LISTEN: Neil Ferguson Suggests Freedom Timetable Could Be Sped Up

LISTEN: Neil Ferguson Suggests Freedom Timetable Could Be Sped Up

Scourge of the lockdown sceptics Neil Ferguson could become their greatest hope in the months ahead as so called ‘Professor Lockdown’ suggested that the unwinding timetable could be accelerated – contradicting what Boris said at his press conference last night, that five week gaps between each unlocking stage are necessary to examine new data. Speaking to Times Radio’s Carole Walker last night, Ferguson said:

“If we are in the best case scenario where the vaccine effectiveness is even greater than current estimates would suggest and it really drives down transmission, there is always the potential – I think it’s unlikely – but the potential of accelerating the rate of relaxation, particularly in the May-June timeframe.”

Scientifically, Ferguson sounds more on the money than Boris here – if the data is very strong between steps 2 and 3 for example, it would be odd to presume the vaccine data would be somehow less effective between steps 3 and 4. Expect to see a lot of Parliamentary pressure pile on for a final stage acceleration if transmission data is strong in the initial steps…

Ferguson did, however, later caveat that the timetable is “realistic” and that “I wouldn’t be surprised if some elements” – particularly the final stage of total freedom – “slip a little“. Ultimately the political and scientific calculation is that it is better for the economy to have a one way path. Being hasty without new data could lead to going backwards which would hit businesses harder than going forwards more cautiously:

“It is right to be being cautious at this point to avoid having to reverse measures, which is even more economically damaging than going at the fastest possible rate and then having to change course.”

This better be the last time…



* This article was originally published by Guido Fawkes

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