeutic drugs and
overall healthcare have made leaps and bounds forward since 1917 and have
enabled us to better navigate the dangers of a pandemic.

We did our part

If early models and comparisons to the 1917 pandemic did
anything to Ohioans, they manipulated emotions and produced compliance. And perhaps that was the intended consequence.
People stayed home. Owners of nonessential businesses
voluntarily walked away from livelihoods. Employees worked from home, while caring for their kids and becoming their ad hoc teachers. More than a million people accepted unemployment and waited, patiently, for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to catch up.
Hospital capacity, ICU capacity and positive cases never
came close to inaccurate projections. The health system we set out to save by flattening the curve has actually been negatively impacted—the broad
cancellation of all elective procedures (including things like cancer
screenings) has led to furloughs, layoffs and loss of healthcare capacity due
to the economic consequence of not having enough patients—COVID or otherwise.
Plus, there is a broader health consequence to the mental, emotional and
physical outcomes of Ohioans that is just now starting to be understood.
Much has changed since March 23. One thing has not: DeWine’s
commitment to his early draconian measures in the face of civil opposition and contradictory data. As numbers came in supporting the fact that the massive spike in cases, deaths and hospitalizations were off-target, DeWine did not decide to come out of the lockout quickly—in fact, he doubled-down on promoting preventative measures and commissioned the creation of best practices and mandates for every business sector that businesses are required to follow in order to re-open (and in the case of businesses that were deemed essential, to stay open).

Insiders report that DeWine vehemently rejects input that
goes against his administration’s mindset, models and policies.
Legislators stepped-up opposition to Governor DeWine during
an April caucus call. According to two legislators who wished to remain
anonymous, DeWine was not only closed to different views, he was defensive and volatile, yelling at the elected officials. At one point he shrugged off questions and opposing data as conspiracy theory.
In early May, amidst rapidly growing economic distress and
civil dissension, the Ohio General Assembly and Senate began drafting
legislation designed to limit the Health Director’s powers to 14 days before involving the legislature. Legislation also sought to reduce fines and criminal penalties waged against people who defy state orders issued under the state of emergency.
Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 55 were subsequently drawn up, but even before
they reached a vote DeWine threatened to veto any legislation designed to limit Acton’s authority.

Suppressed data: Daily death totals

During each presser, Amy Acton will review the Ohio COVID-19
dashboard. You may note that Acton reports deaths as “deaths reported in the last 24 hours.”
Deaths reported in the last 24 hours are different than the actual number of deaths in the last 24 hours. The number reported includes deaths over several days, perhaps as far back as January.
The practice of using “reported” data causes the public to
perceive more cases and more deaths than are occurring in the present. The
practice is confusing the press, the public and at times even the Governor and Dr. Acton seem confused.

On May 23, the Ohio Department of Health indicated there
were 84 reported deaths over the past 24 hours. However, the real number
of deaths seven (7)—a difference of 77.
This 77 death inaccuracy was found only after reviewing the
CSV file available for download on the state dashboard site. The CSV file lists the accurate daily number of deaths—and
can be found after much digging. The CSV file also changes daily. While this
article was written, the file listed a COVID-positive test result from December 2019 that has subsequently been removed.
Inflated and inaccurate data gets picked up and reported by unsuspecting
news outlets. That, in fact, happened on May 23 when an Ohio media outlet
reported the 84 deaths under the headline:  Deaths more than double the previous 24-hour period.
Disclosing the death total as the “number of deaths reported
in the last 24 hours” neither a new practice, nor is it one without previous
contention. During a press conference on April 14 Governor DeWine repeatedly claimed 50 people died over the previous 24 hours. The actual
number of reported deaths was five (5). When confronted with the disparity, DeWine deferred to Amy Acton who said, “I think it might be a reporting lag.”

R-naught of COVID-19 in general population

The r-naught factor is a number indicating viral infectiousness. The r-naught (often expressed as R0) tells you how many people will, on average, be infected by one infected person. For example: if COVID-19 had an R0 of four, one infected person would, on average, infect four other people.
The r-naught of COVID-19 has become a data point of interest
during Governor DeWine’s daily pressers. Acton projects COVID-19 had an original r-naught of between 2.5 to 5.0. Acton and DeWine reported a current r-naught of 1 during one press conference and .8 during another.
DeWine warns if the r-naught ascends above the 1.0-1.2
range, it will set off alarm bells. Translated: an r-naught above 1.2 could trigger a rollback—shuttering businesses, locking Ohioans out of public spaces, further slowing a re-opening, while increasing pressure to comply with backdoor controls such as testing and contact tracing.
Given the importance of this measure, it makes sense to dig
into how it is reported. Not every part of the state has the same demography, population density, and the potential for a high secondary surge. The now famous ping pong ball commercial is a powerful visual, but it is based on faulty assumptions.

The video shows how one infection sets in motion a massive
chain reaction. The problem: not everyone is equidistant from each other; not everyone will contract the virus; some will not spread the virus; serious
symptoms and death will not result in over 99% of cases, once symptomatic and asymptomatic infected are counted in the mix. The video is a bogus visual representation of the spread of Coronavirus.
One solid first step to making the r-naught more meaningful requires
carving-out congregate living data sets. Congregate living includes facilities
such as nursing homes and prisons. Extracting, measuring and independently dealing with people who live in these close quarters will produce not only a more accurate r-naught for the general population, it will also produce policies that save lives inside prisons, nursing homes and long term care facilities.

Mixing congregate living with statistics from the general
population skews how infectious the virus may be to the general population. A spike in congregate living settings could equal a clampdown on the general population—it would be like punishing the entire class if one child is acting out. Like keeping the ping pong video in circulation, continuing to report and create policy with mixed data sets breeds misinformation and, frankly, panics people.

Common sense can derive that if the current r-naught is 1:1
with mixed data sets, the general population is experiencing a contagiousness that is a fraction the r-naught in congregate settings. What may be discovered once the congregate living numbers are backed out is that the r-naught is likely significantly lower in the general population than the current 1:1 or 1:.8 Understanding the difference between the r-naught in congregate settings versus the r-naught in the general population should drive more on-target mitigation and policy decisions.
On top of separating data sets for congregate living, it
also makes sense to look at each of the 88 counties differently—80 of the 88
counties will likely have r-naught values that are miniscule. Consequently,
their differences should be honored with county-varied policies that apply specifically to people in each county.

Nursing home deaths

Just two weeks ago Amy Acton estimated death rates in
nursing homes comprised just over 20% of the Ohio death toll. As reporters and citizen journalists investigated that claim, it was discovered that confirmed deaths were double Acton’s estimate. That number was based only on numbers reported since April 15. Further investigation found the percentage to be even higher. Continued digging reveals that,
as of May 21, confirmed deaths in nursing homes total 79% of the state total.
The errors in reporting and the disproportionate deaths in
long term care facilities seems to stem from mixing data sets, slow responses and an overall lack of focus on critical information. Mixing data sets from congregate settings for reporting and consideration may have been a fatal error.

The state has reported data broken-out by senior congregate
living and prisons, but did decision makers dig into the data well enough,
particularly pertaining to nursing homes, to see the magnitude of the
problem?
The administration was void of understanding on the total
number of deaths from nursing homes. This seems to signal a lack of tight focus on our senior living facilities. Consequently, was it this lack of focus that drove the less aggressive, non-compulsory tactics that could have been
deployed?
What if the state had not only segregated the data sets, but
taken strong, aggressive and compulsory action?
The slow response to directives can best be seen in the
seven-day delay in DeWine’s response to a directive from Vice President Mike Pence that called on all governors to perform testing in all their long term care facilities—all nursing home staff and patients.
Pence announced the directive on May 12. On May 19, a week later, Governor DeWine took steps to ramp testing in nursing homes— deploying the national guard to aid in testing.

In the elderly population, the time from COVID-19 onset to
death is an estimated 14 days.
Information on how to best treat nursing home residents who
contract COVID-19 is hotly contested. Kay Ball, PhD, RN, CNOR, FAAN, a 71-year-old female, contracted Coronavirus despite masking, wearing gloves and following suggested protocols. Ball’s husband, a 73-year-old male, also contracted COVID-19. They both recovered.
During an interview, Kay Ball said during her visit to the
hospital, the drug hydroxychloroquine was administered. Ball began feeling
better almost immediately. Bell also pointed out that she received a shot in
her stomach to decrease the incidence of blood clotting; she was also given
zinc and high levels of vitamin C. Whether there was one treatment, or a
combination of many, there seems to be a growing body of evidence on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, zinc and vitamin C.

There are competing stories about the efficacy of therapeutic drugs. There are also real examples of the profound impact therapeutic drugs played in staving off the worst side effects of COVID-19.There is no better time to untangle the facts surrounding the efficacy of therapeutic drugs and to cut the bureaucracy surrounding their delivery, where appropriate.
During the May 21 press conference, DeWine, et.al. seemed to
pivot away from primary COVID-19 issues, (such as nursing homes) toward larger social issues: housing, education and transportation.
The Governor is trying to spin-up an entire social movement
that takes tremendous time, energy, money and effort—and doing it while our deadliest problem goes largely unaddressed.

The transition of focus to these social issues comes at a
time when Ohio still lacks a hard-and-fast solution to the crisis in nursing
homes and is without answers on other COVID-related issues such as education, daycare and other facets of life that still come with restrictions.
The nursing home crisis is condensed to less than one
percent of our population. Residents in nursing homes are the most immobile in our communities, they are easily identified and reached.
Yet we now turn our attention and money to gigantic
initiatives DeWine’s team will try to apply to the 44,825 square-miles
comprising Ohio and its almost 12 million citizens.

Antibody testing

In early April, Amy Acton announced the Ohio Department of
Health would commission an antibody testing project that sought to randomly test 1,200-Ohioans. The purpose of the antibody testing is to determine how many Ohioans have COVID-19 antibodies. This study could tell us much about how far the virus has spread—especially since we now know it was here in early January (if not sooner), at a time when there were not mitigation strategies in place.
WMFD-TV has repeatedly requested copies of contracts with
companies chosen to do antibody testing and information has not yet been
provided.
Antibody tests could undermine the perceived severity of
COVID-19 in Ohio. Antibody tests could also prove how much more work still needs to be done to live with the presence of COVID-19.

Average age of death

During press conferences from March through May, Acton has
stated the average age of cases. That number was around 50—most recently dipping to 46.
Has she stated publicly that the median age of death is 81?
And if not, why?
A legislator, who wishes to remain anonymous says “they
[Ohio Department of Health] don’t want information that would cause people to not obey their orders.”

Surface spread and asymptomatic spread

Since the beginning of Ohio’s mitigation efforts, the CDC website  listed information explaining that viral spread on surfaces may be
possible, yet not likely, and not the main way the virus spreads. Not a
single case has been discovered through surface spread.
On May 14, the Director’s Dine Safe Ohio Order  was issued, extending mandates for restaurants and bars. In that order was language from the CDC. “The CDC reports that people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest) however some spread might be possible before people show symptoms although that is not the main way the virus spreads.”
New studies indicate asymptomatic spread is not occurring.
Instead of discussing the studies and possible implications to our daily
living, the administration continues to focus on messaging involving masks and other measures, while trumpeting the message that asymptomatic spread can kill grandmas and those most vulnerable.

Lake County Judge Eugene Lucci’s decision

During the Thursday, May 21 press conference, DeWine said Lucci’s
decision simply shortened mandates by six days. Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci actually said:

“The director (Acton)
has no statutory authority to close all businesses, including the plaintiffs’
gyms … She has acted in an impermissibly arbitrary, unreasonable, and
oppressive manner without any procedural safeguards.”

The judge ruled unconstitutional DeWine and Acton’s rules that shut down
businesses and kept people locked in their homes.
The phrase “all businesses” means just that—all businesses.
Information is valuable only when it is used
In science an experiment starts with a hypothesis and it is
either proven or disproven through experimentation. True scientists do not mold the data to a predetermined outcome.
The fact is, after approximately five months of the
Coronavirus circulating in the population, approximately 300 Ohioans have died outside of prisons and nursing homes, the high majority over 70 years old.

Asymptomatic transmission is a theory. The administration’s May 14 Order for restaurants and bars even states the CDC position on
asymptomatic spread:
“The CDC reports that people are most contagious when they
are most symptomatic (the sickest) however some spread might be possible before people show symptoms although that is not the main way the virus spreads.”
A recent study found “455 contacts were excluded from SARS-CoV2 infection and we conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic SARS-CoV2 carriers might be weak.”
The administration has engaged in the practice of
intentional selection of data to present to Ohioans—citizens who were promised data transparency and policies based on the best science.
To be clear: why DeWine is doing what he is doing is
not as important right now as how he is doing what he is doing. But input about why he is handling the crisis this way is not in short supply.
A person who has consulted with the ODH, who requested
anonymity, talked twice with high level officials inside the Ohio Department of Health and the DeWine administration. On both occasions, the advisor asked why data is suppressed and presented with a bias toward worst-case scenarios. On both occasions the advisor was told the message is packaged and delivered to change how people feel and think about Coronavirus. The end goal is to build compliance with the new normal.

Perhaps DeWine and Acton are like helicopter parents who are
alarmingly controlling and overprotective of their children. Whatever the reasoning for their overreach and unconstitutional rules, the unintended consequences of their actions now threaten to make the cure worse than the virus.
But like stubbornly protective parents, DeWine and Acton may
be hard to redirect. Judge Fry’s court ruling in March was ignored. Judge Lucci’s order from last week was ignored. The crew continues to ignore data and the unintended consequences of their policies.
It begs the question: will they ever be held accountable for
their misrepresentation of data? Remember, on March 23 we the people of Ohio accepted a social contract and we are still waiting for the faithful
delivery—but will DeWine uphold his end of the bargain?

We hear a lot about the new normal. We were doing just fine
with normal: roaring economy, no state budget deficit, kids in school and
protected, living life the way it is intended to be lived—in community.
Now we know that “normal” was happening while COVID-19 was
here from January (if not sooner) to March 23, without: unprecedented numbers of deaths, overrun hospitals and mitigation strategies to fight the virus.

How does the new normal look? The new normal is comprised of
masks, social distancing, business mandates, school shutdowns, and
lockouts.
The results: an estimated 2 million unemployed, more than 1,589 nursing home deaths, a startling number of businesses that will never re-open, and—if history repeats—a 20%-and-counting increase in suicide.

This is Jack Windsor with WMFD-TV in Mansfield. My question
is for the Governor: Sir, when will the administration target real issues
instead of applying a one-size-fits-all approach and crossing their fingers?

Catching Up with Two Local Pros

By  Del Duduit

I think I am in elite company when I say that I have coached two young men who have gone on to a higher level in professional sports.

With that, I am taking zero credit for their accomplishments.

For one baseball season, I was on the coaching staff of the American Legion Post 23 team when Dylan Shockley was on the roster in Scioto County, Ohio. My son also played with him at Minford High School.

And I also coached Zach Veach in fourth-grade basketball at Minford Primary School.

Today, Shockley is getting ready for his second season with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, while Veach is preparing for his fourth year behind the wheel in Indy Racing.

Both are seeing their wildest expectations come to life in front of them, and they are thankful for the experiences they have gained over the years.

“I’m living my dream,” Shockley said. “Every kid who played Little League dreams of this day. I’ve accomplished one goal, but I have a long way to go, and I’m looking forward to the journey.”

Veach, who is from Stockdale Ohio, will begin his fourth Indy racing season behind the wheel of his No. 26 Honda on June 6 in Fort Worth, Texas at the Texas Motor Speedway. The race will be run without fans.

“It’s going to be odd for sure,” he said of racing without spectators. “But at this point, I’m just looking forward to racing again.”

Shockley, who was drafted in the 34th round in the MLB draft in 2019, said the biggest adjustment he had to make was learning to communicate with pitchers from the Dominican Republic.

“I had to learn Spanish in like a day,” he said. “But I caught on quick and adjusted.”

Veach on the other hand, has been patient during his three years of racing at the highest level, and he is ready to collect a checkered flag.

His main goal is to win the Indianapolis 500. Last year, he weaved his way up to 4th position. But he fell back to 12th when he was involved in a five-car-crash that knocked him out of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing with 25 laps to go.

“To win Indy is why we do this,” he said. “Each year we’ve done better and made progress, but I’m ready to win.”

Both have been home during the pandemic and trying to stay in shape to prepare themselves mentally for their upcoming seasons.

Shockley has been using local private buildings and garages equipped with gear to stay fit.

“I’m itching to get out on the field,” he said.

Veach said his team has shipped in equipment to his home in Indianapolis. He notes the racing simulators and stationary bikes are nice, but they are not the same as the real thing.

“I’m ready to race,” he said.

There comes a point when you know you have reached your dreams. Shockley is close. He has jumped the first hurdle in being drafted. He must continue to prove himself and climb the ranks of the minor league system.
Veach is a member on a team that holds perhaps one of the most hallowed names in racing — Andretti Autosport.

“I grew up wanting to be like [Michael Andretti] and now he is my boss,” he said. “I wake up every day living my dream.”

Shockley realized his dream was coming true when he was invited to early Spring Training because he is a catcher, and they are in high demand during organized practice.

In the clubhouse in Bradenton, Florida, he watched MLB players with the Pirates being interviewed by the media.

“That’s going to be me one day,” he said.

For me to know both these young men is an honor. I am proud of them and what they have been able to accomplish.

I am looking forward to interviewing Shockley someday after an MLB game where he throws out a runner to win the contest.

And I can’t wait to congratulate Veach after he drinks the milk and kisses the bricks.

Well done, boys.

You have made Scioto and Pike counties proud. Thanks for letting me be a small part of your journey.

Godspeed Zach, and Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Dylan.

Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.

Ohio’s Nursing Home COVID Crisis

Are your loved ones safe?

A full 79% of Ohio’s COVID-19 related deaths are from nursing homes. This according to an investigation by WMFD out of Mansfield, Ohio titled, Governor DeWine Suppresses Data Disproving COVID-19 Policies.

The report states:

Just two weeks ago Amy Acton estimated death rates in nursing homes comprised approximately 20% of the Ohio death toll. As reporters and citizen journalists investigated that claim, it was discovered that confirmed deaths were double Acton’s estimate. Continued digging reveals that, as of May 21, confirmed deaths in nursing homes total 79% of the state total.

The errors seem to stem from mixing data sets, slow responses and an overall lack of focus on critical information. Failing to dive deep into data provided by nursing homes and other congregate care facilities may account for the utterly irresponsible handling of nursing home infections.

Mixing data sets from congregate settings (information specific to nursing homes and other congregate facilities) for reporting and consideration bypassed a crucial step in checks and balances. In fact, the mixing is a fatal error.

Melissa Williams of Wooster has a loved one in a long-term care facility.

“We are losing valuable time away from our loved ones,” said Williams, whose family member is showing signs of dementia and sometimes doesn’t recall loved ones.

“If she didn’t even know our names, does she know if she ate? Is she being fed and changed?” Williams questioned.

“DeWine stated they locked family members out to keep our elderly from getting CV but yet he allowed the staff to give it to the patients. He needs to allow us back in to advocate for them once again because, without us, they are suffering and it’s heart wrenching.”

Recently William’s family went to the nursing facility to visit through a window with their loved one. When they arrived, they were told by staff that they could only speak to her on the telephone, said Williams.

“We had to make a call to her which confuses her because she has dementia and thinks she has to look at the phone because of prior FaceTime calls.”
The family left in tears and fearing for their family member’s safety and well-being. “It’s so sad, heartbreaking and so unnecessary.”

The media has been asking for numbers exclusive to nursing homes for weeks. And once the numbers were made available, they raised more questions than provided answer. Why did Governor DeWine, Jon Husted and Dr. Acton ignore Ohio’s top hotspot of infection? Why has Governor DeWine, Jon Husted and Dr. Acton focused their efforts and financial resources on contact tracing when science has determined the hot spot for the infection is 1) in nursing homes, and 2) in prisons?

Daniel Morris’s grandfather was in a facility in Tallmadge, Ohio. He recently passed away after testing positive for COVID-19. Before his passing, he was placed in isolation for 14 days with no visitors and no access to a telephone, after which the facility discovered that the test was a false positive.

The family was then notified that he was dying, and they could come to say goodbye.

Morris said the facility continued classifying and treating his grandfather as COVID-positive even though the result was proven false.

“They had no IV’s on him, and he was pretty much dying I think of dehydration,” said Morris.

“They called Hospice in and Hospice said because he tested positive for COVID-19 that they are going to treat it as COVID-19.”

After his grandfather’s passing, Morris said they received a call from the funeral home stating that his grandfather’s death was reported to them as COVID-19.

“Something has to be done about this. There are probably many families who have experienced this,” said Morris.

On May 26th nearly two and a half months after the Governor closed Ohio for business, he has announced he will test all staff and some residents at nursing home facilities. As WMFD reported.

Nursing homes and prisons produce extremely disproportionate
infection rates—and disproportionate deaths in the case of nursing homes. What if the state would have previously segregated the data sets and treated themdifferently—how many lives could have been saved in long term care  facilities, jails and prisons?

Governor DeWine, Jon Husted and Dr. Acton knowingly hid critical health care information from Ohioans. Families made decisions on their loved one’s care based on the daily information provided by the trio. How many deaths could have been prevented if caregivers had been properly informed? Legislators are calling for the return of oversight over the Ohio Department of Health as it relates to pandemic crisis management. There have also been calls seeking the resignation of Dr. Acton.

Governor DeWine Suppresses Data Disproving COVID-19 Policies

By Jack Winsdor, repost

Ohio Governor DeWine, Director of Health Acton and Lt.
Governor Husted started handling the Coronavirus outbreak with faulty modeling, while ignoring critical real-time data. Now the trio suppresses critical data. Ohioans: aware, enraged and bracing to fight for the truth.

The backdrop: COVID-19 first made an indelible mark on Ohioans when
Governor Mike DeWine canceled the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival, which was
schedule to start March 5.

On March 16, Governor DeWine backed a lawsuit seeking to
postpone the primary election scheduled for the next day. The suit was filed by Ohioans who feared voting in person would expose voters and poll workers to COVID-19.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Fry declined to postpone
the election, but Fry’s decision did not stop DeWine. In the late hours of
election eve, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton declared a
healthcare emergency to force polls closed. The emergency powers are granted by the Ohio Revised Code and have been in effect since March 16.

On March 23, DeWine announced a two-week shelter-in-place
plan, made legally binding by Acton’s emergency order. By that date, the world had seen horrifying videos and read data on the COVID-19 outbreak in northern Italy.

If the Governor’s announcement and citizens’ compliance
constitutes a social contract, as DeWine has said in press conferences, then that contract was inked on March 23, 2020. DeWine promised to make decisions based on the best science, medicine, and data, and to deploy all necessary resources to flatten the curve and ramp hospital capacity. DeWine and his team also pledged to be transparent with data. Ohioans committed to stay home to flatten the curve and buy hospitals time.

Early data flawed
Nearly a week before the stay-at-home order was issued, Imperial College epidemiologist Neil Ferguson modeled the COVID-19 outbreak. Ferguson’s model became the point of reference forleaders across the globe, influencing lockouts and sheltering policies.

Ferguson himself backtracked on his model’s accuracy just
weeks later after the projections tanked. The swing and miss on COVID-19 is not Ferguson’s first projection whiff. Ferguson predicted 200 million would die from the bird flu in 2005–deaths totaled 455. In 2009 Ferguson predicted 65,000 people would die in the U.K. from swine flu—the death toll was 392.

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton delivered
early projections and modeling based on Ferguson’s wildly inaccurate Imperial College model. Acton guessed 100,000 Ohioans were already infected when she introduced her modeling. She also projected the
COVID outbreak would peak in April and overwhelm hospitals, produce 62,000 new cases a day and infect 40% to 70% of Ohioans. Like Ferguson’s model, Acton’s projections were exponentially inaccurate.

The ODH model was revised twice, the first time revising new
cases per day to 10,000, the second revision ratcheting new cases down to 2,000 new per day. Outside of sampling a full prison with thousands of inmates, Ohio has never seen more than 100 cases in any given day throughout the health emergency.

Where Acton erred on projections, Ohioans extended grace
because COVID-19 was pitched as a novel virus without clear data on contagiousness, how it spreads, who is at risk and how many people would need hospital and intensive care.

Up-front information did exist—information directly related
to COVID-19, and studies related to the secondary impact of shut-it-all-down policies.

Early data ignored
Whether willfully or ignorantly, important information was ignored.
The information that could have been used to direct public policy and
mitigation strategies.

Information out of Italy and China revealed two critical factors DeWine and Acton could have used to laser-focus their response to Coronavirus: 1) people aged 79 and older with other diseases are most at risk for serious health outcomes, especially death; 2) People above 30 with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease were at accelerated risk, though much lower than risks to the age ranges 60-80 years and older. No one below 30 died from Coronavirus.

This information was clear even before Ohio Department of
Health Director Amy Acton signed the first stay-at-home order.
The perils of economic fallout and sheltering-in-place were
also documented for consideration as the administration formed policies.

After the first SARS outbreak, Studies on the secondary impact to mental health showed serious distress among those quarantined, causing PTSD and depression when the sick were quarantined for just two weeks or less.
The 2008 financial crisis spiked suicides due to unemployment: rates were four-times higher; a 1% increase in unemployment resulted in a 1% increase in suicides among males.

Instead of using a scalpel to carve-out policies to target the most vulnerable, alleviate economic impact and spare the uninfected from
sheltering, DeWine, Acton and Husted did the opposite—they swung a wrecking ball.

What we know today about COVID-19, we knew in March. Regardless, Acton, DeWine and Husted implemented draconian measures and then defended their decisions by marketing the doom and gloom from the Spanish Flu pandemic, which happened over 100 years earlier.

Acton shared a tale of two cities: Philadelphia and St. Louis. Philadelphia was not as diligent about sheltering, resulting in higher
infections and deaths. St. Louis was compliant and produced fewer infections and deaths. Ohioans were encouraged to be like St. Louis.

According to the CDC, sheltering-in-place, social distancing, disinfecting, and practicing good hygiene made sense in 1917—it was, essentially, all the world had to combat the H1N1 outbreak. Influenza vaccines did not yet exist, nor did antibiotics for secondary infections (secondary infections drove the second surge of the Spanish Flu). Pharmaceutical interventions for therapy also did not exist.

The Spanish flu killed children under five (5), healthy
adults aged 20-40 and elderly over age 65. A much larger percentage of the
population was at risk of death during the 1917 pandemic than people in 2020exposed to COVID-19.

Technology, communication, vaccines, therapeutic drugs and
overall healthcare have made leaps and bounds forward since 1917 and have
enabled us to better navigate the dangers of a pandemic.

We did our part
If early models and comparisons to the 1917 pandemic did
anything to Ohioans, they manipulated emotions and produced compliance. And perhaps that was the intended consequence.

People stayed home. Owners of nonessential businesses
voluntarily walked away from livelihoods. Employees worked from home, while caring for their kids and becoming their ad hoc teachers. More than a million people accepted unemployment and waited, patiently, for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to catch up.

Hospital capacity, ICU capacity and positive cases never
came close to embarrassingly inaccurate projections. The health system we set out to save by flattening the curve has actually been negatively impacted—the broad cancellation of all “elective procedures” including things like cancer screenings has led to furloughs, layoffs and loss of healthcare capacity due to the economic consequence of not having enough patients—COVID or otherwise.

Plus, there is a broader health consequence to the mental, emotional and
physical health of Ohioans that is just now starting to be understood.
Much has changed since March 23. One thing has not: DeWine’s
commitment to draconian measures in the face of civil opposition and
contradictory data. DeWine decided to double down on the measures and vehemently rejects input that goes against his administration’s models, ideas and policies.

Legislators stepped up opposition to Governor DeWine during
an April caucus call. According to two legislators who wished to remain
anonymous, DeWine was not only closed to different views, he was defensive and volatile, yelling at the elected officials. At one point he shrugged off questions and opposing data as conspiracy theory.
In early May, amidst rapidly growing economic distress and
civil dissension, the Ohio General Assembly and Senate began drafting
legislation designed to limit the Health Director’s powers to 14 day before
involving the legislature. Legislation also sought to reduce fines and criminal penalties waged against people who defy Acton’s orders. Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 55 were subsequently drawn up, but even before they reached a vote, DeWine threatened to veto any legislation designed to limit Acton’s authority.

Suppressed data: Daily death totals
During each presser, Amy Acton will review the Ohio COVID-19
dashboard. You may note that Acton reports deaths as “deaths reported in the last 24 hours.”

Deaths reported in the last 24 hours are different than the actual number of deaths in the last 24 hours. The number reported is almost always inaccurate and inflated because it includes deaths over several days, perhaps as far back as January.

The practice of using “reported” data causes the public to perceive more cases and more deaths than are occurring in the present. The practice is confusing the press, the public and at times even the Governor and
Dr. Acton seem confused.

On May 23, the Ohio Department of Health indicated there
were 84 reported deaths over the past 24 hours. However, the real number
of deaths totaled seven (7), a difference of 77.

This 77 death inaccuracy was found only after reviewing the CSV file available for download on the state dashboard site The CSV file lists the accurate daily number of deaths—and can be found after much digging.
Suppressing the daily death totals is dangerous. Inflated and inaccurate data gets picked up and reported by unsuspecting news outlets. That, in fact, happened on May 23 when an Ohio media outlet reported the 84 deaths under the headline: Deaths more than double the previous 24-hour period.
Misrepresenting the death total is not a new practice.

During a press conference on April 14 Governor  DeWine repeatedly claimed 50 people died  over the previous 24 hours. The actual number of reported deaths was five (5). When confronted with the disparity, DeWine deferred to Amy Acton who said, “I think it might be a reporting lag.”

R-naught of COVID-19 in general population
The r-naught factor is a number indicating viral infectiousness. The r-naught (often expressed as R0) tells you how many people will, on average, be infected by one infected person. For example: if COVID-19 had an R0 of four, one infected person would, on average, infect four other people.

The r-naught of COVID-19 has become a data point of interest
during Governor DeWine’s daily pressers. Acton projects COVID-19 had an original r-naught of between 2.5 to 5.0. Acton and DeWine reported a current r-naught of 1 during one press conference and .8 during another.
DeWine warns if the r-naught ascends above the 1.0-1.2 range, it will set off alarm bells. Translated: an r-naught above 1.2 could trigger
a rollback—shuttering businesses, locking Ohioans out of public spaces, further slowing a re-opening, while increasing pressure to comply with backdoor controls such as testing and contact tracing.

Given the importance of this measure, it makes sense to dig
into how it is reported. Not every part of the state has the same demography, population density, and the potential for a high secondary surge. The now famous ping pong ball commercial is a powerful visual, but it is based on faulty assumptions.

The video shows how one infection sets in motion a massive
chain reaction around you. The problem: not everyone is equidistant from each other; not everyone will contract the virus; many will not spread the virus; serious symptoms and death will not result in over 99% of cases, once symptomatic and asymptomatic infected are counted in the mix. The video is a bogus visual representation of the spread of Coronavirus.

One solid first step to making the r-naught more meaningful requires
carving-out congregate living data sets. Extracting, measuring and
independently dealing with people who live in these close quarters will produce not only a more accurate r-naught for the general population, it will also produce policies that save lives inside prisons, nursing homes and long term care facilities.

Mixing congregate living with statistics from the general
population skews how infectious the virus may be to the general population. A spike in congregate living settings could equal a clampdown on the general population—it would be like punishing the entire class if one child is acting out. Equally irresponsible: keeping images like the ping pong video and mixed data sets in play. These serve misinformation and, frankly, panic people.

Common sense can derive that if the current r-naught is 1:1
with mixed data sets, the general population is experiencing a contagiousness that is a fraction of what occurs in congregate settings. What may be discovered once the congregate living numbers are backed out is that the r-naught is likely a fraction of the current 1:1 estimate. And that fractional expression would be a better basis for mitigation and policy decisions.

On top of separating data sets for congregate living it also
makes sense to look at each of the 88 counties differently—80 of the 88
counties will likely have r-naught values that are miniscule. Consequently,
their differences should be honored with varied policies that apply to people
in those locations.

Nursing home deaths
Just two weeks ago Amy Acton estimated death rates in
nursing homes comprised approximately 20% of the Ohio death toll. As reporters and citizen journalists investigated that claim, it was discovered that confirmed deaths were double Acton’s estimate. Continued digging reveals that, as of May 21, confirmed deaths in nursing homes total 79% of the state total.

The errors seem to stem from mixing data sets, slow responses
and an overall lack of focus on critical information. Failing to dive deep into
data provided by nursing homes and other congregate care facilities may account for the utterly irresponsible handling of nursing home infections.
Mixing data sets from congregate settings (information
specific to nursing homes and other congregate facilities) for reporting and
consideration bypassed a crucial step in checks and balances. In fact, the
mixing is a fatal error.

Nursing homes and prisons produce extremely disproportionate
infection rates—and disproportionate deaths in the case of nursing homes. What if the state would have previously segregated the data sets and treated them differently—how many lives could have been saved in long term care facilities, jails and prisons?

The state would be wiser to extract congregate living numbers and to begin dealing with the disproportionately large number of infections, hospitalizations, ICU visits and deaths in these congregate
communities.

The slow response to directives can best be seen in the
seven-day delay in DeWine’s response to a directive from Vice President Mike Pence that called on all governors to perform testing in all their long term care facilities—all nursing home staff and patients. Pence announced the directive on May 12, but it wasn’t until May 19, a week later, that Governor Mike DeWine took the initiative to ramp testing in nursing homes—deploying the National Guard to aid in testing.

In the elderly, the time from COVID-19 onset to death is estimated
at 14 days; seven days is a matter of life or death.

Information on how to best treat nursing home residents who
contract COVID-19 is hotly contested. Kay Ball, PhD, RN, CNOR, FAAN, a 71-year-old female, contracted Coronavirus despite masking, wearing gloves and following suggested protocols. Ball’s husband, a 73-year-old male, also contracted COVID-19. They both recovered.

During an interview, Kay Ball said during her visit to the hospital, the drug hydroxychloroquine was administered. Ball began feeling better almost immediately. Bell also pointed out that she received a shot in
her stomach to decrease the incidence of blood clotting; she was also given
zinc and high levels of vitamin C.

Whether there was one treatment, or a combination of many, there seems to be a growing body of evidence on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, zinc and vitamin C.  There is no better time to untangle the facts surrounding the efficacy of therapeutic drugs and to cut the bureaucracy surrounding their delivery, where appropriate.

During the May 21 press conference, DeWine, et.al. seemed to
pivot away from primary COVID-19 issues, such as nursing homes, and toward larger social issues: housing, education and transportation.

The Governor is trying to spin-up an entire social movement
that takes tremendous time, energy, money and effort—and doing it while our deadliest problem goes largely unaddressed. What is gasping about the
transition to magnanimous social issues is the fact that the nursing home
crisis is condensed to less than one percent of our population; yet it remains a problem without a solution. Residents in nursing homes are the most immobile in our communities, they are easily reached, treated and can be saved with a laser-focus.

Instead, we now turn our attention and money to gigantic
initiatives DeWine’s team will try to apply to the 44,825 square-miles
comprising Ohio and its almost 12 million citizens. There may be no bigger sign of incompetence in our current mindset and decision making.

Antibody testing
In early April, Amy Acton announced the Ohio Department of
Health, with aid from Celexa, would conduct a 1,200-person random antibody test sample in Ohio. The purpose of the antibody testing was to determine how many Ohioans have COVID-19 antibodies. This study could potentially tell us much about how far the virus has spread—especially since we now know it was here in early January (if not sooner), at a time when there were not mitigation strategies in place. WMFD-TV has repeatedly requested copies of contracts with Celexa and information on the antibody testing and information has not yet been provided.

Antibody tests could undermine the perceived severity of COVID-19 in Ohio; tests could also prove how much more work there is to do to prepare to live with the virus. Either way, this is either a commitment unfulfilled or information suppressed.

Average age of death
During nearly every press conference from March through May, Acton would state “average age of cases was about 50” but she has yet to
publicly say that the average age of death is 81.

Why? A legislator, who wishes to remain anonymous says “they
[Ohio Department of Health] don’t want information that would cause people to not obey their orders.”

Surface spread and asymptomatic spread  Since the beginning of Ohio’s mitigation efforts, the CDC website has contained information explaining that viral spread on surfaces may be possible, yet not likely, and not the main way the virus spreads. Not a single case has been discovered through surface spread; yet Acton took time during a press conference to inaccurately explain how germs “move” across a counter top using a swiss cheese mind illustration.

On May 14, the Director’s Dine Safe Ohio Order was issued, extending mandates for restaurants and bars. In that order was language from the CDC. “The CDC reports that people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest) however some spread might be possible before people show symptoms although that is not the main way the virus spreads.”

New studies indicate asymptomatic spread is not occurring.
Instead of discussing the studies and possible implications to our daily
living, the administration continues to double down on masks and other
measures, while trumpeting the message that asymptomatic spread can kill
grandmas and those most vulnerable.

Lake County Judge Eugene Lucci’s decision Lucci’s decision was treated like anything else that challenges the Governor’s direction, DeWine downplayed a court decision during
the Thursday, May 21 press conference. DeWine said that all the decision did
was shorten mandates by six days. Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci actually said: “The director (Acton) has no statutory authority to close all businesses, including the plaintiffs’ gyms … She has acted in an impermissibly arbitrary, unreasonable, and oppressive manner without any procedural safeguards.”

The judge ruled unconstitutional DeWine and Acton’s rules that shut down
businesses and kept people locked in their homes.  The phrase “all businesses” means just that—all businesses. ntibody testing
In early April, Amy Acton announced the Ohio Department of
Health, with aid from Celexa, would conduct a 1,200-person random antibody test sample in Ohio. The purpose of the antibody testing was to determine how many Ohioans have COVID-19 antibodies. This study could potentially tell us much about how far the virus has spread—especially since we now know it was here in early January (if not sooner), at a time when there were not mitigation strategies in place.

WMFD-TV has repeatedly requested copies of contracts with
Celexa and information on the antibody testing and information has not yet been provided.
Antibody tests could undermine the perceived severity of
COVID-19 in Ohio; tests could also prove how much more work there is to do to prepare to live with the virus. Either way, this is either a commitment
unfulfilled or information suppressed.

Average age of death
During nearly every press conference from March through May,
Acton would state “average age of cases was about 50” but she has yet to
publicly say that the average age of death is 81.
Why? A legislator, who wishes to remain anonymous says “they
[Ohio Department of Health] don’t want information that would cause people to not obey their orders.”

Surface spread and asymptomatic spread
Since the beginning of Ohio’s mitigation efforts, the CDC
website has contained information explaining that viral spread on surfaces
may be possible, yet not likely, and not the main way the virus spreads. Not
a single case has been discovered through surface spread; yet Acton took
time during a press conference to inaccurately explain how germs “move” across a counter top using a swiss cheese mind illustration.

On May 14, The directors Dine Safe Ohio Order was issued, extending mandates for restaurants and bars. In that order was language from the CDC. “The CDC reports that people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest) however some spread might be possible before people show symptoms although that is not the main way the virus spreads.”
New studies indicate asymptomatic spread is not occurring.
Instead of discussing the studies and possible implications to our daily
living, the administration continues to double down on masks and other
measures, while trumpeting the message that asymptomatic spread can kill
grandmas and those most vulnerable.

Lake County Judge Eugene Lucci’s decision
Lucci’s decision was treated like anything else that
challenges the Governor’s direction, DeWine downplayed a court decision during the Thursday, May 21 press conference. DeWine said that all the decision did was shorten mandates by six days. Common
Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci actually said: “The director (Acton) has no statutory authority to close all businesses, including the plaintiffs’ gyms … She has acted in an impermissibly arbitrary, unreasonable, and oppressive manner without any procedural safeguards.”

The Judge ruled unconstitutional DeWine and Acton’s rules that shut down
businesses and kept people locked in their homes. The phrase “all businesses” means just that—all businesses.

Information is valuable only when it is used
In science an experiment starts with a hypothesis and it is
either proven or disproven through experimentation. True scientists do not mold the data to a predetermined outcome.

The fact is, after approximately five months of the
Coronavirus circulating in the population, approximately 300 Ohioans have died outside of prisons and nursing homes, the high majority over 70 years old.

The fact is, asymptomatic transmission is a theory and a
recent study questions whether that theory is true, yet we have never heard
about this study or the CDC announcement that the projected mortality rate for people under 50 is .0005, or half the mortality rate of the flu.

These things are not conspiracy theories, yet the administration has engaged in the practice of intentional selection of data to
present to Ohioans—citizens who were promised data transparency and policies based on the best science.

To be clear: why DeWine is doing what he is doing is
not as important right now as how he is doing what he is doing.

Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted often use
sports analogies. In that vein: what makes a great football coach is the
ability to adjust strategy—particularly, the ability to make halftime
adjustments that prepare the team to perform at their highest potential in the second half.

Great coaches don’t neglect relevant input. Great coaches
don’t double-down on losing game plans. Great coaches don’t study film from a 1917 football game and use the outdated details in the present to call offensive plays and defensive formations. Great coaches listen to their coordinators and opposing views.

The first two weeks following the March 23rd shelter-in-place
revealed that 62,000 new cases a day, 40-70% infection rates and overflowing hospitals were aberrations.

DeWine didn’t adjust. In fact, he tightened the reigns of control and regulation—exacerbating the crisis.

Since the initial orders, DeWine has paid lip service to
relaxing guidelines and opening the economy but the slow re-opening continues, and forced compliance for testing and contact tracing now seem tethered to our ultimate desire to be back to normal.

In fact, the administration has worked overtime to condition
Ohioans to accept a new normal, hinting that there will be no freedom as we
know it until a vaccine is invented and taken. The merits of these issues are
for another article.

To go back to the sports analogy, in the ten weeks since lockout DeWine et.al. have been beaten by 30 points a game and now stand 0-16
on the season. Meanwhile, robust state programs are being planned for our kids’ fall education, healthcare, housing, and transportation. This is akin to a winless team preparing for an upcoming Superbowl.

Deciding what is more offensive is a toss-up. It might be ignoring
a real health crisis in nursing homes and prisons that continues to infect
prisoners and kill our elderly, while choosing initiatives that would be nice to have. Or, it may be sticking with decisions that will create endless negative outcomes for people, families, businesses and the economy for years to come.

Why is this happening?
An advisor to the state, who requested anonymity, talked twice with high level officials inside the Ohio Department of Health and the DeWine administration. On both occasions, the advisor asked why data is suppressed and presented with a bias toward worst-case scenarios. On both occasions the advisor was told the message is packaged and delivered to change how people feel and think about Coronavirus. The end goal is to build compliance with the new normal.

Perhaps DeWine and Acton are like helicopter parents who are
alarmingly controlling and overprotective of their children. Whatever the reasoning for their overreach and unconstitutional rules, the unintended consequences of their actions now threaten to make the cure worse than the virus.

But like stubbornly protective parents, DeWine and Acton may
be hard to redirect. Judge Fry’s court ruling in March was ignored. Judge
Lucci’s order from last week was ignored. The crew continues to ignore data and the unintended consequences of their policies.

It begs the question: will they ever be held accountable for
their misrepresentation of data? Remember, on March 23 we the people of Ohio accepted a social contract and we are still waiting for the faithful
delivery—but will DeWine uphold his end of the bargain?

We hear a lot about the new normal. We were doing just fine
with normal: roaring economy, no state budget deficit, kids in school and
protected, living life the way it is intended to be lived—in community.

Now we know that “normal” was happening while COVID-19 was
here from January (if not sooner) to March 23, without: unprecedented numbers of deaths, overrun hospitals and mitigation strategies to fight the virus.

How does the new normal look? DeWine and Acton are ushering
it in with their masks, social distancing, business mandates, school shutdowns, and lockouts.

The results: an estimated 2 million unemployed, more than
1,589 nursing home deaths, zero deaths under the age of 30 (but ample
regulations that strap the age group), a startling number of businesses that
will never re-open, and—if history repeats—a 20%-and-counting increase in suicide.

This is Jack Windsor with WMFD-TV in Mansfield. My question
is for the Governor: Sir, when will the administration target real issues
instead of applying a one-size-fits-all approach and crossing their fingers?

The Far-Left Organization Behind Ohio’s Contact Tracing Program

Bill Gates, Strive Masiyiwa and Partners in Health Founder Dr. Paul Farmer
Source – Zimbabwe Today

Longtime Ohio statehouse observers were left scratching their face masks when Republican Governor Michael DeWine announced that the State of Ohio would be working with a Massachusetts nonprofit, Partners in Health, on contact tracing.

Why? Partners in Health has a long history of left-wing activism and receives substantial support from liberal donors that want to fundamentally remake American society.

Liberation Theology

Liberation theology has been defined as a “synthesis of Christian theology and socio-economic analyses, based in far-left politics, particularly Marxism.” Paul Farmer, the co-founder of Partners in Health, openly brags that he was influenced by liberation theology. In fact, the website of Partners in Health is replete with examples.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Since prior to 2009, Partners in Health has received in excess of $23 million from Bill Gates’ namesake foundation. Most notably, the foundation spent hundreds of millions of dollars to implement Common Core education standards. Additionally, the foundation has donated over $82 million to various Planned Parenthood groups.

George Soros and the Open Society Foundation

The George Soros funded Open Society Foundation made its first $3 million grant to Partners in Health in 2007. In 2014 Soros dropped another $4 million to fight Ebola in Liberia. Soros in January denounced President Donald Trump as a “con man,” the “ultimate narcissist” and a “climate denier.” The Soros funded Open Society Foundations have spent billions on left wing causes around the world.

The Clinton Connection

When former President Bill Clinton was named a Special Envoy to Haiti in 2009, Dr. Paul Farmer was right there beside him as his Deputy Envoy. Additionally, Chelsea Clinton serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Partners in Health and they have collaborated with the Clinton Foundation on numerous projects.

Left Wing Consultants

According to their financial reports, Partners in Health employs left wing political consulting firm Blue State Digital on an annual basis for digital engagement consulting. Blue State Digital was founded by former staffers of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign and provided services for the 2008 and 2012 Barack Obama Presidential campaigns. Blue State Digital was paid $335,966 in 2018, $317,869 in  2017, and $253,567 in 2016.