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Should Cummings be going?

Researchers respond to the news that political advisers have been attending Sage meetings

It is looking increasingly likely that the UK will emerge from the coronavirus pandemic as perhaps the most badly hit country in Europe. This is despite the fact that it is an island nation—making it easier to close down borders—that had several weeks’ warning about how the pandemic was unfolding.

And yet here we are. Over the weekend, government figures showed that the total number of people who had died in hospital with the virus had surpassed 20,000—a figure that, early in the pandemic, chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said would be a “good outcome” for the UK. The coronavirus toll will be significantly higher when deaths outside hospital are included, meaning it is now logical to describe the UK’s situation as a distinctly ‘bad’ outcome.

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