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Ford addresses ‘disturbing’ anti-maskers at his home; Alberta sees lack of cooperation with contact tracers

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, Justin Trudeau announced that Canada has secured 28.4 million rapid COVID-19 tests, which can deliver results in less than 20 minutes.

The chief medical officer of health, Dr. Theresa Tam, said the tests will be deployed possibly by the end of the week or early next week to provinces and territories.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford asked people to support take-out initiatives at restaurants in the province’s three hotspots where new restrictions are in place. In addition, he pleaded with Uber Eats to reduce the commission rates it’s charging, in order to help restaurants amid the pandemic.

To finish his press conference, Ford called out those who are spreading disinformation about COVID-19, especially the “anti-maskers” who have been showing up at his house.

As COVID-19 continues to spread nationwide, Quebec announced more restrictions for three regions, Saskatchewan limited gathering sizes at households, and British Columbia health officials pleaded with citizens to get their flu shot amid influenza season. In Alberta, health officials said they’re seeing an increasing number of people who are refusing to share information with contact tracers.

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

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‘There’s no hidden agenda’: Doug Ford shares frustration over those discrediting the COVID-19 pandemic

As the second wave of COVID-19 makes its mark on Ontario, Premier Doug Ford addressed those who are trying to discredit the reality of the virus, such as by calling it fake. 

“There’s no hidden agenda … it’s sheer facts,” said Ford. “What I get from the chief medical officer, I will put it right on the table good, bad or ugly. …

“I’m going to repeat this again, there is no agenda. I’m the last guy in the world that would put up with that. I just, it just wouldn’t happen under my watch. I’m here to protect the people of Ontario, keep them safe.”

Ford credits the media, who he called “phenomenal,” for helping deliver the government’s message on protocols throughout the pandemic. 

It’s a contrast compared to what the premier describes has been occurring in front of his home. 

“We have the anti-maskers showing up to my house again,” said Ford.

“You know, flying the flag upside down. That’s disturbing to say the least. You don’t like our country, want to disrespect the people of this country and the flag; go on, take off, leave, find another place you can fly your flag upside down.”

Ford announcements funding for Ontario businesses impacted by latest restrictions, calls out Uber Eats

Ford announced $300 million to provide relief for local restaurants and other businesses that have been impacted by the province’s latest health measures. 

The news comes after Ford announced on Friday that indoor dining will have to close for restaurants and bars in the province’s three hotspots of Ontario, Peel and Ottawa. These venues will

Why anti-maskers ignore risks even after Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis

  • President Donald Trump, who has long mocked others for wearing masks, was diagnosed with coronavirus. 
  • Following his diagnosis, family members and White House staff that previously flouted mask wearing recommendations since appear to have reconsidered, and are now wearing masks in public. 
  • That may not be enough to persuade some staunch anti-maskers to change their minds, since evidence of the risks is “irrelevant” to their ideological concerns, according to psychologists.
  • But for those who oppose masks as part of a partisan identity, seeing influential people like the Trump family wearing masks may be enough reason to follow suit, as group norms are a powerful motivator.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Wearing a mask is recommended by health officials and experts around the world as one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Yet in the US, it’s become a contentious issue, in part due to inflammatory statements from politicians like President Donald Trump, who has mocked people for wearing masks. 

But since President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, the people around him, including daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, have been spotted wearing masks in public, after previous high-profile instances of declining to do so. 

Their change of heart may not be enough to convince staunch anti-maskers to do the same, psychologists say.

That’s because masks have become a powerful symbol of ideology and identity, according to Jacob Teeny, an assistant professor of marketing at Northwestern University who has written about the psychology behind opposition to masks. This can lead to top-down processing, wherein people interpret data to fit their pre-existing ideas of how things work. 

“The ambiguity of Trump’s handling of this situation will allow people to shift it to seem however they want,” Teeny told Insider.

Anti-maskers may be unlikely to change if they’re more concerned with ideology than risks or harm

Seeing that there might be negative consequences to an action is a big source of behavioral change, Teeny explained. That means one motivation for wearing a mask may be observing that non-mask-wearers become ill.

In theory, that could be the case with Trump, and his diagnosis might serve as a warning of the serious risk facing those who eschew mask-wearing recommendations. 

But more than seven months into the pandemic, there’s a wealth of evidence that wearing a mask can protect against the deadly viral infection. Even the risk of serious illness or death hasn’t stopped people from opposing masks, according to Andrew Luttrell, professor of social psychology at Ball State University and co-writer of a Psychology Today column with Teeny. 

“The one thing that’s strange about it is that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a consequence,” Luttrell said.”The folks that have been anti-mask have acknowledged and rejected those consequences, which makes me wonder if this new piece of evidence would change their minds.” 

That may be because anti-maskers aren’t interested in debating the science of masks or viral risk at all, he said. Their arguments are instead