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Wolfson alumnus Chris Whitty takes the lead in UK's coronavirus response

Published on:

19 March 2020


Professor Chris Whitty, alumnus of Wolfson College (BCh, 1991) and former Chair of Common Room leads the UK's coronavirus response.

Chris Whitty is England's chief medical officer and the UK department of health's top scientific adviser. As the government's chief medical adviser, he gives expert advice to ministers, his calm and measured manner giving reassurance to the public. During the coronavirus outbreak, BBC health editor Hugh Pym has called him "the official who will probably have the greatest impact on our everyday lives of any individual policymaker in modern times".

Sir Tim commented, "It’s encouraging to know that the British government’s COVID-19 response is being led by Chris Whitty the Chief Medical Officer, and (no surprise) a Wolfson alumnus. His calmness, practicality, and reliance on the evidence are an example to us all, and an example too of the continuing, and again more widely recognised, importance of expertise."

Whitty is one of the foremost UK experts in infectious diseases. In 2014 he played a leading role advising on the UK response to the Ebola epidemic as chief scientific adviser to the Department for International Development.