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Saturday 16 February 2019
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Prayers for Marlene

Minister of Public 
Administration Marlene McDonald.
Minister of Public Administration Marlene McDonald.

GOVERNMENT Ministers Rohan Sinanan and Kazim Hosein yesterday said they are praying for the speedy recovery of their Cabinet colleague, Marlene McDonald.

Speaking with reporters after a sod-turning ceremony for the construction of a water-taxi walkover at the Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre, Sinanan said the Public Administration Minister was supposed to attend and speak at the ceremony.

“Unfortunately, because of her health, she could not join us,” the works and transport minister added. “Marlene does have her health challenges. At this point in time, we just pray for her and wish her well.”

Sinanan was confident that McDonald will be “rejoining us shortly.” Hosein, the Rural Development and Local Government Minister, said, “I know she is a strong person. She has the will and almighty God gives her the strength and the courage to overcome this challenge.”

In an I 95.5 FM interview on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said McDonald was “seriously ill” and wished her a speedy recovery. Dr Rowley was optimistic that La Horquetta/Talparo MP Maxie Cuffie will return to TT in the not-too-distant future.

Cuffie suffered a stroke last September and is recuperating at a hospital in Washington DC. A source close to Cuffie this week said he could be home “sooner than many expect.” McDonald replaced Cuffie as Public Administration and Communications Minister in a Cabinet reshuffle in April. The communications portfolio was subsequently reassigned to Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young.

McDonald and Cuffie are now Public Administration Minister and Minister in the Public Administration Ministry respectively.

Meanwhile mystery surrounded McDonald’s yesterday as a ministry spokesman said she was being treated in St Clair Medical Centre but her constituency office said she had been discharged.

The mystery deepened when Newsday called her constituency assistant, Sharon Felix, who had originally sent out the e-mail saying Mc Donald was resting comfortably at home, but Felix declined to talk to Newsday and abruptly hung up the phone. The constituency statement was sent on Tuesday at 11.39 pm, while the ministry statement was sent at 2.54 pm yesterday.

The constituency statement said McDonald has gone to St Clair on Sunday and been discharged on Tuesday after treatment for “a severe cough and other cold symptoms” and was now “resting comfortably at home.” It added McDonald had suffered a bout of bronchitis in 2013.

“She will return to work after a few days’ sick leave, as recommended by her doctors,” said the constituency statement.

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