Patrick vallance

Coming soon: No. 10’s vaccine home movie

‘Extraordinary. Unexpected. Fantastic’ is the tagline for the latest drama out of No. 10 Downing Street. Only this time the stars are not Carrie and the Vote Leave crew but Patrick Vallance, Chris Whitty, Kate Bingham, Jonathan Van-Tam and the other civil servants behind the UK’s vaccine programme. A brief 51 second clip was released this afternoon on the official Downing Street Twitter account and has already gone viral. Billed as ‘A Beacon of Hope: The UK Vaccine Story’, details of the homemade docu-drama have so far been scant.  The initial trailer features interviews with the protagonists interspersed with dramatic clips from throughout the pandemic and a suitably melodramatic score. Steerpike understands the idea

Were tiers working before lockdown?

Beware data that is released on the eve of a Commons vote on lockdown restrictions. That was the lesson of the graph presented by Sir Patrick Vallance at the Downing Street press briefing on 31 October, which included a scenario of 4,000 deaths a day by December unless drastic action was taken. The figure quickly fell apart when it was revealed that the data was several weeks out of date and the curve shown on the graph was already running well ahead of reality. What, then, to make of the React study published this morning, reported on the BBC news and elsewhere this morning, claiming that Covid cases have ‘fallen by about a third over lockdown’?

Why the government moved against Julian Lewis

15 min listen

Chris Grayling failed to win the chairmanship of the Intelligence and Security Committee on Wednesday evening. In his stead, Julian Lewis clinched the position, and No 10 withdrew the whip from Lewis. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth about why this happened and whether it’s better to rule by fear or love. Also on the episode: Shamima Begum and Patrick Vallance’s comments on working from home.

The unknown factor that will help decide when the lockdown ends

Dominic Raab used the daily coronavirus press conference to confirm that the nationwide lockdown is unlikely to be lifted anytime soon. The First Secretary of State said that ‘the measures will have to stay in place until we clearly have the evidence that we have moved beyond the peak’.  As for when we should start to see the number of fatalities fall, the chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance said that this could be around two weeks after the peak of Intensive Care Unit admissions. Given that no one thinks we have yet reached that point, there is some way to go. As for what happens after, the most sobering point of the

Two gentlemen of corona: the scientists helping to fight Covid-19

We will have to get used to this. Every afternoon the prime minister strides into a butterscotch room in Downing Street and stands at a lectern between two drooping flags to give the latest dolorous news to an uncertain nation. How ironic that Boris, who instinctively loathes ‘doomsters and gloomsters’, is obliged to play the mortician’s bean–counter and recite the daily tallies of the infected and the dead. He’s flanked by the best brains in the land. On the right, Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s top scientific adviser. To the left, Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer. They wear the usual suit-and-tie uniform of reassuring officialdom. And both men

Boris Johnson is following science in his coronavirus response

Boris Johnson, according to a large Twitter mob this morning, is a reckless libertarian – ignoring the drastic but effective measures being taken against coronavirus in other countries – in the same spirit he once praised the mayor in Jaws who kept the beaches open in spite of swimmers being eaten. A large body of opinion appears to be on the side of Jeremy Hunt, who questioned the government’s strategy on Channel 4 news last night. But there is a fundamental problem with this narrative – and not just that many of the same people now praising Hunt were lambasting him several years ago as a charlatan, ignoring the advice