In the third part of its ongoing investigation into the U.K. Government’s management of the coronavirus crisis, the Mail on Sunday looks at whether lockdowns actually saved lives. Its conclusion won’t surprise anyone’s who’s been visiting this website for the past two years. Here is an extract:
For the past few weeks, in a series of reports probing the science that has underpinned key pandemic decisions, the Mail on Sunday has investigated the accuracy of PCR tests and the chaotic way Covid-related deaths were recorded.
Today, in the final part, we talk to the growing number of experts who say that lockdowns had little benefit – a cure that was worse than the disease.
One of them is Professor Mark Woolhouse, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, who has recently published a book, The Year The World Went Mad, about the UK’s pandemic policy failures.
Speaking this week on the Mail on Sunday’s Medical Minefield podcast, Prof Woolhouse said: “I think that lockdown will be viewed by history as a monumental mistake on a global scale, for a number of reasons.
“The obvious one is the immense harm the lockdown, more than any other measure, did in terms of the economy, mental health and on the wellbeing of society.
“Clearly things needed to be done to bring waves of infection under control.
“But many analyses suggest that lockdown itself didn’t have a huge impact on reducing the health burden. That was achieved in other ways.”
Analysing the effect of any single Covid measure is difficult, and researchers have managed it with varying degrees of success.
In the UK, ‘lockdown’ refers specifically to the stay-at-home order. But some studies also include school and border closures, business closures and curfews in their definition of lockdown. …
One paper that did attempt to tease out the benefits of individual measures, published last month, found stay-at-home orders reduced global Covid deaths by just 2.9%.
You can listen to the Mail on Sunday‘s Medical Minefield podcast on Spotify here.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Be careful about sharing this article on Twitter. Professor Carl Heneghan shared the Mail on Sunday‘s article about an Oxford University study that showed Britain’s coronavirus death toll may be lower than the official data suggests on Twitter and the social media platform responded by slapping a ‘fake news’ warning on the post and then locking Prof Heneghan’s account. The Mail on Sunday has more:
Last weekend’s article – by Deputy Health Editor Eve Simmons – reported the findings of a new analysis suggesting Britain’s 164,000 Covid-19 death toll may have been overestimated.
Researchers reached the conclusions after combing through 800 responses to Freedom of Information requests to care homes and hospitals to find flaws in the way fatalities were recorded.
The row comes as tech giants may find themselves being handed sweeping powers in the new Online Safety Bill, which campaigners fear may have the effect of curbing freedom of speech by allowing social-media networks to remove legitimate material because they disagree with it.
Twitter sent an email to Professor Heneghan, an award-winning epidemiologist, saying his account – which has 110,000 followers – had been “locked” because it was “violating the policy on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19”.
It added: “We require the removal of content that may pose a risk to people’s health, including content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information. Please note that repeated violations may lead to a permanent suspension of your account.”
Further down in the same article, I’m quoted, pointing out that his kind of censorship is bound to get worse after the Online Safety Bill is passed.
Toby Young, director of the Free Speech Union, said: “Twitter once stood for free speech but those days are long gone. It is now an enforcer of a progressive orthodoxy, whether about transwomen in sport or the pandemic.
“Anyone who challenges that orthodoxy is punished, even if they know more about the subject than Twitter’s ‘fact-checkers’, which Professor Heneghan plainly does.
‘The suppression of dissenting voices will only get worse once the Online Safety Bill becomes law. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube will treat it as a green light to increase their censorship of anyone who doesn’t fall in with the woke agenda.”
Worth reading in full.