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Coronavirus: Soaring infections and death rates… but do the claims justify lockdowns?

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coronavirus soaring infections and death rates but do the claims justify lockdowns

With half of Britain set to be plunged into stricter lockdowns from midnight tomorrow, you could be forgiven for thinking that, amidst all the doom and gloom, the threat of Covid-19 has never been so severe.

But as ROSS CLARK reveals, things might not be anywhere near as bad as the fear-mongers would have you think…

Claim: ICU beds in Liverpool are already 95 per cent full

Reality: Fewer ICU beds are occupied than last year

On paper the 95 per cent statistic, revealed earlier this week by Liverpool city councillor Paul Brant, conjures up a disturbing image of overflowing hospitals and inadequate care.

So rest assured that it bears no relation to reality. Indeed on Thursday, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust dismissed Mr Brant’s claim, insisting that its units were only 80 per cent full with just 47 of its 61 critical care beds occupied.

That may still seem high, but it is actually perfectly normal for ICU beds to be full at this time of year.

Half of Britain are set to be plunged into stricter lockdowns from midnight tomorrow. But ROSS CLARK says things might not be as bad as the fear-mongers would have you think

Half of Britain are set to be plunged into stricter lockdowns from midnight tomorrow. But ROSS CLARK says things might not be as bad as the fear-mongers would have you think

Half of Britain are set to be plunged into stricter lockdowns from midnight tomorrow. But ROSS CLARK says things might not be as bad as the fear-mongers would have you think

Last year, for example, 51 out of 59 ICU beds in Liverpool’s hospitals were full, while in 2018 it was 52 out of 59 beds.

Meanwhile, if there is a surge in demand for intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients, let’s not forget how quickly the NHS was able to repurpose general and acute care hospital beds during the first coronavirus spike.

In fact, only on Thursday Liverpool’s Aintree University Hospital revealed that it has already fitted 40 beds with ventilators and a further 30 beds with specialist CPAP breathing equipment.

Claim: The Covid-19 death rate is actually high

Reality: It really isn’t

Such fears date all the way back to March, when the World Health Organisation morosely announced at a press conference that the virus had a mortality rate of 3.2 per cent.

But that figure was based on a crude calculation that divides the number of deaths by the number of confirmed cases of infection.

As we know from antibody tests, which show that many people have had Covid-19 without knowing it and without being tested, most cases have actually gone unrecorded.

To accurately work out the death rate, we must focus on something called the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) – which is the number of deaths divided by the number of actual cases.

Scientists at Imperial College London originally estimated the IFR for Covid at 0.9 per cent, and an updated estimate has put it at 0.66 per cent.

And many even believe the figure to be far lower.

One paper published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation this week by John Ioannidis, a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, reviewed 61 studies from around the world that have calculated the IFR.

His analysis shows that their median – the middle figure – value for the IFR is 0.27 – suggesting that only four in every thousand people who have been infected with Covid-19 have died from it.

Claim: A second spike could cause twice as many deaths

Reality: Far fewer people are dying now

This disturbing claim dates back to a report from July by the Academy of Medical Scientists – and commissioned by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance – which estimated there could be 119,000 deaths if a second spike coincided with a peak of winter flu.

Yet to reach that figure, the so-called ‘second wave’ would have to get significantly worse than it currently is.

On Thursday, only 138 people died who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 28 days. Many of the most vulnerable people will ¿ sadly ¿ have already died in the first peak (file photo)

On Thursday, only 138 people died who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 28 days. Many of the most vulnerable people will ¿ sadly ¿ have already died in the first peak (file photo)

On Thursday, only 138 people died who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 28 days. Many of the most vulnerable people will – sadly – have already died in the first peak (file photo)

On Thursday, only 138 people died who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 28 days. 

In comparison, at the height of the epidemic in the spring there were more than 1,000 deaths a day.

Such an improvement is hardly surprising given that treatments have improved and that many of the most vulnerable people will – sadly – have already died in the first peak.

Claim: The current wave of infection will tear through the elderly

Reality: We are far better prepared this time around

In response to the signing of the Great Barrington Declaration by more than 3,000 scientists last week – which called on governments to abandon one-size-fits-all lockdowns in favour of targeted shielding – Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, described the claim that ‘the elderly can somehow just be fenced off from risk’ as ‘wishful thinking’.

Of course, the elderly are considerably more vulnerable to Covid-19. Indeed, the average age of a coronavirus victim, according to analysis by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, is 82.4 years.

But does this really warrant widespread panic? After all, it is significantly higher than the average age reached by people recorded as dying from all other causes, which is 81.5.

And don’t forget that a large portion of deaths among the elderly patients in the spring occurred because they were discharged from hospitals to care homes without being tested, and also because care home staff – many of whom didn’t have adequate protective equipment – were working across several care homes.

But now, elderly patients are routinely tested before being discharged to care homes, and the Department of Health’s winter plan has banned staff from working in more than one care home setting, which should help stop the spread of Covid-19 from home to home.

Claim: Hospitals are less prepared than this time in March

Reality: Doctors are far better equipped to fight the virus

An unnamed doctor at the Royal Liverpool Hospital was quoted on Thursday as saying that ‘before the first peak, elective surgery was curtailed so the hospital was pretty empty, staff were redeployed. [But] this time, there was no real curtailment of any elective work.’

It is undeniably the case that intensive care doctors have learned a huge amount about how to treat Covid-19 over the past few months (stock photo)

It is undeniably the case that intensive care doctors have learned a huge amount about how to treat Covid-19 over the past few months (stock photo)

It is undeniably the case that intensive care doctors have learned a huge amount about how to treat Covid-19 over the past few months (stock photo) 

Yet before we start jumping to any apocalyptic conclusions about the readiness of our hospitals, it’s worth remembering that this is just one view of one doctor in one hospital.

Contrary to his panicked statement, it’s undeniably the case that intensive care doctors have learned a huge amount about how to treat Covid-19 over the past few months, such as when and when not to put patients on ventilators.

Claim: There’s no such thing as immunity

Reality: The chances of reinfection are low

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a 25-year-old man in the US caught Covid for the second time, leading the University of Nevada’s Dr Mark Pandori to warn that there could be ‘significant implications for our understanding of Covid-19 immunity’.

But it’s worth noting that researchers in Nevada have admitted that they are not entirely sure that the patient was actually reinfected.

Instead, they say, there’s a chance that the virus from his first infection had lain dormant and become reactivated inside his body.

More importantly, if being infected with Covid-19 did not give us immunity, at least for the short term, we would know it by now.

After all, there must be a reason why hundreds of thousands of people who have suffered from Covid-19 are not suffering second and third bouts of the disease.

Claim: We will never get to herd immunity

Reality: We shouldn’t rule it out

Speaking to the House of Commons earlier this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock made the preposterous claim that ‘herd immunity is a flawed goal without a vaccine, even if we could get to it, which we can’t’.

He backed this up by suggesting that a number of infectious diseases such as measles ‘never reach herd immunity’.

Since then, Mr Hancock has been corrected by Harvard University’s Dr Martin Kulldorff and Stanford’s Dr Jay Bhattacharya – who have pointed out that in the days before a vaccine, outbreaks of measles did end before everyone got infected, due to herd immunity.

Elderly patients are routinely tested before being discharged to care homes, and a winter plan has banned staff from working in more than one care home setting (stock photo)

Elderly patients are routinely tested before being discharged to care homes, and a winter plan has banned staff from working in more than one care home setting (stock photo)

Elderly patients are routinely tested before being discharged to care homes, and a winter plan has banned staff from working in more than one care home setting (stock photo)

Meanwhile, although the Government’s scientific advisers have claimed herd immunity could be reached if around 60 percent of us have been infected, other scientists believe the figure to be much lower.

According to modelling by Gabriella Gomes of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, we could gain herd immunity when just 10 to 20 per cent of us have had the disease.

Claim: ‘Long Covid’ may leave millions suffering from symptoms for years

Reality: Serious cases are very uncommon

According to a report published by the National Institute for Health Research on Thursday, there could be ‘significant psychological and social impacts’ on people living with long-term Covid-19, where their recovery is drawn out.

But while the phrase ‘long Covid’ may have a terrifying ring to it, it’s essential to note that delayed recovery is not uncommon with viral illnesses.

Meanwhile, don’t be fooled into thinking that such a prolonged reaction to Covid-19 is common. In fact, many people infected with Covid-19 – up to 80 per cent according to some studies – don’t suffer any symptoms in the first place.

Claim: Only a ‘circuit breaker’ will stop virus

Reality: It will only delay the inevitable

On Wednesday, Claudia Paoloni, president of The Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, grimly warned that ‘we find ourselves in an inimitable situation in that [locking down the entire country for two weeks will] buy ourselves some time’ and suppress the virus.

Moreover, Matt Keeling, a mathematician at the University of Warwick, recently estimated that a two-week circuit breaker could save 8,000 lives.

Yet even Sage, the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies which called for a temporary circuit breaker lockdown three weeks ago, admits that doing so would only delay the epidemic by 28 days.

In other words, if we locked down tomorrow, by the end of October we would merely be back with the infection rate we had at the beginning of the month. 

The current number of recorded infections, 19,000 on Wednesday alone, is at its highest ever. But that's because we are carrying out more than 250,000 tests a day (file photo)

The current number of recorded infections, 19,000 on Wednesday alone, is at its highest ever. But that's because we are carrying out more than 250,000 tests a day (file photo)

 The current number of recorded infections, 19,000 on Wednesday alone, is at its highest ever. But that’s because we are carrying out more than 250,000 tests a day (file photo)

Claim: By locking down more quickly, the Scottish and Welsh governments have handled the pandemic better

Reality: The results have been the same

Certainly, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford have seized every opportunity to attack the Westminster Government and remind us that they are doing things better.

But while England was briefly recording significantly more cases and deaths than Scotland and Wales in the summer, that’s no longer the case.

In fact, recent analysis of the figures shows that there’s little to separate the three countries.

Over the past seven days, England has had on average 230 new infections per million inhabitants, while Scotland has 205 and Wales 213.

Claim: Infections are running higher now than when Britain went into lockdown in March

Reality: There is an increase in cases — but only because we are testing more

Yes, it’s true that the current number of recorded infections – 19,000 on Wednesday alone – is at its highest ever.

But that’s principally because we are now carrying out more than 250,000 tests a day – compared to less than 6,000 a day in mid-March.

Even in April, fewer than 10,000 people a day were being tested in Britain.

So while the number of positive tests coming back may seem significantly higher now, we are detecting more cases because we are testing more.

The Denial by Ross Clark is published by Lume Books

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Meet Maria Bakalova, Borat’s Bulgarian daughter who tricked Giuliani

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meet maria bakalova borats bulgarian daughter who tricked giuliani

The actress who honey-trapped Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the new Borat movie has been revealed to be a glamorous BLM-supporting 24-year-old from Bulgaria who was plucked from obscurity for the role.  

Maria Bakalova, who graduated from film school last year, has skyrocketed into the presidential campaign after it was revealed last night she duped Donald Trump‘s lieutenant Giuliani by pretending to be a conservative reporter.

Following an interview on coronavirus, Bakalova led the 76-year-old statesman into a hotel room, where he reclined on a bed and appeared to put his hands down his pants, before he was interrupted by Sacha Baron Cohen’s character.

‘She’s 15. She’s too old for you,’ Borat screams in the scene filmed in July, waving Giuliani off his ‘daughter’ Tutar. 

Giuliani later pointed out, ‘I was fully clothed at all times,’ and told a reporter he was merely tucking in his shirt, not doing anything untoward. 

‘I lean back and I tuck my shirt in and at that point they have this picture that they take, which looks doctored by in any event,’ the former mayor of New York told WABC radio Wednesday.

Maria Bakalova

Maria Bakalova

Maria Bakalova

Maria Bakalova

Maria Bakalova, who graduated from film school last year, has skyrocketed to international fame after it was revealed last night she honeytrapped Donald Trump’s senior lieutenant and former mayor of New York Giuliani in the new Borat movie

Maria Bakalova posing in a swimming pool as sunlight washes over her

Maria Bakalova posing in a swimming pool as sunlight washes over her

Maria Bakalova posing in a swimming pool as sunlight washes over her

Rudy Giuliani leans back after actress Maria Bakalova takes his mic off and seemingly puts his hands down his pants

Rudy Giuliani leans back after actress Maria Bakalova takes his mic off and seemingly puts his hands down his pants

Rudy Giuliani leans back after actress Maria Bakalova takes his mic off and seemingly puts his hands down his pants 

Maria Bakalova is seen taking off the microphone of Rudy Giuliani in the new 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,' which will be released on Amazon Prime Friday

Maria Bakalova is seen taking off the microphone of Rudy Giuliani in the new 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,' which will be released on Amazon Prime Friday

Maria Bakalova is seen taking off the microphone of Rudy Giuliani in the new ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,’ which will be released on Amazon Prime Friday 

Maria Bakalova enjoying the sun by the poolside in a picture from her Instagram

Maria Bakalova enjoying the sun by the poolside in a picture from her Instagram

Maria Bakalova enjoying the sun by the poolside in a picture from her Instagram

Bakalova, in the foothills of her Hollywood career, has followed in the footsteps of many of the titans with Instagram posts in support of Black Lives Matter

Bakalova, in the foothills of her Hollywood career, has followed in the footsteps of many of the titans with Instagram posts in support of Black Lives Matter

Bakalova, in the foothills of her Hollywood career, has followed in the footsteps of many of the titans with Instagram posts in support of Black Lives Matter 

Bakalova posted in June for 'Black Out Tuesday,' which saw many people posting a black square on their social media feeds to highlight the Black Lives Matter movement

Bakalova posted in June for 'Black Out Tuesday,' which saw many people posting a black square on their social media feeds to highlight the Black Lives Matter movement

Bakalova posted in June for ‘Black Out Tuesday,’ which saw many people posting a black square on their social media feeds to highlight the Black Lives Matter movement

The actress has been launched to the forefront of the battle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, with Giuliani already center stage since he revealed emails which appear to show Hunter Biden profited from his father’s office.

Giuliani accused Hollywood of deliberately leaking details of his appearance in the Borat movie to stifle coverage of the Hunter Biden story. 

‘They’ll do anything, they’ll attack me over anything possible,’ Giuliani said. ‘And now the idiot Borat is going after me with a totally sensationalized false account of a ridiculous movie, I guess, he has done.’ 

Giuliani called it a ‘hit job’ and said that ‘everybody in Hollywood hates me.’ 

‘It’s not an accident that it happens when I turn in all this evidence on their prince and darling Joe Biden, who is one of the biggest crooks in the last 30 years and since I have the courage to say that I’m the target,’ the president’s personal lawyer said. 

Little-known Bakalova, in the foothills of her Hollywood career, has followed in the footsteps of many A-list titans with Instagram posts in support of Black Lives Matter which feature among the raft of luxurious poolside selfies she has taken in LA. 

She made a hilarious appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s chat show alongside Cohen on Tuesday night.

Both actors in character, Bakalova demanded that Kimmel take his trousers off and marry her.

‘I am already married!’ Kimmel insisted, to which Borat asked: ‘How many wives do you have?’ 

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34682794 8864821 image a 61 1603357204914

The conservative Drudge Report chose to share the image, captioning it with 'Rudy!!' Drudge has become increasingly critical of President Donald Trump

The conservative Drudge Report chose to share the image, captioning it with 'Rudy!!' Drudge has become increasingly critical of President Donald Trump

The conservative Drudge Report chose to share the image, captioning it with ‘Rudy!!’ Drudge has become increasingly critical of President Donald Trump 

The picture of Rudy Giuliani in a hotel room with 'Borat's daughter' went viral when they hit Twitter. Here website Showbiz411.com features the image

The picture of Rudy Giuliani in a hotel room with 'Borat's daughter' went viral when they hit Twitter. Here website Showbiz411.com features the image

The picture of Rudy Giuliani in a hotel room with ‘Borat’s daughter’ went viral when they hit Twitter. Here website Showbiz411.com features the image 

Newsweek used the image too in its coverage of Rudy Giuliani being duped by Sacha Baron Cohen

Newsweek used the image too in its coverage of Rudy Giuliani being duped by Sacha Baron Cohen

Newsweek used the image too in its coverage of Rudy Giuliani being duped by Sacha Baron Cohen 

Bakalova has starred in feature-length Bulgarian films, earning two awards for her performance in Transgression in 2018, playing the lover of an ageing rocker, and also as the leading lady in 2020 comedy, Last Call.

She has also appeared in several TV shows, with a credit in an episode of the Italian hit mafia series Gamorrah three years ago.

Born in Burgas in 1996, she studied at the Bulgarian National School of Arts and is a classically trained flautist as well as an actress. 

She attended the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia and graduated in 2019.

Giuliani, giving his account of his boudoir meeting with Bakalova, said he believed it was a ‘legitimate’ interview – the topic was the coronavirus – at the Mark Hotel in New York City in July.

‘I did the interview with the young woman who was new to interviewing and I was being kind to her,’ he said. ‘At one point she explained to me some problems I had, I actually prayed with her.’  

When he got up to leave he said he had his jacket on. 

‘I was fully clothed at all times and I had to take off the electronic equipment and when the electronic equipment came off, some of it was in the back and my shirt got a little out, came a little out, although my clothes were entirely on,’ he told WABC. 

‘She says something about, “Do I want a massage?” I realize now that this is a set-up and I call my security guy Brian who’s right outside,’ Giuliani recalled. ‘And then all of the sudden crazy Sacha Baron Cohen runs in with a cape on and he’s yelling and screaming all sorts of stupid stuff.’ 

Like father, like daughter: Tutar (Bakalova) strolled in carrying a framed photo of Jimmy interviewing Jennifer Aniston before demanding the host remove his trousers

Like father, like daughter: Tutar (Bakalova) strolled in carrying a framed photo of Jimmy interviewing Jennifer Aniston before demanding the host remove his trousers

Like father, like daughter: Tutar (Bakalova) strolled in carrying a framed photo of Jimmy interviewing Jennifer Aniston before demanding the host remove his trousers

Bakalova with a drink and a packet of Sobranie cigarettes

Bakalova with a drink and a packet of Sobranie cigarettes

Bakalova with a drink and a packet of Sobranie cigarettes

Born in Burgas in 1996, Bakalova studied at the National School of Arts and is a classically trained flautist as well as an actress

Born in Burgas in 1996, Bakalova studied at the National School of Arts and is a classically trained flautist as well as an actress

Born in Burgas in 1996, Bakalova studied at the National School of Arts and is a classically trained flautist as well as an actress

Bakalova attended the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia and graduated in 2019

Bakalova attended the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia and graduated in 2019

Bakalova attended the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia and graduated in 2019

Bakalova attended the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia and graduated in 2019

Bakalova attended the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia and graduated in 2019

Bakalova smoking a cigarette and having a drink

Bakalova smoking a cigarette and having a drink

Bakalova smoking a cigarette and having a drink

Bakalova at the beach

Bakalova at the beach

Bakalova at the beach

The ex-New York City mayor also argued that in calling the police he proved he was an innocent party.   

‘If I was doing anything wrong, I would not call the police and if he was doing anything right, he wouldn’t have been running away,’ Giuliani said. 

The film is a sequel to the 2006 film ‘Borat.’ 

The pictures of Giuliani in a hotel room with ‘Borat’s daughter’ went viral when they hit Twitter, apparently originating screengrabs from review copies of the movie.

Websites Showbiz411.com and Newsweek both featured the image as they reviewed the new movie, with Roger Friedman of Showbiz411 calling the Borat sequel ‘goofy fun, gut laughs, and a lot of silliness.’

Among the most prominent sites to feature it was The Drudge Report, the conservative news and aggregation website that has increasingly become more critical of Trump.  

‘Mocking hims as ‘Rudy!!,’ the decision by Matt Drudge to use the picture was likely to endear him to the president, who has tweeted repeatedly to his supporters that they should avoid Drudge, calling it ‘a CONFUSED mess.’    

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34682794 8867267 image a 15 1603502880874

He said he realized that something was amiss when Borat’s ‘daughter’ asked if he’d like a massage. 

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34682792 8864821 image a 12 1603317926165

What Rudy says: The president's attorney tweeted his version of events claiming that he was set up by Baron Cohen months ago because of his release of emails from Hunter Biden's laptop this month

What Rudy says: The president's attorney tweeted his version of events claiming that he was set up by Baron Cohen months ago because of his release of emails from Hunter Biden's laptop this month

What Rudy says: The president’s attorney tweeted his version of events claiming that he was set up by Baron Cohen months ago because of his release of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop this month

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat

Rudy Giuliani at the White House

Rudy Giuliani at the White House

Sacha Baron Cohen pranked President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the new ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,’ which will be released on Amazon Prime on Friday 

Other critics tweeting the image included Zac Petankas, a Democratic strategist who was a senior adviser to both Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid, the party’s former Senate majority leader, and Seth Abramson, the author of a highly-critical book about Trump called ‘Proof of Corruption’ which features Giuliani on the cover photo.

BORAT CRASHED THE CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTION CONFERENCE

The first hint that there would be cameos of President Donald Trump’s allies in ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ came when the trailer revealed in was Sasha Baron Cohen who had dressed up like Trump and crashed the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year. 

He told The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd what the stunt entailed: ‘Obviously, I’m wearing a fat suit,’ Cohen explained. He had to get through metal detectors to get into CPAC to see Vice President Mike Pence speak. 

Security was there to ‘check everyone’s bodies going through. Bear in mind, I spent five hours in makeup that morning with the prosthetic team changing my face into Trump’s face. This fat suit is huge. It’s a 56-inch fat suit to turn my waist into Trump’s because we had estimated that was the most realistic,’ he said. 

When he set the alarms off, he lied and said he had a defibrillator, Cohen told Dowd. 

‘Then I ended up hiding in the bathroom, listening to conservative men go to the toilet for five hours until I broke into the room. We were surrounded by Secret Service and police and internal security,’ Cohen said. 

As Pence spoke, Cohen is seen carrying his ‘daughter’ over his shoulder and yelling, ‘Michael Pennis I’ve brought the girl for you!’  

He was then escorted out.  

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33871182 8867267 image a 73 1603367357620

 

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And the image was also being made into memes, one of them poking fun at Zoom masturbator Jeffrey Toobin. It showed the CNN analyst thinking ‘thank you Rudy.’ 

Giuliani described the situation in July, but neglected to mention he may have been caught in a compromising position.  

‘This guys comes running in, wearing a crazy, what I would say a pink transgender outfit,’ President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer told Page Six at The New York Post. ‘It was a pink bikini, with lace, underneath a translucent mesh top, it looked absurd. He had a beard, bare legs, and wasn’t waht I would call distractingly attractive.’ 

Giuliani didn’t recognize the man as Cohen right away. 

He also called the cops. 

‘This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shake-down, so I reported it to the police. He then ran away,’ the ex- New York City mayor said. 

The July 7 incident occurred at the Mark Hotel in New York City.     

‘I only later realized it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me,’ Giuliani said in July. 

On a radio show the same month, Giuliani told WABC that Cohen was trying to capture him in ‘compromising’ position, though he didn’t recall that the tactic had worked. ‘I don’t think so, I’m trying to remember,’ when asked if there was anything he should be ‘regretful’ about.   

Giuliani’s spokeswoman Christianne Allen noted at the time that Cohen interrupted ‘an interview for a documentary on @realdonaldtrump’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.’ 

‘Un-fooled and placid, Mayor Giuliani notified security to call the police,’ Allen tweeted. ‘It was then, upon hearing the word police, Cohen turned from a screaming banshee into a fleeing hyena.’ 

‘I hear he was last seen running down the street in his bathroom,’ she added. ‘Better luck next time, Sacha!’ 

Allen has yet to respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on Giuliani’s cameo in the new Borat film.  

The film arrives just as Giuliani finds himself in the middle of the Hunter Biden laptop saga. 

Giuliani said he got contents from the ‘laptop from hell,’ as Trump has been calling it, from a computer repair shop owner who gave it to his lawyer. 

He then shared some of its contents to reporters at The New York Post, which has been criticized for running the story before the correspondence between Hunter Biden and others was authenticated. 

Rudy Giuliani's spokeswoman Christianne Allen said that the ex-mayor was 'un-fooled and placid' when Sasha Baron Cohen barged in on him and the actress who was playing 'Borat's daughter'

Rudy Giuliani's spokeswoman Christianne Allen said that the ex-mayor was 'un-fooled and placid' when Sasha Baron Cohen barged in on him and the actress who was playing 'Borat's daughter'

Rudy Giuliani’s spokeswoman Christianne Allen said that the ex-mayor was ‘un-fooled and placid’ when Sasha Baron Cohen barged in on him and the actress who was playing ‘Borat’s daughter’ 

It contains personal photos of Hunter Biden, as well as emails that purport to show that Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings stretched to include his father.  

The Post reported that emails from 2015 showed Joe Biden held a meeting with a top official from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter Biden served on the board. 

The Biden campaign has denied this meeting happened. 

Biden, himself, said Giuliani is peddling ‘garbage.’ 

‘It’s a last ditch effort to smear me and my family. There is no basis to this,’ the Democratic nominee said in an interview with WISN, a Wisconsin ABC affiliate. 

The president’s impeachment revolved around a scheme to pressure Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden. He held up military aid that had been appropriated by Congress. 

Trump and his allies have alleged that the then-vice president pushed to have a Ukrainian prosecutor fired because he was looking into Burisma, of which there is no evidence.  

Trump has used the discovery of the laptop to call the former vice president a ‘criminal,’ which he’s said gleefully during everyone one of his recent rallies. 

He’ll likely attack Biden that way Thursday night during their final meeting on the debate stage. 

The president demanded that Attorney General Bill Barr appoint a special counsel to look into the matter.   

‘We’ve got to get the attorney general to act. He’s got to act. And he’s got to act fast. He’s got to appoint somebody,’ Trump said on ‘Fox & Friends’ Tuesday.

‘This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election,’ Trump said.  

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Viral sensation: Trump's critics jumped on the images and tweeted with them. Among those who tweeted were Philippe Reines, previously one of Hillary Clinton's closest aides, and Zac Petkanas, a former Clinton senior adviser. Seth Abramson, an anti-Trump author and attorney and Keith Olberman, the former MSNBC and ESPN star turned YouTube commentator also weighed in

Viral sensation: Trump's critics jumped on the images and tweeted with them. Among those who tweeted were Philippe Reines, previously one of Hillary Clinton's closest aides, and Zac Petkanas, a former Clinton senior adviser. Seth Abramson, an anti-Trump author and attorney and Keith Olberman, the former MSNBC and ESPN star turned YouTube commentator also weighed in

Viral sensation: Trump’s critics jumped on the images and tweeted with them. Among those who tweeted were Philippe Reines, previously one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, and Zac Petkanas, a former Clinton senior adviser. Seth Abramson, an anti-Trump author and attorney and Keith Olberman, the former MSNBC and ESPN star turned YouTube commentator also weighed in 

On Monday, Giuliani raised the stakes by sharing files from the laptop with the New Castle County police, according to Delaware Online

The Delaware Attorney General handed the files over to the FBI, the site reported. 

The FBI hasn’t confirmed or denied there’s an investigation, which is standard policy. 

Mat Marshall, a spokesman for Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings told Delaware Online that what Giuliani’s team ‘showed up with was evidence that they say was involved in a crime.’ 

The former New York City mayor went on Newsmax Tuesday night trying to push the crimes were sexual in nature. 

Giuliani reiterated that point again directly after he addressed the Borat footage Wednesday on WABC radio.  

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,’ will be released on Amazon Prime Friday. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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National Trust ‘facing questions over its purpose’ as regulator warns an inquiry could be looming

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national trust facing questions over its purpose as regulator warns an inquiry could be looming

The charity regulator has warned the National Trust it could face an investigation over its ‘purpose’, amid claims it has strayed too far from its remit of preserving historical buildings and treasures.

The Trust sparked a woke row earlier this year after tweeting details about artefacts and buildings’ links to slavery – as dozens vowed to cancel their membership because of ‘virtue signalling’.

Twitter users blasted the UK-based charity for ‘lecturing’, ’emotional blackmail’ and ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ as some claimed the set of tweets ruined any enjoyment they once had for visiting its country estates. 

Winston Churchill’s former home, Chartwell, in Kent, was among the Trust’s properties listed in its mea culpa over previous links to colonialism and slavery – a move which Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described as disappointing. 

Winston Churchill's former home, Chartwell, in Kent, was among the Trust's properties listed in its mea culpa over previous links to colonialism and slavery

Winston Churchill's former home, Chartwell, in Kent, was among the Trust's properties listed in its mea culpa over previous links to colonialism and slavery

Winston Churchill’s former home, Chartwell, in Kent, was among the Trust’s properties listed in its mea culpa over previous links to colonialism and slavery

Now, the Charity Commission is looking at whether the Trust has breached its charitable objects, with chair Baroness Stowell of Beeston (pictured) telling the Telegraph it was right to be facing questions, claiming it was 'important' it didn't 'lose sight' of what its 5.6 million members expected

Now, the Charity Commission is looking at whether the Trust has breached its charitable objects, with chair Baroness Stowell of Beeston (pictured) telling the Telegraph it was right to be facing questions, claiming it was 'important' it didn't 'lose sight' of what its 5.6 million members expected

Now, the Charity Commission is looking at whether the Trust has breached its charitable objects, with chair Baroness Stowell of Beeston (pictured) telling the Telegraph it was right to be facing questions, claiming it was ‘important’ it didn’t ‘lose sight’ of what its 5.6 million members expected

National Trust will keep the majority of ‘distressing’ artefacts linked to slavery

The National Trust has decided to keep displays in its country houses linked to slavery on show to ‘encourage debate’. 

The announcement comes as the heritage conservation charity said its in the process of issuing a report, which has taken over a year to compile, which reveals that almost a third of stately homes are linked to slavery, the Times reports.  

On the 21 September the Trust plans to make the report public on its website, highlighting the sometimes brutal origins or wealth of some of the country’s stately homes and castles.  

Many of the homes’ original owners built the properties with the proceeds from sugar plantations in the West Indies and elsewhere in the empire. 

The Times reported that the trust has surveyed almost 300 homes for the report. 

‘Some of this is difficult stuff,’ Tarnya Cooper, who has been involved in linking the properties’ pasts, told the Times. 

‘Some of the objects are really distressing because they come from a time when slavery was very much a part of this country and we’re such a different society now.’ 

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Back in 2017, volunteers accused the charity of trampling on their rights by making them wear gay pride badges to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

And more recently, bosses have come under fire after announcing they are to axe nearly 1,300 jobs as they battle the impact of Covid. 

Now, the Charity Commission is looking at whether the Trust has breached its charitable objects, with chair Baroness Stowell of Beeston telling the Telegraph it was right to be facing questions, claiming it was ‘important’ it didn’t ‘lose sight’ of what its 5.6 million members expected.

Complaints from members of the public over its controversial review into links between the properties and slavery sparked an approach from regulators and a formal probe could follow in the coming weeks.

Lady Stowell said: ‘The National Trust has a very sort of clear, simple purpose, which is about preserving some of our great historic places and places of great beauty and national treasure.

‘What people expect of the National Trust is that they focus on that purpose, they don’t lose sight of that. And when they do things which somehow seem to some of their supporters, some of the people that they’re relying on… they shouldn’t be surprised if that leads to questions and criticisms.’

Officials from the commission were first in touch with the charity a fortnight ago after complaints were first made.

While a statutory inquiry is not likely, the body does have various powers to take action against the Trust, including ordering it not to commission other similar reports or providing an official warning.

A spokesman for the charity told the Telegraph it always answers commission questions with ‘full transparency’ and said it was not aware of any formal action being taken.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Animal abusers face tougher punishment as MPs support increasing maximum sentence

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animal abusers face tougher punishment as mps support increasing maximum sentence

Harsher sentences for animal abusers moved a step closer yesterday as MPs backed a change in the law.

The Animal Welfare Bill, which would raise the maximum sentence for animal cruelty ten-fold from six months in prison to five years, passed its second Commons reading.

Tory MP Chris Loder, who introduced the Bill, said he was inspired to do so after a mistreated springer spaniel he found abandoned by a road became his family pet.

Discussing the four-year-old dog called Poppy, Mr Loder said: ‘She had clearly been mistreated – her pads were red raw, there were cuts to her leg, she had nasty growths and she needed three teeth removed.’ 

The Animal Welfare Bill, which would raise the maximum sentence for animal cruelty ten-fold from six months in prison to five years, passed its second Commons reading. (Above, Tory MP Chris Loder, who introduced the Bill)

The Animal Welfare Bill, which would raise the maximum sentence for animal cruelty ten-fold from six months in prison to five years, passed its second Commons reading. (Above, Tory MP Chris Loder, who introduced the Bill)

The Animal Welfare Bill, which would raise the maximum sentence for animal cruelty ten-fold from six months in prison to five years, passed its second Commons reading. (Above, Tory MP Chris Loder, who introduced the Bill)

He added: ‘A mere six months discourages no one. So we must establish… a much tougher maximum penalty.’ 

Environment minister Victoria Prentis was among those to support the Bill, describing it as ‘absolutely necessary’.

She told MPs: ‘This Bill has the full support of the Government and we will do all we can to support its swift passage without amendment through the Commons and the Lords as soon as we possibly can.’

Labour also backed the legislation, with shadow environment minister Daniel Zeichner pressing for no further delays.

He said: ‘There is a correlation between animal cruelty and domestic violence.

‘I’m told women in domestic violence shelters are 11 times more likely to report that a partner had hurt or killed a pet.’

Environment minister Victoria Prentis (pictured) was among those to support the Bill, describing it as 'absolutely necessary'

Environment minister Victoria Prentis (pictured) was among those to support the Bill, describing it as 'absolutely necessary'

Environment minister Victoria Prentis (pictured) was among those to support the Bill, describing it as ‘absolutely necessary’

Conservative Sarah Atherton (Wrexham) also gave a warning about the increasing number of dog and cat adoptions during the pandemic.

Ms Atherton told MPs: ‘Preparing for today I spoke to vets in my constituency of Wrexham. 

‘They tell me they are currently concerned about what is termed as “Covid pups” – and I take the opportunity to highlight, on their behalf, a dog is for life, not just for a lockdown.

‘My local vets have raised concerns about dogs purchased since March. 

‘These pets have not had the opportunity to be raised and socialised in the wider community but in a solitary household.

‘Let’s hope we don’t see an increase in abuse and abandonment of pets due to possible behavioural problems or the cost of looking after pets as Covid restrictions continue.’

Responding to the debate, Ms Prentis added: ‘On live animal exports, we have a manifesto commitment to end long journeys to slaughter and fattening.

‘We will be launching a public consultation, I am very, very pleased to say, later this year.’

The Bill will undergo further scrutiny at a later date. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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