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SAGE ‘pessimistic’ wrong Britain can’t unlock early, says government scientist

The government’s “roadmap” to come out of lockdown could be accelerated due to the successful rollout of the vaccine in Britain, according to a member of SAGE’s Pandemic Influenza Scientific Modeling (SPI-M) group. SAGE has been accused of “choosing the most pessimistic assumptions” about the unlock, pushing the government to impose tighter restrictions longer than necessary. the has history.

Britain’s roadmap out of lockdown could be accelerated because coronavirus vaccines work so well, according to one of the government scientists – despite apocalyptic SAGE modeling suggesting lifting of restrictions could trigger a increase in the number of deaths.

Dr Mike Tildesley, of the University of Warwick team that correctly predicted the UK’s second wave, said he was “really pleasantly surprised” that the reopening of had not caused a spike infections.

The infectious disease modeler, who is also a member of the SPI-M group whose calculations are fueling SAGE, told LBC Radio: “If these numbers continue to drop over the next few weeks, there is certainly an argument to say ‘eh well in fact, we “I’m doing really well with the roadmap, it could be accelerated”. ”

This week, some of the modeling in documents released by SAGE suggested that the full lifting of curbs in June could lead to more than a thousand deaths a day this summer and push the NHS back to the brink.

Dr Tildesley admitted that “there may well be” an upsurge in across the country, but probably not as high as some of the gloomy predictions had predicted. The government was this week accused of using “Project Fear” tactics to stealthily extend coronavirus restrictions after releasing the SAGE slice of documents.

The expert group included modeling from three different universities – Imperial College , the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Dr Tildesley’s team at the University of Warwick.

After reviewing the three documents, SAGE said the passports for social distancing, mask wearing and the Covid vaccine will need to remain in place for at least a year to keep the virus under control even when the most brutal brakes are on. lifted.

He added that while vaccines keep the vast majority of people from getting sick and dying from coronavirus, they “aren’t good enough” to see all the brakes lifted “without a big epidemic.”

In May, the government decided not to ease lockdown restrictions before Easter due to a warning from SAGE that it could lead to an additional 55,000 deaths. Professor Tim Spector, epidemiologist at King’s College , criticized SAGE for frequently using the most pessimistic assumptions, “perhaps to avoid complacency” from the public.

They seem to choose the most pessimistic assumptions each time in order to come up with the worst-case scenario, perhaps to avoid complacency.

They might want to warn people that if we just let go of our guard this is what could happen, which is why a lot of language is written like this.

I’m certainly not saying we should totally relax now, but I think the vaccine is doing better than they say… and they only paint a much darker scenario than reality.

Worth reading in its entirety.

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