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JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Mike Luckovich)

In other news, the CDC has confirmed a second case of the Wuhan coronavirus in the U.S. and is investigating other possible cases.

Meanwhile, China has locked down and imposed travel restrictions on about 33 million people to contain the virus.

Transportation was shut down Friday in Wuhan and least 13 surrounding cities in Hubei province, with a combined population of more than 33 million people, according to a report in the state-run Global Times newspaper. At least three cities were on total lockdown as of Friday evening.

Health authorities are also on high alert across the world with confirmed cases in at least seven countries and several others undergoing tests.

Finally, a Saudi critic of MBS living in the U.S. and unnamed government officials say they may have thwarted a plot to kidnap him and take him out of the U.S.

A suspected agent of the Saudi government attempted to kidnap a regime critic on American soil, according to the critic and multiple U.S. and foreign sources familiar with the episode. The young Saudi man says the FBI saved him from becoming the next Jamal Khashoggi.

Abdulrahman Almutairi is a 27-year-old comedian and former student at the University of San Diego with a big social-media presence. After Almutairi used social media to criticize the powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the October 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributor Khashoggi, an unidentified Saudi man accompanied Almutairi’s father on a flight to collect Almutairi against his will and bring him back to Saudi Arabia, according to The Daily Beast’s sources.

  • muselet

    The Wuhan coronavirus is going to wreak all sorts of chaos on China’s society and economy, even if it’s successfully contained. If we’re all very lucky, Chinese authorities will be successful and we can go on about our business without having to stock up on surgical masks and gloves.

    Can you imagine the reaction here if health officials were to lock down cities to contain a viral outbreak?

    Mohammed Bin Salman will have stern words for Donald Trump. Expect the FBI’s budget to take a big hit in the next fiscal year.

    RIP Terry Jones:

    Have a good weekend, all.


    • katanahamon

      This novel Coronavirus, if you check the stats, is not nearly the threat of the regular old influenza..and by saying regular and old I’m showing that the familiarity we have with flu completely downplays its seriousness and deadly nature. See how many people have died already from the flu this year compared to the new virus, and marvel at the panic that the media is’s simply ridiculous. There’s been what..under fifty deaths (probably underestimated) so far from this Wuhan virus? It’s crazy..

      • muselet

        True enough.

        However, any highly-contagious, new respiratory disease is cause for concern, and that’s without considering mutation. The Chinese government is responding more or less appropriately by trying to contain the outbreak geographically, albeit with less subtlety than one might prefer. Some caution is warranted until the virus has been studied. (For what it’s worth, the World Health Organization has recommended against entry screening, arguing it provides little benefit for the resources required.)

        The slightly hysterical coverage has led me to conclude too many reporters have read too much (bad) science fiction and not enough epidemiology.


    • stacib23

      I went to the bank today in Chinatown here in Chicago. The staff is all Asian, probably Chinese. They all had on masks. It was quite unnerving.

      • muselet

        I can imagine.


  • Aynwrong

    This is why, as much as we all want someone in the White House who’s ideological predisposition is as close to our own as possible (I’m just as guilty) the qualifications are even more important. A massive epidemic has apparently broken out in the world’s most populated country and we have a character that Laugh In would have too much at the helm.

    I believe the left has been rightly harshly critical of the FBI’s historical record over the decades. I share that critique. I also believe that we need such an agency. If it was a genuine kidnap plot, thank God it was stopped.

    The week has ended. Go in peace.