Sir Patrick recently revealed that there was a mistake made when a slide detailing the worst-case scenario for deaths was shown to the public. This revelation came amid the announcement of a second national lockdown on October 31, 2020. Despite his concerns, Mr. Johnson insisted on showing the slide to the public as he had seen it.
The Office for Statistics Regulation criticized Sir Patrick for not releasing the data and assumptions behind the worst-case scenario projection of 4,000 deaths per day by December 2020 if no action was taken. The then prime minister, Mr. Johnson, was forced to make a hasty announcement of the lockdown after the 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.
Despite its scientific validity, Sir Patrick expressed his belief that the 4,000 deaths projection was not a sensible science slide to show. He cited an entry from his diaries in October 2020 where he noted claims by Dominic Cummings, Mr. Johnson’s senior adviser, that “Rishi thinks just let people die and that’s okay.” This comment added fuel to Sir Patrick’s concern about showing such a dire projection to the public without proper context or explanation.