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Doctors around the world sign ‘declaration’ urging society return to normal

It was co-signed by 20 other medical experts. Since being posted online hundreds of other doctors have signed it and thousands of members of the public.

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Hundreds of doctors from around the world have signed a “declaration” urging societies to get back to normal as the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic goes on.

Called the Great Barrington Declaration, the group issued a letter saying “as infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. 

“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold.

“Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed.

“Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.”

The declaration was signed in Great Barrington, Mass., by Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School.

It was co-signed by 20 other medical experts. Since being posted online hundreds of other doctors have signed it and thousands of members of the public.

The group said lockdowns around the world are causing more problems than they solve.

“Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice,” the declaration reads.

“Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

“We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. 

“As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.

“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. 

“By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. “

Canada has seen 168,000 cases of coronavirus resulting in 9,492 deaths. Worldwide, there has been 35.5 million cases with 1.04 million deaths.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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O’Toole adds voice to petition to award former Canadian soldier prestigious honour

“(Jess Larochelle) is worthy of consideration for Victorian class,” said O’Toole.

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Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has thrown his support behind a veterans association’s attempts to garner the Victoria Cross (VC) for a Canadian who heroically fought in Afghanistan.

“(Jess Larochelle) is worthy of consideration for Victorian class,” said O’Toole, himself a former commissioned officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“I’m very proud of the men and women who serve in our Canadian Armed Forces and those (who) served in that mission with distinction and unparalleled courage,” he said Sept. 17.

The Afghanistan Veterans Association of Canada has petitioned the Governor-General of Canada to award the Victoria Cross to former Pvt. Larochelle, Nipissing, Ont. man who is in poor health.

“I was in the same company with Jess,” said Bruce Moncur of Thompson, Man., founder of the Veterans Association.

“The guy had a broken back and single-handedly fought off 40 Taliban.”

No Canadian has won the most prestigious award of the British honours system in 77 years, but Moncur said it’s time to change that.

“The clock is ticking. His family does not want this to be a posthumous award,” he said.

Larochelle in 2007 was awarded the Star of Military Valour for bravery in combat at Pashmul, Afghanistan.

A year earlier, Larochelle fought off Taliban gunmen at a machine gun post despite injuries from heavy fire that killed two members of his unit and wounded four others.

“Private Larochelle went above and beyond the call of duty, exhibited unwavering determination and fulfills the criteria of the Canadian Victoria Cross: bravery in the face of the enemy, turning the course of a battle, determination despite injury, and saving the lives of his section despite his own sacrifices,” said the petition.

O’Toole said it’s a sad circumstance for all who served overseas.

“The situation in Afghanistan that’s tumbling into crisis is hard for military families who left a piece themselves in that country,” he said.

Yet another reason why we should not have had an election; we should have made sure that anyone that’s at risk in Afghanistan … (as prime minister) I will never leave someone behind like Mr. Trudeau has.”

In 1993 Canada created its own VC and withdrew from the British VC., but Canada has yet to award a Canadian VC.

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O’Toole pleads with conservatives not to vote PPC

O’Toole said he feared a right-wing vote split could lead to four more years of Justin Trudeau.

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Erin O’Toole is making a last-minute appeal to conservative voters to stick with him.

At a campaign stop in London on Friday afternoon, O’Toole urged those on the right to not mark their X for the People’s Party of Canada, which has seen a surge in the polls lately.

O’Toole said he feared a right-wing vote split could lead to four more years of Justin Trudeau.

“There are actually millions of Canadians who are very frustrated with Mr. Trudeau. If they allow that frustration to do anything other than vote Conservative, they’re voting for Mr. Trudeau,” O’Toole said.

“There are five parties and there are two choices. More of the same with Mr. Trudeau or real change and ethical government with Canada’s Conservatives.”

While not mentioning the PPC by name, O’Toole said Trudeau would be happy with the vote split.

“If Justin Trudeau is rewarded for calling a $600 million election in the middle of a pandemic, everything you’ve come to dislike about Mr. Trudeau — the lectures, the division in this country, the hypocrisy, the rising prices — they will all only get worse,” he said.

“There is a lot a stake.”

When asked why he would use the name of the PPC, O’Toole responded: “I’m not going to advertise them.”

Polls continue to show good news for the People’s Party of Canada.

EKOS Politics daily tracking showed last week the party surging to a record 11.2% of decided and leaning voters, putting it within striking distance of the traditionally third-place NDP, which sits at 15.7%.

The Conservatives maintain a slight edge over the Liberals at 33.6% and 30.7% respectively.

Most polling firms have tracked the PPC rising from near obscurity at the beginning of the election campaign, to consistently higher numbers that could see the party make a real impact on the September 20 vote.

Broken down by region, the numbers are even more shocking.

In Alberta, the PPC has vaulted over the Liberals and NDP into a clear third place at 19%. While still well behind the Tories at 52%, the level of support could yield seats for the PPC if concentrated in specific constituencies.

The PPC’s second-best showing is in Quebec, where it sat in fourth place at 13%. In that province, the Liberals lead at 31%, followed by the Conservatives at 21%, and the BQ at 18%. The NDP ranked below with PPC in fifth place at 10%.

In Ontario, the PPC is breathing down the neck of the NDP for third place, just 2% behind them at 11%, however well back of the Liberals at 39% and the Tories at 33%.

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BC tells Alberta no can do, about ICU beds for COVID patients

“We will not be able to assist with taking patients at this time.” —B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

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It was a big fat “no” from B.C. legislators when asked to take hospital patients from Alberta.

The westernmost province told its eastern neighbour it cannot take ICU patients because of its own health-care demands.

“Given the current demands on B.C.’s health-care system, we will not be able to assist with taking patients at this time,” said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix in a statement Thursday after a meeting of B.C. and Alberta health officials.

In the short statement, Dix also said: “We have told Alberta that if there are things we can do to support them, we will. And if we can take patients on in the future, we will.

Dix, noting “we are in a global pandemic,” and added: “We salute Alberta’s health-care workers, and all health-care workers who are working tirelessly to care for patients and protect people and communities in the face of great challenge.”

Alberta’s health system is teetering on collapse with 269 patients in an intensive-care system set up for 173.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney appealed for help from the other provinces, by taking some ICU patients or sending front-line health workers to Alberta.

Ontario offered to accept patient transfers if needed, said Dr. Verna Yiu, head of Alberta Health Services (AHS), and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey offered to aid in a tweet.

Newfoundland and Labrador also offered help to Alberta.

B.C. reported 706 new cases of COVID on Thursday, as well as four deaths linked to the illness, bringing the death toll to 1,877.

B.C. Health said there are currently 5,844 active infections across the province with 291 people in hospital, including 134 in intensive care.

In Alberta— which is facing a devastating fourth wave with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country—large numbers of non-urgent surgeries were cancelled because hospital staff are reassigned to COVID-19 care.

BC told Alberta that if there are things it can do to support the beleaguered province in the future, it will attempt to do so.

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