As the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the UK ramps up, and the prospect of a ban on mass gatherings looms, many older people are beginning to realise that they are the ones in the firing line. On current estimates, at least half a million Britons will die as a result of contracting Covid-19, and most will be elderly.
To even less surprise, it is the Daily Brexit, still called the Express, which has run the story, claiming an “Exclusive” (as in no other paper was shameless enough to con the elderly so blatantly) for its story headlined “HOPE FOR VIRUS CURE”. “British scientists are on the brink of developing a vaccine to combat deadly Coronavirus” they tell.
And as Fred Flintstone might have put it, “Hold it … HOLD IT!” That’s just a little misleading, isn’t it? Earlier this month, under the headline “Coronavirus: how close are we to a vaccine?”, the BBC explained that “Researchers have developed vaccines and are starting to test them on animals, and if that goes well there could be human trials later in the year. But even if scientists can celebrate having developed a vaccine before Christmas, there is still the massive job of being able to mass-produce it”.
There was more. “It means, realistically, one would not be ready until at least the middle of next year”. Now hold that thought as we look more carefully at the Express claims - looking beyond the surface froth of “hopes of a cure grew last night”.
And then we go from “The team started work on the vaccine on January 21 and had a drug ready for testing in just two weeks - much faster than the three years it usually takes” to one of the team explaining “If we get the funding for the human clinical trials, we will put it into people by June”. And when will it be available for ordinary people?
“The team at Imperial hope their vaccine could be available for patients in a year”. A year. From the middle of March 2020. Which is not much sooner than “the middle of next year” as in the BBC explainer. And note the use of the word “could”.
The Express has been effectively preying on the old and vulnerable for years now, with its diet of foreigner bashing, weather scares, and yes, miracle cure claims that turn out to be totally untrue. It’s a truly sick way to coerce the readers into buying their product.
But that’s what happens when the press is free, fearless - and obscenely desperate.
[The Legalballs Fund has now closed]