Ontario COVID-19 Scientific Table Member Resigns After Alleging Withheld Data Projects ‘Dark Fall’ – .

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Ontario COVID-19 Scientific Table Member Resigns After Alleging Withheld Data Projects ‘Dark Fall’ – .


A member of Ontario’s COVID-19 science and modeling table has resigned after taking to Twitter and accusing the group of withholding modeling data that he says projects a “dark fall.”

Dr David Fisman, an epidemiologist and infectious disease physician, sent a letter to the science table, which advises the Ontario government, announcing his resignation on Monday, two days after being criticized for his tweets.

“The Ontario Science Table has done some important modeling work that predicts a dark fall,” Fisman wrote on Twitter early Saturday. “I don’t understand why they don’t publish this. It is important that people understand what lies ahead and what the stakes are.

” And @COVIDSciOntario is independent from government, it should publish its modeling. If it’s not independent from the government, we should be having this conversation, ”he wrote in another Tweet several hours later.

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Many took to Twitter and responded to Fisman’s tweets. Some called the claim “unfair” and others said they were angry that modeling data for the fall had yet to be released.

Ontario’s COVID-19 Science and Modeling Table responded to what it called “rumors” and said, “to be absolutely clear, that is not true.”

The table shows that many models are run by many teams looking at the data.

“Anything less is not rigorous science and risks underestimating or overestimating the real dangers we may face,” the Science Table tweeted. “A lot of mathematical and scientific work is required to generate a modeling consensus that Ontarians can count on; we act quickly, but not prematurely.

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“We are now starting to generate individual models for this exam. To be clear, no single model, no matter how harsh, reflects the * consensus * point of view that we believe should inform Ontario’s response.

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On Monday morning, Fisman said he had decided to step down from the group, saying in his letter that he felt “increasingly uncomfortable with the extent to which political considerations appear to influence the results of the table. , or at least the extent to which these results are shared transparently with the public.

“I don’t want to stay in this awkward position, where I have to choose between placid relationships with colleagues on the one hand, and the need to speak the truth during a public health crisis on the other,” continued Fisman.

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Dr. Peter Juni, Scientific Director of the COVID-19 Ontario Science Table, has commented on the data projection process and maintains the table is “completely independent of government.”

“We just need to get it right and there’s a process in place,” Juni told Global News Radio 900 CHML, noting that all members are doing it on a voluntary basis and have been working on the models for 18 months.

He said the process was to look at a variety of models and come to a consensus to show the range of projections, but with the summer hiatus that didn’t happen.

“We don’t want to just go out with one model,” Juni said. “These are quality assurance and scientific considerations that we have, not political considerations. “

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Juni said he was not sure which model Fisman was referring to, but said the table was receiving external modeling, including data from a modeler, who was not yet a member of the table.

“The point is, there are many models,” Juni said. “When you also look at other places in the world, we see the same kind of pattern. The model is now, after exiting Stage 2 of reopening, we are starting to see exponential growth. In fact, it looks better right now than it did about 10 days ago.

“But it is clear that we are not out of the woods yet,” he continued. “And some measure of restriction will be needed in addition to an ongoing vaccination effort to take it to the next level. The next level will be to vaccinate children under the age of 12, hopefully in December. “

Ontario reported 639 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday after the past five days showed a worrying upward trend that has seen the number of daily cases skyrocket, surpassing 700. Patients in the intensive care units also continue to increase, reaching 151.

Experts and government officials say Ontario has entered a fourth wave driven by the contagious Delta variant.

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To date, 82 percent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 75 percent have received both injections in Ontario.

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