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Trump Admin Weighs Banning Chinese App TikTok

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The Trump administration is weighing a decision to possibly ban the popular video creation application TikTok, which is owned by China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed to Fox News host Laura Ingraham Monday night.

“Laura, your viewers should know we’re taking this very seriously. We’re certainly looking at it. We’ve worked on this very issue for a long time, whether it was the problems of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure. We’ve gone all over the world and we’re making real progress getting that out. We declared ZTE a danger to American national security. We’ve done all of these things,” Pompeo told Ingraham of the decision.

“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura. I don’t want to get out in front of the President, but it’s something we’re looking at.”

When asked whether he would recommend Americans download the app, Pompeo remarked, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

The app has amassed 30 million American users. It’s already been banned in India and Australia is moving to do the same. The Pentagon has already warned of the app’s security threats and many departments including the U.S. Army have banned its use altogether.

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COVID-19

Beijing Olympics lowers COVID testing standards, otherwise, there would be no Olympics

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How convenient when a bureaucratic body has the power to switch COVID standards at the drop of a hat in order to allow it to continue moving forward and not shut down as the rest of us have been forced to do. COVID Standards around testing and quarantine rules are going from asinine and impossible to achieve to almost gone in the blink of an eye. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week he was doing away with all COVID precautions from vaccine mandates to mask wearing, and instead, would rely on the judgement of its citizens to protect themselves.

Now, the Beijing Olympics organizers and Chinese authorities are lowering the threshold for athletes to participate in the upcoming games. Likely, they realize that just like all other aspects of the world, the mandates and expectations are shutting down businesses and industries left and right.

Specifically, China has lowered the threshold for producing a negative COVID-19 test for participants as they arrive for the Winter Games which will begin next week on February 4th. In a statement, organizers said:

“In order to adapt to the reality of the current environment and further support of Games participants, Beijing 2022 and the Chinese authorities, in consultation with medical experts and IOC, refined countermeasures with the following changes effective 23 January 2022.”

The concern was that athletes could test negative in their home countries after recovering from COVID-19 but still test positive upon their arrival in China, reported the Wall Street Journal. That’s because their testing standards were “tougher than those used by many sports leagues in the U.S. and Europe.”

The CBC reports the communication was sent out by Beijing 2022 on Sunday explaining it was dropping the cycle threshold (Ct) value from 40 to 35. Anyone with a PCR result of less than 35 will be considered positive. The higher the Ct value, the less infectious a person with COVID-19 is. The CBC also reports:

Further changes include that if a positive participant spends 10 days or more in isolation, then that person will be released to their Games time accommodation if they are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms and if their PCR results have a Ct value greater than or equal to 35 for the past three consecutive days.

Another change is reducing the time in which a person is deemed a close contact, dropping from two weeks to seven days.

“During that period, testing will be carried out twice daily. The close contact will be able to choose whether their PCR test sample is collected as a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab,” the communication explained.

All of these changes will be applied immediately and will also apply retrospectively.

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