Despite claims that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been “hiding out” in the U.S. as a convoy of truckers and protesters demonstrate against vaccine mandates in Ottawa, the prime minister’s office confirmed to The Associated Press that he has not left Canada.
Trudeau was also recorded giving a press conference in the Canadian capital region on Monday, the same day that some social media users falsely claimed he was in the U.S. Additionally, public itineraries released by the prime minister’s office show that he has remained near Ottawa, the capital of Canada, for more than a week.
But as thousands of protesters gathered in Canada’s capital to protest vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns, several social media users pushed the falsehood that Trudeau fled Canada for the U.S.
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas, amplified the idea on Monday, tweeting to his nearly 85,000 followers: “If Justin Trudeau is hiding in the United States, we should return him to Canada and make him face his own people immediately. No safe haven for fleeing COVID tyrants. #LiveFree #DeportTrudeau.”
Roy’s tweet came hours after Trudeau had given a public address from the Ottawa area in which he called for unity and condemned acts of violence at the protests. The prime minister has been isolating at hom e in Ottawa since Thursday, after learning he had been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
On Monday, Trudeau announced he also tested positive for the virus. Canadian rules mandate that fully-vaccinated people who test positive must isolate at home for five days and until symptoms improve. People who test positive for COVID-19 are not permitted to travel. There’s no evidence that Trudeau has recently traveled outside of Canada, either.
Itineraries released by his office show that he was based in the Ottawa capital region for all of last week, and for most of January. A spokesperson for the prime minister’s office confirmed the daily, public itineraries accurately reflect the locations provided and that Trudeau “did not and has not left Canada.”
A number of protesters have remained in the capital this week.
Sophia Tulp, The Associated Press