Today on our Cygnus Timeline we can announce important developments in our campaign to achieve transparency in pandemic data following Exercise Cygnus.
Following our legal campaign, the Secretary of State for Health published “the Cygnus Report” on 20 October 2020. This report by Public Health England claimed to summarise the findings of Exercise Cygnus, but barely mentioned PPE or ventilator capacity. We knew the Government was continuing to hold back important data. 'Public Health England's report claimed to summarise the findings of Exercise Cygnus but barely mentioned PPE or ventilators. We knew the Government was holding back important data.' Click To Tweet
On 19 December, we uncovered evidence of secret “population triage” briefing papers prepared following Exercise Cygnus – a policy for allocating scarce resources during a pandemic. These documents are incredibly important – they decide who will be cared for, and who will be allowed to die, if the NHS is overwhelmed.
'The triage documents are incredibly important – they decide who will be cared for, and who will be allowed to die, if the NHS is overwhelmed.' Click To Tweet
We are now in Phase 2 of our campaign to force the Government to disclose its triage policy and other secret pandemic documents. We’re currently engaged in legal action through the ICO against five public authorities:
- Department of Health – we have exhausted all DHSC internal processes and have today lodged formal legal grounds for disclosure to the Information Commissioner
- NHS England – we have already secured a formal Decision Notice from the Information Commissioner that NHS England has breached section 10(1) of FOI legislation
- The Cabinet Office – we are seeking the minutes of mock COBR meetings where Jeremy Hunt was asked to allow thousands of patients to die by switching off their ventilators
- Public Health England – we are seeking reports on a series of pandemic exercises including a secret Ebola exercise
- Local Resilience Forum – we are contesting refusal to disclose pandemic data on grounds of national security
The Lancet has just published modelling data which predicts 20,000 to 90,000 UK deaths as we come out of lockdown, even after vaccination. We think our campaign for healthcare transparency is incredibly important as we approach a third wave of COVID-19, and to protect ourselves against future novel viruses. 'Healthcare transparency remains incredibly important. Recent data published in the Lancet predicts 20,000 to 90,000 UK deaths as we come out of lockdown, even after vaccination.' Click To Tweet
Please continue to support Phase 2 of our campaign with your generous donations and by spreading the message that we have a democratic right to pandemic transparency.