Home Canada News UCP associate minister backtracks on comments suggesting Alberta is holding off COVID-19...

UCP associate minister backtracks on comments suggesting Alberta is holding off COVID-19 shutdown

A UCP MLA and associate minister is coming under fire for comments around Alberta’s COVID-19 response he made during a virtual town hall Friday evening.

“Our criteria is measured against our hospital capacity to handle ICUs and hospitalizations,” Jason Luan, the associate minister of health and addictions said, after he was asked about Alberta’s potential for a lockdown.

“We’re waiting to see where that threshold would be pushed to our limits, then gradually reduce more activities that way.”

These comments sparked harsh criticism and by Sunday afternoon Luan backtracked.

“I was incorrect in suggesting anyone is waiting until we are pushed to the limit. That was not accurate,” he said in a statement posted to social media.

“I am not a spokesperson or involved in any decision making around introducing new restrictions or hospital capacity.”

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Despite no COVID-19 deaths reported Sunday, Alberta adds another record-breaking 1,584 cases

NDP health critic David Shepherd called it “an incredibly embarrassing bozo eruption” from Luan.

“He is accountable for his words, he is accountable for pushing this kind of misinformation and creating this kind of fear and anxiety in the province of Alberta,” Shepherd said Sunday.

“What we see is this government continues to push mixed messaging, downplay the very reality, the real impact of COVID-19.”

NDP says Alberta government must ‘do more,’ like increasing non-restrictive COVID-19 measures

NDP says Alberta government must ‘do more,’ like increasing non-restrictive COVID-19 measures – Oct 27, 2020

In his statement Sunday, Luan said the government continues to act on advice from health officials like Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

“I truly regret any confusion my statement has caused. My responsibility during this pandemic has been to ensure that mental health and addiction services are available for all Albertans,” Luan said.

Story continues below advertisement

Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University, said Albertans deserve to know how decisions are being made when it comes to the pandemic.

“He’s an associate cabinet minister in the department of health, so while I appreciate the backtrack and the clarification it strikes me as, “What is going on? Who is in charge? What metrics are being used?’ — This was horrifying,” Bratt said Sunday.

Read more:
Calgary economist urges more COVID-19 restrictions to prevent further damage to Alberta economy

Hospital stress

Dr. Shazma Mithani, who works at the emergency room at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, said while she’s glad Luan admitted that approach was wrong, she still feels not enough is being done to protect health-care resources.

“We are there in the trenches, we are there on the front lines,” Mithani said Sunday.

“We’re seeing what impact COVID-19 is having on our ability to care for patients both with COVID-19 and without.”

Story continues below advertisement

She said the system is stressed and strong mandatory restrictions are needed if there’s any hope of keeping up.

“It’s scary to go to work now seeing those numbers climb above 1,000 for multiple days in a row now,” she explained.

“My biggest fear is that we are not going to be able to cope with all of the patients that present to hospital.”

Read more:
Increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alberta pushing ICUs to 90% capacity

Mithani said she believes the time for a short ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown to avoid overwhelming the system may have even passed.

“There was a short window where I thought the two-week circuit-breaker would have been effective,” she said.

“However, our cases have increased so dramatically, I think that the only way to really curb the spread of COVID-19 and to flatten that curve is much stronger and longer measures now.”

Mithani would also like to see a mandatory mask policy across the province and non-essential businesses closed.

“I’m still fully supportive of curbside pickup, delivery, to support our small businesses,” she explained.

“I think fitness facilities, bars, casinos, bingos as well should be closed. These are non-essential services and these are places where multiple people are gathering in close contact and are hotspots for potential spread of COVID-19.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

News Source

UCP associate minister backtracks on comments suggesting Alberta is holding off COVID-19 shutdown
Pen Pusher Hackette
Pen Pusher Hackette is a content media organization that focuses on creating the most authentic content available on the internet. Apart from just writing the content for internet consumers, the organization also focuses on inventing the right marketing tool to help businesses target their potential consumers. From Entertainment to the knowledge-based information, we cover all aspects to connect with the billions of internet consumers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

AstraZeneca says its COVID-19 vaccine “highly effective” in late trials so far

London — AstraZeneca said Monday that late stage trials of its COVID-19 vaccine developed with Oxford University were "highly effective'' in preventing disease. The...

Oz in 'American Pie' Movies 'Memba Him?!

Illinois-born actor Chris Klein was 20 years old when he landed the life-changing role of hunky high schooler Chris "Oz" Ostreicher -- who leaves...

'We believe in Dubai', says former F1 boss as he reinvents Billionaire club chain

Flavio Briatore, the man who discovered racing legend Michael Schumacher, talks to Arabian Business after ploughing in investment to reinvent his Dubai Billionaire club News...

“Multiple” stabbing in San Jose church leaves at least two dead

San Jose, California — At least two people were killed and others seriously wounded Sunday night in a multiple stabbing at a church here....

How Dubai aims to add more transparency for commercial property investors

Dubai Land Department is planning to launch a price index for the office market, similar to Mo'asher, which monitors the residential sector News Source