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Science and politics clash as Covid restrictions ease

Unease at reappearance of Nphet bigwigs on the airwaves as changes to freedoms seem likely

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Science versus politics

Science versus politics

Martin Fraser. Picture by Maxwells Dublin

Martin Fraser. Picture by Maxwells Dublin

Robert Watt. Picture by Steve Humphreys

Robert Watt. Picture by Steve Humphreys

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Science versus politics

It was Wednesday, October 6 when the trajectory of Covid-19 in Ireland began to deteriorate. The test positivity rate was up substantially on the previous week, the downward trend in new cases of the virus reversed. By the Friday, senior public health officials were alerted to this worrying trend and it was reported by Dr Ronan Glynn, the deputy chief medical officer, and Professor Philip Nolan, Nphet’s modelling chief, to a meeting of the Covid Oversight Group last Wednesday.

The Cog, as it is referred to by many in the Government, is the group set up and chaired by Martin Fraser, the secretary-general at the Department of the Taoiseach, to triage information coming from the health system before it gets to the political decision-makers.


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