Aug 25, 2022
By Bob Komsic
(Ottawa) – Federal Conservative party leadership candidate Scott Aitchison is condemning Leslyn Lewis’ message to members last week about the Nuremberg Code and medical experimentation as nothing but a “dog whistle” to COVID-19 vaccine critics.
Aitchison made the comments in a message sent to party members Thursday, with less than two weeks before they must return their ballots for a new leader by the Sept. 6 deadline.
He says he has heard from Canadians who were confused and “appalled” at the comparison Lewis drew between contemporary issues and the Holocaust.
In her message, Lewis provided a timeline of moments in history when humans have been subjected to experimentation, including some Indigenous children in residential schools who were malnourished.
She wrote that, “even in modern times the tenets of informed consent and voluntary participation in scientific experiments can be easily undermined by even our modern governments.”
Although Lewis didn’t mention COVID-19 in last week’s note about the Nuremberg Code — a set of research guidelines established after the Second World War, when Nazi doctors carried out inhumane experiments on prisoners — Aitchison says some opposed to COVID-19 immunizations have compared vaccine mandates to the horrors of Nazi Germany.
“Leslyn’s email was a dog whistle to these people so loud that it sounds more like a freight train’s horn,” Aitchison said.
“Let me be clear — being offered a vaccine that prevents serious illness and our governments’ responses to this pandemic are not the same as being tortured in a Nazi concentration camp.”
Lewis responded to Aitchison’s condemnation in a statement pointing out how her initial message never mentioned COVID-19. She went on to accuse her colleague of attacking her publicly, saying “he diminished my existence as a Black woman who has endured racism, and rose above it all.”
“I understand that some people were shocked by the fact that I was willing to point out how governments throughout history have broken the Nuremberg Code, including right here in Canada,” Lewis said.
“I had a few caucus colleagues who had questions about my letter. They contacted me directly, and we discussed it,” she said, adding that “we came away with a greater understanding of the other’s thoughts.”
(The Canadian Press)