Dominic Raab claims the scientists are too busy to come to the daily briefing – 8 unfavourable peer reviews
Until recently, Downing Street coronavirus briefings featured one or two scientific advisers. They were able to present in-depth answers to medical questions while the politician dealt with policy.
However, some of the scientific advisers have gone rogue, giving opinions that differed from the official position of the government, like this from Professor Jonathan Van Tam.
Prof Van Tam showing the backbone that we have desperately needed to see over the past week
“In my opinion the rules are clear and they have always been clear…they are for the benefit of all…and they apply to all”
Please RT if you agree with himpic.twitter.com/9Xdlp4wk7N
— NHS Million (@NHSMillion) May 30, 2020
The comment was widely believed to pass judgement on Chief Spad, Dominic Cummings. Professor Van Tam hasn’t appeared since that day, and other scientists have followed a similar route.
The i newspaper’s Jane Merrick raised the issue at Monday’s briefing.
Where are the scientists?
Dominic Raab checks his notes
-'They will attend. Perhaps not on a daily basis they've got a huge amount of other work to do'
There's trouble here
— Paul Johnson (@paul__johnson) June 15, 2020
Jane wasn’t happy with the answer.
Thought this response by Raab – that they’ve got a huge amount of work to do – was odd given two of them appeared every day during the worst part of the pandemic when you’d think their workload would have been more intense! https://t.co/pL5CUA6dfl
— Jane Merrick (we are still at level 4) (@janemerrick23) June 15, 2020
Neither were these people.
Raab: “Scientists and medics unable to attend press conferences now because they have a huge amount of work to do unlike the last couple of months where they’ve had nothing to do but play cards and go on TikTok.”pic.twitter.com/APQuz3cZrM
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) June 15, 2020
Dominic Raab confirms that scientists will no longer be required at press briefings, now that our approach is to be led by the bullshit.#DailyBriefing
— Parody Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson_MP) June 15, 2020
Seems a curious time for the government to furlough its scientific advisors… https://t.co/lbiVbdlH51
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) June 15, 2020
Dominic Raab unable to find any scientists to back up the Governments doomed strategy today #dailybriefings
— end of daves ❄️ 🥕 🧻 (@davemacladd) June 15, 2020
Enter Dominic Raab – without scientists guiding him, on a day he says we'll be guided by science – saying there'll be a second spike if we're not careful, on the day they implored people to do less careful things.
— Danny Wallace 🇪🇺 (@dannywallace) June 15, 2020
Jane Merrick – Where are the scientists?
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) June 15, 2020
The political equivalent of "I've got a girlfriend, she lives in another town and goes to a different school." https://t.co/IjvBZ1HYY2
— Otto English (@Otto_English) June 15, 2020
Cummings lying about the 'eye test' will, in retrospect, be seen as the point this government became permanently & irretrievably detached from the truth. https://t.co/4pOwgDq0Gt
— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) June 15, 2020
This response from @Calumets explains why people are concerned about the absence of scientific advisers at the briefings.
Having Dominic Raab deliver the Downing Street briefing with not a scientist in sight is like expecting Paw Patrol to save us when the asteroid hits. #WereDoomed
— Dolly………. #FightThePower 👊🛠️ (@Calumets) June 15, 2020