'Lessons aren't being learned' by government in pandemic response, says SAGE member

6 September 2020, 09:35 | Updated: 6 September 2020, 09:40

By Seán Hickey

A member of SAGE argued the reason the public are losing trust in government is down to 'an absence of seeming to learn the lessons of what hasn't worked.'

Professor Susan Michie insisted that "the important thing is the government listens to what the scientists are saying," and this leads their pandemic response.

She went on to tell Andrew Castle that polling data suggesting that 56% of people disapprove of the government's pandemic response shows "the importance of being open, honest and transparent" with the public during a time of national emergency.

The Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at UCL summarised that the the loss of trust in the government during the pandemic is down to the government's failure to take responsibility.

She cited "an absence of seeming to learn the lessons of what hasn't worked and not being able to admit mistakes and say sorry," as the reason why there has been a hike in disapproval for the pandemic response.

Public support for the government's pandemic response has dropped according to a recent poll
Public support for the government's pandemic response has dropped according to a recent poll. Picture: PA

Professor Michie added that "we still don't have a test trace and isolate system," and this could be another factor in the public's drop in support for the government.

She elaborated by telling Andrew that "tracing is being done well locally," but on a national level, there is much work still to be done.

She noted that "it's well known that this is working," but because of the withholding of data on the track and trace system it is clear "that lessons aren't being learned," by government in enforcing transparency.

Professor Michie insisted that the best way to move forward effectively is to "give the contracts to local public health who are trusted and have the expertise to do this."

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