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‘I regret nothing’: Conspiracy theorist Eve Black hits back over checkpoint stunt

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Eve Black refuses to answer questions from a Victoria Police officer at a checkpoint leaving Melbourne. Source: Facebook/ Eve Black

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A woman at the centre of a bitter controversy over a video she shared of herself breaching a coronavirus checkpoint has defended her actions on social media.

Eve Black, a self-proclaimed COVID-19 conspiracy theorist who refers to the pandemic as a SCAMdemic, recorded herself passing through a Melbourne checkpoint after managing to avoid questions by police due to her excessive truculence.

Ms Black was not fined for the incident and also avoided a $200 on the spot fine for not following the mandatory face mask order in place around hot spots in Melbourne.

Ms Black was widely criticised online and in the media, but struck a defiant tone on her Facebook following the backlash.

I regret nothing. Im just tired of the abuse and threats. Wake up, sleeper, she wrote Friday, adding a sheep emoji.

Eve Black refused to answer questions from a Victoria Police officer at a checkpoint leaving Melbourne. Source: Facebook/ Eve Black

Shortly after sharing the video Ms Black made her Facebook page private and changed her profile photo to a symbol associated with conspiracy group QAnon.

QAnon is a sprawling theory built around belief in an international conspiracy of high-ranking government officials to kidnap, abuse, torture and kill children. Many of its ardent followers espouse ideas of a sovereign citizen movement. This week social media company moved to ban all QAnon groups and associated links from its platform citing the harm caused by the believers.

On Friday Ms Black posted a 2011 quote from Melbourne Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye stating the citizens are not required to answer police questions citing the Common Law.

It is an ancient principle of the common law that a person under arrest has no obligation to stop for police or answer their questions, it said.

Source: Facebook/Eve Black

Investigation ongoing

Victoria police have since spoken out and cautioned Ms Black that she will received a visit from police regarding the incident.

Im sure shes looking forward to a knock on the door from police officers, VIC Police Minister Lisa Neville said in a press conference on Friday.

What she did was incredibly selfish and by posting it on social media she was encouraging others to do the same.

Victoria police told Yahoo News Australia Saturday they couldnt comment on individuals but the investigation was ongoing.

Ms Blacks video is just one of many circulating showing Melburnians subject to a stage 3 lockdown flouting the rules.

A man recently uploaded a 22 minute long video being questioned by VIC police for refusing to wear a mask while on a walk through a Melbourne neighbourhood where face masks are mandatory.

In the video the man can be seen telling officers he is asthmatic before refusing to show his identification.

He also described Melbourne as racist before lounging into a tirade about coronavirus not being as deadly as the flu.

Are people dying everywhere? Are you seeing a lot of sick people? Are you having issues with sick people dying on the street just randomly from this deadly disease? he said.

He eventually ended the video agreeing to show police his ID.

Conspiracy theories in the time of coronavirus

Existing and new conspiracy theories have gained increasing attention during the coronavirus, ranging from the longstanding anti-vaccination movement to blaming Bill Gates for being behind the novel coronavirus.

Ana Stojanov works in the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago in New Zealand where she has spent years researching the rise of conspiracy theories. As with any complex phenomena, the reasons people are drawn to them can vary widely, she told Yahoo News Australia recently.

If the content of the conspiracy belief confirms people’s worldview they’ll be especially drawn to it. The positive feeling arising from being in the know and possessing unique knowledge about some event may likewise be satisfying, she said.

For some people, its about gaining a sense of control and order in an inherently chaotic world.

Sometimes the alternative to conspiracy explanation suggests that events happen at random, so people prefer malevolent agents over randomness, Ms Stojanov explained.

Victorian health officials have been faced with the challenges brought about by the spreading conspiracy theories with a growing number of locals becoming uncooperative with contact tracers as they try to contain the virus spread.

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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