I note with deep appall and alarm the truly abominable, callous and unacceptable latest statements of Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh regarding Trinidad and Tobago’s official recording of 1000 Covid-19 deaths to date In a Guardian report today (July 21, 2021), he reportedly states:
“There is nothing we could have said to have done better or differently…The fact is people all around the world have died from COVID…So some good could come out of this if those who are diabetics take better care of themselves so they don’t become statistics for other pandemics.”
For a Health Minister to react in such a cold, remorseless manner to the historic, preventable loss of lives of so many citizens and the immeasurable grief and suffering of their families is simply incredible! Where then, is Deyalsingh’s humanity and compassion for his fellow citizens, to whom he has taken a sacred Constitutional oath to serve as a public servant paid by taxpayers of this country?
What makes his comments all the more shameful is the fact that this outright tragedy could have most definitely been prevented if Deyalsingh had done his job effectively, competently and without dangerous, misinformed and unwarranted hubris! Indeed, his ridiculous, insensitive, inhumane claim that there is nothing he or his Health Ministry officials could have done better or differently to avoid this tragedy of Covid-19 deaths is simply false, misleading, and a devious attempt to gaslight the population.
It is a well-established fact in the public domain, which I have personally pointed out on numerous occasions from since the beginning of this Coronavirus pandemic in January 2020 that Deyalsingh has deliberately failed to protect and preserve the health, safety and lives of citizens, due to his acute and often questionable mismanagement of the public health sector.
Many Opposition politicians, as well as other independent medical doctors and other public commentators, have also consistently offered Deyalsingh, and the Government which he serves, a plethora of advice, suggestions and recommendations as to how to adequately treat with the pandemic and save lives, but he chose to blatantly, arrogantly and dangerously ignore them.
A brief summary of the issues which he remains constrained to address, include:
- Government’s refusal to have the Covid-19 pandemic discussed, in the nation’s interest, at a Parliamentary level on five occasions from January, 2020
- Government’s refusal of repeated invitations from the Opposition UNC to meet to formulate a bipartisan approach to battle the pandemic’s deadly, ravaging effects
- The Health Ministry’s unpreparedness to do advanced testing in 2020, its failure to provide adequate PPEs for medical workers, and its deliberate under-testing in the early months of the pandemic in 2020 for questionable political purposes
- The Heath Ministry’s failure to secure sufficient ICU beds/equipment for all hospitals—Deyalsingh boasted he could get 72, but to date, there are only about 24 to treat the entire population of T&T
- The questionable move by the unqualified, political appointee, NCRHA Davlin Thomas, to move six of the top Covid-19 doctors from the Couva Hospital at the end of April 2021, which directly correlates to a massive increase in the Covid-19 death rates at HDUs, ICUs and emergency Covid-19 tents
- The Health Ministry’s refusal to listen to the concerns of 17 senior doctors at the EWMSC as to how Thomas’s malicious move would negatively impact on patient care at the Couva ICU and HDU units
- The use of less experienced junior doctors to manage ICU and HDU patients, while marginalizing the more experienced medical practitioners
- Insufficient nursing staff in the ICUs and HDUs, as confirmed by the T&T’s Nursing Association
- The decision to house up to 10,000 Covid-19 positive patients (at one point) at home, without providing them with medical assistance or supervision, causing a massive spread of the virus during a lockdown
- The failure by the Health Ministry to provide families of Covid-19 patients updates on their relatives’ conditions at the ICUs and HDUs
- The failure to procure enough Covid-19 vaccines at an earlier and timely date, and the current slow rate of administration—the 400,000 vaccines should be administered by the end of July, 2021, ideally
- The invitation by Prime Minister Rowley for 50,000 citizens to intermingle over the Easter 2021 weekend in Tobago, leading to a massive rise in cases
- The endangering of elderly citizens’ lives when Deyalsingh told them to gather at Health Centres for vaccines that were not available
Had these issues been addressed in a timely fashion, T&T would have never had to face this tragic, sky high Covid-19 death rate, which ranks among the highest per population in the world! Indeed, Deyalsingh’s comments are reminiscent of his equally appalling previous statements that his responsibility as Health Minister stops at the doors of the Hospital.
Once again, his utterances amount to his admission that he has failed in his duty and responsibility to protect the citizens’ lives, and is guilty of overall gross negligence and mismanagement of the entire Covid-19 pandemic. HE MUST BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY! The battered, desperate traumatized citizens of this nation deserve nothing less from the public servants we pay to work on our behalf.
Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, CMT;
Former Cabinet Minister and MP