The UK’s Covid-19 care home scandal

20,000 people have died of Covid-19 in Care Homes. [1] (The official figures are massaged; so this is based on ONS data analysed by academics at the LSE).

There are two important articles in today’s Guardian. The first shows how the Government explicitly rejected a radical lockdown of UK Care Homes. It is specifically this radical lockdown that would have saved the 20,000 people. We can note that even now there is no lockdown of Care Homes. Elderly people continue to die needlessly. Not even to protect the economy. Just pointlessly. For example; there was a proposal by Public Health England on 28 April (2 months too late but better than nothing) for Care Home staff to move into Care Homes – so as to isolate them (this would be the “protective ring” that the Health Minister said had been implemented but existed only as a piece of spin). The government rejected this on the grounds that not all Care Homes can accommodate staff. This is pathetic. A practical difficulty that could easily have been solved. For example; those Care Homes that could implement this should have done. In other cases there are different options; put temporary living Units for staff on site (caravans); people in many industries work like this – it is nothing unusual. Move residents from homes where this can’t be done to where it can be, and so on. As one Care Home operator reported on in the article points out if staff had been offered 24 hour pay there would have been no shortage of volunteers. And money can hardly be an issue – hundreds of billions have been spent on furloughing healthy adults whose risk from Covid-19 is comparable to flu. There is no valid reason not to have done this. It is inexplicable that this hasn’t been done. The only possible conclusion is that the government has deliberately decided to let thousands of old people die needlessly. It is as if it is some kind of primitive sacrifice to the Gods. Maybe, the magical (pre-rational) thinking goes; if we offer the Gods these 20,000 people we will be spared. I cannot see any rational explanation. Continue reading “The UK’s Covid-19 care home scandal”

Real journalism on Covid-19

I don’t know anything about Piers Morgan (other than he is a controversial media figure). But, anyway, this short video extract which I’m posting a link to from the Metro shows that he is a real journalist. He marshalls the necessary points and presents a challenge to those in power (at least an MP) in a clear and systematic way and nearly manages to keep his cool while doing so. He tries to break through the evasions and spin and ask the questions the government is trying to avoid. Excellent stuff. All too rare these days.

Piers Morgan launches tirade at MP Andrew Bridgen after he’s accused of ‘diatribe against Boris Johnson’ amid lockdown rules confusion

They’re lying to save their careers as the corpses mount up.

At every stage in this crisis we have been guided by the scientific advice and have been making the right decisions at the right time.There is often a wrong time to put certain measures in place, thinking about sustainability and everything else, and at all parts of this we have been guided by that science. We’ve been guided by making the right decisions at the right time, and I stand by that. [1]

Rishi Sunak – Chancellor

In the same piece the government’s deputy Chief Scientific Officer told the press that it would be “interesting” to explore the connection between the deaths from covid-19 in Liverpool and the decision to allow fans from covid-19 infested Italy to attend the match in Liverpool on 11 March (about 6 weeks after the WHO put out an alert about a serious health problem of international concern). Continue reading “They’re lying to save their careers as the corpses mount up.”

Still they lie through their teeth

This is someone called Professor Paul Cosford. He is Emeritus medical director of Public Health England. And Emeritus professor in lying.

Everybody involved is frustrated that we haven’t got to the position yet [on testing] that we need to get to… You’ve heard about the 2,000 yesterday  [NHS staff tested] – nowhere near where we need to get to but it’s a good start.

No. 2000 is not a “good start”. It is a dismal place to be in more than 8 weeks after the WHO announced an imminent global health emergency in connection with coronavirus.

I know 2,000 doesn’t sound a lot compared with the many hundreds of thousands of NHS staff that we’ve got but that is now ramping up quickly …  This is an incredibly complex operation to put in place in a very short period of time.

If only that were true. Again – 8 weeks is not a very short period of time. The reason there is a short period of time is because Public Health England did not start on this in February. They missed the boat. Stop lying.

End Notes (which show Professor Cosford is lying)

Editor of The Lancet explains why there is no valid reason for the delay.

Guardian article explaining that the reason for the delay in sourcing tests is that the effort to source tests was delayed while the government pursued the now abandoned “herd immunity” scheme