COVID-19 'Pandemic'

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Members of Florida family sentenced for selling fake COVID-19 cure
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Published Oct 06, 2023 • 1 minute read

MIAMI — A Florida man and his three adult sons were sentenced Friday for selling a toxic industrial bleach as a fake COVID-19 cure through their online church.


A federal judge in Miami sentenced Jonathan Grenon, 37, and Jordan Grenon, 29, to 12 years and seven months in prison, while Mark Grenon, 66, and Joseph Grenon, 36, each received five years, according to court records.


A jury found all four guilty in July of conspiring to defraud the United States and deliver misbranded drugs. The Grenons represented themselves but declined to speak during the two-day trial.

Prosecutors called the Grenons “con men” and “snake-oil salesmen” and said the Bradenton family’s Genesis II Church of Health and Healing sold $1 million worth of their so-called Miracle Mineral Solution. In videos, it was pitched as a cure for 95% of known diseases, including COVID-19, Alzheimer’s, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis, prosecutors said.


What the Grenons were selling was actually chlorine dioxide, officials said. When ingested, the solution becomes a bleach that is typically used for such things as treating textiles, industrial water, pulp and paper, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Authorities said it is the same as drinking bleach and can be fatal.

A Miami federal judge ordered the church to stop selling the substance in 2020, but that was ignored.

Jonathan and Jordan Grenon were arrested in Bradenton, just south of the Tampa Bay area. Mark and Joseph Grenon fled to Colombia, where they were arrested and extradited back to the U.S.

Besides the fraud convictions, Jonathan and Jordan Grenon were also convicted of violating federal court orders requiring them to stop selling Miracle Mineral Solution in 2020. U.S. authorities agreed to drop those same contempt charges against Mark and Joseph Grenon as a condition of their extradition from Colombia.
they stole trumps idea. ;)
 

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Inmates given ivermectin in jail will each get $2,000 after settlement
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Daniel Wu, The Washington Post
Published Oct 10, 2023 • 3 minute read

When five detainees at the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville, Ark., got sick with Covid-19 in August 2021, they were given a “cocktail” of drugs to treat the virus, a lawsuit alleged.


The detainees were not told the contents of their medication, an assortment of pills administered twice daily, according to the lawsuit. They allegedly suffered side effects, including vision issues, stomach cramps and diarrhea.


They later discovered that Robert Karas, the doctor who provided the detention center’s health care, had treated them with ivermectin – the deworming drug pushed by some conservatives as a cure for covid, despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration – in extremely large doses, court documents state.

Last year, the five detainees sued Karas, his practice, the Washington County Detention Center and a former Washington County sheriff, claiming they were given ivermectin without their knowledge. In a settlement reached last month, they each won $2,000 “in a victory for civil rights and medical ethics,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas said in a news release Friday.


“These men are incredibly courageous and resilient to stand up to the abusive, inhumane experimentation they endured at the Washington County Detention Center,” Holly Dickson, the executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, said in the release.

Michael Mosley, an attorney for the defendants, directed The Washington Post to his comments in the Associated Press, where he said that the defendants did not admit wrongdoing and settled based on the “minimal” cost of the settlement. He said allegations that Karas conducted experiments with ivermectin were false.

Karas did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday evening.

Ivermectin, which is approved for use in humans by the FDA to treat some parasitic worms, was touted by some researchers as an alternative treatment for covid-19 during the height of the pandemic. Ivermectin, while safe for humans in recommended doses, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, coma and death if ingested in excessive quantities, according to the FDA. The FDA, World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health all warned against the use of ivermectin to treat covid-19 in 2021.


But Karas espoused the use of ivermectin in public statements on his clinic’s social media page and sought to conduct his own research on the drug’s efficacy, according to the lawsuit. He allegedly posted signage at his clinic requesting clinical trial volunteers and shared details about treatment plans and the precise doses he administered to patients on social media.

The detainees who sued Karas were given several times the recommended doses of ivermectin when they were treated for covid-19 at the Washington County Detention Center, according to the lawsuit. One man received around six times the recommended dose of the drug when it is used to treat parasites, court documents state. The lawsuit alleged that Karas treated all covid-19 patients with ivermectin at the detention center, which had seen over 500 confirmed cases as of late August 2021.


In a December 2021 social media post, Karas said the dosage regimen he gave the detainees was different from what he gave to patients at his private practice, the lawsuit alleged.

Karas told the detainees that the drugs he had them take were vitamins, antibiotics and steroids but posted on social media that he was treating jailed patients with ivermectin, the lawsuit alleged. The detainees would have refused ivermectin had they known they were being administered the drug, according to the lawsuit.

The Arkansas State Medical Board investigated Karas after he was sued and found in April 2022 that patients at the detention center hadn’t signed consent forms before receiving treatment for covid-19, the local news channel 40/29 News reported.


Karas told the board that inmates sign a blanket consent form when they are booked or when they are first given medication and that he produced “more thorough” informed consent forms for each medication after receiving “media attention,” according to 40/29 News.

Karas defended his regimen in a second appearance before the board in June 2022 and said the detention center had seen no deaths from covid-19, Arkansas Online reported.

“I tell people it is the safest place in the world to get covid,” Karas said, according to Arkansas Online.

The board voted to take no action against the doctor, saying that he had clarified the board’s questions regarding his consent forms, according to Arkansas Online.
 

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Ottawa resident testifies at trial of ’Freedom Convoy’ organizers
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Laura Osman
Published Oct 12, 2023 • Last updated 2 days ago • 4 minute read

OTTAWA — The sanctuary at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in downtown Ottawa was “brutally altered” during the “Freedom Convoy,” the church’s administrator told the criminal trial of two of the protest’s organizers on Thursday.


Vivian Leir told the court she was overwhelmed by the trucks surrounding the church when big rigs and other vehicles arrived in Ottawa to protest COVID-19 public health measures last year.


She said the usually quiet and serenelimestone church down the street from Parliament Hill was infiltrated by horn honking, diesel fumes and the sound of Led Zeppelin playing loudly outside.

“They were fouling it,” Leir said of the church, which was built in 1874.

She is one of five Ottawa residents expected to testify in the criminal trial of protest organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, who face charges of mischief and counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation for their role in the massive demonstration.


None of the witnesses the court heard from on Thursday dealt directly with Lich or Baber.


Leir called the protest an occupation.

“Was our space being invaded and taken over? Yes,” she said when challenged by the defence. “I feel it was an occupation.”

Leir raised her voice in court as she described protesters urinating on the church grounds, putting clothes on a statue of Jesus and covering church signs with protest signs. One of the signs left on the church property included an expletive directed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

She said she was sworn at when she confronted protesters for urinating or playing loud music outside the church.

Leir said she arranged for a police escort so the church’s minister could deliver services, though few people attended. Choir practices and other meetings were cancelled, deliveries were missed and the church had to refund groups that had rented space in the building.


Protesters remained encamped in the streets of Ottawa for three weeks, sparking local, provincial and national states of emergency.

Downtown Ottawa resident Stephane Bellfoy testified that the traffic from parked trucks seriously affected his commute at times during the protest.

His drive to the Ottawa suburb of Blackburn Hamlet, which typically took 20 minutes, took an hour and a half at one point, he said in French through an interpreter.

He recalled that on one night, traffic was at such a standstill downtown that his son had to walk 1.5 kilometres home from the rink wearing skates and full hockey gear.

The sound of honking horns was “incessant” and “intolerable,” another local resident, Sarah Gawman, told the court.


She said she lived on an upper floor of a highrise condo building in downtown Ottawa when the protest began last year, and trucks and other vehicles lined up in her neighbourhood “as far as the eye could see.”

She told the court that even with the windows closed, she heard drumming, honking, engine revving and fireworks into the early hours of the morning.

“I wasn’t able to sleep. I wasn’t able to sit in my front room,” she told the court.

She was ordered to work from home, and said she wasn’t able to get to a medical appointment because the cab company she called to pick her up refused to come.

“The buses were rerouted, so that wasn’t going to be a possibility,” she said.

“It’s too far for me to walk.”

Gawman’s testimony was punctuated by objections from the defence, as her evidence strayed from her observations during the convoy to the ways the protest affected her personally.


“It’s OK, I have my running shoes on,” Gawman joked on her third trip from the witness box to the hallway as the lawyers rose to argue about her testimony.

The Crown intends to call five local residents as part of its case, as well as a representative of the National Arts Centre and an employee at OC Transpo, the local public-transit operator.

The Crown says it plans to ask the Ottawa witnesses about the turmoil they observed during the protest, in an effort to tie disruptions to Lich and Barber.

One of the anticipated witnesses is Zexi Li, the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit against the organizers on behalf of people who live and work in downtown Ottawa.

Gawman told the court she is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, and Leir said she registered on behalf of the church.

Under cross-examination, she said she was physically able to walk the streets if she wanted to, and was physically able to get to her office.

Barber’s lawyer Diane Magas suggested she may have been exaggerating when it came to how often the horns were honking, since there are several videos from the convoy that don’t feature any horn honking.

Magas asked whether Gawman saw people at the protest wearing Canadian flags who were jovial.

“Some were, and some weren’t,” she said.

Bellfoy is expected to continue his testimony Friday.
 

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Unvaxxed sperm in demand by hopeful moms
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Published Nov 06, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 2 minute read

More and more women looking to have babies are on the hunt for sperm donors who refused to get vaccinated for COVID-19.


While getting the jab is a must for many, those who scoffed at the idea have crept into the world of sperm donation.


Jonathan David Rinaldi, a serial sperm donor who has fathered more than a dozen children in two years, noticed a “massive increase” in requests for sperm from unvaccinated donors.

So he decided to split off from the Facebook group, Sperm Donation USA, to create his own exclusive group, the Daily Mail reported.

There are almost 250 members in the group and many people have successfully started families, with most donors offering their sperm free of charge.

One woman posted a photo of her positive pregnancy test with the caption: “One more ‘farm-raised,’ ‘not Pharma-raised’ baby on its way!”

Studies have shown that COVID vaccines are safe and there has been no evidence of an increased risk to female fertility.


However, Rinaldi and members of Rinaldi’s Facebook group believe otherwise.

“I don’t trust big government, big pharma, I don’t trust them, and I don’t need to inject myself with things that I don’t even know what it is,” Rinaldi told the Mail.

While Cryos, one of the largest sperm banks in the U.S. told the outlet it has had “very few clients requesting information about unvaccinated donors,” the Mail reported an increase of wannabe moms on Facebook searching for donors and specifying “no COVID vax” in their posts.

Men have also identified themselves with terms like “unvaccinated man (sperm not modified by mRNA).”

Rinaldi, who was featured last year in a Humans of New York post, has three children with his ex-partner and 16 others conceived through sperm donation, according to the Mail.



In a “perfect world,” the women he donates sperm to would also be unvaccinated.

Rinaldi was considering donating his sperm to one woman until he learned she had received multiple COVID shots and was thinking about getting a booster.

“I was like, ‘Listen, if you get the booster, I’m not doing this for you. Like, it’s bad enough, you have two of them.’”

He explained: “But the reality of it is, not everybody believes in that. Not everybody’s educated.”

Rinaldi added: “I would love it if no one got vaccinated.”
 

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Shoplifting has 'really taken off' since COVID, says Crime Stoppers chair
Retail crime losses increased to $5 billion in 2019 across Canada

Author of the article:Jane Stevenson
Published Nov 12, 2023 • Last updated 9 hours ago • 2 minute read
Sean Sportun, the chair of Crimestoppers Toronto, says shoplifting is a major crime that’s been on the rise, particularly since COVID.
Stores have increased security in response to a spike in thefts. PHOTO BY ETHAN SWOPE /Getty Images
Shoplifting is a major crime that has been on the rise, especially since the COVID pandemic, according to Crime Stoppers Toronto Chair Sean Sportun,


But has it skyrocketed to the level in the U.S. where major retailers in San Francisco and some other cities have shut down locations to escape thieves? Not yet.


“This is a problem,” said Sportun, who has spent the last 32 years in the private sector dealing with organized retail crime.

“Is it as big as it is in the U.S.? No,” added the Scarborough resident. “We have seen, post-COVID, this has really taken off. The organized crime component of it. These are people that are coming in with lists of clothes or beauty products or laundry detergent and they’re stealing 30, 40, 50 (of them), upwards of $3,000-5,000, at a time.”

Other popular shoplifting items are infant formula, razor blades, electronics, and power tools.


Sportun said that in 2014, retail theft amounted to $4 billion nationally. By 2019, that figure had jumped to $5 billion, according to the Retail Council of Canada.

On top of that, shoplifting is a hugely under-reported crime and often not treated seriously.

In Sportun’s own experience as a private security retailer investigator, he nabbed a serial shoplifter who committed up to 20 major thefts of goods (valued at around $2,000 in each case) “and this person doesn’t even go to jail. And if he does, it’s maybe one or two days a week at most and they’re back out on the street doing the same thing again.”

Sportun also cautioned safety is a big concern in cases of retail theft.

“Three out of five organized retail crime incidents (in Canada) involve violence, whether it be perceived or actual weapons being used,” he added. “The biggest thing here is the community at large needs to understand is this is not a victimless crime. We all pay for this. Not only are we paying the higher costs due to the theft and the retailers getting their money back through higher costs (to consumers) but it’s funding organized crime.”


The Retail Council of Canada embarked on a retail blitz in September with nine police agencies from across the country to address shoplifting, according to spokesperson Michelle Wasylyshen.

“It’s massive. It’s huge for everyone and it’s getting worse,” she added. “All of our members have identified an increase in crime (as more violent and organized.) Most of our retailers make the comment it has gotten worse since COVID.

“During this blitz, 498 persons were arrested, 52 repeat offenders were identified, 28 weapons were seized and the value of the stolen property found was $94,000.”

Wasylysen confirmed Toronto Police were part of the blitz, but provided no results for the city “because unfortunately it wasn’t consistent.”

Toronto Police did not respond to an interview request about shoplifting.

Wasylysen said a second nation-wide blitz is being planned for December.

“Shoplifting has increased across all categories, including food, apparel and footwear merchandise,” she said.

“Retailers, they’re really frustrated by the financial loss. And more so they’re concerned for their customers and their employees. It’s a big issue.”

In terms of prevention, loss prevention strategies include adding security guards or off-duty police officers in their store, according to Wasylyshen.
 

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Boris Johnson ’bamboozled’ by science during pandemic, ex-adviser tells inquiry
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Pan Pylas
Published Nov 20, 2023 • 2 minute read

LONDON — Boris Johnson, the former British prime minister, struggled to come to grips with much of the science during the coronavirus pandemic, his chief scientific advisor said Monday.


In keenly awaited testimony to the country’s public inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, Patrick Vallance said he and others faced repeated problems getting Johnson to understand the science.


“I think I’m right in saying that the prime minister gave up science at 15,” he said. “I think he’d be the first to admit it wasn’t his forte and that he struggled with the concepts and we did need to repeat them — often.”

In extracts from his diary that were relayed to the inquiry, Vallance said Johnson was “bamboozled” by the graphs and data and that watching him “get his head round stats is awful.”

Vallance said Johnson’s struggles were not unique and said many leaders around Europe had problems in understanding the scientific evidence and advice, especially in the first stages of the pandemic in early 2020.


“I would also say that the meeting that sticks in my mind was with fellow advisers from across Europe, when one of them — and I won’t say which country — declared that the leader of that country had enormous problems with exponential curves, and the telephone call burst into laughter, because it was true in every country,” he said.

“So I do not think that there was necessarily a unique inability to grasp some of these concepts with the prime minister at the time, but it was hard work sometimes to try and make sure that he had understood what a particular graph or piece of data was saying.”

The U.K. has one of the highest COVID-19 death tolls in Europe, with the virus recorded as a cause of death for more than 232,000 people.

Johnson, who was forced to step down as prime minister in September 2022 following revelations of rule-breaking parties at his Downing Street residence during the pandemic, is due to address the inquiry before Christmas.

The probe, led by retired Judge Heather Hallett, is expected to take three years to complete. Johnson agreed in late 2021 to hold a public inquiry after heavy pressure from bereaved families, who have hit out at the evidence emerging about his actions.
 

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Ex-British PM Boris Johnson ’bamboozled’ by science, COVID-19 inquiry told
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Pan Pylas
Published Nov 20, 2023 • 3 minute read
Boris Johnson, the former British prime minister, struggled to come to grips with much of the science during the coronavirus pandemic, according to his then chief scientific advisor. In keenly awaited testimony Monday to the country's public inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, Patrick Vallance said he and others faced repeated problems getting Johnson to understand the science.
LONDON (AP) — Boris Johnson, the former British prime minister, struggled to come to grips with much of the science during the coronavirus pandemic, his chief scientific adviser said Monday.


In keenly awaited testimony to the country’s public inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, Patrick Vallance said he and others faced repeated problems getting Johnson to understand the science and that he changed his mind on numerous occasions.


“I think I’m right in saying that the prime minister gave up science at 15,” he said. “I think he’d be the first to admit it wasn’t his forte and that he struggled with the concepts and we did need to repeat them — often.”

Extracts from Vallace’s mostly contemporaneous diary of the time were relayed to the inquiry. In them, he wrote that Johnson was often “bamboozled” by the graphs and data and that watching him “get his head round stats is awful.”

During the pandemic, Vallance was a highly visible presence in the U.K. He and the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, regularly flanked Johnson at the daily COVID-19 press briefings given from the prime minister’s offices on Downing Street.


Vallance, who stepped down from his role as the British government’s chief scientific adviser earlier this year, said Johnson’s struggles were not unique and that many leaders had problems in understanding the scientific evidence and advice, especially in the first stages of the pandemic in early 2020.

He recalled a meeting of European scientific advisers where one country leader was said to have problems with exponential curves and “the telephone call burst into laughter, because it was true in every country.”

Johnson was hospitalized with the virus in April 2020 less than two weeks after he put the country into lockdown for the first time. Vallance conceded the prime minister was “unable to concentrate” on things when he was really unwell but that after his recuperation “there was no obvious change between him and what he was like beforehand.”


The U.K. has one of the highest COVID-19 death tolls in Europe, with the virus recorded as a cause of death for more than 232,000 people.

Johnson, who was forced to step down as prime minister in September 2022 following revelations of lockdown rule-breaking parties at his Downing Street residence during the pandemic, is due to address the inquiry before Christmas.

The probe, led by retired Judge Heather Hallett, is expected to take three years to complete, though interim assessments are set to be published. Johnson agreed in late 2021 to hold a public inquiry after heavy pressure from bereaved families, who have hit out at the evidence emerging about his actions.

The inquiry is divided into four so-called modules, with the current phase focusing on political decision-making around major developments, such as the timing of lockdowns. The first stage, which concluded in July, looked at the country’s preparedness for the pandemic.


The inquiry is set to hear from current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was Johnson’s Treasury chief at the time and as such had a particular focus on the economic impacts of Britain’s lockdowns.

When he does appear at the inquiry, Sunak is likely to face questioning about his “Eat Out to Help Out” initiative, which sought to encourage nervous customers back to restaurants in August 2020 as the first set of lockdown restrictions were being eased and before subsequent lockdowns were enacted.

Vallance said scientists weren’t aware of the restaurant program until it was announced and that the messaging around it ran “opposite” to the need to limit mixing between households.

“I think it would have been very obvious to anyone that this inevitably would cause an increase in transmission risk,” Vallance said.


Soon after, positive cases started rising and the government came under huge pressure to institute a second national lockdown, something Johnson eventually announced at the end of October 2020.

The inquiry was shown a diary entry Vallance wrote before that lockdown and which referred to Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s chief political adviser at the time, saying that Sunak “thinks just let people die and that’s OK.”

When asked about the diary entry, the prime minister’s spokesman, Max Blain, said Sunak would “set out his position” when he gives evidence to the inquiry.

“I’m sure the public will understand the importance of listening to all the evidence of the inquiry before coming to a conclusion,” Blain said.
 

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U.K. took action too late against COVID-19 during first wave of pandemic, top medical officer says
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Sylvia Hui
Published Nov 21, 2023 • 2 minute read

LONDON — Britain’s government was too late in taking action against the coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, the U.K.’s chief medical adviser said Tuesday.


Responding to questions about the U.K.’s actions in handling the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chris Whitty told a public inquiry he felt he was more wary than others about the negative impacts of “shielding,” or isolation policies, school closures and lockdowns.


Whitty said he was concerned in particular about the longer-term impact such policies would have on the poorest people and those living alone, and described the difficulties in balancing the risks of introducing decisive measures “too early” or “too late.”

But he rejected suggestions by the inquiry’s lawyer, Huge Keith, that he had warned the government against “overreacting.” Rather, he said he made it clear to policymakers that “without action, very serious things would occur.”


“With the benefit of hindsight, we went a bit too late on the first wave,” Whitty conceded.

He said the U.K. should perhaps have “cottoned on” to a national lockdown being a possibility in the early days of the pandemic, but added that “there were no good options.”

“All the options were very bad, some are a bit worse, and some were very, very bad,” Whitty said.

Whitty, who remains the U.K.’s top medical official, was the latest to give testimony to the independent COVID-19 inquiry. The probe was ordered by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2021 to scrutinize and learn lessons from the U.K.’s response to the pandemic.

Whitty became a household name during the pandemic, when he often appeared alongside Johnson and senior officials at daily televised government briefings on COVID-19.


The U.K. has one of the highest COVID-19 death tolls in Europe, with the virus recorded as a cause of death for more than 232,000 people. Many bereaved families say they were failed by politicians and policymakers whose actions contributed to unnecessary deaths and suffering during the pandemic.

The lengthy inquiry’s current phase focused on pandemic decision-making, and Johnson and current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was Treasury chief during the pandemic, are both expected to give evidence at a later date.

The U.K. imposed a national lockdown, with a mandatory stay-at-home order, in March 2020, shortly after France, Spain and Italy imposed similar measures.
 

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Life expectancy for Canadians fell for third straight year in 2022, StatCan says
More people died of COVID-19 in 2022 than in any other year since the pandemic began, report says

Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Published Nov 27, 2023 • 2 minute read
A new report from Statistics Canada says life expectancy for the average Canadian at birth has fallen for the last three years in a row, from 82.3 in 2019 to 81.3 years in 2022.
A new report from Statistics Canada says life expectancy for the average Canadian at birth has fallen for the last three years in a row, from 82.3 in 2019 to 81.3 years in 2022.
OTTAWA — Life expectancy for Canadians decreased for the third straight year in 2022 and more people died of COVID-19 than in any other year since the pandemic began, according to a report released Monday.


Statistics Canada’s analysis of deaths last year showed the average Canadian’s life expectancy dropped to 81.3 years in 2022, a full year lower than the 82.3 years recorded in 2019.


“Life expectancy declines when there are more deaths, when deaths occur at younger ages or a combination of both,” the report said.



COVID-19 became the third leading cause of death for Canadians last year, overtaking accidents and unintentional injuries for the first time since the disease emerged in 2020.

“This increase may in part be due to the exposure to new highly transmissible COVID-19 variants and the gradual return to normalcy,” the report said, pointing to reduced restrictions and the elimination of masking requirements.


Cancer and heart disease were the first and second most common causes of mortality, accounting for 41.8% of all deaths in 2022.

New Brunswick saw the biggest decline in life expectancy among provinces, dropping more than a year to 79.8 from 80.9 in 2021, the report said. Saskatchewan’s life expectancy had fallen the most over the last three years combined, dropping a full two years to 78.5 in 2022 from 80.5 in 2019. Prince Edward Island was not included in the yearly data breakdowns by province.

An increase in deaths among younger people last year was attributable in part to deaths under investigation by a coroner or medical examiner, which typically include suicides, homicides and drug toxicity deaths.

More than 19,700 Canadians died of COVID-19 last year, Statistics Canada said. Seniors bore the brunt of the increase with those aged 80 and older seeing a 78% jump in COVID deaths last year compared to the year before.

People aged 65 and older accounted for 91.4% of all COVID-19 deaths in 2022, the report said.

In Atlantic Canada, the rate of COVID-19 deaths was more than seven times higher last year compared with the year before — the highest jump in any region of the country, the statistics agency said.