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Program Information
BCFM Drivetime
Non-virus death rates climbing, life-threatening illnesses going untreated because of Coronavirus fears
Weekly Program
Life-saving treatments cancelled, millions no longer trust the #NHS, knowing that once admitted, they may never be allowed to see a loved one again?
 Bristol Broadband Co-operative  Contact Contributor
First hour news review: with Lib Dem Leader on Bristol City Council and councillor for Knowle, Gary Hopkins

Over 70s and ‘at risk’ face coronavirus lockdown for year in ‘traffic light’ plan. Ministers told the Mirror that the elderly and vulnerable face having to stay at home until a vaccine is developed or so-called ‘herd immunity’ is achieved. The elderly and vulnerable could be shielded from coronavirus for weeks longer than the rest of the population under Government plans to ease the lockdown. The most “at risk” groups of people face having to stay at home until a vaccine is successfully developed or so-called ‘herd immunity’ is achieved which could take more than a year. Ministers told the Mirror that it was inevitable that the over-70s and those with underlying health conditions would have to be protected the longest.

Coronavirus: Social restrictions ‘to remain for rest of year’ – The UK will have to live with some disruptive social measures for at least the rest of the year, the government’s chief medical adviser has said. Prof Chris Whitty said it was “wholly unrealistic” to expect life would suddenly return to normal soon. He said “in the long run” the ideal way out would be via a “highly effective vaccine” or drugs to treat the disease. But he warned that the chance of having those within the next calendar year was “incredibly small”. “This disease is not going to be eradicated, it is not going to disappear,” he said, at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing. “So we have to accept that we are working with a disease that we are going to be with globally… for the foreseeable future.”

Dark times [for the 99% – ed.]: The total being offered in emergency support, including loans and guarantees, is around £6.4trillion – ‘The human cost of the pandemic has intensified at an alarming rate, and the impact on output and public finances is projected to be massive,’ the report said. Warning of the ‘worst economic downturn since the Great Depression’, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva added: ‘Humanity is facing one of its darkest periods in living memory. Covid-19 is causing tragic loss of life; and the measures needed to fight it have turned our world upside down, affecting billions of people and stopping economies in their tracks.’ Rishi Sunak, the British Chancellor, along with his counterparts overseas, is embarking on vastly increased public spending to combat coronavirus at a time when the Treasury coffers are being depleted. Tax revenues are falling dramatically as the lockdown brings much of economic life to an emergency stop, meaning companies and individuals are paying less tax because profits and incomes are down. Our national debt stands at nearly £1.8trillion.

OTHER NEWS 1 – Over 43,000 US millionaires will get Covid-19 ‘stimulus’ averaging $1.6 million each. At least 43,000 American millionaires who are too rich to get coronavirus stimulus checks are getting a far bigger boost — averaging $1.6 million each, according to a congressional committee. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act trumpeted its assistance for working families and small businesses, but it apparently contains an even bigger benefit for wealthy business owners, the committee found. The act allows pass-through businesses — ones taxed under individual income, rather than corporate — an unlimited amount of deductions against their non-business income, such as capital gains, the Washington Post said. They can also use losses to avoid paying taxes in other years. That gives the roughly 43,000 individual tax filers who make at least $1 million a year a savings of $70.3 billion — or about $1.6 million apiece, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Hedge-fund investors and real estate business owners are “far and away” the ones who will benefit the most, tax expert Steve Rosenthal told the Washington Post…

OTHER NEWS 2 – ‘Survivor victims’ say chance to learn lessons about the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing will be ‘limited’ after they’re refused special legal status. A total of 56 people who survived the atrocity applied for ‘core participant’ status at an inquiry into the attack, but have been refused. – Arena bomb survivors believe the chance to learn lessons will be “limited” after they were refused a special legal status ahead of an inquiry into the atrocity. A total of 56 ‘survivor victims’ applied for ‘core participant’ status at the inquiry into the attack – due to take place later this year. But [corrupt, ed.] Chairman Sir John Saunders has today refused their application. But lawyers acting for the survivors say refusal of that legal status means these victims will not have the same rights and access as groups such as the police and government. Saoirse de Bont, public law and human rights lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, is representing more than 40 people seriously injured in the bombing. “The effect this terrible crime has had on hundreds of families can never be underestimated,” she said. “Many of our clients who were bombing victims and caught up in the devastation that night are still trying to come to terms with the life-changing physical and psychological injuries they suffered. Many of these survivor victims were close to death. “While it is vital that the families who lost loved ones remain at the heart of the inquiry, our clients believed their first-hand accounts of the security measures that were in place on the night and the response to the attack, would be key to the most thorough inquiry being held.

Sweden Says Controversial Virus Strategy Proving Effective – Sweden’s unusual approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic is starting to yield results, according to the country’s top epidemiologist. Anders Tegnell, the architect behind Sweden’s relatively relaxed response to Covid-19, told local media the latest figures on infection rates and fatalities indicate the situation is starting to stabilize. “We’re on a sort of plateau,” Tegnell told Swedish news agency TT. Sweden has left its schools, gyms, cafes, bars and restaurants open throughout the spread of the pandemic. Instead, the government has urged citizens to act responsibly and follow social distancing guidelines. The spread of Covid-19 across the globe is triggering different responses across national and even state borders, as authorities struggle to contain an outbreak about which much remains unknown. It’s unclear which strategy will ultimately prove most effective, and even experts in Sweden warn it’s too early to draw conclusions. But given the huge economic damage caused by strict lockdowns, the Swedish approach has drawn considerable interest around the world. Part of that approach relies on having access to one of the world’s best-functioning health-care systems. At no stage did Sweden see a real shortage of medical equipment or hospital capacity, and tents set up as emergency care facilities around the country have mostly remained empty…

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