‘Why do so many scientists not agree with each other?’: Piers Morgan quizzes pro and anti-lockdown experts on GMB and claims they leave the public ‘wondering who to believe’
- The GMB host quizzed scientists the need for a second ‘circuit break’ lockdown
- The 55-year-old claimed conflicting advice is leaving the public confused
- Prof Angus Dalgelish, Prof Devi Sridhar and Prof Gabriel Scally were all involved
Piers Morgan has quizzed scientists on why they are leaving the public confused over the need for a second lockdown.
The TV presenter says pro and anti-lockdown experts are leaving the public ‘wondering who to believe’ as they argue for and against a ‘circuit break’.
Hosting a debate on Good Morning Britain, the 55-year-old questioned why so many scientists disagree with each other over whether there should be a second lockdown.
Piers Morgan (pictured top left) says pro and anti-lockdown experts are leaving the public ‘wondering who to believe’ as they argue for and against a ‘circuit break’
Anti-lockdown: Dr Angus Dalgleish, Professor of Oncology at St George’s Hospital, University of London
Professor Angus Dalgleish (pictured) works at St George’s Hospital, University of London
Dr Angus Dalgleish is a renowned oncologist and vaccine researcher.
The cancer specialist has been a vocal critic of the Government’s plans to curb the spread of the virus.
He told how he was inspired to speak out about restrictions after sadly told losing two colleagues to suicide in two weeks.
Their deaths come amid rising pressure on medics during the Covid crisis.
He said: ‘I view the official Covid strategy with mounting alarm.
‘As our nation stares into the abyss of unprecedented recession and social dislocation, the supposed cure is indeed turning out to be far worse than the disease.’
He fears further restrictions will prevent the NHS from treating patients with conditions other than Covid.
‘We are meant to have a National Health Service but, increasingly, it is a National Covid Service,’ he said.
Pro-lockdown: Professor Devi Sridhar, professor of global public health at Edinburgh University
Professor Devi Sridhar (pictured) works at Edinburgh University
Devi Sridhar, 35, predicted two years ago that the world would face a coronavirus-like crisis.
Speaking in May 2018 she specifically warned that a farmer in China would get infected by an animal.
She added that infection would then spread to the local community before getting on a plane and hitting the UK.
Professor Sridhar has since called for a number of measures to protect against the spread of coronavirus.
These include wearing face coverings, staying outside where it is less possible for the virus to transmit from person to person, and to avoid crowded places.
She also previously recognised the damage a lockdown can potentially do to the economy.
She previously told Sky: ‘Lockdowns have major economic consequences as well as for general and societal relations.’
But with rising Covid cases, she urged people to follow Government advice, including if this involves a second lockdown.
Professor Gabriel Scally is the former director of Public Health
Professor Gabriel Scally is the former director of Public Health.
He was very critical of early measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, including the decision to allow Cheltenham Festival to go ahead.
The four-day Festival was staged as planned in front of 250,000 people just 10 days before government lockdown measures were introduced earlier this year.
Prof Scally called for an investigation into the festival after fears it could have caused a spike of positive cases.
His comments come amid rising numbers of coronavirus cases, with Britain recording more than 100 coronavirus deaths for the first time in four months yesterday as officials announced 143 more victims.
Addressing scientists Professor Angus Dalgelish, Professor Devi Sridhar and former Public Health director Prof Gabriel Scally, Piers asked: ‘Why is it that so many eminent scientists don’t agree with one another?’
He added that a ‘united view’ would leave the public far less confused.
He said: ‘It would be a lot more constructive for the public if there was a united view on this, but it looks like now increasingly you’ve got the anti-lockdown science and the pro-lockdown and the public are wondering which scientists to believe.’
Prof Devi Sridhar, 35, professor of global public health at the Edinburgh University, argued that there should be no delay in introducing a second lockdown.
The 35-year-old predicted a coronavirus-like crisis two years ago and previously said that the government missed several opportunities to contain the pandemic.
She told GMB: ‘No one should be exposed to this virus right now.
‘And if we do that two weeks we start getting on top of this.
‘The longer we delay, and we made this mistake in march, the longer we will be stuck in some kind of lockdown, because the (cases) will take longer to come up and will tke longer to come down.’
She pointed out other countries around the globe who entered and exited their lockdowns quicker than Britain did and succeeded in curbing the virus’ spread.
But Dr Angus Dalgleish, who also appeared on the programme, argued against another lockdown.
The Professor of Oncology at St George’s University of London said he believed another lockdown would ‘unnecesarily’ ‘trash’ livelihoods and damage the economy.
He also defended the juxtaposition of scientific opinions, arguing that ‘the point of science is to have a debate’.
He said: ‘We’ve got to address this very strongly, not least because of the damage thats being done to the economy.
‘And the economy means jobs and the livelihoods of our children and the next generation, which has been completely trashed.’
He added: ‘In regards to this virus, I have treated in my job as a general physician young people with flu, pneumonia, and no one shut down the economy for this.
‘We had a big flu epidemic in 2015 where 28,000 people died.
‘We’re talking about 48,000 people now (with Covid) and we’re talking about destoying the economy, destroying the livelihoods and everything of the generation below and I do not think it is necessary.’
Dr Gabriel Scally also waded in on the GMB debate and questioned why advice given to the goverment by Sage scientists about imposing a circuit breaker lockdown was not adhered to.
He called the situation ‘quite a crisis’, adding: ‘It’s very odd and unusual for a government who say they follow the science not to follow the science on this occsion.’
Professor Devi Sridhar encouraged people to ‘keep hope’ in the face of the confusing mixed messaging, adding: ‘I think a lot of people are feeling fatigued, the’yre feeling angry, and they dont want to follow government guidance because they feel: “What’s the point”.
‘But it does make a point. You’re doing this for your family, for your friends, for your communities.‘
Experts are split over the need for a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown, which would see the introduction of a temporary set of clear and effective restrictions designed to get the R rate down.
It is hoped the measures would curb the spread of the coronavirus and reverse the trend of infections and hospital admissions.
MPs are split over the science of whether a second lockdown would be effective, with many arguing there is no scientific justification to support the 10pm curfew on the hospitality industry.
Some argue this will cripple the sector, force businesses to close and damage the economy unnecessarily.
Opinion has been further divided after the spread of disinformation about the virus online, which has sparked anti-lockdown protests and saw mass rallies of virus deniers gather in Trafalgar Square.
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