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Covid-19 and the divine chastisement of Florida

By Brian E. Muhammad Staff Writer @globalpeeks | Last updated: Jul 19, 2020 - 10:42:31 AM

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“But those who were unjust changed the word which had been spoken to them, for another saying, so We sent upon the wrongdoers a pestilence from heaven, because they transgressed.”

—Holy Qur’an 2:59

Lines of cars wait at a drive-through coronavirus testing site, July 5, outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gar- dens, Fla. Florida health officials say the state has reached a grim milestone: more than 200,000 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the start of the outbreak.
The sunshine state of Florida has become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. The Florida Department of Health reported a shocking single day spike of 15,300 new Covid-19 cases on July 12 which is the highest single day number of new cases reported by any state since the pandemic began.

The previous single day record was also set by Florida on July 4 with an unprecedented 11,434 new cases logged, according to data from John Hopkins University. At Final Call presstime there were over 285,811 infected people statewide and more than 4,241 deaths and escalating in the state. 

There was a rise of Covid-19 cases in nearly 50 states, but the worst hit was Florida.  The sharp rise of cases dramatically began July 4 after a pronouncement from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam in a worldwide public address that aired on the same day called “The Criterion.”

The first Cuban medical brigade of the Henry Reeve Contingent arrives at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, June 8. The Cuban doctors had gone to Italy on March 22 to help with the COVID-19 emergency in the Lombardy region.

Minister Farrakhan said, he called on God to intervene in Florida as a center of U.S. geopolitical opposition to Cuba—which developed effective treatments for Covid-19 that are being blocked from use in the U.S. because of sanctions and inordinate influence of Florida- based Cuban opposition groups. 

“Florida are you becoming the epicenter of this virus?” Minister Farrakhan rhetorically asked.  “I asked God for that,” he added. “That I asked Him for, while Florida was white all the way around (low infection rates). Now you’re deep red.”

The Minister called on God’s intervention because only 90 miles south of Florida, Cuba has a therapy that helped China clear the virus from the city of Wuhan and its wider province where the coronavirus was first discovered.  

The Minister explained further, he called for the increase because of those that “ran out or were run out” of Cuba, who were members of the Jewish community who lost everything during the Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s. 

He said their hatred for the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro has caused America to be blind.  

The republic of Cuba has been under an economic embargo by the U.S. government for nearly 60 years since the Cuban revolution that overthrew the American backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Over the years other countries have called for the U.S. to end its embargo which has caused hardship in the island nation.

Last year marked 28 consecutive years that that the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for and end to the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed by the U.S. against Cuba. Brazil, Israel and the U.S. voted against the resolution. Ukraine and Columbia abstained from the vote. The 15 members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) highlighted Havana’s support to the region. Cuba has deployed medical professionals to distressed areas, including those affected by natural disasters, among other initiatives, noted UN News. 

“I’m about to ask the government: Relieve our brothers and sisters in Cuba the unjust burden of your embargo,” said Min. Farrakhan. “Mr. Trump: release Cuba because we want our Cuban doctors to look after us. We don’t trust you,” the Muslim leader continued.

Through its Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade (HRIMB), Cuba has sent doctors to more than 20 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic including Italy and France—which also authorized Cuban teams to assist in its overseas territories. 

It is estimated between 135,000 and 400,000 Cuban doctors have been sent abroad over several decades. As Covid-19 cases increase throughout the U.S., causing continued sickness and death, the U.S. government also continues its deadly sanctions regime on Cuba. Washington’s Cuba policy is blocking an opportunity for the small island nation to help save the lives of Americans using medical treatments proven effective in other nations.  Cuba has invested heavily in biotech industry to develop drugs and pharmaceuticals. Its signature drug, Interferon Alfa-2B Recombinant, has been used in the treatment of HIV and hepatitis and is now being given to Covid-19 patients in several countries.

Minister Farrakhan warned that the pandemic, which he referred to in scriptural language as a “pestilence” engulfing the world and specifically America is part of Divine Judgment. He warned world leaders to turn to the Lord of the Worlds if they want to overcome the pestilence. The Covid-19 virus arrived swift and unexpected on the United States and world nations, infecting millions of people and killing hundreds of thousands. As scientists and world leaders grapple with the crisis, the virus rages forward and all indicators conclude that the worst is yet to come.

The U.S. has over 3.43 million Covid-19 cases and over 138,000 deaths, and growing at 60,000 cases per day

“This has devastated our nation,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, at a July 10, Health and Human Services Congressional hearing.

For Black, Brown, and Native indigenous people the numbers are exceptionally bad, he pointed out. 

“If you look at the minority community, we have been devastated disproportionately. For African Americans, we’re 13 percent of the population but 24 percent of the deaths,” Dr. Benjamin stated.

 He said comparatively, hospitalizations are five times higher for Blacks than non-Hispanic Whites, and four times higher for Hispanics than non-Hispanic Whites. “The Native American population is also substantially being devastated by this outbreak,” he said.

Earlier this year, in a release called “Get out Cuba’s Way” a diverse group of organizations and individuals called on the U.S. government to not repeat history and allow the Cuban medical personnel on U.S. soil to help mitigate Covid-19. 

“An aggressive blend of history, morality and integrity” is pushing the group to act, the letter said in part. 

They urged the White House, U.S. Congress and Senate to grant permission for the brigade to immediately come and provide hands on medical assistance in hospitals, clinics and other emergency installations. The letter signed by professional medical associations, activists and peace advocates also requested permission for the American Medical Association, National Medical Association and Black Nurses Association to work in conjunction and harmony with the Cuban medical team, once they arrive on U.S. soil.

Warning from a Divine Servant

On the same day Min. Farrakhan made his pronouncements Florida’s confirmed Covid’s-19 infections skyrocketed to record highs, according to numbers tracked by its state health department.  The spike was the second time within a period of 72 hours caseloads jumped by more than 10,000 in one day. 

Then, less than a week after the Minister’s words, published reports on July 8 said Florida reported nearly 10,000 more new cases. The test positivity rate statewide has been above 14 percent for more than a week.

Miami-Dade county—one of Florida’s largest populated counties—has been severely strained with the sudden surge of cases, Mary Jo Trepka, chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Florida’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health told The Final Call.

“The numbers increased substantially after we started reopening again,” said Dr. Trepka. “People were thinking that this was behind them and it wasn’t,” she added. 

Dr. Trepka is part of a team of Stempel College researchers who provided analysis on the trajectory of Covid-19 statewide and in Miami-Dade County based on data from the Florida Department of Health between the end of April to July 7. Their report showed a stark increase from one week before and in the week after July 4 when numbers propelled to record highs.  The report concluded that the number of Covid-19 positive test results increased by an average of 150 each day and a high of 11,417 for new positive cases on July 3.

Additionally, there has been a substantial increase in the proportion of Covid-19 positive test results from about five percent in early June, to the current proportion of over 15 percent. The World Health Organization considers positivity rates above five percent to be worrying.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows at least 18 states with average rates in late June and early July surpassing that level and climbing.

The Stempel research said evidence points to an increase of community spread of Covid-19 in Florida that represents a “significant concern” for the state.

Now with record-breaking numbers of infections ravaging Florida, the government of the United States has to decide if it will lift the embargo and save the lives of Floridians and also the lives of Black, Brown, the Red and poor Whites throughout America with  life-saving treatments or continue the embargo which means more deaths.  

Experts admit there are no proven treatments in the U.S. for the Coronavirus. Life is being lost while the government is experimenting several drugs like the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine and Remdesivir or others without positive results.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez imposed an indefinite nightly curfew and discontinued the reopening of casinos and other entertainment venues. Both Miami-Dade and neighboring Broward County—Florida’s most populated counties have mandated wearing face masks in the public.

There is no doubt that Florida with its warm weather, white sandy beaches, beautiful blue green waters, and theme parks is a magnate for tourists and young people and coronavirus infections in the state reflected young victims. Initially the median age of those infected were younger than 33 years old for many weeks. “That has now changed,” said Dr. Trepka. The week of the upsurge, the median age jumped to the 38 to 40-year-old range.  

“This is very concerning that we’re starting to see now, that a higher percentage of older people are among these new cases,” Dr Trepka said.

She explained to The Final Call her concern with an inflicted older population, is a likelihood in coming weeks there may be a greater need for hospitalizations and potentially a higher mortality rate. 

Dr. Trepka also mentioned the need for medical professionals like nurses trained to handle critically ill Covid-19 patients.  “Not any nurse … can take care of a person in the Intensive Care Unit; it requires a lot of skill and experience and training,” she said.

“The atmosphere in the state of Florida was very loose,” said Patrick Muhammad, Seventh Region representative for the Nation of Islam based in Miami. 

Student Minister Muhammad said everything was lackadaisical and Florida was among three states that reopened everything. Social distancing and masks meant little.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at the old Pan American Hospital during the coronavirus pandemic, July 7, in Miami.
“It was just very loose … and they’re listening to the officials,” he said, referring to Republican Governor Ron DeSantis who he criticized for reopening Florida too soon in May.

In July 10 remarks in Orlando, Gov. DeSantis rejected critics claims saying at the time there was no reason not to reopen the state and he insisted coronavirus numbers were heading in the right direction.

“This is a virus that has a five-day incubation period, so it wouldn’t take six weeks before you started seeing something if that were the cause … we had very, very low prevalence,” Gov. DeSantis argued. He has also called for the reopening of schools in the state this fall against the recommendations of national health officials. 

However, the number of infections after July 4 was unprecedented, making Florida an epicenter.

“The man of God does not speak idle words,” Student Min. Muhammad stated. “The Honorable Minister Farrakhan is a Divinely Guided man, and we know that what he tells us … is bound to happen,” he added.

Florida is the base for many Cubans, both pro and anti-Havana. Student Min. Muhammad said after Min. Farrakhan’s comments, there were Cubans pledging to assist. But, despite promise coming out of Cuba and growing numbers of infections and fatalities, world powers like the U.S. have politicized and blame-shifted over who caused the crisis.

China claimed the U.S. Army dropped the virus in China, America countered saying it was made in Wuhan, China and charged Beijing with not disclosing it to the world.

Minister Farrakhan said China nor America caused it and therefore, neither of them will defeat it.

“This virus is a pestilence from heaven so scholarship from hell can’t deal with a pestilence that came from heaven,” Min. Farrakhan pointed out.

Rachel Bardes holds a sign in front of the Orange County Public Schools headquarters as teach- ers protest with a car parade around the admin- istration center in downtown Orlando, Fla., July 7. OCPS teachers are protesting the decision by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state education com- missioner mandating that all public schools open in August despite the spike in coronavirus cases in Florida. Photos: AP/Wide World Photos
He warned that the scientists of the world will not defeat this virus, because it did not come from them. “You don’t know this virus, it’s new, it’s different.”

The Minister also warned the people not to take the vaccines being currently developed and mentioned the existence of 14 therapies that “we can use to fight against the Covid virus.”

Some analysts have been sounding the alarm about America’s ill-equipped health care system in the face of a crisis of this magnitude. They describe the system as fragmented, discriminatory, and designed for corporate profits, not the well-being of the public.

“We need to fix our broken public health system,” said Dr. Benjamin. He said there has been an erosion of the system that jeopardizes an adequate response to Covid-19 and to natural disasters.

“I remain concerned that the coordination and the leadership isn’t there for us to address these things,” he said. 

Punishment of a recalcitrant America

Minister Farrakhan also reasons that no matter who wins the upcoming election, the President and the Congress should allow for American scientists and Cuban scientists to bring the proven treatments.  

The people in Cuba are Black, Brown and Mestizos and White. The people suffering most in America are Black, Brown, Red and poor White. Minister Farrakhan is raising the question will the government of America let them die because it doesn’t want to use what Cuba has to offer. 

The United States desperately needs for her suffering people something that Cuba has that has been effective in other countries battling the pandemic, explained Minister Farrakhan. “Don’t we need something that Cuba has? But you (U.S. government) have an embargo on Cuba. Florida has stood in the way of a better relationship of our government with Cuba. We want what Cuba is developing against Covid-19. We want alpha interferon 2B, if that is what is good against Covid. We’re looking into Madagascar. We’re looking into other therapies, but we definitely will not accept your vaccine. You’ve blown it all the way around with us,” he cautioned. 

Florida National Guard member marks a vehicle for COVID-19 testing, March 20.
Another reason the government must be pressured is to reverse the National Security Study Memorandum NSSM 200 authored by Henry Kissinger in a plan to cull the world population by millions.  

With four months left before the presidential election, things have turned sour for President Donald Trump. Early in the year, Mr. Trump’s hope of a shoo-in re-election, based on a strong economy and jobs outlook was dashed within 60 days after the advent of the Covid-19 pestilence.

The stock market had gone up near 3,000 points. But all of a sudden, without warning, the coronavirus happened. Overnight countries were being shut down.

“Think about it. God never takes a people when they are sad.  In the days of Noah, He waited until they were very happy,” said Min. Farrakhan during his July 4 message that was streamed all over the world. 

The relentless drive for profits in America coupled with a reckless global agenda to cull the world’s population is at the root of pushing to reopen the economy despite the pestilence.

Mr. Trump in what some analysts see as moves of desperation in an unstable re-election bid, is taking a no-holds-bar approach to fully reopening the U.S. economy.

In a recent interview with The Final Call, political analyst Dr. Wilmer Leon said, to the Trump administration, the cost in human life is collateral compared to the loss of America as the number one world economy. 

“If you approach it as a public health problem, every life is valuable, and you’re trying to minimize as many deaths as you can,” said Dr. Leon.