31st May 2021
The Covid Indian Variant, Dominic Cummings and Consultant Zero
Dominic Cummings, former Chief Advisor to Boris Johnson confirmed to the Parliamentary Science Committee that the government had a ‘herd immunity policy’ responsible for tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and had no pandemic plans. Parliament needs to identify Consultant Zero who introduced the policy of ‘herd immunity’ to SAGE and the government. This unique policy contrary to medical practice has the appearance of an experiment that has been introduced opportunistically into the existing pandemic. Permitting the Indian variant to enter the country is evidence that the government has learned nothing about managing the pandemic. The Indian variant now has recombinatory opportunity to form more deadly variants than existing strains and itself. Such new variants can be deadly to younger age groups and also adapt to current vaccines. Parliament should act urgently to remove the current SAGE advisors and Prime Minister whose homicidal policy has killed tens of thousands of persons and put in place a non-vaccine policy based on East Asian, Australian and NZ practice. It should also urgently identify Consultant Zero and his/her motivation.
It is widely said that Dominic Cummings told us little that is new and it is true. He confirmed what we already believed about the government and Boris Johnson. It is also said that we must learn the lessons for next time.
There are no lessons still to be learned. We have learned them already with the policy of ‘herd immunity’ by infection. We have tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, the highest death rate in Europe, total lack of preparation and planning, entry of the Indian variant without constraint, disregard for the successful public health practices of Australia, NZ and East Asia and disregard for the medical principle to save life by preventing infection. The lesson is that this cannot continue.
As Mr Cummings has said, Parliament needs to act. It should immediately take action to change the personnel who have been managing the pandemic and change policy and practice. We need the strategy to eliminate SARS-Cov-2 that has been proven in East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
In tracing the source of a pandemic it is important to identify Patient Zero. Patient Zero is the first person infected. When Patient Zero is identified the source of the infection can be determined and investigated. It is the same in the case of the government’s Herd Immunity Policy. Who is Consultant Zero? Consultant Zero introduced the policy of ‘herd-immunity-by-infection’ to the Sage Committee and government, causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. Was s/he a member of SAGE? Someone from one of the pharmaceutical companies? Patrick Vallance who has a foot is both camps? Bill Gates who has been working with vaccines and epidemics for years and somehow became involved with both Boris Johnson and the pharmaceutical companies? Consultant Zero is necessarily a person of status and authority since s/he persuaded the SAGE Committee and Prime Minister to respond to the virus in an extraordinary manner contrary to both normal medical practice and common sense. Consultant Zero is important.
The UK’s inexplicably unique response to the pandemic demands explanation. The UK is the only country in the world to have adopted the policy of ‘herd-immunity-by-infection’. Moreover, the government resisted changing this policy despite pressure from the World Health Organization and the leaders of other countries until it was obvious that the virus was out of control and the first lockdown had to be announced on 23 March 2020. This policy had been agreed about three months prior to that. No plans were made to maintain the low infection and death numbers achieved by the first lockdown so that a second lockdown was necessary due to death rates of about 1,700 per day. By some counts there was a third lockdown. After a year public health is still disregarded, demonstrated by entry of the Indian variant having been permitted.
This situation has all the characteristics of a real-world experiment in building a pandemic model such as Patrick Vallance, Chris Whitty and Boris Johnson originally assured us they had. I do not suggest that it is one of these three but they are within the group that knows who Consultant Zero is. Of course medical practitioners are unwilling to inform on each other but this is not an ordinary matter involving deaths even on the scale of Harold Shipman’s 250 deaths. We are considering the homicide of tens of thousands. I speculate that someone has taken advantage of the existing pandemic to run his/her own experiment - for reasons unknown. That is an urgent reason why we need to know who Consultant Zero is. Anyone is entitled to call this a conspiracy theory if s/he has evidence to explain the UK’s anomalous policy. Consultant Zero actually exists and must be identified urgently and without the usual obfuscation and prevarication. That should not be difficult. We know the group that has this information. We need to know who Consultant Zero is in any event, conspiracy or none.
Every member of the SAGE Committee should have resigned in protest or at least spoken out publicly to prevent Boris Johnson allowing the Indian variant into the country. None did. This also needs explaining. Letting the Indian variant into the country is conclusive evidence that SAGE and the government are committed to proving that their vaccination policy is correct, despite the evidence. SAGE’s medical credentials are gravely compromised. Publicly they deny that they ever had a herd-immunity-by-infection policy and are in denial that they have done anything wrong. At very least the reputations of eminent people are now at stake together with the political careers of Boris Johnson and those associated with him. With tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, their actions would appropriately be examined in the criminal courts. To change direction now would be their admission of earlier error. Their thinking was wrong from the beginning and it is demonstrably wrong now. Dominic Cummings told us what he knew. We need the same from everyone attached to No. 10 who has knowledge of the ‘herd immunity’ policy.
It is ridiculous to fault Mr Cummings for not speaking up earlier about his misgivings or for not resigning sooner as some did in Committee and others have done subsequently. Mr Cummings is not medically qualified. The faults cannot lie with him. They lie with the people who only weeks ago let the Indian variant into the country months after he resigned.
The Indian variant of SARS-Cov-2 is now the dominant strain in the United Kingdom according to public information. This does not mean that it is replacing the strain that originally entered the UK, its minor variants and the Kent variant. It means that it is the most important source of infection and for long term damage. Fatalities due to the Indian variant are about five to seven per day at present. These deaths would not have occurred if the UK had had effective border controls and quarantine arrangements. The first virus, the South African variant and the Kent variant have not ceased causing infection. The Indian variant is acting independently of existing variants and so adds to the variant load in the population, that is, the total number of dangerous variants.
The importance of the variant load is that due to the recombinant, (mixing) characteristics of coronaviruses, variants more dangerous than the originals have an enhanced opportunity to arise. Vaccines are less than 100% effective and in some cases much less, so it is possible for individuals, vaccinated or not, to become infected twice. When two different variants enter the same cell in the human body they can exchange small segments of their genomes. This is recombination and it results in new strains. We previously had three already lethal strains. The addition of the more infective and lethal Indian strain means that more dangerous strains than the Indian variant now have a higher probability of developing. Boris Johnson does not seem to understand these simple facts and one must wonder about the SAGE Committee.
The Kent variant B. 1. 1. 7 is approximately 40-50% more transmissible than the original UK virus and its minor variants. The Indian variant B.1.617.2 is thought to be 40-60% more transmissible and possibly more lethal than the Kent variant. The SARS-Cov-2 virus has made immense progress in human infection in a very short time and is far from being controlled on a world scale or in the UK. It is extraordinary that about sixteen months after the virus reached the UK we have three major variants and one that is double the infectivity of the original virus. The government has learned nothing in this time. It is this that prompts one to think that other factors might be involved beyond incompetence. Consultant zero has relevant information.
Existing vaccines are said to be less effective against the Indian variant than against viruses already in the country. The estimate of vaccine effectiveness against it seems to be about 60-80% which is helpful in case of infection but this figure still permits large numbers of people to be infected, even if asymptomatically. It is an average figure. Individuals’ resistance will range from near zero to the high nineties. Let us review the situation:
Firstly, the formation of variants by recombination is related to the number of cells that are doubly infected in each individual. In individuals where vaccination immunity is low there is clearly an immense number of cells available, each of which offers an opportunity for more dangerous variants to form. Each and every individual is important from the viewpoint of variant development as well as that of infecting others. Infections and deaths from the Indian variant are rising fast in percentage terms. Those who reassure us that this is from a small base either do not understand exponential increase or are deceiving the public on its significance. We have been told that the government has control for a year and a half. The government has never had control.
Secondly, a greater number of individuals infected offers more opportunities for variants to arise than a smaller number. This means that keeping infection numbers low will keep low both the opportunities for variants to form and death numbers. SAGE and the government’s message has been that the virus is no danger to young persons. That is simply wrong. Because children and young persons can become infected, the virus is able to mutate in their cells without recombination even if they are asymptomatic. With the possibility of recombination there is far greater potential for variants able to evade the immune systems of both young and older people. Because children and young people usually have no symptoms and few fatalities SAGE and the government have ignored their contribution to variant formation. This was of lesser importance with a single strain although young asymptomatic persons did transmit the virus. At present at least four important strains are now in the population and recombination in the cells of young persons has become a potentially serious source of variant formation.
Thirdly, in real life as opposed to the theories of the government’s SAGE advisory committee and the Prime Minister, the use of four or more different vaccines has created a very complex environment in which SARS-Cov-2 is still reproducing. It has the opportunity to adapt not only to resistance to these vaccines but also to acquire new characteristics through recombination with other variants.
In practice, controlling the virus by means of vaccines might already be impossible. Even with the present vaccine program, immunisation in those first vaccinated is decreasing. This means that re-infection with recombination is becoming possible on a large scale. The dangerous variants that we know about are already much more dangerous than the original SARS-Cov-2. A second round of vaccines is planned but resistance from the first round that we are still administering is fading and being undermined by three known dangerous variants. What is called the ‘vaccines race’ is a foolish and dangerous strategy against an unpredictable virus where we have no assurance that vaccines will win.
The only certain means of controlling the virus is for Parliament to remove the present virus theorists and managers and replace them with a Prime Minister and advisors who will implement the successful non-pharmaceutical policies of Australia, NZ and the East Asian countries including strict quarantine. These are proven methods of extinguishing the virus. Vaccines and the antivirals being developed can be useful but should not be thought of as a primary defence. The best primary defence is to give good information to the population and to motivate them. SAGE and the government have never understood this - or never wished to. The evidence is anti-lockdown demonstrations and the high percentage of people who ignore government rules. Most people do not understand the virus, its main method of transmission and what it means for them as individuals and others. The government has not told them. Its dumbed-down rules delivered at political press conferences are not information that people can assimilate and apply to their behaviour. It took a year before ventilation was included in the government’s rules.
The government commenced with a disastrous policy as many of us recognized at the time. Dominic Cummings has confirmed everything that we suspected but there might be a level of deceit below this that even SAGE might not be aware of. Even if that probability is small, Parliament must act both to identify Consultant Zero and to change the government’s SARS-Cov-2 strategy. Government secrecy and Sage’s professional secrecy are unacceptable with 128,000 dead and another peak based on the Indian variant possible. The government has decisively failed. We need urgent radical change and to know who Consultant Zero is, who has caused so many deaths.
Parliament should debate this urgently as a practical problem with political allegiances and recriminations put aside. With delay the virus will continue to develop and our fellow citizens to die.
31st May 2021