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Ontario Science Table Member Just Resigned & He Got Super Real About It On Twitter

"Ontario needs a public health system that is arm's length from politics."

Toronto Associate Editor
Dr. David Fisman Resigns & Says He Was 'Uncomfortable' With Politics

One of the epidemiologists behind Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table just gave in his resignation letter, and he left with having lots to say.

On August 20, Dr. David Fisman, a professor of epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, resigned from his position at Ontario's science and modeling tables, the informational bodies that guide the province's next steps in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. On August 23, he shared screenshots of the resignation letter on Twitter.

In the letter, addressed directly to the co-chair of the science table, Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Dr. Fisman delved into how "uncomfortable" he felt in his position.

"In a system such as ours, it was always going to be a challenge to balance the best scientific guidance with what is politically possible," Fisman wrote. "More recently, I find myself increasingly uncomfortable with the degree to which political considerations appear to be driving outputs from the tables, or at least the degree to which these outputs are shared in a transparent manner with the public."

"I do not wish to remain in this uncomfortable position, where I must choose between placid relations with colleagues on the one hand, and the necessity of speaking truth during a public health crisis on the other," Fisman continued in the letter before wishing his colleagues all of the best.

The day after Fisman tendered his resignation, on August 21, he tweeted out that the Ontario science table has "important modeling work that projects a grim fall."

"This is a devastating loss for Ontario," wrote Naheed Dosani, a faculty member at UofT's Department of Medicine. "Thank you for everything you have done to help keep us safe during this pandemic. You are a gem!"

Dr. Kashif Pirzada, an emergency physician in Toronto and co-founder of community assistance organization Conquer COVID-19 thanked Fisman for his integrity and his "singular effort to save lives through your vocal efforts."

Talks of a fourth wave plaguing the province have long been happening. In July, Dr. Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, told Narcity that there was "no doubt" Ontario would face a fourth wave of COVID-19 in the fall.

"[The fourth wave] will be almost entirely experienced by unvaccinated people," he said.

Ontario's top doctor, Dr. Kieran Moore, recently confirmed that cases are expected to spike this coming fall, and that a combination of masking protocols, COVID-19 vaccines, and influenza immunizations could help the province's health system recover.

COVID-19 cases in Ontario have recently been on the rise with August 22 reporting 722 new cases, which is the highest it's been since June.

This article's right-hand cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.

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