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Somehow I doubt the Irish Times will publish this letter either. They prefer trivial stuff...

A Chara,

Dr. Gabriel Scally is President of the Epidemiology and Public Health section of the Royal Society of Medicine and is thus well qualified to give an opinion on the merits of British and Irish policies on minimising the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. His article "North and Republic must harmonise Covid-19 response" (Opinion,  31st. March) makes for sobering reading.

In particular his allegations that UK government scientists considered WHO advice for managing the pandemic as "relevant only to low- and middle-income countries", and that they should instead follow "a novel and unevidenced approach" known as "herd immunity".

This has resulted in their being significant differences in the substance and timing of measures to control the outbreak between Britain and Ireland, and between N. Ireland and the Republic with the result that even if Ireland's policies of widespread testing and contact tracing and earlier adoption of school and business closures results in the successful suppression of the disease here, we could be subject to continuing re-infections originating in N. Ireland.

In 2001, at the height of the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the UK Ian Paisley quipped that while N. Ireland might be British, the cows were Irish and therefore should be kept within an all-Ireland quarantine zone, and not subject to export bans to the EU. As recently as last September, Boris Johnson used this to justify N. Ireland remaining effectively in the EU Single Market and Customs Union.

Northern Ireland's cows were saved from the mass slaughter of Britain's herds, but it seems that what's good enough for Irish cows is too good for people of Ireland. In pursuit of their slavish adherence to British government policies, it seems that today's N. Ireland unionist politicians and commentators are prepared to sacrifice many lives for fear of being seen to be too closely aligned to Irish government policies.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 1st, 2020 at 03:15:25 PM EST

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