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By Camille Howard
It’s time for residents who live within the Petersburg city limits, to declare their candidacy and sign up to run for the positions of mayor or city council member.
If you would like to see changes made in how city business is conducted, here is your opportunity.
The same people are elected every year because usually no one runs against them. That’s not to say they would automatically lose the election, but they wouldn’t be guaranteed a win either.
It’s the same with any other public office - the complaints are many but the solutions offered are few.
Public office is more often than not a thankless job, hence the lack of candidates. Maybe it’s the fear of being defeated ... or the fear of being elected.
This is a good year to run for city council, as there are five seats to fill. Any city resident 18 or older can file by Jan. 30 to run for mayor or city council. You have through June to campaign!
And what about the big New Year’s Eve party at The Greenbrier? It looked like more people were there than on the streets on New York watching the ball drop.
So while most people were at home or with a few friends and family, those at The Greenbrier were cheek-to-cheek, ringing in 2021.
We all know there were parties at other places, and you may have been attending one. There are very few who haven’t broken the “rules” during the pandemic. But at a time when we’re being asked to do everything possible to keep the virus from spreading and follow all the guidelines, it is irritating to see the partygoers on this video.
It certainly reflects poorly on the owner of the establishment - Gov. Jim Justice, even though he says he was unaware of what was going on. Explanations were given, but eventually the buck has to stop somewhere.
There were a myriad of excuses supplied by all sorts of other people about this incident, but clearly someone showed poor judgment in allowing that gathering. In fact, everyone in that room showed poor judgment.
Meanwhile, newly elected state Delegate Derrick Evans (R-Wayne) made state and national headlines by not only attending the protest/riot at the Capitol, but breaching the building, all while taking video of himself in action and then posting it on social media.
Evans subsequently deleted the video but unfortunately for him, nothing ever really goes away after it’s been on social media.
Each citizen has the right to peacefully protest, however no one has the right to storm the nation’s Capitol.
His official statement, posted on his Facebook page, says, “I was simply there as an independent member of the media to film history.” If that’s true, why did he show up wearing a helmet?
He now has charges against him and has been taken into federal custody. This past weekend he resigned his House of Delegates seat.
Frustration with the recent election, the oppressive results of Covid-19 and the “us vs. them” attitude that has grown recently, set the stage for this riot and those last year. But that’s no excuse for criminal activity. And there is also no excuse for manipulating citizens, either, no matter which side of the aisle.
For more on the story see Page 5 in this week’s Press.
Finally, residents and staff members at long-term care facilities across West Virginia have begun receiving their second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Todd Jones, president of AMFM Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, discussed with the governor last week the progress being seen at their facilities.
“Many states have not even begun their process. A lot of the long-term care facilities will not receive their first dose until either the end of this month or the first of February. So where West Virginia is right now, leading the country in long-term care, is very exciting.
“We’ve been contacted by folks all over the country, asking us what West Virginia is doing,” Jones continued. “It’s very nice to be leading the country and to have some of the largest counties in the entire country calling West Virginia and asking us how we’ve been successful.”
If you have questions about vaccination visit vaccinate.wv.gov or call 1-833-734-0965.

By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

Manipulating the news is a standard propaganda technique for molding public behavior. Today it may be called “fake news.”
It can be very hard to sort out the facts in the cacophony of conflicting statements on Covid-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, perched as head bureaucrat at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since the 1980s, would make it very simple for you: “Just do what you are told.” Don’t wear a mask, or wear a mask. Go back to normal when there’s a vaccine; or when 70% are vaccinated; no, when 90% are vaccinated; or maybe when 70% to 85% are vaccinated.
If Americans were to make informed decisions for themselves, they would need to know the facts about such issues as:
• The true risk of disease and death — and the accuracy of diagnostic tests;
• The means of transmission of the disease;
• Health measures to improve their immune system, such as vitamins and zinc supplements;
• Early at-home treatments, including hydroxychloroquine, antibiotics, corticosteroids and ivermectin; and
• Risks and benefits of the vaccines now being rolled out.
In China, attorney and citizen-journalist Zhang Zhan is on trial for “spreading lies” — i.e. videotaping scenes like a hospital hallway and a crematory that conflicted with the narrative of the government’s “wise, triumphant response.”
Fortunately, the U.S. does not have 5-year prison terms for such activities, but we do have “Twitter jail” and “Facebook jail” for doctors such as Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, who post information about their treatment successes.
Videos and postings on many other social media outlets are also taken down and branded as “harmful misinformation” at the discretion of the owners. Viewers are referred to U.S. federal agencies or to the World Health Organization (WHO), which is pervasively influenced by foreign powers, especially China.           
A few important facts that the public probably doesn’t know:
• PCR tests that have a cycle threshold (CT) greater than 30 or 35 are more than 90% likely to be false positives. There are also false negatives, and delaying treatment may miss the window of opportunity for success.
• Evidence now suggests that asymptomatic transmission is rare. And where is the virus — in the droplets from your breath, or in the explosion of droplets from toilet flushes? Virus may persist in feces for months. Why are Chinese flight attendants being told to wear diapers?
• Vitamin D deficiency is very common and probably quadruples your risk of death from Covid-19.
• Independent physicians are using a number of safe, affordable treatments and keeping their patients out of the hospital and out of the morgue. But public health authorities, hospitals and organized medicine may deplore, discourage, or even ban such treatments, allegedly because of insufficient “scientific” information.
• It is impossible to know the long-term effects of vaccines that have been used on limited numbers of trial subjects for only a few months. Neurological effects such as Bell’s palsy have occurred after vaccination. Companies admit they don’t know effects on fertility or birth defects. Trial subjects had to agree to use acceptable contraception until at least 28 days after the final dose. Men have even been advised to freeze some sperm.
How do we sort out the fake news or scaremongering? The remedy for misinformation is openness and free discussion. But here are two means for promulgating errors or lies and protecting them against rebuttal:           
First, under the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, section 1078, Operation Mockingbird was allegedly mobilized against U.S. citizens. This program purportedly could enable the Central Intelligence Agency to manipulate the news in the U.S. by channeling it through a foreign country — perhaps one that would benefit from destroying the U.S. economy. Federal agencies should not be funding news outlets and thereby influencing their content.            
Second, social media outlets can control content with impunity under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA, section 230), which protects them from tort liability. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) threatened to withdraw this protection if they did not de-platform certain views. AAPS filed a lawsuit asking the court to enjoin Rep. Schiff from coercing media outlets to censor information about vaccine risks. There are increasing calls to censor information that might cause “vaccine hesitancy” or “distrust of government,” based on the opinion of non-accountable authorities or “fact-checkers.”            
The situation is complicated by the huge financial stakes. Forbes magazine has found 50 new pandemic billionaires in 2020, from 11 different countries, the majority now residing in China. Between 1999 and 2018, the pharmaceutical and health products industry spent about $6 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions.           
Public health authorities are very worried about loss of public trust. There is good reason for distrust. Without open discussion, skepticism will only increase.
Dr. Orient has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons since 1989.

Welcome to the letter to the editor page.

Petersburg, WV

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Editor - Camille Howard;
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