The scientist whose counsel led Boris Johnson to introduce lockdowns to fight the coronavirus has resigned from his role in government after breaking restrictions to meet his married lover.
Professor Neil Ferguson, 51, has allowed the woman, Antonia Staats, to travel across London to visit her home despite the foreclosure, which he has consistently stressed as essential to stopping the spread of the killer virus.
Staats, 38, lives with her husband in their thirties and their two children in a £ 1.9 million house in south London.
She has traveled across town to visit the scientist at least twice after the March 23 announcement was made.
Professor Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College and a member of the SAGE committee, which advises the government on fighting the pandemic, leads a team that produced the research that led to the lockdown, their findings suggesting 500,000 Britons could die without strict restrictions in place.
However, despite repeated requests for the public to follow the foreclosure measures, he himself has met his lover at least twice, according to the Telegraph.
Staats visited the scientist just after completing two weeks of self-isolation after a positive test for the virus.
The visits took place despite the government warning the couples that they should either move in with each other or remain separated while the coronavirus is locked.
It was suggested that the restrictions be an opportunity to “test relationships” and Jenny Harries, the assistant chief medical officer of health, said, “If two halves of a couple are currently in separate households, ideally they should stay in these households.
“The alternative could be that, for quite a long time in the future, they should test the strength of their relationship and decide if they want to live permanently in another household. “
Professor Neil Ferguson, 51, authorized the woman, Antonia Staats, to visit her at her home, despite the foreclosure. Staats, 38, who lives with her husband and their children in another house, has visited the scientist at least twice
Ms. Staats is believed to have visited the scientist shortly after he finished self-isolation for two weeks
Ms. Staat’s first visit to Professor Ferguson took place on Monday, March 30, a week after the coronavirus was locked out.
This coincided with a public warning from Professor Ferguson that the lockdowns should remain until at least June.
Staats, a leftist activist, paid a second visit to Professor Ferguson on April 8, despite telling friends that she suspected her own husband, a 30-year-old academic, had symptoms of coronavirus.
She and her husband live in a £ 1.9 million house with their two children and are said to be in an “open relationship”.
Who is Professor Neil Ferguson?
Professor Neil Ferguson, 51, was born in Cumbria but grew up in central Wales, obtaining a master’s degree in physics and a doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford.
He specializes in measuring the spread of infectious diseases in humans and animals through mathematical modeling and has provided data on several epidemics, including the swine flu epidemic in 2009 in the UK, the epidemic Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in 2012 and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2016.
He is currently director of the MRC Center for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London and, before his resignation, member of the SAGE government committee which advises ministers on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
His profile at Imperial College says, “A major interest in research throughout my career has been to develop mathematical models of the geographic spread of emerging pathogens – such as … SARS and MERS.”
In March, his team released a report suggesting that 500,000 people could die from the coronavirus unless the lock is implemented.
The report is credited as inspiring subsequent restrictions to fight the disease.
However, experts questioned Professor Ferguson’s work and a rival academic said he had a sketchy record of modeling epidemics.
Professor Michael Thrusfield of the University of Edinburgh said that Professor Ferguson had previously been instrumental in the modeling that resulted in the slaughter of more than 6 million animals during the 2001 FMD epidemic , which left rural Britain economically devastated.
Then Professor Ferguson and his imperial colleagues concluded: “Extensive slaughter is unfortunately the only option to control the current British epidemic.
But Professor Thrusfield, an animal disease expert, claimed that the model had made incorrect assumptions about the transmission of FMD, and in a 2006 review he claimed that the Imperial n model of FMD ‘was’ unsuitable for use’, while in 2011 he declared it to be ‘seriously defective’.
Professor Thrusfield told The Daily Telegraph that the episode was “a cautionary tale” about the limits of mathematical modeling and that he felt a sense of “already seen” about the current situation.
But Professor Ferguson defended Imperial’s FMD work, saying they were “real-time modeling” with “limited data”. He added: “I think the general conclusions reached were still valid”.
However, Ms. Staats insisted that her actions to visit the scientist are not hypocritical, because she considers households as one.
Professor Ferguson said today: “I accept that I made an error in judgment and made the wrong decision. So I took a step back from my involvement in Sage [the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies].
“I acted on the assumption that I was immune, having tested positive for the coronavirus, and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms.
“I deeply regret any attack on clear messages regarding the continued need for social distancing to control this devastating epidemic. Government directives are unequivocal and are there to protect us all. “
A few weeks after the second visit, Professor Ferguson warned that the number of coronavirus deaths in the UK could reach 100,000 by the end of this year if a progressive lock is put in place just to protect the elderly.
He said it was impossible to send young and healthy people back to work while keeping vulnerable people in confinement without seeing a huge increase in deaths.
The epidemiologist added that a certain degree of social isolation will continue to be necessary until a vaccine against the killer virus is released.
He has been criticized for suggesting that deaths in the UK could reach 500,000 before the lock-up.
Bur Prof Ferguson had previously insisted that there was nothing wrong with his prediction, saying he did it before the government introduced tough measures and saying he had never thought that such a lock would have been continued.
In other developments of the battle for coronaviruses in the UK today:
- Dominic Raab issued a thinly veiled warning tonight to Russia and China when he attacked “predatory” pirates targeting organizations involved in the fight against the coronavirus;
- At least 12 different strains of coronavirus were circulating in the UK in March – including one that has never been found except in Britain, according to a government-funded study;
- Rishi Sunak could cut government wage support from 80% to 60% in the coming months as part of a plan to facilitate Britain’s return to work, it has been said today. today;
- Experts have warned that the new NHS coronavirus tracking and tracing application could be hijacked by trolls;
- Nicola Sturgeon unveiled her own lockout “exit strategy” and suggested that she would not let the schools open until August;
- Cities and rural areas could be treated differently when the coronavirus blocking measures are relaxed, the government’s chief scientific adviser said today.
A further 693 people have been confirmed today as having died from COVID-19 in Britain, bringing the death toll to 29,427 and making Britain the most affected nation in Europe.
And separate backdated figures from the National Statistics Office (ONS) show that the figure appears to have already been above 32,000 as of April 24 – 10 days ago.
Professor Neil Ferguson has warned that the number of coronavirus deaths in the UK could reach 500,000 if the lockout were not implemented
UK now has more confirmed deaths from COVID-19 – according to backdated statistics from the Office for National Statistics, National Records Scotland and Northern Ireland NISRA – than any other country in Europe
The number of people dying every week during the UK coronavirus crisis has been significantly higher – more than double in recent weeks – than the average number of deaths for this time of year
This number is 42% higher than the number announced by the Department of Health at the time, suggesting that the current total may be over 40,000 – this would mean COVID-19 killed more Britons in eight weeks than died in seven months during the World War II bombings.
Imperial College report credited for persuading government to implement foreclosure
A scientific article published by Professor Neil Ferguson and his colleagues in the COVID-19 response team at Imperial College has been credited with persuading the government of Boris Johnson to accelerate its response to the coronavirus.
The newspaper predicts that the government’s initial plan to “mitigate” the epidemic instead of trying to stop it could have killed a quarter of a million people.
Using data from Italy and China, scientists predicted how different government measures would have different impacts on the epidemics.
If no action had been taken against the coronavirus, it would have killed 510,000 people, according to the team’s report.
If the government had stayed true to its strategy to “mitigate” the spread – by allowing it to continue but trying to slow it down – with limited measures such as the isolation of people with symptoms, that number would be cut in half to 260,000.
If the strictest possible measures are introduced – including school closings and compulsory quarantine at home – the number of deaths over a two-year period would fall below 20,000, scientists said, despite the number deaths in Britain far exceed this number.
“Instead of talking about hundreds of thousands of deaths, there will always be a significant impact on health that we will talk about,” said Professor Ferguson.
As a result, the government implemented the lockdown, announcing that people should stop traveling, socializing, and working from home. They were also told to avoid visiting sick or elderly relatives unless they were forced to.
Other points in the Imperial College report, titled Impact of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI) to Reduce Mortality and Demand for COVID19 Health Care, included:
- Lockdown measures could be reinstated if the virus resurfaces after the end of this epidemic
- The coronavirus epidemic is worse than anything the world has seen since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic
- Dramatic steps to suppress an outbreak have “enormous social and economic costs which can themselves have a significant impact on health and well-being”
- Transmission of virus occurs uniformly – one third of cases are detected at home, one third at work or school and one third elsewhere in the community
- People are thought to be infectious as early as 12 hours before symptoms start, or as early as four days after catching the infection if someone has no symptoms
- It is believed that patients with symptoms are 50% more infectious than those who do not.
- People are thought to develop at least short-term immunity after catching the virus, which means they can’t catch it again
- About 4.4% of patients require hospital care. 30% of those in intensive care, and 50% of intensive care patients are expected to die, according to data from China
- The average length of stay in the hospital for a coronavirus patient is 10 days – eight days for those recovering quickly; 16 days for those who need intensive care
Today’s data confirms that more people have died from the coronavirus in the UK than in Italy, still considered the most affected country in Europe and having suffered 29,079 deaths this morning. Only the United States has claimed more lives than Britain – nearly 70,000 – while there have been 25,600 in Spain and 25,200 in France.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab also announced today that another 4,406 fatal virus cases have been confirmed, bringing the epidemic’s official size to 194,990 – but the real scale of the British crisis. is a mystery due to the controversial decision to abandon widespread testing early.
At the Downing Street press conference, Mr. Raab also lambasted “predatory” hackers targeting organizations involved in the fight against the coronavirus, claiming that criminals and “hostile states” were trying to profit from the crisis for their own “malicious purposes”.
Discussing the death toll, he added that the scale of the disaster in Britain was a “massive tragedy” on a scale that the country had never seen before. He refused to speculate on international comparisons.
Meanwhile, Matt Hancock was charged with sexism for telling a Labor MP to “watch his tone” after he was blown up on the government’s coronavirus testing strategy in the House of Commons today.
Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan, a former deputy Labor candidate who also works as an A&E doctor in the fight against the pandemic, said government policy had “cost lives” and called on Hancock to commit to perform at least 100,000 forward tests per day.
In response, an outraged health secretary told the Labor MP that she should “take a sheet of paper from the fictitious secretary of state’s book.”
Dr. Allin-Khan, who attends shadow cabinet meetings, shared the conversation on social media and then tweeted that she would “not watch her tone” when she challenged the government.
The Secretary of Health’s comment sparked an outcry among members of the House, interim Labor Party leader Harriet Harman calling it “scary.”
The line came after the total number of coronavirus tests fell again below 100,000 today for the third day in a row.
Hancock set the target in early April and the government announced Friday and Saturday that it had exceeded it.
However, the number of tests has not reached the goal for three consecutive days since, with 84,806 completed in 24 hours to 9 hours today.
Speaking in the Commons, Dr. Allin-Khan said, “Front-line workers like me have had to watch families break apart as we deliver the worst news, the one they love most. world have passed away.
“The testing strategy is nonexistent. Community tests have been removed, mass tests have been slow to roll out and test numbers are now being manipulated.
“Does the secretary of state agree to perform at least 100,000 tests a day in the future?
“And does the secretary of state recognize that many front-line workers believe that the lack of government testing has cost their lives and is responsible for the unnecessary tearing of many families in pain?
Mr. Hancock replied, “I welcome the honorable lady to her position on the phantom health team.
“I think she would do well to remove a sheet of paper from the fictitious secretary of state in terms of tone.
“I’m afraid what she said isn’t true. There has been a rapid acceleration of testing in recent months, including up to 100,000 tests per day. “
The Secretary of Health (right) disagreed when Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan (left) said the policy had “cost lives” and told him it should “take a sheet from the fictitious secretary of state’s book in terms of tone. “
Dr. Allin-Khan, who attends shadow cabinet meetings and works as an E&E doctor, then tweeted that she would “not watch her tone” when she challenged the government
His comments sparked an outcry among members of the House, interim Labor Leader Harriet Harman, calling him “scary.”
She tweeted, “Something terrifying about a man telling a woman to watch her tone! Worse still, he recommends that she adopt another man’s tone. I suggest that @MattHancock changes its own. ‘
Former Shadow Home secretary Diane Abbott told Dr. Allin-Khan, “I was watching Health Questions. Absolutely nothing wrong with your tone.
“It reflects and affects the reality of what you and other NHS workers experience. Hancock is very unwise to be so dismissive.
Even some celebrities weighed in on the fallout and brutalized Mr. Hancock on social media.
Chef Nigella Lawson, whose father Nigel was Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher, added: “There was absolutely nothing wrong with your tone. “
Douglas Mackinnon, who directed Sherlock and BBC Line Of Duty, said: “Nasty and bullying from Matt Hancock”.
Film producer Jemima Goldsmith, who was married to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, said online, “Your tone @DrRosena was completely reasonable and measured.
‘@MattHancock just didn’t like being asked a perfectly legitimate question about the lack of testing and the manipulation of information.’