Please permit me to respond to your editorial entitled ‘T&T’s scary Covid death toll’, published in the Trinidad Express on January 9th 2022.
I fully endorse the statement by the Editorial board of the Express that, “(Trinidad and Tobago’s) Covid death toll demands an explanation”.
Indeed, this is why, since June 2021 I have been calling for a Commission of Inquiry, in light of the dramatic change in the rate of covid deaths.
When the death toll so quickly shot up to approach 600 deaths by June, I was extremely concerned, particularly in light of clear governmental mismanagement and lack of action. I publicly called for an Inquiry at that time in order to prevent us from reaching the tragic situation of over 3,100 deaths, where we find ourselves now, with no end in sight.
I am glad that more institutions and members of civil society are recognising the fact that something is wrong with the government’s covid response and that they must be held to account.
Your editorial is correct in stating that this nation’s Covid fatalities far exceed those of neighbouring Caribbean States.
What is truly telling is that this unfortunate statistic also stands up when Trinidad and Tobago is measured against Caribbean countries — and virtually all other nations in the world — with lower vaccine coverage.
We know, therefore, that vaccination coverage is not the issue. The only logical explanation for this high fatality rate in Trinidad and Tobago is that there is something seriously wrong with the management and operations of the Government’s Covid-19 parallel health care system.
As you will no doubt be aware, my calls for a Commission of Inquiry into the Rowley Government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic for the past months has been met with sinister accusations of being “unpatriotic” by members of the Keith Rowley Government. I am heartened, however, that the Rowley government is failing in its attempts to stifle those who dare ask questions.
I have also called for the immediate resignation of Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram, Dr. Avery Hinds and Dr. Mariam Abdool Richards, for what I believe is their complicity in this crisis by allowing themselves to become pawns in the Rowley Government’s political propaganda machine, as opposed to impartially and fearlessly carrying out their public health mandate.
The recent statements by the CMO indicating that it is the Government and not the Covid-19 management team which decides official Covid-19 policies is also extremely disturbing.
The CMO’s revelation directly contradicts what Keith Rowley has been telling citizens for over a year now; that he is simply following the advice of experts.
This perhaps explains why last Easter Weekend, despite seeing a dramatic spike in Covid infections, the Rowley Government inexplicably relaxed travel restrictions allowing for about 50 thousand people to travel between Trinidad and Tobago. Today the people of Tobago and Trinidad are sadly paying the price of a Rowley Government seriously lacking the ability to tell the truth.
Our high Covid fatality rate and the mysterious authorization of mass travel over last Easter are far from the only serious questions that need answers too.
For example, no explanation has been given as to why experienced and specialist medical personnel were hastily removed from treating Covid-19 patients at the Couva Children’s hospital only to be replaced by political appointees.
In an interview published in Wired 868, Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) President Idi Stuart stated that “95 per cent of the health care workers in Couva are new. The majority have just one to two years’ experience since passing out training and now they are asked to handle a pandemic.”
The people of Trinidad and Tobago also have yet to be told the scientific basis used to ban Open Pyre cremations or allow the likes of Delcy Rodriguez and Dr Rowley’s own daughter into the country at a time when thousands of Trinidad and Tobago nationals were stranded abroad, some even forced into homelessness on foreign streets.
And of course, there is also yet to be transparency into where the Six Billion dollars the Keith Rowley Government said it spent on “Covid-19 relief” went.
Since the onset of this crisis Keith Rowley and his Government has used Covid -19 to mask their misdeeds, corruption and lies. Fortunately, this pandemic will end, and the people of Trinidad and Tobago will learn the truth of all that has transpired over these difficult years.
What the Rowley Government is doing in the dark will come to light.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
15th January 2022