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“Stop promoting fear:” Premier Kenney takes aim at legacy media’s COVID coverage

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is fed up with the legacy media’s fear-mongering when it comes to their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Premier Kenney was asked about his thoughts on how so-called health experts are warning that the pandemic is still ongoing, despite high vaccination rates and low case counts in Alberta. 

“As Dr. Hinshaw has said, we are moving from a pandemic to an endemic state of COVID-19. We have seen our numbers come down dramatically in Alberta. We should salute that,” Kenney said during a press conference on Wednesday. 

“Let me blunt. I think it’s time for [the] media to stop promoting fear when it comes to COVID-19 and to start actually looking at where we’re at with huge vaccine protection.”

On Wednesday, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced that the province would be lifting many of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions, including measures relating to quarantine, isolation and masks. 

A number of Kenney’s critics have come out against the public health recommendations, including Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Nenshi said Hinshaw’s decision is the “height of insanity.” Nenshi has been highly critical of the Alberta government’s COVID-19 response, and has opposed previous moves to lift or ease health restrictions, despite their devastating impact on Alberta’s economy. 

While many public health orders are being lifted, the Premier says Albertans will need to learn to live with COVID-19.

“COVID continues to exist. As I’ve said before, the virus will continue to circulate. Numbers will go up and they’ll go down, but what matters most is that the widespread protective effect of vaccines is real,” Kenney said. 

“We should stop listening to people who deny the powerful protective effect of vaccines.” 

According to the latest government statistics, there are currently 1520 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. Among eligible Albertans age 12 or older, 75.7% have now received a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 64.6%  have now had two doses.

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