A document presented to SAGE called for an increase in the ‘perceived threat’ of Covid using ‘hard-hitting emotional messages’, reports claim today.
Psychologists have accused Downing Street of using ‘covert psychological strategies’ to emphasise the threat from Covid-19 without contextualising the risks, the Telegraph reported. It was said this created ‘a state of heightened anxiety’, adding many people became ‘too frightened to attend hospital’.
Experts fear Britons have been the subject of an experiment in the use of tactics which operate ‘below their level of awareness,’ it was said. They have now made a formal complaint to an organisation which will rule on whether Government advisers are guilty of a breach of ethics.
Downing street denies this, claiming it simply presented the facts. Complainants point to a document handed to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies last March, when the pandemic began to rapidly grow in Britain.
The paper, written by Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours, said: ‘A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened; it could be that they are reassured by the low death rate in their demographic group, although levels of concern may be rising.