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Freedom in the UK: Johnson ends ‘all Covid measures’ including mask wearing

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The United Kingdom is enjoying a huge announcement. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced “the end of all Covid measures introduced to combat the Omicron variant – compulsory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, guidance to work from home and vaccine certificates – from next week” reports The Guardian.

For those with coronavirus, the legal requirement for them to self-isolate will also be allowed to lapse when the regulations expire on March 24. Johnson also announced an immediate end for students to wear masks at secondary schools.

“From tomorrow we will no longer require face masks in classrooms and the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas,” Johnson told the Commons.

“In the country at large we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces, particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, but we will trust the judgment of the British people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one.”

The Prime Minister said Covid data was “showing that time and again this government got the toughest decisions right” and that plan B rules that were put in place in December could all be lifted from next Thursday, the day after a pre-existing review point.

The Guardian notes Britain had expected Johnson would soon be ending work-from-home guidance and the mandate to show a certificate proving vaccination or proof of a recent negative Covid test. However, the immediate lifting of mandatory mask rules will “come as a surprise to some.”

Johnson is receiving some push back from some teaching and health unions. The general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said ministers would “regret sending the wrong signal to the public for political expediency”.

Joint general secretary of the National Education Union Mary Bousted said, “While the trend amongst secondary aged children is down, it is however uncertain, due to the short time schools have been back since the Christmas holidays, that this trend will continue. Such uncertainty could lead to a pronounced risk of increased disruption with children and staff having to isolate.”

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Eugene Klosinski

    January 19, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    Give the people what they ask for!! Doesn’t JESUS do the same?

  2. Marc

    January 20, 2022 at 5:46 pm

    This will not be really over until people are held accountable. The punishment for this treason against humanity needs to be so severe that no one will ever attempt this again.

  3. Nate

    January 20, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    Does this mean Novak Djokovic will be able to play at “Wimbledon”?

    • Nate

      January 20, 2022 at 6:49 pm

      My comment is being “moderated”!

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COVID-19

Fauci’s NIH gives another $3.5 million to EcoHealth despite dangerous past of coronavirus research

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Just before he retires, Dr. Anthony Fauci has pushed through a new five-year grant for EcoHealth.  EcoHealth Alliance, is the U.S. nonprofit that Fauci and the National Institute of Health’s funds, “to conduct dangerous coronavirus research in partnership with China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology prior to the global Covid-19 pandemic” reports National Review.

Over the next five years, the troublesome EcoHealth will receive over $3.25 million; their first check comes this year for $653,392. The grant is one of four concurrent NIH grants that EcoHealth has; three of the grants were awarded after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The description of the grant on the NIH RePORTER website is to analyze “the potential for future bat coronavirus emergence in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.”

“This is high-risk research that involves going into remote, often inaccessible areas, and sampling bats and bat excreta, and then returning those samples to laboratories in population centers where they attempt to isolate the virus … and then seek to characterize the threat level posed by the virus,” said Richard Ebright, a biosafety expert and professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University. “This is one of the kinds of research that may have been directly responsible for the current pandemic.”

The term gain-of-function research has become very controversial since the global Covid-19 pandemic, and National Review reports on the subject:

This newest EcoHealth project wouldn’t qualify as gain-of-function research, Ebright said. Gain-of-function research involves extracting viruses from animals and engineering them in a lab to make them more transmissible or dangerous to humans. But Ebright said two of EcoHealth’s grants do involve gain-of-function research and enhanced potential pandemic research on coronaviruses. And even if the current description of the new project doesn’t involve gain-of-function research, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t later.

From securing funding to completing the research, it is a six-year process, Ebright said, and the project is bound to change over those six years. “If researchers robotically followed what they proposed six years ago, they would not be taking into account developments in their own labs and in the field at any point along the way,” he said. “You have to have this flexibility. That also means you need oversight to make sure the flexibility isn’t going into forbidden areas.”

Going into forbidden areas is exactly how EcoHealth and its president, Peter Daszak, previously got into trouble. Starting in 2014, the U.S. government temporarily paused funding for gain-of-function research due to concerns over biosafety and biosecurity. When some of EcoHealth’s research – involving infecting genetically-engineered mice with hybrid viruses – seemed to cross that line, NIAID staff and EcoHealth leaders crafted work-around guidelines to allow the nonprofit to continue its work.

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