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Wednesday 21 October 2020

Toby Young’s Covid Disinformation

Of all those on the fringe of the media establishment pumping out disinformation on the Covid-19 pandemic, none is so determined to mislead the public than the loathsome Toby Young, who has dedicated a website to his denialism, called Lockdown Sceptics. This is in the same vein as Eurosceptics and Climate Sceptics: there is no scepticism.

As Eurosceptics are in reality Europhobes who have long ago made up their minds and are not about to change them, and Climate Sceptics are actually climate change deniers whose mindset is likewise set in stone, so Lockdown Sceptics exists only to grasp at any straw to convince anyone not yet asleep that it’s not really happening.

What might be called the zenith of Tobes’ latest venture into denialism came in June, when he triumphantly declared the virus to be in full retreat. “Day by day, the Coronavirus edges ever closer to extinctionhe told in an article for the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, concluding “The much ballyhooed ‘second spike’ has refused to materialise. The virus has all but disappeared”. There was more.

Across the UK, epidemiologists, public health officials and local bureaucrats are stamping their feet and gnashing their teeth. They’re furious about the fact that daily deaths from Covid-19 are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate”. Adam Lemon mused “I do wish you tweeted more about your past virus predictions and compared them to what actually happened”. We can now compare Tobes’ predictions with reality.

He also claimed that there was “no ‘second wave’ in Spain”. Put that on the charge sheet. Add this from late June about the USA: “Because most of the people getting infected since those states re-opened have been young people. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says the median age for new cases in his state is 37, while in Texas Greg Abbott says a majority of new cases are from people under 30. And as we know, the infection fatality rate for people under 50 with no underlying health conditions is close to zero”. Long Covid, anyone?

And this, also from late June, about Leicester: “I looked at the NHS England data for hospital deaths and of the five people who died from coronavirus on June 29th four were 80+ years’ old. So the people of Leicester are being asked to close schools, shut non-essential shops and keep their pubs, restaurants and hair salons shuttered for two more weeks in order to prevent the deaths of two people aged 80+?”. Tobes says let them die.

Yesterday, more than 21,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 across the UK. Moreover, there were 241 Covid-19 related deaths recorded. The trend is inexorably upward. Over in the USA, more than 220,000 citizens have now died after becoming infected. And as for all those younger people becoming infected, I have news for Tobes.

This from Science Focus: “As many as 1 in every 10 COVID-19 patients could end up with symptoms lasting for longer than three months, with sufferers around the world terming this ‘long COVID’ … it seems long COVID can strike anyone, of all ages and backgrounds”. Maybe Tobes would like to tell some of them that it’s no big deal.

Toby Young is entitled to his opinion, and to disseminate it freely. That does not entitle him to spread disinformation for the hell of it. If only he were big enough to say sorry.

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grim northerner said...

Lock him up!

Anonymous said...

Toby can convince me he's totally a sceptic by doing the following:

1. Get all his chums like Hartley-Brewer and Pearson together.
2. They can sign up to be injected with Coronavirus for medical research, thus patriotically helping the rest of us out.


Of course they won't because they know full well the dangers; these characters are being paid to spew lies by the same sociopaths who fund the climate denial movement (and others).

Sad that British journalism has come to this.

Jonathan said...

Tobes is widely known to friends and foes as Cap'n Bellend, with good reason.
Cap'n Bellend is a knobjockey, Tobes is thick as shit, hence his Dad, called in a favour with the Admissions Office at Oxford to get Tobes a place...

Tobes got a gig at Conde Baste in New York, till he was rumbled as an obnoxious knobhead and subsequently sent packing back to London.

Anonymous said...

I wish there was some way to find out what percentage of news comments are from bots or pr/political companies. Just reading (forgive me) the Mail's latest article about Coronavirus and the comments are 99% absolute fuckery. Scientists are wrong, is the flu, there's too much testing, we're over it,is a Bill Gates plot, I'm off to see my 99yr old gran and Boris can't stop me.... Really don't think for one second these are sincere - especially when different people post the same dubious statistics constantly - and are clearly the result of the same campaign behind the likes of Young and Pearson.

Now I know a fair few older people many of whom voted Brexit and pretty much none of them are talking like this. Conversely, know a few (younger) conspiracy types who do talk like that and post stupid shit on Facebook. While one person's anecdote isn't worth anything am betting the average Daily Mail boomer isn't behaving like those commenters and the number of 'Is all a fake we're over it' individuals are minuscule in comparison to the general population.

Remember British media, trying to kill your readers is not a successful marketing strategy.

Anonymous said...

I cannot agree. Toby Young is a brilliant talker, and when he is arguing some difficult point he has a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which is somehow very persuasive.