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Coronavirus: B.C. Liberal Health critic’s COVID-19 comments in question

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The B.C. Liberal Health critic, who is also Kelowna-Mission’s MLA, has made some controversial statements regarding COVID-19, in a news article. – May 1, 2021

The B.C. Liberal Health critic, who is also Kelowna-Mission’s MLA, has made some controversial statements regarding COVID-19, in a news article.

In an interview with KelownaNow, a local news website, Merrifield is quoted as saying she takes “5,000 international units a day of vitamin D because there’s a direct correlation between it boosting your immune system and fighting off COVID.”

Read more: B.C. MLA apologizes to Dr. Bonnie Henry after being called out for liking ‘herd immunity’ tweets

But, when Global News put that question to an infectious disease physician back in November, he was skeptical.

“I think we have to be very careful about the claims of vitamin D and COVID. I should also preface this with, in Canada, there are lots of reasons to be taking vitamins D, especially in the wintertime,” said Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases physician in Ontario. 

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“I think people should talk to their care provider rather than hear different claims on the internet about what they should do or not do. I would say it’s rather premature to make any connections to vitamin D and COVID-19 outcomes.”

Read more: ‘Chaos and confusion’: Fraser Health stopping pop up clinic program following days of frustration

Merrifield also claims in her interview that physicians have been reluctant to speak up — albeit about what is not exactly clear — stating, “Physicians have been reticent to speak up for fear of retribution from co-workers, their employers and their own regulatory colleges.”

The Kelowna-Mission MLA was not available for an interview but did provide a statement.

“In the fight against COVID, there’s nothing more important than getting as many British Columbians vaccinated as quickly as possible. I will also continue to be an advocate for healthy living and the benefits that a healthy lifestyle can bring,” wrote Merrifield in an email.

“It is why I am advocating for a clearly communicated and thoughtful vaccine program, as well as for everyone to register and book their vaccination.”

The B.C. MLA was recently under fire for liking ‘herd-immunity’ tweets a few months ago.

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Renewed concerns around police enforcement as B.C. releases new details about its COVID-19 travel ban – May 1, 2021

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