Former postdoc files complaint against human rights group against BC health organizations over COVID-19 “disinformation”

Several educated social media users have repeatedly condemned some members of the BC press gallery in recent years for allegedly protecting the NDP government from criticism of its COVID-19 policies.

It happened again this weekend after City News reporter Liza Yuzda blocked a former UBC postdoctoral fellow who wanted to be reported on her group’s human rights complaint.

Lena Patsa filed her complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal on behalf of a “class of individuals identified based on various factors as being at higher risk for severe COVID-19”.

These factors include age, co-morbidities, underlying conditions, current/past medical history, and eligibility for vaccination.

Patsa’s complaint alleges discrimination based on physical disabilities in services and employment, which is prohibited under sections 8 and 13 of the Human Rights Code.

The office of the Provincial Health Office, the BC Center for Disease Control, the Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health, BC Children’s Hospital, Providence Healthcare and the Department of Health are named as respondents.

Patsa says she filed the complaint in response to public messages, guidelines and policies that violate federal guidelines and the established scientific consensus that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is airborne.

She states that this is “disinformation that directly and/or indirectly enables and/or is used to justify/execute policies and decisions that are discriminatory against Members of the Class defined herein”.

She lists specific cases of alleged misinformation for each respondent. (See Twitter thread at the bottom of this article.)

For example, for the Provincial Health Office, she cites a comment made by Dr. Bonnie Henry during a briefing about the virus’ inability to linger in the air and travel long distances.

Patsa also mentions one of Henry’s comments that “there is no evidence that a child wearing a mask all day will make a difference in terms of transmission.”

In addition, Patsa cites Henry’s comment during a 2021 lecture that “children are not amplifiers in schools”.

As a result, Patsa argues, the respondents directly endanger the life and health of high-risk individuals who are members of the group.

In addition, she argues that this makes managing daily life and risk of infection extremely difficult, if not impossible, for those without resources.

This is why she claims that the respondents’ actions “allow for indirect discrimination” by serving as a basis for denying amendments under the BC Human Rights Code. As an example, she cites a ban on the use of N95 respirators in long-term care facilities.

None of Patsa’s allegations have been proven in court.

Postdoc vs Reporter

On Twitter, Patsa expressed her dismay at the media’s failure to cover her complaint, which was filed in late March.

This came after Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender wrote a letter to Henry on March 16 alleging that the decision to lift a county-wide mask mandate discriminated against the immunocompromised.

Later in the same thread, Patsa accused the 4th Estate of happily repeating the “science-denying gaslighting spewed by the PHO+gang”.

On Twitter, Yuzda replied that she suspected Patsa’s original tweet was by “another troll threatening her with the Nuremberg bs about COVID-19 vaccines”.

“The reason I quickly mute or block is because the nausea is crushing,” Yuzda explained. “Two years of covid coverage led to an attack. And just when I thought it was getting less, you did an amazing job with this attack.”

Below you can read Patsa’s first Twitter thread about the complaint.

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