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SAGE expert Jeremy Farrar resigns as UK government science advisor

The Wellcome director resigned from the government position, calling Covid-19 transmissions ‘concerning’ and warning the crisis is a ‘long way from over.’

Sir Jeremy Farrar, was a crucial member of the government’s Covid-19 advisory body during the pandemic, stepping down from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) last month.

However, in the statement released around his resignation, he stressed that this was to focus on his work at the health research foundation with the Wellcome Trust. ‘At the end of October 2021, after careful consideration, I stepped down [from SAGE],’ the statement read.

‘My focus now must be on our work at Wellcome. This includes supporting the international research effort to end the pandemic, ensuring the world is better prepared for inevitable future infectious disease threats, and making the case so the full potential of science is realised to inform and drive change against all the urgent health threats we face globally.’

Farrar went on to warn of ‘high levels of transmission’ in the UK which he deemed ‘concerning’ and stressed the need for SAGE to continue to provide the ‘vital evidence and independent, expert, transparent advice to support the UK response’ which he says was often produced ‘under huge pressure.’

Farrar also stressed that the Covid-19 crisis was a ‘long way from over’, which many have taken as a coded criticism against the government’s current stance towards the pandemic. Farrar has considered resigning before, almost a year previously, because of the lack of lockdown in September 2020.

Sir Jeremy Farrar is now taking some time off social media, expressing the importance of social media breaks for all.

In related news, Covid-19 cases and deaths in the UK have risen in recent weeks, although a peak which had matched March 2020 has since levelled off. Official figures showed the proportion of children out of school for Covid 19-related reasons in England rose in the week before half-term, whilst there have been a further 33,865 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK as of 9am this Tuesday, the government have said.

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