EIR Daily Alert Service, MONDAY, March 2, 2020
MONDAY, MARCH 2, 2020
Volume 7, Number 43
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- LaRouche’s Movement Wins Timely Victories
- Trump Announces He Will Meet on Arms Control With Leaders of Russia, China, Britain, and France
- U.S. European Commander Is Big Fan of ‘Flexible First Use Policy’ for Nuclear Weapons
- Putin and Erdogan Speak on Idlib, and Putin Holds Emergency Meeting With His Security Council
- Greece Vetoes NATO Statement to Support Turkey
- China Working on Visit From UN Human Rights Commissioner Bachelet to Xinjiang This Year
- Mr. President, Forget the Fed–LaRouche’s Laws Are Needed Now
- HHS Secretary Azar Is Initiating Defense Production Act To Address Novel Coronavirus
- U.S. Healthcare Delivery System Not Ready for Virus Battle
- China’s Productive Economy Coming Back From Way Down
March 1 (EIRNS)—Very important actions were taken this weekend which point toward solving the very dangerous military, economic, and now medical-biological crises which have overtaken the world’s nations in 2020. The political movement of the late Lyndon LaRouche welcomed two significant advances: one toward a heads-of-state summit to achieve a new system of international relations and productive credit; and one toward defeating the British intelligence attack on the American Presidency.
First, the Trump Administration confirmed that President Donald Trump wants an early nuclear disarmament summit of the heads of state and government of the five permanent UN Security Council members. This echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Jan. 23 for a summit of the five powers; that call in turn followed the Jan. 3 public appeal of LaRouche’s wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche, as president of the Schiller Institute, for a summit of at least Presidents Trump, Putin and Xi Jinping of China, for Middle East peace and economic reconstruction.
At the same time as the administration’s announcement, Helga Zepp-LaRouche had issued on Feb. 28 another public appeal for a summit of Trump, Putin, Xi and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a new credit system on the agenda. This can be a return to the principles of Franklin Roosevelt’s Bretton Woods system with a basis of economic recovery measures proposed by Lyndon LaRouche, his new “Four Laws” beginning with Glass-Steagall bank separation and national banking in each nation. She said on Saturday that President Trump, having now sought for a summit, that “we have to push the agenda of such a summit to occur immediately.”
The movement’s second big advance was a hugely successful and agitational event in New York, “Rescuing the Republic from the Surveillance State: A Conversation with Bill Binney.” It packed a Manhattan theater hall with a standing-room audience which showed its deep appreciation, during three hours of compelling dialogue, for Binney, his fellow NSA whistleblower Kirk Wiebe, and Lyndon LaRouche’s former fellow political prisoner, Michael Billington. The forum, sponsored by the Schiller Institute, was webcast internationally.
A LaRouche PAC mass-circulation pamphlet, “Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin: He Will Do His Job if You Let Him,” had powerfully linked together three great crimes of British intelligence and the “surveillance state” against the American Republic: the 1980s persecution and frameup of Lyndon LaRouche and leaders of his movement; the coverup of the actual British-Saudi authors of the 9/11 attacks of 2001, and the resulting total NSA/CIA/FBI surveillance of Americans; and the attempted coup launched by British intelligence MI6 against the duly-elected President Donald Trump.
The New York event placed that entire powerful exposé on the stage, with expert evidence from three leaders who had confronted those crimes and been framed up for it. Many in the diverse audience, questioning these three, also recognized them as heroes for standing on important truths under extreme pressure to repeat surveillance-state lies.
It was dramatically shown that Binney—once the Technical Director of NSA—and Wiebe had led development, before 9/11, of an alternative, highly selective way of organizing very limited surveillance data, which nonetheless would have detected the 9/11 attack preparations, and they had been framed up for prosecution for advocating it! They explained that their program, Thin Thread, was Constitutional and it would have worked, whereas Dick Cheney’s preferred “total surveillance” of the population did not.
And most important before this broadly informed and alert audience: Binney laid out what his group of intelligence veterans have assembled—multiple, hard proofs that the core of “Russiagate,” the claim of Russian GRU hacking of the Democrats’ communications in 2016, cannot be true; rather those communications were copied in Washington and conveyed to WikiLeaks. “A small group in the CIA was ‘Guccifer 2.0,’ ” Binney said. Moreover he had presented these proofs to then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo at President Trump’s personal request in 2017, and Pompeo had done nothing, allowing the “Russiagate” attack against the President to proceed and nearly succeed.
Another thing confirmed this step forward for LaRouche’s movement: Billington, Binney and Wiebe all closed, to audience applause, by stressing the essential quality of the movement’s intelligence publications—the weekly EIR and daily EIR Alert Service for anyone who wants to fight for the American Republic and the American System.
In her own message of greeting to this New York event, Helga Zepp-LaRouche laid out what’s next. “The strategic situation could get completely out of control,” she said, over Iran and Syria; over loose talk about first use of nuclear weapons; over an exercise practicing a U.S. nuclear strike on Russia. And COVID-19, the novel coronavirus’s economic impact could trigger a meltdown of the speculative financial system. “We must push the agenda” of an early summit as her husband’s four economic laws. “Exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche is the very best thing you can do to secure the future,” she concluded.
(LaRouche PAC’s pamphlet, “Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin: He Will Do His Job if You Let Him” is available online.)
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Feb. 29 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump stated during a press conference at the White House today, that he will be meeting with the heads of state or government of the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council—Russia, China, France and Great Britain—to discuss arms control and related strategic issues. In his response to the last question at today’s press conference, he confirmed earlier press reports that such a meeting would occur, adding that it be held in New York—presumably at the time of the UN General Assembly—and that China, Russia and other nations want to discuss these matters, which is a wise thing, just as the United States also wants to have such a discussion.
Reuters had reported earlier on Saturday that an unnamed high-ranking official in the U.S. administration had stated that “the United States will use this opportunity to bring both Russia and China into the international arms control framework and head off a costly arms race…. The United States will work with the other P5 countries to develop and organize such a meeting.”
In its coverage of these remarks, TASS made the point that this idea parallels Russian President Putin’s earlier call for a summit of the P5 by the end of this year. Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche supported Putin’s call when he first made it, noting that it moved in the same general direction of her own early January proposal that the leaders of the United States Russia and China, in particular, had to meet to address the global security crisis, in the wake of the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Feb. 29 (EIRNS)—Gen. Tod Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command and of NATO, made an extraordinary statement during testimony at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 25 that has been garnered essentially zero coverage in the news media. When asked about a no-first-use policy on nuclear weapons, Wolters said “I’m a fan of flexible first use policy.”
“Under any circumstance, the public embrace of a ‘flexible first strike’ policy regarding nuclear weapons employment by the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe should generate widespread attention,” writes former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter in a commentary published by RT. “When seen in the context of the recent deployment by the U.S. of a low-yield nuclear warhead on submarine-launched ballistic missiles carried on board a Trident submarine, however, Wolters’ statement is downright explosive. Add to the mix the fact the U.S. recently carried out a wargame where the U.S. Secretary of Defense practiced the procedures for launching this very same ‘low-yield’ weapon against a Russian target during simulated combat between Russia and NATO in Europe, and the reaction should be off the charts. And yet there has been deafening silence from both the European and U.S. press on this topic.”
Indeed, the only other mention this news service could find on Wolters’ statement was a Twitter posting by Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, who observed as Ritter does, that it makes a mockery of U.S. claims about Russia’s supposed “escalate to de-escalate” doctrine.
Ritter notes that complicating matters even further is the upcoming Defender-Europe 20 exercise which will put thousands of U.S. troops on or close to Russia’s borders. “The fact that these exercises are taking place at a time when the issue of U.S. nuclear weapons and NATO’s doctrine regarding their employment against Russia is being actively tracked by senior Russian authorities only highlights the danger posed,” Ritter writes. He states that Wolters met with Russian Chief of General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov on Feb. 6 but that was before the news about the U.S. nuclear response exercise that Esper participated in a week ago and before Wolters’ statement on first use. “In light of these events, General Gerasimov met with French Gen. François Lecointre, the Chief of the Defense Staff, to express Russia’s concerns over NATO’s military moves near the Russian border, especially the Defender 2020 exercise which was, General Gerasimov noted, ‘held on the basis of anti-Russian scenarios and envisaged training for offensive operations.’ ”
Ritter then invokes the memory of Able Archer 83, the NATO exercise that looked from Moscow an awful lot like a cover for launching a real war on the then-Soviet Union. “U.S. and NATO officials would do well to recall the danger to European and world security posed by the ‘Able Archer ‘83’ exercise and the potential for Soviet miscalculations when assessing the concerns expressed by General Gerasimov today,” Ritter concludes. “The unprecedented concentration of offensive NATO military power on Russia’s border, coupled with the cavalier public embrace by General Wolters of a ‘flexible first strike’ nuclear posture by NATO, has more than replicated the threat model presented by Able Archer ‘83. In this context, it would not be a stretch to conclude that the threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia is the highest it has been since Able Archer ‘83.”
Feb. 28 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone call on Feb. 28, at Turkey’s request, reported TASS today. According to a short statement from Erdogan, Putin agreed to meet at some point in the future, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov affirmed that “the meeting between President Putin and President Erdogan in Moscow on March 5 or 6 is being worked out at the moment.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told media: “Today, a phone call between Presidents Putin and Erdogan has been held at the initiative of the Turkish leader. The talks were detailed. They discussed the need to do everything possible to implement the original agreements on the de-escalation zone” in Idlib, Lavrov said. “A possibility was discussed to shortly hold necessary contacts at this or that level. Literally an hour-and-a-half ago, reports came that the Russian and Turkish negotiators who worked in Ankara yesterday and the day before yesterday, had agreed to continue work today.”
Putin held an emergency meeting with Russia’s Security Council regarding the escalation in Syria’s Idlib, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Peskov told reporters, the President and Security Council held “a detailed conversation about the situation around Syria’s Idlib and voiced their extreme concern over the flare-up in that Syrian region, which was triggered by terrorist groups who stepped up offensives against the Syrian army,” TASS quoted him as saying.
Peskov said that according to the Security Council, Russia did everything possible for the security of Turkish forces at observation posts during the Syrian government troops’ offensive against terrorist formations in Idlib. “None of these Turkish servicemen either suffered or came under threat at these posts. The tragic deaths of  Turkish troops occurred at the places of offensive operations by terrorist formations, among which, incidentally, there are numerous foreign mercenaries, including citizens of the former Soviet Union,” Peskov said. “The Turkish side did not report about the presence of Turkish forces there, despite our inquiries.”
Feb. 29 (EIRNS)—Citing unnamed Greek sources, the Greek newspaper Vima reports that Greece’s Permanent Mission to NATO on Friday evening, Feb. 28, vetoed a statement that the alliance was preparing to make in support of Turkey. The veto was ordered by Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, because the text of the joint statement did not include a Greek demand for Turkey to comply with the March 2016 EU-Turkey declaration on refugees and migrants, which was resisted by Britain, Germany, the United States, and France. So Greece apparently vetoed the message.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had insisted NATO begin political consultations provided for in Article 4 of the Washington Treaty, which allows a member country to ask for the organization’s assistance if it considers that its security, territorial integrity, or political independence is threatened. Ankara also requested assistance on air defense and intelligence in connection with the situation in Idlib, Syria, but no agreements have been reached on the issue, according to Vima.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself confirmed that Turkey had opened its borders to the European Union for Syrian refugees. “We have been saying for a long time that we are not obligated to accept such a number of refugees. You promised us assistance, but are doing nothing, so we opened our borders yesterday. 18,000 refugees have already passed through, and today this number will be 25,000-30,000, and we will not close our doors because the EU must keep its word,” Erdogan said, presumably referring to the March 2016 Turkey-EU migrant deal.
Greece has now closed its land and sea borders to all undocumented persons.
Feb. 28 (EIRNS)—Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is welcome to visit Xinjiang to report for herself on the veracity of the continuous rumors alleging China’s human rights abuses against the Uighurs. This would be the highest-level visit of a UN official to Xinjiang. ““We are looking forward to the visit of the high commissioner, Mrs. Bachelet, to China including to Xinjiang this year, and we are working closely with her office on detailed arrangements for her visit,” Chen Xu, China’s permanent representative to UN agencies in Geneva, said on Feb. 26.
In spite of the numerous visits by officials from around the world, the rumors of “detention camps” housing 1 million Uighurs, continue to be churned out by the British Empire propaganda machine. Most recently this week, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas threw in his two cents regarding “the maltreatment of ethnic and religious minorities such as the Uighurs” in China. British Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon also raised the claim on Feb. 25 that “over a million Uighurs have been extrajudicially detained.”
Chen confirmed China firmly opposes and never accepts the arbitrary attacks by certain countries over Xinjiang-related issues, and stated that the attacks are based on prejudice against China.
He further said that China has taken a series of counterterrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers. All those who took part in deradicalization programs at the centers have graduated and found stable jobs with the government’s help, he said, congratulating them for their success.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
March 1 (EIRNS)—Speaking to media on Feb. 29, President Donald Trump was asked about Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s unusual statement Friday afternoon, Feb. 28, at 2:30, amid stock traders’ desperation, that the Fed would take action to “support the economy.” Every bank and financial firm heard “more quantitative easing,” “more repo market liquidity,” and “emergency rate cuts” in Powell’s statement; and financial media today were speculating about another Fed statement in the evening, before Asian markets open for Monday.
The President responded, “Our Fed should start being a leader. We should have the lowest interest rates. We don’t have the lowest interest rates. Our Fed rate is higher. You look at Germany, you look at Japan, you look at other countries: many of them have negative rates, and we are not put in that position because of our Fed. And now we have this problem. You saw where Germany is lowering and also infusing a lot of money into their economy. I haven’t heard our Fed say they should do this.” Trump otherwise referred to more tax cuts, “near the end of the year.”
President Trump faces a serious challenge: Preventing a public health emergency; reviving falling manufacturing and stagnant industrial production; and getting quickly to a disarmament summit with four other heads of state and government while some of his military officials make first-strike statements and proposals about Syria which could mean nuclear war.
But looking to the Fed to put QE in overdrive now, will only mean a more and more stagflationary liquidity-printing binge aimed at nothing but supporting falling stock prices.
It would lack any national productive mission.
Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche has just made clear in her appeal for a four-power summit, that Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Laws” must be on the agenda. Obviously, the protective firewall of a restored Glass-Steagall Act, against a threatened crash of speculative financial firms, is needed right away. But also, to quote her: “There must be the creation of a national bank in every country, in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton’s Bank of the United States or the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau in Germany after World War II, so that state credit for productive investments can supply the physical economy with the necessary funds.”
Just as President Franklin Roosevelt created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation when banks stopped lending productively and the Fed would not participate in productive loans in the 1930s, President Trump and Congress need to forget the Fed and do that now. Among the institution’s missions, would be funding emergency construction of new hospital and healthcare infrastructure—as China just did—which has gotten critically low in the United States. Another mission: participating in increased commercial and industrial lending—again quoting Helga LaRouche, “The issuance of these credits must be guided by the principles of high energy-flux density and an optimal increase of the productivity of the productive capacities and the powers of labor through an emphasis on scientific and technological progress.”
Instead of reading Monday’s stock market quotes, read her “Urgent Appeal to President Trump, President XI, President Putin, Prime Minister Modi and Leaders of Other Countries for the Emergency Implementation of the Four Laws of Lyndon LaRouche,” which is now posted on the Schiller Institute website, and was published in full on Friday’s EIR Daily Alert (No. 42, Feb. 28, 2020).
March 1 (EIRNS)—Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared March 1 on Fox, ABC, and CBS Sunday programs, to discuss U.S. government preparations to combat the COVID-19 virus. Many of the answers on different shows were quite similar. On the Fox News Sunday show with host Chris Wallace, Azar stated that there will be “more [COVID-19] cases here in the United States,” and “some forms of community spreading.”
Azar, when asked about whether the Trump Administration plans to use the Defense Production Act of 1950, said that the act “is used fairly commonly for Defense Department procurements in the United States.” Azar said that when one uses the act, “it means our production should go to the front of the line.” The Feb. 28 New York Times, reported that the Trump “Administration activated powers under the act to restore power grids and supply food and water in states and territories hard hit by the 2017 hurricane season.”
Azar stated that he is “right now initiating procurement processes for personal protective equipment, masks, gowns, gloves, etc.” On Feb. 28, Azar said that 300 N95 million respirator masks are needed for the emergency stockpile for health workers. These are necessary, along with production of testing and diagnostic kits on a large scale.
But the U.S. health care system is collapsed with the radical cutting, over decades, of hospital beds, hospital shutdowns, cutting of negative pressure rooms which prevent spread of contagion, etc. Were it possible for the government to use that 1950 act to address that fundamental underlying problem? It turns out that that very issue was debated at hearings in 1953 before the Banking and Currency Committee of the U.S. Senate. Albert Whitehall of the American Hospital Association argued that because of the importance of hospitals, their construction be given the required certificates of necessity so that they could be constructed under the act.
That argument strongly suggests that this method should be considered, including because under the Defense Production Act, the hospital builder would get accelerated amortization credits. One could also, just as appropriately, build new hospitals, and other critical medical structures, under the provisions of the 1946 Hill-Burton Act.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
March 1 (EIRNS)—the number of U.S. hospitals has been in steady decline for the last few decades, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA), which says there are now 6,146. But in 2015 the AHA reported 5,534 active hospitals, and that number improbably shot up to 6,200 (the mid-1990s level). According to the Definitive Healthcare blog, AHA shifted its hospital classification, rather than new facilities opening. The present number of 6,146 hospitals includes the entire range of types of hospitals, including 1,486 psychiatric and rehabilitation hospitals. The decline in clinical hospitals, from the 1975 level of 7,100 to the 2015 level of 5,534, was a collapse of 22%, while the U.S. population had increased by 100 million, nearly a third.
U.S. hospital beds (staffed) per capita are presently at about 2.3 per 1,000 people, according to the World Bank and the World Health Organization. That is about half the 4.5 per 1,000 (5.5 per 1,000 in rural areas) mandated in 1946 by the Hill-Burton Act. By comparison, China has about 4.3 hospital beds per 1,000. The U.S.A. has, however, 8.6 nurses per 1,000 people, and 2.45 physicians per 1,000. (In China, nurses are 2.7/1,000 and physicians are 1.49/1,000). The total number of hospital beds available in the U.S.A. presently are estimated at 746,000, about half of the 1.4 million beds the U.S. had in 1975.
To get a sense of what those 746,000 beds would mean in the midst of a COVID-19 epidemic, Harvard Professor of Epidemiology Marc Lipsitch has said that 40% or more of the world could be infected by COVID-19, as in previous “great waves” of influenza. For the current U.S. population of 327 million, that would be about 130 million infected. Using the statistics from China, serious cases (cases which would require some sort of hospitalization and life support systems) were at about 10%, although that spiked to nearly 15% on certain days. Of course, only a fraction of those 13 million cases would be hospitalized at the same time, but still far more than the 746,000 total beds. And many will require mechanical ventilators, dialysis and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
All of these cases would also require isolation rooms with negative pressure and special ventilation systems. Raw data on the total number of relevant isolation rooms in hospitals is difficult to find, but for example, University California San Francisco Health has 40 of these types of rooms, with more capable of being adapted. UCSF has about 796 beds in total, so it could put between 5% and 10% of all its patients in isolation rooms. If that could be done across the hospital system, 37,000 could be accommodated that way.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar has said we would need 300 million N95 masks in the event of a breakout of COVID-19; we presently have 30 million. As for the defective COVID-19 testing kits, Vice President Mike Pence said March 1 that CDC is shipping 15,000 replacements out to medical labs. Until that shipment, there have been less than 100 labs capable of processing the tests.
March 1 (EIRNS)—China’s Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMIs, surveys and not hard data) are published for February, and they show the dramatic nature of the economic contraction in that month. The manufacturing PMI was at 35.7 where below 50 is contraction; the non-manufacturing or “services PMI” was even far lower at 28.9. The first looks like October 2008 right after the global financial crash; the second, for services, is far below what it was then. Hard data for electricity generation through Feb. 27, some 33 days after Chinese New Year, show coal consumption by electric power plants still at 420,000 tons/day, compared to 650,000 for recent years—approximately 40% below normal.
But industrial production is reviving, as these PMIs indicate more quickly than consumption. Xinhua’s March 1 feature “Insight from Space: China’s Economy Is ‘Heating Up,’ ” graphically presents hard satellite evidence of this. Infrared satellite images are made into red-dot displays of “average temperature of the whole region, which usually stem from fire, industrial or energy production, or high-density production and living activities.” For various key regions, an image from Jan. 19-21 is compared to one from Feb. 20-22 for Jinshan region of Shanghai.
The Jinshan district in the southwest of Shanghai (north of Hangzhou Bay) shows the Jinshan Industrial Park, the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, and Downtown Jinshan noticeably coming to industrial life. Xinhua writes: “The Shanghai Chemical Industry Park based in Jinshan District is a state-level economic and technological development zone, and also one of the largest petrochemical bases in Asia. As of now, nearly all of the enterprises in the zone have resumed production. Moreover, by Feb. 24, 347 of 414 production-oriented enterprises in Jinshan Industry Park had returned to work.”
Likewise, Xinhua shows satellite images of Ma Steel, the state-owned iron and steel giant, which is located in the city of Ma’anshan, in east China’s Anhui Province. It is the largest industrial enterprise in Anhui. The images were taken Jan. 19, 2020, and on Feb. 20, 2020, and the density of thermal infrared points has increased many times over by Feb. 20. Xinhua reports that, “as of Feb. 25, 92% of major industrial enterprises in Anhui Province had resumed production, with more than 1.5 million employees returning to work.”
Xinhua also has a computer-generated map showing the work resumption rate for major industrial enterprises in all the provinces in China. Those provinces which have attained 80-100% work resumption include: Guangdong, Hunan, Fujian, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei, Liaoning, and Sichuan. Those having attained a 70-80% work resumption rate of major industrial enterprises are: Yunnan, Guizhou, and Shanghai Shi.
The repeated word “major” must be stressed. Small and medium-sized firms generally are reported still closed.
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