Trinidad and Tobago: United National Congress’ political leader and Leader of Opposition, Kamla Persad Bissessar, on Friday called upon the Government to form a united front to combat the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
“At this point, we call on the government to engage all stakeholders and the opposition UNC to form a united front to fight COVID-19 crisis.”
During her message, the UNC leader said that this is a time for humanity and not a time for arrogance while terming Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley led Trinidad and Tobago government failure.
“196 families and counting have lost their loved ones because of abject mismanagement of the Prime Minister,” said Kamla.
Kamla asserted that it is time the Government accept help from the wider society and stop blaming citizens for their failure to manage this crisis. She said the country should not continue with the person who has made no progress since February 2020, “and we are no better off today.”
Leader of Opposition said that it is unfortunate that the Government was praising its self and patting itself on the back when the COVID-19 situation was in control, and now Prime Minister is refusing to take the blame for the darkness that has descended.
She added that the only way out of this COVID-19 pandemic his vaccine, and the Government led by PNM failed to procure a sufficient amount of vaccines. The Government dramatically failed to request a gift from India as other nations in the Caribbean did. “The government only did request Indian government after immense pressure by the opposition.”
Opposition Leader also applauded Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley for her foresight to get in line first to procure the vaccines from India before any WHO approval to ensure her people are vaccinated, “She took a proactive role as a true leader should.”
She accused that PM Rowley led Trinidad and Tobago Government again failed to purchase vaccines from Pfizer earlier this year when an offer of 351,000 vaccines was put on the table for the amount of US $8.4 million.
The Government refused the offer of Ansa McAl to purchase the entire Pfizer batch in exchange for a tax concession. “It is baffling that trolley is now saying Pfizer vaccines were not available for purchase.” She asked if the Government refused to purchase the vaccines for the population because it was waiting for 100,000 vaccines from China.
She said our hospital would not have been exhausted, and our people would not have been dying if the Government could have procured a sufficient amount of vaccines earlier, she alleged.
Kamla said that Prime Minister is spreading the wrong narrative that small nations are unable to procure vaccines. “That is a lie.” Barbados, a country with a population of 287,000, has given 75,300 jabs to its people. Another lie was that the Government has checked and had to purchase the vaccine. It is not available, “El Salvador with just over 6 million population inked a contract to purchase 4.4 million vaccines for its people.” Moreover, this Wednesday, Peru’s Prime Minister announced plans to purchase 12 million extra vaccines from Pfizer.
“Prime Minister Keith Rowley was just waiting for donations to be thrown away as our people become casualties.”
Kamla said that unmanned borders are the reason behind the Brazilian variant has entered Trinidad and Tobago as we have our borders closed for one year.
While the Government failed to be proactive in the mission to pick your vaccines, “We are grateful for vaccines which are gifted to Trinidad and Tobago.”