“As new curbs in UK loom, experts demand rethink … WORLD’S TOP SCIENTISTS RAGE AGAINST LOCKDOWN” thunders the headline, going on to tell readers “Life should be allowed to return to normal for all but the elderly and vulnerable, top scientists insisted yesterday … More than 4,000 doctors and medical experts signed a global declaration stating ‘grace concern’ about the response to Coronavirus”.
So who are these “top scientists”? Have a guess: “Oxford University professor Dr Sunetra Gupta was one of three authors”. What a surprise. Wonder when she’ll get that research paper peer reviewed? But do go on. "Most of the population, they argue, is not at risk of dying if they catch Covid-19 and efforts should be focused on protecting those who are vulnerable, while letting everyone else get on with their lives as normal”. There is more.
What the f*** am I doing here, c***?!?!?
It “is a rallying cry for top experts and politicians to stop running from the coronavirus and to learn to live with it … 'Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal,' the scientists say, adding: 'Keeping these [lockdown] measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed’”. But even the Mail is hedging its bets.
The online version of the article has been caveatted with “Concept of herd immunity controversial because there is no proof it will work … It also overlooks complications other than death, such as 'long covid’ … It came the same day that figures showed the number of Britons in hospital with coronavirus soared by 25 per cent in just 24 hours”.
Chart (c) The Guardian
For instance, Cheshire East now has 124 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, way above the national average of 55; 477 cases in the week to October 3, an increase of 281 over the previous week. Nationally, up to October 6, the 7-day moving average of new cases has risen above 14,500. Add to that the complications that many who have become infected have experienced, and the idea of just letting the virus run riot seems foolhardy.
What the Mail has done with stories such as the one it has put on today’s front page is the medical equivalent of shouting “Fire” in a crowded theatre. It’s not making the paper a “force for good”; rather, it is continuing the scaremongering of the Dacre days when the now-discredited Andrew Wakefield was followed slavishly, and columnists like Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” were allowed to spread misinformation on MMR.
Greig will no doubt plead FREEZE PEACH, but this is just irresponsible, scaremongering nonsense. It the net is cast widely enough, it is possible to find a four-figure number of scientists and academics who believe the climate change is not happening. Papers like the Mail and its Sunday sister title know this already - they have published them.
By all means publish a wide range of views. But leave out falsehood and misinformation.
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