Scottish Lib Dem leader, Willie Rennie, who infamously would not condemn his former leader, David Steel, for protecting the serial paedophile Cyril Smith, is keen as mustard to join in the attack on Professor Sridhar by deliberately misrepresenting her words.
In the New York Times, Sridhar wrote:
Scotland and Northern Ireland have looked ahead at the coming winter, and made a concerted plan to minimize community transmission to avoid a serious resurgence of the virus by using the summer to drive cases as close to zero as possible and to reopen cautiously. But neither nation has control over its borders because they are parts of the United Kingdom. So both now face a stream of incoming infections from England and Wales, which are behaving more like the rest of Europe, as well as from people returning from holidays abroad and not abiding by government advice to isolate for 14 days.
Sridhar made no other reference to England or to English people.
In a bizarre comment Rennie said:
Who on earth thinks that Sridhar meant that? The infection rate in North-West England is many times higher than that in Scotland. There is a steady flow of business and recreational traffic from and through that area into Scotland and, often, onward to some of those rural parts with a very low infection level and quite limited health infrastructure. Weeks before Professor Sridhar’s comments were published, the First Minister had urged Scots to avoid visiting North-West England and asked those living there to avoid visiting Scotland.
This kind of rational discourse, in Sridhar’s case based on, for example, advising on the Ebola outbreak, only seems divisive if that is the way your mind operates in advance of hearing anything from the Scottish Government or its advisers.
I can’t help but notice that Rennie has not found Professor Pennington’s many interventions ‘unhelpful.’