BBC Lied About ‘Covid’ Risk to Boost Public Support For Lockdown Inquiry Told

Fact checked by The People's Voice Community

Government adviser Professor Mark Woolhouse has told the UK Covid Inquiry that the BBC was allowed to “misrepresent” the risk posed by Covid to boost public support for lockdown.

Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, was an adviser to the Scottish Government during the pandemic.

It seems that advice he sent to the then-first minister Nicola Sturgeon also went unheeded

He said the public was “not given accurate information” about Covid in the early stages of the pandemic.

“Some media sources, notably the BBC television news, did repeatedly misrepresent the risk posed by Covid,” he said.

“One example is that they gave the impression that hospitals were being overwhelmed during the first wave. Some (mostly in London) were, but overall hospital bed occupancy was at an all-time low during that period.

Are we supposed to be surprised!!

The Telegraph reports: Prof Mark Woolhouse, an eminent epidemiologist and government adviser, lambasted the corporation for having “repeatedly reported rare deaths or illnesses among healthy adults as if they were the norm”.

He said this created the “misleading impression” among BBC News viewers at the start of the pandemic that “we are all at risk” and “the virus does not discriminate”.

In reality, he said it was known at the time that the risk of dying from Covid was 10,000 times higher in the over-75s than the under-15s.

But Prof Woolhouse told the inquiry the BBC did not correct its reporting, saying: “I suspect this misinformation was allowed to stand throughout 2020 because it provided a justification for locking down the entire population.”

He said further evidence of this was provided by a briefing dated March 22, 2020, by a sub-group of the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) that focused on the public’s behaviour.

This stated that “a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened; it could be that they are reassured by the low death rate in their demographic group… the perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging”.

Prof Woolhouse said the “misperception” created by the BBC’s coverage that everyone was at risk was a “barrier to targeting interventions at the vulnerable minority who truly were at high risk from Covid”.

In his written submission to the inquiry about the impact north of the Border, he said: “I fear that the Scottish Government’s pandemic response was compromised as a result.”

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 15096 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.