The collaboration of the middle classes with the UK biosecurity state is a testimony to the role the world of letters plays in articulating — through that strange rule-book of behaviours called ‘class’ — what its members should and shouldn’t say and do.
architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk/2020/11/12/the…
'We must comply immediately with whatever measures competent public health authorities urge us to take, even if they seem disproportionate. It’s time to increase "social distance" in all sorts of ways.' — Rupert Beale, Francis Crick Institute.
lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/…
‘Few believe Johnson is an Anglo-Orbán, eager to use the crisis to institute rule through decree.’ — James Butler, co-founder of Novara Media.
lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/…
‘The only option is suppression, and its consequences, economic and social, are unknown’. — Paul Taylor, Professor of Health Information at UCL, which has received $40.7m from the BMGF in the past decade, has 6 members in SAGE & 5 in the Behaviour group.
lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/…
‘It is obvious that the actual number of COVID-19 deaths is far greater than the confirmed death toll. The actual numbers are undoubtedly much higher’. — Eliot Weinberger
lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/…
‘If the capitalist system is to survive, we shall need to go back to our dream of safety first, and fast.’ — Nicolas Spice, publisher of the London Review of Books.
lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/…
‘Lockdown requires each individual to accept personal constraints for the sake of the community, even when they are not themselves ill.’ — James Meek, contributing editor of the London Review of Books.
lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/…
'I would be extremely surprised if we never develop an effective vaccine. A bigger concern is to get enough people to take it up. — Rupert Beale of the Francis Crick Institute, whose board members include SAGE member Sir Jeremy Farrar.
lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/…
'COVID-19 and government efforts to control it appear, in the conspiracist mind, as the most open moves yet by a secret group of sadistic tyrants who want to reduce the human population and enslave those who remain.' — James Meek, LRB contributing editor.
lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/…
‘If coronavirus denialism was faintly possible in February, it is no longer reasonable in late March. That security services are likely to benefit from the pandemic does not justify a leap to paranoid conspiricism.’ — Marco d’Eramo
newleftreview.org/issues/ii122/a…
'Local lockdowns, large-scale testing and contact-tracing adopted in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan; all pre-armed by the devastating SARS epidemic of 2003.' SARS deaths: Taiwan 73, South Korea 0, Japan 0, where SARS never came. — Susan Watkins, NLR Editor
newleftreview.org/issues/ii125/a…

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More from @9thfloor

19 Nov
After months of delay, during which it was refused by the Lancet, the NEJM and the JAMA, the first and only randomised controlled trial on the effects of wearing a mask to protect us from a virus was finally published yesterday in the AIM. And guess what?
acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M2…
‘The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use.’
Unlike observational studies of mask wearers reporting their 'possible' benefits in encouraging 'compliance', this is the first Randomised Controlled Trial, in a study of over 6,000 individuals, making it 'the highest quality scientific evidence' to date.
spectator.co.uk/article/do-mas…
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov
On 3 June SAGE published a briefing paper on the ‘Impact of false-positives and false-negatives in the UK’s COVID-19 RT-PCR testing programme’. This estimated that ‘under laboratory conditions’ RT-PCR tests ‘should never show more than 5% false positives’. qna.files.parliament.uk/qna-attachment… Image
1. However, this is under ‘idealised testing’ conditions, and the authors warn that ‘in a clinical or community setting there may be inefficient sampling, lab contamination, sample degradation or other sources of error that will lead to increased numbers of false positives’.
2. Incredibly, given that it is on these tests that the coronavirus crisis has been manufactured, they admit that they have been ‘unable’ to find any data on the operational false positive rates in the UK COVID-19 RT-PCR testing programme, which is, they conclude, ‘unknown’.
Read 11 tweets
18 Nov
Odd that a Ministry whose policy of outsourcing the repair and safety of social housing to private contractors culminated in Grenfell, should illustrate their White Paper with a photo of the campaign to save Macintosh Court from being run into the ground by private contractors.
The (uncredited) photo by @sammellishphoto was taken at the event ASH organised in 2016 to celebrate saving the sheltered housing from demolition by @lambeth_council and redevelopment as private residential property, showing the estate's architect @macintosh_kate with residents.
The event was part of Open Garden Estates, which ASH ran between 2015-17, and was hosted by 16 estates across London, drawing attention to residents' campaigns to save their homes from demolition, redevelopment and privatisation, mostly by Labour councils.
architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk/2016/06/21/mac…
Read 7 tweets
15 Nov
ONS estimates the percentage of the population in England testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 as of 3 November is 1.2%. That means for 100% of those positives to be false a PCR test needs a False Positive Rate of 1.2%. PCR tests have a FPR between 0.8% and 4%.
architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk/2020/11/12/the…
1. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests were not designed either to diagnose a disease or to test whether someone is infected or infectious. They were designed for forensic RNA trace analysis under laboratory conditions.
2. PCR tests have False Positive Rate of between 0.8 and 4 per cent even under ideal testing circumstances and on patients with a high viral load, let alone in the makeshift tents in which the Government is rolling out its Pillar 2 swab-testing programme of the wider community.
Read 13 tweets
15 Nov
Professor Van Tam, who Chairs the SAGE SPI-M subgroup, is a former employee of the Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche, on whose behalf he lobbied the World Health Organisation for human vaccines that made both Roche and GlaxoSmithKline billions.
1. Van Tam is a consistent supporter of pharmacological measures to address influenza. As head of the Pandemic Influenza Office at the UK Health Protection Agency in 2004-2007 he bears responsibility for decisions which were heavily criticised by the Public Accounts Committee.
2. You can read about the revolving door between public and private positions in the pharmaceutical industry in this article in the British Medical Journal. Van Tam's promotion of a vaccine for COVID-19 is what he's paid to do by the lobbyists he works for.blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2017/12/06…
Read 15 tweets
14 Nov
@DHSCgovuk Professor Van Tam, who Chairs the SAGE SPI-M subgroup, is a former employee of the Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche, on whose behalf he lobbied the World Health Organisation for human vaccines that made both Roche and GlaxoSmithKline billions.
@DHSCgovuk He is a regular attendee at conferences organised by the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI), a well known industry-funded lobbying group. His predecessor in the Chief Medical Officer post, John Watson, was a founding member of ESWI.eswi.org
@DHSCgovuk Van Tam is a consistent supporter of pharmacological measures to address influenza. As head of the Pandemic Influenza Office at the UK Health Protection Agency in 2004-2007, he bears responsibility for decisions which have been heavily criticised by the Public Accounts Committee.
Read 11 tweets

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