André Picard, the Globe and Mail‘s award-winning health columnist, makes what I consider to be the key points about Canada’s reaction to the Wuhan coronavirus crisis in a recent opinion piece in that newspaper:
- First, he says, “Canada hasn’t acted promptly.” I think it is undeniable that the Trudeau regime’s response has been slow and unsteady, showing a real lack of leadership; and
- Second, he writes, “Never before have a large number of people – about 300 have visas to leave – been transported to Canada and, under a legal order, placed in quarantine … [and, although] …
- Medically, it’s probably unnecessary, but
- Politically, it’s probably essential; and
- As the breadth and depth of the coronavirus epidemic grows – more than 17,000 cases worldwide, in at least 23 countries to date, but mostly in China – so too has the worry …[and, therefore] … Politicians and public health officials have to be seen acting, even if their actions are not especially useful.“
That’s it in a nutshell. Notwithstanding the medical ‘necessity’ ~ and I have no informed view on that, I’ll leave it to others to tell us the facts ~ it is politically imperative that the government is seen to be doing something, even if it’s wrong. The government cannot be seen to be caught, à la Health Minister Patti Hadju, like a deer in the headlights, doing nothing. Governing is about leading and, sometimes, leading is about doing something, even, now and again, doing the wrong thing, just to be seen to be doing something at all.