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-   -   Covid-19 and Politics (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=342577)

The Atheist 28th March 2020 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13035855)

I remain unconvinced that they're a new infections.

We know viral infections can hang around in some people for a long time, and negative tests have been wrong on many occasions and the data on it so far tends to point to those two scenarios more than reinfection.

Looks like a good click-baiting horror headline to me.

dudalb 28th March 2020 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13035950)
I expect this kind of corruption pop up everywhere.

In my boonies we had scandal with gov blocking masks from China and then consulting company (that never dealt with masks in any way) got on to it as middleman (what, you thought they would actually produce masks? lol no). That company just happens to be owned by politician of our ruling party.

Teah, this kind of thing is going to happen given Human Nature.
Money Talks, No One Walks.

Squeegee Beckenheim 28th March 2020 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13036163)
I remain unconvinced that they're a new infections.

We know viral infections can hang around in some people for a long time, and negative tests have been wrong on many occasions and the data on it so far tends to point to those two scenarios more than reinfection.

Looks like a good click-baiting horror headline to me.

Neither the headline nor my summary imply that anybody has been re-infected. The first paragraph of the article states that it "is calling into question the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnostic tools". The article goes on to say that re-infection is thought to be unlikely, and cites the two likely possibilities as the first test being a false negative or the second being a false positive.

P.J. Denyer 28th March 2020 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13035873)
Nigel Farage tweets

We have become East Germany c.1985 overnight. Next thing children will be encouraged to report on their parents.

Translation: "Over here! Pay attention to me! Me! Me! Me!"

He always was a twat, shame so many people listen to him.

The Atheist 28th March 2020 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13036213)
Neither the headline nor my summary imply that anybody has been re-infected.

Eh? They both practically scream it:

Some people in Wuhan who had previously recovered from the virus are now testing positive again

and

Mystery In Wuhan: Recovered Coronavirus Patients Test Negative ... Then Positive

"Previously recovered" or just "recovered" at the very least implies they were clear of the disease.

steenkh 28th March 2020 03:06 PM

I have heard an explanation that even though an immune person cannot have active vira in the body, he or she can still get live vira into the throat where it can remain in a sufficient amount to test positive, and infect through breathing.

Captain_Swoop 28th March 2020 03:53 PM

BREAKING Boris Johnson writing to every UK home warning 'things will get worse'

Hope he isn't licking the envelopes!

Darat 28th March 2020 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13036462)
BREAKING Boris Johnson writing to every UK home warning 'things will get worse'

Hope he isn't licking the envelopes!


My 79 year old mother and owner of 1 and a third COPD lungs, breathing through a stoma is still waiting for her first letter....

Matthew Best 28th March 2020 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13035918)
Mentioned it in another post but (and this will sound like a light hearted comment but there is more than a kernel of truth to it) Johnson belongs to a social class that does not consider rules whether legal or social apply to them, rules are for the great unwashed.

Well, then, this is making me angry (maybe this should go in the Covid19 anger thread). Either this virus is much easier to catch than we have been told, or we have a Prime Minister and Health Secretary who don't or can't follow the simple instructions they've been giving to others. Either way it's bad.

I tend to agree with you - I've heard a few stories about rich people returning from ski-ing holidays and the like, and infecting people left, right and centre. It seems they think rules and guidelines are for other people.

Captain_Swoop 28th March 2020 04:56 PM

Fruit and veg ‘will run out’ unless Britain charters planes to fly in farm workers from eastern Europe

Quote:

Charter flights to bring in agricultural workers from eastern Europe are needed as a matter of urgency, otherwise fruit and vegetables will be left unpicked in Britain’s fields, the government is being warned.

Some large farms have already been chartering planes to bring in labour from eastern Europe. But farming organisations and recruitment agencies say that, in the face of massive disruption to the agricultural sector caused by the spread of the coronavirus, the government needs to step in and help organise more flights.

Some 90,000 positions need to be filled, many in just a few weeks’ time. One leading supplier, the charity Concordia, was looking to bring in around 10,000 labourers – half from the EU and the rest from Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Barbados. But all of the non-EU countries are closed. On Wednesday, in a big setback, Ukraine extended its lockdown from 2 April until 23 April.
https://www.theguardian.com/environm...eastern-europe

William Parcher 28th March 2020 05:40 PM

Quote:

Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Barbados
One of these is not like the others. Class, can any of you tell us which one?

Trebuchet 28th March 2020 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matthew Best (Post 13036496)
Well, then, this is making me angry (maybe this should go in the Covid19 anger thread). Either this virus is much easier to catch than we have been told, or we have a Prime Minister and Health Secretary who don't or can't follow the simple instructions they've been giving to others. Either way it's bad.

I tend to agree with you - I've heard a few stories about rich people returning from ski-ing holidays and the like, and infecting people left, right and centre. It seems they think rules and guidelines are for other people.

Your PM was boasting about continuing to shake hands about a week ago. Including the hands of Covid-19 patients, although that turned out not to be true.

Matthew Best 28th March 2020 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trebuchet (Post 13036593)
Your PM was boasting about continuing to shake hands about a week ago. Including the hands of Covid-19 patients, although that turned out not to be true.

That was actually more than three weeks ago, not a week ago.

The Atheist 28th March 2020 07:29 PM

Now, here's some political leadership: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coron...e20200327-1602

Quote:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued a statewide moratorium on evictions Friday, barring landlords from removing tenants who can’t pay their rent during the coronavirus crisis. The moratorium, issued via executive order, will be in effect through May 31.
(Stolen off NZ, of course, but good on ya!)

Baylor 28th March 2020 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13036712)
Now, here's some political leadership: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coron...e20200327-1602



(Stolen off NZ, of course, but good on ya!)

Many states have taken similar or identical measures. Why is this even in "non usa" politics?

It's delusional to think the measure was "stolen." Why do you read the Huffington Post?

steenkh 28th March 2020 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baylor (Post 13036745)
Many states have taken similar or identical measures. Why is this even in "non usa" politics?

Possibly because it is relevant not just in domestic matters?
I would like to see this implemented not just for tenants, but also for people who are defaulting on loans because of the lockdowns.

Baylor 29th March 2020 12:08 AM

Most banks are offering deferred payments now let's keep this forum's autistic obsessions out of this section.

Pixel42 29th March 2020 12:23 AM

From the Lancet:

Quote:

Offline: COVID-19 and the NHS—“a national scandal”

“When this is all over, the NHS England board should resign in their entirety.” So wrote one National Health Service (NHS) health worker last weekend. The scale of anger and frustration is unprecedented, and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the cause. The UK Government's Contain–Delay–Mitigate–Research strategy failed. It failed, in part, because ministers didn't follow WHO's advice to “test, test, test” every suspected case. They didn't isolate and quarantine. They didn't contact trace. These basic principles of public health and infectious disease control were ignored, for reasons that remain opaque. The UK now has a new plan—Suppress–Shield–Treat–Palliate. But this plan, agreed far too late in the course of the outbreak, has left the NHS wholly unprepared for the surge of severely and critically ill patients that will soon come. I asked NHS workers to contact me with their experiences. Their messages have been as distressing as they have been horrifying. “It's terrifying for staff at the moment. Still no access to personal protective equipment [PPE] or testing.” “Rigid command structures make decision making impossible.” “There's been no guidelines, it's chaos.” “I don't feel safe. I don't feel protected.” “We are literally making it up as we go along.” “It feels as if we are actively harming patients.” “We need protection and prevention.” “Total carnage.” “NHS Trusts continue to fail miserably.” “Humanitarian crisis.” “Forget lockdown—we are going into meltdown.” “When I was country director in many conflict zones, we had better preparedness.” “The hospitals in London are overwhelmed.” “The public and media are not aware that today we no longer live in a city with a properly functioning western health-care system.” “How will we protect our patients and staff…I am speechless. It is utterly unconscionable. How can we do this? It is criminal…NHS England was not prepared…We feel completely helpless.”

England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jenny Harries, said on March 20, 2020: “The country has a perfectly adequate supply of PPE.” She claimed that supply pressures had now been “completely resolved”. I am sure Dr Harries believed what she said. But she was wrong and she should apologise to the thousands of health workers who still have no access to WHO-standard PPE. I receive examples daily of doctors having to assess patients with respiratory symptoms but who do so without the necessary PPE to complete their jobs safely. Health workers are challenged if they ask for face masks. Even where there is PPE, there may be no training. WHO standards are not being met. Proper testing of masks is being omitted. Stickers with new expiry dates are being put on PPE that expired in 2016. Doctors have been forced to go to hardware stores to buy their own face masks. Patients with suspected COVID-19 are mixing with non-COVID-19 patients. The situation is so dire that staff are frequently breaking down in tears. As one physician wrote, “The utter failure of sound clinical leadership will lead to an absolute explosion of nosocomial COVID-19 infection.” Front-line staff are already contracting and dying from the disease.

The NHS has been wholly unprepared for this pandemic. It's impossible to understand why. Based on their modelling of the Wuhan outbreak of COVID-19, Joseph Wu and his colleagues wrote in The Lancet on Jan 31, 2020: “On the present trajectory, 2019-nCoV could be about to become a global epidemic…for health protection within China and internationally…preparedness plans should be readied for deployment at short notice, including securing supply chains of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, hospital supplies, and the necessary human resources to deal with the consequences of a global outbreak of this magnitude.” This warning wasn't made lightly. It should have been read by the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Executive Officer of the NHS in England, and the Chief Scientific Adviser. They had a duty to immediately put the NHS and British public on high alert. February should have been used to expand coronavirus testing capacity, ensure the distribution of WHO-approved PPE, and establish training programmes and guidelines to protect NHS staff. They didn't take any of those actions. The result has been chaos and panic across the NHS. Patients will die unnecessarily. NHS staff will die unnecessarily. It is, indeed, as one health worker wrote last week, “a national scandal”. The gravity of that scandal has yet to be understood.


Pixel42 29th March 2020 12:38 AM

The Guardian's piece on the Lancet article includes the government's response.

Quote:

A government spokesperson claimed the Lancet article was “inaccurate” and denied that the government was following a Suppress-Shield-Treat-Palliate plan, adding that the policy remained to contain, delay, research and mitigate the outbreak and continued to be guided by the latest science and data.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The UK’s science-led action plan is led by global experts in the principles of infectious disease control. We have followed a clear plan, underpinned by scientific evidence, to contain, delay, research and mitigate the outbreak.”

The department denied claims in the article that it had not tested, isolated or contact-traced. The spokesperson said: “We acted swiftly to contain the spread of the virus and our world-class surveillance, including intensive contact tracing and quarantining of early cases, helped to slow it significantly – and targeted contract-tracing continues.”

The government had tested more than 100,000 people and was set to increase testing capacity to 25,000 people a day, it added.

It said: “The NHS has been mobilising for months and we are working around the clock to give the NHS and the wider social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. On Thursday alone over 21m facemasks, 9m aprons, 20m gloves and 700,000 eye protectors were delivered to frontline workers.”

The Don 29th March 2020 01:15 AM

The government here in the UK is starting to set some expectations for the upcoming months. IMO even though the messages aren't great news, it's better to set reasonable expectations than, for example, suggesting that everything will be back to normal by Easter.

Quote:

The prime minister has warned that the coronavirus crisis will get worse before it gets better, in a letter being sent to every UK household.

Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, says stricter restrictions could be put in place if necessary.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52079922

Quote:

Tough measures to tackle the outbreak in the UK have been in force for nearly a week - but a leading government adviser has warned they may need to remain in place until June.

Imperial College London Professor Neil Ferguson told the Sunday Times: “We’re going to have to keep these measures (the full lockdown) in place, in my view, for a significant period of time – probably until the end of May, maybe even early June.”

He added that even if the lockdown was lifted, people would probably still need to abide by social distancing measures for months to come.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share

Captain_Swoop 29th March 2020 03:19 AM

Daily Mail blaming Bernier for infecting Boris and the rest of the cabinet.
It's the fault of the EU

P.J. Denyer 29th March 2020 03:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13036462)
BREAKING Boris Johnson writing to every UK home warning 'things will get worse'

An act of prophecy I've been making since he returned to Parliament.

Squeegee Beckenheim 29th March 2020 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13036271)
Eh? They both practically scream it:

Some people in Wuhan who had previously recovered from the virus are now testing positive again

and

Mystery In Wuhan: Recovered Coronavirus Patients Test Negative ... Then Positive

"Previously recovered" or just "recovered" at the very least implies they were clear of the disease.

You're inferring that. Neither imply it. It very obviously means that they had stopped showing symptoms and had tested negative.

Captain_Swoop 29th March 2020 06:00 AM

Just a month ago Priti Patel said anyone earning less than £25k is an “unskilled worker” & can’t enter the UK

NHS starting salaries:

Nurse £24.2k
Paramedic £24.2k
Midwife £24.2k
Radiographer £24.2k
Care assistant £17.6k

Ivor the Engineer 29th March 2020 08:57 AM

Oh what a wonderful time to be a political extremist!

The only damning indictment I can think of would be if it was shown politicians ignored or acted against the medical and scientific advice from their experts, a la Trump and various south american leaders.

All I've seen so far in the UK is everyone trying their best to deal with a crap situation, imperfectly.

We've got a long way to go guys and there will be a lot more sub-optimal decisions being made in the coming weeks.

Mader Levap 29th March 2020 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ivor the Engineer (Post 13037110)
We've got a long way to go guys and there will be a lot more sub-optimal decisions being made in the coming weeks.

"Sub-optimal decision" is such nice whitewashing euphemism for "total incompetence of government".

Ivor the Engineer 29th March 2020 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13037129)
"Sub-optimal decision" is such nice whitewashing euphemism for "total incompetence of government".

If only <insert favourite politicians/party> were in charge, every decision would be perfect irrespective of them not having all the information needed to make perfect choices when they have to make them.

Mader Levap 29th March 2020 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ivor the Engineer (Post 13037139)
If only <insert favourite politicians/party> were in charge, every decision would be perfect irrespective of them not having all the information needed to make perfect choices when they have to make them.

Riight. It is not like they were warned months in advance about problem (like everyone else except China). China gave months of time for world to prepare for COVID-19. World in general squandered it (one exception may be some Asian countries that learned their lessons from earlier outbreaks).

Politicians in charge are responsible for this kind of murderous, criminal negligence. I do know that voters of those politicians tend to be a little lenient about it. I consider that attitude pathetic and suicidally moronic.

Blue Mountain 29th March 2020 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mader Levap (Post 13037150)
Riight. It is not like they were warned months in advance about problem (like everyone else except China). China gave months of time for world to prepare for COVID-19. World in general squandered it (one exception may be some Asian countries that learned their lessons from earlier outbreaks).

Politicians in charge are responsible for this kind of murderous, criminal negligence. I do know that voters of those politicians tend to be a little lenient about it. I consider that attitude pathetic and suicidally moronic.

I currently believe the Canadian government did a decent job on this. Not great, but nowhere near the disaster that we've seen in Italy and the US.

Matthew Best 29th March 2020 11:27 AM

Personally I don't have any faith in any government's claim to "follow scientific advice". I still remember the Blair government's response to scientific advice they didn't agree with (from Professor David Nutt) - sack the adviser and get one whose advice they DID agree with.

So, yes, I'm sure they can find someone to advise them in the way they wish to be advised. Big deal.

Squeegee Beckenheim 29th March 2020 12:19 PM

The British government has followed at least some scientific advice. What changed Dominic Cummings from his stance of "if some pensioners die, then too bad" when they were pursuing the "herd immunity" idea was getting a report saying that that would kill a quarter of a million people.

But they didn't heed the advice to prepare for the crisis, which is why we now need to scrabble to get hold on things like PPE, test, and ventilators. Or the advice to clamp down on it quickly and hard. Or, indeed, the advice that epidemiologists have been giving since the beginning - that the best way to control the virus and prevent mass infection is to test everybody suspected of having it, do contact tracing and test all those people, do more contact tracing and test all of those people. That's the way to wipe thing thing out quickly - find out who has it and prevent them from passing it on to anybody else. That's what worked in South Korea.

They're still not following the advice that the best thing that can be done is to test as many people as possible.

But they have finally put a lockdown in place, a week or two after they were advised to, and amidst much dithering which encouraged people not to take it seriously. And it is true that that is some scientific advice they've been given by experts.

P.J. Denyer 29th March 2020 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13037299)
The British government has followed at least some scientific advice. What changed Dominic Cummings from his stance of "if some pensioners die, then too bad" when they were pursuing the "herd immunity" idea was getting a report saying that that would kill a quarter of a million people.

But they didn't heed the advice to prepare for the crisis, which is why we now need to scrabble to get hold on things like PPE, test, and ventilators. Or the advice to clamp down on it quickly and hard. Or, indeed, the advice that epidemiologists have been giving since the beginning - that the best way to control the virus and prevent mass infection is to test everybody suspected of having it, do contact tracing and test all those people, do more contact tracing and test all of those people. That's the way to wipe thing thing out quickly - find out who has it and prevent them from passing it on to anybody else. That's what worked in South Korea.

They're still not following the advice that the best thing that can be done is to test as many people as possible.

But they have finally put a lockdown in place, a week or two after they were advised to, and amidst much dithering which encouraged people not to take it seriously. And it is true that that is some scientific advice they've been given by experts.


But at least Johnson isn't bragging about the ratings for his virus update briefings. I guess that's... Something?

Ivor the Engineer 29th March 2020 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13037299)
The British government has followed at least some scientific advice. What changed Dominic Cummings from his stance of "if some pensioners die, then too bad" when they were pursuing the "herd immunity" idea was getting a report saying that that would kill a quarter of a million people.

<snip>

Any evidence for this claim?

Captain_Swoop 29th March 2020 02:24 PM

We are being directly asked by Michael Gove to follow the advice of experts. Michael Gove, a man who famously told the nation "we've had enough of experts"

Is it any wonder people aren't following their advice, they've spent a decade proving they are untrustworthy.

The Atheist 29th March 2020 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13037457)
Michael Gove, a man who famously told the nation "we've had enough of experts"

Maybe BoJo and Donnie are having a contest to see who can have the worst possible choice in charge.

Donny: Mike Pence
BoJo: Michael Gove
Donny: Jared Kushner
BoJo....

Nigel Farage!

Give it two weeks and Katie Hopkins will be in charge.

Ulf Nereng 30th March 2020 01:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by William Parcher (Post 13036574)
One of these is not like the others. Class, can any of you tell us which one?

You mean the one that they confused with Azerbaijan? :D

The Don 30th March 2020 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13037769)
Maybe BoJo and Donnie are having a contest to see who can have the worst possible choice in charge.

Donny: Mike Pence
BoJo: Michael Gove
Donny: Jared Kushner
BoJo....

Nigel Farage!

Give it two weeks and Katie Hopkins will be in charge.

When Mrs Don and I were in Bulgaria earlier this month I read the phrase ".....Health Minister Nadine Dorries...." on the BBC website and almost choked on my breakfast.

Nothing surprises me any more :(

The Don 30th March 2020 01:44 AM

Meanwhile in Belarus:

Quote:

Football is suspended in the UK and across most of world because of the coronavirus pandemic - but the game rolls on in Belarus.

The Belarusian Premier League rarely gets a mention in normal circumstances yet it is attracting attention from foreign fans as one of the few places around the globe - and the only place in Europe - where football is still being played.

On Saturday, there were six top-flight games in the eastern European country including the derby between FC Minsk and Dinamo Minsk watched by a capacity 3,000 crowd in Belarus' capital.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52084121

I really hope that this doesn't backfire horribly.

Ivor the Engineer 30th March 2020 02:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13037457)
We are being directly asked by Michael Gove to follow the advice of experts. Michael Gove, a man who famously told the nation "we've had enough of experts"

Is it any wonder people aren't following their advice, they've spent a decade proving they are untrustworthy.

Do you think the minority of people not following the government's advice would behave significantly differently if, say, Jeremy Corbyn had won in December 2019? I think such people would just find another excuse to behave like morons.

Putting my cards on the table, my politics are on the whole left of centre, but I'm not going to exploit a national crisis to score points, pick on every little thing that (in hindsight) could have been done better or whine about individual politicians because I disagree with their policies outside the pandemic response.

Christ, we've got a nominally right-wing conservative government paying people 80% of their salary to stay at home.

Being an armchair critic is so easy. If you're that incensed get off your ass and help.

Darat 30th March 2020 02:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13037769)
Maybe BoJo and Donnie are having a contest to see who can have the worst possible choice in charge.

Donny: Mike Pence
BoJo: Michael Gove
Donny: Jared Kushner
BoJo....

Nigel Farage!

Give it two weeks and Katie Hopkins will be in charge.


I think the idea is to have someone who is even more incompetent step in so they look better in comparison!


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