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Would an earlier lockdown have halved the death toll?

Prospect’s chief science writer speaks to leading epidemiologists—including Neil Ferguson, who made this striking claim. He concludes that countless lives were unnecessarily lost

By Philip Ball  

A week before the official UK lockdown began on 23rd March, my partner and I decided the time had come to do it for ourselves. We took our children out of school, relied on online food ordering, and barely ever ventured beyond the front gate.

This is why the claim by Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College epidemiologist who was an adviser to the government until he resigned for flouting lockdown rules (oh, there’s so…

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