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Rep. Gabbard slams younger members of Congress for getting COVID-19 vaccine before the elderly

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Congresswoman and former Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) criticized her young congressional colleagues on Monday for taking the COVID-19 vaccine before the elderly as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for not making seniors a priority.

Notably, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who is 31 years old, recorded herself Friday receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and posted it to her Instagram account.

Members of Congress have been taking the vaccine as part of the “continuity of governance” plan, which propels them to the front of the line ahead of at-risk seniors and other frontline workers.

“Heartless, arrogant, unelected CDC bureaucrats have decided that the lives of elderly Americans don’t count,” Gabbard said in a morning tweet.

“They’re recommending 100 million ‘essential workers’ (i.e. healthy people working at liquor stores or phone companies) can get the vaccine before our grandparents,” she continued, also saying in the attached video that the CDC “for months” has “been telling us that the elderly are the most vulnerable.”

Gabbard at one point in the minute-long video brought up her aunt, saying, “That members of Congress, like me, we can get the vaccine before at-risk seniors can, people like my aunt who is imprisoned in her own home because of the danger that if she catches the disease, she could die.”

“This is immoral and bad health policy,” the 39-year-old congresswoman wrote below the video. “I had planned to get the vaccine but will now stand in solidarity with our seniors by not doing so until THEY can. I urge my colleagues who are under 65 and healthy to join me.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday rubber-stamped Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine about a week after okaying Pfizer’s, which has been overwhelmingly seen as a boon for the U.S. in its effort to immunize the country from the deadly virus.

There have been concerns that many elderly Americans who need vaccine doses are not getting them, with doses in the country still in limited supply.

On top of that, many Americans have expressed wariness toward taking the vaccines due to how fast the vaccines were developed, to some reports of allergic reactions to those who took the Pfizer one, as well as to some misinformation about the vaccines that have been circling around.

Public officials have received the vaccine publicly in an effort to ease concerns.

Vice President Mike Pence already took the vaccine on Friday, with President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden receiving the vaccine on Monday. On Friday, too, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) got the vaccine.

President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has been on the sidelines about himself receiving the vaccine. Earlier this month, Trump tweeted that he was “not scheduled” to take the vaccine, but looked “forward to doing so at the appropriate time.”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1338325735778476035

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world

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China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Key findings of the report are below.

“Persuaded to return”

According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.

Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.

The Nine Forbidden Countries

China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.

Conclusion

According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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