One of Independent SAGE’s “experts”, who on Tuesday criticised the Government for not delaying the latest easing of lockdown restrictions, is a social scientist-cum-race adviser with no medical qualifications. Dr Zubaida Haque, a founding member of the group, told Good Morning Britain that the third step of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown should have been stalled because of the Indian Covid variant – not only to protect the unvaccinated but also to protect the vaccinated, who she claimed could still be vulnerable to this strain of the virus.
Vaccines will certainly help to reduce severe disease [from the variant]… but at the moment there are some things that we still don’t know about this variant and one of the main things we don’t know is, to what extent it can still escape the vaccines. We need to find that out.
What the Government should have done was to stall this stage of the roadmap, particularly because we didn’t pass test four… [which says] if we think that there’s any further risk from new variants of concern, we should stall. They have completely ignored that and gone ahead.
The Telegraph has more on Dr Haque’s medical expertise – or lack thereof!
Dr Zubaida Haque… specialises in racial equality and has been involved with various Government-commissioned reports on welfare issues.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain, she said the Government should have stalled the latest stage of the roadmap out of lockdown…
She went on to criticise Matt Hancock for his recent comments indicating vaccine hesitancy may be behind the rise in Covid hospitalisations in Bolton, one of the Indian variant hotspots.
“This whole notion that, that at the moment, everyone’s freedom is threatened because of vaccine hesitancy groups is absolute nonsense,” Dr Haque said.
It was one of Dr Haque’s many TV interviews and newspaper columns since the pandemic began, ranging in scope from vaccine passports and the reopening of schools to financial support for low-paid workers needing to self-isolate.
However, she has no medical, clinical, virological or epidemiological qualifications.
Instead, her PhD thesis was titled: Exploring the validity and possible causes of the apparently poor performances of Bangladeshi students in British secondary schools.
She now works for the Hamilton Commission, an organisation set up by Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton to improve the representation of Black people in U.K. motorsport.
Dr Haque was not the only member of the historically overly cautious Independent SAGE group to take to the airwaves criticising the latest step towards freedom.
Dr Kit Yates and Prof Gabriel Scally both appeared on Sky News, on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, talking about the new variant.
Dr Yates is an expert in using mathematical techniques to predict biological models at the University of Bath, while Prof Scally is president of the Epidemiology and Public Health section of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Sir David King, chairman of Independent Sage said: “When we set up Independent SAGE we wanted to ensure that it was truly multi-disciplinary and fit for purpose when it comes to giving the best possible evidence-based advice in relation to the pandemic.
“We are proud to have such a wealth of experience to call upon as [we] require.”
Worth reading in full.