This is mainly because, earlier this week, he invited Labour MP Chris Bryant to appear on his show on another Murdoch property, TalkRADIO. When Bryant declined to act as cannon fodder for The Great Man, calling the Great Barrington Declaration “crackpot” and Wootton a “nutcase”, Dan was deeply offended. Mainly because he came off second best.
So, in accordance with the iron rule of tabloid hackery, Wootton has come back for afters. He must do this in order to reassure his bosses, and indeed his fellow hacks, that he is still strong, that he will not allow a Rotten Lefty™ to get the better of him. So he has used his latest Sun column to showboat. By calling Bryant for showboating. Off he went.
“Welsh Labour MP Chris Bryant, who found fleeting internet notoriety for telling me that believing in herd immunity - a scientific theory since 1923 that has saved the human race from infectious diseases many times over - makes me a ‘nutcase’ (sensitive language as ever from the chair of Parliament’s Standards Committee)”. No citation. No surprise.
Then comes the flat-out dangerous and misleading claim. “If you remove political posturing from the discussion, the reality is that natural immunity to Covid-19 is the only way out of the current maelstrom. The question is, how we are going to get there”. His citation is one of his own columns. Er, no. As many as one in ten people who have ostensibly recovered from Covid-19 continue to experience symptoms. Long Covid is a reality.
What is also a reality is that allowing younger people to become infected by the virus progresses, with the certainty of night following day, to older people becoming infected, and many of them needing extensive medical interventions - or dying. But Wootton does not need to consider such trivia - he’s got a sleight of hand to pull.
“Scientists around the world crunching actual data [the ones he agrees with], rather than relying on dodgy modelling [versus the ones he doesn’t], are increasingly saying the same thing about the damage that would do. A Lancet study of 50 countries, for example, found no link between lockdowns and decreased Covid mortality”. That is not the primary purpose of a lockdown. It is to reduce transmission and allow the NHS to cope. Then, fewer people die.
Worse, he then claims “The true cost of lockdown was revealed in the starkest of terms this week, with ONS statistics showing an excess death toll of 26,000 in private homes from the start of lockdown in March to September … The vast majority of those poor souls were either scared into staying home or told to by medical professionals”.
The Sun article to which he links doesn’t say that. “A new report suggests thousands of worried Brits stayed away from the NHS … suggesting many struggled to access NHS care … indicating thousands of sick Brits were put off seeking medical help”. And, guess what, “In contrast, the overall numbers of deaths in hospital were down by more than a quarter”. It was “unclear how many of these lives could have been extended had they gone to hospital”. But in the world of Desperate Dan Wootton, it has become a certainty.
So hell-bent is he on putting the boot into Chris Bryant, who is actually working with health professionals in his constituency, that claims are selected, inflated, and reinvented just so that he can claim some kind of victory. That’s what passes for journalism at the Sun.
But it soon falls apart under the slightest examination. I’ll just leave that one there.
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