BRITAIN was plunged into a national lockdown after a doomsday prediction of 510,000 deaths went "unchallenged" by the government’s top scientists, an explosive new Boris Johnson biography reveals.
Imperial College’s Neil Ferguson is said to have presented the projections to Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance on February 25.
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On March 16, the whole of the UK was locked down as coronavirus cases spiralled out of control.
Investigate author Tom Bower’s new book claims Professor Ferguson presented his “reasonable worst-case scenario” during a critical SAGE meeting.
He said 80 per cent of Brits would be infected with Covid-19 and the death toll would be 510,000 people.
The total number of UK deaths reached 42, 268 on Friday.
510,000 DEATHS PREDICTED
His prediction went unchallenged by the both Sir Patrick and Professor Whitty, according to the book.
This is despite a professor, who correctly predicted the pandemic's initial trajectory, warning that Ferguson had overestimated the death toll by "ten to 12 times".
Mr Bower wrote: “This was an improvement on Ferguson's earlier assessment that between 2 per cent and 3 per cent would die – up to 1.5 million deaths.
“Even with mitigation measures, he said, the death toll could be 250,000 and the existing intensive care units would be overwhelmed eight times over.
“Neither Vallance nor Whitty outrightly challenged Ferguson's model or predictions.
Neither Vallance nor Whitty outrightly challenged Ferguson's model or predictions."
“By contrast, in a series of messages from Michael Levitt, a Stanford University professor who would correctly predict the pandemic's initial trajectory, Ferguson was warned that he had overestimated the potential death toll by 'ten to 12 times'.”
His biography, which is being serialised in tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday, reveals how just before the lockdown, Professor Ferguson predicted a bleak outlook for the elderly.
He forecast a third of those over 80 who would get infected would end up in hospital.
Almost three quarters (71 per cent) would then be using ventilators in intensive care.
His exaggerated estimate – that British hospitals would be overwhelmed by at least eight times the usual rate – made a national lockdown unavoidable.
Prof Ferguson was later forced to resign in May for breaking government guidelines when he met his married lover.
His book, which contains startling revelations about the Prime Minister’s public and personal life, also raises questions about how the government has dealt with the pandemic.
It comes after Professor Ferguson said the death projections were an “underestimate”.
He explained that the first estimations did not include deaths that could have occurred if the NHS had buckled under the strain of Covid patients.
Speaking to The Life Scientific on Radio 4 he said: "I completely stand by [it].
"If anything, it might have been an underestimate because we didn't take account of the fact of what actually happened to mortality rates if the health system collapsed, the mortality rates could have been even higher."
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