One year later, when other countries are returning to a semblance of normalcy, Trinidad and Tobago is facing its worst crisis, due to the Rowley regime’s failure. This moment marks a dark moment in our nation’s history, the day when the Prime Minister abandoned the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
When the Government had the opportunity earlier this year to move quickly to secure vaccines, they faltered and as a result, we were left behind. Further, their failure to secure our borders has resulted in the entry of the Brazilian variant.
Now, our parallel healthcare system is on the brink, and Rowley introduced harsher restrictions that will decimate micro, small and medium-sized businesses, and lead to greater job losses.
Most concerning is the revelation by the Chief Medical Officer that he first raised the possibility of the current crisis in March, but no action was taken. Before Easter, the Prime Minister encouraged persons to travel to Tobago. Now we are living with the consequences of Rowley’s failed leadership.
Keith Rowley has shown his absence of love for our nation and abdication of his responsibilities by sending home almost the entire workforce of our nation without any support to put food on the table.
The Opposition supports measures to protect the health and wellbeing of citizens, but we cannot support hundreds of thousands being left without the ability to take care of their families.
This Government has found money to pay millions of dollars in rent to the families of Cabinet Ministers and finance contracts of the families of other senior ministers, but they do not have a single dollar to help the taxpayers of this nation during their time of need.
From day one we knew that they were mismanaging COVID, today the picture is clear. Sadly, they have now wrecked lives in the process.
From the very beginning, Keith Rowley and his Government have been playing games with the pandemic. In January of 2020, we urged the Government to take this virus seriously, yet they stood up in the Parliament to say that Covid was not urgent. Today, their only accomplishment is to boast of 1 million syringes in stock. The irony should not be lost on us that there are no vaccines for those syringes.
The Prime Minister spoke of social support, yet many thousands continue to complain that they are yet to receive any salary relief grant since last year. The same support that citizens were promised since last year are being rehashed again.
What is the plan after the lockdown ends? Do we stay in lockdown until the Prime Minister “feels” it is safe to reopen? Or do we stay in lockdown until a friend of the PNM secures a vaccine contract? The public has a right to know how long these restrictions will be in effect and what to expect in the future.
The Prime Minister continues to fail the entire nation with his short-sighted leadership and ad-hoc decision-making.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition