SAGE Members U-Turn on Lockdown Advice

Yesterday, SAGE member and epidemiologist Professor John Edmunds told Andrew Marr that the UK “should have gone into lockdown earlier” saying the delay “cost a lot of lives“. This is the same Professor Edmunds who in March said the UK should not declare a state of emergency, saying sweeping measures would encourage a panic and non-compliance claiming that “we are going to have to limit the amount that we are going to ask [the public] to do.”

This morning Edmunds was joined by fellow SAGE member Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, who told the Today Programme that starting lockdown earlier “would have meant after the same period of lockdown we would be at a much lower case rate and death rate per day.”

Recently published documents show that if this is the case, the original advice from SAGE was at the heart of the problem. SAGE minutes from early March were highly sceptical about the net utility of school closures, and concluded that “there is no evidence to suggest that banning very large gatherings would reduce transmission”. In fact SAGE was unanimous on 13 March, ten days before the lockdown was announced, that “heavy suppression” of the virus would be counterproductive:

“SAGE was unanimous that measures seeking to completely suppress spread of Covid-19 will cause a second peak. Sage advises that it is a near certainty that countries such as China, where heavy suppression is underway, will experience a second peak once measures are relaxed.”

If the UK got its response wrong, it’s because the advice from scientists was followed…

mdi-tag-outline SAGE
mdi-account-multiple-outline John Edmunds
mdi-timer June 8 2020 @ 14:08 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
Home Page Next Story
View Comments