- Arie L GreenbergClinical Oncology Trainee Specialist1,
- Harry greenbergAcademic Foundation 2 years doctor2
- 1North Middlesex University Hospital, NHS Trust, London, N18 1QX, UK
2King’s College Hospital, London, UK
We were surprised to read an editorial by Scally and colleagues who criticized the actions of the UK government regarding the covid-19 pandemic.1 We agree that the reaction of the UK was relatively slow in testing, tracking contacts with the community and a possible move to blocking. But the authors play a simple game of death calculus, using the total number of deaths per million people to “confirm” their pandemic after death. Every death is a tragedy. But these are crude, uncorrected figures that are currently not amenable to international comparisons, as the small gray print of the infographic, otherwise colorful.
The authors recognize death from all causes as the best measure 2, but comparing these data around the world takes time, which is what David Spiegelhalter calls “a monstrously difficult task”. … nothing like scoring in a game ”3 or even infographics.
A noticeably unbalanced editorial neglects to mention the multimillion-dollar public investment in therapeutic clinical trials, vaccine development, and antibody validation. Little has been studied of the potential positive impact of state-funded economic interventions on the future well-being of the nation and as a means of counteracting health inequalities – both mental and physical – caused by social exclusion and economic decline. now, but at the right time.
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