Politics

REPORT: Top government officials and scientists regret using ‘fear tactics’ during COVID-19 pandemic

Top government officials and scientific advisors have come forward saying they ‘regret’ using totalitarian fear tactics during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The London Telegraph reported on comments made by scientific advisors and Members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior (SPI-B), a sub-committee of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) the government’s chief scientific advisory group. In the report, outlined in detail going all the way back to the first lockdown in March of 2020 indicates that “the government should drastically increase “the perceived level of personal threat” that the virus poses because “a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened.”

“In March [2020] the Government was very worried about compliance and they thought people wouldn’t want to be locked down. There were discussions about fear being needed to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to ramp up the fear,” admits one scientist with the SPI-B. What’s more, the unnamed scientist adds that the fear tactics they used on the public were ‘dystopian.’ “The use of fear has definitely been ethically questionable. It’s been like a weird experiment. Ultimately, it backfired because people became too scared,” he said. The London Telegraph came to the subcommittee for answers regarding the scientist’s words. SPI-B psychologist Gavin Morgan replied “Clearly, using fear as a means of control is not ethical. Using fear smacks of totalitarianism. It’s not an ethical stance for any modern government.”

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ARTICLE: ETHAN FINN

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE NEW YORK TIMES

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