During a press conference on October 31, 2020, Sir Patrick revealed that there was a mistake made when a slide detailing the worst-case scenario for deaths was shown to the public. Despite this, Mr. Johnson insisted that the public should see the slide as he had seen it, but Sir Patrick believed it was a bad idea.
The Office for Statistics Regulation criticized Sir Patrick for not releasing the data and assumptions behind the worst-case scenario projection of 4,000 deaths per day by December 2020 if no action was taken. This forced Mr. Johnson to make a hasty announcement of the lockdown after the plans were leaked to the media. He spent a considerable amount of time on the phone explaining his reasoning to critics before the press conference.
Despite its scientific validity, Sir Patrick expressed his belief that the 4,000 deaths projection was not a sensible science slide to show. He also noted claims by Dominic Cummings, Mr. Johnson’s senior adviser, in his diaries in October 2020 where he stated that “Rishi thinks just let people die and that’s okay.”