Oral Intervention in Parliament November 9th 2020 – Covid Statistics – telling the whole story – a case of Disraeli’s “lies, damned lies and statistics”?

Nov 9, 2020 | Uncategorized

Do the Covid Statistics- tell the whole story? Or is it a case of Disraeli’s “lies, damned lies and statistics”?

Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB) [V]

My Lords, can the Minister tell us what analysis the Government have made of the root cause and relationship to lockdowns of some 20,000 excess deaths unrelated to Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic, including suicide, bacterial sepsis, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other conditions? Should the Government not be publishing regular analyses of the overall harm and not just contested projections of 4,000 deaths each day or the other figures that the noble Lord, Lord Lilley, and the noble Viscount, Lord Ridley, have just mentioned?

Lord Bethell (Con)

The noble Lord makes a very good point. We do publish data on excess deaths, which is available on the PHE website, but he is entirely right: we are deeply concerned not just about the Covid deaths but the impact of Covid on others who may be seeking to access the healthcare system. That is why we made the very hard and tough decision to lock down before the NHS was put under too much pressure, and it is why we have made the commitment to keep the NHS open during this lockdown in order to manage down that excess deaths figure to which he refers.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2020-11-09/debates/05C3520B-0C8E-422F-B7BA-609371015506/Covid-19TransparencyAndAccuracyOfStatistics

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