White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told CNBC Squawk Box hosts that China is recruiting and paying over a million citizens to monitor and influence the U.S. 2020 presidential election process Monday. He described the Wu Mao army, as an online “troll army” aimed at getting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden elected in November.
Navarro’s warnings are buttressed off of recent U.S. intelligence reports suggesting not only is Russia targeting the elections but so is China, along with other nefarious state actors, such as Iran. One former U.S. military intelligence official told me “China is a very serious concern because they have a vested interest now to work against Trump – his trade deal and actions regarding Hong Kong are several reasons.”
Navarro said the Chinese government is “clearly buying their time waiting for the election hoping Joe Biden will get elected. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Wu Mao army?”
“But one of the things that’s going on is the Chinese communist party is waging informational army the Wu Mao army is millions of Chinese that get paid to troll our Internet and push anti-Trump messages, pro-Biden messages.”
“I looked at what’s going on here with our democracy it’s the scariest as I’ve ever seen it’s become a tool like the Chinese communist party to influence what’s going on here as the president loves to say, let’s see what happens in November but in the meantime, we have to be on guard,” he said.
Navarro also said that the Trump administration’s “rationale for the policy of banning TikTok, WeChat, perhaps others is simply that these are tools where they collect information that goes back to the Chinese mainland…That information can be used by the Chinese Communist Party or the people’s liberation army. There is a reason, Scott, why the Defense Department banned TikTok.”
He added the numerous dangers of using “social media apps to surveil, track and monitor people,.”
He warned that the Chinese can access information such as usernames and passwords, many times which are used by persons throughout their various accounts.
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Elizabeth Warren Acknowledges Unintended Consequences of Obamacare
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is now acknowledging the unintended consequences of the healthcare legislation, particularly its impact on industry consolidation and rising healthcare prices.
Warren, who has been a vocal proponent of Obamacare, has recently had what the Wall Street Journal reported as an “epiphany” regarding the consequences of the healthcare law. In a letter addressed to the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Warren, along with Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, expressed concerns about vertically-integrated healthcare companies potentially increasing prescription drug costs and evading federal regulations.
According to reports from Fox News, the bipartisan letter highlighted issues with the nation’s largest health insurers allegedly bypassing Obamacare’s medical loss ratio (MLR). According to Warren, these insurers, through vertical integration, have manipulated the system, leading to “sky-high prescription drug costs and excessive corporate profits.”
The senators detailed how conglomerates, like UnitedHealth Group, with ownership across various healthcare sectors, could inflate medical payments to pharmacies and, by realizing those payments on the pharmacy side, appear to comply with MLR requirements while retaining more profits.
Moreover, despite the Democrats’ argument that the MLR would benefit patients, it has incentivized insurers to merge with or acquire pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail and specialty pharmacies, and healthcare providers. This, in turn, has made healthcare spending less transparent, as insurers can allegedly shift profits to their affiliates by increasing reimbursements.
Warren, who has consistently voted against Obamacare repeal efforts, notably advocated for a “Medicare for All” proposal during her 2020 presidential campaign. Despite her prior support for the healthcare law, Warren’s recent concerns about its unintended consequences have raised questions about the long-term effects of Obamacare and its impact on the healthcare industry.
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