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Opinion

Why The WHO Faked A Pandemic – Forbes

Note: This article, published on 5 February 2010, originally appeared in Forbes. It was removed sometime in mid October 2020 with no explanation.

While you can find a capture at archive.org, we have saved a copy here to protect against censorship and for easy sharing.


The World Health Organization has suddenly gone from crying “The sky is falling!” like a cackling Chicken Little to squealing like a stuck pig. The reason: charges that the agency deliberately fomented swine flu hysteria. “The world is going through a real pandemic. The description of it as a fake is wrong and irresponsible,” the agency claims on its Web site. A WHO spokesman declined to specify who or what gave this “description,” but the primary accuser is hard to ignore.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), a human rights watchdog, is publicly investigating the WHO’s motives in declaring a pandemic. Indeed, the chairman of its influential health committee, epidemiologist Wolfgang Wodarg, has declared that the “false pandemic” is “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century.”

Even within the agency, the director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Epidemiology in Munster, Germany, Dr. Ulrich Kiel, has essentially labeled the pandemic a hoax. “We are witnessing a gigantic misallocation of resources [$18 billion so far] in terms of public health,” he said.

They’re right. This wasn’t merely overcautiousness or simple misjudgment. The pandemic declaration and all the Klaxon-ringing since reflect sheer dishonesty motivated not by medical concerns but political ones.

Unquestionably, swine flu has proved to be vastly milder than ordinary seasonal flu. It kills at a third to a tenth the rate, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. Data from other countries like France and Japan indicate it’s far tamer than that.

Indeed, judging by what we’ve seen in New Zealand and Australia (where the epidemics have ended), and by what we’re seeing elsewhere in the world, we’ll have considerably fewer flu deaths this season than normal. That’s because swine flu muscles aside seasonal flu, acting as a sort of inoculation against the far deadlier strain.

Did the WHO have any indicators of this mildness when it declared the pandemic in June?

Absolutely, as I wrote at the time. We were then fully 11 weeks into the outbreak and swine flu had only killed 144 people worldwide–the same number who die of seasonal flu worldwide every few hours. (An estimated 250,000 to 500,000 per year by the WHO’s own numbers.) The mildest pandemics of the 20th century killed at least a million people.

But how could the organization declare a pandemic when its own official definition required “simultaneous epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness.” Severity–that is, the number of deaths–is crucial, because every year flu causes “a global spread of disease.”

Easy. In May, in what it admitted was a direct response to the outbreak of swine flu the month before, WHO promulgated a new definition matched to swine flu that simply eliminated severity as a factor. You could now have a pandemic with zero deaths.

Under fire, the organization is boldly lying about the change, to which anybody with an Internet connection can attest. In a mid-January virtual conference WHO swine flu chief Keiji Fukuda stated: “Did WHO change its definition of a pandemic? The answer is no: WHO did not change its definition.” Two weeks later at a PACE conference he insisted: “Having severe deaths has never been part of the WHO definition.”

They did it; but why?

In part, it was CYA for the WHO. The agency was losing credibility over the refusal of avian flu H5N1 to go pandemic and kill as many as 150 million people worldwide, as its “flu czar” had predicted in 2005.

Around the world nations heeded the warnings and spent vast sums developing vaccines and making other preparations. So when swine flu conveniently trotted in, the WHO essentially crossed out “avian,” inserted “swine,” and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan arrogantly boasted, “The world can now reap the benefits of investments over the last five years in pandemic preparedness.”

But there’s more than bureaucratic self-interest at work here. Bizarrely enough, the WHO has also exploited its phony pandemic to push a hard left political agenda.

In a September speech WHO Director-General Chan said “ministers of health” should take advantage of the “devastating impact” swine flu will have on poorer nations to get out the message that “changes in the functioning of the global economy” are needed to “distribute wealth on the basis of” values “like community, solidarity, equity and social justice.” She further declared it should be used as a weapon against “international policies and systems that govern financial markets, economies, commerce, trade and foreign affairs.”

Chan’s dream now lies in tatters. All the WHO has done, says PACE’s Wodart, is to destroy “much of the credibility that they should have, which is invaluable to us if there’s a future scare that might turn out to be a killer on a large scale.”

Michael Fumento is director of the nonprofit Independent Journalism Project, where he specializes in health and science issues. He may be reached at [email protected]

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Opinion

Britain must not be sacrificed on the altar of fighting Covid-19 – Prof. Dingwall, Daily Mail

  • [The fight against Covid] ignores the devastating social and economic impact of Covid restrictions, and exaggerates the threat the disease poses.
  • Despite all the hysteria, this is not a modern plague.
  • In the week ending October 2, Covid accounted for just 3.2 per cent of all fatalities in British hospitals.
  • Even with the recent rise in infections, Covid mortality levels are drastically lower now than at the peak of the pandemic in the spring.
  • That toll may increase, but it is highly unlikely to reach the levels we saw in spring.
  • Covid-19 is a cruel disease that targets the old or those whose life expectancy is compromised by ill-health.
  • While every life is precious, the average age of patients who die with Covid-19 is 82.4.
  • Since August, just one otherwise healthy person under 30 has died with the disease, while in the same period only 97 victims have been younger than 60.
  • One study in June by the Office for National Statistics found 91 per cent of people who died with Covid in England and Wales between March and June had at least one pre-existing condition.
  • Contrary to the depressing propaganda, six in every seven people who are infected over the age of 90 actually survive.
  • [T]here is little convincing scientific evidence to support the belief that these venues are significant arenas of transmission.
  • Much of the North and the Midlands has been living with Covid restrictions for months, yet it has not stemmed the rise in positive cases.
  • There is not a single documented case of any student this autumn yet dying from Covid.
  • In 40 years, scientists have never found an HIV/AIDS vaccine, nor has one been discovered for the SARS virus in 18 years.
  • A vaccine will probably be more like an annual flu jab — which will give some protection but not stop you contracting the disease — rather than a measles vaccine, which provides a lifetime’s protection.
  • Edinburgh University argued that heavy-handed use of lockdowns and social distancing could cost between 149,000 and 178,000 lives over the course of the pandemic — far more than have died from Covid.
  • The Government likely borrowing more than £350 billion this year — will have be paid by generations to come.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8836699/Britain-not-sacrificed-altar-fighting-Covid-19-writes-Professor-ROBERT-DINGWALL.html

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Opinion

Why I’m resigning from the government – Chris Green MP, The Spectator

The Greater Manchester ‘local lockdown’ and the more extreme economic lockdowns have both failed to control the number of positive tests within the Borough of Bolton, which has inexorably risen.

During the lockdown, Bolton has seen 20,000 fewer GP referrals to hospital when compared to last year, while many others have not accessed vital treatment because they have been too frightened to do so. By taking our current approach to Covid-19, we are creating many other health problems that are leading to pain, suffering and death. 

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-i-m-resigning-from-the-government

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Opinion

Government may increase the death toll with unjust and insane measures, why are they doubling down on failure? – Lord Sumption, The Sun

  • Instead of indiscriminate rules, we should be concentrating on protecting the vulnerable.
  • The rest should be allowed to get on with normal life and acquire some natural immunity.
  • The Government’s policy is founded upon a great lie — that we are all vulnerable to Covid so it is necessary to take over the lives of everyone.
  • For healthy people under 60 the symptoms are usually mild or non-existent. 
  • About 90 per cent of deaths have been of people aged over 70. Most are in their 80s or 90s.
  • Infections don’t matter a row of beans unless they lead to hospitalisations or deaths.
  • Out of nearly 43,000 dead with Covid-19, just 41 have been under 25.
  • What we are seeing now…is the first spike…which has come back to hit us. Just as their advisers told them it would, back in February and March.
  • So why are Johnson and his crew doubling down on failure? This is about covering politicians’ backs.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12886627/lord-sumption-government-death-toll-coronavirus-crisis/

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Opinion

Is Moonshot testing a waste of money? – UnHerd

Recently, the Government agreed a £161 million deal with a British company called DnaNudge to provide 5.8 million Covid tests, as part of its “Moonshot” programme for mass testing of the population at the point of care. The CovidNudge test is “a rapid, accurate, portable and lab-free RT-PCR test that delivers results at the point of need and in just over an hour”, according to DnaNudge’s own promotional material. DnaNudge is a spinoff company of Imperial College London.

https://unherd.com/2020/10/is-moonshot-testing-a-waste-of-money/

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Opinion Videos

Prof Francois Balloux: the climate of fear on Covid is dangerous – UnHerd

Source: UnHerd, 8 Oct 2020
  • Scientists should not be involved in devising and implementing policies.
  • The window of opportunity to suppress the virus is gone.
  • The toll on public health caused by closed borders will be absolutely awful.
  • Indefinite suppression may not have ever been an option.
  • Vaccines may be helpful but won’t be a silver bullet.
  • The virus is here to stay.
  • Vaccines may be effective in reducing symptoms but we can’t gamble on an infection blocking vaccine.
  • Some vaccines aren’t always suitable for the entire population.
  • Banking everything on a vaccine is not a reasonable approach.
  • National level measures are not convincing; targeted measures have more potential.
  • Communication has been problematic so public trust has been lost.
  • Fear over a long period of time is physiologically unhealthy and doesn’t ever just evaporate.
  • The cost of allowing people to choose their own risk-level would be much lower than the current blanket proposals.
  • Well-targeted testing can be extremely effective but mass testing in schools is not a good use of tests.
  • The ‘medicalization’ of society is worrying.
  • Blanket testing of asymptomatic people is completely new and presents multiple ethical problems.
  • Proportion of asymptomatic cases for 2009 influenza pandemic was around 50%-75%; this is similar to what we’re finding COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 is not so different from other viruses but the global approach is completely different.
  • Normalising the mass testing of otherwise healthy testing is very dangerous.
  • There’s not much to be gained from comparing the measures and results between countries; the move to technocracy is dangerous.
  • Whole societies should not turn around public health.
  • A constant climate of fear is counter-productive.
  • There were other countries that took a similar approach to Sweden, such as Switzerland.
  • Past pandemics have been comparable to COVID-19 but did not have the same response.
  • Outbreaks in care homes is nothing new.
  • The pandemic phase of COVID-19 should eventually be over by mid to end of 2021 and in all likelihood become endemic.
  • The most important message: COVID-19 presents a severe health crisis but it is not a ‘new normal.’
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Opinion

My manifesto to beat coronavirus crisis: Protect the elderly and vulnerable, let the rest live their lives, and throw Britain open again – Prof. David Livermore, Daily Mail

In fact, it is now becoming clear [Lockdown] is simply the wrong policy. Those who dissented from the Government’s Covid-19 strategy have been dismissed as mavericks on the fringes of the scientific establishment. However, this is no longer the case. I am afraid that the broadcast media has been particularly slow to reflect a shift in outlook among international scientists.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8816651/PROF-DAVID-LIVERMORE-manifesto-beat-coronavirus-crisis.html

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Opinion

An epidemic of failure: Test and Trace that doesn’t work, local lockdowns that don’t make sense, flu deaths counted as Covid-19… and an economy on the brink. We somehow made a crisis worse – Dr. John Lee, Daily Mail

  • The UK Government’s Test and Trace policy isn’t working and is worse than useless.
  • 40 per cent of those asked to name their recent contacts were unable to remember anyone.
  • The tests on which Test and Trace is based are highly unreliable.
  • Covid is a coronavirus and its symptoms are vague: a cough, a raised temperature, the loss of taste and smell — all of which overlap with the symptoms for flu and the common cold.
  • When the procedure goes wrong, it generates a ‘false positive’ result: it indicates an infection where none exists.
  • Even with long-established tests, we’d expect to see false positives in perhaps one per cent of cases. With this one, it could quite conceivably be 5 per cent or higher.
  • This means that if 300,000 tests are processed in a day, perhaps 15,000 or more will generate inaccurate reports of Covid-19 infection.
  • One positive is not necessarily the same as another, but the Government numbers don’t differentiate.
  • Last week, it was reported that just 1,800 out of 110,000 occupied beds in hospitals were taken up by Covid-19 patients.
  • It is likely that those who died were elderly and suffering from co-morbidities such as heart disease and diabetes.
  • But it is also possible that they died from something else entirely — such as flu.
  • The UK Government’s Test and Trace policy isn’t working and is worse than useless.
  • 40 per cent of those asked to name their recent contacts were unable to remember anyone.
  • The tests on which Test and Trace is based are highly unreliable.
  • Covid is a coronavirus and its symptoms are vague: a cough, a raised temperature, the loss of taste and smell — all of which overlap with the symptoms for flu and the common cold.
  • When the procedure goes wrong, it generates a ‘false positive’ result: it indicates an infection where none exists.
  • Even with long-established tests, we’d expect to see false positives in perhaps one per cent of cases. With this one, it could quite conceivably be 5 per cent or higher.
  • This means that if 300,000 tests are processed in a day, perhaps 15,000 or more will generate inaccurate reports of Covid-19 infection.
  • One positive is not necessarily the same as another, but the Government numbers don’t differentiate.
  • Last week, it was reported that just 1,800 out of 110,000 occupied beds in hospitals were taken up by Covid-19 patients.
  • It is likely that those who died were elderly and suffering from co-morbidities such as heart disease and diabetes.
  • But it is also possible that they died from something else entirely — such as flu.
  • Coronaviruses are as old as humanity and have resisted every attempt at a vaccine or a cure. One project to wipe out the common cold was funded for more than 40 years — and got nowhere.
  • Today’s flu vaccines are less than 50 per cent effective, and there is no chance whatever that a hurriedly developed Covid-19 vaccine could be anything like as good as that.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8808609/DR-JOHN-LEE-Test-Trace-doesnt-work-local-lockdowns-dont-make-sense.html

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Opinion Videos

Covid experts: there is another way – UnHerd

  • Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.
  • Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.
  • We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young.
  • COVID-19 is less dangerous for children than many other harms, including influenza.
  • All populations will eventually reach herd immunity.
  • Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.
  • Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19.
  • Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal.
  • Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold.
  • Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home.
  • Restaurants and other businesses should open.
  • Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume.

https://unherd.com/2020/10/covid-experts-there-is-another-way/

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Opinion

Boris Johnson’s ‘strongman’ Government is destroying democracy – Lord Sumption, The Telegraph

Authoritarian government depends on fear. Ministers need to spread fear to justify what they are doing and achieve compliance. So we have the continual attempt to pretend that everyone is at risk, even if they are under 60 and in good health. We have the dodgy charts deployed last week to persuade us that infections were doubling every week. We have continual threats to lock us down. This kind of behaviour destroys trust. If the government were trusted, it would not need to resort to coercion on the scale that it is doing. People are more likely to comply if the advice makes sense, is presented to them coherently, in calm language, and is supported by evidence which has not been crudely hyped up.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/10/02/boris-johnsons-strongman-government-destroying-democracy/

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Opinion

How each year of life saved from Covid-19 costs £180,000: Statistician claims the price of rescuing a coronavirus patient is six times higher than the NHS threshold for other diseases – Professor Simon Wood, The Spectator

The cost of adding one more year of life to someone who is dying of coronavirus is more than five times higher than the maximum the NHS can spend on other illnesses, according to a statistician.

  • The cost of adding one more year of life to someone who is dying of coronavirus is more than five times higher than the maximum the NHS can spend on other illnesses.
  • Professor Simon Wood has calculated that it costs approximately £180,000 per extra year of life to rescue a dying Covid-19 patient.
  • NHS watchdog will only spend up to £30,000 per year of life on any new treatment, deeming any higher cost a bad cost-to-benefit ratio.
  • Many people left in worse physical or mental health, or in poverty, as a result of policies brought in to slow down Covid-19 could see years chopped off their life expectancy.
  • The Office for Budget Responsibility predicted the UK’s national debt would grow by £550billion next year as a result of spending during the epidemic.
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which makes decisions on which drugs are good value for the NHS, considers £30,000 to be at the upper end of its good value limit.
  • Statistical organisations across the UK, meanwhile, suggest that there have been around 59,000 ‘excess deaths’ during the epidemic, which includes people who died of Covid-19 but never tested positive, as well as those who died because of indirect effects of lockdown, such as being unable to get hospital care.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8795383/How-year-life-saved-Covid-19-costs-180-000.html

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Opinion

We must learn to live with coronavirus – just like Samuel Pepys lived with the Great Plague

  • Humans have lived with infectious diseases for at least 15,000 years.
  • Until the early 2000s when we started to vaccinate for flu, we accepted that outbreaks would kill 20,000 to 50,000 people every winter without much comment.
  • Self-isolation is not appropriate if you do not share the living conditions of the elites who make the rules – and that the risk does not seem proportionate to the benefits for ordinary people.
  • Face covering, as practised, is irrelevant in most circumstances. The whole country should not be driven by the exceptional circumstances of rush hour in major cities. If most people are currently wearing face coverings, acknowledge that this is because they want to avoid trouble rather than to achieve protection.
  • We will never eradicate the threat from coronaviruses because they are so widespread among animal populations.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8776423/Coronavirus-UK-learn-live-covid-says-ROBERT-DINGWALL.html

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Opinion

Quantifying the cost of lockdown – The Spectator

We have had plenty of anecdotes about people failing to be diagnosed with serious diseases during lockdown. This is thanks to either to hospitals cancelling appointments, GP surgeries stopping face-to-face meetings or people picking up the message that they should protect the NHS by trying not to use it. 

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/quantifying-the-cost-of-lockdown

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Opinion

Too many children are being tested for coronavirus, top paediatrician claims as he demands schools stay fully open in face of future waves of Covid-19 – Daily Mail

Professor Russell Viner, from University College London, demanded schools should instead remain fully open in the face of a second wave and cease their ‘flip-flopping’ between closures and openings which are ‘harming’ the education of youngsters.

He was speaking after his recently published study revealed those under 20 are 44 per cent less likely to be infected with the virus than adults.

…’We need to be thinking: “Are we testing too many children?” because of our understandable but probably unscientific and misplaced concerns about children being infected in schools.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8780333/Too-children-tested-coronavirus-paediatrician-claims.html

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Opinion

The oppressive police state is closing in – Dr. Mike Yeadon

This is an archive of a series of Tweets by Dr. Mike Yeadon on 26 September 2020. It has been formatted for readability but otherwise kept intact.

Yesterday, two strikingly similar events tells us the oppressive police state closes in. My sister is visiting her daughter in Lincoln and loves looking after her granddaughter. Daughter and husband go out for a drink as a couple (they’re fit and well, late-20s). No pub would let them in because they don’t have the NHS Proximity App. They just don’t want to be tracked, thanks very much.

Meanwhile, earlier on the same day, a family friend and daughter tried to go for a pizza in Zizzis in a small town near Guildford. Again, they were told unless you stand outside and download this App, we’re not serving you. They went somewhere else on principle.

It is simply not necessary to be doing anything about COVID-19 and definitely not this App. How many readers know that summer flu typically kills 200 people every day in July? That was five times the number of COVID-19 deaths, even though the reporting biases the cause to COVID-19. For example, if a person died of pneumonia and had a COVID-19 positive in the last 28 days, it’s coded COVID-19. Vallance/Whitty sombrely warned us of “the potential for 200 COVID-19 deaths per day” sometime in October, if we didn’t accept Draconian measures.

I’m much more knowledgeable about immunology than is SAGE. I was shocked yesterday to review the membership and as of the whole of the spring phase of the pandemic, they had NOT ONE immunologist. It’s no wonder they don’t realise that we are close it and in places over the threshold for “community immunity”.

We know this by:

  1. the shape of the daily deaths versus time plots;
  2. the fact that covid19 deaths essentially ceased during the late summer;
  3. the ‘Secondary Ripple’ is happening at around four to five times slower pace than the March ‘afterburners on full’ climb when we were at the maximum susceptibility;
  4. as predicted, the deaths per million population is far smaller now in the most infected, dense conurbations than in the centres of recent outbreaks.

It is simply not necessary to do anything, let alone this East German tech surveillance and interferences with civil society that we’re accepting, it seems, with hardly a murmur. ‘Lockdown’ (as abbreviation for state interventions) will not save a single life. At best, these deaths will be displaced into the winter.

Those dying “with or of” covid19 continue to be, as previously, in the old, frail and already unwell. Over 50% of recent covid19 deaths were in the over-80s and 95% were in the over-60s. As before, most had at least two life limiting, chronic disease such as dementia (the largest category), diabetes, obstructed lung disease, kidney failure etc. It is beyond question that in almost all cases, the next viral infection will see them into the next world. So they cannot be “saved”. So it is WHOLLY IRRATIONAL that Govt has chosen to place large tracts of the country under “measures”. It’s worse than that.

I’m complete certain that the best thing to have happened would have been NOT to do testing in any locations where young people gather (I’d abandon all community testing), let this years intake at secondary school, 6th form colleges and Universities do what healthy, enthusiastic young people do, which would add another few percent to community immunity by middle of October and in all likelihood, that would abort even the current ‘Secondary Ripple’

The ignorance that is demonstrated daily by SAGE and by ministers will, I am certain, lead to MORE COVID-19 deaths than if we do nothing. They’re trying mightily and wholly inappropriately to prevent the normal and unquestionably beneficial process whereby young people build their acquired immunity which these fools fail to understand is what protects the vulnerable.

Next, in the vain and uninformed attempt to prevent happening something of unequivocal good in our communities, government is amplifying dangerous conditions in the country. It is estimated that spring lockdown killed 20 thousand people approx through poorer access to healthcare. Even SAGE’s own estimates of additional fatalities arising directly and indirectly from their “measures” currently sit at 75,000. So far, 42,000 have died “with or of” COVID-19.

Meanwhile, these chaotic and damaging “measures” have completely wrecked our economy and I’m concerned that we’re already beyond repair of some of it. We’ll experience a bleaker future rather directly as a result. Aside from the cold economics, family businesses have been as destroyed as if Govt had fire-bombed their premises, bringing bleak futures and retirements to millions.

I’m normally quite hardy and I am aware I’m suffering from almost disabling levels of anxiety. And we’ve stood by while civil society is dismembered, week by week, severing relationships which, for many people than they’d rather not be alive and living in U.K. if the trade-off is this living near-death.

I’m doing what I can in providing science based testimony. I can’t demonstrate or organise it. It’s not what I’ve ever done, either. So, some of you reading this absolutely need to organise, raise petitions, lobby your MP, write to the PM, etc. Persuade others that far from expert guidance coming from the SAGE and others at the top, they’re ignorant (or malevolent) and are engaged in acts so destructive to the nation in all its pieces that I am of the belief that, if it isn’t stopped and imminently, the U.K. we knew and loved will be deleted.

It’s not for me to work out motives. But it’s enough to know that Ferguson, Whitty and Vallance each stand to become very wealthy if they succeed in torturing us through the winter, by which time lots of you will be desperate for a poorly tested vaccine which most of you do not need.

Finally, the “coronavirus emergency” – which has long been over, by the way – has resulted in what are essentially extraordinary War Powers “in order that they can act fast when needed”. I don’t think they need do any such thing. But these Powers are ALREADY being used to insert into our lives and against our wills, invasive surveillance software. Absent these War Powers, this could not have been done without parliamentary approval.


The original text can be found on Twitter.

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Opinion

LOCKDOWN DOESN’T WORK. It simply delays the inevitable, says RICHARD MADELEY – The Express

The cycle of absurdity is now firmly established. We conceal ourselves; COVID-19 bides its time until we decide to come out again, infections rise, we go back into hiding. It’s a miserable, pointless spiral and possibly the most depressing thing about it is the institutional lack of intelligence it reveals. How much longer must this national version of Jeux Sans Frontières continue before Boris Johnson points to the elephant in the room – a great, lumbering fact of life that increasing numbers of us have been aware of for months.

https://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/richard-and-judy/1340247/coronavirus-lockdown-second-wave-boris-johnson-restrictions

Archived mirror:

https://web.archive.org/web/20200926203449/https://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/richard-and-judy/1340247/coronavirus-lockdown-second-wave-boris-johnson-restrictions

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Opinion

Snitches and snoopers, students and the elderly shut away… a nation cowering and an economy in tatters. Now BEL MOONEY asks: How could once-indomitable Britain be reduced to slaves to fear? – Daily Mail

Have we all gone mad, and become so afraid of the virus that we’ve lost the ability to read, to think and to question? You could argue that the fear of Covid-19 has become so all-consuming that it has become even more of a killer than the virus itself.

  • The national debt: £36 billion borrowed last month [August] alone.
  • The national debt: Our overall figure of more than £2 trillion is the biggest ever recorded, and will take at least two generations to pay off. Redundancy looms for millions.
  • Of the 52,514 virus deaths registered by the Office for National Statistics, 89 per cent have been over-65s.
  • More than 22,000 over-85s have died, as well as some 17,000 aged between 75 and 84.
  • Only 314 people under the age of 40 have died of the disease since March.
  • NHS England figures show that more than 95 per cent of patients who die from coronavirus in hospital have an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity.
  • New report estimates that there will be a total of 74,000 deaths over the next five years due to the long-term financial and health impact of the pandemic.
  • Oncologists warn of an extra 30,000 deaths from cancers currently going undiagnosed.
  • Dr John Lee: COVID-19 is currently killing fewer than 40 of the 1,600 people who die every day in the UK.
  • There were 2,000 extra deaths from strokes and heart attacks this summer.
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Opinion

The making of Britain’s Covid catastrophe – Dr. John Lee, Spiked

My 30 years of working in academic environments, as both a scientist and a clinical academic, tell me this: a scientist’s career objective is to big up his subject, which increases his personal likelihood of gaining grants, influence and promotion. Scientists focus on narrow topics, often almost to the exclusion of everything else. Perspective is rarely a strong point. The more their subject is in the public eye, preferably centre stage, the better it is from a career point of view. Any crisis is, I’m afraid, a career opportunity for some. Unbiased, agenda-free, selfless public service is not, I believe, a key feature of academic life, nor is there any real reason to expect it to be.

The management of the Covid ‘crisis’ – a crisis substantially caused by the very management itself – has all the hallmarks of government being advised by a group of experts in the limelight, in thrall to groupthink, and with far too cosy a consensus to do effective science.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/09/25/the-making-of-britains-covid-catastrophe/

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Opinion

Under cover of coronavirus, the Tory government is bulldozing basic liberties – The Guardian

And then there is the biggest issue of all: the fact that breaking the rule is a criminal offence. As the Hampstead incident suggests, some police officers are evidently seizing their chance to indulge in the kind of neurotic, unnecessary behaviour that first reared its head at the start of lockdown.As part of a quest for “stronger enforcement of the rules”, Boris Johnson has proposed local “Covid marshals” who will ensure any miscreants do as they are told. Now, there are to be fines of up to £10,000 for people judged to have breached self-isolation rules, and the police will be checking compliance in the “highest incidence areas” and “high-risk groups”, based on “local intelligence”.

…The legislation allows ministers to authorise no end of drastic moves, from much weaker oversight of government surveillance and sectioning powers under the Mental Health Act to the closure of the UK’s borders. Perhaps the most startling section – which Martha Spurrier, the director of the pressure group Liberty, calls “completely wild” – lays out how the police can be rapidly allowed to detain anyone deemed “potentially infectious”, without an upper time limit.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/21/coronavirus-government-liberties-tories-police-powers-laws

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Opinion

Boris must urgently rethink his Covid strategy – Professor Carl Heneghan, Professor Karol Sikora, Professor Sunetra Gupta

Dear Prime Minister, Chancellor, CMOs and Chief Scientific Adviser

We are writing with the intention of providing constructive input into the choices with respect to the Covid-19 policy response. We also have several concerns regarding aspects of the existing policy choices that we wish to draw attention to.

In summary, our view is that the existing policy path is inconsistent with the known risk-profile of Covid-19 and should be reconsidered. The unstated objective currently appears to be one of suppression of the virus, until such a time that a vaccine can be deployed. This objective is increasingly unfeasible (notwithstanding our more specific concerns regarding existing policies) and is leading to significant harm across all age groups, which likely offsets any benefits.

Instead, more targeted measures that protect the most vulnerable from Covid, whilst not adversely impacting those not at risk, are more supportable. Given the high proportion of Covid deaths in care homes, these should be a priority. Such targeted measures should be explored as a matter of urgency, as the logical cornerstone of our future strategy.

In addition to this overarching point, we append a set of concerns regarding the existing policy choices, which we hope will be received in the spirit in which they are intended. We are mindful that the current circumstances are challenging, and that all policy decisions are difficult ones. Moreover, many people have sadly lost loved ones to Covid-19 throughout the UK. Nonetheless, the current debate appears unhelpfully polarised around views that Covid is extremely deadly to all (and that large-scale policy interventions are effective); and on the other hand, those who believe Covid poses no risk at all. In light of this, and in order to make choices that increase our prospects of achieving better outcomes in future, we think now is the right time to ‘step back’ and fundamentally reconsider the path forward.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sunetra Gupta; Professor of theoretical epidemiology, the University of Oxford

Professor Carl Heneghan; Director, Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, the University of Oxford

Professor Karol Sikora; Consultant oncologist and Professor of medicine, University of Buckingham

Sam Williams; Director and co-founder of Economic Insight

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/boris-needs-to-rethink-his-covid-strategy