- “Rise in virtual GP appointments as NHS struggles to cope with backlog” – Shocking figures show that in a quarter of the districts in England, less than half of patients are seeing their GP in person as the NHS continues to deal with the backlog caused by the Covid pandemic, reports the Mail.
- “The NHS blood tube shortage should concern us” – “If we end up running out of plastic tubes, what hope do we have of maintaining supplies of more sophisticated equipment and medicines during times of crisis,” asks Ross Clark in the Spectator.
- “Covid Vaccinations 98 Times More Deadly Than Flu Vaccines (According to VAERS Reports)” – TrialSite researchers have compared adverse event reports submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System following the roll-out of the Covid vaccines to the numbers associated with the influenza vaccines over the years.
- “Covid vaccines and blood clots – flawed logic and premature smugness” – “To add insult to the risk of vaccination injury, the vaccines are remarkably ineffective at reducing individual risk of contracting Covid,” writes Roger Watson in Unity News Network.
- “Net Zero and zero-Covid absolutists share the same hubristic delusions” – When it comes to both coronavirus and climate change, the purist route is doomed to failure, writes Ross Clark in the Telegraph.
- “Britons, Unfazed by High Covid Rates, Weigh Their ‘Price of Freedom’” – Britain is reporting more than 30,000 new Covid ‘cases’ a day, but the public seems to have moved on. Experts say this could be a glimpse into the future for other countries, reports the New York Times.
- “YouTube Channel Restored for Big Tech, Pandemic Coverage Critic Naomi Wolf” – YouTube has reversed itself and restored liberal skeptic Naomi Wolf’s DailyClout video channel, reports the Epoch Times.
- “Eric Clapton releases song seen as criticising official response to Covid” – This Has Gotta Stop lines include “I can’t take this BS any longer” and follows negative comments about restrictions, reports the Guardian.
- “Vaccine passports would only create further problems for Scottish pubs, clubs and restaurants” – “Having tried the carrot, in the shape of continued public appeals with only limited success, is Nicola Sturgeon now about to use the stick of vaccine passports to get young people jabbed in massively increased numbers,” asks Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph.
- “First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is self-isolating” – The First Minister said she had been identified as a close contact of someone who had tested positive for Covid, reports BBC News.
- “Anthony Fauci Discusses Coronavirus Booster Shots Every Five Months” – Dr. Anthony Fauci is reportedly discussing booster shots for the Covid vaccine every five months, reports Breitbart.
- “Afghanistan proves the hubristic West is getting the world wrong” – Liberals who think they can export their values everywhere are making the globe more dangerous, writes Nick Timothy in the Telegraph.
- “The sensible speech on climate the PM will never make” – “Johnson’s Green Industrial Revolution will literally kill some of the most vulnerable in our society,” writes Julian Flood in TCW Defending Freedom.
- “The madness of Extinction Rebellion” – Mark Littlewood joins Snowdon and Slater to discuss XR, the war on vaping, and zero-Covid in the latest Spiked podcast.
- “Critical Race Theory – History Reclaimed” – Critical race theory is a ruling-class ideology embraced by today’s political and cultural elites because it serves their interests, writes Joanna Williams in History Reclaimed.
- “‘Tiger Headmistress’ is ‘handpicked by Liz Truss as boss of taskforce’” – Katharine Birbalsingh, Founder of Michaela Community School in Wembley, has reportedly been eyed up to help Boris Johnson with ‘levelling up’ in disadvantaged communities, reports MailOnline.
- “Top scholars launch fightback against woke brigade’s ‘blatantly false’ reading of history” – Leading academics have join forces for a History Reclaimed campaign aimed at calling out misleading narratives about historical figures, reports the Sunday Telegraph.
- “The heritage sector’s attack on our history” – When the National Trust is blacklisting its own properties due to links to colonialism, something is rotten in the leadership of the heritage sector, writes William Parker in the latest print issue of Bournbrook Magazine.
- “Why football fans are still booing players taking the knee” – “Dividing the world into black and white, good and evil, oppressed and oppressor is naive and dangerous,” writes Peter Hughes in the Spectator.
- “The West is firmly in the grip, not of a virus, but of delusional madness” – Neil Oliver says on GB News: “Parents decide what happens to their children, their flesh and blood. Governments, if they know what’s good for them, stay the hell away from law abiding parents and their kids.”
Day: 29 August 2021
Reported positive ‘cases’ have been increasing slightly in the U.K. recently, though the trend appears to be flattening.
Interestingly, the rise has been concentrated outside England, which has been declining in the last week or so.
Scotland has seen the most striking rise, linked it appears to the return of children to school on August 18th.
The Scottish surge in ‘cases’ is linked to a surge in testing – it seems that parents have not been testing their children over the summer, and the requirement to do so for school has picked up a load of hidden infections (presumably these children and their families have not been isolating over the summer either).
The Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden says it is a “good idea” to ban unvaccinated American children from going to school, adding that “we’ve done this for decades and decades” with other vaccines. MailOnline has the story.
[Dr. Anthony] Fauci said it was a “good idea” for schools to force children to get their Covid vaccinations amidst discussions on the booster shot roll-out, while adding that doing so would hardly be the first time.
The Chief Medical Adviser for the White House cited the growing prevalence of the highly-contagious Delta variant, as well as the fact that students already need a variety of booster shots for school, as reasons to further vaccinate children from the coronavirus.
“I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea,” Fauci said Sunday in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union.
“We’ve done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis. So this would not be something new requiring vaccinations for children to come to school.”
Fauci, who has become a target of criticism by members of the Republican Party over the last year, told CNN that said criticism is “just a reflection of the politicisation of what should be a purely public health issue and it’s really unfortunate”.
The Covid tsar spoke as new research published in the Lancet Infectious Disease journal showed that the Delta strain of Covid could double the risk of hospitalisation among those who have not been vaccinated.
Worth reading in full.
Leading lockdown sceptic Alex Berenson, a former New York Times science reporter, has been permanently suspended from Twitter following a tweet pointing out some of the limitations of the Covid vaccines last week. The
New York Post has more.
Berenson’s account was banned Saturday after “repeated violations” of the rules, a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News in a statement.
Berenson, a one-time New York Times reporter, addressed the suspension in a Saturday night post to his Substack page, blaming his removal from Twitter on a recent post where he was critical of the coronavirus vaccine.
“It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine,” the tweet read.
“Think of it — at best — as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS.”
Berenson, in his Substack post, defended the tweet in question as “entirely accurate”.
In a statement to The Post, the Yale-educated writer and novelist blasted Twitter’s decision.
“We have reached a dangerous moment. Social media companies that have audiences which dwarf any other are now actively censoring reporters at the behest of governments,” he said.
“I will continue to fight to get out the truth and am considering all legal options.”
You can read Berenson’s account of what happened on his Substack account here.
A Portuguese judge has filed a criminal complaint against the Portuguese Government, including the President of the Republic, for their mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis and infringement of the constitution.
A small crowd gathered outside the office of the Procuradoria Geral da República (Attorney General) when the complaint was submitted last week, but there’s been scant coverage of it in the mainstream media.
Portuguese speakers can read the 51-page Google doc setting out the complaint here.
Most of the media focus on vaccines has centred around the ‘jabbing’ of children in recent weeks, but official data suggests that it is adults the Government should be worrying about given that hundreds of thousands of them have failed to come forward for their second dose. The Guardian has the story.
Experts have repeatedly emphasised the need to receive both doses of the coronavirus vaccines as the second jab greatly increases protection against Covid.
But figures from Public Health England (PHE) suggest take-up of second doses is levelling off in older age groups, and is lower than for first jabs. The data, which extends to August 22nd, also shows take-up of first doses has essentially plateaued in almost all eligible age groups except the very youngest, and falls with age.
While nearly 21.4 million people aged 50 and over in England have had their first dose, just under 19.9 million have had their second – a difference of almost 1,500,000. That’s despite people aged 50-54 being invited for their first jab since March 17th, more than 23 weeks ago. In December, a 12-week gap between doses was recommended, which was cut to eight weeks for those aged 50 and over in May, a move later expanded to all eligible for the jabs.
Some over-50s may only recently have had their first jab and hence not yet be eligible for their second, but the appearance of reluctance to receive second doses is supported by other data.
According to figures from the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, about 23.9 million second doses of the AstraZeneca jab had been given in the U.K. as of August 18th. This is far less than the 24.3 million first doses administered by May 26th – 12 weeks earlier – and the 24.5 million first doses given by June 23rd, eight weeks before. As noted by the Independent, this means between 400,000 and 600,000 Britons eligible for a second AstraZeneca jab have yet to come forward. …
Dr. Michael Head, a Senior Research Fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, [says] there were probably many reasons behind the figures. “This may include concerns over side-effects and also factors such as having been away on holiday over August or feeling that the second dose isn’t necessary,” he said.
Worth reading in full.
New South Wales (NSW) health officials have admitted that not all of the state’s ‘Covid deaths’ have actually been caused by Covid and say they will start recording patients as dying “with” instead of “from” the virus. Better late than never, I suppose. The Mail Australia has the story.
[NSW Health’s] Dr. Jeremy McAnulty made the admission during Sunday’s Covid briefing as the state recorded 1,218 new cases of coronavirus. …
Dr. McAnulty said the change in language was because it was “very difficult to know” whether someone with Covid died from the virus, or another health complication.
“We know when elderly people die, they can have a range of comorbidities, and also, being old increases your risk of death,” he said.
“Covid may often play a role in the death, but it may not. Sometimes, some of our cases who have sadly died appear to have recovered from Covid, and then they have died of something [else].
“We report people who have died ‘with’ Covid, unless there is a very clear alternative.”
He added that it was difficult for doctors who were looking after patients to know exactly how much the virus contributed to their death. …
Earlier this month, Ady Al-Askar a forklift truck driver from Liverpool collapsed in his shower after contracting Covid from his wife Yasmin who works in aged care.
The 27 year-old was isolating with his wife in their unit in Sydney’s southwest and barely showed any Covid symptoms before his untimely death.
However, heart conditions reportedly run in the Al-Askar family, and his cousin, Khalid Thijeel, told the Mail Australia he believed it was this that cost the man his life, not the virus. …
Paramedics who responded to the emergency reportedly confirmed that Ms Al-Askar suffered heart failure, whereas the hospital and Dr Chant specified that Covid was a contributing factor in his death.
A few weeks later, Osama Suduh from Sydney’s Covid-hit south-west, became the state’s youngest recorded victim of Covid – though he died of meningitis.
Worth reading in full.
There’s a good piece in the Mail on Sunday today questioning whether it’s sensible for the Government to continue updating the Covid dashboard every day, given how obsessed we’ve all become with the data. In January, the dashboard attracted 76 million views in a single day!
They’re the figures that have ruled our lives for the past 18 months; decided our freedoms; deepened our fears.
The Covid dashboard published on the U.K. Government website has offered the public a window into the state of the U.K.’s epidemic, displaying daily Covid cases, hospitalisations and deaths, both nationally and regionally, since April 2020.
Some people have avoided looking at the figures – published at 4pm every day, including weekends. But a surprising number of us have become secretly addicted to poring over them.
Back in January, the dashboard attracted 76 million views in a single day. In more recent months, the dashboard has offered a source of celebration, thanks to the addition of the vaccination tally.
Scientists and politicians alike agree the U.K.’s Covid dashboard has been a resounding success, allowing the public to draw their own conclusions about the level of threat the virus poses to them.
It’s also been a crucial yardstick for how stretched the NHS is, providing exact figures of how many Covid patients are in each hospital around the country.
But now, with nearly eight in ten Britons protected against getting seriously ill, thanks to the vaccine, are daily Covid figures still necessary?
After all, as Health Secretary Sajid Javid said of the virus earlier this summer: “We cannot eliminate it, instead we have to learn to live with it.”
There is growing concern from experts that the endless figures do more harm than good. Some have declared the tally of daily infections “completely meaningless”.
“It shouldn’t really matter how many people are catching the virus – as long as they are protected,” says Professor Jackie Cassell, public health expert at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
Other scientists have warned of the psychological impact of constant reminders of how many people are still catching Covid.
Worth reading in full.
Top U.K. universities are chartering flights to bring Chinese students into the country next month in an effort to overcome travel restrictions. Britain’s 220,000 Chinese students account for nearly a fifth of all tuition fee income and universities are terrified of losing it. MailOnline has more.
More than 50 universities, including Imperial College London, Bristol and Exeter, have already chartered four flights, bringing in some 1,200 Chinese students, the Times reported.
Mainland China has scrapped all direct commercial flights to the U.K. but students can travel to London via Hong Kong, which is on the U.K.’s green list for travel.
More flights are now being arranged in order to meet demand, the paper reported, citing Into HE, an international education organisation assisting in hiring the flights.
Preparations include airport transfers between Heathrow and the university campuses, along with accommodation and food for the students, who currently have to isolate for 10 days upon arrival in the U.K.
The charter flights come amid fears that income from overseas students – worth more than £1billion to U.K. universities – could dip amid ongoing coronavirus travel restrictions.
There are some 220,000 Chinese students studying in the U.K., the Times reported, with students from China providing nearly a fifth of all tuition fee income. Across the prestigious Russell Group, one in every 10 students is Chinese. After China, India is the country from which most overseas students at U.K. universities hail.
The availability of flights to the U.K. has been impacted by coronavirus, particularly over concerns about the Delta variant, prompting some universities to extend online learning and introduce multiple start dates in a bid to accommodate international students struggling to get to the U.K. in time for the beginning of term.
Experts have also warned that the focus on catering to international students risks overlooking the needs of British students, who pay nearly four times less in fees than international students.
Worth reading in full.
- “Rishi Sunak on collision course with NHS over extra funding to clear Covid backlog” – The Chancellor is under pressure to continue pumping billions into health service as chiefs warn it will run out of money without an urgent top-up, reports the Telegraph.
- “Is it time to stop obsessing over Covid figures?” – The Mail on Sunday has set about creating its own dashboard featuring the most up-to-date figures for some of Britain’s biggest killers which they compared with the current Covid stats.
- “AstraZeneca vaccine is the best at keeping people out of hospital” – Just 1.52% of people who got the AstraZeneca vaccine were admitted to wards after they caught the virus, compared to 1.99% of those who got Pfizer’s jab, reports MailOnline.
- “Getting football fully vaccinated is proving easier said than done” – All bar three Premier League clubs have refused to give details about just how many of their players have been vaccinated, reports the Sunday Times.
- “We need to throw away the anti-Covid wipes” – “Britain is addicted to needless and outdated regulation and now the science has changed, the pushback should begin,” writes Matthew Parris in the Times.
- “Why so many believe in the Covid Cult” – “We need to break free from cultish thinking, stop following orders and save ourselves,” writes Karen Harradine in TCW Defending Freedom.
- “Italy to scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers from U.K.” – From August 31st, double-jabbed visitors from the U.K. can show a negative Covid test to avoid hotel quarantine. The rules will remain unchanged for unvaccinated travellers, reports Sky News.
- “Police speak out on Covid regs: ‘The directions we are ordered to comply with are highly politicised’” – “Since the jab mandate came into force, some officers have disclosed, with great courage, that they feel ashamed to be part of an organisation that is supposed to uphold the rule of law and stop bullying and discrimination, yet is actively promoting these,” writes Rocco Loiacono in the Spectator Australia.
- “Return of the First Fearmonger” – “Since March 2020 most of the diktats from Holyrood were unnecessary, many were sinister and all have been disproportionate,” writes Gary Oliver in TCW Defending Freedom.
- “Covid Mandates Will Not Work for the Delta Variant” – “The elites are far removed from the ramifications of their nonsensical, illogical, specious policies and edicts,” writes Paul E. Alexander in AIER.
- “From Russia with Covid – The Week in Review” – In the latest Bournbrook Magazine podcast, Michael Curzon, Luke Perry and Frederick Edward discuss vaccine mandates, university life after lockdown and more.
- “U.S. Open Requires Covid Vaccine for Spectators Days Before Tournament” – The U.S. Tennis Associated has changed its policy on Covid vaccines for the 2021 U.S., reports the Epoch Times.
- “Jacinda Ardern and the last lockdown” – “Since March this year, Ardern has used the language of a barricade versus individual armour to describe our Covid response,” writes Luke Malpass in stuff.
- “The fury of elite Remainers is making them increasingly anti-British” – The liberal-Left are angry with the people for voting the wrong way, and now can’t help taking the E.U.’s side, writes Vernon Bogdanor in the Telegraph.
- “The law is not fit to stop Extinction Rebellion’s street protests” – “The law as it stands is not a clear guide to the policing of public protest,” writes Richard Ekins in the Spectator.
- “Alok Sharma under fire as nuclear industry claim they have been banned from Cop26” – Up to 15 applications from nuclear-related bodies are understood to have been rejected by Mr. Sharma’s COP26 Unit in the Cabinet Office, reports the Telegraph.
- “Barrister called girl ‘stroppy teen of colour’ cleared of misconduct” – Jon Holbrook tweeted about the case of Ruby Williams, who won a settlement from her school for alleged discrimination after they sent her home, saying her Afro hair breached dress policy, reports MailOnline.
- “‘Wokeness’ and the collapse of intellectual freedom in the West” – “Paying lip-service to wokeness is an insurance policy that seems to cost little and offer much,” writes Robert Tombs in the Spectator.
- “Why are Catholics being cancelled on campus?” – Once ‘safe spaces’ for free expression, it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult to be a vocal, practising Catholic in universities, writes Olivia Utley in the Telegraph.
- “Now cancel culture mob brands Paw Patrol ‘copaganda’” – The Paw Patrol team are facing one of their toughest situations yet: the wrath of the woke brigade. The children’s show has been branded as ‘copaganda’ for showing police in a positive light, reports the Mail on Sunday.
- “‘You could almost follow the Government’s fortunes in the polls with the vaccine roll-out, so they looked to roll out the vaccine further and further’” – Dr. Tony Hinton, retired NHS Consultant Surgeon, says on GB News: “The red line for me was when they started talking about vaccinating children.”