Email, Allyson Pollock to SAGE members, 05 Oct 2020

From: Allyson Pollock
Sent: 05 October 2020 19:04
To: Dave King, Karl Friston, Kamlesh Khunti, Anthony Costello, Susan Michie, Deenan Pillay, Christina Pagel, Tolullah Oni, Zubaida Haque, Stephen Reicher, Gabriel Scally, Martin McKee
Cc: Carole Cadwalladr, Zack King
Subject: Re: IndieSAGE membership

Dear Dave,

I am sorry it has come to this. I have learned a lot from the group. I look forward to continuing engagement, for example on the planned inequalities report which Clare and I will  send to you all for approval and presentation next week.

As you know I have voiced concerns about how the wish to respond rapidly can lead to not always following the science. In the spirit of being constructive, I would like to suggest that when considering policy recommendations, the group gives more consideration to the need to:

i) provide a clear evidential basis and grading for any recommendations, identifying the uncertainties in the science and the areas that need further enquiry,

ii) advocate for robust studies of harms and costs and benefits of complex public health interventions, such as masks and mass testing, before making any such policy recommendations for the population,

iii) acknowledge and consider other views and scientific opinions on interpretation of cases, hospital admissions and deaths,

iv) pay more attention to the heterogeneity of immunity and endemicity of the virus before advocating elimination and suppression (i.e., Zero COVID and the particularly restrictive measures which follow from this),

vi) adopt a whole system approach to finding symptomatic patients and focusing efforts on clinical integration of testing as well as reinstatement of health and social care services, and

v) see opposing scientific views and opinions as a gift and an opportunity to be sceptical and learn, rather than as a ‘rival camp’.

Best wishes, Allyson