‘Distorted view of COVID’: Fired Alberta Health Services board member exclaims Smith

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dated: 2022-11-19 23:22:10 .

EDMONTON – The head of the health system fired by Premier Danielle Smith has fired back in an open letter, saying her offensive, divisive attacks, mixed with “distorted” anti-science beliefs, make her a poor excuse for a leader and literally put Albertans in a danger zone.

“(Albertans) have a right to principles-based governance that respects decency and fosters citizen trust,” Tony Dagnone said in a letter released Friday.

He was one of 11 Alberta Health Services board members recently fired by Smith.

“The current premier is resisting all of these efforts while spewing insane accusations against Alberta Health Services and its valued employees,” he wrote.

The prime minister has decided to “play to her misguided supporters who rebel against science and academic medicine under the guise of freedom,” Dagnone said in the letter.

“Your distorted view of COVID which I remind the Premier was and is a public health issue, not a political punching bag, is nothing short of borderline disregard for the lives of AHS staff and Alberta residents,” Dagnone wrote .

“Considering her extraordinary public statements, the Prime Minister represents the darkest role model for women who aspire to be accepted in influential and leading positions.

“Why would a self-confessed graduate pursue a career in health care in a province led by an anti-science premier?”

Dagnone was not immediately available for comment.

He and other AHS board members were fired by Smith on Thursday, fulfilling a promise she made in her successful summer campaign to win the leadership of the United Conservative Party and become prime minister.

A twelfth board member, Deborah Apps, resigned after Smith won the UCP leadership race in early October, citing concerns about the disruption Smith wanted to wreak on the fragile health care system.

Alberta Health Services is an agency with more than 100,000 employees responsible for providing care in the first place in the province.

Smith held both AHS and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, responsible for poor counseling and executions during the pandemic, which led to overcrowded hospital wards and forced the province to impose vaccination mandates and freedom-restricting passports.

Hinshaw was removed from her job earlier this week.

The committee was formed by Dr John Cowell, who is tasked with tackling several stress points in the system, including waiting times for surgery, bottlenecks in ambulances, shortages of doctors and overcrowded emergency services.

Dagnone, an Order of Canada recipient with four decades of work in hospitals and health administration, said he is not politically aligned and felt compelled to defend AHS staff.

“I have witnessed the extraordinary collective will of our healthcare providers as they face the unimaginable of COVID,” he wrote.

“They all deserve our respect and gratitude, but the premier chooses instead to vilify those who saved Albertans.”

Smith spoke at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce meeting on Friday, but declined to speak to reporters. Her office said in a statement that the province must take action to address urgent health concerns.

“This decision (to fire the board) was not personal, it is about better outcomes for Albertans and we are grateful for the work of the AHS board,” the statement said.

Smith said there will be no health restrictions or vaccination requirements during future waves of COVID-19. And she said there would be no masking requirements in schools currently dealing with viral respiratory illnesses that are skyrocketing absenteeism and filling children’s hospitals.

Smith has publicly embraced alternative approaches to COVID-19, including herd immunity and the now debunked COVID-19 treatment ivermectin.

Earlier this month, she announced that she wanted to hear from Paul Alexander, a controversial critic of mainstream science who called the COVID-19 vaccine a “biological weapon.”

“The Prime Minister takes her nonsense to a new level by calling out a former Trump adviser (Alexander) who is despised by many for promoting medical quackery,” Dagnone wrote.

“If (she) insists on making false, conspiratorial and baseless claims, she is responsible for exposing health care providers and Alberta residents to unnecessary risk.

“Her loose and caustic words seem to satisfy her need for bizarre musings that can and will ultimately affect people’s lives.”

NDP health critic David Shepherd echoed the concerns in his response to Dagnone’s letter.

“(Smith) will continue to hold health professionals responsible for the current state of care while she herself takes no responsibility for the impact of the dangerous misinformation and conspiracy theories she promotes,” Shepherd said.

“Your reckless politicization of our public health care system will make it harder to recruit and retain health care workers and make it harder for Albertans to access care.”

This Canadian Press report was first published on November 18, 2022.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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‘Distorted view of COVID’: Fired Alberta Health Services board member exclaims Smith

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Source https://canadatoday.news/ca/distorted-stance-on-covid-fired-alberta-health-services-board-member-exclaims-smith-2-154754/

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