Thursday, July 8, 2021

Unethical to open UK July 19, say Snow scientists

Unlocking on July 19 is a 'dangerous and unethical experiment', warn 122 scientists and doctors including high profile SAGE members — as NHS already starts cancelling operations to cope with Covid surge | Mail Online - Connor Boyd:

July 8, 2021 - "More than 100 top scientists and doctors have accused Boris Johnson of conducting a 'dangerous and unethical experiment' by pressing on with July 19's unlocking. In a letter in The Lancet, the experts have demanded the Government reconsider its plan to abandon all restrictions in England this month, describing it as 'premature'.

"They warned that going ahead with Freedom Day despite accepting there could be hundreds of thousands of infections each day is both 'unethical and illogical'. Allowing Covid to rip through the country will leave 'hundreds of thousands with long-term illness and disability' due to the effects of the virus itself, as well as long Covid, they said.

"Among the 122 signatories are Dr Richard Horton*, editor of The Lancet, Sir David King*, a former chief scientific adviser under David Cameron's Government, and Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) Council. 

"The letter has also been signed by several of No10's own expert advisers, including Professor Susan Michie* and Professor Stephen Reicher*, highlighting the rift within SAGE over the July 19 unlocking. Many within SAGE - including Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance - are in favour of opening this month because they fear delaying any longer will only trigger a worse peak in winter.

"It comes as a small number of hospitals have had to cancel operations because of a growing number of Covid patients on wards and high numbers of staff off isolating. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust scrapped non-urgent procedures this week - including cancer surgery - to cope with the influx of Covid and staffing shortages.

"No10 is pressing on with Freedom Day on July 19 despite the fact cases are doubling every nine days and are expected to soar past 100,000 by August. Ministers insist vaccines will keep the disease at bay and are hopeful cases will start to fade naturally next month....

"There is roughly one death per every 1,000 cases in Britain at the moment, down from one in 100 in previous waves, but officials expect this gap to get even wider as more people get vaccinated. Hospital admissions, on the other hand, are rising again with latest figures showing there were 386 on July 3, an increase of about 45 per cent on the previous week. That's double the number in early June but officials say the vast majority of admissions are among unvaccinated people or those who've only had one jab."

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* - signatories of the John Snow Memorandum

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