Profiting from Coronavirus 429


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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429 thoughts on “Profiting from Coronavirus

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  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    You would be better able to say than I can with any certainty.

    My guess is that all powers spy on each other – be that political, commercial or any other power.

    The trick – at a guess – is simply to take the information and advantage – run free with it – but – don’t get caught.

    Part of ‘The Great Game’ so to speak. Another part of same would be to make false allegations to gain advantage over your opponent.

  • M.J.

    Possiby the NHS might be able to make a useful contribution, since the PM feels, with good reasons, that he owes them. Maybe the government should set up a not-for-profit NHS Research Insittute? If not, maybe the next UK goverment that is not led by Tories!

  • Pnyx

    “…I despair for the future of human society.”

    Yes, do so, unconditionally. As long as this economic system does not crash crash it is utterly hopeless.

  • ET

    From Craig’s two posts today:
    Michael Buerk’s question “You didn’t think that British interests were more important than people being boiled alive?”
    Craig statement “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.”

    Sums it all up.

    I had read that article in the Guardian about USA/UK trying to impede push for global patent pool. The patent system for medications in particular, not to mention many other areas, is no longer fit for purpose. I may have mentioned it in another post but I would recommend Ben Goldacre’s book “Bad Pharma.” It details how Big Pharma permeates the health care systems world wide with a focus on UK.

  • SA

    It might be too much to expect that a pesky RNA virus with a case mortality rate of 1-1.5% will change the principles of neoliberal capitalism. As someone said in another context, the price is worth it especially as some see this is a way to produce a more fit population with herd immunity, and an added boost to the failing economic situation through big pharma.
    In the last ten to twenty years or so Universities have been encouraged to do ‘translational research’ in collaboration with ‘industry’ both to relieve pressure from government to fund basic research and to benefit these industries. A patented discovery is worth a lot and the concept of altruistic research has become a faded concept.

  • Jack

    Russia, China, Iran is blamed for every crisis one can imagine apparently, and every time no evidence is presented and media plays along. I wonder how the media would have reacted if these 3 nations blamed the west for every ciris they encounter.

  • michael norton

    Porton Down has been involved.
    I expect the Chinese want to know what we have on them, with regard to this virus.
    No doubt Russia is also interested,
    as Russia takes second spot in the world after the U.S.A.

  • Nicola Avery

    I completely agree with this post – vaccine research 100% needs to be shared.

    The WHO publishes a landscape report of the status of vaccine development https://www.who.int/who-documents-detail/draft-landscape-of-covid-19-candidate-vaccines , there’s a few Russian ones in there, the Vector ones I had read in English language Russian media.
    I used to work for MHRA which includes the UK vaccine regulator but I don’t have any knowledge of what the companies are doing. I don’t have a problem in principle with pharmaceutical companies competing with each other to produce a vaccine, there is a certain amount of data they will have to share legally but like Craig has said – things can no doubt be hidden too.

    If we want to build a better world, on thing we need to remove is Bill Gates and his corrupt ethics from all international healthcare and environmental organisations (I wish I knew how). He can go and pay long overdue taxes and get his fingers out of everyone else’s private business.

    • Clark

      “I don’t have a problem in principle with pharmaceutical companies competing with each other to produce a vaccine”

      But to compete they need to withhold data from each other until they’re ready to patent, whereas the essence of science is disclosure.

      • SA

        Clark
        “….the essence of science is disclosure.”
        Yes theoretically but in a capitalist system, investment means that secrecy must be maintained in case someone copies your ideas and publishes first and you lose everything. That is the reality. In the old days there was more open collaboration even within the NHS whereas when one laboratory developed a new test, they offered it for free within the NHS. Now they charge commercial rates for testing even within the NHS thanks to marketisation brought to you by Thatcher, extended by Blair and of course now much more so with the new privateers.

        • pete

          Re the essence of science is disclosure

          This seems to be true, take the case of Jonas Salk: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Salk
          The inventor of the polio vaccine did not want to patent his discovery, wiki says “lawyers from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis did look into the possibility of a patent, but ultimately determined that the vaccine was not a patentable invention because of prior art.”
          In other words Salk built on the information available in the public domain, which in no way diminishes his achievement. Had it been patented, like the invention of the early steam engine, development and improvements would have been delayed, as it was with steam power.

          The Covid19 vaccine is too important to let fall into the hands of money grabbing institutions, it is time to revamp the patent and copyright laws to make them fit for purpose for this century. It is certainly too important to let development fail due the the petty ideological struggles of fading nationalist states.

  • Crispa

    The main reason why there is no vaccine available or on the cards for SARS (coronavirus2) is that the drug companies were not interested in developing a vaccine for SARS 1 because it fizzled out and there would be no profit in it despite knowing that there would be further outbreaks. See https://www.microbe.tv/twiv/ (See TWiV 612: CEPI, preventing the next pandemic – CEPI being a not for profit coalition set up to prevent pandemics of the sort we are having by helping to develop vaccines and anti-virals from humanistic rather than from commercial motives and will no doubt encounter much opposition).
    The idea that China , Russia, Iran etc are trying to steal our research is conspiracy theory of the most pernicious kind because it is so deliberate and consciously done. Many of the better scientific papers that I have read are from China based on the Wuhan experience and trying to help the rest learn from it, within the research community there is a great pooling of data and sharing of information so that everyone can benefit.
    I have not read any of the extracts quoted because I have given up reading that kind of rubbish shoveled out by BBC, Guardian and the rest of the toxic msm.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “The idea that China , Russia, Iran etc are trying to steal our research is conspiracy theory of the most pernicious kind because it is so deliberate and consciously done”
      Yes, but is that a clue as to whether its right or not?

  • MrSoft

    The dates seem to be a bit confused. The security services briefed the MSM on the 5 May but the Guardian reported it on 3 May and the FT on the 8 April. Can anyone shed some light here?

    • Geoff

      Well only from a cursory look at the snippets provided, the ft piece looked to be referencing America’s Homeland Security rather than domestic security services, and the Guardian’s piece just mentions the ubiquitous ‘experts’ so beloved of the media.

      • MrSoft

        So the articles were actually about something different? That’s disappointing because Mr Murray said they were all, without exception, copy and pasted. Thanks for the heads up.

        • Stonky

          What’s “disappointing” about it? It’s given you an opportunity to be snide and arsey. Surely you’re happy?

          • MrSoft

            Criticisms of governments, media, etc. by people such as Mr Murray are crucial to society. However, if the criticisms are not grounded in fact and supported by evidence then they are counter-productive. It is that which is disappointing.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Being done at different times about different things doesn’t mean they can’t copy and paste the same stock response.

      • Bayard

        The Guardian’s piece also references the security services, so it is possible that they, as the security services’ pet media outlet, got the scoop two days earlier. The FT piece is indeed about something slightly different, reporting a rise in cyber attacks, but not necessarily linking it to vaccine research.

  • Phil Williamson

    As I commented a month ago under the “That Leaked Labour Party Report” post when someone started on the “change from within is possible” line:

    “Following on from Squeeth’s comment:

    1. It follows that only two classes are possible under the Capitalist mode of production (CMP): the capitalist class, who live off surplus value in one (or more) of its three forms (profit, interest, rent), and the working class, who must sell their labour-power in order to survive.

    2. The working class may be further sub-divided into ‘intellectual’ and ‘manual’ fractions according to their stereotypical mode of labour, but this does not change their relationship to the means of production. Amusingly (and incorrectly), the intellectual working class are often referred to as the “middle class”, as if there were some mystical and never-quite-defined ‘middle way’ of being related to the means of production (simultaneously owners and non-owners!?), the epithet “working class” then being reserved for the manual working class.

    3. The intellectual working class constitute those educated to the highest levels by the State to occupy positions in its apparatuses and the professions. In these roles, they serve to both run the CMP ‘on behalf’ of the capitalist class and to educate upcoming generations ‘correctly’: Louis Althusser, in defining the relationship between ‘base’ and ‘superstructure’ at this ideological level (where individuals become “supports of pre-given structures”), invoked Spinoza’s category of immanence/absent cause to avoid any mechanistic reduction – ideology is not conscious programming.

    4. In terms of raw numbers: capitalists c.1%, intellectual working class c.10%, manual working class c89%.

    5. As Marx proved 150 years ago, “machines cannot produce surplus value”, i.e. profit. Capitalists have understood this empirically (if not theoretically) in the realm of intellectual labour since the invention of the printing press, and the reproduction in new ways of the products of intellectual labour since then has repeatedly caused problems of creating a profit with processes involving low variable capital input. To ‘solve’ this problem, artificial value has been created for mass-produced books, recorded music, film, computer code, patents themselves, etc., by a system of licensing, patents, copyrights, etc.

    6. This ‘problem’ is now starting to arise in the field of material production, where a combination of AI and mechanisation threatens to eliminate human labour-power (variable capital) from the production process altogether, thus eliminating the possibility of profit. Goodbye Capitalism? Not necessarily because, although they still don’t understand the theory, capitalists are already talking about ‘licensed production’ via robots, 3D printers, etc., and if people have been tolerating the bullshit of licensing in the intellectual field for hundreds of years they will almost certainly fall for it again in the physical field!”

    Since licensing/patenting is essential for the capitalist exploitation of intellectual labour once it has been initially realised, it forms as essential a part of that mode of production as the private ownership of the Earth’s natural resources. Tying a bow on the process doesn’t change anything: a pig wearing lipstick is still a pig, as someone once said.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      The activity Craig is talking about makes knowledge about the natural world into intellectual property. Its like patenting gravity.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “As Marx proved 150 years ago, “machines cannot produce surplus value”, i.e. profit”
      I wonder how he did that. Good to see a definition of “surplus value”.

      • Bayard

        “As Marx proved 150 years ago, “machines cannot produce surplus value”, i.e. profit”

        I don’t know what Marx meant by “surplus value”, but it’s not profit. If machines cannot produce profit, then why was the Industrial Revolution brought about by mechanisation?

        • Marxism for the Terminably Stupid

          Put very simply say that you as a car factory owner take in a steel panel (the raw materials) at a cost of £10 at one end of your factory. You then beat and shape the steel panel into a car. The car then leaves your factory and is sold on for £10,000. The ‘surplus value’ is calculated at £10,000 – £10 = £9,990 which you pocket since you are the factory owner.

          • kitbee

            ‘The ‘surplus value’ is calculated at £10,000 – £10 = £9,990 which you pocket since you are the factory owner.’

            The owner does not pocket the £9,990 as he also has to pay his workforce to design, manufacture and sell the cars.

            There is ‘surplus value’ if his outputs are worth more than his inputs (this is the basis of VAT).

        • George+McI

          The Industrial Revolution wasn’t brought about merely by mechanisation but by the brutal disposession of the feudal workforce who were then ruthlessly exploited in the cities.

          • Bayard

            I know it’s nice to think that from a Marxist point of view, but in actual fact, the poor simply exchanged rural ruthless exploitation for urban ruthless exploitation, so while the Industrial Revolution resulted in exploitation, it wasn’t caused (brought about) by it. The exploitation was already there. Indeed, the work in the new factories was less physically demanding and in better conditions (inside rather than outside) than work in the fields, which is presumably why workers flocked to the new towns. They weren’t stupid.

      • Phil Williamson

        The extraction of surplus value is the specific way that exploitation takes place under the Capitalist mode of production.

        In commodity production, the capitalist obtains surplus value from the difference between the value of the product and the value of the capital involved in the production process. The latter has two parts: constant capital, corresponding to the value laid out in means of production which is simply transferred to the product during the production process; and variable capital, corresponding to the value of what the working class sell – their labour-power. Variable capital is so called because its quantity varies from the beginning to the end of the production process: what starts as the value of labour-power ends as the value produced by that labour-power in action. Surplus value constitutes the difference between the two – the value produced by the worker which is appropriated by the capitalist without equivalent given in exchange. Labour-power is thus the commodity uniquely able to create value – remove it from the production process and profit becomes impossible.

        Suggested reading (in addition to Marx’s ‘Capital’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=karl+marx+-+capital&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_2):

        Ernest Mandel ‘Marxist Economic Theory’ (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marxist-Economic-Theory-2-Vols/dp/8189833464/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=ernest+mandel&qid=1589819921&s=books&sr=1-7) and ‘An Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory’ (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Introduction-Marxist-Economic-Theory/dp/0873483154/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ernest+mandel&qid=1589819968&s=books&sr=1-1)

        David Harvey ‘A Companion to Marx’s Capital’ (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Companion-Marxs-Capital-Complete-1-2/dp/1788731549/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=david+harvey&qid=1589820187&s=books&sr=1-3)

        Links for free versions of many texts:
        https://www.marxists.org/
        http://www.marx2mao.com/

        • Bayard

          As a thought experiment, take a C19th factory and replace all the workers selling their labour by slaves. Now we have no-one selling their labour, yet the factory is still making profits. Now replace the slaves by robots (machines). The factory still makes profits, but still without anyone selling their labour. Admittedly, you need workers to service the robots, but no-one is proposing to get rid of the workers who service the robots, so Marx’s observation, whilst true in that limited case, is so limited as to be trivial.

          • np

            If noone sells their labor, noone will have any income to buy anything and therefore the factory will not make any profit.

            (We may be about to see a real-life example of this if the lockdown ends and many people have no jobs to go to).

            “Workers spend what they earn. Capitalists earn what they spend” – Michal Kalecki

  • 6033624

    If the vaccine is not given universally due to costs then there will continually be a ‘well’ of COVID infection for it to spread worldwide. The only people who would benefit would be those who had a financial interest AND could guarantee that they and theirs had access to a viable vaccine. Even then, we know that viruses mutate, although this one seems to be mutating slower than the flu, for example. A vaccine which is not universally available may backfire on those who profit, meaning a new, deadlier version we have no vaccine for emerges within four or five years. We’d be right back where we started.

    NB when mentioning the vaccine, has ANY politician stated, for the record, WHO will be entitled to it? At the moment, even if you’re symptomatic, you aren’t necessarily entitled even to a TEST. This means that treatment is delayed and possibly accounts for our high death rate compared to other countries..

  • Tom74

    I doubt there is even any research to steal. It’s just an another issue for the media to witter on about so that this overhyped virus is blamed for the impending economic collapse rather than their elite bosses.

  • Ian

    I expect we are slavishly and obsequiously kowtowing to the US on this, so desperate are the brexit ultras to act as the US lapdog, in the vain attempt to curry favour with them – as if Trump won’t roll them over when the time comes. Cummings’ wet dream is a Silicon Valley based around Oxford and Cambridge- but given his links to US dark money, hedge funds and Bannon, no doubt his vision is at the service of the US. And surprise, the tracking app collects NHS data for the use of American corporations. Everything is outsourced, which is why the government response to the crisis has been so abject and riddled with errors. These people are like schoolboys trying to impress the headmaster, while running around displaying their ineptitude and utter unsuitability for any office, never mind the highest in the land. Shameful. Let’s hope an enlightened country, ie most of the rest of the world, develops the vaccine and makes it freely available, as most of them have agreed.

  • CasualObserver

    Assuming a vaccine is produced, which of itself will be a First with regard to Corona viruses, the chances of it being a money spinner for the makers are essentially nil. Should any company attempt to capitalise upon such a breakthrough, the vaccine would be copied to the extent of being beyond the means of any company to enforce IP rights, and its hard to imagine any nation state stepping up to enforce private profits at the expense of potentially millions of deaths in less developed lands.

    No doubt, and should a vaccine be achievable, the makers will have their costs reimbursed and bask in the kudos of being the saviours of humanity. But no squillions in profits. 🙂

    • Mightydrunken

      How long would it take to copy the vaccine? If the company can protect the method of production it may take many months for it to be replicated. In that time it would give a great advantage to that company and countries who can buy sufficient quantities to remove lockdowns.
      You are right that it is likely to be replicated fairly quickly, or someone more just makes it first. However the first working vaccine would be a great strategic prize, if you wanted to misuse it in that fashion.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “its hard to imagine any nation state stepping up to enforce private profits at the expense of potentially millions of deaths in less developed lands.”
      Given that governments can be in the pockets of private interests this is not hard to imagine.

  • Willie Anderson

    Home Farm care home in Portree is owned by HC-One. HC-One is owned by Libra Intermediate, based in the tax haven of Jersey, and which in turn is owned by FC Skyfall LP, based in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands. HC-One’s highest paid director earns £808,000 per year.It paid 45 million in dividends to shareholders last year.Its chairman, Sir David Behan, was formerly chief executive of the Care Quality Commission until 2018.Tax havens, debt-fuelled entities, ludicrous salaries for top executives, revolving doors between regulators and private providers – none of this is what the provision of care for elderly people should be about.

  • Giyane

    This putrid Tory government is trying to divert attention from it’s own criminal breaches of Health and Safety.
    Please NSty Party tell us:
    1/ Who sold and to whom, the PPE that was purchased in scientific readiness for epidemics?
    2/ Who authorised sending elderly patients who might have come into contact with the virus in hospital, to care homes?
    3/Who authorised senior Foriegn affairs figures to attack China flouting Boris Johnson’s great admiration for China and presumably Foriegn Office instructions, while the PM was languishing in hospital. What kind of Nasty Party undermines their own leader while he is sick?
    4/ why did the PM not confront Trump and Pompeo when they both went publicly bonkers.

    All I can say is that this ultra capitalist Nasty Party does not seem to be able to compromise within itself and it’s right Wing ideololododgy, nor within it’s own European confederation, and it has been permanently at war with it’s more distant Mediterranean neighbours for hundreds of years. How could it possibly be expected to take a a cooperative stance with Iran Russia or China?

    This is good news because the British Electrorate will finally understand just how stupid the Nastiness of the Nasty Party is. That would be very good news indeed.

    • Marmite

      ‘The much-touted “race to develop a vaccine” is not a race to save lives. It is a race to make billions.’

      Yep – needs to be graffitied on every single wall in the world.

      It’s so obvious, but I don’t think many who are sleep-walking through life realise this, and that thought alone is enough to make me despair for humanity.

      People too busy binging on Netflix and engaging in their toxic-masculinity affairs with their cars.

      You’d think it might be a safe time to get some exercise on the bicycle. Fat chance. Mr Shit-for-Brains in his blue BMW and Mr Small-Penis in his red Porsche need to drive at ridiculous speeds simply because they are able. And so much for the police protecting the peace! Ha. I’m sure if I reported Mr Ass-face in his silver Audi, I’d be the one getting disciplined.

      If anyone does know a safe way of reporting scumbags who think the road is theirs only simply because they drive around in a huge box of polluting aluminuim on wheels, please let me know.

      I am a very safe cyclist, and sick to death of being passed dangerously close or nearly being hit by drivers who don’t look where they are going.

      • Spiffy

        What about Mr/Mrs/Ms Range Rover spewing their toxic crap in your face out of their multiple rear-end orifices?

        • Spencer Eagle

          ‘shops 325 drivers a year’… I can’t abide snitches, eventually vigilante cyclists like him start creating situations on the road just so they can capture the ‘offending’ footage they crave. There’s never an 18 wheeler around when you need one.

          • Marmite

            I can’t abide snitches either, but what I cannot abide even more than snitches are all the speeders on the streets endangering the lives of other people.

            They are symptomatic of the extreme levels of selfishness, individualism and narcissism that the British seem to excel in. That kind of behaviour is modeled so well by the Tories they vote for, so it is not surprising that the sheep would want to follow, and emulate it.

            We should all be outraged that the police spend more time trying to infiltrate human rights groups, harrass the homeless, and bust the balls of blacks, with protecting the peace (and protecting lives) being so low on the agenda.

    • Giyane

      On the subject of the Nasty Party, billionaire Tories are much better equipped to pay for untested cures for covid 19 , like plasma injections from Harley Street private clinics, than labour MPs.

      Tally Ho! We can do what we like while the plebs are worrying about spreading the virus to their families, colleagues and communities. The language of the Leader of the House of Commons masks a Nasty Sneer like his comments on Grenfell. That plebs are scared of breaking the rules, while toffs are emboldened by their contacts and privilege.

      As to Brexit, Boris can and will now postpone the deal, unless his very right wing colleagues and advisors blindfold him and force him down the gang plank of No Deal. Bearing in mind that those hedge fund gamblers in the Nasty Party stand to become billionaires when UK plc goes bankrupt .

      China was right when they said we need a miracle. Their clear-sighted vision can see the catastrophe the Alt Right desires, while the English are still slavering over Johnson’s blonde hair and posh accent.

    • Nick

      Giyane
      Don’t you realise we have to “protect and save” the NHS?
      Which is get to rid of those nasty bedblocking, oxygen snatching elderly back into the care home system to die. And infect the rest.
      What’s that? It’s always been like that?You mean they’re not interested in saving the superannuated? Never mind keep applauding Thursday nights. Just in case they decide you’re not worth saving and slap a dnr on you.

  • Giyane

    The foaming madness of the Tories and their globalised MSM is disgusting. They expect China to get her hands dirty making everything from Led light bulbs to nappies, and they obsess about the goldfish planning to overthrow their shrunken power. A small country without an Empire sums up.my feelings about these right wing nutters.
    The UK economy is shuddering under covid and Brexit .
    We might end up being in Mr Micawber’s sorry predicament of one quid down.

    • Marmite

      ‘The UK economy is shuddering under covid and Brexit.’

      Don’t worry though. This will be blamed on Labour for not winning the last election. Or it will said to be the cause of anti-semitism. Or the fault of the anti-Brexit crew. The Tories will win even bigger at the next election, because they will be seen as the party that got us through this mess.

      I was talking to an acquaintance the other day who actually said things would have been worse under Labour.

      • Giyane

        Marmite

        Worse under Lsbour.
        Both Tory and Labour are lobotomised by greed, my own MP included , who complained that there was no money left to embezzle in 2009. They’d eaten every one
        Apart from Corbyn and his istas, and some green politicians, everybody else in politics is motivated by greed. That is the reason why they are constantly castigated.

        One thing that might have been done differently if Corbyn was in power, not Starmrr, is raising the question about furlough, that if the minimum wage or universal credits are considered sufficient for people to live on, why are they not sufficient as a stopgap for the better paid?

        Of course that argument would blow a hole in the Tory dream of mortgage interest inflating house prices. Win win. Lovely interest to eat for some, and the carrot of profit from borrowing for house owners, either in rent or capital.

        Since property is 90% of the UK economy, and money from that property only an accidental benefit, the furlough scheme is financing bank interest, not failing businesses.

        A vaccine is the only way a Tory government can see to subsidise their ponzi scheme.
        With the emphasis on the ‘ their’, meaning the Thatcherism that already failed in 2007.

  • FoamingPig

    There is another side to the race to a vaccine. The lack of effort to apply existing treatments to relieving the suffering from disease, whether by patent-expired drugs with established safety records or vitamins and nutritional supplements, coupled with an absence of coverage of such in the news, is part of the fear machine. You can bet that behind the scenes efforts to harass and intimidate those physicians who would try such things is going full steam ahead, meanwhile the notion that a vaccine is the only hope, and that we should all cower in fear, and obey, is trumpeted loudly across the airwaves.

    • Kempe

      Different things. A vaccine will prevent you catching a disease, it won’t cure you after you catch it so both strategies need to be pursued in parallel.

      • Bayard

        One would have thought there would be an equal drive to find a cure and that there would be complaints about the Chinese and Russians trying to hack our research in that direction, but of course, a cure is only needed for the minority who get the disease whereas a vaccine is needed for everyone. Silly me!

  • Sam

    True fact:

    Most people think that the American Jonas Salk singlehandedly invented the polio vaccine and then selflessly donated it to the world for free. In reality, the vaccine was created and tested by a global network of doctors working together, many of them in the Soviet Union *gasp* and COLLECTIVELY donated to the world, for free.

    The Memory Hole is astonishingly efficient, even in the Days of Google.

    • SA

      It is not just polio vaccine. Many or most inventions are made by groups of people building slowly on knowledge but the patent law means that individuals or small groups reap the benefit af money and recognition. One of the pillars of capitalism.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “The Memory Hole is astonishingly efficient, even in the Days of Google.”
      Google is an astonishingly efficient guardian of the memory hole.

  • DiggerUK

    With billions in play, we must not allow a ‘Vaccine Gap’ to develop.

    The media is as it ever was, this self same wine used to be served up in bottles labelled “Industrial Espionage”…_

  • MrSoft

    Drugs and vaccines cost a huge amount of money to develop and test, because it’s massively complicated, and absolutely crucial that they are both effective and safe. This is currently done by private companies, but governments could, if they chose, set up the means to develop treatments of national or international importance themselves. If they did, it would take many years to set up and we would have to pay for it through taxes. How many people are willing to pay those extra taxes? And how many people would trust that governments would be capable of developing a treatment without wasting billions of dollars, or maybe producing something as bad or worse than Thalidomide?

    It’s all very well to criticise something, but if you have nothing better to suggest then the criticism is empty.

    • Kempe

      Thalidomide is a very useful drug which is still widely prescribed. The mistake was a poor understanding of the way drugs passed through the placenta.

    • Bayard

      “Drugs and vaccines cost a huge amount of money to develop and test, ”

      How huge? are we talking millions, billions or trillions? The likely cost of furlough in the UK is up to £70Bn, the worldwide cost of lockdown is likely to be in the trillions.

      “If they did, it would take many years to set up and we would have to pay for it through taxes.”

      You know that how? Not everything a government does takes “many years to set up” and in any case, all the research facilities are already there, just working for private enterprise, not the government. Nor will we “have to pay through it through (extra) taxes” as the government could simply divert spending from elsewhere in its budget.

    • Clark

      “…we would have to pay for it through taxes”

      We have to pay for it one way or another anyway.

      “it’s […] absolutely crucial that they are both effective and safe”

      Ha! But the testing is performed or commissioned by the manufacturers behind the veil of “commercial confidentiality” ie. secrecy and non-disclosure contracts upon scientists. The manufacturers then reveal the results selectively to exaggerate efficacy and conceal harm. And they spend more on marketing than on research; marketing can only distort prescribing away from best practice. And we pay for this marketing in the cost of our treatments, one way or another. And duplication of effort is inherent in competition; one company gets the patent, and the others’ research toward the same goal goes to waste.

      Bad Pharma, Ben Goldacre.

    • Spencer Eagle

      “Drugs and vaccines cost a huge amount of money to develop and test, ” …That’s a damn lie perpetuated by Big Pharma. In truth the development cost is no more risky to capital invested in the process than any other manufactured product. When compared to the development of say a mobile phone the payoff for Big Pharma comes at production time. Apple’s iPhone 11 is reckoned to cost $490 to manufacture (basically components and assembly) versus it’s $1099 retail cost. The $600 remaining has to cover the initial development costs, advertising and marketing, software development etc. Once a drug reaches production the profits are extraordinary because the ongoing production costs are minimal against the per unit profit.

      Only banks come close to big pharma when it comes to profit margins https://www.andruswagstaff.com/blog/big-pharma-has-higher-profit-margins-than-any-other-industry/

    • Mr Shigemitsu

      ” If they did, it would take many years to set up and we would have to pay for it through taxes. How many people are willing to pay those extra taxes?”

      Taxes do not fund Government spending.

      They hoover up excess currency *after* the Government has created it into existence via a reserve-add operation at a keystroke at the BoE, in order to prevent the inflation that would result if continuous govt. spending went untaxed.

      All that happens when the govt spends more (such as it is currently – absent any emergency tax rises, you may have noticed!), is that, at any positive tax rate, that extra amount of currency eventually returns to Exchequer in the normal way, as taxation is imposed at each initial and subsequent transaction – until every penny has been withdrawn from circulation and effectively destroyed, via an opposite reserve-drain operation at the BoE.

      Since a reserve drain operation cannot take place without the prior reserve-add, it is impossible to pay extra taxes *before* new spending occured – so taxes clearly do not *fund* spending. The govt spends first, and taxes later – but any additional taxes due as a result of any extra spending should be no more unwelcome than the additional tax you might have to pay after a massive pay rise!

      As long as the resources and capacity of the *real* economy is large enough, and capable enough, to absorb the currency that the govt spends into it – without overheating and causing inflation – then there is no other limit to the actual amount of money that a govt with its own sovereign fiat, free-floating, currency (such as the UK, USA, Japan, etc – but crucially not the eurozone nations) is able to create. There is then no *financial* constraint at all, only real-resource constraint.

      Such governments could easily fund all medical and pharmaceutical research – up to the limit of the real resources domestically available in that sector.

      • Bayard

        “Taxes do not fund Government spending.
        They hoover up excess currency *after* the Government has created it into existence via a reserve-add operation at a keystroke at the BoE, in order to prevent the inflation that would result if continuous govt. spending went untaxed.”

        That’s just a different way of looking at the same thing. For a given economy, the more you spend, the more you have to tax, if you want to avoid inflation. That’s no different from the more you tax, the more you have to spend. Philosophically it is different: now that currencies have no longer any basis in a store of value, i.e. they are pure debt, that debt has to be created by spending before it can be cancelled by taxation, but practically it is the same, taxation cannot exist without government spending and vice versa.

  • Lev Ke

    Every issue you write about is a fruit from the same tree.
    Shared databases and scientific work, based in ethics and doing good, are impossible in a world where only greed is allowed. If someone would today start doing such a thing, the first thing they would discover is that hardly any of it has the least bit of honesty in it. Because it never was meant to do any good. It was meant to create profit, since forever.

    If in our recent past, this starting point would have been altered, it would have meant the same waking up and shockwave result as we are living through today. Since it never happened before, the shock and work is left for us today.
    Almost nothing of what we believe of history happened the way we were told. Because the only thing that ever mattered was profit at the expense of everything else.
    If the US/NATO governments really wanted world peace, they would have it tomorrow, simply by using the astronomical military budgets to create healthy societies instead of bombing the world to smithereens.
    Human rights are a VERY recent value, somehow slipped through the mazes by some miracle. They mean nothing to the PTB. Literally nothing.

    Come on Craig, you’re too old now to still believe in Santa. The UK and US empire were never meant to be anything but tools to get world domination. It’s a purely psychopathic endeavour, and demanding the psychopaths who set out to dominate the whole bloody world to be nice people with nice institutions is absurd.

    • Greg Park

      “Almost nothing of what we believe of history happened the way we were told. Because the only thing that ever mattered was profit at the expense of everything else”

      There were periods in the last century when Big Capital and the richest were not in complete control of government and calling all the shots. But that has long since returned to being virtually unimaginable.

      • Bayard

        “There were periods in the last century when Big Capital and the richest were not in complete control of government and calling all the shots.”

        You will notice that those periods were after the end of a World War. It is a sad fact that such change rarely happens in this secular age without millions of people dying.

      • Giyane

        Greg Park

        In the last century, the only way to offer a critique on human greed , even after two world wars, was poetry and satire. The labour Party , NHS and social housing have now been nobbled by greed.
        Before that, in the 19th, 18th, 17th, and 16th centuries, poetry and satire combined with a political voice informed by Christian values.
        Before that Christian values had been scuppered by the Divine Rule idea and the Divine Order of things.

        As we see from the Mark Curtis case the renaissant feudalsts of global capitalism are clamping down on even passing references to religion. So we’re stuck with poetry and satire, both of which are monopolized by the BBC, the state propaganda machine.

        A state which blocks all criticism is in fact a fascist state. Which is why the hypocrisy of Tories slamming China for being dictatorial is so depressing.

        The Tory narrative on vaccines is simply that capitalism can solve the problem, WHEN IT HAS TO, because economic collapse is imminent.
        But it fails to mention that capitalism regarded the warnings about coronavirus over the last 30 years ,as an insurgency against the dogma of state greed. Are they ready to acknowledge this fact?
        Well, it is putting them in a very bad mood.

  • Kempe

    There are those who would steal information on a vaccine and patent it themselves. There’s also the anti-vaxx nut jobs who think it’s a plot by Bill Gates to secretly plant microchips in everybody or part of some NWO de-population conspiracy. The need to share information has to be balanced by the need to protect it from theft by the unscrupulous and sabotage by the uneducated.

    • Giyane

      Kempe

      Protected from the … uneducated:

      Buy cars. Don’t buy cars. Buy cars Drive at warp speed. Don’t belch fumes. Stay clean. Make cars the other side of the world. Acid rain polluted seas. Eat fish. Eat fish NEVER eat fish. The answer is something or other blah.

      Using this parody on a comedian, who do you think the ” uneducated ” are in the capitalist world, the capitalist snake oil prime minister ipool, or the just managing pool?
      Imho capitalism is the lowest point of absence of intellect and path of least education. Socialism is more intelligent and educated as a thesis for government.
      But we were actually created to recognise and be rewarded by our Creator. To work for good rewards rather tha worldly wealth is the most educated thesis for governance, and the highest intelligence.

      You can start stoning me now, because what I say is against your religion of materialism.

    • Paul+Bancroft

      Kempe,

      not microchipping, but tracking for sure.
      and before you moan that this is not tracking, consider how parcel carriers track boxes…

      https://stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/523/eaay7162

      On the record
      Vaccines prevent disease and save lives; however, lack of standardized immunization recordkeeping makes it challenging to track vaccine coverage across the world. McHugh et al. developed dissolvable microneedles that deliver patterns of near-infrared light-emitting microparticles to the skin. Particle patterns are invisible to the eye but can be imaged using modified smartphones. By codelivering a vaccine, the pattern of particles in the skin could serve as an on-person vaccination record. Patterns were detected 9 months after intradermal delivery of microparticles in rats, and codelivery of inactivated poliovirus led to protective antibody production. Discrete microneedle-delivered microparticle patterns in porcine and pigmented human skin were identifiable using semiautomated machine learning. These results demonstrate proof of concept for intradermal on-person vaccination recordkeeping.

      so please feel free to line up and get your number.

  • ewan

    Will the syringes for any vaccine be delivered using one-use pllastic syringes?
    One-use plastic eradication was last year’s panic, I guess.

  • andic

    I agree with the principle of your article.

    But, but, but, but,….
    I think we need to take a step back and ask do we even really need or want a vaccine at all. I am not particularly anti-vaccine. My son is 1 year old this month and living in China as we do he has more holes than a colander.
    However the narrative around this relatively mild virus (estimated 80% of cases are asymptomatic) has been blown out of all proportion. I think it was seen as an opportunity to cover up a global credit crunch/depression/correction that has been being kicked down the road for 12 years – and that is the original reason for the stoking of fear. But latterly other goblins like Gates have latched onto the narrative and manipulated it for their own ends. The problem is the politicians who have tanked (the due for a tanking) economy through lockdown can’t exactly say the exaggerated the danger for their own ends (even if they wanted to). So the merry-go-round continues with whichever corporate interest hitching a ride and manipulating it for their own ends.

    If there is a need for a vaccine it is a couple of million doses for frontline medical staff and old farts just like the regular Flu vaccine. But that wont make anyone many billions through sales or digital passports or tracking apps or whatever.

    • Clark

      This is not a mild virus. It has the potential to suffocate to death at least eighty million of the world’s population.

      China didn’t shut down its economy for a few runny noses, and if you live there you know how serious things got.

      • Minority Of One

        >>This is not a mild virus

        For the vast majority of people that get it, it is.

        >> It has the potential to suffocate to death at least eighty million of the world’s population.

        Famines as a result of lockdowns world wide will probably kill a lot more than 80M people. That seems to be the endgame.

        • glenn_uk

          “Endgame”?

          So all this is a grand plot to kill “a lot more than 80M people”. Uh huh. How clever of you to rumble it. And how jolly stupid of these world leaders not to simply discourage larger families through a mild alteration of the tax code, which would reduce the population a lot more than that. Aw shucks, if only they’d thought of it! Then they wouldn’t all have had to collapse their economies.

          Why do you suppose the Chinese lifted their one-child policy if they’re all about population reduction by diabolical means – any of your conspiracy sites talk about that?

          • Minority Of One

            >>So all this is a grand plot to kill “a lot more than 80M people”

            Close to universal lockdown (there are a few exceptions) through out the globe will ensure many famines – even the UN are warning about this (‘Biblical scale’). I don’t know if this is all part of the plan, but it sure looks like it, thus why I stated ‘seems to be’. Nothing will ensure famine more than continued lockdown.

        • ET

          “For the vast majority of people that get it, it is.” (a mild virus) Largely, that is true. Looking at Spain’s nationwide coronavirus antibody study 5% of the population demonstrate antibodies indicating they had it and it varied by region (madrid 11.3%) by quite a lot. 26% were asymptomatic. The case fatality rate is 1-1.3%. So, you are correct, the vast majority won’t die.

          However, 95% of the population have no indication they have had the virus. If the whole population were to be infected 1% deaths means hundreds of thousands more deaths. Still, the “vast majority” won’t die, so who cares, right?

          • Minority Of One

            In all likelihood, a lot more are going to die from being hungry than from the virus. But who cares, right?

          • ET

            Perhaps it’s possible to be concerned with both simultaneously rather than one OR the other.

      • andic

        I live in what was a hot spot. We shut the economy down for an extra 2 weeks after spring festival. Then I was back to work.

        I know plenty of people who had it but not a single person I know died or had a relative die. Most just had a few days in their pjs. From what I have seen I’d swap it for my hay fever in a second.

        • glenn_uk

          Christ’s sake, do you only have your personal experience to call upon here? About 100,000 people have died in Europe, and knocking on the same in the US. Just because you don’t personally know of anyone yourself, that makes it untrue – right?

          Do you know of anyone _personally_ who died of an atom bomb blast? No? Well I guess that must be fake too.

          • Spencer Eagle

            91% of those deaths so far in the UK have been in people with serious preexisting conditions, many of whom would have died in the coming months anyway. It’s a serious disease in terms of its infectiousness but not in terms of overall morbidity.

          • ET

            Of the deaths involving COVID-19 that occurred in England and Wales in March and April 2020, there was at least one pre-existing condition in 90.4% of cases.

            From ONS:https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsinvolvingcovid19englandandwales/deathsoccurringinapril2020
            They did not say “serious” pre-existing conditions and your assumption they were going to die soon anyway is unfounded.The top five “pre-existing” conditions for deaths related to covid-19 are:

            1. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
            2. Ischaemic heart diseases
            3. Influenza and pneumonia
            4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
            5. No pre-existing conditions

            From ONS: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsinvolvingcovid19englandandwales

            There is a possibility that the prevalence of pre-existing conditions in covid-19 deaths is a reflection of the prevalence of those pre-conditions in the general population for a given age.

          • Bayard

            “About 100,000 people have died in Europe, ”

            To put that in perspective, 5.3 million people died in Europe in 2018.

          • glenn_uk

            @ Spenser : Your point being that these people weren’t young and fit, so fuck them – right? They might as well die anyway.

            @Bayard: The mortality in terms of excess deaths is pretty significant. Significant enough to have mobile refrigerated morgues outside hospitals, and funeral homes working shifts to try to keep up. Maybe that’s of no concern to you?

          • Clark

            And to put that in perspective, without restrictions, covid-19 would kill 7 to 14 million people in Europe in about a month.

            All the trivialisers mention only death. Covid-19 kills by suffocation over several days. Anyone advocating such suffering has to be utterly inhumane.

          • andic

            I just cannot believe how credulous you are. On tiny inconsequential matters the commenters here are all over it. Cummings, this Boris that, Tory bastards all.
            But something of the size and scope of this virus outbreak people have just taken their brains out and popped them up their arses for the duration.

            And as for my personal experience, if a waiter brought me a dog turd I would not eat it, but hey he’s the expert so you feel free to enjoy your sausages.

          • Bayard

            “@ Spenser : Your point being that these people weren’t young and fit, so fuck them – right? They might as well die anyway.”

            You’re very fond of your straw man, do you take him to bed with you? No, his point was that old people tend to die. You may not have noticed this, but everyone dies eventually and the vast majority of people die when they are old and ill. I know it is comforting to think that if you remain free from disease you will live forever, but I can assure you this is not the case.

            “The mortality in terms of excess deaths is pretty significant.”

            Over what time period are these “excess deaths”, a week, a month, two months?

            “Significant enough to have mobile refrigerated morgues outside hospitals, and funeral homes working shifts to try to keep up. Maybe that’s of no concern to you?”

            Well, no. Dead bodies are not something you want hanging around, so as few as ten more corpses than you morgue can hold would be cause to provide temporary extra facilities, ditto funeral services, but hey, it’s much more fun shroud-waving with your mate Clark an carrying on as if the authorities are burying people in mass graves like they did in the Black Death.

          • Clark

            I repeat:

            “All the trivialisers mention only death. Covid-19 kills by suffocation over several days. Anyone advocating such suffering has to be utterly inhumane.

          • Nick

            Clark
            Can you recommend a pleasant way to die?
            I have seen relatives die due to various cancers…watching them in agony for days are their insides turn to toxic mush pouring out even their tear ducts is horrendous.
            I have seen pneumonia at the end effectively waterboard an aunt who had late stage dementia.
            What difference does it make how people with covid 19 die? Yes it’s horrible…..but no more so than many other diseases or viruses.
            Using it as a weapon to bludgeon people arguments,implyingthey are uncaring is not fair.
            It’s not wrong to point out that continued lockdown is going to cause a massive spike in global starvation and famine,with the UN predicting a potential 200 million excess deaths due to this….but no one is going to go into detail over how a human body breaks down when it is starved of any nutrition to shut down alternative opinion.
            Either way we are going to see a mass of excess deaths. Getting into an argument over which is a more horrific way to die isn’t serving any purpose.

    • Lev Ke

      Thanks, I subscribe to that, except that I believe stories of parents also when they have a different experience from mine.

      If vaccines were safe, the producers wouldn’t need to be immunised against suing.
      If vaccines worked, they would give immunity and any non-vaccinated person could never pose a threat other than to themselves.
      Those hysterical and purely emotional reactions give away that something is amiss.

      The same goes for the way the narrative is brought to us: fear and panic, no reason and science, let alone common sense or logic and a validation of the personal experience of body and health.
      The fact that Bill Gates and the WHO and their buddies and groups in which they all sit on each other boards are talking ONLY about vaccines shows you something is very off. As if the only thing wrong in the world is that we don’t have a vaccine.

      Our official western scientific understanding of health, diseases and immunity is arrogant and extremely ignorant. It is still based on the idea that our bodies are machines where you just need to replace a part and oil a bit here and there to make it all work. Nothing beyond 18th century thinking.
      While the only thing that is happening is MORE disease and specifically a pandemic of chronic diseases since several decades.

      The list of parents who have seen their child change upon receiving a vaccine is endless. If you do not have that experience, count your blessings. But not personally having an experience that defies the accepted paradigm should for any intelligent being not be a reason to discard other people’s experiences off-hand. Still it happens all the time, even by the people I deeply respect and admire.

      • glenn_uk

        Ever heard of other cases of children who’s behaviour changes rather markedly? Those would be children who die of infectious diseases. Completely dead, or crippled for life. That’s a rather profound change, and it used to happen a *lot*. As in, by the scores if not hundreds of millions ever year worldwide.

        This is what happened before vaccines were introduced. Your – shall we say, rather unconventional – views would have us believe that this is all a massive hoax to make Bill Gates rich.

        Instead of going down rabbit-holes of youtube videos providing you with confirmation bias, why don’t you actually look at mortality rates before the introduction of vaccines, and study some actual science instead of BS conspiracy theories.

        • Bayard

          Not so long ago, everyone, the medical profession included, thought that the best way for a child to acquire immunity to a non-life threatening disease like Rubella was to catch it and recover from it. Now children have to be vaccinated against it. If you want to immunise your child the traditional way, you are considered some kind of nutcase. Has human biology changed in the meantime or is it that someone is making more money from a regime of general vaccination against all diseases?

          • glenn_uk

            That’s an entirely false bifurcation. Of course money is being made from medical practice – unless you think it should and can be done for free, why shouldn’t service providers be paid?

            Vaccines which make the outcome preferable should be deployed. That is, the harm caused by allowing general infection vastly outweighs occasional negative reactions to the vaccine.

            What is so difficult to understand about this? Do you think the introduction of smallpox vaccine was a bad thing? How about polio immunisation – a crime against humanity, right?

          • Bayard

            Sigh, why should I think medical practitioners should not be paid? It may have slipped your notice, but medicine IS still free at the point of use in the UK, despite the best efforts of the Tory Party, so the doctors get paid whether they vaccinate people or not.

            “That is, the harm caused by allowing general infection vastly outweighs occasional negative reactions to the vaccine.”

            Please explain what harm is caused by the general infection of children by Rubella?

            “What is so difficult to understand about this? Do you think the introduction of smallpox vaccine was a bad thing? How about polio immunisation – a crime against humanity, right?”

            What is so difficult to understand about my comment? What part of “non life threatening” are you struggling with? Do you really think that Rubella is the same as smallpox? If so, I recommend a visit to Wikipedia.
            In any case, you have evaded my main point, which is what has changed between then and now? Medicine wasn’t exactly in the Dark Ages in the 60s, nor was it the case that the vaccines were not available. Our biology hasn’t changed, so what has?

          • Paul Barbara

            @ glenn_uk May 18, 2020 at 19:43
            Reality check: ‘More polio cases now caused by vaccine than by wild virus’. (By The Associated Press, 25 November 2019).
            ‘…Four African countries have reported new cases of polio linked to the oral vaccine, as global health numbers show there are now more children being paralyzed by viruses originating in vaccines than in the wild.
            In a report late last week, the World Health Organization and partners noted nine new polio cases caused by the vaccine in Nigeria, Congo, Central African Republic and Angola. Seven countries elsewhere in Africa have similar outbreaks and cases have been reported in Asia. Of the two countries where polio remains endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan, vaccine-linked cases have been identified in Pakistan…’
            Do you dispute these figures?
            I imagine the same holds for Afghanistan, but accurate figures can hardly be expected given the state of the country thanks to Western military ‘Regime Change’ intervention .

          • ET

            Rubella vaccination was an effort to increase the herd immunity in the general population and therefore reduce the incidence of rubella in the community. In turn this reduced the risk of pregnant women getting rubella. Rubella can cause very significant harm to the developing fetus known as congenital rubella syndrome. Up until recently every pregnant woman at booking was tested for rubella antibodies to check immune status. That test has now been dropped from UK antenatal screening though MMR vaccine is still recommended as before. Rubella vaccination is more about protecting the developing fetus.

          • ET

            “MMR vaccine is still recommended as before.”
            To be clear, I meant that it is still recommended to be given at the usual times 1 year old and 3 years and 4 months old. It definitely shouldn’t be given when pregnant.

      • Clark

        “If vaccines were safe, the producers wouldn’t need to be immunised against suing.

        It’s a risk versus benefit consideration. You can’t sue measles, but for every 10,000 cases notified there will be 400 respiratory complications, 100 neurological complication, 100 hospital admissions, and two deaths. Mumps can cause meningitis, pancreatitis and sterility. You can’t sue mumps. Vaccines are much, much safer than the diseases they prevent.

        “If vaccines worked, they would give immunity and any non-vaccinated person could never pose a threat other than to themselves.”

        Some people have conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated. These people are at risk of infection from the unvaccinated.

        “The list of parents who have seen their child change upon receiving a vaccine is endless”

        This is untrue:

        https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004407.pub3/abstract

        “We included five randomised controlled trials (RCTs), one controlled clinical trial (CCT), 27 cohort studies, 17 case‐control studies, five time‐series trials, one case cross‐over trial, two ecological studies, six self controlled case series studies involving in all about 14,700,000 children and assessing effectiveness and safety of MMR vaccine.
        […]
        – We could assess no significant association between MMR immunisation and the following conditions: autism, asthma, leukaemia, hay fever, type 1 diabetes, gait disturbance, Crohn’s disease, demyelinating diseases, or bacterial or viral infections.

  • Los

    Given the Government’s current obscene haste in getting people back to work in the name of Herd Immunity and their history of being economical with the actualité, what’s the betting they come out with a placebo just in time for the September return to School?

    • michael norton

      Yes at the core of our government is and always was herd immunity, that is why they bumbled for so long, the more fit working age people catch and spread, the ( possibly) greater number of workers are able to work.
      I am sure I don’t know what was the case with care homes, criminality?

      One massive benefit is many people are finding the joy of outside exercise, this will help to lower their weight, lower their bad cholesterol and lower their blood pressure, making them a little more resilient for the oncoming second wave.

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