Reply To: “Leak” to Torygraph: PM has agreed compulsory vaccination for care home staff

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Josh, yes, it’s written for non-specialists – at the start, but then it gets too specialised for such an audience, and he directs us to a lot more material on his own website.

Remember that non-specialists includes the majority of politicians, and he specifically addresses it to them. It starts out superficially plausible with its analogy to antibiotic resistance, but rapidly escalates to over their heads making specialised claims about which parts of the human immune system do what in which order.

So how would politicians respond? By turning to their scientific advisers, of course, who would turn to the leaders in immunology at the universities. So he should have presented all this in the scientific / immunology literature in the first place, because that’s the regular forum for issues like this to be debated and tested. And it isn’t like he hasn’t had time; talk of developing vaccines for a mass immunisation programme started over a year ago, and nothing Bossche mentions is a development since then. So he should have been writing letters and presenting papers to the major scientific / immunology journals warning of this potential catastrophe for over a year.

Instead he’s presenting directly to the public right as the vaccination programme is scaling up.

I think he’s hoping for money; either a bribe to shut up (which could come from governments or the pharmaceutical industry), or some of the action in the form of his company / companies getting contracts in development and manufacturing. Note that his background is veterinarian, and he warns about animal reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2. Maybe he’s hoping to vaccinate all the mink farms.

Seen this before, in fact it’s a pattern. His background is actual scientific work, but most of his career development has been business, developing companies. An academic he is not. He and his argument remind me a lot of the UK’s very own Mike Yeadon, and more broadly he falls into the ‘professor’ Patrick Holford category, a pill salesman who progressed to pill manufacturer, who went on to buy himself an honorary professorship and used it to boost his company’s pill sales.

Sorry to be so heavy about this but we’ve all been touched by fear, death and protracted lockdown over here, and I don’t mean from the media, it’s personal. Two at my Quaker meeting have died (I’m an atheist attender), a friend employed at a care home recovered but his colleague died, a couple of close friends in their 70s had it, one was almost symptomless but the other needed oxygen support in hospital for a while, etc., I can’t even remember all the various incidents over the last year. And I’d choose your two months of early lockdown over our five months or more of late ones, no question.