On the BBC Health site, yesterday:
The government has been criticised by the official statistics watchdog for the way it presented data to justify England’s second lockdown.
The UK Statistics Authority highlighted the use of modelling at Saturday’s TV briefing showing the possible death toll from Covid this winter.
It said there needed to be more transparency about data and how predictions were being made.
The projections were out of date and over-estimated deaths, it has emerged.
A forecast made by Public Health England and Cambridge University said the country could soon be seeing more than 4,000 deaths a day.
The projection was made weeks ago and had forecast there would be 1,000 deaths a day by the end of October when the average was actually four times less than that – a fact that was known at the time of Saturday’s TV briefing.
What is more, the model had already been updated to predict a lower estimate, but this was not used in the briefing fronted by chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty, alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It is understood the graph was used by the two senior advisers in meetings last week where the decision to impose a nationwide lockdown in England was made.
The pair were grilled about it by MPs on Tuesday and Sir Patrick apologised for any confusion caused.
Notice the PM’s apparent role here? Remind us, who made the decision to lockdown relying on those statistics?
The other media saw no reason to accuse him:
But in Scotland, when when the First Minister used statistics that, were not wrong, unlike the ones the PM used, but just hadn’t been formally published:
In sharp contrast, the FM is targeted:
And, not just ‘government’ but ‘SNP government’: