Full SAGE members follow in tracks of behavioural science advisers to condemn Johnson for ignoring science
Members of SAGE, the government’s scientific advisory group, are breaking ranks to expose the threat to the people of the UK posed by Boris Johnson’s politically-driven haste to lift the country’s lock-down.
Last weekend, key members of SPI-B – the group of behavioural science experts who advise SAGE and the government on how to maximise public cooperation with anti-coronavirus measures – spoke out and accused Johnson of ‘trashing’ all their work and scientific advice, going so far as to accuse him and his entire government of not ‘want[ing] to listen to science and saying that the public needs to ignore Johnson for their own safety:
And now members of the full SAGE committee have followed suit, speaking publicly against Johnson’s assurances that things have moved far enough in a positive direction for the lock-down to be eased and warning that – as the SKWAWKBOX has also flagged – the virus is far too widespread for measures to be relaxed.
SAGE member Professor John Edmunds said that any relaxation of the lock-down was ‘taking risks’ because of:
a very high level of incidence
of the virus in the population.
And, just as other members of SPI-B endorsed Stephen Reicher’s verdict last week, other SAGE members have spoken out to agree with with Edmunds.
Wellcome Trust director Jeremy Farrar was emphatic, agreeing that the incidence of the virus in the community needs to be lower, with ‘test, trace, isolate’ (TTI) fully working – and added that the government’s information and systems need to be trusted, seemingly a reference to the erosion of trust caused by the fiasco of the Dominic Cummings scandal:
The SAGE members are only saying what the government knows full well. As the SKWAWKBOX exclusively revealed two weeks ago, the Tories have been quietly more than tripling temporary mortuary capacity – from the already-increased 30,000 spaces to 100,000 in readiness for the ‘second wave’ of infections they expect their lock-down changes to create:
And no wonder. Johnson’s reckless decision to send millions back to work has already seen a surge in new infections and admissions to hospitals and intensive care units – and the SAGE group has already warned that the return to schools next week will drive infection rates higher still. Yet the government’s advice on school infections tells teachers exposed to those with coronavirus symptoms not to self-isolate, but just to wash their hands and keep working.
Boris Johnson’s handling of the pandemic has been reckless from the beginning – from the failure to prepare before it arrived in the UK, to the decision to ignore World Health Organisation advice, to the continuing non-provision of personal protective equipment and the intentional return of infected patients to residential homes unequipped to isolate or treat them, through to the ‘return to work’ order earlier this month.
And that wilful endangerment – gambling with the lives of millions – continues. The SKWAWKBOX has accused Johnson and his helpers of murder and that assessment is only growing firmer.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.