Sir Patrick has revealed that a mistake was made when a slide detailing the worst-case scenario for deaths was shown to the public during the announcement of a second national lockdown on October 31, 2020. This revelation came amid criticism from the Office for Statistics Regulation, which accused Sir Patrick of not releasing the data and assumptions behind the projection of 4,000 deaths per day by December 2020 if no action was taken.
Despite his reservations, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted that the public should see the slide as he had seen it. However, Sir Patrick believed that it was not a sensible science slide to show. In fact, he had noted in his diaries in October 2020 that Dominic Cummings, Mr. Johnson’s senior adviser, had claimed that “Rishi thinks just let people die and that’s okay.”
The Office for Statistics Regulation criticized Sir Patrick for not releasing the data and assumptions behind the worst-case scenario projection. As a result, Mr. Johnson was forced to make a hasty announcement of the lockdown after plans were leaked to the media. He spent a considerable amount of time on the phone explaining his reasoning to critics before the press conference.