World government?

The response to the virus crisis has in many ways been an essay in world government. The World Health Organisation has stood at the top of the decision tree on how to handle this crisis, acting as a source of information, a clearing house for the ideas of   those seeking to understand and tackle it, and a strong influence and guide on governments on what to do.

Most governments worldwide have followed the main precepts of the WHO advice. There have been attempts by some in the media and some in various governments to differentiate, yet the remarkable thing is just how similar responses are. The differences are largely ones of timing, subject to differing timetables dictated by the rate of spread of the virus to different locations from other hotspots or disease centres.

Most have begun with efforts to track and trace, with testing, to try to contain the spread via the isolation of early cases and their contacts. Most lost that battle and went on to the second phase, total lockdown of all but food, healthcare and some other essentials.

Now there are issues over how much success a country needs to record before it starts some relaxation of controls, and what the dangers are of a second wave or flare up in the virus if relaxation occurs.

President Trump is very critical of the WHO . He thinks they were too tolerant of China who failed to notify early or to let in WHO experts at  the beginning. He also seems impatient with their approach to treatment and medical analysis, turning  to a range of US specialist companies and experts to try to get earlier breakthroughs in treatments and prevention. He also points out that in his view the USA carries a disproportionately high burden of paying for the Organisation.

Do you think the WHO has done a good job so far? Has it given best advice?  How does the mantra of more and more testing work once the disease is well spread throughout a nation? How often does an individual have to be retested for the system based on tests to work?

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  1. oldtimer
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    The WHO was too slow to declare a pandemic. To the extent that national governments followed it’s lead they too were slow to respond. It seems more and more clear by the day that the NHS was poorly prepared. This is evident from the continuing shortages of PPE and testing capacity with serious consequential effects for both the hospital and the care sectors.The lack of UK manufacturing capacity for critical items has been exposed for all to see.

    • Larsen
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      It’s not the WHO that’s in charge, nor the EU, it’s national governments. Some have done a good job. Austria and Italy are coming out of lockdown. The UK is going nowhere fast, no strategy, not enough PPE for our nurses. Why? Because the Conservatives have been in power for ten years, cutting taxes for the rich and slashing funding for our public services. You should take a good look at how many Cabinet ministers have interests in offshore companies based in tax havens

      • Edward2
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        A lefty rant as expected from you Larssen.
        The NHS has nearly £135 billion a year to spend.
        Increasing every single year for decades.

        You might have thought your critique would be be aimed at the hundreds of NHS managers on six figure salaries.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 4:14 am | Permalink

          Indeed or the people in the NHS who were involved in the appallingly botched pandemic planning. Or their inability to get PPE to the right places at the right time.

        • hefner
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          OK, say about 400 NHS executives with £250k/year (there is likely to be fewer than 400) that’s £100m, i.e. a fraction 0.00075, 0.075% of the total budget of the NHS.
          How much was B.Johnson paid by the Telegraph for his weekly columns? £250k/year.
          What fraction of the revenues of a sizeable entreprise is distributed to its top management? The NHS is a big entreprise with roughly 1.5m staff.
          How comes people here are shouting on NHS management and not shouting at CEOs of similar (or smaller) sized companies with salaries (direct, dividends, stock options) often one order of magnitude bigger than the salary of the NHS’ s top managers?

          Some here do not have a sense of proportion.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            If you think £100 million is a small amount of money then you need to have a real big rethink Hefner.
            It could save thousands of lives.

          • Le Libertarian
            Posted April 20, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink


            Wow what a bizarre rant.

            None of the people you mention are
            a) Paid by the taxpayer
            b) are in jobs that require them to run an effective health service
            c) there are 47,000 NHS staff paid to work in procurement and distribution

            d) There are 8,000 NHS employees paid more than the PM

            e) People ( lefty FBPE types) are shouting about the lack of PPE etc when IF that is actually a problem it would be the fault of the NHS executives who are paid to procure and deliver PPE

            Sense of proportion you say….. oh my word

      • Hope
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        130 countries have border controls in place. Leading doctors claim the UK position is peculiar. Shapps today demands we do not book holidays abroad, ruining travel agencies I suggest, while allowing 100,000 to fly in each week not checked, not tested, quarantined or able to trace! Peculiar! Madness.

        Wednesday Shapps/govt confirmed HS2 to go ahead! Worse economic down turn in 300 years and three think tanks claim HS2 no value for money and the govt wants to borrow £100 billion plus for a useless vanity project that might be completed in 2040! EU infrastructure Madness.

        Any change for MPs to refuse undeserved pay rise to £82,000 as we are allegedly all in it together?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 4:22 am | Permalink

          Boris has the prefect fig leaf/excuse with the economic damage done by this virus to cancel HS2.

          The project is idiotic – cost £1oo billion – value probably a net negative it does more harm than good. Nothing green about it either. Even the climate alarmist Chris Packham is against it so I agree with him on one thing!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        You want the EU and Un to have all authority and no responsibility? Stop casting wild assertions about our cabinet. If you know of of fraud or corruption, name them. That’s the law in the U.K., else you are ‘colluding’.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        Finally the UK has been shamed into restarting its contact tracing – which it abandoned as soon as it became clear that it was not a minor, cheap operation.

        It has a great deal of catchup to do now, but better late than never.

        As other countries’ successes have shown, it is essential.

        The reckoning, as to why there was all this vacillation and half-heartedness can wait for now.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          Blame the expert advisors.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Complete nonsense. The rich are paying more tax proportionately than ever before and the total funding for the health service has increased in every year since 2010, and now stands as a % of GDP somewhat above the OECD average. Again, please could you check facts before posting.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 4:08 am | Permalink

          The way to get more money into health care is to allow competition in the market and to encourage people who can afford to to pay. Do not run a top down, free at the point of (use or rationing), dire state monopoly like the NHS. It is one of the worse in the world for a developed nation and kill other competition.

      • Right wing fanatic
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Why did the EU President say “Sorry” to Italy in the last two days? Any left-wing ideas about it?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          As I understand it she was apologising on behalf of some member states for a lack of solidarity – get your dictionary – and not for failings on the part of the European Union’s institutions.

          There is no Treaty provision which was breached, but in the face of an unprecedented crisis, the hopes that countries would rise to a moral imperative were disappointed in some notable instances.

          • Le Libertarian
            Posted April 20, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink


            Yup the big centralised we are running things for you as we can do it better EU , blamed everyone else for not helping


            The EU is a dead duck

      • Le Libertarian
        Posted April 20, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink


        As you dont like tax havens and people transfer pricing to avoid tax I assume you voted to leave the EU

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted April 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        The NHS is beaten into 3rd place as the largest employer in the whole wide world after the Chinese Red Army 1st & Indian Railways 2nd.

    • Hope
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      JR, you need to explain why the UKmismthe second highest contributor when contributions were based are based on economy an population? Does the contribution come from overseas aid?

      Taiwan called out the WHO in December and was ignored because is in dispute with it. The WHO presidentnis known for his lack of transparency during Ebola outbreak when health minister for Ethiopia. Ethiopia also receives a huge amount of investment from China.

      South Korea ambassador made it clear her country was prepared because of the pandemics from China. Australia, South Korea and Taiwan expressed alarm on 23/01/2020 that China had stopped internal flights from Hubei but continued international flights from the same areas! WHO claimed travel and trade must continue with China!

      UK govt deliberately imported virus from China or totally ignorant and incompetent after it was clear for two/three months it was a human to human pandemic, as first claimed by Taiwan in December!

      The last time your Tory govt was in power it wrecked the economy under John Major, thousands of homes repossessed, business went bust and unemployment sky rocketed- as you have made clear before. Your govt, once again, is on the same course after telling blatant lies and dishonesty for ten years over economy rules/principles that were never kept, immigration targets to cut numbers totally ignored and three years of underhand deceit, dishonesty and treachery over Brexit. I would not trust your party/govt one jot nor the WHO.

      Raab is raving bonkers if he believes anyone would trust him on his five principles- carry out tests for the whole country will never be met because you cannot even trace three hundred thousand illegal immigrants “lost to your system!” The five principles will never and cannot be achieved. Who sets themselves an unacheiveable target other than Hancock?

      Trump again makes the right calls while Tory govt waits to follow someone and hang on the shirt tails.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      “The lack of UK manufacturing capacity for critical items has been exposed for all to see.”

      Indeed, but had the NHS/Government had proper pandemic planning (and the 2016 planning exercise) then the ability to manufacture (or to obtain PPE and medical gear quickly and locally) would have been a blindingly obvious part to this planning. Clear and gross incompetence that has surely cost thousands of lives already. This largely done under May, Hammond, Rudd and Hunt. Do they have any comments to make?

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      A friend’s carehome is using 200 masks a day. One for each task.

      Just how much of this perishable stock were we meant to hold (and keep renewing) in order to maintain trade relations with China ?

      We need to stop kicking ourselves !

      The only thing we did wrong was to ship our jobs abroad and put all of our eggs in one giant basket.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        That’s not the only thing we did wrong.

        More PPE should be re-useable, better quality and able to be sanitised. Gowns that can be washed at high temperature and re-used.
        Face visors that are only used once then thrown away – so wasteful.
        As for Hunts smug face he was in charge of the NHS for a long time and he didn’t blimin’ put suitable people at the top of the NHS to risk assess this properly.

        • Old Mother Riley
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          We could patch them up, darn them like in the 1950s. It works with socks but rubs a bit.

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

            Seventy years later and after putting humans in space and creating fabrics that can stop a bullet we can’t make a reusable surgical gown and no-one thought of the need for it- really? Some idiot thought it was a good idea to rely on cheap disposable imports from third world countries and China and no one saw a danger in that after SARS and we pay these people 5 times more than the average Brits wage and this is the best of them!

            We can sterilise babies bottles but you don’t think we could sterile protective goggles or face visors or come up with a re-useable and more comfortable mask? who is disposing of all these contaminated disposal ppe?

            I’m getting mighty sick of people just thinking this lock down should go on for weeks and weeks because our health service was just not designed to cope.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Two further observations: a former Cabinet Secretary, in a BBC interview several days ago, commented that planning for a pandemic was always high on the agenda for government. The evidence (shortages of PPE and testing) suggests it was not very effective compared with say Germany.

      One of the five criteria for lifting the lock down includes satisfactory supplies of PPE and test kits. If the NHS continues to fail in providing these then, if the First Secretary is to be believed, the lock down will be extended yet again. At what point will heads then roll?

    • formula57
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink


    • Hope
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Bruce Newsomes article in Con Woman a must read to compliment JRs blog. Suggest you read it JR along with the leading article regarding the house arrest of the nation.

      The useless deceitful civil service has a lot to answer for. Sedwill needs to go ASAP.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Andrew Gimson has posted a useful article today at Conservative Home including this remark on the German health care system:
      “The German lesson is that local initiative, and competition between different providers, are indispensable.

      Many of those providers are private, and are therefore able to respond to crises with a rapidity and flexibility which are seldom found in the public sector.”

      This is in complete contrast to the centralised NHS which has appeared slow to engage with the UK private sector in ramping up testing for example.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        No competition can be allowed in the Health Sector. Private nursing homes have to pay but cannot claim VAT, so they are deliberately put at a 20% disadvantage compared to the NHS.
        Any half competent competitors would show the NHS in its true light. An unmitigated disaster.

    • NickC
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Not just the WHO. When Trump introduced travel bans – first on China and Iran, then a series of other countries, culminating in the ban on EU travel – the Democrats attempted to pass a bill in Congress limiting the president’s ability to bring in travel bans. All along Trump has been right and the WHO wrong. The last thing we need or want is world government.

      • Yorkie
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Now I only ever listen to Trump and Pense. Rightly or wrongly I feel others are on the edge. I hear it in the tone of their voices. Well it is not a bad thing if a person is afraid. Trump and Pense are not.
        I am not.It si not bravery, I’ve always been a bit off a coward. It’s just I have found in my life I can get really afraid in say street potential confrontations but as the danger increases I become ultra calm, nastily logical with insane feelings I cannot be defeated.
        I have been lucky several times.
        I asked a young guy in the shop the other day if he was afraid. He answered calmly “No”. I replied “I’m not.” We nodded. We are Yorkshire.We didn’t say anything else.
        We pity southerners. It’s not their fault where they were born. I blame their parents.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

          I don’t think that many British people anywhere are particularly afraid of this virus.

          I’ve met plenty of Yorkshire people who are scared silly of eating seafood, on the other hand.

          You don’t do your fellows any service, I don’t think.

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 19, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink


          One of our best friends was a Yorkshireman. The one thing he hated most were, what he called ‘professional Yorkshiremen’ – bumptious, self important and boring their fellow men with their boastful outpourings.

          Reading your contribution I see what he means. Ever tried self-deprecation?

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    How early did the WHO have staff in Wuhan to investigate the outbreak; and what did they do, or did they simply rely on what was being said by the Chinese government?

    Romanians being flown in to work on our farms… really, in this predicament ? What are we become in this country?

    • Hope
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      EU-China strategic 2020 (Agreement) might answer why the UK govt is compliant to China.

      Taiwan was ignored by WHO because China is in dispute with it! The WHO has caused a world wide disaster that cost lives and economies for acting too late. It cannot be trusted even to make decisions on face masks! A globalisation plot that need to be dispensed with.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      I’ve read tweets saying the UK public did respond to requests to register for farm work thousands of them, yet the farmers still chose to do their usual labour when British people requiring an income were willing to work in these jobs. Why?

    • Andy
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      The government asked you and your fellow Brexiteers to go and pick fruit. And you didn’t. Why not?

      • NickC
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Because it’s April, Andy.

      • Le Libertarian
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink


        Unlike you we can all think for ourselves, we dont just do what the government says

        The Totaljobs website has reported an 83pc spike in UK applications for farming and agricultural roles, while searches for “fruit picker” are up 338pc and “farm worker” More than 50,000 UK workers applied for jobs

        Of course the Romanians are sought because as was pointed out to you very very ignorant remainers they will work for much below the living wage

        • hefner
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Libertaire, ‘we can all think for ourselves’: you are far too generous.
          And watch out, in France a sizeable fraction of libertaires are more left- than right-wing. Do not forget to always have a head of garlic in your pocket.

          • Le Libertarian
            Posted April 20, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink


            What a pointless, unimaginative and uninformative post . Thanks

      • Fred H
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        not just Brexiteers- you too! Been picking apples, blackcurrents and strawberries? Not a lot to do there? Have you put your name forward Andy?

        • Fred H
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          ooops blackcurrants.

    • Stred
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      From the news this morning, the Romanian workers were working here before and know the farmers who arranged the flights. They will also train British workers who have signed up. Romania has relatively few Covid cases and they were worried about coming but have no support at home. They were being checked for temperature before getting on the plane, which is more than happens in the UK. Let’s hope that their accommodation is not overcrowded and they stay healthy. They deserve our thanks for saving the harvest.

      • Le Libertarian
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink


        You missed out the bit that they will work for very small hourly rates below the living wage

        Which harvest? The only crops ready in April are asparagus & forced rhubarb

        • Stred
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          The farmers shown had lettuce grown under polythene. They would be acting illegally to psy under the minimum wage. The brexit arrangements allow temporary labour. Why would a British worker furloughed on £25k opt to do back ache inducing hard work in a field and live in a shed for six months?

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            A) shred they take living accommodation and food out of the minimum wages and put them up in appealing accommodation if you believe the tv shows about it.

            B) furloughed workers should do their bit and those moaning that used to earn over £30,000 that can get 80% for doing nothing, should get off their backsides and volunteer to help if they are fit. Plus those that aren’t fit but mentally sound could help with mental health charity on their help phone lines but how many of them bother?

            We’re not all in this together!

          • Le Libertarian
            Posted April 20, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            Oh dear Stred

            The foreign workers they import are paid minimum wage, then live in caravans and sheds on site and are charged £57 per week out of min wage for accommodation plus extra for their food

            The biggest UK grower under polythene is Thanet Earth , they have 900 workers ( all provided locally by a local Kent company called Red Eagle)

            So far more than 50,000 UK workers have registered for work picking and packing

    • rose
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      I listened to one of the employers last night and it was clear she had no wish to employ British people. Chilling.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        British people have been punished for putting their own nation (extended family) before aliens.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Will Germany buckle under the pressure to approve ‘Recovery Bonds’? Me thinks not; why would they want to be weaker by rescuing the profligate southerners, when they will soon have unassailable power over the EU.

    • NickC
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Peter Wood, It is completely wrong that people are still flying into the UK, untested and not quarantined, when we are supposed to be in lockdown. A lockdown within a country must mean lockdown between countries, otherwise all lockdowns are a waste of time. Borders should have been closed months ago; but common sense seems to have been overwhelmed by the absurd politically correct “xenophobe” shriekers.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Another question: how early did the British embassy put boots on the ground in Wuhan to find out what was going on?

  3. Bob Dixon
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    How accurate are the two current tests for Coronavirus?

    • Hope
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      The govt is incapable of producing rilablemgraphs from their so called sports. Death rate with virus NOT from the virus. Therefore other causes of death included. Death at care homes and ordinary households from virus deaths not included.

    • NickC
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Bob, Not very. I was told one test was only about 70% accurate.

  4. Mark B
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Let us hope this missive does not get stuck in moderation for days like the rest ? 😉

    Before we look at others, as we are being asked to here, we need to look at what we could have done ? But the fact that we had to wait for others to tell us what to do was, and is, the first mistake. We should have had an independent action plan for such events and not been afraid to implement it. When you fail to plan, you end up planning to fail.

    In the beginning the WHO did sterling work especially against smallpox and other diseases. But like most large organisations they became politicised and bureaucratic. As we have seen with the EU, QUANGO’s and experts, governments tend to use these to outsouce their duties and responsibilities, creating a Firewall between them and any event that will lead to them getting the blame. One can always blame ‘x’ when something goes wrong, with ‘x’ offering them an excuse / scapegoat. Of course, ‘x’ either can never be fired or, if they do, they end up somewhere else in the ‘system’.

    This has come at a bad time for the US President. But his handling of this is no worse than many others who, in my opinion, have failed to act and then, when forced to do so, have overreacted.

    President Trump is right to withdraw funding from an organisation that has not castigated the country that has led to the release and spread of this virus.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      WHO has worked assiduously to try to curb the adverse interaction between humans and wild animals all over the world, e.g. in Africa, and it does what it can with places such as China.

      Why do people berate it for not behaving as if it were a military superpower?

      It can only operate anywhere by consent.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted April 20, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        And the Chinesde don’t give their consent – period

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, yes inconvenient posts do seem to spend an eternity in moderation!

    • NickC
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, It is a plain fact that if China’s borders had been locked down, the rest of the world would have escaped this Covid19 pandemic.

      But that was prevented (look how Trump was castigated for introducing travel bans) by the usual suspects: leftists who shriek “xenophobe” (eg: Andy) at anyone who dares to suggest closing borders, but who are ecstatic at the prospect of internal border lockdowns by confining people to their homes.

    • Otto
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      …and for kowtowing to China in eliminating Taiwan from the planet.

    • DavidJ
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      I agree; we need a “Bonfire of Quangos”.

  5. jerry
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Regarding the WHO, yes under the circumstances it has done a good job, has it made mistakes, sure, who hasn’t -other than perhaps N.Korea…

    As for wide spread testing, I have my doubts, certainly as a means towards ending the lockdown early. Such a policy would likely require people to test positive for either of two scenarios, a/. they have the virus, or b/. they have CV19 antibodies, this could end up causing a (second) NHS admissions spike as some people recklessly think getting infected is a quick way back to work, perhaps also believing the fake-news idea that CV19 is just a dose of bad Flu.

    • jerry
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      I don’t find it remarkable how similar the pandemic responses have been around the world, CV19 is the same virus regardless of location, unless one believes some of the more outrageous conspiracy theories, thus there is but one response to a virus that has little in the way of treatment and currently no proven drug medication/cure.

      As for Trump and his protests against the WHO and China, he is simply trying to deflect and blame, strange as he was praising both back in January & February, but back then there wasn’t 22m million in the USA claiming welfare and Bernie Sanders looked like he was going to be the Democrats presidential candidate!

      • NickC
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, Are those the “outrageous conspiracy theories” that point out there is a coronavirus research lab within a couple of miles of the admitted outbreak of Covid19 in Wuhan? Those outrageous conspiracy theories?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          It is perfectly possible that there was such an accident there, but there is no proof that there was.

          But you don’t need any, do you?

          • Fred H
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

            rather big coincidence though? Easier for you to ignore it!

          • jerry
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

            @Fred H; But that’s how conspiracy theorists work, use coincidences to peddle myths. Doesn’t prove a dammed thing, other than how simplistic the ‘believers’ thought process is.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

            No, I just accept that there are things that I don’t know, Fred.

            It’s a big coincidence that the Novichok attacks happened near Porton Down too, isn’t it?

            But I don’t presume anything there either.

        • jerry
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          @NickC; Well if we want to tout “outrageous conspiracy theories”, I was thinking more about the one that places the origin of the virus in a western lab, that was transported to Wuhan and released, with the aim of causing severe economic damage to the PRC (remember this was just before CYN, when millions of people disperse all over the country) – might also explain why it has been western labs that appear to lead the race to fined the serum…

          Of course its BS, just like all conspiracy theories, how about we stick to known facts?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        But the approaches haven’t really been similar Jerry.

        Time is of the essence, and some countries, including the US and UK were very late to respond.

        Also the scale of the actions has to be commensurate with the challenge.

        Mass testing of large populations, and expansive contact tracing are required – the UK needs orders more to make an impact.

        Yes, the biochemistry of the checks is the same, as are the pictures of empty streets, but that is where the similarities end.

        • jerry
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          @MiC; But mass testing doesn’t work, yes it can tell if someone has CV19, hence why it is of some use for NHS and care staff etc. (allowing a quicker return to work from self-isolation), there also now appears to be some real doubts about antibody tests, because it is not certain if those with antibodies can actually be infected a second time.

          Testing became the norm in China because so little was known about the new virus back in December last year, but the more science learns about CV19 the more it becomes obvious that testing is actually a double edged sword, and a pretentiously lethal one at that, to be used carefully.

    Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Tory MP expresses concerns about the actions of the POTUS. Interesting volte face

    Meanwhile China captures the WHO and its head (an ex-Minister within the authoritarian Ethiopian regime). And now the WHO bends to the will of the Chinese Communist State.

    China is culpable, we all know this to be true. The WHO is silent on this fact. Conclusion? It’s been bought.

    Trump is correct in exposing the political infection at the heart of the WHO and many western governments take direction from the WHO as a form of distancing themselves from having to take responsibility themselves

    Trump not only needs to expose the Chinese and the WHO but also the actions of the British government regarding Huawei

    The globalists despise Trump for he is their worst nightmare. A civilian in political life who’s prepared to tell it as it is. That must stick in the craw for many western politicians who haven’t the moral courage to do so

    The WHO like many international organisations have become political organisations. That’s damaging to us all

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      JR is not really expressing concerns, merely reporting the facts and asking for comment. I am not great fan of Trump and he totally failed to understand the real threat of this virus initially saying some stupid things.

      He is however probably right on the WHO and he is certainly right on energy and climate alarmism. Boris is superior to Trump in very many ways he just need to cancel HS2, become a real small government, tax cutting, red tape cutting Conservative, to get us back to work asap and follow Trump on climate alarmism and cheap energy. That is the only way out of this economic hole the virus has given us.

      The virus is the perfect excuse to cancel HS2 not that any excuse is needed. If it goes ahead it can surely only be due to corruption or vested interests. No other explanation makes sense.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Trump is however clearly far superior to “flat earth society” and three dopey identity politics lawyers – Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. It would be sad if the USA and World had to suffer Biden thanks to this dreadful virus.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          It seem Biden only want a woman for his running mate. Surely his decision to discriminate against all the male population regardless of merit is sufficient reason for all sensible people not to vote for him.

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Absolutely correct, Dominic.

      • McBryde
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        I second that, Dominic. I haven’t been on this site for a while, and I’m usually impressed with the knowledge shown by the participants. But I was surprised to find such a lot of acceptance of the WHO when, if you look deeper, there is corruption, conflict of interests and possible hidden agendas.
        May I recommend UKColumn as a thrice weekly CV-19 update where accuracy of reporting is practiced?

        • Original Chris
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          I tried to post information with links about WHO, and it was not permitted. China and Bill Gates.

    • Hope
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Trump has called it right and had the courage and leadership skills to do so. The herd politicians waiting for group think to know what to say and do.

      This is why we need to get rid of the current crop of crap in parliament who,just,want power and kudos who always put self serving interests first.

    • zorro
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      An ex-minister from Ethiopia who covered up to three cholera outbreaks in his own country!!…


    • Pominoz
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink



    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Our authorities went through the various scenarios many times, yet they still weren’t prepared for a crippling pandemic. I wonder how many of our ‘brightest and best’ have played out the possible scenarios of Huwawei taking over our communications system?

      Some people dismiss Donald Trump as a fool. I listen to him whenever I can and he is no fool! He is very calculating, and people who think him a fool really expose their own shortcomings. We need to be very wary of a single-party communist state, and the US president is right to treat China with a great deal of suspicion. With this global disaster now upon us, China has showed its hand.

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        ” Some people dismiss Donald Trump as a fool” They probably confuse presentation with content.

    • NickC
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, So true. Many years ago I toured the UN headquarters in New York. I was aghast at their evident anti-Western, pro Soviet Socialist bloc, propaganda. It seems the UN, WHO, etc, have not changed, and some cannot help but worship authoritarianism.

    • gyges
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      “The globalists despise Trump for he is their worst nightmare. A civilian in political life who’s prepared to tell it as it is. That must stick in the craw for many western politicians who haven’t the moral courage to do so”

      Trump said that he would drain the swamp but the swamp for the reasons quoted above have tried their best to drain him; firstly, the Steel dossier; secondly, the impeachment proceedings.

      Both failed.

    • Margaret Howard
      Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink


      “The WHO like many international organisations have become political organisations. That’s damaging to us all”

      You mean like NATO which has become the patsy of the United states and its flunkies?

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 18, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        How exactly has NATO become a ‘patsy’ of the USA?

  7. Sea Warrior
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    No. The WHO has been manipulated by China. I am disappointed to see our government switch to virtue-signalling mode and increase its funding to an organisation in need of reform, thereby undermining the US government’s action. Downstream, impoverished us should ask why the UK is picking up so many of the UN’s tabs.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      A socialist’s wet dream.

      Soon we’ll either work in the NHS or be a patient of the NHS or a tax slave to the NHS.

      In a country where no-one will want to employ anyone because your government will shut your business as though flicking a switch and tell you to pay your staff in advance of furlough money that we have yet to see materialise.

      8 weeks until we realise that we have 2 million more unemployed.

      At the moment most people think this is a bit of a jolly.

      PS, When is the message going to get out that people need to be losing weight in lockdown ? A BMI over 30 is showing as the second worst condition to have after age for COVID-19 complications. PHE deems a BMI over 40 warrants self isolation and free food parcels.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 18, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        They need to make the obesity stat well known, lots of the overweight are those with full larders, fridges and often went out to buy an extra freeze I know a few bragging about this, these go-lightlies are often sugar fix type 2 diabetics who actually could control it with a better diet and did when first diagnosed but then fall back on their sugar diet and just prefer to take the pills.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Boris seems to like thumbing his nose at the US.

    • Hope
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Why the UK taxpayers handed the highest amount of taxes for fifty years so Trvellian and her ilk can boast how much she gave away the other day! Money borrowed with interest that the taxpayer has to pay back! Idiotic to say the least.

      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      I concur. We have another filthy, progressive, anti-Trump, virtue signalling bunch of charlatans now in government, AGAIN

      When will the voter realise that both main parties died decades ago only to be replaced by a carefully constructed mirage designed to deceive

      To see the UK political class align with China against Trump is abhorrent, utterly abhorrent

      The London-centric, leftist and activist political cabal triumph’s once more

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Yes, it needs some reforms, not destruction.

      And absolutely not now.

      • NickC
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Martin, If not now, when? After the current crisis is over, the WHO, and it’s one-world-government supporters, will just trot out the usual excuses – “lessons will be learnt”, and “move along now, there’s nothing to see”. Which is of course probably what you want to happen.

      • Le Libertarian
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        All the major international busybody , top down institutions have been found wanting, at best just useless and inactive at worst, lying and obstructing

        The WHO and UN need total reform and the EU is just a busted flush that when the chips were down it failed, not just a little bit, it failed totally, fining its members who were in deep trouble, pretending to take a leadership role but then failing completely ( have they actually completed the ventilator bid process yet? ) , trying to apologise for gross behaviour when they realised Italians have had enough and will be leaving next, then the total fiasco over the pretend bail out package

        So much for the 4 principals, when the brown stuff hit, Germany and France threw all 4 out of the window

        As Yanis Varoufakis said, it proves how right the UK was to leave

        Oh and you can shut down the nannying bunch of incompetents at Public Health England, great at banging on about sugar and vaping, total incompetents at getting virus testing in place

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink


          “As Yanis Varoufakis said, it proves how right the UK was to leave”

          What’s the obsession with an incompetent Greek minister who was sacked by his own government?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            Maybe because he will be proved correct.

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, SW.

  8. Dave Andrews
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I don’t blame the WHO so much as our own government that decided to give the virus an open door to the UK via the airports and ports. We had infected people travelling in from all over the world distributing the disease all over the country and the government did nothing.
    They said there was no scientific evidence that closing airports would have slowed the virus. Well that is because no one did the study, because anyone with money to fund it was one of the jet set whose hazardous activity they didn’t want discovered.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      So if our government acted poorly and introduced CV into our society in your opinion, what did the other nations, the vast majority around the world, do wrong as they also have been afflicted equally, if not worse ? Maybe the fact is this world is no longer capable of being separated and we are all in it together. — except of course North Korea.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      The government has made many huge and entirely predictable errors. They locked down rather too late, the advanced pandemic planning was pathetic, they were wrong on use of masks, they let Cheltenham, concerts and similar go ahead, the business continuation loans are not really working at all due to an idiotic system and the banks, they have largely left people in care homes to die without any NHS medical care.

      The Mayor of London, who was assuring Londoners how very safe the tube was (and being cleaned with hospital grade cleaners) just a few weeks back is now demanding every user is forced to wear a mask. A great shame the Tories could not find even a remotely decent candidate to evict this dire dope.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      It’s ridiculous to state that not limiting travel into a country originally without the virus wouldn’t have limited its transmission. Even when the virus was here, even now, all travel into (and within) the system is bound to increase transmission.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      You don’t blame China for not isolating herself and lying (through the WHO) instead ?

      Trump did try to block flights from China but the US Left did its usual. What do you think our Left and BBC would have done ?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      “Well that is because no one did the study” You have absolutely no idea at all if that is true – just because you want it to be true doesn’t mean it is.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      With Brexit we voted to re install borders, yet when needed our Government left our border doors wide open to this disease. They say isolating us in our homes will stop the disease, but oddly not isolating our country from the disease in other countries, for me it doesn’t add up. It seems they were more interested in protecting globalism than our country. Now they have got us locked in our homes, meanwhile they ship in a work force from abroad. If we find they have shipped in the disease as well , especially in rural areas where there is little or no disease at present, then politically they will be toast, they are playing a pretty high stakes game

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, they might ship in other diseases too, which we are not immune from the workers coming here to take our livelihoods.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      And our borders are still open. Romanians are currently pouring into the country to help farmers pick their crops. The country is in lockdown, thousands are dying, many more are losing their livelihoods and meanwhile this useless Government are still allowing people from all corners of the world to flood in. The WHO & EU are now describing us as the sick man of Europe for having the worst infection rates. All because the Government has failed to prepare and equip us with enough equipment to fight the virus.

      Matt Hancock and the Government are proving totally incompetent. God help us.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 18, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        ‘Romanians are currently pouring into the country ‘.
        Yes all 147 on one aircraft booked many weeks ago.

    • rose
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      What would you have done about a million and a half British people wanting to come back? Such is our overpopulation problem that when the first tranche of people put into quarantine arrived, other people had to be moved out of their quarters to accommodate them. How on earth could we have quarantined a million and a half returners ? The countries which test and quarantine most successfully are small and more autocratic. When we lost control of our borders, when we ceased to screen people on arrival as was done in the fifties, when we went all over the world ourselves, we lost control of public health.

      • rose
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        It was actually the WHO which said there was no evidence travel bans worked. They said this to get at Trump who had decided to impose one in January.

    • zorro
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      The WHO sent out some ridiculous tweets in January about not being aware of human to human transmission from memory!


    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      The virus was not in this country – to get in this country it had to come in from abroad.

      We do not need studies to tell us it would not have spread if it had not come in. Would the effect on our economy have been any worse if we had just closed the borders to all but sanitised deliveries?

    • Jan Maciag
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      As I understand it, Australia ignored WHO advice on international travel out of China and now has 63 deaths. At that critical time the Chinese government had banned internal travel from Wuhan but allowed international travel.

      The Australians, along with the Taiwanese governments (Taiwan is banned from the WHO at China’s veto) and others understand the people’s republic quite well.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 18, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Most of Australia’s outbreak has been identified as people coming off an infected cruise ship, how many did we allow to dock from February?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      You do not need really scientific evidence or studies, it is obvious that some of the people flying in from highly infected areas will be infected and will infect others. The NHS often did not even test some people in hospital before dumping them back into care or recovery homes or back to their families so as to infect many more people. Hospital and Care Homes and similar are now probably the major centres and spreaders of the infection.

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Dave Andrews, my daughter went for a “Girls weekend” to Barcelona just as the crisis was developing and she said that there were no checks carried out at any time so the Government should be held to be responsible for the rapid spread of the virus

    • NickC
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Dave Andrews, You are exactly right – it is fundamentally obvious that if we had closed UK borders, quarantining any incoming returnees, then we would have escaped this pandemic. But, oh no, closing borders is anathema to a section of our establishment, and their hangers-on – they don’t even want any borders at all. Because, apparently, disease control is racist.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I suspect Trump, on this (as on energy and climate alarmism) is right but do not really know enough about the WHO. Such world organisation are rarely well directed, well run or remotely efficient. They become part of politics.

  10. Peter
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Trump is correct about the WHO. Like the UN, it is another bloated organisation stuffed with overpaid, political appointees that does more harm than good.

    Why should America fund such an enterprise? Look at its Ethiopian CEO Tedros and his politics and his support of a role for Robert Mugabe. He covered up for China.

    He who pays the piper calls the tune. Trump is fully aware of the strategic danger of China to America, The West and the world in general. It seems like he is starting to take measures to curb that danger.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    An elderly distant relative of mine had a minor stroke a few days back so went into hospital. After a few days he was discharged to a recover home and then sent home. The next day he was readmitted to hospital tested for Covid (for the first time), found to be positive and died a day later.

    It seems likely he caught the virus in Hospital, then NHS then put all at the recovery home at risk then the other five members of his family living with him before he was finally tested at the second hospital. Are the NHS often doing more harm than good?

  12. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    China is our enemy and should be treated as such
    Trump is 100% correct.
    Get the country back to work. The NHS doesn’t run the country.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink


  13. Lifelogic
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    The lock down was to supply extra time to get NHS capacity up to speed. So why are we staying locked down when we are assured by Hancock that they have plenty of capacity? I suspect the reason is they do not have plenty of capacity at all. They have some building with lots of beds installed and some partitioning – but not the staff and insufficient full ventilators, kidney and blood treatment gear etc.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    If they have sufficient hospital capacity why are so many people (probably about 400+ each day) dying at home or in care homes with little or no medical intervention at all? Surely not all are opting for no medical interventions?

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 18, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Do you know how many covid19 patients are being treated in each of the UK’s 1257 hospitals? I doubt it we’ve been trying to discover the figures for weeks!

      How many front line clinicians in each hospital?

      So you’re just guessing.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Italy publishes the figures it is likely to be in the same proportion in the UK.

  15. Sharon Jagger
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Over the last 2-3 years I’ve read that there are some who would like to have a global government, with an end goal of one currency and one religion (really?). There was speculation that the UN was part of this planning. It was suggested world faith leaders were also part of it all.
    The ultimate population goal was to be 500,000 million – though how that was to achieved was unclear.(worldwide pandemic?)

    I dismissed the whole idea as bizarre and a conspiracy idea.

    But since this virus has appeared, several times I’ve heard speak of a global government to ‘work together’ in combatting it. The global warming idea of getting back to zero emissions, did make me wonder if it was designed to get the world on board as one entity – which might head slowly toward a global dominant power.

    I’m sure I’m just being paranoid??

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      The oldest cross party group in the Westminster Parliament is called ‘the Parliamentary Group for One World Government.’ Kinnock was a member – many others. Write to them, they send you a huge envelope full of full colour documents and brochures.

  16. Nigl
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    A bit of ‘commie bashing’ always good for a republican president in an election year. Nevertheless it would appear that he has a point, but to me it is so what? Would knowing about the problem a few weeks earlier, have made much difference?

    And therein is my issue. The politics allied to a press addicted to only announcing bad news, unable to move from a confrontational gotcha seeking approach means I have no idea of what is really happening.

    I want transparent information on the testing programme (Hancock seems permanently on the defensive) its efficiency and availability because even when we ease/stop lock down I want to be confident, people in my vicinity have not got it, especially on transport/planes etc.

    Independent information on the effectiveness of masks. Even if it means HMG taking some criticism if their advice has to change. To me personal protection is a fundamental part of getting my freedom back.

    Headline death numbers mean nothing to me, I want infections and localities (high risk) to give me some choice as to where I go.

    Finally trusted source updates on progress with both curing the people who contract it and the development of a vaccine. The first again to help me short term, getting back into wider society knowing a death sentence is not round the corner and secondly, giving me hope for the future.

    What we are currently being given by the media especially but also politicians is fit for their purposes not mine.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 18, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Nigl knowing about it wasn’t the point, the point was China when locking down its Country should have locked down all of its airports and stopped potential carriers leaving for 3-4 weeks.

      I agree about infections in each Council area, numbers in local hospital, recovered patients back out in the Community and like Boris are they all allowed to travel with other people in cars, and go back and live closely with other family members who are still free to go out and shop or attend hospital like his pregnant high risk partner?

  17. BeebTax
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Trump was right to call out the WHO, the same things could be said for many bloated, corruptible, inefficient and ineffectual international organisations. Cutting off all funding was a bit drastic though, a 50% cut with a threat of more to follow unless root and branch reform happened might have been worth pursuing.

  18. Irene
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Why is it that all these brains can’t even work out how to make and distribute gowns to NHS trusts and care providers? It’s not rocket science.

  19. SM
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Humanity doesn’t govern individual nations or confederations all that well, so I for one would be terrified of a World Government.

  20. Jeff12
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    World government equals world communism and that is confirmed by the WTO being run by a communist criminal who, in a just world, would be rotting in a jail cell. Our futures are being destroyed as we watch by a combination of huge propaganda, fiddled figures and abject cowardice on the part of millions who are whimpering to be locked up. This entire disaster is entirely designed to push us into world government and will result in a far worse death toll than Stalin and Mao managed between them.

  21. Radders
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    The WHO has failed. The UN has failed. The EU has failed. And once the impact of the virus really hits, the IMF will also fail. Above all, Globalism has failed.

    Those who cherish the notion of world government, of supranational authority, of global benign technocracy, of a global legal system are, I’m very happy to say, about to be massively disappointed.

    International trade good. International co-operation good. Defence alliances such as NATO good. International talking-shops and international co-operation in science, medicine, agriculture and health all good. But supranational government? Nothing but bad.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Hallelujah! If we achieve that then the price of this virus is worth every penny.

  22. Richard1
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    In mid Jan the WHO stated that there was no evidence the virus could be passed between humans. That’s at least two weeks after China arrested doctors and started censoring social media for saying the same thing. And several weeks after Taiwan warned the WHO about this new Wuhan virus. But because it was Taiwan and because as Trump points out the WHO is unduly influenced by China they ignored that. There is more and more evidence of a Chinese cover up which the WHO did nothing to challenge. The latest to point it out is the former head of MI6 Sir John Sawyers. A Canadian University has also produced a report on it.

    The WHO has in the past done good work such as when it was onto China immediately when SARS came up up. But then it was headed by Mrs Brundtland the former Norwegian PM. The current head is an Ethiopian Marxist and erstwhile admirer of Mugabe. Trump is right to insist on root and branch reform. At the very least the current DG needs to go.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      I mean China arrested doctors and censored social media for saying the virus does pass between humans.

  23. Max
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    We are in the midst of freeing our country from an un-elected, aspiring supranational government in the form of the EU. The actions of the WHO and the UN demonstrate they are unfit for current purpose and certainly have no right nor mandate to provide government over us.

  24. RichardM
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Classic Trump tactic in this post-truth world. Blame everyone else and rewrite history to cover up for his own failings in an attempt to maintain ratings.
    The evidence was there through January an February yet he chose to compare Covid 19 with Flu – as many responders on here did too.

  25. Caterpillar
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    1. Overlapping bat populations with markets selling multiple species of live domestic and wild animals stored in stressful conditions, and serving a dense or connected human population is obviously asking for trouble. World governments and WHO need to condemn this wherever the practice which continues to include China. (It is strange that in the UK some people and journalist are quick to condemn USA beef produced under strict guidelines but seem much more tolerant of China).
    2. China needs to be called out on its attitude to wild animals as bush meat, as Chinese medicine, as exotic pets. This needs more regulations and control – of which one would think the CCP would be capable. China would be supported by many African countries due to its ethically unconditional investments and some populations reliance on bushmeat.
    3. Trump is correct on WHO and U.K. and other countries should support this.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      4. It is U.K. Govt and advisers that have chosen to destroy U.K. Economy (together with its signalling mechanism and the role of individual responsibility) and future lives with no transparent calculation / justification.
      5. It is U.K. Govt and advisers that operate behind very closed doors.
      6. It is U.K. Govt and advisers that have not published the data and results of Porton Down tests to indicate prevalence and spread of virus. (This is a truly shocking)
      7. It is the U.K. Govt that has published 5 criteria for unlocking with no clear economic indication and no clear recognition of the lives cost by the policy.
      8. It is the U.K. Govt that published a second indicator (decreasing CV deaths) that has a 1 to 3 week lag, whilst the lockdown costs future lives. The 5th indicator (capacity for second wave) should encourage release and use of current spare capacity.

      Conclusion Chinese Communist Party and WHO have been bad, but U.K. Govt and advisers are far from blame free with current policy.

  26. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The WHO advocated not shutting borders tot he Chinese saying that travel would be come subversive.

    If, when it became apparent this virus was spreading in Wuhan, the WHO has told China to shut its borders we would not now have a world economy that was falling and hospitals overwhelmed in several countries.

    I can not speak about how their other advice affects us or if it is correct, but making one country suffer economic damage to save all countries seems the correct approach.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      One the subject of closed borders – our airports and ports are still welcoming passengers from all over. Fair enough but should we not be demanding that they take private transports to their final destination and then self isolate for two weeks?

      Or are your government’s measures aimed at the easy to cow

  27. Bob Wallage
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Chronological dates of the outbreak.
    1. It appears that the first unconfirmed Covid-19 case in China was identified on 17 Nov 2019.
    2. Then cases were found in Wuhan in December (first case was 1 December with no visible connection to the wet market).
    3. China notified WHO of cluster 31 December.
    4. On January 9, 2020, the China and WHO announced Covid-19 to world.
    5. China shared Covid-19 Genome info 11-12 January 2020.
    6. 24 January 2020 first three cases of Covid-19 in France.
    7. 29 January 29 2020, the Institut Pasteur, sequenced the whole Covid-19 genome.
    8. If China had identified the genome sequence 11-12 January why did Institut Pasteur also do sequence – didn’t they trust China?
    All these dates are readily confirmable.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Air travel between the UK and China should have suspended on January 10th.

  28. S Matthews
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Did the WHO do a good job? No. Too slow to react, too slow to get information out. And it appears that they downplayed information from Taiwan. Why? Data of a scientific/medical nature is data. Politics should be irrelevant. That it wasnt to the WHO is damning.

  29. ChrisS
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I have some sympathy with President Trump’s view of organisations such as the UN, WHO and others.

    The USA pays a vastly disproportionate amount of the cost, provides a lot of the expertise yet is the country most often criticised by the member states who seem to think that the US, and to a lesser extent, Europe, are the root of all evil. This is grossly unfair because the USA and the UK are also the world’s most generous donors of foreign aid.

    It is certainly true that the UN and WHO have always been very lenient with China which caused the current pandemic and lied about it for a crucial period at the beginning. That has cost many lives around the world. China is also poor aid donor, preferring instead to instigate infrastructure projects across the third world retaining ownership and control of them while expecting the recipient countries to pay for them via long term soft loans. That is not generosity, it is buying influence and control.

    The West should certainly review the way it reacts to China and take the UN and WHO to task for its failures. When all else fails, we should cut funding back to a much lower level.

  30. Roger Phillips
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John.
    As per previous comments there was a huge gap for people who changed employers during February not qualifying for furlough by not being PAYE on the 28th. A furlough support group on social media has some 90,000 people in this situation. The HMRC has now shifted this date to the 19th March for employers to have submitted the PAYE RTI to HMRC, most people do not get paid until the end of the month so once again this fails to address this huge loophole and we are once again left in the position of not qualifying for furlough? It is obvious from the tax and N.I contributions taken during the month of March that thousands of us were actually employed at this point. Why is it during these unprecedented times are we being denied financial support having supported your party in the recent general election. How many people in this situation did the change of date to the 19th of March actually benefit? I know you have raised this situating from previous entries on this site but could you please point out this glaring loophole.

  31. a-tracy
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Why didn’t the WHO stop people jetting around, why did they suggest to governments that we are all locked up but thousands can arrive everyday even months after the start of this outbreak? Why did they criticise Trump when he stopped flights? How many people at the top of the WHO are British? Aren’t we one of the top contributors? I haven’t seen one person on tv from the WHO representing GB. Is it true the UK government are giving them more money, if so WHY?

    All these people in the tv dramatising news jobs are insisting Raab give them our full exit lock down plans ahead but when Trump did this and said what he wanted to happen, getting people back into work after Easter and the lock down over they do nothing but criticise him and the advisors. Nothing you say and do Raab will be good enough for them they are just trying to create drama tv.

  32. GilesB
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    It is essential to survival of the human race that we maintain diversity.

    Homo Sapiens is the only species left so we have limited biological diversity.

    Cultural diversity is therefore now essential.

    Different countries are following different strategies in accordance with their culture. They will get different results.

    If we had World Government and followed one uniform approach there is a much much higher risk of total annihilation

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      If you disagree with the One World Government, you can always appeal to the Man in the Moon, as they say, for asylum.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted April 18, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Viral diversity is also necessary for its’ survival.

  33. Dunc.
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The WHO is there to prevent mass pandemics from spreading and killing people, and they have not saved one single country in 2020. The US wasted $900 million dollars, 15% of the WHO budget, on an organization so corrupt it has been captured and become a Chinese advertising agency directly working against the interests of the Western nations that fund it.
    Their advice in January.
    “Travel restrictions can cause more harm than good by hindering info-sharing, medical supply chains and harming economies,” the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. — BBC

    President Xi’s personal guidance and deployment show his great leadership capability, Tedros said.

    He said that China has released information in an open and transparent manner, identified the pathogen in a record-short time and shared the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus in a timely manner with the WHO and other countries.

    China’s measures are not only protecting its people, but also protecting the people in the whole world, he said.
    WHO tweet on January 14th. The first cases of the SARS-Cov-2 Virus were circulating in November in Wuhan.

    Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China,”

    So is the WHO fit for purpose, no its a political organisation sucking up to China.

  34. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The government have at last found out you cannot test and trace, when tests are not effective, do not give immediate results, and when the virus spreads so fast without it showing any outward symptoms for part of its infection stage.
    In these days of super fast travel of people in giant sealed boxes or tubes an infection can go around the world in just a few days, there seems to be no question it started in China and simply spread vie ease of movement, after an initial cover up which the WHO bought hook, line, and sinker the World as a whole was completely unprepared.

    Our biggest failure was to allow people to enter our Country from known infected areas without any instruction or control at all.

  35. Richard1
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I cannot understand why we have this constant barrage of claims the NHS still doesn’t have enough PPE. The number of virus patients in hospital is a fraction of what was originally feared and is falling. It’s currently fewer than 20k people. The NHS Nightingale is virtually empty. The NHS has more or less ceased to operate for anything other than the Wuhan virus. Cancer referrals are down 80% eg. Not because there has been a dramatic fall-off in cancer, which kills 160,000 people pa in the U.K.

    So what’s going on? Of course it isn’t ‘austerity’ or ‘cuts’ as the shrieking left will claim, we spend nearly 10% of GDP on healthcare, slightly above the OECD average. It must be a question of management and organisation. This really needs to be looked into after this crisis.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Richard, people have been arrested for going into hospitals and showing some have lots of empty wards and very few in A&E because everyone is being kept in the dark. The tv news is there to terrify people that if you go into hospital only half come out so stay away and suffer at home! Is that 50% survive even true? No-one knows how many people went into hospital, were successfully treated and then sent home without readmission. Why can’t we know that number per hospital? What is so difficult on that report? Who reports on these figures, each hospital? This is becoming really aggravating now. How many administrators are on the payroll at an average hospital, why aren’t they doing their jobs are they furloughed? I read out of 1.2 million people working for the NHS 628,000 are clinically qualified from Doctors to Ambulance workers to Lab technicians – so what exactly are the Management and Admin staff doing right now?

  36. Fred H
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    from BBC website:
    China – -On Friday the country also revised the death toll in Wuhan – the city where the Covid-19 outbreak started. New figures show a 50% rise of confirmed deaths, up by 1,290 to 3,869 in total
    French President Emmanuel Macron has questioned China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak saying things “happened that we don’t know about” .

    A cover-up adjustment required to try to quell the rumours of nonsensical low death figures from the regime.?

  37. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    PPE shortage, given some parts like goggles, visors, aprons and gloves are made of plastic, and the virus we are told can simply be killed off on our hands by soap and water, rather than throw equipment away after being used once, do we not wash them so that they can be reused. Surely there are industrial washing machines that could be used in hospitals as indeed they do for bed sheets.
    Clearly a system would need to be proven that it works before it is used, but it seems somehow wrong to throw equipment away that is in short supply, IF and its a big IF it could be reused again after clinical washing.

    What happens to ventilators that have been used on covid patients, are they all cleaned out before they are used on someone else. ?

  38. DaveK
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    You cannot help laughing as the socialists and the tame MSM attempt to push for societal and political change. This includes UN officials stating they should take charge and run things, citing this virus crisis and the climate catastrophe. Giving extensive uninterrupted airtime to ex politicians who believe the Cuba model where “everyone is valued equally” is the way forward. I did note that being high level “fake charity” types and Newsnight presenters weren’t included in the levelling down of the “rich”. All pigs are equal etc.

    It does seem that the POTUS is one of the few in a political position who points out “the emperor has no clothes”, perhaps due to the fact his country foots the bill for things that are detrimental to the USA.

    Maybe the revolution should be that politicians should tell the actual truth and explain:

    Why no equipment or PPE? Especially after an exercise showing shortfalls.

    Why so little testing? I’m sure the public would understand if what, how and why there is a problem with doing enough. Even if the answer is 1. The test only works if you actually have it and takes a couple of days to get results, therefore no point in testing our wonderful “front line” NHS staff every shift. Or 2. There is no “prick” test developed yet. Or 3. Test chemicals for the current test are limited, and due to the attempt at being USE, some countries (who make it) have more than others.

    Why the apparent reluctance to use a treatment that apparently helps in a lot of cases? You must be aware that they are now becoming known as “Trumps tablets”. We seem to be awaiting small scale trials still. Maybe… to fully don the hat, we are waiting for Mr G’s vaccine.

  39. Geoffrey Hoyle
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I do wonder what the government’s plan would have been had this been a terrorist attack. Perhaps our host could enlighten us.

  40. Al
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Your post references the WTO, not the WHO in some places.

    “President Trump is very critical of the WTO .”
    “Do you think the WTO has done a good job so far?”

    If this is an error, could you correct this?

  41. Anonymous
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    How much PPE does the WHO recommend we stock in order to maintain trade relations with China ?

    A dear friend’s care home is using up 200 masks a day. One for each task.

    Do people who criticise western governments not realise how much we actually needed to stock ?

    So with the job losses, the resultant welfare and now this disease and the western economy on the verge of collapse…. those pop-up toasters and disposable razors not so cheap now, eh ! ?

  42. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Several good questions.
    Many people now put the WHO (Not the WTO) in the same basket as the UN, and the IMF – Corrupted beyond their ability to be effective.
    You mention World government JR – a topic that you’ve mainly ignored, along with most MP’s, but one that increasingly drives NGO’s, and many leaders, who see the future for Mankind dominated by a dictatorial Single World Government.
    Merkel, brown and blair support this New World Order (NWO). Putin doesn’t, and neither does Trump. I know which side I am on.
    There is much that could be said about this slide into NWO anarchy, but the point I will make here is that governments have allowed the WHO and particularly the UN too much of a free hand – What happened to our oversight of these organisations – How did we permit them to become so inept and yet destructive for Mankind?

  43. George Brooks.
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    All these world organisations start off with the very best of intentions and then the humans running them get sucked into the political arena of the various nations and that is what has happened to both the WTO and WHO and China. Trump is right to expose it.

    The Chinese shut Wuhan down and they shut their sea ports but they didn’t shut their airports and the virus has spread. They also controlled the timing of WHO’s intervention and subsequently the statistics published which are not believed.

    Whilst all this was going on we hadn’t got a government so it was not surprising that we were a little slow off the mark. After 3 years of Remainer MPs trying every trick in the book to overturn the will of the people we got PM who was determined to get us out of this mess and in November called a General Election and we got OUT.

    The new administration once formed was very quick to act but because of the vacuum that existed during the autumn we were behind several other countries in the queue for equipment such as ventilators and PPE. It has taken a while but we are getting around the problem.

    Dominic is right, the globalists hate Trump as he never holds back on telling us exactly how it is and our politicians could and should learn from this. Two glaring examples both on PPE, which if we had had the truth at the outset we would have been saved hours of nausea from the media.

    PHE was beaten up for failing to distribute PPE and it took of 2 weeks before it emerged that from a standing start they were expanding the distribution network from about 250 addresses to 58,000!!!!

    Similarly it has taken another two weeks to learn that the vast majority of care homes acquired their PPE direct from various manufactures both here and abroad and not via the NHS. Some of these suppliers doubled their prices and others switched to supplying their own country.

    If the government had explained these problems at the outset they would not have been beaten up by the media and we, the general public may have been able to come up with some workable ideas as F1 and industry did for ventilators and similar equipment.

    ”The truth will out” so why not tell us as it is when the problem arises?

  44. Kevin
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    “President Trump…seems impatient with their approach to treatment and medical analysis, turning to a range of US specialist companies and experts to try to get earlier breakthroughs in treatments and prevention.”

    A few years ago, you wrote the following on this blog:
    “The skill of the Minister rests in choosing the right priorities, and then choosing the best experts to see the task through.”
    (“The tyranny of experts”, October 9, 2017)

    From what you write today, it seems that this is exactly what the President of the United States is attempting to do.

  45. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Has the WHO done a good job? No is the quick answer, because they were not in control of anything, allowed China to dictate to them, while at the same time there are many questions about the man leading the WHO.
    If we are going to pay inadequate people vast sums to do very little, then the WHO is perfect.
    Testing There is little confidence in the tests currently used, especially by doctors. NHS staff are told to blindly follow instructions when inadequacies in the testing method mislabel results.
    RETESTED? If someone has the virus in their system they have it – No need to retest, the virus will be there for ever more, even if dormant.
    If people do not have the virus then they should be encouraged to build up their immune system, because sooner or later the virus will find them. If they are in good shape they will remain unscathed.

  46. Ian terry
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The WHO when the whole affair is totally in the open and throughly researched will be found responsible and accountable especially in the way they did not handle the Chinese connection. But nothing will happen. It will be filed away until the next crisis.

    Too much reliance on China to provide PPE and when it does arrive it is not fit for purpose.
    When will we ever learn. Prior to the pandemic China was buying up every type of PPE through one of there state backed companies. As reported on this site a few days ago.

    On the bright side Capt Tom has raised over £18m and still walking to get the money in.
    If her namesake Queen Elizabeth could go to Drakes flagship and knight him for his victory surely it must be possible to ignore all the protocol and get a member of the Royal Family with an extra long sword to get to his home and knight him on the spot.

    When history remembers this time it will be Capt Tom that will stand out head and shoulders above everyone else. His is England and what we used to believe we stood for.

    • Ian terry
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Should have read…. He is England

  47. Anonymous
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    The WHO (after its performance) has the cheek to brand Britain the worst infection rate in Europe.

    Well. We’re one of the most crowded countries in Europe. D’uh !

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      And we’re a global airport hub.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Needs to stop!

  48. agricola
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    You ask us to make judgements when we neither have the information nor the qualification to do so.

    To begin with I would want to see MI6 and CIA reports on exactly how the virus originated in China. Was it an accident at a laboratory, a deliberate or malicious release, or the result of Chinese dietary habits. I would also want to know why it has not spread to other major cities in China or have the Chinese indulged in a massive cover up.

    I also want to know why we seemed to be very unprepared for such an event in the UK. By this I mean the lack of protective clothing, adequate medical masks even for front line medical staff and in particular for our elderly care homes. This type of equipment does not have a sell by date like food and can be stored for very long periods in warehouses.

    Why was there no action plan to stop the UK habit of stripping shelves of everyday essentials, which if you believe the pictures you see in the press continues. Such behaviour is in direct contrast to the excellent way in which the majority of the British public have reacted to this crisis. Again why are we importing agricultural labour from Romania when we have a vast student population doing little. If every student union was organised we could produce an agricultural workforce of our own.

    Presumably the WHO works by consent, so the details of what they did or did not do are not for me to answer. Our questions need to be asked and answered much closer to home. At the end of this crisis a balance sheet of what we did right, what we did wrong, and what we failed to do at all needs to be drawn up so that we are infinitely better prepared for the next one. Government as a major participant should not be part of the auditing team.

    • agricola
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Update from Hereford and Worcester radio. One lady farmer has plenty of student and other volunteer pickers so bully for the students of Worcester Uni et al. I’m pleased to hear it is happening. Nor do I wish to take anything away from the Romanians, it needs guts to travel so far from home in the current situation.

  49. Original Chris
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Here is a quote from the first WHO director general, Brock Chisholm:

    “To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men, their individualism, their loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas”.
    (Source tweet by Jordan Sather).

  50. John Partington
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I think money may be the root of this late declaration of a pandemic. The Chinese authorities thought that they could contain the virus in the early infections before the story broke worldwide. Meantime,international flights full of Chinese people were taking place to all parts of the globe. Hence the spread of the virus worldwide. The leader of the WHO is in China’s pocket so this whole set-up should be examined and its leader replaced.

  51. glen cullen
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Big administration Big salaries Big bureaucracy Big qualifications

    UN, WHO, NATO G7, etc etc

    “Nero fiddles while Rome burns” (the virus spread while governments in committee)

    Responsibility is subcontracted to these world NGOs

    Stop membership and funding of the NGOs and review their actual worth

  52. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The value of the WHO (and its subservient British Government) can now be measured against reality. Here is an email received this morning from an anaesthetist and her GP husband in response to mine:
    ‘I’m also digging a few raised beds now installed in the garden!
    We are all fine and I m actually enjoying sliding down.
    Work is much quieter than we or PHE expected.
    I think we re all wondering how things start again.’

  53. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    World government? Global control by electronic surveillance? Every transaction, movement, phone call monitored. Sounds more and more like the Bond film Spectre every minute.

  54. Frank McGarry
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I agree with Trump. The UK should also stop helping to fund this organisation because it is not doing what it is supposed to be doing.

  55. BOF
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    ‘The response to the virus crisis has in many ways been an essay in world government.’

    What a failure that has been, backed by the likes of Blair, Brown et al as well as many in your own party and in Government. Is this really the future, where Governments around the world follow advice from blatantly political bodies like the WHO and UN?

    I feel ashamed that our Government contributes to such organisations as well as giving international aid to China.

    Our own Government is guilty of failing to prepare for such an emergency and now prefers economic and social melt down to protect ‘OUR NHS’ than to than to take bold and decisive action to get the country running again.

  56. James Bertram
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the enlightening explanation. I couldn’t understand how so many governments could all be so stupid at exactly the same time. The WHO is a global health organisation, not an economic organisation, and thus health priorities have been put ahead of economic priorities, without the slightest thought as to how economic damage will, in the long-term, be detrimental to human health.

    It is a politicians duty to decide on the balance of such priorities – and as a genus they have failed abysmally. Few were prepared to put their head above the parapet and say the panic response of lockdown was just too damaging for their country; few were prepared to say the science, numbers and modelling were vastly overstated, or just unproven, and thus not acceptable in causing the vast economic damage of lockdown that we shall be seeing shortly. Few had the courage to stand on their own judgement and face down the fearmongering media. Few were prepared to put the interests of the poor of their country, and the world, ahead of their elites and their middle-classes. The vast majority of governments have acted like sheep in this crisis – a complete failure of independent critical thought and judgement.

    From a Darwinian perspective, diversity (of thought, and response) is essential to man’s survival; the conformity of globalisation and ‘global thinking’ , of there being ‘only one correct response’ will eventually lead to the downfall of civilisation.

    Small is beautiful.

  57. rose
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    To me the WHO is the mouthpiece of the Comrade General Secretary, and the World Government you are talking of is most likely going to be Chinese.

  58. Everhopeful
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    The advice from WHO has been consistently non panic and measured.
    No border control , no trade controls , Ibuprofen not a problem , employ social distancing and hand washing etc. ( Their website is very interesting).
    WHO look into EVERY disease worldwide with great scrutiny and have many over-engineered planned responses.
    Goodness knows why the world has responded to a new Coronavirus in this way. (80% of cases very mild) …their interpretation of WHO very over the top! Is there a competition to see which govt can gain the most brownie points for virtue signalling/oneupmanship?
    We had a pandemic in the UK in 2009…I didn’t even notice it!!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      “80% of cases very mild”

      This may well be the case but the other 20% of cases result in hospitals being over run.

      As a politician would you survive pictures of your hospitals overflowing and responding by saying – “this will pass”

      The herd immunity approach may well have worked in 1918 but in these days of mass media and social media no administration would survive long enough to attain herd immunity.

      Hence the measures we see globally

  59. zorro
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    He who pays the piper calls the tune, of that I am sure…. However, I am still not sure, nor is anyone, of the actual genesis of this virus. It is interesting that you talk about this potential New World Order and One World Government which others have for some while too. However, we can only look at the facts on the ground with this encroaching police-type state aiming to transcend East Germany. The recent NPCC guidelines on what we are apparently allowed to do is symptomatic of this. My business is no business of the police as long as I do not transcend the established law of the land and no their interpretation or rules!

    My post from two days ago….… takes on some more meaning bearing in mind the Health Minister’s recent tweet about the lockdown and the vaccine…

    “Let me introduce a scenario – perhaps there will be a withdrawal of the lockdown over the summer months (don’t expect the coronavirus bill to be repealed though), but what about if a second wave comes in the autumn? I suspect that a vaccine will miraculously have become available and that this time you won’t be able to get out of lockdown until you have consented to have the ‘vaccine’. No vaccine – no food (food will be limited because of shortages in productive capacity), that is why they are mind conditioning people to social distancing and queueing….”

    So, JR what are your views on this little police state authoritarian socialist government?


  60. Christine
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    As the saying goes “The world is paved with good intentions”. The initial aims of global organisations like the UN and the WHO were altruistic. Over the years, like many of these groups, they have become politicised and corrupt. The sad thing is that nobody other than Trump has the guts to call them out. All the evidence is there but we have an MSM that no longer does journalism. Look at how the head of the WHO was elected. Look at the influence China has on the WHO. Look at how the WHO told the World the virus couldn’t be transmitted human to human and advised Governments to keep their boarders open. Now we see our Government pumping more money into the WHO whereas they should be funding our own scientists to look for a cure. Watch the damning report from Stefan Molyneux – The Case Against China and tell me something isn’t wrong with our institutions.

  61. Tom Rogers
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    How does this Tory government explain the fact that the death rate accelerated after lockdown was introduced?

    Can we now look forward to a climate of irreason and hysteria in society with every tuppeny Mother Hubbard dictating to the rest of us where we come and go and how we conduct our lives?

    • Pat
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Simply the death rate lags the infection rate by weeks. That we have never been able to measure the infection rate has made things difficult.

    • NickC
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Tom Hubbard, Yes. Because, to them, political correctness matters more than lives and the economy.

    • Brit
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      One guesses the government in the backrooms know something we do not know and they are unwilling to tell us and perhaps for very good reasons.
      I still hate them,despite their highly probable good intentions . I am ,British.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Well clearly the death rate was increasing and would continue to increase after lock down as these people were already infected. The lock down would take a week of two to have much effect on infections and perhaps three or four week before it affected the death rate much.

      Hancock now claims the NHS has sufficient capacity so why are we not opening up. I suspect the truth is we do not have NHS capacity (we are still allowing thousands to die without even making it to hospital or ICU units). We may have lots of bed in temp. Nightingale Hospitals but a total lack ICU staff, PPE and other equipment I suspect.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink


      Because the actual death rate follows on, and is about 10 days after the recorded admissions to hospital.

      That is why people really should isolate for 14 days not just 7, just to make sure they are clear with a safety margin.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      More accurately it accelerated at exactly the time it should have been reduced if the lockdown was successful. (Week 14) so on the horns of the dilemma between admitting a very low death rate and revealing that their lockdown strategy has not worked, they gambolled that we would not be able to count and find them out.

  62. Chewy
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I think the WHO has been highly culpable, comparing it’s response to that mounted against SARS. I am concerned when it’s head hails from a country with an authoritarian regime and then ends up praising the openness of another authoritarian regime like China. It really is like calling day night and when statements like this are made which clearly fly in the face of facts, I have to wonder what level of corruption is involved.
    China is responsible for this epidemic, there had been warnings about their wet markets exposing humans to novel viruses. Saying it was an accident waiting to happen is an understatement. Claims that we haven’t waited for the evidence as well as daft conspiracy theories cut about as much ice as similar claims about people who said we were too quick to blame Al Qaeda in the aftermath of 9/11.
    Flights should have been suspended and the country quarantined from the off rather than a business as normal approach. Unless things change then it’ll be a matter of time perhaps in a few months or decades before something similar happens, and the next time it could be a virus with a much higher mortality rate.
    In summary I think Trump’s approach to China and the WHO is correct, don’t think a softly softly approach will cut it.
    Once present in multiple countries even in low case numbers it was always going to be much harder to contain.
    Regarding tests, you can never really have enough, just the more the better. In the ideal world health professionals and those who have to work in close proximity with vulnerable groups could be tested weekly plus anyone with any suspicious symptoms. Currently we don’t have much idea of what proportion of the population has had this illness. What we’re doing at the moment seems woeful, although the ideal is a pipe dream I think we could do a lot better to understanding the progress of this disease in the UK.

  63. Andy
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I see Mr Frost the Johnson/Cummings government’s Brexit ‘Sherpa’ – presumably sheep spelt wrong – has been tweeting that there will be no extension.

    This has provoked much amusement from people who are not clueless about world trade, unlike Mr Frost they recognise that the UK is not ready for WTO because it hasn’t done the little things like build the border infrastructure or hire the 50,000 customs pen pushers or develop the computer systems. So everybody knows Mr Frost is either a fake or a fool – and we simply wonder which.

    My main question is though is who elected him, to whom is he accountable and how do we get rid of him? He seems to answer to nobody. Except perhaps the equally unelected Mr Cummings and etc

    Reply He is accountable to the PM

    • Andy
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      The PM is sick. Parliament is off. Ministers are refusing to appear before a parliamentary committees. And, in any case, 57% of voters did not vote for Johnson anyway. So who is Frost accountable to?

      You are the ones who always have a bee on your bonnets about unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. And here you are supporting one. The reason you don’t like scrutiny of your Brexit is because it shows it up as a scam.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Calm down. You weren’t making a fuss when Labour governed with 35% of votes cast. You wouldn’t be making a fuss now if by some clap of thunder Ed Davey or someone like that had become PM. So you’ll have to accept the result of the election just as we did when you had your lot in power when brown crashed the economy.

        The Tories now have over 50% support according to opinion polls. Frost is a civil servant who reports to ministers. People can look at the eurozone and see them all fighting like ally cats. There will have to be a big eurozone bailout otherwise it will break out. Most people will be happy we got out in time to avoid it.

        • Andy
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

          I did make a fuss when Labour governed – because I have supported PR all my adult life. Brown was never ‘one of my lot’ – though obviously he was significantly better than any of your lot.

          And it turns out you are incorrect about David Frost. He is not a civil servant. He is a special adviser. And this is the problem. He cannot be questioned by MPs.

          If you genuinely think Brexit is a good idea you should not have problems with it being properly scrutinised – as laws and rule changes usually are. But you are all frightened to death of any scrutiny. I wonder why?

    • NickC
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      What, no blaming of elderly Brexit voters? You’re slipping, Andy.

      All our overseas trade is conducted according to WTO rules. Already. Even EU trade must conform to the WTO.

      Many countries slap on extra rules on top of the WTO requirements. Trade deals are aimed at removing (at least partly) those extra national rules. Trade deals cannot modify the WTO rules. Therefore despite your ignorance we are ready for WTO rules.

      • Andy
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Except we are not.

        You have not built the infrastructure at ports. You have not hired the 50,000 extra customs officers. You haven’t trained them. The computer system will not be ready until 2025 – that is according to Michael Gove. These are things you will need to trade with the EU on WTO terms from January. And you do not have them.

        This means one of two things. You either extend or you do a deal – which will be on the EU’s terms.

        This is your mess. It is staggering you do not even realise it is a mess.

        • Al
          Posted April 19, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

          A very long list, but we were and are trading with the US (and other countries) on WTO terms without any of them.

  64. Fred H
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    from Guido :
    Mark Boothroyd was on BBC News last night expressing his concern about PPE shortages. Articulate and damning. A little too articulate and damning for a Guido co-conspirator who did a quick online search and quickly found what the BBC producer must have overlooked. Mark Boothroyd, who was introduced as an A & E nurse is, imagine our surprise, a Unite union activist, a committed socialist who supports the Labour Party, anti-Brexit, etc ed and in his own words “fights the Tories hard”. When his hospital gets another army-organised delivery of PPE it will put him in a bit of a quandary – he describes them as “imperialist forces”…

    I doubt the BBC producer was even remotely surprised.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      what exactly do you object to in this post?

  65. Bob
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    This attempt by a journalist to get the WHO acknowledge Taiwan’s outstanding response to the Wuhan flu met with stonewalling. The WHO’s complete lack of objectivity revealed for all to see.

    • Bob
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Boris should follow Mr Trump’s lead and suspend funding of this organisation.

      • Original Chris
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely, Bob. The organisation has been corrupted, in my view, and is subject to undue influence from China and key funders such as Bill Gates.

      • Sharon Jagger
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink


        Too late! I think Britain has already paid up!

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Bob, but we just know that isn’t going to happen, it would never do to be seen to do something sensible would it?

      • DavidJ
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Along with the UN and the rest of them who only want to subjugate us to their rule.

    • ukretired123
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Taiwan is an exceptional country in so many ways and stands up to China’s bullying.
      It is a jewel of a country and has been a leading light in technology for decades.
      Not surprisingly it is also ahead of the game on CV-19 using intelligent responses honed over years from viruses coming from mainland China like bird flu SARs etc.

    • Henry Neild
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      The BBC cleverly hiding their ‘unbiased’ reporting so that they can not be accused of impartiality – very smart! Did they learn their tricks from CCP, I wonder.

    • forthurst
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      What do you expect a doctor working for the WHO to be able to do about the fact that the UN treats Taiwan as a part of China or that an Ethiopian politician who may not be up to the job has been put over him?

      The BBC should be holding the Tory government to account for its abysmal failure to emulate a first world government like Taiwan’s in its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Taiwan put in place 124 discrete measures to prevent the disease spreading in their country. How many has the Tory government taken? JR claims that the third world British government were not alone in its failure to stem the spread of this disease. Not a good excuse.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        The BBC has slid seamlessly and silently into Protect The British Establishment – to which the Tories are central – mode, as it does under national emergencies, Forthurst.

        But yes, if only it would do what you suggest – just for once.

        As ever, it is what is not reported on the BBC which is often the most crucial news.

        Comparisons with other countries’ approaches on a range of subjects tend not to feature.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          Oh, except the US’s.

  66. Everhopeful
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I really, really would like to know why Mr Hancock thinks it is ok for 15,000 people to arrive in the UK DAILY whereas we are all locked in, fiddling while Rome burns ( to the ground) ??

    • Bob
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      The lack of consistency by our government is quite baffling.
      If people are arriving unchecked and not being quarantined then the lockdown will need to be extended even further as new carriers are arriving daily and if even only one infected passenger boards the plane then there would be many infected passengers by the time the plane arrives in the UK.

      What is the government playing at??

      • Bob
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Obviously “essential travel” is a flexible term that applies more strictly to people exercising with their dogs in remote areas of the Peak District and other large open spaces.

        A crowd of people joined by the police on Westminster Bridge last night to clap hands together for one minute of NHS worship in complete violation of social distancing rules.

        Does Westminster Bridge have different rules or is it the act of NHS worship that provides the exemption from the law?

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          Every single one of those police officers within 2m of themselves and members of the public on that bridge should be fined and send the money to Major Tom’s charity.

    • Nannette
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      That’s what millions of us are asking!!!?
      The government don’t care about visitors infecting us, as long as we’re obedient and submissive citizens, and enough people die in the process!

    • Irene
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      So would we all. I’d also like to know what the problem is with arranging for the making and distribution of gowns to those in the NHS and Social Care who are in desperate need. Fiddling while Rome burns?

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 18, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        Irene, I’ve read about 1000’s of people and U.K. organisations from English National Opera to Sewing Groups all making washable scrubs do you only ever listen to bad news, well that’s maybe because that’s the only thing our ‘trusted’ ‘public sector’ broadcasting BBC reports and it stinks!

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      It is madness, Everhopeful. Incompetence at best, but permitting this when knowing the obvious risks is indicative of something much worse. We have every right to ask why is the population in this country being subjected to very stringent measures which are resulting in the destruction of businesses and livelihoods, when the simplest of precautions against the disease have not been taken by the government.

      President Trump’s ban on travel into the USA from China and other countries has undoubtedly saved many lives (Dr Fauci praised P Trump for this measure). Interestingly he faced great opposition to this move by the Democrats, but, much more significantly, the WHO.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink


      And the only people allowed on the south coast beaches….are illegals arriving by boat!

    • Paul McGreevy
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Come on Sir John explain this and the Fruit picker outrage.

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      This level of stupidity will cost them dear at the next election, we are being threatened whilst scores of Romanians arrive daily.
      WE have a huge number of unemployed many who would jump at the chance of some seasonal work.
      The lockdown is clearly having no material effect on number of cases but the so called experts have invested so much in it they will continue to hail it as a success.

    • Dunc.
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Indeed you can fly into the UK and travels to where ever, but if you live in the UK you arent allowed to travel to a holiday destination, your second home or drive further from home than you can then walk for exercise.
      Its makes no sense and they wont tell us why.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        It’s because they literally are afraid of foreigners. Let’s just accept that xenophobes is a real British fault. They can all bully the natives but bow down to any foreigner regardless.

  67. Jack Falstaff
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I am afraid that we shall never know for sure whether the WHO has performed its rôle responsibly.
    Here I maintain that the media is largely to blame: almost everything we read or hear about CV19 has invariably been given a political twist to pander to the biases of readerships and viewers/listeners in a manner which I find both disgraceful and distasteful.
    There will consequently be a sizeable helping of fake news in any reporting on both the virus and the WHO, which, in the case of the press, is not helped by pay-walls, since their presence only encourages readers to decline to pay to read entire articles.
    This means that they often only read the headlines and draw erroneous and unhelpful conclusions from them, or post uncalled-for comments simply because they have not actually read the whole story.
    As for the broadcast media, I shall eschew any further elaboration, especially in connection with the BBC, since we already know about them and how they are financed.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Jack Falstaff,

      As a major contributor to the WHO the UK Govt should be able to demand a transparent investigation of it and China’s role. Moreover, whatever the level of the media, the UK Govt and its advisers should have been capable of explaining its own calculations (epidemic and economic) and if necessary its own understanding of the WHO’s performance; it could have streamed itself if media outlets didn’t want to cover. A transparent 1 hour ppt lecture with data, calculations, assumptions, timelines, references etc..cannot be beyond at least some Govt members / advisers. We have had daily waffle followed by pathetic journalist questions. The UK Govt (amongst others) has kept the people ignorant so that it can use fear to control them. Neither epidemic nor economic models are that hard to describe (even when difficult to calculate). The UK Govt must take a huge part of the blame alongside the media, it has intentionally hidden data, models, decision making etc. this generates fear, helplessness and blame seking. I think UK MPs need to publicly and loudly demand complete transparency from UK Govt on its own decisions and its understanding of China/WHO timelines and behaviour – we cannot rely on the media to do this. I certainly do not want to see individuals blaming one another for their views because of not reading behind paywalls, the UK Govt has the means to release and explain, it chooses not to.

  68. John
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    The way forward next outbreak surely has to be preventative. So ground all flights and have planes land at designated airstrips that have the necessary quarantining, medical and testing facilities. Hotels commandeered to accommodate travellers. Similar efforts at other designated UK entry points.

    Only the designated entry points would need the testing, medical and accommodation facilities so demand on PPE etc is much smaller. The interior domestic economy continues unaffected. You could see how cooperating countries operating strict quarantining and testing could resume travel between them selves.

    The majority of the economy would continue as normal with very little investment by comparison.

    The WHO is group think and they got it wrong. I would hate to think what state the country would be in if the death rate was say 1 in 3.

    Mt Trump withholding funds will hopefully force them to agree to look at alternative solutions.

  69. Brit
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    It’s not so odd I find. The Official figures I supplied from Denmark on flu figures and other ailment figures of Denmark for the past five years have not so much as being acknowledged as read (as being seen ) by anyone on my social media who should have had something to say including a Dane who is some writer.
    A/ They are so shocked they just cannot think of anything to say
    B/ They have a sudden inability to see what I message
    C/ No authority, Twitter or State would block them out unless they were very interesting.

    I do not know the reasons for what I may call The Great Lie about coronavirus and the Great Reluctance to compare with flu deaths and other deaths in the world.
    Nation states and Authorities are known for telling massive lies. I suppose part of the background to telling massive lies is that they cannot rather will not tell the reasons for the lies.
    I am the only British person on these islands. I like it that way. I am the only one fit to be termed British. It is a great compliment, unsaid
    My late parents told me I wasn’t superior. Now I come to think of it they were no where nearly as good as me.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      The flu does not overwhelm all hospitals in a region

      No government can survive media pictures of overwhelmed hospitals. Hence this action

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        This virus has overwhelmed no hospital. No government can survive bankrupting the nation.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted April 18, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

          Plenty of hospitals were overwhelmed in other countries who were infected before us.

          Our government has chosen bankruptcy over pictures in the media of “our” NHS not being able to cope (no system could have coped (apart from Germany’s for reasons which have yet to be explained).

  70. peter soakel
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I knew all about the Wu Flu back in January from simple internet searches on various platforms. I am just a single person in my house with no real influence on government policy. It is almost as if those in power want this chaos. I am at a loss to explain it otherwise. EU Referendum blog has a good comprehensive view of where we are today.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      I read about the Wu flu (great name) on the BBC in mid December when it was reported that a SARS like corona virus had emerged in Wuhan, thought to have come from the wet markets (I did not know what a wet market was at the time)

  71. Thomas E
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I actually think that the WHO did a fairly good job of this. They put out the highest grade warning by mid January, produced a testing methodology for the virus, and even warned governments of the risk of spread over air travel before February.

    Their failures are essentially based on two things:

    1. There is no world government and the WHO has little health intelligence that is independent on national governments and,

    2. An organisation like the WHO is really dependant on Science which is much slower than people would like.

  72. ian
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    and another thing to tell people is to stop taking sugar.

  73. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    For decades our leaders who ought to have minds of their own and put our interests first have been only too delighted to abdicate their responsibilities to overseas organisatons. Many don’t have a clue what is best for us so mired as they are in committee thinking and collectivisation.

    We have had, and still have the EU lording it over us. We have any number of other bodies associated with the UN telling us what’s best for us. Just how often has the Labour party said that we cannot decide this or that in matters of security and defence until we know what the UN thinks and is prepared to approve.

    All of this must stop. But unless we remove the politicians who are too afraid to make their own decisions in our interests and with our approval we will get a world government – a dream and objective of globalists.

    To me that is a nightmare and I’m losing faith in our nation. We do not seem to have anyone at the top who is prepared to put our interests first. When they do speak it’s doubletalk.

  74. Pat
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    What is meant by a co-ordinates response?
    If it means everyone does more or less the same by order of WHO then we never learn the results of different approaches. This may be fair enough when long experience has told us what is the best approach, but in that case everyone will do more of less the same without any orders. Also we will never discover improved approaches.
    If it means open communication as to the measures and the results obtained with each nation doing what it thinks best then we can learn the best approach, which is vital with a new problem.

  75. Iain Moore
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    World Government? Looks like it , not content with bunging the WHO and Unesco a wedge of our cash, Chancellor Sunak has now gone and doubled our £2.2 billion loan to the IMF’s poverty reduction and growth trust, saying it is vital we support their health systems and poorest in their societies. African Mercedes dealerships will be rubbing their hands with glee, as will Chinese exporters.

    What is wrong with these idiots? We are disappearing down an economic black hole while they throw money around the world as if it has gone out of fashion.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      It should be illegal for Government to borrow for any external obligation. Out of surplus only!

  76. Elli Ron
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Trump is right on this issue, WHO seems to be too beholden to China, Wuhan authorities hid the evidence and persecuted doctors who tried to warn everyone, but with the absolute penetration of the central power in China, it’s hard to believe that Xi Jinping was unaware of the developing crisis.
    China still refuses to close all “wet markets” which will, in all likelihood, be the source of the next pandemic.
    China is guilty of the death and economic destruction which is happening in the world now, they should be thrown out of the WTO and we should attempt a Western alliance against any trade with them, including 100% tariffs on all goods (including Apple) coming from China.

    Regarding testing and recovery.
    We have to take it on board that everyone will get covid-19 (until vaccinated in the future), the question of testing is mainly relevant to front line health workers, oldies may want to see if they had it (without symptoms) which will release them from the current “house arrest”.
    The working assumption is that people who recovered have immunity, at least for a time, so it will make sense to have some sort of “covid-19 passport”, making sure it’s not easily faked.

    • rose
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      “The working assumption is that people who recovered have immunity, at least for a time, so it will make sense to have some sort of “covid-19 passport”, making sure it’s not easily faked.”

      This is academic. We don’t know enough about this Wuhan virus yet to know whether people will be immune after an infection. It is just a hopeful assumption, and in the meantime some people have got it twice. But we don’t even know about that – whether they really have been infected twice, or whether it never really went away, or whether the tests are no good. It may be that people who get it lightly are less likely to acquire antibodies. That migt or might not mean they are immune, and again, we don’t know for how long.

  77. Sarah Tun
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    The World Health Organisation (interesting self-centred an acronym: WHO) has been neither trustworthy nor reliable in this situation. Bejing and Shang Hai have been spared the virus in large measure so clearly, a densely populated city can withstand the virus. Yet the arch-economic enemy of China – NYC – has been hit hard. London less so but nevertheless more hard than cities in China.
    WHO did not do due diligence with China and has demonstrated bias in its trust of their health and science output.
    World Government is a bad idea. UN has huge bias especially obvious in the Middle East. Unicef had profound embarrassment a few years ago with the exploitation of children being discovered. The world, though networking intimately across the globe, is a big wide place, and having a central government is not a solution to international crises.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 18, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      On the subject of Due Diligence, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, and the news that five million people in the UK are currently subject to similar dangers, do you think that the UK Government did “Due Diligence” in ensuring proper, clear, building regulations, and mechanisms for inspection, and for their enforcement?

      If not, then do you think that the Government should be removed forthwith?

      • Edward2
        Posted April 18, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Local planning control is delegated to local authorities.
        They sign off the planning application and all its contents.
        Blame them.

  78. JimW
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    The tests don’t work well, they give both false negatives and false positives. Extensive surveys of infected people who have recovered show that under 40s rarely have anti-bodies; this negates using these tests for immunity etc and shows the virus is anything but ‘deadly’.
    German studies show a 0.37 death rate of infected, within the ‘bad flu’ season range.
    Infection rates rarely go above 15-20% of any population sampled anywhere ( only 30% in confined spaces such as ships).
    Virus attaches itself to red blood cells in lung and starves blood of oxygen, Ventilator use is bad, not good, as S Korea reported in February. HCQ stops the attachment by letting bodies zinc provide barrier.
    None of the above has been provided by WHO, virtually none by national bodies of ‘experts’; almost all by real doctors facing the virus ‘at the coal face’and communicating best practices between each other on-line.
    As the UK will find, leaving the EU just rolls away the top layer of multi-national controlling bodies that based in or around the UN determine a lot of the regulatory framework we live in. Some of it is useful, most is not. But bureaucrats love it. Like WHO they get highly paid for doing little of real value. Just like the Public Health in UK who have proved to be less than useless in the face of exactly what they were set up to provide.

  79. Annette Bates
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    The Govt ‘solution’ appears to be to follow the diktat of yet another unelected & unaccountable money laundering operation.
    The Govt’s response appears, though starting well, to have collapsed into weak & insipid action that doesn’t make sense. They are now being berated for the imposing actions that the hyena MSM demanded. I don’t hear anyone from the Govt taking the EUlings to task.
    The ‘lockdown’ was to expand NHS capacity to cope. That has been achieved.
    The NHS have shown that they failed to plan, failed to procure & failed to distribute.
    The police are making up their own laws as opposed to enforcing ‘the’ law. I look forward to them arresting the gatherings of more than 2 people on Westminster Bridge last night. Oh wait…
    As an aside, this deification & public displays of adulation of the NHS is very sinister.
    15,000 people per day are arriving unchecked, yet the taxpayers are incarcerated at home. How does this ‘fit’ with the requirement of decreasing infections? Or ‘no risk’ of a second wave?
    We now have excess deaths unrelated to Chynavirus. Why is no-one querying that?
    Mainly small businesses are shut down. The only way to obtain something now is mainly via the big multi-nationals. Where is the tax take going to come from for this?
    The public sector have no incentive to shorten the pain for the ‘little people’. Maybe all public employees should be on 80% pay to a maximum of £2,500 per month until this is over?
    We have had worse death rates before yet we didn’t shut down the economy?
    As with all tyrannies, the Govt appear not to want to give up total control over the plebs having removed their liberties, with a politicised police farce enforcing Minister’s wishes and not the law.
    The signs of a future dystopia are becoming clear – ‘tracking’ apps, chips in vaccines, ‘permissions’ to be out of your home, the ‘eradication of cash (are ‘social credits on the cards?).
    It is a cruel punishment on the elderly & vulnerable, as well as those who independently work for a living whose lives are being destroyed. Until enough herd immunity is achieved they will remain incarcerated, with an NHS that is only dealing with one thing (apart from making videos in their boredom), which cannot happen until these is less risk of being infected by those that they come into contact with.
    The Govt is looking more communist/globalist by the day. They seem to be following someone else’s agenda, which is not in the interests of the UK.

  80. zorro
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    This country has been hijacked by the Medical Industrial Complex.


    • hefner
      Posted April 18, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Much better than the Military Industrial Complex (BAE Systems among others) you know the one that has been happy to sell for £15bn of British hardware and services to the Saudis since 2015 (Guardian 08/03/2018, Guardian/business 20/06/2019, The Week, 23/08/2019, Guardian/business 14/04/2020) to help them pursue their little peace stroll in Yemen.
      As always with Britain, it can obviously be said that ‘Lessons have been learnt’ since the 1963-1967 Aden Emergency.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        So are you a globalist or a little englander?
        Time to make your mind up Hefner.

        • hefner
          Posted April 19, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          The wonderful thing with you Edward2 is the breadth of your way of thinking. One can only be a thingyphilic or a thingyphobic. I understand it is a very convenient way to go through life. It allows one not to tire their little head with too much thinking.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 19, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            Pompous as usual Hefner.

          • hefner
            Posted April 19, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

            Pompous maybe, but right likely.

  81. margaret
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    With or without the WHO, would things have been different? We simply cannot say that this is the same as other corona virus infections/ transmission , so how would they know?
    It is hard to believe that this pandemic was caused by a few animals , but there again there isn’t any point going down the line of conspiracy theories as we have to deal with the here and now. It seems like there will be many less pensions to pay , yet Care and Nursing homes have lost many residents and therefore their business, however if we are lucky we all get older and many still need the care.
    I just wonder if this is going to go on and on and the WHO or any other will never be able to get it right unless there is a vaccine…and due to viral mutation, how long will that last?

  82. Graham Wheatley
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Good afternoon.
    Do you mean WTO, or is that a typo?

  83. Graham Wheatley
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Would you please ask your colleagues Mssrs. Hancock & Raab, why a 2m distancing is OK in shop & supermarket queues, and in the street, but a 5m, 10m, 20m or more spacing in other public areas such as parks, moors & fells, national parks and indeed, on the beach, is NOT OK?

    I am sure you will receive the response that (as the Police state) it is to discourage others from also going to those places. In which case, can you counter with the further question “If those other people ARE also observing the recommended (or greater) spacing, then what is the problem?”.


    Speaking of ‘On the Beach’ – Neville Shute’s novel springs to mind when going out for an exercise stroll now.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 18, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Your reference to that novel came to mind recently when I was asked to supply a regular blood test for a ‘virtual clinic coming up at RBH’ (I don’t have to attend).
      I drove just a few miles to Bracknell NHS fairly early one morning, armed with my letter and blood test form, just in case I was stopped. The journey was surreal, nobody out walking with or without a dog, hardly a car in any direction. Through part of the ring road I swear I imagined tumbleweed blowing along the road, talk about after the nuclear bomb!

  84. Otto
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    JR -much criticism here which you seem not to want to deal with – in tomorrow’s post?

  85. Peter Gould
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    The internet has replaced the WHO.

  86. Fred H
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    ‘The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus originated last year, has raised its official Covid-19 death toll by 50%, adding 1,290 fatalities.

    Wuhan officials attributed the new figure to updated reporting and deaths outside hospitals. China has insisted there was no cover-up.’

    I suppose in China it is normal to keep your dead for a few weeks before informing the authorities?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 18, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      The underestimate is almost exactly the same as in European countries, including the UK, and for the same reasons. The uncounted in care homes etc.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 18, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Countries like Belgium have diligently tried to count every death connected with the virus.
        Others not so accurate.

      • hefner
        Posted April 19, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        MiC, In its Covid-19 statistics, France was only counting deaths in hospitals up to the end of March. It has then added deaths in retirement/care homes (EHPAD) to the count (possibly following an item in the Spectator).
        This Spectator article was rather curious given that the situation (not counting Covid-related deaths out of hospitals) is the same in England. Well, mote and beam?
        France still does not appear to count deaths at home.

        Which makes any attempt at accurate comparisons between countries very difficult.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted April 20, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      What would be useful I think, and be more reflective of the true nature of the spread of the virus to have a set of data that records numbers for the ACTUAL date of death, rather than the reported date.

  87. ian
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    AS you all know by now, Hydroxychloroquuie with zinc has shown remarkable promise but because it is cheap and no more than a 1p per pill, all government have been told to avoid it. C19 like everything less has come down to money and a power struggle between people and big organisations, foundation and big businesses mainly big pharma with people governments taking their instructions from these outsides to what to tell the people through their privately-owned media.
    As you all saw during the Crisis of 2000, 2008 and now, the power is not with your government but with organisations and robber barons and big businesses, every time a crisis comes along they take control of your government and things are done the way that suits them and not the people, each time this happens a few more people in your country fall off the back of the lorry and are left destitute with the money and jobs and homes they would have ending up in these people pockets and the government and their organisation and Quangos that follow them awarding themselves big pay rises and pensions for being part of the con on the people whether knowingly or unknowingly being part of the con.

    How many people will fall off the lorry this time is unknown but it will run into millions of people in this country alone, everything that you hate about your governments is because your governments are controlled by these world organisations and robber barons who dictate to you through your governments. It’s not your governments coming up with the policies that you hate like migration, offshoring jobs, climate change, and now do away with farms and fishing, they say they are not needed only bailout for their businesses and themselves and nothing for you the people on the pretence of jobs galore but only if it under 350 to 250 pounds per week and ware the people government has to support their housing, council tax and wages and on top of all that the government let them pay next to no tax while you are left picking up the bills for their largeness and have to lower your standard of living each time crisis comes along while they go round hoovering up all your money for years to come for themselves.

  88. John E
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Yes, let’s talk about anything other than our own lack of plans or progress or openness while the Cabinet are all scared to make any decisions until Boris is back.

  89. John McDonald
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    It is no use blaming everyone else. The UK Government failed to assess the situation in China in December and allowed free movement in and out of the Country from China and elsewhere.
    The economy was considered more important than Lives. It was OK when believed just to be the old that were at risk. Not a good sign that the Country can think for itself and stand on its own feet after Brexit.
    The Government got us into this mess not the WHO. We should be asking WHY.
    But now is not the time to blame others. All UK minds should be focused on a fix.
    Unfortunately not the skill set of Politicians but Science and Biology.

  90. John Probert
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Yes follow the advice of the WHO test test test
    We should have locked down 2 weeks earlier but our government new better
    Obsessed by incorrect Data Modelling
    They refused to learn the lessons from China & Italy
    Thats all changed now they are watching like a Hawk
    What do we do now ? What can you do ?
    Not enough testing, ppe, labs, vents …..

    I do find it amazing that the warning signs were there with an
    unknown highly infection virus coming down the track
    And the governments warning bell did not sound

    We will all pay the price now

  91. Iain Gill
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    WHO has been rubbish.

    Like a lot of similar organisations.

    Total waste of money. Just a job creation scheme for people in the political bubble.

  92. Helen Smith
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    No, I think the WHO has been woeful, it did nothing to help Italy when things kicked off there, and Italy promptly seeded the virus all around the world as infected tourists returned to their home countries.

    Time to defund the WHO.

  93. Mark Kennedy
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    The issue is not if WHO have done a good job. Has our Government, PHE failed miserably to deal with this. Even Turkey, Iran have done more tests. Shame on us. The Germans and UK had designed the test which they then rolled out and used. Instead possibly some old critters used models and plans dusted down from the cupboards of the 80s, 90s to deal with pandemics and ignored the evidence from Singapore or South Korea and the advice of WHO to test and test. Make no mistake we are are the bottom and a lot of questions of the people responsible need to be asked.

  94. ian
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I see that PHE, NHS and the UK government between them couldn’t get into the top forty C19 safest countries ranking for handling the C19 crisis when you consider that billions are poured in each year by the public and the people at the top of these organisations are some highest paid people in the world, one must wonder what they are doing, health care in this country is where you always thought it was, in the third world. How is it that you payout the most money for almost all services the state runs and always receive a sub-standard service up against other countries like Germany and the rest of Europe and elsewhere.

  95. George Brooks.
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    It is now 1755 and only 15 responses!!!!!!

    I hope to goodness that the virus has not attacked the Redwood encampment.

    • SM
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      You are aware that Sir John has an actual day job that takes precedence over his blog, aren’t you?

      Reply Apparently not. I do this after dealing with constituents cases and emails which are running currently at high volume.Some posters here never consider the extra burden lots of long posts from them imposes.

  96. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand this idea that we get past ‘the peak’ and everything will be okay. How so? Unless there is an effective vaccine, all of us are going to get it sooner or later. Surely we just have to face up to that – and relax the restrictions – and take our chances. If the NHS can’t cope, it can’t cope. C’est la vie. Or, perhaps, C’est la mort.

    We can’t all sit around in our homes forever trying to grow a couple of potatoes in a pot on the patio.

    • anon
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      If the NHS cant cope and even if it can. Provide morphine as needed to reduce pain.

  97. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    When is someone going to address the BIG QUESTIONS?

    By whom, how and when is all this money going to be repaid?

    If loads of businesses go bust, are the banks in trouble?

  98. Addanc Monster
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Can you justify the 100+ billion GBP on HS2, money would be better spent in managing the Covid-19 response.

    The hostile Chinese Communist Party should have as little as possible to do with UK infrastructure. I hope a serious journalist either proves or otherwise Farage assertion that there are a number of ex-civil servant and minsters on the payroll of Chinese owned companies; I say name and shame.

    • SM
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      It’s not just a ‘Farage assertion’, I read in the D Telegraph some while ago that retired senior civil servants from the Cameron era now hold directorships on Chinese boards, but then that’s hardly unusual sadly.

    • Original Chris
      Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      AM, I have commented on the Chinese links/influence when I posted about problems with the WHO but it seems to have been swiftly removed. Very worrying indeed.

  99. SM
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    You are aware that Sir John has an actual day job that takes precedence over his blog, aren’t you?

  100. Citizen Resident
    Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    If you do a modicum of research, you can safely establish that WHO discriminated against Taiwan (both witholding information from and supplying to it) and being submissive to China. Contrast the date Taiwan became active 31 Dec, Iceland 31 Jan, with WHO downplaying the incident.
    China excelled in response by scientists, but its rulers failed
    The Truth About “Dramatic Action”, Jan 27,chinamediaproject org

    For model responses (title and domain)
    Response to COVID-19 in Taiwan, March 3, jamanetwork com
    The Koren Playbook for COVID-19, April 2, medium com

    I am not an medical professional, but a representative study on the spread should be feasible.
    New England Journal of Medicine, 14 Apr (details from Islandia: record del mundo en pruebas, 15 Apr, elmundo es)
    Iceland started testing 31 Jan people displaying symptoms, travellers returning from hotspots (China, Italy, Alps): 13.3% positive of over 9,000 tested.
    13 Mar they started testing the local population: 0.6-0.8% tested positive.
    In total some 36,000 tested. 1,720 positive cases, thereof 43% not displaying any symptoms.
    Data suggests the virus was imported via citizens returning from Austria, Italy, and the UK.

    It is a fact that people above a certain age predominate among the dead. You may catch the virus at a younger age, need treatment, even care, but you are unlikely to die.
    Thus we should focus our resources on protecting the vulnerable as well as health professionals. (Italy counts over 100 dead.)

  101. Time Lord Community
    Posted April 18, 2020 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Correction “Nevertheless, there is a kind of ‘seasonality’ , a coincidence of outbreaks in Asia at one or two times of year and one or two times of year in the Northern Hemisphere.”

  102. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 18, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    The damage being done to the UK economy is so great that the lockdown must be terminated by the end of May at the latest, with a full return to work by the end of June. The number of deaths per day will almost certainly be less than 500 by the end of May, so the risk is acceptable.

    Contrast this pandemic with the Black Death, which killed between a quarter and a third of Europe’s population, and Spanish ‘flu, which killed 50 million people worldwide. Both of these happened when the population was a lot less than it is today. Deaths from Corona virus are unlikely to exceed 250,000 in Europe and 2,000,000 worldwide; the latter figure assumes that the pandemic mushrooms in Africa.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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