It’s not just the CCP behind the global murder. It’s much worse than that. Part 2: How did the US get tricked so badly?
Attorney Michael Senger presents fascinating information. This is long but very interesting and really important.
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We are in the middle of a global war for our spiritual and physical lives. This war is all-encompassing.
Let no one think that because at the moment a US citizen can travel between the US and Israel without proof of vaccination or covid testing, everything has returned to normal (sadly, way too many people do believe this.)
The evil global elites who seek to rip us away from G-d, establish a one-world socialist government, strip us of all basic human freedoms and dignity, kill many of us, and control the remainder, are international. It’s a mistake to think it’s all about China. Yet, China seems to be a significant player.
In Part 1, I brought you graphic information on how the Chinese people are being viciously oppressed in scenes reminiscent of the Holocaust era, and on our grave threat in NY from Gov. Hochul’s illegal indefinite-quarantine-without-due-process regulation.
I forgot to include the above picture in Part 1. It’s the door to the apartment of a Chinese family in forced quarantine. A metal bar was welded across the door in such a way that the elongated knob cannot move. The residents were trapped inside their home.
Here in Part 2, I want to bring you two outstanding articles by Attorney Michael Senger, author of the book “Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World”, in which he exposes the individuals who seem to have led the efforts behind the scenes to panic and lock down the United States in Spring 2020.
This is NOT to say that these people were acting on their own. They are surely only the agents of powers that are much higher then themselves, and whom, G-d willing, I want to talk about in future articles.
It is enlightening and important to learn of the evil, hidden machinations that were going on in the US by proxy.
On July 14, Attorney Senger wrote the following article. I’m copying most of it:
Deborah Birx’s “Silent Invasion”: a Guide to Destroying America From Within
Part of the fun of reading Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World is that you get to put yourself in the dictator’s shoes. In the book, Xi is an allegory for the Chinese Communist Party in the 21st century. Xi’s “lines” break up the writing with dark humor, a satirical jab at western elites’ blasé attitude toward an advanced, totalitarian regime with overtly-manipulative goals. The book invites you to see through the bad guy’s eyes and imagine just how easy it was to subvert the free world into totalitarianism using the response to a perfectly banal virus.
Alas, to that end, my book has been upstaged by the work of Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, one of the “Trifecta” of three leading officials behind Covid lockdowns in the United States. Virtually every page of Birx’s monstrosity of a book, Silent Invasion, reads like a how-to guide in subverting a democratic superpower from within, as could only be told through the personal account of someone who was on the front lines doing just that.
Notably, though Birx’s memoir has earned relatively few reviews on Amazon, it’s earned rave reviews from Chinese state media, a feat not shared even by far-more-popular pro-lockdown books such as those by Michael Lewis and Lawrence Wright.
The glowing response from Chinese state media should come as no surprise, however, because every sentence of Birx’s book reads like it was written by the CCP itself. Chapter 1 opens with what she claims was her first impression of the virus.
I can still see the words splashed across my computer screen in the early morning hours of January 3.Though we were barely into 2020, I was stuck in an old routine, waking well before dawn and scanning news headlines online. On the BBC’s site, one caught my attention: “China Pneumonia Outbreak: Mystery Virus Probed in Wuhan.”
Indeed, as recounted in Snake Oil, that BBC article, which was posted at approximately 9:00 AM EST on January 3, 2020, was the first in a western news organization to discuss the outbreak of a new virus in Wuhan. Apparently, Birx was scanning British news headlines just as it appeared. What are the odds!
Birx wastes no time in telling us where she got her philosophy of disease mitigation, recalling how she immediately thought Chinese citizens “knew what had worked” against SARS-1: Masks and distancing.
Government officials and citizens across Asia knew both the pervasive fear and the personal response that had worked before to mitigate the loss of life and the economic damage wrought by SARS and MERS. They wore masks. They decreased the frequency and size of social gatherings. Crucially, based on their recent experience, the entire citizenry and local doctors were ringing alarm bells loudly and early. Lives were on the line—lots of them. They knew what had worked before, and they would do it again.
Birx spends countless pages tut-tutting the CCP for its “cover-up” of the virus (though Chinese state media apparentlydidn’t mind, as they gushed about her book anyway), which is funny because then she tells us:
On January 3, the same day the BBC piece ran, the Chinese government officially notified the United States of the outbreak. Bob Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was contacted by his Chinese counterpart, George F. Gao.
Note, January 3 is also the same day the hero whistleblower Li Wenliang was supposedly admonished by authorities for sending a WeChat message about a “cover-up” of the outbreak. So on the same day Li was “admonished,” the head of China’s CDC literally called US CDC Director Robert Redfield to share the exact same information Li supposedly shared.
Off to a strong start. But from here, Birx’s abomination of book only gets worse. Much worse.
A page later, she tells us how traumatized she still is at seeing all those videos of Wuhan residents collapsing and falling dead in January 2020, and praises the “courageous doctor” who shared them online.
The video showed a hallway crowded with patients slumped in chairs. Some of the masked people leaned against the wall for support. The camera didn’t pan so much as zigzag while the Chinese doctor maneuvered her smartphone up the narrow corridor. My eye was drawn to two bodies wrapped in sheets lying on the floor amid the cluster of patients and staff. The doctor’s colleagues, their face shields and other personal protective equipment in place, barely glanced at the lens as she captured the scene. They looked past her, as if at a harrowing future they could all see and hoped to survive. I tried to increase the volume, but there was no sound. My mind seamlessly filled that void, inserting the sounds from my past, sounds from other wards, other places of great sorrow. I had been here before. I had witnessed scenes like this across the globe, in HIV ravaged communities— when hospitals were full of people dying of AIDS before we had treatment or before we ensured treatment to those who needed it. I had lived this, and it was etched permanently in my brain: the unimaginable, devastating loss of mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, brothers, sisters.
Staring at my computer screen, I was horrified by the images from Wuhan, the suffering they portrayed, but also because they confirmed what I’d suspected for the last three weeks: Not only was the Chinese government underreporting the real numbers of the infected and dying in Wuhan and elsewhere, but the situation was definitely far more dire than most people outside that city realized. Up until now, I’d been only reading or hearing about the virus. Now it had been made visible by a courageous doctor sharing this video online.
As a reminder, Birx’s book was published in April 2022. The videos Birx is recalling were all proven fake by the spring of 2020.
In the next paragraph, Birx tells us how she grew even more determined after seeing that the Chinese had built a hospital in 10 days to fight the virus.
Dotting it were various pieces of earth-moving equipment, enough of them in various shapes and sizes that I briefly wondered if the photograph was of a manufacturing plant where the newly assembled machines were on display. Quickly, I learned that the machines were in Wuhan and that they were handling the first phase of preparatory work for the construction of a one-thousand-bed hospital to be completed in just ten days’ time… The Chinese may not have been giving accurate data about the numbers of cases and deaths, but the rapid spread of this disease could be counted in other ways—including in how many Chinese workers were being employed to build new facilities to relieve the pressure on the existing, and impressive, Wuhan health service centers. You build a thousand-bed hospital in ten days only if you are experiencing unrelenting community spread of a highly contagious virus that has eluded your containment measures and is now causing serious illness on a massive scale.
This hospital construction, again, was proven fake literally days after Chinese state media posted it.
So just to recap, here we have Deborah Birx—the woman who did more than almost any other person in the United States to promote and prolong Covid lockdowns, silencing anyone who disagreed with her, to the incessant praise of mainstream media outlets—telling us she’d been inspired by all those images of Wuhan residents falling dead and constructing a hospital in 10 days, and still didn’t realize they were fake two years after they’d been proven fake.
And that’s just Chapter 1.
Birx then spends hundreds of pages recounting her clandestine political maneuvers—from the day she stepped foot in the White House—to get as much of America as possible to stay in lockdown for as long as possible, without making it look like a “lockdown.”
At this point, I wasn’t about to use the words lockdown or shutdown.If I had uttered either of those in early March, after being at the White House only one week, the political, nonmedical members of the task force would have dismissed me as too alarmist, too doom-and-gloom, too reliant on feelings and not facts. They would have campaigned to lock me down and shut me up.
Birx proudly recalls using “flatten-the-curve guidance” to manipulate the President’s administration into consenting to lockdowns that were stricter than they realized.
On Monday and Tuesday, while sorting through the CDC data issues, we worked simultaneously to develop the flatten-the-curve guidance I hoped to present to the vice president at week’s end. Getting buy-in on the simple mitigation measures every American could take was just the first step leading to longer and more aggressive interventions. We had to make these palatable to the administration by avoiding the obvious appearance of a full Italian lockdown. At the same time, we needed the measures to be effective at slowing the spread, which meant matching as closely as possible what Italy had done—a tall order. We were playing a game of chess in which the success of each move was predicated on the one before it.
Never mind that this kind of manipulation by a presidential advisor is probably not legal. Birx doubles down, inadvertently admitting where that arbitrary number “ten” came from for her guidance as to the size of social gatherings, while admitting her real goal was “zero”—no social contact of any kind, anywhere.
I had settled on ten knowing that even that was too many, but I figured that ten would at least be palatable for most Americans—high enough to allow for most gatherings of immediate family but not enough for large dinner parties and, critically, large weddings, birthday parties, and other mass social events.… Similarly, if I pushed for zero (which was actually what I wanted and what was required), this would have been interpreted as a “lockdown”—the perception we were all working so hard to avoid.
Birx divulges her strategy of using federal advisories to give cover to state governors to impose mandates and restrictions.
The White House would “encourage,” but the states could “recommend” or, if needed, “mandate.” In short, we were handing governors and their public health officials a template, a state-level permission slip they could use to enact a specific response that was appropriate for the people under their jurisdiction. The fact that the guidelines would be coming from a Republican White House gave political cover to any Republican governors skeptical of federal overreach
Then, Birx recalls with delight as her strategy led the states to shut down one by one.
[T]he recommendations served as the basis for governors to mandate the flattening-the-curve shutdowns. The White House had handed down guidance, and the governors took that ball and ran with it…With the White House’s “this is serious” message, governors now had “permission” to mount a proportionate response and, one by one, other states followed suit. California was first, doing so on March 18. New York followed on March 20. Illinois, which had declared its own state of emergency on March 9, issued shelter-in-place orders on March 21. Louisiana did so on the twenty-second. In relatively short order by the end of March and the first week of April, there were few holdouts. The circuit-breaking, flattening-the-curve shutdown had begun.
All that’s missing is the maniacal laugh.
In what may be the most damning quote of the entire US response to Covid, in one paragraph, Birx tells us that she’d always intended “two weeks to slow the spread” as a lie and immediately wanted those two weeks extended, despite having no data to show why that was necessary.
No sooner had we convinced the Trump administration to implement our version of a two-week shutdown than I was trying to figure out how to extend it.Fifteen Days to Slow the Spread was a start, but I knew it would be just that. I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them. However hard it had been to get the fifteen-day shutdown approved, getting another one would be more difficult by many orders of magnitude.
This is one of several quotes in which Birx refers to “our version” of a lockdown, though she never makes it clear what the original “version” of a lockdown is. As a matter of fact, though Birx spends hundreds of pages boasting about her scorched-earth crusade for lockdowns across America, she never once explains why she wanted this or why she felt it was a good idea, other than some brief asides about China’s supposed success using social distancing during SARS-1.
Birx’s apparent plan to almost singlehandedly destroy the world’s primary democratic superpower is going swimmingly until she meets the book’s leading antagonist: Dr. Scott Atlas. To Birx’s disgust, Atlas takes a strong stand for all the things she loathes most—things like human rights, democratic governance, and, most of all, freedom.
Birx lists Atlas’s “dangerous assertions”:
That schools could open everywhere without any precautions (neither masking nor testing), regardless of the status of the spread in the community.
That children did not transmit the virus.
That children didn’t get ill. That there was no risk to anyone young.
That long Covid-19 was being overplayed.
That heart-damage findings were incidental.
That comorbidities did not play a critical role in communities, especially among teachers.
That merely employing some physical distance overcame the virus’s ill effects.
That masks were overrated and not needed.
That the Coronavirus Task Force had gotten the country into this situation by promoting testing.
That testing falsely increased case counts in the United States in comparison with other countries.
That targeted testing and isolation constituted a lockdown, plain and simple, and weren’t needed.
That every word of Atlas’s assertions was obviously 100% true only made them all the more dangerous. As Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said, “One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world,” and nothing would derail the world’s communist destiny faster than letting these self-evident truths spread freely.
In particular, CNN’s Sanjay Gupta was a key component of my strategy… He specifically spoke about a mild disease—another way to describe silent spread. I saw this as a sign that he got it. As a doctor himself, he could see what I was seeing. He could serve as a very good outside-government spokesperson, echoing my message that family members and others they were in close contact with could unknowingly bring the virus home, resulting in a catastrophic and deadly event.
Birx frequently emphasizes her fixation with the concept of “asymptomatic spread.” In her mind, the less sick a person is, the more “insidious” they are:
Asymptomatic, presymptomatic, and even mildly symptomatic spread are particularly insidiousbecause, with these, many people don’t know they are infected. They may not take precautions or may not practice good hygiene, and they don’t isolate.
As Scott Atlas recalls in his own book, A Plague Upon Our House:
Birx commented on the importance of testing asymptomatic people. She argued that the only way to figure out who was sick was to test them. She memorably exclaimed, “That’s why it’s so dangerous—people don’t even know they’re sick!” I felt myself looking around the room, wondering if I was the only one who had heard this.
Birx spends roughly the next 150 pages of her book recalling her anguish as Atlas thwarted her plans to keep America in a near-permanent state of lockdown. As Atlas recalls:
She threw a fit, right there, in front of everyone, as we stood near the door before leaving the Oval Office. She was furious, screaming at me, “NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!! AND IN THE OVAL!!” I felt pretty bad, because she was so angry. I had absolutely no desire for conflict. But did she actually expect me to lie to the president, just to cover up for her? I responded, “Sorry, but he asked me a question, so I answered it.”
Indeed, Birx’s memoir corroborates the testimony in Atlas’s book of the outsized role he played in bringing lockdowns in the United States to an end. More than anything, this involved standing up to Birx who, contrary to popular belief, did more than even Fauci to promote and prolong lockdowns across the United States. As Atlas explains:
Dr. Fauci held court in the public eye on a daily basis, so frequently that many misconstrue his role as being in charge. However, it was really Dr. Birx who articulated Task Force policy. All the advice from the Task Force to the states came from Dr. Birx. All written recommendations about their on-the-ground policies were from Dr. Birx. Dr. Birx conducted almost all the visits to states on behalf of the Task Force.
Unlike the vast majority of our leaders and institutions, Atlas did not shrug this responsibility, and for that, our entire nation owes him a special thanks. I vividly recall reading Atlas’s articles in early 2020, correctly predicting that “The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life,” a rare light in that dark, dystopian period.
Still, I don’t want to give anyone in this story too much credit. How is it possible that the woman who did more than any other person to shut down the United States doesn’t know that all those videos from Wuhan were fake, two years after FBI Director Christopher Wray publicly stated, on July 7, 2020:
We have heard from federal, state, and even local officials that Chinese diplomats are aggressively urging support for China’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Yes, this is happening at both the federal and state levels. Not that long ago, we had a state senator who was recently even asked to introduce a resolution supporting China’s response to the pandemic.
What has the FBI been doing this whole time? As Atlas recalls:
Seema laughingly related that she was frantically looking around as the usual outlandish nonsense was being put forth, knowing that I would have been the one to push back.
Then she got to the point. “Scott, we need to get rid of Birx. She is a disaster! She keeps saying the same things over and over; she’s incredibly insecure; she doesn’t understand what’s going on. We need to eliminate her moving forward.”
Well no wonder Birx was “insecure.” She’d just spent the better part of a year in the White House orchestrating unprecedented crimes against humanity on her own people. These lockdowns ultimately killed tens of thousands of young Americans while failing to meaningfully slow the spread of the coronavirus everywhere they were tried. Whether she did so wittingly or unwittingly, it’s absolutely unseemly that no one around her put a stop to it.
Now, I’m not saying Deborah Birx is a CCP agent. I’m just saying that if she was an agent for Xi Jinping’s stated goal of gradually stripping the world of “independent judiciaries,” “human rights,” “western freedom,” “civil society,” and “freedom of the press,” then every word of her book would read like that of Silent Invasion. If she did do it, this is how it would have happened.
But in researching this topic for over two years, few things have made my hair stand on end more than the clues Birx gives about the man who did appoint her to her role. This man, who will be the subject of my next deep dive, is a little-known, clean-cut, Mandarin-fluent intelligence operative who arguably played a greater role than even Fauci or Birx in bringing China’s totalitarian virus response to the United States, acting as a direct liaison between Chinese scientists and the White House on key items of pseudoscience including asymptomatic spread, universal masking, and remdesivir: Matthew Pottinger.
••••• (End of quoted article.)
Today, July 20, Attorney Senger wrote the follow up article, where he brings a wealth of information about Matt Pottinger. I’ll copy most of it, and include the links to his two original articles below.
The Manchurian candidate?
In 1948, the US House of Representatives received a tip from a man named Whittaker Chambers that several federal officials had been working for the communists. One of these officials was more than happy to appear before Congress to clear his name—a leading State Department and United Nations representative named Alger Hiss.
The rakish Hiss was the exemplary American statesman: Polite, pedigreed, well-spoken, and a Harvard man to boot. During the 1945 United Nations conference, the Chinese delegation had proposed the creation of a new international health organization. After the Chinese failed to get a resolution passed, Hiss recommended establishing the organization by declaration, and the World Health Organization was born.
In Congress, Hiss coolly denied the allegations and denounced his deadbeat accuser for the libelous claims. The House came away newly reassured that the State Department was in excellent hands.
(Spoiler alert: He was then and always had been a communist.)
The next year, intelligence leaks from the federal service led to the Soviet Union’s first successful nuclear test, ending the security afforded by America’s nuclear monopoly 15 years earlier than experts expected. Shortly thereafter, Kim Il-Sung and Chairman Mao used the cover of Soviet nuclear weapons to invade South Korea. The ensuing war claimed over 3 million lives and resulted in the permanent recognition of the nation of North Korea.
Around this time, a little-known Congressman from California’s 12th district named Richard M. Nixon pressed Chambers for more information. Chambers reluctantly led Tricky Dick to a package of State Department materials he had hidden in a pumpkin patch—including notes in Hiss’s own writing. Alger Hiss became the most high-level American official ever convicted in connection with working for the communists.
To be honest, I barely knew who Matt Pottinger was until I read that he’d appointed Deborah Birx as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator in her bizarrely self-incriminating memoir Silent Invasion, which reads like it was written by the Chinese Communist Party itself. There’s little information about Pottinger’s role in Covid online.
Yet Pottinger is portrayed as a leading protagonist in three different pro-lockdown books on America’s response to Covid-19: The Plague Year by the New Yorker’s Lawrence Wright, Nightmare Scenario by the Washington Post’s Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Chaos Under Heaven by the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin. Pottinger’s singularly outsized role in pushing for alarm, shutdowns, mandates, and science from China in the early months of Covid is extremely well-documented.
Pottinger’s enormous influence during Covid is especially surprising not only because of his absence from online discussion about these events, but because of who he is.
The son of leading Department of Justice official Stanley Pottinger, Matt Pottinger graduated with a degree in Chinese studies in 1998 before going to work as a journalist in China for seven years, where he reported on topics including the original SARS. In 2005, Pottinger unexpectedly left journalism and obtained an age waiver to join the US Marine Corps.
Over several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pottinger became a decorated intelligence officer and met General Michael Flynn, who later appointed him to the National Security Council (NSC). Pottinger was originally in line to be China Director, but Flynn gave him the more senior job of Asia Director.
Despite being new to civilian government, Pottinger outlasted many others in Trump’s White House. In September 2019, Pottinger was named Deputy National Security Advisor, second only to National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
Pottinger is best known as a China hawk, but a smart and sophisticated one. He’s been ahead of the curve in calling out China’s increasingly aggressive geopolitical stance, articulating this challenge with near-perfect eloquence.
As Politico writes, “While hawks like Bannon love his tough views toward China, even Democrats call his views basically mainstream. Still, some foreign policy experts…wonder what a nice guy like him is doing in a place like this.” “He’s a very effective bureaucratic player, which is saying something because he’s never had a policy job before,” the New York Times agreed. “Matt has an extraordinary sense of caution that, ‘Let’s not push something unless the president clearly has approved it.’ This is different from other members of White House staff,” the Washington Post admired.
While many Trump administration officials have floundered since Trump left the White House, “things are going well for Pottinger,” Vox gushed. “[T]hat subject matter expertise—plus the patina afforded by resigning on January 6—has helped Pottinger, a former journalist, expertly navigate the post-Trump landscape. He even emerged as the White House hero of the initial Covid-19 chaos in New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright’s chronicle of The Plague Year… One reason that Matt Pottinger was welcomed back into the establishment is that, unlike some of Trump’s unconventional appointees, he had already been a part of the elite.”
From the center-right to the center-left and the far right to the far left, it’s tough to find anyone on the Beltway short on praise for Matt Pottinger. Everything about Pottinger is silky smooth. Between the lines of glowing coverage are not-so-subtle winks and nudges that he’d make an excellent candidate for higher office.
1. Ratcheting Up Alarm via “Asymptomatic Spread”
In January 2020, Pottinger unilaterally called meetings and ratcheted up alarm about the new coronavirus in the White House based on information from his own sources in China, despite having no official intelligence to back up his alarmism, breaching protocol on several occasions.
In Washington, Matt Pottinger was first made aware of the new coronavirus after China’s CDC Director called US CDC Director Robert Redfield to report it on January 3, 2020. According to Pottinger, he grew increasingly alarmed due to the rumors he saw on Chinese social media. As Wright reports:
He was struck by the disparity between official accounts of the novel coronavirus in China, which scarcely mentioned the disease, and Chinese social media, which was aflame with rumors and anecdotes.
Pottinger therefore authorized the first interagency meeting on the coronavirus based on these social media reports. There was no official intelligence to prompt the meeting.
On January 14, Pottinger authorized a briefing for the NSC staff by the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, along with CDC director Redfield. That first interagency meeting to discuss the situation in Wuhan wasn’t prompted by official intelligence; in fact, there was practically none of that.
On January 27, 2020, Trump’s staff attended the first full meeting on the coronavirus in the White House Situation Room. Unbeknownst to those in attendance, Pottinger had unilaterally called the meeting. Others urged calm, but Pottinger immediately began pushing for travel bans. As Abutaleb writes:
Few people in the room knew it, but Pottinger had actually called the meeting. The Chinese weren’t providing the US government much information about the virus, and Pottinger didn’t trust what they were disclosing anyway. He had spent two weeks scouring Chinese social media feeds and had uncovered dramatic reports of the new infectious disease suggesting that it was much worse than the Chinese government had revealed. He had also seen reports that the virus might have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. There were too many unanswered questions. He told everyone in the Sit Room that they needed to consider enacting a travel ban immediately: ban all travel from China; shut it down…
[Pottinger] spent several days calling some of his old contacts in China, doctors who would tell him the truth. And they had told him that things were bad—and only going to get worse. Pottinger’s discourse was measured but he conveyed the gravity of the threat. He said that the virus was spreading fast. He said that dramatic actions would need to be taken, which was why the government should consider banning travel from China to the United States until it had a better understanding of what was going on. As he continued, people sat up in their chairs. This was not the “we’ve got everything handled” message that Azar had conveyed just minutes earlier.
As Wright documents, the health officials thought travel restrictions would be futile.
Predictably, the public health representatives were resistant, too: viruses found ways to travel no matter what. Moreover, at least 14,000 passengers from China were arriving in the U.S. every day; there was no feasible way to quarantine them all. These arguments would join a parade of other public health verities that would be jettisoned during the pandemic.
Among those present, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney appears to have been the only one to express skepticism of Pottinger’s information. As Abutaleb writes:
Mulvaney intervened to wrap things up. He could tell that Pottinger and a few others were calling for a dramatic change, one that was an anathema to his libertarian instincts. He was pretty skeptical of Pottinger’s “sources” in China, too. They weren’t going to be setting US policy based on what someone had heard from their “friend” thousands of miles away.Mulvaney reiterated that they would reconvene the next day to discuss matters again before anything was settled. He warned attendees not to leak any details of the meeting to the media.
The next morning, January 28, 2020, Pottinger says he spoke to a doctor in China who told him the new coronavirus would be as bad as the 1918 Spanish flu, and that half the cases were asymptomatic. As Rogin writes:
The next morning, Pottinger had a conversation with a very high-level doctor in China, one who had spoken with health officials in several provinces, including Wuhan. This was a trusted source who was in a position to know the ground truth. “Is this going to be as bad as SARS in 2003?” he asked the doctor, whose name must remain secret for his own protection. “Forget SARS in 2003,” the doctor replied, “this is 1918.”
The doctor told Pottinger half the cases were asymptomatic and the government must have known all about it.
Later that same day, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien brought Pottinger into the Oval Office, where he seized the first opportunity to repeat to the President what the doctor in China had told him that morning.
“This is the single greatest national security crisis of your presidency and it’s now unfolding,” O’Brien told the president. “It’s going to be 1918,” Pottinger told Trump. “Holy fuck,” the president replied.
Wright goes into more detail on this meeting, in which Pottinger interjected to alarm the President:
Later that day, the national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, brought Pottinger into the Oval Office, where the president was getting his daily intelligence briefing. Far down the list of threats was the mysterious new virus in China.The briefer didn’t seem to take it seriously. O’Brien did. “This will be the biggest national security threat you will face in your presidency,” he warned. “Is this going to be as bad or worse than SARS in 2003?” Trump asked. The briefer responded that it wasn’t clear yet. Pottinger, who was sitting on a couch, jumped to his feet. He had seen enough high-level arguments in the Oval Office to know that Trump relished clashes between agencies. “Mr. President, I actually covered that,” he said, recounting his experience with SARS and what he was learning now from his sources—most shockingly, that more than half of the spread of the disease was by asymptomatic carriers. China had already curbed travel within the country, but every day thousands of people were traveling from China to the U.S.—half a million in January alone. “Should we shut down travel?” the president asked. “Yes,” Pottinger said unequivocally.
That same day, Pottinger and the White House staff reconvened in the Situation Room. Pottinger recalls that he’d been especially inspired into action by Xi Jinping’s lockdown of Wuhan and by the hospital that the CCP claims to have built in 10 days, but did not actually build. As Abutaleb reports:
A few hours later, Pottinger and other government officials filed back into the Situation Room.Pottinger knew he was going to be outnumbered. Mulvaney and his allies didn’t want to allow the NSC to do anything that might be too disruptive. Blocking travel from China would be an unprecedented intervention. And over what? Five cases of the sniffles in the United States?…
On January 23, China announced that it was locking down Wuhan, a city of 11 million people. The shutdown was extended to several more cities in the coming days, with travel prohibited inside much of the country. Tens of millions of people were effectively locked in their homes. The Chinese were rapidly building an entire hospital in Wuhan that was completed within days. Everyone in the country was wearing a mask. People in hazmat suits took passengers’ temperatures before anyone was allowed into the subway. China had gone from reluctantly admitting that there had been a few cases of person-to-person spread to shutting down the world’s second largest economy. If the virus had brought the world’s most populous country to a standstill, some top US officials, especially Pottinger, knew they should be doing more.
As Deputy National Security Advisor, Pottinger was supposed to “avoid arguing forcefully for any particular outcome,” so he brought Peter Navarro to make his arguments for him. Abutaleb continues:
But as deputy national security advisor, Pottinger was in an awkward position. He was supposed to be chairing the meeting, which meant that his job was to solicit input from others in the room and avoid arguing forcefully for any particular outcome. That fact tied his hands. He needed someone else to make the more pointed parts of his argument for him. Someone who would stand up to everyone else in the room unflinchingly. He knew just the person: a reviled troublemaker named Peter Navarro, the director of the White House National Trade Council…
Pottinger’s plan to use Navarro as his mouthpiece seemed to work initially, but then Navarro kept going. And going… They needed to ban travel, and they needed to do it now.
Pottinger had been waiting for an opening. He told his colleagues that he had come across some alarming information: Chinese officials were no longer able to contact trace the virus. In other words, it was so widespread that they couldn’t determine where people had contracted it. And he relayed the Chinese suspicions about asymptomatic spread: people who seemed perfectly healthy were transmitting the virus, not just in China but potentially everywhere, including in the United States.
Once again, Mulvaney was skeptical of Pottinger. Three months prior, Navarro had been caught citing himself as an expert source using the pseudonym “Ron Vara”:
Mulvaney couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. Pottinger and Navarro had nearly pulled off a policy ambush. “Look,” Mulvaney told someone at the meeting, “I’ve got Pottinger with a friend of his in Hong Kong as a source. I’ve got Navarro, who makes up his sources, and then on the other side of the equation I’ve got Kadlec and Fauci and Redfield, three experts, who say not to shut down flights just yet.”
A health expert pointed out that the statistic Pottinger had reported from the doctor in China about asymptomatic spread couldn’t be true.
One of the government health experts pulled Pottinger aside.The stat Pottinger had cited, the one about half of all people with the virus being asymptomatic, there’s just no way that can be true, the person said. No one has ever heard of a coronavirus similar to SARS or MERS whose spread can be driven in part by asymptomatic carriers.That would be a game changer.
On February 1, Mulvaney tried to rein Pottinger in. As Rogin reports:
Concerned about the political implications, Mulvaney tried to rein in Pottinger. He took O’Brien aside and told him, “You’ve got to get Pottinger under control.” Pottinger was too young, Mulvaney said, and too immature to be deputy national security adviser. Mulvaney was among the most skeptical of all the White House officials that the virus threat was real. In late February, as the markets tanked, Mulvaney said the media was exaggerating the threat in an effort to bring down President Trump, calling it the “hoax of the day.” As he prepared the White House’s first budget to respond to the emerging crisis, Mulvaney pegged the total cost at $800 million. (Mulvaney was pushed out in early March.)
2. Pottinger’s Crusade for Universal Masking
In February 2020, Pottinger, who has no background in science or public health, began a months-long campaign to popularize universal masking and travel quarantines in response to the coronavirus based on information from his own sources in China.
Beginning in February 2020, Pottinger began a crusade for Americans to adopt universal masking in response to the new coronavirus based on recommendations from his own sources in China. As Abutaleb writes:
Back in February, Matt Pottinger had relayed what he had hoped would be received as good news by the Coronavirus Task Force. His contacts in China had found a way to significantly slow the virus’s spread: face coverings.
Pottinger began wearing a mask to work in early March to convince his White House colleagues to take up the practice.
A mask, however, could significantly stem transmission, Pottinger argued. If people’s noses and mouths were covered, they would emit far fewer respiratory droplets, lowering the risk of infecting others. Pottinger began wearing a mask to work in early March. But he didn’t wear a simple cloth face covering; he wore what other White House aides thought was a gas mask. He looked like a lunatic, some snickered, and it reinforced his reputation as an alarmist. One staffer described him as “being at a hundred” as early as January (on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of concern).
Pottinger, who has no background in science or public health, pushed for mask mandates in the White House and for staff to be quarantined if they traveled outside Washington.
Having lived in China during the SARS outbreak, he saw the importance of the speed with which Asian countries had mobilized. In early February, he recommended that NSC staffers who traveled outside Washington—even to other parts of the United States—quarantine before returning to work. He also wanted NSC staff to telework when possible, limit in-person meetings, restrict the number of people who could be in a room at one time, and be required to wear masks. That struck many White House aides as absurd. There were just a handful of known cases at the time; the virus was barely a blip on most people’s radars. No one else was changing their workplace standards…
Pottinger urged the adoption of universal masking as had been ordered by “governments in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.”
Pottinger pointed to a handful of Asian countries where the use of face coverings was universal. The governments in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong had ordered their citizens to wear masks with seemingly indisputable results.
Pottinger saw no “downside” in universal masking, though there was no data and research to show it was effective.
Pottinger’s heart sank as he saw the tweet and the ensuing messages. What was the downside in having people cover their faces while they waited for more data and research about how effective masks might be?
Pottinger proposed delivering a mask to every mailbox in America. As Wright reports:
Pottinger and Robert Kadlec, an assistant secretary at Health and Human Services, came up with an idea to put masks in every mailbox in America. Hanes, the underwear company, offered to make antimicrobial masks that were machine washable. “We couldn’t get it through the task force,” Pottinger told his brother. “We got machine-gunned down before we could even move on it.” Masks were still seen as useless or even harmful by the administration and even public health officials.
Matt Pottinger’s crusade for the adoption of universal masking based on information from his own sources in China is especially peculiar because, as of the time of this writing, though there are hundreds of pictures of Pottinger online, there does not appear to be a single one in which he is wearing a mask anywhere on the Internet.
3. Popularizing Shutdowns
In January 2020, Pottinger popularized shutdowns within the White House using a dubious study on the 1918 flu pandemic comparing outcomes between Philadelphia and St. Louis, a month before this study received any significant media attention.
If you live in the United States, you probably remember the ludicrous study that made the rounds among major media outlets in March 2020 comparing outcomes in Philadelphia and St. Louis during the 1918 Spanish flu. According to the study, St. Louis canceled its annual parade, closed schools, and discouraged gatherings in 1918, while Philadelphia did not, so Philadelphia was punished when thousands of residents died of flu over the coming weeks. Therefore, these media outlets argued, it somehow logically followed that we should shut down the entire United States economy in 2020.
One man who was several weeks ahead of media outlets in citing this claptrap was Matt Pottinger. As Wright reports, Pottinger began popularizing the idea of shutdowns within the White House by circulating this study among his White House colleagues on January 31, 2020.
Matt Pottinger handed out a study of the 1918 flu pandemic to his colleagues in the White House, indicating the differing outcomes between the experiences of Philadelphia and St. Louis—a clear example of the importance of leadership, transparency, and following the best scientific counsel.
4. Appointing Deborah Birx as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator
Beginning in January 2020, Pottinger began petitioning for Deborah Birx to be appointed as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator. Birx then embarked on a months-long scorched earth campaign for lockdowns that were as long and strict as possible across the United States.
On January 28, 2020, Pottinger began to reach out to Deborah Birx to have her come to the White House to lead the response to the Coronavirus. As Birx recalls in her book:
On January 28, after meeting with Erin Walsh to solidify the planning and schedule for the upcoming African Diplomatic Corps State Department meeting, I received a text from Yen Pottinger. Aside from being the wife of my friend Matt, the deputy national security advisor, Yen was also a former colleague at the CDC and a trusted friend and neighbor…
Matt had apologized for the short notice and said he hoped we could meet face-to-face. Yen arranged so that I could meet him in the West Wing, and once we were both there, Matt got to the point quickly. He offered me the position of White House spokesperson on the virus.
Abutaleb goes into more detail on Birx’s relationship with Pottinger. Pottinger was married to one of Birx’s subordinates who’d developed a widely-used HIV test at the CDC.
[Birx] made a number of powerful connections along the way. When she became head of the CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS, one of her subordinates was a bright virologist named Yen Duong, who developed a widely used HIV test while working at the agency. Duong would eventually marry a Wall Street Journal reporter turned marine named Matt Pottinger, a connection that would eventually bring Birx into Trump’s orbit.
According to Pottinger and Birx, he pleaded with her over several weeks to head the Coronavirus Task Force, and she reluctantly agreed. The hero we didn’t need. As Birx recalls in her book:
It is March 2, 2020. I’ve just flown in overnight from South Africa to take on the role of response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, a job I didn’t seek but felt compelled to accept. I’m physically tired but mentally alert. After weeks of urging from Matthew Pottinger— President Trump’s deputy national security advisor, a task force member himself, and the husband of a former colleague and friend of mine—I finally gave in to Matt’s request that I come on board to help with the response to the coronavirus outbreak…
Matt Pottinger, was one of the good ones in the Trump White House. A former journalist turned highly-decorated U.S. Marine who served as an intelligence officer for part of his time, Matt had deep experience in China (including during the 2002–2003 SARS outbreak there) and was fluent in Mandarin. Matt took a position in the National Security Council in the earliest stage of the Trump administration, while still serving in the Marine Reserves.
As documented in her bizarre tell-all book, which received uniquely excellent reviews from Chinese state media, Birx then embarked on a months-long, largely clandestine, scorched-earth crusade to orchestrate lockdowns that were as long and strict as possible across the United States. These lockdowns ultimately killed tens of thousands of young Americans while failing to meaningfully slow the spread of the coronavirus everywhere they were tried. By her own admission, she lied, hid data, and manipulated the president’s administration to drive consent for lockdowns that were stricter than the administration realized until finally stepping down soon after breaking her own travel guidance to visit her family for Thanksgiving in November 2020.
No sooner had we convinced the Trump administration to implement our version of a two-week shutdown than I was trying to figure out how to extend it.Fifteen Days to Slow the Spread was a start, but I knew it would be just that. I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them. However hard it had been to get the fifteen-day shutdown approved, getting another one would be more difficult by many orders of magnitude.
In October 2020, while visiting Utah, Pottinger admired his handiwork in appointing Birx. Wright reports:
Utah had just hit a record high number of new cases. On the ride, an alarm sounded on Pottinger’s cell phone in the saddlebag. It was an alert: “Almost every single county is a high transmission area.Hospitals are nearly overwhelmed. By public health order masks are required in high transmission areas.” Pottinger thought, “Debi must have met with the governor.”
5. Promoting Mass Testing
Sometime in February 2020, Pottinger, who has no background in science or public health, appears to have promoted within the White House the idea of mass testing for the coronavirus. Wright recounts:
At a Coronavirus Task Force meeting, Redfield announced that the CDC would send a limited number of test kits to five “sentinel cities.” Pottinger was stunned: five cities? Why not send them everywhere?He learned that the CDC makes tests, but not at scale. For that, you have to go to a company like Roche or Abbott—molecular testing powerhouses which have the experience and capacity to manufacture millions of tests a month.
Using the standard PCR cycle thresholds of 37 to 40 later provided in the testing guidance published by the WHO, approximately 85% to 90% of these cases were false positives, as later confirmed by The New York Times.
6. Endorsing Remdesivir
In March 2020, Pottinger appears to have endorsed use of the drug remdesivir as a possible Covid therapy based on information from a doctor in China. Wright reports:
In the early morning of March 4, as Matt Pottinger was driving to the White House, he was on the phone with a source in China, a doctor. Taking notes on the back of an envelope while holding the phone to his ear and navigating the city traffic, Pottinger was excited by all the valuable new information about how the virus was being contained in China. The doctor specifically mentioned the antiviral drug remdesivir.
The health outcomes of remdesivir remain unknown, but no benefit to the mortality of its recipients has been proven.
••• I am going to skip most of the rest of Attorney Senger’s article, but you can see it all on his original link that I’ll put below.
I’ll just end with his conclusion:
Pottinger may have simply been overly-trusting of his sources, thinking they were the little people in China trying to help their American friends. But why did Pottinger push so hard for sweeping Chinese policies like mask mandates that were far outside his field of expertise? Why did he so often breach protocol? Why seek out and appoint Deborah Birx?
Pottinger’s zealousness in endorsing these sweeping policies is even more bewildering because it’s widely known in the intelligence community that the CCP’s primary focus is on information warfare—“superseding their cultural and political values” to those of the west and undermining the western values that Xi Jinping sees as threatening, outlined in his leaked Document No. 9: “independent judiciaries,” “human rights,” “western freedom,” “civil society,” “freedom of the press,” and the “free flow of information on the internet.”
Though political conditions in China have deteriorated rapidly, Pottinger is supposed to know that—that’s why he had the Top Secret security clearance and the big job in the National Security Council. In fact, we know how rapidly conditions in China have deteriorated in part because Matt Pottinger is the one who told us. The only reason anyone accepted all this information and guidance from these Chinese sources is that it came through Pottinger.
I certainly can’t pass judgment. But from where I’m sitting, it looks like we’ve been struck by a smooth criminal.
•••• (End of Michael Senger’s article.)
As always, remember that everything comes from G-d for a purpose, and Pottinger and others are simply His messengers. What does G-d want to teach us to correct in our society and our personal lives?
Here are the links to Attorney Senger’s aricles.