Dr Duane Sands made us raise an eyebrow with his comments reported in today’s Tribune.
When it comes to the vaccine for COVID-19, he says, The Bahamas should conduct its own independent investigation.
With respect, Dr Sands, who will be doing that investigation?
Across the world, the progress of COVID-19 vaccine development has been keenly watched. It is indeed remarkable that we have shown such speed in developing a vaccine – in fact, more than one vaccine, with several now either in use or awaiting final approval.
Yesterday, the first person in the United States received the vaccine, and the United Kingdom started vaccinations last week.
Each vaccine goes through a lengthy process of trials and approval, with the US leaning on the expertise of such bodies as the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, while internationally organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the Pan-American Health Organisation have been monitoring trials and progress of the various vaccines with a view to assisting nations to obtain them and administer them safely.
So with all due respect to Dr Sands, who in The Bahamas is going to conduct an investigation to more stringent standards than the health bodies addressing the needs of the world and of some of the world’s most advanced nations?
Dr Sands went on to say there is, of course, no long-term data for the effects of this new drug on the market. “So, what happens at three months,” he asks, “or six months or a year or even five years?”
We very sincerely doubt that we’re going to be waiting for five years to see the effects on the rest of the world before The Bahamas takes the jab too.
There are genuine concerns that Dr Sands raises too – such as funding and storage, and dispelling the foolish conspiracy theories that get pushed on social media by people who don’t know better or should know better and still want to harm people.
So let’s not pretend we’re going to outshine the brightest scientific minds in the best-equipped labs of the world and discover something everyone else has overlooked. When the vaccine is available, we want it – so our country can start getting back to a normality we have all missed.
If it wasn’t so serious, it would be funny – but every day since the US election, it seems President Donald Trump has insisted he has won, only for him to suffer another defeat in a recount, a court loss or some other quirk of the process.
It’s perhaps fitting for what would be pantomime season over in the UK, a very silly kind of stage play where the audience joins in, with Trump loudly declaring “I AM THE PRESIDENT!” only to be met with a chorus from the audience of “OH NO YOU’RE NOT!”
“ELECTION FRAUD!” he declares. “OH NO THERE ISN’T,” comes the reply.
“WE WILL WIN!” he tweets. “OH NO YOU WON’T,” Twitter users answer back.
Even as Joe Biden won the votes of the electoral college yesterday confirming his presidency, Trump’s allies were out talking about overturning the will of the people with “alternate electors” casting votes for Trump instead. It’s all nonsense, and the sight of Attorney General Bill Barr handing in his resignation yesterday and slinking out of the administration confirms that.
But do you think that’ll keep Trump silent? Do you think he might tweet about it? Oh yes he will!