NDP Leader calls for military reinforcements, more staff, more testing and faster vaccinations
HAMILTON — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Doug Ford to take immediate action to save seniors, whose lives are on the line according to a new Science Table report showing Ford’s vaccine rollout choices are putting lives at risk.
The COVID-19 Science Table report finds that Ford’s Feb. 15 target date for vaccinating people in long-term care instead of Jan. 30 could mean the difference between life and death for about 115 seniors. Horwath urged the Ford government to move up its Feb. 15 target date but said Ford also needs to send the Canadian Armed Forces into hard-hit homes, ramp up testing, hire 10,000 more staff and put infection prevention and control experts into every home.
“It would be unconscionable to look at the evidence in front of us and choose not to save lives by ramping up protections and vaccinations in long-term care,” said Horwath. “We can’t go back in time to change the fact that the Ford government hasn’t done more to shore up long-term care or roll out vaccinations faster, but we can and must save the lives of seniors right now.
“Sitting back and waiting for the vaccine is not humane. How horrifying it must be to have a loved one in long-term care right now who is still waiting for their vaccine, and doesn’t have enough staff, testing, PPE or infection control experts in the home.”
Ontario has received more than 277,000 doses of the vaccine, yet has only vaccinated roughly 35,000 long-term care residents, leaving tens of thousands vulnerable.