21st century wire
This is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary stories of the entire ‘global pandemic’ which has turned the world upside down over the twelve months.
In an article published by Lockdown Skeptics by Derek Winton entitled, The Imperial Model and its Role in the UK’s Pandemic Response, the author rightly calls into questions to relevant scientific experience of who is arguably the UK government’s most consequential science advisor of the COVID crisis – the notorious Neil Ferguson from Imperial College.
Indeed, it was Ferguson who created the original fictional scenario which was used to convince the government and mainstream media that COVID would somehow cause over 500,000 deaths in Britain unless the government ‘acted swiftly’ to institute harsh ‘mitigation’ measures such as lockdowns, or as Freddie Sayers of UnHerd describes, a “forecast that in a scenario without interventions, 81% of the UK population would become infected, and that 0.9% of them would die, ie 510,000 fatalities. That, famously, was the scenario that bounced the UK government into changing its approach.”
Like with previous pandemic scares, Ferguson was not even close, and yet here we are again. The lockdowns that followed last March have decimated the British economy and society, and in only 12 months has nearly destroyed the country’s education system. It has led to one totalitarian policy after another, and with no end in sight – even though the alleged ‘novel’ coronavirus in question was only a seasonal respiratory virus, and as proven statistically now – this coronavirus not at all lethal or a danger to the general population, as it only seemed to adversely affect the elderly with multiple chronic health conditions.
Despite his epics failures, he still sits on the government’s venerated SAGE science conclave. Not surprisingly, these high priests of The Science have been wrong about every aspect of the pandemic since day one of the crisis. But it’s not just problems with performance and competency, there is also the question of expertise. What makes Ferguson an expert on viruses?
It is here that Winton questions his qualifications, commenting, “The expertise of an expert is entirely relevant, indeed arguably it’s the only thing that is relevant. So let’s look at the qualifications of our expert.”
As it turns out, Ferguson holds no formal qualifications at all in the biological sciences – not as a microbiologist, a virologist, nor as an epidemiologist or biological statistician. Instead, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics (1990) from Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford, followed by his Doctorate of Philosophy in theoretical physics (1994) form Linacre College, in Oxford. So claims in the media which repeated describe Ferguson as ‘one of the country’s top epidemiologists’ – are quite misleading. While Ferguson has worked on lots of computer modelling and abstract simulations for various epidemics (and wildly inaccurate on many of them), he is not at all qualified to warrant any authoritative caché in field of biological science. He shouldn’t be anyway, and yet he is. It’s a strange situation to say the least.
As with so many thing in media and government, it seems nobody bothered to check.
Winton reveals, “In an interview on the BBC’s Life Scientific, Ferguson conceded to not having an A-level in Biology. As far as publicly available information is accurate, he appears to have no formal training in computer modelling, medicine or epidemiology either.”
But it’s actually much worse than that. Many recoiled in horror after another Times in December 2020 when Ferguson openly admitted that he was guided (inspired?) by the unprecedented actions of the Chinese Communist Party who invented the brutal ‘lockdown’ method of social control to supposedly contain COVID in Wuhan province in early 2020.
“I think people’s sense of what is possible in terms of control changed quite dramatically between January and March,” he said.
According to Ferguson, both he and and the UK government’s increasingly shaky SAGE science committee regarded China experimental totalitarian lockdown policy as “innovative intervention”:
“It’s a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought… and then Italy did it. And we realised we could.”
“If China had not done it,” he said, “the year would have been very different.”
As it turns out, important parts of the celebrated computer model which Ferguson used to invent the outlandish death predictions was not even fit for purpose. Among other problems, it completely left out seasonality as a variable in projecting the progress of a pandemic.
Lockdown Skeptics and author Derek Winton go on to chronicle some of Ferguson’s other past failure, leading even the casual observer to question how it was possible that he has been allowed to be involved in any government advisory position.
Prediction / projection: BSE – “The Imperial College team, whose work is published on the website of the journal Nature, predicts the future number of deaths from vCJD due to BSE in beef was likely to lie between 50 and 50,000.” – Daily Mail
“But Dr. Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist in another group of highly respected researchers led by Dr. Roy Anderson at Imperial College in London, said the new estimates were ”unjustifiably optimistic.” His group published estimates a year ago predicting that the number of variant C.J.D. cases might reach 136,000 in coming decades.” – New York Times Oct 31st 2001
Reality: A total of 2826 people have died from CJD over 30 years – National CJD Research and Surveillance Unit, The University of Edinburgh
Prediction / projection: Bird Flu ( H7N9) – “Last month Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, told Guardian Unlimited that up to 200 million people could be killed.” – The Guardian Sep 30th 2005
Reality: “Since 2013 there have been 1,568 human cases of bird flu and 616 deaths worldwide from the H7N9 strain.” – The Express Dec 7th 2020
Prediction / projection: Swine flu (H1N1) – “In 2009, Ferguson and his Imperial team predicted that swine flu had a case fatality rate 0.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent. His most likely estimate was that the mortality rate was 0.4 per cent. A government estimate, based on Ferguson’s advice, said a ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ was that the disease would lead to 65,000 UK deaths.” Spectator 16th April 2020
Reality: “457 people are known to have died during the pandemic in the UK as of 18 March 2010” – Independent review of the UK response to the 2009 influenza pandemic – gov.uk 1st July 2010
In addition to these debacles, Ferguson as goaded the British government with outrageous predictions about the disastrous Foot and Mouth disease crisis – which sparked the mass-culling of farm animals during the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic which cost the country billions of pounds, with most rural areas never recovering from the over-the-top government intervention.
Incompetent and unqualified, and he’s still employed. That’s your pandemic in a nutshell.
Reprinted with permission from 21st Century Wire.
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