Professor Neil Ferguson – whose dire coronavirus predictions prompted worldwide lockdown measures still in place – broke his own advice on the need for strict social distancing to hook up with his married lover, according to the Telegraph.
On at least two occasions, Antonia Staats, 38, travelled across London from her home in the south of the capital to spend time with the Government scientist, nicknamed Professor Lockdown.
The 51-year-old had only just finished a two-week spell self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus.
Prof Ferguson told the Telegraph: “I accept I made an error of judgment and took the wrong course of action. I have therefore stepped back from my involvement in Sage [the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies]. –Telegraph
“I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus, and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms,” he said, adding “I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing to control this devastating epidemic. The Government guidance is unequivocal, and is there to protect all of us.”
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Ferguson, who resigned from his Government advisory position on Tuesday, predicted that up to 500,000 Britons and 2.2 million in the US would die without measures. Somehow, Sweden – which enacted virtually no measures to mitigate the virus. has a lower per-capita mortality rate than the UK, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands – all of which enacted lockdown measures.
And while his computer models were flat-wrong, Ferguson – who leads the team at Imperial College London, has frequently appeared on media to support the lockdown and “very intensive social distancing” measures.
Of note, Ferguson and Staats hooked up on March 30 – the same day he gave a public warning that the one-week-old lockdown measures would need to remain in place until June.
Staats – a left-wing campaigner, visited again on April 8, despite telling friends that she thought her husband might have come down with coronavirus.
She and her husband live together with their two children in a £1.9 million home, but are understood to be in an open marriage. She has told friends about her relationship with Prof Ferguson, but does not believe their actions to be hypocritical because she considers the households to be one.
But one week before the first tryst, Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, and Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, clarified during the daily Downing Street press conference that couples not living together must stay apart during lockdown. –Telegraph
“He has peculiarly breached his own guidelines, and for an intelligent man I find that very hard to believe. It risks undermining the Government’s lockdown message,” said Sir. Iain Duncan Smith.
Meanwhile, over 9,000 fines have been issued to quarantine violators in England and Wales during the lockdown – while Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr. Catherine Calderwood, made two trips to her second home during the lockdown, resulting in her resignation.
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