Chris Selley: They insisted we were prepared for another SARS. Then they sent our masks to China

Coronavirus

Chris Selley: They insisted we were prepared for another SARS. Then they sent our masks to China

Coronavirus

27.3.2020

Chris Selley: They insisted we were prepared for another SARS. Then they sent our masks to China

In politics, actions count for more than motives. But the coronavirus pandemic is a case where we need to know why politicians acted how and when they did

The real scandal is not that Canada sent “approximately 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment, such as clothing, face shields, masks, goggles and gloves” to China at the beginning of February. Maybe it’s a bit surprising China would need it: It makes all that stuff, and is not known to struggle with emergency production. This is a country that recently built two new hospitals in two weeks. But as a Global Affairs Canada press release put it, fighting coronavirus at its source was “vital to … protecting the health and safety of people around the world.” Here’s the real scandal: We have spent the better part of two decades congratulating ourselves about how much we learned from SARS-Cov-1, which killed 38 people in Ontario in 2003. “If there’s any country in the world that’s as prepared as it’s going to be, it’s this one,” the chief of staff at Toronto’s Humber River Hospital told Global News in January. Now Humber River is one of several facilities running low on the most basic supplies necessary to fight the much deadlier SARS-Cov-2 (the virus that causes of COVID-19) while keeping our stalwart medical professionals safe. Some have started rationing face masks, even as they require more personnel to wear them. The problem seems to be most acute in Ontario. Hospitals are accepting donations of masks, goggles, gowns and gloves. University labs, dentists, veterinarians and even artists are being asked to donate. A stockpile of expired masks is being used in “lower-risk areas,” Canadian Press reported this week. Canadians should not have to be relieved about a stockpile of expired medical equipment. It is clear that despite all our boasting, we were once again disastrously unprepared. That will need answering for, as will much else. When the shops are open again and funeral homes return to a normal pace, Canadian governments in Ottawa and in the provincial capitals will have to answer for similar timelines: At some point, call it Day X, their anti-coronavirus efforts will peak — if they haven’t already — at a level of intensity they will almost certainly wish they had implemented on Day X-minus-14 or 20. Each earlier announcement, viewed in hindsight, will likely seem terribly inadequate. Self-isolation for people arriving from hot zones became self-isolation for everyone arriving from abroad. Voluntary quarantine became mandatory. The list of businesses asked to close grew and grew, and then the request became an order. I often argue that Canadian politics is too concerned with what politicians think and believe, as opposed to what they do. But this is a case where we need to know why politicians acted on the timeline they did. The answers will not necessarily reflect badly on them. We should want politicians to take advice from experts, and it seems quite a bit of received public health wisdom is being rewritten on the fly. Remember “travel bans don’t work”? Nor should any government take lightly implementing what British Conservative MP Steve Baker described on Monday night in the mother parliament as “a dystopian society.” Among many other things, the package of emergency measures granted royal assent in the U.K. on Wednesday extends the legal retention period for fingerprints and DNA, allows for the detention and testing of anyone suspected to be infected, and empowers governments to prohibit any public gatherings and close any businesses, schools or childcare centres they see fit — for two years. Baker unsuccessfully lobbied for half that. “Libertarian though I may be, this is the right thing to do,” he said, his voice shaking. “But, my goodness, we ought not to allow this situation to endure one moment longer than is absolutely necessary to save lives and preserve jobs.” With the Trudeau gang, sometimes things are just inscrutably weird Generally speaking, though, our Liberals are not especially zealous when it comes to protecting civil liberties. I haven’t detected any reluctance in their incremental rollout of anti-coronavirus measures. Rather, at each stage, I have sensed a familiar sense of supreme confidence. The ludicrous power-grab they attempted in implementing their own emergency measures package this week suggests they aren’t very angst-ridden about going too far. And with the Trudeau gang, sometimes things are just inscrutably weird. On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland reacted with something approaching anger to reports that the United States might deploy troops near the Canadian border to intercept people crossing into the U.S. illegally. “We are very directly and very forcefully expressing the view … that this is an entirely unnecessary step, which we would view as damaging to our relationship,” she told reporters on Parliament Hill. Why on earth should she even care? It’s one of many questions housebound Canadians are left to ponder. At this point, if not before, most of us probably wish our governments had erred on the side of overreaction, or at least early reaction. Nine times out of 10, that’s a bad instinct — especially when civil liberties lie in the balance. But when we can’t even assure doctors and nurses a reliable supply of face masks, gloves and visors, I can understand such concerns striking many people as a tad indulgent. • Email: cselley@nationalpost.com | Twitter: cselley Read more: National Post

They = Trudeau & his Liberals. Of course we sent the masks; when you’re fighting a forest fire, you don’t wait for it to come to you. At the end of the day, we need Chinese money to keep our housing bubble afloat. So it make sense to care their well being.. Swiftie01 Typical of Judas Why don't you post good news for a change? Look!

A Government that always puts the needs of Canadians second to the need to show off on the world stage. Always and without fail. cselley I don't blame a kind act, I do blame government's stupidity to sent that much. Chen qiushi, a lawyer in China tried to expose truth who shown people how much red cross had kept supplies to themselves in China.. naive people believe China 🤦🏻‍♀️ CCP_is_terrorist

LDH74 call it what it is: TREASON Did you mention the fact that China is sending twice the amount of supplies back to us? Oh, lol, you're from the National Right-Wing Post. Got it. It's not that complicated. As with all things under this Liberal government the best interests of Canadians is put dead last.

There are so many suppliers in China now. A lot of sells of masks on WeChat

Vivarium doesn’t trust audiences to figure out its stuck-at-home metaphor, says Chris KnightThriller is pandemic-appropriate, but other than watching Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg unhinge, there’s not much to recommend it

They were probably hoping that China could contain it there before it spread to other places. Of course we know now it was already too late but hindsight is 2020 jobananelapoint It won't be long before everyone is being told to wear a mask. Shouldn't they just get on with it? And to cover it up they leaked the U.S. troops on the border story as a straw man and a diversion.

What a dumb thing to do!! tuns1999 Is this how you make your mark in our time of crisis? By placing blame for past actions made for humanitarian reasons? Does this sell papers? Why not opt for uplifting and informative news? Why pander to the lowest? why can’t we turn our manufacturers to produce medical supplies at time of emergency? we lived so comfortably for so long that we forgot we could be in trouble one day, and that is today.

And you can just imagine how furious our doctors are because now they’re begging for masks they don’t have enough equipment Gotta keep that CPC-PostMedia propaganda machine well oiled. Nothing makes conservatives madder than helping other humans.

Marijuana comedy not nearly dope enough, says Chris KnightCanadian Strain started with a good idea but doesn’t deliver on its premise

Why is this newspaper not with the tabloids in the checkout isle? Rag news reporting! Really!! In a crisis all you can do is spew your negativity. Please! Respect the time we’re in. acoyne Oh fuck off. Let’s blame the Chinese for every problem in the world. While we do that we sit idly as victims assigning blame rather than taking action to correct the problem. Ask China I’m sure they would reciprocate in earnest.

Oh look. Mainstream media trying to catch up on a story that True North, Post Millennial and Rebel Media has been reporting for weeks. I guess they feel it's safe to come out and complain about this now.cselley joe_warmington It is so sad that our PMO puts other nationalities ahead of Canadians. This is another nail for our coffins! It’s mind boggling so many Liberals and others are wearing horse blinkers! How in hell do we break this!

Oh look. Mainstream media trying to catch up on a story that True North, Post Millennial and Rebel Media has been reporting for weeks. I guess they feel it's safe to come out and complain about this now. joe_warmington It’s bananas that some Canadians believe the communist government that lied about this for months suddenly thinks we’re all on the same page.

acoyne When the British were being overrun by Zulus, QMs refused supply to any troops not of their own Reg( who were often too far away to resupply). Boxes of ammo sat unused next to troops being wiped out as their on-hand supply was used up. Protect your neighbours to protect yourself. acoyne ezralevant & missed the end of the story or perhaps brianlilley & RebelNewsOnline ordered the story changed to suit PeterMacKay story line.

Most western leaders failed to adequately prepare for this Pandemic and need to be held accountable. But right now, we just need to beat this thing! FlattenTheCurve acoyne And apparently had no clue what the stock amounts of PPE were available in Canada?

Luminato cancels 2020 festival due to coronavirusThe Toronto arts event that arose after the SARS outbreak has been felled by another epidemic GlobeArts 'due to coronavirus' is probably redundant at this point.

acoyne And a plane load of medical equipment has arrived from China as thanks ... If anybody really believes that China will return those items to Canada, they are really dreaming. Ok, let’s see. Again with this story. You really are a horrible rag of a news service. God forbid we should try and support stopping the spread at source.

B.S. Conversations and action could've been put in place at minimum a month ago. We knew this was coming, why now are we scrambling? So angry for our frontline healthcare. Who will fight for them?!! We NEED them, please no more delays write, petition and scream at our govt: PPE now! They lied I did not think the Post could slide any further, but here we are.

CTVNews globeandmail CBCNews Definitely this is government faults. However, look back just a week ago. All of the media gave the information in line with the governments. 'Face mask useless /no need'. Both government and media fail in the crisis-misleading How do you know they were SARS masks? They have to be specially made to fit your face!

Some hospitals are limiting doctors to one mask per day to maintain supplyAs Canadian hospitals prepare for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases, they face a more pressing dilemma: a shortage of protective medical gear needed to treat patients with the highly infectious virus. Imagine if they limited doctors to one pair of gloves a day..... This is what happens when Trudeau sends all of our supplies to China in February. Why did a Justin Trudeau send 22 million masks to China in January? Justin trying to prove he is the socialite of the world gave away Canada’s medical communities ability to care for Canada.

Perhaps a little follow up investigation before you published your little article would’ve prevented yet another embarrassment for PostMedia and its horrible badjournalism: cselley You sink deeper into the abyss of propaganda. It's ok, I'm sure we can buy them back on eBay. Dougie Ford for PM Postmedia Propaganda. Sending the supplies to China is a best practise in a pandemic.

Colby Cosh: The debate over routine use of masks is going to stay with usThe question here is usually ‘How much protection do masks impart to the wearer?’ The general answer is ‘Quite a lot, and it seems any mask is better than no mask’ The only debate is around getting access to masks. There is no downside and at the very least a small benefit. It's amazing that Canadian companies with manufacturing capability aren't selling them. Another great article. Given the importance of carefully assigning scarce resources, perhaps they thought that masks should be limited to the medics, who still don’t have enough. The donations happening now wouldn’t, if they had been bought out. Soon though? Masks hide bad teeth,bad breath and just plain ugly..i encourage many people to keep wearing them

What Is PPE And How Can You Donate It?There’s a massive shortage of masks, gloves and other protection in many provinces COVID19 Our lack of preparedness is shocking. This has been unfolding for months. How have the people at the top not been paying attention & bracing for the crush? Baffling. This virus is not even close to what we had with H1N1 -- and there was no shortage then. Why is this happening now?



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