The American doctor who described British Columbia as the “Florida of Canada” has explained what he meant by the comment.
In a recent interview, Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding explained that he didn’t intend to “mock” the Canadian province, but instead was urging people to take COVID-19 cases in schools more seriously.
Speaking to CTV News, the epidemiologist and health economist revealed that his viral tweets were an attempt to "warn people to be vigilant, not trying to mock any location."
"I want people to be recognizing that there is a concern of rising cases," he added.
His tweets, which were shared on February 24, accused the western Canadian province of not being “serious” enough when it comes to mask-wearing in schools.
While B.C. requires middle school and secondary school students to wear masks, younger kids are not expected to use face coverings during school time.
Although some people disagreed with the American doctor’s assessment of B.C.’s current COVID-19 situation, he says most of the interactions with his tweets were in good humour.
The region’s top health official, Dr. Bonnie Henry, responded to Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding's comment during a press conference on Friday.
"I think in some ways we're the Florida of Canada in that we have milder winters, but I don't think in terms of the pandemic that we have many comparisons,” she said.