Analysis

Video shows UK knew 4 years ago next pandemic would cost 100,000s of lives. Yet govt did nothing – and now Johnson wants to ease lockdown

Footage shows then-CMO discussing NHS overwhelmed by ‘excess bodies’ and unable to cope in 2016 exercise – and said that exercise portrayed ‘mild’ pandemic. Tory governments spent the next four years doing nothing – and even allowing meagre stockpiles of protective equipment to go out of date

Then-CMO Sally Davies describing the overwhelming body count of 2016’s ‘Exercise Cygnus’

Video footage has emerged of the UK’s Chief Medical Officer describing the results of the UK government’s 2016 pandemic dry run – Exercise Cygnus – and her horrifying findings.

Sally Davies is seen speaking of an NHS overwhelmed and unable to cope with the ‘excess bodies’ of people killed by a simulated pandemic far less serious and infectious than COVID-19 – and admitting that the exercise had exposed serious weaknesses in the UK’s readiness to cope.

Yet the Tories did nothing with this knowledge for four years.

Cygnus simulated a simple flu pandemic that infected only half of the UK population – yet it resulted in 200-400,000 deaths.

And when Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock knew the coronavirus was approaching the UK, they again did nothing – nothing except boast about how well-prepared they were. Two more months were wasted – a delay that experts think will add 60,000 to the total of needless deaths.

The UK’s inadequate stocks of out-of-date protective equipment for front-line staff were not replaced, let alone built up – nor were ventilators ordered and built until long after the crisis had taken hold in this country.

Boris Johnson talked of ‘taking it on the chin‘, while his advisers told the media the plan was for 60% or more – not the 50% of Cygnus – to become infected with the virus in the pursuit of ‘herd immunity‘. Even that number was understated – health experts say 90-95% of the population needs to have antibodies for herd immunity to work.

The Tories did everything they could to ensure the spread of the virus before they were forced to be more subtle. The huge Cheltenham racing festival was allowed to proceed and thousands of football fans from Madrid – forbidden to attend games in their own country – were allowed to flood into Liverpool.

And the NHS has only been ‘saved’ from utter chaos by the Tories’ belated decision to ‘flatten the curve’ – not eliminate, just slow down.

So great was Johnson’s commitment to letting the infection run rampant that he ignored World Health Organisation advice – and sent infected elderly people to die in care homes and infect their fellow residents, costing tens of thousands more lives.

Yet the media continues to give Boris Johnson barely-challenged airtime to claim ‘success‘ – while the UK has become the second-worst-hit country in the world, by a huge distance and the number of NHS staff killed by the virus has exceeded two hundred.

And now, in the midst of ongoing carnage and scenes of bank holiday chaos, Johnson wants to ease the lock-down.

Watch the damning footage below – and then share widely to counter the lies:

Credit to Harry Lambert of the New Statesman for the original video find.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

38 comments

  1. Decent ordinary people working in care homes under extreme conditions,have to manage the horror of the people they care for being condemned to what has become”Death Row”for the elderly and vulnerable ..This government has got to pay for the deaths planned and executed by psychopaths of the establishment,

  2. 14-day quarantine for all air travellers from anywhere but Northern Ireland just announced on BBC News.
    The new regime doesn’t start until the end of the month though, so to anyone dumb enough to want to come to the worst-infected country with the least-competent national response to CV19 on the planet – welcome to England.
    Don’t all rush at once.

  3. Sweden and S. Korea no lockdown, far far fewer deaths per capita (S Korea 50M population only 250 deaths), can we try their science if we are going to be ‘guided by the science’?
    This government is incompetent and cowed by a hysterical media. We have no herd immunity so are shitting ourselves about a 2nd wave unlike Sweden, and no test track and trace unlike S. Korea.

      1. On any of the better planets one wouldn’t even need to explain to an infant how to stop a virus outbreak.
        Our PM doesn’t have the attention span of a dead carp.

  4. Good post. We need the figures showing, 1, those who died with the virus ,and, 2, those who died from the virus. Also average fatalities for each month from inextraordinary disease in hospital, care and home. 2017 is worth a look, as are quite a few others. We are at the point where to not bang cans is akin to treason and to make gentle enquiries is revolutionary. They say we are due for another spike, heaven help us. Slop out with domestos after association and don’t forget to bolt windows and doors.

      1. I watched the video and this was my reply:

        A few points which may be relevant: ‘You isolate the sick not the healthy’ no, you isolate the virus from the people and until you know where the virus is you isolate the people from each other.

        They keep drawing comparisons with the flue and the deaths caused by flue each year. Deaths from all causes are way above norms for ‘normal’ years and we’ve seen mass graves with coffins multi stacked to cope with the casualties from Covid, this is not normal.

        Finally, because of Covid ‘people are not coming into hospital and it’s affecting our business’ They did not mention one statistic – profit!!!!

  5. 9% of people who have died with cv have died from cv. 91% deaths with cv had AT LEAST 1 other life threatening condition (eg cancer, heart disease, lung disease etc). 80% of deaths over aged 70. The Swedes explain high mortality in care homes as people in bad health who were in those homes because they were so ill already that they couldn’t care for themselves.

    1. “Don’t listen to the experts!” said the expert. I flipped to the end.
      I’ll be at the front of the queue to criticise UK and US governments – but at the end where he claims covid/lockdown/quarantine is all about extending governmental control over us – what he doesn’t explain is how playing musical chairs with the economy helps them stay in power.
      Certainly it creates a FUCK of a lot of gigantic fire-sale bargains for the super rich, but help governments stay in power?
      When the super-rich start foreclosing on the rich – which is what we’re looking at here – the foreclosed-upon will see socialism in a new light.

  6. Thats okay then ,they already had a “condition” so let them die alone and terrified?ON Yer Bike you old Tory…!

    1. In Sweden they don’t die alone. They don’t have lockdown in that country. That was my point. Joseph you’re losing it. Thank God all socialists who understand the class struggle aren’t as stupid and ill informed as you.

  7. RH and the Tories worry about collapsing economies – but why?
    All the world’s infrastructure and the means of production will still be there when the virus is gone. Only the ownership will have changed – but why?
    Business owners – even big businesses like airlines – with no customers can’t pay their bills and they lose their businesses.
    Who do all the losers lose their businesses TO?
    They lose to the landowners who demand their rents ALWAYS be paid, NO EXCUSES.
    They lose to the banks who demand that they, above all others, ALWAYS be protected from loss.
    They lose to investors who demand year-on-year increases in returns whatever the trading conditions.
    (Pension funds, RH, are NOT a special case. FUCK your final salary pension.)

    The poor always lose to the rich, who always lose to the richer, who always lose to the richest.

    If Coronavirus does one good thing it’ll be to make people understand that, when it’s over, EVERY physical thing needed for recovery is just sitting there unused – because the gates have been locked by CREDITORS.
    The only thing that will be preventing the world’s economic recovery will be – DEBT.
    DEBT to the fabulously wealthy 1%.

    1. I can see an endgame where indebted/bankrupt nation states have no choice but to sell out to the corporations.

      But doesn’t everyone want Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos for their overlords?

    2. David
      Your right about shit only travelling in one direction at a rate of knots,
      Your right about debt
      Your wrong about Covid19 and financial pandemic
      At some stage we will all be infected and banks will go bust
      Now tell us how we manage those shit shows

      1. Doug, thanks for your input – as lucid as always.
        At some stage the Sun will expand and the Earth will be vaporised.
        By “all infected” did you mean “all dead?”
        If not, what percentage of us dying will break the banks?
        Alternatively, if we’re “all infected” – are we too ill to work?
        “All infected” means no need for any further measures to prevent infection, correct?
        Unless you predict a continual cycle of re-infection because of immunity lasting only months or weeks?
        You could be right but we don’t actually know yet, so it’s a bit soon to panic.
        Hey, maybe we’ll all be dead before we have a vaccine.

        When you explain the details of “those shit shows” I’ll give them some thought.

    3. David
      Infection rate is 15%
      Death rate 0.1%
      Sweden, 86% of deaths over 70
      Bairns not super transmitters
      Most people wont know they’ve had it
      Until vaccine, we need to encourage those who are not at risk to be infected to create herd immunity
      Release bairns, healthy people and those who will die from lockdown
      As for banks we should have nationalised the fuckers in 2008
      Regards

    4. David
      Cannot catch it twice, once you’8had you have the golden ticket, immunity and can safely drink in pubs, go to the match and roar your head off at cheltenham
      Vaccine will change year on year as virus mutated and we will be prepared for next pandemic
      Never again

      1. Doug, there are so many things wrong with your statements I don’t know where to start – so I won’t bother.
        Yes, the banks should have been nationalised – they still should be. Well done.

  8. This quotation is relevant :

    “Yellow Journalism is a label for newspapers that print cheap sensationalized headlines to get more sales, instead of well researched investigative pieces, that is the hallmark of real journalism.

    Leading up to the occurrence of Covid-19 and onwards, the press in the UK have strived to make Yellow Journalism their raison d’etre. They have stoked up the public’s hysteria to manic levels with the worst gutter non-journalism I have ever seen.”

    Sooo …. where does Skwawkbox stand??? – knowing that estimates of “100,000s of lives” comes from the same consistently exaggerating source as the model preceding this f.-up.Obviously, Rabdy Ferguson himself didn’t believe the model!

    Trying to outdo Johnson in exaggerated hyperbole is no way to stuff him – especially from an alleged ‘Left’ wing source that seems oblivious to the damage being done to peoples’ lives as the Great Narcissist tries to find a way out of the absurdity.

    1. RH you are not well suited to debating with this lot. You understand facts, evidence, logic and reason. They dont like that here.

  9. The little recognised difference between the deaths for care home staff and hospital staff is the emotional bond that care home staff form with the residents. All deaths are distressing but to lose so many personalities, in such a short space of time, people that they have known and loved must be devastating. Not to mention, the burden of fearing that, through some action of their own, they may have caused someone to become infected. I fear for the level of trauma that must be being experienced.

    1. And because care homes have been effectively privatised the staff get only state sick pay so cannot afford to take time off work, now that is something for Skwawky to get his teeth into and ram it down the cheap and nasty Tory party’s throat

    2. syzgysue, I completely agree, care home staff will mostly have closer bonds with residents than hospital staff have with transient patients, and the loss will be more deeply felt.
      That takes nothing away from hospital staff – one couldn’t in a hospital with a constantly-changing group of patients develop close bonds, and would need to maintain some degree of emotional detachment just to survive.
      Not sure the fear of personal error causing consequences for others is necessarily greater though – I suspect that fear is universal in the caring professions in times of transmissible disease.

      I’d like to see care home work – for a period to be determined – to be an entrance qualification for medical school and nursing training, for two reasons.
      It would increase the perceived value of care work, and therefore the earnings.
      The less pleasant aspects of care home work are also part of hospital work, so it’d be as well to weed out the squeamish before years of wasted education.

      1. And bring back different grades of nurse, those who want to care and those who want to be doctors
        With a clear path from nursing home to operating theatre
        But more than anything ring fence funding

  10. We have to accept the figure of at least 200,000 for UK deaths in this pandemic, as this is the figure given for the flu pandemic of 1918. A smaller population back then, but better treatments today, means that the 200,000 death toll is plausible. What is worrying is that the ‘guesstimate’ of deaths, currently, is beyond 50,000, including un-diagnosed deaths in the community. If the 1918 pandemic is a model, then we still have a whole year to go on this. Plenty of time for Boris to open and close the door on us several times, allowing 40,000 deaths at each opening. The current situation, where people are becoming complacent, due to Boris’ inconsistency, is extremely dangerous. We might sum up the situation by “They think it’s all over!” Later we will say, as we view the death figures, “It is now!”

    1. People will only allow one shutdown
      Economics will trump health of a tiny minority of population
      ‘Trump Health’ is my gift to you all, fill your boots

      1. “People will only allow one shutdown”
        Could you be any more full of shit? Jeezus, every time you open your mouth your sphincter relaxes.

    2. First we need to know the parameters of infectivity, then when the period of total lockdown needed to wipe out the virus completely is known, everyone needs stores to last that long and more. No shopping, no outdoor exercise, no unofficial movements whatever.
      Testing, tracking and tracing of every positive has to be universal wherever there’s movement out of quarantine, but the PPE has to support all that as well as treatment of the infected.
      Single adult volunteers without dependants should be the ones doing what work needs doing – parents should be at home with their families.
      The Tories are still just playing at this.

      1. David
        Enough
        There is nothing with Covid19 that cannot be managed, leave it to the expert’s
        Start with Professor Heneghan Oxford University and finish with Anders Tegnel in charge of Sweden’s public health
        By the time the second wave hits we will have learnt our lesson
        Regards

    1. We all need a good laugh now and again and leaving aside the seriousness, Hancock the tea boy is always a good bet.

  11. ‘Hancock’ always has a startled look on his face; a lot like George Bush when told about 9/11 on camera; & Hancock also has good reason. Imagine the surprise when the Health Minister realised so many elderly & vulnerable people were dying, not only in Care Homes, but in their own homes too. The System is designed to kill, not only the old & vulnerable, but the amazing care workers who work with & visit every day for a pittance, No PPE & continual day to day contact between care worker. clients & families is a recipe for disaster. Only a complete fool could not join up the dots.
    Shame on Hancock & his Tory chums, but this was always going to happen. The Labour Party cannot claim moral superiority, despite Rachel Reeves claiming that people are also clapping for ‘Care Workers’. Time for Care Workers to be recognised. Time the Labour Party told the ‘Care Workers’ that they are not alone & their future is in the NHS.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: