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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Arrests in Four States of Racially Motivated Violent Extremists Targeting Journalists and Activists

Defendants Created and Coordinated Nationwide Delivery of Threatening Posters

Four racially motivated violent extremists from across the U.S. were arrested and charged today in U.S District Court in Seattle with a conspiracy to threaten and intimidate journalists and activists, the Department of Justice announced. Today’s arrests and searches by the FBI and local law enforcement are being coordinated by the Department of Justice’s National Security Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Seattle, Tampa, Houston, and Phoenix.

“These defendants from across the country allegedly conspired on the internet to intimidate journalists and activists with whom they disagreed,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “This is not how America works. The Department of Justice will not tolerate this type of behavior.”

“These defendants sought to spread fear and terror with threats delivered to the doorstep of those who are critical of their activities,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran for the Western District of Washington. “As Attorney General William Barr has made clear, rooting out anti-Semitic hate and threats of violence and vigorously prosecuting those responsible are top priorities for the Department of Justice.”

“The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and FBI-Tampa have been focused on identifying and eradicating the threat posed by the Atomwaffen Division both locally and nationally,” said U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez for the Middle District of Florida. “Today’s arrests send a powerful message that the Department of Justice will not tolerate criminal conduct based on hateful ideology. We will continue to work with our partners here in the Middle District of Florida, and elsewhere, to devote our resources to investigate and prosecute those who aim to threaten and terrorize our communities.”


Two potential coronavirus cases being investigated in Virginia

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Two cases of potential coronavirus are being investigated by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

On Wednesday, the VDH revealed that one person in Northern Va. and another in Southwest Va. are being tested for the virus.

The VDH cannot reveal the identities of the two individuals but say they are Virginia residents.


Three people are jailed for up to 21 years after covering up the killing of a teenager who was shot in the face, beheaded and burned during meth-fueled attack

Three people have been sentenced to prison for covering up the methamphetamine-fueled murder of a Virginia teenager whose body was mutilated, dismembered and burned.

Megan Metzger was 19 years old in 2018 when she was shot in the face during a gathering in Spotsylvania County, Virginia State Police agents have said.

Members of the group were using methamphetamine together when David Newton, 22, accused Metzger of being a 'f***ing narc,' which is a slang term for a police informant, and fatally shot her in the face, according to court testimony from police and the defendants.


'She went WILD during the campaign!' Donald Trump doubles down on attacking Ruth Bader Ginsburg and steps up demands she and 'so inappropriate' Sonia Sotomayor 'recuse' themselves from Supreme Court rulings on his administration

Donald Trump went on the attack against Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor at a press conference in India Tuesday, after claiming they should both recuse themselves from any future cases related to his presidency.

He told a room full of American and Indian reporters that he has always felt Ginsburg, 86, should recuse herself since she went 'wild' during the 2016 campaign and is so anti-Trump.

The president added that Sotomayor, 65, should do the same because he says she is trying to 'shame' other Justice into voting with her.

'I just don't know how they cannot recuse themselves from anything having to do with Trump or Trump-related,' Trump said during a press conference at the end of his trip to India.


CDC Warns of Coronavirus Spread in USA: ‘Disruption to Everyday Life Might Be Severe’

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned that the spread of China’s deadly coronavirus in the United States is all but certain and said Americans’ everyday life could be dramatically affected.

“As more and more countries experience community spread, successful containment at our borders becomes harder and harder,” Messonnier told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s not a question of if this will happen but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses,” the top public health official added. “Disruption to everyday life might be severe.”

Messonnier said the continued spread of the virus has led to a shift to a more dire tone.


Whitney Houston hologram tour fan reaction: ‘What a mind f–k’

“An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour” premiered Tuesday night. But judging from fans’ reactions, it’s not right — and it’s definitely not okay.

The show, which kicked off in Sheffield, England, features a digital reincarnation of Whitney, along with live musicians and dancers, as her holographic doppelgänger sings, struts and shimmies through some of her biggest songs, including 1985’s “How Will I Know,” 1986’s “Greatest Love of All” and 1987’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” The repertoire also includes the Dolly Parton-penned earworm “I Will Always Love You” from the 1992 film “The Bodyguard,” in which Houston starred opposite Kevin Costner, and a 1990 live cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” that was remixed by Kygo and released as a single last year.

After the show ended, one premiere attendee — who goes by the Twitter handle @alicebogdanska — expressed confusion about what she’d just witnessed, saying she “can’t believe I’ve just been to see a hologram of Whitney Houston, what a mind f–k.”


Eight Democrats and Independents in Mississippi Switch Parties to Republican — Leaders Express Concern Over Socialist Bernie Sanders

That was quick.

Eight Democrats and independents switched parties today in Mississippi to the Republican Party.

During the ceremony local leaders expressed concern over the direction of the Democrat Party under the authority of Socialist Bernie Sanders.

The Socialists look to sweep control of the Democrat Party this year.

WLOX reported:

The Mississippi Republican Party is welcoming some new members and all of them were elected public offices as Democrats or Independents in this most recent election cycle.

Never forget the media's blind eye to Obama's corruption

The media are outraged that former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich had to serve only eight years out of a fourteen-year sentence for corruption. They say it sends a bad message that political corruption is OK. But what is outrageous and sends a message that political corruption is OK is when the Justice Department, most of the media, and other Democrats didn't care about the massive political corruption of Barack Obama throughout his political life and supported him no matter what he did.

Obama was above the law.

In 2004, then–Illinois senator Obama stole one million dollars of taxpayer money, disguised as a grant, and gave it to his wife's employer, where family friend Valerie Jarrett happened to be a director. Jarrett had hired Michelle as an executive at $120,000 per year.

After the hospital got the million, Michelle got a $197,000 raise to $317,000 for what seemed to be a part-time job. (I am sure all of us can relate to a 200% raise or a $317,000 salary.) Michelle's main job was to dump low-income, unprofitable patients onto other hospitals (the Obamas have always been so compassionate and empathetic). To tell the poor how good this was, the hospital hired David Axelrod, a campaign adviser for Obama. Later on, they hired the corrupt family friend Eric Whitaker in an executive position.


“She’s Corrupt! She’s Out of Control!” – Tucker Carlson Calls for Demon Judge Amy Berman Jackson to be Impeached

On Tuesday Roger Stone and his lawyers appeared in court to request a new trial after it was revealed the lead juror was biased and posted tweets attacking Trump and Roger Stone.

Stone’s lawyers asked for a new trial after it was revealed jury forewoman Tomeka Hart lied to the Court during her testimony when she claimed she didn’t really know who Roger Stone was.

During the proceedings today demon Judge Amy Berman Jackson complained about critical media reports on her outrageous conduct in the courtroom.

Tonight Tucker Carlson called on the corrupt Amy Berman Jackson to be impeached.
Tucker Carlson: “She should be impeached. She’s corrupt. She’s out of control.”

Michelle Obama LOVED Harvey Weinstein.' Donald Trump can't resist a dig at former first lady and Hillary Clinton after movie mogul's rape conviction which he calls 'a great victory for women'

President Donald Trump attacked Democrats including Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton for being 'fans' of Harvey Weinstein in his first comments on the rapist's conviction Tuesday.

'The people who liked him were the Democrats. Michelle Obama loved him, loved him. Hillary Clinton loved him,' he said a press conference in New Delhi in response to a question from

'I was never a fan of Harvey, as you know,' he said. 'He was a person I didn't like.

'I knew him because he was in New York.' In fact he, his wife Melania and Weinstein and his wife Georgina Chapman were photographed together in 2009.


President Trump and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a News Conference

Pain of Greta Thunberg as she reveals her grandfather has died at the age of 94

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has paid tribute to her grandfather after she revealed on social media that the 94-year-old had died.

Taking to Instagram, the 17-year-old from Sweden revealed that Olof Thunberg 'passed away'.

Posting she said: 'Yesterday my grandfather Olof Thunberg passed away. He was about to turn 95. He was one of the kindest people I have ever known. We miss him terribly.'

Greta also took to Twitter where she posted a series of photos of her grandfather.


Coronavirus infects US soldier for first time, military says

A U.S. soldier stationed in South Korea has tested positive for the coronavirus and is in self-quarantine at his residence off base, the military said Tuesday.

The 23-year-old is based at Camp Carroll near the city of Daegu, where most of the country's coronavirus cases have been clustered, and he visited Camp Walker earlier this week. He is the first U.S. service member to become infected.

Health professionals are trying to determine whether or not others have been exposed to COVID-19, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said in a statement.

Hot Pocket Heir Michelle Janavs Was Sentenced To 5 Months In Prison In The College Admissions Scandal

The heir to the Hot Pockets fortune was sentenced on Tuesday to five months in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine for her role in the college admissions scandal.

Michelle Janavs, 48, was also given two years of supervised release and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service during her appearance in Boston federal court.

Janavs pleaded guilty in October to paying $300,000 in bribes to help her two daughters cheat on college entrance exams and attempt to secure admission for one of them to the University of Southern California as a fake recruit for the school's beach volleyball team.


The Democratic Debate 2020

Bloomberg adviser: Sanders said 'toddlers should run around naked and touch each other’s genitals'

A top adviser for Michael Bloomberg gave a preview of the type of attacks that will be used against Bernie Sanders in Tuesday night’s debate as Democrats try to rein in his momentum.

Tim O’Brien, senior adviser to the Bloomberg campaign, announced the team would be dropping its policy of not lobbing criticism at fellow Democratic candidates ahead of the South Carolina primary. During an interview on CNN, O'Brien questioned Sanders’s record.

“It’s a primary now. People are holding each other accountable. For the most part, we haven’t gone after other Democrats,” O’Brien said. “I think Bernie’s campaign has run itself in a very thuggish way. There are very Trumpy-like aspects to the way that Bernie has been running things.”


Montgomery County Council passes air conditioning bill

It’ll be a lot cooler this summer in Montgomery County, Maryland — at least for the roughly 300,000 people who rent.

After approving amendments to a bill requiring that landlords provide air conditioning to their tenants, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 24-19.

The bill details that landlords have to provide air conditioning in apartments from June 1 through Sept. 30.

“We need to treat this bill like a public health issue,” Council member Will Jawando said.


BREAKING: Sources: At least 2 dead in active shooter at MillerCoors

MILWAUKEE —Police are on the scene of an active shooter at MillerCoors Headquarters in Milwaukee.

Sources told WISN 12 News at least two people were killed.

Those sources also said the suspected shooter was a former MillerCoors employee.

The scene is near North 35th Street and West Highland Boulevard.


Labor board deals final blow to Obama-era effort to unionize fast-food industry

The National Labor Relations Board, the main federal labor law enforcement agency, rolled back an Obama administration-era effort to help unions organize franchisor corporations such as McDonald's through the so-called joint employer rule, dealing a blow to organized labor.

Joint employer referred to when two businesses were so tightly aligned that one could be said to be responsible for another's workplace policies. Prior to the Obama administration, this only applied if one business had "direct control" over another. During the Obama years, the much looser "indirect control" standard was adopted. Tuesday's announcement means the direct-control standard is the norm again.

The seemingly minor rewrite to an obscure legal standard followed a coordinated push by labor unions such as the Service Employees International Union, which were seeking to organize the fast-food industry. Business trade groups mounted an equally fierce pushback to get the Trump administration to restore the pre-Obama standard. The Labor Department readopted the earlier standard last month. The NLRB followed suit Tuesday.


In-state tuition for undocumented immigrants passes Virginia House and Senate

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Yanet Amado, 24, says she’s been going to school in Virginia since the third grade. That’s when she says her family moved from Mexico.

“I knew that I was undocumented since the beginning,” Amado said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t know the implications, I didn’t know the process, I didn’t know what it really meant.”

For six years now, Amado has been sharing her story at the state Capitol, telling lawmakers how she couldn’t afford to get a four-year degree without in-state tuition or financial aid. She also started the Virginia Intercollegiate Immigrant Alliance.


JUST IN: Court hands Trump win in sanctuary city fight, says administration can deny grant money

A federal appeals court on Wednesday handed a major win to the Trump administration in its fight against “sanctuary” jurisdictions, ruling that it can deny grant money to states that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturned a lower court ruling that stopped the administration’s 2017 move to withhold grant money from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which dispenses over $250 million a year to state and local criminal justice efforts.

“Today’s decision rightfully recognizes the lawful authority of the Attorney General to ensure that Department of Justice grant recipients are not at the same time thwarting federal law enforcement priorities,” a DOJ spokesman said in a statement. “The grant conditions here require states and cities that receive DOJ grants to share information about criminals in custody. The federal government uses this information to enforce national immigration laws--policies supported by successive Democrat and Republican administrations.”

'We’re getting killed!': Captain of 'Miracle on Ice' team regrets wearing Trump hat

Mike Eruzione, the captain of the U.S. "Miracle on Ice" hockey team, said he likely would not have put one of President Trump's "Keep America Great" hats on at a campaign rally if he knew it would "piss" people off.

"If we knew we were going to piss off this many people, we probably would not have put the hats on," Eruzione told the Washington Post in a piece published Tuesday. "That’s the big question here. A lot of the stuff I got was, 'You guys said it’s not political, but when you put the hats on, you made it political.'"

"You going to light into me, too? We’re getting killed!" the captain said about the reaction. The members of the team had been handed hats as they came on stage. Four former team members declined to put on the hats, but 10 of them did.


REVEALED ... The Sandernistas' Plan To Woo Moderates.

House Democrat introduces bill to create third gender option on passports

Americans who do not identify as male or female may soon have a new box to check when applying for their passports.

Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, introduced a bill on Monday that would order the State Department to create a third gender option on passports. The Gender Inclusive Passport Act would add a new option that would be a gender-neutral designation available on passports, passport cards, and for “other purposes.”

Passports were long denied by the State Department if the applicant refused to select the male or female option on the application. In 2015, Dana Zzyym, a nonbinary individual, placed the letter "x" on the passport application rather than selecting male or female. The application was denied, and Zzymm sued the State Department for discrimination. A lower court ruled in Zzymm's favor in 2018, but the State Department appealed the ruling. The issue remains unsettled as it awaits review from the higher courts. Zzymm still has not received a passport with the nonbinary designation.


American Gun Ownership: The Positive Impacts of Law-Abiding Citizens Owning Firearms

It’s no secret that mainstream press coverage of gun ownership in the United States tends to be in favor of gun control – especially when those reporting on the topic are not firearm owners themselves. Journalists focus on how many people are killed by guns, how many children get their hands on improperly stored firearms, and how many deranged individuals go on shooting sprees.

This anti-gun news bias is widespread among the “urban elite” who have very little personal experience with guns and yet write for influential newspapers like The New York Times, Washington Post, etc. Despite this bias, law-abiding private citizens owning guns does have positive impacts on American society that often go unreported – many of which are significant.


St. Louis Woman Robbed, Beaten, Stabbed by 6 Foot Teen Who Is then Let Off Because He Has an IQ of 49

A St. Louis woman was robbed, beaten and stabbedby her 15-year-old neighbor last week. The teen stole her phone – twice – beat her once and then came back and beat her again with a a metal rob while she was on the phone with police.
But the six foot teen is still free. The court let him off because he has an IQ of 49.

KSDK reported:
“He knocked me down, pulling my hair, kicking,” she recalled.

Before he ran off, she said he grabbed her personal cell phone again. She used her work phone to call police.

“I am on the phone with St. Louis police dispatch, making my way to my backdoor, when he comes back with a weapon. He is on top of me. There was blood everywhere. I was literally fighting for my life at that point,” she told 5 On Your Side.

Sheriff's office says authorities have not yet concluded whether Obama DHS whistleblower's death was suicide

The Amador County Sheriff’s Office said the death of Philip Haney, a former Department of Homeland Security official during the Obama administration, is still under investigation and has not been conclusively ruled as a suicide.

“Unfortunately, there was misinformation immediately being put out that we have determined Mr. Haney’s death to be a suicide. This is not the case. We are currently in the beginning phase of our investigation, and any final determination as to the cause and manner of Mr. Haney’s death would be extremely premature and inappropriate,” the office announced Monday night in a press statement.

“No determination will be made until all evidence is examined and analyzed,” it added.


Hillary Defends Convicted Sex Offender Weinstein’s Contributions to Her 2016 Campaign

Former failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked about convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein’s contributions to her 2016 campaign as she attended the Berlin Film Festival to see a documentary about her life.

“The jury’s verdict [in the Weinstein trial] really speaks for itself,” Clinton said at the screening of Hillary on Tuesday.

Deadline reported on Clinton’s response to questions about her 2016 presidential bid, Weinstein, and the current crop of Democrat contenders:
Asked whether Weinstein’s donations to her presidential campaign meant that there could be more scrutiny placed on the sources of those donations in the future, Clinton pointed out that Weinstein had also donated to the Obama, Kerry and Gore campaigns, and insisted that “I don’t know if that should chill anyone else from contributing to political campaigns, but it should end the kind of behavior that he was convicted for.”

Quizzed on who she was backing to be the next president of the United States, Clinton said her priority was to “retire Donald Trump” and that she would “wait and see who we [the Democrats] nominate,” and would support whoever does eventually take on Trump.


'Worst record in the history of broadcasting': Trump rips CNN's Jim Acosta after being accused of lying

President Trump fired back at CNN's Jim Acosta after the reporter accused him of lying.

During an afternoon news conference in India on Tuesday, Acosta asked the president if he would pledge not to accept foreign assistance in the 2020 elections, to which the president said, "I want no help from any country."

"I haven't been given help from any country. And if you see what CNN, your wonderful network, said, I guess they apologized in a way for — didn't they apologize for the fact that they said certain things that weren't true?" the president inquired of Acosta, referring to CNN's coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 election.


Nolte: Biden’s Brain Freezes Pile Up Days Away from Make-or-Break South Carolina Primary

Joe Biden is piling up one bizarre brain freeze after another only days away from a make-or-break stand in South Carolina.

In less than two weeks, Biden has forgotten what office he’s running for, who was the attorney general while he was vice president, which Chinese leader he worked with on the Paris Climate Accord, and is just making up stories about being arrested in South Africa in 1989.

The former vice president has already lost three primary contests in a row. After leading the polling for most of last year, Biden crash-landed in Iowa with a humiliating fourth-place showing, ended in New Hampshire in fifth place, and managed to land in second place in Nevada, but it was still a wipeout — a loss of 26 points to Bernie Sanders.


'You can't defend the indefensible': Ben Sasse and Democratic senator clash over anti-infanticide bill

Sens. Ben Sasse and Dick Durbin got into a 20-minute argument on the Senate floor after Durbin objected to an anti-infanticide bill that Sasse proposed.

The clash began Tuesday with Durbin referring to Sasse's legislation, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, as an "abortion" bill. The Illinois Democrat's speech triggered a series of back-and-forth objections between him and Sasse, including the Nebraska Republican accusing him of ignoring infanticide.

"These are about babies that are born that are outside their mother," Sasse said. "And what's actually happening is the senior senator from Illinois is wanting to obscure the debate because he wants to use euphemisms about choice."


What Most ‘Experts’ Aren’t Telling You During Black History Month | Larry Elder Show

Chris Wallace says Jim Acosta's behavior 'adds to people questioning the credibility of the media'

Fox News host Chris Wallace slammed CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta over a verbal altercation between Acosta and President Trump during a press conference.

Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, bashed Acosta for his behavior at Trump's Tuesday press conference in India during an event later that evening with New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman put on by the Columbia Journalism School.

"I was horrified by [Acosta]," Wallace explained. "It’s not our job to get in fights with presidents. It’s not our job to one-up presidents. It’s our job to report on presidents. … But to the degree we have responded to his attacks on us with attacks or advocacy in kind, there’s a huge mistake, and I think adds to people questioning the credibility of the media."


WCSAO: Joseph Townsend Sentenced To Forty Years - Sex Abuse Of A Minor

Montgomery Co. cops arrest MCPS students for allegedly raping 11-year-old girls off-campus

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (ABC7) — Two Montgomery County Public School students — ages 20 and 19 — were recently arrested at their respective high schools, on allegations they raped different 11-year-old girls at apartments located off-campus.

Jonathan Coreas-Salamanca, 20, and Ivan Reyes Lopez, 19, are each charged with second-degree rape. Coreas-Salamanca has additional counts of sexual abuse of a minor and third-degree sexual offense.

According to law enforcement sources, police arrested Coreas-Salamanca on February 13, at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, where he is enrolled as a student. Six days later, on February 19, police arrested Lopez at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School where he is enrolled as a student.


20-Year-Old Illegal Alien From El Salvador Arrested For Raping 11-Year-Old Girl in Montgomery County

OC Travel Advisory: Route 50 Bridge

Two Florida residents sue to keep Sanders off Democratic primary ballot

Two Florida Democrats are suing to keep Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) off the party's primary ballot and to prevent the state from certifying the votes he receives.

Frank Bach, a retired letter carrier, and George Brown, a retired social worker, filed the complaint in Leon County Circuit Court on Monday, alleging Sanders should not be included in the state’s Democratic primary because he identifies as an Independent.

The Florida primary is scheduled for March 17.

The two Tallahassee residents are asking the Florida Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee, both of which are named as defendants, to disqualify the Vermont progressive from the ballot and block certification of his votes.


Another Major Breaking News Story Coming Soon

Just In: I have another major breaking news story tat has also been covered up coming very soon, this morning. I'm in the process of drafting it now. 

Debate moderators trampled on as Sanders and Buttigieg joust over healthcare 'math'

The Democratic debate in South Carolina descended into chaos as the candidates argued over math — and former candidate Andrew Yang wasn’t even on stage.

Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked Tuesday night by a presidential primary debate moderator to do the math on how he would pay for his Medicare for All plan.

“How many hours do you have?” Sanders quipped in response.

“It doesn’t take two hours to do the math,” Pete Buttigieg interjected.

“Let’s talk about math,” Sanders said.


Michael Bloomberg once said non-New Yorkers were inferior to city residents

New York City dwellers are often ridiculed for thinking they’re the center of the universe.

It’s a sentiment satirized in the famous “View of the World from 9th Avenue” illustration that graced the cover of the New Yorker in 1976. But in Michael Bloomberg’s case, he seems to believe it.

“We really are better than everybody else,” Bloomberg told the West Side Chamber of Commerce to some laughs in 2001 during his first campaign to become the city’s mayor, according to the Daily News that summer. “We really are. I mean, the rest of the world is a disgrace compared to New York.”


Political Meme

Wednesday Morning Funnies

'This could be bad': Top CDC doctor contradicts Trump and warns it's 'not a question of if but WHEN' coronavirus spreads in America, as she tells parents to prepare for school closures, tele-schooling and 'significant disruption in our lives'

It's no longer 'a question of if...but when' the coronavirus will spread in the US, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials said on Tuesday as they told parents to prepare their children for the possibility of school closures.

The CDC said Americans may need to prepare for 'tele-schooling' should the virus continue to spread throughout the US.

So far, 57 cases have been confirmed - 14 in the nation, 40 from citizens repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and three evacuated from China.

And although the threat is currently low, Dr Nancy Messonier, CDC's director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, says the public needs to be ready if the virus becomes a pandemic.