My latest: trust the experts, trust science

When you suspect you are being conned, and you’re not an expert, what do you do?

You go find an expert who tells the truth, that’s what.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is ours.

In my family, Dr. Fauci is regarded as a saint who hasn’t been beatified yet. He’s Catholic, like us, and was taught by Jesuits, like me. He was born to a family of modest means in Brooklyn, and went on to serve every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan. He’s now the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden.

During the dark, grim early days of the pandemic, Fauci was the only one who seemed to be telling us the truth. Remember? Back then, Canada’s Minister of Health was demanding that Canadians stop wearing masks. Patty Hajdu was calling the virus “low risk” and dismissing any criticisms of China’s approach as “conspiracy theories.”

Back then, too, Donald Trump was declaring that the coronavirus “a hoax,” and – when it became apparent to all that it wasn’t – he suggested we should inject ourselves with bleach to kill the virus.

Trump, and his minions, despised Fauci. But Fauci told, and tells, the truth. He’s “America’s doctor,” as The New Yorker call him. But what he has to say is important for Canada, too. Especially this week.

This week, Canadian politicians and health officials started executing a slow-motion volte face – a flip-flop. This week – after telling us over and over, for months, that we need to meticulously follow the instructions of the vaccine manufacturers – those politicians and officials abruptly changed course.

After insisting that we all must get the second dose of the vaccine, and that we shouldn’t delay doing so, some politicians and health officials started to rewrite the truth. My Sun colleague Brian Lilley broke the news: “a number of provinces [are] looking to vaccinate more of their population by extending the time between first and second doses for those getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.”

Wrote Lilley: “If the [federal] recommendation gives the blessing to all provinces to delay second doses, that could mean most of us vaccinated with at least one dose by Canada Day.”

For a nation languishing at around 60th spot globally for vaccinations (as we are, says Our World In Data), and for a nation with more than 70 per cent of us “angry” at the federal government (as we are, says the pollster Ipsos), all of this sure is convenient, isn’t it? For a Liberal Party eyeballing a June vote, getting everyone a potentially life-saving single jab sure would be politically-helpful, wouldn’t it?

Not so fast, says the truth-teller, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Britain is now doing what Canada wants to do – delay the second dose. Quebec, meanwhile, isn’t even providing a second shot, Lilley reported.

Asked about messing with vaccinations, Fauci didn’t mince words.

“We’re telling people [two shots] is what you should do, and then we say, ‘Ooops, we changed our mind’?” Fauci told the Washington Post. “I think that would be a messaging challenge, to say the least.”

Delaying a second dose, as Justin Trudeau’s government clearly plans to do, has “risks,” Fauci says. In Forbes, Fauci said that approach wouldn’t work for America.

So why should it work for Canada? Why should we take what Dr. Fauci calls “a risk”?

Is it because what was once true is no longer true? Or is it because it will assist the Trudeau government in its re-election?

When in doubt, seek out a real expert. When uncertain, find a truth-teller.

Anthony Fauci is an expert truth-teller. Asked about delaying, or even denying, a second dose?

He says don’t do it.

[Kinsella is a former Chief of Staff to a federal Liberal Minister of Health.]


My latest: Trudeau’s shame

Shame.

At what point, in politics, do you feel that – in your heart, in your bones?

On what morning do you get up, and go into the bathroom, and look in the mirror, and wonder who belongs to the face that is staring back at you?

It’s coming.

That day when you stand at the luggage carousel in Ottawa or some town, your face buried in your device, pretending to be reading something important, because you‘re hoping that no one recognizes you.

It’s coming.

The day when you are stooped with shame, when your chest is full of self-loathing, when you realize – at long last – that you have become what you came to Ottawa to stop. To end.

That moment of shame came on Monday, this week. You sent out Marc Garneau – the former astronaut whose name is on the side of some schools in Canada, but whose name should now be chiseled off – to recite a statement, like it was a ransom note. In which he, and you, refused to call genocide by its name.

Which is genocide.

These are the things we, and you, know: the Chinese dictatorship is engaged in acts of genocide against the Uighurs, the Muslim minority in China. It is the largest act of genocide against a religious minority since the Holocaust. You know this.

You know, too, about the concentration camps. The forced sterilization of Muslim women. The torture. The beatings. The enslavement. The organ harvesting. The state-administered abortions. The removal of children from their parents, to be sent away forever.

You know about all of that. You know about other things: the three million who have been detained. The thousands of places of worship that have been reduced to ruins. The state-sanctioned murders.

You know about those things. You’ve seen the reports, written by your own people. And here is what you did about it.

Nothing.

You did nothing at all. You just sent Garneau out, his features suffused with guilt, to bleat some meaningless words.

The government of Canada, he bleated, was “deeply disturbed by horrific reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang, including the use of arbitrary detention, political re-education, forced labour, torture and forced sterilization.”

And: “The government of Canada will continue to work with international partners To defend vulnerable minorities.”

Except, well, you don’t. You haven’t. In particular, you don’t “defend vulnerable minorities.”

You just leave them to die.

He was abstaining, said Garneau, on behalf of you. He was abstaining “on behalf of the government of Canada.”

And there, as in so many things, you are wrong. Because, while Marc Garneau’s profile in cowardice represented you, it did not represent us. It did not speak for the people of Canada.

Nor your Liberal caucus, as it turned out. All of them – every one of them – voted to condemn China’s indisputable crimes against the humanity called the Uighurs. It was a vote against you, too.

In our not-distant past, we made Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen of this country. We also did that for Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who was murdered for saving the lives of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.

That’s what we do, here in Canada. We don’t have nuclear weapons. We don’t have big guns. We don’t have much of an army, thanks to you.

But what we – we the Canadian people – have is this: our voices. We raise our voices when the world is spinning off its axis, towards the Ninth Circle of Hell. As it is in northwestern China, right now. As it is for the powerless people called the Uighurs.

Canada raises its voice at such moments in history. It’s how we are measured. It’s what we are.

You aren’t one of us. You are a sad, pitiful man-boy, one who did not speak up on the one day when it mattered.

You are the one who is covered, forevermore, in shame.


My latest: the anger grows

More than 70% — that’s the percentage of Israelis, give or take, who have now received a life-saving Covid-19 vaccine.

Ironically enough, 70% also represents the number of Canadians who are angry — and, in some cases, really angry — at Justin Trudeau’s government. They’re mad because only about 3% of us have been vaccinated.

Ipsos released a poll about it on Friday.

Said the respected pollsters: “Amid news reports that the U.K., U.S. and other non G-7 countries are further along in their vaccination efforts than Canada is, a new Ipsos poll has found that seven in ten (71%) Canadians agree (30% strongly/41% somewhat) that it makes them angry that Canada is falling behind other countries in its vaccination rates.”

It pretty hard to win re-election when more than 70% of voters are angry with you, isn’t it? It’s even harder to win a majority government when seven in ten voters want to punch you in the nose.

So what could Justin Trudeau have done differently? Those other countries Ipsos refers to, above, give us some guidance.

Britain, for example, did a lousy job containing the virus at the start of the pandemic. But then they got their act together, PDQ.

The Brits were the first Western country to start mass-vaccinations back in December. They were able to do so because British drug regulators are lightning-fast — unlike the glacial drug approval process we have had in Canada.

Centralization of decision-making helped, too. In the European Union, drug approvals need to be vetted by representatives of no less than 27 member states. Britain, having exited the E.U., didn’t need to do that.

That’s not all. The British rapidly set up more than a thousand vaccination centres around the country, and had a process in place to deliver shots in arms well before the vaccines had been approved.

Trudeau’s Canada simply hasn’t done that. Instead, the Liberal Prime Minister still takes petty pot-shots at the provincial governments he needs to deliver vaccines to Canadians.

The Americans got many things wrong, too, at the start. Donald Trump famously declared the virus a “hoax” — and, when it became apparent it wasn’t, he suggested people should inject themselves with bleach.

But Trump — however lousy he was a president — actually did better on vaccines than Justin Trudeau. In comparative terms, Trump’s Operation Warp Speed was just that: a pretty speedy effort to acquire and deploy vaccines.

Operation Warp Speed delivered millions of vaccine shots before Trump was obliged to hand over the keys to the White House. It was successful because it was a true public-private partnership — unlike the situation we have in Canada, where Trudeau’s soaring rhetoric has effectively driven out the very pharmaceutical companies capable of developing vaccines.

Operation Warp Speed was created way back in April of last year — right around the time that Trudeau was still covering up the fact our CanSino vaccine deal with China had fallen apart. By moving at, ahem, warp speed, the Americans — Donald Trump, no less! — did far better than we did.

As of this writing, the Americans have vaccinated nearly 60 million of their people. Some days, they vaccinate more than two million of their citizens. Two million a day! Up here, we haven’t been able to vaccinate that many people in more than two months of trying.

We could go on, but you get the point. Countries that were doing a crummy job at the start of the pandemic — countries like the U.K. and the U.S. — learned from their mistakes.

Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, hasn’t.

He’s preoccupied himself with trying to distract Canadians with gun control measures (which everyone agrees won’t work), pious sermons about organized hate (which has exploded on his watch), and huffy denunciations of Julie Payette (who, um, he personally appointed).

Justin Trudeau doesn’t want us to think about the vaccine fiasco. But his change-the-channel strategy hasn’t worked, and it won’t. We’re really, really angry with him.

More than 70% of Canadians say so.

— Kinsella was Chief of Staff to a federal Liberal Minister of Health.