December 9, 2021

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Author of Guardian article on death tolls asks UK federal government to stop utilizing it

Author of Guardian article on death tolls asks UK federal government to stop utilizing it
Prof David Spiegelhalter wrote in the Guardian that it was difficult to compare Covid-19 death tolls between countries. Photograph: Richard Baker Risk/Alamy A statistician has asked the government to stop using an article he wrote for the Guardian as justification for why Britain’s death toll from coronavirus should not be compared with that of other…




Prof David Spiegelhalter







Prof David Spiegelhalter wrote in the Guardian that it was tough to compare Covid-19 death tolls between nations.
Photo: Richard Baker Risk/Alamy.

A statistician has actually asked the government to stop using a post he wrote for the Guardian as justification for why Britain’s death toll from coronavirus must not be compared with that of other countries.

Prof David Spiegelhalter stated in the piece released on 30 April that comparing the variety of deaths from Covid-19 in between countries was hard since of the different methodologies used by federal governments to determine deaths.

His article mentions that even though the UK had actually begun consisting of coronavirus deaths in non-hospital settings, the overall toll was still probably too low as it did not consist of the many deaths of individuals who had actually not been evaluated. Spiegelhalter notes other countries likewise use different methodologies, such as Spain where deaths in care homes are not included.

The day the short article was published, England’s primary medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, applauded it throughout the No 10 everyday coronavirus briefing, saying it showed that comparing death rates in different countries was a “unsuccessful exercise”.

Boris Johnson once again described Spiegelhalter’s words on Wednesday in a reaction to the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, during prime minister’s questions, after Britain’s death toll became the greatest in Europe and 2nd greatest globally. According to most current official figures, a minimum of 30,150 people have actually passed away from the virus in the UK.

The prime minister stated Starmer “is best to draw attention to the appalling stats not simply in this country and but of course around the globe. I would echo what we have actually heard from Prof David Spiegelhalter and others that at this stage, I don’t believe that international contrasts and the information is yet there to draw all the conclusions that we want.

” There will be a time to take a look at what choices we took and whether we could have taken different decisions.”

However, a few hours later Spiegelhalter, tweeted: “Respectful demand to PM and others: please stop using my Guardian short article to claim we can not make any global comparisons. I refer just to comprehensive league tables-of course we need to now use other nations to attempt and find out why our numbers are high”.

Spiegelhalter, who has formerly been welcomed to participate in a conference of the government’s Sage committee, is the Winton professor of public understanding of danger at Cambridge University.

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