Rishi Sunak was UK Chancellor of the Exchequer from the start of the pandemic until the fall of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in early July 2022. In this capacity, he witnessed many public health decisions closely. In a heated interview with the British magazine The Spectator, Sunak now says that scientists at Sage – GEMS in the UK, so to speak – have given significant weight in lockdown decisions. As he describes the atmosphere of counseling…
Rishi Sunak was UK Chancellor of the Exchequer from the start of the pandemic until the fall of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in early July 2022. In this capacity, he witnessed many public health decisions closely.
In a heated interview with the British magazine The Spectator, Sunak now says that scientists at Sage – GEMS in the UK, so to speak – have given significant weight in lockdown decisions. He also describes a counseling atmosphere who was sick: The contradictions against the idea of a strict lockdown were not heard. When it comes down to it, people with reservations usually keep their mouths shut. Critical concerns and discussions in the advisory body were removed from Sage’s reporting so that the public believed there was consensus. “So you shouldn’t give independent scientists too much power, because then they will outperform politics,” Sunak says unequivocally.
Sunak hasn’t gone that far (yet) to once and for all avoid the idea of locking up society entirely. He says politicians should consider making better decisions quite frankly if a similar moment ever arises. Thus with an opportunity for public debate, the consequences of the shutdown on society can also be included in the budget. For example, the UK is now experiencing a “cancer crisis” due to a lack of follow-up and treatment of cancers in the population during the pandemic. Sunak also explains that education should never be closed down.
The PM-designate says the models Sage has consistently relied on have always been exaggerated and based on catastrophic scenarios if society does not go into lockdown. In 2020, 500,000 deaths were reported without lockdown. With the shutdowns, Sage said, there could have been fewer than 20,000, which has proven very unrealistic in the past. “There was an order to simply say there was nothing when external questions were asked about the negative aspects of the shutdowns,” Sunak said.
Sunak is also clear in his disapproval of the British government’s fear campaigns during the pandemic: “Look at him, and tell him there is no danger,” for example, in large letters, below a fading picture of an elderly man leaning on a ventilator hangs. Such campaigns would conflict with any epidemiological evidence, but they were standard in the UK.
Sunak says that only with the emergence of the Omikron variant at the end of 2021 was there a chance of stopping the shutdowns. Curiously, Hakim advised in December 2021 to go into lockdown (“Otherwise, there will be 6000 deaths per day.”). Although South African scientists who studied the Omikron variant closely said it was milder. Although the majority of the British population had already been vaccinated by that time. Then Sunak launched a rebellion against the sage, which he won. The expected number of casualties was not achieved. And in the early spring of 2022, the UK was a free country, scrapping most of the Covid rules, and giving advice on a voluntary basis at most.
Of course, Sunak’s influx must be viewed in light of his political campaign to become the leader of the Conservative Party, and to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister.
A country with a free press
However, Sunak’s opening could trigger a global mechanism. The UK is an eccentric country whose government moved from “herd immunity” to “lockdown is the only option” in the spring of 2020. But they are far ahead of their analysis of pandemic policy than other European countries. And they have a free mainstream press.
Just opened last week for example Daily Telegraph – who has maintained a somewhat critical streak during the crisis – also noting that an investigation will be conducted into the multiple negative social consequences of previous lockdowns. The newspaper also did not fail to note that there are a lot of excess deaths that cannot be attributed to the Covid virus. Even the NHS can no longer and will not stop the research that provides clarity. If there is open talk in the UK about the many drawbacks of lockdowns, it will spread to the rest of the world.
Thus, developments on the other side of the channel are also important to us. Here, too, a data analyst like Geert Mullenbergs, in the summer of 2020, was allowed to claim that 60,000 people would die in Belgium if there was no lockdown. It did not matter that Mullenberg himself said that these numbers were greatly exaggerated. So the government didn’t learn from that.
When asked how Sunak has dealt with the pandemic, summed up in one sentence, Sunak replied, “I would have had a more mature conversation with the audience.”
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