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To think we should let scientific advisers advise?

(181 Posts)
MayBeMaw Fri 17-Dec-21 07:11:36

Well, well, well. Apparently Professor Chris Whitty has come under fire from Tory MPs after urging the public to scale back their plans before Christmas, with claims that medical advisers are “running the show” on Covid policy.
Tory MPs are said to have questioned the level of influence wielded by Prof Whitty
(I might question the level of competence by the same MPs, but there you go. )
Conservative backbenchers hit out at England’s Chief Medical Officer after he told the public to prioritise events that “really matter”, signalling that less important gatherings should be skipped to curb the spread of omicron.
Critics claimed Prof Whitty’s comments at the No 10 news conference on Wednesday evening were markedly stronger than the Prime Minister’s message.
It seems to me that “prioritising” is exactly what sensible people are or should be doing. Do we want to be with our families at Christmas or do we chance the pub quiz night? Office drinks party or seeing the children/grandchildren? Train to London to see the Christmas lights or give it a miss this year?
There is risk in everything, but it’s obvious to me that the alternatives to making sensible choices could be either a massive surge in infection and/or total lockdown.

nanna8 Fri 17-Dec-21 07:20:01

Sounds like commonsense to me but then Tory MPs wouldn’t know a lot about this. Never have.

mumofmadboys Fri 17-Dec-21 07:23:19

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have someone as sensible and balanced as Chris Whitty for prime minister? Actually I think Nicola Sturgeon gives very clear directives too

Hetty58 Fri 17-Dec-21 07:24:53

Chris Whitty, the voice of reason, just reminding us to think before we take any risks. We all know he's right, of course, but Tory MPs have one eye on the economy too.

Riverwalk Fri 17-Dec-21 07:39:26

I've just heard Oliver Dowden on Times Radio, twice evading to answer what he would say to those MPs bad-mouthing Prof Whitty - it seems like an orchestrated campaign to me.

EllanVannin Fri 17-Dec-21 07:51:48

If Chris Whitty wants the country to shutdown then so be it. It would save an awful lot of deaths and suffering. What's more important ? The man himself isn't going to be partying etc. !

Whitewavemark2 Fri 17-Dec-21 07:54:37

The Tories have never liked experts.

GagaJo Fri 17-Dec-21 07:57:12

They're resentful of the gravitas and respect he has. Those plonkers don't realise those things come from doing a good job, being steady and reliable. Who would have thought that Tory lying, cheating and corruption would be a bar to having the respect of the populace.

V3ra Fri 17-Dec-21 08:02:20

mumofmadboys

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have someone as sensible and balanced as Chris Whitty for prime minister? Actually I think Nicola Sturgeon gives very clear directives too

Exactly this. Nicola had given the same advice for Scotland recently too.

M0nica Fri 17-Dec-21 08:03:55

Scientist like everyone else needs to live in the world as it is. Constant hectoring and insisting we introduce stricter and stricter controls, only works if people are prepared to believe what they are saying and eventually, if not handled properly pandemic fatigue sets in.

The fact of the matter is that all scientista are not in accord. We are getting a string of contradictory forecasts and warnings from at least half a dozen different cedible teams, at least politically and media credible, and 10s of forecasts from respectable, but less well touted teams.

We have now been under controls for getting on for two years and people are getting fed up and frustrated and feeling that the time has come when we should start learning to live with the disease and leave people to themselves to decide how they wish to respond to this threat. Those of you who at high risk, may well chose to continue to live a secluded lives, but did you do this before because of the danger of getting flu and other respiratory diseases that usually run rampant in winter? Those who wish to live a more free life, may be willing to take the risk.

As it is our hospitality, tourist, retail and cultural industries are being destroyed. Industries that employ millions of people, the economy is cutback and the government is paying out £ billions of borrowed money to sustain them. Money that will be very difficult to pay back if our economy does not thrive.

I can imagine nothing worse than having Chris Whitty as Prime Minister. He would be as bad as the current one, with his rigid inststence on numbers and absolutely no grasp of how normal people respond to constantly being placed under rigid government and presumably punished for every refraction. Peolple would be queueing in the streets to get through the courts and the army would be brought in to run temporary courts.

There is far more to government than giving clear directives. It is knowing how to give clear directives in a manner that people are prepared to take notice of. I doubt Chris Whitty would know where to begin.

growstuff Fri 17-Dec-21 08:06:56

When I read posts such as yours MOnica, I really do despair. It's too early for me and I don't even know where to begin.

GagaJo Fri 17-Dec-21 08:13:17

Fortunately, people do seem to be responding to Whitty's message. It's what the country is crying out for.

He's a very selfless man. Polar opposite to Boris and his ilk.

Iam64 Fri 17-Dec-21 08:26:34

Chris Whitty is a National hero

lemsip Fri 17-Dec-21 08:28:06

Thread title is.... To think we should let scientific advisers advise? ....
Well they are the experts aren't they.........

cannot believe the sheer ignorance of some replies

the hospitals will be overwhelmed and bodies piling up in morturies waiting months for funerals. ask some that have had deaths of loved ones.

are some thinking it should be left in Boris's hands.

TerriBull Fri 17-Dec-21 08:35:47

I think Monica has made some very good points, the doctor in South Africa who identified Omricron, did say that she feels we here are over reacting to what has played out there, the symptoms of this variant are so much milder. It didn't help when the government announced a few days ago that there had been one death and then were suitably vague as to whether that individual had been vaccinated, it seems he wasn't.

Once again the hospitality industry is going to be hit really hard, just when they are getting on their feet again. Personally I just wish the government would introduce passports and preclude the unvaccinated from entering anywhere inside. Seeing a huge gathering of people, 3000 I think, for some darts competition the other day, most without masks, and possibly some unvaccinated just seemed ridiculous at this time.

Lincslass Fri 17-Dec-21 08:46:43

lemsip

Thread title is.... To think we should let scientific advisers advise? ....
Well they are the experts aren't they.........

cannot believe the sheer ignorance of some replies

the hospitals will be overwhelmed and bodies piling up in morturies waiting months for funerals. ask some that have had deaths of loved ones.

are some thinking it should be left in Boris's hands.

Only one unfortunate death from Omicron, a 70 year old who refused his vaccines according to his family. Stop scaremongering, sometimes there is no rationality in these comments. Germany has had far stricter rules, certainly more than some on here would tolerate, and yet their numbers are rising. www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59639007

Aveline Fri 17-Dec-21 08:51:25

M0nica has made some good points. We're lucky to have a combination of scientific and economic info. Balancing these and trying to judge the likely psychological response from a very disparate country is extremely difficult.

M0nica Fri 17-Dec-21 10:32:59

lemsip what is the scientific evidence for your forecasts?

Even at the height of wave one of COVID, with no vaccinations, and drug based treatments in their very infancy, we didn't have the scenario you have painted for the omincron wave. Why on earth should this happen now?

No one would leave anything in BJ's hands.

silverlining48 Fri 17-Dec-21 10:36:32

If there’s a vote for health or wealth I vote health. Chris Whitty was asked a question and he answered honestly and directly without any spin, as he ( and so many of us) believe. Now he is being criticised by Tories who will be after his blood for stating the bl—-ing obvious.
We still don’t know about the new scary, because of it’s capacity to multiply, variation of Covid, let’s play safe.
Thanks Chris Whitty for another straight answer, sadly straight answers are rarer than hens teeth.

Calistemon Fri 17-Dec-21 10:43:39

Scientist like everyone else needs to live in the world as it is. Constant hectoring and insisting we introduce stricter and stricter controls, only works if people are prepared to believe what they are saying and eventually, if not handled properly pandemic fatigue sets in.

He's not hectoring. We all inhabit the same world including Professor Whitty who has common sense as well as formidable intelligence.

He's is advising as strongly as he can without directly contradicting the waffle advice coming from the Prime Minister.

I'm in Team Whitty.

Calistemon Fri 17-Dec-21 10:49:10

Just because Omicron has arrived, is supposedly less serious and is spreading rapidly does not mean that the more serious Delta variant and others have disappeared.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 17-Dec-21 10:50:21

Me too Calistemon.

Hetty58 Fri 17-Dec-21 10:52:41

The worst case scenario would see so many people off sick with Omicron that staff shortages would severely impact daily life.

That, too would damage to the economy - so we really can't assume, yet, that we're overreacting. We just have to see how things pan out. I'm all for being cautious, just in case, however fed up I am with it.

TerriBull, the much quoted doctor in SA isn't an expert - just a doctor with an opinion, that's all.

Calistemon Fri 17-Dec-21 11:29:30

It just doesn't seem very sensible to suggest that large parties are fine but work from home if you can.

MayBeMaw Fri 17-Dec-21 11:38:28

M0nica - I don’t know how you can interpret this as hectoring
From todays DT.
Prof Whitty was quizzed about the latest health messaging himself when he appeared before the Commons health and social care select committee.
Greg Clark MP asked him why he had given advice to people to prioritise their contacts when it was the Government’s job to make recommendations.
Prof Whitty said: “From the very first chief medical officer in the 1850s, chief medical officers have always given advice to the general public, but ministers reserved to themselves, rightly, anything to do with the law, anything to do with balancing against the economy
This is advice that I think any chief medical officer would have given. And I don’t actually think any minister is feeling I am treading on their toes on this one, this is my job
But I also consider that questions about things like further measures, those are very much for ministers so it’s drawing the line between those two
The expectation is that the chief medical officer and medical advisors will talk as a doctor, independently, and give advice as long as they don’t stray beyond .”
Asked about his advice to prioritise events he said: “I was advising people to prioritise. If the most important thing to them in the next 10 days is to go to a football match, that’s the priority for them .I’m still trying to avoid making other people’s choices for them.
Prof Whitty said it would be entirely up to ministers to decide whether to impose new restrictions.
I would say this is the complete antithesis of “hectoring”.