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Secret Audio: GOP Senator Told Wealthy Donors How Bad COVID-19 Outbreak Would Be 3 Weeks Ago, But Didn’t Tell The Public

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In a secret audio recording obtained and published this morning by National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr — the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee — warned a group of well-connected donors three weeks ago to prepare for dire economic and societal effects of the coronavirus.

At that time, as noted by NPR, American citizens were not aware of the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak, having no idea what kind of austerity would be required of us and completely in the dark about travel restrictions that would be coming and the massive social upheaval that was likely in our future.

However, Senator Burr was apparently aware of these things, and rather than share them with the general public, he quietly told his friends in the Tarheel Circle what would be coming down the pike — much of which has now come to pass exactly as the Senator predicted.

On Feb. 27, when the United States had 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, President Trump was tamping down fears and suggesting the virus could be seasonal.

“It’s going to disappear. One day, It’s like a miracle. It will disappear,” the president said then, before adding, “it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens.”

On that same day, Burr attended a luncheon held at a social club called the Capitol Hill Club. And he delivered a much more alarming message.

“There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” he said, according to a secret recording of the remarks obtained by NPR. “It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”

According to NPR, the luncheon had been organized by the Tar Heel Circle, whose membership consists of businesses and organizations in North Carolina, the state Burr represents. Membership to join the Tar Heel Circle costs between $500 and $10,000, and promises that members “enjoy interaction with top leaders and staff from Congress, the administration, and the private sector,” according to the group’s website.

The report goes on to say that Burr warned those in attendance at this lunch that nonessential travel to Europe by their companies’ employees will be curtailed — a full fifteen days before Donald Trump banned European travel.

Most importantly, however, Senator Burr was publicly saying nothing like any of this at that time. Zero. Nada.

Listen to the audio below, via NPR:

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College Student Makes Masks For The Deaf & Hard Of Hearing, Gives Them For Free

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A college student is being praised after creating a mask designed to help the deaf and hard of hearing community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I just saw that people were making masks on Facebook for everyone to have instead of the throwaway masks, and I was like, what about the deaf and hard of hearing population?” explained 21-year-old Ashley Lawrence, a college senior from Versailles, Kentucky, local station LEX18 reports.

Lawrence is studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing at Eastern Kentucky University. Due to the virus, she is living back at home and doing her student teaching from home.

“I felt like there was a huge population that was being looked over,” Lawrence said. “We’re all panicking right now and so a lot of people are just not being thought of. So, I felt like it was very important that, even at a time like this, people need to have that communication.”

After a conversation with her mom, they put their craft skills to work.

“We started out making them with bed sheets that we had, and luckily bed sheets are big,” Lawrence said. “So we have two or three sets so we’re making them out of that. Then, a couple months ago we needed plastic fabric for something. And so we have a whole roll of that and the window is only this big so having a whole roll is very helpful so luckily we haven’t needed any supplies yet.”

With her mission centered around the deaf and hard of hearing community, she is going the extra mile.

“We’re trying different things to for people with cochlear implants and hearing aids if they can’t wrap around the ears,” Lawrence said. “We’re making some that have around the head and around the neck.”

She explained the necessity for the plastic window on the masks is why she started this project in the first place.

“For anyone who uses speech reading, lip reading, anybody like that,” Lawrence said about the purpose of the masks. “And people who are profoundly deaf who use ASL as their primary mode of communication. ASL is very big on facial expressions and it is part of the grammar. So I don’t know if you have seen Virginia Moore on Andy Beshear’s things at five o’clock, but she’s very emotive, and if half of that is gone because you’re wearing a mask then half of what you’re saying is being missed, so even if it’s not physically talking and just using ASL, then you need to have that kind of access.”

Ashley Lawrence

Ashley Lawrence (left) poses with her mother while they both wear a mask made for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Source: LEX18.

In less than two days, Larence already had dozens of orders from six states. To order one of Lawrence’s masks, reach out to her at dhhmaskproject@gmail.com.

“I’m not charging anything for them because I think that if you need them, then you need them and I don’t think that you should have to pay for them,” Lawrence said. “So we are sending them out for free whenever we have people asking for them and if they’re foreign, then maybe we’ll charge shipping, but other than that they’re completely free.”

Those who would like to help Lawrence with the cost of materials and shipping, she is accepting donations on her GoFundMe page.

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