EvidenceIgnoring the COVID Evidence

Published 26 June 2020

There is no need to wait for history books to analyze and dissect every aspect of the disease and the U.K. governments’ response to it, Alistair Haimes writes in The Critic, “but it is already clear that there has been an unexampled disregard for the foundational pillars of the scientific method even as governments trumpet that they are ‘following the science’.” He argues that at every stage, the U.K. government has failed to apply scrutiny where it is due, or even to stop and check that it was on the right ladder before it carried on climbing. He adds: “I have no idea whether there will be either a second wave or a totally different epidemic in the next few years. But we urgently need to repair the infrastructure not just of our healthcare and procurement systems but also of the decision-making processes underpinning our scientific advice, our policy response and our legislative safeguards, ready for the next crisis that comes along. It should start with ensuring that the right questions will be asked, and that scrutiny is maintained and sustained when the going gets tough. We did not have to get this wrong the way we did: we must not repeat the fatal steps that brought us to where we are now.”