Dr John Lee has been a Professor of Pathology and NHS Consultant Pathologist for over 20 years, and a university teacher for over 30 years. He is now the spokesman on Pathology for HART (Health Advisory and Recovery Team). This is a new, independent UK public health organisation trying to offer some balance to the advice being provided by Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) who, as described in Vanquishing Variants, have narrow ideas and clear conflicts of interest relating to personal gain from lockdown policies.
Dr Lee, along with other similarly qualified experts such as Dr Clare Craig, has been outspoken about the way in which deaths are being counted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike SAGE experts, Dr Lee has no personal gain to make from the pandemic and in fact, he came out of retirement to speak out because of his concern for events unfolding.
In this Planet Normal podcast interview (he speaks for about twenty minutes, starting around the 20 minute mark), Dr Lee states “every winter quite a lot of people die of respiratory infections, especially elderly people, because it’s one of the ways in which elderly people do die. The way those deaths are recorded are normally something fairly non specific, like pneumonia or old age. But since February, when Covid became a notifiable disease, we’ve been trying to attribute a cause to many of the deaths that we’ve been recording“.
Among other things, such as virus variants, health services, scientific debates, and the use of propaganda and fear as an effective tool by political regimes, he goes on to describe why a COVID-positive PCR test does not equate to a “case of disease” and that over the last year the UK has experienced a slight increase in excess deaths, but nothing dramatically out of the ordinary. The only real spike of increased death in the UK occurred last Spring, when a lot of elderly people died from respiratory deaths attributed to Covid, but nothing dramatic is happening now despite Covid-focused media attention. There seems to be no doubt that the pandemic response in many places, not only the UK, has been one of over-exaggerations of the threat of the virus and of the effectiveness of lockdown policies, and gross under-exaggerations of the costs of lockdown.
This can be hard to hear when we’ve been told to be very afraid, to believe frightening numbers provided without any context of how those numbers compare historically (expected death rates), or how they are being counted (dying with a positive PCR test as opposed to dying from Covid disease). The “ventilator crisis”, in which ventilating elderly people who are highly vulnerable to death from this intervention was initially recommended by World Health Organisation, also requires analysis.
For anyone else seeking public health analysis instead of mainstream melodrama, another excellent resource is Adapnation, where I found this infographic depicting the growing crisis in England’s hospitals, associated with reduced services and lockdown policies. The article accompanying this infographic is at NHS Hospital Pressure: The Ugly Truth.