“I FEEL excellent.” Public Administration Minister and Port of Spain South MP Marlene McDonald made this declaration yesterday as she also declared she will not engage the media anymore on the subject of her health. McDonald said she made a public statement last Saturday and has nothing more to say.
Reiterating she had pneumonia, McDonald said antibiotics and intravenous therapy were used by doctors to treat her. She recalled doctors telling her “thank God” she did not smoke or drink. McDonald said her treatment lasted one week.
A doctor recommended McDonald take a week sick leave and another recommended two weeks. McDonald said she has opted for the latter to ensure she has a full recuperation. She asked for her privacy to be respected as she recuperates.
This means McDonald will not attend Friday’s sitting of the House of Representatives which will debate a motion to approve the nomination of Acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) Stephen Williams to be appointed CoP.
Last Saturday, McDonald participated in a motorcade in support of PNM by-election candidates Nicole Young (Belmont East) and Kimberly Small (Barataria). She rejected another newspaper report which claimed she suffered renal failure.
In a radio interview last Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said McDonald was “seriously ill.” At the post-Cabinet news conference two days later, Rowley said he advised President Paula Mae-Weekes to appoint Minister in the Ministry of Finance Allyson West to act temporarily for McDonald.
The PM said McDonald will be given as much time as she needs to recuperate. Dr Rowley said he first learnt about McDonald’s illness from Finance Minister Colm Imbert while he (Rowley) was attending the Caricom Heads of Government Meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
McDonald was hospitalised in June, after she complained of feeling unwell at a Cabinet meeting.
The Port of Spain South MP underwent CT scans and blood tests then. There were reports that her blood sugar level had dropped.