- “Web or phone medical appointments ‘disastrous’ for some patients” – “Remote medical consultations have been ‘disastrous’ for some patients, according to a review, with 93% of clinicians saying that the quality of diagnoses was worse as a result,” reports the Times.
- “From lockdown to net zero, accountability is dead in British politics” – Ministers increasingly favour statutory instruments over the parliamentary process, making a mockery of our democracy, writes Steve Baker in the Telegraph.
- “The slippery slope: Covidian sludge” – “In many areas of the United States there are no mask requirements now, many tens of thousands are merrily packed into arenas, dining indoors… However, often in that same city Uber drivers require customers to wear masks, take photos of themselves wearing masks and upload it onto the Uber App before their next ride,” Omar Khan writes on the political and societal factors that have made lockdown restrictions a reality in Uncommon Wisdom.
- “FDA’s fraudulent modelling to justify vaccinating five to 11 year-olds” – “The decision to vaccinate children is reckless and the way the data has been presented as representing the risk to healthy children, is, whether deliberately or not, fraudulent,” writes HART.
- “U.K. NIHR bombshell: fully vaccinated serve as vectors, comparable transmission to household contacts” – “Vaccinated people can efficiently transmit SARS-CoV-2 in household settings too, meaning the vaccinated serve as vectors of the disease,” Trialsite report on the ineffectiveness of vaccines in stopping Covid.
- “Exposed: the plague of fake medical trials putting lives in danger” – “According to bombshell allegations from a group of highly respected experts, the medical world is rife with research fraud. Their investigations suggest up to one in five medical studies published each year could contain invented or plagiarised results,” reports MailOnline.
- “One in four middle-aged people not bothering with Covid self-isolation” – Full adherence with isolation requirements has fallen from 86% in the summer, ONS data suggest, reports the Telegraph.
- “‘Coercion is not consent’: Aussie sports star & registered nurse defends stance against ‘experimental’ Covid vaccine (Video)” – “Australian rules football star Deni Varnhagen, who is also an ICU nurse, is refusing to back down in her opposition to Covid vaccine mandates after taking part in a demonstration to rail against a ‘medical experiment’,” reports RT.
- “(New normal) winter is Coming” – “The vast majority of the Western world has been transformed into a pseudo-medical dystopia,” C.J. Hopkins foresees a repressive winter on the horizon in OffGuardian.
- “Did Covid first emerge at the Wuhan Institute of Virology?” – The net around the Wuhan Institute of Virology continues to tighten. A letter from Lawrence Tabak, Principal Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S., has shed more light on the grant which the institute made to the EcoHealth Alliance for work at the Wuhan Institute,” writes Ross Clark in the Spectator.
- “The dark side of working from home” – We are blurring the line between our working and private lives, Para Mullin argues that working from home is a danger to both our privacy and family life in Spiked.
- “Eco-alarmism: grassroots or astroturf?” – Climate alarmist ideology is an elite movement, promoted and bankrolled by societal institutions in league with the state looking to exploit the hysteria to seize more power, argues Alexander Adams in Bournbrook Magazine.
- “The BBC’s prophet of doom belongs in a pulpit” – Roger Harrabin, the BBC’s environment analyst, doesn’t even attempt to suggest his claims about the state of the planet are disputable, writes Charles Moore in the Telegraph.
- “The great climate change fallacy” – The hysterical headlines are based on an unlikely scenario, Tom Chivers examines the dodgy models used to prop up climate alarmist rhetoric in UnHerd.
- “Opposition to coking coal exposes the folly of our climate debate” – In the medium term, we face two options: mining coking coal here, as cleanly as possible, or importing it from elsewhere, writes Andrew Willshire in the Telegraph.
- “I want to save the planet but I resent being told how to” – “The parade of 400 private jets parked up at Scottish airports as world leaders, royalty and billionaires gushed out more carbon within a 24 hour period than most of us will in a lifetime in order to arrive at Cop26 and preach that we must all change our lives forever,” Dan Wotton writes on the explicit hypocrisy of those attending COP26 in MailOnline.
- “Petition: hold a referendum on whether to keep the 2050 net zero target” – “Set a referendum on whether the UK should continue with its 2050 net zero target,” click on the link above if you wish to sign this petition.
- The Old Vic’s cancellation of Terry Gilliam is unprecedented insanity” – The London theatre needed Sondheim’s Into the Woods to survive 2022 – but a tiny minority have reportedly stabbed it in the back, writes Dominic Cavendish in the Telegraph.
- “When mob rule dictates that we must all cheer a male homecoming queen, it’s clear that society is close to collapse” – “The unchallenged compliance afforded by many in endorsing previously unthinkable scenarios – like teenage boys being crowned homecoming queens – should set the alarm bells ringing as to where our civilization is headed,” writes Brendan Heard in RT.
- “Imprisoning Twitter trolls is a dangerous game” – It may feel morally righteous, but it’s entirely subjective, Noah Carl writes on the arbitrary and partisan nature of criminalising online speech in UnHerd.
- “The real harm in the Online Harms Bill” – The conflation of ‘speech’ with ‘harm’ would create a net that would ensnare all political dissident and argument, writes Sam Ashworth-Hayes in the Spectator.
- “‘White privilege’ should not be taught in schools” – Toby speaks to TalkRadio on why ‘white privilege’ should not be taught as truth in the classroom: “The fact is, white working-class boys are amongst the lowest achieving in Britain.”
Day: 2 November 2021
In further evidence that Government scientific advisers live in a fantasy world constructed from models that bear a tenuous relationship to real-world evidence, one of the U.K.’s most well-connected scientists, Sir Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust, has quit SAGE after criticising the Government for refusing to heed its alarmist, failed predictions. Sir Jeremy appears to be oblivious to the fact that, with reported infections dropping to under 34,000 on Tuesday, down 10% in a week, the modellers’ prognostications of doom have faltered once again. The Telegraph has more.
[I]t has emerged that Sir Jeremy resigned from SAGE at the end of last month.
In a statement, he said Government scientists had come under “huge pressure” during the pandemic.
Sir Jeremy has previously said that he “seriously considered resigning from SAGE” a year ago, after the Government went against its advice to introduce a lockdown as cases rose last autumn.
In his book, published earlier this year, he wrote: “That was the darkest moment of the pandemic. I began to question the point of giving advice to a body that chose not to use it. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself, and the people you trust, whether you are complicit with the decisions that are made as a result.”
Sir Jeremy gave a statement to Sky News on Tuesday:
The BMJ has just posted a story that calls into question the reliability of the data generated by Pfizer’s vaccine trials. It’s based on dozens of documents, photos, audio recordings and emails supplied to the BMJ by a researcher at one of Pfizer’s sub-contractors involved in testing the Covid vaccine.
In autumn 2020 Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive, Albert Bourla, released an open letter to the billions of people around the world who were investing their hopes in a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to end the pandemic. “As I’ve said before, we are operating at the speed of science,” Bourla wrote, explaining to the public when they could expect a Pfizer vaccine to be authorised in the United States.
But, for researchers who were testing Pfizer’s vaccine at several sites in Texas during that autumn, speed may have come at the cost of data integrity and patient safety. A regional director who was employed at the research organisation Ventavia Research Group has told The BMJ that the company falsified data, unblinded patients, employed inadequately trained vaccinators, and was slow to follow up on adverse events reported in Pfizer’s pivotal phase III trial. Staff who conducted quality control checks were overwhelmed by the volume of problems they were finding. After repeatedly notifying Ventavia of these problems, the regional director, Brook Jackson, emailed a complaint to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ventavia fired her later the same day. Jackson has provided The BMJ with dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings, and emails.
Poor laboratory management
On its website Ventavia calls itself the largest privately owned clinical research company in Texas and lists many awards it has won for its contract work. But Jackson has told The BMJ that, during the two weeks she was employed at Ventavia in September 2020, she repeatedly informed her superiors of poor laboratory management, patient safety concerns, and data integrity issues. Jackson was a trained clinical trial auditor who previously held a director of operations position and came to Ventavia with more than 15 years’ experience in clinical research coordination and management. Exasperated that Ventavia was not dealing with the problems, Jackson documented several matters late one night, taking photos on her mobile phone. One photo, provided to The BMJ, showed needles discarded in a plastic biohazard bag instead of a sharps container box. Another showed vaccine packaging materials with trial participants’ identification numbers written on them left out in the open, potentially unblinding participants. Ventavia executives later questioned Jackson for taking the photos.
Early and inadvertent unblinding may have occurred on a far wider scale. According to the trial’s design, unblinded staff were responsible for preparing and administering the study drug (Pfizer’s vaccine or a placebo). This was to be done to preserve the blinding of trial participants and all other site staff, including the principal investigator. However, at Ventavia, Jackson told The BMJ that drug assignment confirmation printouts were being left in participants’ charts, accessible to blinded personnel. As a corrective action taken in September, two months into trial recruitment and with around 1000 participants already enrolled, quality assurance checklists were updated with instructions for staff to remove drug assignments from charts.
In a recording of a meeting in late September2020 between Jackson and two directors a Ventavia executive can be heard explaining that the company wasn’t able to quantify the types and number of errors they were finding when examining the trial paperwork for quality control. “In my mind, it’s something new every day,” a Ventavia executive says. “We know that it’s significant.”
Worth reading in full.
The Government of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, has announced that it will soon lift a wide array of restrictions – but only for those who are vaccinated. From November 8th, double-jabbed residents will be allowed to invite an unlimited number of visitors into their home, while the unvaccinated will continue to be subjected to stay-at-home orders, being preventing from entering many public places which the vaccinated can enter. The Guardian has the story.
Under the original roadmap, restrictions were supposed to ease from December 1st. The N.S.W. Premier, Dominic Perrottet, said the changes were due to the State’s high vaccination rate, with authorities pushing N.S.W. to hit 95% double dose coverage.
“We said from the outset that this was the key for our state to be able to open up safely”, Perrottet said. “Everybody has done an incredible job to ensure N.S.W. can ease restrictions in a safe and considered way earlier than we planned. [This] is one last push and I believe that we can get to that 95% mark”.
The changes also delay when restrictions ease for unvaccinated people – either when the state hits that 95% fully vaccinated rate or by December 15th, whichever occurs first.
This means unvaccinated residents will continue to be barred from businesses, gyms and venues for at least two weeks more than expected.
Perrottet said the delay was to ensure the state could continue reopening “safely” and hoped it would incentivise people to get the jab.
“Ultimately we want a united society and we believe by moving that date back to December 15th will incentivise” he said.
Caps on gym and dance classes remain, but entertainment venues with fixed seating will open to 100% capacity. Indoor swimming pools will also be able to reopen.
Worth reading in full.
Due to a fear that Covid will spread through the Parliamentary estate, ‘Plan B’ style restrictions have been introduced to the House of Commons. Some of the measures include mandatory mask-wearing for MP’s staff (MPs themselves are exempt from the rule), working from home whenever possible, as well as social distancing at select committee meetings. The Express has the story.
A Parliamentary spokesperson said: “The House’s priority is to ensure that those on the estate are safe while business is facilitated.
“There have been recent increases in Covid across the country and these are also being reflected in Parliament.
“The U.K. Health Security Agency has determined that the risk of transmission on the Parliamentary estate is now greater.
“As a consequence, some further action is being taken to ensure that case numbers do not continue to rise”.
A number of the new measures being imposed in Parliament, including work from home rules and compulsory mask-wearing, mirror aspects of the Government’s Covid ‘Plan B’.
This is likely to increase speculation about further restrictions being introduced across the whole of England in the coming weeks.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has been vague about what exactly would trigger the Government to introduce these measures.
Ministers were told by scientific advisors in SAGE late last month to begin preparing for the “rapid deployment” of winter Covid restrictions.
They were warned that “there remains potential for a rapid increase in hospital admissions if behaviours [among members of the public] change quickly”.
Under its ‘Plan B’, the Government would also introduce vaccine passports for all “large venues”, barring those who haven’t been jabbed from many hospitality venues, and the further communication of additional risk to the public.
Worth reading in full.
The Free Speech Union is hosting a comedy night next week in association with Comedy Unleashed, the home of free-thinking comedy. Daily Sceptic readers are welcome to join us in London on Wednesday November 10th, when the line-up will include Nick Dixon, Tania Edwards, Tony Law, Phileo Huff and Darius Davies. You can purchase tickets from eventbrite here. Standard tickets cost £15, but those of you who wish to support the FSU’s work can purchase tickets for £25 which includes a £10 donation to the FSU. I’m a regular at Comedy Unleashed and these are some of the best nights out I’ve had. There are numerous breaks so you can refill your glasses at the bar and you won’t have to certify your Covid status to get in or wear a mask. If you’re interested in coming, I strongly advise you to buy a ticket now because they’ll sell out quickly. I’ll be there, so if you are going come and say hi.
Boris Johnson will fly back from the COP26 climate conference on a private jet rather than take the train after spending two days telling world leaders to reduce their carbon emissions. The Guardian has more.
The Prime Minister left himself open to accusations of hypocrisy after urging other countries to do everything possible to pledge lower emissions and warning that they would be judged by their children if they fail to act.
Johnson flew into COP26 in Glasgow from Rome after attending the G20 of world leaders. But instead of getting the train, which takes about four and a half hours, he has decided to take a short internal flight from Glasgow to London.
Earlier, he told a roundtable of leaders of developing nations: “When it comes to tackling climate change, words without action, without deeds are absolutely pointless.”
The prime minister is one of hundreds of world leaders and businesspeople who have chartered planes to attend the conference aimed at limiting global temperature rises to less than 1.5C. Jeff Bezos, the boss of Amazon, was one of those who flew in to Scotland for the conference.
Johnson’s spokesperson defended the move, saying the plane ran partly on “sustainable aviation fuel” and emitted about half the emissions of other aircraft. The plane will still cause far more emissions than a trip by train.
“It’s important the PM is able to move around the country. We have obviously faced significant time constraints,” Johnson’s official spokesperson said.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Jeff Bezos told COP26 how going to space made him realise “how thin the globe’s atmosphere” is and we “must reduce our carbon footprint” after flying in on his £48 million private jet. MailOnline has more.
Scores of unvaccinated Australians have taken to social media to find work after losing their previous employment after vaccine mandates came into force. Different states and territories across the nation have implemented a wide variety of mandatory vaccination measures, covering numerous industries and professions, with Facebook and Telegram recording an increase in those searching for jobs after these policies were introduced. The Guardian has the story.
On some job boards, businesses that are happy to accept unvaccinated people advertise that they are ‘welcoming of everyone’.
Beauty therapists, childcare workers, disability support workers and accountants are among 20,000 people who are members of the largest Facebook group for unvaccinated jobseekers in Australia.
Ash Heap is an electrician from Geelong who refuses to get vaccinated. “I’m left in a position where I’ve lost my career of 20 years”, he said.
“I don’t really have a lot of options. I was given a small business grant which will see me through for another month but there’s no income”.
He owns a house with his partner, who also looks set to lose her job. The pair are hoping the mandate will be dropped.
“We’ll probably have to rent the house and find work anywhere, doing cash jobs, doing whatever”.
Each state and territory has implemented its own rules on mandates.
Victoria has one of the most wide-ranging vaccine mandates, which came into effect last month and covers about 1.25 million people.
Last week Western Australia announced it would roll out a mandate across multiple industries, including teachers and supermarket staff, representing 75% of the state’s workforce.
New South Wales has a mandate in place for some sectors but from December 1st is set to allow the same freedoms for unvaccinated citizens, bar international travel. The mandate for high-risk workers will remain in place.
Julian Melvin has been sifting through jobs ads since he lost his work as an arborist because he won’t get the vaccine. He says mainly odd jobs are on offer.
“A lot of them it’s like ‘I need my lawns mowed’… cash work here and there”, he said. “There are some businesses saying we’ll employ you but how many people are unemployed versus how many people need work?”
Worth reading in full.
When comparing the impact of Covid in different countries, Japan is a clear outlier. In 2020, the country had zero days of mandatory business closures and zero days of mandatory stay-at-home orders. Despite seeing less change in mobility than major European countries, Japan has not had any excess mortality since the pandemic began.
As you may recall, the country hosted the Summer Olympics between 23rd July and 8th August. But even that did not lead to a large number of deaths. It has been suggested that Japanese people, and perhaps East Asians in general, have some degree of prior immunity to the virus.
In January of this year, Japan introduced restrictions on businesses for the first time. Specifically, 11 prefectures (including the capital, Tokyo) prohibited bars and restaurants from selling alcohol after 7pm, and forced them to close at 8pm.
In a recent preprint, Reo Takaku and colleagues investigated the impact of these measures on the spread of Covid. They began by checking whether the measures had their intended effect – of reducing the number of people frequenting bars and restaurants. This cannot be taken for granted: the night curfew in Greece had virtually no impact on mobility.
The researchers analysed survey data collected in the autumn of 2020 (when there were no restrictions in place) and the winter of 2021 (when there were restrictions in place). As the chart below indicates, the measures do appear to have had their intended effects.
The x-axis represents how far respondents lived from the border of a prefecture that introduced restrictions. The blue and green lines (corresponding to the right-hand y-axis) show the fraction of people who went to a bar or restaurant at least once in the relevant month.
The blue line corresponds to the autumn of 2020, and the green line corresponds to the winter of 2021. Notice that the green line is substantially flatter than the blue line, but only on the right-hand side of the chart. This suggests that restrictions did reduce the number of people frequenting bars and restaurants.