Analysis Breaking

Video: SAGE members break ranks to expose danger of Johnson’s haste to lift lock-down

Full SAGE members follow in tracks of behavioural science advisers to condemn Johnson for ignoring science

Exposed again: Boris Johnson’s claims to be ‘following the 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.

Hospital admissions in London reach highest level in six weeks, while other areas also rise

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.

Tens of thousands of lives have been needlessly lost because of Johnson’s actions and inaction and many more will be lost.

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.

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  1. This cavalier risk-taking government has blundered through the biggest tragedy since the 2nd world war on the back of a handful of catch phrases: ‘ramping up’ ‘working day and night’ ‘straining every sinew’ ‘will do whatever it takes,’ to lead people away from it’s incompetence and lack of substance in it’s vacuous and often downright false narrative. The lack of structure and an early, thought through response to the Covid 19 pandemic, particularly (and tragically) the arrogant failure to lock down soon enough, was rationalised by the most cynical catch phrase of all, ‘following the science.’ It is known to have cost tens of thousands of lives. They did this aided and abetted by tame politico scientists, who literally stood with them throughout, without ever gainsaying anything their political masters spouted. Now at last, better late than never, some are beginning to come out, as a government so incompetent it doesn’t even learn from its own mistakes, is taking yet further reckless risks with people’s lives. This should be rocking the media. Why isn’t it? Surely we have not as a society become so used to Johnson’s incompetence and inured to mass deaths in our population, that it has become the new normal, hardly worthy of comment, just a passing mention on the news and on with the dying? It seems so. The most incisive and robust the BBC as an organisation has been throughout, was to stamp on one of its own, Emily Maitlis, after she shocked us all (and clearly her BBC bosses most of all) for having the audacity to tell the truth. This is ‘1984.’ This is a parallel universe, where Johnson can murder thousands on the pretext of ‘following the science,’ and then when the scientists say that actually he isn’t, nobody really bats an eyelid. Just be thankful that they have massively expanded the mortuary storage capacity, and get ready as the second wave gains traction, to bring out your dead.

  2. Listen! M here. The Covid-19 is in fact Spanish Flu – they didn’t check against old sera and that is factual. It all started in Bath at the University and that has not yet been sanctioned for public consumption except now it has. Any questions? Ask. In the meantime take this and run! M

  3. Johnson is toast. Not only has he messed up Big Time over the virus but he’s about to Give Control over trade to Trump and encourage up to 3 million Hong Kong Chinese to settle here, in other words trash Brexit while leaving the EU without a deal. It’s not going to go down well among his voters! The Tories will need a Starmer like bore to try and keep the Good Ship Tory from turning turtle. No doubt they’ll choose a Mega Bore and win the GE in 2024 by a landslide.

  4. Does this inspire confidence ?

    The diary of a ‘well trained’ Track & Trace ‘professional’.
    “On Thursday, according to the government, the system launched. But for me, nothing changed. It was a day of waiting, with no system access. Yet on TV at the daily briefing, Boris Johnson told the nation all was well.
    To this day I remain a “key worker”, paid £10 an hour to sit in a chatroom – alone, lost, without support or help.

  5. We all know we should be wary of the second wave. But, Jesus Christ, we’re not out of the first wave yet! Address all queries regarding the persistence of this first wave to Dominic Cummings, PM, 10 Downing Street.

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