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By ditching compulsory face masks in schools, the government is finally prioritising children’s welfare – The Telegraph

Still, however, the battle for common sense over hysteria is far from won. Do we really think testing healthy children at an estimated cost of £144,564 per positive test is either “sensible” or “proportionate”? Do we really think that asking children who’ve already missed so much this year to miss further days isolating for a virus against which all vulnerable adults have been vaccinated is a drawback appropriately balanced against a benefit? And what do we think of this in the context of the looming discussion over offering the vaccine to children – at negligible risk from Covid – given the harm we should assume will ensue to a small minority of them?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/05/11/ditching-compulsory-face-masks-schools-government-finally-prioritising/

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Were fears of a third wave overblown? – The Spectator

So, the third wave is officially no more. New modelling by SPI-M, the government’s committee on modelling for pandemics, has, at a stroke, eradicated the predicted surge in new infections, hospital admissions and deaths which it had pencilled in for the autumn or winter as a result of lockdown being eased. 

…As Philip Thomas explained here on Sunday, Imperial College has also assumed strangely low estimates for the number of people in Britain carrying antibodies. If you are going to use assumptions that are far more pessimistic than real world data suggests, it is small wonder that SPI-M keeps predicting waves and surges that turn out to be wide of the mark. The question is: why are these modelling teams using such negative assumptions?

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-likely-is-a-third-wave-

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Lockdowns Didn’t Stop Covid – Wall Street Journal

Covid-19 lockdowns shaved 3.5% off U.S. GDP in 2020 even as the federal government spent more than $2.6 trillion in relief measures. Millions of children fell behind in learning and nearly 100,000 businesses closed for good.

Conventional wisdom holds this was worth it because lives were saved by shutting workplaces and schools and telling people to stay home. But a new study by University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan shows the opposite. After the first month of the pandemic, organizations that adopted prevention protocols became safer places than the wider community. Officials who didn’t see that coming forgot that organizations are rational and look for cooperative solutions that improve the welfare of the group, such as reducing the risks of communicable disease.

…Meanwhile, Mr. Mulligan found that there is no evidence that homes became “places of solitary confinement and zero transmission.” That’s putting it mildly. Humans are social animals. Lockdowns were leaky at best with stir-crazy family members venturing out to see friends and relatives.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/lockdowns-didnt-stop-covid-11620596906

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How did Sage get it so wrong? – The Spectator

Professor Neil Ferguson struck an unusually optimistic tone this week. With just one Covid death reported on Monday, and infection levels at an eight-month low in the UK, the architect of the original lockdown said: ‘The data is very encouraging and very much in line with what we expected.’ The first half of that statement is certainly true; the second half much less so.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/How-did-Sage-get-it-so-wrong

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China was preparing for a Third World War with biological weapons – including coronavirus – SIX years ago, according to dossier produced by the People’s Liberation Army in 2015 and uncovered by the US State Department – Daily Mail

This latest evidence that Beijing considered the military potential of SARS coronaviruses from as early as 2015 has also raised fresh fears over the cause of Covid-19, with some officials still believing the virus could have escaped from a Chinese lab

  • Beijing has considered the military potential of SARS coronaviruses since 2015
  • The bombshell document was accessed by US State Department investigators
  • Scientists examined manipulation of diseases ‘in a way never seen before’
  • Foreign affairs committee’s Tom Tugendhat says evidence is a ‘major concern’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9556415/China-preparing-WW3-biological-weapons-six-years-investigators-say.html

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COVID-19 vaccine blood clot fears: Under-40s to be offered alternative to AstraZeneca jab as advice changes – Sky News

All under-40s are to be offered an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as a precaution.

https://news.sky.com/story/under-40s-to-be-offered-alternative-to-oxford-jab-over-blood-clot-fears-12299219

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Pollutants and nanoplastics found in disposable face masks, according to Swansea University study – Wales Online

Scientists have uncovered potentially dangerous chemical pollutants that are released from disposable face masks when submerged in water.

The research by Swansea University reveals high levels of pollutants – including lead, antimony, and copper – within the silicon-based and plastic fibres of common disposable face masks.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/pollutants-nanoplastics-disposable-face-masks-20519711

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There’s a reason you’ve not seen your GP recently – and frankly it’s a scandal – The Telegraph

Back in November, Nick Stokes emailed the Planet Normal podcast to protest that the NHS was being turned into the “National Covid Service”, and misinformation was being spread about hospitals being overwhelmed. “If there is a shortage of beds, that happens every single year – it is not due to Covid! I can remember several years of black alerts, ambulances unable to unload etc due to flu cases, but I don’t remember everything else being cancelled or people being told to stay at home.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/columnists/2021/05/04/reason-youvenot-seen-gp-recently-frankly-scandal/

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Pfizer Reaps Hundreds of Millions in Profits From Covid Vaccine – The New York Times

The vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year, nearly a quarter of its total revenue, Pfizer reported. The vaccine was, far and away, Pfizer’s biggest source of revenue.

On Tuesday, the company announced just how much money the shot is generating.

The vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year, nearly a quarter of its total revenue, Pfizer reported. The vaccine was, far and away, Pfizer’s biggest source of revenue.

The company did not disclose the profits it derived from the vaccine, but it reiterated its previous prediction that its profit margins on the vaccine would be in the high 20 percent range. That would translate into roughly $900 million in pretax vaccine profits in the first quarter.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/business/pfizer-covid-vaccine-profits.html

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Vaccinated but won’t go out? The rise of Covid anxiety syndrome – The Telegraph

Watson’s response to the easing of lockdown is not all that uncommon, say psychologists. It is not yet known how many people will be affected by residual Covid anxiety after vaccination, but it’s feared a significant minority will struggle to readjust, especially as increased unlocking allows for large groups and big, crowded events to take place again.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/mind/vaccinated-wont-go-rise-covid-anxiety-syndrome/

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Buying a Single Version of the Truth – UK Column

MG-OMD has given their propaganda operation the Orwellian sounding name of OmniGOV. They say they are very proud of it and recognise their responsibility as the “the single cross-HM Government agency partner.”

OmniGov were behind the snappy slogans used to change our behaviour throughout the pandemic. Phrases like “flatten the curve”“stay home, protect the NHS, save lives” and “rule of six” all rely on a psychological mechanism called the rule of three. The £119 million Omnicom contract to modify our behaviour was in discussion long before the WHO made their pandemic declaration.

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Healthy children simply do not need a Covid jab – The Telegraph

I won’t have been the only parent concerned by news last week that the Pfizer vaccine may be approved for use on children as early as June and potentially rolled out to school pupils from September. Healthy children are at almost no serious risk from Covid-19 – the recovery rate for this age group has been calculated at over 99.99 per cent. The argument that children should have the vaccine is not based on a belief that they need or benefit from it but on the logic that it would be good for our communities at large if children were jabbed. In short, those advocating it assume that children have an obligation to protect adults.

It’s worth noting that the UK Government has granted immunity from liability for harms to all Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers. Can we really ask children to accept a greater risk than the manufacturers themselves are prepared to live with?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/05/03/healthy-children-simply-do-not-need-covid-jab

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Denmark to cancel Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine rollout, except on voluntary basis – RT

Danish authorities have opted for a more cautious path, even though Reuters reported that excluding J&J’s shot could significantly delay the country’s vaccination efforts.

Danish drug officials last month abandoned the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, also citing the risk of blood clots. In March, Denmark became the first country in the world to temporarily suspend the AstraZeneca shot, but unlike its European neighbors, the country made that suspension permanent.  

https://www.rt.com/news/522790-denmark-cancels-johnson-vaccine/

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More than 500 people admitted to hospital with coronavirus after getting vaccinated – Evening Standard

More than 500 people who received their coronavirus jabs have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19, a UK study has found.

Researchers at Liverpool University said the patients had all received one dose of the vaccine at least three weeks before they were admitted.

They said the patients were largely frail and elderly, while the number of people who were hospitalised represented only around 1 per cent of the 52,000 people involved in the research.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/covid-vaccine-uk-500-admitted-hospital-b932792.html

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States with strictest lockdowns ruined livelihoods — without saving lives – New York Post

Most states with the strictest COVID lockdowns destroyed millions of jobs for their citizens, while those with modest, targeted rules are largely experiencing low levels of unemployment even for normal times.

https://nypost.com/2021/05/01/strict-states-ruined-livelihoods-without-saving-lives/

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Hospitality sector warns of looming crisis over billions in unpaid rent – The Financial Times

The UK government is under pressure to resolve a £6bn rent arrears crisis and prevent a deluge of legal disputes between commercial tenants and landlords, ahead of the end of a temporary ban on evictions next month.

https://www.ft.com/content/03620e72-b618-49eb-9d34-0f2a9ffef5f2

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SAGE admits risk of catching Covid in a pub or restaurant is ‘relatively low’ with just 226 outbreaks in them since pandemic began – despite England’s hospitality sector being shut for another three weeks – Dail Mail

The risk of catching coronavirus in a pub or restaurant is ‘relatively low’, the Government’s scientific advisers have admitted.

Analysis by SAGE found the chance of contracting the virus in hospitality settings appeared slightly higher than in gyms or shops, but concluded the risk was still small.

…SAGE found there had been just 226 outbreaks in pubs and restaurants in England since the pandemic began, despite the sector being heavily penalised throughout the Government’s Covid response.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9530225/SAGE-admits-risk-catching-Covid-pub-restaurant-relatively-low.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailUK

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Face masks in classroom risk causing children ‘physical and psychological harm’ – The Telegraph

There is a “prima facie risk” of harm to secondary school pupils from wearing masks during lessons due to the impact it has on their ability to breathe properly, according to lawyers acting for a 12-year-old girl against the Trust that runs her school.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/04/30/face-masks-classroom-risk-causing-children-physical-psychological/

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Fully open Texas and Florida are reporting fewer new cases per capita than Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York where mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions are still in place – Daily Mail

  • Data from CDC shows that states like Texas and Florida, which have completely reopened, are reporting less cases than Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York
  • Pennsylvania, NY and Michigan all have COVID-19 mask mandates in place 
  • Michigan reported 390.2 cases of the virus per 100,000 in the last seven days
  • Pennsylvania officials reported 221.4 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days
  • New York City alone has recorded 206.1 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days
  • Texas health officials reported 70.4 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days while Florida recorded 186.8 cases per 100,000 in the last week 
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UK health regulator concerned over use of rapid coronavirus tests – The Guardian

The UK’s healthcare regulator has expressed concern to the government that its multibillion-pound mass testing programme is “a stretch” of the authorised use of rapid tests, the Guardian has learned.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the lateral flow devices to be used to find coronavirus cases but not to act as a “green light” for people who test negative to enjoy greater freedoms.

The regulator is concerned that people who test negative will be given false reassurance by their result and will let down their guard if they believe they are Covid-free.

There is very little data to show how well the Innova lateral flow devices detect the virus when used as a self-test by someone who has no symptoms. They are being used by millions of people a week in England under the government’s universal testing programme.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/25/uk-health-regulator-concerned-over-use-of-coronavirus-rapid-tests