In the previous two parts of her investigation into what has happened to members of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), Karen Harradine tracked in Part 1 the continuing influence of Chris Whitty, still the Chief Medical Officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance and, in Part 2, Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, Jeremy Farrar and Susan Michie. In this third instalment she examines the roles of Dame Jenny Harries and Neil Ferguson.
JENNY Harries was deputy chief medical officer for England from 2019 to 2021. She is a former member of the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which, despite no evidence of safety or need, pushed Covid-19 vaccines on children as young as five. She is now chief executive of the ominously named UK Health Security Agency. Established in October 2021, UKHSA took over from Public Health England, seemingly to bypass the democratic process and further the ‘pandemic preparedness’ agenda and its associated mantra of ‘health security’.
Described as ‘an integral part of the Government’s Covid response’, Harries’s witness statement to the Hallett Inquiry mentions her role on Sage where she chaired the Social Care Working Group from April 2020 to May 2021.
How successful her ‘social care’ chairmanship was over that period is a moot point. By June 12, 2020, of the 54,430 excess deaths above average in England and Wales, 29,393 or 54 per cent were care-home residents. This shocking figure revealed the total failure of the Government’s ‘protect the elderly and vulnerable’ policy. The sickening reality of its isolation, blanket lockdown and ‘Save our NHS’ priorities was the mass discharging of elderly patients into care homes for which Matt Hancock alone has taken the blame.
Questioned by the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee in July, 2020 in a series of evasive answers Harries recused herself from any responsibility, mentioning however a testing program for asymptomatic care home residents, as though that was the problem.
SAGE’s ‘social care’ meeting minutes of Sept 2020 on care homes confirm this preoccupation although it was known and acknowledged by the WHO earlier that summer that such transmission was extremely rare.https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/08/asymptomatic-coronavirus-patients-arent-spreading-new-infections-who-says.html At this meeting there was no discussion of the risks to, or wellbeing of, old people locked away. Was this discussed in any of the meetings Harries chaired?
In October 2020, and having learnt nothing, the Government once again told care homes to make room for discharged coronavirus patients, cutting another swathe through fragile residents, locking them away from their families and risking their neglect – whether unintentional or not – and maltreatment in inadequately staffed facilities.
Data released in July 2021 revealed a third of all Covid deaths in England were in care homes, some 40,000 deaths to March 21. As the Telegraph reported just over a month ago, a whole generation was left to die.
Needless to say, none of this impeded Professor Harries from becoming the first Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, a role in which she continues to promote fear: ‘We say [Covid] was the biggest public health incident for a century, but I don’t think any of us think it’ll be a century before the next . . . The combination of climate change, urbanisation and people living closer to animals – the source of many new diseases which transfer to people – means we’re facing a rising tide of risk.’
Like her government science adviser colleagues she is a vaccine obsessive, and links pathogens and climate change in one fear package.
Her mission at UKHSA is no longer to promote public health but ‘to respond to health threats, save lives and protect livelihoods’. Her latest strategic plan focuses on and sets out the health security challenges. Citing the World Health Organization’s top ten global health threats, it reads as a bio-defence manual rather than a vision for improved public health.
Part of UKHSA’s remit is to run Porton Biopharma, a vaccine manufacturing company owned entirely by the state but receiving EU funding, developing vaccines for the ominous-sounding ‘Disease X’. Last summer, CEPI gave it $375,000 to develop a monkeypox vaccine, a payback maybe for the UK Government’s handouts of £276million since CEPI’s inception in 2018.
Porton Biopharma collaborates extensively with the WHO. Harries has committed her agency to working with and sharing data with this United Nations subsidiary. In May, she took part in the launch of the WHO’s International Pathogen Surveillance Network.
Meanwhile, under her leadership, the agency wasted over £45million on unused Covid-19 sites and equipment, and toxic vaccines. She was questioned by the Public Accounts Committee, along with Baroness Dido Harding, former head of the Government’s Test and Trace service, on the ‘unimaginable’ cost of that programme, which had nonetheless ‘failed to deliver on the central promise of averting another lockdown’. Harries took over running the programme from Harding in May 2021.
As chief executive of UKHSA, Harries is paid £185,000, more than the Prime Minister. She was made a dame in the 2022 New Year Honours.
Another prominent example of how failure and vested interests are rewarded is that of Professor Neil Ferguson, a Sage, NERVTAG and SPI-M-O member. Since 2001, when the government used his foot-and-mouth disease modelling to cull six million animals, costing the economy £10billion, his name has become a byword for useless predictions and their terrible cost. In 2005, he warned that bird flu could claim 200million lives. Only 282 people died worldwide from the disease between 2003 and 2009. But these were mere warm-up acts for the devastation caused by his inaccurate Covid-19 modelling and enthusiasm for Chinese Communist Party-style lockdowns. In February 2020 he hosted a webinar on behalf of the WEF, scaremongering about Covid-19, and championing lockdowns and social distancing. He warned that half a million people would die in Britain if the government did not impose lockdown. This dubious modelling, sold as accurate and realistic, convinced the Government it should jettison its scientifically sound Pandemic Plan of 2011.
Not only did the Tories fail to check his forecast of doom, they also gave him a further £500,000 to research Covid-19 modelling, work also heavily funded by supranational organisations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Wellcome Trust.
Ferguson temporarily slunk into the shadows when he left Sage in disgrace in May 2020 after breaking his own totalitarian lockdown rules to meet his mistress. But he bounced back quickly, praising lockdowns and regular vaccines as Covid-19 ‘remedies’ in the media. His zealotry for both can probably be explained by his membership of the Imperial Network for Vaccine Research, funded by the BMGF, Wellcome Trust, EU and WHO to overcome ‘challenges’ in vaccine efficiency.
Ferguson has worked as an adviser to the WHO on vaccines, and as a consultant to the BMGF and World Bank. He still holds many illustrious positions, including Director of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London (ICL). Despite his modelling debacles, the position was renewed in August for another five years.
ICL certainly benefited from Ferguson’s involvement with Sage. In 2021, Sage commissioned a Covid-19 modelling report from the university. Co-authored by Ferguson, the report brazenly advocated further stringent lockdowns and vaccine boosters. ICL is currently building a £100million centre for the School of Public Health.
In the Lancet in 2021, Ferguson endorsed vaccines for children, and publicised a joint venture between BMGF, Gavi and ICL called the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium. He led ICL’s Covid-19 response team in 2020-2021, advising the WHO on vaccine strategies and disease modelling, and continues as Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics at ICL, another WHO partnership dedicated to ‘pandemic preparedness’. Although no longer Director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at ICL, Ferguson still researches for them on disease modelling.
Westminster seems to have forgiven him too, inviting him July 2022 to speak at an event for Net Zero on modelling for ‘future crisis’.
In August, he popped up again in the media as part of the UKHSA team, scaremongering about a new global Covid-19 variant, a day after the WHO did similar.
He has never been asked the right questions on his modelling failures and no less so than at the risible Hallett Inquiry at the beginning of last week when much of the Inquiry KC’s questioning seemed focused on the accusation that Ferguson and his scientific colleagues had not done enough to raise the alarm around the pandemic.
Yet many countries based their own Covid-19 strategies on Ferguson’s histrionic modelling, arguably turning him into one of the biggest culprits causing immense suffering and deaths through global lockdowns.
His influential positions continue to give him a platform to disseminate his catastrophic anti-science dogma and modelling and last year, together with several of his SPI-M-O colleagues, he was awarded the Weldon Memorial Prize for Covid-19 modelling. This was shortly followed by an OBE in the 2022 New Year Honours.
Next: Karen Harradine tracks the progress of further Sage members, including John Edmunds and Dame Angela McLean.