Coronavirus Live Updates: Georgian companies are starting to reopen; F.D.A. Warns about antimalarial drugs

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The nation was behind many others in Europe by putting in place restrictive measures of social distancing, the British government often saying that it was “guided by science”. As the country nears 20,000 dead, Times correspondents Mark Landler and Stephen Castle glanced at the secret science group advising the government.

As the British government comes under increasing criticism for its response to the coronavirus – which let Britain compete with Italy and Spain as the most affected countries in Europe – Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his collaborators defended themselves by saying “guided by science. “

The problem is that nobody knows what science is.

The influential government science emergency advisory group – known by its calming acronym, SAGE – operates like a virtual black box. Its membership list is secret, its meetings are closed, its recommendations are private and the minutes of its deliberations are published much later, if at all.

Yet officials continually invoke the name of SAGE without ever explaining how he advises – or even who these scientists are.

This lack of transparency has become a subject of controversy, as officials find it difficult to explain why they waited until the end of March to move from a laissez-faire approach to the virus to more stringent measures adopted by other countries. Europeans. Critics say the delay may have added to more than 20,000 deaths now, and blame the government for leaving people in the dark as to why it chose this riskiest route.

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