The U.K. relied too much on “very scary” SAGE models to decide on lockdowns, according to the man behind some of those very projections who repeatedly called for longer lockdowns. MailOnline has more.
Just months after SAGE predicted 6,000 deaths per day and called for a Christmas lockdown in response to Omicron, Professor John Edmunds said the models were only supposed to be “one component” of decision-making but were leaned on too much by ministers.
He accepted the models failed to account for the economic harm and the knock-on health effects that lockdowns caused.
Professor Edmunds admitted that these harms “in principle” could have been factored into models “but in practice they were not”.
His remarks come as Britons face the harsh reality of two years’ of shutting down the economy and health service, with the NHS grappling a backlog crisis that has seen one in nine people in England stuck on an NHS waiting list for treatment and inflation at its highest point in 30 years.
The epidemiologist, who was among the most outspoken members of SAGE, said some of the death projections in the model were “truly eye-watering”.
Speaking at a medical conference on Tuesday, he said: “The epidemiological model is only one component [of decision-making] and I wondered and I worried that we’d had too much weight.”