‘Don’t scapegoat Whitty!’ SAGE should not be condemned for Covid errors – new poll

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‘Don’t scapegoat Whitty!’ SAGE should not be condemned for Covid errors – new poll

GMB: Susanna and Richard clash over government Covid responseThe "Coronavirus: lessons learned to date" report, released yesterday, revealed that d

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GMB: Susanna and Richard clash over government Covid response

The “Coronavirus: lessons learned to date” report, released yesterday, revealed that during the first three months of the pandemic, “the Government moved from the ‘contain’ stage to the ‘delay’ stage” and “that approach involved trying to manage the spread of covid through the population rather than to stop it spreading altogether”.

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The choice to suppress the virus rather than stop the virus meant the Government was slow to introduce lockdown measures, stop international travel, and introduce mass testing, the report finds.

The investigation says this early strategy was a “serious error” and suggests that although much of the advice from SAGE was wrong, ministers “felt it was difficult to challenge the views of their official scientific advisers”.

But Britons appear to sympathise with SAGE advisors, including Mr Whitty, believing that he tried his best in the face of a challenge never seen before.

One voter commented: “This was an unprecedented event, no one knew how it would pan out.

“Calling for scapegoats is unfair and unkind.

“Everyone, without doubt, ‘did their best’, no one would have taken their decisions lightly” (username K69tie).

Another agreed: “This caught the governments of the entire world cold. Yes, mistakes were made, and made everywhere” (username S0crat3s).

Chris Whitty

Chris Whitty has been questioned over new Covid report findings (Image: Getty)

On the topic of care home deaths, the report was particularly scathing of the medical advice given to the Government.

It read: “The Government and the NHS both failed adequately to recognise the significant risks to the social care sector at the beginning of the pandemic.

“SAGE either did not have sufficient representation from social care or did not give enough weight to the impact on the social care sector.”

The health and science committee members who put together the report said that thousands of deaths could have been avoided if more attention had been given to protecting care homes from Covid infections.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson ‘nice guy doing his best’ according to Britons

In a poll held from October 12 to 13, Express.co.uk asked readers whether they think chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty, chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance, or Prime Minister Boris Johnson should resign as a results of these findings.

Out of 7,149 votes, 26.2 percent said Professor Whitty should resign, a further 26.2 percent said Sir Vallance should resign, and 21.3 percent said the Prime Minister should resign.

Numerous Express readers urged Britons to empathise with Professor Whitty and Sir Vallance, but some felt Mr Johnson and SAGE members should be held responsible for their miscalculations and inefficiencies.

A Reform UK supporter, Fender, said: “Matt Hancock should be prosecuted, the whole of SAGE’s governmental advisers should be sacked, and Johnson should resign, not just for Covid but over his handling of Brexit which has been shambolic.”

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In response to the report, a Government spokesman said: “Throughout the pandemic we have been guided by scientific and medical experts and we never shied away from taking quick and decisive action to save lives and protect our NHS, including introducing restrictions and lockdowns.

“We are committed to learning lessons from the pandemic and have committed to holding a full public inquiry in spring.”

Which side of the argument do you stand by? Let us know in the comments section below.

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