Chris Whitty has been praised often for his calm tone and lack of drama.

But these qualities were missing when he addressed the Downing Street Press conference Wednesday night.

Whitty updated the nation using the Omicron variation. Whitty’s words were equivalent to pressing the panic button.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty (left) and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance (right) with Boris Johnson in March 2020

Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer (left), and Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Advisor (right) were pictured with Boris Johnson on March 2020.

He advised the public to not mix with anyone he didn’t need, and warned that Omicron is spreading rapidly at an ‘absolutely phenomenal rate’, making it a’very serious threat.

These words had an enormous impact on our nation, placing us in yet another crisis that has dire consequences for individuals and businesses.

Scrooge couldn’t have done a more thorough job of ruining the Christmas season.

The Prime Minister has talked of giving Whitty a knighthood — but after that reckless and irresponsible performance, the Chief Medical Officer deserves the boot.

Inflicting severe damage upon our economy at once, especially the hospitality sector, which earns over 25% in that period and already suffered a severe battering from the pandemic, was a single act of genius.

Due to Omicron’s artificial hysteria, the company is in for another round of hammering, with no plans for gatherings.

This paper was written by Tom Kerridge, a top chef. He revealed that one of his restaurants had suffered over 650 cancellations within six days.

His words were that chefs lost 50 percent of their bookings during the week, due to poor decisions made in a spur of the moment. The decision has devastated an industry that employs more that three million people.

Many have closed their doors until January, and many others followed suit. Others will not open the doors again.

And as for the impact on their suppliers — the fruit, veg and dairy producers, and alcohol industry — the effect may well prove catastrophic for numerous smaller firms.

Johnson, Whitty and Vallance hold a press conference at 10 Downing Street on December 8

Johnson, Whitty, and Vallance host a press conference on December 8, at 10 Downing Street

Travel industry also suffered another devastating blow as it began to recover after a nearly two-year global shutdown.

And the arts — all our theatres and concert halls around the country — as well as sporting venues are in for yet another bleak midwinter.

There’s also transport. London Underground commuters have fallen 31% week to week. This has an added effect on small business that relies on noisy offices in central cities.

Our fragile economy, burdened by massive debts, looming tax rises and soaring inflation, did not need this new — and in my view, artificial — problem.

The politics can be just as disastrous as the economy. From the Downing Street Press conference, it was clear that Boris Johnson did not share Professor Whitty’s predictions of doom. He struck a more positive note when he called for Omicron to get ‘both barrels.

The agenda is being set by the non-elected officials and their fellow followers of lockdowns, ever more restrictive measures and other restrictions and not the Prime Minster.

This failure in political courage is being recognised by voters who are reacting to it.

This could be partly responsible for Thursday’s historic defeat suffered by the Tories in North Shropshire.

In addition to the scandalous claims made by Owen Paterson’s ex-MP, local voters were outraged at reports that the county was ‘running out’ ambulances after there had been a flurry of patients waiting outside the hospital.

A local NHS ‘planning director’ blamed ‘significant workforce challenges’ created — what else? — by Covid.

As many MPs are complaining, in a democracy it is elected representatives who should determine policy — not the unelected and largely unaccountable scientists or advisers.

Political leaders must look beyond their immediate interests and consider the big picture before making decisions.

The PM is now facing a serious rift with his top advisers. Boris Johnson is clearly keen for normal life to go on as much as possible. Whitty, along with his coworkers seem intent on inducing anxiety to make it easier for others to implement even stricter restrictions as part of a “Plan C”.

They are more worried about protecting their image at public future inquires than they are about the nation’s long-term well-being.

Jenny Harries of UK Health Security Agency has joined the chorus of pessimists and warned Omicron is ‘probably most significant threat’ since the outbreak of pandemic.

Amanda Pritchard (new chief executive NHS) is not impressed. Pritchard claims hospitals will soon be hit with a surge of admissions that is ‘as huge or more than’ last winter.

As a doctor, it pains me to say this, but I believe that this climate of dread is being deliberately manufactured by the usual suspects — certain scientists and doctors — in order to impose a new lockdown by stealth, rather than edict.

We are hearing more control in the name public safety, and protection for the NHS.

Where is the evidence that supports these skewed predictions? Although “Follow Science” was a favorite mantra of officials, the science in this instance seems very thin.

According to the “experts”, Omicron’s incidence doubles every other day.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, Omicron infections were increasing at an average rate of 200,000 per hour as of Monday morning.

Yesterday, the number was 93,00045. Although this was an increase of about 5% on the previous day, it wasn’t the tsunami that had been predicted.

In terms of accuracy, Ms Pritchard (NHS boss) claimed last month that the number of Covid patients hospitalized was 14 times that of ‘this point last year. She was clearly wrong. Her comments were rebuked by the NHS boss Ms Pritchard.

The number of patients actually fell from over 11,000 in November 2020 to just 7,000 the first week in November 2021.

More importantly, there has not been an increase in the number of deaths and hospitalisations due to Covid infections.

The number of patients at the Covid hospital has remained stable at less than 8000 in December (the current total is 7,611) and on an average, it was lower than 900 daily admissions.

Only 65 people have received the Omicron variant, and only one has died.

Chris Whitty, pictured on November 15, on Wednesday said 'don't mix with people you don't have to' as he told the public that Omicron was spreading at 'an absolutely phenomenal rate'

Chris Whitty (pictured November 15) said Wednesday that he wouldn’t mix his Omicron with anyone unless he had to. He told the public Omicron is spreading at an ‘absolutely phenomenal rate’ 

The death rate for those who died within the first 28 days after a positive Covid test on Thursday showed an actual week-on-week decrease, going from 148 down to 146. Yesterday’s total was 111.

We now come to the core problem in Omicron’s contrived panic. The mutation might be more dangerous than other Covid variants, but it’s far less lethal.

The virus may not be as dangerous as the common cold. According to recent research, the viruses replicates ten times slower in the lungs.

This is wonderful news. This is great news. If Omicron becomes the predominant strain of Covid here in Britain then it’s lack of potency will make us all safer.

South Africa was the birthplace of Omicron. This is a clear lesson.

Chair of the South African Medical Association, Dr Angelique coetzee wrote that on Tuesday she was stunned by the worldwide response to Omicron.

She wrote that Omicron symptoms are much milder than those seen with the more serious Delta variant.

“It’s totally absurd to be discussing Plan Cs or lockdowns,” which would cause’more harm than good.

The release of an analysis by South African Medical Research Council that showed Omicron has a 29 percent lower risk of being hospitalized than the original Wuhan Covid strain, backed her views.

Omicron hospital patients have a lower likelihood of needing intensive care.

American Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, stressed that while there is no definitive answer, it appears the variant seems less severe.

However, Professor Whitty, along with his coworkers, seem so ensconced in their tale of woe, that they appear to be dismissing the findings.

To justify their obstinacy, they claim it is too early to draw conclusions from South Africa and that Britain’s demographic profile is very different, both older and — even more bizarrely when considering how serious a new variant may be — with far higher levels of vaccination.

Omicron could also be considered a secondary epidemic to Delta, they argue. The South African experience does not support this assertion.

Omicron appears to be dislodging Delta and not “building upon” it, as Whitty put it. Take a look at the numbers.

If Omicron infection rates double in two days, then all of the population will become infected within several months.

Under the current misleading criteria, everyone who dies while suffering from a known Covid infection is classified as a ‘Covid death’ — even if they are run over by a bus.

People who are unable to get rid of Covid will die more often if they become infected.

If enough people are infected, you could pin almost the entire weekly death toll in the UK — currently around 12,000 — on Covid. But that would be wrong — and an abuse of statistics.

The irony is that if the most lurid forecasts of the lockdown addicts are realised, with the pandemic reaching every household, then all those oppressive measures they cherish most — such as social distancing, bans on large gatherings, venue closures and vaccine passports — will be largely useless.

It would spread the virus far too fast and too widely. Even if they are fully vaccinated, the virus is still easily spread to others.

This makes the faith in vaccine passports — at, for example, nightclubs and music venues — idiotic, since the greatest spreaders of the virus are currently vaccinated people aged under 40.

Omicron is expected to unfold according to plan. A further crackdown will be nothing more than empty gesture politics. This tactic is intended to provide the illusion that protection and destroy businesses while disrupting Christmas plans of millions.

In fact, it would make the fight against the virus even more futile. It could be detrimental to society’s ability to work together. By preventing natural Covid immunity from spreading, lockdown directly hinders the fight against this virus.

This immunity is far better than hiding behind locked doors. Belgium’s lockdown was one of the most severe in Europe. Yet, the death rate there is much higher than Sweden, which has no lockdown.

In addition to the economic vandalism and ruination of businesses wrought by lockdowns, there are also the huge costs of furlough and welfare that have wrecked the public finances, with Government debt rising to £2.2 trillion and the tax burden at its highest level for 70 years.

Covid’s grossly distorted priorities have been permitted to continue for far too long. Consider the devastating impact isolation has on mental health, the lengthy waiting lists for non Covid treatments, missed screenings, and diagnostic tests that can lead to unnecessary deaths due to stroke, cancer, and heart disease in years ahead.

As we’ve seen, domestic abuse has risen, along with child abuse as well, in the wake of the pandemic. Meanwhile, social problems like excessive drinking and gambling have skyrocketed.

There is also the effect on students at university and school who will be adversely affected by Covid.

Although freedom was once an important pillar of our society it has been steadily declining over the last two years, as the state assumes the power of repression that wouldn’t have made sense in 1980s East Germany prior to the fall of Berlin Wall, the state has taken on repressive powers which would not be out of place today.

Nearly 2 years after the outbreak in Britain, it is now clear that the anti-Covid strategy was seriously misconceived.

We are still trapped in the depressing circle of Professor Whitty’s restrictions and have no hope of normality returning.

Failing to act, wail in hysteria and adopting impractical policy, Chief Medical Officer is way out of his depth. This nightmare must end. 

Professor Angus Dalgleish works as an oncologist in a London teaching hospitals.