A member of the government's scientific advisory committee, who is allegedly a paid-up communist, has said that wearing masks and social distancing should continue for the "long term" to suppress the Chinese coronavirus and other diseases.
University College London Professor Susan Michie, who according to the British Telegraph and socialist newspaper the Morning Star is a member of the Communist Party of Britain, sits on the influential Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which advises ministers on how to respond to the pandemic and said that "people's behaviour" was key in controlling the pandemic.
Professor Michie told Channel 5 on Thursday, according to The Telegraph: "That is the behaviour of social distancing, of when you're indoors, making sure there's good ventilation or if it's not, wearing face masks, of hands and surface hygiene. We will need to keep this going in the long term and that will be good not only for Covid, but also to reduce others [sic] diseases."
Asked for how long the measures should continue, Professor Michie, who had reportedly earned in her youth the nickname "Stalin's nanny", said: "I think forever to some extent because this isn't going to be the last pandemic."
Michie, whose brother was best friends with Labour strategist and Stalin apologist Seumas Milne and was married to a former advisor to Jeremy Corbyn, added that Britons should get used to carrying masks the way they carry mobile phones or keys, claiming: "It's not going to be a huge big deal, the kind of changes we're talking about."
Similarly, in December 2020, Jonathan Van-Tam, the UK's deputy chief medical officer, had said that mask-wearing could go on "for years", saying: "Do I think there will come a big moment where we have a massive party and throw our masks and hand sanitiser and say, ‘That's it, it's behind us', like the end of the war? No, I don't.
"I think those kinds of habits that we have learned from... will perhaps persist for many years, and that may be a good thing if they do."
Michie's remarks come as reports from The Times suggested that the government is considering a two- to four-week delay to lifting restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected on Monday to announce whether all COVID-19 restrictions will be ended from June 21st.
"A proper reopening is still in play but seen as unlikely," a government source told the newspaper of record. "Senior people are making the case for that. The argument is that we are going to have new variants all of the time and we have to learn to live with them."
There have come increasing calls from within the scientific community to delay the end of restrictions in the face of the Indian variant of the Chinese virus, with NERVTAG (New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group) member Professor Ravi Gupta predicting it could cause a third wave.