Rally in D.C., Defeat The Mandates, Online misinformation ecosystem, Podcasts targeted, ‘with COVID’ vs. ‘for COVID’, Perpetual emergency, Dog photos, Dr. Jennifer Margulis, Investigative journalism, Vaccines, Children’s health and well-being, Empowering women and children, Sedentary America and MORE!

January 24th, 2022 3-5PM ET

Monday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:

Thousands rally in DC to oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates, demand ‘freedom’ Thousands gathered in the nation’s capital to protest against vaccine mandates nationwide, with attendees saying they were standing up for “freedom.” “I’m here to be a part of this movement, to fight for freedom and for the right to decide what’s right for your body,” one “Defeat the Mandates” rallygoer told Fox News. Numerous cities, including Washington, D.C., as well as private entities, have enacted COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Vaccines offer superior protection against the virus, according to health experts who have also said that mandates are an effective tool to promote widespread vaccination.  “I’m from… a socialist country, so I value the freedom that they have here,” a Vietnamese native told Fox News. He said he attended the rally to “stand up for my right” and “fight for what I believe.” Another woman said: “We’re just here for freedom in general. Medical freedom, freedom of choice, just being able to go to work and go into an establishment and do normal things without having to subject ourselves to a medical, experimental vaccine.”

What the Joe Rogan podcast controversy says about the online misinformation ecosystem An open letter urging Spotify to crack down on COVID-19 misinformation has gained the signatures of more than a thousand doctors, scientists and health professionals spurred by growing concerns over anti-vaccine rhetoric on the audio app’s hit podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. The medical and scientific experts slammed Rogan’s track record of airing false claims about the coronavirus pandemic, vaccines and unproven treatments, calling it “a sociological issue of devastating proportions.” Spotify, they say, has enabled him. While audio apps so far have escaped the scrutiny that has befallen social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the pressure on Spotify illustrates how podcasts have emerged as an influential source of misinformation. In a December episode of his podcast, Rogan interviewed Dr. Robert Malone, a scientist who worked on early research into the mRNA technology behind top COVID-19 vaccines, but who is now critical of the mRNA vaccines. Malone made baseless and disproven claims, including falsely stating that getting vaccinated puts people who already have had COVID-19 at higher risk.

China brings back anal swab testing for Covid in world’s most brutal lockdown two weeks before Winter Olympics begin CHINA has brought back its “undignified” anal Covid swabs just two weeks before the Beijing Winter Olympics begin. The Communist regime claims the virus test — which involves inserting a 5cm long saline-soaked swab up a patient’s bum and rotating it — is more accurate than other on-the-spot virus tests. Chinese newspaper The Beijing News said at least 27 people underwent the anal swab tests at an apartment building in Beijing where a 26-year-old woman had caught Omicron — the city’s first recorded case of the variant. The invasive anal tests involve inserting a sterile cotton swab into the rectum and rotating it several times. The swab is removed and analysed in a lab. When the tests were proposed in March, Li Tongzeng, a respiratory disease medic, told state media that Covid traces stay detectable for longer in poo samples than they do in the nose or throat. However, the prospect of foreign visitors being swabbed up the bum has sparked controversy. Japan is calling on China to stop using the “undignified” test as some passengers said it caused them “psychological distress”.

Number of patients hospitalized ‘with COVID’ vs. ‘for COVID’ is shifting While hospitals are still under strain from an influx of patients and staff shortages due to quick spreading omicron variant, they’re now seeing a marked increase in patients who have COVID-19, but were admitted for some other medical issue. That’s a change from earlier waves of the pandemic, when a majority of people entering hospitals with COVID-19 had trouble breathing or low blood oxygen levels and often needed respiratory support. Also different is how the current omicron variant appears to affect most people, resulting in fewer falling seriously ill. But don’t take that to mean the health care system is in the clear or that people should dismiss the virus, medical experts say. And regardless of what let to their hospitalization, statistics on how many patients are infected are still an important indicator of where we are in the pandemic – and what to expect from the disease when it’s considered an endemic virus that flares up seasonally. In the early days of the pandemic, “the overwhelming majority of people who were COVID-positive were there (in the hospital) because of respiratory need,” said Dr. Shruti Gohil, associate medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at UC Irvine Medical Center. Patients seeking care were experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, high fevers and body aches, Hospital Association of Southern California CEO George Greene said.

The Emergency Must Be Ended, Now The time has come to terminate the pandemic state of emergency. It is time to end the controls, the closures, the restrictions, the plexiglass, the stickers, the exhortations, the panic-mongering, the distancing announcements, the ubiquitous commercials, the forced masking, the vaccine mandates. We don’t mean that the virus is gone – omicron is still spreading wildly, and the virus may circulate forever.  But with a normal focus on protecting the vulnerable, we can treat the virus as a medical rather than a social matter and manage it in ordinary ways. A declared emergency needs continuous justification, and that is now lacking. Over the last six weeks in the US, the delta variant strain – the most recent aggressive version of the infection – has according to CDC been declining in both the proportion of infections (60% on December 18 to 0.5% on January 15) and the number of daily infected people (95,000 to 2,100). During the next two weeks, delta will decline to the point that it essentially disappears like the strains before it. Omicron is mild enough that most people, even many high-risk people, can adequately cope with the infection. Omicron infection is no more severe than seasonal flu, and generally less so. A large portion of the vulnerable population in the developed world is already vaccinated and protected against severe disease. We have learned much about the utility of inexpensive supplements like Vitamin D to reduce disease risk, and there is a host of good therapeutics available to prevent hospitalization and death should a vulnerable patient become infected. And for younger people, the risk of severe disease – already low before omicron – is minuscule.

Restaurant ordered to close after accepting dog photos instead of vaccination proof A Canadian restaurant was ordered to temporarily cease its indoor dining services after allowing customers to present dog photos instead of proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or negative test results, health officials said. Alberta Health Services issued the closure order Friday after it investigated complaints about the Granary Kitchen in Red Deer, the agency said. Two investigators posing as customers entered Granary Kitchen separately and at different times after providing photos and personal identification to restaurant staff, the agency said in the order. “In both instances, facility staff used a tablet to make it appear as if they were scanning a QR code when in fact the staff member was presented with a photograph of a dog,” the agency said. “The staff member then proceeded to ask the test shopper for personal identification and offered dine in services.” The restaurant was ordered to close its indoor dining area and submit a written COVID-19 compliance plan that follows the province’s indoor dining rules. Granary Kitchen was also ordered to train employees on the rules. In a Facebook post Friday, the restaurant called the incident “an unfortunate circumstance at our front door which involved one of our underage hostesses.”

Hour 2 Special Guest – Dr. Jennifer Margulis

Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning investigative journalist, Fulbright grantee, and sought-after speaker. The author/editor of seven nonfiction books, she has been researching and writing about issues related to children’s health and well-being for fifteen years. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine, and in dozens of other magazines, newspapers, and websites. She has taught literature in inner city Atlanta; appeared live on prime-time TV in Paris; and worked on a child survival campaign in Niger, West Africa. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to stick her neck out, she is nationally known as a journalist whose writing helps empower women and children. The daughter of world-renowned evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, she is originally from Boston, Massachusetts but now lives with her family in southern Oregon.

A Quarter of U.S. Adults Are Too Sedentary, CDC Map Shows Two years into a pandemic that has normalized work-from-home and moved many social gatherings online, new data from the Centers for Disease Control show that many Americans were couch potatoes long before Covid-19. A quarter of U.S. adults aren’t active enough to protect their health, according to a CDC study conducted from 2017-2020. The agency released a map on Thursday showing that Puerto Rico and states in the South had the highest prevalence of inactivity, followed by the Midwest, Northeast and West. Colorado, Utah, Washington and Vermont were the most-active states. “Getting enough physical activity could prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths,” said Ruth Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, in a statement. The health benefits include better sleep, lower blood pressure and anxiety, and reduced risk for heart disease and several cancers. The CDC findings come from an ongoing telephone survey, called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Any exercise outside of work, from walking to golf or gardening, was considered physical activity.

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