Archive | Business/Economy/Banking

Javid

It is not different from forcing mandatory vaccination

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid

Playing the game! But we can’t say that the BOT Montserrat understands it. That begs the question, “Do the Government continue to ‘mismanage’? The criticism from day one has been how poorly they have managed, criminalising guidelines, and the logistics surrounding them. A most recent press release claiming to have “expanded the categories of persons allowed to enter Montserrat, and have made provisions for the use of electronic monitoring devices under the new public health COVID-19 Suppression Order…, is no more than forcing people to take the vaccine.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1463989/Sajid-Javid-covid-positive-test-health-secretary-coronavirus-vn?utm_source=express_newsletter&utm_campaign=politics_evening_newsletter2&utm_medium=email

The UK Daily Express carried that story today coming after the Government of Montserrat (GOM) announced that it was making laws in a similar fashion that has pressured in more ways than one, the people and visitors to Montserrat. The latest move in a hypocritical way appears to be opening up the island to ‘tourists’ and visitors and even to persons who own homes and others who are normally residents in Montserrat for periods during each year.

What is this thirst, this hang-up on ‘vaccination’ which as seen in the most recent of many stories and official announcements, that the vaccine does not guarantee one who has taken, the ‘jab’ or ‘jabs’ (more than one, three may even be required to improve efficacy, do not prevent the vaccinated from contracting or passing on the infection?

The Order requires that certain categories of persons visiting the island must be fully vaccinated in order to gain admission to the island. The previous rules such as testing when on the island may still be in place.

“The parent or sibling of a Montserratian…”

“The parent, sibling, husband, wife, child or dependant of a person who (i) holds a permit of permanent residence; (ii) ordinarily resides on Montserrat; or, (iii) who owns a habitable house or home in Montserrat.”  

“The parent, sibling, husband-wife, child or dependant of a professional person who has been engaged by an entity in the public or private sector.”

In each case these persons: “…must be fully vaccinated and intends to enter Montserrat no earlier than July 19, 2021 and leave Montserrat no later than September 30, 2021;”

They remind that the new Order also makes provisions for the use of an electronic monitoring device to better manage persons in self-quarantine. 

On the Daily Express website there is also an article which quotes a professor who is angry at PM Johnson for what is called “Freedom Day” when all COVID-19 restrictions are eased on Monday. “Professor Christina Pagel, professor of operational research at University College London (UCL), said: “I feel p****d off, sad and angry.

“We are having the wrong conversation. Opening up on Monday is madness. We should not be doing it.

“We should be talking about how do we get cases down now.”

TMR says they can ease the situation by offering those people who for one reason or another do access the vaccine advice and information on how to protect healthily against the virus and what treatment is available early should they contract or even suspect, infection.

The full referenced GoM press release may be found at: www.gov.ms

Readers who wish to read more on the issues of mandatory vaccination and other reletative matters to how the COVID situation is handled, here and world-wide may find on this TMR site and at: https://www.facebook.com/themontserratreporter

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

The-originally-proposed-Sea-Port-development

Seaport project woes

Contribution, Part 116 (‘21 # 09)

Have we cut down our CIPREG seaport project to inadequacy, by eliminating the breakwater component?

The proposed cut-down seaport development with a shortened jetty – yes, with no breakwater (so no ships can dock if “North Seas” decide to kick up some rough waves)

BRADES, Montserrat, July 8, 2021 –  In a presentation for the social/environmental impact assessment townhall meeting held on June 29th, the Montserrat public saw the “finalised” [?] cut-down, no-breakwater seaport development that is currently contemplated.  The obvious question, is whether we are again being forced to accept an inadequate, cut-down port project, similar to the bitter pill up in Geralds.

For, without a proper breakwater, it is obvious that we are back to the same problem of having to turn away ships when seas are rough that has plagued our current jetty. This has meant, for example, that tourist and cargo ships would have to turn back when seas become rough.

The proposed, cut-down seaport development, with a shortened jetty – yes, with no breakwater

Indeed, when the Port Project was officially launched on Friday, May 17, 2019, then Premier Donaldson Romeo noted that, 

“due to rough seas…out of a total of 478 calls [for 2018?], vessels were unable to berth 58 times…one vessel out of every eight had to turn back. “Yes, that is not sustainable. We had to fix the problem . . .”[1]

So, we may compare the proposed breakwater-based development at that time:

The originally proposed Sea Port development, as was publicised when the project was launched, May 17, 2019. Notice the then identified costing, which was later found to be faulty

Of course, we later heard that a Programme Management Office [PMO] review found that the cost of this general design was significantly low. While no detailed documentation or explanation of the under-costing has been given to the Montserrat public, officials in the know have suggested that the cost may have been double or more the £21.4 million identified in the chart issued on May 17, 2019. Something, that needs to be properly explained, as experienced consultants were used to developing the general design and so too to give its cost estimate. In that process, £14.4 million was found to be inadequate relative to needs and so £7 million more were transferred by the EU. Where, that obviously means our regional development bank, CDB, and the EU as well as DfID and GoM were involved in evaluating design and costs. What went wrong with the port costing, why, and why was it missed until a PMO review was undertaken? 

So, the immediate question is, are we being forced to accept another inadequate, economy-choking port? One, that will instantly cripple our tourism prospects? And if that is so, why is that being imposed now by FCDO?

After all, doesn’t the relevant clause of the legally binding UN Charter, Article 73[2] require the UK to “promote to the utmost . . . the well-being of the inhabitants of [non-self-governing] territories,” to “ensure . . . their political, economic, social, and educational advancement,” and to “promote constructive measures of development”?

In a day when, in response to pandemic, the UK will cumulatively invest over £ 300 billions in internal Covid-19 stimulus and where it spent some £300 millions on an airport for St Helena (promoted as a yardstick of what they were willing to invest), are we to seriously believe it cannot find a further £20 – 30 millions to fund an adequate sea port here? Especially, when apparently DfID, EU and CDB were all caught on the back foot (as well as GoM) on the initial costing? Is Montserrat’s vital first growth driver – tourism – to be held hostage to what seems to be a consultancy blunder?

Something, does not add up.

At minimum perhaps, we will indeed be forced to accept a grossly inadequate sea port to go with our coerced acceptance of an inadequate airport, with its far too short runway, in the wrong place.  This means that just as we have to bear in mind that Thatch Valley is the site to beat for a 5,000 foot, jet plane ready airport, Carrs Bay would be the reserved site for the “real” sea-port development, later on. But, economy-choking ports are going to make that future date shrink even further into the distant future.

Not good.

Far better would be to frankly face whatever errors led to a problem with costing, then seek a solution. Where, no, in a pandemic age we need an adequate hospital so, rob Peter to pay Paul won’t work. Nor can we continue to neglect the social housing challenge nor the needed upgrade to our only high school. Thank God, after a decade of struggle with a clearly reluctant DfID, we now have restored fibre optic digital access and Flow and Digicel are undertaking fibre to the home, school, office, and factory initiatives. Digitalisation is of course, our second obvious growth driver. Likewise, we have had 250 kW of Solar PV capacity installed, with 750 kW and 1 MWhr of storage being further added. Likewise, we are at least hearing talk of follow-up on geothermal energy. Geothermal, arguably, is our third growth driver.

While we are at it, those who were so busy denouncing the EC$ 200 millions of funded development initiatives as a deceitful election gimmick, have some explaining and public apologising to do. That includes – having already publicly dismissed the CIPREG, UKCIF, and EU initiatives and funding – presenting a 2021/22 budget where every capital initiative of consequence came from that derided EC$ 200 million. . . without even generically acknowledging the work of previous administrations in putting that funding in place.

Where, no, long-term development project funding is not a piggy bank to be raided at will and used to do whatever one wishes. Projects are specifically developed, justified, negotiated to obtain funding, then are implemented under close monitoring and audit. If something goes wrong, they can be terminated for cause. Public rhetoric that has suggested otherwise actually undermines confidence in our project governance capability and makes it even harder to negotiate for future projects.


[1] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/new-port-development-launched/

[2] See UN https://legal.un.org/repertory/art73.shtml

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, De Ole Dawg, Featured, Features, International, Local, Regional0 Comments

Dr-John-Campbell-of-the-UK-summarises-how-degree-of-use-of-Ivermectin-across-Peru-Mexico-and-India

Compulsory Jabs vs the Nuremberg Code

Contribution Part 115 – 2021 # 08)

Have our authorities overstepped their bounds by moving towards compulsory vaccinations? (What does the post-WWII Nuremberg Code have to say?)

BRADES, Montserrat, July 7, 2021 –  A recent Government of Montserrat Human Resources circular of June 30th entitled “Updated Guidance on Discretionary Leave Provisions” has come to our attention here at TMR. In key parts, it reads:

“Public officers who apply for and are awarded Government Scholarships to study at institutions  abroad  will,  from the academic  year  2021/2022  be  required  to  be vaccinated before traveling to take up these awards . . . . It will also be a requirement for public officers attending training courses abroad to be fully vaccinated.”

Of course, given the third jab proposed for Autumn this year and reports of a train of onward booster shots every year or even every six months (as TMR has already reported[1]), “fully vaccinated” is a meaningless, dead term.  No, given what officials and even BBC[2] have said, it’s not “two jabs plus two weeks and you’re good to go.” BBC: “[p]lans for a Covid booster jab programme in the autumn will be set out in the next few weeks, [now former UK Health Secretary] Matt Hancock has said.”

Now, given utterly unnecessary sharp polarisation and accusations such as “incitement,” a point of clarification: there is evidence that vaccines can be effective and fairly safe. However, as risk is not evenly distributed in the population, if one has a significant medical history, consult a physician before any serious medical intervention. Where, too, if a train of treatments is in view, overall risks obviously can rise with such repeated exposure.

However, the bigger question raised by the circular is compulsory treatment – “required,” “a requirement” –  in the context of rushed experimental vaccines that to date only have emergency or contingent authorisation, not full approval. Tests for long-term effects and risks cannot be rushed.

Where, this obviously means – never mind objections by officialdom – they are still experimental and of course, there are significant concerns about risks.  Also, after the horrific Nazi medical experiments,[3] the Nuremberg Courts that judged war criminals issued a code for experimental medical treatments, which was then embedded in international and national law as well as in ethical standards for medical and research practice. This Nuremberg Code reads, in key parts[4]:

“[C]ertain types of medical experiments on human beings, when kept within reasonably well-defined bounds, conform to the ethics of the medical profession generally . . . certain basic principles must be observed in order to satisfy moral, ethical and legal concepts . . . The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have the legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior[5] form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.”


A statement by Frontline Doctors group on Ivermectin

This is already decisive.

For, this means, sing- off- the- same- hymn- sheet PR talking points that suppress or stigmatise significant alternative views held by qualified people or simple concerns raised by the public are unethical and create liability. This includes marginalising concerns on risks of treatments,[6] the manifest fact that we are dealing with an unprecedented rushed global vaccination experiment, and issues regarding unduly sidelined evidence[7] that treatments such as Ivermectin-based cocktails can be effective. 

In short, it is arguable that we have not been given a balanced briefing that includes a true and fair view of reasonable alternatives, concerns, and risks.

Even if one could argue that we are increasingly or already beyond “experimental” treatment, a fortiori logic applies.

That is, if coercion, manipulation, hidden motives, and suppression of reasonable alternatives and/or concerns are improper for medical experiments, for cause – “how much more”  or “just like that” – they are also equally unacceptable for treatments in general. So, denial of the experimental status of the rushed vaccines does not allow one to wriggle off the hook.

The Nuremberg Code continues:

“[B]efore the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment . . .”

With a third jab and onward train of booster shots already being on the table, with emerging issues and concerns on risks (think, blood clots and heart issues for young men) and more,  it is simple fair comment to note that such informed consent has long since been undermined. Obviously, informed consent applies “just as much” to more or less established treatments.

Then, we see:


“The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature . . .”

Dr. John Campbell of the UK summarises how the degree of use of Ivermectin across Peru’s 25 states [33 million population] is linked to a reduction in Covid-19 deaths, there are similar results in Mexico and India

So, if there is reasonable access to and evidence of plausibly effective, less risky treatments (such as Ivermectin), then that should be fairly investigated and frankly disclosed.

Similarly, naturally acquired immunity is known to be highly effective. Some even suggest that it can be superior to that from many vaccines. So, why aren’t we testing for natural immunity before vaccinations and insisting on vaccinating people who have had and recovered from Covid-19?

The other methods or means test is also significant.

For, why are we using “gold standard” criteria for “evidence” that block the voice of otherwise valid “real-world evidence” and rule out otherwise plausibly credible treatments?

This lends added force to our next snippet from the Nuremberg Code:

“Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability or death . . .”

That speaks for itself, especially when we see:

“During the course of the experiment, the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.”

Resort to compulsion cannot be justified. The circular above is ill-advised and the precedent it may set is dangerous.

Accordingly, we find a final duty of those in charge of medical interventions:

“During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him, that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject. “

Where, for cause, the attempted defence: “We were following the orders of legitimate authorities” was rejected by the Courts at Nuremberg.

This you will find does have some bearing to the United Nations “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)”


[1] TMR, June 25, 2021:  https://www.themontserratreporter.com/the-emerging-covid-vax-booster-shot-train/

[2] See BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57570377  and  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-57548796.amp

[3] See https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/nazi-medical-experiments

[4] See, http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/nuremberg/

[5] That is, hidden.

[6] TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/facebook-fact-check-fallacies-and-pandemic-panics-2/

[7] TMR, https://www.themontserratreporter.com/ivermectin-and-the-vaccine-debate/

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, Court, COVID-19, De Ole Dawg, Education, Featured, Features, Health, International, Local, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

TMR07-jun25_21-br-pg5

CARICOM – Staff Vacancies

Posted in Advertisements, Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Local, OECS, Regional, Vacancies0 Comments

image-3

NHS chiefs warn ministers must END ’emergency Covid response’

by Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter For Mailonline

TMR: As we here agree but for different reasons;  knowing our GoM somehow do not reference much CARPHA/PAHO/WHO but follow UK directives, mostly though seemingly without question or study.

Doctors and NHS trusts are demanding a plan for Britain’s Autumn booster jab rollout within weeks to ensure the UK can end its ’emergency response’ to Covid-19 and edge further towards normality.

Medics also want clarity from ministers on how long they believe that immunity from the first two jabs will last and whether children are to be vaccinated as England’s proposed ‘Freedom Day’ arrived with little relaxation of rules because of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.

The challenge of also doing the winter flu jab campaign as usual – and the potential of a combined shot to fight both the flu and coronavirus – must also be overcome as well as keeping an army of volunteers on standby to administer the injections, experts warned today.  

Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers and Royal College of GPs chairman Martin Marshall said the plan to ensure every British adult is offered a jab by July 19 is ‘not so much a finishing line as a staging post’.Adwith Telegraph Media GroupHomeowner over 60? Don’t fall for the equity release myths

One insider told the BBC: ‘We cannot just carry on as we are, with an emergency response’. 

Almost a third of all adults in the UK have now had two jabs, while 80 per cent of the population has had a first jab. But the elderly and vulnerable are expected to need a third jab to protect them this winter. 

Covid booster vaccines are currently being trialled in the UK as health chiefs gear up to offer all over-50s a third dose this autumn.

Southampton University scientists are recruiting thousands of fully-vaccinated Britons to the study, which will test seven Covid jabs as top-ups.

They will record any side-effects analyse the antibody levels of volunteers to check whether the extra dose offered any extra protection. No10’s top scientists are set to be fed the results of the world-first trial to determine how booster shots should be dished out later in the year.

The acceleration of planning for the Autumn came as: 

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

182032015

© Provided by Daily Mail182032015

The cases all came from just 16 of the 167 countries on the amber list, according to the data

© Provided by Daily MailThe cases all came from just 16 of the 167 countries on the amber list, according to the data

NHS chiefs warn ministers must END 'emergency Covid response'

© Provided by Daily MailNHS chiefs warn ministers must END ’emergency Covid response’

Covid jabs ‘will be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds before schools return in September’ 

Young people aged 16 and 17 are to be offered a coronavirus vaccine before they return to school after the summer holidays, it has been reported.

According to The Sun, ministers want to give jabs to children for the first time if medical experts say it is safe to do so.

The new plans emerged on the day that Britons would have been celebrating the final lifting of coronavirus restrictions, before the measure was delayed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

With a new Freedom Day target of July 17, Downing Street reportedly wants to offer all A-level and college students aged 16 and 17 a vaccine in August before they go back to school in September.

However, it comes after experts on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation are understood to have raised ‘serious ethical concerns’ about inoculating children because of the tiny risk they face of becoming seriously ill. 

The JCVI was reportedly set to urge No10 to hold off jabbing under-18s in the immediate future and wait for more safety data to come out of the US and Israel, where the plans are already in motion.

But a Whitehall source told The Sun that if the JCVI does approve vaccinations for younger age groups, the Government has the ‘capacity and willingness’ to offer them vaccines.  

‘Late teens are some of the most socially active members of society so if we can cut that transmission, it can only be a good thing,’ they added. 

Yesterday, hundreds of people queued to get a jab at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in north London as the vaccine programme was opened up to people aged 18 to 20.   

More than 700,000 Covid-19 jabs were booked in one day through the national booking service on Friday which equated to 30,000 an hour or more than eight every second.

Experts running the clinical trials said every jab should spark added immunity — but that some may lead to more side-effects than others.

It came as one million jabs were booked over the weekend as officials launched a ‘summer sprint’ to vaccinate all over-18s by July 19.

Thousands queued in the rain for jabs at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in north London yesterday after the football club turned into a walk-in vaccine clinic for the day. Most of those getting vaccinated were in their late teens or 20s, and also went to similar events at football stadiums all over London over the weekend. 

Patients will be given health MOTs when they go to get their covid boosters or flu jabs, under NHS plans.

Starting this Autumn, they will be offered a range of tests including blood pressure, heart rhythm and cholesterol checks.

NHS officials believe that thousands of lives could be saved by rolling out these routine MOTs to patients at the same time as their jabs.

Scientists are not yet clear as to whether patients will need booster jabs this Autumn and it will depend on how long the protective effects of the first two doses last, based on the evidence from trials.

But NHS officials are planning to offer these check-ups at flu vaccination clinics – even if the boosters aren’t needed – to try and catch conditions that might otherwise remain undiagnosed.

Amanda Pritchard, the NHS’s Chief Operating Officer said: ‘The NHS is not just a sickness service but a health service which is why we want to make every contact count, using every opportunity

Officials are in a race to vaccinate younger adults in a bid to halt the spread of the Indian variant and stop students bringing Covid-19 back home over the summer holidays, potentially infecting older generations. 

Cases are currently highest among people in their 20s and infections are five times higher in under-25s than in over-65s, as almost all older adults have received both doses.

Everyone aged 18 and over is being urged to arrange a jab if they have not yet had one, as the health service enters the final push to protect the country against the virus. 

Public Health England said there has been a 79 per cent rise in one week in cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India, with the increase being driven by younger age groups.

Similar pop-up centres to the one at Tottenham Hotspur were set up on Saturday at sporting venues in London and giant jab clinics were also opened at the Olympic Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Charlton Athletic FC, Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace Athletics Centre.  

There were also pop up clinics at universities, such as in York and Canterbury.

The day before, the vaccine programme was thrown open to all over-18s and the NHS revealed that 1,008,472 jab appointments were booked on Friday and Saturday. 

Social media firms have signed up to a government plan to encourage younger people to get the Covid jab. Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and YouTube joined the scheme.

The success of the vaccination rollout is crucial if ‘Freedom Day’ can finally go ahead on July 19.

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

Ministers consider letting holidaymakers who have received two doses of Covid vaccine skip quarantine after visiting amber list countries 

People who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine may not be required to quarantine after going on trips overseas, it emerged today. 

Cabinet ministers are considering easing restrictions for double-jabbed UK travellers, while a top Public Health England medic hinted there may be ‘alternatives to isolation’ for fully-vaccinated Britons.

Such a move would help placate the beleaguered travel industry, which has been devastated by restrictions and successive lockdowns more than a year and whose chiefs have warned of a jobs bloodbath. 

Under current rules, UK travellers from red list countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £1,750 per person. 

Those who leave the quarantine hotel before the end of their 10 days could be handed a £5,000 fine, rising to a maximum of £10,000.   

People travelling to the UK from amber list countries have to quarantine for 10 days at home, and will need to present proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival, as well as tests on days two and eight of quarantine.  

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Dr Susan Hopkins said:  ‘We’ll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

‘We’ve talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who’ve had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

‘And they are allowing their population to travel more. 

‘We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

‘But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I’m not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine.’

Responding to Dr Hopkins’ remarks, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the Government has not ruled out relaxing restrictions, such as on foreign travel and self-isolation, for those who have received both vaccines. 

‘I think experts like Susan Hopkins are absolutely right to remind us the evidence is still developing on double vaccinations,’ he told the BBC.

‘It looks great, it looks really encouraging, we’re trying to be as flexible as we can. We will keep on looking at all these proposals and flexes as appropriate.’

About two-thirds of cases are in unvaccinated people, and just one in 13 infections are in those who have received both doses.

So far some 59.5 per cent of British adults have had two doses of a vaccine, while 81.6 per cent have had at least one dose.

Dr Susan Hopkins, from Public Health England, yesterday said she hopes all over-40s – seven in ten of all adults – will be fully vaccinated when restrictions lift.

So far four in five adults have received one dose and three in five have had both vaccines.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: ‘It is fantastic to see so many young people coming forward to do their bit in the battle against the virus, protecting themselves, their friends and their family. NHS staff are pulling out all the stops to get jabs in arms.’

Yesterday Professor Kevin Fenton, regional director at London Public Health England, said: ‘We’re just about entering into a final summer sprint, where we’re working with local authorities to get the rates up among everybody over the age of 18, but especially those aged over 40. That’s our number-one focus now.’

Professor Fenton said it was unlikely the capital would have all over-30s double-vaccinated by July 19, but that it was vital they had been given one dose by then.

He said the PHE staff in London were ‘really dealing with hesitancy that people may have about getting vaccinated, it’s safety, or where to get it done’. 

The bookings surge came at the end of a week which had already seen almost 1.8 million appointments made in just three days, after the NHS vaccination programme opened up to people in their early twenties.

Some 692,299 appointments were made on Tuesday when 23 and 24-year-olds became eligible for a jab, with another 635,478 booked on Wednesday when the programme was extended to those aged 21 and 22.

There were another 456,366 appointments made on Thursday, meaning more than 2.5 million appointments were booked in just four days since booking opened to under 25s on Tuesday. 

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: ‘This pandemic has been a challenge for everyone but the various restrictions have hit young people particularly hard.

‘That’s why it’s good news that Covid vaccinations are now open to all adults across the country, and already well over three million people in their twenties have now had their first jab.

‘So if you’re 18 and over and haven’t yet had yours, now’s the time. It’s the single easiest way to protect yourself, keep friends and family safe, and hopefully give us all our summer freedoms back.

‘Please encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same, as we’re now in the race to the finish line.

‘The more of us who are vaccinated, the safer we all are, and the sooner freedom can return.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘It’s incredible to see the enthusiasm young people are showing for vaccination across the country, and it is a testament to the fantastic work of the team in keeping as many people safe from Covid-19 as possible.

‘If you’ve yet to book your appointment, I urge you not to hesitate in getting your jab and securing this protection for yourself and your loved ones.’

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

Government data up to June 18 showed that of the 73,766,593 jabs given in the UK so far, 42,679,268 were first doses – a rise of 218,636 on the previous day.  Some 31,087,325 were second doses, an increase of 188,858.

Ministers are today facing calls to relax foreign holiday rules after new data revealed fewer than one in 200 travellers from amber list countries tested positive for Covid.

Just 89 of the 23,465 people who travelled into the UK from amber list countries at the end of last month and the start of this month had a negative Covid test, NHS Test and Trace shows.

The cases all came from just 16 of the 167 countries on the amber list, according to the data.

And there were no cases classed as being ‘variants of concern’ – Alpha, Beta, Delta or Gamma variants – the figures show.

Ministers say the strict foreign travel rules are there to reduce the risk of dangerous variants from reaching the UK.

But the new figures, which cover the period of May 20 to June 9, have led to more calls to relax restrictions – which have caused havoc on the travel industry.   

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of Conservative MPs, told the Times that the Government should start relying on its successful vaccine roll-out.

He told the paper: ‘Vaccination and testing are making international travel safer just as surely as they make things safer within our borders.

‘It’s time British people were able to reap the benefits of the vaccines and for us to get the travel industry moving again.’ 

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

Currently there are 167 countries on the UK’s amber travel list, including top holiday hotspots such as Portugal, Spain and Greece.

Travellers from amber list countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days on their arrival in the UK, and take two PCR Covid tests. 

These tests are the figures that are provided by NHS Test and Trace. 

The figures also show there were no Covid cases recorded from arrivals from green list countries – of which there are currently 11 destinations including Iceland and Gibraltar.

Arrivals from green list countries do not have to quarantine on their arrival in the UK.

From red list countries, which require entrants to the UK to quarantine in specific hotels, 435 of the 24,511 people arriving from red list countries had coronavirus.

Of those cases, 89 variants of concern were detected. 

It comes as it is revealed today that people who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine may not be required to quarantine after going on trips overseas.

Cabinet ministers are considering easing restrictions for double-jabbed UK travellers, while a top Public Health England medic hinted there may be ‘alternatives to isolation’ for fully-vaccinated Britons.

Such a move would help placate the beleaguered travel industry, which has been devastated by restrictions and successive lockdowns more than a year and whose chiefs have warned of a jobs bloodbath. 

Under current rules, UK travellers from red list countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £1,750 per person. 

Those who leave the quarantine hotel before the end of their 10 days could be handed a £5,000 fine, rising to a maximum of £10,000.   

People travelling to the UK from amber list countries have to quarantine for 10 days at home, and will need to present proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival, as well as tests on days two and eight of quarantine.  

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Dr Susan Hopkins said:  ‘We’ll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

‘We’ve talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who’ve had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

‘And they are allowing their population to travel more. 

‘We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

‘But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I’m not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine.’

Meanwhile Covid cases have risen by a quarter in the last week and another six people have died from the virus, as a SAGE expert warned a ‘miserable winter’ could be on the way.

New figures released by the Department of Health showed a further 9,284 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed, up 24 per cent from last week’s figure of 7,490.

Today’s deaths figure is a slight drop from last week’s total of eight, a sign that the vaccination programme is continuing to keep mortality rates low despite the increase in cases.  

Government data up to June 19 showed that of the 73,766,593 jabs given in the UK so far, 42,964,013 were first doses – a rise of 280,241 on the previous day.

Some 31,340,507 were second doses, an increase of 236,363. 

However, Professor Calum Semple – a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises the Government – today warned that further lockdowns could be a possibility because of the emergence of new respiratory viruses. 

Professor Semple told Times Radio: ‘I suspect we’ll have a pretty miserable winter because the other respiratory viruses are going to come back and bite us quite hard. 

‘But after that, I think we’ll be seeing business as normal next year. 

‘There’s a sting in the tail after every pandemic, because social distancing will have reduced exposure, particularly of pregnant women and their newborn babies, they will have not been exposed to the usual endemic respiratory viruses.’

He added that the above factors could mean the UK has what he called a ‘fourth wave winter’.    

The professor added: ‘The protection that a pregnant woman would give to their unborn child has not occurred.

‘So we are going to see a rise in a disease called bronchiolitis, and a rise in community acquired pneumonia in children and in the frail elderly, to the other respiratory viruses for which we don’t have vaccines.

‘So that’s why we’re predicting a rough July, August and then a rough winter period.’

Even though he called it the ‘fourth wave winter’, he said it would be much milder than the previous ones.

Dr Susan Hopkins, the strategic response director for Covid-19 at Public Health England (PHE) also warned of a possible rise in cases at the end of the year.

She told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: ‘We may have to do further lockdowns this winter, I can’t predict the future, it really depends on whether the hospitals start to become overwhelmed at some point.

‘But I think we will have alternative ways to manage this, through vaccination, through anti-virals, through drugs, through testing that we didn’t have last winter.

‘All of those things allow us different approaches rather than restrictions on livelihoods that will move us forward into the next phase of learning to live with this as an endemic that happens as part of the respiratory viruses.’ 

Wedding guest list limit of 30 is lifted from TODAY while care home trips and big wakes are also allowed – but rule of six remains and nightclubs stay shut

New lockdown easing measures will be introduced in England today – though not as many as first hoped.

The Government has pushed back its June 21 ‘Freedom Day’ by four weeks – to July 19 – amid concerns over the Delta variant.

But people in England will be given back some freedoms from today – most of which centre around large scale events and celebrations. 

Here MailOnline looks at what people in England can do from June 21, and what rules will be delayed:

Weddings

July and August are widely regarded as the peak months for weddings in the UK. And for those hoping to get hitched this summer, there is good news.

From June 21, the Government is to lift capacity restrictions on weddings, meaning more than 30 people can attend.

The current rules allow up to 30 people to attend weddings and civil partnership ceremonies.

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

But venues will now be able to choose a safe number of guests themselves, after carrying out risk assessments.

Weddings organised on private land, such as gardens, will also see capacity limits lifted. 

However, like private venues, organisers will have to carry out risk assessments prior to the wedding.

And you won’t be able to take to the dance floor at the wedding. Though the couple’s first dance is allowed, dancing is ‘advised against due to the increased risk of transmission’ 

Congregational and communal singing is also ‘strongly advised against’. 

Wakes

Like weddings, wakes have been limited to 30 people. But this has been contentious because funeral limits were lifted in May.

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

It meant that families could invite an unlimited number of guests to a funeral, but had to limit the number who could attend the wake.

But as of June 21 the limits on wakes will now be lifted, bringing them in line with funerals and weddings.

Care Homes

Indoor visits to care homes, for up to five named guests, were re-introduced in May.

But restrictions have remained for those wanting to leave the care home to visit other people.

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

That is changing from June 21. In England, rules on visits outside care homes will be relaxed.

Residents will not have to isolate after spending time away from the care home with family and friends – including overnight stays. 

Boris Johnson said: ‘The requirement for residents to isolate for 14 days after visits out of care homes will also be removed in most cases.’

Residents who leave to visit hospital will still have to isolate for 14 days on their return, however. 

Nightclubs

Unfortunately, those hoping for a return to the nightclub dancefloor will have to wait at least another month before they can start busting a move again.

Nightclubs have been closed since March last year, when lockdown was first  announced in the UK.

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

And they will not be allowed to reopen until at least July 19 now, after the Government pushed back Freedom Day another four weeks.

Time to put those dancing shoes back on the shelf.

Cinemas and Theatres

Theatre-goers and film-lovers have been able to return to venues since May.

But venues have been restricted in terms of capacity. And those restrictions are set to remain beyond June 21.

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

Cinemas and theatres will continue to be limited to 50 per cent capacity, until at least July 19.

Masks

Facemasks still have to be worn in indoor public areas such as shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes, as well as public transport.

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

Those who fail to wear a mask without a medical or similar exemption can be fined £200. 

Social Distancing

The rule of six remains in place indoors in England beyond June 21, while up to 30 people are able to meet outdoors.

That will not change until at least July 19.

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

Working from home

Many office workers have been preparing to head back to their desk on June 21.

But the Government is not lifting its work from home guidance today.

Instead, the Government will continue to advise people to work from home where possible.

The rule will remain in place until at least July 19. 

Just one in 200 amber list travellers test positive for Covid on their return, figures show as pressure increases on ministers to relax holiday rules

Ministers are today facing calls to relax foreign holiday rules after new data revealed fewer than one in 200 travellers from amber list countries tested positive for Covid.

Just 89 of the 23,465 people who travelled into the UK from amber list countries at the end of last month and the start of this month had a negative Covid test, NHS Test and Trace shows.

The cases all came from just 16 of the 167 countries on the amber list, according to the data.

And there were no cases classed as being ‘variants of concern’ – Alpha, Beta, Delta or Gamma variants – the figures show.

Ministers say the strict foreign travel rules are there to reduce the risk of dangerous variants from reaching the UK.

But the new figures, which cover the period of May 20 to June 9, have led to more calls to relax restrictions – which have caused havoc on the travel industry.   

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of Conservative MPs, told the Times that the Government should start relying on its successful vaccine roll-out.

He told the paper: ‘Vaccination and testing are making international travel safer just as surely as they make things safer within our borders.

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

‘It’s time British people were able to reap the benefits of the vaccines and for us to get the travel industry moving again.’   

Currently there are 167 countries on the UK’s amber travel list, including top holiday hotspots such as Portugal, Spain and Greece.

Travellers from amber list countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days on their arrival in the UK, and take two PCR Covid tests. 

Ministers consider letting holidaymakers who have received two doses of Covid vaccine skip quarantine after visiting amber list countries 

People who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine may not be required to quarantine after going on trips overseas, it emerged today. 

Cabinet ministers are considering easing restrictions for double-jabbed UK travellers, while a top Public Health England medic hinted there may be ‘alternatives to isolation’ for fully-vaccinated Britons.

Such a move would help placate the beleaguered travel industry, which has been devastated by restrictions and successive lockdowns more than a year and whose chiefs have warned of a jobs bloodbath. 

Under current rules, UK travellers from red list countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £1,750 per person. 

Those who leave the quarantine hotel before the end of their 10 days could be handed a £5,000 fine, rising to a maximum of £10,000.   

People travelling to the UK from amber list countries have to quarantine for 10 days at home, and will need to present proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival, as well as tests on days two and eight of quarantine.  

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Dr Susan Hopkins said:  ‘We’ll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

‘We’ve talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who’ve had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

‘And they are allowing their population to travel more. 

‘We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

‘But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I’m not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine.’

Responding to Dr Hopkins’ remarks, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the Government has not ruled out relaxing restrictions, such as on foreign travel and self-isolation, for those who have received both vaccines. 

‘I think experts like Susan Hopkins are absolutely right to remind us the evidence is still developing on double vaccinations,’ he told the BBC.

‘It looks great, it looks really encouraging, we’re trying to be as flexible as we can. We will keep on looking at all these proposals and flexes as appropriate.’

These tests are the figures that are provided by NHS Test and Trace. 

The figures also show there were no Covid cases recorded from arrivals from green list countries – of which there are currently 11 destinations including Iceland and Gibraltar.

Arrivals from green list countries do not have to quarantine on their arrival in the UK.

From red list countries, which require entrants to the UK to quarantine in specific hotels, 435 of the 24,511 people arriving from red list countries had coronavirus.

Of those cases, 89 variants of concern were detected. 

It comes as it is revealed today that people who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine may not be required to quarantine after going on trips overseas.

Cabinet ministers are considering easing restrictions for double-jabbed UK travellers, while a top Public Health England medic hinted there may be ‘alternatives to isolation’ for fully-vaccinated Britons.

Such a move would help placate the beleaguered travel industry, which has been devastated by restrictions and successive lockdowns more than a year and whose chiefs have warned of a jobs bloodbath. 

Under current rules, UK travellers from red list countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at a cost of £1,750 per person. 

Those who leave the quarantine hotel before the end of their 10 days could be handed a £5,000 fine, rising to a maximum of £10,000.   

People travelling to the UK from amber list countries have to quarantine for 10 days at home, and will need to present proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival, as well as tests on days two and eight of quarantine.  

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Dr Susan Hopkins said:  ‘We’ll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

‘We’ve talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who’ve had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

‘And they are allowing their population to travel more. 

‘We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

‘But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I’m not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine.’

Meanwhile Covid cases have risen by a quarter in the last week and another six people have died from the virus, as a SAGE expert warned a ‘miserable winter’ could be on the way.

New figures released by the Department of Health showed a further 9,284 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed, up 24 per cent from last week’s figure of 7,490.

Today’s deaths figure is a slight drop from last week’s total of eight, a sign that the vaccination programme is continuing to keep mortality rates low despite the increase in cases.  

Government data up to June 19 showed that of the 73,766,593 jabs given in the UK so far, 42,964,013 were first doses – a rise of 280,241 on the previous day.

Some 31,340,507 were second doses, an increase of 236,363. 

However, Professor Calum Semple – a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises the Government – today warned that further lockdowns could be a possibility because of the emergence of new respiratory viruses. 

Professor Semple told Times Radio: ‘I suspect we’ll have a pretty miserable winter because the other respiratory viruses are going to come back and bite us quite hard. 

‘But after that, I think we’ll be seeing business as normal next year. 

(

© Provided by Daily Mail(

182033135

© Provided by Daily Mail182033135

NHS chiefs warn ministers must END 'emergency Covid response'

© Provided by Daily MailNHS chiefs warn ministers must END ’emergency Covid response’

‘There’s a sting in the tail after every pandemic, because social distancing will have reduced exposure, particularly of pregnant women and their newborn babies, they will have not been exposed to the usual endemic respiratory viruses.’

He added that the above factors could mean the UK has what he called a ‘fourth wave winter’.    

The professor added: ‘The protection that a pregnant woman would give to their unborn child has not occurred.

‘So we are going to see a rise in a disease called bronchiolitis, and a rise in community acquired pneumonia in children and in the frail elderly, to the other respiratory viruses for which we don’t have vaccines.

‘So that’s why we’re predicting a rough July, August and then a rough winter period.’

Even though he called it the ‘fourth wave winter’, he said it would be much milder than the previous ones.

Dr Susan Hopkins, the strategic response director for Covid-19 at Public Health England (PHE) also warned of a possible rise in cases at the end of the year.

She told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: ‘We may have to do further lockdowns this winter, I can’t predict the future, it really depends on whether the hospitals start to become overwhelmed at some point.

‘But I think we will have alternative ways to manage this, through vaccination, through anti-virals, through drugs, through testing that we didn’t have last winter.

‘All of those things allow us different approaches rather than restrictions on livelihoods that will move us forward into the next phase of learning to live with this as an endemic that happens as part of the respiratory viruses.’

It comes as thousands of Covid-19 jabs are being administered at stadiums and football grounds in London which were transformed into mass vaccination centres.

Giant jab clinics have been set up at the Olympic Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Charlton Athletic FC, Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace Athletics Centre.

Smaller events are also taking place in local community venues in a drive to vaccinate as many Londoners as possible.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was ‘delighted’ to visit Chelsea’s ground at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea FC had 6,000 Pfizer vaccines to administer on Saturday, with the jab being offered to all adults over the age of 18 yet to receive a first dose, as well as those awaiting a second Pfizer dose.

Mr Khan said: ‘Chelsea FC, West Ham at the London Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Charlton Athletic FC, are hosting large-scale pop-up clinics, and there are a huge number of events taking place in local community centres, so that as many people as possible get convenient access to the life-saving Covid jabs.

‘You do not need to be registered with a GP to get vaccinated.

‘It is great news that more than eight million doses of the life-saving Covid-19 vaccine have been given to Londoners, and now all adults over the age of 18 are able to get the jab.’

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Environment, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

FB-treatment-may-cause-serious-harm

Facebook fact-check fallacies and pandemic panics

Are FaceBook’s “Independent Fact-Checkers” the last word on the Covid-19 vax facts?

BRADES, Montserrat, June 5, 2021 –  Obviously not. But, why that is so important, is especially if we value our freedom (and so, too, the independent media).

Yes, the Facebook warning label we can see was recently used to dismiss the sober concerns by New Zealand Doctor, Damian Wojcik; which  TMR brought to the attention of Montserrat and its huge global readership, hence their effort. So, it is time to use the right of reply to set the matter straight.

See: https://www.covidplanb.co.nz/data-science/an-open-video-from-nz-gp-damian-wojcik/?fbclid=IwAR1CcGR9BhcQk09_luX5Xvrr-v1qPHdC1BAeEysS2ELepDS0ntAUh5jduBU

As, whenever there is a crisis, officials and other power brokers try to keep a lid on it.

As part of that, they establish a dominant narrative, put out by their favoured voices.  And, yes, historically, you can safely bet your last $5 in your back pocket, that that narrative will at most give half the truth, will promote power agendas, typically reflects someone’s business selling point, and too often will be dangerously manipulative. If they can get away with it, anyone who refuses to toe the line will be smeared as an irresponsible, incompetent misleader of the public, etc, etc. And, far too often, that is utterly unfair to voices trying to warn about overlooked issues and concerns.

Another direct Facebook attachment to (vaccine) video posted

Montserrat’s history since 1989 is littered with cases in point, but that’s just because we have been hit, literally, by crisis after crisis since Hurricane Hugo struck thirty-two years ago.

TMR response: Ah yes! Hmmm, the lack of announced ‘Treatment’ and lack thereof? Consider how this fact has been suppressed and scandalised for over a year, and then ask yourself the question why? That note by Facebook should direct to their claim comparing the “harm” from the vaccine i.e. number of deaths therefrom and the number of “harm” specific caused from the treatment of Ivermectin. Recall their famous ploy of benefits vs risk – where do they bother to apply that? The absence of that answers any suspicions.

A glance at scripture, say, Acts 27 will show this problem is as old as the hills. As regular TMR readers are doubtless familiar with, Mr. Moneybags had his bought-and-paid-for “techie” persuade the Centurion and the passengers to ignore that crazy Jew in chains over there muttering about dangerous sailing conditions. All that was needed to slip forty miles down the coast to a fine harbour was a good afternoon’s breeze. 

Ah, there it is, a gentle South wind. Let’s go.

Halfway there, of course, a wicked nor’easter struck, instantly reducing the ship to sinking condition. By the time it was over, it was through intercessory prayer and the grace of God that they were glad to shipwreck at St Paul’s Bay, Malta.

That’s a bit of history that needs to be regularly expounded from our pulpits.

For sure, Dr. Damian Wojcik deserved a fairer hearing for his sober, quietly presented fifteen-minute, well-researched word of counsel[1]:

  • He is a General Practitioner with twenty-seven years of experience in a practice that includes nutrition and environmental medicine. He is also a Forensic Physician, trained to give expert testimony, and having twenty-seven years’ experience as a Police Doctor.
  • He speaks as spokesman for a circle of other doctors concerned about how the vaccines for Covid-19 are being rolled out; they shared their concerns through an open letter to the NZ Medical Council, Medsafe, and the Royal College of GP’s. (So, yes, this is a case where experts disagree, so it is unjustified to claim that the voice of officialdom and its favoured spokesmen decisively represent THE Science.)
  • He speaks in the name of the famous Hippocratic Oath,[2] which constituted Medicine as a responsible, trustworthy profession, 2400 years ago. The key ethical commitments are, first, do no harm; next, cure if you can; and last, care for always. (Our own doctors take that same oath. If they haven’t our Governments are committing a travesty and worse)
  • He counsels that “there is emerging evidence that Covid-19 vaccines carry a risk of severe adverse reactions and death.” He points to over 4,000 deaths listed by the American registry for such over the past five months, relative to 259 million vaccinations (most vaccines require two “jabs”). This is a fact from a standard source; the issue is the balance of risks and benefits, as well as reasonable alternatives.
  • He then highlights that CDC calculations show this exceeds the total for vaccines over the preceding ten years and it is also over a hundred times higher than the rate for influenza vaccines, signs that this is significantly riskier than is generally acceptable for vaccines.
  • He is concerned that patients are individuals, not Lab Rats to be “sacrificed in a global vaccine experiment,” at least, not on his watch for his patients. This is controversial of course but it is a values statement informed by the fact that the vaccines were sharply expedited and would normally require several further years of tests before general approval.
  • He cites the conceded point as of May 2021, that there is no conclusive evidence that the vaccines prevent infection or transmission of the disease. The hope has been that they will reduce the intensity of disease, hospitalisations, and fatalities.
  • He speaks to the Nuremberg Code,[3] created in 1947 after Nazi Doctors abused patients through dangerous or often fatal medical experiments. This requires that participation in medical experiments must be based on voluntary informed consent.
  • The pivot here is that in his opinion [which is a matter of ethical judgment], the emergency approvals and riskiness of the vaccines constitute a global experiment that requires balanced informed consent rather than coaxing. (Fair comment: if there are significant, widespread long-term problems from the vaccines this may become a serious legal issue.)
  • He specifically speaks of mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna, as gene therapy, a controversial opinion, but one linked to the role of mRNA as carrying the genetic code out to cellular machinery for building protein molecules, etc, here, viral spike proteins intended to spark an immune response. (However, on fair comment: there are concerns tied to earlier animal trials with adverse outcomes and even to apparent damaging effects caused by spike proteins in the body.)
  • [AstraZeneca inserts spike proteins into a Chimpanzee virus which is injected to spark an immune response, however the spike protein itself apparently can cause damage to the lining of blood vessels. We all know of the blood clotting concerns.]
  • Again, he speaks to a climate of fear, pressure, and state over-reach, having already noted that vaccine manufacturers are indemnified and insurers will not pay out in case of vaccine-related adverse events. These are again summaries of fact and statements of linked controversial but legitimate opinion or concern.
  • He goes on to call for respectful, courteous dialogue.
  • He reports the current global fatality rate as 0.15%, comparing to the typical infection [not case] fatality rate for seasonal influenza, 0.10%. Such rates seem to be responsible estimates and are clearly comparable. We do not go into a global lockdown with a “warp speed” operation to provide vaccines for the annual flu. Similarly, he suggests that over the past year, as physicians have learned what treatments work, hospital fatality rates have fallen. In this context, he pointed to supplements such as Zinc, Vitamins C and D, adding that “there are at least eighteen randomised clinical trials to support the use of oral Ivermectin in hospitalised patients; which results in significantly reduced mortality.” He suggests that “this information should be more widely applied and not suppressed.”

There is, again on final fair comment, manifestly nothing in this that warrants branding his remarks as “False Information.” Facebook’s fact-checkers themselves need to be fact-checked.


[1]See https://vimeo.com/553855810

[2] See https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/greek/greek_oath.html

[3] See http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/nuremberg/

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, COVID-19, Crime, De Ole Dawg, Environment, Health, International, Local, News, Opinions, Regional, Scriptures0 Comments

Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK. 14th June, 2021. UK Weather. Sun-seekers flock to the beach to soak up the scorching hot sunshine on the hottest day of the year so far. Credit: Celia McMahon/Alamy Live News

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

The Independent
Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK. 14th June, 2021. UK Weather. Sun-seekers flock to the beach to soak up the scorching hot sunshine on the hottest day of the year so far. Credit: Celia McMahon/Alamy Live News
Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK. 14th June, 2021. UK Weather. Sun-seekers flock to the beach to soak up the scorching hot sunshine on the hottest day of the year so far. Credit: Celia McMahon/Alamy Live News

Chiara Giordano,Akshita Jain and Jon Sharman –

Labour is attempting to pin the blame for surging coronavirus infections squarely on the prime minister today, dubbing the Delta strain of Covid-19 the “Boris Johnson variant”.

The government’s “unforgivable recklessness” at the border is the cause of the surge and the delay to the end of lockdown, according to Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary.

It comes as NHS England announces that all over-18s in England should be able to book their first vaccine by the end of next week. Boosting vaccination rates is a key plank of Mr Johnson’s plan to reopen the economy on 19 July.

The PM said on Monday he was confident no further delay would be necessary but was unable to rule that out, warning of the possibility that an unforeseen and “far more dangerous” variant could emerge.

Scientists have warned more than 40,000 people could die this summer as the Delta variant sweeps through the UK, even after the decision to postpone the lifting of lockdown.

Key Points

  • The recklessness of government has led to a surge of ‘Johnson variant,’ Labour says
  • Boris Johnson delays lifting lockdown restrictions
  • Summer death toll could hit 40,000
  • PM ‘would never risk UK’s health’ for trade deal photo-op with India, Michael Gove claims
  • All over-18s to be invited for vaccines by end of the week, NHS boss says
  • Something ‘unprecedented’ would need to happen to delay 19 July lifting
More than 1,000 Covid patients in hospital, highest figure since start of May

 Jon Sharman

The latest internal NHS England data, shared with The Independent, shows there are now more than 1,000 Covid patients in England for the first time since the start of May.Adslow-watches.comHandmade in Switzerland: 24 hours and only 1 hand. The Slow Watch helps you to live for the moment.

In total, the NHS England data shows there are approximately 1,030 patients in hospital who have tested positive for the virus with a total of 216 patients in intensive care, writes Shaun Lintern.

The numbers are up by almost 40 in the past 24 hours, despite 154 discharges over the same period with 75 new admissions of patients with Covid-19 as well as 118 existing patients testing positive since Monday.

The northwest region remains the worst hit with almost 350 Covid patients – similar levels to that last seen in April.

The Royal Blackburn Hospital has now overtaken Bolton Hospital has the epicentre of hospitalisations with 56 Covid patients on its wards with 19 patients in intensive care – the highest level of Covid patients since early March.

Bolton Hospital recorded 42 Covid patients in beds with 12 patients in intensive care. Levels last seen in mid-March.

30 million second vaccine doses delivered, Hancock says

 Jon Sharman

Some 30 million people have now had a second dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Matt Hancock says.

Delays after 19 July only if something ‘unprecedented and remarkable’ happens, claims Gove

Jon Sharman

Something “unprecedented and remarkable” would need to happen for the 19 July “terminus date” for lifting Covid restrictions to be pushed back, Michael Gove has said.

The Cabinet Office minister said he shared Boris Johnson’s confidence that 19 July would see the final easing of lockdown measures, with the four-week delay announced on Monday buying more time for people to receive vaccinations.

Scientists had warned that the rapidly spreading Delta variant, which was first identified in India, would lead to a significant rise in hospital admissions if stage four of England’s road map went ahead as planned on 21 June.

Some Tory MPs have reacted with fury to the delay, and the news was described as a “devastating blow” for the night-time industry.

Asked about the circumstances in which the 19 July date could be extended further, Mr Gove appeared to tempt fate. He told Sky News: “It would require an unprecedented and remarkable alteration in the progress of the disease.”

He told BBC Breakfast the future could not be predicted with “perfect” confidence.

“But, insofar as we can be confident about anything in this complex world, we can be confident that the increased level of vaccination that we will have by 19 July should allow us to further relax restrictions,” he said.

Mr Gove also said he wants “as few restrictions as possible” after 19 July, but added that he will be “guided by clinical advice from doctors and scientists”.

Additional reporting by PA

Sturgeon to postpone Scotland lockdown easing

Jon Sharman

Scotland is “unlikely” to move to Level 0 restrictions from 28 June, Nicola Sturgeon has said. Instead, the country is expected to follow the lead of London and delay its lockdown easing until July.

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon did not rule out the further easing of restrictions but said the Scottish government needed to “buy ourselves sufficient time” to allow the vaccination programme to continue its work.

She said: “Given the current situation – and the need to get more people fully vaccinated before we ease up further – it is reasonable to indicate now that I think it unlikely that any part of the country will move down a level from 28 June.

“Instead, it is likely that we will opt to maintain restrictions for a further three weeks from June 28 and use that time to vaccinate – with both doses – as many more people as possible.

“Doing that will give us the best chance, later in July, of getting back on track and restoring the much greater normality that we all crave.”

Read more below:

Trump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

© Provided by The IndependentTrump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

Sturgeon says Scotland ‘unlikely’ to move out of lockdown as scheduled

Additional reporting by PA

Average age of hospital patients falling, says Sturgeon

Jon Sharman

The average age of people in hospital with Covid-19 in Scotland is falling, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The first minister said the highest number of new admissions was in people aged in their 30s and 40s.

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said: “The fact that more of the recent hospital admissions are in younger age groups may mean that fewer of the people being admitted are becoming seriously ill or requiring intensive care. It made also help to explain my next point.

“Hospital occupancy – the total number of people with Covid in hospital at any given time – is not rising at the same rate as hospital admissions or cases.

“Indeed, while there has been an approximate five-fold increase in cases since the start of May, hospital occupancy is around double what it was at the start of May.

“That suggests that people are being discharged more quickly and spending, on average, less time in hospital than patients in earlier phases of the pandemic. Again, though, while that is encouraging, further analysis is needed to confirm this.”

PA

India confirms first death directly linked to adverse reaction after Covid vaccine

14:28 , Leonie Chao-Fong

An Indian government panel studying the side effects of Covid-19 vaccines has said that a 68-year-old man died due to anaphylaxis after inoculation.

It is the first confirmed death in the country directly linked to a reaction to vaccination, writes Akshita Jain.

A report by the National Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) panel, which is part of India’s health ministry, said the man was vaccinated with Covishield — the local branding for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, produced here by the Serum Institute of India — on 8 March and labelled the case as a “vaccine product-related reaction.”

Dr NK Arora, chairperson of the AEFI committee, told India Today it “is the first death that we have seen in which the reason of death after an investigation was found to be anaphylaxis after vaccination.”

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

India confirms first death due to adverse reaction after Covid vaccine

Jon Stewart called out for peddling ‘harmful’ lab leak coronavirus theory

 Leonie Chao-Fong

Jon Stewart appeared on The Late Show on Monday and promoted a right-wing conspiracy theory about the origins of Covid-19, leading to a backlash on Twitter.

The comedian raised the theory when host Stephen Colbert asked him how he was feeling about the state of the scientific response to the pandemic, writes Ellie Harrison.

Many viewers condemned Stewart for his comments, with some calling him a “conspiracy nut” and “dangerously misinformed”.

The idea that Covid-19 could have escaped from a lab has long been dismissed by members of the scientific community, while others have derided such theories due to their connection with former President Donald Trump.

However, calls from his successor Joe Biden for a transparent investigation into the origins of Covid-19 have recently brought the theory back under the spotlight.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surge in UK is due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

The Late Show viewers call out Jon Stewart for peddling ‘harmful’ lab leak coronavirus theory

PM to meet Commons speaker after Covid announcement row

Jon Sharman

Boris Johnson will hold talks with Lindsay Hoyle, after the Commons Speaker gave him a tongue-lashing for announcing the delay to lifting Covid restrictions at a press conference – rather than in the Commons – but it may not be straight away, writes Rob Merrick.

“The prime minister is going to be meeting with the Speaker to discuss this,” his spokesperson said. However, asked when, he replied: “In due course.”

Mr. Johnson has watched the footage of Nick Watt, the BBC political reporter being abused by an anti-lockdown mob and was as appalled as everybody else.

“This footage is deeply disturbing. Journalists should never face that kind of behaviour,” his spokesman said, adding: “Violence, threats, and intimidation like this are never acceptable.”

The prime minister is also throwing his weight behind Cressida Dick, despite criticism of her in the Daniel Morgan report. Asked if the Metropolitan Police commissioner had his full support, his spokesperson replied: “Yes.”

Downing Street also made clear the fill removal of all Covid rules will only go ahead on 19 July if the four existing tests are met, meaning the policy is still “data not dates” – despite Mr Johnson calling it “a terminus date”.

Ireland to lengthen quarantine for partially vaccinated Britains

Leonie Chao-Fong

People arriving from Britain into Ireland will be required to quarantine for 10 days if they are only partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, the Irish government has said.

The doubling of the quarantine period for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated arrivals is in response to the rapid spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

But plans are still underway to enable people to travel more freely between the two countries from mid-July, an Irish minister insisted.

Ireland’s transport minister, Eamon Ryan, told reporters on Tuesday: “It is just to reflect concern about the Delta variant and to try and hold back the development of that variant here as much as we can and give us time to get vaccines out to give us cover against it.”

Israel scraps indoor mask order as Covid infections wane

Leonie Chao-Fong

Israel has ended one of its final remaining Covid-19 restrictions by no longer requiring people to wear masks indoors, writes Joe Middleton.

From Tuesday, only staff in medical facilities, unvaccinated people visiting care homes, people en route to quarantine, and passengers on commercial flights will be required to wear face masks.

Israel has this month logged either zero or one daily Covid-19 deaths, health ministry data shows.

New infections have been in a steady but gentle decline after a steep drop-off in February and March.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

Israel scraps indoor mask order as Covid infections wane

The coronavirus pandemic continues to redraw traditional transport links: Stena Line has announced the first ferry connection between Wales and Northern Ireland

Jon Sharman

The dramatic re-drawing of transport routes due to Covid is continuing – with a new ferry link between Holyhead in northwest Wales and Belfast, writes Simon Calder.

It is the first time the ports have been connected by a scheduled ferry service.

From 25 June to 18 July, Stena Line will sail at weekends between the two ports. In normal times, Holyhead has only one route, to Dublin.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

Wales and Northern Ireland to be linked by ‘temporary’ ferry route

Opinion: When the PM confirmed the great reopening on 19 July, he should have announced a relaxation of the borders

Jon Sharman

Immigrants living in Britain haven’t had the best time recently. Granted, few people have had a pleasant time over the past year and a half; still, we have arguably had it worse. First, there were the Brexit years, in which politicians tripped over themselves to tell voters how little they liked us.

Then, as things were starting to – finally, cautiously – calm down, the pandemic hit, writes Marie le Conte. Suddenly, we got stuck in this country, with no way of seeing our friends or families. Your violin may be small: after all, we chose to make this place our home, and no one forced us to move.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

When Britain reopens on 19 July, we need to relax our borders | Marie Le Conte

Blackburn infection surge has peaked, data suggests

Jon Sharman

The surge in Covid-19 cases in Blackburn with Darwen looks to have peaked, with case rates stabilising for the first time in over a month, new figures suggest.

A total of 897 coronavirus cases were recorded in the local authority in the seven days to 10 June- the equivalent of 599.2 cases per 100,000 people.

Although this is up week-on-week from 548.4, it is below the figure of 666.7 recorded for the seven days to 7 June, which was the highest for the area since the middle of January.

Since 7 June, the seven-day rate of new cases has dropped on each successive day.

The figures have been calculated by the PA news agency from Public Health England data.

Blackburn with Darwen has been battling a sharp rise in cases since early May, driven by the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 that originated in India.

PA

Unforgivable recklessness of government has led to a surge of ‘Johnson variant,’ Labour says

 Jon Sharman

The government’s “unforgivable recklessness” with its approach to Britain’s borders during the pandemic is responsible for the surge in the variant first identified in India and the delay in lifting Covid restrictions, Labour has said.

Dubbing the Delta variant as “the Johnson variant”, the shadow home secretary said Boris Johnson’s “negligence and incompetence” had left the country facing “weeks more of restrictions — and yet more uncertainty” at a speech on Tuesday, writes Ashley Cowburn.

The remarks from Nick Thomas-Symonds came after the prime minister announced his decision to postpone Stage four of the roadmap out of lockdown until 19 July after a recent surge in infections and concern of the transmissibility of the Delta variant.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

Unforgivable recklessness of government has led to surge of ‘Johnson variant,’ Labour says

AstraZeneca says its antibody treatment for people exposed to coronavirus is not effective

Jon Sharman

AstraZeneca says its antibody treatment for Covid-19 does not prevent symptoms in people who have been exposed to the virus.

The drugmaker announced on Tuesday its treatment, called AZD7442, reduced the risk of developing symptomatic Covid by 33 per cent, compared to the placebo, but that this was not statistically significant.

Trial participants were adults over the age of 18 with confirmed exposure to a person who had coronavirus within the past eight days.

Covid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: ‘Boris Johnson variant’ surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour

AstraZeneca says its antibody treatment for people exposed to coronavirus is not effective

Wales should not be ‘taking risks’ by lifting restrictions as cases rise, says first minister

Chiara Giordano

First minister Mark Drakeford has said Wales should not be “taking risks” by scrapping coronavirus restrictions while the number of people falling ill from the virus continues to rise.

Asked if Wales would be far behind England’s 19 July date for the lifting of Covid-19 rules, Mr Drakeford told PA: “We expect to see the number of people falling ill from coronavirus in Wales rise over the weeks ahead because of the Delta variant.

“We are at least in the fortunate position in Wales that our vaccination programme has already gone considerably further than the programmes in England or Scotland.

“We’re in a very different position than we would have been only a matter of months ago, and we need to protect the ground we’ve already gained by not taking risks that might undermine everything we’ve achieved together.”

BBC Newsnight political editor chased through street by anti-lockdown protesters

Chiara Giordano

A BBC journalist was shouted at and chased down the street by anti-lockdown protesters in Westminster.

Footage showed Nicholas Watt, Newsnight’s political editor, being accosted by several people during a demonstration outside Downing Street on Monday.

Our reporter Tom Batchelor has more details:

Covid lockdown news – live: Restriction easing would’ve led to ‘big surge’ as vaccine booking open to over-18s

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Restriction easing would’ve led to ‘big surge’ as vaccine booking open to over-18s

BBC Newsnight political editor chased through street by anti-lockdown protesters

Covid may lead to emergence of ‘superfungus’ in Brazil, say scientists

Chiara Giordano

Scientists have warned overcrowded hospitals, exhausted health care workers, and other factors are creating “ideal conditions” for the emergence of a “superfungus” with the ability to resist drug treatment.

The first two cases of infection with the fungus Candida auris in Covid patients, described in the Journal of Fungi, was reported in a hospital in Salvador in the state of Bahia, Brazil.

My colleague Vishwam Sankaran explains more in the article below:

Covid lockdown news – live: Vaccine booking opened to over-18s by end of week amid restriction easing delay

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Vaccine booking opened to over-18s by end of week amid restriction easing delay

Covid may lead to emergence of ‘superfungus’ in Brazil, say scientists

People scramble to move second jab forward amid Delta variant surge

 Chiara Giordano

People eager to get their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine have been scrambling to move appointments forward amid a surge in the Delta coronavirus variant, after finding they can rebook for a closer time.

Some have said they have been able to cancel existing appointments for their second jab and sign up for another one several weeks earlier than originally planned.

My colleague Zoe Tidman has more details:

Covid lockdown news – live: Vaccine booking opened to over-18s by end of week amid restriction easing delay

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Vaccine booking opened to over-18s by end of the week amid restriction easing delay

People scramble to move second Covid vaccine forward amid Delta variant surge

Just 1% of hospital beds in England occupied by Covid patients

 Chiara Giordano

Just one per cent of hospital beds in England are occupied by patients with Covid-19, according to the head of the NHS in England.

Sir Simon Stevens told the NHS Confederation annual conference: “At the moment about one per cent of hospital beds in England are occupied by patients with a Covid diagnosis and the age distribution has really flipped as a result of vaccination.

“Back in January, it was 60/40 – 60 per cent of beds occupied by people over 65, 40 per cent (occupied by people) under 65.

“Now it’s flipped to 30/70, so it’s about 30 per cent occupied by people aged 65 and over 70 per cent by younger people whose prospects are much greater.”

Covid mentioned on 153,493 UK death certificates

Chiara Giordano

A total of 153,493 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,480 on January 19.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8 2020.

Lifting lockdown would have caused big surge in cases, says former chief scientific adviser

 Chiara Giordano

The government’s former chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir Mark Walport, has told LBC radio that if nothing had been done, the doubling of cases would have seen a big surge.

He said: “It’s fairly obvious that, if you increase people’s social contacts at the moment, then the rate of transmission will rise further.”

He later told Sky News that “another month will enable many more people to be jabbed and for the effects of those first and second jabs to actually kick in”.

He said a further four weeks of data will also show the extent to which the link between infection and hospital admission is weakened, and politicians will be able to make “a more confident decision”.

‘Common sense’ approach to enforcing rules around dancing at weddings, says Gove

Chiara Giordano

Michael Gove said there will be a “common sense” approach to the enforcement of rules around dancing at weddings.

Asked if the police will be sent in, he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I think we’ll use common sense. It is the case that the bride and groom are expected, allowed, encouraged to have a first dance, but it’s also the case that we’re not opening dance floors for weddings because we’re not opening them elsewhere as well.

“It’s four weeks. After this four-week period then I hope that we can get things back to normal. In the meantime, there are restrictions, but overall, I think, you know, common sense is the answer.”

All over-18s to be invited for vaccines by end of week, NHS boss says

Chiara Giordano

All adults aged over 18 will be able to book a Covid vaccine by the end of this week, the head of the NHS in England has said.

Speaking at a virtual annual conference of health leaders organised by the NHS Confederation, Sir Simon Stevens, who is stepping down from his role next month said: “I expect that by the end of this week, we’ll be able to open up the national booking service to all adults aged 18 and above.”

Our health correspondent Shaun Lintern has more details below:

Trump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

© Provided by The IndependentTrump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

All adults over 18 to be invited for Covid vaccines by end of week, NHS boss says

Latest Covid death figures for England and Wales

Chiara Giordano

A total of 98 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 4 June mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is up three per cent on the previous week, but the ONS said the number of deaths registered was affected by the bank holiday on 31 May and that differences between the figures should be treated with caution.

Around one in 77 deaths registered in the week to 4 June (1.3 per cent) mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.

Government ‘as confident as confident can be’ about restrictions ending on 19 July, says Gov

Chiara Giordano

Michael Gove has said the government is “as confident as confident can be” about 19 July being the date for the end of England’s coronavirus restrictions.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “The data shows that we should be in a position to have vaccinated so many people by that date in July that we will be able to lift restrictions.

“Now, you know, none of us can predict the future with 100 per cent certainty – there could be something bizarre and unprecedented that occurs.

“But, on the basis of all the information that we have, then we will have successfully protected such a large section of the population, and of course children will be facing summer holidays and that brings the infection rate down. So we’re as confident as confident can be about that date.”

PM ‘would never risk UK’s health’ for trade deal photo-op with India, Michael Gove claims

 Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson would “never put the health of the country at risk” for a trade deal photo opportunity with India, Michael Gove has claimed.

The Cabinet minister’s defence of the prime minister comes after Labour accused the PM of delaying action to stop travel from the country for fear of disrupting trade talks and ruining a planned photo-op.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has the full story:

Covid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

Boris Johnson ‘would never risk UK’s health’ for a Brexit trade deal photo-op with India, Michael Gove claims

EasyJet shifts Spanish flights from UK to Germany

Chiara Giordano

Britain’s biggest budget airline is moving capacity for Spanish flights from the UK to Germany.

In response to the continuing severe restrictions on international travel from the UK, Easyjet has switched flights to continental Europe. Some aircraft that were expected to connect British airports with Palma in Mallorca have been switched to Berlin.

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder has more details:

Covid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

EasyJet shifts Spanish flights from UK to Germany

‘Puny weak’ border policy to blame for delay to lockdown lifting, claims shadow health secretary

 Chiara Giordano

Labour’s shadow health secretary has claimed the reason the nation is in the current situation is because the government did not impose travel restrictions sooner.

Jonathan Ashworth Radio 4’s Today programme: “Rather than red listing this variant, we essentially gave it the red carpet treatment as 20,000 people were allowed to arrive from India over a number of weeks in April, even though the warning signs were there.

“That essentially seeded this Delta variant across the country.

“Nobody wanted to be in this place and we could have avoided this if it was not for the Delta variant, and I’m afraid this is on Boris Johnson for his puny weak border policy, which was secure as a sieve.”

Future restrictions are a ‘possibility’, says expert

Chiara Giordano

A member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) advising the government has said future restrictions are a “possibility”.

Professor Graham Medley told the Today programme: “It really depends upon what the prospects look like in terms of the way this virus reacts with the vaccine, and that has actually turned out to be good news and uncertainty is solidified in terms of being good news.

“There is that possibility though; I think that depending on what the government wants to achieve, they may well have to make decisions that are against what they would much prefer not to do which is to make the changes that we’ve got irreversible.

“It is possible we could end up with a situation whereby the numbers of people going to a hospital, really mean that the government has to take some kind of action that they don’t want to, but I think that’s always been the case – the government has always taken action to that it didn’t want to, it never wanted to lockdown.

“And it’s always going to be the case in the sense that there is this pandemic ongoing but the next pandemic will happen at some point unknown, and then having used lockdowns once it’s quite possible that the government would choose to use them again.”

Something ‘unprecedented’ would have to happen for 19 July lifting to be delayed

Chiara Giordano

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said something “unprecedented and remarkable” would have to happen for the 19 July date to be extended further.

He told Sky News: “It would require an unprecedented and remarkable alteration in the progress of the disease.”

Delay to lockdown lifting ‘regrettable’, says Michael Gove

Chiara Giordano

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said it was “regrettable” that ministers had to order a delay of up to a month to the final phase of the road map.

Asked if restrictions would ease on 19 July or whether there could be another delay, he told Sky News: “That will be the terminus date.

“What we said is that we won’t lift those restrictions before 21 June, in the road map it says not before, and the whole point about the road map was to build in an element of flexibility and caution.

“It is regrettable that we do have this pause before moving to Step 4, but what we want to do is to make sure that when we do make that move, that we don’t go back.

“Because the worst thing for business, worst thing for any of us, would be to open up again and then to very quickly find that we have to reimpose restrictions.”

200,000 more people in work during May as economic recovery strengthens

Chiara Giordano

UK employers added 200,000 people to payrolls in May as more people returned to work and the unemployment rate fell as the economic recovery from the pandemic strengthened.

The number of people in payrolled employment rose 197,000 between April and May but remains 553,000 below the level reached before the pandemic began, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.

Our business correspondent Ben Chapman has more details:

Covid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

© Provided by The IndependentCovid lockdown news – live: Boris Johnson delays lifting restrictions as summer death toll could hit 40,000

200,000 more people in work during May as economic recovery strengthens

Summer death toll could hit 40,000

 Chiara Giordano

Scientists have warned more than 40,000 people could die this summer as the Delta variant of coronavirus sweeps through the UK, even after Boris Johnson’s decision to delay the lifting of lockdown restrictions by four weeks.

A paper submitted to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) said a summer wave of infections, hospitalisations and deaths was “likely” whether or not restrictions were lifted because of the highly virulent nature of the variant.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock and health correspondent Shaun Lintern have the full story:

Trump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

© Provided by The IndependentTrump speech – latest: Fox refuses to air official address as ex-president demands ‘reparations’ from China

Scientists warn of 40,000 ‘summer wave’ Covid deaths as lockdown lifting delayed by four weeks

Boris Johnson delays lifting lockdown restrictions

Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson has set a new “terminus date” of 19 July for the end of England’s coronavirus restrictions after being warned easing measures as planned could lead to thousands of deaths.

The prime minister ordered a delay of up to a month to the final phase of his roadmap out of lockdown due to concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant first identified in India.

Experts feared going ahead with Step 4 on 21 June as anticipated could lead to hospital admissions on the scale of the first wave of Covid-19, heaping unsustainable pressure on the health service.

To avoid this, Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference it was “sensible to wait just a little longer” as he put back the end of all legal limits on social contact by a month.

No new Covid-19 cases in Indian slum for first time during second wave

Akshita Jain

The densely populated slum area of Dharavi in India’s Mumbai city reported zero Covid-19 cases on Monday, the first time since the second wave of the pandemic hit the country.

Dharavi, one of Asia’s biggest slums, has reported 6,861 cases of coronavirus till date, and out of these, 2,900 infections were reported in the second wave, according to The Indian Express analysis.

73% elderly in India experienced increased abuse during lockdown

 Akshita Jain

Nearly 73 per cent of the elderly population in India suffered increased abuse during the lockdown imposed to contain the deadly second wave of Covid-19, according to a new report.

The Agewell Foundation, a Delhi-based not-for-profit, said 61 per cent of those claimed that interpersonal relationships was the main reason for the increasing incidences of elder abuse, according to news agency PTI.

Crowds outside metro stations as Delhi reopens

Akshita Jain

As India’s national capital Delhi eased restrictions on Monday, long queues could be seen outside metro stations and people had to wait for more than 50 minutes to board a train.

Some stations had to be temporarily shut to manage crowds.

The transport system resumed operations last week at 50 per cent seating capacity, but people flocked to metro stations after the national capital allowed malls, markets and private offices to open on all days from Monday.

He said that while this does not mean there will be a sharp spike, it does mean that this is going to take over.

https://twitter.com/dipalay/status/1404655819363287041/photo/3

‘Delta likely to become dominant variant in the US’

06:22 , Akshita Jain

The Delta variant of Covid-19 — identified first in India — is likely to become the dominant source of new infections in the US, said Dr Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

Dr Gottlieb told CBS: “Right now, in the United States, it’s about 10 per cent of infections. It’s doubling every two weeks.”

India to get Novavax Covid-19 vaccine soon

Akshita Jain

The US’s Novavax vaccine will likely be available in India soon, as the company said it has begun regulatory filing with the Serum Institute of India.

Novavax has said its vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective in protecting against moderate and severe Covid.

The vaccine maker has an agreement with the Serum Institute of India for the development and commercialisation of the vaccine in low and middle income countries, including India.

Delta variant doubles risk of hospitalisation, says study

Akshita Jain

A Scottish study has found that the Delta variant of Covid-19 — first detected in India — doubles the risk of hospitalisation compared with the Alpha variant — first identified in Kent.

But scientists said that two doses of vaccine still provide a strong protection against the Delta variant.

Chris Robertson, professor at University of Strathclyde, was quoted as saying by Reuters that if a person tests positive for Covid-19, two doses of the vaccine or one dose for 28 days reduces risk of hospitalisation by 70 per cent.

Akshita Jain

Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for Tuesday 15 June, 2021.

PauseCurrent Time 0:19/Duration 0:52Loaded: 57.38%Unmute0LQCaptionsFullscreenMichael Gove ‘confident’ in new 19 July date for end of Covid restrictions


TRENDING STORIES

  1. The IndependentLIVE: Variant surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says Labour
  2. Daily MailBeautician who dropped her friend’s baby girl to her death is jailed
  3. Daily MailCristiano Ronaldo REMOVES Coca-Cola bottles in front of him
  4. HeatworldMeghan Markle’s baby bust-up: the fallout over Lilibet
Getty Images <p>Experts warn of a ‘disaster waiting to happen’ as tens of thousands of babies and children are still waiting for a decision on their application while many others are said to have not yet applied</p> - Getty Images

Revealed: Tens of thousands of EU babies and children could be left in limbo due to ‘rigid’ settlement scheme rules

Sky News <p>Gove on Sky News talking about his confidence in the new ‘terminus date’ for restrictions ending</p> - Sky News

Only ‘unprecedented’ incident would block 19 July reopening, Gove insists

AFP via Getty Images GettyImages-1233237424.jpg

France vs Germany live stream: How to watch Euro 2020 fixture online and on TV tonightYOU MAY LIKE

U.K. Residents Over 50 (With No Life Insurance) Are Getting a Benefit This Month

People Born 1941 – 1971 Get This Benefit In June

Pensioners in Harlow Snap Up New Bluetooth Hearing Aid

Seniors Aged 50-79 Are In For A Treat This JuneAd

MORE FOR YOU

AdGlass Digital LTDSuspected link network behind backlink spike at high-profile sites

Suspected link network behind backlink spike at high-profile sites
Mirror

MirrorSchools are telling girls to wear shorts under skirts to stop ‘upskirting’Like 

Schools are telling girls to wear shorts under skirts to stop 'upskirting' - Sky News
The Independent

The IndependentBrexit news – live: Australia trade deal will only deliver minimal benefit to UK economy, experts warnLike30

Brexit news - live: Australia trade deal will only deliver minimal benefit to UK economy, experts warn - AFP via Getty Images
The Guardian

The GuardianReverse Trump’s cuts to monument protections, Haaland asks BidenLike 

Reverse Trump’s cuts to monument protections, Haaland asks Biden - Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP
PA Media

PA MediaScotland ‘likely’ to maintain coronavirus restrictions for a further three weeksLike 

Scotland 'likely' to maintain coronavirus restrictions for a further three weeks - PA
Evening Standard

Evening StandardHouse of Commons receptionist accused of being ‘rude’ wins unfair dismissal case

House of Commons receptionist accused of being ‘rude’ wins unfair dismissal case -Like 

House of Commons receptionist accused of being ‘rude’ wins unfair dismissal case - John Walton / PA Wire/Press Association Images
Sky News

Sky NewsMore than 30 million people in UK have now had both doses of a coronavirus vaccineLike1

More than 30 million people in UK have now had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine - PA
Daily Mail

Daily Mail‘Oh Lord, really?’ Australian PM says Queen was quite the hit at G7Like4

'Oh Lord, really?' Australian PM says Queen was quite the hit at G7 - Provided by Daily Mail
Mirror

MirrorLabour blame lockdown delay on ‘lax’ PM letting ‘Johnson variant’ into BritainLike8

Labour blame lockdown delay on 'lax' PM letting 'Johnson variant' into Britain - PA
The Independent

The IndependentJulie Burchill suggests anyone who thinks her Lilibet tweet was racist is a ‘snowflake sociopath’Like21

Julie Burchill suggests anyone who thinks her Lilibet tweet was racist is a ‘snowflake sociopath’ - Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images
The Guardian

The GuardianThe UK’s obsession with trade deals means disaster for the environment

Over the weekend, Boris Johnson told the world we need to “create a healthy planet for our children and grandchildren”. Today he launches a trade deal which is not simply as inadequate as the pledges made by Johnson and other leaders at the G7, but is more worryingly moving us rapidly in the wrong direction. The trade rules contained in the UK-Australia deal will be a disaster for the environment. On the one hand, it will certainly increase…Like 

The UK’s obsession with trade deals means disaster for the environment - Photograph: WPA/Getty Images
PA Media

PA MediaPlan for ‘flying ferries’ to slash cross-Channel journey timesLike3

Plan for ‘flying ferries’ to slash cross-Channel journey times - Provided by PA Media
Evening Standard

Evening StandardUK-Australia trade deal will benefit British farmers, PM insistsLike 

UK-Australia trade deal will benefit British farmers, PM insists - Provided by Evening Standard
Sky News

Sky NewsSturgeon says Scotland ‘likely’ to keep COVID restrictions for further three weeksLike 

Sturgeon says Scotland 'likely' to keep COVID restrictions for further three weeks - Other
Daily Mail

Daily MailBeautician who dropped her friend’s baby girl to her death is jailedLike24

Beautician who dropped her friend's baby girl to her death is jailed - Provided by Daily Mail
Mirror

MirrorPrincess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer refuses to ‘plug’ book amid Martin Bashir chat

Charles Spencer appeared on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday and called Martin Bashir a ‘serial liar’ as he discussed the BBC’s recent statement about rehiring himLike12

Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer refuses to 'plug' book amid Martin Bashir chat - Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock
The Independent

The IndependentLIVE: Variant surging in UK due to PM’s border failures, says LabourLike532

LIVE: Variant surging in UK due to PM's border failures, says Labour - Alamy Live News.
PA Media

PA MediaPensioner charged with 1982 murder of wife bailed ahead of trial next yearLike1

Pensioner charged with 1982 murder of wife bailed ahead of trial next year - Jacob King
The Independent

The IndependentDaniel Morgan: Met handling of murder ‘one of most devastating episodes’ in police force’s history, says Priti PatelLike 

Daniel Morgan: Met handling of murder ‘one of most devastating episodes’ in police force’s history, says Priti Patel - PA
France 24

France 24Ex-French president Sarkozy denies wrongdoing in campaign funding trialLike 

Ex-French president Sarkozy denies wrongdoing in campaign funding trial - © Pascal Rossignol, Reuters
France 24

France 24Ex-French President Sarkozy denies all wrongdoing at campaign finance trial

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday told a trial into the alleged illegal financing of his 2012 re-election campaign that he had committed no wrongdoing. The trial casts a further shadow over the career of a man who as president from 2007 to 2012 bestrode the national and global stage. Earlier this year, Sarkozy was convicted of corruption in a separate case.Like 

Ex-French President Sarkozy denies all wrongdoing at campaign finance trial
The Independent

The IndependentCovid was circulating in five US states as early as December 2019, new research suggestsLike 

Covid was circulating in five US states as early as December 2019, new research suggests - AFP via Getty Images
France 24

France 24Far-right Jerusalem march tests new Israeli governmentLike 

Far-right Jerusalem march tests new Israeli government
Grazia

GraziaWho Is Peter Phillips, The Queen’s ‘Favourite Grandson’?Like35

Who Is Peter Phillips, The Queen's 'Favourite Grandson'? - Getty
The Independent

The IndependentThe deadly Covid cocktail that pushed an opioid crisis into overdriveLike2

The deadly Covid cocktail that pushed an opioid crisis into overdrive - Associated Press
Reuters

ReutersSpotify strikes exclusive deal with ‘Call Her Daddy’ podcast

Spotify strikes exclusive deal with ‘Call Her Daddy’ podcastLike 

Spotify strikes exclusive deal with 'Call Her Daddy' podcast - Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Evening Standard

Evening StandardThandiwe Newton and Sir Lenny Henry sign petition calling for change to Windrush compensation schemeLike4

Thandiwe Newton and Sir Lenny Henry sign petition calling for change to Windrush compensation scheme - PA
Associated Press

Associated PressIn Argentina, pandemic exacts a heavy toll on tango cultureLike 

In Argentina, pandemic exacts a heavy toll on tango culture - Provided by Associated Press
The Guardian

The GuardianWhy is Israel lifting Covid restrictions as England extends them?Like 

Why is Israel lifting Covid restrictions as England extends them? - Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
PA Media

PA MediaSturgeon: Lockdown easing likely to be delayed three weeks from June 28Like 

Sturgeon: Lockdown easing likely to be delayed three weeks from June 28 - Russell Cheyne

Feedback

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

logo

Democracy, while, America urgently needs a real investigation of the Trump regime — or it will all happen again

logo
Reprint

We recently learned that Trump’s minions spied on reporters — and no one cares. These crimes must not be forgotten

By Chauncey DeVega
Published May 13, 2021
Donald Trump, Stephen Miller and Bill Barr (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, and Bill Barr (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

During Donald Trump’s time in office (and arguably beyond), he and the Republican Party inflicted many deep wounds on American democracy and the rule of law. President Biden and the Democrats have done an admirable job of slowing the bleeding. But for the victim’s life to be saved, the weapons must be seized, and the wounds treated and healed. For that to happen the full truth of the Trump regime’s crimes must be publicly revealed.

Unfortunately, such an outcome appears unlikely. In the most recent example of organized forgetting by a country that would rather look away from the truth than confront it, we learned last week that under Trump the Department of Justice obtained the phone records of reporters who were investigating the Trump-Russia collusion scandal. Then we immediately stopped talking about it.

At Politico, Josh Gerstein reports:

An editor at the Post, Cameron Barr, said in a statement that the newspaper is “deeply troubled by this use of government power to seek access to the communications of journalists,” but there was nothing close to widespread outrage at the news that an authoritarian president and regime and his flunkies apparently spied on journalists who were investigating crimes against democracy. This obvious abuse of power is largely being treated as a non-event of little public importance. That is precisely how authoritarianism is normalized — when the public no longer cares about the crimes committed by those who hold power. 

These acts were committed under a president who repeatedly described the free press as “the enemy of the people” and “fake news,” in a Goebbels-like campaign to create an alternate reality in which the Great Leader is never to be challenged and free speech and other rights are to be crushed.

Moreover, the same president and regime repeatedly embraced, fawned over and admired foreign dictators and autocrats who imprison and kill journalists. In his book “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” former national security adviser John Bolton recalls Trump saying of journalists: “These people should be executed. They are scumbags.”Advertisement:

Go To Video Page

Given the Trump regime’s use of Border Patrol officers and other pseudo-police agents to seize protesters and reporters off the streets in Portland and other cities last year, it is terrifying to imagine how “enemies of the people” would have been detained had Trump’s coup succeeded and he remained in office.

The collective non-reaction to the Trump regime’s targeting of journalists is just another example of the way uncomfortable and dangerous truths about the Age of Trump are disappearing into the memory well. Congress needs to convene a truth commission and other public investigations before all such truths have vanished. There are many questions about the Trump presidency that must be asked and answered for the United States to move forward in a safe and responsible way.

Were the coup attempt and the Capitol attack directly planned by Donald Trump and his inner circle? What role did Republican members of Congress play in the assault? What was actually discussed in the Oval Office meeting where the coup attempt was allegedly discussed with Trump by disgraced former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and various others? Why were the military and law enforcement essentially ordered to stand down by the Trump administration? What figures in the Trump administration may have coordinated such orders and plans? How is the Trump-inspired right-wing extremist movement being funded and coordinated?Advertisement:

The people of Puerto Rico were basically abandoned to die after Hurricane Maria. What role did Trump himself play in that decision? What other Trump regime officials were involved?

What role did William Barr and the Justice Department play in concealing the Trump regime’s crimes, attacking his personal and political enemies and in other ways undermining the rule of law? And what specific role did Barr and other senior officials play in concealing and distorting the Mueller report’s findings about the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 election?

Why did the Trump regime refuse to treat white supremacists and other right-wing hate groups and paramilitaries as serious threats to the country’s safety and security? How many such individuals and organizations have infiltrated the country’s military, police, law enforcement and national security apparatus more generally?

Beyond immigration policy, what role did Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Miller — who has shown himself to be an unrepentant white supremacist — play in policy-making more generally? Given the creation of concentration camps and an explicit policy of causing misery and hardship for brown and Black migrants and refugees, did the Trump regime commit crimes against humanity?Advertisement:

A new report from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that at least 900,000 people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. That number is roughly 50 percent higher than the official death toll of almost 600,000.

Public health experts have estimated that the number of deaths might have been limited to 100,000, had the Trump regime and Republican Party acted responsibly during the early months of the pandemic. Do these actions rise to the level of criminality? Did Trump and his Republican supporters commit democide against the American people?

There are many other questions to be asked as well about financial crimes, corruption, election-rigging, voter suppression and attacks on civil rights, as well as the federal government’s response to last summer’s Black Lives Matter people’s uprising.

To this point, Republicans in Congress are blocking any attempt to hold a proper investigation of Trump’s coup attempt and the Capitol attack, very likely because they are implicated as co-conspirators. Advertisement:

Too many Democrats — including President Biden — are eager to move on, perceiving a public accounting for the crimes of Jan. 6 (and the Trump regime more generally) as a distraction from their broadly successful policy agenda.

The American people have short attention spans, are traumatized by the Age of Trump and the pandemic, and have been taught as a culture that ignoring bad things will make them go away. Confronting the truth about the Trump regime and American neofascism, how it came to be and the ongoing threat it poses requires a maturity, patience and dedication that too many Americans do not possess.

A truth commission could at least potentially provide a proper accounting for the Age of Trump, and help create a shared narrative for the American people. Such a commission would also quite likely uncover crimes committed by the Trump regime that to this point have remained hidden.

But there is no full and genuine public accounting for the crimes of the Trump regime, it is all but certain that Donald Trump will not be America’s last neofascist president but instead its first. To hold no serious investigation is also to grant permission for more right-wing terrorism and political violence. The Republican Party has already decided that free and fair elections are a priori illegitimate, and their outcomes are illegal if the Democrats win. Advertisement:

Today’s Republicans are obsessively working to create a type of one-party state and apartheid autocracy. If the Age of Trump is allowed to drain away down the memory well, they will probably succeed. America’s multiracial democracy will then exist only as a fading memory, until that too is forgotten. 

Chauncey DeVega

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon. His essays can also be found at Chaunceydevega.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show. Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

Joe Manchin and Donald Trump: The two men who threaten it all –

Joe Manchin and Donald Trump (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Joe Manchin and Donald Trump (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

https://www.salon.com/2021/06/11/joe-manchin-and-donald-trump-the-two-men-who-threaten-it-all/

The end of QAnon: U.S. Democracy still isn’t safe

Donald Trump | Alex Jones | QAnon Supporter (Getty Images/Salon)
Donald Trump | Alex Jones | QAnon Supporter (Getty Images/Salon)

https://www.salon.com/2021/06/11/the-end-of-qanon-us-democracy-still-isnt-safe-_partner/

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Crime, Elections, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

President Joe Biden departs the White House via the North Portico, in Washington on May 28, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Biden tells Federal Agencies not to require employees to get a COVID-19 Vaccine

President Joe Biden departs the White House via the North Portico, in Washington on May 28, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
President Joe Biden departs the White House via the North Portico, in Washington on May 28, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Vaccines & Safety
The Epoch Times
reprint

By Zachary Stieber June 10, 2021

President Joe Biden’s administration said this week that federal agencies should not in general force workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine as a precondition for working in person.

“The Administration strongly encourages all Americans, including Federal employees and contractors, to be vaccinated. Employees should receive paid time off to be vaccinated and to deal with any side effects. At present, COVID-19 vaccination should generally not be a pre-condition for employees or contractors at executive departments and agencies (agencies) to work in-person in Federal buildings, on Federal lands, and in other settings as required by their job duties,” the Safer Federal Workforce task force said in a new posting.

While workers and contractors may share information about whether or not they’ve received a vaccine, agencies “should not require federal employees or contractors to disclose such information,” the task force added.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Over half of the approximately 2.1 million federal employees were working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a 2020 survey (pdf) that was released in April. The 59 percent teleworking was a jump from just 3 percent before the pandemic.

But as the pandemic subsides, more and more employees are returning to work, underlining the importance of vaccination guidance.

The guidance came after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said companies would not run afoul of federal laws if they decided to mandate vaccinations for workers, provided they carve out exceptions for medical or religious reasons.

Federal employment “laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions” of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act, the commission said.

However, state and local laws could apply, it added.

Epoch Times Photo
A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine in Chicago, Ill., on June 8, 2021. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Some private businesses have begun requiring workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Houston Methodist, a hospital system in Texas, this week suspended nearly 200 workers who refused to comply with the mandate and did not or were unsuccessful in claiming a medical or religious exemption.

Marc Boom, CEO of the system, said the workers “have decided not to put their patients first.” They face termination if they continue to decline to get a jab.

Matthew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian group that represents a variety of clients, told The Epoch Times that federal law does appear to bar entities from requiring workers to get vaccinated because the vaccines currently being administered in the United States are authorized for emergency use, not approved.

“Federal law specifically says that no one can be coerced or forced to get one of these EUA-authorized drugs,” he said.

“It would be a different conversation if they’re fully approved. That, however, is focused only on the federal law, that doesn’t take into consideration the independent state law that provides additional rights for employees,” he added.

In April, the Defense Department said in a memo (pdf) that supervisors may not generally ask employees if they have received a COVID-19 shot.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

The Biden administration’s task force previously reacted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updating its masking guidance by saying federal employees and contractors who are fully vaccinated can ditch masks and stop social distancing when working onsite. Fully vaccinated refers to a person who has at least two or more weeks prior received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer jab.

People who are not fully vaccinated need to keep wearing a mask and social distancing, and 25 percent occupancy limits are still in place for all federal buildings. Some Republicans have called on the administration to move back to onsite work, noting that more Americans are being vaccinated each day while COVID-19 metrics like cases and hospitalisations have dropped sharply.

“It is time to begin transitioning to the workplace,” Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) wrote in a recent letter to Kathleen McGettigan, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management. “If it is the administration’s intention to prolong remote working arrangements, then it is appropriate to hold a comprehensive policy discussion around related issues.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieberFollow Zachary on Parler: @zackstieber

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Columns, COVID-19, Health, International, News, Opinions, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former Head of SIS leaving the High Court after giving evidence at the Diana Inquest in London on Feb.20, 2008. (Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

Sentiment Contaminates Debate on Virus Origin: MI6 Ex-chief

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former Head of SIS leaving the High Court after giving evidence at the Diana Inquest in London on Feb.20, 2008. (Cate Gillon/Getty Images)
Sir Richard Dearlove, the former Head of SIS leaving the High Court after giving evidence at the Diana Inquest in London on Feb.20, 2008. (Cate Gillon/Getty Images) Covid-19
The Epoch Times

By Lily Zhou June 4, 2021

Anti-Trump sentiment has been one of the factors that contaminated the debate on the origin of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, has said.

Efforts seeking a full inquiry into the origins of the CCP virus have been growing recently, including a letter signed by 18 international researchers pushing for a “proper investigation.”

Speaking to The Telegraph‘s “Planet Normal” podcast on Wednesday, Dearlove said that it was interesting that U.S. epidemiologist Ralph Baric—” one of the original scientists to research with Zhengli Shi,”—is one of the signatories.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli is seen inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei Province, on Feb. 23, 2017. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

Shi, nicknamed “Bat Lady” for her research on bat coronaviruses, is a senior virologist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the center of a theory that says the CCP virus, a virus that causes COVID-19, was accidentally leaked from a Chinese lab, where it had been created by enhancing natural bat coronaviruses during gain-of-function research.

Baric and Shi are both among the authors of a paper published in 2015 on bat coronaviruses. Baric is also one of the scientists that classified the CCP virus and named it “SARS-CoV-2.”

However, despite the pivot in the debate on the origin of the virus, the former spy chief said the evidence ‘Has Probably Been Destroyed‘ by the Chinese regime.

CCP Propaganda, Anti-trump Sentiment Contaminate Debate

Dearlove has said he believed the lab accident theory a year ago when British oncology professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian biotech company CEO Birger Sorensen wrote a paper in which they claimed to have found “inserted sections placed on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike surface in positions to bind efficiently” with human cells.

According to The Daily Mail, Dalgleish and Sorensen have written a new paper, which reasserts that the CCP virus was artificially enhanced, claims “COVID-19 ‘has no credible natural ancestor,” and that versions of the virus had been reverse-engineered to cover its origin.

The UK’s intelligence agencies reportedly dismissed the lab leak theory as “fake news” in June last year, and now consider it “feasible,” according to media outlets.

U.S. President Joe Biden also said on May 26 that he wanted the Intelligence Community to produce a report on the origin of the CCP virus in 90 days.

Dearlove told The Telegraph that he did feel “a sense of vindication.”

“We’ve had a lot of stick for advocating this point of view,” he said, “and at long last, it seems as though it’s going to be a balanced scientific debate.”

Dearlove attributed the dismissal of the theory to the Chinese regimes’ narrative control, “academic bullying” behavior in the scientific community, and anti-Trump sentiment.

“I think there are all sorts of reasons: Control of the narrative by the People’s Republic of China; and some extraordinary behavior in the scientific community, which successfully shut down any debate,” he said.

“I would describe it, almost as academic bullying, some of the influential virologists absolutely insisting that they knew the answer.”

Dearlove said he suspected that “a lot of very eminent scientific journals are not willing to print stuff which was going to upset the Chinese.”

“Well this doesn’t seem to me very strongly in the spirit of science,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 28, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The third reason why the theory had been dismissed out of hand is that “an awful lot of respectable academics did not want to associate themselves with a view which was being pushed by the Trump administration,” Dearlove said, referring to former U.S. President Donald Trump.

“In a way, it was a contamination of the argument,” he said, adding that he was happy that the removal of the factor has changed the balance of discussion.

Asked if liberal groupthink and anti-Trump sentiment had been responsible for letting the Chinese regime off the hook for so many months, Dearlove said: “I think to a certain extent.”

‘Most Disruptive Global Event Since WWII’

Dearlove called the CCP virus pandemic “the most disruptive global event since World War Two.”

“It’s more consequential in its ramifications for pretty much every economy, every country in the world, every political leadership,” he said. “Quite apart from the number of people it’s killed and the chaos that it’s caused, it must change the way that we view China in the future.”

Epoch Times Photo
Police use a water cannon against protestors at the Bois de la Cambre park during a party called “La Boum 2” in Brussels, on May 1, 2021. (Olivier Matthys/AP Photo)

The Chinese authorities officially confirmed that the virus can be transmitted between humans on Jan. 20, 2020, almost three weeks after Taiwan wrote to the World Health Organisation (WHO) pointing out signs of the human-to-human transmission of the virus.

On Jan. 23, 2020, Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in China, imposed a lockdown. By then, around 5 million people had left the city without being screened for the virus. But international travel was still allowed from Wuhan to the rest of the world. Read MoreTimeline: China’s Handling of the Pandemic and Canada’s Stance

An early study by the University of Southampton suggested that if non-pharmaceutical interventions were carried out one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier, the number of COVID-19 cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent, or 95 percent respectively.

Virus Outbreak members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team on their arrival at the airport in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province.
A worker in protective coverings directs members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team on their arrival at the airport in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Jan. 14, 2021. (Ng Han Guan/AP Photo)

Asked if “it’d be fair to say that over 3 million people have lost their lives to save the face of the Chinese government,” Dearlove replied, “I fear that that is maybe a conclusion that we will eventually reach when all the material about the pandemic is put together.”

“There’s no question the Chinese reacted appallingly in the initial stages, and there was no need for this virus to be disseminated through the international airline system and international travel in the way that it was,” he said.

Dearlove said that even if the CCP virus pandemic has started from a zoonotic outbreak, which he believes is highly unlikely, “the fact that they managed it so bad” would have destroyed the Chinese regime’s international reputation.

WHO ‘A Lost Cause’

Apart from the Chinese regime, the WHO has also attracted criticism over its failings in response to the CCP pandemic.

The WHO has said that Chinese authorities first informed it about the outbreak on Dec. 31, 2019, but the WHO conveyed none of its information to the world that day.

It also remained silent when the epidemic spread widely in Wuhan, and the Chinese regime silenced doctors and other whistleblowers who tried to warn the public about the outbreak.

The organization delayed informing the world about the possible human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 disease or infections among healthcare workers, allowing the CCP virus to spread internationally, and ignored findings from medical experts in Taiwan who conducted evaluations of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.

Critics also challenged a WHO report published in March, which said that the CCP virus likely spread to people via an unknown animal.

Epoch Times Photo
A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on an update on the CCP virus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 6, 2020. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Dearlove said he suspected the organization had been manipulated.

“One ends up with a feeling of great suspicion about the lack of independence in the WHO,” he told The Telegraph.

“I’m sure you’re aware, the current head of the WHO … was the Chinese candidate to lead the WHO,” he said, referring to the organization’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

And it looks very much as though they have, in this instance, been manipulated.”

Asked if the organization can be pushed to behave objectively, Dearlove said maybe it could, but he’s not optimistic.

“In a way, the WHO, in my book at the moment, looks like a lost cause,” he said, adding that it probably shouldn’t be the agency to deliver “material which gives us a clear understanding” of what happened.

Eva Fu, Omid Ghoreishi, Ella Kietlinska, and Reuters contributed to this report.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, COVID-19, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

Please Support The Montserrat Reporter

This is bottom line for us! Unless we receive your support, our effort will not be able to continue. Whatever and however you can, please support The Montserrat Reporter in whatever amount you can (and whatever frequency) – and it only takes a minute.
Thank you

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

CARICOM – Staff Vacancy

CXC HEADQUARTERS - Executive Search

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands