Alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson told the Commons last month that England would have a “world beating” Covid-19 tracing system in place by this month. An app was already being trialled on the Isle of Wight. But by this week, it was acknowledged that all was not well with the app. The Guardian had the bad news.was unceremoniously binned.
Cue screeching U-Turn. “The government has been forced to abandon a centralised coronavirus contact-tracing app after spending three months and millions of pounds on technology that experts had repeatedly warned would not work. In an embarrassing U-turn, Matt Hancock said the NHS would switch to an alternative designed by the US tech companies Apple and Google, which is months away from being ready”.
So far, so embarrassing, but there are now two headaches for Bozo and his pals. One, as Dan Bloom of the Mirror picked up. Matt Hancock claimed yesterday that “We backed two horses” - that two apps were being worked on. But last month they weren’t: “There is no alternative app and the NHS continues to work constructively with many other organisations that are helping to develop and test the NHS COVID-19 App”.has reported, “An artificial intelligence firm previously hired by Dominic Cummings to work on the Vote Leave campaign has been intimately involved in R&D for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) contact tracing app … On Friday 1 May, Faculty AI’s co-founding chief executive Marc Warner wrote in The Times that ‘despite claims by some, we are not working on the contact tracing app’”. There is more.
“However, a paper published by Oxford University’s Big Data Institute appears to contradict this flat denial, confirming that Faculty is directly involved in the modelling research that will ‘configure’ and ‘optimise’ the NHSX app”. The Guardian showed that, in early May, “Faculty’s chief executive, Marc Warner, attended a meeting of the government’s scientific advisory group on emergencies (Sage)”. And more.
The saga of the aborted NHS app does not prove corruption. But you can see it from there.