Masking the truth? Freedom Day will not be Freedom Day – once again

10 days of home confinement remains the law if you have contact with someone infected, regardless of vaccine status

© Facts4EU.Org 2021

In one week’s time, you still won’t be able to throw away your face masks

NOTE: As ever, nothing in what follows should be construed as advice to do anything other than follow the laws and official guidance from Her Majesty’s Government. This report simply presents some basic facts and asks perfectly reasonable questions to inform the public debate.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

After 19 July 2021 – what was once known as the delayed ‘Freedom Day’:-

  • The government expects you to wear a face mask in enclosed places and on public transport
  • Covid restrictions will only be relaxed gradually
  • Covid passports are ‘encouraged’ in large venues
  • No change to Government guidance for businesses (last updated on 21 June)
  • 10-day self-isolation is still the law if testing positive or being with someone who has tested positive

What the Government said yesterday and Sunday

Yesterday the Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a press conference. In it he outlined certain important changes but the overall conclusion is that 19 July 2021 is the latest in the missed deadlines to lift all Covid restrictions. The statement from No.10 included the following:

“The Prime Minister has today emphasised caution and the expectation for a gradual easing of restrictions, based on informed choice and personal responsibility.”

The government expects and recommends that face coverings are worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, such as public transport, when mixing with people you don’t normally meet.

“While the government is no longer instructing people to work from home, a return to the workplace should be gradual and businesses should follow the published guidance.

“Organisations and large events will be supported and encouraged to use the NHS COVID Pass in high-risk settings to help limit the risk of infection in their venues.

“Positive cases and contacts of positive cases identified by NHS Test and Trace will still be legally required to self-isolate, to help break chains of transmission.”

Statement from No.10, Mon 12 Jul 2021

On Sunday, the Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi told the BBC’s Andrew Marr:

“There’s an expectation for people to wear masks indoors, in crowded places, on public transport.” He added that it would be “both a personal responsibility and a corporate responsibility.

The latter point is key for company directors and small business owners. The guidance for businesses has not changed and will not change on 19 July. This affects thousands of employers, who dare not take the chance of operating remotely normally.

Consequences of Covid measures – NHS waiting list could soar to 13 million, says Health Secretary

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

On Saturday the new Health Secretary Sajid Javid gave an interview to the Daily Telegraph.

“The number of patients on hospital waiting lists could soar to 13 million over the coming months as a result of Covid-19 and successive lockdowns, the Health Secretary has warned. In his first interview since being appointed to the role, Sajid Javid told The Telegraph that ‘shocking’ internal modelling showed that the current record number of 5.3 million patients waiting for treatment could more than double over the coming months.

“Mr Javid warned that the pandemic has worsened ‘non-Covid’ health problems, as those who needed medical attention chose not to go to hospitals for fear of catching coronavirus or because of a ‘very British’ attitude of not wanting to overburden NHS staff.”

Unfortunately Mr Javid failed to mention that one of the reasons the waiting lists have been soaring is because of the number of sick people denied face-to-face consultations with their GPs in the last 16 months. There have already been deaths as a direct result.

Alternative views No.2 – Dr Liam Fox, former Cabinet Minister

On Sunday the Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP called on the Government to justify the guidance to continue wearing masks by publishing the scientific data around the protection offered by face coverings. Speaking unofficially for many MPs with similar views he said:

“At some point we have to get back to people exercising their personal responsibility… If the expectation is to wear the mask then give us the data.”

To quote the PM, let’s “follow the science” – So what does ‘the science’ tell us?

The scientific evidence on the efficacy of the public wearing face masks to combat Covid-19 (or other similar viruses) is inadequate, to say the least. At the start of the pandemic in early 2020 the health authorities in the UK were telling the public that face masks were not advised. Within weeks this advice changed, to the point where wearing them suddenly became mandatory.

We have been unable to find any evidence to justify this change. If the decision was based on new data or new studies, these have not been provided by the Government, by SAGE, by the NHS, or by any other official UK body. And nor has this been provided by the World Health Organisation, who changed their own advice about face masks.

The world’s health authority – the WHO – wrote the following, only weeks before the pandemic hit

- Screengrab from World Health Organisation report, Nov 2019, © WHO - click to enlarge

This clear statement was based on the study of 10 RCTs – randomly controlled trials. It was contained in a serious scientific report of 91 pages, produced in November 2019 shortly before Covid was being discussed openly, entitled: “Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza”.

Section 4 of this report covered the use of face masks, and it’s first major ‘boxed’ summary is that shown above. This was not a spurious report. In the face mask section below the box the WHO said:

“The guideline development group, with the support of the steering group, formulated recommendations that were informed by the evidence presented and took into account quality of evidence, values and preferences, balance of benefits and harms, resource implications, ethical considerations, acceptability and feasibility, as outlined below.”

Even when discussing the use of face masks in other severe pandemics the WHO said Although there is no evidence that this is effective in reducing transmission, there is mechanistic plausibility for the potential effectiveness of this measure.”

In other words the WHO had no evidence or proof, but were adopting the ‘precautionary principle’ so they could not be criticised later. If the WHO can’t provide evidence, who can?

NOTE: The above WHO report was difficult to track down (without knowing its name) because of links that have been removed or changed on the World Health Organisation’s website. Nevertheless Facts4EU.Org eventually found it. To avoid the usual accusations of ‘fake news’ we took the screengrab shown above and have saved the report on our servers.


Face masks are the visible face of Covid-19

There are many visible signs of the measures imposed by the State in regard to Covid-19. Incessant Government-instructed and taxpayer-funded adverts on national television, in the press, and on billboards being one example.

Perhaps the most visible of all has been the mandatory wearing of face masks – except at mass sporting events attended by politicians and celebrities, such as the Wimbledon finals and Euros2020 matches, which for some reason were exempt.

Photo right: Govt Chief Scientific Officer Vallance at Wimbledon finals on Sunday

For a large proportion of the general public, face masks are now the norm and most people believe they should stay. We do not consider this surprising, as the public has never seen any questioning of the need for masks. When did any reader ever hear the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg - or any other major broadcast journalist come to that – ask the PM and his scientific advisors at a press conference to supply the evidence for the wearing of masks?

We consider it theoretically possible that face masks can work in certain circumstances in reducing the risk of catching Covid-19. However Facts4EU.Org deals in facts (the clue is in the name) and we would simply like to see some – from the same official sources who seem intent on keeping us masked forever.

It is now urgent that the Government informs the public about the consequences of the Covid measures

If the evidence exists regarding face masks, it must be presented to the public. Likewise, we consider it reprehensible that the Government has still failed to provide any form of cost-benefit analysis on the Covid measures it has taken, despite many promises to do so. It must do this as a matter of urgency. Again, the public have a right to know what the Covid measures are costing us in all their consequences, in clear and quantified terms.

We would suggest that with the new Health Secretary’s warning on Saturday that NHS waiting lists could more than double from their already high levels of 5.3 million to 13 million, this gives some legitimacy and urgency to our questions.

But should we even be asking these questions?

For over five years readers have been able to rely on the Facts4EU.Org think-tank to analyse official information from the EU, the UK’s and other countries’ governments, and from international bodies, and to summarise and publish the truth. We are well aware that the questions we raise about Covid-19 do not chime well with many readers, nor with the majority of the public if polls are to be believed.

Nevertheless, given that the Covid crisis has seriously impacted the lives of every reader and has removed many of the traditional liberties we all used to enjoy, we have felt it important to obtain and analyse official information and bring it to readers’ attentions.

We have to say that the quality and quantity of official information to inform the Covid-19 debate has been nothing short of a scandal. Indeed, MPs raised this yesterday in the House of Commons, in questions to the Health Secretary. We will be explaining this in more detail for readers very soon.

An example of the information vacuum

In the meantime, here is just one small example. The BBC and others talk excitedly about ‘daily hospitalisations due to Covid’. Yesterday the Home Secretary admitted his Department doesn’t know how many went to hospital for something completely unrelated to Covid but happened to test positive, as opposed to those who went ‘because of Covid’. Worse still, he couldn’t even say when his Department will know this information, let alone publish it.

If you value objective analysis and reporting of facts, please continue to support us – even if you are one of the majority of the public who believes what the Government and most of the mainstream media are saying. If our deep misgivings are proved to be wrong and accurate data supports the Government’s and scientists’ opinions, and if a cost-benefit analysis of the Covid measures also backs their continuation, we will be the first to admit it.

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[ Sources: No.10 | Hansard | Daily Telegraph (Javid interview) | World Health Organisation | BBC Andrew Marr interview ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Tues 13 Jul 2021

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