Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of misleading the UK public after she was criticised by a statistics watchdog for making unsubstantiated comparisons about coronavirus rates in Scotland and England.
Scotland’s First Minister repeatedly claimed earlier this month that the prevalence of the virus was “five times” higher in England, and opponents said she had deployed the figure to suggest her policy was working better than elsewhere in the UK
She also used the statistic to justify her controversial refusal to rule outimposing quarantine on visitors crossing the border into Scotland and taking a different approach to Boris Johnson on air bridges
But in an intervention described by her critics as “damning”, Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation at the Office for Statistics Regulation, said that the uncaveated comparison should never have been made as it was not backed up by sound data.
An investigation also found that the justification for the claim provided to the media who questioned its basis was different to the one provided to regulators, after Ms Sturgeon’s officials changed their story.
The accusations of citing false figures will prove embarrassing for Ms Sturgeon, who has won widespread praise for her handling of the pandemic despite separate statistics published on Thursday confirming that Scotland has the third-highest rate of excess mortality deaths in Europe.
Politician quotes dodgy figures, well I never.
And of course what’s really important here is that how may get it is not the point. It’s how many excess deaths are avoided which is. Oddly, something that would be improved by lots of people getting it then not dying from it. Because that means we can open up again earlier and do nice things like treat cancers thereby reducing the number of excess deaths.
Herd immunity being a real thing even if we’ve not got there yet.