U.K. scientist warns of risks as England prepares for coronavirus ‘Freedom Day’

A U.K. scientist has warned that England is not ready to remove its coronavirus health restrictions as planned on July 19. Critics of the so-called “Freedom Day,” including Dr. Stephen Griffin, say cases of the Delta variant are too high for measures to be lifted.

Video Transcript

STEPHEN GRIFFIN: I mean, the frustrating thing here is that we have these amazing vaccines but they’re really being used as a fallback to allow the government to pretty much repeat the mistakes from last year. I mean, they’ve unlocked badly twice now, and we’re now seeing it again for the third time. And I understand the economic impacts of restrictions– of course we do. But the worst version of that is to have extreme restrictions and bouncing back to unlocking and then going back in again, which is exactly what we’ve ended up doing.

There’s lots and lots of studies now showing that the countries that have done best in this pandemic are the ones that have got control of their virus infection. And there’s a direct correlation between controlling the virus and sorting out your economy. And the notion of allowing this virus to just pass through our population at a rate that’s faster than vaccination can catch up with is approaching this idea of herd immunity by infection, which actually cannot work properly and is going to put people in harm’s way. And so, frankly, I feel that’s entirely irresponsible.

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