Provincial health minister Paul Merriman was under the spotlight Wednesday as he answered questions on the government’s response to COVID-19—one that many feel has failed the province as the healthcare system has been knocked to its knees with fears of it collapsing altogether remaining strong.
Despite the current situation, Merriman would not apologize for the mistakes that many believe have been made, but he did accept responsibility.
“I do assume responsibility for everything that happens in the health-care system and everything that is COVID-related,” Merriman said. “At the end of the day, it stops on my desk so I do assume full responsibility for that.”
Merriman once again said the best way to get through the pandemic is through vaccination and that if 200,000 people got vaccinated in the next 28 days, it would be the best thing for the beleaguered system right now.
He added that he isn’t taking the federal government up on their offer for help yet because we are “not at that point” and that they are exploring options.
What Merriman said left NDP leader Ryan Meili unimpressed as he once again called for Merriman to step down.
In a statement issued shortly after the availability, Meili said Merriman should have been asking for help from the federal government to help overwhelmed hospitals and healthcare workers, bring in isolation requirements for school children who test positive and release the latest modelling. He says the fact he did not speaks volumes abotu the complete lack of accountability and leadership that has been shown.
Wednesday’s numbers from the government showed a record-high 67 of 295 people in hospital are in intensive care with about 75 percent of those in hospital being people who have not been fully vaccinated.