As Sarah Knapton has revealed in these pages, the brutal postponement of Freedom Day coincided with the release of a bunch of alarmist models predicting a huge new wave of deaths. The most pessimistic, inevitably from Imperial College, forecast 203,824 deaths over the next year. It did so by assuming just a 77-87 per cent reduction in hospitalisations following two vaccinations, despite the fact that real world data shows two vaccinations to be between 92 per cent (AstraZeneca) and 96 per cent (Pfizer) effective in preventing hospitalisation. That would cut the Imperial forecast of deaths by a gob-smacking 90 per cent to 26,854.
This keeps happening. In April the modellers assumed a 30 per cent effectiveness for the vaccine at preventing the spread of the virus. This was described as “a pessimistic view – but it is plausible, it’s not extreme”, by Professor Graham Medley, chairman of the SPI-M sub-group of Sage. It turns out it was far from plausible. At the end of March the BBC’s favourite modeller, Imperial College’s Neil Ferguson, was forecasting that by June 21, even with “optimistic” assumptions, less than half of Britain would be protected against severe disease by vaccination. The true figure is over 80 per cent.
Covid testing in schools is hugely disruptive and should be suspended, experts have said, as it emerged that up to 60 per cent of “positive” tests a week are coming back negative when checked.
Under plans to keep schools open, more than 50 million lateral flow tests have been carried out on youngsters, leading to thousands of pupils and their social bubbles being forced to self-isolate for 10 days.
The by now all-too-familiar vertiginous lines were intended to leave the public in no doubt about the consequences of not delaying freedom until July 19.
But take a closer look and the choice of graphs is arguably disingenuous: the slides are most revealing for what they failed to include.
The Health Secretary claims he “tried” to throw a protective ring around care homes but, from my experience in the early days of the pandemic, he couldn’t have come up with a more disastrous and deadly policy.
As a GP working mainly with elderly patients in care homes and intermediate care I witnessed, at first hand, the absolute disaster that was the government policy at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak. Elderly patients who were Covid-19 positive, or not tested, or perhaps even negative, were simply shovelled out of hospitals and into care homes. ‘The hospitals must be cleared out… nothing else matters.’
Manufacturers have been granted exemption from liability for any resulting harm. Ruud Dobber, a member of AstraZeneca’s senior executive team, said: “This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in … four years the vaccine is showing side effects.” (The government has taken on the liability and has an insurance scheme in place.)
The introduction a Covid-status certification system would have a serious impact on businesses and individuals and has the possibility of infringing rights and being discriminatory in nature. In light of that, we believe that it would be inappropriate for a system with such a potentially wide adverse impact to be introduced by secondary legislation.
How many more patients were left to die as a result of this hidden prejudice? Office for National Statistics figures from last year show nearly six in 10 who died with coronavirus in England were disabled. These vulnerable people’s families have a right to know whether their beloved relatives were sacrificed on the altar of NHS capacity and so do we.
For if they were effectively regarded as “collateral damage” during a national emergency, what does it say about the treatment of patients with learning disabilities or mental illness, in general?
The pressure of the pandemic has clearly been used as an excuse to explain away some of these decisions – but there can surely be no justification for refusing to resuscitate otherwise physically healthy patients, regardless of the state of their mental faculties. And in a world when everyone seems to be banging on about discrimination of one kind or another, where is the clarion call for equality for disabled people seemingly being treated like second class citizens in a health service that is supposed to care unequivocally for all?
Lockdowns will be seen as the “single biggest public health mistake” in history, a Stanford professor has warned.
…”Almost from the very beginning, lockdown was going to have enormous collateral consequences, things that are sometimes are hard to see but are nevertheless real.”
Social distancing and wearing face masks should stay forever, a Communist-supporting SAGE scientist has claimed.
Professor Susan Michie, of University College London, said she thinks the draconian restrictions should become part of people’s every day routine.
- No evidence that masks reduce viral transmission in real-world settings
- Wearing masks is likely to do harm
- Masks increase compliance with the ongoing public health tyranny
- Masks are dehumanising
- Masks perpetuate the elevated levels of fear
The recently-launched Smile Free campaign – of which I’m a part – is campaigning for the removal of mask mandates in the UK, and believes that, in a democratic society, the evidential bar to justify mandating a behaviour should be set very high. The research in support of masks offering protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection falls a long way short of this threshold, and the negative consequences of wearing them are considerable. The decision whether to wear a face covering should be a personal one, not one imposed by Government diktat. All mask mandates must be lifted on June 21 and this most insidious of all the Covid-19 restrictions must never return.
Science journals have encouraged and enforced a false Covid narrative
Bear in mind that in the heat of this pandemic, papers printed in important journals were peer-reviewed within 10 weeks; one rattled through the process in just nine days for Nature. But, like Petrovsky, I have heard similar stories from many other frustrated experts who confronted the conventional wisdom that this lethal virus was a natural spillover event. Some could not even get letters published, let alone challenge those key papers promoting the Chinese perspective which have since turned out to be flawed or wrong.
Only now is acceptance emerging that the science establishment colluded to dismiss the lab leak hypothesis as a conspiracy theory, assisted by prominent experts with clear conflicts of interest, patsy politicians and a pathetic media that mostly failed to do its job. And yet, at the heart of this scandal lie some of the world’s most influential science journals. These should provide a forum for pulsating debate as experts explore and test theories, especially on something as contentious and fascinating as the possible origins of a global pandemic. Instead, some have played a central role in shutting down discussion and discrediting alternative views on the origins, with disastrous consequences for our understanding of events.
This is the first instalment of my three-part investigative report on the Chinese-made Innova lateral flow test. Vast sums of UK taxpayers’ money have been paid to a California start-up for tests that have failed to stand up to scrutiny.
…Innova Medical Group, the company benefiting from the UK Government’s huge testing contract, is owned by the private equity group Pasaca Capital which was founded by a Chinese investment banker, the enigmatic Dr Charles Huang, in 2017. It has been revealed to be the single largest recipient of the Department of Health’s Covid contracts after signing a £496million deal to supply LFTs last year. An earlier contract with Innova cost the taxpayer £107million.
Do we risk swamping the NHS with Covid-19 cases if the government proceeds with Step 4 on time on June 21st? In the Spring of 2020, there were about 22,000 Covid cases per week admitted to hospital, at the peak.
In January 2021 there were about 29,500 at that peak.
Neither of those occasions produced any British equivalent of the distressing scenes we recently saw in India where hospitals ran out of resources and turned sick people away, with relatives forced to watch their loved-ones die, untreated, in hospital car parks.
The NHS was not swamped, in that sense, on those occasions. And we should not understate how important it was that it was not.
I had no choice but to speak out against lockdowns. As a public-health scientist with decades of experience working on infectious-disease outbreaks, I couldn’t stay silent. Not when basic principles of public health are thrown out of the window. Not when the working class is thrown under the bus. Not when lockdown opponents were thrown to the wolves. There was never a scientific consensus for lockdowns. That balloon had to be popped.
…Ultimately, lockdowns protected young low-risk professionals working from home – journalists, lawyers, scientists, and bankers – on the backs of children, the working class and the poor.
We have become almost accustomed to this. To state censorship. To the police collaring people for what they say. Woke leftists are, despite all their bullshit, basically in favour of it, because the cops are on their side on these issues. Such is their historical illiteracy that they are completely chilled out about the state taking on the power to police speech.
Lockdowns are ‘awful’ and Britain must learn to live with Covid without restrictions, one of the country’s most senior scientists has warned.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the measures had had ‘very profound consequences’ on the nation’s mental health, education and jobs.
HART continues to be deeply concerned to hear various MPs and SAGE representatives calling for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the lack of long-term safety data. Disturbing language has been used by teaching unions implying that the use of ‘peer pressure’ could be harnessed to boost take up among school children, even though such coercion would be unethical, not to mention contrary to UK and International Laws and Declarations.
Fresh from their smash reunion tour this weekend, James and Toby recap the weekend’s anti-lockdown march that wound from Parliament Square to Toby’s doorstep.
We then parse the testimony of the PM’s former “top man,” Dominic Cummings, before the House’s Health and Science select committees last week and who came out of it better. Do you want a Prime Minister or a Monarch (and by “monarch” we’re not talking about the one we’ve already got.)
To this day, many commentators think that coercion is justified in defence of public health. Arguments over ‘vaccine passports’ and obligations to get vaccinated in contracts of employment are already raging. The voluntary principle, however, is a good one. It is what allowed Britain’s vaccination programme to move beyond the controversies of the 1880s, squaring the circle of vaccination and opposition by letting people opt out. Pointedly, the conscientious objection clause over time killed off Britain’s anti-vaccine campaigns by removing the causes célèbres of vaccine martyrdom.
The ‘Unite for Freedom’ anti-lockdown protest in London yesterday was as good-natured and peaceful as the previous anti-lockdown protests I have reported on for spiked. Seeing the sculpture and words was a gladdening moment on a day blessed by sunshine.
…The coverage from major news agencies and outlets told the story of ‘hundreds’ of ‘anti-vaxxers’. ‘Hundreds’ is the downplaying part. It worries me. I was there, and I know it is not true. Do I need to see the news unfold with my own eyes every time in order to fact-check the front pages?
I can’t estimate the numbers because the scale of the crowd was too vast, and moved steadily for many hours through the streets of London. Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Presumably the Met Police could estimate if they wanted to. The Guardian at least reported ‘vast numbers of people’. The Press Association declared, ‘Hundreds join anti-vaccination protest in central London’. The comments put that misconception straight.