A document presented to SAGE called for an increase in the “perceived threat” of Covid using “hard-hitting emotional messages,” according to reports today.
Psychologists have accused Downing Street of using “secret psychological strategies” to highlight the threat of Covid-19 without contextualizing the risks, the Telegraph reported.
It was said to create “an increased state of anxiety”, adding that many people had become “too scared to go to the hospital”.
Experts fear the British have been the subject of experience in using tactics that operate “below their level of consciousness,” it has been said.
They have now filed a formal complaint with an organization that will rule on the guilt or not of the ethics of government advisers.
Downing Street denies this, saying he simply presented the facts.
A document presented to SAGE called for an increase in the “perceived threat” of Covid using “hard-hitting emotional messages,” according to reports today. Pictured: Boris Johnson
Psychologists have accused Downing Street of using “secret psychological strategies” to highlight the threat of Covid-19 without contextualizing the risks. Pictured: Chris Whitty, Mr. Johnson and Patrick Vallance
The complainants refer to a document handed over to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies last March, when the pandemic began to develop rapidly in Britain.
The document, written by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviors, said: “A significant number of people still do not feel personally threatened enough; they might be reassured by the low death rate in their demographic, although worry levels may increase.
“The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messages. To be effective, it must also empower people by clearly indicating what steps they can take to reduce the threat. ‘
The document, seen by the Telegraph, then reportedly offered 14 options to improve compliance, including “using the media to increase feelings of personal threat,” which they say would be very effective but may have “negative side effects.” “.
Members of SAGE have since claimed that the British public had been “subjected to an unrestricted psychological experiment without being told that was what was happening”.
They added that SPI-B reports are often not “disputed” by SAGE as many of those involved are “not very well equipped to assess it”.
“When someone from SPI-B said we need to escalate the fear and keep it going – there weren’t a lot of questions about it at the start and most of the questions came from outside sources, not from within. ”
The complainants refer to a document handed over to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies last March, when the pandemic began to develop rapidly in Britain. Pictured: Vallance
The government told The Telegraph it had given “clear instructions to the British people as our approach and knowledge of the virus developed”
SPI-B is described as providing behavioral science advice aimed at anticipating and helping people adhere to interventions recommended by medical or epidemiological experts.
They present independent and expert behavioral science advice to SAGE.
SPI-B is said to have relied on advice from behavioral scientists, health and social psychologists, anthropologists and historians in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last November, Sir Patrick Vallance admitted he had ‘regrets’ for scaring people with an apocalyptic record that predicted up to 4,000 Covid-19 deaths per day during the winter and has been used to justify a second national lockdown.
Number 10’s top science adviser made the comments alongside England chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty after the couple were taken to MPs to defend SAGE’s modeling which also predicted hospitals would be overrun by patients infected with the virus by the end of this month.
While grilling for members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Labor MP Graham Stringer asked Sir Patrick if he thought he had scared people with the grim death data presented at the Saturday night press conference.
The chief science adviser said: “I hope not and that is certainly not the point… I think I positioned it as a scenario from a few weeks ago, based on a hypothesis to try to “get a reasonable new worst-case scenario. And if that didn’t happen, I regret it.”
Defending the case, he added: “These numbers were compiled by large academic groups based on these assumptions and, in the spirit of trying to make sure things are shared and open, these are the things. that we saw [in the data so far], and it’s important and I think people see it.
Professor Whitty conceded that the prediction of 4,000 daily deaths was unlikely to come true because the modeling was the worst-case scenario based on a situation in which no additional measures were introduced.
He told MPs: “We would all say rates will likely be lower than this peak [of 4,000]’.
Professor Whitty added that a figure of around 1,000 deaths per day was “quite realistic” without harsher action.
The government told The Telegraph it had given “clear instructions to the British people as our approach and knowledge of the virus developed.”
A spokesperson added: “We are clear: we want this lockdown to be the last and relax the restrictions in a cautious, data-driven way.”
MailOnline has contacted the Department of Health for comment.