I am not trying in any way to discredit mathematical modelling. I am just saying that it is one component. Tried and tested public health measures and trust in an international cooperative body is what should have been stressed and acted upon initially and the mathematical modelling follows to refine the response. But what has happened is that mathematical modelling became the lead here and that is wrong in my opinion, and the proof is that none of the basic public health actions to contain epidemics were applied properly. The politicians ignored public health not just advice but systematically over many the years through austerity, deliberate ignoring of advice since 2016 and privatisation and outsourcing with non-joined-up services. The modellers should have pointed this out also. In any case the scientists and the modellers should have made it very clear that their advice was not being followed or were politically interpreted and misapplied. But there has not been any open dissent, no resignations, and no complaints that Cummings and others have been sitting on SAGE meetings.
The situation of mathematical modelling and climate change is completely different from that of epidemics as many of the elements in climate change are well known and studied. But very little was known about SARS-cov2 when the modelling was started, and still much remains to be known. And on top of all of this it is the political interpretation of this mathematical modelling that the government uses to say that ‘we are guided by the science’.