Saskatchewan and Alabama have some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates and the lowest vaccination rates in their respective countries. Both health systems are under pressure.
In Alabama, more than half of intensive care beds are occupied by patients who have contracted COVID-19, most of whom are not vaccinated. Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) plans to increase the number of intensive care unit beds in the province from 79 to 130 in order to treat more patients with COVID-19.
Health professionals in Saskatchewan as well as health officials in Alabama say they do not understand why the provincial government does not impose the vaccination passport and the wearing of masks.
These are the two things that could make things better right now. Science tells ussays the dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr Paul Erwin.
He believes that the leaders do not impose these measures for political reasons.
Much like Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has criticized unvaccinated residents saying they
let others down. But the two leaders refused to impose the wearing of masks indoors and vaccination passports.
Kay Ivey went further by passing a law banning vaccine passports in all businesses or organizations in her state.
Alabama health officials say leaders should make decisions based on expert advice, not political calculations.
Infectious disease expert and University of Saskatchewan professor Andrew Potter says Scott Moe is no longer hearing reason and no longer basing himself on facts about the pandemic:
Our province must improve.