Fed Report #004

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the fourth edition of the Fed-Report. This week, we cover the following topics.

  • Hospital Overwhelm and Calls for Restriction
  • CUPE/PC Update
  • Lt. Maisonneuve’s Controversial Speech regarding the Canadian Forces
  • Trudeau the victim of misinformation
  • Obesity rate updates in Canada

The viral ‘Triple Threat’

There is a media storm behind the growing number of infectious disease hospitalizations (RSV, Influenza, and COVID) in Ontario, including in Pediatric wards. At first glance, this is a very troubling situation. News organizations, public health figures, and other talking heads are taking full advantage of the fear created in parents by pushing for increased restrictions, mainly school mask mandates. 

One of many ‘health professionals’ calling for measures proven ineffective.

Upon closer investigation, we must understand a few details before acting irrationally. First, at the time of this writing, there are 87 children in Ontario hospitals with RSV. Last year at this time, there were 65. The increase is meaningful but not shocking. COVID-19 only accounts for six pediatric (5-19 YOA) hospitalizations in the last 14 days, with 62% of COVID hospitalizations resulting from incidental testing. Incidental testing means the child entered Hospital for other reasons and, while testing, happened to test for COVID-19 asymptomatically.

There were 918 positive Influenza tests across all age groups between November 30th and October 5th (total positive tests, not hospitalizations). What does this data mean? RSV cases are not wildly above expected seasonality, and COVID-19 is barely on the radar in pediatric settings; Influenza A is the most prominent disease in circulation. So why are we treating the current uptick in common respiratory illnesses as a novel pandemic with the same calls for restriction we had during the thick of the COVID pandemic? For reference, in 2018, Influenza A killed 58 children in Canada (significantly higher than COVID related deaths in the same age group), and there weren’t any calls for widespread masking, lockdowns, or any other intervention. What is different today? To answer this question, I sat with Dr.Andrew Appleton, COVID team lead, Asst. Professor of Medicine and Internal Medicine Specialist at LHSC. You can listen to the entire conversation here. We discuss his first-hand experience in Hospital, why mandates aren’t the solution, and the true cause of healthcare overwhelm. 

UPDATE: As of this morning, according to the National Respiratory Virus Report, RSV is flattening. This could change, but for the time being is good news.

Solid blue line indicates current viral pattern. Dotted black line indicates traditional seasonal curve.

CUPE/PC Update

Lecce, Ford, and the PC’s released their additional offer in CUPE negotiations. According to Lecce, an additional 335M over 4 years was offered to union leaders, and negotiations again broke down. The increase amounts to a 3.59% increase which is up from the 1.5%-2.5% varied offer originally on the table. Shortly after releasing this information, CUPE announced another planned strike to begin on Monday. 

I have no doubt that these negotiations are complex, and the public will never understand the full story of who is to blame for ongoing breakdowns. I also believe these workers deserve better compensation, but as a taxpayer, citizen, and father of three, I have lost my patience with CUPE. Not the workers, but with the leadership. Parents and students have had their lives routinely disrupted over the better part of three years. The private employment sector took a massive hit, and business owners are struggling to get back on their feet. Striking is the ‘nuclear option’ that holds parents, children, and the Province hostage until CUPE gets their way. It is an abuse of union power, and the parent support the union had a few weeks ago will begin to deteriorate. 3.69% isn’t a big raise, especially considering recent inflation, but it is more than any government has offered CUPE in the last decade, including two Liberal Premieres (Wynne, McGuinty). Striking also speaks to the inability of CUPE to effectively negotiate for their workers, so instead of finding an alternative route that serves rather than harms the public, they are taking their ball and going home. The longer this strike goes, the weaker the public image of CUPE will be. That’s bad for everyone, including, if not especially, the workers.

Retired Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve’s Speech

While accepting a top defense award in Ottawa, Retired Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve took the gloves off when referencing senior Government officials and the direction the Country is headed. He began by taking a swipe at Trudeau’s rhetoric during the early days of the Convoy protest in Ottawa, stating “can you imagine a military leader labeling half of his command as deplorables, fringe radicals and less-thans and then expect them to fight as one?” He then moved on to attack victimhood culture with the statement, “Today’s world is also where taking personal responsibility for our own actions has disappeared from the landscape while the phenomenon of collective apologies flourishes in our country,” he told the audience of 600. “Individuals and groups fight over who gets to wear the coveted victims’ cloak.” He wrapped up with commentary on climate change at the cost of prosperity and self-sufficiency. The General continued, “Canada’s prosperity is being sacrificed at the altar of climate change as opposed to being used to help the world transition to clean energy,” he added. Recent actions by activists who have thrown soup and paint at art treasures to raise awareness about the lack of action on climate change are “as heinous as it is useless,” Maisonneuve added. “The perpetrators should be punished not celebrated.”

I appreciate anyone willing to speak the truth, especially from a prominent leadership position. I also agree with much of the sentiment Maisonneuve puts forth, regardless of the straightforwardness. The military has been the boon of much controversy in the last five years for their public move to openness and acceptance, which some believe weakens the institutions’ image. Moves like allowing vivid hair coloring, face tattoos, and adjustments to dress codes, to some, are viewed as bending to far-left pressure and away from core military values. The net benefit or harm from motions like these can be debated, but what can’t be refuted is the core purpose of National Forces. At the end of the day, military troops are responsible for extreme violence and putting their lives at risk during the most horrific periods in a Nation’s history. It’s not a tech startup they’re running over there, and treating a military operation as though it’s Twitter headquarters probably isn’t a wise move. The Canadian Forces recently announced their inability to attract recruits, even after opening up their marketing and bending their classically strict regulations. While impossible to measure, it is plausible to theorize that men and women most likely to be attracted to such a potentially violent, dangerous job are no longer the focus of recruitment efforts. Canada has never been known for its strength of military forces, but we are slowly moving toward becoming not just a laughingstock but a danger to National security.

Trudeau Misinformation

Justin Trudeau (or rather, his team) posted a tweet that remained live for 12 hours before being erased. In the communication, Trudeau condemned the powers in Iran for moving to execute 15,000 protestors. It turns out this was a false story that JT’s team did not correctly vet before making the post. A mistake like this normally wouldn’t be worth pointing out, but as you know, our Prime Minister has been the poster-boy against misinformation and disinformation, lobbying for Bills such as C-11 to essentially censor content creators on the internet. This slip shows A-anyone can make the simple mistake of believing falsehoods, regardless of their position or access to reliable information, and B- correcting the error is as easy as erasing the post and printing acknowledgement and retraction (which Trudeau did not do). The spread of lies and false information over the internet isn’t different from the spread of the same before the world wide web. Mistakes will be made, and the intentional spread of phoney headlines has always existed and will continue to exist. The remedy is to spread information that corrects the falsehoods rather than put the government in charge of who can say what under the guise of safety. 

Obesity rate updates in Canada

Lastly, with all the talk about health and safety that continues to be at the top of media headlines, at what point will the powers that be push for personal responsibility? A recent report estimated that 59.3% of the Canadian adult population is overweight or obese. We now know that next to age, Obesity was the greatest determinant of severe disease or death during the COVID-19 pandemic. But obesity also vastly increases the chance of death from all major killers in Canada. In 2000 we spent roughly 4 billion dollars to combat obesity. Today, that figure is above 10 billion dollars. Once we calculate the final cost of preventable metabolic disorders during the pandemic, that number will inflate substantially. So where are the politicians and public health representatives calling for reform to our food distribution systems? Why is education and funding for controlling this epidemic absent from the media and the mouths of our health ministers and leadership? I’ll let you come to your own conclusion there, but I wouldn’t expect the current government to begin prioritizing the fundamental health of the population anytime soon.

Thank you so much for reading this edition of the Fed-Report. And please, feel free to share this issue and send me your thoughts at contact@tommycaldwell.net

Highly Processed Food Intake, 2015.

2 thoughts on “Fed Report #004

  1. Love the news letter. maybe it’s because we are on the same page with issues you talk about.

    Like

  2. In respect to the initiatives of CUPE, I am of the opinion that they have not negotiated in good faith and have shown themselves to be the school-yard bully. Should a foreign organisation act to disrupt government services, it would be considered a terrorist organisation. That being said, public sector unions, witholding or distrupting services which the taxpayer is so heavily gouged to support, are nothing more than domestic terrorist organisations, should be identified as such and dealt with accordingly. I fully support the union members right to seek alternative employment, however, I will not support witholding services in order to reach deeper into the pockets of their neighbours.

    Like

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