Don’t be selfish: share your vaccines with the world, says the WHO
Something rather extraordinary happened yesterday evening. There was apparently going to be another clapathon – and nobody turned up. Well, hardly anybody, even though the DM is trying its best to make that non-event look good (link), with impressive photos of landmarks having been lit up in ‘NHS blue’. Well, that was in Khan’s London. I wonder where the money for that display was coming from (rhetorical question, no need to answer!).
The Times also sacrificed a few pixels to report on this non-event, albeit with ‘critical voices’ from NHS workers who wished we’d rather wash our hands than clap (link, paywalled). One also wonders if the various clapathon promoters were aware of the January weather: standing outdoors in the freezing cold isn’t exactly happy-making.
On a more serious note: there were aspects to the latest pronouncements produced by BJ and his covid sidekicks which made my hackles rise. There was the head of ‘Our Sacred Cow’, standing next to BJ at yesterday’s press conference. After condemning those who said covid is a hoax, he said “that they are contributing to the number of deaths from the virus.” (link, paywalled).
He was referring to people who had been standing outside A & E entrances last month, shouting ‘hoax’. This won’t happen now because it’s against lockdown rulz to go out – but I expect that those police officers tasked with investigating ‘hate’ on social media will now eye up any blogs, podcasts and videos which the tech giants haven’t been able to remove quite yet, to ‘save lives’.
I wonder when it’ll be the turn of certain MSM to publicly recant. After all, they do have the occasional report critical of ‘Our NHS’. They should be alright if they keep blaming the BJ government for everything. It’s only ‘Our Sacred Cow’ which is sacrosanct and untouchable – or perhaps it can be touched, now and then?
Apparently, in order to save the NHS from being overwhelmed, from ‘collapsing’ within two weeks, hospital bosses are contemplating sending patients to care homes (link). That worked so well during lockdown #1, didn’t it – but the old are now being vaccinated, so what could possibly go wrong!
As for BJ’s mass vaccination stunt: that fabulous programme doesn’t yet seem to be working properly. Are vaccine doses lingering somewhere in warehouses, as Pfizer seemed to insinuate? Who knows! Anyway, in our 24/7 consumer society “we” expect that everything functions immediately, no hitches – and “we” don’t believe for a moment that PHE and NHS bosses could be at fault in any way, do we! Mind you, if it weren’t so serious and indeed typical of the covid mess, this would be quite delicious:
“One NHS source suggested there was a problem with the time taken by Public Health England to safety check vaccines at a single giant warehouse in Merseyside before transporting deliveries to NHS vaccine hubs. “Those checks are slowing down the delivery coming into the NHS, so it doesn’t automatically get from the warehouse straight out to where it’s needed,” the source said. Public Health England, however, denied the claims with interim chief executive Michael Brodie insisting it was “categorically untrue to suggest that there have been any delays in delivering the vaccine from PHE warehouses to NHS hospital hubs. We have delivered 100 per cent of orders from the NHS on time and in full,” he said.” (paywalled link)
Oooh – a catfight! Handbags at dawn! Nah – it’s clearly BJ’s fault and so the poor thing was flanked yesterday by two new sidekicks, one being the chief of the NHS, the other a brigadier – in battle dress. He’s the one commanding the logistics team. There’s a nice little sketch in the DM about his performance (link). Also, amazingly, the conglomerated MSM reporters didn’t address one question to that brigadier. One does wonder why … did he scare them into silence?
Rounding up the scattered covid news, we read that there are ‘new drugs’ which could save covid patients’ lives:
“An arthritis drug [Tocilizumab] that cuts the risk of death for the sickest Covid-19 patients by 24 per cent could save thousands of lives just as the NHS starts to be overwhelmed. […] Boris Johnson promised: “These life-saving drugs will be available through the NHS with immediate effect.” Updated guidance will be issued to NHS hospitals today encouraging them to use tocilizumab in their treatment of Covid-19 patients who are admitted to intensive care units.” (paywalled link)
Well, that’s nice, even though there was only one study undertaken and that study isn’t yer peer-reviewed. The trial involved 353 patients who were given Tocilizumab – however, this drug is rather expensive, costing between £750 to £1,000 per patient, the dose depending on body weight. It’s already stocked in hospital pharmacies so can be used now – but that made me wonder if patients with rheumatoid arthritis (for whom this drug is meant) will now have to go to the back of the queue and keep suffering pain because ‘saving lives from covid’ and keeping ‘Our NHS’ from collapsing is more important.
Then we had Hancock-the-Inevitable turning up, trying to spread cheer about how the lockdown might be ended. He said that it’ll come when the vaccine programme is working, when the deaths and hospitalisation numbers come down – strangely enough, he didn’t mention ‘case numbers’ – and when “there isn’t another major, new variant that is causing difficulties” (link). Such mutations can always be decreed to ‘cause difficulties’ by the V & W SAGE duo, so this isn’t precisely encouraging, is it!
Finally, just as BJ’s mass vaccination programme is stuttering into full view and just as most Western Nations are getting their own mass vaccination programmes going, there’s a worrying pronouncement by the WHO’s ‘Director for Europe’. He warned that the vaccination goal shouldn’t be achieving ‘herd immunity’ – something the WHO has declared can only be achieved by mass vaccination, but what the heck – and said that:
“Countries should not pursue herd immunity strategies while vaccines are in short supply, […], urging governments to instead share excess doses once health care workers and the most vulnerable are protected. Speaking at a virtual press briefing on Thursday Dr Hans Kluge, head of WHO Europe, warned that the world “simply cannot afford to leave any country, any community, behind” in the fight to curb Covid-19.” (paywalled link)
Yes, “we” must ‘share’ the vaccine doses we’ve ordered and paid for because the WHO “has long campaigned against “vaccine nationalism”, where wealthy countries buy up critical vaccine supplies and poor countries are priced out of the market”. Never mind that this means there’ll be more lockdowns, totally wrecking economies already trashed. Who will then pay for International Aid, for more international vaccine programmes?
Also let’s not mind Dr Kluge’s pious words, that “solidarity, equity and social justice” are the only route out “of these uncertain times because no one is safe until everyone is safe.” (paywalled link). This means in fact that nobody will be safe because there’s not enough vaccine for the billions of people on the planet. Oh wait – there’s one country who will surely shoulder that burden, one country where ‘everybody’ is apparently ‘safe’, one country whose economy is back to pre-covid times: China. Surely they’ll follow the call of the WHO they now own, no?
I leave you with the news that BJ’s government is ‘likely’ to ‘do a Macron’, albeit with the usual shilly-shallying we know so well. Thus it’s not from tomorrow but from Thursday next week that
“All international travellers, including Britons abroad, will have to produce a negative coronavirus test result to enter England under new restrictions. Arrivals will have to take a test up to three days before travelling as part of the measures likely to be introduced from next Thursday. It will mirror systems used by other countries. All airlines, ferry operators and cross-Channel rail services will have to check for proof of a negative result and bar passengers without one. Those who arrive in England without a negative test will face £500 on-the-spot fines.” (link, paywalled)
It’s not yet a demand to show a vaccine certificate before being allowed entry – but if people swallow the demand for a test certificate they’ll surely swallow one for a vaccine passport! Note also that thanks to covid but not ‘because: Brexit’ Freedom of Movement, one of the EU’s ‘pillars’, dies without even a whimper.
I only wonder if Ms Patel’s Border Farce will check the intrepid Channel crossers in their rubber dinghies for test certificates and if they will return them whence they came if they don’t have one, or if they’ll fine each of them £500 on the spot. Perhaps not – that would be racist, wouldn’t it!
I’ll leave you with the recommendation to check out Lockdown Sceptics Newsletter this morning, especially the segment by Toby Young. It’s not happy-making. Meanwhile, all we can do is to