AMS wrote: ↑
Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:46 pm
Martin Y wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:53 pm
Whatever advice was being given to ministers and whatever evidence it was based on, the public impression wasn't so much that they were in a vacuum ignoring what everyone else was saying (i.e. "test, test, test") rather it was that the rest of the world was wrong to imagine they could contain the outbreak, that even if they seemed temporarily to be succeeding it would only rebound with a much worse second wave, and the best we could hope to do was flatten the curve while we get it over with.
Have you seen the interview with Rory Stewart from mid-March (when he was running for mayor of London)? It's aged very well in many ways, given subsequent events, but one comment he made was that as PM, he would heavily grill the advisors to try to understand why exactly they were recommending such a different strategy to other countries.
The bit in bold should have been a bit of a warning. Here, we did a pretty reasonable job of predicting what would happen (at least better than Johnson was doing) based on very naive and simple sanity checks. "Oh look, a lockdown worked in Wuhan - Italy has gone for a lockdown, most countries except Japan seem to be having a 35% per day growth rate until lockdown - that's scary."
What we weren't aware of, was Exercise Cygnus, and the fact that it had highlighted a lack of PPE as an issue. But then Gove didn't read that report until the 4th week in April.
And nor did the self-proclaimed superforecaster Cummings.
Johnson didn't attend the first 5 COBR meetings on the pandemic. I'd have thought that by the time you got to the second, one might have thought the subject was quite important.
Failing to educate oneself is not an excuse. Hancock himself proclaimed the wonderful "diversity of thought" in the Cabinet, which must be in the running for one of the stupidest things said by a British Cabinet minister in June 2020.