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Thursday 11 June 2020

Boris’ Legacy - 30,000 MORE DEATHS

As so often during the Coronavirus pandemic, most of our free and fearless press is urging its readers to look elsewhere while knowing full well that news is now out there confirming not only that the Government made the decision to lock down too late, but that the cost of that delay can be quantified in terms of lives lost. And that number is around 30,000.
Perhaps the news came too late for the press? Ah, but the revelation came from Channel 4 News yesterday evening, and the Guardian and FT have managed to put the story front and centre this morning. Once again, Neil Ferguson of Imperial College was at the forefront of new concerns - which came during yesterday’s Downing Street briefing.
As Lewis Goodall of BBC Newsnight observed, “Neither Vallance nor Whitty directly demur from Neil Ferguson's assertion that the death toll could have been halved if lockdown measures were introduced earlier. They both say, in various forms, that lessons will have to be learned. PM chooses not to answer”. This was also a problem for Matt Hancock.
Worth remembering that Matt Hancock told Andrew Marr that he was confident that no lives could have been saved if lockdown had been introduced earlier”. Jason Keen was more specific. “[Marr]: ‘You are sure that locking when you did, and not earlier, did not cost lives?’ [Matt Hancock]: ‘I’m sure’ … Government and the scientists who advised them now in rather different places on this point”. Paul Waugh had a further observation.
Whitty: ‘We are not at the end of this epidemic, not by a long shot, we are in the middle of it.’ 12 weeks ago tomorrow, Boris Johnson said ‘we can curb the tide within the next 12 weeks’ and that he was ‘confident we can send coronavirus packing in this country’”. The disquiet was already there. And then came news from Hayley Barlow at Channel 4.
Channel 4 News has seen a leaked paper prepared for one of the scientific committees advising the government - which called in the starkest possible way for a lockdown - a full two weeks before the official announcement was made”. Whoops! Do go on.
Paper by Prof Steven Riley at Imperial College London finds that mitigation, [the] strategy [the] Government was following at the time, would lead to 1.7 million deaths. He advocates for [a] change of strategy to that seen in Hong Kong, Japan, Italy of ‘successful ongoing control’, ie lockdown”. Beth Rigby at Sky News then pitched Ferguson’s quote.
Full quote from [Neil Ferguson] at the science & tech select committee. ‘Epidemic doubling every three to four days before lockdown interventions were introduced’. Had we moved ‘a week earlier, we would have reduced the final death toll by at least half’”. A week earlier. Just one week earlier. To which Anthony Costello added his own thoughts.
We knew on Jan 31 that a pandemic with much higher fatality than flu was coming, from Leung's paper in the Lancet. We should have prepared then” [Thread HERE]. This morning, ITV Good Morning Britain has told “Former Chief Scientific Adviser [Sir David King] says if we had gone into lockdown a week earlier we could have had less than 10,000 deaths in total”. The official death toll is over 40,000. Do the math, as they say.
Why the dither and delay? Tom Hatfield was in no doubt. “The UK chose ‘the economy’ over keeping people alive and failed at both … The notion that any one country in this globalised economy could come up with one weird trick to avoid a global economic crisis was always bollocks. They killed thousands for nothing”. The grim reality summarised.
So grim is that reality that the right-leaning press is looking anywhere else, and some are even lowering themselves to indulging in messenger-shooting. Like the increasingly alt-Right Spectator magazine: “Neil Ferguson's sensationalist guesswork is again being taken as gospel by broadcasters, says Ross Clark … Why aren’t broadcasters scrutinising Neil Ferguson’s claims?” They are. And you missed Anthony Costello and David King.
The deflection, pushback and whataboutery confirm this is news that cannot be merely swatted away. Alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson got it horribly wrong; he and his ministers misled the public deliberately and shamefully. And as a result, tens of thousands died needlessly. That is the reality of the situation.

The families of the 30,000 should get an explanation. But they probably won’t.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Professor John Ashton was one of the first to warn months ago of the looming horror.

Naturally he was almost ignored by corporate media, including C4 "News".

Something is truly rotten in the hypocritical capitalist state of far right racist Britain.