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What did the Salisbury physician mean by “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning”?

Updated with link to Times article, March 21, & again with additional link & to correct date, March 23

Since we posted a tweet about the seemingly anomalous statements made in a letter to the Times by a senior doctor at Salisbury hospital we’ve seen the issue being raised in many places, most recently on Moon of Alabama.

To recap:

On March 16 Steven Davies, “Consultant in Emergency Medicine” at Salisbury hospital, wrote the following letter to the Times in response to an article that had appeared there two days earlier.This is the text of the letter:

“Sir, Further to your report (“Poison Exposure Leaves Almost 40 Needing Treatment”, Mar 14), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.

STEPHEN DAVIES, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

(our emphasis)

The article he is attempting to correct alleges “nearly 40 people have experienced symptoms related to the Salisbury nerve agent.” This is the section not hidden by the Times’ pay wall:

Nearly 40 people have experienced symptoms related to the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning, it was revealed yesterday, as locals expressed anger about a lack of information from the authorities.

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent who sought refuge in Britain after a spy swap in 2010, and his daughter Yulia are among 38 people who required hospital treatment for poisoning symptoms, Neil Basu, the national head of counterterrorism, revealed. Only the Skripals, who are in a very serious condition, and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who is making good progress, are still in hospital. One person who is not showing symptoms is being seen as an outpatient.

Officials confirmed yesterday that Theresa May said that without a credible response from Russia she would conclude that…”

Davies’s letter completely contradicts the claims attributed in the article to the “national head of counterterrorism” about “38 people who required hospital treatment,” and is clearly intended to do so. This is significant enough. It seems the Times accepted Davies’s correction, or at least published it in a follow-up article on March 16:

Dozens of patients who went to hospital after the Salisbury poisoning were unaffected by the nerve agent, a doctor has revealed.

As Theresa May visited the Wiltshire city and declared it “open for business”, Stephen Davies, a consultant in emergency medicine at the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said that no one other than Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey had needed treatment.

But the phrase that puzzled us, and which has apparently been puzzling many others, is “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning.”

As a consultant in emergency medicine, Mr Davies would certainly have been involved in assessing and treating the Skripals and any other casualties when they were admitted to Salisbury hospital. He would seem to be in a position to know better than most how many were treated and what they were treated for. In the current situation where there is virtually no solid information available about what happened that day in Salisbury, this letter has assumed huge proportions, which of course may be unwarranted.

This could easily be a detour into nothing very much. But given the hysterical politicisation of this case, and the lies already being told by senior member of the UK government, we can’t afford to simply assume that to be the case.

Taken literally, as we said on Twitter on March 17, Mr Davies’s words “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent” are a statement that no one has been poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury. And the second part of the sentence “and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning” therefore, in standard English grammar, conveys the meaning that the three people poisoned were poisoned by something that wasn’t a nerve agent.

It may or may not also be significant that later in the letter Mr Davies refers to “the agent involved”, not the “nerve agent involved.”

Of course we can’t draw conclusions from any of this. That would be wildly premature and irresponsible. It could very well be – as many have suggested – that Mr Davies’s letter was hasty and his meaning unclear. It could be he meant to say no one other than the the unnamed “three” he specifies have “experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning.”

Or, of course, it could mean exactly what it literally says. Which would imply the official story was even more falsified or inaccurate than previously thought.

So far as we know Mr Davies hasn’t yet clarified his meaning, so the question remains vague and confused, as does almost every other aspect of this case.


  1. lucdevincke says

    Today in world news : “The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has used tear gas-deploying drones to disperse huge crowds of Palestinian protesters along the Israel-Gaza border area Friday.”
    The same could have been done to the Skripals. Drone comes, releases its gas while hovering above them while they are seated in the local parc, and flies away, mission accomplished. The murderer(s) could easy stay at a safe distance.

  2. Kathy says

    The Chief Executive for Salisbury Hospital Cara Charles Barks who liaised with the press to describe the Skripals condition yesterday has very little listed that I can find having put the name into search engine, She supposedly worked for Peterborough N.H.S for a couple of years before taking the job at Salisbury N.H.S October last year prior to Peterborough she was in Australia. I could only find anything for her listed from October 2017. Even information about her previous jobs are dated from then. I don’t use Google so this may explain this but I was curios as she is the only N.H.S staff member who has commented on the Skripals to date.

  3. Mitch says

    Being a fairly regular commenter on offguardian in good standing, I was surprised to be immediately blocked by offguardian twitter last Saturday for a misunderstanding. I replied to someone supportive of the fake govt narrative pointing out the doctor had only seen three cases of poisoning none of them nerve agent related. I would like to follow offguardian on twitter again but not if they’re starting to act like Guardian censors

    • We rarely block anyone on Twitter. Just checked and we have only 9 blocked accounts all told, mostly troll accounts that were spamming us. I don’t know why you were blocked tbh. Could well have been in error. I’ll look into it.

    • checked it out – from what I can see it looks as if you were blocked in error or by accident. No one recalls doing it and, as I said, we almost never take that step. I’ve unblocked you anyhow.

  4. lucdevincke says

    What if they discover that the product that has been used is Zyklon-B ? Will everyone point fingers at Germany ? Or at Israel ? 🙂

  5. Mark Gobell says

    It’s a script. I think thats it is “highly likely” you know it is a script really, don’t you ?

    Here’s just a couple of clues …

    The narrative’s oblgatory hero Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey …

    First of all, have you heard the one about the local hero detective Sergeant, who received the CC’s award for excellence for putting away a serial rapist, who had nothing better to do that Sunday afternoon, than to “rush to the scene” of a drunk on a bench in a town centre ? Who was then rushed to hospital, but might have gone home first, nobody is quite sure … don’t they have any PCO’s free in Salisbury on a Sunday lunch ?

    I read one legacy media report that the cops were going through his neighbours routers in case they had been hacked !!!

    The psyop “narrative” in Salisbury begins with an alleged meal at the Zizzi restaurant, followed two hours later by alleged “catatonic collapse”. The Greene-King pub, The Bishops Mill is the other alleged location in the script. All of this is alleged to have occurred on Sunday 4 th March 2018.

    Vlad “the NWO impaler” Putin, was first elected President of Russia on 4 th March 2012.

    So, them pesky Ruskies “highly likely” chose Vlad’s 6 th anniversary as a signature to say, “Look dummies, Vlad has been in power for 66+6 months today, the very day that it was “highly likely” nothing at all happened in Salisbury. Don’t you stupid, dumbed down Brits geddit yet ?”

    Clearly not.

    “Why the Zizzi restaurant ?”

    ZIZZI RESTAURANTS LIMITED, Company number 10858948, was incorporated on 10 July 2017

    10 July 2017 was the INClusive one year anniversary of Theresa May becoming the Leader of the Conservative Party on 11 July 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresa_May

    The Zizzi incorporation date also followed Theresa May becoming Chair of the Conservative Party on 23 July 2002 by 5466 days, which is, in spook-speak :


    = 911 + 911 + 911
    + 911 + 911 + 911 days

    Ahem, “HIghly likely” …

    The script also calls for the further marginalisation of Jeremy Corbyn, thus :

    JC ( PBUH ) was elected leader of the Labour party on 12 September 2015

    an INTerval of 666 days prior to Zizzi getting limited,


    or, from his first full day in office on the 13th, a normal 666 days …


    “Why Salisbury ?”

    Salisbury Constabulary is currently without a permanent Chief Constable. Senior police management void filled by a temporary CC, in situ, just-in-time for the Sergei Skripal, Operation Lime …

    Salisbury, as we all now know is about 12km from Porton Down, so, it is fairly possible Salisbury District hospital is the designated chemical ER for that facility.

    This next relationship helps to explain “why Salisbury ?” and is just sublime …

    Salisbury is in Wiltshire, “one of the safest places to live in the UK”.

    Wiltshire Constabulary was established on 13 November 1839

    The Chemical Weapons Convention ( CWC ) ( still not ratified ) was signed on 13 November 1993

    From the Wiltshire Constabulary established on 13 November 1839

    to The Chemical Weapons Convention ( CWC ) signed on 13 November 1993 is :

    = 55944 days

    = 7992 weeks

    = 666 + 666 + 666 + 666 + 666 + 666
    + 666 + 666 + 666 + 666 + 666 + 666 weeks

    [ = 666 x ( 6 + 6) ] – hilarious …


    I was, until today dismissing what I thought was just another legacy media, BS tall-tale about Sergei Skripal being labelled, the “Spy with the Louis Vuitton Handbagbag”

    Daily Mail : Cancer, car crash and liver failure: Mysterious deaths of wife and son of Russian ‘Spy with the Louis Vuitton Handbag’


    Until today, while trawling through the nodes in the Cambridge Analytica, Clinton, DNC, FBI, CIA narrative, when I finally discovered the birth date of Cambridge Analytica investor & hedge fund billionaire, Robert Mercer’s daughter, Rebekah ‘Bekah’ Mercer, aka “the First Lady of the alt-right” and the current owner of Bannon’s Breitbart.

    Rebekah ‘Bekah’ Mercer was born on 6 December 1973 and probably does own a few Vuitton bags …


    Louis Vuitton died on 27 February 1892


    = 777 months, 777 weeks, 777 days


    before Rebekah ‘Bekah’ Mercer was born …

    Thereby demonstrating that the two scripts are inextricably linked. But we didn’t know that did we ? No. Thought not.

    Incidentally, while we’re on the Cambridge Analytica script, the alleged contract that the alleged “whistleblower”, Christopher Wylie is alleged to have shown the Graun’s Carole Cadwalladr, is alleged to be dated 4 June 2014, which was an INClusive, 777 days before Trump won the GOP nomination at the Ohio Convention on 19 July 2016



    And, the “breaking” of the Cambridge Analytica story by Carole Cadwalladr at the Graun

    and the NYT https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/politics/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign.html

    both on 17 March 2018, ( a day after Mark “DARPA’s Facebook ” Zuckerberg, was first told same by same )

    followed the NYT endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential Nomination on 30 January 2016,


    the very same day the “Hillary’s emails” were declared “Top Secret” … and could not be released ,,,


    by precisely, 777 days …


    A Kabbalistic quid pro quo, as they say …

    Oh and while we’re on DARPA’s Facebook, for those that know their “Richard Korherr”

    the alleged author of the infamous “Korherr Report” …

    DARPA’s human statistics gathering platfrom, free at the point of use to any numpty that really does want to expose their entire life to the spooks and their affiliates, aka Facebook, launched it’s website on the 4 th February 2004


    Which, luckily, was an INTerval of :

    = 666 months, 666 weeks, 666 days


    since Dr Richard Korherr from the Reich Statistical Office, was appointed Chief Statistican at the Bavarian Statistical Office on 1 March 1934 … and went on to collect all those erm, “statistics”, allegedly …

    I’d stay well clear if I was you.

    There is much more than this, but that’ll do for now.

    Those pesky “Russian” would-be assassins, sure do like their magic numbers eh …


    • We probably aren’t going to be your most receptive audience I’m afraid. Not to discourage your enthusiasm or anything, but it’s not really the sort of thing we do.

      • Mark Gobell says

        Well, I have had similar expereince to what you predict before on here, which is a great shame for you all.

        These scripts are constructed in the manner I describe. No doubt at all about that.

        The psychological resistance to that information, is not surprising at all but is not for me to address.

        I do hope one day, the language of the oligarchs becomes a natural pursuit, just as the gramamr analsi is, because without that awareness, all that remains is to endlessly analyse the grammar, which, as I’m sure you know, is of only limited value.


    • mick says

      My mum died on the 10th July 1967…..that definitely seals it…thx for a great laugh though

      • Mark Gobell says

        Sorry to hear that.

        All of it …

        My cat hat her first kittens on that day too, which like you Mum, has got nothing to to with the Skripal fraud.

        Perhaps you could explain the relevance of your Mother’s death, to this case ?

        Oh and btw, since you know nothing about about which you speak, maybe it would be wise for you to keep your childish thoughts to yourself until you are better informed.

        In the meantime, for your information, the scripts are constructed using a method.

        That method relies on relationships between events in the narrative.

        The deduction of these relationships reveals, the “complaints” that are the reasons for the event taking place and those responsible for the event.

        Hope that helps.


        • mick says

          tell you what Mark …why don’t you sum up your long and winding post with a ..let’s say..ten line summary and then we’ll see if I know anything? I’m not the brightest spark so go easy on me and I’ll do my best 🙂

  6. flamingo says

    The UK assisted in the compilation of Christopher Steele’s dirty dossier on Trump. Most likely with ‘support’ from MI6 and a few ex Russian informers. The UK has beencaught conniving to get Hillary Clinton elected in the USA! Interfering in USA elections to the disadvantage of Trump. As the distraction of the Mueller special counsel investigation exhausts anothe ar$e covering, anti Russian distraction is needed. Enter Skripals stage left and the distraction continues.

    The best part was the USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley being totally suckered by Theresa May screaming for Russian blood. Haley’s performance as a court fool was priceless. I see Trump has sacked Tillerson for his dirty little attempt to simultaneously arrange a false flag gas attack in Syria. Will he now sack Nikki Haley for her treacherous game?

    Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain, Trump simply cannot trust the UK. Same goes for every other ally, watch your back.

    • Paul says

      Because Steele was a Senior Officer in MI6, only recently Head of the Russian Desk, he would have needed top brass approval to publish a report based on his service experiences let alone the OK to breach the Official Secrets Act. It seems very unlikely that the top brass weren’t well aware where the dossier was going, who was paying whom and it’s purpose. They are after all intelligence officers. It sounds as if they were in cahoots with the CIA, FBI and the Democrats to get it leaked at the right time. Has the name Scarlet got anything to do with this one wonders?

  7. Den Lille Abe says

    Military grade nerve agent, ehh ok! Where can i buy some nerve agent for homeowners ? I mean it does not have to be military grade nasty nerve gas, just some common household everyday VX and a few sticks of Atropine as well in case it is more nasty than thought ?
    T. Mays comment is pure gooblygok for low IQ’s. VX is Fo*king VX, horribly poisonous and absolutely lethal, as household a chemical as Plutonium in micron particles. One will kill you when it is in your lungs. It will. This whole story is Anthrax, WMD’s in Iraq all over again.. Infighting among the oligarchs ?

  8. Francis Lee says

    The British establishment are probably too dense to be aware of the fact that cases of this sort must start with a presumption of innocence and access to due process of law before any accused can be brought to trial. What we have borne witness to is a Kangaroo court where guilt is established PRIOR to trial. If you can find anyone to put on trial that is. And if you can’t find anyone to accuse then an open verdict must be returned. After all it would a little difficult to cram 146 million Russians in the Old Bailey! In the topsy-turvey post-modern ‘civilisation’ of the west, The accused is supposed to prove himself innocent, whereas in fact in English common law it is incumbent on his accusers to establish his guilt of otherwise. Jesus H Christ this goes back to the Magna Carta of 1215! It was signed (by royal seal) between the feudal barons and King John at Runnymede near Windsor Castle. The document was a series of written promises between the king and his subjects that he, the king, would govern England and deal with its people according to the customs of feudal law. Magna Carta was an attempt by the barons to stop a king – in this case King John – abusing his power with the people of England suffering.

    The British establishment has become the New King John! That’s how degenerate and corrupt they have become.

  9. Sven Lystbak says

    As the information from mister Davies seem to be extremely important for the understanding of the case you would imagine that many gentlemen of the press would try to get in contact with him in order to clarify his statements.
    Is there any evidence that that has been the case?

    • Sav says

      I made this point on Twitter to a journo and got nothing. Usually they’ve interviewed everyone, their dog and told us the value of their grandparents’ house.

  10. Joanne says

    If this was real be more people affected if it was a nerve agent .. so why was May in Salisbury prancing around like she just won the election .. how would Salisbury people no May was visiting thought it be secret … If it was nerve agent people would of been vacated from the area would not of been able to go in certain distance … The general public would of been put on alert unless this was a secret hit like the secret files on Porton Down .. why was some fully clothed with mask then at the side had army lads in uniform no mask firemen with no mask and police in the area no mask

  11. MichaelK says

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that they have repeatedly requested access to the hospital in Salisbury in order to ascertain the exact condition of one of their citizens, Yulia Skripal, who the UK authorities have said was poisoned using a nerve agent; but the UK has refused turned down their request. That’s odd too among all the other odd things surrounding these strange events. As far as I’m aware, under international law, the Russian embassy has a duty and a right to access their citizen, especially under circumstances like these. I wonder why the Russian embassy hasn’t tried to get a court injunction, or maybe they have, ordering the UK authorities to provide them with access to the hospital? Yet, once again, the UK press isn’t interested even in this. It’s like they’re tied to a leash for some reason and they certainly don’t look like their straining at it.

  12. MichaelK says

    Considering that the BBC and the rest of the media go through Corbyn’s utterances with a fine tooth comb, examining every line and word to see if he’s ‘splitting’ from the line adopted by the rest of the shadow cabinet and the other MPs; it’s odd, but not really, that they don’t subject the PM or Boris Johnson’s statements to the same detailed and rigorous focus. Even stranger is their reluctance to dig deeper into this potentially explosive letter from a Dr. at the hospital in Salisbury who seems to be challenging the entire narrative of a chemical nerve agent attack. At the very least one would think the media would be slightly interested, as the amount of firsthand information from inside the hospital is extremely limited.

    A single photo of the Russians from the hospital must be worth at least a £100,000, funny no member of the staff, a cleaner or a porter or a nurse hasn’t taken one with their phone. Have their phones been confiscated? Are the Skripal’s under armed guard for their protection? I mean the Russians seem to have wanted them dead and badly, so maybe they’ll try again? Yet the lack of curiosity and interest from our media about aspects of this piece of political theatre is striking, why? Have the newspapers been ‘nobbled’ by the government and ordered to stick to a story that doesn’t ask too many awkward questions and undermines national security? The absolute uniformity is very strange. Even the ‘grooming’ for the attack on Iraq wasn’t a bad as this…macabre circus.

    • mog says

      Even a photo of the boundary to any kind of ‘quarantine zone’ would be a seller.
      A journalist outside the hospital asking anyone entering or leaving for an interview?
      I repost here a tweet from Channel 4 journalist Alex Thomson, who seems to be one of the only journos asking any quesitons. If there is a government order to silence everyone concerned, then Thomson has not received it.

  13. mog says

    I think it worth linking to the original article in the Times which Davies was responding to:
    It is behind a paywall, but the first paragraph reads:
    Nearly 40 people have experienced symptoms related to the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning, it was revealed yesterday, as locals expressed anger about a lack of information from the authorities.

    Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent who sought refuge in Britain after a spy swap in 2010, and his daughter Yulia are among 38 people who required hospital treatment for poisoning symptoms, Neil Basu, the national head of counterterrorism, revealed.

    Either Davies, Basu or The Times is lying about the 35 other people. It seems that they were advised to get checked out, however, that is not ‘requiring hospital treatment for poisoning symptoms’. Davies says that there were no symptoms and that they received no treatment.

    I think this is important when considering the context of Davies’ contradictory letter.

    • mog says

      Also, I think, context should include that this was probably the most significant letter that Davies has written in his career coming right in the middle of an international crisis.
      Of course he could have just messed up and written jibberish, but how many senior consultants would rush a letter like that one, in those circumstances?

      • “The whole world is in debt to truthful men”. — with apologies to Pericles. That physician is not only truthful but brave; and the world owes him.

        “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set Ye free”. — St.Paul. The battle for truth is the essentially human battle, that raises homo sapiens above the other beasts of the field.

        “For we fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in the Heavens”. — Corinthians

        In Memoriam David Kelly, and of the truthers who survived. All the way back to Galileo and Socrates.

        “The Devil is the Father of Lies”.

    • George Cornell says

      They are so used to lying they don’t bother correcting themselves when found out. They have been caught before and nothing happens so why bother

    • That’s a good point Mog. And yes we will link to the original article. Maybe someone with access could let us know what the rest of it says?

      • Jen says

        I think you’ll be interested to know that the letter that precedes Stephen Davies’ letter to The London Times was written by the fellow who co-authored “Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within” with Alexander Litvinenko.

        That’s some coincidence.

    • summitflyer says

      Thank you for this link.It is what I was looking for.Not being from the UK ,I had not read it.

  14. summitflyer says

    “Mr Davies was writing to The Times to correct a false impression that many readers would have got from the article to which he was responding. ”
    Did he do this on his own volition ?
    I must have missed the Times article as I don’t reside in the UK.Was Mr.Davies requested by the Times for his information? Can anyone enlighten me on this please.

    • @SummitFlyer. The physician in charge of Salisbury A&E was simply writing to the Times to correct its alarming — and false — report of that 40 people had been sent to his hospital with symptoms of nerve poisoning. Nothing more, nothing less. And the Times printed the letter of a responsible authority in the case. No more, no less. Simply what one would expect in a functioning democracy. Oh! blessed normality.

      If only Chicken Little had consulted such a physician for the bump on her head, Foxy Loxy would have missed a good dinner.

  15. lucdevincke says

    What will be done with the Skripals when autorities discover it was not a nerve agent at all? They cannot let them go, or this whole blunder story will be world news (again). One cannot recover from a nerve agent attack. The brain is always damaged beyond repair. everyone knows that, sp they will have to disappear. Wlll they give them a new identity, somewhere in the US? I don’t think so, their faces have been in all newspapers. The more sinister solution; pump them a bullet into the head. Or give them now a shot with a real nerve agent. No witnesses any more and you have invented your own proof. Spies and traitors are expendable, no?

    • reenmac says

      Except that for the purposes of public safety, there will be intense interest amongst the medical researchers of other countries for all their medical records
      As this is the very first time there has been such an attack, all countries will be keen to have all information to treat their own citizens
      It would be highly irresponsible of Britain to claim national security as a reason not to share the medical records
      Its going to be tough for May to wriggle out of this one

    • Thomas Peterson says

      you can recover from a nerve agent attack with no long term problems if treated in time.

      • Since it took the doctors over 48 hours to determine that a nerve agent of some sort was used, there’s every reason to conclude that the Skripals couldn’t have got proper medical treatment for their condition in time to prevent brain damage.

      • lucdevincke says

        Thomas, I was trained as a soldier to use a personal antidode that all us had WITH US on the battlefield, because it is a matter of SECONDS !
        What had happen to the Skripals? They were poisened at home, it seems.. They went to a restaurant, a pub, afterwards someone found them on the street, an ambulance had to come, brought them to hospital. Where has it been discovered that a nerve agent was used? That’s not the first thing an ordinary driver of an ambulance will think about when he picks up someone who has fainted, no? How much time has all of this taken? An hour? Hours before the antidode? They can’t be alive if a real nerve agent was used ! There are enough videos on internet of military tests of nerve agents on rabits and apes in cages. Watch them! Those animalls are unconscious in few seconds with awfull spasms and dead in a minute!

        • Frijuk says

          I concur lucdevincke. During my 22 years in the Royal Air Force we were told and shown that an aerosol nerve agent starts to work immediately, within minutes you are dead because the nerve agent cause asphyxia followed by cardiac arrest. The latest reports suggest that this agent was administered through the ventilation system of a car therefore it was an aerosol. Even if it had been administered through contact on the skin it would have been absorbed in minutes with the same consequences as above.

          • Mikalina says

            There are rumours around the web that the establishment are targeting, rounding up, collecting, watching veterans in the UK. If you are going to be honest, informative, querying and knowledgeable as your answers show, I can see why.

          • lucdevincke says

            @ Frijuk. Can’t have been injected into the car. Remember, they drove from home by car to the restaurant. Had a decent meal with big pints, and had a nice walk afterwards. That with a nerve agent in their body? No way, if it was a real nerve agent. We both have learned in the military that such a stuff kills in a minute, without an antidode immediatly injected on the battlefield.

    • @lucdevincke
      Sergai Skripal has been purported to have offered the Russians evidence of payments in connection with the Steele dossier in order to return home to Russia to be with his daughter. Yulia, it was hinted, would carry that information back to Russia when she returned a day later. Would this prove to be true, then not only would Sergai and Yulia not wish to be relocated and since MI5/6 & CIA would then be the most likely perpetrators of the attack, but our two Russians would need to be dead, by any means necessary. If there was any truth to the story, it would also explain why the two have been kept under wraps and not allowed a visit from their own Embassy staff(which is law under the Geneva? Convention, as it is one of the roles an embassy serves.

      • lucdevincke says

        @Mohandeer, please your sources because “was hinted” is of the same level as a Johnson/May statement. 🙂 Further remarks :
        1) If a nerve agent was used are both dead. That’s an axioma. Tjey must be.
        2) If the Skripals are dead and indeed they are killed by a nerve agent but finally they discover it was another type of agent, let’s say VX or the outmoded Sarin than will the GB government be in big troubles
        3) If no nerve agent was used at all than will this be a real catastrophy for May, Britain and the West.
        My idea is that no nerve agent was used, because that stuff simply kills in a very, very short time. If this is the case, the whole of NATO will be looking at this moment for a cover story to save the face of the West. Maybe they will take a Novichok sample out of their own labs and show it to the world as the stuff they isolated from the Skripal’s bodies. Who can proof the opposite? Life can be that simple.
        Don’t believe one split second that the empire will let the Russians of the hook.

      • Susan Barber says

        The Americans are my guess for this.

        • lucdevincke says

          Russia doesn’t have a lot of friends….but ennemies? 🙂
          My list of favorites for this job are;
          At the top of the list; Ukraine, with excellent runner ups, MI5 with assistance of MI6, CIA , Mossad and CIA.

  16. Jonj says

    One wonders exactly with what procedures and medication the 3 people are being treated…which would confirm their diagnosis….because surely one does not wish to overmedicate which would complicate their recovery. Can we presume that special arrangements have been put in place to protect “everyone” involved…medical staff and patients…such as presence at the hospital of military police or anti terrorist police or ordinary police or Scotland Yard etc….that any staff in particular I would think have been reminded of the need to be confidential of any medical information…medical and administrative staff…maybe by email or a merting or asked to sign a confidentially letter…could some have had to sign the official secrets act maybe….and surely the letter would have had to be authorised with hospital administration..regional health authority who else in conjunction with Minister for Health Jeremy Hunt…Home office…Foreign Ministry for example….which ones or any of these?

    Is the hospital in some kind of lock down…no go areas within it or is life and death there as normal?

    • Jen says

      One might ask why the Skripals and DS Nick Bailey have not been moved to a specialist hospital to be attended by specialist doctors in a larger town or city.

  17. “… no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning…”

    It could be read in many ways I suppose but I agree with others here. My guess is that he’s desperately trying to remain truthful and say that there were incidences of poisoning, but not from nerve-agents. Thus implying the official line that the Russian pair and the policeman were poisoned by a “nerve-agent” is a fictional.

  18. Alan says

    Given the media focus, Mr Davies experience and position, a written format to the Times must have been carefully considered prior to submission. Mr Johnson’s recent exclamations aka Hitlers Olympics prove we are being led a merry dance. The contempt our so called leaders hold for us is frightening.

  19. Betrayed planet. says

    I believe Mr Davies means precisely what he says. I do not for a moment believe there is any confusion in his letter to The Times. My son is an Emergency doctor, it is a very stressful, very precise and very exact science. They are trained to a very high degree because their work covers a vast area of medical conditions with endless permutations, endless surprises to which these talented people must always where possible have a solution.
    This government is a criminal entity working on behalf of the US, CIA and the shadow corporate state. It is my belief that May and her minions will come a cropper at some point in the next while.
    . Bloated Boris is now comparing Russia to 1930s Hitlers Germany. Considering Russian loss of life in WW2 he deserves to be flogged.

    • I half expect the Labour right to cross the floor and may cancel further elections, which of course can be done in moments of a national emergency.

    • MICHAEL LEIGH says

      Just a point of prior medical forensics, if the recently hospital release of the CID police Sergeant, who Mde T May claim’s was poisioned by a so called NOVCHUK nerve destroying agent, which the nearby Salisbury Chemical Warfare Development and production manufacturing plant has claimed was, the Russian product classified A230.

      But, presumably when the ‘aforemention Russian Murder plot ‘ is examined through the criminal Courts, a blood sample of his blood contaminated by A320 taken while in was in the hospital, will be evidenced as proof of the Russian crime ?

  20. Susanna Farley says

    Note that the “physician” referred to is in actuality a “Consultant in Emergency Medicine”. Therefore we can be confident that he knows what he is talking about in the matter of poisonings.

    Also note that the last part of his statement reads:”….and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning”. This clearly implies a very long time scale indeed. Were those three people the Skripols and the police officer who was allegedly the first on the scene? Or were they other people who may have contaminated themselves with Paraquat or DDT when doing a spot of weeding in the garden back in the 80s or 90s? The mystery deepens.

    I agree with those who have said that such a hospital consultant would be very guarded and precise in his language, particularly if his statement is to be reproduced in the national media.

  21. Harry Law says

    Yes, this letter does seem slightly ambiguous, which confuses many commentators and the public in general. In such a case as this, I would think it incumbent on the Consultant to clarify what he meant. A military grade nerve gas can kill in seconds, how come officials say, if anything is suspect, just wipe it off with a damp cloth. Salisbury health officials need to clarify this in the interest of public safety.

  22. Andy says

    “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning”…

    To me this doesn’t sound as though it is confirmation or denial of a nerve-agent… “in Salisbury” could indicate they may have been exposed outside of Salisbury and not be directly related to where the treatment is taking place…

    His response is well worded with full intent and fails to actually address the situation in England outside of stating there were not 40 people exposed who are in Salisbury. But he does conclude with the statement “three patients with significant poisoning” in a way confirming three are/or/were treated…

    Clearly there is no information to make confident conclusions in the entire situation and this response does bring additional questions but further does eliminate 40 people being impacted in Salisbury.

    • Pam Ryan says

      You are depressingly on point. It’s also amazing that they haven’t picked up on the fact that people were standing next to investigators without protective clothing. One of these things is not like the other.

  23. Tom Welsh says

    I agree with iafantomo. Medical consultants are habitually precise in their wording, as are lawyers and judges – and for similar reasons. Having had a few letters published in The Times, I also agree that one takes very great care in drafting such letters – and, of course, one rereads them closely to catch any errors, solecisms or failures to express the exact meaning desired.

    Mr Davies was writing to The Times to correct a false impression that many readers would have got from the article to which he was responding. Clear and precise wording was of the essence. I think we can take it that he said what he meant to say, and if he didn’t say anything, that would be because he didn’t want to say it.

  24. Peter says

    They use terms like “military grade” when it fits in with the narrative (e.g. Novichok in Salisbury), and ignore it when it doesn’t (e.g. nanothermite in New York).

    • Tom Welsh says

      I wonder what “non military-grade” nerve agents would be like. Organophosphate peticides, perhaps?

  25. bevin says

    It is clear enough. According to the one person in a position to know: “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning.”
    Had there been any ambiguity the Doctor would have made a clarification. No doubt enormous pressure was out on him to lie. He refused to do so.
    The question which ought to be addressed to May and her minions is “What evidence is there that a nerve gas was used?”
    Her answer of course, seconded by the British media is ” How dare you ask such a question? You must be an agent of the country’s worst enemies.”

    • @bevin. Is she perhaps of Polish lineage? The proverbial Polish nobleman Graf Patynski; he wasn’t a Doctor, he wasn’t a Lawyer, and God forbid anyone should take him for a Scientist; but that didn’t stop him arguing: I, Graf Patynski, am telling you.

      • Michael Leigh says

        I well remember VEXARB the press media uproar in 1948, when the then UK Health Minister Mr Anerin Bevan, outside of parliament at a Labour Party meeting for the forthcoming first election at the end the ‘ second Gemanic war ‘ declared that the selfish spivs of the Conservative and Unionist Party as was combined, were in his opinion lower than vermin !

        And, this belief is still widespread among todays, national oppostional electorate, a fact which no doubt is behind Mde T Mays failure to call a General election. And, so contrive to form an emergency national government to save her and her party of spivs their necks !

        • bevin says

          The same point occurred to me when I was commenting at MoA.
          In my view it is likely that, though the government is up to its neck in the cover up and in projecting the Russophobic narrative, this crude attempt to assassinate was a Tory Party initiative designed to clobber Labour by portraying Corbyn, for the umpteenth time, as ‘soft on national security.’
          That is the one constant in the campaign against him. It is repeated ad nauseam. Every new opportunity to wheel it out is seized upon. Or, as in this case, carefully fabricated.

        • @Michael Leigh. “Spivs? Vermin?” At the time I thought Bevan was laying on the Welsh oratory a bit too thick. But now, 70 years later, I realise he was speaking the plain, unvarnished truth. Unfortunately, Labour had its own spivs later, the BLiar regime was thick with them, some still in the party. Fortunately for Britain, Attlee was honest and effective, Bevan had vision, and the country prospered. MacMillan was the last of that sort. Then came Maggie. And the Sons of Maggie. And now we have come down to Maggie May — History repeating itself as Farce.

          • Michael Leigh says

            But, faster VEXARB after Mde T May we have ‘ Spiderman ‘ the ghastly defence Minister, alighting from his pet USA supplied F35 simulator, and threatening to further increase the Uk balance of payments, and the UK indebtness of course, by buying even more of this USA designed scam of an ironically, deadly unsafe fighter aeroplane ?

            And as you VEXARB aptly describe the continuing farce of the wretched mentally disabled individuals running the UK , only for the benefit of their favoured USA management investment funds, cite the as yet to be enoble spouse Philip ?

          • Susanna Farley says

            “Oh Maggie, Maggie May
            They have taken her away,
            And she’ll never walk down Downing Street no more”!

            I can dream, can’t I?

            Seems like the British Establishment/Deep State are so scared of the possibility of a Corbyn-led Labour government that they see this chance for May to rattle a jingoistic sabre or too as a not-to-be missed ‘get out of jail’ card. As for the Blairites, they too are very happy to play along with this. It is an open secret that they have the same neo-libera political philosophy as the Tories and favour policies that differ from theirs only on the level of dilution, fudge and mudge and obfuscation.

            Trump too has seen fit to wade in on this issue. He also hopes to get out of a very tight situation indeed with his expulsion of Russian diplomats, etc. Somehow the Salisbury poisonings seem just a bit too convenient for certain mega-powerful global interests.

  26. George Cornell says

    Military grade is word or term beloved of American hucksters selling cars and flashlights. It has no meaning here, except as a blatant indicator of how Theresa May is trying to inflame the public and blame Russia, to please her American masters.

  27. I think medical consultants are usually quite precise in their wording on medical issues, and one would expect all the more so in a letter to The Times. If that had been misinterpreted I should have expected a pretty quick clarification from the consultant. Has anyone asked him? It might be as well to confirm with him that he did actually send the letter to The Times.

  28. Paul says

    It sounds as if Putin was right about there being many deaths if it had really been a military grade nerve agent.

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