SAGE adviser insists government aren't following scientific advice

30 May 2020, 08:59 | Updated: 30 May 2020, 09:01

SAGE Committee member says government are shifting blame

By Seán Hickey

A scientific adviser to the government has told LBC that more lives will be lost as the government don't follow advice.

Professor John Edmunds is a SAGE member and Professor in the Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has been advising the government along with other scientists throughout the pandemic but joined Andrew Castle to set the record straight on the extent that the science is being followed.

"We have to get out of lockdown and the government are saying we're being led by the science" Andrew began. He asked Professor Edmunds if he thinks the government are being led by the science.

Mr Edmunds told Andrew that "they are not being led, they have never been led, they have been advised" adding that the government "shouldn't be trying to duck the decisions" they make in the pandemic response.

Andrew asked the SAGE committee member if "the scientific community are being set up to be whacked" as the government put the pandemic response on their shoulders - the professor said that this is the case.

He asked if the scientific community was focusing entirely on covering itself against the blame, but Professor Edmunds insisted that "it's all about saving lives" rather than saving the reputation of scientists.

Professor Edmunds told Andrew that the government need to take responsibility for their actions
Professor Edmunds told Andrew that the government need to take responsibility for their actions. Picture: PA

Asking Professor Edmunds whether lives will be lost because the science is not being followed, Andrew was told "of course" there would be more deaths.

"This is not the science leading, this is them leading" Professor Edmunds said, reiterating the point that the government are very much in the driving seat in the pandemic response.

"Why do you feel the need to point that out" Andrew asked, wondering if the SAGE member was defending himself "from an attack you feel coming?"

Professor Edmunds finished up by assuring Andrew that all he was doing was "pointing out what's going on."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify