Tag Archives: expert

Medical experts warn that government Covid-19 antibody tests are probably duff

How typical of the Tory strategy on Covid-19 that the blood antibody tests that cost them £16 million might not work:

Senior medical specialists have raised concerns about the accuracy of the antibody tests being carried out on NHS staff across the country.

The blood tests – which can tell whether someone has had Covid-19 – were previously described by prime minister Boris Johnson as “game-changing”.

The government has spent £16m buying some 10 million test kits from pharmaceutical giant Abbott and Roche with the first phase of the testing programme assessing NHS and care staff, before being rolled out to the public.

But a letter from academics and clinicians, published in The BMJ, raises concerns about the performance of the tests, the clinical reasoning for them and the cost.

“We have three concerns… Firstly, there is no specific clinical indication for the test on an individual basis. Secondly, the performance of these assays has not yet been assessed to the standard typically required of a novel test. And thirdly, the resource implications are not considered.”

“The assay is being rolled out at an unprecedented pace and scale without adequate assessment, potentially compromising public trust in pathology services in the future.”

The letter adds: “NHS England requires the result to be available in 24 hours. Given that routine testing of patients is neither clinically urgent nor meets a clear public health need, this push to introduce a non-evidence based test for uncertain gains risks inefficient use of scarce resources.”

The experts also warned that a positive or negative test result would not alter how a patient is managed either way and added that a positive result “does not indicate immunity”.

It seems the government has admitted the scientists may have a point.

The Department of Health and Social Care made a statement saying: “We do not currently know how long an antibody response to the virus lasts, nor whether having antibodies means a person cannot transmit it to others.”

Nevertheless, antibody testing “will play an increasingly important role as we move into the next phase of our response to this pandemic”.

Looks like another pointless waste of cash to This Writer. How typical.

Source: Coronavirus: Medical Experts Issue Warning Over Government’s Antibody Tests | HuffPost UK

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Are they joking? UN poverty expert thought Tory response to his report was a ‘spoof’

Philip Alston: He came to his conclusions by listening to people affected by Conservative policies on the poor, sick and disabled. Tories implemented those policies by ignoring the very same people – and now they are complaining because Mr Alston hasn’t done the same.

At a time when we are all taking a long, hard look at the Conservative government of the last few years, this is damning.

Philip Alston, the New York-based human rights lawyer and United Nations rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, has responded with disbelief after the Tories responded to his report on poverty in the UK.

“I thought it might actually be a spoof,” he said after ministers claimed that his report was “a completely inaccurate picture of our approach to tackling poverty” and that the UK was among the happiest countries in the world.

“The statement is as troubling as the situation,” he said. “There is nothing that indicates any willingness to debate over issues which have generated endless very detailed, totally reputable reports across the political spectrum in the UK. All of these are dismissed.”

Alston’s report compared Conservative policies to the creation of Victorian workhouses. Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, said she felt it was politically biased and alleged that Alston did not do enough research, only visiting the UK for 11 days.

Alston retorted that the government response amounted to “a total denial of a set of uncontested facts”.

Particularly contentious was Mr Alston’s claim that the Department for Work and Pensions had created “a digital and sanitised version of the 19th-century workhouse”.

Tory apologists rushed to rubbish the claim, like historian Dominic Sandbrook, who wrote in the Daily Mail that it was “simply ridiculous” and “an insult to our national intelligence”.

“I think breaking rocks has some similarity to the 35 hours of job search [required per week to receive universal credit] for people who have been out of work for months or years,” Mr Alston responded. “They have to go through the motions but it is completely useless. That seems to me to be very similar to the approach in the old-style workhouse. The underlying mentality is that we are going to make the place sufficiently unpleasant that you really won’t want to be here.

“Is it the case that 14 million people do not live in poverty? Do they contest the child poverty predictions? That is what it seems to be.”

It seems clear that this man will not be backing down.

As long-term readers of This Site will appreciate, that is a stance with which I can sympathise.

And it really is the only position to take with a government of bullies like the Tories, who deliberately (it seems) ignore the facts in order to continue pursuing malevolent policies of hate towards the poor and vulnerable.

Sadly, as I mentioned previously, the UK government may merrily ignore the findings of the United Nations report, without suffering any adverse backlash.

We know the Tories are wrong because we can see the evidence all around us. We know they are driving the entire country to ruin.

But they refuse to see it. Their attitude is symbolic of the pig-ignorance that came into office with David Cameron, back in 2010.

Source: UN poverty expert hits back over UK ministers’ ‘denial of facts’ | Society | The Guardian

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Six days left! Pledge your support for Mike’s libel defence fund now!


Thanks to everyone who donated in the last 24 hours – we are now more than £400 closer to our goal!

I still have not heard anything from solicitors representing the complainants. I consider this to be a good thing,

But as I stated yesterday, it is entirely possible that they are waiting to see if I manage to raise a significant amount – so let’s raise the largest amount possible!

Many of you will know what follows. It is the only way I know to make this appeal succeed.

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Please donate.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
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Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Mike’s libel case can be won – IF you support him

Vox Political’s Mike Sivier with the correction he secured from the last organisation to publish falsehoods about him.

This is a very quick update: My solicitors have received expert advice saying that I can win the libel case brought against me by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman.

This favourable advice from expert counsel is welcome news, but it comes with a caution: I can’t do it if I don’t have the funds.

Litigation – especially in cases like this – is notoriously expensive and this appeal certainly has not raised enough money yet.

Hundreds of people have donated already – but thousands have visited the page. If you haven’t donated yet, please don’t leave it until it is too late.

This has always been a fight between wealth and justice; the people attacking me are extremely rich and believe their money means they can say anything they like and silence the facts with the threat of court action.

Do you believe that justice should be more important? If so, please donate to the fund. If you leave it to somebody else, I won’t be able to continue.

And please promote this appeal to your friends and colleagues.

You can do this several ways:

  1. Email five friends who may be sympathetic, and encourage them to donate.
  2. Share the campaign on Facebook: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/
  3. Tweet the campaign link to your followers.

Please help.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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UK benefit policy is to ‘save money by ensuring people die waiting for claims to be processed’

131010benefitdenier

The Conservative Government has been challenged to let experts analyse the effects of its policies on benefit claimants, following the publication of – extremely limited – mortality figures in August.

Disability studies specialist and disability activist Samuel Miller has written to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, and employment minister Priti Patel, asking whether they would co-operate if epidemiologists – experts in studying the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations such as benefit claimants – requested permission to conduct a thorough investigation of government policy.

In 2013, Duncan Smith turned down Mr Miller’s request to have his department hire an epidemiologist to conduct an independent study of the impact of the welfare reforms on the mortality of claimants on Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance.

“The professionals most qualified to analyse the recent DWP statistical releases on benefit deaths are Professor David Stuckler and Dr Sanjay Basu, the co-authors of The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills. Why haven’t you asked them to analyze the mortality releases?” wrote Mr Miller.

“In my opinion, thousands of sick and disabled benefit claimants died needlessly because of the benefits backlog, long waits for mandatory reconsideration decisions, and the failure of the DWP to implement a sensible Work and Pensions Committee recommendation: In 2014, that Committee called on the Government to pay sick and disabled people benefits while they appealed against incorrect ‘fit for work’ decisions.

Why didn’t you implement that recommendation, and if you would do so, how much more would it have cost your department in additional benefit expenditures?

“It’s a hard truth, but it must be stated: The purpose of a benefits backlog is to ensure that people die waiting for their claims to be processed, thus saving the Government money. The Government failed to set a reasonable timescale for the mandatory reconsideration process, leaving it open-ended. The human cost was enormous and thousands died.

“Why is your department so unwilling to implement sensible and humane mortality avoidance measures?”

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Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
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