A Kingston-area physician has penned a letter to MPP Randy Hillier disputing his COVID-19 claims.
Sydenham, Ont., physician Dr. Jeanette Dietrich, says she sent the open letter to Hillier on Friday after months of what she calls “COVID-19 misinformation” that could potentially put the riding in danger.
“We cannot let this misinformation stand unchallenged,” Dr. Dietrich said via zoom on Sunday morning.
She says Hillier’s continual use of social media and website to spread “misinformation” may lead to constituents following his example and disobeying public health guidelines.
“It’s very concerning because it confuses people when they see him presenting what appears to be scientific (information), when it isn’t, it may make them question the true scientific experts,” Dietrich said.
She says at her practice, many of her patients are concerned by Hillier’s COVID-19 rhetoric but “a handful” agree with the Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston politician’s stance on COVID-19.
In her letter, she writes: “as a physician who both lives and works in this region, I must express my dismay at your recent attendance at rallies protesting the use of public health measures in the fight against COVID-19.”
Dietrich goes on to reference a video made by Hillier in which he questions the severity of COVID-19.
“You imply that COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV2 is not much worse than the common cold by saying, ‘Why are so many people living in, with such concern, in such dread and taking such precautions for something, for a virus, a coronavirus, that is more like the common cold than it isn’t.’ You state the infection fatality rate is “very similar to the flu.” (Hillier, 2020).”
She says an article posted by Hillier that explains coronaviruses can be mild and cause the common cold is not true.
“There are also deadly ones, such as SARS and MERS. The article states ‘In December 2019, another virus joined these dangerous cousins. Scientists are calling it SARS-CoV2 (Hesman Saey, 2020).’ Yet you label this article ‘Common Cold can be coronavirus’ which in no way reflects its contents.”
Dietrich shows several other examples of where she believes Hillier is mistaken. The full letter can be found here: Letter to MPP Hillier
Near the end of her letter, she writes, “you misuse scientific references to give your stance an appearance of being scientific.”
“I urge the public to ignore you and heed the advice of trained health care professionals. Continue to practice social distancing, wear masks, and keep everyone safe.”
Dietrich says as of Sunday afternoon, around 100 physicians have supported the letter to Hillier.
Global News attempted to contact Hillier about the letter but did not hear back by time of publication.
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