MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The owner of a newspaper in Saskatchewan has apologized for an editorial that compared COVID-19 restrictions to the Holocaust.
Glacier Media says in a statement that the March 24 editorial published in Moose Jaw Today did not meet editorial standards.
The piece was written by senior editor Joan Ritchie and published online as well as in print newspapers in the southern Saskatchewan city of about 34,000.
Ritchie questioned the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19.
She also wrote that restrictions were a reminder of the Holocaust and asked whether lockdowns would lead to internment camps.
The piece received significant backlash online, including from NDP Opposition Leader Ryan Meili, who is a medical doctor.
“Comparison of evidence-based public-health measures to the Holocaust like the opinion recently expressed in the @MooseJawToday are deeply inappropriate and offensive,” Meili tweeted on Sunday.
Moose Jaw Today has removed the editorial from its website. An archived online version is accessible.
Ritchie mused in the editorial whether COVID-19 restrictions were federal and local governments imposing “their biases against worship to a higher being — God?”
“Sort of reminds oneself of what Hitler did to the Jews, and where worshippers are going from here, doesn’t it? Lockdowns in homes, then lockdowns in hotels, then lockdowns in facilities, then lockdowns in internment camps?”
A disclaimer included with the editorial said the opinions were those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the publication.
The number of variants of concern in Moose Jaw has been surging. The Saskatchewan Health Authority has issued several warnings for the area and mobile testing has expanded.
Elementary and high-school students in Moose Jaw moved to remote learning Monday after the increase in infections.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2021.
— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg
The Canadian Press
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Even if measures to control the virus are “moderate,” the number of patients in Ontario ICUs could reach 2,000 in May, up from 695 on Friday.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario told doctors last week they may soon have to decide who can and cannot receive intensive care.
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“The trajectory of vaccine manufacturing ramp-up is not linear, and despite best efforts, there is a shortfall in previously estimated doses from the European supply chain,” Moderna said in a statement.
Lonza didn’t immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment on any issues in its production.
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She said one to two million doses of the 12.3 million doses scheduled for delivery by Moderna in the second quarter would be delayed until the third.
Moderna officials in Europe did not immediately comment on the reason for the delays or give the total number of countries that would be impacted.
“Vaccine manufacturing is a highly complex process and a number of elements, including human and material resources have factored into this volatility,” said Patricia Gauthier, an executive at Moderna Canada.
Canada has distributed a total of 2.82 million doses of the Moderna vaccine as of April 14 and 12.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in total.
Moderna has been aiming to deliver 700 million to 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 globally this year, including from plants in Europe and the United States.
Swiss contract drug manufacturer Lonza makes active ingredients for Moderna’s vaccine in Visp, but it was still ramping up three new production lines that once operational would be able to produce 300 million shots annually.
The current supply, demand and distribution landscape has led the drugmaker to make adjustments in the expected second-quarter deliveries, Gauthier said.
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