28 April 2020 — True Publica
On March 20th TruePublica published the story about the UK government that ran a national pandemic flu exercise back in 2016. It was codenamed Exercise Cygnus. The report of its findings was not made publicly available as part of the general antipathy towards the NHS in general by the Conservative party. The then chief medical officer Sally Davies, commented on what she had learnt from it in December 2016.
Our article quoted Sally Davis who is on record to have said – “We’ve just had in the UK a three-day exercise on flu, on a pandemic that killed a lot of people,” Sally Davis told the World Innovation Summit for Health at the time. “It became clear that we could not cope with the excess bodies,” she ominously warned. One very predictive conclusion was that Britain, as Davies rightly said, faced the real threat of totally “inadequate ventilation in a future pandemic”. Davies was, of course, referring to the need for ventilation machines, which keep oxygen pumping in patients critically ill with a respiratory disease such as the coronavirus.
Despite the severe failings exposed by Exercise Cygnus, the government’s planning for a future pandemic did not change after December 2016. The government’s roadmap for how to respond to a coronavirus-like pandemic has long been available online, and the three key documents – the 70-page “Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy”, 78-page “Health and Social Care Influenza Pandemic Preparedness and Response” and 88-page “Pandemic Influenza Response Plan” – were published in 2011, 2012 and 2014 respectively.
What is striking about this particular exercise and subsequently published plans, was that these plans were properly tested and emphatically failed, yet these documents were not rewritten or revised and provided no new preparedness recommendations towards what would happen in the event of another virus outbreak, which was expected in due course. One thing that was wholly accepted was that the health services would not be able to cope in a pandemic.
What is telling even as far back as 2011 and repeated in each preparedness strategy is that, “Critical care services are likely to see increases in demand during even a mild influenza pandemic. In a moderate or severe influenza pandemic demand may outstrip supply, (and) … it may become necessary to make decisions concerning the priority of access to some services.” In other words, the outlook for a serious outbreak is that many people would die.
“And yet, the British government has reclassified Covid-19 as less of a consequence than SARS (total global deaths recorded 774), MERS (total global deaths recorded 600), – along with Avian Influenza H7N9, H5N1, H5N6, and H7N7. Listed as High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) is even the Andes Virus Infection (one global death) which infected just four people in the UK with no known deaths.”
In that report we concluded with these questions:
- Has the government covered its back (by downgrading COVID19) to stop legal cases against it for not supplying the correct safety equipment to frontline medics who die given that many doctors are complaining of lack of PPE?
- Is the government continuing with its ‘herd-immunity’ programme irrespective of what it appears to be doing (just as austerity silently killed 120,000 people) – and was this why they seemed to act so late against scientific advice?
- Is the plan to get this disease through the population as fast as possible to save the economy? (Hedge funds, corporations, billionaires, Brexit deadline, etc – the main financial backers of the Conservative party?).
The answer to all of our questions now appears to be a resounding yes.
- Today (April 26th), it is revealed that doctors are preparing to sue the government if they find that conclusions to Operation Cygnus were deliberately disregarded. This is why all of a sudden there is a paltry £60,000 compensation payment being offered by the government to the families of those who have died as a result of exposure to COVID19 through a lack of PPE. The government have refused Freedom of Information requests to see the full document that even The Telegraph said was “too terrifying to be made public.” The government are now scrambling to get out of this mess as the legal heat is dramatically turned up. This offer by the state is significant and should not be under-estimated as it will attempt to bribe those families into accepting a sum of money to keep quiet – or to have to fight on for more. The truth here is simple. The government will soon find out if it has been culpable of what amounts to ‘corporate manslaughter.’ Class actions lawsuits will quickly build – they will be very high profile cases in the media and will be extremely damaging politically.
- Irrespective of what the government have stated they are doing, their actions speak more about their original strategy of herd-immunity to combat COVID19 than defending its citizens through track and trace strategies. For instance, allowing well over 100,000 passengers each week from Heathrow to arrive from all corners of the planet (including from high infection countries), untested and are immediately allowed to mingle is a clear intention. The lockdown came too late. As a result, Britain will soon have Europe’s worst death toll.
- Herd-immunity is what the government are still aiming at to save the economy. It is now widely reported that Tory donors want the economy restarted irrespective of COVID19 deaths and in recent days, the government has confirmed that Brexit will continue on December 31st irrespective of the damage done to the economy or ability of negotiators given their new C19 constraints.