Professor Lockdown Admits Dire Predictions Were ‘Off’, Doubts Future Lockdowns Will Be Needed

Neil Ferguson
Wikimedia Commons

‘Professor Lockdown’ Dr Neil Ferguson has admitted that his latest doomsday predictions about a summer wave of the Chinese virus were “off” and has now revised his thinking to predict that the pandemic will largely be over by the Autumn, transforming into a virus that the public will have to “live with”.

Professor Ferguson, an epidemiologist from Imperial College London and advisor to the government during the Chinese coronavirus crisis, predicted on Saturday that the era of lockdowns is likely over in Britain.

“I think it’s going to transition quite quickly in a few months to be more something we live with and manage through vaccination rather than crisis measures,” he told The Times.

“I wouldn’t rule it out altogether, but I think it’s unlikely we will need a new lockdown or even social-distancing measures of the type we’ve had so far. The caveat to that is, of course, if the virus changes substantially.”

Ahead of so-called ‘Freedom Day’ in Britain last month, Professor Ferguson predicted that as many as 200,000 cases of the coronavirus could be logged per day if restrictions were lifted, a stark figure which would have more than doubled the peak in January.

Ferguson has now admitted — after cases have continued to decline (around 20,000 per day) — that his predictions were “off”, blaming the congregation of people during the Euro cup finals for distorting the modelling predictions.

“We had an artificially inflated level of contact during that period and then suddenly it dropped off”.

Professor Ferguson said that the fall in cases was “completely synchronous across the country. It was as if Boris Johnson, instead of announcing Freedom Day, had announced a lockdown in terms of how quickly across every local authority case numbers went down.”

He has also said that the high vaccination rate has contributed to the drop in cases, saying that the jabs have “dramatically changed the relationship between cases and hospitalisation”.

The professor still expressed caution, however, telling the paper: “We’re at a stage where we’ve got a huge amount of immunity in the population, but the virus is more transmissible than it’s ever been so we have this complicated trade-off,” adding: “If we increase contacts then we may well reach another point where we start seeing increasing case numbers again.”

“I suspect for several years, we will see additional mortality. There’s a risk in the winter coming of thousands to tens of thousands more deaths,” he warned.

The Imperial College epidemiologist resigned from his role as senior scientific adviser to the government in May of last year after it was revealed that he had broken the very lockdown measures he had pushed by allowing his married lover to visit his home twice, despite her being in quarantine with her family.

Prior to his resignation, Ferguson had been one of the most visible experts on the mainstream media in Britain calling for the public to obey stringent lockdown regulations.

Ferguson earned the nickname ‘Professor Lockdown’ for his early support of national lockdowns — which he later admitted were inspired by Communist China — as a strategy in confronting the coronavirus. His predictions and lockdown policy suggestions encouraged the British government and indeed governments throughout the world — including the United States — to introduce lockdown measures.

The coronavirus models of the disgraced professor — whose lockdown-breaking affair saw his nickname change to ‘Professor Pantsdown’ — initially projected that there would be up to 510,000 deaths in the United Kingdom from the virus if national lockdown measures were not put into place.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the UK currently has had just over 130,000 deaths attributed to the virus since last year.

Going forward, Prof Ferguson said that vaccination will be key, claiming that it is critical to “boost immunity in the population” before September. He is therefore calling for the vaccination of 16 and 17-year-old children.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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