Some questions on the virus

We are waiting for the science to catch up with events. It is clearly not easy understanding and combatting a  new virus in a hurry, when crucial information has to come from patients suffering from the disease willing to submit to various treatments to see what happens. We have, however, had all too many cases and deaths, so soon perhaps more knowledge will be forthcoming.

We need to know, for example, whether any of the proposed existing licenced medicines for other complaints can help alleviate symptoms, ease severity or reduce the time the illness lasts. The UK has now approved remdesivir, but there are other remedies taken on their own or with others that might help. We need an update.

There is the question of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine. This is going into production before the results of clinical trials. We are told there may be results early autumn. There are also other vaccine hopes around the world.

The UK has  now  been testing random samples to represent the population as a whole to find out infection rates. This should enable a more accurate R or transmission rate to be calculated. When will we see proper graphs and charts of these  numbers with a better evidence base for R? This could be helpful in making decisions about the  pace of further easing, which is much needed for the sake of livelihoods.

What is the expert view on why the new case rate and death rate has stayed as high as it has during a strong lock down? Shouldn’t they have subsided more. How was the virus  being transmitted during this period? Can we now use track and test to head off further  localised outbreaks?

Are we now in  the position where too many deaths are  being attributed to CV 19 when it is not even known whether some had the disease or not, or when they also had other serious conditions that might have been the true cause? How comparable are our figures with other counties, that follow different criteria for reporting deaths?

Much now rests on making a success of test and trace. That requires the willing collaboration of the public, taking tests if and when they develop covid like symptoms they do not normally suffer. It needs the rest to agree to self isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who has the disease.

We cannot keep the whole country in  lockdown for more months, with just the NHS and a few basics up and running. It was possible to borrow and print the money for a couple of months, but it does not work if you try to do that as a  new lifestyle with no limit on the cash .

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  1. Nivek (aka Kevin)
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    “We cannot keep the whole country in lockdown for more months”

    But have you kept the whole country in lockdown? The Daily Mail writes this weekend: “thousands of people flooded into central London and abandoned social distancing for a…demonstration on Wednesday”.

    • Peter
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      There are more questions than answers.

      There is also the issue of our confidence in the experts. For example, I would not have a great deal of confidence in Neil Ferguson. I believe he is overly pessimistic based on his record with foot and mouth.

      Then there is pressure on governments to adopt certain practices and to find reasons to justify such practices.

      So one metre separation or two metres? WHO says one metre is fine. Restaurants would be better suited by one metre too.

      Then there are worries about Winter and another rise in virus.

      There is much we don’t know. I am not sure how we can rectify this. Difficult times.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        But we know that if we did exactly the same as the countries which have defeated this epidemic, then we would extinguish it too.

        That is inescapable.

        It is a tragedy that priceless weeks were wasted, and now the job is vastly larger than it need have been.

        • Peter
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          No, we don’t even know that.

          The old get out clause, beloved of economists, is ‘ceteris paribus’.

          You are assuming everything is the same apart from the measures taken to address the virus.

          Countries have many differences – climates, density of population, age profiles, diversity of people etc, etc.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            Martin is on a crusade to blame Boris.
            If you read everything he posts through that prism then it becomes very clear.
            He isn’t interested in the pandemic it’s just his politics acting.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          We know, for as near certain as ever can be, that if the virus is not passed on to anyone at all, for a long enough period, so that those already infected either recover or die, then the epidemic is extinguished.

          An extreme lock down, of isolating every single person for about six weeks would achieve this.

          The Chinese went some way towards that, and it worked, it appears.

          That only requires logic, not information on other factors.

          However, that is not practical for most countries, and so other measures are needed.

          The wearing of masks in public is easily enough ordered by government, and so it is logical to do that too.

          Test, trace and isolate seems to be beyond the capabilities of our government to do properly however.

          • Graham Wheatley
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            Martin, your first paragraph….. yes …exactly. That’s what building herd-immunity achieves, and more quickly than the ‘containment’ we have thus far achieved.

        • Adrian Ambroz
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          The Church of Woke (COW) aka the BBC led by their high priestesses Kuenssberg & Matilis would not have allowed it. What the world is confronted with is ‘germ warfare’ on an unprecedented scale & whose final consequences are yet to be assessed

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

            Since when did the BBC have any say over the law?

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff,

          You are correct: Priceless weeks have been wasted, but not for the reasons you might think.

          That time has been wasted in NOT allowing the OTHERWISE HEALTHY population from contracting the virus, building the ‘firebreak’ of herd immunity and then permitting the vulnerable groups out of lockdown BEFORE the winter ‘Flu season arrives.

          What we have done here is ENSURE a greater death toll from next season’s strain, because there is no way that we will have eradicated all remaining CV19 infections before that time.

          Mr. Hancock’s back-of-fag-packet-planning in an attempt at face-saving and rear-end-covering is going to have disastrous consequences for many, many more people unfortunately. This has become what is known in military circles as a ‘clusterf***’.

          How are you getting-on with rationalising the Chinese and Swedish data from the W.H.O. Sitreps btw?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Aided by the police. No action taken against the people damaging the Cenotaph but their pictures are being widely shared on the internet.
      It would seem there is one rule for Cummings and an entirely different set of rules for left wing agitators.

      • beresford
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        But action WAS taken against the anti-lockdown demonstrators.

        • Robert McDonald
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          How many have had ranting raving abusive media outside their homes ?

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink


      And another Demo( or two) this weekend,

      They have absolutely no thought for others..

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Indeed the question that needs to be answered is why the NHS and UK seem to have a Covid 19 death (per tested positive case) of circa 14% when other countries have ones that are very much lower. In Singapore it is 0.6%. The UK is 22 times worse and that is only on the official 40,000 death figure. Then when we know that we have about 70,000 excess over normal deaths in the last three of months. Almost all of these are Covid (or at least we accelerated by Covid). In some cases only accelerated by a few week or months admittedly. But often by many years.

    Clearly there is different reporting of deaths, different testing regimes and different age profiles but 22 times worse? It is three times worse than Germany as well. What are the UK health systems and the NHS getting so badly wrong? Why are they not learning more quickly?

    Clearly kicking infected elderly patients out of hospital without testing or isolating into ill prepared care homes was idiotic and surely criminally negligent? Nichola Sturgeon and the SNP government in Scotland seems to have been particularly negligent here. This even relative to the dreadful English management of it.

    I have still not seen good figures on exactly what treatments the deceased received before dying. Nearly half did not even make it to hospital or were kicked out. Of those that did how many got little more than a basic Oxygen mask I wonder? How many died without even receiving palliative care?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Listening to Any Questions it seems that John Brecow has turned into a cross between a Trump hating Sadiq Kahn and pusher of identity politics like David Lammy. This after what I regards as his treachury as Speaker. Let us hope he never makes it to the Lords. Quite enough dreadful people there already.

      Trump has many faults – but he is surely far preferable to Hillary and Biden. If only for his sense over Climate Alarmism.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Grant Shapps about the only one with anything remotely sensible to say on the programme. But even he (and he is the Transport Minister, business and finance Machester Poly) seems to wrongly believe that electric cars are “zero emmission” and they save significant C02.

        He needs to educate himself in some physics, logic and energy engineering.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        What faults does Trump have?

        • IanT
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          He’s stupidly rich – as opposed to being cleverly poor.

    • Adrian Ambroz
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      When I’m told by a nurse working in a care home that doctors are issuing death certificates after refusing to visit the residents in the care home & after asking a nurse over the phone how the resident was before he died, “Oh covid-19 it is then” I & many others won’t have any faith in the figures eventually presented to the public..

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps so but what else do you think has caused (or accelerated) the circa 70,000 excess deaths over the past couple of months?

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          When an OBJECTIVE evaluation of all of the data is made, I think we will see dips in the stats for all other causes of mortality.

          Many deaths are being erroneously attributed to CV19 (The Brussels Fraudcasting Corporation are now routinely reporting the figures as “deaths WITH cv19” rather than as “deaths FROM cv19”).

          As I have said before, this is turning into a cluster**** and as a face-saving (and rear-end-covering) exercise, this has to be bigged-up as much as possible to get people off the hook.

  3. matthu
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    We need to know what scientific evidence there is for mandating that face masks should suddenly be worn by everyone using public transport, regardless of symptoms, when there was no compelling evidence before. And when even the WHO is saying that only two categories of people should be wearing face masks: those with symptoms and those caring for patients with Covid-19.

    We need to know why lockdown is being further extended on the basis of what we now recognise to have been bogus mortality projections. And why review periods are being extended from 3 weeks to 4 when all the evidence suggests that the emergency is over. And why cancel both weekend televised addresses? I bet more people watch those than watch political broadcasts – and yet they still broadcast those!

    We need to know how many lives are being saved (on the one hand) or compromised (on the other) and at what cost to the nation by insisting on 2-metre social distancing as opposed to 1-metre social distancing.

    No wonder the government is no longer being trusted on this. The above would appear to be political decisions which have been taken with zero evidential basis.

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Still in moderation, I see.
      (Not quite sure what the controversial item was here.)

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    So what about the Sir Richard Dearlove claim that he has seen a serious study suggesting key elements were “inserted” into the virus’s genetic sequence and had no evolved naturally and may have escaped from a Wuhan lab.

    Surely the US and UK government know by now either that this is complete nonsense or that it is true? So which is it and why are we not being told.

    I suspect the former.

    • Andy
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      I don’t much like Piers Morgan. He is a self publicist. But his interview with Rudy Giuliani this week was TV gold.

      Giuliani was a fabulous mayor of New York. A brilliant man who did brilliant things. He was 50 when he took office and had a successful 8 years.

      But something has happened to him in the last 5 to 10 years. He’s gone a bit mad. A formerly successful, intelligent and perfectly reasonable man has turned into a (irrelevance? ed). Piers Morgan brilliantly called him out on it on TV.

      Giuliani is clearly suffering from Victor Meldrew syndrome. And, I suspect, so is Mr Dearlove. Mr Trump has it too. And so do a lot of older Tory MPs and ‘grandees’ have it too. People who were once relevant or important but who are now not who have not come to terms with their new place in the world. It’s sad.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        It was indeed a very bizarre interview, but Giuliani was as you say a brilliant mayor of New York. Sir richard dearlove remains highly astute and has valuable insights on many issues. I fear your ears will be hermetically sealed anything he says though as I believe he was and is in favour of Brexit.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Old Lives Matter Andy

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Yes, so why did this government stand idly by for weeks, ignoring the pleading of countries like Italy, to act swiftly and resolutely, to prevent the needless loss of tens of thousands of them?

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            I agree Martin a future investigation will look into the NHS and PHE and the scientific advice ministers were given about freeing up intensive care beds and recovery care beds in our key covid 19 response hospitals.

            To ask why the elderly weren’t transferred to maybe private hospitals that had been closed to private patients if the care homes couldn’t isolate those returning from hospital as they were asked to in freely circulating documents shared by care home managers on Twitter.

            Why weren’t the London elderly transferred to the Nightingale hospitals until they’d been tested?

            You will find no disagreement from me about elderly care, there were reports I read at the time of care home bosses asking the government for bureaucracy to be reduced so that the elderly could be sent to them. Many of these big private care homes have many questions to answer about ppe and why take patients they went on to say they couldn’t care for safely?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            We did our lockdown as recommended by SAGE
            And at similar times to most nations like Germany
            Whilst Sweden and others didn’t.
            Your desperation to try to place blame on Boris is becoming farcical.
            What say you about the current London mass crowds of protest?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Better to be a has-been than an am-not and never-will-be as seems to be the case for under 55year olds. (Boris has to be included so informed the age specified).

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      The WHO have approved the continued existence of wet markets in Wuhan and elsewhere.

      So either the WHO do not care if the world is exposed to infection from further new wet market viruses or they know that it came from the Wuhan Virology Lab.

      BTW, it was Mr. Barnier, when he was the French Foreign minister, who gave the go-head for the French to build the Wuhan Institute of Virology despite strong opposition from French diplomatic and security advisers, who argued that the Chinese reputation for poor bio-security could lead to a catastrophic leak.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        China itself has banned the consumption and marketing of wild animals for except seafood, however.

        WHO’s position is informed by the fact that these markets around the world – notably in Africa – will go underground if banned. They recommend careful regulation and inspection for now.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          The WHO’s position is constantly flip flopping and doesn’t seem to be informed by facts to me.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            That is a good sign, and the scientific approach.

            When new data supersedes old, your position changes.

            Unless you’re a Tory, or Trump voter, that is.

        • Adrian Ambroz
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          I’m sure with experience of their past actions the Chinese Communist Party are well able to clamp down on anything they have banned. And they do know how naive certain people & institutions are in the West so as to get their messages believed.

        • SM
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          Actually, the Chinese legislation on the trading of wild animals specifically EXCLUDES those that are to be used for ‘medicinal purposes’.

          Keep taking the rhino horn, old chap.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        The powers that be must surely know – one way or the other by now. The evidence must surely be fairly clear.

      • hefner
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        OR, Interesting that the role of Michel Barnier (as French Foreign Minister at the time of President Chirac) in the French-Chinese cooperation to create a top-security laboratory on Sars- type viruses in 2004, which was covered in a number of French newspapers in April 2020, only percolates to British newspapers in June 2020. The usual lateness of Britain to react or a reaction to the stuck negotiations between the UK and the EU?

  5. Nigl
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Testing requires the willing collaboration etc. Firstly it requires the testing to be absolute and early. At what state does it detect the virus and is it 100% accurate.

    Allegedly HMG was lobbied by big pharma to pay very large amounts for something that does not work earlier than four days in when symptoms are already showing. Equally what ‘child’ thought that a 72 hour response time was acceptable. We need a 15 minute response time from a ‘testing unit’ and they are available.

    For example your quarantine policy, placing under house arrest people for 14 days who haven’t got it, is bankrupting airports and carriers. What use is a 72 hour test, 15 minute testing on arrival both incoming and outgoing plus all staff creates a ‘clean’ airport, equally other places where people congregate.

    Testing is a politically riddled minefield with lives being lost unnecessarily. Your policy and actions are substandard and we need and deserve better.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      I agree. Testing has to be immediate, local and quick response.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    We can of course expect (once the virus has passed) the weakly death rates to fall below normal at these 70,000 + deaths so far have been brought forwards by Covid. But how many will die early or suffer due to lack of treatment for other conditions? It is surely time to get the NHS back up to speed in these other areas.

    Though as I said before in the short term strikes by doctors and surgeons tends to reduce deaths significantly and not increase them (initially anyway).

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Strangely no one has died of flu or pneumonia this year.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Well we have had about 70,000 excess deaths and only about 40,000 have been put down as Covid. So what killed (and is on the death certificates) of the other 30,000? Family arguments or bordom perhaps? DIY accidents?

      • hefner
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        How do you know that?
        The ‘All-Cause Mortality Surveillance’ figure published every Thursday ( shows the curve going higher than the figures reported for Covid-19 in the daily briefings. I understand consequently that it actually includes flu, pneumonia and other causes of death.

      • Stred
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        According to the ONS the care home deaths not attributed to Covid are often put down to flu with pneumonia. This seems odd when the spike in deaths coincides with the Covid epidemic.

    • Christine
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I agree. Weekly deaths are now down to near the five-year average. Most of the deaths are in the over 80s age group but by giving the elderly a few extra months or years we are sacrificing younger people who aren’t getting the treatment they require for life threatening medical problems. We are also damaging our economy, which will result in worse life outcomes further down the line. The Government should be advising the vulnerable and elderly to continue to socially distance but get the rest of the population back to work.

  7. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Bad though the virus is, a silver lining could have been that we used this to show how well organised and capable the UK is in a world context. Not the largest country, but the best.

    We could have used our island status to close borders and access to the virus, used a post-Brexit resurgent manufacturing sector to provide necessary PPE and supplies, a new government to plan and execute the response by isolating the vulnerable and their key workers.

    Instead this has been an unmitigated disaster. Lack of foresight, stupid on-the-hoof decisions, lack of analysis, the usual disorganised NHS, avalanche of cash without any comeback. Even demonstrations in London, spitting in the face of lockdown restrictions with the police caught between caving in and stopping things-no direction from above.

    Looking for any good here, we can only point to our strong R and D base which has worked doggedly towards a vaccine, and Astra Zeneca which has taken a strong decision to manufacture. Can anybody imagine this R and D and production taking place under government or NHS/bureaucratic control?

    • Nigl
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Boris’ PPE Tsar apologised earlier this week acknowledging Whitehall bureaucracy impeded the purchase of what was needed by frontline staff, (my words) in effect Sir Humphrey was prepared to see ‘someone die’ for the sake of adhering to some rules despite them obviously having a detrimental effect.

      This is alien to me albeit I know personally a person who had a test that worked but needed some sort of approval and despite the gravity of the situation no Humpreys would take the responsibility or were capable of speeding up the process.

      It would be good to hear from our host how and why this is allowed to happen

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Good piece – my last haircut was 29th January and I asked the barber if he was concerned by this emerging virus. He said yes, especially as a customer the previous day had just returned from Hong Kong. So end January this risk was the hot topic in a suburban barber shop. The problem was blindingly obvious to most way before the Government.

  8. Stred
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    England has a very high excess death rate, especially for the under 64 group. As soon as cases are reported, the trackers need to check the occupation, travel, family circumstances and other contacts. Then an overall picture could be built and the reason for the slow reduction in the UK could be found. If it is the NHS hospitals and staff travelling on public transport without changing clothes or wearing masks that is a problem then that could be prevented. If it is customers that do not follow hygiene rules when shopping, that could be addressed. If the spread is within families where essential workers bring the disease in or care homes still carrying the virus in and out then that could be stopped by testing in the home and isolating in hotels. Perhaps the NHS is already doing this, but on past performances this seems doubtful.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Yes Stred!
      I was surprised when NHS providers had a pop at Hancock about allegedly not giving them enough time about the new mask wearing instruction coming in on 15th June, I thought all NHS staff were wearing masks when seeing patients, they should have been! Plus they could provide a mask and ask all entrants to a medical facility to provide a double barrier.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      We have been kept in the dark on all these evidential matters. Either they don’t know and are incompetent or are keeping quiet and are therefore treacherous.

    • Stred
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Prof Edwards has confirmed this morning that the infection rates or R is highest in hospitals and care homes and low in the community, where we have been avoiding contact. This means that, providing that infection is not allowed to be transferred from the NHS and care to the community, the end of lockdown should be safe and infection in the general community should lessen.

  9. Nigl
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Tell us how far down the contact chain people are expected to isolate? Look at the maths of pyramid selling, 11 cycles you have the whole population? Once again has this been thought through?

    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    The political exploitation of a clinical illness in the hope of creating a national tracing network is SINISTER

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Being convinced that you can read minds, and that they all have evil intent is INSANITY.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        You know no history do you – not even last week?

      • dixie
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        @MiC do you really have no self awareness at all?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

          Dominic’s claim is clear in what he actually writes. My observing that fact is not a claim on my part to read his mind.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            You can foresee anything even when there is form – ie history. If you could you would agree that the grab at power is SINISTER.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

            You have swallowed the fallacy of Weak Inductive Reasoning.

            E.g, because the BBC weather forecast was wrong in 1987, all weather forecasts are wrong.

            Even then, they did say that it would be “very windy”.

          • dixie
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 4:44 am | Permalink

            @MiC read through your past comments, they are littered with your apparent ability to read people’s minds, declare motives and put words in their mouths.

  11. Sharon Jagger
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    “Are we now in the position where too many deaths are being attributed to CV 19 when it is not even known whether some had the disease or not, or when they also had other serious conditions that might have been the true cause? ”

    Reports made by many people who have family in care homes, particularly, would suggest this to be true. Which rather makes a mockery of the death certificate system.

    I’ve read several articles now, written by virologists or histopathologists or similar and the conclusion I’ve drawn is that 4/5 of people are asymptomatic. It would seem that the virus, because New was devastating to many people, and initially was an extremely nasty virus, but may well have burnt itself out.

    By releasing lockdown with people taking care should, you would imagine, be enough now, coupled with track and trace to monitor the situation.

    However, people rioting in London (over the death of that American chap), really won’t help this at all. Especially if they then return to other parts of the country!! Why do the lefties always spoil everything for everyone with their sense of injustice?

    It’s tricky to know what’s best to do , but our economy really must get up and running soonest.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      It’s not just London with ‘peaceful protests’ these mass gatherings have been in Manchester, Liverpool and many Cities up and down the Country. It will be interesting if there is a spike or not, if not I can’t see why Universities can’t reopen many of these teenagers and young adults and their families seem quite willing to get close. This is nothing like going to a controlled supermarket environment for Morgan to suggest that on twitter I think shows he hasn’t been near a supermarket in the last 10 weeks!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Scientists pulling together all the available data from across the globe have calculated that just under half of all cases have no symptoms.

      The younger that the infected person is, the less likely they are to have symptoms, with children rarely showing them.

      This makes schools problematic.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Stay under your quilt Martin.
        I will let you know when it’s safe to come out

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

          I’m not in the least scared of covid19 for myself, Ed.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Why did you then come out in the first place Edward?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            many years ago

  12. Jess
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    “What is the expert view on why the new case rate and death rate has stayed as high as it has during a strong lock down? ”
    Which experts are you asking? The Ferguson type expert that has got every single predicition he’s ever made completely wrong? Or the type of expert that would point out that if you’re classifying every death as covid without any evidence then the figures will stay high no matter what you do?

  13. Dunc.
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    As it has been widely reported, the virus spreads in clusters ,not evenly , so sample testing is actually pointless.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      If the samples are very large and broad, then they will be effective notwithstanding.

      Otherwise, it is as you say.

  14. miami.mode
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    ………..What is the expert view on why the new case rate and death rate has stayed as high as it has during a strong lock down?…………….

    It’s been accepted that many people can be asymptomatic, so when you have high profile individuals whizzing about all over the place during lockdown, why would you expect it to be any different?

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      High profile people? Like journalists? It would be interesting to investigate how many of the most highly infected care homes allowed journalists near their staff or patients with material covered mikes poked in their faces. They’re the only people I’ve seen getting into others personal distance space before the protests blew all the social distance rules out of the window.

  15. Richard1
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    The science is all over the place and so are the statistics. Countries have different methods for counting Wuhan virus deaths. In this country we’ve almost certainly been exaggerating them relative to others as the virus has been presumed to be the cause of death in many cases though there were many with co-morbidiites. We’ll need to wait a year or so for proper comparisons.

    Meanwhile the enthusiasm of leftwing people to see disaster in the U.K. and the US and to pin it on the governments, which they don’t like, is of course preventing sensible discussion and debate. The BBC and other broadcast media are complicit in this.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      This right-wing MBA thinks that the government’s performance has been woeful.

  16. Javelin
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    As a company director I hope you understand that the “R” rate is a measure of contagion and not a strategy. It’s like thinking “revenue” is a strategy when it is only a measure. Many and all errors flow from this. At the moment complex, contradictory and ambiguous policies and directions are very obvious in Government policy because it is focused on the R value. The reason it is focused on the R value is because that is the measure used by scientists and the Government is following the science, which means following a set of models developed by statisticians and hobby computer programmers.

    When the virus first came I proposed the only sensible strategy was to protect the vulnerable more and let the healthy live their lives more. The population needed to be divided and extra money and shielding to be given to the weak whilst the non-vulnerable should need to protect the vulnerable by earning money and taking measures not to spread the disease.

    As I posted at the time, the problem with the lockdown is that will cause more deaths from opportunity cost – such as economic depression, human despair, missed treatments, slow down in drug development. As we come out of lock down the R measure will go back up, most people will not have the virus and still get ill as if the lockdown never happened,
    and the Government will be left without an explanation for why they caused such catastrophic damage to so many people’s lives.

    Reply Im interested in R because the government uses it as a key indicator in determining lock down and relaxation.

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      The problem is, at this stage R cannot readily be measured. It can only be modelled …

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      I said all these things too.

    • anon
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      There is an R for a group or area and R for an individual.

      Identify high R individuals, develop action plans to mitigate the spread of infection.

      Free medicine from the death causing bureaucratic inertia preventing quick and timely responses.
      e.g. local production of key needs

      The NHS is there for a purpose not just to feather a totalitarian monopolistic management control culture.
      Planning : fail
      Identifcation of the vulnerable : fail
      Protection of the vulnerabale : fail
      Ability to Adapt : fail

      Surely they can manage copying or maybe listening to others is within the possible.

      If it works elsewhere, copy it and monitor. Just about starting, but too slow for many.

      If your not protecting the vulnerable , at least by providing factual information, there is little point in lockdown.

      Offer Vitamins C & D3 to the elderly and risk individuals. Very little risk

  17. Chris Dark
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Vaccine going into production before clinical trials results are available. And no doubt we, the long-suffering guinea-pigs, will be expected to have it. A quick fiddling of trials results to say it’s all “safe” will be all that is required to start injecting a questionable concoction into people’s veins. Any doctor who insists his/her patients have a vaccine that hasn’t been properly and thoroughly vetted through testing-channels shouldn’t be in practise. The fear-mongering over this virus has been epic and I have little doubt that millions will fight to be first in the queue for it, despite the question-marks hanging over it.
    This is all about controlling people’s lives, not about health.

  18. Nigl
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Ps after months of telling us masks are of no value, hey presto, suddenly they are and another reason I could be fined. The magic continues because allegedly Hancock pulled the policy like a rabbit out of a hat without advising the NHS.

    At what point do politicians become embarrassed, if ever?

    • Peter
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Politicians possibly think it best to err on the side of caution. If you predict 500,000 deaths and it is far less you can claim success for any measures you put in place. If you assure the public that all will be well and there is a death surge or our figures seem worse than other countries then the politician does not look good.

      As for Mr. Hancock, he could be a useful scapegoat for any mistakes in handling the virus. Blame it all on him, while everybody else keeps their head down and also keeps their job.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      There have been three egregious examples this week of the government failing to engage with stakeholders (IAG, dentists and hospitals). This is inexcusable.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      ‘The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its advice on face masks, saying they should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus.’ Perhaps Matt got the memo on Friday.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Masks are only valuable from the 15th – useless on 14th, 13th etc. No sequential think evident at all!

    • Jonah
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      If the opinion polls say it’s popular this government will do it!! They appear unable to lead us out of this crisis and frequently make belated decisions which are not even evidence based. I can’t believe this is the government I voted for. Very disappointed😷

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Tim Davie named the new BBC director general I see. Well surely he has to be better than Tony Hall? Then again he is an English Graduate (Selwyn, Camb) but better than PPE I suppose.

    But why £525,000 over three times Boris’s salary. More than 3,500 licence fees just for his salary each year then there is pension and expenses too I suppose.

    No wonder they now want now to force people over 75 to pay the TV poll tax too.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      I wonder whether the BBC will have 3,500 license fees paid? He may be in for a cut in salary if we have any gumption.

    • DavidJ
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Another reason why we all need to refuse payment of the licence fee. If a sufficient number do so then nothing can be done about it.

  20. acorn
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Reported deaths per 100 000 population. June 5th.

    Belgium 83.6
    United_Kingdom 60
    Spain 59.8
    Italy 55.7
    Sweden 44.8
    France 43.4
    Netherlands 34.8
    Ireland 34.3
    Luxembourg 18.1
    Portugal 14.2
    Germany 10.4
    Denmark 10
    Austria 7.6
    Romania 6.7
    Finland 5.8
    Hungary 5.5
    Estonia 5.2
    Slovenia 5.2
    Norway 4.5

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Are these figures on a like-for-like basis? if not, what value is there in drawing a comparison?

      • acorn
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        These figures are based on ECDC data. It has corrected some countries data for measurement anomalies, France for instance so far. There is no evidence that EU states are deliberately massaging data. But naturally, I accept that is exactly what Redwoodian Denialists would claim.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          You think what you prefer acorn
          But there are numerous articles available explaining how so many nation have different definitions and therefore create different results.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:16 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            UK six times more deaths than Denmark, to me that tells me a lot even if some of the figures are manipulated

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            It tells you very little.
            Denmark has a population of about 6 million.
            A tenth of the UK.

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            Bill brown do you know the number of people that got off flights from highly infected Countries like China, Iran, Italy, Spain and regions of France from Mid-February to the end of March 2020 into Denmark compared to into the UK to compare contagion risk?

          • bill brown
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            Six times more per 100.000 don’t you read statistics

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

            Yes I do
            It is about population density.
            And transmission in big cities.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 2:27 am | Permalink

            Edward 2
            On Denmark and UK

            Population density and big cities, they have lots of both in both Germany and South Korea, so that one does not stack up either. Eddie you are on thin ice

          • Edward2
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

            Try Italy and Spain and USA.
            Watch the thin ice yourself billy.

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Indeed, “reported”.

      Sadly the reporting methodology is not comparable, so you have effectively a fruit bowl of different fruits, not merely apples and oranges.

      The true impact of covid19 will only become clear when we are in a position to calculate excess deaths internationally, and even then there will be two significant provisos: first we will need to understand the numbers of those who died from covid19, as opposed to those who died due to lack of medical treatment for other conditions. Second we will need to understand what excess deaths have occurred in excess of those we might have expected from a virulent flu season, for example.

      Only then will we understand how our mortality figures compare to others’.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Not something that the BBC will tell you. America is the worst because they say so.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      The Spanish figures should be adjusted upwards it seems clear they have been manipulated down recently by official sources.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Largely a mixture of guesswork, varying COD recording, fantasy, and political sleight-of-hand. And there is considerable regional variation with countries. In Germany, the large State of Bavaria (pop. 13.8m) has 19.3 deaths per 100k. In Germany’s third-largest state, Baden-Wuerttemberg (pop. 11 m), there have been 16.6 deaths per 100K. So they actually come halfway up the deaths table, not near the bottom.

      [Statistics from Die Zeit: ‘Coronavirus-Karte für Deutschland’ updated 6 June]

  21. a-tracy
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The media hounded and are still hounding Cummings, yet turn a complete blind eye to the risk BLM protestors are taking maybe not for their age group as I read most of them are under 30 but to their families when they go home.

    This getting within 2m physical distance of police officers at their job and shouting in their faces is putting their lives and their families lives in danger if the numbers of new infections are true? I’m not sure they are.

    I feel we are importing new cases every day the through this crisis planes from an airline fly into Manchester no-one asked to quarantine from these planes throughout this crisis.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      God works in mysterious ways. Maybe he is ridding us of the self-haters who boast that they don’t understand – but are making a stand’. Why don’t they just give up their privileges like Just Harry?

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        I like and respect our Royal Family, particularly our Queen and Prince Phillip. I’m not sure what Harry has actually given up other than the title, has he had to get a job? Why do the newspapers especially the Express who must have 5 articles each day even mention him, give him and his family their privacy – really cut them off from publicity and leave them in peace.

  22. Mick Davies
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Zinc used with hydroxy chloroquine has been very successful according to a worldwide poll of doctors.
    By the way, the cycle in America exposed 455 people to a test positive covid 19 case with no symptoms and not one of them contracted it.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      I thought 455 exposed to asymptomatic was a paper by Gao et al published in Respiratory Medicine. The study was of contacts of an asymptomatic patient in a Guangdong hospital. It did conclude that asymptomatic patients might be weaker spreaders, but also that preventative measures can help – some of the contacts were patients in a ward with 1.2 m bed separation and the medical staff wearing PPE.

    • Christine
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      John, I told you last week about the dodgy study on hydroxychloroquine published in the Lancet and how the WHO jumped on this and stopped other trials into the effectiveness of this antimalarial drug as a protection against the virus. Well now, the Lancet has issued a retraction of the article after hundreds of well-respected doctors and scientists wrote a letter of complaint about this paper. Unfortunately, damage has already been done, with other trials stopped part way through. We also have the example of a US company who stated they had made a breakthrough in the development of a vaccine. Their shares went through the roof (with questions about some recent share sales ed). Our scientists should be rigorous and honest, we’re getting shoddy results at best, and compromised conclusions influenced by politics and big money at worst.

  23. John E
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The Oxford vaccine team are having to move their testing to Brazil because there isn’t enough of the disease left in this country. It’s folly waiting for a vaccine. Treat it as an upside bonus if it comes through in record time but plan for life without one.

    SARS broke out in 2003 but it took until 2016 for a vaccine to be approved. Once the outbreak dies down no-one is interested in funding vaccines. Most clinical trials fail. And there is a real risk that new vaccines cause more problems than they solve. So if anyone in government is thinking they can wait for a vaccine so they don’t have to make any difficult decisions they need to be disabused.

    Something that the Health Secretary doesn’t confront is that the spread of the disease here now is overwhelmingly in hospitals and care homes and care in the community.
    All the elderly Covid cases who were evicted from hospitals to “Protect The NHS” by dying somewhere else spread the disease in care homes. Continuing severe shortages of PPE, inadequate working practices, and poor adherence to self isolation by workers are ongoing.
    Community care provision has been particularly badly neglected being always treated as a poor relation to the hospitals and the last in the line for equipment and resources. I said here before that the local community nurses were reliant on goggles donated by the science lab at Maiden Erlegh school.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Hancock was back on the “Protect the NHS” mantra yesterday – I’d always assumed the reverse was supposed to be the case.

      • Stred
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Hancock said that the government had thrown a protective ring around care homes when they had thrown Covid patients into care homes. Now that these homes and hospitals have become the centres of infection, we need a protective ring to protect the locked down community from the NHS.

  24. Mick Davies
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    That was cdc in America.

  25. villaking
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Might we also ask, having now eased the lockdown a while ago, why aren’t deaths increasing? Of course I don’t want them to, but if severity of lockdown and the infection rate are supposed to be correlated (they aren’t), then they should be.
    The 40,000 deaths are a tragedy but the robbery of personal liberty is more shocking to me.

    • James Bertram
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Agreed, villaking.
      [Note: last time I agreed my post did not get past moderation. In that post I noted that the Norwegian Prime Minister and Health Authority had apologised for an unnecessary lockdown; and that the SAGE scientists, even Ferguson, by 23rd March had never recommended a full lockdown – it was the Government’s decision entirely.]
      Today Sir John is beginning to ask some of the more pertinent questions. Wherever you look the medical evidence is becoming clear that lockdown and social distancing have had negligible effect on combating the virus – there is no correlation.
      This is Will Jones for Conservative Woman ‘Why Social Distancing is worse than useless’:
      ‘it is becoming increasingly clear that social distancing measures explain little if any of the difference in outcomes between countries, and thus that in most places the virus is running its course and dying down, not because of interventions but because it reaches a saturation point or collective immunity threshold much earlier than was expected. ‘
      Sir John, if you are not yet reading the Lockdown Sceptics Org website, please do – it really frames the kind of question all politicians and self-respecting journalists should be asking. Thank you.

  26. New England
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    What do we do when we find out the political leaders are insane on a global level?

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Too late to worry about that.

    • BOF
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Ship them all to South Georgia?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Sack ‘em. We have the power.

  27. Richard1
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    More and more evidence is coming out of the explicit responsibility of the Chinese communist party for the global disaster of the Wuhan virus. Sir richard dearlove, former head of MI6, has drawn attention to research by distinguished scientists which suggest the virus was created in the notorious Wuhan lab. Charles Moore in the telegraph has a good article on this today.

    Meanwhile the left are on the streets enraged at the murderous actions of a single US policeman (now in gaol awaiting trial). Not a word from them on the Wuhan virus, the crushing of hing Kong, the 1 million Uighur Muslims in concentration camps etc. The humbug and double standards are beyond belief.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      We’ll worry about which feral kid was playing with matches, if any, when the fire is out, thanks.

      Meantime we need a proper fire engine and crew, not an oval-wheeled clown car, with red nosed jokers, chucking about buckets of feathers.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        A typically inane comment. Without full data from the source neither a virus nor a cure are likely to be found. The question is highly relevant.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        You’re talking about a fully grown up nation with a space programme and aircraft carriers, Martin.

        Always leaping to their defence and kicking your own country, aren’t you ! And while you (and so many on the Left are doing that) what are they up to ???

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        Speak for yourself Martin I’d prefer to take the matches off the feral kids before they get chance to light a fire!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        There never was a fire, just kids running about shouting ‘fire’ …

      • Fred H
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        nice distraction tactics as usual Martin – – -bit late for that now!
        So we are making a fuss about 1 rogue policeman? – – when recent history reports dozens of similar incidents?
        You say ‘move on nothing to see here!’

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Indeed, dreadful actions by one appalling policeman used by the organisations and people like Lammy, that revel in stoking the fires of identity politics. This regardless of the deaths and damage that this does. I do not imaging the idiotic policemen intended to or even thought he might die as a result.

      The silence of the left over Hong Kong and indeed HSBC is rather deafening.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Unreported in any U.K. broadcast media have been the deaths, including murders by shooting, of people protecting stores from looters and innocent bystanders or people who have chosen not to join the riots.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Why incidentally is it ok for leftwing people to gather in a large crowd, clearly defying social distancing and mass meeting rules, for purpose of leftwing protest? Many of these people were no doubt loud in righteous condemnation of Dominic Cummings’s alleged breach of lockdown, yet do not feel constrained at committing a far more flagrant breach of the rules. Why should the rest of us not go back at least to normal social life if great crowds of leftists are allowed to gather whenever they want to protest?

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        It is not ok Richard.

        I’m surprised the NHS hasn’t been ranting on tv and apoplectic about these mass gatherings breaching rules and putting their lives at risk having to treat the relatives of these protestors.

  28. New England
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    What makes people, politicians in this case, go collectively mad? We need an inquiry into that.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      A hysterical and loud mouthed media with no-win-no-fee lawyering a close second does that.

      Piers Morgan really needs to stand for election or at the very least spend the rest of his days working his socks off in public service. He’s been influencing government policy from a position of gobby privilege. He needs to be brought to account too.

  29. New England
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Romes wine?

  30. New England
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Not you John…the others.

  31. New England
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    An excellent article from a sane politician. Not many left?

  32. dixie
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    As ever excellent questions, have these been asked and answered in the house?

    Can we have discussion on these sorts of questions on the daily plague instead of the BBC point scoring and rubbish from the likes Hancock and Schapps

  33. acorn
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Unlock Stakes: Confirmed cases in last 14 days/ population as a %.

    Brazil 0.144%
    Sweden 0.097
    United_States 0.089
    Russia 0.085
    United_Kingdom 0.047
    Portugal 0.037
    Canada 0.033
    Belgium 0.021
    Ireland 0.015
    France 0.014
    Spain 0.013
    Netherlands 0.013
    Denmark 0.010
    Italy 0.010
    Germany 0.007
    Finland 0.007
    Norway 0.004
    Hungary 0.003
    Switzerland 0.002
    Greece 0.001

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Yes, just look at how Italy, thanks to its effective action, has gone from one of the most badly affected to one of the best.

      The UK must replicate this to avert ruin.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Our high level of testing capacity presumably works against us on this measure. The deaths/million figure might be more useful.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        We were meant to have had 600,000 deaths. We have 40,000 deaths.

        Boris saved 560,000 lives.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Yes, because the Government actually did lock down in the end.

          Without that there would have been something like that number of dead.

          50,000 from 7% infected means 500,000 from 70% infected, doesn’t it?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Who said 7% were infected?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

            Not necessarily.
            In previous virus outbreaks the virus has died out after a peak.

        • Stred
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          The estimate at the time of lockdown was 510,000 for do nothing. 250,000 for do a bit and 20,000 for do a lot but not necessarily lockdown. We did lockdown, perhaps a week or two too late, and got 40,000 to date, with a lot more to come when the excess deaths are worked out. This is not saving lives and supporting the fantastic NHS.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        But you advocate ruin in every post! Boris does not want to disappoint you and your ilk. You shall have your ruin and I shall enjoy watching you rebelling against extinction.😂😂

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          No, Lynn, if it comes to that then I’ll just live somewhere else.

          I have the means and the other qualifications.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

            Glad you are qualified, don’t let us hold you back!

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            Martin I don’t think you will muster the points. Any self respecting country or company tests before employing now, because of all the faked degrees. In fact my cousin had to rewrite all his medical examinations before being allowed to practise in the USA. You might be able to go to China of course. Same attitude.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            Wales Labour party needs you.

  34. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I think our medical people and scientists are doing all they can to try and find a solution, using a whole variety of drugs and treatment options to try and find what has the best results, unfortunately this takes time.
    Meanwhile we seem to have a huge number of people who think there is now little no risk to themselves, so there is no need to follow any sensible precautions any more, so they can demonstrate en mass, and are free to travel where they want, and when they want, even if it means going to crowded beaches, where social distance is for others.
    Unfortunately the relaxation of non essential travel over any distance, and seeing five other people at a time, has fuelled such a belief.

    Many still do not seem to understand that you can be infectious without symptoms for the first few days after catching the virus, or in some cases be infectious without showing any signs at all.

    Yes would fully agree we have to try and get back to as near normal as possible as soon as possible, but afraid the tail of this virus will wag for very many more months yet, and may even wag stronger, as more and more people relax their defences thinking its no longer a problem for them.

    In the meantime those who genuinely think they are at risk will probably continue to be careful, with some degree of self isolation if that is possible.

  35. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    My greatest concern is the growth of authoritarianism. Restrictions on what we can do and where we can go is working its way down everywhere and there is no doubt in my mind that as government will never dare to say the virus is no longer a problem these restrictions will become permanent and grow. Petty officials and petty bureaucrats are loving it.

    So we will not be able to gather freely again, we will not be able to visit anywhere on a whim. Permissions will be needed everywhere, the police will become ever more officious than they are already and the liife we have enjoyed will be destroyed. If this is not dismantled sullen resentment will grow along with civil disobedience, to deliberately understate it. As it is we can see violence is being appeased through lack of moral courage in our leaders. Where are they, who is defending freedom?

    The elites of course will not be inconvenienced by this of course, only the people who have few opportunities for leisure and do not have special privilges as full parts of their social lives.

    Indeed the country’s economic activitiy must be freed up, people must have work and we all need modern and essential products and services but I would say if we don’t have feedoms we are of course, slaves.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink


    • a-tracy
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Go left wing you can gather in masses whenever you wish without any trouble,

      Oh the elites have put their sports fixes back together such as golf and tennis and agreed you can travel now to your favourite golf club in England.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        But Boris, (of all people!) has decreed no nookie.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          Lol 😂

  36. Adam
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    One answer on the Virus:


    The world needs new ideas for a powerful solution.
    Millions of people have the motivation, time and technology at hand to create it.
    They need channelling to spur efficient action.


    Govt sets up a Vanguard scheme.

    Each Vanguard is a voluntary team of any 9 persons, registered with a team V number at the scheme website.
    V numbers start at V1 and may reach, say V3157, or any higher, unlimited.
    Each team works as a unit, spurring multiple fresh ideas which they bounce off between themselves, adapting, assessing, revising and devising whatever they consider to be their finest of all.

    Each V idea is summarised into a maximum of 200 words and submitted as the team’s entry.
    Every idea is exposed for everyone else to assess and opine about, adding a score of 0 to 9.
    Medical specialists add a further layer of screening to evaluate the best for discussion, research, experimentation or development.

    All 9 members of the succeeding V team receive a newly-created once-only Queen’s Award for Humanity, £9m each, and Govt creates a new hospital dedicated to the memory of their achievement.

    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I doubt Churchill would have ‘taken the knee’ or bent to the will of Marxist thuggery.

    Johnson’s been playing the Churchillian card for the last few months now but this week has exposed him for what he really is. Step forward, Neville Chamberlain

    A tiny minority of thugs and political extremists have succeeded in manipulating the actions of elected politicians and unelected State bureaucrats

    And now we see Imperial College dropping the expression ‘Imperial’ to pander to the high priests of authoritarianism

    And what of the majority? They have become POWERLESS. They are on the OUTSIDE. Their hands are not on the levers of political power. Those levers are now controlled by people whose intent is an anathema to all decent, normal, moral folk in the UK.

    Both main parties are taking this nation in a direction from which there is no return

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      And our great sin was TRUSTING them!
      Who knows what turn of events might suit the agenda since we have no idea what the agenda actually is.
      I dare say, if it suited, they would get out the water cannons/rubber bullets and probably worse. So why don’t they?
      Too far down the liberal lefty rabbit hole? Or in league with it maybe? Or maybe the establishment IS ACTUALLY the rabbit hole??

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      The quondam ‘Imperial College’ now needs to drop ‘college’ and lose its funding.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        A silly suggestion. Imperial College has dropped its moto not its name. Prof Ferguson is loosely affiliated with it and speaks for himself only as I understand it.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        I think you are probably correct that Imperial needs to drop a lot, but throwing away a motto that values the importance of knowledge is perhaps a fair reflection on the institution’s performance.

        An Imperial staff letter in 1995 suggested that there is a choice of translations due to the ambiguity of the Latin

        (Sir John, I hope you can let that link through)

  38. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Off topic

    When is Priti Patel going to resign as immigration minister? If she is getting paid for the job then she should either do something or be sacked. With a blatantly arranged system for the French to shove what they don’t want, over here for us to be in danger of and have to pay for – she is apparently getting money for nothing. Or was her words just yet another Tory lie on controlling who gets here for a free life? Disgusting. Will BJ turn round like in the Cummings farce and say -” move on” – after millions have walked in? Worse than disgusting.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Good post Neil. Prito is doing a terrible job at controlling this.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      He certainly won’t say ‘move on’ to the economic migrants.

  39. MeSET
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    “We are waiting for the science to catch up with events”
    We are waiting for the medical experts to catch up with science.

    Much to your patience JR I have gone out of my way citing sources, common memories and school basic learning of science over the past 30 years. Common knowledge.

    I do not know why the governments experts regularly and from the start have spouted nonsense.
    Why they were from the start weeks behind even the then current historically re-learned
    Singapore Governments Official findings-video, online . Why England’s UK Chief Medical Officer retuned himself in harmony with that 3 days after the ‘video’ was more available online.

    Why he on TV announced he would not give overly importance, at least, to fighting the virus by fighting and acting upon regional and ethnic variations in virus transmission.

    Why he was behind by weeks ongoing Dr Birx’s re-learning about “each area and region and even parts of towns and cities having their own dynamic” ( dynamic, her word). Why she herself and her whole team were more than half a century, minimum, behing know scientific thought and accepted knowledge.

    Why Mrs Sturgeon was unaware and ‘we’ ” “We did not know when patients were transferred to Nursing Homes the virus could be asymptomatic”. OF COURSE IT WAS!!!

    Why Government Ministers do not appear to have read even The Daily Telegraph religiously, medical articles, for decades, and other quality papers, not quite as good.

    Why Ministers appear not to have received basic general science teaching in their childhood schools. (!)

    It is a complete mystery.
    This Age of Amnesia.


  40. Jack Falstaff
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    What the deuce was the point of an extended lockdown if they then go and allow people to congregate in the streets to protest en masse while CV19 deaths are still happening?
    It doesn’t take a genius…..

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      They are also coming into close proximity with police officers and putting them at risk – including those who could be considered middle aged and obese.

      Does this not constitute assault on police ? Why aren’t the police issued with protective visors and face masks ?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Hard to issue anything when you are on your knees.

  41. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    There’s more knowledge about the virus and the way it is transmitted than people realise, it’s just that the knowledge has to make its way through the fog of politics.
    Why has the infection rate stayed so high? Because the disease is festering in hospitals and care homes. They’re getting better at infection control with experience and supplies coming through, which is why the rate is actually going down. This will be a sore point with government, so they don’t like to talk about it (mustn’t “dis” the NHS.).
    And if we are still serious about keeping this disease in check, don’t think about opening up air travel (not that it was ever shut down in the first place – people voted with their feet). All those people travelling long distances, sharing their germs en route. It’s not the destination that’s the problem, it’s the journey itself.

  42. Fred H
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    A different question:
    Every day people are admitted to A& E (or on pre-arranged appointment) needing a radial artery or groin access to place stents in heart arteries. Some are life threatening I know of, what is happening? Are these urgent procedures taking place, or are people dying as a result of inaction? My experience was at RBH and afterwards with lots of success stories.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      A colleague and friend of mine died last week awaiting such surgery. Same age as me.

      We will have the honour of a drive-by procession but cannot go to his funeral.

  43. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    A second lockdown is out of the question.

    Why are so many putting their faith in vaccines that may help or may kill – Certainly it was a rash decision to purchase an untested product.
    A vaccine will not stop the spread of CV… I repeat, because so many do not understand: A vaccine will not stop the spread of CV. It will simply protect the individual who has decided to have it. That person could still be a carrier.

    It still amazes me that the medical establishment as a whole ignore the benefits of making the immune system stronger to help shrug off the virus in a natural manner. Individual doctors have spoken out on things that could help but are largely ignored because of this overwhelmingly irrational group-think dependence on a vaccine.
    Doctors have suggested the following with a large amount of evidence – and people need to know that these can help: ZINC VITAMIN-D VITAMIN-A VITAMIN-C VITAMIN-E .. and several other supplements that can be investigated on the web.

    It would certainly help if we could trust that the deaths ascribed to CV were actually caused by CV – That might ease some of the panic… but one thing is for sure – If we get another CV bounce it will be because the establishment has failed us.

    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Sir John Redwood

    Today is the 6th June 2020. Do you know what means?

    ”Operation Overlord 6 Jun 1944 – 25 Aug 1944”

    Thousands of brave troops laid down their lives to liberate Europe from tyranny and barbarism. And now we see police officers on their knees at the front of a screaming, hate filled Marxist mob

    We see Hancock and his appalling contrition

    Do you understand what your party has done?

    It is telling that you run with an article about a virus….

    Enough from me. I express my anger on these boards far too often in the forlorn hope that by making our concerns known to a decent, honourable MP we may see a degree of morality and decency return to these lands but no. I understand why backbench Tory MPs remain silent and tow the line. They are as horrified as we all are at the direction in which this country is heading. They are powerless

    PM Johnson has not confronted the baying mob. That alone tells me his true feelings. He will capitulate to the vicious, tiny minority of thugs now controlling events

    The real question is who is organising these thugs and who is financing them?

    The Tories are in government but the real power now lies elsewhere

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      My motivation too.

      It is quite clear some obvious truths cannot be mentioned about the BLM protests and the anti racism lies they promulgate, or, rather, the facts that they ignore.

      It is quite clear from the body count in mortuaries both here and in the US that it should be a WLM demo and not a BLM one.

      This is a left wing push to achieve what they couldn’t at the ballot box in a free vote.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink


      To me, it was the most appalling thing to see our Police on their knees in front of a howling mob. That should never have been allowed. Our Police are there to keep law and order, as best they can, and not to be a part of the demonstration.
      Today reminds us of the courage of those who fought and died, so that we could be free. What would/must they have thought, to see such a thing. The demonstrators dont give them a second thought. Sadly, I sometimes do wonder if it was all worth it.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think the Tories are even ‘in Government’.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Most of the mob are on furlow or benefits. All tax payer funded. We have loads of self employed here who are claiming furlough money and are still working. Sorry about the spelling.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I do wonder what Boris wants his tenure and Government to be remembered for?

      Currently it could list many disaster reports.
      Where are the ‘get done’ successes?

  45. William Long
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    There seem to me to be two major obstacles to making ‘Track and Trace’ work effectively, even once the ‘App’ is up and running. The first, which should be solvable, is that at present it can take 48 hours to get a test back, just at the time when someone is likely to be at their most infectious. But the second thing is much less tractable: the probably huge, but at present unknown number of people who have the disease assymptomatically, but are probably fully infectious. What if anything, is being, or can be, done about this?

  46. Jack Falstaff
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    A deadly virus is sweeping across the world and even Nils Anders Tegnell, the architect of the “anti-lockdown approach” in Sweden, has just basically admitted he got it wrong.
    People worldwide have spent months dutifully confined to their homes while the medical services in their countries have risked their lives to succour victims as people die of the virus left, right and centre.
    Suddenly people in most countries suddenly see fit to rub shoulders in their thousands on mass demonstrations to protest the brutal murder of a man by a rogue policeman in the United States.
    I ask if people might not now have gone collectively mad and seriously imagine that the Coronavirus also has the moral compass to take a pause to show its respects to poor Mr Floyd?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      The virus is very intelligent.
      It don’t hang around riots!!!
      How do they put it? Frit?

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      They also force themselves on a police force that is not provided with PPE. Is this not also assault on police ?

    • Yorkie
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      First . There has not been a guilty verdict on any one man arrested and charged with manslaughter or murder in the context America.
      So. yesterday or the day before,Priti Patel spoke with some passion about wrongfulness of what appeared a street party in one small street in London by local people.She said again of such tiny gatherings and localised that the police would prosecute an how right it was.
      Today, she was interviewed on TV about mass demonstrations in which Media showed thousands of people who they claimed with photos were not social distancing but protesting about a person losing his life in America. Her voice seemed soft and gentle and no mention of police prosecutions even though such mass gatherings are said to be in many places in the country.
      Does this behaviour of Priti Patel merit, warrant, a cross-party Parliamentary enquiry, now? Lives are at stake.
      You ask “I ask if people might not now have gone collectively mad”

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Perhaps Yorkie, the Government are seeing these breaches of the lockdown rules as a ‘voluntary experiment of current contagion risk’ just like the parents and sunbathers the previous weekend who took or allowed their children to go to the beach together is a mass. No spike no more argument about going back to school, university etc. and all the things people claim they can’t do because of the risk! We’ll know in just 7 days.

        Just keep well away from anyone with their social media look at me I’m doing the right thing posts about being there or with beach photos.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Jack. Correct. £1000 fine fir breaking quarantine but there you go luvvies protesting and blatantly putting others at risk while desecration a monument that made their stupid protest possible. Why don’t they engage their tiny brains?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Because they are proud of their ignorance and boldly acclaim it.

    • zorro
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Nonsense, he has done nothing of the sort – selective reporting there


  47. Nigl
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Ps off topic but current. We seem to be offering EU concessions re accepting tariffs. You are the expert, is this a sign of weakening/preparing us for more ‘crumbling’ or inconsequential re the bigger picture?

    • beresford
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Presumably we WILL be putting some tariffs on their produce in return, won’t we? Surely this isn’t ANOTHER unnecessary one-sided concession to the EU? Like a lot of people I am hoping for WTO, not because it is preferable to a fair deal but because I don’t trust our representatives to negotiate a fair deal.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Dear beresford–WTO not too bad (didn’t they decide was equivalent to mere 4% net?) but even if it was why isn’t it blindingly obvious that after a while Barnier et al will have become redundant and a FTA, agreed albeit perhaps gradually

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          Why do we want an FTA with the EU? WTO delivers £14 billion into the U.K. coffers from the EU.

          • glen cullen
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

            Agree….go WTO

          • dixie
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

            Agree, why is a trade agreement necessary for individual companies to trade.

        • anon
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          Remember post a WTO exit we can agree lower tarriffs with other nations via an FTA.

          So between EU & UK default WTO 10% on cars. Then shortly after FTA with other countries that make cars .e.g US, Korea etc.

          So leave now. Car production is low.
          Then do deal with non EU countries in the next month or so.

  48. Irene
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    My understanding is that it is possible to confirm post-mortem whether someone has had Covid-19. “Samples for diagnosing cases of COVID-19 at post-mortem examination are identical to those used to make the diagnosis in life and consist of upper respiratory tract swabs (viral nose swab, viral throat swab), lower respiratory tract (sputum, BAL) and a plain tube of blood for serology. ” (Taken from the Royal College of Pathologists Briefing on Covid-19, published February 2020, but also published on government website.)

    Concerns existed for a long while now about the validity of the statistics surrounding deaths with “too many deaths are being attributed to CV 19 when it is not even known whether some had the disease or not” as you write. Surely, even if a full post-mortem is not requested or required, it would have been possible to take swabs from the deceased if doubt existed? But then again, we never had the capacity to test, did we. Who shoulders the responsibility for that omission?

    Have these questions been asked and answered in the HoC? If so, please provide info. If not, why not?

    • Fred H
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      I got tired of, and frustrated with late inclusion on here, of my reports of a private Lab doing testing for free at GP staff surgeries and then a Care Home.
      I discovered the PHE, NHS, Government denial of the immediate value of Labs – being decentralised.
      The joint idiotic view was that we should wait weeks for 3 centres, Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Glasgow to find capacity to do 10,000 cases per day. No information on who would be tested, how to send samples, turnaround expectation, proof of accuracy etc.
      The SAGE ‘science’ has been contrary, no lessons from countries tacking the problems weeks before they would hit us, and what appears to be backside political covering endlessly.

      The testing results of positives are declining, rapid results allow urgent isolation, putting the advertised need for track and trace into question.
      National production of thousands of test kits is not the same as making decentralised availability and urgent communication of testing result.

      If ever televised the show could repeat the ‘Don’t panic Mr Johnson (Mainwaring)’.

      Reply If you want promoter postings offer fewer and shorter posts. you send more than I write

      • Fred H
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply…..I’m not in competition with the mainstays here, but if my points are a problem for you I’ll retire. I seem to be increasingly at odds with the direction of the Government and realise I’m facing a hurricane of nonsense on here.

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I hope these post-mortem samples exist for those persons who died of a “mystery illness” in the latter months of 2019 and can now can be tested for Covid-19 because there are reports of European military personnel falling ill during and just after attending the Wuhan 2019 Military Games held October 18-27.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink


      …….. because that may then show that they DIDN’T succumb to CV19 and it would detract from the ‘seriousness’ of the issue and ‘dilute’ the message that Herr Doktor Hancock wishes to get across.

  49. MeSET
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Source BBC online A NEW article with tales of yesteryear, last week

  50. Andy
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    It is, of course, false to suggest the entire economy has been closed. Far from it. Many people are working successfully from home – and are finding themselves more, not less, productive as a result. Most of my friends have been working from home since March – and although there have been inevitable difficulties there have been huge benefits for many too. Not having to commute being a key one. For many businesses this will lead to profound change – some of it very good. The people moaning the most are pensioners – who don’t work anyway. And all this hardship is to mostly protect them.

    Indeed, most of us professionals are far less bothered by the temporary Covid shutdown than by the disastrous Tory Brexit mess coming our way. Temporary disruption to supplies and supply chains is one thing but permanent trade barriers are another. But then my generation understands the modern economy – unlike the public school elite, the retired colonels and elderly men who used be logistics managers in the 1970s but who haven’t been near a successful company for 40 years.

    We also very clearly see that the blame for all this mess lies with the clown in Number 10 (Dominic Cummings) and his henchman, Boris Johnson. Other countries have beaten the virus. They have ended their lockdowns. We had another 357 deaths yesterday. The death toll now passed 40,000. As someone put it in an article I read – they have wiped out a city the size of Salisbury. We are unfortunate as a country to have the most hapless government in memory in charge at a time of crisis. Still, the irony is not lost on us that the people dying in droves are mostly elderly – and it was elderly people who propelled the charlatans into Downing Street.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      We will not know the actual effects in different countries for at least a year due to the different ways stats are collected. Probably there will be little difference between comparable countries – ones with big globally connected cities. It does seem though that our centralised statist health system has performed worse than decentralised private ones such as exist in Switzerland and Germany. But of course we should really be looking to the chinese communist party as the cause of this not trying as you do to pin everything on western politicians like Boris who you don’t happen to like.

      Contrary to what you say most of us entrepreneurs investors and professionals accept that the U.K. has made a democratic choice to leave the EU, and reaffirmed it in a general election. That choice having been made we certainly don’t want to see the UK remain de facto subject to all laws and regs of the EU, as explained recently by remainer sir Malcolm Rifkind.

      We also see with greater clarity now the ever increasing likely costs of EU membership, the increasing difficulty – and costs for non-euro member states – of the EU, and the clear intention of the EU to move to full political and fiscal union – which you tried to deny during the referendum.

      Of course we would prefer a comprehensive FTA. But we do not want to see a kow tow / economic colony type arrangement. We know that would be disasterous for our businesses and for competitiveness. And increasing numbers of us recognise, whichever way we voted, that the U.K. might have dodged a bullet given the ever increasing tensions and stresses in the eurozone – likely to come to breaking point if a superstate is not created.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink


      If you are in a competition to put the nastiest, most disgusting posts on here, you can stop trying – you’ve won!

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      You are very prejudiced Andy and you are showing your ignorance.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      A nasty post from you again Andy. I wonder if you will even make old age with an attitude like yours.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Tell Darren Grimes that – you are one of the most ignorant people I have ever encountered. Is that your ‘profession’ or are you a street corner solicitor? You sound like one!

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      You are Matt Hancock and I claim my £10.
      (or €30bn, if you’d prefer? BACS would be fine. Ta.).

  51. Ginty
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    It seems highly immoral to me to impose such economic hardship on young people and then, on top of that, to expect them to inject their healthy, low risk bodies with a very rushed vaccine in order to save old men (like me.)

    How lucky we are to have had our fathers storm the beaches of Normandy for us and now to have our sons and grandsons to sacrifice their entire futures and risk their health so that we may live a few more years in economic misery.

    The cruises and cheap holidays are over for us now.


    Let those at low risk live normally and get the economy off life support.

    What we have done to the young (throughout the West) has been wicked. Utterly wicked.

    • APL
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Ginty: “What we have done to the young (throughout the West) has been wicked. Utterly wicked.”

      I completely agree.

      And that the Tory party was the instrument.

  52. glen cullen
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I am still trying to understand why our government did nothing in 2014 with 44,000 excess flu winter deaths, but decided to close down our country for covid-19, which like the flu can only be treated by paraceamol, and bed rest with the high majority of deaths only affecting the people aged 70+

    The government are likely to base all its interactions on the ‘R’ number, however from Govt website they state

    R is an average value that can vary in different parts of the country, communities, and subsections of the population. It cannot be measured directly so there is always some uncertainty around its exact value

    R is estimated by a range of independent modelling groups based in universities and Public Health England (PHE). The modelling groups present their individual R estimates to the Science Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (SPI-M) – a subgroup of SAGE – for discussion. Attendees compare the different estimates of R and SPI- M collectively agrees a range which R is very likely to be within

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      So rather like the estimate of the future range of global temperature as a result of rising CO2 then? All done by consensus opinion rather than evidence. Presumably many scientists jobs depend on not rocking the boat, either.

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        It came as a shock to me; I thought the ‘R’ number was the result of an evidence base scientific formula

      • Fred H
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        got it in one!

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        ….thing is though, CO2 level lags temperature change. The former is an effect of, rather than a cause of, the latter.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      In the 2017 to 2018 winter period, there were an estimated 50,100 excess winter deaths (EWD) in England and Wales (Figure 1). I wonder what the figure was with N Ireland and Scotland included?

    • hefner
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      The R number for England is an aberration. Even if it gets more difficult to be statistically significant based on a smaller sample of population, the R number should have been defined on the basis of how much distance people are likely to travel.
      If at one stage, people had been limited to trips within, say, 20 miles of a population centre (usually a bigger town), an estimate of R should have been defined on that basis. This would have helped define regions at low risk of Covid-19 where most activities not requiring travels outside the 20 m area could have more or less gone on as normal, simply limiting (or closely monitoring) the activities requiring longer distance travels.
      That’s basically what France (after a number of hiccups in March 2020 and the original absence of Covid-19 cases and deaths in Ehpad-retirement homes in the daily accounts) did when providing numbers relevant to the 95 individual ‘departements’.
      In such a scenario, London and suburbs would have been put in quarantine plus likely an area, say, 50 m around London. But a large fraction of the country might have been left alone. I will not try to figure out why the Government, Health Secretary and the SAGE committee could not figure out such a program of action.

      Obviously now it is far too late, and it is very easy for me to bring my two pence of ‘wisdom’, but I cannot help but think that it will be necessary to have a really proper inquiry including all aspects of the UK Covid-19 debacle (without the usual restrictions on the terms of reference and not being held ‘in camera’. If Boris Johnson is found to have been ‘inefficient’, I hope the usually braying (and/or hypocritical) Conservative donkeys will for once show some fortitude and really put country before their party and/or career (One can dream).

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      To stop 600,000 deaths, that’s why.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Where is there a prediction of 600 000 deaths in the UK?

        • bill brown
          Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          You really have to look at the statistics before you answer with non factual comments, it does not serve you well, considering your sloppy approach to facts in the past

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

            I just asked a simple question but neither of you have answered.

            How can you ask a factual question.
            You are being a silly billy

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      “I am still trying to understand why our government did nothing in 2014 with 44,000 excess flu winter deaths, but decided to close down our country for covid-19, which like the flu can only be treated by paraceamol, and bed rest with the high majority of deaths only affecting the people aged 70+”

      In recent years, the Left, who now control the MSM, education, the judiciary, quangos, the NHS and the Civil Service have made the NHS such an important issue that the government were forced to take drastic measures to “safeguard the NHS” against Covid-19 deaths at the expense of livelihoods and the general economy even if in the long run a weak economy and an NHS no longer treating illnesses other than Covid-19 would result in a larger number of deaths.

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Agree….go WTO

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Seems they have eradicated flu Glen. Nobody dies from that or pneumonia anymore.

  53. MeSET
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    To the positive and a help,
    Joe Kernen CNBC Ex-molecular biologist, though not saying he is an expert at all, said weeks ago the coronavirus “will be with us” after it is declared gone, “for nine months or so” in some form or another.
    I would add, much longer than that just to be different and to make me sound clever or arrogant depending on other people’s misguided views.
    ‘Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.

    The challenge is to live, with, the virus hereinafter. Immediately there will be ‘hot spots’ churn up here and there, hot spots as defined by human mind boxing and labeling of events. Petty matters if even one death could be petty.

    Face masks, as those who do recall in these comments page , enough, were said to be “useless” by three months ago British experts. In fact normal breathing and even a cough at worst have a low manageable concentration of cornonavirus anyway.

    Look to hospitals and Nursing homes, the families of staff and patients.

    My qualifications? I am correct.

  54. Caterpillar
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I agree lockdowns cannot go on forever, however strong/developed the initial economy. We already see that leaders such as Khan (i.e. PM Imran Khan) have recognised this, and the effect of any lockdown will be disproportionately bad for the lower/no incomes. The U.K. has added to a validation of a policy that has done disservice to other parts of the world.

    Repeating myself:-

    (i) The Govt needs to publish and publicise estimates of infection fatality rates as a function of age for those with/without underlying conditions.
    (ii) The Govt should comment on the timeseries of death rates by age – it seems that in hospital deaths in England and Wales the reduction in over 80s death rate is lagging
    (point 4 here
    (iii) The Govt should clarify whether it thinks there is underlying cross-reactive immunity and how that effects the epidemiological models.
    (iv) The Govt needs to develop a better testing strategy e.g. antigen tests may be fundamentally less accurate than using PCR, but incorrect swabbing in the latter can lead to 20% false negative + there is a 1 to 2 day delay. (point (iii) here The antigen test might even be more appealing to people.

    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Is the Metropolitan Police now under the control of forces detrimental to the upholding of law and order? Have they been captured by minority rights fascist?

    What role is Sadiq Khan and Labour playing in the use of intimidation to coerce and impose fear in the wider population?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      A huge one…the whole way through this!
      The Left/anarchists have infiltrated every institution.
      And from personal experience they are RUTHLESS.
      I fear that the sane majority will not believe this until it is too late.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        The sane majority voted for Boris last year
        We’re not stupid.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          Dominic was talking about those who rule us.
          Obviously I was referring to the politicians who utterly refuse to understand ( apparently) how dangerous the Left is.
          Unless, of course, they actually want the present chaos.
          Allow chaos and then rebuild?

          • Graham Wheatley
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            …..Agenda-21 then?

  56. BOF
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Another question that needs to be addressed is how Germany has kept the casualty rate so low. As I understand, their doctors have actually visited CV 19 patients at home to check their oxygen levels, thus ensuring that they can get them into hospital for treatment before their condition becomes too serious.

    Would this be too difficult a lesson to learn for OURNHS?

  57. Monza 71
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    On the subject of the money that the pandemic has cost :
    Is there any reason why the countries hit financially hardest by the virus cannot just print the equivalent of the amount of extra government expenditure that has been spent on the pandemic ?
    Conventional economics would suggest that there would be a one-off hit of inflation but even that might be small, given the level of competition provided by the internet ? As for exchange rates, if all countries printed the amount of money necessary, exchange rates would remain roughly the same relative to each other.

  58. Anonymous
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The NHS hasn’t been ‘up and running.’

    Most of the people in it are on standby too. Never had it quieter – yet, from their paid and pensioned and much applauded position, tell those in lockdown , without pay nor ability to fund their mortgages, to remain calm, stay indoors, relax and save the NHS.

    Those charity raisers and claps should not have been for the majority of key workers lucky to have jobs (most of whom were not at risk and the figures prove it) but for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their livelihoods or sacrificed life saving treatment so that CV19 patients can be saved at *all* costs.

    In a couple of months we will realise just what *all costs* means.

    Madness. Utter madness.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Agree with this. My husband finally went for a cancer check up yesterday which was 1 month late. He said the hospital was eerily quiet with nurses standing around doing nothing and hardly any patients around either. This was the main Shrewsbury hospital not a small rural one.

    • ed2
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Those charity raisers and claps should not have been for the majority of key workers lucky to have jobs (most of whom were not at risk and the figures prove it) but for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their livelihoods or sacrificed life saving treatment so that CV19 patients can be saved at *all* costs.

      absolutely spot on
      but this entire nightmare should never have happened and it is hard to see how the political class can recover.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      concur……utter madness

  59. matthu
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I wonder whether the government ever thought of revamping their tired news conferences to attract a bigger audience? Presumably the information they have to deliver is just as important, if not more so, than ever before, so it must just be the delivery style.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      The best revamp would be to stop the lobby journalists from attending, lots of people – me included – switch of when the likes of Peston hove into view. The government are probably reluctant to deliver more details data and information because of the risk the press will misrepresent it all.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Since the BBC is the national broadcaster, I would like to see them COMPELLED (as we are compelled to now do certain things in compliance of the CV19 measures…) to broadcast the daily No.10 briefings IN THEIR ENTIRETY on ye olde wireless.

      The natural choice for that would be analogue BBC Radio 4 on both FM and 198kHz LW during the ‘PM’ programme slot at 17:00 hrs (or earlier if required).

      Last week they failed to broadcast ANY of the briefing on at least 4 days, and on one occasion Evan Davis cut away from the briefing after a very short period (<5mins) to run a piece on a flipping book review while the Q&A session was still ongoing !!!!

      If I were fortunate enough to be appointed as the new Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, then I would revoke their broadcasting licence within 10 nano-seconds of my bum cheeks hitting the office chair. My next task would be to invite tenders for a new national news radio channel using the old BBCR4 frequencies.

      I commend that suggestion to both yourself, Sir John, and to the House !

  60. The Venerable Dude
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    In the Year of Our Lord 2020,6th day of March. Eleven and Twenty Minutes. Sky News Cornavirus document-ary
    ” What about demographics and population density? What role if any did these play in the spread of the Virus? It is too early to tell” ( translation: too early to see whether they could be a factor for certain)
    Yes . this is The Age Of Amnesia .

    Ancient documents and read. Lao-Tze,Confucius, Tacitus , Marcus Aurelius, Captain Cook, Marco Polo, Sir Francis Drake and, Shakespeare ( mistranslated,all. ) , Islamic ancient texts now forbidden to read or buy, and the likes of texts such as Charaka Samhita…ignored, largely unknown.The Age of Amnesia, nationally and internationally self-constructed by the new “experts”.

    • hefner
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      TVD, See Irwin David, 18/03/2020 Density in the pandemic era.
      Richard Florida, 03/04/2020 The geography of coronavirus.
      or the preprint by Renato Pedrosa, 21/04/2020 on medRxiv The dynamics of Covid-19: Weather, demographics and infection timeline
      … that can be found with a cursory look at the web …

  61. Anonymous
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    If – say – you’re a footballer it is now career ending if you DON’T take the knee.

    How long before this is made mandatory for politicians ? And the rest of us ? Like the mandatory NHS clap.

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      How long before face masks are mandatory for politicians? To avoid having such a long queue, of course.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink


      Even if a member of my family had died as a result of actions from a dire/rogue policeman I would not be rioting, looting, setting fire to things or attacking other policemen or women.

      I would be looking for the justice system to take appropriate action.

      • UK Qanon
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        LL _ There is NO justice in the UK in this day and age.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Virtually no one in the UK is doing any of those things.

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink


          There’s an ‘on’ button on your TV set.
          I suggest you use it.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      We are in a crisis of causes. People seem to be looking for causes for which they can influence, campaign, march, riot and to which they can identify. This leads to identification of the real problems and solutions being missed or ignored. Indeed, it becomes dangerous to even point out data, alternative hypotheses or to show skepticism.

  62. Newmania
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I can enlighten our Knight of realm on the persistently high death rate
    1 He underestimates the ravening ferocity of the contagion. It infects at a natural rate of about 3 ,needing little contact, and was allowed to get a grip during the fatal early delay
    2 Contractors, Manufacturers, Warehouses ,Hauliers , Transport Food Retail and all Office based and service industries are working. Teachers, disgracefully smeared by the gutter press, have also been working. Care Homes cannot deep clean.
    3 Some people continue to let us all down.

    This piece has some good thinking but some of it might be misinterpreted an attempt to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that underpins our strategy from here. Take care not to encourage cranks and web nuts. Thats all

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      Anyone who disagrees with you is a ‘nut’ or a ‘crank’ aren’t they.

      Well you’re a prat.

  63. Everhopeful
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Look..the “scientists” have been twining on about “novel” corona viruses since at least 2003.
    So WHY is there no scooby re a cure or vaccine?
    Why were there no contingency plans?
    And why has the virus assumed more importance than all the cancelled operations etc?
    ( And why more importance than the former lefty religion…educashun….bleat?).
    Is death with Covid worse than death from peritonitis?
    Why no apparent personal fear in those close to govt?
    Why the illegal boat landings? Why the continual flights? Why the unchecked riots?

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink


      ……. because it has provided the authorities within each country with an excuse to conduct an international social experiment into how far they can get people to do-TF-as-they-are-told-unquestioningly, just by telling them to do it!

      If not enough people willingly comply, then stage 2 is the threat of sanctions and penalties, to find out how much that affects the change in compliance levels.

  64. Unnecessary journeys
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Has Priti Patel our Home Secretary ever visited America? Just wondered.

  65. SM
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the reliability of data:

    two days ago, in a S African tv interview with a professor from Wits University, Johannesburg, the presenter asked about five deaths that had been formally attributed to C19, as follows: 2 adults killed in a car crash, 1 extremely premature infant born without lungs and 2 young children with severe co-morbidities. To the question “were those deaths really caused by C19?”, the professor responded “yes, I suppose we ought to think about that again….”.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      So they are far more rigorous Identifying CV19 in SA than we are in the U.K. then…😱

  66. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    A friend in Russia tested positive for CV19, so was subject to a second more detailed test. Turns out most tests identify Corona but cannot differentiate between them. So we want confirmation that the CV19 test is not simply identifying the Corona Virus family to which we have all been exposed from birth.

  67. Original Chris
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I utterly despair of the Cons party, and this latest by David Davis (plus photo) is beyond laughing. Is this really what the Cons Party has come to? The responses to his tweet are worth reading, Sir John, as nobody seems impressed.

    At last, the Government has done the sensible thing on face mask wearing. I got mine a couple of weeks ago, made of antimicrobial fabric. Designed by one of my constituents!i UU

    • na
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Maybe David Davies is not so bright
      his hearts in the right place though?

  68. John McDonald
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Government could have taken action at the end of January 2020. Any one with common sense could clearly see from China and outbreaks in mainland Europe there was a risk of an unknown virus. So much for Experts. Even if not the source there was a virus research Station in Wuhan known since 2017. A basic risk assessment should have rang alarm bells.
    The experts are being blamed, for what is really a the lack of judgement and common sense on the part of politicians. Government seems to choose the wrong experts. Like with the Diesel Car story and indeed CO2. The Virus is the biggest error of Judgement so far.
    You can’t be an expert in something that is unknown you have to use judgement and experience and what you see with your own eyes and ears.
    Passenger air travel should have been restricted end January and large public events cancelled. As Sir John knows I have been voicing this opinion for some months now even before the official lock down. – my comments regarding the Holt School.
    So what know? We should be advised of high risk areas and avoid them. Don’t travel to0 far from your local area if possible. Minimize your circle of contacts so you can alert them if you think you have contracted the virus. If you can’t carry out a test by yourself what’s the point of going to a centre and spreading the virus further ?
    What can this track and trace do that a call to a call centre can’t do ?
    Is it a bit too late know for track and trace as the infected population known and unknown is too great ? Stable door and all that. We are lucky so far Wokingham/Bracknell/Reading are low risk areas. That status can disappear overnight if restrictions on movement of people (not goods) are completely relaxed any time soon.

  69. Fred H
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I keep finding myself returning to a friend’s remark a year or two ago ‘This will be remembered as the Age of Incompetence’.
    Bob R you certainly got that right.

  70. M.H.
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    James Delingpole talking to Dr John Lee retired pathologist on YouTube. This has all been a dreadful mistake.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      But the mistake is ‘too big to fail‘?

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      It’s pretty obvious that the big picture is wrong – he says – and nobody on the back benches is challenging the government.

    • James Bertram
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Dr John Lee – very sensible, very informative. Well worth a listen, Sir John. Answers all your questions – and much more. The solution is for the Government and the media to change the narrative – and that should start with a full admission that the latest medical evidence (rather than ‘modelling’ future outcomes) does not support ‘Lockdown’ or ‘Social Distancing’ continuing – actions that are, to put it kindly, irrelevant at best.

  71. matthu
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    @DanielJHannan asks: Plenty of countries came out of lockdown in April. That gives us a solid and growing mass of data. Is there any evidence of a second wave of infections in any of them? Any of them at all?

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Instead, as lockdowns have eased, infections have continued to ease.

  72. matthu
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    @allisonpearson reports from SAGE minutes: “it would be unreasonable to claim a benefit from wearing a mask”.

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      So what scientific advice are the government following, then?

  73. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    All good questions, sadly the media is too stupid to ask them at the press conferences.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink


      Are the questions pre-advised to No.10 prior to the journalist being ‘selected’ (á la BBC Question Time), I wonder?

      Awkward questions (or at least the really awkward ones) AREN’T being asked.

      People really DO need to be put on the spot and under the spotlight. If the answers are woolly or lacking, or they are not prepared to answer those searching questions, then it points to the arguments being weak and/or contrived.

  74. Fred H
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    So you delete my factual post about private labs, and the authorities’ inaction or obstructive action that has delayed a real reduction in testing and transmission.
    Denial is no way to secure the next GE.

  75. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Some of the surplus deaths are not directly due to COVID-19 but indirectly due to delays in treating other diseases. At the start of the year, before COVID-19 broke, roughly 80% of critical care beds were occupied. As I recollect it, when COVID-19 patients in ICU reached their peak, between 40% and 50% of critical care beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients. This indicates a fall in the number of critical are beds occupied by patients with other diseases, presumably in some sense squeezed out.

    This is one of the reasons that I want the Nightingale Hospitals to be reactivated and COVID-19 patients to be removed from mainstream hospitals.

  76. matthu
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    So can we agree when this will all be regarded as being over?

    When children will be able to go back to school and receive a normal education without having to maintain “social distancing”, when a dentist will be able to choose to treat a normal number of patients every hour, when the public will be able to choose whether to sit at pavement cafes (as they can in Paris) or go to the pub, when politicians finally realise the cost vastly outweighs the benefit.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 7, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Maybe when hundreds each day stop dying, and when thousands each day cease being infected?

      You know, like other countries, such as France, have achieved?

  77. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that scrutinising the numbers are going to stop the spread and reinfection rates of the virus.I have already said that intellectualisation is not reliable.I have found throughout my career that action and only action can correct infection rates and as this is a widely spread societal occurrence it relies on everybody understanding health issues and various modes of transmission. I have talked about basic hygiene, aerosol transmission , home and work cleanliness, overpopulation , the spread of disease from heavily infected areas and all the government talked about at the time when corona virus should have been stopped was hand hygiene. This is an important part of the overall prevention strategy however as universities, academia and those who take advice from these institutions focus on one aspect of anything and choose not to take other factors into consideration will find that omission of anything can lead to chaos.How many of us have taken important university degrees and have been told to narrow theses down further and further. This is not real life . The complexity of issues isn’t academic. Isolation and accurate definition should be left to laboratories in order to find out how to eradicate this pathogen.

  78. Tax-payer thinker
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Someone ask Priti Patel in The House how police security forces coped with louts, one or two , wearing by right of law, face masks. Easy to see or safe as houses? Does the Home Office think ahead of the curve? Should it be de-funded? Why pay for failure?

  79. steve
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


    “We cannot keep the whole country in lockdown for more months”

    As far as I’m concerned, if thousands can have mass gatherings on the pretence that George Floyd was a personal friend of theirs, then the lockdown IS over.

    If it is not over, why have these people not been fined ?

  80. David Brown
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Your questions are very valid.
    I am of the opinion that for what ever reasons we should have been much quicker to implement track and trace. It would have been much better to have commenced preparations much earlier. I make this point because the lock down could have been more targeted if we had the system in place rather than one size fits all. This is more about Public Health not been quick enough.
    This whole process is about public perception, Politics, economy, and what the rest of the world has been doing. If we had not locked down people would have been too scared to go into work so there would have been economic melt down and public anger vented against Politicians.
    However it does seem to me that Britain is throwing every thing into the Covid figures whilst other countries are not reporting in the same way. I remember when my mother had cancer with an expectancy of 5 years to live because of the type of cancer and she refused an operation. She had to be admitted to hospital due to a chest infection and she caught pneumonia and died. Yet her death certificate gave cancer as the cause and pneumonia as the secondary cause. My guess is many death certificates are not entirely accurate based on my story.

  81. matthu
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Churchgoers may be forced to book places in advance when churches reopen, but you don’t have to book to attend a protest rally in Hyde Park.

  82. matthu
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    We can’t be 100% sure face masks work – but that shouldn’t stop us wearing them. Public health experts like me know the only conclusive trial of masks will come from them being rolled out in the real world. (Trish Greenhalgh, professor of primary care health sciences at Oxford University)

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink


      So you’re an ‘expert’?
      What’s your full name, and can you please provide a link to an indpendent verification of your professional qualifications?

      Are you saying that you are Trish Greenhalgh? In which case, why not post your comments under that name rather than use a monicker?


  83. Grim Ace
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Good those thigh to thigh protesters social distancing didn’t start a game of footy. It would have meant the army being called out to them.

  84. mancunius
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    “We cannot keep the whole country in lockdown for more months” – certainly not if we have a chief of police whose idea of strictness is the phrase “I would much rather” – and who justifies the police’s lack of action with the explanation that “police feared there would be violence if they tried to intervene”.
    Riiiight. If you stop me doing as I want, I’ll just commit acts of violence and disorder in revenge.
    Maybe we should all try that one, as it seems to work.

  85. ed2
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    James Delingpole talking to Dr John Lee retired pathologist on YouTube. This has all been a dreadful mistake.

    Just watched it.
    The Dr believes the lockdown killed “most” of the 60.000 excess deaths, I believe nearly all.
    Who is going to be held accountable for this?

  86. Not Bob
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Dr John Lee “there is virtually no chance of a second wave”
    “social distancing is nonsense”
    “what on earth is going on”

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Not Bob,
      It’s an international Social Experiment to find out just how compliant people are and what they will do, a) just by being told to do it and b) how many will do it when sanctions and penalties are threatened.

  87. Jack Falstaff
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Quite frankly the only way to police this demo would have been to send in plain clothes policeman with orders to mingle and make loud sneezing noises.
    What a complete farce this country has become!

    • Jack Falstaff
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      “policemen” sorry.

  88. Jack Falstaff
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Now get out of this one without upsetting your voter base Mr Starmer!

  89. matthu
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    The Home Secretary is powerless to prevent tens of thousands of people in cities across UK abandoning social distancing in order to protest – but at the same time the government persists in maintaining social distancing in schools?

    When children are experiencing lifelong damage because of the wider impact of lockdown to their physical and mental health, education and development?

    And the government thinks they can forgo their daily news briefing at the weekend because they have nothing of interest to add?

    • matthu
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      As many as 30 British private schools, including Boris Johnson’s own former prep school, are preparing to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Sunday Telegraph has learned, with parents struggling to pay fees contributing to their collapse.

      How many pubs and salons and shops and other small businesses will also be loing forever?

  90. mickc
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Best of luck getting any sense from the “experts”!
    The only sense needed is common sense…sadly lacking in this government.

  91. Richard
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    The evidence is mostly against mask-wearing by the general public. It is ineffective, may take attention away from other protective measures, and is detrimental to the wearer’s health when worn for extended periods of time. (click ‘read more’ at bottom to format)

    The virus outbreak is now petering out:

    And Professor Karl Friston, ranked by Science magazine as the most influential statistician in the world says: (a) social distancing rules are unnecessary; and (b) “the true portion of people who are not even susceptible to Covid-19 may be as high as 80%”

  92. Vernon Wright
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Dealing with Christmas pudding

    Perhaps the first thing for those leading the fight against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus), CoViD-19 (the disease it causes) and the pandemic generally — and reporting the subject — is to correct their terminology. All seem guilty of this … from the man in the street (forgivable) through hacks and government ministers to the ‘scientists’ (totally unforgivable).

    They call virtually anything to do with subject ‘Coronavirus’; there’s no such thing: they might as well call what ever they’re talking or writing about ‘Christmas pudding’: equally wrong but at least something that actually exists. Certainly there are many coronaviruses, some of which have never been identified and at least four of which we in England regard as bosom pals because they give rise to our constant companion the common cold!

    What will happen five, ten or twenty years from now when the next thitherto unknown coronavirus surfaces (no doubt to be alluded to as Coronavirus)? Every-one alive now will be running around screaming, I was around in 2020 and am immune! Good luck tackling it then!

    And reporting the absolute number of deaths and infections is fairly meaningless too; the figures make sense only if given as a proportion of the population.


  93. Graham Wheatley
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I would be grateful if you would ask one further question of your colleague Mr. Hancock…

    “If the Government and its Medical Advisors are fearful of a 2nd wave of infections swamping the NHS’s ability to cope with them, through an increase in the re-infection rate (‘R’ number), then why was the London Nightingale Hospital decommissioned?”.


  94. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Latest 7-day moving average figures (5th June):

    No. of cases 1575 vs a peak of 5126 on 3rd May.

    No. of deaths 222 vs a peak of 943 on 11th April.

    Trending down nicely if slowly.

  • 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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