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Scamademics? Right-Wing Lobbying Groups Reviving ‘Herd Immunity’ in the UK

Discussion in 'Personal' started by modelmaker, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. modelmaker

    modelmaker Star commenter


    A long, interesting article, but one well worth taking the trouble to read.

    "A pernicious but flawed narrative has come to dominate the public debate over the second COVID-19 wave. It is the idea that the science is somehow irreparably divided on what to do about the pandemic.

    This notion is encapsulated in two different letters sent to the Government by what the press has portrayed as two groups of esteemed scientists – one group supporting the reintroduction of social distancing restrictions, and the other criticising efforts to ‘suppress’ the Coronavirus.

    Widespread media coverage of the letter has suggested a deep-seated schism at the heart of the British scientific community about how to respond to the crisis.

    In reality, the authors of the letter that is critical of a COVID-19 suppression strategy have numerous ties to Conservative and Republican Party lobby groups as well as to various agencies of the Government, including HM Treasury, the Ministry of Defence and the ‘Nudge’ Unit – ties which represent potentially serious conflicts of interest.

    Worse, this group’s claims about the Coronavirus have no basis in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Instead, it represents what one top British epidemiologist has described as “a fringe group of scientists”, out of sync with “most of the public health experts in the world”.
  2. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    I have to give you credit for your work ethic, @modelmaker. Your regular efforts at posting threads to give yourself and your mates the opportunity to make disparaging comments about the government and Brexit and anything else that doesn't fit in with your agenda are commendable. Four in the past two days, unless I've miscounted. I was wondering if you do it only on this forum, if you do it wholly voluntarily, or if you are one of those paid apparatchiks such as, I gather, the Israelis employ to trawl the internet and challenge anything that questions Israeli policy.

    As regards the nonsense you posted above, it's a brilliantly typical piece of pseudo-rational propaganda, and mirrors to an amazing degree the type of fakery that the left has posted ad infinitum in the past about such things as the climate hoax. Any scientist not agreeing with the desired worldview - however emonent, however many Nobel prizes s/he may have - is portrayed as some kind of pariah or fraud, and any scientist agreeing is part of the "real" scientific consensus.

    I've no idea what alleged "numerous" connections the scientists you criticize have to the Ministry of Defence, the Republicans or any other body - and I doubt you have either, or you would have noted them - but you only have to look on Youtube to see all kinds of doctors, epidemiologists, professors and suchlike, some from the world's top universities, explaining where we're going wrong, and if you think they are all Tory party plants then I'm sorry for you.

    As an example of a similar issue about climate change, I remember one of the world's greatest experts on the Great Barrier Reef some years ago trying to point out that all the horror stories were simply lies and misrepresentations. Not only did he argue his case theoretically, but he even filmed the proof of it! To no avail, of course: once a narrow mind is blocked it takes a massive amount of unblocking and if you make the lies big enough and tell them often enough, eventually people who haven't the perception to see through them will come to believe them. And that's what is happening with Covid.

    The figures I post below won't affect your view, of course, because your agenda is fixed, but in the hopes that someone might read bit and see the light, I'll just point out a couple of statistics:

    Since Covid came to the UK this year in January, fewer than 2500 people under 60 have died either with it or from it. Almost all of these people have had other serious illnesses. (Source: NHS)
    Since January this year, over 8,000 people under 40 have died of cancer. (Source: Cancer Research UK)
    Since January this year, incomplete figures suggest that over 3000 people under 60 have committed suicide. (Source: The Samaritans).

    These figures apart, in general the whole scenario is hysterical madness. For normal healthy people the chance of catching this bug is low; the chance of being really ill with it is minimal and the chance of actually dying from it is almost non-existent.

    The insanity of most of these draconian measures will be shown up for what it is over time, and the wrongheadedness of those who have bought into the fear agenda whipped up largely by leftist social media platformers wanting to cause trouble for a government it detests is becoming clearer by the day - and is even, thank heavens, now being allowed to creep into the odd MSM interview, for as someone on Radio 4 said earlier, the sensible way forward is obvious: protect the very vulnerable with extreme care and let the rest of us get back to living our normal lives.

    It really is that simple and I agree entirely, as that's almost exactly what I wrote on here six months or so ago. It's nice to be proved right again. Don't believe me? Go to Sweden!

    Edit: the really nauseating thing to read, not just on here, is from those who one senses just can't wait for a new surge in deaths to follow the alleged rise in infections (caused mainly of course by increased testing) so that they can justify all their hysterical gloom and doom and spew more hate at Boris Johnson. A bit like those who can't wait till January to blame all the country's ills on Brexit. Sickening.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  3. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    If you think all the country's ills will only start next January, you're pretty tone deaf to what the mood of the country is like.... Most of the rest of us have noticed a lot of 'ills' since the start of the referendum campaign in 2015-16.

    Mind you, you might be correct to think things will get worse in 2021... But isn't that what you and the Cummings sect actually want? A bit of chaos and anarchy? ;)

    Just hope it doesn't end up with violence in the streets...:eek:
    Alice K and hplovegame48 like this.
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Unfortunately there was a politicised, not a scientific, response to the initial Covid outbreak. People reacted to the suggestion of Herd Immunity on a political basis, manipulated by Chinese social media.

    Sweden, who stood out and ignored the doom-mongers, managed to develop herd immunity while having a lower death rate than the UK. So we now have a second lockdown and 6 more months ... and Sweden gets to look forward to Christmas.

    It'd be nice to think the "Everything Boris does is evil" crowd would learn from this experience... but they won't. They'll just bleat ever on...
    George_Randle, Jonntyboy and Kandahar like this.
  5. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    If herd immunity was undesirable then there would be no point to national vaccination programmes.
    border_walker, Jonntyboy and Kandahar like this.
  6. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Ha ha ha. Good one.

    I teach science. I studied viruses as part of my university education. I know what herd immunity is. It was perhaps the single most stupid idea this government has had. Can you imagine the carnage if we hadn't locked down?

    Sweden. It's simply wrong. They performed very poorly. The do not have herd immunity (the idea is laughable) and their citizens behaved in a similar way to ours.

    We have a second lockdown because too many of us are too stupid to understand how to deal with a highly transmissible and very dangerous virus.

    Herd immunity is great, but very hard won. How many people would have died if we had pursued it without a vaccine available?
    Alice K likes this.
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Your comments on most scientific matters are horribly ill-informed. This issue is no exception. Still, if you don't understand climate change, addressing a viral pandemic in a sensible way is going to be a challenge.
    Alice K likes this.
  8. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    We will see.
    It is currently being pursued in stages.
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter




    What a perverted view of it.
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    What would have happened in terms of deaths had we pursued it instead of locking down?
  11. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    Neither of us can know but my intuition is that we would be in a similar situation to the present.
    Projections depend upon assumptions about the nature of the disease and the efficacy of measures constituting "lockdown".
    Kandahar likes this.
  12. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Denmark's cases per millions more than double Sweden's now.
    The only certainty is uncertainty.
  13. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    No it isn't. Countries that pursued a zero covid strategy are the most successful

    The only certainty is people keep referring to Sweden as evidence that not locking down causes a virus to transmit less.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I fully expect you know that is wholly incorrect.

    With no measures to stop transmission, what will happen?

  15. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    I was comparing Sweden and Denmark now, rather than a generalisation.
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    Neither of us can know because projections depend upon assumptions about the nature of the disease and the efficacy of measures constituting "lockdown".
    I do not see how anyone can disagree with this.
    border_walker likes this.
  17. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    On Sweden, from the BMJ

    In a media briefing on 25 September, Gabriel Scally, visiting professor of public health at the University of Bristol and a member of Independent SAGE, said Sweden’s model was being praised too readily in some sections of the UK media.

    He said, “We are extremely concerned that the Swedish model may be given some credence,” he said. “We believe it is ineffective. Sweden has had an enormous amount of deaths per head of population, 5880 deaths representing 581 deaths per million population. Compared with its neighbours it has been unsuccessful in preventing deaths—Finland, for example, has had 343 deaths, which equals 62 deaths per million population.”

    Scally said the report also sought to tackle the “myths” that Sweden had not imposed any restrictions to curb the spread of covid-19.
    bombaysapphire likes this.
  18. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    I didn't say that I thought the country's ills will only start next January. That was a very poor attempt at building a straw man! I said that there were those "who can't wait till January to blame all the country's ills on Brexit."

    I also didn't say that I thought things would get worse in 2021. That was an even less competent attempt at building a straw man.

    I respect your right not to answer, but it would be cool to know if you do this elsewhere and if you are paid at all.

    And I note, though without surprise, that you fail completely to address my refutations of your earlier post.
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You believe that we cannot know that there would have been more deaths had we taken no action to lockdown in the spring?

  20. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    Do you claim this knowledge?

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