The MPP who called on Ford to end the lockdowns and insisted on a public conversation, supported by facts and a fair medical narrative – is at it again. This time re-tweeting the former Chief Medical Officer of Ontario’s letter to Premier Ford.
Roman Baber, the now independent MPP for York Centre recently posted a letter to Premier Ford that was sent by Ontario’s former Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Richard Schabas. In the letter, that was sent as a response to Mr. Baber’s removal from the Ontario PC party for “spreading misinformation,” Dr. Richard Schabas wrote;
“Dear Premier Ford,
I served as Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health from 1987 to 1997. I helped train many current medical officers including doctor Williams and was chief of staff at York Central Hospital during the 2003 SARS crisis.
On January 15, 2021, MPP Roman Baber sent you a public letter calling on your Government to change course on Covid. MPP Baber made 5 key points and I believe he was correct on all 5 items.
First, reasonable estimates of the infection fatality rate (IFR) from Covid have been declining as we learn more. Outside of long-term care, the risk of dying if you are infected with Covid is probably less than 0.2% overall and deaths are concentrated in the frail and elderly. Younger people and healthy people have a much lower risk. Models that predicted hundreds of thousands of deaths from Covid in Canada were badly wrong because they used incorrect exaggerated inputs.
Second, lockdown was never part of our planned pandemic response nor is it supported by strong science. Lockdown has been used by almost every developed country and in the great majority of cases, the lack of response speaks for itself. Two recent studies on the effectiveness of lockdown show that it has at most a small Covid mortality benefit compared to more moderate measures. Both studies warn about the excessive cost of lockdown.
Third, there are significant costs to lockdowns – lost education, unemployment, social isolation, deteriorating mental health and compromised access to healthcare. Lockdown is an affront to social justice because its burdens fall disproportionately on the young, the working poor and visible minorities. We will be paying for lockdown – in lives and dollars for decades to come.
Fourth, in April the government announced they had added almost 1500 critical care beds to cope with a Covid surge. Now, after 9 months of Covid, why do we have less ICU capacity than we had last April?
Fifth, the government has resorted to fearmongering to encourage compliance with lockdown. An excellent example is in the Government’s response to Mr. Baber’s letter instead of addressing his point about Covid IFR (infection fatality rate) the government cited Covid’s reported case fatality rate (CFR). Every knowledgeable observer of Covid understands that CFR is in itself an irrelevant number. IFR is the meaningful measurement of virulence. CFR’s only virtue is the ability to frighten by overstating the real risk of dying from a Covid infection. I can think of no other reason for the government to incite CFR except to promote fear.”
Will the Premier now choose to say that the Former Chief Medical Health Officer of Ontario is “out to lunch” like he told independent MPP Randy Hillier? Will Premier Ford say that Dr. Schabas is “spreading misinformation” or will he re-call the house for debate and re-open Ontario for business?
For a Premier that ran on the slogan “we are open for business”, he seems adamant about preventing any debate that would lead to business being open again. This is a democracy Mr. Ford – it’s time to start acting like it.
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