EIR Daily Alert Service, Wednesday, March 18, 2020
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020
Volume 7, Number 55
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- Now You Know What Lyndon LaRouche Meant by a ‘Phase Shift’
- Xi Jinping Calls for Building a ‘Health Silk Road’ for the Whole World
- President Trump and Governor Cuomo Set Example for U.S. Leaders, That Nation Comes Before Party
- China’s Yang Jiechi Told Pompeo. Our Countries Must Cooperate on Fighting COVID-19 Pandemic
- Motivation of Medical Team Who Ran Wuhan Effort, ‘Human Beings Are Mortal, but Love Is Not’
- Rep. Jim Banks Demands U.S. Must Declare Debt Moratorium–Against China
- Coronavirus Is Striking Africa, as South Africa Declares ‘State of Disaster’
- Brazil and Mexico, Ibero-America’s Two Largest Nations, Refuse to Face Pandemic Reality
- Spain Renationalizes Health System, Turns to China as COVID-19 Explodes
- Energy and Water Requirements for New Hospitals to Move to Hill-Burton Standard
- Large Family-Size and Jumbo Relief Bills Are Moving in Congress, but No ‘Stimulus’
- Tougher Isolation Coming in U.S. Coronavirus Hotspots
- Did ‘Putin’s Chef’ Just Outfox Mueller’s Mad Dogs?
Now You Know What Lyndon LaRouche Meant by a ‘Phase Shift’
March 17 (EIRNS)—The rules that seemed to govern society and the economy yesterday, no longer work today. And today’s rules, will be dysfunctional by tomorrow morning—if not sooner.
The planet is living through a period that is so dizzying that it produces mental vertigo in most people. American statesman Lyndon LaRouche repeatedly discussed this as a “phase shift” in human development, where the laws that seemed to govern a process change fundamentally, akin to what happens when there is a physical phase-shift. In an article published in the March 13, 1997 edition of EIR, entitled “London in a Phase-Twitch,” LaRouche wrote:
“By ‘phase shift,’ we mean a radical change in the characteristics of a system, as when ice melts, when water turns into steam, steam into plasma, or the first jet-aircraft achieved transsonic speeds, and beyond, in powered flight. What now is happening in the world’s financial systems, economies, and politics, is just as fundamental a change as any of the changes in state noted by the physicist.”
The signs are everywhere. In the United States, we see a “Pearl Harbor reflex” to the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread across the country. In Europe, where Italy, Spain and France are in a lockdown (to varying degrees), and other countries could follow soon, the EU bureaucracy is opening the floodgates to counter the economic effects of the crisis. But only a total paradigm shift on a world scale will work, Helga Zepp-LaRouche again emphasized yesterday. The COVID-19 crisis and the bankruptcy breakdown of the trans-Atlantic financial system are just the most visible expressions of a systemic crisis of the old paradigm, which has entered its death throes. The underlying problem is that the British liberal system has looted the majority of the world’s population, especially in the so-called Third World, to the point of genocide. Unless that is remedied, Zepp-LaRouche emphasized, starting with a world healthcare mobilization, the human species faces an extinction crisis.
Such a global development program requires levels of increase of basic physical economic parameters (such as water, electricity and food) that cannot possibly be achieved without a rapid upward shift of the technological platform for the entire planet—of exactly the sort called for by Lyndon LaRouche in his prescient Four Laws, most especially the fourth of these.
And that required solution cannot possibly be financed without putting the City of London and Wall Street through bankruptcy reorganization, through a global Glass-Steagall process. A speculative bubble of $1.8 quadrillion cannot long coexist in the same universe with a thriving human population, planet-wide.
No other approach will work, Zepp-LaRouche stressed. Our task is not to focus on the little things and emotionally hold on to them. Rather, it is to educate people to understand things the way we do, as we were trained to do by Lyndon LaRouche.
World Health Organization Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus usefully captured the spirit of the times in his March 16 press conference:
“This is the defining global health crisis of our time. The days, weeks and months ahead will be a test of our resolve, a test of our trust in science, and a test of solidarity. Crises like this tend to bring out the best and worst in humanity.
“Like me, I’m sure you have been touched by the videos of people applauding health workers from their balconies, or the stories of people offering to do grocery shopping for older people in their community.
“This amazing spirit of human solidarity must become even more infectious than the virus itself. Although we may have to be physically apart from each other for a while, we can come together in ways we never have before.
“We’re all in this together. And we can only succeed together. So the rule of the game is: together.”
A leading Chinese medical doctor involved in the Wuhan war against COVID-19, Dr. Wu Dong, explained what motivated him to join the battle: “Human beings are mortal, but love is not, and I love my daughter, my patients, my country and Mankind. As humans, we’re all in this together, and we will get through this together.”
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Xi Jinping Calls for Building a ‘Health Silk Road’ for the Whole World
March 17 (EIRNS)—In a phone conversation yesterday with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, China’s President Xi Jinping called for increased cooperation with Italy, and all nations, “to contribute to international cooperation in combatting the epidemic and to the construction of a Health Silk Road,” according to a detailed report in Xinhua.
Now that it has its own COVID-19 epidemic more under control, China has been providing help—both equipment and personnel—to a number of countries, including Italy, Spain, Panama and others. In their phone conversation, Xi promised Italy additional help in its battle against COVID-19. According to Xinhua, Xi said that “China will act prudently from beginning to end and strive for an early and complete victory over the epidemic, so as to provide other countries with confidence in their prevention and control efforts. Noting that the Italian government has taken a series of resolute prevention and control measures in response to the epidemic, Xi said that China firmly supports Italy and has full confidence in Italy’s victory over the epidemic. China identifies with Italy’s urgent concerns, and will send more medical experts to Italy and do its best to provide medical supplies and other assistance, Xi said. China is willing to work with Italy to contribute to international cooperation in combating the epidemic and to the construction of a Health Silk Road, Xi said.”
President Trump and Governor Cuomo Set Example for U.S. Leaders, That Nation Comes before Party
March 17 (EIRNS)—In the midday briefing by the White House Coronavirus Task Force today, President Donald Trump reported he had had a “very productive talk” with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo again this morning. We are coordinating, he emphasized, and on the same track. New York State is the #1 hotspot of COVID-19 in the nation, “no fault of anybody, that’s the way it happens,” the President said, so we are working closely together, getting FEMA more involved and dealing with the Army Corps of Engineers, should that be necessary.
In his own briefing Tuesday morning, Cuomo also spoke forcefully, and movingly, of his partnership with President Trump and his team in the fight to save the nation from this disease:
“This is an extraordinary time in this nation’s history. It will go down in the history books as one of those moments of true crisis and confusion and chaos. I lived through 9/11. I remember the fear and the panic that existed in 9/11 where a single moment, your whole concept of life and society can be shaken, where you need to see government perform at its best, you need to see people at their best. Everybody’s afraid. Everybody’s nervous. How you respond, how you act, this is character test for all of us individually.
“It’s a character test for us collectively as a society. What did you do at that moment when all around you have lost their head, right? … What does government do in this moment? It steps up, it performs. It does what it’s supposed to do. It does it better than it’s ever done it before.
“What does government not do? It does not engage in politics or partisanship. Even if you are in the midst of an election season, even if you are at a moment in time in history where you have hyper-partisanship, which we now have. The President of the United States, Donald Trump—it is essential that the federal government works with this state, and that this state works with the federal government. We cannot do this on our own … this [state] government cannot meet this crisis without the resources and capacity of the federal government.
“I spoke to the President this morning again. He is ready, willing, and able to help. I’ve been speaking with members of his staff late last night, early this morning. We need their help, especially on the hospital capacity issue. We need FEMA. FEMA has tremendous resources. When I was at HUD, I worked with FEMA. I know what they can do. I know what the Army Corps of Engineers can do. They have a capacity that we simply do not have. I said to the President, who is a New Yorker, who I’ve known for many, many years, I put my hand out in partnership. I want to work together 100%. I need your help.
“And New Yorkers will do everything they can to be good partners with the federal government. I think the President was 100% sincere in saying that he wanted to work together in partnership, in a spirit of cooperation. I can tell you the actions he has taken, evidence that his team has been on it. I know a team when they’re on it, and I know a team when they’re not on it. His team is on it. They’ve been responsive late at night, early in the morning, and they’ve thus far been doing everything that they can do, and I want to say thank you and I want to say that I appreciate it and they will have nothing but cooperation and partnership from the state of New York.
“And we’re not Democrats and we’re not Republicans, we are Americans, at the end of the day. That’s who we are and that’s who we are when we are at our best. So this hyper sensitivity about politics and reading every comment and wanting to pit one against the other. There’s no time for this. The President is doing the right thing in offering to step up with New York, and I appreciate it, and New York will do the right thing in return.”
China’s Yang Jiechi Told Pompeo, Our Countries Must Cooperate on Fighting COVID-19 Pandemic
March 17 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo initiated a call yesterday with China’s Yang Jiechi, the Politburo member in charge of foreign policy, to lodge a complaint over the statements made by Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhang Lijian about the U.S. military possibly having transmitted COVID-19 to Wuhan during military exercises last October. The State Department presented the call as Pompeo giving the Chinese a tongue-lashing.
The Chinese read-out was rather different. Xinhua reported that Yang had spoken with Pompeo “at the latter’s request, noting that the top priority now is for the international community to carry out active cooperation in fighting COVID-19.” Yang emphasized “that the epidemic prevention and control situation has steadily made headway in China as a result of the arduous nationwide efforts led by Chinese President Xi Jinping.” He stressed that China had been transparent and cooperative throughout, and that it was now carrying out “international cooperation and provided some countries with donations and support within its capability…. [Yang warned that] any move to harm the interests of China will be countered resolutely. China urges the United States to take into consideration the common interests and will of the peoples in both countries and around the world.”
Motivation of Medical Team Who Ran Wuhan Effort, ‘Human Beings Are Mortal, but Love Is Not’
March 17 (EIRNS)—Members of the medical team that headed the efforts in Wuhan, China to defeat COVID-19 held a video press briefing on Monday, which concluded with beautiful statements by Wu Dong, associate professor of gastroenterology at Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) and a member of the national team: “Although this is a chance for my colleagues and me to share our experience with the international community, the Chinese approach to control the epidemic may not be the only one. It is an opportunity for us to learn from each other, just like what is true with traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. The beauty of the world lies in diversity, not identity.” Wu went on to describe his motive in joining the battle: “Human beings are mortal, but love is not, and I love my daughter, my patients, my country and mankind. As humans, we’re all in this together, and we will get through this together.”
As for the approach that worked in Wuhan, prevention and control have primary effects, said Du Bin, medical ICU director of the hospital. “You must have plans, and failure to prepare is preparedness for failure.” Xinhua reported that, “When asked about specific measures of prevention and control, Du simply stressed “test, test and test. Apart from testing, I have no idea how you can identify suspected cases and how to quarantine close contacts.”
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Rep. Jim Banks Demands U.S. Must Declare Debt Moratorium—against China
March 17 (EIRNS)—Perhaps the craziest response to the COVID-19 crisis comes from Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last night that the way to save Americans from coronavirus is to declare a debt moratorium—against China!
“Many in Congress, from both sides of the aisle,” Banks said, “are ready to join me in holding China responsible for its bad behavior. We have to start by forcing China to pay for the burden and the cost incurred by the United States of America due to the coronavirus. I think there are many ways we can do that. The President could force the Chinese to relieve a great amount of American debt.”
He goes on to argue for more tariffs, and proposes putting the money into a “coronavirus victim relief fund,” due to the “negligence on China’s behalf that led to the crisis in America today.”
Almost meeting this level of insanity is the (not unexpected) Malthusian lunacy coming out of British Empire. While a Telegraph business journalist said “COVID-19 might even prove mildly beneficial in the long term by disproportionately culling elderly dependents,” and the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance called for doing nothing, pretending that “herd immunity” could develop—after the virus takes its toll; now Matt Ridley, the former chairman of Northern Rock mortgage bank, who oversaw its collapse in 2008, demanded “reparations from the Chinese government” in response to the “terrible human suffering” caused by the pandemic. Social media are full of reminders to Mr. Ridley of the British Empire’s many crimes (opium wars, slaughter, famine) for which reparations have never been offered.
Coronavirus Is Striking Africa, as South Africa Declares ‘State of Disaster’
March 17 (EIRNS)—World Health Organization Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reiterated in his March 16 briefing that scientists fear how the coronavirus will react when it spreads in underdeveloped nations. “So far, we have seen epidemics in countries with advanced and health systems,” he reminded people. “As the virus moves to low-income countries we are deeply concerned about the impact it could have among populations with high HIV prevalence or among malnourished children.”
That test is now upon us. On Sunday night, March 15, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in an address to the nation that he was declaring a “national disaster” over the presence of COVID-19. That allows the government to order school closures for more than 11 million schoolchildren, restrictions on travelers entering the country, and bans on meetings of more than 100 people, among other necessary measures.
South Africa only has 62 confirmed cases so far, but that number is increasing. The country has the highest number of HIV infections in the world—some 7.7 million people—and 60% of them also have tuberculosis. No one knows how the new virus will react, but South Africa’s Academy of Science recently reported that persons with HIV are eight times more likely than the general population to be admitted to hospitals for influenza-linked pneumonia, and three more times more likely to die from it.
How “social distancing” could be imposed on South Africa’s vast slums no one can imagine.
The virus is now confirmed to be present in 29 African nations reported business website Quartz today, but the total, given the limited capabilities of these nations to monitor the disease is anybody’s guess.
Kenya with only 3 confirmed cases, but, according to one 2015 paper, with only 130 intensive care beds for its 50 million people, it is also blocking entry to all travelers from countries with reported cases. Morocco, with 28 confirmed cases and 1 death, also closed its borders. Algeria, which has 48 cases, announced it would be suspending all flights to France starting today. In Tunisia, which has 20 confirmed cases, the Prime Minister has ordered the borders closed and a ban on large gatherings, including prayers in mosques. Mozambique has suspended all gatherings of 300 people or more, and all foreign travel by state officials.
Brazil and Mexico, Ibero-America’s Two Largest Nations, Refuse to Face Pandemic Reality
March 17 (EIRNS)—WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized on March 16 that the political commitment to combat COVID-19 has to come from the top, “at the highest level. This pandemic is not about the health sector alone. It touches almost all sectors of the government, and the whole of government approach, involving all sectors and led by the principal is very critical.”
His statement came in answer to a question about Mexico, which had been preceded by a question about Brazil.
The day before, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had not only organized mass demonstrations in cities across Brazil against his Congressional opposition, but he had also joined one of them himself. Seven members of Bolsonaro’s entourage during his four-day visit to Miami, Florida in the first week of March have now tested positive for the coronavirus, including his press secretary. The Mayor of Miami, who met with Bolsonaro, has now tested positive. The Medical Campus of Dade County and Bolsonaro’s 21-person U.S. escort team are still in isolation. Bolsonaro’s doctors told him to do likewise, but this clown did not care.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also refuses to ban mass meetings, even as the coronavirus is beginning to spread in Mexico. He allowed a huge “Vive Latino” rock festival to proceed on March 14, with tens of thousands attending. Today he announced he will attend ceremonies commemorating the 1938 oil expropriation on Wednesday, March 18, and the birth of Benito Juárez days later. He insists that he intends to continue with his tours around the country, “to keep people’s spirits up,” until a doctor indicates otherwise.
Mexico’s failure to take any measures has others of its neighbors up in arms. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele prohibited an Avianca jetliner from Mexico City from landing in San Salvador, charging that it carried 12 people infected with the virus. The flight originated in Chicago.
Spain Renationalizes Health System, Turns to China as COVID-19 Explodes
March 17 (EIRNS)—Spain’s Minister of Health Salvador Illa announced on Sunday, March 15, that all private health providers and infrastructure will be temporarily incorporated back into the national healthcare system, to centralize resources and capabilities to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Retired doctors, all last-year medical students in residencies, and physicians still completing their specialties are being mobilized. All companies which can produce diagnostic material and protective equipment (e.g. masks, gloves, or sanitizer) have been given 48 hours to contact authorities, or face fines. Military forces are preparing to deploy and operate emergency health facilities, such as field hospitals.
The mobilization is not ahead of the crisis. The rate of increase of COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to rise rapidly. Over the course of March 16 alone, cases increased from about 8,000 to 11,300, with 200 people dying, bringing that total to 500.
Even so, the separatist virus is feeding the coronavirus. The Catalan and Basque regions are resisting the centralization of powers and jurisdictions contained in the state of emergency.
Spain’s fierce attachment to the European Union, and insistence on dealing with China only through the EU, is cracking, as due note has been taken in Spain that the EU refused to aid Italy, but China stepped in.
In the past few days, the Chinese community in Spain brought aid. El Confidencial’s report sums up the result:
“From Madrid to Córdoba, from Zaragoza to Jerez, the images of Chinese citizens in Spain arriving with vans full of boxes of masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to donate to hospitals, police and fire stations, have generated applause and expressions of gratitude all over Spain. In full European paralysis, they are the ones who have mobilized massively in the face of the dramatic situation of health professionals, who have been asking urgently for weeks for masks and respirators for the front-lines of the battle against COVID-19.”
Energy and Water Requirements for New Hospitals To Move to Hill-Burton Standard
March 17 (EIRNS)—The following is a rough estimate of the volume of additional electricity and water usage required for the hospital system of the United States under Hill-Burton standards, and the volume required for the whole planet, to support the full complement of what should be 34 million hospital beds at modern standards. The fact that these quantities are gigantic, by comparison to today’s very limited hospital capacities, only underscores the reality that we must think in terms of making the political-economic shift to a whole new platform of productivity, providing actually human conditions to all humanity.
At the present levels of approximately 925,000 beds (2.8 beds per 1,000), the United States would need an additional 575,000 beds to get us to the Hill-Burton levels of 4.5 beds per 1,000. According to a 2007 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the biggest 3,040 hospitals, with approximately 915,000 beds, used about 458 trillion BTUs per year. To add 575,000 beds would then require about 287 trillion BTUs, or about 85 billion KWh, per year. That translates into a 9600 MW power plant, or power plants.
For a reference point, 9,600 MW would be about 10 Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactors, or one and a half Grand Coulee Dams (running at full capacity).
Perhaps the versatility of small modular nuclear reactors, like those produced by NuScale Power, would be relevant in this context. NuScale produces 9 diameter X 65 height units that start out at 60 MW. For cities at the center of the COVID-19 breakout, New York would require seven reactors of this size, and Seattle would require about one, to get to Hill-Burton standards.
In terms of water requirements, the same EIA report gave the estimate that these 3,040 large hospitals used 133 billion gallons of water per year. To get to Hill-Burton standards would require an additional 84 billion gallons per year.
For a sense of perspective, the world’s largest proposed desalination plant, located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, would produce about 100 billion gallons of water per year. Some 84 billion gallons a year is also about 6% of the water runoff into the San Francisco Bay devoted to the Delta Smelt.
To power the entire planet’s hospitals at Hill-Burton standards (35 million hospital beds) would require about 358 GW, or 358 Westinghouse reactors or 52 Grand Coulee dams running at full capacity. Global water requirements for hospitals at Hill-Burton standards would require about 5 trillion gallons annually, which is about half the maximum capacity of Hoover Dam’s Lake Mead, or about 40% more than the present, depleted volume.
Large Family-Size and Jumbo Relief Bills Are Moving in Congress, but No ‘Stimulus’
March 17 (EIRNS)—According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at his late afternoon press conference, Senate Republicans have decided that the House “relief” bill will be passed by the Senate without amendment and apparently within the next 24 hours. President Donald Trump seems committed to sign it. That bill is essentially a temporary entitlement program for unemployment insurance, paid sick leave or home healthcare leave, and paid quarantine/layoff, so its cost can’t really be set, but has been estimated at anywhere from $100-400 billion. As soon as that legislation is actually passed EIR will attempt to give a more detailed account of it.
But in addition, the Senate Republicans have determined with the White House to design a second piece of legislation with a much larger payout to businesses and households, perhaps over $1 trillion in authorization. The content of that one will be more controversial and take debate and compromise. President Trump clearly wants it to suspend payroll taxes for the remainder of 2020, but there does not seem to be support for that in either house of Congress. The Senate GOP wants to reimburse all costs for small (<500 employees) businesses for paid sick leave as noted; they want to guarantee (through the Federal Reserve) forbearance and suspension of corporate debt payment deadlines by banks and other lenders, to the end of the year; they want direct aid to the most-affected businesses such as airlines; and they want direct payments to virtually all households of $1,000 or more.
Senate Democrats will fight the third of these steps, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren already leading the charge against bailing out any large employer without “conditions.” She laid out eight of these conditions as her particular demands. The sore points are that precisely these companies have been performing “financial engineering” with their net income and borrowings—buying back shares in large volumes, doling out big dividends, etc.—and that they may have been laying off workers.
The first bill is being called “relief,” the second, with no justification, is being referred to as “stimulus.” There is still no discussion discernable anywhere of an investment in basic economic infrastructure as part of this “stimulus.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Tougher Isolation Coming in U.S. Coronavirus Hotspots
March 17 (EIRNS)—Six counties in the San Francisco Bay area were ordered to “shelter-in-place” for the next three weeks. The six counties are San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda, involving 7 million people. San Francisco Mayor London Breed said that city residents would be required to stay at home “except for essential needs,” defined as going to doctors, gas stations, banks, pharmacies and the like, as well as taking care of loved ones. Although mandatory, authorities are asking for “voluntary compliance” from citizens.
These are the kinds of measures being adopted in the growing number of localities or regions where the coronavirus is judged to be spreading too quickly, as the federal government has said may be necessary. Mayor Bill de Blasio today told a press conference that “all New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter-in-place order.” The decision will be made in the next 48 hours, he said. The city now has 814 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 124 of them in the hospital, and 7 dead so far, he said.
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut jointly announced on March 16 that they are prohibiting all gatherings of over 50 people, “until further notice.” New York Governor Cuomo said that “we have agreed to a common set of rules that will pertain in all of our states, so don’t even think about going to a neighboring state” thinking you will find a different set of conditions.
Election primaries have been postponed to May or June, or transformed from in-person voting to mail-in only, in at least seven states in recent days (Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Puerto Rico and Wyoming).
Did ‘Putin’s Chef’ Just Outfox Mueller’s Mad Dogs?
March 17 (EIRNS)—The Justice Department is moving to dismiss Robert Mueller’s indictment of Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering, two of the companies charged with conspiracy based on alleged election meddling by Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg company.
All of these companies have been associated by Mueller and the media with Yevgeny Prigozhin, whom the same Russia-bashing media have nicknamed “Putin’s chef.” Prigozhin released a statement to the British tabloids following the dismissal saying he intended to sue prosecutors for billions. He did not say where such a suit would be filed and there is some question as to whether he will pursue further litigation.
At issue in the case is the alleged interference in the 2016 election by St. Petersburg’s Internet Research Agency, which did conduct a very amateurish social media campaign in 2016, playing a bit with the American psyche. Far from influencing the election, a solid 56% of IRA’s posts occurred after the election and 25% of them were seen by no one and amounted to an expenditure of some $200,000 in Facebook ad expenditures. Nonetheless, Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee hammered away that Russia! Russia! Russia! had compromised the election on behalf of Donald Trump. IRA is a social media ad company which generates money for itself by baiting clicks.
When Mueller indicted IRA, he did not expect that IRA, or Concord, or the employees charged would ever show up to court in the U.S. But, the two Concord entities did show up, represented by counsel. The other defendants have never answered the indictment. The effort to now dismiss the two Concord defendants occurs with trial imminent. The judge in the contentious case, Hon. Dabney Friedrich, had previously ruled that the prosecutors had not shown any connection between the Concord defendants and the Russian government.
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