Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Friday 17 April 2020

Another Expert Pans Government

While a succession of right-leaning pundits lines up to dismiss anyone even remotely considered to have expertise on the Coronavirus pandemic, those experts are not being dissuaded from coming forward. They are, moreover, becoming harder to dismiss, especially the latest, Prof Anthony Costello, a former British director of the World Health Organisation. This is, in part, because even the right-wing press are taking notice.
Prof Anthony Costello ((c) UCL)

The Telegraph, normally an increasingly desperate and downmarket title, has today realised that Prof Costello is talking a very clear and authoritative talk, and so has put him on its front page. Under the title “New research deals a blow to hopes of herd immunity”, the article talks of “research suggesting only a small proportion of the population may have acquired resistance to [Covid-19]”. And there is more.
Drawing on the research, Prof Anthony Costello … today warns the UK faces eight to 10 waves of coronavirus before the population achieves herd immunity … In such a scenario, both the death toll and economic consequences would be catastrophic … today Prof Costello, the chair of global health at [UCL], will heavily criticise the Government’s strategy in tackling Covid-19 to the Commons health and social care select committee”.
Someone else taking a keen interest in the story

He has also spelled out his concerns via Twitter: “So Matt Hancock + the government say we cannot be trusted to hear their plans for exit of lockdown. Compare with the Korean official website http://coronaboard.kr which since January has given all data on tests, cases, deaths, regional variation, news, prevention to its people”. There was more.
We should openly discuss now the plans for a) restoration of community testing and contact tracing, b) digital apps to aid monitoring and quarantine c) removal of 'flattening the curve' which implies herd immunity + more deaths d) use of volunteers in a 'community protective shield’”. And he had harsh words for the Government’s approach.
The UK strategy that led to potentially 30-40,000 preventable deaths. No modelling of early testing, suspension of community tests + contact tracing on March 12, two weeks delay in implementation of [Social Distancing] and lockdown”. Also, he has spoken with the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr, which will not endear him to many out there on the right.
Here’s what he had to say: “So we are heading up towards over forty thousand deaths. That will make us two hundred times higher than [South] Korea. It could easily put us in first place for the world, although I think the US may rival us for that rate. So this is the worst public health catastrophe of the last century. We have to ask questions about why it’s happened.” Matt Hancock’s job just became a little more challenging.
The succession of expertise pointing up that which is inconvenient to the right-leaning, allegedly free-marketeer and expert-dismissing media class is becoming unstoppable. How long will it be before they realise that falsehood and misinformation, often masquerading as “questions these experts must answer as soon as we can think them up”, is not going to work when the real opponent cannot be demonised into silence?

Prof Costello is another to have done us - and the Government - a great service. Maybe we should start listening to experts - and put the boo-boys in the bin where they belong.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


No comments: