SAGE expert Sir Jeremy Farrar attacks Boris Johnson for his ‘outrageous political maneuvers’

One of the government’s top scientific advisers has accused Boris Johnson of “political maneuvering” today for delaying the public inquiry into Covid until next year.

SAGE epidemiologist Sir Jeremy Farrar lied to the Prime Minister and attacked him for prioritizing saving reputations rather than lives.

He said there was “absolutely no reason” to wait, and that he was not pursuing the investigation to honor the 150,000 British victims of the pandemic.

The Covid investigation is set to begin in the spring of 2022 – but experts and next of kin have criticized this date as far too late to learn from mistakes.

There are concerns it won’t be able to report its findings until 2023, which could be after the next election, should Mr Johnson decide to cash in on the support bolstered by the successful vaccination campaign.

Britain has had the 19th highest Covid death rate in the world, placing it above the United States, Germany and France.

Boris Johnson, pictured in self-isolation on 'Freedom Day'

Sir Jeremy Farrar sued the prime minister today for delaying the investigation, accusing him of failing to honor Britain’s more than 150,000 virus victims

Britain has had the 19th highest Covid death rate in the world, placing it above the United States, Germany and France.

Britain has had the 19th highest Covid death rate in the world, placing it above the United States, Germany and France.

Top Sage adviser says Boris Johnson’s decision to avoid circuit breaker Covid lockdown in September was ‘catastrophic’

Boris Johnson’s decision not to impose a circuit breaker shutdown in September was “catastrophic” and warns that talk of “Friday Day” tomorrow is “premature” as the “pandemic is far from over,” said a senior member from SAGE.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the charity Wellcome Trust, says the government’s scientific advisory group met on September 21 last year and recommended ‘a package of measures’ to stem the ‘exponential’ rise in cases following the relaxation of restrictions last summer , to turn.

The measures, including a short-term lockdown, known as a ‘circuit breaker’, restrictions on the economy such as the closure of hospitality businesses and working from home, draconian bans on households excluding those in aid bubbles, and a move to online college and study at university , says Sir Jeremy.

An accompanying document summarizing the impact of several restrictions noted that ‘Failing to act now to reduce the number of cases will result in a very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences in terms of direct Covid-related deaths and the health service’s ability to to meet the needs,” he adds. .

The Prime Minister’s refusal to impose a short cut in September allowed the epidemic to “continue its upward trajectory” and “stimulated the conditions for the arrival and then the domination of new variants,” Sir Jeremy claims.

Sir Jeremy, director of the Wellcome Trust, has attended several meetings with the Prime Minister and played a key role in advising the government on the pandemic response.

But he has now broken ranks to call on Mr Johnson to bring the investigation forward.

The panel could be set up in just three to six months, meaning it could be launched much earlier than March next year.

Ministers gave an estimated date for the inquiry only two months ago, at the end of the second wave in May.

In excerpts from his new book – Spike: The Virus vs The People, The Inside Story – published in The timesSir Jeremy said: ‘Boris Johnson has announced that a public inquiry will start in 2022.

“It’s a shame it’s taking so long. There is absolutely no reason, other than political maneuvering, to wait.

‘Everyone has to learn lessons, including scientists. We honor the dead only by promising to learn from the mistakes that have cost them their lives.’

Sir Jeremy urged ministers to ensure the inquiry was independent so that it could make a ‘firm’ assessment of how departments responded.

In a separate excerpt, he also accused Boris Johnson of a “lack of strategic thinking” after attending a Downing Street meeting with him in March 2020.

“He sat at one end of a table and waved his arms as he made offers to buy millions of tests of uncertain provenance, while waving the concerns of others in the room who rightly felt that test kits needed some degree of quality control. .

“The first part of the pandemic was organizational chaos, with a combination of an absent prime minister, a dysfunctional state apparatus and multiple departmental fiefdoms.

“The lines of responsibility seemed not only vague but also invisible.”

Sir Jeremy’s new book is being serialized by The Times.

Yesterday, they released excerpts in which the top expert said he was considering leaving SAGE due to the government’s slow response to the virus.

He also criticized Mr Johnson’s failure to impose a circuit breaker shutdown in September as “catastrophic” and set the stage for the devastating second wave.

He said the lack of restrictions allowed the epidemic to “continue its upward trajectory” and “promoted the conditions for the arrival and subsequent domination of new variants.”

Mr Johnson has come under fire for his handling of the pandemic, including failure to ramp up testing capacity and the hugely expensive Test and Trace scheme.

Ministers have similarly faced criticism for potentially sending infected people to care homes and for handling lucrative PPE contracts.

Under continued pressure, Johnson pledged to open an investigation next year.

But he has since resisted calls to bring it up, with number 10 claiming it wouldn’t be good as long as the NHS is still under pressure over the winter.

A spokeswoman for No10 told The Times: ‘We want to draw lessons quickly and the inquiry will report within a reasonable time, but the end of the lockdown is not the end of the pandemic.

“Spring 2022, after the pressure we can expect on the NHS in the winter, is therefore the right time to start the study.”