Introduction – Oct 14, 2020
Another “expert” who had been advising the British government on its response to Covid-19 has been forced to scale back his original estimate on the number deaths it would cause. Like Professor Neil Ferguson who had initially warned that Covid could cause 500,000 deaths, Professor Matt Keeling has admitted that his suggestion that 100,000 lives could be saved with a new lockdown was a wild over-estimate.
So why are the authorities still listening to these so-called “experts” when they’ve been wrong, repeatedly? Or has the government, like many others around the world, already decided on lockdowns and they are simply using the likes of Professors Ferguson and Keeling as fall guys to take the heat for their policy?
Apart from being instrumental in wrecking the economy and making possibly hundreds of thousands, even millions, jobless they are ruining science’s reputation. Once it was held in high esteem: it was seen infallible and beyond question. The way religion was seen in the middle ages.
That is now changing thanks to the likes of Professors Ferguson and Keeling. Ed.
Academic behind startling ‘circuit breaker’ study which found half-term lockdown could save up to 100,000 lives by New Year admit their death figures are wildly over-estimated and say they wish they’d never used them
- Professor Matt Keeling said he wished he ‘hadn’t put these numbers in the study’
- Paper said about 107,000 Britons could die by January without a circuit breaker
- Study’s findings already been used as ammunition by scientists and politicians
Sam Blanchard and Connor Boyd – Daily Mail Oct 14, 2020
The academic behind a startling study which projected a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ could save thousands of lives by New Year has today admitted his figures were wildly over-estimated.
In the paper, Professor Matt Keeling – from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which feeds data into SAGE – suggested more than 100,000 British lives could be spared by January if the country shuts down over half-term.
But the Warwick University epidemiologist admitted today he wished he ‘hadn’t put these numbers in the study’ because it was an extreme scenario that was only included ‘for illustration’. The Government’s official Covid-19 death toll only puts the death toll so far at 43,000, by comparison.
The finding was based on the assumption that all lockdown measures currently in place would be lifted, leaving the virus unchecked from now until January. Professor Keeling noted in the paper that this worst-case scenario would never be allowed to play out without the Government intervening.
However, the paper’s findings have already been used as ammunition by those calling for the mini-lockdown, including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has for weeks been pleading with ministers to impose a national circuit-breaker but their demands were overruled by Boris Johnson amid fears it would ‘shatter’ the economy.
Mr Johnson today dismissed calls for the measure, which he branded ‘miserable’, in a brutal clash with Mr Starmer in the Commons and insisted that his job was to balance the economic and wider interests of the country with the science.
The PM admitted he will ‘rule out nothing’ in the bid to stop coronavirus but stood by his tiered local lockdown approach in which areas with the highest infection rates face the toughest rules. He said the three-level local system ‘can drive down and will drive down the virus if it is properly implemented’.