Multi-platform author, CTV News Toronto
A member of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table in Ontario has resigned from his position, saying policies appear to be swaying public health recommendations, claiming on social media that the company is sitting on modeling data that “projects a dire case.” “.
Dr. David Fisman, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, publicly announced his resignation from the table on Monday by posting his notification letter on social media.
“It is with mixed feelings that I have decided to step back from Ontario’s science and modeling tables,” he said in a tweet. “I wish the colleagues who remain at these tables every success. Ontario needs a public health system that is at a distance from politics. ”
In the August 20 letter, Fisman praised the science table’s ability to give its recommendations a justice perspective and added that he was proud of what they had accomplished during the pandemic.
However, he also noted that he is “increasingly uncomfortable with the extent to which political considerations seem to drive results off the table, or at least the extent to which these results are shared with the public in a transparent matter”.
“I was in the uncomfortable situation of repeatedly deviating from the championship lead in public, although in retrospect I am satisfied with my positions on the relevant issues,” he said.
“I don’t want to be left in this awkward position of having to choose between having quiet relationships with colleagues and the need to tell the truth during a public health crisis.”
The resignation letter appears to have been sent the day before Fisman said on social media that the Ontario science table has modeling work that “projects a dire case”.
“I don’t understand why they don’t publish this. It is important that people understand what is ahead of them and what is at stake, ”he said in his tweet.
With @COVIDSciOntario removed from the government, it should publish its modeling.
If it’s not at arm’s length from the government, we should have this conversation. https://t.co/eRHEnYu8iz
Fisman has often criticized the Ford government and its senior public health officials for their handling of school operations and testing, and was an early proponent of the theory that coronavirus is an airborne virus, as evidenced by an ever-increasing body of scientific data is supported.
When asked about the alleged modeling, the communication manager of the consultation table said that despite a rumor, the table had presentable modeling “in hand”, that this was not the case.
“We are currently working on a consensus model that we will publish when it is ready, but I don’t know exactly when that will be,” said Robert Steiner in a statement.
“We’re working to understand what fall might be like, but we won’t publish the modeling until we’ve reviewed a number of different individual models and reached consensus among a number of different team modelers. otherwise, it just boils down to a single scientist’s view based on a single method – too narrow a view to be robust. We are only just beginning this review and consensus-building process. “
Dr. Peter Jüni, head of the COVID-19 Ontario Science Advisory Table, added that the data will be released “when it’s ready.”
“Despite rumors on Twitter, it’s not finished yet – it’s still catching up after the summer breaks of the Science and Modeling Consensus Table,” he said in an email to CP24 on Sunday.
The latest published modeling data was released on June 10th and showed that the danger of a fourth wave from the Delta variant in Ontario was unlikely, but still possible.
At best, the table predicted that Ontario’s daily COVID-19 case number will stay below 500 during the summer.
In a medium scenario, this number could rise to almost 1,000 cases per day by August.
On Sunday, health officials reported 722 new cases of COVID-19. The last time daily infections were this high was on June 5th when 744 cases were reported.
At the height of the pandemic, modeling data was released to the public every two weeks.
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