The Wellcome Trust – Britain’s biggest independent funder of medical research, set up by the man whose pharmaceutical firm became GlaxoSmithKline – has called for coronavirus to be “treated like the common cold”. The Telegraph has the story.
Nick Moakes, the charity’s Chief Investment Officer, said restrictions were no longer economically justified and it was time to “live with” coronavirus.
“I don’t think it can mean going back into regular lockdowns because it is just not economically viable. We don’t do that for the flu, we don’t do that for the common cold,” he said.
“The best case end game is where it is treated like the common cold, like flu. And on an annual basis, those that are vulnerable get a jab against it – and the rest of us have built up a degree of immunity that protects us sufficiently. And we do live with it.”
His comments are at odds with those of the WHO Senior Emergency Officer Dr. Catherine Smallwood, who said on Tuesday that we are “nowhere near” treating Covid as an endemic virus.
However, they are in line with those of Professor David Heymann of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), who has suggested in a Chatham House online briefing that the U.K. is seeing the virus become endemic. According to the Telegraph:
He said: “In general now, the countries that we know best in the northern hemisphere have varying stages of the pandemic. And probably in the UK, it’s the closest to any country of being out of the pandemic – if it isn’t already out of the pandemic – and having the disease as endemic as the other four coronaviruses.” …
Prof. Heymann, a former World Health Organisation (WHO) Assistant Director General for Health Security and Environment, said population immunity was already high.
He added: “That means immunity against serious illness and death after infection if one is vaccinated, or after re-infection if one has had illness before. And that population immunity seems to be keeping the virus and its variants at bay, not causing serious illness or death in countries where population immunity is high.
“I looked at the most recent ONS [Office for National Statistics] report on population immunity, and they estimated about 95% of the population in England and a little less than in other parts of the United Kingdom do have antibody to infection either from vaccination or from natural infection.
“And that, as I said, is keeping the virus at bay. And it’s now functioning more like an endemic coronavirus than one that is a pandemic.”
The apparent shift in narrative from pillars of the lockdown consensus comes as Professor Ehud Qimron, Head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Tel Aviv University and one of Israel’s leading immunologists, writes an open letter lambasting the Israeli and global management of the pandemic. SPR has translated it in full; here’s an excerpt.
Two years late, you finally realise that a respiratory virus cannot be defeated and that any such attempt is doomed to fail. You do not admit it, because you have admitted almost no mistake in the last two years, but in retrospect it is clear that you have failed miserably in almost all of your actions, and even the media is already having a hard time covering your shame.
You refused to admit that the infection comes in waves that fade by themselves, despite years of observations and scientific knowledge. You insisted on attributing every decline of a wave solely to your actions, and so through false propaganda ‘you overcame the plague’. And again you defeated it, and again and again and again.
You refused to admit that mass testing is ineffective, despite your own contingency plans explicitly stating so (“Pandemic Influenza Health System Preparedness Plan, 2007”, p. 26).
You refused to admit that recovery is more protective than a vaccine, despite previous knowledge and observations showing that non-recovered vaccinated people are more likely to be infected than recovered people. You refused to admit that the vaccinated are contagious despite the observations. Based on this, you hoped to achieve herd immunity by vaccination – and you failed in that as well.
Prof. Qimron pulls no punches as he slams those responsible.
You slandered colleagues who did not surrender to you, you turned the people against each other, divided society and polarised the discourse. You branded, without any scientific basis, people who chose not to get vaccinated as enemies of the public and as spreaders of disease. You promote, in an unprecedented way, a draconian policy of discrimination, denial of rights and selection of people, including children, for their medical choice. A selection that lacks any epidemiological justification.
When you compare the destructive policies you are pursuing with the sane policies of some other countries – you can clearly see that the destruction you have caused has only added victims beyond the vulnerable to the virus. The economy you ruined, the unemployment you caused, and the children whose education you destroyed are the surplus victims as a result of your own actions only.
Worth reading in full.