After revoking COVID-19-related expenses, the Prime Minister refused to apologize to Doctor NB

New Brunswick Governor Blaine Higgs refused to apologize to a family doctor who was blamed for the COVID-19 outbreak in Campbellton last year, and on Friday, that is The provincial charges against him were cancelled 11 days before the trial began.

In May 2020, 51-year-old Dr. Jean-Robert Ngola was labeled “Patient Zero” by some people. He had previously tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after driving out of the province to pick up his four-year-old child. Montreal’s daughter. Campbellton is located on the border of Quebec, across the Restigucci River from Pointe-à-la-Croix in Quebec.

In August last year, he was accused of violating the Provincial Emergency Measures Act for failing to quarantine when he returned. If he is found guilty, Ngora will have to pay a fine of between 240 and 10,200 US dollars.

Ngola’s trial was originally scheduled to start on June 15, but in the court on Friday, prosecutor Sebastian Michaud said that the official is withdrawing the charges, but it did explain why.

Lawyers call on the prime minister to “clearly apologize”

Ngola’s lawyer said that the legal issues have been resolved and Higgs can no longer hide behind “unfinished provincial court affairs” and called on the prime minister to help him in this ordeal that led to racist threats, suspension and charges against doctors. Apologies for the role played in.

Governor Blaine Higgs initially blamed “irresponsible medical professionals” for the Campbellton outbreak in May 2020, but did not specify the identity of Ngora. (Government of New Brunswick)

Attorneys Joel Etienne and Christian Michaud wrote in a letter: “This is the third time we have publicly asked you, as a self-proclaimed believer, to -Dr. Jean-Robert Ngola Monzinga (Dr. Jean-Robert Ngola Monzinga) apologizes respectfully and clearly.” To the Prime Minister.

The letter cited information about the investigation in court documents, stating that “there is no fact or scientific basis to justify the more than 21 RCMP criminal investigators who deployed Dr. Ngola in large numbers”.

Higgs told reporters on Friday that he felt he had nothing to apologize.

Higgs said during a visit to a vaccination clinic in Fredericton: “If I remember that it was the first time we died there during the long journey of COVID, we need to make sure that everyone follows the rules carefully.”

“Unfortunately, he personally accepted,” he said. “I didn’t direct it. I didn’t give him a name.”

Accused within hours

Ngola’s problem began more than a year ago, and the COVID-19 test result was positive on the morning of May 27, 2020. One hour later, his name was leaked as “Patient Zero” in Campbellton’s Facebook group. In the afternoon of the same day, at a press conference, Higgs blamed “irresponsible medical professionals” for a series of cases and the resurgence of the virus in the province.

The prime minister did not name Ngora, but two hours after Higgs made the above remarks, Ngora was suspended without pay from his job at the Vitalité Health Network. As a family doctor, Ngora also works in the emergency room of Campbellton Regional Hospital.

A day later, Higgs said that the investigation of Ngola had been handed over to the RCMP, although court documents showed that the police had not yet received a formal complaint. Public health officials in the area are conducting their own contact tracing investigations, but refused to provide information to the police on the grounds of confidentiality of patients.

Instead, Dr. Mariane Pâquet urged the police to protect Ngola, who was subject to increasing racist attacks, including threats of “lynching” him.

Ngola is a family doctor who works in the emergency room of Campbellton Regional Hospital, see picture above. He now works in a clinic in Louisville, Quebec. (Sean Fowler/CBC)

“Treat like a criminal”

Upon arriving at his clinic in Louisville, Quebec, Ngola said he hoped the prime minister would apologize because he was “treated as a criminal because he contracted the virus.”

“This is an injustice,” said Ngola, who said he felt “harassed” by the police, and even though it was clear that he had not committed a crime, the police continued to investigate him.

Ngola said that this experience affected his confidence. Although he is now practicing medicine in another province, Ngola said he is often asked about his legal issues by strangers. He felt that he was being monitored by patients and worried that if he was treated too quickly, they would doubt the medical services he provided.

September, CBC Fifth Manor survey It was revealed that Ngola is unlikely to be patient zero for a variety of reasons. First, at the Campbellton Regional Hospital where he works, approximately 10% of the hospital staff and 20% of the patients also cross the river regularly into Quebec because they live there. Second, it is unlikely that contact tracing will be completed within three hours from the time Ngola receives a positive test to the prime minister’s press conference.

“The prime minister believes the negative news as soon as possible,” Ngora said. “He should be an honorable person, admitting that he made a mistake.”

Ngola did admit to CBC that he returned to work after traveling and did not comply with the hospital’s COVID-19 agreement, which stipulates anyone traveling outside of New Brunswick—except for those commuting from Quebec or Maine People-must self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home.

Ngola said that there was a lot of confusion surrounding COVID-19 measures at the time, and Other doctors After leaving the province, the people who worked with him did not self-isolate. He told CBC News that he took precautions while traveling.

Lawyer considers civil litigation

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police abandoned the criminal investigation in August 2020, but chose to continue with the provincial charges and may impose hefty fines.

Higgs had previously stated that he did not know the identity of the doctor when he made his remarks.

“Before it appeared on social media, I didn’t know anything about this person,” Higgs said last summer. “Throughout the pandemic, my concern is that we have to stay awake. We rely heavily on our medical professionals. This is disappointing because it led to the death of two of us.”

Ngola’s lawyer said in a statement that the prime minister should be aware of the inflammatory nature of his remarks and hinted that it played a role in potential racism against people of color.

Attorney Christian Michaud said in a statement: “North America has a terrible history of systemic racism, where they use dog whistles against racialized citizens and label them as’disease spreaders’. Labels, this situation must stop.”

In a letter to the prime minister, Mishaw and Etienne gave Higgs a 7-day period to apologize and reach a “respectful and appropriate solution.”

If there is no apology, the lawyer said Ngola has authorized them to “move things forward.”

New Brunswick opposed the attorney general Rob McKee, who said that the withdrawal of the charges against Ngola was “not surprising.”

McGee said in an email statement: “The official seems to believe that there is not enough evidence to prove this allegation.”

“As we pointed out at the beginning, the prime minister’s actions were irresponsible and led to Dr. Ngora’s target of anger and harassment.”

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