The Trudeau government and Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam have repeatedly given contradictory health advice to Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Liberals and Dr. Tam have walked back their initial claims regarding the severity of the virus and issued statements that contradict what was said previously.

The following is a list of major blunders or contradictions made by federal officials when advising Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic.

Risk to Canadians

  • On January 29, Dr. Theresa Tam says that “the risk is low in Canada.” 
  • On March 11, Dr. Theresa Tam says “this is an outbreak that’s very serious” 

China’s responsibility

  • On January 29, Dr. Theresa Tam praises China for its “astoundingly rapid” coronavirus response.
  • On May 13, Trudeau says that the world has questions “particularly” for China regarding its handling of the coronavirus.

Travel bans

  • On January 29, Dr. Theresa Tam advised Canada to follow the World Health Organization’s lead and not implement travel bans.
  • On March 16, the federal government restricted international flights into Canada. 

Human-to-human transmission

  • On January 19, a Health Canada briefing note says “there is no clear evidence that the virus is easily transmitted between people.” 
  • On January 29, Dr. Theresa Tam states there is human-to-human transmission, “but those are generally for close contacts.” 

Border closures

  • On March 13, Liberal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said “border measures are highly ineffective” in curbing the spread of the virus.
  • On March 17, both Canada and the U.S. mutually agreed to close their land border crossings.

Wearing masks 

  • On March 30, Dr. Theresa Tam says that masks are “not beneficial” for asymptomatic people and could be dangerous by giving people a false sense of security
  • On May 20, Dr. Theresa Tam recommends that Canadians wear face masks.
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