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COVID and class

John Bell

September 18, 2020

There are two sets of rules for dealing with the COVID emergency: one set for the ultra-rich and another set for the rest of us.

Canada has ostensibly closed its border with the US, requiring all visitors from the south to quarantine for 14 days.

But not if you are billionaire industrialist and major Donald Trump supporter Liz Uihlein. She and two Uihlein executives jetted in from Wisconsin for a 2-day visit to their Toronto holdings. The incident hit the news when a whistle-blower called police to report a large in-person executive meeting that was ignoring spacing and masking protocols.

 When challenged, she bragged that she had an exemption in the form of a federal cabinet level “order in council”. Only four Trudeau cabinet ministers can sign such orders–Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair, Minister of Health Patty Hajdu and Minister of Immigration Marco Mendicino–plus Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam.

So far, nobody is willing to admit they okayed the visit, but the ministerial ass-covering is in full swing. According to Blair, Uihleil’s special exemption was granted by local border guards, against the rules.

Uihlein and her husband have donated $40 million to Trump’s campaign in the last year alone. She also argues that the pandemic is exaggerated. She is on record saying: “It's overhyped. And I don't wish anybody ill will. You know I don't wish that, but I think it hurts certain ages in certain places and largely in a lot of parts of the world. In the country it's not as rampant as the press would have you make it.”

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