England has been placed in lockdown following advice from government science advisers, despite warnings it will lead to mass unemployment and cause enormous economic damage. Much of the data Sage relies on, including the “4,000 per day” death figures, has been disputed, with experts saying too much weight is being given to doomsday scenarios. One accused the group of using “terribly bogus modeling data to inform government policy,” which is like a “crystal ball.”
He said: “The Treasury should now form a closely related but separate team from Sage so that they can see what Sage is up to.
“This should include economists, sociologists, behavioral experts, the police, people in the hospitality industry, patient and consumer groups and the food industry.
“It should also include people from cancer and heart research, as well as other illnesses whose treatment is affected by Covid. These could assess people’s behavior and find out how people will benefit from it and measure that against harms.
“This Treasury group could make their own judgment to ensure that the policies are found to be cost effective. He would be tasked with dealing with the current harms of mental health lockdown, job losses and other health issues as well as researching at least 12 months before finding a way to handle the pandemic without having to enter. in the lockout cycle.
“Locking itself only pushes back the bad day because when you unlock again the virus takes off.
“We should have done this from the start and now is the time to do it. “
Richard Sullivan, professor of cancer and global health at Kings College London, said: “There is an urgent need to recalibrate the thresholds to enter national lockdowns”.
“This must take into account the broader health and wellness impacts that continue to play a minor role in Sage’s ‘Covid-19 only’ approach to policy making.
“We now have direct evidence that lockdowns have caused a serious and significant increase in cancer deaths and suffering due to delays in diagnosis and treatment.
The well-being effects will also have serious repercussions on long-term cancer outcomes. There is a lack of perspective and balance. ”
In September, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the country was facing 50,000 infections a day as of the middle of last month. Although he said it was not a “prediction,” the total was much lower.
He also predicted “more than 200 deaths a day” by November – and the deaths were higher than his estimate.
But last weekend the lockdown decision was announced after a public broadcast by Sir Patrick and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, relying on graphics with a worst-case scenario of 4,000 deaths per day.
It emerged shortly after that these numbers were already exceeded and had been revised downwards by the modeling team. The data presented was also significantly more pessimistic than models developed by other expert teams.
In the wake of the data dispute, the official statistics watchdog, the Office for Statistics Regulation, has issued a warning about using coronavirus data without transparency and in a way that “confuses” the public. the public.
Professor Sullivan said: “There has been a lot of vagueness about what to trust and what, frankly, total guesses are. Many statements appear as though they are verified facts rather than educated guesses.
“The public has also witnessed many independent comments from members of Sage, creating even more confusion.”
“People stop believing what is said and compliance decreases. The modeling community has always been clear that these projections are only really reliable for about a week to 10 days later, and it becomes a crystal ball. “