Monday, October 19, 2020

Mason brothers’ risky Racine COVID test lab

**This story has been updated to include comment from researcher Christopher Mason and to clarify information about the effects of heating coronaviruses.

Empower Wisconsin | Sept 15, 2020 

MADISON — The City of Racine City Hall Annex has been transformed into a laboratory where city employees work with a highly contagious virus that has killed nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. — more than 1,200 in Wisconsin. 

And Racine city officials don’t seem at all concerned about the potential safety and liability hazards. 

Sources with backgrounds in biotech tell Empower Wisconsin city leaders and Racine citizens should be very wary of the dangers of a COVID-19 experiment they say has no business being conducted on city property.

Coming home

In July, mainstream media outlets began doing feature stories on Christopher Mason’s research. Mason, associate professor and systems biology wunderkind at Weill Cornell Medicine, is looking for a faster way to test for COVID-19. Mason also just happens to be the brother of Racine’s liberal Mayor Cory Mason, a fact that raises some conflict of interest questions. The scientist, the stories note, came home to turn his hometown into a cutting edge laboratory in the fight against a relentless and deadly pandemic. 

Professor Mason is working alongside Alison Kriegel, PhD, associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

As Fox6 explained in late July, the researchers established a mobile lab in the Racine City Hall Annex. They have employed city firefighters to collect “a few milliliters of saliva from city employees taking part in the study.” 

“We’re cooking the saliva at 95 degrees for 30 minutes to essentially kill the virus. And then from there, we’re testing it,” Chief Brian Wolf of the Racine Police Department, told the news outlet. 

The idea, officials say, is to limit the chance for spread within the lab.

It’s alive

But is a city building where several departments are located — parks and recreation, water and wastewater among them — the best place to research a test for a virus that is considered at a risk level below Ebola? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that SARS-COV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 “should be isolated and studied only in laboratories with advanced containment capabilities, meaning those with a biosafety level (BSL) of 3 or higher.”

So they are conducting a test on a virus that is considered at a risk level below Ebola. Organisms are classified on a Biosafety scale of 1 to 4 — 1 being fairly safe, 4 being, well, the deadly Ebola virus. 

In an email response to Empower Wisconsin, Kriegel insists the lab is “not working with live virus.” She said samples are collected in a tube by subjects, capped and then “heat activated” in the closed collection container to kill the virus prior to handling. 

A biotech expert who spoke to Empower Wisconsin on condition of anonymity said Kriegel’s explanation is absurd. 

“So they aren’t working with the live virus. They are just collecting samples and heating them to, well, kill the live virus,” the source said. “Even accepting such an absurd statement, there is no published guideline for that treatment killing the virus.” 

Studies show heat over certain durations can destroy coronaviruses, but there are variables, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes in a July summary of studies.

“Generally coronaviruses survive for shorter periods at higher temperatures and higher humidity than in cooler or dryer environments. However, we don’t have direct data for this virus, nor do we have direct data for a temperature‐based cutoff for inactivation at this point. The necessary temperature would also be based on the materials of the surface, the environment, etc.,” the CDC summary notes. 

What if a tube containing samples cracks or shatters? Maybe it’s dropped during heating. The biotech expert who spoke to Empower Wisconsin said an aerosol will immediately form. 

“This could enter the building ventilation system and contaminate work surfaces and the floors,” the source said. How are workers and the public being protected? 

Professor Mason acknowledged the potential risks.

“In terms of the safety question, there’s always a chance you don’t collect a sample right … nothing is 100 percent risk-free,” he said.  “But once it’s in the tube and you cap it and heat it,  to my knowledge, there’s not a single piece of information that says the virus is still effective.” If so, the researcher added, ” you could just heat it longer.”  

Not to worry, Kriegel says. “Everyone is wearing full PPE (personal protective equipment) and disposables were being treated as biohazardous waste.” That means the waste has been autoclaved and/or collected for biohazard disposal through the private company the health department uses, the researcher said.  

She said first responders assisting in the research have received HAZMAT training. Besides, she added, they’re already at risk of encountering infected people while in the normal course of their public safety duties. 

Employees being tested (and it is only City employees being tested, who volunteer to participate in the study) are already (potentially) breathing into ventilation systems, using restrooms and touching surfaces in city buildings—as is everyone every time we go out in public,” Kriegel said. 

That’s an interesting position to take, however, in a city run by Professor Mason’s brother — the mayor — who, alongside city council members, has done everything in his power (and outside of his power) to lock down or limit businesses and the liberties of citizens to save them from COVID-19. 

Ethics and liability 

The ethical use of human subjects, as in the Racine annex COVID test research, requires a thorough review by an established Institutional Review Board (IRB), according to federal regulations. The history of contemporary human subjects protections began in 1947 with the Nuremberg Code, developed for the Nuremberg Military Tribunal as standards by which to judge the human experimentation conducted by the Nazis, according to the federal Office for Human Research Protections. 

Kriegel said the Medical College of Wisconsin’s IRB approved the COVID-19 test study, but she said she does not know which members in particular were involved. It would be inappropriate, the researcher said, for her to know the names of the board members or identify them. 

The research would seem to raise myriad liability concerns for the city of Racine and its taxpayers. 

City Attorney Scott Letteney said “direct funding” for the research project is coming from Cornell, while the Medical Center of Wisconsin is paying for the cost of its employees’ participation — in wages/benefits — for participation in the COVID-19 test experiments. Letteney said employees are covered under Racine’s workers compensation coverage. 

Is the city indemnified in case of a an accident? 

The city attorney said the question is “very nonspecific,” but added there are “liability-limiting provisions in the agreement and in the law.” He did not specify what the liability-limiting provisions are. 

And what about employees’ Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rights? Are they being protected? Letteney claims there is no “HIPPA effect.” 

“All screening, diagnostic, and any other health information is under the control of the research scientists. No screening, diagnostic, or any other health information about employees tested is being share(d) with the City of Racine as an employer,” the city attorney said. 

Will Racine’s taxpayers benefit from the proceeds of a successful and marketable COVID-19 rapid test? Will they be rewarded for their risk? Does Cory Mason stand to profit from his brother’s research on taxpayer time? The mayor did not respond to Empower Wisconsin’s request for comment. 

The researchers see big things for their test, and they told Fox6 that they would move forward as fast as they could to “try to validate this test.” 

“…(H)opefully, we’ll be able to open it up to a broader community once we are able to get the validation completed, Kriegel said. 

But have the researchers put lives on the line in their rapid quest for a rapid COVID-19 test built on cozy political relationships?

Listen to more:

Talking Racine Episode 196 Where Did They Go?

Tyson warns of Election Day asteroid

Money Matters: Package Delays and Movie Theaters Getting Creative

China’s hotel industry rebounds from Covid-19 pandemic during ‘golden week’ holidays

Racine budget proposal cuts 12 police officers, 9 firefighters

From Fox6Now:

How about cutting Butterball's many assistants? Can he even lift a Big Mac to his lips without aid?

Next time you need a cop, call Butterball.

Fauci on his media restrictions, Trump contracting COVID, masks, voting and more

Trump 'inciting domestic terrorism' with 'lock her up!' rally chant says Michigan governor

Missing hiker found alive in Zion National Park after disappearing nearly two weeks ago

Twitter deletes Trump health adviser's claim masks don't work

Pelosi Shifts Stimulus Deadline

Republicans Are Beginning To Distance Themselves From President Trump | Meet The Press | NBC News

Open Blog - Monday



Friday, October 16, 2020


From Racine County Corruption:

Judge Kerkman 

and the KKK

Kerkman’s Kourt of Konfusion



Sandy Weidner again trapped 

in alleged secret court proceedings conducted by 

Korrupt Kerkman Kourt


 Kerkman Kauses Khaos

Judge Chad Kerkman Kreated Khaos and konfusion on October 7th,  2020

 by having a dedicated YouTube channel available for the interested public to safely oversee live court proceedings. Kerkman knowingly and willingly choose not to not to broadcast (live stream) the court proceedings.

Kerkman pulled the Kurtains and blacked out kourt proceeding to the interested public via You Tube.



       Korrupt Kerkman Kenosha 

Korrupt Kerkman Kourt

(His other KKK wardrobe is in the closet)

On October 7th, 2020, Sandy Weidner was again a victim of a scam within the Korrupt Kourts Konducted by Judge Kerkman.

Zoom and You Tube platforms were established and implemented for use for the Circuit Courts by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the spring of 2020.

6 months later, Kerkman continues to remain in defiance of Wisconsin Supreme Court requests to broadcast (livestream) court proceedings.

There lacks any consistency, uniformity or repeatability of conducting court proceedings concerning public oversight within the Wisconsin Circuit Court system.

How is the public to know whether they can attend court proceedings in person or must use

video live streaming?

So, did Korrupt Kerkman violate the

First Amendment Rights 

of all 5.82 million Wisconsin citizens 

making the State of Wisconsin and 

Kerkman personally ripe for class action in Federal court by not live streaming the courts hearing?


Korrupt Kerkman provided Zoom codes to the litigants to participate during the court proceedings but failed to 

provide any video participation to the public.

Take notice of the CONFIDENTIAL watermark.

Judge Kerkman is in a most vile and despicable way,

 a pompous ass, scofflaw and deviant judge 

unworthy of public service.


So again Sandy Weidner is a victim of


committed by members of the kourt 





Lets face it, It was a tossup comparing Kerkman to the KKK or the Nazi's 

being they both enjoyed conducting secret court



For more information, click on the following:

Sandra Weidner vs. City of Racine

Racine County Circuit Court case # 17CV1644

Open Blog - Friday


Oh no!  It's Friday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Pro-Biden artwork from the 'Father of Crop Art' chiseled into hay field in Racine County

From JSOnline:

JR Radcliffe
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Believe it or not, Stan Herd said finding the right plot of land is just as time-consuming as the artwork itself.

The 70-year-old Kansas artist, once called the "Father of Crop Art" by CBS news anchor Dan Rather, has been crafting massive designs into fields since the early 1980s. But he's on a new mission now, engineering messages promoting the Joe Biden campaign, not coincidentally in swing states Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

In Wisconsin, Herd wanted a property large enough for a pro-farmer message and close enough to air traffic patterns where travelers will see the work from above. With that in mind, he reached out to Neil and Jennifer Young about their 180-acre property in the Village of Yorkville in Racine County.

"We've done some work with the local Democratic Party and had some fundraisers for Tammy Baldwin on our farm," Jennifer said. "We got a call that there's a crop artist interested in finding a place about 2 to 3 acres, and they explained what they wanted to do. We walked over to some places that we thought would be good, and the perfect place is in our hay field.

Read more:

Open Blog - Wednesday

Not much.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

New MCTS bus route to Amazon fulfillment center in Oak Creek

Peru opens Machu Picchu for single Japanese tourist

U.S. Nears 8 Million Coronavirus Cases | NBC Nightly News

Beccera: Cease and desist orders delivered to California's GOP

85.4K subscribers
California’s Republican Party on Monday acknowledged owning unofficial ballot drop boxes that state election officials said are illegal. After receiving reports about the drop boxes in three counties, California's secretary of state issued a memo Sunday telling county registrars these boxes were illegal and that ballots must be mailed or brought to official voting locations. Attorney General Xavier Becerra held a briefing about the unofficial drop boxes. See his statement in the video above.

CBS News poll: Biden leads Trump in Michigan and Nevada, race tied in Iowa

Babbling idiots.  If their polls are any good why aren't they out predicting the next winning lottery numbers?

Barrett's faith shouldn't be questioned: Biden

Biden Widens Lead in National Poll

The fact that the pollsters got everything wrong about the 2016 election hasn't prevented them from attempting to steer this election.  What a bunch of punks.

Wisconsin denies tax credits to Foxconn for 2019 work, says company did not create enough jobs to fulfill agreement

From JSOnline:

Ricardo Torres
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Three years after landmark legislation was passed promising Foxconn Technology Group billions in tax credits and President Donald Trump presided over a groundbreaking ceremony in Mount Pleasant, the company will not be receiving any state tax credits for work done in 2019.

According to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Foxconn has hired only 281 people eligible for tax credits and has made only $300 million in capital expenditures, not fulfilling the goals set out in the contract signed by Foxconn and the state.

Foxconn said it was surprised by the decision, and the company's role in Wisconsin continues to be hotly debated amid a hyper-partisan political environment with deep divisions among taxpayers who are paying the bill for the billions in tax credits that were part of the original deal.

Read more:

Judge to state Republicans: If you want to end Wisconsin's mask mandate, do it yourself

From The Journal

Citing inaction by the state Legislature, a St. Croix County judge on Monday rejected a request by a conservative legal group for a temporary injunction against Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate.

Judge R. Michael Waterman ruled that state law doesn’t prevent the governor from issuing a new executive order when emergency conditions, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, continue to exist. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which pledged to appeal the ruling, filed a lawsuit in August seeking to halt enforcement of the governor’s public health emergency declaration and accompanying mask order.

“The legislature can end the state of emergency at anytime, but so far, it has declined to do so,” Waterman said in a court document. “As the statewide representative body of the citizens of Wisconsin, the legislature’s inaction is relevant and it weighs against judicial intervention, especially when the requested intervention will have statewide impact.”

Shortly after the decision was announced, a Republican-led legislative committee that reviews agency actions ordered the state Department of Health Services to present the rules it relied on in issuing an order last week limiting the size of crowds at indoor venues, including bars and restaurants.

Read more:

Open Blog - Tuesday

Don't get tipsy and drive.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Trump Claims He No Longer Has Covid-19, Says He’s ‘Immune’ | Alex Witt | MSNBC

Bill Burr Stand-Up Monologue - SNL

Whitmer blames Trump after FBI 'foils plot' to kidnap Michigan governor

Hurricane Delta leaves 700,000 people without power

President's physician: Trump no longer a coronavirus transmission risk

Fake news!  He never had COVID-19 in the first place.  This is all a political play in advance of the election . . .

Bice: Supreme Court chief justice banished Judge Brad Schimel from his own courtroom after he refused to wear mask

From JSOnline:

Daniel Bice
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Shortly after Waukesha County courts opened to the public in late June, someone complained that Waukesha County Circuit Judge Brad Schimel was not enforcing the mask mandate set down by the top court officials for in-person hearings and trials.

Schimel did not respond well. 

The former Republican attorney general sent an email on June 25 to a small group of individuals who worked in his courtroom, noting that he had just been called in by Judge Jennifer Dorow, chief judge of the 3rd Judicial District, for not enforcing the mandate aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus. 

Mask mandates were adopted both by the state Supreme Court in May and by Dorow's office for Waukesha County judges a month later. These are separate from the one issued by Gov. Tony Evers.

"First, I do not intend to wear a mask," Schimel wrote, citing chronic sinus issues that he said were aggravated by wearing a mask for extended periods. "Thus, for my own health, I will not be wearing a mask."

It was a position and attitude that would land the first-term judge in seriously hot water. 

Officials with the state Public Defender's Office began complaining that Schimel was endangering the public by ignoring the mask mandate.

Then, on Aug. 28, Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack intervened, barring Schimel from appearing in person for hearings in his own courtroom. For the next five weeks, Schimel sat alone in his judicial chambers — sans mask — and handled cases via Zoom, appearing on a large screen in the courtroom, where his staff, a bailiff, lawyers and defendants often sat.

Read more:

'I shouldn't be here': Oshkosh bar owner in ICU with COVID-19 angry with Trump over out-of-control pandemic

From JSOnline:

Molly Beck
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Mark Schultz has been hit on both sides of this pandemic. 

For six months it was his Oshkosh bar and restaurant, both of which are closed for now after being hammered under state coronavirus restrictions.

Now it is Schultz himself, infected with COVID-19, lying in a hospital intensive care unit, laboring to breathe, unsure of when — or whether — he'll go home.

"I don’t worry much about me, but I got a 10-year-old son and my fiancée — that’s all I care about," he said through tears. "My family is all at home. They are all worried about me. I don’t want them to worry about me."

As he spoke by phone, he struggled with short breaths and was interrupted at times by fits of coughs.

"I don’t want them to go through this," he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I hope I get to go home."

Schultz, 64, is the co-owner of Oblio's, a bar in Oshkosh that is beloved by a city that now has the highest rate of COVID-19 infection in the country, according to a New York Times analysis. 

At Oblio's, Schultz said he has three simple rules before people can belly up to the bar: Don't talk about politics. Don't talk about religion. And don't talk about someone's wife. 

Now, as he receives oxygen from a machine, Schultz says he has been pushed to break that first rule by President Donald Trump.

"I just want to punch him," Schultz said. "I always had to keep my politics to myself, but from where I'm sitting now? Those days are over.

"I shouldn't be here."

Trump, he said, should have been more upfront with the public from the beginning about the dangers of the coronavirus, should have acted quicker, promoted wearing face masks. If he had, Schultz believes, maybe the pandemic would not have struck his community so hard, might not have wound up at his door.

Read more:

Beauty From Ashes

Dimple's owner files defamation claim against city after denied grant for attending rally against Safer at Home

From The Journal

Dimple's owners Dimple and Denis Navratil twice applied for the city's emergency small business loans and grants for COVID-19 relief, but were denied because Denis participated in a rally in Madison on April 24 in opposition to the state's Safer at Home order. Denis has filed a defamation claim against the city for Mason's comments regarding the matter.

RACINE — Denis Navratil, co-owner of Dimple’s with his wife, Dimple, filed a defamation claim against the city for statements made by Mayor Cory Mason regarding the city’s decision not to award the business an emergency relief loan.

In the spring, the City of Racine awarded $900,000 in grants to small businesses affected by the coronavirus. In round one, 18 local businesses received grants up to $15,000 each and in round two 146 businesses received grants ranging from $2,500 to $6,500.

Mason confirmed in a written statement to The Journal Times that the denial to Dimple’s was at least partially based on Navratil’s decision to attend a “Freedom Rally” in Madison organized in opposition to Gov. Tony Evers’ ‘Safer at Home’ initiative.

In a written statement, Mason said, “As Mayor, it is my duty to protect the public health of our City’s residents. While I certainly support the rights of free speech and assembly, I cannot in good conscious send scarce City resources to a person or business that willingly jeopardized public health, especially when they were competing with other businesses who were not flagrantly violating safety measures.”

Read more:

Butterball's big mouth is going to cost us big money.  What a jerk.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

'Like a grenade has gone off’: Infectious disease expert recounts his own struggle with ‘long COVID'

13-year-old spreads COVID-19 to 11 family members on vacation, after negative test

 Fourteen members of the family stayed together in a house for three weeks, per the CDC. One member, a teenager, had COVID-19 and infected 11 others.

A CDC report published Monday shows how one teenager who tested negative for COVID-19 infected 11 of her family members, leading to an outbreak involving four states.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

A COVID-19 outbreak across four states that has infected at least 11 people was started by a 13-year-old girl who spread the coronavirus during a family vacation, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The data contributes to the "increasing evidence that children and adolescents can efficiently transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes (COVID-19)," the CDC said in the report. It also serves as a warning for families considering traveling and staying under the same roof this the holiday season.

Read more: