Newton Emerson: The North is not the reason there cannot be all-Ireland zero-Covid

The Government would not be pursuing zero-Covid strategy even in a united Ireland

The official answer to Covid-19 is the same as it has always been: lockdown and release until a vaccine is available. Photograph: Yasin Akgul/Getty Images

The official answer to Covid-19 is the same as it has always been: lockdown and release until a vaccine is available. Photograph: Yasin Akgul/Getty Images

Like global warming, the zero-Covid proposal for the island of Ireland is something few of us are qualified to judge. The best we can do is compare the number of experts on each side of the debate. This proves nothing, of course: science is not a democracy. But it clearly matters that zero-Covid is advocated by only a handful of scientists and opposed by the vast majority of their colleagues, just as 97 per cent of climate scientists agree man-made change is occurring.

Most of us should be media-literate enough to realise a minority expert view might still get closer to 50 per cent of airtime, because that is how debate works. The clue is the same few faces appearing over and over again. As a newspaper columnist I can hardly complain about that but I am certainly qualified to spot it.

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