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AIBU

To think we should let scientific advisers advise?

(182 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.

LilacChaser Fri 17-Dec-21 11:42:29

M0nica - voice of reason

maddyone Fri 17-Dec-21 11:53:14

I think people should prioritise which events are the most important to them. For us, it’s to spend Christmas Day with our family. Last Christmas my husband and I were both suffering from Covid and a week later I was in hospital. It’s important to us to see our family this Christmas and so will not be going out apart from to the supermarket and to visit my elderly mother.

Pepper59 Fri 17-Dec-21 11:54:45

To my mind Prof Whitty knows what he is talking about, hardly refers to notes during his speeches. I personally would trust his advice before any politician. It is a very fine balancing act between public health and the economy. Much as Ive no time for most politicians or political parties, I do not envy any task or decisions they have to make. The same with the scientists. Like others and much as I loathe to say if things are really bad, the vaccine passports need to be brought in. To my mind the vaccines are the only way out of this hellish situation.

Daisymae Fri 17-Dec-21 16:20:28

This article is very interesting. It compares the CV of Whitty and the MP who voiced the tweet that seems to have started all this.
www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/17/chris-whitty-v-tory-mp-joy-morrissey-who-to-believe-on-covid
Nuff said!

MayBeMaw Fri 17-Dec-21 16:31:34

Says it all for me!

M0nica Fri 17-Dec-21 16:36:00

Chris Whitty is just one of a panel of learned epidmiologists, and respiratory experts all with different opinions and equally well qualified to disagree with him.

Not everyone agrees with him and you have only to look how science has altered and changed over years as new discoveries are made.

Remember the scientific and medical advice that told us to put our babies on their front to sleep as that was the safiest way and reduced choking - at least that was the advice until other scientists discovered that it resulted in a frightening rise in cot deaths, so the scientific advice changed.

No scientist has a monopoly on absolutely the final answer to any problem. Not even the governments chief sccientific officer. There will always others who will quite legitimately differ.

Barmeyoldbat Fri 17-Dec-21 16:52:45

growstuff

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.

I agree with you growstuff, just unbelievable that anyone can think that way, especially about those who are vulnerable. Of course we take care in normal times but this is not normal and covid attacks the lungs and when you have a lung disease this could well prove fatal or overwhelm our NHS, So MOnica don’t you think that we are entitled to feel safe when we have to go out and don’t you just think that Chris W might just be a bit better qualified than the corrupt, self serving bunch of clowns running the country.

Calistemon Fri 17-Dec-21 17:17:50

Not even the governments chief sccientific officer.

We're not discussing Sir Patrick Vallance

Calistemon Fri 17-Dec-21 17:19:58

There were 93,045 new people with a confirmed positive test result for coronavirus on 17 December 2021, and 477,229 people in the last 7 days. This shows an increase of 132,836 compared to the previous 7 days.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 17-Dec-21 17:24:06

Good grief. But there will still be people denying that covid exists, all a big conspiracy etc, and carrying on as usual. What chance do any of us have if - perish the thought - we need urgent hospital treatment? The NHS workers must despair.

M0nica Fri 17-Dec-21 21:17:04

Barmyoldbat what on earth are you talking about? I have never said do what Boris says and not what Whitty says.

I have said.... Oh go back and read my posts again carefully and find out what it really said, not what you imagined I said.

Calistemon Fri 17-Dec-21 22:44:02

Not everyone agrees with him and you have only to look how science has altered and changed over years as new discoveries are made.

There must be a consensus of opinion and, as he is the Chief Medical Officer, he is the spokesperson (or the Deputy Chief Medical in his place) as is the Chief Scientific Officer.

They have to work with and give advice with the information they have at the present.

Of course it may change the more research and information becomes available.

New discoveries will be made and, as Covid is a new disease, there will be much to learn.

Mollygo Fri 17-Dec-21 22:59:07

Yes I think scientific advisers should be allowed to advise, but it’s become quite obvious that an increasing number of folk all over the UK are making their own decisions about what they think is safe.
For some this means following the rules and the advice given by various ministers and experts and for others it’s doing what suits them.

Luckygirl3 Fri 17-Dec-21 23:23:28

Good for Chris! And all the other scientists who are giving us the facts. We need to listen to him.

Elegran Fri 17-Dec-21 23:54:24

Not everyone agrees with him and you have only to look how science has altered and changed over years as new discoveries are made.
Yes. Two years ago, CoVid was a completely new disease, which no-one knew anything about. Now a great deal more is known, and Prof Whitty is far more knowledgeable than most people - particularly than the Prime Minister. I would out far more faith in his predictions and advice than I would in anyone in Westminster.

Calistemon Sat 18-Dec-21 00:01:28

AIBU To think we should let scientific advisers advise?

Not at all.

"Scientific Advisers"
The clue is in the name, but perhaps these Tory MPs don't realise that, which is worrying.

M0nica Sat 18-Dec-21 07:08:49

Advisers offer advice. Others decide whether it is feasible or safe to follow that advice.

Do you automatically accept all the advice you are given, even from those you seek professional advice from, like a solicitor or doctor. Don't you, at times, ignore that advice for all sorts of reasons.

MissAdventure Sat 18-Dec-21 08:02:16

I ignore them if I'm pretty sure i know better.
The fact is though, that usually I don't.

karmalady Sat 18-Dec-21 08:12:47

as a scientist also with a medical background, I completely agree with prof Whitty and with maw. You go your way monica and the rest of us will go our way. Btw, My dd medic has just cancelled their forthcoming family meal at a restaurant, knowing that I will be visiting them the day after, that is what I call thoughtful and considerate

Omicron is quickly replacing delta and is very likely to reach a peak soon, with many resulting hospital cases and potential deaths. Hang in there to keep the community safe, it seems as though this pandemic may be on the way to burnout in the uk and will then become an epidemic. Its down to us as individuals to have some care for the community as a whole

Whitewavemark2 Sat 18-Dec-21 08:21:36

karmalady

as a scientist also with a medical background, I completely agree with prof Whitty and with maw. You go your way monica and the rest of us will go our way. Btw, My dd medic has just cancelled their forthcoming family meal at a restaurant, knowing that I will be visiting them the day after, that is what I call thoughtful and considerate

Omicron is quickly replacing delta and is very likely to reach a peak soon, with many resulting hospital cases and potential deaths. Hang in there to keep the community safe, it seems as though this pandemic may be on the way to burnout in the uk and will then become an epidemic. Its down to us as individuals to have some care for the community as a whole

Good post

TerriBull Sat 18-Dec-21 08:26:37

I think most of us on GN understandably speak from an older person's perspective and we are naturally more cautious and likely to follow government directives. It's inevitable that younger people living through almost 2 years of this now are really suffering from restriction fatigue, and at this time of year will continue partying like it's 1999, particularly if they read about this government's own laissez faire attitude as to not really demonstrating that they take the advice they are handing out particularly seriously. I'm simultaneously both alarmed and understanding of seeing young people gathering, remembering what I was like at that age, imaging how difficult it must be to virtually put your life on hold with possibly no end it sight of course many are at the straining at the leash stage now.

From people I've heard about those who have got the new variant and who have been vaccinated and boosted, it would appear they have had the symptoms of a common cold. I remember having those at least twice a year when I was in the cut and thrust of working life, laid low for a few days but nothing more. What would help if we could know how many people who are hospitalised haven't been vaccinated, and of those who have, I wonder whether they had yet to be offered the booster, given the efficacy of their second vaccination would have diminished to such an extent that it no longer offered protection.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 18-Dec-21 09:02:24

Good post terribull. When he’s on Boris’s broadcasts Chris Witty has a graph showing percentages of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in hospital. I expect a lot of us who are retired watch the broadcasts but it would be good to see the figures much more widely publicised so that as many as possible get that very stunning message. The percentage of hospitalised unvaccinated people rises dramatically with age.

Franbern Sat 18-Dec-21 09:31:13

Thanks Monica for coming on here and, (bravely) stating a reasoned case.

I am very disturbed as to the almost hysterical panic that seems to be around these days. I really wonder if there should also be a media list of the daily number of people ill with flu, or even the common cold. Yes, both of these do kill vulnerable people.

Also, what about about a daily number of those who have died premature from cancer due to treatments either being stopped, or started to late due to late diagnosis at this time.

When the fact that a death had occurred for someone from the Omicron variant the information on the age and non-vaccinated status of that victim have been given.

I accept that Prof (Next slide please) Whitty is an expert in his field - BUT as has been said, experts in this field are not all in agreement and our lives are made up of more than just one particular virus,.

As we have a clown as PM, and a government made up of people whose only expertise seems to be in lying and making vast profits from us poor suckers, think we are desperate to look to someone, anyone with an air of gravitas for leadership.

MissAdventure Sat 18-Dec-21 09:43:16

That is what people have always done, surely?
Divorce lawyers, architects, chiropodists....
People who know (hopefully) a bit more than we do about their chosen subject.

Shropshirelass Sat 18-Dec-21 09:45:26

I like Chris Whitty, he is an expert in this field and I do listen and take on board what he says. Common sense has to kick in, surely we don’t have to wait to be told what to do?