· The LSHTM has the worst forecasting track record. Why did the government select it?
· There are significant conflicts of interest in the work of the LSHTM that should have been disclosed and were not.
· Irresponsible research of this kind damages public trust and plays straight into the hands of anti-vaxx groups and conspiracy theorists.
· Without reliable scientific research, how can the public make informed decisions about their behaviour?
Once again our personal liberties are under attack in response to fears over another wave of Covid.
The justification this time comes from a report from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) which estimates 25,000-75,000 deaths and up to half a million hospitalisations from by omicron by April, if no measures are taken beyond Plan B.
Yet within hours of its release, experts were questioning the findings, which appeared to lack scientific rigour. The report excluded some pretty vital observations; including the real-life experience of South Africa, where Omicron cases were almost all mild and there are signs it has already peaked. The assumptions also seem to ignore the growing array of successful courses of treatment for the disease, which can be taken at home.
So far, the UK’s experience is already bearing this out. In spite of allegedly 200,000 Omicron cases, Covid deaths and hospitalisations are low and steadily falling. There are only ten reported Omicron cases in British hospitals.
The assumption of course is that the LSHTM’s report is made by independent scientists doing their best. But science rarely is as clear cut as that. And at the very least, this report appears tainted.
Firstly, the LSHTM has a track record of excessively pessimistic and massively wrong Covid forecasts. Why did the government employ the forecaster with the worst track record?
Furthermore, as with so much Covid ‘science’ there was no peer review as the report had to be rushed out.
If the LSHTM work appears so scientifically flawed, one must question whether there is bias at work.
And it does not take long to discover that the LSHTM is almost entirely funded by corporations who benefit from aggressive Covid responses.
Top of the donors list is Bill and Melinda Gates, who have given the school a staggering $335m over the past decade . According to the LSHTM’s website, there are only 1279 researchers, meaning this amounts to around £200,000 per place. For senior staff, that is likely to be worth over £1m each. When you give a small institution that sort of money, have you not in effect just bought it? Is this report really not just an arm of the Gates Foundation?
The Gates’ have been passionate advocates of aggressive lockdowns and vaccination programmes. Indeed his foundation has been funding these sorts of mass public health interventions for decades, with variable success.
Then there is the Gates’ business interests. Lockdowns are wonderful news for Microsoft. Since March 2020, the company’s value has doubled, leaping by over 1.2 trillion dollars. For Mr Gates, that amounts to over $70bn personally. Microsoft is also increasingly involved in winning controversial contracts with the NHS.
Microsoft’s capture of Healthcare policy – both via the Gates foundation and IT contracting – requires greater public and parliamentary scrutiny.
Of course, Gates is not the school’s only donor. The annual reports feature thank yous to dozens of pharmaceutical companies, including the The Pfizer Foundation. Note that Pfizer has just announced surging profits on the back of its Covid vaccines.
There may not be a conspiracy here. But what is clear is that the LSHTM is funded by individuals and corporations who are financially and ideologically predisposed to restricting our freedoms and pushing vaccines; and not in a small way either.
When we are presented with research like this, we should be told this. Normally this would happen through peer review and conflict of interest disclosures. Unfortunately both the researchers and government appear to be deliberately concealing these biases. From the perspective of scientific behaviour that is totally unacceptable. It is a stain on the reputation of all medical researchers.
Over the past two years, we have been fed endless amounts of ‘science’ on the pandemic. Much of it has turned out to be totally flawed. Yet still the government and media keep lapping it up, even when it comes from the same people who have got it wrong before.
There has been some courageous work uncovering China’s growing influence on British universities. We need to do the same with Covid research. Up to now it has been unclear who funds the institutions and people producing this research and what their agendas are. That is not acceptable when ‘the science’ affects every aspect of our daily lives: including whether our kids can go to school, whether we can go to work, see our relatives or enjoy a concert. These are things money and bad science cannot buy.