June 25th, 2024

Neudorf taking fire over COVID-19 comments


By Herald on August 30, 2021.

Lethbridge-East MLA Nathan Neudorf speaks during an announcement Monday at Lethbridge College where he also attempted to clarify comments he made last week regarding COVID cases in unvaccinated Albertans. Herald photo by Trevor Busch

Trevor Busch – Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge-East MLA Nathan Neudorf has attempted to clarify comments he made to local media last week which suggested the province might benefit from a spike in COVID-19 infections among unvaccinated Albertans.

Citing trends from the U.K.’s COVID response, on Friday Neudorf told Bridge City News he was “hopeful” that rising case numbers in Alberta would result in a rapid decline after the virus has “finished going through the unvaccinated population”, resulting in herd immunity.

Alberta has experienced a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases fuelled by the far more contagious Delta variant. There are well over one million unvaccinated Albertans, including 660,000 children under 12 who are not eligible to get shots. 

The UCP caucus chair was grilled by media on Monday morning following a press conference at Lethbridge College announcing new micro-credential opportunities. 

Discarding a focus on the government announcement, media attention was centered on Neudorf who was asked flat out if he was hoping to see COVID-19 infections “burn through” Alberta’s unvaccinated.

“Absolutely not, nor am I hoping for a spike,” said Neudorf. “I think we have seen COVID cases rise in Alberta over the past several weeks. My hope is that they would level off and drop as quickly as possible.”

Referencing the information he has seen, Neudorf suggested the trend may show a spike in cases and then a rapid decline.

“Some of the charts I’ve seen show an increase in cases and then a drop and a leveling off. So my hope is that they would continue to drop and level off as we see vaccinations doing what they’re meant to do, which is limit the spread of COVID.”

Neudorf denied he had suggested the coronavirus run unchecked through Alberta’s population of unvaccinated citizens in his comments to Bridge City News last week.

“That’s actually not…I’ve haven’t changed anything. I’ve never hoped for cases to go up, I was talking to clarify my point. Again, we have seen cases rise in Alberta over the past several weeks, and we have seen that largely amongst the unvaccinated population. My hope is that it would level off and drop as quickly as it rose, and that’s what we’ve have to watch and wait and see. I don’t believe that’s a change from what I said last week.”

Pinned down over the comment, Neudorf admitted he had been speaking personally.

“Those are my personal understanding. As to the government’s plan it was to encourage as many Albertans as possible to be vaccinated. I trust that they work, and see the limit of the spread of COVID-19.”

Reading from a prepared statement, Neudorf later reiterated he had been interpreting numbers and trends generated in the U.K.  

“To clarify the point that I was trying to make last week, COVID cases have risen in Alberta over the past several weeks, largely among the unvaccinated population. This is a matter of fact. Looking at data from the U.K., the hope is that cases will level off soon and then drop, due to the fact that most Albertans are already vaccinated.”

Responding to Neudorf’s clarification of his comments during an NDP press conference in Calgary on Monday, Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips called for Neudorf’s resignation.

“That is an odious and shameful thing for an elected official to say. He did not clearly retract, apologize, take responsibility or show accountability for those comments as of this morning. Yet another instance of poor leadership on the part of the UCP.”

NDP caucus chair Joe Ceci joined Phillips in calling for Neudorf’s resignation and an apology over the issue.

“It is morally reprehensible for anyone to call for this situation to get worse. It is totally unacceptable for an elected official in a position of public trust to make such an ill-informed and dangerous comment.”

Phillips went on to suggest Neudorf showed extremely poor judgement and a “jaw-dropping” disregard for health workers in Alberta.

“Mr. Neudorf indicated that what he was hoping for was a rapid spike, and also that we’ll see what happens. Neither of those statements reflect either good judgement, they reflect a callous disregard for the severe outcomes people will experience as a result of the spread of COVID-19. They reflect an absolutely astonishing and jaw-dropping disregard for our health care system, and our health care workers.” 

– with files from Canadian Press and Tim Kalinowski

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Les Elford

Was that an apology for comment made? Are these really your own “personal thoughts? WoW!

“I’m very hopeful that (Alberta) will see the same kind of trend,” he said. “Maybe a bit of an accelerated case (count), but then a very quick decline as well, allowing us to safely keep businesses open, so we don’t have to add further restrictions.” (Nathan Neudorf).

So here we are close to 20 months into this quagmire and the question remains; are we moving forward? going backwards? or going absolutely no where, standing still; with evidently the most significant world wide pandemic in history?( especially with the advent of the Delta variant and the consequent increasing numbers of those infected, hospitalized, and continuing to die from this dreadful disease.

And then the above commentary from an elected official? I am sorry, but maybe I’m missing something …. Was that really an apology?…… That seems like excuse making,……. justification for your personal remarks… not an apology to me.

What about the number of affected, or infected as a result of your “plan”.. Those would be the “people”, the children, the adults, the vulnerable, the elderly, who may overload the already over extended, stressed out, burnt out health care system and professionals involved in it, and allow people to become infected become sick and perhaps die? Oh yah in order to “safely keep businesses open”, and then lay off or cut back all the people who were the hero’s throughout this pandemic keeping people alive or keeping food on people’ table. That will sure teach people not to mess around with the UCP and who is in control. Bullying is such a great tactic to get people to like you.
And if you can suck enough people into believing the blame for your or the previous Alberta PC party’s mistakes and missteps can be and should be deflected on to something or somebody else, … anyone but you……. well your back room spin masters deserve another raise.

I get it Mr. Neudorf, there are no easy answers, and obviously government does not have a workable solution. But its…… well it’s just sad to see elected official stumble and bumble and really say nothing but a bunch of political mumble jumble, when they really should just be a human being and admit your mistake and apologize for it.

Please understand I purposely do not belong to any political party. There are significant issues of concern in each and every one of them currently.

The following may not matter much but; “I am very hopeful; too” I am very hopeful that Albertan’s will see the trend that is happening with the UCP cult-like experiment in power.

Maybe an extended and accelerated reduction in campaign contributions and party members will be able to quickly decline any and all power and influence you have over innocent Albertans, and we can remain safe from your cult-like agenda, propaganda, ideology and have enough willpower, ability and intelligence to remain from drinking the Kenney Kool-Aid.

Respectfully

Southern Albertan

Neudorf’s comments were recorded, clearly indicating the UCP’s modus operandi of the Great Barrington Declaration, the notion that the best way to deal with a pandemic is to let almost everyone get infected to try to acquire herd immunity. Dr. Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has stated that she disagreed with this ‘declaration’ and refuted it. As was said by a prominent Alberta political scientist, that because Neudorf’s comments have, not, been refuted by the UCP, indicates that his comments were not rogue. Neudorf can try to talk, high, or low, but many Albertans are no longer fooled by the bumblings of the Kenney UCP.

Southern Albertan

What else is really strange is Jason Kenney’s absence for going on, now, for almost 4 weeks when it was stated that he was on vacation for 2 weeks. It seems no one was left in charge. The regular media isn’t even questioning it, vigorously. The silence from Hinshaw and Shandro, let alone the rest of the UCP gang, is deafening. It is what is not being said, is the situation here. Now, speculation has even included Kenney’s physical well being. Has he had a severe medical or surgical episode? Is being proven wrong on what is happening with COVID in Alberta reason to stay away? Or, being told to not show his face by the O’Toole campaign? What? Why? Something is bizarre here.

Les Elford

I agree MIA without a significant real explanation is very usual. especially for such a narcissistic personality who really thinks his picture should be on every milk carton. (May be it should because he really is MIA) Please accept my apologies to the family and loved ones of any missing child who picture really should be on every milk carton.

Maybe Mr. Kenney really is on vacation the silence is very strange. It’s not like these guys work the usual 2080 hours per year like every one else does. They spend approximately 5 months per year in session, and then the rest of the time off some for vacation yes, but the remaining 5 months trying to suck as many campaign dollars out of people pockets as they can. The “smile and dial tactic.” We are paying them pretty good money for their “work load” The ROI (Return on Investment) appears quite dismal.

On a side note but just as strange “Sophie” seems to be missing in action as well. Maybe she has her own life and people just leave her alone. Not that I spend any time watching or listening to “Princess Silly Socks” I just wonder sometimes where she is and how she’s doing.

Respectfully

pursuit diver

Politics, politics, politics! I thought the upcoming elections were federal and municipal, not provincial!!!??
I understood exactly what he meant when he said it, oddly enough I had been making similar comments, praying there would be a quick rise and the rapid drop, instead of getting into a full blown 4th wave with more closures!
There just isn’t any common sense left anymore!

Last edited 2 years ago by pursuit diver