A top government scientist has quit SAGE
Sir Jeremy Farrar, one of the top scientists advising the British Government on the coronavirus pandemic, has quit the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). He reportedly left at the end of October, citing his concerns about the current rate of virus transmissions in the country.
Still working as director of the scientific charity, Wellcome Trust, Sir Jeremy was believed to have been advocating for increased testing this winter, as well as more use of facemasks. As he told Sky News, “The high levels of transmission seen in the UK remain concerning, but I stepped down as a participant of SAGE knowing ministers had been provided with most of the key science advice needed over the winter months”.
Adding, “Throughout this crisis, SAGE has provided vital evidence, and independent, expert, transparent advice to support the UK response, often under huge pressure”.
It is believed that the British medical researcher will now concentrate on his position with the Wellcome Trust. His work there will include further research into the coronavirus, to try and help to bring an end to the pandemic.
Last November, speaking at a symposium on a post-Covid world at the Imperial College London’s Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA), Sir Jeremy said, “The information you have early may be uncertain, but it’s enough to act on”.
Continuing, “I would say that at the end of January we knew enough to have acted. And we waited. We waited out of uncertainty, we wanted to be more certain than we needed to be”.
“But, by the end of January, we knew that this was able to transmit asymptomatically, that it caused a nasty clinical syndrome and a significant number of people were dying, that healthcare workers were getting sick and distant family members were getting sick when people moved from Wuhan to Sichuan, that this was going out of China into other parts of south-east Asia, that we had no diagnostics, no treatment, and no vaccines”.
Before concluding, “To me, at the time – and this is not in retrospect – I think that was enough to have acted then in ways that we delayed”, as reported by mirror.co.uk.