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Trust Me: Pm Tries To Persuade Us He’S Right

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaking in the House of Assembly.
Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune staff

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaking in the House of Assembly. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune staff

• Caution the key in decision to ban beaches and retain curfew

• But Sands and Symonette raise questions over govt’s reasoning

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said he closed parks and beaches for the Independence Day holiday weekend “out of an abundance of caution” and because “prevention is better than cure”. He said the healthcare system could melt down if he does not make such tough decisions, painting a picture of a country where rare diseases like mumps, rubeola and measles could emerge as immunisation levels drop if COVID-19 cases overcome the system. 

“I’m only asking you to sacrifice three days for a healthier and better nation,” he said during a communication in the House of Assembly yesterday, before Parliament debated a resolution to extend COVID-19 emergency provisions. 

 “…During holiday weekends there is a natural tendency for people to have mass gatherings on beaches and parks. I would urge my colleagues to review what’s happened around the world with respect to beaches and parks and review the possible outcome of what happened in terms of introduction of virus within those facilities and subsequently through communities. Such mass gatherings are where there can be super spreading of COVID-19.”

Dr Minnis also announced in Parliament that two new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday morning in Grand Bahama, the first positive cases in the country since June 14. He later said a third suspected case on that island was confirmed to have the disease, bringing the nation’s count to 107.  

“Just because we had not seen any new confirmed cases for a while, it does not mean that COVID has gone away from the Bahamas,” he said. “We had stopped the spread of COVID-19. But the virus has not been eliminated and may spread widely and free again based on our individual and collective behaviour.”

While acknowledging that the government has put in place measures to prevent the arrival of guests who have COVID-19, Dr Minnis said the visitors still pose a risk. “If one of them becomes infected, they can shed the virus outside of the incubation period, outside of the 14 days,” he said. “We say they show symptoms at the 14th day, but during that time they can shed the virus, (on the) third day, (on the) fifth day and infect all of us yet they’re normal. We cannot take this risk.”

Some have criticised the government for reopening the country’s borders last week as COVID-19 cases skyrocket in the United States, an action that makes the country vulnerable to a new outbreak of the disease. Dr Minnis connected his decision to reopen the borders to his decision to close parks and beaches, adding that reopening the borders is essential for the economy. 

“In order to stay ahead of this deadly virus we are continuing necessary measures,” he said. “Because our borders are now opened, there’s more risk of importing the virus from overseas. There’s a balance, a balance of economy and a balance of life, we must find that balance, there’ll be screaming on both sides, there’ll be economic screaming and there’ll be life screaming but there must be a balance. The reasons we must take certain preventative measures is we want to avoid problems before they happen, and not just react to them.

“Countries and territories are trying to navigate between opening up to allow people to make a living to take care of themselves while at the same time keeping in place certain restrictions to slow the virus. This is an ongoing balancing act requiring agility and quick action based on the best available information at the time from public health experts. We’re trying to protect lives and livelihoods and we have to do both at the same time. It is not either or, it is both, that balance of the economy and that balance of life.

“And the members who are familiar with finance will know very well that we import a lot of our food, our oils, which requires foreign reserves and if we’re locked down and nothing is coming in, our foreign reserves would become compromised at some point in time and our dollar remains on parity with the US based on one component, our foreign reserves, which means if our foreign reserves are knocked down, our foreign reserves continue to deteriorate, our parity is compromised and Bahamians won’t be able to visit the United States or others because the dollar won’t be worth anything so one has to strike that balance. Then if you open too soon, you run into the problem other countries are experiencing now, one must now lockdown.

“When we opened our restaurants we allowed 50 percent occupancy, some other countries started at 75 percent, they’re now reducing to 50, so maybe 50 was the magic word, we didn’t know. Bars and other facilities that are open are being locked down so they are turning back the clock. The Bahamas has been a model nation so far in our handling of the pandemic because we locked down early and are now trying to gradually reopen.”

Dr Minnis mentioned reports of experts finding that in some COVID-19 cases, complications are persisting well after the virus has been shed.

“Some medical experts are wondering about the long-term affects of this deadly and dangerous virus which is very contagious,” he said. “The virus is spreading at an alarming rate in various parts of our Western hemisphere, including in neighbouring countries, and I again warn Bahamians that the pandemic is not yet over. The global health emergency will likely not end until a vaccine is discovered.”

Comments

thps 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Can someone make sense of this line:

“We say they show symptoms at the 14th day, but during that time they can shed the virus, (on the) third day, (on the) fifth day and infect all of us yet they’re normal. We cannot take this risk.”

So if we cannot take the risk then........? Is he arguing for or against his policy?

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Dawes 4 months, 4 weeks ago

He has no idea, he is spinning his lies so much he can't tell what is true and what is not. Everything is about what he needs people to believe at this moment, and not what the big pitcure is.

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licks2 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I think you are just being dumb. . .go read the virus history. . .it is called a-symptomatic carrier!! Oya. . .the last part of the statement should be a natural follow-up from "show symptoms at the 14 day". . ."but during that time". . ."normal". . ."infect all of us". . ."we cannot take that risk"! Haw bout dat?

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thps 4 months, 4 weeks ago

One of the first rules in a good debate is not to insult the person you are trying to persuade. I posed what I thought was a simple question about how the article is worded.

The article is not completely clear in linking the first and last sentences. It says that there are measures in place, however, they still post risk and ends with a quote mentioning that we cannot take that risk. fi the risk we cant take is not quarantining asymptomatic carriers from the Caribbean who don't have a negative test in hand but need to quarantine, the article could mention that the PM then went on to speak to defend the decision to quarantine those with no COVID test results...(or whatever it was he was referring to).

Also, I hope all is well since the demise of B.I.com.

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mandela 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The only reason or main visitors come to the Bahamas is to enjoy our beaches. These visitors are laughing at us and saying " look them set can't enjoy their own beaches on their independence day but we can".

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tell_it_like_it_is 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Isn't it ironic, the very day that celebrates our independence our freedoms are taken away! So what? Will the PM cancel all holidays for the rest of the year? At some point this has to stop!!

Fine the people for not wearing masks, require businesses to enforce social distancing with non-family members, and provide the necessary sanitizers. I think once that continues to happen things will be okay. It's time to try to understand the best way to go forward with the "new normal".

It's time to pay more attention to the economy and getting unemployment to a much lower rate. Just enforce the existing protocols, but stop cancelling every holiday. People need the stress relief.

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licks2 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Bouy what lengths we go to when we just want to act stupid and dumb!! You really don't know what "oxymoron" means aye? Go read that "ting" you wrote up there and ya ger see the definition of oxymoronic reasoning!! Now don't get bent out of shape and think that I am calling you "ill name" . . . you are simply rowing against one reasoning point then advocating for the same point as you conclude!! Its is a syllogistic fallacy to reason as such. . .like having ya cake and eating it too!!

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Bobsyeruncle 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Wah-Wah-Wah. Now you guys are starting to sound like the whiny Americans who couldn't go to the beach over the 4th of July. People, the beaches will still be there next week, and the week after that, and Independence Day will come around again next year For those of you who work Mon-Fri, that's 5 days you can't go to the beach. Do you complain to your employers about that? Get over it!! It's only 3-4 days, and it might help save someone's life.

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Dawes 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Is the man saying that we are unable to stop all these old diseases if the beaches are open this weekend? If so he is admitting a gross failure in his leadership. Back in march we were told they needed to shutdown to halt the first wave and also to prepare so our health facilities were ready when the next wave came. now he is admitting he did no preparation. Useless Minnis strikes again. But at least he won't shut us down again, as he said he only needs these 3 days and all is good, and all will be healed.

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licks2 4 months, 4 weeks ago

There is nothing so sorrowful as an argument bent of "trying" to prove another person so wrong that the only "sorry sight" is the one attempting to reason with one "intellectual eye" closed!!

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Chucky 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Open the boarder for tourism and lock down the masses and close beaches.

These actions have nothing to do with Covid 19

Something far more troubling is going.

Minnis needs to step down now. That, or I think the people soon rise up and physically remove him. Bahamians don’t take nobody treat them like a fool yah know

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licks2 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Yea. . .I agree there is something sinister going on. . .it is in ya head dude and leaking outta ya mouth!!. . .or should I say ya fingers!!!!! We took the mob style rule of the PLP for years. . .then we gave them a slap last election. . .killed them dead! Don't you worry there Oga. . .if he gets like Perry Christie or Mr. Davis. . ."slap!!!". . .he getting his too come 2022!! Don't forget. . .the voters them even put a slap on Papa when he "smell he sef". . . and they liked Papa! Awha!!

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joeblow 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Personally, I feel sorry for him. It is obvious that he has no grasp of the magnitude of his lack of deductive reasoning skills! Nor does he see that lack makes him unfit to make decisions on behalf of the nation. Added to the confusion is his inability to effective communicate anything in a rational way. Sad mental state this man is in! He is unfit to lead, but so are the immediate choices that come to mind. What a time!

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ISpeakFacts 4 months, 4 weeks ago

So we're stuck with either Dictator "Idiot" Minnis, Dr "Wicked" Sands, Gravy Train Davis, or Corrupt Cooper... DEAR LORD HELP US ALL!!!

I've said it time and time again... This country is doomed!!!! We need young people in office who have an A+ education, we can't take any more old heads in office who have been brought up with a D- education and only know corruption!!! Too bad the U.S is taking away all of our smart young people because they too know that they have no future in this country with a stubborn and corrupt government!!!

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licks2 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Hahahahahahahahahaha. . . you can lie now!! You even een blinking. . .straight up hateful slim ball nonsense. . .except about he don't communicate too well. . .that part is true for real!! Why you talking like Doc making them decisions by himself. . .you know that een no true!! Wink!!

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tribanon 4 months, 4 weeks ago

This nasty, arrogant and most incompetent SOB is a shining example of a mental basket case if ever there was one. He remains absolutely clueless and directionless, and has spent the past several months doing nothing but copying whatever he decides to cherry pick from the failed measures that have left the US ablaze in the worst kind of Covid-19 community spread the world has seen thus far. Minnis has always been most unfit to lead. He should now do the honourable thing and resign from his posts as PM and minister of health before he destroys all of us with his arbitrary, silly and ridiculous executive orders that only serve the immense needs of his megalomaniacal and narcissistic personality. Now more than ever, we desperately need competent and visionary leadership that we can trust.

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 3 weeks ago

You know back in June 2017 I was very confused. I had had such high hopes when the FNM came into office. They were gonna right the wrongs, victimization would end, regular people would have a chance to benefit from govt contracts on the basis of merit, there'd be a huge focus on innovation. By July I was stumped. Nothing was happening.

Then they started using this word "bold". And I got it, I said to a friend he's mimicking Trump. He's started campaigning, playing up to the unsophisticated voter with emotive nonsense because it's the only thing he knows how to do.

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DWW 4 months, 3 weeks ago

so true. although i was never confused. i had hopes but little faith that anything would change. it never does. things will change when the public service itself is changed. that must occur from the inside out as they are appointed not elected.

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moncurcool 4 months, 4 weeks ago

It's the petroleum infested water that he would swim in as a boy that is affecting his decision making.

However, where are the points on Sands and Symonette?

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tribanon 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Many many others, even Sands and Symonette, would make a much better leader than the mentally dysfunctional Minnis. We desperately need to free ourselves from Minnis asap. And if the organisational apparatus of the FNM party stands in the way than we need to rid ourselves of that political party forevermore as the vast majority of Bahamian voters have done with the PLP. Most of us will never again support the PLP party and if officials of the FNM party want the same thing to happen to them by continuing to support Minnis, then so be it. Enough is enough!

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bahamianson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Boy , with friends like you all, whom needs enemies. LOL.

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thps 4 months, 4 weeks ago

You're the most honest with your friends!

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The most striking thing I found about all of this was Dr Minnis as Minister of Health and his ramblings vs Sands the back bencher who cites research to back his measured speech. And this is not to say that Sands is always right, his approach to issues is what I appreciate.

Will point out one more time that Sands and Symonette as back benchers are the most imminent threat to Minnis. Minnis cant touch Symonette if he does, all the FNM money dry up. And Symonette like Sands

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licks2 4 months, 4 weeks ago

What did Sands said that made sense?? The only thing made any "in road" with me was Symonette asking about what message closing the beach will send to the world when tourist are being told that beaches are closed!! The same message that the rest of the world's "opened" countries will send after they re-closed beaches certain days to prevent an "over influx" period from re-infecting people!! I watch even the editor of the tribune "talking fally" this morning about why close the beaches them down!! Chile even me out here is beginning to ask what these people them "driving at". . .a blind person can see they are not making sense!! Perhaps Minnis een making sense either. . .like they say! But given the state of the world and covid. . .he sure is following good common sense it seem to the masses!! Trump did not and now he pulled down his nation with his childish actions. Them odds are too big a blatant for the "three blind people" to make much sense. . .yet they persist to do so!!

We can see they are "fighting" in their party. . .like they all ways do!! But please Mr. Symonette, Sands and Tribune editor. . .give us a break. . .drop the charade already!!

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 4 weeks ago

well the part citing a medical study rating various environments on their liklihood of becoming covid hotbeds was pretty interesting.

That's something DR Minnis could have used as part of his systematic research (as Health Minister, you know using his scientific method) on measures to take if any after learning of 2 covid cases.

Looks like is just you Minnis, Carl and Lanisha out on the limb together. Unless you is Lanisha.

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proudloudandfnm 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Common sense? Opening our borders to the US?

You mussee crazy.....

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TalRussell 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Trust me even though advocating for unrestricted popoulaces and visitor Beach Access has long been a benchmark for my posts - still whilst I've long suspected the trio team once swore loyalty to comrade sister Loretta, of Brent, Dr. Duane and Carl Wilshire would eventually lead the revolt against Mr. Minnis, I never would've thought Beachgate would result in Mr. Minnis's, OPM's undoing. Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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licks2 4 months, 4 weeks ago

"All fun and jokes aside" the Bahamian would say. . .like Minnis or not. . .but yinna really think that the closing of the beaches over this long holiday is a mistake? Well I gat another "think" for yinna. . .the biggest buncha party people I know agree that "HAVE TO SHUT THE BEACHES THEM DOWN". . . they believe if not we are most likely to have a resurgence like the rest of those places that ignored warning about too many people on beaches triggering an outbreak of covid again!! I think yinna FNM have "something else" going on in yinna party. . .fine and good! But don't try to take us for "sheep" them ya hear! For the editor I would say. . .your calling is higher than them shifty tail politicians. . .don't try to talk fool with us. . .plenty people look to your paper for fair and balance!!

Now please don't ask me no stupid question like: "they said that we are in the clear". . .or some dumb stuff like that. Yall know that covid is still here. . .we just contained the spread. . .which can re-start in a Bains Town minute. . .so don't waste my time by running on with paint drying nonsense questions. Gway. . .

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tribanon 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Get real. The impending serious increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations in the Bahamas will be attributable to Minnis and D'Aguilar pre-maturely re-opening our borders for a few tourist dollars and not to Bahamians going to the beach over the Independence Day holiday weekend. Even our major hotel complexes like Atlantis and Baha Mar decided not to risk re-opening to business at a time when most of the US is in an uncontrollable state of Covid-19 community spread, with all of Florida's metropolitan centres being major hot spots.

Minnis and D'Aguilar have foolishly imperiled the lives of the elderly among us and those with underlying medical conditions who are the most vulnerable to the highly transmissable and deadly Covid-19 virus.

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Shutting down is a LAST resort method. It's the hammer. It's something you do to combat an out of control spread.

Minnis heard "2cases" and he shut the beaches down, Intuitively, people said, but why are the restaurants and churches still open? On top of that Dr Sands provides a scientific study to back up the people's intuition.

What Dr Minnis has done makes no sense. They been using "people on the beach" and "cars on the road" from day one. "look how many of y'all out here". Well all of us was out here for weeks with no spread. Open the borders and within 1 week 2 cases. Anyone with a brain could tell where the danger is.

You know what Id do? Id grab some of those people off the plane and submit them to random sampling. Set a goal of testing X number of visitors per day with each flight having at least one person tested.

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I didn't agree with the July opening but now that you are opened, shutting down every holiday can't be the action plan. Please people dont ever elect another dim person to lead us.

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DWW 4 months, 3 weeks ago

The virus was never going away. no one ever said it would. We can either stick our heads in the sand for the next 3-5 years or we can deal with it and get moving on. take your pick. It is literally a situation of Live Fee and Die or is it Live Free or Die? can't remember. My personal viewpoint is that we should allow darwinism to play out. the simple folk will gather and catch the virus and the strong ones will survive and gain herd immunity. the smarter folks will be aware and protect themselves as best as they can with masks and limiting their exposure. the really smart ones with oodles of money will hole up in a safe compound and never come out for the next 3-5 years until the debacle is over.

One cannot legislate a virus. hear that Minnus et.al. the virus don't care about laws of man. trying to do so is akin lifting a bucket while standing in it.

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licks2 4 months, 3 weeks ago

As usual. . .all over the place with plenty platitudes based on whom ya like or hate!! I don't think I will waste any more time with yinna. . .stupidity seem to run too deep in this crowd!! I think I am going to try "sneg" on one beach. . . .(Maybe some of yall can provide that information without mixing ya personal feelings with concrete facts). . .without doc and the police them locking me up!! Carry on smartly yinna hear. . .too many yard chickens thinking around here!! Any of yinna know a beach that I can "sneg" on and get away with it??

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proudloudandfnm 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Beaches closed. 4 new cases.

Our PM is a moron...

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