Sir Patrick, a member of the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), has revealed that there was a mistake made when presenting a slide detailing the worst-case scenario for deaths to the public. This occurred amid the announcement of a second national lockdown on October 31, 2020. Despite his concerns about its validity, Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted that the public should see the slide as he had seen it.
The Office for Statistics Regulation criticized Sir Patrick for not releasing the data and assumptions behind the projection of 4,000 deaths per day by December 2020 if no action was taken. The then prime minister, Mr. Johnson, was forced to make a hasty announcement of the lockdown after plans were leaked to the media. He spent a considerable amount of time on the phone explaining his reasoning to critics before the press conference.
Despite its scientific validity, Sir Patrick expressed his belief that showing this projection as a science slide was not sensible. He also noted in his diaries in October 2020 that Dominic Cummings, Mr. Johnson’s senior adviser, claimed “Rishi thinks just let people die and that’s okay.”