Member resigns from Ontario COVID-19 science advisory table, alleging political interference

Dr. David Fisman previously suggested table was holding off on releasing fall modelling data

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table has one fewer member as of Monday morning following the resignation of a vocal epidemiologist who claims politics is getting in the way.

Dr. David Fisman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, announced his resignation via Twitter on Monday. He posted his resignation letter, addressed to Science Table co-chair Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, on the social media platform. In the letter, Dr. Fisman states he found himself “increasingly uncomfortable with the degree to which political considerations appear to be driving outputs.”

Fisman’s resignation came just two days after he claimed, via Twitter, the science table has modelling data that projects a grim fall for Ontarians and implied the release of that data was being intentionally delayed.

The Advisory Table has since responded to the allegations through its own Twitter account. The table states it is working on a number of models being done by many teams and are reviewing all that data before a scientific consensus could be reached. “Anything less is not rigorous science, and risks either underestimating or overestimating the real dangers we may face,” said the Science Advisory Table on Twitter. “A lot of mathematical and scientific work goes into generating a modelling consensus that Ontarians can count on; we move quickly, but not prematurely.”

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table is made up of volunteers from across the province.