The UK’s public health body has been censured by the statistics watchdog over claims that 200,000 people were catching Omicron per day which were not supported by evidence.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which is led by Dame Jenny Harries, was rebuked by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) over the figures publicised by Sajid Javid late last year.
Its leader Ed Humpherson said that the claim ’caused confusion and some speculation in the media, which distracts from the message the statistics are conveying’.
The background figures used to make the estimate were published two days later.
The HSA and Health Secretary Sajid Javid were accused of scare-mongering after the gloomy models were shared with MPs on December 14.
His comments, made in a statement discussing the threat of Omicron, sparked immediate confusion over whether the figure was relating to the virus as a whole, or specifically just the super-mutant variant.
Read more: UK health chiefs blasted by statistics watchdog for claiming 200,000 people were catching the ‘Omicron Covid variant’ every day before Christmas despite being ‘unsupported by data’ at the time. You mean they LIED? Surely not