Exactly one (1) week ago, the Leader of the Opposition raised a definite matter of urgent public importance in the House to confront the Rowley lead regime on their treatment of the elderly at vaccination sites. But despite the meaningless apologies and false promises from the PNM Government to do better, the cruelty continues.
It caused great anguish, to again see media footage of ailing elders, some with appointments and some without, languishing on the side of the road in rainy weather this morning. As Trinbagonians, we are raised to respect and care for senior members of our society. They hold places of high regard within our families and communities. We honour them with titles such as Mister, Miss, Uncle or Aunty/Tantie. We run errands for them, help them with chores and look out for their welfare.
What we have witnessed over the last few weeks – from frustrated pensioners lamenting delayed payment of their benefits, to thousands of senior citizens standing for hours in grueling weather outside vaccination sites – goes against our inherent values and shared culture. Even our various religious faiths require us to honour our elders, deeming it a sin to disrespect and ill-treat them.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Health acknowledged that there was a problem and pledged to fix it. They failed.
I really did not expect better from the Prime Minister because he is crude and uncouth, and respects no one, especially women. However, I hoped that in light of such blatant failure, the Minister of Health would at least have tried to make a competent effort.
But what compounds an already bad situation, is the secrecy with which the donated Pfizer vaccines are apparently being managed. At this point we do not know who would be getting those jabs, but I suspect it would not be our vulnerable elders who are suffering in long lines and inclement weather.
There must be consequences for these heinous atrocities inflicted upon our parents and grandparents by this PNM government, and such accountability must start at the very top.
We have to DEMAND better for them. It is our duty.