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Political pressure delayed UK's Covid-19 response, top scientist suggests
16 January 2021, 14:30 | Updated: 16 January 2021, 14:48
One of the UK's top scientists suggests that political tensions may have prevented the nation from locking down earlier.
Professor Neil Ferguson is a member of NERVTAG and an epidemiologist at Imperial College London.
"Government's across Europe – including our own – responded in my view...too slowly to the rising case numbers in September-October," he insisted.
When pushed on why the West was slow to respond, Professor Ferguson said that "the political context of the time across Europe was a rising wave of lockdown skepticism," and governments were being held ransom by politicians.
"The political consensus, I think, had broken down at that point." The NERVTAG member argued.
"I actually think that had it just been down to the Prime Minister and Matt Hancock they could have acted earlier but there are many tensions within any government and many political pressures at play."
The former SAGE member hinted that while listening to the science, the Cabinet were cautious of acting to quell the second wave of Covid-19 for fear of a political backlash.