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Waterloo chemistry professor blames ‘COVID fake emergency’ for cancelling exams

A University of Waterloo sign. Ahmad Fareed Khan / Global News

A chemistry professor at the University of Waterloo has come under fire after he sent a syllabus to students which called the COVID-19 pandemic a “fake emergency.”

In the syllabus for a Chemistry 430 class, which was posted to reddit by a student on Tuesday, Michael Palmer writes, “because of the COVID fake emergency, in class exams cannot be made mandatory, I have therefore decided to cancel them entirely.”

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The post was deleted from the uwaterloo reddit page later in the day.

A student posted the information to reddit.
A student posted the information to reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/uwaterlo

Global News reached out to Palmer for further explanation of his syllabus but has yet to receive a response.

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His bio on the University of Waterloo’s web page says his research looks into the interaction of peptides and proteins with biological membranes.

Click to play video: 'New study suggests social media feeds source of COVID-19 fake news'
New study suggests social media feeds source of COVID-19 fake news

The university issued a statement to Global News from its Dean of Science.

“The University of Waterloo respects the academic freedom of our faculty to express their opinions,” Professor Robert Lemieux said.

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“This representation is not, however, shared by the University of Waterloo or the Faculty of Science. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be based on the best available advice from public health officials, and is intended to minimize the risk of infection and harm to our faculty, students and staff. In this case, the professor has elected to move the course online.”

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The school is one of many across the country that is heavily involved in COVID-19 research with several studies underway.

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