Hampstead Mayor claims COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu

Mayor-William-Steinberg-Photo-Ville-de-Hampstead-min

Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg is no stranger to controversy. Just last November, he made headlines when he supported the demolition of two affordable housing buildings on Cote-Saint-Luc road. A developer planned to replace them with a 10-storey, luxury condo building – but a hard-fought battle by the tenants forced a referendum. In the end, close to 70% of the 862 residents of the town who voted, were against the project. Fast forward to May 2020 and Mayor Steinberg is back in the spotlight.

This time he is saying the ‘Covid-19 virus is less deadly than the flu’, along with other questionable claims.

In a message on the Town of Hampstead website, ‘COVID-19 insights: Mayor’s Message’, Steinberg does offer some good information about the Covid-19 virus, for the most part – but he also makes claims about the virus that are highly questionable, such as stating the Covid-19 virus is less deadly than the flu. The message was also posted on his and the Town’s Facebook page – it brought forth plenty of comments, with some supportive and others clearly disputing his claims.

The Mayor’s claims were based on a Zoom conference he had with the President and CEO of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg. Steinberg states, “the mortality from COVID-19 is about 0.5% while from the flu it is 1% – 3%”. However, the World Health Organization says, “mortality for COVID-19 appears higher than for influenza, especially seasonal influenza. While the true mortality of COVID-19 will take some time to fully understand, the data we have so far indicate that the crude mortality ratio (the number of reported deaths divided by the reported cases) is between 3-4%, the infection mortality rate (the number of reported deaths divided by the number of infections) will be lower. For seasonal influenza, mortality is usually well below 0.1%.” It gives one pause to question the Mayor’s numbers.

Steinberg also writes, “the value of the swab testing for COVID-19 is minimal. The false positives and false negatives are not insignificant. In addition, a negative test result today does not mean you won’t catch it tomorrow…”. Yes, it is true that swab testing is not 100% accurate and that someone can contract the virus afterwards, however the tests have proved to identify a significant numbers of positive cases, which in turn helped to isolate people and form the measures put in place to help stop the spread of the virus.

He also asks the question, ‘Should I wear a mask?’ and says that “My wife and I do not wear masks when walking around Hampstead but we always wear masks when going inside stores or walking in heavily congested areas, even outside.” In his decision to not wear a mask while walking around Hampstead, he writes that “Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Chief provincial health officer of BC, has stated that your chance of catching COVID-19 outside is ‘infinitesimally small’. I have heard the same from many other doctors and scientists.” Steinberg does state that ‘Masks are mainly effective in protecting others in case you unknowingly have the virus. Nevertheless, they do provide some protection for the wearer. I see so many people wearing masks but they pull them down and then raise them again or fiddle with them. This leads to touching the face and increasing the chance of being infected. If you wear a mask, put it on and leave it alone until you come home’. However, his decision to not wear one is in contrast to what most of our politicians and community leaders are doing, by setting an example and wearing masks in public – after having asked everyone to do the same.

The Mayor ends his message starting with another question, ‘Should I stay home as much as possible?’ The older you are, or if you have underlying vulnerability, the more advisable this is BUT you can go for walks. You can meet people outside as long as you maintain the 2-metre distancing. There are risks in life. Individuals choose to ride motorcycles, skydive and smoke. All are risky but each of us needs to balance the risk benefit equation and make his/her own choice. Be safe. Be well, Bill’.

By: Bonnie Wurst – [email protected]

Other articles from mtltimes.ca and totimes.ca

Orange Julep exclusive painting to raise money for Sun Youth

Montreal’s Iconic Orange Julep exclusive painting to raise money for Sun Youth

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Is it possible to get an A for a 5-paragraph essay assignment in 1 hour? We can safely say yes, a student can get an A+ mark if he turns to EduJungles


The growing need for international trade lawyers in emerging markets

Emerging markets are becoming key players in the global economy. Countries like China, India, Brazil, and several African nations are growing at a fast pace. But, they face tricky trade rules and regulations that can be hard to navigate. As a result, there is a bigger need for an international trade lawyer to help these

guide to freebies

Claim your free stuff in the mail: Ultimate guide to freebies

Have you ever wondered how some people score all sorts of free stuff in the mail? Imagine opening your mailbox to find beauty samples, snacks, or even tech gadgets waiting for you. This is not just a dream; it can be your reality. In this ultimate guide, learn how to get freebies, where to find

staycation

The ultimate guide to planning a long family staycation in Canada

To guarantee that everyone has an amazing time, careful planning is necessary when organizing a lengthy staycation. Here’s the ultimate guide to planning your family staycation in Canada. Canada, with its vast landscapes, diverse cities, and rich cultural heritage, offers endless possibilities for a memorable family staycation. Whether you’re exploring the stunning natural beauty of

Meal kits

Cost vs. Convenience: Analyzing meal kits and traditional cooking

In this modern world and modern times, convenience often takes priority over cost, especially when it comes to food. Meal kits and traditional cooking represent two different approaches to home dining, and each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Analyzing these methods through the lens of cost and convenience provides insight into why individuals might

Condo renovations

Condo renovations Dos and Don’ts: Expert Tips for a Successful Project

Embarking on a condo renovations journey can be both exhilarating and daunting. Imagine transforming your living space into a stylish haven that reflects your personality and meets your needs. While exciting, the process can be full of challenges and unforeseen hiccups. That’s why we’ve gathered some condo renovation dos and don’ts from the experts to

Terrific Hair

Terrific Hair Means Tamanu – Earth to Body

Curly, straight, thick, thin, kinky or silky, tamanu loves and makes terrific Hair.  And scalps. Nutritionally dense yet gentle, tamanu is an effective and versatile nut oil. It stimulates, helps promote growth. prevents hair loss, reduces scalp itch and irritations and adds a natural sheen! Make tamanu a part of your hair and scalp care

Mtltimes Subscription

The latest on what’s moving Montreal and the world – delivered straight to your inbox