May 26th, 2024

Smith welcomes advice of controversial former Trump adviser

By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on November 5, 2022.

A sign advertises an advance voting location at the Redcliff branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Early voting ends on Saturday ahead of the general byelection voting at various locations on Tuesday. Eligible voters in the Brooks-Medicine Hat riding should have received voting information by mail, but can also look on the Elections Alberta website (elections.ab.ca) or call 1-844-422-8683 (toll-free). -- News Photo

https://www.medicinehatnews.com@MedicineHatNews

A former Trump-administration adviser who pushed for a “herd immunity” strategy before COVID vaccines were widely available in 2020 could advise the Alberta government on pandemic response, Danielle Smith said Thursday.

Canadian researcher and senior adviser to the U.S. administration Paul Alexander was discussed by local byelection candidate, Bob Blayone, of the Independence Party of Alberta.

“We owe him so much thanks,” said Blayone, noting several other anti-vaccine and mandate advocates who have informed his position on the pandemic.

“All they want is an opportunity is to come to Alberta and have a conversation with this UCP government. And we’re going to get him here.”

A large portion of the 250-person crowd responded with cheers, and UCP leader and candidate Smith responded that she’s looking into Alexander’s positions.

“I’ll accept that invitation,” said Smith. “I’ve got a group of doctors advising me, and I know they’ve already reached out to Dr. Paul Alexander and I’m interested to hear what he has to say.”

The medical community overwhelmingly rejects the idea of “herd immunity,” and generally concludes wider spread exposure, even among low-risk populations, would have greatly increased the number of infections and deaths.

Weekend plans

A busy week is planned by campaigns in the Brooks-MH byelection as advance voting closes Saturday and general voting takes place Tuesday.

High-profile NDP MLA Janis Irwin was in the city Friday to support local candidate Gwendoline Dirk, who has welcomed most of the NDP caucus since winning the nomination last June.

At Thursday’s forum, Danielle Smith reeled off a list of activities planned for Saturday, including several meet-and-greets.

She told the Brooks Chamber forum Wednesday she’d been happy to take in a Brooks Bandits game during a break in campaigning in that city.

“We’ve got the Tigers up next,” she said.

Barry Morishita told the News his Alberta Party is making inroads in the minds of voters in the traditionally conservative strongholds around Brooks.

“We’ve had some very good response from people I know are conservatives and never would have suspected would be talking to us about their vote,” he told the News on Thursday.

Independence Party candidate Bob Blayone’s social media is promoting several buses ready to arrive in the city this weekend for a door-knocking blitz.

Wildrose Independence Party Leader Jeevan Mangat said he’s been working east to west in the riding and after door-knocking in Bassano and Brooks last weekend, he’s now in the Hat through the finish of voting.

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