O’Toole and Kenney sit side by side for maskless UCP general assembly live stream


Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole praised Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for his province’s handling of COVID-19 as the two sat side by side on a live broadcast on Saturday, so that none of the leaders wore a mask.”I’m the easiest guy to date because I can’t give it or get it from anyone for four months,” O’Toole said, responding to Kenney’s question about how O ‘ Toole was going after he and his wife had the novel coronavirus last month.

Kenney’s United Conservative Party is holding a virtual annual general meeting in Nobleford, Alta. This weekend, and O’Toole said he stopped for a visit because he was in the province and he was on his way to meet with representatives of the beef industry.

He and Kenney bumped their elbows instead of shaking hands, but sat at a table just a few feet apart with their faces uncovered for about ten minutes as they chatted about the pandemic, energy policy and pipelines.

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According to Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan, the province still advises everyone to wear masks when physical distancing is not possible.

He said that includes those who have already had COVID-19.

“Evidence is still emerging as to whether reinfection is a possibility,” McMillan said on Saturday.

O’Toole learned on September 19 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, rendering him unable to attend the federal government’s Speech from the Throne. He remained in quarantine until September 30.

A statement from UCP spokesman Evan Menzies said O’Toole and Kenney wore masks before and after sitting in front of the camera on Saturday, and the number of employees in the studio was well under below Alberta indoor assembly limits. All equipment has been disinfected before and after use.

“Everyone who enters the building must pass a medical examination and disinfect themselves before entering. This included Mr. O’Toole and the Prime Minister, ”the statement read.

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No one from the Conservative Party responded on Saturday when asked to comment.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control website says there are no confirmed reports to date of someone re-infected with COVID-19 within three months of the initial infection. However, he notes that more research is underway.

“The CDC recommends that all people, whether or not they have had COVID-19, take steps to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19. Wash your hands regularly, stay at least six feet from others as much as possible, and wear masks, ”the website says.

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O’Toole told Kenney that getting COVID-19 has helped him know what many families are facing, especially in provinces that he says have not dealt with the crisis as well as the Alberta.

He also said his caucus held Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responsible for not making a 15-minute rapid COVID-19 test available to Canadians.

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Alberta reported 332 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and Calgary joined Edmonton on a watch list, but the province’s chief medical officer of health did not recommend further restrictions. Bars, restaurants and gymnasiums remain open in the province.

O’Toole praised Alberta’s leadership in offering COVID-19 testing in pharmacies, as well as less restrictive economy measures.

“It’s only in Alberta. My province, many other provinces, there has not been such a strong reaction. Thank you, ”O’Toole told Kenney.

© 2020 The Canadian Press


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