Throughout the course of the pandemic, officials and ministers wrestled with how to ensure the public complied with ever-changing lockdown restrictions. One weapon in their arsenal was fear.
“We frighten the pants off everyone,” Matt Hancock suggested during one WhatsApp message with his media adviser.
The then health secretary was not alone in his desire to scare the public into compliance. The WhatsApp messages seen by The Telegraph show how several members of Mr Hancock’s team engaged in a kind of “Project Fear”, in which they spoke of how to utilise “fear and guilt” to make people obey lockdown.
Matt Hancock wanted to “deploy” a new Covid variant to “frighten the pants off” the public and ensure they complied with lockdown, leaked messages seen by The Telegraph have revealed.
The Lockdown Files – more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages sent between ministers, officials and others – show how the Government used scare tactics to force compliance and push through lockdowns.
MPs have called for an urgent investigation into Britain’s soaring death rates as thousands more people than usual are dying each week.
Some 17,381 deaths were registered in England and Wales in the seven days to January 13 – 2,837 above average for the time of year.
This is the highest number of excess deaths since 3,429 in the week to February 12, 2021, when the UK was experiencing its second wave of Covid-19 infections and vaccination had only just begun.
On that occasion, deaths involving coronavirus accounted for 37 per cent of all those registered, according to the Office for National Statistics.
An NHS whistleblower, who wishes to remain anonymous, has come forward with allegations that the NHS hospitals were not overwhelmed during the Covid-19 pandemic, as was reported by authorities and the mainstream media.
The whistleblower also confirmed that the little care given throughout the pandemic amounted to negligence, and that the Goverment and NHS bosses essentially instructed staff to let people die, or in some cases kill them through the ‘End of Life Care’ programme and falsely label the deaths as being due to Covid-19.
Up to 100 times more may have been spent on preventing each Covid death than on preventing each non-Covid death
More than 650,000 deaths were registered in the UK in 2022 – 9% more than 2019.
This represents one of the largest excess death levels outside the pandemic in 50 years.
Though far below peak pandemic levels, it has prompted questions about why more people are still dying than normal.
Data indicates pandemic effects on health and NHS pressures are among the leading explanations.
Scientists did not have accurate Covid case numbers, and were unsure of hospitalisation and death rates when they published models suggesting that more than 500,000 people could die if Britain took no action in the first wave of the pandemic, it has emerged.
On March 16 2020, Imperial College published its “Report 9” paper suggesting that failing to take action could overwhelm the NHS within weeks and result in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Before the paper, the UK coronavirus strategy was to flatten the peak rather than suppress the wave, but after the modelling was made public, the Government made a rapid u-turn, which eventually led to lockdown on March 23.
However SPI-M (Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling) minutes released to the Telegraph under a Freedom of Information request show that by March 16, modellers were still “uncertain” of case numbers “due to data limitations”.
The minutes show that members were waiting for comprehensive mortality data from Public Health England (PHE) and said that current best estimates for the infection fatality rate, hospitalisation rates, and the number of people needing intensive care were still uncertain.
They also believed that modelling only showed “proof of concept” that lockdowns could help, and warned that “further work would be required”.
Even here, in the Soviet-style behemoth that is “our NHS”, choice can no longer be taken for granted. There is a defiant reluctance among GPs to go back to seeing patients in person. Many hospital appointments are still online. Hopes that patients could start to enjoy the comforting old normal are dashed by an arrogant, unfeeling bureaucracy which puts its own health first.
“There are no immediate changes to IPC (infection, prevention and control) requirements,” says an ominous letter to clinical staff from NHS England. I am told that masks are so embedded in NHS behaviour that we will probably never again see a nurse’s smile.
The NHS has wasted around £13million after hundreds of beds meant for the Nightingale hospitals are unable to be used for patients in other wards. The temporary Nightingale hospitals were built across the country to tackle waves of Covid-19, including at a site in London.
The huge loss was documented last week in NHS England’s annual accounts, with the health service claiming that the beds can’t given to other departments as they don’t meet the required standard. Some of the millions of pounds written off include paying for storing the beds.
Up to 3.5million Covid vaccine doses are set to be binned after reaching their expiry date, it was revealed today.
A leaked memo last month revealed that tens of millions of jabs sent to hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies in the run up to Christmas to fight Omicron had largely went unused.
Now NHS sources say more than half of the doses sent to some clinics are still ‘sitting in fridges’ amid falling demand for the booster shots.
One well-placed official estimated up to 3.5m doses are likely to be binned, based on stock counts in several English regions, the Health Service Journal reports.
Fresh NHS data shows that the total number of covid-related deaths in hospitals in England involving patients under the age of 80 and with no pre-existing condition is 3,037. This covers the entire period of the pandemic.
Contrary to the claims made by Dr Rachel Clarke and Professor Stephen Powis last month and used to blame the unvaccinated for the mounting troubles of the NHS, new data out this week shows that the majority of Covid ICU admissions in October and November were among the vaccinated, not the unvaccinated.
The latest report from ICNARC shows that of Covid ICU patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 50.5% in October and 50.7% in November were double vaccinated. Add to that the 2.8% in October and 1.8% in November who were single-vaccinated and you get overall vaccinated proportions of 53.3% in October and 52.5% in November. That compares to 46.7% unvaccinated in October and 47.5% in November. Note that the unvaccinated here includes people who received a vaccine less than 14 days prior to the positive Covid test, so includes some (an unknown number) who are actually single vaccinated.
Plan B is a go. And just like that, more mask mandates, working from home guidance and, most controversially, vaccine passports have been rushed in. While we wait, of one thing we can be certain: Covid decisions this winter are once again being determined by one institution. While we wait to find out more about the omicron variant, there is one thing we can say with certainty: our future rests once again on the ability of the National Health Service to handle an uptick in cases.
…Yet the NHS has a guilty little secret, rarely talked about given its status as the national religion. On many metrics, capacity has not been rising – it’s actually been falling.
The head of the NHS today said the health service was never overwhelmed by Covid during the height of the pandemic.
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, told MPs expanding critical care, introducing new treatments and rolling out the vaccine prevented wards from being overrun over the last year-and-a-half.
Private hospitals treated a total of just eight Covid patients a day during the pandemic despite a multi-billion pound deal with the government to help stop the NHS being overwhelmed, a report reveals.
And they also performed far fewer operations on NHS-funded patients than usual, even though hospitals has suspended much non-Covid care, according to research by a thinktank.
The Treasury agreed in March 2020 to pay for a deal to block-book the entire capacity of all 7,956 beds in England’s 187 private hospitals along with their almost 20,000 staff to help supplement the NHS’s efforts to cope with the unfolding pandemic. It is believed to have cost £400m a month.
However, the Centre for Health and the Public Interest’s report (Pdf) says that on 39% of days between March 2020 and March this year, private hospitals treated no Covid patients at all and on a further 20% of days they cared for only one person. Overall, they provided only 3,000 of the 3.6m Covid bed days in those 13 months – just 0.08% of the total.
While focus remains firmly fixed on Covid-19, a second health crisis is quietly emerging in Britain. Since the beginning of July, there have been thousands of excess deaths which were not caused by coronavirus.
According to health experts, this is highly unusual for the summer. Although excess deaths are expected during the winter months, when cold weather and seasonal infections combine to place pressure on the NHS, summer generally sees a lull.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) since July 2, there have been 9,619 excess deaths in England and Wales, of which 48 per cent (4,635) were not caused by Covid-19.
GPs will get a £12.58 service fee and £10 financial supplement for each eligible 12-15 year old vaccinated.
Hospitals have been told to change the way they collect data on patients infected with coronavirus to differentiate between those actually sick with symptoms and those who test positive while seeking treatment for something else.
The move would reduce the overall number of patients in hospital for coronavirus as until now data from hospitals has included all patients who tested positive for Covid-19, regardless of whether they had symptoms or not.
The main purpose of science is to question and attack. To subject ideas to the greatest scrutiny. Those who decide to shut down and stifle debate – whatever they may believe themselves to be doing – are, in fact, traitors to the cause of science. Stranglers of the enlightenment, assassins of progress.
They are not alone, and things have gotten far worse in the past year or so. Science has taken a terrible battering during Covid-19, though I have always known that dissent against a widely held scientific hypothesis is difficult.
GPs have been told to refuse patients face-to-face appointments, in order to force the use of virtual consultations, under new NHS guidance.
…The updated NHS guidance now instructs practices to make this the default permanently.
…It continues: “Discourage patients from attending the practice to book appointments. If they do attend in person, demonstrate the process using a smartphone or kiosk”