Members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergency Sage have been sent suspicious packages by people who disagree with the government’s response to the coronavirus, according to leading scientists.
Professor Calum Semple, a member of the advisory group, said he and his colleagues were also being abused throughout the pandemic, recalling one “particularly annoying” incident when they were targeted by anti-bakers.
Virologists, like other members of Sage, have regularly appeared on television and radio over the past year to be interviewed about the British coronavirus.
He emphasized that the group helped advise the government rather than making policy decisions. Nonetheless, he and other scientists “attracted unfavorable attention” throughout the pandemic, he said.
In June, Professor Chris Whitti, Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom, was harassed by two men in a park in London. The pair hired Professor Whitty to film them and share the footage online. The government said it was considering police protection against Professor Whitty and one of his associates, 24-year-old Lewis Hughes, who later pleaded guilty to the assault.
At a webinar hosted by the Royal Society of Medicine on Thursday, Professor Semple was asked about the abuse he had suffered.
Professor Roger Kirby, president of the society and organizer of the session, asked:
“Did anyone post something in line with the policy’Calum kills wildlife for fun’?”
Professor Semple confirmed that he had received such a message and called it “one of the most annoying events.”
“Since then, other suspicious luggage has been sent to Sage members and me,” he said, adding that police were assisting when the threat was made.
The abuse “comes from the extremes of those who feel we are making bad decisions and do not admit that Sage is not a decision-making body,” he said.
Scientists advising the government are there to answer “examination questions from ministers or chief scientific officers or chief medical officers” and give their best quotes rather than making decisions, he said. Said.
He added: “I’ve never been to a sage meeting where I sat down with a cup of coffee. That conversation has never happened and will never happen.
“It’s about the potential contributions of construction, schools, and large-scale games, where we can present potentially influential menus and make decisions for policy makers, but we’re in discussions. No. ”It is very important to handle inadequate information and give the best opinion, not the suggestion box or the trust of the brain. “
A government spokesperson said Independent: “We take security issues related to Sage participants seriously and provide security advice and support so that we can provide independent expert advice to notify the government to support our response to Covid. I will continue to do it. “