Government didn't follow science recommending lockdown, insists expert

31 October 2020, 13:21 | Updated: 31 October 2020, 13:27

By Seán Hickey

An Independent SAGE member told Matt Frei that the Government should have listened to scientific advice on lockdowns, which could have avoided the possibility of an England-wide lockdown.

Member of Independent SAGE Professor Susan Michie told Matt Frei that "we can't wait on this hoped vaccine," before taking action on the spread of Covid-19.

Her comments followed the announcement that Boris Johnson hosted an emergency cabinet meeting after an apparent leak revealed that plans for a second national lockdown were being discussed.

Conservative MP for Wokingham Sir John Redmond argued that "there isn't that degree of scientific precision or knowledge" around the projections made by some scientists on how coronavirus could develop in the UK.

"They really don't know how many people will catch this thing," he insisted, adding that "it's very misleading to say they know exactly how many people will die," when the numbers shared are merely projections.

Read More: Boris Johnson to address the nation at 4pm amid reports of 'month-long' lockdown

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Professor Michie insisted that the nation must "really look at all the different tools we have in our tool box" when assessing the viability of the UK's coronavirus respones.

She pointed out that "we know that at the moment is that only 20% of people with symptoms are isolating," and the Government must look to other European nations and how they support people having to self-isolate, as this could limit the spread of the virus.

Matt pushed the expert, wondering if the Government still following the science on coronavirus. Professor Michie insisted that in terms of the timing of a prospective England-wide lockdown, they were not.

John Redwood MP came back to insist "there is no such thing as 'the' science" as experts across the board have varying opinions on whether lockdown should be implemented.

"It's nonsense to say the government aren't following the science," he maintained.