The campaign to beat the pandemic

Dame Jenny Harries gives a speech behind a 10 Downing Street podium.

Press release Dame Jenny Harries sets us on a grim and ever-sicker path

25 September 2023 / Covid Action

The recent interview with Dame Jenny Harries – Director of the UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency) – in the Telegraph (25/09/23) finally gives the game away about Government’s eugenic approach to Covid and other possible future pandemics including a flu. 

The Swedish Government’s pandemic response model being praised by Harries, Head of the UKHSA, together with others such as Jeremy Hunt, resulted in the highest death rate among Scandinavian countries, along with a significant number of deaths amongst the elderly and vulnerable population, particularly in care homes. Essentially, Harries is arguing for the far-right libertarian position that nothing should interfere with the economy, and that if it’s necessary for some to die to achieve this aspiration, then so be it. It is a policy based on Social Darwinism, and we saw the tragic results in Sweden. 

The UKHSA has presided over the minimisation of Covid and massive reductions in protection for clinically vulnerable and elderly people in the health care sector and elsewhere. Faced with new variants and unrestricted Covid spread this autumn and winter, their recent advice to the public for how to deal with an airborne virus was to wash their hands, a 21st century version of Marie Antoinette’s advice to the starving masses of France to eat cake instead of bread!

Harries is quoted in the article as saying: “The more people trust the organisation [UKHSA] to give them early, accurate, honest and straightforward information, then, yes, the likelihood of us moving to extreme forms of transmission management reduce all the time, whether it be for coronavirus or anything else.” This is strange to hear coming from the Director of an agency which has presided over the removal of all relevant data on the rate of Covid infection and the impact of new variants of the virus.

Harries is advocating an extreme laissez-faire position on pandemics, where the individual is responsible for the avoidance of risks and the state is merely an occasional bystander. This is the most severe form of eugenics we have experienced in any public health discourse in the UK and must be challenged and opposed in every possible way. 

Covid Action UK’s Joseph Healy added that “This is a dark day indeed for public health in the UK, and Covid Action will continue to fight unremittingly for a society where the health of all people matters, and the state takes responsible for the care and protection of the population when faced with the prospect of a massive rate of infection, disease and death due to future pandemics.”

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Image credit: Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street. 2021. Licensed as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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