The following is a statement by the political leader of the United National Congress (UNC), Kamla Persad Bissessar, MP, SC on the People’s National Movement (PNM) government COVID-19 cover-up.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — I have noted with deep concern the government’s ongoing efforts to suppress valid calls and questions from the population, and especially the opposition United National Congress (UNC) to be accountable and transparent during this unprecedented coronavirus crisis in our country. I, therefore, feel constrained to respond in a comprehensive manner to the vicious attacks on our sacred, inviolate Constitutional rights and democracy as a whole.
In the past few weeks, as the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic continued to threaten our country’s very survival, Dr Keith Rowley government realized that they simply could not combat the resulting crisis on their own, and then rushed to do damage control.
They appointed as their spokespersons three of the most incompetent ministers in the history of their ineffective government, who have so far only succeeded in lulling the people of this country into a treacherous sense of false security over their risks of contract COVID-19.
These dangerous, reckless propagandists include Stuart Young, who has failed at every single task in the crucial area of national security he oversees, and Camille Robinson-Regis, whose very credibility is seriously compromised by her checkered financial past. Meanwhile, Terrence Deyalsingh is a complete and utter failure, whose term as health minister has plunged this country into the worst health sector crisis in our modern history.
It is no wonder, then, that instead of giving the population truthful information about the real statistics of COVID-19 infections to protect the lives of citizens, these three dangerous, irresponsible propagandists, with the aid of their equally irresponsible prime minister, have engaged in the daily abuse of taxpayers’ dollars by shamelessly converting health news conferences into their political pulpits.
They continue to spew a daily diatribe of malicious propaganda, dehumanization and demonization of the media, the opposition and our very citizens who happened to, unfortunately, be caught abroad when the worst of the crisis hit.
Under a false premise of trying to protect the population, these People’s National Movement (PNM) propaganda ministers are playing a very nasty and dangerous game of pitting our citizens against each other in a time when we should be united in this battle against the worst crisis to hit our country.
Now, people have begun to die because of their dangerous and illegal policy of cover-up and State-sanctioned hate-mongering of citizens. This is unforgivable and must not be tolerated anymore by the population. The people of this country must open their eyes and see the government’s behaviour for what it truly is—sick, sociopathic and destructive to our democracy.
I will continue to inform and educate this population of Dr Rowley government’s cover-up, lies and stifling of democracy because it is the only way we can save the lives of our country’s citizens from the coronavirus pandemic.
I wish to further state categorically that the PNM threats, bullying and intimidation tactics can never silence me, or the opposition UNC, from doing our duty to the citizens of this country.
I do no need the PNM’s permission to speak out on any matter, especially one of such serious national concern which threatens to destroy our country’s economy, health and the very lives of our citizens.
Until the PNM government acts in the interest of all citizens in a manner that can protect their lives during this ongoing and deadly coronavirus crisis, the UNC and I, as its leader, will not be silenced. We will continue to lobby on behalf of the people of this country for truthful, accurate statistics and information to be forthcoming from the PNM government.
So far, their failed and very destructive and dangerous methods have significantly put our citizens’ lives at risk. For over 30 years, I have given my life to serving the citizens of this country. Now that we are at this crucial point in our nation’s history and very survival. I will not shirk in my duty and sacred democratic mandate to represent the people to the best of my ability. I will not stand by and let the Rowley government destroy our country.
I, therefore, urge every citizen to ignore the Rowley government’s vile example and maintain our long-cherished values of humanity and tolerance at this very difficult and uncertain time of our nation’s life. After all, when the COVID-19 crisis has passed, as God willing it must, we will all have to rebuild our country and democracy together in faith, unity, and harmony.