You might think that a life as an expert in mortality was deathly dull. If you think that, don’t turn up to the Pension PlayPen coffee morning on Tuesday.
Since the pandemic, Stuart Macdonald has busied himself working out just how our nation’s health has withstood the impact of Covid, long Covid and the increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories that suggest that vaccination has done more harm than good.
This man is not an actuary and his views are in stark contrast to those of the actuarial profession. ONS analysis shows lower age-standardised mortality rates for vaccinated people. The next data update will be out on 21 February.https://t.co/nbPavVNAmS
— stuart mcdonald (@ActuaryByDay) February 11, 2023
Thankfully, we have a professional body in this country that ensures standards in public disclosure and from it sprang the Covid Actuaries Response Group , co-founded by Stuart , set-up to provide reliable data an confound the conspiracists.
Covid-19 ARG has never been shy of saying it as it sees it. It called the disastrous early policies where geriatrics were reintroduced into residential care homes from hospital causing an early spike in avoidable deaths. Stuart held the line insisting that these deaths would not have happened anyway and confronting Government policy with stark data.
When the vaccines arrived, Covid-ARG reported on their impact and promoted their use. Their data and the confidence it gave, made UK one of the first and best vaccinated countries in the world saving thousands of avoidable deaths.
The Covid Actuaries report on a monthly basis on a wide variety of topics. It has 74 “Friday reports” , over 100 bulletins and its work has been discussed at SAGE and cited by the highest levels of government. Numerous articles have appeared in the press and members of the group regularly appear on broadcast media. No one has done more to promote the proper use of data and scientific information than Stuart Macdonald.
Stuart has made the subject of death and excess deaths something we can understand. He has combatted conspiracy theories grounded in prejudice and has done it with a good humour and modesty that has endeared him to all who have come within his orbit.