Profiting from Coronavirus 434


On 5 May, the British security services released to their pet media the claim that Russia, China and Iran were attempting to hack into British research institutes conducting coronavirus research. The BBC reported it. Britain’s shameful copy and paste media all, without exception, just copy and pasted the government press release.

The Guardian gave the quote:

“Any attack against efforts to combat the coronavirus crisis is utterly reprehensible. We have seen an increased proportion of cyber-attacks related to coronavirus and our experts work around the clock to help organisations targeted”.

If Britain had one single mainstream media journalist willing to think, rather than just regurgitate government propaganda, they might have realised that there is a massive story here if you look at it the other way round. The quote from the Guardian deliberately attempted to give the impression that Russia, China and Iran were trying to disable, destroy or hamper coronavirus research: “Any attack against efforts to combat the coronavirus”. But if you read carefully through those articles, you find that the allegation is merely that they are attempting hack in to gain access to the research.

Because the UK and the US are attempting to hide their vaccine and treatment research results from the rest of the world to make money out of them.

Much has been written about the possibility for a new and better kind of world to emerge after coronavirus. Yet our governments cannot conceive of any model for fighting this threat to the whole world, other than the capitalist, money-making model. The much-touted “race to develop a vaccine” is not a race to save lives. It is a race to make billions.

The United States and the United Kingdom are working in all international fora to head off efforts to pool global research and to make any vaccine or medicine a good for the world. Governments can reward those working on the vaccine, and the companies for providing the facilities, using economic models other than the patent and the potential for massive profit.

It may come as a shock to you to realise that at the moment all those lovely vaccine and medicine researchers you see being interviewed on TV about their efforts to compress trials and approvals and get the product to the marketplace, are not sharing their results with fellow researchers around the world. They are rather jealously guarding them and each working in a bubble hoping to be the first in order to cash in. It is certainly true that many of the researchers themselves do not like this, but are controlled by their bosses.

For me, the failure to set up a worldwide shared scientific database on all coronavirus vaccine and medicine research, and the failure to set up a prior agreement on free manufacture worldwide of effective resulting vaccines and treatments, is the most revealing fact about the entire coronavirus episode. The fact that the British government is putting massive resources into ensuring the Chinese or Russians cannot “steal” our research – and doubtless the Chinese and Russians are doing the same, all states are hypocrites in these matters – should sicken everybody.

Our politicians repeatedly attack China for an alleged lack of openness on the pandemic while upholding a profit-led model for tackling it. That model not only excludes openness on research but necessitates security service action to protect the research from being accessed by other researchers in other countries whose collaboration could be invaluable to the world.

There is a report tucked away in today’s Guardian that opens a window on all this:

The sole resolution before the assembly this year is an EU proposal for a voluntary patent pool. Drug and vaccine companies would then be under pressure to give up the monopoly that patents allow them on their inventions, which means they can charge high prices, so that all countries can make or buy affordable versions.

In the weeks of negotiations leading up to the meeting, which is scheduled to last for less than a day, there has been a dispute over the language of the resolution. Countries with major pharmaceutical companies argue they need patents to guarantee sufficiently high prices in wealthy nations to recoup their research and development costs.

Even more fraught have been attempts to reinforce countries’ existing rights to break drug and vaccine company patent monopolies if they need to for the sake of public health. A hard-fought battle over Aids drugs 20 years ago led to the World Trade Organization’s Doha declaration on trade-related intellectual property (Trips) in favour of access to medicines for all, but the US, which has some of the world’s biggest drug companies, has strongly opposed wording that would encourage the use of Trips.

But this refers to protecting the rights in the product eventually to be manufactured. There is prior action needed on lifting all veils on research and the free interflow in real time between companies, institutions and nations of all research ideas and date in the struggle to develop vaccines and treatments. It should be a great joint enterprise bringing the world together, not a race between nations to cash in. The free real time sharing of all research worldwide could make progress substantially quicker, to the benefit of everybody on the planet we share.

If we cannot put aside profit in favour of altruism as the motive in the fight against a massive common threat, then I despair for the future of human society. No wonder we are prey to pandemics.

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434 thoughts on “Profiting from Coronavirus

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  • Allesklar

    If Mikovits’s allegations are correct, it seems the vaccine they are all chasing, would be a vaccine against all the vaccines they’ve administered over the past 30 years. Good luck with that?

  • Marmite

    In my experience, human beings don’t really learn much from their mistakes. It takes disasters to make them wake up, but even then they go right back to their consumerist, extractavist, rapist lifestyles, driving cars and eating meat and voting for Tory Brexit. (I’m always reminded of that scene of humans turning into dinner-table swine in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away).

    It seems to me thought that, regardless of that, we still need to start compiling a list of all the things that this disaster has highlighted.

    At the top should probably be:

    1) the near-absolute control that the media have over the minds of people, inducing them to a hysteria that is so outrageous that it is going to start looking very silly pretty soon. This should tell us who we are, what power we have, so long as the media are simply an echo chamber for state/market propaganda.

    2) the extreme levels of inequality in the education system, with some children having access to online lessons all day long, and others being left to their own devices, while others haven’t the technologies or computers to do any kind of work. What a worthelessly pathetic little country that reinforces all the opportunities in the workd for the rich kids, and hangs everyone else out to dry.

    What the fuck did our fathers fight for in WWII, goddamit?

    What a shithole Britain has become? I can only assume that migrants dying to arrive here are still suffering from delusional ideas of what Britain was 70 years ago.

    • Kempe

      Judging by the number of people now openly flouting the lockdown and social distancing rules I’d say any control the media have over people is mediocre to say the least.

      Surely the level of home schooling a child receives is largely down to parents as to whether they do any work or are left to their own devices.

      If you think Britain is a shithole you should visit some of the places these migrants come from.

      • N_

        @Kempe – Can you give some illustration of the scale on which the lockdown and social distancing rules are being flouted, because although I’ve read about parks and beaches in the media nonetheless where I live I’m not seeing much flouting at all. Quite the opposite. Most people aren’t going out for exercise, not even young people. If they eventually do I fear that half of them will have gone completely crackers, after months of picking their phones all day without even the distraction of going to work or out to social venues.

        • andyoldlabour

          N_
          The M2 motorway whic is visible from my bedroom window, is notably busier – Sunday today – and the A road joining it has a queue of traffic. On our 2 hour daily walks, my wife and I have had to take significant diversions to avoid large groups of people, multiple families from a dozen to twenty people. I have been unable to get any online shopping since this all began, yet the only safe times I can shop are 7AM or 9.30PM.

    • N_

      the extreme levels of inequality in the education system

      The hatred that the rulers feel for the population sets Britain apart from other countries. For example if in the presence of members of the British ruling class you say that private schools should be abolished, you may well hear the defence (if somebody wants to practise his bullsh*tting skills anyway) that what you’re proposing might sound good in theeeory but it wouldn’t achieve its aim of lovely lovely equality, because the rich would simply all congregate in certain localities where they would constitute the large majority of parents living in the catchment areas of certain state schools, which would then become the new Etons. High house prices would then guarantee that no plebs moved in.

      But w-wait…why the f*** do they hate the population so much that they’d be willing to move house to avoid having their offspring sit in classrooms among the plebs?

      There’s a notion of “vermin” here. It is vilely unpleasant which is one reason that some don’t like looking at it, although it’s not the only reason. Thomas Malthus viewed much of the population as vermin too.

      Labour governments from 1945 for 30-40 years or so promised to sort the private schools out but never got round to it.

      Have you ever looked at the Open University and similar projects [1] in the 1960s, @Marmite? There were good intentions there to some extent (Michael Young excluded, but Jennie Lee who was Aneurin Bevan’s widow was genuine) and there was a huge demand in the population for education, but the OU project although very worthwhile was practically stillborn, because huge demand for education isn’t what the rulers wanted to encourage in the slightest. It scares the sh*t out of them. From the 1970s and 1980s they deliberately sent things in the other direction. If they bother talking about the Harold Wilson 1960s at all, they’d much rather remember phrases such as “white heat of technology”. Then when the OU – always only a shadow of what it could have been – eventually got whacked (fewer courses, trebling or quadrupling of the fees, lower payments for mentors), there was hardly any resistance at all.

      Note

      1) There was a short course of lectures on the TV in the early 1960s of a university foundation course type which got audiences of many millions. I wish I could remember the name. “Great,” one might think, “Let’s have 100 more, and make sure they’re all high quality.” But the rulers didn’t think “great” at all. They thought “F*** this. We don’t want the population educated,” and they knocked the idea on the head, and the OU was kind of kept marginal, often with lectures at inconvenient times of day.

      • N_

        I was thinking of the Dawn University broadcast by ITV in 1963, consisting of lectures by Cambridge University fellows. The number of viewers was double the number of university students in the entire country. Five out of six hadn’t had the opportunity to go to university themselves. It would be possible to put fantastic lectures teaching many subjects on the internet, publicly funded and with no advertising, from GCSE level up to graduate level, but the part of the world state known as “Google” would blow the idea out of the water, and the poshboys who dominate Whitehall would rather blow up the whole world than even begin to countenance such an terrifyingly dangerous outrage…

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Marmite May 22, 2020 at 11:34
      ‘…suffering from delusional ideas of what Britain was 70 years ago…?
      Five years after the end of WWII, Britain was not exactly very enticing. Rationing, smogs and bombed debris (in East London, anyway).

  • Brian

    Reading the article and going through the comments there is much mention of immunity. But there is one type of immunity that I do not see mentioned. That is immunity from prosecution. Bill Gates has mentioned it. This is something that will be sought by those who hope to make billion pounds of profit. Bill Gates wants to vaccinate the whole world over eight billion people. They wish to sell a vaccine that has not had proper safety tests , that there is questionable need for. But if it kills or cripples you or your family. They do not want to be prosecuted or have to pay compensation. The Governments that bought and administered the vaccine can pay the compensation. Who is advising the government WHO , GAVI , SAGE all funded by Bill Gates with huge conflicts of interest as do those in government.

    As for the need for the vaccine. They keep saying 18 months . But people will have acquired natural immunity long before then. Plus there will be a different strain of the corona virus (cold) by then. Welcome to the second wave.
    Trillions are being poured into the banks as we are distracted by coronavirus.
    The world economic and working is being re-engineered. This is the new normal.

    • glenn_uk

      So it’s Bill Gates that’s pulling all this off, eh? Fascinating.

      Who did you learn this from? I must say, it’s remarkable that Bill Gates pulls off this fantastic plot – taking over WHO, GAVI SAGE and so on, without leaving a scrap of evidence.

      But he messed up! Because someone dropped a youtube video blowing the entire gaff, and – gosh, darnit – Gates just can’t seem to stop these videos. And he was so close to pulling off his diabolical plan too!

        • glenn_uk

          Brian – you are the one making the extraordinary claims, so it’s up to you to provide the evidence. I do love it when conspiracy theorists tell me that I have to “do some research” – the cheek of it!

          Since it’s your theory, you can explain how all these excess deaths are occurring. Are they all faking it? The medics, undertakers, doctors, scientists, the lot of them?

          No vaccine is really needed, right? All fake. Just some clever, insightful individuals who are brave and non-conformist enough to think for themselves…. gosh, someone like you, Brian!… only _they_ can see the reality. The rest of us are too goddamned stupid.

          • Brian

            I gave you a couple of links to follow
            did you watch them?

            I made no comment about the number of dead but
            This is a good article about how the numbers are being manipulated
            https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/05/covid-19-is-a-statistical-nonsense/

            Obviously if they cancel all operation and people are to scared to go to hospital. some will die at home.
            If they move people out of hospital that need monitoring into care homes where they wont get monitoring. They do not increase staff in care homes plus temporary staff to scared to go in. more will die.

            My wife and colleges look after the infirmed and have not seen any covid illness or death.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51979654
            “Is coronavirus causing the deaths?
            The death figures being reported daily are hospital cases where a person dies with the coronavirus infection in their body – because it is a notifiable disease cases have to be reported.
            But what the figures do not tell us is to what extent the virus is causing the death.
            It could be the major cause, a contributory factor or simply present when they are dying of something else.”

            Won’t people have acquired natural immunity long before 18 months?

          • glenn_uk

            Actually, Brian, I don’t look at youtube videos, it’s unworthwhile. One can waste hours, and it can turn into battling youtubes when nothing actually gets discussed.

            It sounds like you’re doubtful C-19 exists at all, at least in large numbers. Of course there are excess deaths due to lockdowns and lack of medical treatment for other conditions, but that simply does not explain the numbers we are seeing. Besides, when C-19 ripped through Spain, New York and Italy, it wasn’t simply a lock-down which caused people to die in their tens of thousands all of a sudden, was it?

            I’d be very careful about off-guardian articles – that has become a feeding ground for conspiracy nutters of late. You talk about an over-count (which is something Trump is promoting, together with his little army of far-right stooges), but an under-count is far more likely:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/23/world/coronavirus-news-update.html

            Most statisticians and public health experts say the death toll is probably far higher than what is publicly known, because early Covid-19 deaths were probably misclassified and people are dying in their homes and in nursing homes without being tested.

            Your arguments do seem to run along the lines we hear from the denialists – vaccines are some sort of plot, C-19 probably didn’t kill many people (they were doubtless at death’s door anyway), minimising the numbers by suggesting false positives, over-counts, death-by-lockdown and so on – the standard bag of tricks the far right is promoting on behalf of big business to get people back to work regardless of the risk.

            It’s very much the same denialism we see with climate change. Deny the facts on the ground, question whether the experts are on the level, look for some shadowy plot to control us / make someone rich. I’m surprised we haven’t heard yet that the scientists and medics are just “in it for the money”.

            We will acquire natural immunity, but only at a great cost. Less that 5% of the population has been exposed so far, and so you would have to be comfortable with the other 95% meeting with a similar death rate.

          • Nick

            I see.
            http://www.vernoncoleman.com/main.htm
            If this is what my children have to return to at primary school they will be home schooled. This is some sort if dystopian education nightmare.
            Glenn…with respect you seemed to have ignored commenting on the Gates interview. This will not be a traditional vaccine and very important longer term testing,which is key,has been ignored. In the rush for the fame and glory of being the one to roll out a vaccine too many corners are being cut. You go get your jab. Then when us that don’t want it come out of isolation when you get it are no risk to you.

          • glenn_uk

            Nick – against my usual practice, I did look at the video. At least it wasn’t something with a shaky camera, sinister sounding music, and a theme which degenerated into New World Order / Alex Jones type lunacy.

            There’s a lot of talk about Gates as if it were conventional wisdom that he’s a evil megalomaniac, bent on world destruction and murder on a colossal scale. I didn’t hear anything in that interview which suggests anything like that. He is using his wealth to try and push things along, and arguably he would be better off leaving it to the experts – his meddling in education should have proved that.

            Here’s a balanced comment near the top of your video: “vaccination?? more like being euthanized!!!! old man Gates is a complete psychopath!!!!!!!

            I must have missed the part where he was cackling maniacally, while describing the sheer scale of death he intended producing. We hear lots of hints, and pointing to these interviews as if it were a smoking gun, but what is it exactly that is causing such fear?

            So – what is so sinister about this? Of course we could take our sweet time with long rolled out trials taking years, or we could have something of a compromise and speed the process up. Given the true devastation on the economy, people’s mental health and livelihoods, and associated problems with lock-down besides the disease itself, is it any wonder that it is being pressed forward at a greater rate?

          • Clark

            Old Gatesey enslaved nearly all your operating systems, bullying the hardware manufacturers to keep secret the instructions to make their devices work, and thereby robbed you of the ability to help each other so that you’d be dependent of his megacorp, whose software was so shoddy you spent half of your computing lives terrified by malware, while his megacorp hoovered up your private data and sold your system’s vulnerabilities to the FBI (Patriot Act) and Mossad (Stuxnet).

            But he got old and the testosterone stopped flowing, and like many such former tycoons he became a “philanthropist”, probably at the prompting of his wife he started pushing Big Pharma to supply vaccines to governments less able to pay than your own.

            Many a conspiracy theorist has lectured me to “look at the bigger picture”; it’s ironic that they sit there at their keyboards with their BCG scars on their upper arms just like mine, but I’m glad to have been protected from tuberculosis and glad that its incidence has been slashed to a hundredth in the rich countries, but the poor populations are dependent on the belated altruism of Gatesy who, in his virility, would have happily robbed us of our Right to Read, and they didn’t even notice.

            Do they object to taxes but happily pay for expensive new computers? Now who, or rather what might such an outlook serve, eh?

            https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Capital-Volume-I.pdf

    • Jack

      Brian

      “As for the need for the vaccine. They keep saying 18 months .”

      Right now reports in various european nations have shown that very few people (range from 1-6%)have antibodies against the virus, the herd immunity will take years (if it is working to begin with that is), vaccine is of course better and fast way to aquire that immunity,
      Yes one should be vary of these lobbyists but is there really any malicious intent by Gates’ effort? I dont see his goal being any more rich than he really is, or maybe I naive about him, tbh I dont know.

  • michael norton

    Wow, Brazil has now taken over from Russia, second only to U.S.A.

    So the hot-spot of covid-19 is now the Americas.
    As of yesterday the total for the Americas is two and a quarter million victims of covid-19

    So much worse than Asia.

    • Nick

      Yet Russia has a death toll 6 times less than Brazil
      Is this better more thorough testing leading to true number of cases? Better understanding of treatment? Different way of differentiating between with and of? Or utter bs?

      • Jack

        I see now that Brazil test rate is very low, at 3,462 tests one million pop. (UK test 49,353 and Russia at 57,581)
        That might tell us that the death toll might be higher?

      • Clark

        “Yet Russia has a death toll 6 times less than Brazil”

        Check the timing, because some countries were affected sooner than others, and the death toll increases so fast that just comparing numbers doesn’t really tell you anything. You have to compare the countries from a standardised point, eg: pick some number of deaths, say 100, and then see how many deaths in each country one week later, one month later and so on. Or you can do the same thing with the number of cases, but then your figures are affected by the proportion of cases detected, which depends on how much testing is done, which itself increases over time. Here’s an example; when interpreting this graph note how the numbers increase on the vertical axis, it’s a log/linear graph:

        https://rs-delve.github.io/diagrams/masks/image1.png

        Here’s a table I compiled that aligns lockdown dates:

        https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/04/backing-the-wrong-horseman/comment-page-5/#comment-939536

        Sorry, neither have Russia or Brazil on them, but that’s the sort of thing required to make valid comparisons.

        • Nick

          Clark
          All I had done was take the figures from wiki 20 minutes prior to that post
          The cases tested positive were pretty much identical yet deaths were way different
          Still can’t find a satisfactory reason why.
          As for Gates I recollect that his polio vaccine(live) was responsible for 70 percent of a new outbreak and that was admitted by the WHO. Also his HPV vaccine has been stopped in India and areas in Africa. I’m sorry but I find the man sinister. Merely opinion.

          • Clark

            Russia has has taken covid-19 far more seriously than has Brazil; see my 12:14 comment below, and the Aljazeera link. By timing, I mean you should look at timing of the events of the outbreak in each country; when the first cases and deaths were recorded, and how soon and how thoroughly social restrictions were applied, because those, and testing, are the things that make a big difference to the development of death rate.

            Gates is sinister enough; I have my own rant about his software empire higher up the thread, and in any decent world vaccination wouldn’t be left to philanthropy and charity. But the vaccines in question aren’t Gates’s. The HPV vaccines are the same as the ones licensed in the rich countries. The oral polio vaccine is a victim of its own success. It was already known to cause about three cases of vaccine-caused polio per million doses given, compared with 5,000 cases per million who are paralysed following natural polio infection. It is only through reducing natural polio by over 99% that polio from vaccination became more prevalent than natural polio.

    • Clark

      “So much worse than Asia”

      But (1) China had a lockdown like nowhere else, 760 million people under restriction, yet (2) China still had probably a quarter of a million cases; the true figures were suppressed.

      What do the USA and Brazil have in common? Both Trump and Bolsanaro are covid-19 denialists:

      https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2020/05/brazil-bolsonaro-turning-covid-19-denial-media-spectacle-200502090822737.html

      “A president at odds with his advisers and scientists over COVID-19, who has said the virus is no worse than the flu, and whose supporters accuse the media of hyping up the story. Not Donald Trump, but Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.

      Even as deaths in Brazil surpass China, President Bolsonaro continues to downplay the pandemic. After firing his health minister, he went on to attend a “protest” demanding military intervention to lift the lockdown. He also has the support of two of Brazil’s biggest media players, Record TV and SBT. Whether Bolsonaro is in denial, or just playing politics, they are standing firmly by his side.”

      Look at which countries are doing best, and which worse. The UK and Sweden are right down there with the USA and Brazil:

      https://www.endcoronavirus.org/countries

  • Allesklar

    “Because the UK and the US are attempting to hide their vaccine and treatment research results from the rest of the world to make money out of them.”
    Whistleblowing former research scientist Judy Mikovits alleges far more serious reasons behind this.
    She’s not scared to name names, alleging corruption and coverup at the highest levels; the high death rate amongst a subset of those infected being due to animal virus contaminants in vaccines.
    ———–[quote 58m36s]———–
    So just assuming the infection and the methods that are used, amplify the gammaretroviruses, the
    XMRVs, they wake them up and now you’re sick with another virus causing the disease signature. The
    disease signature that we published for XMRVs and CFS patients, it’s this cytokine signature of disease,
    and I’ll make that one available to you as well as the viral interference paper we discussed for flu
    vaccines, that signature is exactly the signature of so-called SARS-CoV-2.
    ———–[quote 1h02m36s]———–
    So that’s the big crime calling everything COVID-19 because the people who are dying first are the
    XMRVs. And as I mentioned with this paper, [[named names]], who covered that up, the 25 to
    100 million Americans infected with mouse and other gammaretroviruses and other retroviruses
    acquired from contaminated vaccines and a contaminated blood supply, heavily contaminated, there in
    2011. These are going to be the people who die and you’re burying them without an autopsy.
    ———–[end]———–
    (scroll down to second video at this link. You can also download a transcript there)
    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/20/plandemic-documentary.aspx
    So if Mikovits is correct, what we now need is a vaccine against vaccines administered over the past thirty years?

    • Clark

      Mikovits isn’t correct. She finds “mouse and other gammaretroviruses” in whatever she looks at; it doesn’t matter whether there are really any there or not, she’ll find them. She’s been doing it for years, and now she gets paid to do it by the anti-vax lobby.

      “…alleging corruption and coverup at the highest levels”

      Yep, typical conspiracy theory. One big boss man says “say this”, and everyone else just falls into line, and all the thousands of researchers messing about in biohazard suits with test tubes, microscopes and PCR machines, that’s all just for show and they know it, they’re just putting out false papers, and then they just pretend to have academic disagreements over them because really they all know it’s “mouse and other gammaretroviruses”, and all the scientific journals know too but they all go along with it because of “corruption and coverup at the highest levels”.

      • michael norton

        Hi Clark,
        in a way, there is an “experiment” going on, Russia and Brazil have reported very similar numbers of covid-19 victims, they have yesterday reported very similar number of new deaths. Brazil has recorded six times the number of deaths as has Russia.

        • Clark

          Brazil, 3,460 tests per million population,
          Russia, 59,520 tests per million population.

          They can miss the infected. It’s much harder to miss the deaths.

          • michael norton

            So are you speculating that Russia has done may more tests, perhaps even of people not showing symptoms who have been traced to a known covid-19 victim.
            France seems to have a very high mortality rate, yet they hardly add numbers to the tally of known cases, would that be because they hardly test anyone?
            That was the model that the U.K. used, hardly test anyone but have massive deaths.
            Now we are testing over 100,000 a day ( although they hedge their bets by saying some people are tested more than once in a single day)

            Difficult to think it through as every country is acting in a different way, especially strange in the European Union, you would have thought they could just use the E.U. rulebook
            on what to do in a Pandemic?

        • Clark

          Brazil exceeded 100 deaths on March 28.
          Russia exceeded 100 deaths on April 11 – Moscow locked down at the end of March.

          I reckon that over 10% of infections are getting detected in Russia, and only about 1.5% in Brazil. Both the infection rate and the death rate are increasing in Brazil. In Russia, daily deaths and total infections are still rising, but the infection rate has just started to fall a bit. I reckon Brazil will soon overtake the USA.

          Do look at endcoronavirus.org to see all the countries that have got daily infections down to two figures or even zero. It is possible to beat this virus. Countries that get it down to zero with just the occasional case might be able to release restrictions and rely on contact tracing and quarantine. We could end up with the world divided into countries with covid-19 and countries that only have the occasional case.

          • andyoldlabour

            Clark,

            Thanks for the link to endcoronavirus.org. I think the UK government should have carried out the restrictions highlighted – earlier, more complete lockdown, travel restrictions, compulsory mask wearing for everyone, massive testing and tracking. We reacted far too late and did too little. We still have a compromised “lockdown” which is absolutely not a lockdown. We never quarantined people coming in from abroad, the government is only just talking about it, but I fear the ecomomy has always been put first, which will mean older people being sacrificed for financial gain.

          • Clark

            Andy, I thoroughly agree. Wuhan was locked down on January 23. The WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020. That should have been like a fire claxon going off, there should have been immediate vigilance. The UK could have been prepared for this, not completely because testing and manufacturing tests kits takes time, but surely the UK can still churn out something as simple as masks? People could have been warned what to expect and encouraged to reorganise in advance. Instead, seven whole weeks were wasted.

            “I fear the economy has always been put first”

            Maybe that’s what they thought they were doing, or maybe it was just complacency. What they’ve done doesn’t even make sense in their own terms. It’s like the climate crisis; the longer it’s left the more the emergency measures will cost and the less effective they’ll be. Now they’re relaxing the restrictions and the infection rate will go through the roof again, so it’s either another stay-at-home order or let covid-19 waterboard hundreds of thousands of mostly old folk to death with no palliative care, after they’ve given their working lives to the concentration of capital, and in many cases loyally voted Tory for decades. Either way the economy is in for another trashing when we could have been almost back to normal by now.

            It makes me utterly furious.

  • Jack

    What about Belgium, they are far ahead of other nations (801 dead 1 mil/pop) , how come they have been so plagued with this? Small nation with a crowded population?

    • andyoldlabour

      Jack,
      I think they have a similar problem to the UK, Spain, France and Italy, we have been too complacent and also we have lacked essential medical equipment. We haven’t had a proper lockdown like some other countries.
      Have a look at the deaths per million on this link and see which countries are unfortunately leading the way. Then wonder why Germany has around one hundred deaths per million.

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

      • Clark

        I think Germany were soon manufacturing their own test kits. They were ahead on tests per million population from early on, though they got overtaken later.

      • Jack

        Yes Germany numbers evidently to go down, quite alot of european nations seems to go down actually, albeit slow, almost simultaneously, perhaps the most vulnerable europeans have now passed away and the virus isnt as strong with the rest of the population?

    • michael norton

      The capitol of the European Union is in Belgium

      you would have thought they could just use the E.U. rulebook
      on what to do in a Pandemic?

    • Clark

      Belgium seems a bit anomalous. They locked down on March 18 at only 14 deaths, but according to the ICL model they never got R much below 1. “Small nation with a crowded population?” That would make transmission more likely. I have also wondered if the EU Parliament and all the corporate lobby groups surrounding it continued to cause a lot of international travel to Brussels as “essential work”.

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        It’s a matter of counting apparently.

        The fact that the death toll is so high, especially in comparison to other European countries, is due to the way Sciensano reports it. “In Belgium we report both hospital and non-hospital deaths, and both confirmed and suspected cases”, virologist Steven Van Gucht told the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws

        The Belgian number includes 193 “suspected” (but not confirmed) Covid-19 deaths in hospitals and 3560 “suspected” deaths in care homes/centres.

        The number of Belgian deaths with confirmed Covid-19 infection is roughly 5318.

        Theres an explanation (in Dutch) here:
        https://www.nu.nl/coronavirus/6053011/waarom-het-aantal-coronadoden-in-belgie-zo-groot-is.html

        • Clark

          That would partly account for the high figures, but it’s a big discrepancy so I suspect it’s a combination of factors.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ OnlyHalfALooney May 24, 2020 at 22:16
          Once again an abominably high rate of deaths in ‘Care Homes’, like most of Europe. Did Belgium, like many other European countries, send people back from hospitals into ‘Care Homes’? Probably.
          ‘First they came for the old and infirm…(to paraphrase Martin Niemöller.).
          In New York, Governor Cuomo insisted Care Homes accept people from hospitals, and one Care Facility noted that the first transfers were accompanied by five body bags. Sure enough, Covid – 19 deaths exploded in the facility, as they have across much of America. A bit like sending smokers to work in a gunpowder factory.

          • michael norton

            Where my relatives live, in a village near Weston Super Mare they have announced today that they are shutting the hospital, including the A&E because of covid-19, nobody is allowed in.
            I expect as over half of all the locals are people over 65, it is likely to be care homes with the virus.
            They have shut it to save the staff.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ michael norton May 25, 2020 at 14:46
            Care Homes cannot be expected to deal with it; if any of their residents catch it, they should be moved to somewhere that can deal with it. Isn’t there a storm over the hospital closure?

          • michael norton

            Weston-Super-Mare Hospital out of control

            “It’s not just the patients that have been diagnosed with Covid-19 but also lots of the staff because they’ve done lots of testing over the past week or so,” Ms French added.

            “They were unhappy but they were getting on with their jobs.”

            She said staff felt there was a lack of communication from bosses.

            “Although the senior management team were meeting every couple of days to discuss the way forward but that wasn’t getting down to the staff.

            “That was the biggest problem and that’s why they were so worried,” she said.
            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-52805085

            They have erected a field hospital with covid – pods, outside of the hospital

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Profiting from Coronavirus’:
    ‘US billionaire wealth skyrockets to over $3 TRILLION during pandemic’ (RT).
    ‘..Over the last two months unemployment in the United States has risen to levels not seen since the Great Depression. However, US billionaires got even richer during the same period of coronavirus pandemic.
    A new report by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies showed their fortunes soared by $434 billion or 15 percent during the nation’s lockdown between mid-March and mid-May. The billionaires’ combined net worth rose from $2.948 trillion to $3.382 trillion.
    The top five US billionaires—Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison—saw their wealth grow by a total of $75.5 billion, or 19 percent. Together they captured 21 percent of the total wealth growth of all 600-plus billionaires in the last two months…’
    ‘it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good’, as the saying goes. I wonder how much of that is ‘windfalls’ from the governments? It’s a bigger rip-off than 2008.

  • michael norton

    Canada has now overtaken China, both in number of covid victims , also number of dead
    China is slightly smaller than Canada
    but Canada only has 38,000,000 inhabitants, while China has more than 1,400,000,000

    so Canada only has 2.7% of the population of China

    something of a mismatch?

    • andyoldlabour

      michael norton
      If the statistics are believable, then China has 58 cases and 3 deaths per million/population and Canada has 2281 cases and 174 deaths per million/population.
      Contrast that with Belgium, which has 4960 cases per million/population and 806 deaths per million/population.

      • michael norton

        Yes, I was trying to compare Canada with China because they have similar land masses, although very dissimilar population densities, Belgium is the stand out worse case in Europe.
        I was discussing this with a friend, yesterday, Brussels is the capital of Belgium but also the capital of the European Union and the head quarters of Nato, and is on one of the ends of the Eurostar, linking London, the largest population center in Europe, with Brussels, we think that there might be a disproportionate amount of people at any one time in Brussels, who are not of Belgium origin,
        so, a high, floating population, a mix/center of spreaders.

        But why has China been so minimally effected, compared to a wide range of countries, you could not have a bigger difference, say, between Canada as a country and Belgium, yet both are doing badly, yet China, does so well, yet, it all kicked off there, you would have thought they hshould have had it BAD because they SHOULD have been unprepared, whilst Canada and Belgium both had time to become prepared.
        Yes, it is a mystery, how lucky CHINA have got away with so few deaths.

    • Clark

      China locked down like fuck. 760 million people were under restrictions of varying severity; that’s 10 % of the entire global population! People, families were literally welded into their apartments by the housing authorities in some cases, told to be careful not to start a fire because if they did, all they could do was call the housing authority who would send someone up. Every street had a gate at the end, only people with a permit were allowed to go beyond. Centralised food distribution was set up, people collecting food from the gate. Take a look at some of the videos posted to YouTube, in my sequence of comments starting below, and check the suggestions in the side bar; there are loads more like that. Wuhan, and 700km away, Hangzhou :

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/05/civil-liberty-vanishes/comment-page-4/#comment-941404

      Plus this one; Beijing, 1100km from Wuhan:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K3fy5eKeuM

      That’s how China got it under control, but the authorities also suppressed figures. There were far more deaths than officially admitted to, see my comment sequence from here:

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/05/civil-liberty-vanishes/comment-page-4/#comment-941392

      Covid-19 multiplies fast because its R is large; it was about 4 in the UK, but if you can get R much below 1, covid-19 dies away fast too. When R=1, the number of infections remains the same. In the UK, to get it to decrease as fast as it multiplied, R would have to be 1/4 = 0.25. The UK only ever got it down to about 0.7.

      China got it under control with a brutal lockdown. That’s why I won’t call the UK measures a lockdown; they were just some restrictions, with a stay-at-home order. Once China had it under control the authorities continued to be very strict – there are check-points on the streets and in stations etc. with infra-red temperature monitoring, and people need a green QR code to use public transport and to go to certain places. So they know straight away if there’s another outbreak, and they lock that area down again

      Here’s how covid-19 can be crushed:

      https://www.endcoronavirus.org/

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