1. Exquisite Tweets from @uk_domain_names, @maitlis

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    The Mail on Sunday has *2 double page splashes* deflecting blame for the coronavirus onto foreigners and stirring up xenophobia.

    Target 1: the EU.
    Target 2: China.

    The reality is, Boris Johnson bungled this crisis very, very badly. He zigged when the rest of the world zagged.

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    3 March 2020 (3 weeks *after* China brought its coronavirus cases under control through drastic distancing measures): Boris Johnson boasted he was "shaking hands continuously" including in a hospital that was handling coronavirus patients.
    news.sky.com/video/coronavi…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    10 March 2020 (1 month *after* China's curve flattened, 4 days *after* South Korea's did): "There is 'no rationale' to postponing sporting events in Britain because of coronavirus, according to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport"
    bbc.co.uk/sport/football…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    10 March 2020: Dr Jenny Harries (England's deputy chief medical officer) said:
    "The virus will not survive very long outside"
    "Many outdoor events, particularly, are relatively safe."
    bbc.co.uk/news/uk-518123…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    11 March 2020: Dr David Halpern (chief executive of the government-owned Behavioural Insights Team i.e. their "nudge unit") uses "herd immunity" on the record to explain the plan being followed to have the coronavirus spread through the UK population.
    bbc.co.uk/news/uk-518280…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    12 March 2020: Various news outlets expand on the idea of herd immunity. "British government wants UK to acquire coronavirus 'herd immunity', writes Robert Peston"
    wired.co.uk/article/herd-i…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    12 March 2020: Wired Magazine publishes an article outlining the (many obvious) problems with herd immunity.
    wired.co.uk/article/herd-i…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    12 March 2020: Analysis published of "herd immunity" based on the empirical evidence of *what actually already happened* in other countries.

    "Herd immunity: The government’s 'magic solution' to coronavirus doesn’t make sense"
    scramnews.com/herd-immunity-…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    12 March 2020: Other writers, basing themselves on the empirical evidence of *what actually already happened* in other countries, explain at length why herd immunity is so dangerous.

    "Get Covid Done".
    bylinetimes.com/2020/03/12/get…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    12 March 2020: "The government's reported 'herd immunity' strategy to contain coronavirus could kill over 1 million people, figures show"
    msn.com/en-gb/health/m…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    12 March 2020: Boris Johnson addresses the nation. He says "I must level with the British public: many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time."

    (This is later on the day the Government's plan was widely debunked)
    theguardian.com/world/2020/mar…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    13 March 2020: Sir Patrick Vallance (the UK's chief scientific adviser) says: "About 60 per cent [virus penetration] is the sort of figure you need to get herd immunity."

    Also says the chance of catching coronavirus is "slim" at largescale events.
    independent.co.uk/news/health/co…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    13 March 2020: FT reveals that Dominic Cummings was involved with the UK Government's coronavirus strategy.
    ft.com/content/0475f4…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    14 March 2020: The UK Government's plan to tackle the coronavirus was criticised explicitly by the WHO.
    standard.co.uk/news/health/uk…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    15 March 2020: Matt Hancock attempts to retcon history. "Matt Hancock insists 'herd immunity' is not part of coronavirus battle plan" (scroll up if you need a reminder that it was!)
    metro.co.uk/2020/03/15/cor…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    15 March 2020: "The coronavirus epidemic in the UK will last until next spring and could lead to 7.9 million people being hospitalised, a secret Public Health England (PHE) briefing for senior NHS officials reveals."
    theguardian.com/world/2020/mar…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    16 March 2020: Boris Johnson announces a major clampdown on social contact. But says: "Lastly, it remains true as we have said in the last few weeks that risks of transmission of the disease at mass gatherings such as sporting events are relatively low."
    gov.uk/government/spe…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    16 March 2020: Widespread reports of the Government having changed tack because of a new report that spelled out the staggering likely death toll (something experts had been screaming about for weeks and weeks)
    bbc.co.uk/news/health-51…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    16 March 2020: More detail emerges of the horrifying data in the supposedly revelatory report that reshaped Government thinking on the coronavirus (*5 weeks after* China completely flattened its curve, and 10 days after S. Korea did via social distancing!)
    theguardian.com/world/2020/mar…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    18 March 2020: the Editor of The Lancet points out that "Scientists have been sounding the alarm on coronavirus for months. Why did Britain fail to act?" He explains what anyone numerate already knew i.e. that the Government had approached things wrongly.
    theguardian.com/commentisfree/…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    23 March 2020: The Government is forced to deny reports in the Sunday Times that Dominic Cummings addressed a meeting of Government experts on 12 March, saying: "herd immunity, protect the economy, and if that means some pensioners die, too bad."
    theguardian.com/politics/2020/…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    28 March 2020: Leading medical journal the Lancet rips Boris Johnson's approach to the coronavirus to shreds. Little bitty pieces. It opens with a quote from an NHS worker: “When this is all over, the NHS England board should resign in their entirety.”
    thelancet.com/journals/lance…

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

    So there we have it.

    Boris Johnson was right, absolutely spot on, when he said a couple of weeks ago: "I must level with the British public: many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time."

    Before their time. And it's all on him and his crew of wreckers.

    END

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    Edwin Hayward 🦄 🗡

  2. V useful thread of policy timeline. One thing left off here - on the day the whole of italy went into total lockdown , we were encouraging crowds of 60,000 at Cheltenham races. Why was that not ringing alarm bells ?

    maitlis

    emily m