MP Report - October 2020

October 01, 2020

There’s no use being in denial about it: we are going to face a second wave of COVID-19 cases. It may well have started already. There is a lot we can do to handle the second wave better than we did the first. Tragically, Liberal foot-dragging is hindering these efforts.

When the first wave of the pandemic hit, governments at home and around the world were caught unawares. Almost every country in the world went into a complete lock-down because at the time we didn’t know what else to do. This lock-down, as we all know, devastated the economy.

We now have the benefit of experience so we should be able to take a more thought-through approach. One of the keys to avoiding a second lock-down is having fast, effective, easily available testing so that individuals with the virus can be quarantined (instead of the whole population) and so that effective contact tracing can be done.

But “fast”, “effective” and “easily available” are the opposite of Canadians experience with COVID testing. Instead Canadians from coast to coast have been left waiting in line for hours to get a difficult and painful test. They then end up waiting days to get the results. This is unacceptable.

What makes this even more unacceptable is that the federal Liberals have been sitting on a superior testing system for six months. The ID NOW system can be administered at any local pharmacy and delivers results in under 15 minutes. This test was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March and has been used in countries around the world since April … except in Canada.

Despite that the test had been approved by medical experts worldwide, the Liberals subjected the test to a snail’s-pace bureaucratic review in Canada – in the middle of a pandemic! They only finally approved the test last week and it will still take weeks before the test is widely available since the Liberals hadn’t bothered to order any of them until now.

For all the mistakes the U.S. has made with its COVID approach, it has had some success in using the rapid tests to isolate and stop the spread of the virus in vulnerable populations, such as the elderly. We all remember how Canada’s care homes were ravaged in the early stages of the pandemic – a tragedy which may well return should a second wave occur.

How many lives could have been saved by effective testing and early treatment, had it not been for Justin Trudeau’s dithering?