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.
Hospital admissions [in England] were down by 6.7 million (39%) on the year before, when we didn’t have a deadly pandemic.
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?
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.
British health chiefs did war-game a coronavirus pandemic before the nation was eventually hit by Covid but tried to keep it secret, it was revealed today.
Matt Hancock — who faced a grilling from MPs today about No10’s failures throughout the virus crisis — has only ever confessed to carrying out a mock-up of a flu crisis called Exercise Cygnus.
Patients with mental illness and learning disabilities were given “do not resuscitate” orders during the pandemic, The Telegraph can disclose.
Families, carers and doctors have said that medics decided that patients with these conditions should not be resuscitated if their heart stopped – a decision which in one case appears to have led to the patient’s death.
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.
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.
SARS-Cov-2 is a more stable virus than influenza. Trillions of replications have thrown up a handful of variants of concern, clustering around a small set of mutations. These variants are worth monitoring but the vaccines effectively prevent them causing serious illness. There is a theoretical risk of a more dangerous variant but it does not seem more likely than a shift in the influenza virus. If it were to occur, we could now manage it with short-term measures and rapid vaccine modification.
…Vaccination protects the vaccinated. It helps protect others but it means that we take no greater risk in the autumn of 2020 than in the autumn of 2019. Interventions should be proportionate to that – which means that most cannot be justified.
Some are worth retaining, like improved hygiene in public places or greater readiness to stay at home with respiratory symptoms. It is probably a good idea to invest further in the search for effective antiviral therapies. Promoting better population health through diet and exercise is always a good thing. But it is time for a bonfire of face masks and the despatch of lateral flow tests to landfill.
But the time has come when the hard choices are looming closer. If we don’t want this Covid crisis to last forever, we need some new simple, guidelines: No jab, no job; no jab, no access to NHS healthcare; no jab, no state education for your kids. No jab, no access to pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, stadiums. No jab, no entry to the UK, and much else.
James talks to the receptionist of a large NHS medical practice. She tells him the true shocking story about adverse reactions to the ‘jab’.
Please note – Nina’s name has been changed and her voice has been altered to protect her identity
The case for the prosecution of Johnson is likely to be heard in a parliamentary inquiry (with Dominic Cummings as the star witness) which should bring scrutiny of the Imperial College cliff-edge hypothesis. This suggests that Covid cases surged every day until lockdown, so Prime Ministerial dither cost thousands of lives. Only when he eventually agreed to lock down on March 23, says Imperial, did cases collapse. This theory is one of the most influential ever deployed in government – and now looks as if it could be bunkum.
We don’t have to guess anymore, given how much Covid data exists. The ONS, Zoe/King’s College, the React-2 study run by a different team at Imperial: none support Neil Ferguson’s cliff-edge theory. All show Covid cases falling before lockdowns. So what forced the virus into retreat, if not stay-at-home orders? We can look at another form of contagion: news, spread digitally. People saw how things were getting dangerous and stayed home of their own accord. This is more than theory. Mobile phone data offers rich detail of this worldwide trend.
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”
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.”
How do I know that Britain’s Covid crisis is over? The fakers are back. The hypochondriacs, the psychosomatics, the pseudo-fitters, the attention-seekers and the lonely. They’ve started to return to the acute medical ward where I work. They’ve been gone so long I actually almost missed them.
Following the publication of the 2011 preparedness paper, however, the number of ICU beds continued to fall. Then, five years later, government held an unusual and secretive event called Exercise Cygnus.
It involved all government departments, all local authorities, and the NHS, right across the UK. Its report has not been published for “national security reasons” and so as not to “frighten the public”. However, according to those with first-hand knowledge of the operation, Cygnus’ script contained a scenario of a patent lack of capacity in ICU beds and personal protective equipment.
Closing playgrounds has helped to fuel “a pandemic of mental health problems” among children, a parliamentary committee has warned.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood is calling for practical measures to help children recover from repeated lockdowns, which have left too many confined for long periods at home.
Senior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London.
…However, leaked emails seen by the Guardian show that senior officials are now considering scaling back the widespread testing of people without symptoms, due to a growing number of false positives.
…On 9 April, the day everyone in England was able to order twice-weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests, Dyson wrote: “As of today, someone who gets a positive LFD result in (say) London has at best a 25% chance of it being a true positive, but if it is a self-reported test potentially as low as 10% (on an optimistic assumption about specificity) or as low as 2% (on a more pessimistic assumption).”
- Figures show 36 people on average died each day from covid in the last week
- By comparison, cancer is claiming 450 live every day or about 166,000 annually
- Experts say NHS needs to urgently expand cancer services to deal with backlog
- NHS England say most cancer services are operating at pre-pandemic levels