The data fits the policy, not the other way around.
A twitter exchange between the Government's chief data modeller and journalist Fraser Nelson resulted in the scientist accidentally admitting what many have suspected all along is being called 'a watershed moment' in the ongoing Covid information war.
The fateful Twitter exchange began with Nelson remarking on SAGE's latest doomsday scenario report that claims 6000 people a day will die by Christmas without further restrictions.
Fraser Nelson, writing in the Spectator magazine began:
"The latest Sage papers have been published, envisaging anything from 200 to 6,000 deaths a day from Omicron depending on how many more restrictions we’ll get — up to and very much including another lockdown. Earlier today I had an unexpected chance to ask questions of Graham Medley, the chair of the Sage modelling committee."
"He's a professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) which last weekend published a study on Omicron with very gloomy scenarios and making the case for more restrictions. But JP Morgan had a close look at this study and spotted something big: all the way through, LSHTM assumes that the Omicron variant is just as deadly as Delta. ‘But evidence from South Africa suggests that Omicron infections are milder,’ JP Morgan pointed out in a note to clients. Adjust for this, it found, and the picture changes dramatically:
Bed occupancy by Covid-19 patients at the end of January would be 33% of the peak seen in January 2021."
He goes on to say:
"Why was this scenario left out? Why would this fairly-important and fairly-basic fact on Omicron modelling not presented by Sage modellers like Professor Medley to ministers — and to the general public? I was thrilled for the chance to speak to him on Twitter. It was kind of him to make the time (he’s still going, as far as I can make out). The Spectator data hub has a page devoted to past Sage modelling vs actual, and I wanted to make sure I was not being unfair to Sage in my selection or presentation of those charts."
"The latest Sage paper-drop — the 6,000-deaths-a-day one — refers to ‘scenarios,’ not predictions. Professor Medley emphasises the distinction: saying something could happen is not saying that there's a realistic chance of it happening. But then why do Sage modellers publish some scenarios and not others?"
The Twitter Exchange that follows may well signal then end of SAGE's dominance over all our lives
In another Tweet, Fraser Nelson shows how all the other scenarios from SAGE have been wrong.
"We generally model what we are asked to model"
Nelson goes on to say in his article: "Note how careful he is to stay vague on whether any of the various scenarios in the Sage document are likely or even plausible. What happened to the original system of presenting a ‘reasonable worse-case scenario’ together with a central scenario? And what's the point of modelling if it doesn't say how likely any these scenarios are?"
"From what Professor Medley says, it’s unclear that the most-likely scenario is even being presented to ministers this time around. So how are they supposed to make good decisions? I highly doubt that Sajid Javid is only asking to churn out models that make the case for lockdown. That instruction, if it is being issued, will have come from somewhere else."
SAGE report https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1042204/S1439_SPI-M-O_Consensus_Statement.pdf