After critiquing Devi Sridhar, Bruce Wallace takes aim at another Zero Covid fanatic
If Professor Devi Sridhar is the beauty of the Covid superstars, Dr Gabriel Scally is most definitely one of the beasts.
Unlike Sridhar, he is exceptionally qualified with a background in epidemiology and public health management. He is a public health physician, Visiting Prof of Public Health at Uni of Bristol, President of Epidemiology & PH, Royal Society of Medicine and a member of Independent SAGE  (Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, of which more later) which is supposed to be “following the science” and was only formed in 2020. He hails from Northern Ireland originally and his thick brogue resonates profundly through the airwaves.
With gravitas he appears as an expert pandemic pundit on numerous TV and radio programmes. Scally’s sober demeanour, gaunt features and comatose stare through pebble glasses, gives one the feeling that you are about to receive a diagnosis of terminal illness. A genuine ghoul.
On the 15th November 2020, Scally appeared on Good Morning Britain  to discuss lifting lockdown restrictions over Christmas. Here he said that we were going to have a Christmas unlike any we had ever had before, but “it’s going to be a different Christmas, that’s for sure”. He wasn’t wrong.
When viewers messaged the programme saying they were going to spend Christmas with their families and wanted some joy, Scally responded sombrely:
“We’ll pay for it in more infections. That’s why people (?) are talking about twenty-five days of tight restrictions for five days of jollity. It’s not just the twenty-five days, that doesn’t matter so much, compared to the virus spreading and people getting infected. There’s no point in having a merry merry Christmas and then having to bury our friends and relations in January and February.”
The ghoul of Christmas present.
Scally is a proponent of a Zero Covid strategy. Basically, a policy of mega hard lengthy lockdown (where every single unessential worker stays at home) with closed borders followed by a test, trace and isolate system to eradicate the virus.
We will be publishing an analysis on why Zero Covid is bankrupt and utopian soon. This policy initiative appears to be emanating from Independent SAGE, but the body itself is completely unofficial. Yet they regard their prophecies of doom and policy pronouncements as holy writ.
In essence, Indy SAGE is a liberal lefty shadow scientific group to the official government SAGE itself. A Zero Covid lockdown zealot group with automatic publishing rights in the Guardian and the Observer. They are insidious and have direct influence through the government’s Covid-19 behavioural science team, a subgroup of official SAGE, on which Susan Michie (a psychologist) sits as a member of both bodies.
On Twitter, Scally continuously calls for border controls, hailing it a great step forward that Boris Johnson is considering ending all foreign travel . He advocates this policy for both the UK and Ireland where he has a finger in the bio-fascist pie. On 22nd January 2021 he tweeted :
“These are the three things that need to be done about COVID-19 in Ireland. Mandatory quarantine of international arrivals is a vital part. And the same goes for England Scotland and Wales.
1.Get it Down
2. Keep it Down
3. Keep it Out”
He presents as apolitical but his tweets betray a liberal bias as he salivates over the new US President’s ‘Executive Order’ on domestic and international travel that includes self-quarantine for international arrivals. On the same day he tweeted:
“It may well be that the US will show the UK what good public health practice looks like. Go, Fauci!”
Good public health practice, in his view, being a dystopian nightmare of extended hard lockdowns, universal masking, hermetically sealed borders and enforced quarantines.
Head to Head with Maajid Nawaz
The self-importance and smug superiority exuded by Scally is nauseating, but occasionally the mask, if you pardon the pun, slips. In October last year, Scally had a long interview with Maajid Nawaz on LBC Radio where his Covid obsessional neurosis was challenged .
Nawaz kicked off by asking Scally about the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD)  and its call for focused protection. What did he think the authors perspective on lockdown would be? I paraphrase but listen to the priceless audio yourself.
“It is complete nonsense. This is a group of fringe scientists funded by a right-wing American economic libertarian think tank which spends most of their time opposing the notion of climate change. It’s extraordinarily fringe stuff here, and here’s the notion that somehow we can create herd immunity (wtf? -BW) and we can protect all the elderly and vulnerable … it’s a nonsense, unethical and immoral, as it’s been described by several commentators.”
Maajid asked Scally what he thought the scientific reply of the authors of the GBD would be to his criticism. From their perspective, as fellow scientists?
“Well they’re hardly going to give me a scientific reply at all are they? They aren’t public health people at all are they? If it’s nonsense it’s nonsense. You just need to look at the people who are involved, particularly in this country.”
Maajid interjects: “Do you mean Professor Gupta of Oxford?”
Scally: “Yes and Karol Sikora and you know it is…uh…..and Carl Heneghan.”
Karol Sikora, ex-director of the World Health Organisation Cancer programme, is hardly a “fringe scientist” but he is a signatory of the GBD. However, Carl Heneghan, Director of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of the BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine journal, whilst critical of lockdown policy, is not a signatory of the GBD!
Majid missed a trick here as Scally obviously hadn’t got a clue about the GBD. Dismissing what other scientists propose as “nonsense” or “rubbish” is a riposte of lockdown zealots when they disapprove of competing scientific opinions. A shining display of their commitment to the scientific method and their (lack of) ethical standards as they drag the reputation of science into the gutter. Any mention of the GBD, or the existence of herd immunity, usually sends them into a spluttering frenzy.
Anyway, for the uninformed, here are the three “fringe scientists” who are the leading signatories of the GBD who “aren’t public health people at all”:
Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.
Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.
I won’t bother listing the other leading medical and public health scientists who signed the declaration as there are forty-three of them. Forty-three “unethical”, “amoral” public health experts.
Nawaz does a great job in challenging Scally on the costs of lockdown which he finds difficulty accommodating in his disease obsessed mind. Like Robbie the robot, Scally cannot compute.
The best bit is at about 12:00 minutes in. Nawaz asks, because lockdown has an enormous cost and Indy SAGE are recommending a hard lockdown, have they done an analysis of the benefits and harms of the policy? Nawaz points out that a lockdown costs £2.5 billion per day. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on bolstering capacity in the NHS to deal with the things Scally was worried about?
Scally responds: “Oh don’t be silly. You know you are being really stupid there.”
Nawaz warns him that if he was going to be personally insulting that he’d end the interview right there. Scally splutters on incoherently as he attempts to regain his composure with a string of lockdown rhetoric. Overwhelmed hospitals, impossible to get staff, more death yada yada yada.
Were the likes of Scally directly in charge of government pandemic policy our future would be as bleak as his soul. Unfortunately he and his ilk do have real influence. Ireland appears to be on the verge of embarking on a Zero Covid experiment.
I think the philosopher John Lord Griffin sums up the Scally archetype in a superlative piece for Off Guardian :
It has been calculated that about one percent of people are psychopaths. The psychopath’s world is a cheery one. A grandiose sense of their own worth is matched by a dearth of empathy. Lacking any real concern for others means they are not troubled by the troubles that beset those around them. And when their own actions cause suffering, they are mercifully free of guilt or remorse. Applying their intellect to the most effective way to get what they want, lying, cheating and manipulation are de rigueur.
Scally could be in the frame for a post pandemic Nuremburg style Doctor’s trial where he will, assuredly, deny all responsibility for his crimes.