A member of the Ontario provincial Parliament was removed from the Progressive Conservative (PC) caucus after he sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford urging him to end the province-wide lockdown that is “deadlier than COVID.”
Roman Baber, who was elected in 2018 and represented Toronto’s York-Centre riding, was removed by Premier Doug Ford Friday morning after he spoke out against the province’s lockdown measures in his letter.
“Effective immediately, Mr. Baber will no longer be sitting as a member of the PC Caucus and will not be permitted to seek re-election as a PC member,” Ford said in a statement.
Baber responded on Twitter, calling Ford’s move “a regretful decision since many colleagues agree with me incl @fordnation in large part.”
“I don’t regret speaking out for millions of lives & livelihoods decimated by Public Health, I serve the public,” he wrote.
“The Lockdown is grounded in false public health narrative, poor planning & bad data. While Doug only cares about re-election, Lockdowns are killing more than saving. I couldn’t watch the suffering anymore. I hope I encouraged other professionals to speak out.”
Lockdowns are deadlier than Covid. I wrote a respectful letter to Premier Ford, asking to end the Lockdown. Look @ the data -the virus is real but the crisis is mostly in LTC. Let's focus on LTC & hospital capacity, but ending the Lockdown is best for our health.#onpoli #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/IIuvB7OXQo
— Roman Baber (@Roman_Baber) January 15, 2021
In his two-page letter posted on social media Friday morning, Baber told Ford that lockdown measures are “causing an avalanche of suicides, overdoses, bankruptcies, divorces and takes an immense toll on our children.”
He also warned that “the medicine is killing the patient” and argued that “Ontario’s Hospital and ICU Capacity are better than in the last 3 years.”
Baber’s letter came days after Ford imposed a second 28-day state of emergency, issued a stay-at-home order, and added new restrictions to the province.
Ford said Baber’s comments are “irresponsible.”
“By spreading misinformation, he is undermining the tireless efforts of our front line health care workers at this critical time, and he is putting people at risk. I will not jeopardize a single Ontarian’s life by ignoring public health advice,” Ford said.
“I am the first to recognize that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people. However, as premier, my number one priority is the health and safety of all Ontarians. We must respect the advice and recommendations of public health officials and the Chief Medical Officer of Health.”
“There is no room for political ideology in our fight against COVID-19–rather, our response has been and will always be driven by evidence and data,” he added.
Baber said in his letter that “COVID is real, but the fear of COVID is exaggerated.”
“While every death is tragic, after 10 months we learned that COVID is not nearly as deadly as first thought—it has a 99.98 [percent] Infection Survival Rate,” he wrote.
Baber also said in his letter that the infection fatality rate, according to the estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, varies between age groups, with rates higher for those who are older. He cited the rates with percentages, however, which meant the figures were off by a factor of 100, but later issued a correction.
“Look @ the data – the virus is real but the crisis is mostly in LTC [long term care],” he said on Twitter. “Let’s focus on LTC & hospital capacity, but ending the Lockdown is best for our health.”
Baber went on to argue in his letter that the lack of capacity in the health-care system is “created artificially by rationing healthcare resources in response to modelling by the Command Table, except that the Table’s modelling is almost always wrong.”
Besides that, Baber noted that Ontario’s overdose rate is “trending 50 percent above normal” and that cancer screenings are only at 60 percent capacity in a Toronto hospital.
Ten percent “of adults reported ‘recent thoughts or feelings of suicide’ (x4 normal),” he wrote, citing data from the Canadian Mental Health Association. “Among Canadians aged 19-35 the rate is 20 [percent].”
In addition, the shutting down of businesses means the province is faced with a “catastrophic wave of bankruptcies and foreclosures.”
“The Government is criminalizing normal human behavior and putting law abiding Ontarians in legal jeopardy,” Baber wrote. “Public health can’t change human behavior.”
The letter concludes that the “lockdowns are objectively deadlier than COVID” as “‘Hot zones’ like Toronto and Peel have been in Lockdown since Thanksgiving without success.”