UNC PRO: I wish PM well

Dr Kirk Meighoo -
Dr Kirk Meighoo -

The United National Congress (UNC)'s PRO Dr Kirk Meighoo said he wishes the Prime Minister well and a speedy recovery after the announcement that Dr Rowley had tested positive for covid19.

He added that the offer of a bipartisan approach to dealing with the covid19 pandemic was still on the table.

The Prime Minister's illness was announced on Facebook on Tuesday.

The post read: “Prime Minister Dr the Hon Keith Rowley has tested positive for covid19.

“The Prime Minister began experiencing flu-like symptoms yesterday evening and was subsequently tested for covid19.

“Dr Rowley is in isolation and is under medical supervision.”

Meighoo said, “I obviously wish Dr Rowley well and a speedy recovery, as we do with all covid19 patients.

“It would be wrong and distasteful to link our criticism of the very, very poor management of the covid19 measures to his personal diagnosis. And I am not doing so.”

He said, however, that the criticism of the Government’s handling of the pandemic still stood.

He said covid19 was a virus, it spreads, and there was no way the virus was going to go down to zero, as every virus still exists.

“That is just the nature of viruses. I think people just are not educated in the way viruses work, and they believe it to go down to zero. That is just never the case. It will spread. It is just our immunity systems have to build up. That’s the way our bodies work and biology works.

“But I maintain our criticisms.”

He said Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh was insisting and seemed satisfied with his answer at the last press briefing that the government was going to take five working days to implement the current phase of vaccinations.

“As if the covid19 was taking off Shouter Baptist Liberation Day and Good Friday and Easter Monday...it just makes no sense.”

He said the Government had opted for authoritarian, non-scientific and spendthrift solutions.

“And it is not working. When you look at the countries that have low infection rates, they are tropical countries. This goes to the unscientific nature of the People National Movement’s (PNM) approach.”

He said the PNM kept making fun of the Opposition Leader’s quoting scientific research about sunlight.

“They ignore the data about all the tropical countries in Africa, for example, with much lower infection rates than ours. And it is not because they have better health systems than the US or Britain.”

He said on January 31 last year, when the President declared covid19 a dangerous disease, the UNC called for Carnival to be stopped. The Government ridiculed the Opposition, Meighoo said, and when a meeting was held with Rowley to have a bipartisan approach with its doctors and team, it was rejected.

“They tried to make fun and put in all these measures that make no scientific sense and are just purely political..and it is draining the treasury and draining the economy.

“The criticism of the way they have been handling this is still valid.

"I am not linking this to the Prime Minister’s personal diagnosis. On an individual level, it can happen to anybody at any time, no matter what precautions. No precautions are 100 per cent effective in anything in life. That is just how it is.”

Asked about vaccination plans for Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Meighoo said her public position has been that officials should not be granted priority in vaccination merely because they are officials.

“The Opposition leader as well as the Prime Minister are part of the demographic of vulnerable persons, being of advanced age... So they might be in the priority list.”

He said he had not confirmed with Persad-Bissessar what her vaccine schedule was, because there were still so many things unclear about the vaccine roll-out schedule.

The current phase of TT’s vaccination programme, with 33,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, began on Tuesday.


"UNC PRO: I wish PM well"

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