Speaking to the Science and Technology Committee this morning, SAGE Chair Sir Patrick Vallance dismissed the idea of completely eliminating covid as impossible:
“I do not think that ‘Zero Covid’ is possible. I think there is nothing to suggest that this virus will go away, at least in any time soon, it’s going to be there circulating, it may be a winter virus that comes back over winters with increasing infection rates during that period.
I don’t think that Zero Covid is possible and I think it’s going to be very difficult for any country to maintain complete absence of this long term because at some point countries have to open up borders.”
It wasn’t only the ‘Zero Covid’ fanatics that both Vallance and Whitty disappointed today. The boffins repeatedly felt the need to correct the implications of questions from various Labour MPs about the safety of schools. Chris Whitty patiently repeatedly explained that the risk to children from Covid is smaller than the risk from seasonal flu. He also explained that teachers are not a group at high risk. Disappointing news for fans of the armchair scientist suggestions of the Labour Party…
UPDATE: Whitty joined in the Zero Covid bashing too, slamming Dawn Butler’s suggestion that ‘Zero Covid’ advocates don’t actually mean zero covid when they say they want zero covid.
“As a scientist, for me zero means zero. So if you’re saying you want a zero covid strategy what you’re saying is that you want zero covid cases. You can say that, but what I’m just saying is I don’t think that’s a realistic option. If people say well I don’t mean zero I mean another number, fine, but then put a different number on it.”