Is this Professor Ferguson’s computer perchance?
Yes, it’s back to ‘The Virus’, but we’ll also cast an eye over some Brexit news. Again, ‘Our MSM’ aren’t exactly covering themselves in glory. Both issues show precisely how they keep ‘framing the narrative’, how they rely on what their ‘sources’ tell them instead of asking pertinent questions and how they accept what ‘experts’ say as if their pronunciations are sacrosanct.
Firstly though – the virus and the ongoing Lockdown. There’s a critical reply to the WHO’s warning scream that there would be a second and a third wave which would be even more devastating than the current one (see e.g. here). Remember that the social media giants are removing anything critical of the WHO – so I wonder if they’ll remove this article in the DT where Prof Karel Sikora writes that the virus could burn itself out naturally:
“Professor Karol Sikora, an oncologist and chief medical officer at Rutherford Health, said it is likely the British public has more immunity than previously thought and Covid-19 could end up “petering out by itself”. “There is a real chance that the virus will burn out naturally before any vaccine is developed,” he wrote on his social media profile yesterday. “We are seeing a roughly similar pattern everywhere – I suspect we have more immunity than estimated. We need to keep slowing the virus, but it could be petering out by itself.” (paywalled link)
Will his status as a former WHO director give him ‘immunity’ from the social media ‘moderators’? Meanwhile, actual British doctors working on the frontline, treating actual patients, have made some important clinical observations regarding the treatment of CV-19 patients:
“Blood-thinning drugs can help save Covid-19 patients’ lives, leading British doctors have found, raising hopes of a major breakthrough in the race to find a treatment for the deadly virus. London specialists made the breakthrough after discovering coronavirus triggered potentially deadly blood clots in every seriously ill patient they tested using pioneering scanning technology.” (link)
Their findings are based on clinical observations:
“Specialists at Royal Brompton Hospital’s severe respiratory failure service established the clearest link yet between Covid-19 and clotting by using hi-tech dual energy CT scans to take images of lung function in their most serious patients. All of those tested suffered a lack of blood flow, suggesting clotting within the small vessels in the lung. This partly explains why some patients are dying of lung failure through lack of oxygen in the blood’. “ (link)
Here are their proposals, with a similar guidance now also proposed by the NHS:
“The new evidence means randomised clinical trials to test blood-thinning – or anticoagulant – agents on Covid patients are now being fast-tracked as part of the Government’s urgent research portfolio into potential solutions to the global health emergency. The new NHS England guidance is independent of this work, and is believed to have been issued on the advice of haematology specialists.” (link)
That is certainly encouraging! Also encouraging is that there are now more critical voices raised about the Ferguson model. It is quite satisfying to observe that the critical assessments of the Ferguson Model, first undertaken and published in Lockdown Sceptics in a series of articles a week ago (here, here and here) seem to have penetrated the minds of some editors in the MSM. The Lockdown Sceptic reports aren’t quoted although I do wonder if the authors of the DT articles hadn’t read them before going to the DT …
Yesterday’s article in the DT has the title “Neil Ferguson’s Imperial model could be the most devastating software mistake of all time” (paywalled link) and follows in the footsteps of the Lockdown Sceptic reports. Here is a more general survey, not paywalled. It refers to the paywalled article and there are quotes from other experts criticising both the model and the government for making it the mainstay of their Lockdown strategy.
Another critical assessment in the DT takes issue with the models predicting a 2nd wave. The authors are Tom Jefferson, an honorary research fellow and Carl Heneghan, director at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford. They can’t be brushed aside as Lockdown Conspiracists. Pointing out that most of those modelled predictions are based on the Spanish Flu, they write that this is the wrong approach since the flu virus is not a corona virus:
“There are several problems in using Spanish Flu to direct predictions about Covid-19. First, the actual number of deaths that occurred is highly uncertain. The Spanish flu virus had no genetic characteristics to explain its virulence, suggesting human factors were at play. One of the most powerful was the long and dreadful war, during which huge numbers of people congregated, moved, starved and died. The late summer of 1918 led to further mass movement, and by the end of the war, further concentration, transport and dispersal of people occurred.” (paywalled link)
They point out further that
“The term “wave” suggests that infections are synchronous, visible, and solid. They are not. It also wrongly suggests that they all behave similarly. […] The circulation patterns of influenza also appear different from those of Covid-19. In the Northern Hemisphere, they usually start causing clinical cases in the autumn and cease being a problem in spring – following a seasonal pattern. […] In the face of uncertainty, we need good intelligence, flexibility in our thinking and knowledge of how to manage outbreaks locally.”(paywalled link)
True dat – but how ‘flexible’ can this thinking be when the same old ‘good boys’ are given top expert status because they’ve always been good ‘Whitehall approved’ boys? It’s one thing to blame government ministers and to point out that they’re no computer programmers or medics and thus are unable to assess critically the advice from those government experts, e.g. those populating SAGE – they were, btw, not appointed by Johnson, he inherited them – but surely there must be some such experts in the corridors of Whitehall?
And why is it that Prof Ferguson’s model was accepted without a second opinion, never mind why he was even appointed, given his disastrous track record of predicting the outcome of Foot and Mouth on which Blair based his unspeakable decision to kill off most of our livestock? Did some Whitehall Mandarins promote him?
As for managing outbreaks locally – would that be by local councils, most of which are now apparently facing bankruptcy (link, paywalled) because their sources of income have dried up? Of course, the obscene salaries for those top council managers and CEOs mustn’t be touched …
And so to Brexit News. Civil servants are now shifted back from CV-19 work to work on a no-deal exit (link, paywalled). Of course, this is RemainCentral, so their quote from an ‘EU Source’ shows that they are fine with this slur on David Frost:
“For the first time senior officials in Brussels — who have previously doubted that Britain would seek no-deal — believe that is the most likely outcome. One senior EU official said there was “no political electricity” around the talks, and added: “I think that this government may indeed want to go for no deal. It’s politically not unattractive for a critical mass within this cabinet.” The source suggested that Frost might be “more interested in a political career” or in “grandstanding than finding a solution”.” (link, paywalled)
‘A solution’ meaning to cave in to the EU, and Barnier is of course totally innocent of grandstanding …! You might find this report in facts4eu very illuminating. They analysed the negotiating time spent on various issues, producing an impressive graph showing that Barnier’s ‘level playing field’ tops the list. Their latest economic report is also well worth taking a look.
However, RemainCentral, keen as always to show us Leavers the error of our ways, inserts the results of a lovely poll, telling us that ‘we’ really want an extension:
“That outcome [no extension] would not be popular with voters, according to a new poll which found that even 49% of leave voters back an extension to the transition period. Of those leave voters who want a delay, 57% said the government should extend the period by up to a year, while 43% said it should be extended indefinitely.” (link, paywalled)
Stop rubbing your eyes and see who commissioned that poll:
“The polling, commissioned by the cross-party pro-EU campaign group Best for Britain and Hope not Hate, reveals that among Conservative voters 48% support an extension to the transition period. Overall, 66% of people from all parties are in favour of a delay.” (link, paywalled)
Oh dear. Totally unbiased then … totally trustworthy … so trustworthy that even RemainCentral refrained from leading their article with this poll result.
As for polls in general, this famous video clip on polling says it all. Enjoy your Sunday and
Photo by Matthew Ratzloff