Mar 02, 2021
By Jane Brown
Ontario’s long-term care minister is explaining why she did not go public early last February over concerns she says she had about COVID-19 spreading in the province’s nursing homes.
“The whole world was learning about the evidence surrounding this virus, and we were taking the advice of the chief medical officer of health, of our public health experts and they had the landscape of understanding and they were in their role. I had my ministry and to advocate for our most vulnerable which I absolutely did knowing that we had to put more measures in place as we continue to do today,” Fullerton stated.
Merrilee Fullerton is facing strong criticism from Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, after newly released transcripts showed Fullerton told Ontario’s long-term care commission this past Friday she was aware of the dangers the new coronavirus posed to the sector as early as February 5th of 2020.
“Why didn’t this minister then go public and speak up and save lives in long term care?” Horwath asked during Question Period in the Ontario legislature Monday.
To date, 3,744 residents have died in Ontario’s long term care homes after contracting COVID-19. Well over half of those individuals died after mid-September during the second wave.
Merrilee Fullerton’s failure to protect residents in the second wave of the virus is the focus of an ongoing campaign by the Zoomers’ Advocacy Group CARP, calling on Premier Doug Ford to fire his long term care minister.
If you’d like to sign the petition and add your comments, click here.