Former Ontario chief medical officer sides with Roman Baber on lockdowns

Author of the article:Anthony Furey Publishing date:Jan 18, 2021

Dr. Richard Schabas sits in his office at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health in Belleville November 5, 2014. PHOTO BY LUKE HENDRY /Postmedia Network

A former provincial top doctor has sent a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford siding with Roman Baber, the MPP who broke rank with his own government to call for an end to lockdowns.

“MPP Baber made five key points (in his open letter) and I believe he was correct on all five items,” writes Dr. Richard Schabas, who served as Ontario’s chief medical officer of health from 1987 to 1997. He notes that Baber “deserves great credit” for opening up the discussion on lockdowns.

“Lockdown was never part of our planned pandemic response nor is it supported by strong science,” adds Schabas, who notes he helped train current top doc David Williams. “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 warned about the excessive cost of lockdowns.”

Schabas also served as chief of staff at York Central Hospital during the 2003 SARS crisis.

Last week, Baber was booted out of the Progressive Conservative caucus by Ford for releasing an open letter calling on the government to change course in its response to the pandemic.

“COVID is real, but the fear of COVID is exaggerated. While every death is tragic, after 10 months we learned that COVIDis not nearly as deadly as first thought,” Baber’s letter stated. Baber called for the government to pivot towards better protecting long-term care facilities and increasing hospital capacity.

Ford accused Baber of “spreading misinformation” over the letter, which included statistics about death rates and hospital ICU capacity. The government sent out its own fact sheet countering some of Baber’s claims, to which Baber in turn offered a response.

“Lockdown is an affront to social justice because its burdens fall disproportionately on the young, the working poor and visible minorities,” observes Schabas in his letter. “We will be paying for lockdown in lives and dollars for decades to come.

“Our well-intentioned but misguided efforts to control COVID are only compounding the tragedy. We need to change course. No one has all the answers but the first step is to start asking the right questions.”

Former Ontario top doc sides with MPP Roman Baber on lockdowns | Toronto Sun

afurey@postmedia.com

Dr. Richard Schabas letter to Premier Ford here:

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