- “Why the unseemly rush to give our children a vaccine they don’t need?” – If even the experts can’t agree, heaven help a 12 year-old trying to make an ‘informed’ decision, writes Allison Pearson in the Telegraph.
- “Bill Gates finally realises that lockdown hurts children” – “Nearly 18 months since the catastrophic global policy response to Covid began, the evidence of the appalling harms caused to children and their education is staggering,” writes Toby Green in UnHerd.
- “Why I’m boycotting a festival of ideas” – “What’s the one idea that can’t be debated at a festival of ideas? The answer, it turns out, is the Covid Pass,” writes Laura Dodsworth in the Spectator.
- “MPs approve biggest personal tax rise in two decades” – MPs have approved the creation of a new tax to fund a £12 billion-per-year package for social care despite a significant Tory rebellion, reports the Times.
- “Boris Johnson hints insurance might be needed to pay for care home fees” – Here, the Telegraph examines the hidden costs and catches of the Prime Minister’s social care reforms.
- “Bank of England Governor says U.K.’s economic recovery is slowing” – Andrew Bailey sees evidence of “levelling off” amid supply chain disruption and staff shortages, reports the Guardian.
- “Nurse shortage ‘delaying treatment for 21% of U.K. cancer patients’” – One in five people living with cancer lack dedicated support due to a “shocking” shortfall of specialist care, reports the Guardian.
- “The Last Post” – “Here are the key points one has to understand to be able to capture the never-ending discussion on whether or not mass vaccination campaigns work,” writes GeertVandenBossche in TrialSite.
- “Vaccines saved 100,000 lives? Er, no, Minister” – “Officially approved scientists often get away with espousing similar absurdities unchallenged,” writes Harry Dougherty in TCW Defending Freedom.
- “Errors in Covid reporting tarnish a tame and toothless press” – A truthful and accurate use of Covid statistics matters. It is literally a matter of life and death, writes Alex Starling in Reaction.
- “Birmingham bomb campaigner breaks down in court” – A Birmingham pub bombings campaigner who is accused of breaking lockdown to attend a memorial for the victims broke down in court as she denied any wrongdoing, reports MailOnline.
- “Scotland’s school outbreak ‘has already peaked’” – Covid ‘cases’ among children in Scotland may already be falling just weeks after schools went back and sparked a fresh wave of infections, reports MailOnline.
- “White House Signals New Covid Measures Coming for People Who Are Unvaccinated” – White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says new measures may be imposed on unvaccinated people, reports the Epoch Times.
- “‘Hunger was something we read about’: lockdown leaves Vietnam’s poor without food” – The latest lockdown in Vietnam left many people unable to leave the house even for food and is leaving tens of thousands hungry, reports the Guardian.
- “Covid response disrupts fight against TB and AIDS, may cause more deaths in some countries than the pandemic, Global Fund says” – The shift in healthcare resources to battling Covid has led to many people in poor countries going untreated for other diseases, portending thousands of excess deaths, reports Russia Today.
- “The West’s Islamist capitulation” – Forget foreign wars – intervention is needed at home, writes Gavin Mortimer in the Spectator.
- “Yankees doing dandy” – “The darkened skies of the American Empire are more likely to have been caused by the passing clouds than a setting sun,” writes Collingwood in Bournbrook Magazine.
- “TikTok’s algorithm is promoting sexual content to children” – As part of an investigation, a ’13 year-old user’ searched for “onlyfans” and watched a handful of videos including two selling pornography on the China-based social media app, reports MailOnline.
- “E.V. Battery Fires do not bode well for projected sales” – “Recent news about E.V. battery fires does not bode well for California Governor Newsom’s executive order to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035,” writes Ronald Stein in Watts Up With That.
- “Portland State University Professor Resigns, Says School Is a ‘Social Justice Factory’” – Professor Peter Boghossian says he’s resigned from his position in an open letter and accuses the college administration of creating an environment that imperils dissent, reports the Epoch Times.
- “Is Hollywood’s kow-towing to China all in vain?” – China has snubbed Marvel’s latest superhero movie, despite efforts to placate Beijing’s censors by erasing the controversial Fu Manchu character from the script, reports MailOnline.
- “Jay Leno’s surrender to cancel culture” – I wouldn’t do his dodgy “Asians eat dogs” gags, but I’ll defend his right to tell them, writes Nick Dixon in Spiked.
- “The BBC is so worried about everyone else’s privilege, it forgot to check its own” – Auntie’s diversity quiz may mean well but it’s full of issues – not least that it overlooks possibly the most important form of disadvantage, writes Michael Deacon in the Telegraph.
- “Telegraph cartoon for Thursday 9th September, 2021” – Bob Moran is back! Here’s his first cartoon after coming back from paternity leave.
Day: 8 September 2021
The NHS is ready to launch a booster Covid vaccine roll-out in the next fortnight and is waiting for the ‘green light’ from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – not that the group’s advice on the vaccination of children has been duly welcomed. The i has the story.
The JCVI is meeting on Thursday to review the latest data on the effect of giving a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine to people who have already had two.
Ministers and NHS bosses had been hoping to start the boosters rollout on Monday this week before the committee delayed its final decision on which groups should be offered a third jab.
They are now expecting an announcement within days – allowing the health service to call up elderly and vulnerable people for a jab almost immediately afterwards.
A senior Government official told i: “The NHS is ready to move very quickly once a decision is made, the main delay would be contacting everyone who is eligible.”
There is a chance the campaign will be able to start as soon as next week, although the week after is currently seen as more likely.
The planned NHS timetable would see as many as 35 million jabs given out in the next three and a half months, similar to the rate of the original vaccines rollout, allowing for it to be complete by Christmas. Unlike at the start of this year, there are no significant restrictions on the supply available to the U.K.
It remains unknown whether everyone over-50 and all the clinically vulnerable will be eligible for a booster, or whether they are going to be restricted to the oldest groups and those most at risk from a coronavirus infection.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he was “confident” that the booster programme would be launched this month but that the Government was waiting for advice from the JCVI for final details.
He said: “I’m very confident there will be a booster programme but in terms of who actually gets it and when, we’re waiting for final advice, which could come across certainly in the next few days from the JCVI. We need to see that advice. I’m confident that we can start the booster programme this month.”
The JCVI will advise on issues such as whether people should get the same type of coronavirus vaccine as previous doses or different ones.
Worth reading in full.
The Vaccines Minister insisted vaccine passports will not be imposed on “essential services” in a clash with MPs today but refused to rule out their introduction at pubs and restaurants. The Sun has the story.
Nadhim Zahawi defended the introduction of vaccine passports which he said would “reduce transmission and serious illness”.
Boris Johnson is already facing a major rebellion over the plans, with more than 50 Tories expected to mutiny.
Covid papers will be needed to enter nightclubs and other large indoor venues from later this month.
Mr. Zahawi didn’t rule out their use becoming more widespread.
He sparred with raging MPs during a heated debate at the Commons Constitutional Affairs Committee.
The vaccines minister was pressed by Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner on where people will have to show Covid papers.
He replied: “I can assure her that there are some essential services which will not need for people to show Covid vaccine certification.
“These settings that have stayed open throughout the pandemic, such as public sector buildings, essential retail, essential services and public transport.”
Mr. Zahawi insisted it “pains” him to introduce vaccine passports and it’s a decision “we do not take lightly”.
He said it is “something that goes against the DNA of this minister and his PM but we are living through difficult times, unprecedented times”. …
But fuming Tory MPs lined up to angrily denounce the Government’s plans.
William Wragg accused the minister of talking “a load of rubbish” and said he was trying to “defend the indefensible”. …
Mark Harper, Chairman of the Covid Research Group, said vaccine passports are “a pointless policy with damaging effects”.
He added: “I’m afraid the Minister is picking an unnecessary fight with his own colleagues. I say to him the Government should think again.”
Worth reading in full.
The suspension of over two and a half million doses of the Moderna Covid vaccine in Japan following the discovery of contaminants in a number of batches did not come soon enough, with yet another death having been reported after vaccination of a potentially dodgy dose. This time, a man approaching his 50s died just one day after receiving his second dose. The Guardian has the story.
The 49 year-old man had his second shot on August 11th and died the following day. His only known health issue was an allergy to buckwheat, the Health Ministry said on Monday. As with the previous two deaths, the ministry said it had yet to establish if the latest fatality was linked to the vaccine.
The shot came from one of the three batches that were part of a recall of 1.63 million doses of the Moderna vaccine on August 26th, but not from one of the batches found to have fragments of stainless steel in them. The three batches were manufactured in Spain under contract by Moderna.
The company said: “This is a tragic event, and the loss of life is something that we take very seriously. We offer our sincerest condolences to their loved ones.”
Last week Moderna issued a joint statement with local distributor Takeda Pharmaceutical, saying: “The rare presence of stainless steel particles in the Moderna Covid vaccine does not pose an undue risk to patient safety and it does not adversely affect the benefit/risk profile of the product.”
Early last month, two men in their 30s with no underlying health conditions died within days of getting their second dose of the Moderna vaccine.
Contaminants believed to be pieces of rubber fragments from vial stoppers that entered the vaccine liquid due to incorrectly inserted needles were found in Okinawa, Gunma and Kanagawa in late August and early September. No problems were reported among those injected with the contaminated vaccines, which came from different batches to the previously recalled ones.
Worth reading in full.
In a recent article, I noted that many left-wing commentators are still reluctant to concede that Covid might have escaped from a lab. Why? It’s not because the lab leak theory is ‘racist’, or that it makes China – America’s ‘enemy’ – look good.
Rather, it’s because the theory makes ‘experts’ look bad, and – more importantly – makes the right look good. After all, right-wing Republicans have been claiming that a lab leak was possible since early last year. (At the time of course, they were denounced as ‘conspiracy theorists’.)
Donald Trump entertained the theory in April of 2020. If evidence eventually proves him right, the man’s critics (of whom there are plenty in the mainstream media) will have a lot of egg on their face.
While my article relied on anecdotal reports of the left’s dislike for the lab leak, a new study confirms that recent coverage of the theory has been driven by right-wing media.
David Rozado tracked media coverage by counting the number of times relevant terms (‘lab leak’, ‘laboratory leak’ etc.) were mentioned in 12 media outlets. He then computed, for each week since the start of 2021, total mentions as a percentage of all words published that week. This was done separately for each of the 12 outlets.
Rozado’s main figure is shown below. Each colour corresponds to a different outlet: turquoise is Fox News; faded green is the New York Post; grey is the Wall Street Journal; and orange is the Washington Post – the only left-leaning outlet that has covered the lab leak extensively. (For further details, see p. 8 of Rozado’s paper.)
The chart confirms that media coverage of the lab leak was all but absent until May of 2021, when it rose dramatically. A disproportionate share of the recent coverage is accounted for by just two right-wing outlets: Fox News and the New York Post.
In an attempt to explain the trend in media coverage over time, Rozado superimposed lines corresponding to certain key events, such as the publication of the WHO’s report on its visit to Wuhan.
Noting that the coloured bars start to get taller after the publication of Nicholas Wade’s essay on May 5th, Rozado notes “this particular event could have triggered increased media coverage of the lab-leak hypothesis”.
However, it seems more likely that an event on May 14th is what triggered the increased media coverage, namely the publication of a letter in Science signed by 18 experts, calling for a new investigation into the origins of Covid. “Theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable,” the letter said.
Whichever event or events led to the rise in media coverage, Rozado’s paper provides a valuable insight into the media’s coverage of the pandemic. And it’s worth reading in full.