Liberal Health Minister Patty Hajdu slandered a journalist as “dangerous” and “fake news” during Thursday’s question period for shining a light on recent coronavirus data.
“Mr. Speaker, do you know what will help Canadians’ lives? If the member opposite and the leader of the opposition stop their members from sharing fake and dangerous news like the member from Lethridge and the member of Carleton stay focused on saving lives of Canadians instead of spreading conspiracy theories,” said Hajdu.
Among the reports Hajdu cites as “fake and dangerous news” includes a column by Toronto Sun columnist and True North contributor Anthony Furey which was shared by the Conservative MP for Lethbridge Rachael Harder.
In his column, Furey cites official government statistics and medical professionals on coronavirus comorbidities.
According to government data, only ten people in seemingly good health have died from the coronavirus in Alberta since the pandemic began.
“What does this tell us? For one, that there are a number of persons out there who are facing multiple serious health challenges and that they are particularly vulnerable to dying from COVID-19. Their lives matter and we need to think of ways to better serve them,” writes Furey.
“The flip-side of this is that it also tells us how very few people who are not suffering from a previous medical condition have actually died of COVID-19.”
Furey then goes on to cite a doctor who treats coronavirus patients directly.
In response to Furey’s article, the CBC published a hit piece targeting Harder and accusing her of spreading “misinformation” for sharing the article which was based on factual government data.
This is not the first time that Hajdu has accused journalists of spreading conspiracy theories after being criticized for her handling of the government’s coronavirus response.
In April, Hajdu lashed out at a reporter after they questioned the validity of China’s coronavirus.
“There’s no indication that the data that came out of China in terms of their infection rate and their death rate was falsified any way,” said Hajdu at the time.
“Your question is feeding into conspiracy theories that many people have been perpetuating on the internet and it’s important to remember that there is no way to beat a global pandemic if we’re not willing to work together as a globe.”