Days after saying he is “strongly recommending” masks indoors, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health was seen at an indoor party without one.
Dr. Kieran Moore was attending a party for those on local magazine Toronto Life’s “50 most influential” in 2022 list, where he ranked 12th for “keeping COVID under control.” A photo circulating online shows Moore standing among a group of people at the party, all of whom are not wearing masks.
Moore made the recommendation for masking indoors in a Nov. 14 press conference, warning about the combined threats of COVID-19, seasonal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza, which he said are contributing to an increase in the hospitalization of children. He therefore called on adult residents to mask up, citing the need to protect children aged 4 and under, who he said are the most vulnerable.
“In response to the worsening trends and existing challenges for our health care system, I’m strongly recommending that all Ontarians, not just those at high risk, wear a mask in indoor public settings, especially around our most vulnerable Ontarians— the very young and very old,” he said.
Moore reiterated his masking recommendation in a letter to parents and caregivers dated Nov. 17, the same day as the Toronto Life party.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health told CTV News in a statement on Nov. 18 that “like all Ontarians,” Moore is evaluating the risk of each situation “including private events.”
“He follows many layers of protection including screening daily for symptoms of any respiratory infection, practicing good hand hygiene, staying up to date on immunizations, masking when necessary and distancing when possible,” the statement read.
The Epoch Times reached out to Ontario’s Minister of Health and Deputy Premier Sylvia Jones for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.
Jones has said masking is “a personal choice,” while defending members of the Progressive Conservatives, including Premier Doug Ford, who didn’t wear a mask in the provincial legislature, which was divided over the issue earlier this week.
“Personal choice is important here, and we should not be passing judgment on people who wear a mask or not wear a mask,” she told reporters outside the legislature on Nov. 16. “We all make individual choices.”
Ford echoed Jones’s remarks about masks being a “personal choice” during a press conference in Timmins, Ontario, on Nov. 18.
“If you’re around vulnerable people, you’re around young people, that’s going to be your choice … That’s what’s going to happen,” the premier said.
“The people of Ontario, they’ve been through two-and-a-half years of this. … They know if they need a mask, they know if they don’t need a mask. That’s going to be up to them.”