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expert reaction to Sunday Times article about the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The April 19th edition of the Sunday Times carried an article on the UK government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Prof Rowland Kao, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and Data Science, University of Edinburgh, said:

“As the number of retrospective evaluations of government decisions come through, an important distinction must be made between decisions that did not properly take into account the evidence at the time, and decisions which proved to have a less than optimal (or sadly, in some cases, even tragic) outcome. The former should rightly come under intensive scrutiny, and lessons must be learned from it. This includes a critical examination of the person or persons making the decisions and the persons advising them. The latter is an inevitable consequence of evaluating any evidence, as there is always considerable uncertainty – science never has perfect answers. How do we tell which is which? This is inevitably difficult but requires in the first instance proper transparency and a willingness to accept detailed scrutiny.”


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