Government scientist: ‘Lockdown was a monumental mistake’

Professor Mark Woolhouse said lockdown was a ‘panic measure’ which must never happen again


Topics Covid-19 Politics Science & Tech UK

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A scientist advising the government on infectious diseases has said the lockdown was a ‘monumental mistake on a global scale’, in an explosive interview with the Daily Express.

According to Professor Mark Woolhouse, who sits on the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours, lockdown was a ‘panic measure’ and he ‘never want[s] to see national lockdown again’.

— Prof Francois Balloux (@BallouxFrancois) August 24, 2020

Woolhouse originally supported lockdown as a temporary measure, intended to buy time for scientists to come up with new methods for fighting Covid-19. However, he admitted it was done because ‘we couldn’t think of anything better to do’.

Woolhouse believes ‘the harm lockdown is doing… will turn out to be at least as great as the harm done by Covid-19’, if not greater. ‘The cure was worse than the disease’, he added.

He also took aim at the government’s policy of closing schools, saying this was ‘not an epidemiologically sensible thing to do’, and that we should have focused on care homes and not kids.

Woolhouse’s words make a mockery of the government’s claims to be following ‘The Science’ when shutting down society. This rash decision was taken seemingly with little regard to the extraordinary damage it would do to health, education, the economy and other public services.

What’s even more concerning is Woolhouse’s acknowledgement that the UK government still doesn’t have a strategy for balancing the Covid epidemic with a return to normal life. ‘I would not dignify waiting for a vaccine with the term “strategy”’, he said: ‘That’s a hope not a strategy. But we do need to get on with providing an alternative to lockdown.’

Rather than flail around in search of ideas, the government should end the lockdown for good and allow us to get on with our lives.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Covid-19 Politics Science & Tech UK


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