The Beta variant of coronavirus spreading in France poses a “threat” to the UK with evidence suggesting it may evade the effect of vaccines, a scientist involved in advising the Government has warned.
Professor John Edmunds, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said he could understand concerns over the variant that have led to last-minute travel rule changes.
It was announced on Friday evening that holidaymakers returning to England from France must continue to quarantine for 10 days – even if they are double jabbed – when restrictions on other amber list countries are eased.
Ministers said the move was a precautionary measure due to concerns over the “persistent presence” of the Beta variant in the country.
Friends and allies: The Gates Foundation and British scientists
N THE previous instalments I explored the extraordinary hold Bill Gates has over global health policy and the spread of its influence right into the heart of British public health policy via the funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (GF) of science businesses, foundations and public bodies through a complex web of interconnection and crossover of personnel.
This, however, is not the sum total of the GF’s reach into the world of British science and public health. It has been funding British university science departments, projects, and individuals for more than two decades. The topics involved include research into and manufacturing of vaccines.
No government-appointed science committee has influenced public health policy as much as Sage. Many of its members, who cross over with Independent Sage and Nervtag and are already somewhat compromised by connections to the GF-funded GlaxoSmithKline and Wellcome Foundation, are also employees of universities and colleges which have received massive GF grants and, in some cases, work in partnership with them. Three of Sage’s members, Professors Graham Medley, Andrew Rambaut and Matt Keeling, are individual recipients of grants from the GF.
Earlier this year a Sage subcommittee, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, Operational sub-group (SPI-M-O), commissioned three university departments to conduct modelling research,a scaremongering exercise that was to be the basis of Sage advice to the Government.
Readers may remember the three modelling papers produced by Imperial College London (ICL), Warwick University and the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine (LSHTM) which received considerable press attention at the end of March, and their dramatic simultaneous warnings of a ‘third’ Covid-19 wave and new lethal variants; cautioning (yet again) how this will put the NHS under stress. All recommended stricter lockdowns, Test and Trace and, tellingly, booster vaccines.
SPI-M-O had assigned each university a specific task: ICL’s was ‘Evaluating England’s Roadmap out of Lockdown’, Warwick’s to produce ‘Road Map Scenarios and Sensitivity’ and LSHTM’s to make an ‘Interim roadmap assessment: prior to Step 2’.