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Thursday, April 2, 2020

WEAPONIZING PANIC: Will COVID19 Be Trump's Waterloo?

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Dr. Fauci Dr. Fauci


As I write this from Richmond, Virginia, I am informed by my sister that COVID-19 is now infecting residents in the same nursing home for veterans in which my 96-year-old father, Joseph, has been under a lockdown since March 12, as I noted in my previous article in what is becoming a series on The Coronavirus Panic of 2020.  Before the lockdown, my sister was able to spend almost every day with him at her own home in New Jersey, taking him to daily Mass and other outings and returning him to the nursing facility in the late evening for bedtime. I will make my sister’s words my own:

The nursing facility lost many lives to the flu outbreak earlier this year, and as a family we prayed daily that Dad would not be one of them. Even though there was a flu quarantine for two months during that time, we and others were allowed to visit residents in the nursing home so long as we took proper precautions by wearing face masks and using hand sanitizer while inside the facility.  Since Dad himself was not ill, we were still permitted to take him out to daily Mass and for visits to our home.

Now, due to the unprecedented measures being taken by the State of New Jersey, not only will the elderly in nursing homes, including our father, suffer a second wave of flu-like illness, but they will have to do so alone under a total lockdown, deprived of their loved ones, the advice of second-opinion doctors who will not be admitted to the facility (they won’t even let a urologist in to see Dad now for follow-up concerning an infection) and even a priest to administer Last Rites.

Please mention my father in your prayers. And please understand that I am addressing this subject from the perspective of someone who knows full well that this virus can be deadly, like so many other diseases that attack the elderly, including influenza A and B, which are claiming the lives of the elderly this year in hospitals and nursing homes around the country, but without breathless coverage and daily death counts from the media.

chris corona pull 2

This article will further advance an argument against the increasingly frenzied panic narrative over a COVID-19 “pandemic” that has yet to show itself to be more lethal than a bad flu season. I will argue here for staunch public opposition to the virtual police state the panic narrative has inspired, with organized activism against it commencing April 30. That is the date President Trump’s two “medical experts”— the primary subject of this article—induced him to accept rather than Easter as the beginning of a rollback of the devastating social and economic damage that the panic, not the virus, has caused.

A “Pandemic” No One Remembers

But first some perspective by way of recalling another “pandemic” the partisans of panic would like us to forget in their effort to cause us to lose our minds over the Wuhan virus. In 2009, while Obama was President, America was swept by a novel form of the H1N1 or “swine flu” virus that, as the CDC reports, was “very different from H1N1 [swine flu] viruses that were circulating at the time of the pandemic.” Because the virus was new, “[f]ew young people had any existing immunity” whereas “nearly one-third of people over 60 years old had antibodies, likely from exposure to an older H1N1 virus earlier in their lives.” Given the virus’s novel form, “vaccination with seasonal flu vaccines offered little cross-protection…” In essence, there was no effective vaccine.

According to CDC estimates, in the U.S. the novel swine flu epidemic of 2009 resulted in 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) …”. The CDC further estimated that worldwide there were 151,700-575,400 deaths and that “80 percent of [the] virus-related deaths were estimated to have occurred in people younger than 65 years of age.” Obama declared a national emergency over the epidemic and the  FDA issued an emergency authorization to use the antiviral peramivir to treat critically ill patients. There were reports that hospitals in many states could be “overwhelmed.”  But, although the disease claimed mostly younger people as victims, there were none of the ridiculously extreme and patently all-but-useless measures proliferating today in order to “contain” a virus no more containable than the flu, which “cannot be stopped,” as the leftist-dominated World Health Organization admits, while pretending the Wuhan virus can be.

Fauci and birxTony and Deborah and the Big Blue Mountain

Now back to the present state of affairs. After months of media frenzy over a “global pandemic” whose worldwide death toll thus far is a fraction of that for seasonal influenza, President Trump is attempting to surf a media-generated and politician-amplified tsunami of panic that is sweeping the nation and threatens to flatten the entire socioeconomic order. At this point in the inundation of facts by fear, Trump is taking his cues from the two media-touted medical experts to whom he refers as “Tony and Deborah.” 

“Deborah” is Dr. Deborah Birx, a Bill and Hillary Clinton associate whose husband was Bill Clinton’s advance man. Birx was appointed by Obama as United States Global AIDS Coordinator, an ambassador-level position she still holds. “Tony,” Birx’s mentor and lifelong friend, is the omnipresent Dr. Anthony Fauci, who loves and admires Hillary Clinton and is no doubt bitterly disappointed by Trump’s election. Fauci has talked himself hoarse over the past month, repeatedly unleashing his blabbermouth during appearances on Fake News CNN and elsewhere. During one of his CNN appearances he declared that “millions could die” in America from COVID-19. 

The uniformly anti-Trump media glowingly depict Birx as nothing less than Trump’s “data-whisperer,” who can do no wrong. Her advice is to be accepted unquestioningly as the gospel of virus fundamentalism that has suddenly emerged in this country, according to which no cost is too high, no damage to the country too great in the “war” against a virus. Fauci, depicted as the great epidemiological sage of our time, boasted publicly that he and Birx talked Trump out of trying to end the panic by Easter Sunday: “[W]e argued strongly with the president that he not withdraw those guidelines…. And he did listen…. He looked at [the data], he understood them, and he shook his head and said, ‘I guess we got to do it.’” Note Fauci’s cavalier disclosure of private conversations with the President in order to tout to the media his own influence in determining a public policy decision that insures continued social and economic devastation.

chris corona pull 3

During the press briefing of March 30, Trump said that “Tony and Deborah came up with numbers yesterday” that persuaded him that the Easter date for “reopening” the country must be extended to April 30, when Trump will review more “numbers” from “Tony and Deborah.” It would thus appear that the fate of the nation is literally in the hands of Tony and Deborah.  But what are the numbers they have come up with?  Incredibly enough, they derive their numbers from the widely disparaged Imperial College of London study which concluded that “in an unmitigated epidemic, we would predict approximately 510,000 deaths in GB  [Great Britain] and 2.2 million in the US, not accounting for the potential negative effects of health systems being overwhelmed on mortality.”

Based on that study, Birx declared on the Today show that without “mitigation” 2.2 million Americans could die from the Wuhan virus. That’s a U.S. death toll 40 times higher than the death toll in the whole world as of today (April 2), after some four months of the virus’s global activity. The claim is patently ridiculous.  Fauci was somewhat more sanguine, announcing on CNN  that 1 million to 2 million Americans dying from the Wuhan virus is “almost certainly off the chart.”  Almost certainly, but “it’s not impossible” said the reckless blabbermouth on his favorite cable TV soapbox.

Stanford MD public health expert says: "Fauci doesn't know. Fauci can't know!"

Birx and Fauci both agree with one of the Imperial College study’s authors, Neil Ferguson, that in Great Britain “increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people’s movements make him ‘reasonably confident’ the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower.”   Just like that, Ferguson revised his doomsday prediction downward by 96% based on a vague allusion to “restrictions to people’s movements.”

The discerning reader will notice, however, that neither the term “restrictions to people’s movements” nor the term “unmitigated epidemic” versus a “mitigated” epidemic has a quantifiable scientific meaning. None of these vague terms are known quantities for mathematical modelling of predicted rates of infection and symptomatic disease. Consequently, both the study’s prediction and Ferguson’s downward revision are nothing but elaborately disguised guesses.

fergFerguson is the same prophet of doom who falsely predicted—that is, guessed—that there would be disaster during Britain’s foot-and-mouth disease epidemic of 2001 unless the country followed his insane recommendation to slaughter not only infected farm animals “but also those on adjacent farms even if there was no physical evidence of infection.” As one of Ferguson’s many critics noted: “Vast numbers of animals were slaughtered without reason. Untold human and animal suffering was the result – not to mention the financial consequences.” It was also Ferguson who predicted that “up to 150,000 people could die from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or ‘mad cow disease’) and its equivalent in sheep if it made the leap to humans.” It never happened.

Not done yet with his high-tech Nostradamus imitation in this case, “Mr. Ferguson and a colleague,” reports the Washington Times, “posted a new report on Thursday, March 26 saying that without stringent social distancing and government intervention, the world will suffer 7 billion infections out of a population of 7.8 billion, with 40 million deaths.”  A million people would have to die every day, starting today, for Ferguson’s latest prophecy to be anywhere near correct by Trump’s new control date of April 30.  Yesterday’s worldwide death toll (April 1) was 4,883. (N. B. There is no way you can state any number that will not be inaccurate the next day; it’s a moving target. 4,883 was the Coronavirus death total at the end of April 1.)

chris corona pull 4

Ferguson is a quack. Yet, aping Ferguson’s downward revision of his own ridiculous prediction of 2.2 million dead in America, “Tony and Deborah” both agree that, as she put it during her March 30 appearance on Today, the U.S. death toll from the Wuhan virus will not be up to 2.2 million after all, but rather “up to 200,000 ‘if we do things almost perfectly’…” That would be almost five times the worldwide death toll as of today, four months after the virus appeared and with the death rate already declining in various nations, including Italy.

How is this claim not also patently ridiculous? Consider that the current U.S. death toll attributed to the Wuhan virus is around 5,500 as of this writing (April 2 at 2 p.m.). This assumes that the data are totally accurate and do not commingle deaths from the Wuhan virus with deaths caused by some other event to which the virus was merely contributory, as was done so misleadingly in Italy, thus fueling global panic. But according to “Tony and Deborah,” the current number of deaths will soon rise by a factor of 20 to 40, or 100,000-200,000, even if we “do things almost perfectly” and even though the weather is warming and virus outbreaks consistently run their course as spring turns into summer.  In other words, they are both suggesting that if we do not “do things almost perfectly” the death toll could be even higher than 200,000, perhaps much higher. 

What Conscientious Media People Are Saying

So, what are these “things” that we must we do “almost perfectly” in order to avoid more than 200,000 deaths from the Wuhan virus?  As Birx explained further in her Today interview, her best-case scenario of 100,000-200,000 deaths depends on “100 percent of Americans doing precisely what is required, but we’re not sure that all of America is responding in a uniform way to protect one another.”  But what precisely is it that 100 percent of Americans must do precisely and in “a uniform way” in order to prevent more than 200,000 deaths?  Is it just the CDC guidelines found here, which are the same as those for limiting the spread of a flu virus, or is it the endless barrage of differing commands from state governors and local mayors? Must “100 percent of Americans” be precisely compliant, for example, with virtual house arrest, curfews, a shutdown of vast swaths of the economy, mass unemployment and bans on gatherings of more than a certain number of people? 

I would love to see the computer models by which “Tony and Deborah” and their collaborators in various ivory towers have baked in different hypothetical levels of obedience to this welter of directives for “mitigation” in order to factor how many people will die from the Wuhan virus without “precise” obedience by “100 percent of Americans” to each and every “mitigation” directive taken singly and collectively.  For example, how many more people will die from the virus if only 80% of the population practices social distancing of at least six feet in only 50% of contacts with non-family members?  A look at the SQL (Structure Query Language) queries to the data servers—assuming Tony, Deborah, and their colleagues even bothered to construct such queries—would probably make for some belly laughs.  Or perhaps they just assumed one arbitrary value for “mitigation” as an invariant factor, thus rendering their “models” even less than useless.

chris corona pull 6

A moment’s reflection should reveal that “Tony and Deborah” are not speaking with anything like scientific precision.  Just as Ferguson did, they are spit-balling and passing off hunches as “science.” At bottom, what is really going on is that Birx and Fauci, and whomever else is involved in this pseudo-scientific charade, are simply applying Ferguson’s downward revision of the death toll in Great Britain proportionally to America’s larger population.  As Birx has put it:

If you remember, that was the report that said there would be 500,000 deaths in the U.K. and 2.2 million deaths in the United States. They’ve adjusted that number in the U.K. to 20,000. So, half a million to 20,000. We are looking into this in great detail to understand that adjustment…. I am sure many of you saw the recent report out of the U.K. about them adjusting [downward] completely their needs. This is really quite important. 

Really quite important. So, Birx and Fauci are taking Ferguson’s “science” seriously. And so, therefore, is Trump. At March 31 press briefing, after looking in the direction of “Tony and Deborah” and gesturing toward their charts, Trump said up to 2.2 million people will die “in a relatively short period of time” unless he follows their advice.  Does Trump really believe that America will suffer forty or fifty times the entire world’s death toll thus far unless the economy is wrecked, millions lose their jobs only to be semi-imprisoned in their homes, and normal human activity is hemmed in on every side by absurd regulations without precedent in world history outside of totalitarian states?  If he does believe this, then we need to worry bigly that “Tony and Deborah” will get to him again and that this madness will not end on April 30.

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At the March 31 press briefing, “Tony and Deborah” claimed that given all the ill-defined “mitigation” now underway, deaths from the virus will be “only” 100,000 to 240,000 and not 2.2 million.  And what was the “proof” for their claim? Why, that there will not be more than 240,000 deaths, as shown on this here chart! Birx pointed at the "blue mountain" of a bell curve on her chart, which depicted 1.5 million to 2.2 million deaths at the peak, and then to a gentle sloping curve at the bottom of the chart showing that now the death toll will range from “only” 100,000 to 240,000—an increase of 40,000 at the high end of their earlier doomsday prediction. This great result will be thanks to all the “mitigation” Americans have been required to perform at the cost of their jobs, their security, their freedom and peace of mind, and the destruction of the “Trump economy,” which of course must continue until “Tony and Deborah” give the “all clear.”

Yes, “Tony and Deborah” have seriously proposed to the American people that their “data” prove conclusively what will not happen. They have saved us from the big blue mountain and guided us to a gentle slope on which, at most, 240,000 of Americans will die—a mere 4 or 5 times the death toll in the whole world as of today.  Not even post hoc ergo propter hoc fits this whopper of a fallacy. The correct description would be more like non post hoc ergo propter hoc. I am reminded of an inverse and inadvertently hilarious prediction by the Great Kreskin on some half-remembered TV show from the Seventies: “And I predict that even stranger things have happened.”

Dr. Fauci, Elton John, and Nancy Pelosi
Fauci Elton PelosiWhose side is this guy on? Inquiring minds would like to know.

But what if the Birx-Fauci predictions fail to attain numerical plausibility by April 30, coming nowhere near the numbers predicted?  Then, of course, a parade of panic salesmen, with Birx and Fauci in the lead, will declare that “mitigation” was even more effective than they had hoped, but only because hastily erected police states imposed a nationwide regime of economic destruction and suspension of civil liberties.

 In any case, the facts on the ground expose the “2.2 million die without mitigation” canard.  The lockdown regimes in the different states are about as effective in preventing the spread of a virus as a colander would be in throwing water on a fire. What good is prohibiting gatherings of more than ten in churches and other places when, to allude to New Jersey’s lockdown rules, an unrestricted number of people can patronize “essential businesses” with vast amounts of foot traffic, including microbe-laden supermarkets? The credit card keypads used by all these “essential businesses” alone guarantee transmission of viruses and other microbes.  The only effect of these absurd rules is to propel all the businesses that failed to make the winners’ list into bankruptcy and their employees into instant poverty—while prohibiting their attendance at church with more than nine of their fellow victims of the regime that took their jobs!

chris corona pull 1

And what good are tyrannical “stay at home orders” which, to quote Virginia Governor Northam’s laughable decree, allow for unrestricted trips to “essential businesses” and most of the other places people frequent every week—but no more than ten people allowed in any church, of course. Northam even generously permits Virginians to exercise outdoors, so long as they stay six feet away from everybody they encounter. Why, Virginians are even allowed to go to the beach to fish and exercise. But, in order to “save lives,” they mustn’t sit on the sand with others because the beaches are closed to beachgoers! And this from a defender of botched abortion infanticide. At least there is cause for hilarity: At the top of Northam’s decree is the Seal of the State of Virginia, featuring the motto “Sic Semper Tyrannis”—Thus Always to Tyrants—and the image of Tyranny “lying prostrate beneath the foot of Virtus.”

As of today (April 2), Virginia has reported 41 deaths attributed to the Wuhan virus, on the basis of which Northam ordered the destruction of much of Virginia’s economy while subjecting all of its residents to a preposterous quasi-house arrest. But, as of six days ago, Virginia also reported 1,129 deaths from flu and related pneumonia. Such is the insane disproportionality that prevails throughout a country in the grip of a viral fundamentalism that subjects 370 million people to sustained mania over the Wuhan virus while Influenza A and B quietly kill far more people.

Dr. Fauci and Bill Gates
fauci and GatesConclusion:
The Viral Fundamentalists
Must Be Routed on April 30

Today I awoke to the news of 6.6 million suddenly unemployed Americans and 34 trillion dollars in damage to the economy—more than the entire United States GDP—on account of the Coronavirus Panic of 2020. 

The Associated Press today reports accelerating arrests, fines and impending jail sentences for violators of the various state lockdowns. The authorities are being aided by “Snitches [who] are emerging as enthusiastic allies as cities, states and countries work to enforce directives meant to limit person-to-person contact… They’re phoning police and municipal hotlines, complaining to elected officials and shaming perceived scofflaws on social media.”  The radical leftist Democrat Mayor of San Francisco, Eric Garcetti, has offered cash rewards to citizens who inform on their fellow citizens.

Viral fundamentalism has raised up legions of dutiful brownshirts eagerly turning in their own neighbors to the police for doing nothing more than trying to live their lives.  In a matter of days, America has become something resembling a classic police state with a ruined economy solely because of orchestrated fear over a particular coronavirus. The success of this astonishingly rapid and wholly unprecedented exercise in social engineering is thanks in large measure, incredibly enough, to nationally televised daily dire predictions by two people: Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, the king and queen of a veritable cult of the virus to which the unquestioning assent of civic faith is now required of every citizen.  Or else.

And make no mistake about this: the King and Queen have no intention of relinquishing their control over Trump’s decisions and the fate of the nation.  Asked about when “social distancing” can be relaxed at yesterday’s press briefing, the insidious Fauci declared that it must remain in place throughout the country until “we get to the part of the curve that Dr. Birx showed yesterday when it goes down to essentially no new cases, no new deaths at a period of time.” That impossible standard, which can never be met as to the action of any virus, has never been required during any epidemic in the history of the world.

trump and FauciDr. Fauci and President Trump at a Corona Task Force press briefing

Well, there we have it. What was clear to the discerning observer of this Psyop from the beginning should now be obvious to everyone: If “Tony and Deborah” and their allies in the media and the DNC have their way, all of America will be under some form of socioeconomically suppressive lockdown until after the 2020 election. Only then, and only if Trump is defeated, will they declare a miraculous end to the crisis they themselves orchestrated.

Come April 30, this pop-up dictatorship must be pushed back into the jack-in-the-box of induced panic from which it sprang. Our liberation has to begin with the removal of Fauci and Birx from their pedestals of authority. If and when their prophecy of doom fails to pan out on April 30, they must be utterly discredited as “experts” and their public statements denounced as criminally negligent, incalculably harmful to the common good, and a reckless infliction of emotional distress on millions of Americans. The people must demand that Trump no longer be guided by their phony “scientific” advice or similar advice from any other “scientist” wielding a computer model based on his own presuppositions.

And whatever the final recorded death toll from the Wuhan virus might turn out to be, “Tony and Deborah” and their collaborators should never be allowed to claim that their ruinous advice on “mitigation” saved thousands or even millions of lives.  These fomenters of mass panic, resulting in wildly disproportionate and immensely destructive public policy decisions, must not be made into heroes on the basis of self-serving, utterly non-falsifiable prophecies. They have wreaked havoc on an entire nation, and what they have wrought will mean massively negative consequences for millions of people for years to come, including deaths from suicide over the loss of countless jobs, businesses and homes.  And this would be true even if their dire predictions were remotely accurate, for the “cure” they imposed on the nation is worse than the disease, as Trump himself argued before “Tony and Deborah” persuaded him to embrace their panic narrative.

chris corona pull 5

On April 30, President Trump has a solemn duty to the people and the common good to bring this monumental fiasco to an end. He must find the courage to stand up to the same forces that President Bolsonaro of Brazil, the Trump of Latin America, now confronts in his overwhelmingly Catholic country, where a leftist assassin almost succeeded in killing him before he could be elected. Last Thursday, in an effort to override the tyrannical orders of left-leaning regional and state governments, Bolsonaro “passed a decree that added religious activities to the list of ‘essential services’, meaning temples could remain open even though citizens were asked to stay home.”  His decree was quickly overruled by a federal court.

The leftist-media alliance in Brazil is laboring to produce the same disaster from which America must now recover. Trump cannot be released from the clutches of viral fundamentalism in this country unless he is willing to be as courageously heedless of the media as Bolsonaro has been: “The virus is here, we’re going to have to confront it. Confront it like a man, not a boy!... Most of the media has been countervailing. They spread the sensation of dread, with their flagship the high number of victims in Italy [where the epidemic is now declining]. The perfect scenario to be used by the media to spread hysteria.”

As America’s radical Left continues to exploit the Wuhan virus to bring down Trump, with Nancy Pelosi now impaneling a committee to subpoena information from the Trump administration on its “coronavirus response,” Trump must act to defend, not only his administration and his prospects for reelection, but the very life of this nation. There can be no hesitation or “let us see” posture on April 30. It will be then or never that we escape the grip of viral fundamentalism in service of leftist politics.

The March 31st Remnant Newspaper shipped last week. Read it now by Subscribing to The Remnant E-Edition!March 31 Remnant cover

But even if Trump prevails against the advisors who are leading him and the nation down the path to destruction and a Democrat-controlled government, this does not mean the country will return entirely to the status quo ante. Advances in state power justified by the “pandemic” now threaten to become permanent institutions no matter what Trump does. For example, at this moment your cellphone data are being aggregated by this private tech startup, called Unacast, to provide “social distance” monitoring of “human mobility” for the entire U.S. population with “social distancing” grades for each state. Virginia gets a D- while San Francisco gets an A+. Yet another indication of the leftist orientation of viral fundamentalism, also vividly illustrated by the hysterical fanaticism of this Democrat congresswoman in pink latex gloves (no doubt a complement to her pink hat). 

Unacast advises that “Our data currently has [sic] a 4-day lag time to ensure that we collect and process enough data to produce an accurate picture of human mobility for any given day. Since time is of the essence in the fight against COVID-19, we are currently working to reduce this lag without compromising the quality or integrity of our insights.”  You can opt out of this Orwellian surveillance of “human mobility” only by specifically identifying yourself and linking your identity to your phone. That is, you can “protect your privacy” by sacrificing your privacy to Unacast, which will then undoubtedly (if it has not done so already) share its technology with the federal government. 

In fact, the just-passed stimulus bill “sets aside at least $500 million for public health data surveillance and modernizing the analytics infrastructure. The CDC must report on the development of a ‘surveillance and data collection system’ within the next 30 days…. [T]he federal government has reportedly expressed interest in aggregating data that can be gleaned from tech platforms and smartphone use to monitor movement patterns.” This huge advance for the surveillance state is what viral fundamentalism has produced in a matter of days.

Let April 30, then, mark the beginning of the end of the de facto dictatorship of “Tony and Deborah” and all the other viral fundamentalists, both in government and in the media. Never forget that these are the same people who defend the mass murder of unborn children and will return to calling for death panels, “death with dignity” and “do not resuscitate orders” for the inconvenient elderly once the panic they have provoked finally passes. (I do not include in their number most of the Republican governors who, like Trump, have bowed to overwhelming pressure to conform to the panic narrative.)

On April 30 in the Year of Our Lord 2020, we must demand nothing less than a total release from the chains of this newly emergent viral fundamentalism, which selectively counts deaths from a particular cause with frightening mechanical relentlessness but ignores the immense human cost of catastrophically imprudent decisions based on the predictions of “models” that are nothing but debatable opinions. For if we fail to demand on April 30 that political prudence and the common good prevail over panic, what will we do when the next virus arrives and the chains of viral fundamentalism descend upon us once again?

Saint Thomas More, pray for us!

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Last modified on Friday, April 3, 2020
Christopher A. Ferrara

Christopher A. Ferrara: President and lead counsel for the American Catholic Lawyers Inc., Mr. Ferrara has been at the forefront of the legal defense of pro-lifers for the better part of a quarter century. Having served with the legal team for high profile victims of the culture of death such as Terri Schiavo, he has long since distinguished him a premier civil rights Catholic lawyer.  Mr. Ferrara has been a lead columnist for The Remnant since 2000 and has authored several books published by The Remnant Press, including the bestseller The Great Façade. Together with his children and wife, Wendy, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.