A group of coronavirus “obsessed” scientists in Britain are launching a “coordinated” effort to derail plans to fully re-open the country by pushing fears of another wave of the virus, said former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the nation that lockdowns would be lifted on June 21st. However, media reports — spurred on by warnings from select members of the government’s SAGE coronavirus quango of a third wave — have increasingly suggested that the “freedom day” will need to be pushed back.
Speaking on talkRADIO on Tuesday, Sir Iain said that while there may be legitimate concerns about emerging variants, he found it “ridiculous listening to various scientists go on”, adding: “It seems like an organised push by a group of scientists to stop June the 21st.”
Duncan Smith said that the campaign has been building up over the past couple of weeks, saying that it looks to him as “really coordinated and quite deliberate”.
Sir Iain noted that while there has been a slight uptick in cases, the death rate has been “static”, and the number of hospitalisations has been “flat” due to the UK’s vaccination drive.
“What we have got now is a bunch of scientists obsessed, obsessed with one single issue to the detriment of absolutely everything else,” Duncan Smith said.
Tory MP Sir Ian Duncan Smith tells Julia that SAGE scientists are "obsessed" with the Covid virus and concern about a third wave but there needs to be a more balanced approach to ending lockdown.@JuliaHB1 | @MPIainDS pic.twitter.com/NLan8RAK35
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) June 1, 2021
The former Conservative Party leader said that there is an “unbalanced” view of how to handle the virus because many people have benefitted from the government’s massively expensive furlough scheme, and therefore, a large section of the population have not experienced the economic hit felt by small business owners and the poor.
“If the economy doesn’t move, the poorest in society will suffer the most. They will be unable to navigate their way through because the furlough scheme will have to shut,” Sir Iain said.
“There are going to be new variants for the rest of our lives and beyond. Flu has a new variant or two every year. This is the ridiculous notion that somehow we go to zero COVID, and we are okay for the rest of our lives. That will not happen.”
“There is no actual factor that says we shouldn’t unlock on the 21st,” he said, adding: “We were always told that the most important feature of all of this is to protect the most vulnerable, and we have now double-dosed pretty near 50 per cent of the population, and that encompasses all the most vulnerable and the rest are either much younger or for one reason or the other, chose not to take the vaccine.”
Last month, the government finally allowed Britons to dine indoors at restaurants and pubs, travel internationally, and attend partial openings of sports stadiums, theatres, and music venues.
The removal of social distancing diktats and limits on gatherings are set to be lifted on June 21st. While Prime Minister Johnson has described his plan for lifting lockdowns to be “irreversible”, he has left the door open to delaying the freedom date amid concerns over the so-called Indian variant found in the UK.
Last month, Mr Johnson said: “I have to level with you that this new variant could pose a serious disruption to our progress and could make it more difficult to move to step four in June. And I must stress that we will do whatever it takes to keep the public safe.”
Chances of Lockdown ‘Freedom Day’ Going Ahead in June ‘Close to Nil’: Report https://t.co/vdiBunwn9b
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 19, 2021
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka