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COVID-19 expert claims he was told to ‘correct his views’ after criticising ‘implausible graph’ shown during official briefing – Sky News

A senior epidemiologist who advised the government during the coronavirus pandemic claims he was told to “correct” his views after he criticised what he thought was an “implausible” graph shown at an official briefing.

Professor Mark Woolhouse has also apologised to his daughter, whose generation “has been so badly served by mine”, and believes that closing schools was “morally wrong”.

The Edinburgh University academic is deeply critical of the use of lockdown measures and says “plain common sense” was a “casualty of the crisis”.

Speaking to Sky News, Prof Woolhouse seemed concerned about a possible “big-brother” approach to the control of information about COVID.

He says he was told to watch what he was saying following a briefing given by Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) Sir Patrick Vallance on 21 September 2020.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220307102955/https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-expert-claims-he-was-told-to-correct-his-views-after-criticising-implausible-graph-shown-during-official-briefing-12555800

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Why ‘long Covid’ may not actually be to blame for fatigue in children: Tell-tale symptoms are JUST as common in youngsters who’ve never had the virus, official data shows – Daily Mail

Long Covid could be being drastically overreported in children, an official report suggests. 

The Office for National Statistics said only one in 100 primary-aged pupils actually have the condition, despite half of parents reporting at least one of its symptoms.

Professor Russell Viner, a member of SAGE and child health expert, said it showed ‘just how common tiredness and headaches are in children’.

The report showed that 47.5 per cent of parents said their child was still battling at least one symptom of the virus 12 weeks later.

But almost the same amount (46.6 per cent) had similar symptoms despite never having Covid. Most common symptoms were a sore throat, lost voice, coughs and shortness of breath.

The ONS estimated that fewer than one in 40 secondary pupils  in the UK have long Covid.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220302101742/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10563767/Primary-school-childrens-long-Covid-symptoms-not-cause-virus.html

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How scientific ‘groupthink’ silenced those who disagreed with Covid lockdowns – The Telegraph

“Following the science” became a mainstay mantra of the pandemic, frequently trotted-out to justify unpalatable policy decisions such as banning hugging or denying fathers the right to attend the birth of a child.

Yet as Britain’s epidemic begins to fade away, it is becoming increasingly clear that many influential scientists were ignored, ridiculed and shunned for expressing moderate views that the virus could be managed in a way which would cause far less collateral damage.

Instead, a narrow scientific “groupthink” emerged, which sought to cast those questioning draconian policies as unethical, immoral and fringe. That smokescreen is finally starting to dissipate.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220226190050/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/02/26/scientific-groupthink-silenced-disagreed-covid-lockdowns/

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Did the Covid modellers get it wrong? – The Times

It is more than a rebuke to Medley and the modellers though. This pandemic began, for many, with an announcement from Imperial College, whose study predicted 500,000 deaths if we did nothing. We locked down and never tested the prediction.

This time, in the face of what the public saw as dire predictions, we didn’t lock down and the apocalypse never came. The unspoken — and sometimes spoken — implication is clear: are we all fools?

http://archive.today/2022.02.12-105548/https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b7b928e6-8b4c-11ec-8600-c48a9935f856

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‘Grossly unethical’ government ‘nudge unit’ accused of scaring the public over Covid – The Telegraph

The Government’s “grossly unethical” uses of its “nudge unit” inflated fear among the public during the Covid pandemic, psychologists have said – prompting MPs to launch an investigation into scare adverts.

A group of psychologists have written to Parliament’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, warning that a team of civil servants dedicated to “nudging” public behaviour during the pandemic were unaccountable and unethical.

The letter’s 40 professional signatories – led by Dr Gary Sidley, a retired clinical psychologist – said they opposed the use of dramatic adverts, which included slogans such as: “If you go out you can spread it, people will die.”

http://archive.today/2022.01.28-183759/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/01/28/grossly-unethical-downing-street-nudge-unit-accused-scaring/

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Warring scientists fight on as Omicron retreats – The Sunday Times

“There are some scientists who have absolutely loved being media stars for the first time and they don’t want to stop. We don’t hear as much from the paediatricians, disease physicians, academic virologists and the immunologists who really know about these things.” (says Professor Allyson Pollock.)

Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said many prominent Covid voices have never written papers on infectious diseases. “It’s like me deciding, ‘I did a course on health and economics a year ago: maybe I should set up a group advising the chancellor on how to manage the tax system.’”

http://archive.today/2022.01.23-170611/https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/warring-scientists-fight-on-as-omicron-retreats-hq2dz6kjd

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The catastrophe of the Covid models – Spiked

Everything the government has got right on Covid-19 in the past 12 months has happened when it ignored ‘the science’. If the modellers hadn’t made such fools of themselves in the summer and autumn of 2021 they might have been taken more seriously by the government in the winter. As it was, their incompetence had seeded enough doubt in Johnson’s mind for him to resist going beyond ‘Plan B’ despite almost every ‘scenario’ modelled telling him that hospitalisations and deaths from the virus would exceed anything England had ever seen before.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220121140042/https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/01/21/the-catastrophe-of-the-covid-models/

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Covid outbreaks now shrinking in 96% of England’s neighbourhoods: Maps show how Omicron is fizzling out naturally and graphs lay bare how SIX TIMES fewer deaths happened in third wave despite cases being triple level of last winter – Daily Mail

EXCLUSIVE: UKHSA data shows infections are dropping in 96% of the country’s nearly 7,000 neighbourhoods

Parts of Castle Point, Shropshire and Bexley have seen infections fall by more than 70% week-on-week

And MailOnline analysis shows Omicron wave deaths were seven times lower than the peak last winter 

Official figures show half as many Covid patients were in hospital at one time compared to the Alpha peak

And 4.5 times fewer patients were moved to critical care beds during the latest wave compared to last winter 

Coronavirus cases are now falling in virtually every area of England, official figures show as the Omicron wave continues to collapse with deaths six times lower than in the second wave.

Some 6,519 out of 6,790 neighbourhoods (96 per cent) around the country recorded a fall in infections in the week to January 11, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). 

http://archive.today/2022.01.17-152417/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10410053/Covid-outbreaks-shrinking-96-Englands-neighbourhoods.html

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Opinion

Experts warn UK against ‘blindly’ following US in jabbing healthy five-year-olds against Covid because the reasons are ‘scientifically weak’ — as FDA panel approves Pfizer’s vaccine for primary school-aged children – Daily Mail

Arguments to vaccinate children as young as five against Covid are ‘scientifically weak’, British experts claimed today after the US moved closer to jabbing infants.

…Professor David Livermore, a medical microbiologist at the University of East Anglia told MailOnline: ‘Vaccinating children to protect adults via herd immunity is ethically dubious and is scientifically weak.’

…Professor Russell Viner, a pediatrician and member of the UK Government’s scientific advisory group SAGE, said it was crucial the UK does not ‘rush to a decision’ in the wake of the announcement in the US. 

http://archive.today/2021.10.27-181525/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10135699/Experts-urge-UK-steer-clear-vaccinating-children-moves-closer-jabbing-FIVE-year-olds.html

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Opinion

SAGE models need a reality check – Dr. Clare Craig, Reaction

Why haven’t lockdowns worked? There are broadly two types of respiratory virus. There are those that spread person to person – like measles – in a continuous chain of transmission, uninterrupted by season and with every susceptible contact falling ill. Then there are those we do not understand so well, like influenza, which are much more complex. Instead of the simplistic close contact model, which assumes Covid spreads like measles, we should perhaps consider an alternative more sophisticated model based on influenza. The influenza virus model is unusual – it is predicated on the majority being exposed to a particular airborne virus but, oddly, only a minority appear to be susceptible to each year’s variant. To complicate matters further, influenza can also spread person to person.

https://reaction.life/sage-models-need-a-reality-check/

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The elderly were ‘just an afterthought’: Devastating report by MPs into Covid pandemic lays bare Government blunders, the £37bn test and trace fiasco… and the shocking decisions that left thousands to die in care homes – Daily Mail

First major inquiry into the Covid crisis says the tragic losses in care homes were among the highest in Europe

The report finds that deaths could have been prevented but instead elderly were treated as ‘an afterthought’ 

Finding is just one among catalogue of failings detailed in the inquiry by the health and science committees

The report found test and trace system which cost Government £37billion was also branded ‘chaotic’ fiasco

http://archive.today/2021.10.11-234511/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10082067/Elderly-afterthought-Devastating-report-Covid-crisis-lays-bare-Government-blunders.html

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Revealed: How scientists who dismissed Wuhan lab theory are linked to Chinese researchers – The Telegraph

All but one scientist who penned a letter in The Lancet dismissing the possibility that coronavirus could have come from a lab in Wuhan were linked to its Chinese researchers, their colleagues or funders, a Telegraph investigation can reveal.

The influential journal published a letter on March 7 last year from 27 scientists in which they stated that they “strongly condemned conspiracy theories” surrounding Covid-19.

http://archive.today/2021.09.10-214838/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/10/revealed-scientists-dismissed-wuhan-lab-theory-linked-chinese/

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Israel is now the world’s Covid hotspot: Cases soar despite country’s trail-blazing vaccine roll-out – sparking fears other highly-vaccinated countries will be hit by another wave due to jabs’ waning immunity – Daily Mail

Israel has become the Covid capital of the world just months after leading the charge on vaccines, according to data that shows jab protection is waning. Stats compiled by an Oxford University-based research platform show Israel recorded 1,892 cases per million people on Wednesday — nearly 0.2 per cent of the entire population in a single day. That was significantly higher than second worst-hit Mongolia where the rate was 1,119 per million and double the figures for Kosovo (980), Georgia (976) and Montenegro (909), which rounded out the top five

http://archive.today/2021.09.02-232457/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9951117/Israel-worlds-Covid-hotspot-0-2-population-catching-yesterday.html

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Study shows schools do not spread Covid – The Times

Schools are not spreading Covid, according to an official study that has boosted hopes that the return to class will not trigger an autumn surge in infections.

Pupils sent home in class bubbles were highly unlikely to pass on the virus to their parents even when they did pick up it from a fellow pupil, the research found.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/75136706-f171-11eb-8f01-2c678acbb979

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Opinion

Cloth face masks are ‘comfort blankets’ that do little to curb Covid spread, Sage adviser warns – The Telegraph

Standard face coverings are just “comfort blankets” that do little to reduce the spread of Covid particles, a scientist advising Sage on ventilation has said.

Dr Colin Axon, who has advised the government on minimising the risk of cross-infection in supermarkets, accused medics of presenting a “cartoonish” view of how how tiny particles travel through the air.

He warned some cloth masks have gaps which are invisible to the naked eye, but are 500,000 times the size of viral Covid particles.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/17/cloth-face-masks-comfort-blankets-do-little-curb-covid-spread/

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Not enough evidence to back Covid jabs for children, says UK expert – The Guardian

One of the UK’s leading childhood health experts has said there is not enough evidence to support vaccinating children against Covid, and the body that will make the decision on whether to jab under-18s has indicated it will take a cautious approach.

Prof Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said there was “rock-solid data” to show that the risk of severe harm to children from Covid was “incredibly low”.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jul/01/not-enough-evidence-to-back-covid-jabs-for-children-says-uk-expert

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Opinion

Letting children catch Covid may be safer than giving them vaccine, say experts – The Telegraph

Professor Robert Dingwall said children may be “better protected by natural immunity generated through infection than by asking them to take the ‘possible’ risk of a vaccine”.

…On Wednesday, Prof Dingwall, a social scientist who sits on a subcommittee of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) as well as on the JCVI, spoke out, saying the “risk/benefit for teenagers must be firmly established” before any decisions were taken. 

In a detailed Twitter thread, he said: “Teenagers are at intrinsically low risk from Covid. Vaccines must be exceptionally safe to beat this. Given the low risk of Covid for most teenagers, it is not immoral to think that they may be better protected by natural immunity generated through infection than by asking them to take the possible risk of a vaccine.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/06/30/letting-children-catch-covid-may-safer-exposing-vaccine-risk/

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The lockdown fanatics are moving on to climate change – Spiked

In truth, it’s very difficult to ‘hold governments, companies and international bodies’ to account on climate change. The public have been given no vote on climate-change policies, and no political party has offered criticism of climate-change alarmism. Certainly don’t expect any real criticism to come from CCAG.

But then perhaps that is the point of Indie SAGE or CCAG – not to hold power to account, but to prevent the technocratic apparatus from being properly held to account. For there is nothing fear-mongering technocrats like King fear more than democracy – because it threatens to take away the power granted to them by endless emergencies, be they Covid or climate change.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/06/29/the-lockdown-fanatics-are-moving-on-to-climate-change/

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Opinion

Flawed modelling is condemning Britain to lockdown – The Telegraph

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.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/06/21/flawed-modelling-condemning-britain-lockdown/

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British head of science-funding body Wellcome Trust is accused of a ‘chilling’ bid to stifle debate on Wuhan lab leak theory – The Mail on Sunday

So it is curious that since the Covid pandemic began, this hugely influential figure has been at the heart of the scientific establishment’s efforts to stifle debate on the origins of the virus that emerged in Wuhan.

The Oxford, Edinburgh and London-educated infectious diseases expert has claimed scientists ‘know’ Covid was not created in a lab, suggested such an idea was a ‘conspiracy theory’ and insisted that ‘evidence’ indicates it spilled over naturally from animals. 

Now, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that emails from America’s top infectious disease chief, Anthony Fauci, show how Farrar played a key role behind the scenes in marshalling top scientists’ response to concerns over the virus’s origins, even demanding secrecy on their discussions.

Crucially, he was a central figure behind two landmark statements published by leading science journals that helped to silence dissident views, arguing against the plausibility of ‘any type of laboratory-based scenario’.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9680085/British-head-science-funding-body-Wellcome-Trust-accused-chilling-bid-stifle-debate.html