Was Lockdown in England based on spin, leaks and false information ?

Update 6th November confirms original post.

Government forced to reissue key charts used to justify second lockdown after admitting projected fatalities were overstated.
The slides now contain a note which says: ‘Plots on slides four and five have been amended after an error was found’


The slides now contain a note which says: ‘Plots on slides four and five have been amended after an error was found’

However, the figures, which caused alarm across the country, have now been amended ‘after an error was found’. The revised figures now suggest the second peak is likely to be on par with the first with the worst-case scenario at 1,010 deaths a day by December 8 – a similar figure to that seen in April. click source

Original Post

A graph shown during the Prime Minister’s live address to the Nation on Saturday evening saying Britain will have 4,000 deaths a day by December was ‘proven to be incorrect’ and ‘four weeks out of date’, an Oxford University scientist has warned. Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Carl Heneghan said mathematically, the document should not have been used to justify the new lockdown curbs. The professor also told how coronavirus hospital admissions, cases and ‘in effect’ deaths are flatlining due to the measures currently in place across the country.

Recovery, a campaign group against lockdowns, beams its message: 'Lockdowns don't work' onto the Houses of Parliament in Westminster
Recovery, a campaign group against lockdowns, beams its message: ‘Lockdowns don’t work’ onto the Houses of Parliament in Westminster 

A timeline of the Prime Minister’s lockdown decision seems to indicate that he was “bounced” into the decision by a choreographed effort of an inner cabal of senior Government scientists, Cabinet ministers and advisors, involving spin, leaks and false information and exaggerated graphs.

Timeline of the PM’s lockdown decision 

Friday, 7am: Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab begins a round of broadcast interviews defending the government’s ‘Tiered’ system of local lockdowns.  

Friday 2.30pm: Sir Patrick Vallance underlines SAGE’s support for a national lockdown at a briefing with reporters, suggesting it was getting late to arrest the spike in cases before Christmas.

Friday 3pm: Papers are released online from a SAGE meeting which show that advisers warned ministers on October 14 that the UK could be headed for a situation more serious than the scientists’ ‘worst case scenario’.   

Friday 3.30pm: The Covid ‘Quad’ committee, which has taken all the key strategic decisions during the pandemic, met in the Cabinet Office. Mr Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove attended along with around 15 officials.

Early Friday evening : Downing Street is informed that ITV political editor Robert Peston has received a ‘read-out of the whole meeting’, according to the Times. 

10.30pm: No10’s plans to shut-down England for at least a month have also been leaked to the Daily Mail and are revealed when the first edition of Saturday’s paper drops. 

Saturday 7am: BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg reveals some of the information shown to the quad involves daily deaths could top 4,000.

11am: Boris Johnson calls an unscheduled Cabinet briefing to update furious ministers on his plans. With just hours to go he also calls a hastily arranged live television press conference for 4pm to brief the nation about his plans. Downing Street, which had hoped to make the announcement on Monday, launches an investigation to find the source. 

1.30pm: Cabinet meets virtually, with the PM dialling in from Downing Street. It lasts more than an hour.

3:40pm: Broadcasters are briefed a summary of the measures Mr Johnson will be announcing at the press conference, following the Cabinet meeting.

6:45pm: Boris Johnson, flanked by chief medical officer Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick, finally fronts the delayed press conference and unveil the lockdown. 

Here is the slide in question that was leaked to the media on Friday evening and shown at the press briefing, along a number of other slides, many of which had unreadable legends.

This slide presented on live TV on Saturday shows a projection of deaths hitting 4,000 per day by the end of December (blue line) but experts say they are 'concerned' about the decision to include this because it is based on old data that has since been updated

There are serious concerns that it was out of date and inaccurate, with SAGE accused of ‘misleading’ the public and MPs by cherry-picking the scariest data.

The forecast could be four or five times too high, because it is based on there being an average 1,000 deaths per day in the UK right now. In reality the daily average was 182 per day October 22 and 28, according to Department of Health data.

The number, which appeared as the worst case on a graph with three other possible scenarios, was created by statisticians at the University of Cambridge and Public Health England who have since revised their numbers and lowered the possible numbers of deaths.

The 4,000 deaths per day scenario was based on the assumption that there would be 1,000 per day by the start of November. Real numbers of people dying are significantly lower, with an average 182 per day in England and 162 confirmed yesterday for the whole UK
The 4,000 deaths per day scenario was based on the assumption that there would be 1,000 per day by the start of November. Real numbers of people dying are significantly lower, with an average 182 per day in England and 162 confirmed yesterday for the whole UK

The Speaker Lindsay Hoyle criticised the government leaks which prevented the news being announced in Parliament first. A formal leak inquiry has now been launched to find the culprit – with claims that just 15 people, including Sir Patrick, chief medical officer Chris Whitty and NHS England head Sir Simon Stevens were in the meeting.

There have even been dark threats that the police could be called in to find who undermined the PM’s approach. Fingers have been pointed at Mr Gove and Mr Hancock, both of whom deny being the source. Downing Street insists it was not in its interests for the information to go public at that stage.

An anonymous Tory MP has suggested the timeline of events had all the hallmarks of a Michael Gove-Dominic Cummings spin operation – a reference to the fact that the PM’s chief adviser used to work for the Cabinet Office minister. ‘I was always astounded Boris brought him in again. Presumably it was part of the package with Cummings. ‘It’s the Gove-Cummings axis that is the problem here.’ click for full source article

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