A leading epidemiologist who advised the UK government on its coronavirus response resigned from his government post on Tuesday, after the Telegraph newspaper reported he broke the lockdown rules he helped shape.
Professor Neil Ferguson, who is based at Imperial College in London, is one of the architects of the UK government stay-at-home strategy and was a prominent member of Britain’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which has been spearheading the coronavirus response.
The Telegraph reported Tuesday that a woman had visited his home twice despite social distancing guidelines.
In a statement to CNN, Professor Ferguson said he accepted he made “an error of judgement and took the wrong course of action,” and had therefore stepped back from his involvement in SAGE.
“I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms,” he said.
“I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing to control this devastating epidemic.”
“The government guidance is unequivocal, and is there to protect all of us.”