Social media can be useful and sometimes it can distract from the message.
That’s what Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield said after columnist and former NDP strategist Bill Tieleman called her out for liking tweets that were deemed out-of-line.
One of the tweets was from a parent who retweeted a claim that school-aged children are being used for herd immunity against COVID-19. Merrifield said she liked that parent’s tweet, not as an attack on Dr. Bonnie Henry and public health orders, but to encourage people to keep asking questions about health policies during the pandemic.
Why is BC Liberal MLA & Health Critic @ReneeMerrifiel3 liking Tweets claiming kids are being "used" to develop "herd" immunity and "we want them infected"??? #BCPoli #BCNDP @bcliberals pic.twitter.com/gdMePxDEVp
— BillTieleman (@BillTieleman) December 17, 2020
“It had nothing to do with me believing that what we’re doing is herd immunity,” she said.
“But the way it was warped by the NDP pundit (Tieleman) was disgusting. Because for me, it was about that parent and that parent’s heart cry.”
Merrifield added that the tweets she liked highlight that the questions she brings up at the legislature echo the concerns that parents have.
As we’ve done since the beginning of the pandemic, the BC Liberal Caucus continues to fully support the hard work of public health officials. I want to apologize to Dr. Bonnie Henry if that has in any way been called into question by my social media activity. #bcpoli
— Renee Merrifield (@ReneeMerrifiel3) December 17, 2020
She has since ‘unliked’ those tweets and has apologized to Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“Honestly, I don’t want to distract from the message with social media… and I don’t want to be misinterpreted and I certainly don’t want (Twitter) used against the message,” she said.