A Journal of the Plague Year (60)

May 21, 2020

Recognize this woman? Probably not. She is Therese Coffey, a junior minister in the government of BoJo in the UK who had the nerve to suggest that scientists are sometimes wrong and the government may have had some “duff advice” from the eggheads [see Daily Mail here].

Cue up a hysterical reaction from the Fake News media about how “unproductive” her remarks were, especially as the government is always “guided by the science”.

As Stephen Glover points out in the Mail:

I shouldn’t describe the Work and Pensions Secretary as ‘Miss Coffey’. She is Dr Coffey, having obtained a PhD in chemistry at the respected University College London. Her scientific background makes her almost unique in the Cabinet.
The only other senior minister who can lay claim to a scientific training is Business Secretary Alok Sharma, who studied applied physics with electronics. International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan read maths. The other 19 members of the Cabinet studied non-scientific subjects, or nothing at all.

Apart from being a real scientist, she brings to the fore the slavish misrepresentation of science in the media and the other scientifically illiterate opinions molders.

Most of the time, particularly with a new phenomenon, things are not well understood, data are lacking and sometimes confusing and contradictory. Scientists disagree all the time, even when analyzing the same data. Experts are often wrong. For example:

Another piece of fatal guidance given to the Government was that it was ‘very unlikely’ care homes would be affected. Talk about famous last words. Sage debated for weeks whether masks would be useful, long after most other countries had commonsensically decided that they were.

Everyone made that mistake.

And much more. However real science always involves being sceptical, especially of your own work. But changing one’s views and recommendations is necessary when new facts emerge. So is admitting that a new situation requires a new direction—there’s nothing wrong with that, everything right, in fact.

So Dr Coffey should be applauded, not denigrated by an ignorant media mob.


In a similar vein, Dr Knut Wittkowski, appears in an interview with spiked . He was:

…for 20 years, Wittkowski was the head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at The Rockefeller University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

He argues that the whole thing has now been blown out of all proportion and the real pandemic is now hysteria. Read the whole interview because that Youtube video with Dr Wittkowski has been censored by the Thought Police because he does not accept state propaganda…

Governments did not have an open discussion, including economists, biologists and epidemiologists, to hear different voices. In Britain, it was the voice of one person – Neil Ferguson – who has a history of coming up with projections that are a bit odd. The government did not convene a meeting with people who have different ideas, different projections, to discuss his projection. If it had done that, it could have seen where the fundamental flaw was in the so-called models used by Neil Ferguson. His paper was published eventually, in medRxiv. The assumption was that one per cent of all people who became infected would die. There is no justification anywhere for that.

What was all that about “following science”?

Rebel Yell