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Awol last won the day on March 25

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  1. I’ve attacked the government’s handling of this as much as anyone. The original point was that China’s dishonesty fundamentally screwed over our approach to this, b/c it left room for debate and discussion around options that would’ve otherwise been dismissed immediately. That’s why the Imperial study landed like a bomb, the dislocation of existing expectations based on the bad data they had. Pretty sure you’ll know Freedman, his (long) New Statesman article below attempts to capture the nuance of discussions and judgements in play - and avoids the caricatures: The real reason the UK government pursued “herd immunity” – and why it was abandoned  How an attempt to justify mass public gatherings became viewed as a cold-blooded experiment in social engineering.
  2. I’m not surprised at all. The public will rightly demand heads after this, and Cummings is an outsider who openly holds most Tory MPs in contempt. A more realistic account might be that when the huge pandemic exercise took place in 2016 it identified PPE and ventilation capacity shortfalls as critical problems. The results were suppressed by team Cameron/Osborne who didn’t give a crap about national security and resilience, especially where it conflicted with needless levels of austerity. I can’t imagine any of the Ministers currently refusing to answer straight questions laying that all out and taking responsibility. But they are collectively responsible - and those Eton wide-boys need firing into the sun. ‘Dom did it’ looks a much better line to take, doesn’t it?
  3. @terrytini Not sure how you can call the actual records deceitful, unless that’s your take on Freedman’s summary? They were contact tracing and isolating (remember the Wuhan returnees on buses from Brize Norton?) well before March, the failure (in my unqualified opinion) was not to take more drastic action as soon as it was clear the Chinese were lying and Italy was going south. Agree entirely about how it looked from the cheap seats by mid-Feb’, that’s why I, like you, went full prepper back then and got ready for where we are now. What I’ve seen no evidence for is the assertion that Cummings was squatting in No.10, persuading Boris to ignore everything linked to above. All I have seen is a few journalists (who’ve been trying to get rid of him from day one) supposedly summarizing his ‘position’, while failing to provide direct quotes - quelle surprise. Even if he did think that, the idea that the executive marched to his tune while rejecting the combined advice of SAGE isn’t credible - but is being endlessly alleged anyway by people providing no proof.
  4. The ‘Cummings did it’ narrative is partisan parp of the highest order. The tweet thread below contains a link to the minutes of the various SAGE meetings concerning this virus/crisis, but if you don’t want to read through all that scientific guidance being given to government then the thread of tweets provides an interesting summary - and shows things were far from clear cut. That won’t necessarily fit everyone’s preferred narrative of what actually happened, but there it is. FWIW I haven’t defended the government or their clear mistakes at any point, but the shortages we now face in vital kit are systemic, being years not weeks in the making.
  5. They did, in Italy Ministers were out in northern towns and cities embracing Chinese tourists in the streets for the cameras, encouraging locals to do the same and stressing how safe everything was. In Spain they held a series of mass feminist rallies across the country just days before their outbreak flared up. Their responses weren’t that different to ours at all in the early stages, and didn’t Italy’s lockdown only start 12 days or so before ours?
  6. I said our modelling was based on the fatality and infection rate numbers released by China, plus their assertion until late Jan that there was no human to human transmission - a deliberate lie. So yes, more timely and less fictional reporting from China could and likely would have led to a different approach globally, not just in UK. That’s not to say the UK didn’t make mistakes, we obviously did. But when your assumptions are all wrong the response will be screwed from the outset.
  7. Couldn’t you find a more original insult, or better yet, an actual argument against my point? Edit: Compare and contrast deaths in Italy and Spain with China. If you still think the Chinese numbers are gen’ I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
  8. I think as per all of the government documentation on influenza pandemic control, we were set up for a mitigation strategy. Due to the nature of this virus we were forced to switch strategy to suppression, but by then the damage was already done and they’re trying to turn around an oil tanker. No checks on travelers, mass gatherings continuing to take place etc. so the infection rate via community spread will be very high. The one thing that might have made a difference was early and honest reporting from China so the strategy could be adjusted in good time. As it was scientists were modeling a death rate in China of approx. 3000, when reality was probably 10-20 times higher than that.
  9. Just another example of trying to make the data fit the hypothesis. Lots of that going around at the moment.
  10. Cover-ups seem to be built into the DNA of Officialdom in UK, but threatening NHS staff right now is pretty special. The managers involved should be given a choice: immediate P45 or a mop and transport to NHS Nightingale. If it’s coming from above them then the same applies. When the US shifts to recommend the public ALL wear face masks outside the home it’s going to be interesting to see UK advice hold the line that British people shouldn’t. That’s the single worst piece of official misinformation put about to date, I suspect to avoid embarrassment over the lack of domestic stocks.
  11. On the debate around whether this is just knocking over people who were on the way out one way or another, it seems to have made a deployed US aircraft carrier combat ineffective:
  12. You should probably have a good cough into an envelope before you’re entirely clear of infection, then write him a letter explaining your circumstances. He might develop some empathy after a week or two. Edit: glad to hear you’re on the mend.
  13. Missed this earlier but Lord Sumption is making his feelings on police behaviour plain here. Glad (and surprised) to see someone inside the establishment bubble trying to put the breaks on.
  14. Different guy, same organisation shilling for China. WHO is totally compromised and changes will have to be made after this is over.
  15. Anyone appearing on RT, however well intentioned, is letting the side down.
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