This is not the time for stupid people to be running the government, but they are and we will pay very heavily for that

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What became very clear yesterday was that our Cabinet does not understand exponential growth.

As I noted on Sunday, the SAGE report that was published on Saturday, but which was supplied to the government on 15 December, made three things clear.

The first was that Omicron was growing exponentially, with a doubling of cases every two days.

Second, it made clear vaccine boosting could not contain this by itself.

Third, it suggested urgent measures were needed before Christmas if preventable deaths were to be avoided.

It is now apparent that the Cabinet wants more data before deciding what to do about omicron. They might then consider measures on the Tuesday after Christmas - the 28th December. There may have been six or more doublings of cases by then.

This tweet by Jens von Bergmann seems appropriate to note:

For public health read ‘politicians'. The reality of omicron is known and has been now since only a few days after it was first identified. Even the debate about milder, or not, was an irrelevance and as SAGE has said, there is no evidence it is true anyway. That is because a version 50% milder but with a doubling rate twice as strong has an advantage of just two days in case loads.

What we now know is that politicians are gambling on scientists being wrong. But there is no gamble to be had. Exponential doubling every two days, which is indisputably happening, inevitably leads to an overwhelming caseload unless action is taken to stop it doing so. This is an indisputable fact. Pretending otherwise is not a gamble. It is stupidity. That is what the Cabinet is doing.

And a great many preventable deaths will happen as a result.

This is not the time for stupid people to be running the government. But they are. We will pay very heavily for that.

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