(Author’s note: What follows is a relatively short summary of piecemeal conversations Glenn and I have had about Conservative Media over the last number of years. For the most part, the thoughts are ours, but the words are mine. It’s possible that I have accidentally taken his words or used his thoughts incorrectly. My apologies in advance for any oversights — I will be sure to make comments post facto. This is related to Glenn’s post, "A Heavy Heart and the Road Ahead.")

What does success look like?

If you are an entrepreneur, this seemingly simple question may be hard to answer. And no one even tells you to think about it, let alone helps you define it.

Is it top-line revenue? EBITA? Cash flow? A liquidity event? Influence and relevance? Doing good in the world? Some combination of all these things? Or will you just “know it when you see it”?

Failure, on the other hand, is easy to define.

When I joined Glenn coming up on three years ago now, we didn’t have a clear definition for success. For some of our business lines, the definition is obvious. For others, less so. At this point, here’s what I know: 

I am certain that TheBlaze is not a failure, yet I am equally as sure that TheBlaze is not a success.

I know that success, however defined, must reflect the three principles that got Glenn and this company to where he is today: transparency, humility and humanity.

The only way a media organization can earn trust is to be worthy of trust. For the people who already believe we try to be the best we can be, thank you. For those who don’t yet, or who think they never will, maybe this will help… or maybe not.

Today, Glenn announced we are laying off about 20 percent of the combined workforce of Mercury Radio Arts — with the majority of those impacted working at TheBlaze. We are doing this for a number of reasons. Glenn touches on several in his post. I would like to touch on a few more and go a bit deeper.

  • Glenn is a self-described catastrophist (though a hopeful one) and is drawn to the challenges in front of us. It is both a blessing and a curse for someone who spends so much time reading history to be able to recognize patterns they have seen before. The decisions we made today were predicated on our trying to figure out what comes tomorrow.
  • “Conservative Media” is down across the board from what we can see and what we are hearing. We are not immune.
  • The media industry, profitable or otherwise, is in disarray. And, like everyone else, we are going to be part of the problem or part of the solution. Currently, we are not part of the solution.
  • When TheBlaze started, it was important for it to look and feel as polished and “professional” as the big boys. Maybe that was true then, or maybe we projected something that was unnecessary at the time, but today, “polished and professional” often feels inauthentic, which can be deadly when authenticity is king. Because we believe authenticity is about removing the artificial filters between our content and the audience, we are drastically changing how we produce content (less studio shoots, control rooms, and PEDs[SJ1], for example).
  • Glenn is a content creator, that is his unique skill and passion. Everything else we do is to support that gift, but nothing else we do is unique to us. We have to hone that gift and focus on making it better, rather than attempting at being the best (or good enough) at so many different things.

I won’t do all (maybe any) of these topics justice — as Glenn mentioned — this was going to be an eight-part series we were working on together, but I hope it provides some context for our thinking going forward.

The Media:

I think it is historically accurate to say that the media has always skewed left, at least by some degree. I think — besides his significant talent — it is why Rush became Rush. He was the antidote to the “drive-by” media. But as we fast-forward through the 80s and 90s and 00s, does anyone, feel that the media has just “skewed” a couple degrees? I’m not suggesting that you ask someone from the right. Ask anyone. Of course those on the right will answer “yes”, but I believe many on the left agree. I read the same polling data you do — the Democrats trust the media more than the GOP, and I understand that. But if you look deeper into the data and you look at who is trusting what, I think it is obvious that the relationship between the public and the media is in a terrible place — regardless who is to blame. I am not making excuses for the media (or for Glenn — he has apologized enough for any one person for their role). I am just stating the facts as I see them.

What we can all agree on — I think, I hope — is that a media outlet that is actually trusted, knows the difference between fact and opinion and has no agenda other than speaking truth. A news media that speaks truth to power is a requirement for our democratic experiment.

We have been waiting for a reckoning, a decision by individual members of the media and their corporate bosses to make the hard choices. We have waited a while, and we believe we will be waiting a long time to come.

If we believe, which I believe most of us (“us” being Americans) do, that the Fourth Estate is vital to our nation, what comes next? I can’t speak for the media, I can’t speak for talk radio, I can only speak for myself (and somewhat for Glenn). What comes next for us is to continue down the road we have been — trying every day to do better and be better than we were the day before.

What follows is some of our thinking of the challenges within Conservative Media. I do not in any way mean to speak for it. I have been a consumer of Conservative Media for over 20 years, but an insider for less than three. I have vetted these ideas with colleagues, friends, Glenn and even “frenemies,” and they seem to hold some truth to these thoughts. But I look forward (in comments or otherwise) to learning from others in how to think differently and/or more clearly.

Conservative Media is a UNIQUE Industry:

Has there ever been an industry that has a Coca-Cola as the number one and an unbranded carbonated cola water as a number two? I can’t think of another. Certainly, not over a prolonged period of time. I do not believe there is one answer as to why. It is a confluence of factors. For purposes of the below, I ask you to define Conservative Media any way you want, within reason (CNN is not Conservative Media for an example as being outside reason). You can put TheBlaze at the outer rim or you can put anyone else at the outer rim — the issues described below are just as applicable. (Which, by just the sheer number of people who are center/center right in the country, is an unbelievable thing to behold.)

Lack of funding & “Liquidity Events”:

I can think of two significant media properties that have been purchased for multiple hundreds of millions of dollars in the last number of years: The Huffington Post and Business Insider. Similarly, BuzzFeed and Vice received massive investments from the mainstream media outlets. But there have been no acquisitions or significant investments in Conservative Media. We can argue about the why, but we cannot argue with the facts. A company should never (or at least rarely) start with an exit in mind, but what happens when there is no prospect of an exit, be it through an IPO or an acquisition?

What happens is that you cannot grow faster than your revenue allows. Why would anyone want to invest significant money (let alone why would responsible management want to raise significant money) when there is seemingly no prospect of liquidity in the future? Without equity investment, you cannot focus on building an audience and monetizing it later. You won’t see the Facebook or Amazon approach simply because we as an industry cannot afford it. Jeff Bezos is famous for thinking years out and not caring about quarterly or even yearly P&L —  I challenge him (or anyone else) to do that in Conservative Media.

Attracting and retaining talent:

(Author’s note: Considering this post is being shared on the day we have let go a lot of friends, I have included this section only because I deem it so important to the overall discourse. The choices we made does not change the overall challenges, though I readily recognize that it may appear tone deaf, and apologize in advance for that.)

Growing from five to 50 people is relatively easy. Of course, there are risks and challenges in getting the right people, but in terms of finding 45 additional people who share the heart and soul, and who see a future — that is doable. But 500 people? Harder. Now 500 people who all know there is no liquidity event on the horizon (either because they are smart enough to know this or because management does not lie to them) — really hard.

This also means that for people who we do attract they are either true believers — the good and the bad of that (you want fans, not sycophants) and/or need to be paid market rate in compensation because there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Cash plus equity is not a compelling proposition when Conservative Media does not have a liquidity event on the horizon.

But talent is not just about compensation — we all know that. It is also about a career path. A career path has multiple variables, from who you know, to what city you live in, to the credibility of your last role, etc. If someone starts at Conservative Media company X as a writer and they are writing “within the goalposts” of mainstream conservative content and popping out four to six stories a day and hitting their traffic goals and then some, what’s next? If they are at one of the few conservative media companies that is not considered monstrous (which I am gratified (?) that TheBlaze is not one of them) they can get a job elsewhere — we have many writers and on-air personalities who have moved on to bigger jobs at bigger companies. But at the same time, we could not keep them, because they hit their limit in terms of growth, in career or compensation. So, we actually function as a farm system — which is okay — but it is also a drain. In football parlance, we can never build through the draft because as soon as someone hits free agency, they’re eager to pursue their next opportunity.

Now for the companies that are considered monsters: where do their best and brightest go? How many can even find their next job? There are some, of course, but there is no farm system? Which just continues a cycle that I dig further into below; a spiral affect where a lot of blogs that don’t work together, have no ability to scale, each with its own voice and each in a race to get as many clicks and monetize their pages any which way they can.

(Author’s note: Friends on the left, you do not inspire conservative media to throw less red meat by ostracizing it).

Advertising is harder for Conservative Media:

I don’t know the number off the top of my head, but the percentage of Fortune 500 or even Fortune 1000 companies that advertise on Conservative Media vs. Media in general is very low. This matters even more so in digital than in traditional. In Digital media where every click or even eyeball (by way of heat maps) is monitored, the theoretical goal of a media site is to keep the user on the site for as long as possible/reasonable. Conservative Media is reliant, because of the paucity of media campaigns from big advertisers or big ad agencies, on direct response advertisers. Direct response (DR) makes sense for radio and we are incredibly grateful for our advertisers who have been with us from day one. But DR makes less sense when the goal is for the consumer to take an action, likely taking them off-site, while the goal for the media property is to keep the user on the site as long as possible.

You see the inherent conflict?

I wish the “other side” realized what they were doing when they lump all Conservative Media together? If you are on the left, ask yourself whether there is ANY publisher that you respect (even if you disagree with)? If so, how many? The problem are those who believe they are keeping Conservative Media ‘honest’, when they are only making the problem worse.

Think about it this way: As a publisher, if the punishment for bad behavior is that the same advertisers who won’t advertise with you, won’t advertise with you anymore; and the reward for bad behavior is that you generate more traffic and make more money, how do we think this ends?

Expanding on the point: If you consider that liquidity events are rare (or non-existent) and the significant challenge of attracting the highest paying advertisers, how will Conservative Media outlets make money? You don’t have to guess, look around….

A bunch of super smart people who work in small teams, who game the system to spend as little money as possible to make as much money as possible. I am NOT accusing Conservative Media of being the cause of clickbait by any stretch of the imagination. But if you see another way for Conservative Media to be successful other than playing the Facebook-Algorithm game, the clickbait game, the get-on-the-Drudge-home-page game, etc., then you truly do not understand how (digital) media works. Hence, every boycott, every time the “media” lumps everyone to the right of MSNBC as monsters, every time Conservative Media is all bad and “mainstream media” is all good, the outcome is predictable and it will continue to accelerate.

A final thought about advertising….

Conservative Media is reliant on direct response (CPA or CPC or CPM — no matter how it is ultimately billed for) and ad-networks. None of which are negatives in and of themselves. But the reality is that ad-networks — even the good ones — are not trying to make the experience of ads elegant for the user, they are trying to make the experience less terrible for the users. Direct Response, specifically on digital, sometimes actually have an incentive (depending on if they pay on a CPA, CPC, CPM) of making the worst and most obnoxious ad possible — basically through self-selection a user won’t click on it and the advertiser won’t have to pay OR the user will click on it and be more likely to go through with a conversion. I’m painting with a broad brush here and in giving extreme examples, but you can see how this plays out. Just look around the Conservative web if you need convincing.

The Lack of a Conservative Ecosystem:

We can all agree that there are too many echo chambers but let’s not confuse echo chambers with ecosystems. There is no Conservative Media ecosystem. Glenn literally met Mark Levin, Dennis Prager, and Ben Shapiro over the last ~2 years. We barely know each other let alone have an ecosystem. Yes, there is talk radio, and, of course, have a great relationship with Premiere/iHeart, and I assume the same is true for other hosts, but that is not an ecosystem, it’s one company.

(Author’s note: Read Brad Feld’s book on creating an ecosystem in your community and/or Start-up Nation and how Israel created an ecosystem.)

People talk about the ‘Paypal Mafia’ — the (mostly) original founders of Paypal — 5, all of whom have gone on to be worth at least a billion dollars and have founded companies such as Tesla (and all other things Elon Musk), LinkedIn, Palantair (all other things Peter Thiel), Youtube, Yelp, Yammer, etc… It is no accident that this one small group of people had an outsized influence. It is the basics of them creating their own ecosystem. An ecosystem of resources, talent, expertise, shared knowledge, shared marketing, shared success, etc.

Or look at any tech community and see that it takes a number of successful companies working together over many years to build a system where the next generation can walk on the shoulders of giants…..Conservative Media …. we have not done this yet.

Conservatives think we can do it all better ourselves:

Both because of the lack of ecosystem AND because we are all ‘rugged libertarians’, we on the right, believe we can do everything better ourselves. It is the same reason that there are 1000 charities that do the same thing; wealthy person X wants to do good, they want to make sure that it is done right, they will do it themselves. Conservatives who have made or found success, believe that they can do it better than the other guy. It doesn’t matter if they made their money in oil and the other guy is an expert in software development; they can’t partner, they need to own it.

Now frankly, I think this is tied to point number one (there are no liquidity events), at least in part; so if I am going to start something knowing that there is no exit, it may behoove me to retain 100% ownership and control. This is logical but I think it is only part of the answer.

I think there is more to the rugged individualism who sees the lack of ecosystem and looks around and says, “the pie is 100 ft., I can get 50 ft. of pie” vs. the entrepreneur who sees 100 ft. pie and says, together we can make that pie 10K ft., let’s get to work.

Beyond Conservative Media — Our Role going forward:

We fundamentally believe that we as a society need a functional media. We as a society need to have some trust in our institutions — even and especially while we seek to hold those same institutions accountable. But we as a society cannot effectively move forward if we share no facts and no narratives. As Yuval Harrari points out in Homo Deus, man has three core narratives; religion, currency, and nationhood. Without those shared narratives, which are being pulled at from every direction, society’s grip on humanity gets increasingly tenuous. Media has a role to play to keep us from unraveling, though they often seem to encourage and celebrate our unraveling… someone else long ago observed an unfortunate universal truth: if it bleeds it leads.

TheBlaze:

As I said earlier, at this time, TheBlaze is neither a success nor a failure in my eyes. It is a struggle that has and will continue to require hard decisions and going down an unknown road. But one of the benefits of radical transparency is that we have nothing to fear because we have nothing to hide. This is who we are, and our self-awareness informs the decisions we make. Whatever happens, good or bad, it will be deserved.

When you add up all the challenges that I list above, which are industry specific not company specific, for TheBlaze to be a successful business, it has a lot of work to do. It has to create great content, develop software, manage talent, sell advertising, deal with ad-blockers, move quicker to follow our users to mobile, open additional beach heads in social, etc. Anyone of those things is hard, doing all of them is, well, harder…..

In the next few weeks you will see the beginning of what we are trying to do at TheBlaze. And we’ll keep adjusting course and disrupting ourselves until we either get it right OR until we believe we can’t.

We believe that there is a path forward to find true success for TheBlaze and to help, in our way, Conservative Media answer the challenges it faces. But frankly, the world does not need just another “Conservative Media” company and we don’t need to spend another 5 years of our life proving it does. 

We are no more afraid of failure than we are of success, but we are terrified of being neither.

Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 1,030,324 (up from 950,638 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Deaths Worldwide: 54,226 (up from 48,289 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 219,896 (up from 202,631 Yesterday)
  • 5% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 5% Yesterday, but down from 19% high back in February
  • Note that 12% of US Confirmed Cases require Hospitalization, roughly on par with Italy at 12% requiring hospitalization and lower than Spain, where 18% of patients require hospitalization.
  • US has 245,380 Confirmed Cases and 6,095 Deaths, up from 215,344 cases and 5,112 deaths yesterday
  • The US currently has 228,874 Active Cases of COVID-19, with about 1% of the US Population tested
  • 15% of Americans who have been tested have been diagnosed with COVID-19
White House to Recommend All Americans Wear Face Masks in Public https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/02/coronavirus-facemasks-policyreversal/
  • The White House is poised to urge Americans to wear cloth masks or face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, in a reversal of earlier advice.
  • President Trump said Thursday at a coronavirus task force briefing that "a recommendation is coming out," but "I don't think it will be mandatory. If people want to wear them, they can."
  • Later, however, a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relate internal discussions, said that the guidance being considered is "narrowly targeted to areas with high community transmission" and that the matter remains under discussion.
  • A new Memo from the CDC states: "In light of new data, along with evidence of widespread transmission in communities across the country, CDC recommends the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure people can take to prevent the spread of the virus to those around them."
  • The recommendations represent a major change in CDC guidance that healthy people don't need masks or face coverings.
  • The news comes as Laredo, TX joins more than a dozen American cities or Counties that have mandated the use of face masks for all persons in public spaces such as grocery stores or shopping centers. Violaters without a facemask risk up to a $1000 fine. https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-city-fine-people-who-dont-cover-faces-outside-coronavirus
  • Similar provisions are being considered for the entire State of California, according to Governor Gavin Newsom's office.
Anti-body Tests Getting Accelerated Availability https://news.yahoo.com/antibody-tests-key-ending-covid-19-lockdowns-162305617.html
  • Unlike Vaccine testing and production which could take months or years, SARS-CoV-2 Antibody tests could be available in the US in a few weeks.
  • Such tests could be key in enabling the partial lifting of lockdown and shelter-in-place orders, as authorities could determine who might already have immunity to the virus and could return to work.
  • "If we can determine someone's already had the virus and now has immunity and is no longer contagious to others, that's what we're looking for here," said Anthony Fauci in Thursday's White House COVID-19 Task Force update.
  • However, it should be noted that researchers have yet to determine if anti-body production renders people permanently or only temporarily immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
  • While some Virus immunities, such as Chicken Pox, are generally permanent immunities, others, such as SARS-1 and Rhinovirus (the common cold) grant only short-term, multi-month immunity...which is why people can get a cold each year.
  • Most known Coronavirus immunities in humans are not permanent, researchers have noted. Influenza, for example, grants only seasonal immunity and can be caught again only a few months later.
Lord Have Mercy...Hospital Ships Sit Empty https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/nyregion/ny-coronavirus-usns-comfort.html
  • The much-touted Navy Hospital Ships in New York and Los Angeles sit 95% empty as of Thursday evening.
  • In New York, The USNS Comfort's 1,000 beds are largely unused, its 1,200-member crew mostly idle. "We're waiting for patients," one nurse was quoted by the New York Times.
  • Only 20 patients had been transferred to the ship, officials said, even as New York hospitals struggled to find space for the thousands infected with the coronavirus.
  • Another Navy hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, docked in Los Angeles, has had a total of 15 patients, officials said.
  • "If I'm blunt about it, it's a joke," said Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York's largest hospital system. "Everyone can say, 'Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.' But we're in a crisis here, we're in a battlefield."
  • What's the issue? In classic government style: Red Tape.
  • On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.
  • Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation — including a test for the virus — and then pick them up again for transport to the ship. With 911 call centers already massively over-capacity, ambulances aren't available to take non-infected persons to each ship.
  • Meanwhile, across New York hospitals are overrun. Patients have died in hallways before they could even be hooked up to one of the few available ventilators in New York. Doctors and nurses, who have had to use the same protective gear, again and again, are getting sick.
  • "So many people are dying that the city is running low on body bags," Dowling said. "The Coroner's office told our administrator to start double-wrapping bodies in sheets for the time being."
In Hopeful Sign, University of Pittsburgh Researchers May Have Found COVID-19 Vaccine https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/scientists-believe-they-found-potential-coronavirus-vaccine/
  • Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine believe that they've found a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus.
  • The researchers announced their findings Thursday and believe the vaccine could be rolled out quickly enough to "significantly impact the spread of disease," according to their study published in EBioMedicine.
  • The vaccine would be delivered on a small, fingertip-sized patch. When tested on mice, the vaccine produced enough antibodies believed to successfully counteract the virus.
  • The scientists say they were able to act fast because they had already done research on the similar coronaviruses SARS and MERS.
  • The Trump Administration ordered the FDA to fast-track the next phase of Animal trials for the experimental vaccine.
  • Officials did warn that even if successful, human trials and ultimate production could still be as many as 12-18 months away.
  • "It's early, but this is a very positive result," the lead scientist said in an interview. "We're well on our way."
Vermont, Maryland Make Buying Seeds to Grow Food Illegal https://www.eagletimes.com/covid_19/large-retailers-stop-in-person-sales-of-nonessential-items-in-vermont/article_c1d0e43c-7432-11ea-8ca9-a30ed891d9fd.htmlimage.png Canada's Farmers Warn of Food Supply Impact Due to Non-Essential Designation https://ipolitics.ca/2020/04/02/the-sprout-canadian-farmers-worry-for-food-supply/, https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/agriculture/agriculture-sector-scrambling-to-offset-consequences-of-covid-19-crisis
  • Canada's government issues a list of industries and jobs it deemed essential, including food delivery, shipping & logistics, medical care, energy production & delivery.
  • One industry that was glaringly absent: agricultural production.
  • Like the US, Canada's agricultural industry relies on migrant and seasonal workers to plant and harvest foods, especially key fruits and vegetables that must be picked by hand.
  • Industry representatives have begun to petition the government to include Ag production an essential service so travel restrictions can be relaxed to allow workers to travel into Canada and use of public transportation systems to get to where planting activities must occur soon to allow for Fall food harvests.
  • Canada's Federation of Independent Grocers also extended a warning to the Government that it projects food costs in Canada could rise by as much as 90% in the coming months due to COVID-19 related disruptions. https://nationvalleynews.com/2020/04/01/grocers-group-warns-rising-food-costs-come/
Industry Expert Warns Illness Among Agricultural Workers Could Threaten US Food Supplies https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/markets/an-outbreak-among-farm-workers-would-be-catastrophic/ar-BB1257dl
  • Much of the US food supply chain is staffed by low-wage workers, many of them undocumented immigrants with limited ties to health services.
  • The Pew Research Center has estimated that about one-quarter of U.S. farmworkers are undocumented.
  • A 2019 U.S. Department of Labor survey estimated that the share of field workers who are undocumented is closer to half of all farmworkers.
  • The food processing industry also has high numbers of undocumented workers, as do many of the nation's smaller grocers and fast-food restaurants.
  • Immigrant farming communities are often close-knit, with laborers living and working in close proximity, with workers sharing hotel rooms and even make-shift Tents with cots, to save on costs.
  • As the California-based Western Growers Association states, "Social distancing is difficult or perhaps impossible in certain settings such as harvesting, transport (of workers) and housing."
  • One California grower told National Public Radio that if the coronavirus penetrates the agricultural community, "it will spread like wildfire."
  • The news comes as Mexico only recently restricted movements and travel, issuing shelter-in-place orders for 90% of the country.
  • The Trump Administration recently eased restrictions on H-2a Ag Worker visas, but industry experts warned many workers planned to stay in Mexico or other Central American countries due to travel restrictions now in effect in those countries. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-03-27/state-department-eases-requirements-for-h2a-visa
  • The Western Growers Association currently estimates a 30% reduction in labor force this year, which may be further impacted if COVID-19 spreads among workers who live and work in tight close quarters.
LA Mayor: "Snitches Get Rewards" https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/03/31/coronavirus-los-angeles-eric-garcetti-snitches-get-rewards/
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced new guidelines for construction sites that continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic while encouraging the community to report businesses that violate the Safer at Home order.
  • Garcetti said that since the stay at home order was put in place, the city has been told about construction sites that have not been following the guidelines set out in that order.
  • "You know the old expression about snitches, well in this case snitches get rewards," Garcetti said. "We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe."
  • As of Tuesday afternoon, Garcetti said "business ambassadors" from the city had visited 540 businesses that had not complied with the Safer at Home order. Of those, 144 were visited by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department to ensure compliance with the order.
  • So far, Four businesses have been referred to the city attorney's office for misdemeanor filings.
  • The story comes as business owners across the US have been cited and even arrested for violating House Arrest orders, many turned in by way of anonymous calls to police departments. https://apnews.com/343ed4a8e95dfc8f8dda87b9e450ca57
In Germany, Hundreds of Citations Handed Out Based on Anonymous Reports and Emails to Police Departments https://news.trust.org/item/20200402160625-8y12u
  • (Headline Bloomberg News) Germans snitch on neighbors flouting virus rules, in an echo of the Stasi past
  • Law-abiding Germans are zealously helping police crackdown on people flouting new social distancing rules aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus by reporting on strangers, neighbors and friends.
  • In a country where denunciation was commonplace under the Communists in East Germany and Hitler's Nazis, police forces across the country are getting tip-offs on anything from "corona parties" to people driving to weekend cottages.
  • Rules introduced in March forcing restaurants, pubs and sports facilities to shut and banning gatherings of people have given police plenty of work. With the number of corona cases and deaths climbing fast, there is no sign of easing enforcement.
  • Since March 14, police in the German capital have ordered 830 pubs, shisha bars and other establishments to shut and recorded 898 crimes.
  • "We are getting tip-offs from the public about open restaurants or large gatherings of people in parks," said a spokeswoman, adding officers were, as always, ready to deal with information from the public.
  • Forces around Germany are in a similar situation. Munich police took up to 150 calls every day last week from citizens reporting alleged breaches of corona rules, according to Spiegel Online.

For weeks now, our political leaders and the media have been repeating the World Health Organization's claim that non-medical-grade face masks don't work when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. So, why are infectious disease experts now reconsidering their guidelines?

According to the New York Times, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, said the guidance on wearing non-medical masks is "being critically re-reviewed, to see if there's potential additional value for individuals that are infected or individuals that may be asymptomatically infected."

In actuality, they didn't trust the American people to do the right thing and prioritize healthcare workers to receive masks first, opined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday. But they do work, and "if we're going to open the country up, we are going to all have to wear face masks," he said.

Listen to the clip to hear more details:

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Face Masks DO Work, US Cases Per Capita, and WHO Lies for Communist China youtu.be

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William "Bill" Kelly is 95-year-old World War II veteran from Oregon. He lived through the Great Depression.
He served in the South Pacific during World War II. And now he has just fought the coronavirus -- and won.

Bill joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to share his experience and a hopeful message about why the younger generations can overcome this crisis.

"I want to tell the people, it wasn't pleasant, but on the other hand, you know, if you do what you're supposed to do, and you have some loved ones around you, and do a lot of praying, why, you'll come through okay. We [American's] have been through a lot. We've been through Pearl Harbor. We've been through the Great Depression, and who knows what else. We're tough. We'll get through it. Hang in there," Bill said.

"You know, it's just -- it's in our American blood," he added. "We're that type of people. We take care of each other, and we are not going to break down. We're going to make it through, every time. Every time."

"There are people that don't think we are those people anymore. That it was the greatest generation -- your generation -- that did it, but now we're not the same people. Do you agree with that? Glenn asked.

"No," asserted Bill. "And the reason I say that is because I remember when I was a young kid, you know, and people, the older people, said 'all those young kids are soft' ... but when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor -- sneak attack, you know -- it's surprising how those so-called goofy kids turned into mighty fine fighting people. And they're very loyal. I have lots of faith in them ... no, I don't have any problems with this new generation. They'll take care of us. We're Americans."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 950,638 (up from 872,891 Yesterday)
  • Total Deaths Worldwide: 48,289 (up from 43,271 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 202,631 (up from 184,588 Yesterday)
  • 5% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 5% Yesterday, but down from 19% high back in February
  • Note that 12% of US Confirmed Cases require Hospitalization, roughly on par with Italy at 12% requiring hospitalization
  • US has 215,344 Confirmed Cases and 5,112 Deaths, up from 188,592 cases and 4,056 deaths yesterday
  • COVID-19 is now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, behind Heart Disease and Cancer (based on daily fatalities per 1,000 people)
  • The United States of America now leads the world in total confirmed cases, with 115,000 more cases than Italy (although Italy leads the world in Deaths with 13,155 officially dead)
  • US is 25th in Total Confirmed Cases per 1 Million Population, with 651 cases per 1 Million people. Spain has 2,583 Cases per 1 Million people.
  • US is 23rd in Total Confirmed Dead per 1 Million Population, with 15 Dead per 1 Million citizens. Italy has 218 Dead per 1 Million.
  • US has 5,112 Dead vs 8,878 Recovered and 5,075 in Critical Condition
  • The US currently has 201,354 Active Cases of COVID-19, with still less than 1% of the total US population tested.
  • 17% of Americans who have been tested have been diagnosed with COVID-19
COVID-19 Now Killing Victims Who Don't Have COVID-19 https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-nyc-emts-stop-taking-cardiac-arrest-patients-to-hospitals/
  • EMTs in New York have been given a directive not to transport heart-attack victims to hospitals if they cannot be revived at the scene.
  • Prior cardiac arrest victims would have been transported to hospitals for further life-saving procedures, but with hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, heart attack victims are solely in the hands of local EMTs. If EMTs cannot restore a pulse at the scene, victims are to be left there to die.
  • "Artificial ventilation and/or compressions must not be delayed," the memo states, adding that chest "compressions must begin as soon as it is determined the patient does not have a pulse."
  • But the guidelines change if the patient cannot be revived before arriving at a hospital.
  • "In the event a resuscitation is terminated, and the body is in public view, the body can be left in the custody of the NYPD."
China Lied, People Died Trending on Social Media https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-01/china-concealed-extent-of-virus-outbreak-u-s-intelligence-says
  • US Intelligence Services has concluded what the Internet has known since January: The Chinese Communist Party lied about total infected and total deaths due to Coronavirus.
  • Citing a report provided to the White House last week, officials confirmed that US Intelligence concludes 'gross' underreporting of total cases and total deaths, especially from Hubei Province.
  • Many have speculated that numbers coming out of China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and other totalitarian countries have been dramatically underreported, by as much as a factor of 10 according to official British Intelligence reports.
  • The early misrepresentation of data by the CCP may have lead some Western Politicians and epidemiologists to underestimate the seriousness of COVID-19 and delayed response in Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
  • Though why anybody would have believed anything the Chinese Communist Party had to say remains an open question...
Italy's Death Toll Far Higher Than Reported https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/italys-coronavirus-death-toll-is-far-higher-than-reported/ar-BB122vvc
  • In the town of Coccaglio, an hour's drive east of here, the local nursing home lost over a third of its residents in March. None of the 24 people who died there were tested for the new coronavirus. Nor were the 38 people who died in another nursing home in the nearby town of Lodi.
  • These aren't isolated incidents. Italy's official death toll from the virus stands at 13,155, the most of any country in the world. But that number tells only part of the story because many people who die from the virus don't make it to the hospital and are never tested, therefore they aren't included in official numbers.
  • "They were all sick, they all had flu-like symptoms and difficulty breathing," stated a nurse from one of the nursing homes. "We had no ambulance to get them to Milan."
  • In the areas worst hit by the pandemic, Italy is undercounting thousands of deaths caused by the virus, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows, indicating that the pandemic's human toll may end up being much greater, and infections far more widespread, than official data indicate.
  • As stretched and sometimes overwhelmed hospitals fight to save their patients, many other people die unseen and uncounted, including elderly people in out-of-the-way locations.
  • In addition, the health-care crisis can lead to a surge of deaths from other causes that would normally be treatable.
  • "There are many more dead from the virus than are officially declared... People died and they were never tested because time and resources are limited," Eugenio Fossati, deputy mayor of Coccaglio, says of deaths caused by the virus.
More Numbers Hard to Trust as Bodies Left On The Streets in Ecuador https://www.scmp.com/news/world/americas/article/3078077/coronavirus-bodies-are-being-left-streets-ecuador
  • Coronavirus: bodies are being left on the streets in Ecuador.
  • 'They fall in front of hospitals or in back street alleys, or in small villages…no one wants to recover them,' says the mayor of Ecuador's largest city.
  • The army is placing unclaimed bodies in refrigerated cargo containers at the port while authorities pursue plans for a new cemetery.
  • The corpses have been overwhelming Guayaquil, a port city of 2.8 million at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Ecuador.
  • Over the last few days, several were wrapped in plastic and left on the streets. Others have lain unclaimed in hospitals and clinics that have been overwhelmed by infections. The city morgue is full.
  • The majority of the dead are believed to be victims of the virus, but nobody can say for sure how many. There has been little testing.
  • The country has confirmed 2,700 infections and 93 deaths - 60 of them in Guayaquil and its immediate surroundings. But municipal officials there said they have recovered at least 400 bodies in the last 3 days.
  • Mayor Cynthia Viteri, who announced that she has also tested positive for the virus, said the national government should be responsible for collecting the corpses.
  • "They're leaving them in the villages, they are stacked in front of hospitals," she said in a Twitter video message to residents late last week.
  • Many local villages in Ecuador are simply burying the dead in unmarked graves, which will make official counting of COVID-19 victims impossible in the weeks ahead.
50% of Viral Spread Comes from People With No Symptoms https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/01/health/us-coronavirus-updates-wednesday/index.html
  • Researchers in Iceland have confirmed earlier reports from Hong Kong that a significant amount of viral spread is caused by carriers who have no symptoms.
  • In the US, Doctors at the CDC have confirmed asymptomatic spread, but estimate a number of about 25%.
  • If true, then the case for all persons to wear masks, even those who don't have symptoms, becomes much stronger.
  • To prevent further spread, the top infectious disease expert in the US says health officials are reconsidering guidance on face masks.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would "lean towards" recommending that the general public wear face masks "if we do not have the problem of taking away masks from the health care workers who need them. The public can stay home to avoid infection, but health care workers cannot," he said.
  • "We're not there yet, but I think we're close to coming to some determination," Fauci said.
Ship vs Train... Ship Wins https://abc7.com/usns-mercy-coronavirus-train-crash-derailment/6069395/
  • A Locomotive Engineer in Los Angeles has been charged with 1 Count of "Train Wrecking", a Class A Felony under Federal Law, after purposely derailing his freight train while attempting to sink the US Hospital ship Mercy.
  • Eduardo Moreno, 44, intended to hit the ship, saying he thought it was "suspicious" and did not believe "the ship is what they say it's for.'"
  • Moreno admitted to crashing the train intentionally but said he did not plan it out in advance. It is believed that he acted alone.
  • He allegedly made statements to a CHP officer that included "You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don't know what's going on here. Now they will."
  • Officials say video from inside the train's cab shows Moreno holding a lighted flare during the incident.
Biggest Issue With COVID-19 in Malaysia: Nagging Wives https://www.npr.org/2020/04/01/825051317/dont-nag-your-husband-during-lock-down-malaysias-government-advises-women
  • Malaysia has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia with more than 2,900 and counting.
  • This week, Malaysia's government also had a serious public relations issue after an ill-conceived plan went online.
  • Malaysia's Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development issued a series of online posters on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19. It advised the nation's women to help with the country's partial lockdown by not nagging their husbands.
  • The ministry also advised women to refrain from being "sarcastic" if they asked for help with household chores.
  • Additionally, the Ministry urged women working from home to dress up and wear makeup.
  • After some negative response on social media, the public service messages have been removed from the Ministry's Facebook page.