UK government and media mount disinformation campaign claiming pandemic is nearly over

COVID cases and deaths in Britain remain high, even as the government and its media apologists mount a campaign of disinformation claiming that the pandemic is receding.

Tuesday saw another 40,954 cases and 263 deaths, the highest daily fatality toll since March 3. On Thursday another 39,842 cases and 165 deaths were announced.

According to the Conservative government’s measure of those who have died within 28 days of a positive test, total deaths have passed 140,000 (140,206). The true figure is significantly higher, with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announcing this week that deaths in which COVID is mentioned on the death certificate are at 165,213. Hospitalisations from COVID are at their highest rate since February. Nearly 9,000 people (8,914) people were in hospital with COVID as of October 25, an increase of nearly 715 people on the previous week.

The homicidal impact of the reopening of the economy and schools this summer/autumn is not a matter of debate.

On July 19, dubbed “Freedom Day” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, there had already been 129,007 deaths. In just the three months from July 19 to yesterday, there have been well over 11,000 more deaths (11,620) even according to the government’s manipulated data. By July 19, 5.5 million Britons had been infected with COVID. Today that figure stands at 8.89 million, a staggering rise of more than 3.4 million cases in just 101 days.

ONS data published last Friday estimates that as many as 1,028,800 people in England may have had coronavirus the previous week. It estimated that one in every 55 people in England had COVID, up from one in 60 people two weeks ago.

In pursuit of their herd immunity policy, the media have been pumping out propaganda, led by the Daily Mail, claiming that with cases down for several days in a row, this vindicates the government’s policy of abandoning all measures to fight the virus. For three consecutive days, Monday Tuesday and Wednesday, the Mail had almost identical headlines reading, “UK's daily Covid cases fall…”

In the seven days to Thursday, there was a small drop off in COVID cases, while remaining at around 40,000 a day for that period. Wednesday’s UK cases (43,662) were the highest of any European country and the second highest in the world behind the United States. Overall, cases are still around 300,000 a week (295,549 in the week to Thursday). Even if cases are falling and this is unproven, given the UK’s haphazard testing system, with one company recently giving up to 43,000 people a false negative result, deaths from COVID infection are increasing.

Deaths have averaged just short of 1,000 a week for months. For the seven-day period to Thursday, deaths broke through the 1,000 mark, reaching 1,060, a 6 percent increase on fatalities in the previous seven days. Among the latest deaths was another child, aged 15-19, taking deaths among the youngest in the population from COVID to 99.

The government and its media echo chamber are promoting select parts of select academic studies to fit their agenda. On Monday, the Daily Telegraph, the government’s semi-official bulletin board, led its front page with an article headlined, “Covid cases to slump this winter, say scientists.”

This prediction was based on a study made available to Downing Street by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and “other unpublished models”. There is therefore no need for any mitigation measures, including even the limited ones outlined in what the government describes as its “light touch” Plan B, the newspaper reports, “as the model, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine… suggests that cases will soon peak, before falling steeply in the winter months, even without the additional restrictions.”

The Telegraph is unabashed in its promotion of herd immunity, with the mass infection, illness, suffering and deaths among children palmed off as collateral damage. The article states, “Much of the current wave is being driven by high case rates in children, and scientific sources close to the Government expect the ‘children’s epidemic’ to run out of steam soon, as immunity in youngsters increases, both through infection and vaccination.”

This savage policy is hailed under conditions in which, according to estimates, nearly three in four children aged between five and 14 in England have been infected with a novel coronavirus with devastating impact.

Throughout the pandemic, BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle has functioned as the BBC’s de facto Spokesperson for Herd Immunity. Responding to LSHTM’s modelling, Triggle wrote in his BBC column this week, “During the summer, rising infections were being recorded largely in older teenagers, and then, since school returned, the high rates have been sustained by younger teenagers. In the most recent week, nearly half of cases have been in the under-20s.

“This has happened with relatively little spillover into older age groups. Once the virus had passed through these groups, who after all were the people least protected by the vaccine, there was always going to be a drop-off in infection levels because of the high levels of natural immunity acquired.”

The Telegraph makes clear that no matter what study is put in front of government, there will be no retreat from its social murder policy outlined by Johnson last October, “No more fucking lockdowns: Let the bodies pile high in their thousands”.

It cites the comments of Professor John Edmunds, a member LSHTM’s centre for the mathematical modelling of infectious diseases and of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE). He said, “When we were doing the work about two weeks ago, the Health Secretary had made it very clear that the Government was not planning to introduce Plan B in the near future. Our model was projecting that cases would start to decline some time in the autumn.”

There were no accompanying headlines for Edmunds’ warning made in the same article, “However, the model also suggests that cases may start to climb again in the spring due to a combination of waning immunity and increased contacts.”

The Sun said that the LSHTM modelling was among a “raft of papers in recent weeks” it had considered “to warn ministers of how to approach ‘living with the virus’.”

A surge of the virus early next year could result in the worst wave of the pandemic according to LSHTM’s modelling, possibly more than doubling the 67,000 daily cases reached in January. The Sun reported, “The models—from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine—suggest that further peaks are inevitable next year, suggesting Covid is far from over.”

It added, “Worst-case scenario graphs suggest 150,000 infections per day, 2,000 hospital admissions and 300 deaths, in the spring of 2022. That’s even with booster vaccines taken up by 90 per cent of adults over 50 years old over the winter.”

The ruling elite are unmoved by such horrific scenarios because the critical factor in their calculations is maintaining the profits of the corporations and banks, no matter what the human cost. This week Politico revealed that earlier this month, as cases rose beyond 50,000 a day, the government refused to contemplate imposing a Plan B because an internal Treasury report issued found it would cost the economy £16 billion over a five-month period—a fraction of overall GDP. Plan B consists only of face coverings in certain indoor settings, mandatory COVID passports in some settings such as nightclubs and major events of tens of thousands of people (which would still be permitted!) and encouraging people to work from home. The fact that the government refuses to countenance even these mitigations indicates the scale of opposition in the ruling class to any real measures to end the pandemic, including lockdowns, ending non-essential production, and closing schools.

Accepting the Treasury’s claims, Politico concludes, “Plan A is seeing a huge spike in cases and rising hospitalizations; Plan B does not appear to be enough to stop that rise and will smash the economy; and Plan C—introducing even harsher measures—represents a strategy no one at the top of government wants to think about.”