Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty has presented 149 MPs with unpublished data, seeking to make the case that pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafés are a key source of coronavirus transmission.
He has since been accused of using misleading data to justify the expected shutdown of the North of England with MPs describing the report as a ‘dodgy dossier’. Derived from a very small sample size, the subset data relied on contact tracing figures referring to just 98 pubs and 67 cafés and restaurants.
The data reputedly showed that 29.8 percent of exposures to COVID-19 occurred in pubs and restaurants with just 2.6 percent of infections happening in people’s homes. National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace figures, however, show a huge 75.3 percent of transmissions take place at home, with only 5.5 percent happening in pubs, restaurants, and churches.
The briefing also made reference to a US Centres for Disease Control report on COVID transmissions in restaurants, which was based on just 152 coronavirus patients.
“It was very clear to everyone on the call that they had cobbled together this data as a retrospective attempt to justify closing pubs,” one Tory MP said.
“Given what we know from the official NHS figures, why are they quoting data from a tiny survey carried out in America? It’s just meaningless.”