Exercise Cygnus: UK Gov’t Response Was Modified Before COVID-19 Event

30 April 2020 — 21st Century Wire

Robin Kayser

It’s April 2020, and since March, the UK has swiftly commissioned and built vast, temporary, intensive care hospitals, in readiness for a predicted epidemic number of severe COVID-19 cases.

They are called NHS Nightingale Hospitals, and to date there are seven of them, either open or planned. The first one was announced on 24 March by the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, and was opened almost immediately on 3 April at the London Excel Centre. It has a capacity of some 4,000 beds. The other temporary field hospital sites are in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Bristol, Exeter, Harrogate, and Washington.

Additionally, over the last month, some 8,000 beds in private hospitals have been re-assigned for Covid-19 use, along with other NHS beds in hospitals all over the UK. By the beginning of April, one third of all non-ICU NHS beds had been converted into potential ICU beds for possible Covid-19 patients. Yet, by 12 April, the London Nightingale had treated just 19 patients, and to date, only 41 patients have been treated.

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Farewell to the God of Plague: The Eighteenth Newsletter (2020)

30 April 2020 — Tricontinental

Li Zhong
Li Zhong, Medical workers putting on their gowns to fight the ‘evil’ virus, 2020.

Dear Friends,

Greetings from the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

On 30 June 1958, Mao Tse-tung read in Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) that schistosomiasis – or bilharzia – had been eradicated in Yukiang (Jiangxi Province). He was so inspired that he wrote a poem called ‘Farewell to the God of Plague’:

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COVID-19 exposes the weakness of Brexit

30 April 2020 — True Publica

By TruePublica: There’s an irony being played out – a cruel one really. The COVID-19 crisis has unearthed some stark truths about how our country should be governed. One of those truths was just how important our key workers really are. Right now, the most dangerous job and most dangerous place in the country to practice it is to be a frontline medic in a hospital. This is closely followed by all other key workers that keeps the infrastructure of daily life moving. It is only in the face of a crisis that threatens us all do we remember this.

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More journalists barred from Gov’t daily press briefings – for asking wrong questions

30 April 2020 — True Publica

More journalists barred from Gov't daily press briefings - for asking wrong questions

By TruePublica: On 3 February, (remember how long ago that was) political journalists walked out of a Downing Street press briefing en masse after a Dominic Cummings associate attempted to ban selected reporters from attending. The Prime Minister’s Director of Communications, Lee Cain, tried to prevent journalists from the Independent, the i, the Mirror, HuffPost, PoliticsHome, and others from covering the briefing, on the grounds that they had not been specifically invited. A handful of media had received invitations to a “No10 technical background briefing on the UK’s future relationship with the EU;” however, the journalists who had been invited walked out in protest to the barring of access for their colleagues.

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