Piers Morgan was interviewed by the ‘Triggernometry Two’ Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster on March 22nd. Much is being made of Morgan’s apology for his mistakes during the Covid years in certain quarters on social media. Morgan admitted that he had acted too harshly in his condemnation of the unvaccinated but the apology is by no means unconditional. He excuses his behaviour by saying that he was right at the time but that the “science changed” and admits that he was not quick enough in changing with it.
While Morgan restricts his comments to his expressed views on the unvaccinated he largely ignores the fact that he was a lockdown zealot and an advocate of wearing face masks, with special opprobrium for runners who spurned Trish Greenhalgh’s advice and ran without face masks. He even apologised for being spotted in a taxi sans face mask.
In light of his recent comments, it is hard to fathom which aspects of ‘the science’ he was following. Morgan had once blocked Konstantin Kisin on Twitter, but the pair now seem to have a veritable bromance and Kisin, who asked most questions on the Triggernometry show, did not push him once on specific aspects of the science.
Morgan made passing reference to the science changing around the mode of spread of Covid and that we had learned it was not primarily spread by contact. However, as early as March 2020 the WHO identified that the major route of transmission was respiratory involving airborne droplets. Any transmission by contact was considered negligible by key commentators such as Nature by the end of 2020.
“A lot of people were dying” early in 2020 according to Morgan, but he fails to contextualise this or to take into account factors such as the ‘warehousing’ of older people into care homes where approximately 20,000 of them died during the first wave of Covid and not all of them from Covid. He also failed to differentiate between deaths ‘with’ or ‘of’ Covid or to acknowledge the age related death profile. We also saw how the early emphasis on artificial ventilation in Covid patients was potentially dangerous and no longer recommended early in 2020.
It was also obvious from the outset that the predicted death toll was widely exaggerated and that measures such as the Nightingale Hospitals erected between March 2020 and dismantled in April 2021 were a complete waste of money; they were never used. The Chinese makeshift Covid hospitals were closed in April 2020 after only a few weeks of operation. We knew this in 2020.
The detrimental effects of lockdown are now abundantly clear. What is also clear is that there was never any ‘science’ to be followed regarding lockdown. Lockdowns had never been tried before, therefore, there was no evidence that they would be effective and the likely detrimental effects were not considered in advance by Government advisers and officials.
The science on face masks had already been established in a living Cochrane review prior to the Covid years, since updated with the same conclusion that there is no evidence of the efficacy of face masks. The DANMASK study, the only randomised controlled trial of face masks for COVID-19, came to the conclusion early in 2021 that face masks had no significant effect and the Health and Safety Executive has stated that disposable face masks are not considered to be personal protective equipment.
Regarding vaccines, Morgan’s justification for his vitriolic views on the unvaccinated stemmed from his belief, “based on the science at the time”, that the vaccines would be effective in preventing the spread of Covid. However, almost as soon as the vaccines came on the scene early in 2021 it was clear that politicians did not understand the notion of risk reduction and some were embarrassed on TV trying to explain it. Specifically, they did not understand the difference between relative risk reduction (RRR) and absolute risk reduction (ARR). The latter indicates by how much an individual’s overall risk of death is reduced by, for example, taking a vaccine. It was explained clearly in the Lancet as early as April 2021 how the important statistic to report for a virus of very low lethality such as COVID-19 is ARR and how for the whole range of vaccines available at the time their ARRs hovered around 1%. This was a long way from the 95% figures being reported by the Government who, in so doing, were reporting the RRR – the reduction in risk that doesn’t take into account the risk of dying of the disease in the first place, which for a virus of very low lethality is, of course, very low.
The claim by Piers Morgan that the science changed seems disingenuous. On all of the aspects of ‘the science’ to which he refers and on some other aspects to which he does not refer, we know what his views were, and the relevant science was well established early in 2020 and 2021. Therefore, the science did not change. The Hancock WhatsApp revelations, copiously reported in these pages, show that even at the time many politicians did not believe what they were telling us. Government ‘scientists’ such as Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty who largely conveyed ‘the science’ to us, were used to give a scientific veneer to an almost purely political initiative.
Piers Morgan, one of the most experienced tabloid journalist and editors in the United Kingdom, amuses and infuriates in equal measure. He cares little what people think about him and by his own admission on the Triggernometry interview, he likes a good fight. There may be “more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” but it is a shame that a journalist of his ability to put people on the spot, elicit embarrassing admissions and to expose hubris, lying and double standards by our ruling classes chose to pick a fight with the lockdown sceptics and not with those imposing those measures on us.
Dr. Roger Watson is Academic Dean of Nursing at Southwest Medical University, China. He has a PhD in biochemistry.
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