Sir Patrick, in a recent interview, revealed that there was an error in the slide that depicted the worst-case scenario for deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. This revelation came amidst the announcement of a second national lockdown on October 31, 2020. Despite his concerns about the slide’s validity, Prime Minister Johnson insisted that it be shown to the public as he had seen it.
The Office for Statistics Regulation later criticized Sir Patrick for not releasing the data and assumptions behind the projection of 4,000 deaths per day by December 2020 if no action was taken. The then-prime minister, Mr. Johnson, had to make a hasty announcement of the lockdown after plans were leaked to the media. He spent a considerable amount of time on phone calls explaining his reasoning to critics before the press conference.
In his diaries from October 2020, Sir Patrick noted that Dominic Cummings, Mr. Johnson’s senior adviser, had claimed that “Rishi thinks just let people die and that’s okay.” Despite its scientific validity, Sir Patrick expressed his belief that showing this projection as a science slide was not sensible or responsible.