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Leadership or Dereliction of Duty?

Yesterday the PHO said some very interesting things that need to be given some careful consideration.

First the PHO said: “Everybody in schools should be vaccinated”. This is of particular importance to School Boards. When refusing to mandate vaccines for school employees, including teachers, School Boards have always maintained before making their decision, they sought the advice of the PHO. The PHO has now stated unequivocally that every employee in a school should be vaccinated! The PHO has also set the proper example by mandating a vaccine for all health care workers who are under her employ. Will School Boards now step up, carry out the fiduciary duty of protecting our children and mandate vaccines for all employees in schools? With Omicron on the rise an unvaccinated teacher or school employee puts the students and their colleagues at risk. It seems to me if the Boards do not do everything in their power to protect the children, then they could be held liable for any student or staff injuries that result. When the PHO says “everybody in schools should be vaccinated”, it is time for School Boards to act!

Second, the PHO said: “schools are the safest place for our children”. This is preposterous because my home was and is the safest place for my children. The home has excellent ventilation, it allows for social distancing, everyone has been vaccinated, contacts have been limited, love abounds, and no bullies live here. What an insulting statement to most parents. The PHO added yet again that there is very little transmission in schools. Square that with the statement from the Chief PHO of Canada who said: “schools are the most concerning setting where we see the most transmission”. We have evidence from the previous variants that schools are vectors for the spread, and we know that Omicron is exceptionally efficient in its transmission. Do not be fooled, schools are clearly not the safest place for children!

Third, the PHO said that the rumour about millions of tests being stored in a warehouse “is an urban myth”. If this is so, then how does the PHO explain her own reporting in this chart:

Over two million tests have not been deployed so they must be sitting somewhere. This is particularly tragic when everything has been done to deny the public’s access to these tests and when they are not being sent to schools who could use them to try and protect our children. If this is an “urban myth,” as the PHO says, we all deserve an explanation of this chart that is taken from the official government website. More importantly, to ensure our family’s personal safety, we all deserve access to rapid tests just as is happening in other provinces.

Fourthly, the PHO said: “the best mask is the one you are wearing”. Another ridiculous statement that ignores all the science which concludes clearly that the N95 mask is the gold standard and cloth masks should be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, this PHO seems to have a reticence to anything related to masks. Remember the PHO was the last to the dance party when it came to requiring masks in public places and in elementary schools. This reticence resulted in unnecessary spread throughout the fall of 2021. Every adult and secondary student in school should be provided an N95 mask to wear inside the building.

Finally, the PHO made a very odd statement indicating that the PHO wanted to get out of the business of issuing public orders. My question is regarding timing. The PHO has two critical events coming up in the following days that, by current standards, could potentially require public orders. The first is the Canucks game on Saturday that would put 18,000 people indoors at the height of the Omicron spread. Other jurisdictions are ordering reduced capacity. By getting out of the public order business, is the PHO ducking this responsibility? The second is the opening of schools to full capacity with no enhanced safety measures. Is the PHO again trying to avoid difficult decisions that will be required when some schools need to close due to outbreaks or staff absences? In either case is this leadership or a dereliction of duty? Just asking!

It is clear the last press conference raises many questions. Now that the PHO has stated that every person in a school should be vaccinated will School Boards mandate that every employee be vaccinated just as the PHO did for the medical workforce? If not, will they be held liable for injury to any employee or student who is infected by an unvaccinated staff member? Will the public believe the provincial PHO or the federal PHO when it comes to transmission in schools? Will the PHO clarify the statistics on testing and her comment that says the chart reflects an “urban myth” rather than the facts? Will the PHO admit that the n95 mask provides the better protection than a cloth mask?

Perhaps the biggest question of all is: does the PHO’s not issuing any further public health orders constitute a dereliction of duty?


Doug Player, January 5, 2022.

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1 Comment

Thank you Dr. Player for speaking truth to power. As a retired immunocompromised teacher with a partner who is dreading Monday and what it could mean for my safety, I will share several of your commentaries widely.

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