Friday, January 15, 2021
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Again the PM has been bamboozled by doomsayers’ dodgy data

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ENGLAND’S Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said yesterday that as the coronavirus vaccine is rolled out we might eventually get to a point where we will have ‘almost no restrictions at all’ – until next winter, when we’ll need to look at ramping them up again.

The Mail has more. It says:

‘Office for National Statistics figures show an estimated 1.1million people in private households in England had Covid-19 between December 27 and January 2 – equivalent to around 2.06 per cent of the population. 

‘Professor Whitty said it was “really quite a large number indeed”, warning people to take the Government’s stay at home message seriously, owing to the new variant as well as winter.

‘He said the risk level will gradually decrease over time with measures being “lifted by degrees, possibly at different rates in different parts of the country, we’ll have to see”.

‘He added: “We’ll then get over time to a point where people say this level of risk is something society is prepared to tolerate and lift right down to almost no restrictions at all. We might have to bring in a few in the next winter for example, that’s possible, because winter will benefit the virus”.’

Will they ever let us go back to normal?

Oddly, the ZOE app, monitoring information from users, showed only around 1 per cent of the population had Covid on January 2. Why the discrepancy with the ONS figures? What’s more, according to ZOE data, new symptomatic cases have been falling in London since the end of last month.

How can this be, when London is said to be dominated by the new variant, which is said by researchers at Imperial College to be 70 per cent more transmissible and uncontainable by lockdown without closing schools?

It might have something to do with the fact that the new variant has been declining in London and the South East since around Christmas, according to the Government’s own data presented at the press conference yesterday, despite Whitty claiming that the new variant is ‘taking off’ in every part of the country.

Source: HMG

Notice that in the South East, North East and Yorkshire existing variants have recently started outpacing the new variant. Again, how is that possible if it is so much more transmissible?

Once again it appears that the Prime Minister and his colleagues have been bamboozled by dodgy data from doomsayers with their unreliable models and mass testing. Now with the prospect of restrictions that continue indefinitely, regardless of how many people have been vaccinated, the need is more urgent than ever for the Government to look at public health policy in the round and listen to a broader range of voices.

We’re still waiting for that promised cost-benefit analysis of the impact of lockdowns on quality-adjusted life years. Yet the Prime Minister has refused to guarantee that schools will be back before September. As Allison Pearson asks in the Telegraph: ‘With schools closed again, have we written off a generation?

Depressingly, and apparently despite this, a snap poll showed just 9 per cent of the population oppose the lockdown while 79 per cent support it.

This article first appeared in Lockdown Sceptics on January 6, 2021, and is republished by kind permission.

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Will Jones
Dr Will Jones is a maths graduate with a PhD in political philosophy and author of Evangelical Social Theology: Past and Present (Grove, 2017).He blogs at https://faith-and-politics.com/

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