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24 April 2020updated 11 Sep 2021 4:58pm

Cummings revealed to be on secret coronavirus advisory group

By New Statesman

The Guardian has reported that the controversial Downing Street adviser, who worked with the Prime Minister on the Vote Leave campaign, sits on a supposedly independent body that met to discuss the government response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser, is said to be “shocked” at the presence of political advisers on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). “If you are giving scientific advice”, he said, “your advice should be free of any political bias”.

His involvement will raise questions about the independence of scientific advice given to the government concerning lockdown measures and policies on self-isolation and social distancing.

Earlier, questions were raised over Cummings’ involvement in the so-called “herd immunity” strategy, when The Times reported that Cummings had supported moves to avoid lockdown and protect the economy. “If some pensioners die, so be it”, summed up his outlook, according to the story in The Times.

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