Sir Jeremy Farrar

Sir Jeremy Farrar Quits SAGE After Criticising Government for Failing to Act on Predictions of Covid Disaster that Didn’t Come True

In further evidence that Government scientific advisers live in a fantasy world constructed from models that bear a tenuous relationship to real-world evidence, one of the U.K.’s most well-connected scientists, Sir Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust, has quit SAGE after criticising the Government for refusing to heed its alarmist, failed predictions. Sir Jeremy appears to be oblivious to the fact that, with reported infections dropping to under 34,000 on Tuesday, down 10% in a week, the modellers’ prognostications of doom have faltered once again. The Telegraph has more.

[I]t has emerged that Sir Jeremy resigned from SAGE at the end of last month.

In a statement, he said Government scientists had come under “huge pressure” during the pandemic.

Sir Jeremy has previously said that he “seriously considered resigning from SAGE” a year ago, after the Government went against its advice to introduce a lockdown as cases rose last autumn.

In his book, published earlier this year, he wrote: “That was the darkest moment of the pandemic. I began to question the point of giving advice to a body that chose not to use it. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself, and the people you trust, whether you are complicit with the decisions that are made as a result.”

Sir Jeremy gave a statement to Sky News on Tuesday:

Government Hides Details of Key Conversation between Leading Scientists on Covid’s Origins

Attempts to see details of a key email conversation between leading scientists – including Sir Patrick Vallance and Anthony Fauci – on the origins of Covid have been quashed by the British Government which has redacted page after page with thick black lines, begging the question: “What are they hiding?” The Mail on Sunday has the story.

[The MoS] used Freedom of Information rules to obtain a cache of 32 emails about a secretive teleconference between British and American health officials held early in the pandemic.

But officials blacked out almost every word before releasing the crucial documents.

Before this discussion, several of the world’s most influential experts believed the new virus most likely came from a laboratory – but days later, the scientists began dismissing such scenarios as “implausible” and branding them conspiracy theories.

The critical call is at the centre of concerns that the scientific establishment tried to stifle debate on the pandemic’s origins, as damning new evidence emerges of U.S. ties to high-risk research on bat viruses in Wuhan, where the first cases emerged in late 2019.

The MoS requested emails, minutes and notes on the call between Sir Patrick Vallance – Britain’s Chief Scientific Adviser – and its organisers Sir Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust medical charity, and Anthony Fauci, the U.S. infectious diseases expert and presidential adviser.

Yet when the documents were released they had page after page redacted with thick lines of black ink by Whitehall officials. Even the names of experts copied in on discussions were blocked – and exchanges as trivial as one Edinburgh biologist’s “thank you” for being invited – leaving only a few basic details about the call visible.

The lines left intact include a demand for the discussions, involving 13 participants around the world, to be conducted in “total confidence”, and an intriguing email line suggesting “we need to talk about the backbone too, not just the insert”.

That was possibly sent by Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans, a member of the World Health Organisation team that produced a widely criticised report into Covid’s origins.

Such absurd state secrecy is highly contemptuous towards taxpayers and to a world that wants to know what caused this devastating pandemic to guard against similar catastrophes in the future.

The response was condemned by Tory MP and freedom of information campaigner David Davis.

“This is a matter of massive public and global importance,” he said. “It is hard to see why there should be such secrecy that it outweighs the immense public interest and requires them to redact this sort of important data.”

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: Ian Birrell, who wrote the piece in the Mail on Sunday, has produced a Twitter thread showing some of the redacted documents which you can see here.

SAGE Member Says We Must Learn to Live with Covid without the Restrictions

SAGE member and Director of the Wellcome Trust Sir Jeremy Farrar says lockdowns are “awful” – citing their effects on mental health, education and job opportunities, to name a few – and that Brits must learn to live with Covid without restrictions. Sir Jeremy is “optimistic” that lockdown will end on June 21st, however, he believes that guidelines on restrictive measures such as mask-wearing should remain past this date. The Mail has the story.

Sir Jeremy… said the measures had had “very profound consequences” on the nation’s mental health, education and jobs.

But he was hopeful that the Government would be able to open up on June 21st based on the data so far – but stressed the next few weeks would be “crucial”.

He pointed out that more than eight in 10 adults would be vaccinated by then, adding that he was “very confident” the jabs were working.

“There is a danger of not opening up and this infection is now a human endemic infection. It’s not going away,” he said. “Humanity will live with this virus now forever. And there will be new variants. This year, next year, the year after, there will be new variants – and we will have to learn to cope with that.

“Lockdowns are awful. They are a mark that you haven’t been able to control the virus in other ways. They have very profound consequences on mental health, on education, on job opportunities particularly affecting people on lower incomes.

“Societies can’t stay in that mode forever.”

Earlier this week Boris Johnson said that while there was nothing in the data to suggest the June 21st ending of lockdown could not go ahead, the numbers were “still ambiguous”.

But Sir Jeremy said he was hopeful the jabs had “separated” the inevitable rise of infections which comes with easing restrictions and the subsequent increase in hospitalisations.

Asked whether he thought the country would be able to open up on June 21st, he added: “If you really push me today, I would say I’m more optimistic because I think that the vaccines have been so incredibly successful.”

He added that based on current data, although he would lift restrictions, sensible advice such as wearing a mask indoors should still be in place.

Sir Jeremy also said: “If hospitalisations have remained low and deaths have remained low, I would accept a degree of transmission and I would open up.

“I think this is the hardest decision, frankly, of the last 18 months actually. I am optimistic in the sense that I do believe that vaccines are incredibly safe and very effective.”

Worth reading in full.