The Star’s Christine Elliott’s Coronavirus Report is a Lie

Toronto Public Health’s vice-chair responds to backlash over Sun column about COVID-19, says her only aim was to ‘promote discourse’

On March 24, a Toronto Sun editor penned an editorial that sparked a wave of criticism, including by former Ontario premier Mike Harris.

A week earlier, in a lengthy column for the Star, Ontario health minister Christine Elliott described in detail how she got medical help for a young child diagnosed with COVID-19, only to be told that “all the coronavirus testing has been done” and there was only one test available for his parents.

The editor of the Sun — a newspaper that once published editorials by the chief of the World Health Organization, which had a negative effect on public health — responded Wednesday with a column that says there is no such thing as a free press, and it should not be a platform for critics of public health officials who are trying to maintain social distance while doing everything possible to prevent COVID-19.

I have no idea where Mr. Harris was coming from and I’m not going to get into the debate over public health agencies that are trying to protect Canadians from coronavirus. But, by any standard, the way Ms. Elliott described her interaction with parents of young children who were diagnosed with COVID-19 — for their own sake — was extremely unfortunate, and her comments have been widely criticized.

I believe that the only reason people have criticized Ms. Elliott has been because she asked for her daughter’s test results, which, at this point, are not available. That wasn’t part of my editorial at the time. The Star did ask me for a copy of Ms. Elliott’s emails.

Also on Wednesday, a number of health experts who have signed an open letter condemning Elliott’s comments, citing a number of flaws in her approach to the pandemic, wrote a second open letter, calling for Elliott and the Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu (not related to her) to resign.

All of this led me to write a response, which

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