February 11, 2022

Speaking of the unvaccinated, Alberta's premier said this: "But it's never OK to treat people like that, to stigmatize people in that way. In a way, it kind of reminds me of the attitudes that circulated in North America in the mid-1980s about people with HIV/AIDS — that there's this notion that they had to be kind of distanced, for health reasons."

Yeah. He said that.

Source: CBC News

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney apologized Wednesday for comparing the treatment of unvaccinated people to the stigma faced by HIV/AIDS patients during the 1980s.

Kenney drew the comparison Tuesday during a news conference where he announced Alberta's plan to immediately start phasing out COVID-19 public health restrictions, including the vaccine passport system.

The premier's comments quickly drew backlash online, including from the Opposition NDP and advocates for the LGBTQ community.

Kenney's words brought new attention to his controversial political history with the gay community, including his attempts to deny hospital visitation rights to gay couples during the 1980s AIDS epidemic in San Francisco.

While answering a reporter's question Tuesday, Kenney said the debate around immunizations and COVID-19 mandates is causing deep divisions among Albertans.

Unvaccinated people are being treated like they are "somehow unclean," he said.

"Everybody should avail themselves of the protection of safe and effective vaccines, and that the choice not to get vaccinated is not just a personal choice — it does have social consequences.

"But it's never OK to treat people like that, to stigmatize people in that way. In a way, it kind of reminds me of the attitudes that circulated in North America in the mid-1980s about people with HIV/AIDS — that there's this notion that they had to be kind of distanced, for health reasons."

Kenney apologized after the reviews came in for his offensive remarks.

Twitter was less than impressed.

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