Editorial: Where Is The Leader When He’S Needed?

WHAT a difference a week makes.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis gave his national address and, barring his note that a statement would be coming from his Health Minister the next day on the issue of the border breach, projected a sense of calm and that matters were under control.

Yesterday’s press conference was anything but a continuation of that.

Let’s start with what was missing: Dr Minnis.

Having taken on the duties of the health portfolio after accepting Health Minister Dr Duane Sands’ resignation, Dr Minnis was conspicuous by his absence yesterday. No Minister of Health, no explanation of where he was. When asked directly by reporters where was Dr Minnis, they could not say.

Imagine, if you will, that things had gone differently in the past week. Imagine if Dr Minnis had allowed Dr Sands to continue in his post. One would imagine that press conference would have gone very differently.

Previously, it seemed that while we had our setbacks in the battle against COVID-19 there was a steady progression back towards normality. Yesterday, things seemed rudderless – as if charting a course with no one to set the direction.

Let’s talk about the other thing that was missing – a dozen people supposedly under quarantine.

We’re not sure how 12 people who are supposed to be staying indoors and are meant to be monitored can somehow disappear – but we are sure that not everything is being done to find them, no matter what might have been said in yesterday’s conference.

The penalty for breaking quarantine is up to five years in jail – and yet no police alert for these individuals has come the way of the press. No wanted posters. No appeals to the public to identify where these potential dangers to public health might be.

There was even a query raised by officials as to whether fictitious names were given by those individuals. How were more thorough checks not done? Are we not even sure of the identities of those in quarantine?

It’s a long way from how things seemed to be going a week ago. Certainly, if Dr Sands was still in his post, those dozen people might still be missing – but would the matter have been taken more seriously? Might there have been a stronger response? Rather than just seemingly shrugging it off. Dr Pearl McMillan even said that of all those who had been in quarantine, “12 of that number is not too bad”.

What’s the point of a quarantine if it isn’t being enforced. As we prepare to welcome home more Bahamians who will have to go into quarantine, how do we know they will be monitored any more stringently than those 12 missing people?

And now let’s talk about the final thing that was missing – an opportunity.

After the turbulence of this week, this was a chance for Dr Minnis to push the reset button. This was a chance to stand in front of the nation and assure them that despite the change at the top of the health ministry, there was no change in the progress being made. This was a chance to let the Bahamian people know that things were being taken care of, and that he was in charge.

Instead, he went missing. He wasn’t there to answer questions – which perhaps might have been his reason for not being there if there were questions he didn’t want to answer. He wasn’t there as a figurehead. He wasn’t there as a bridge to other organisations – such as the police to advise on what was being done to track down the missing dozen.

Perhaps this is one job too far. Perhaps this puts more on his plate than he can handle. Perhaps even now he might be asking what if Dr Sands was still in that post. Would it be too much to consider returning him to the post, if that is what the nation needs right now?

Despite the opening up of more parts of the country, this week has been a stumble for the government, and it needs to get back in its stride. Dr Minnis will presumably give another address on Sunday – likely without questions – but he can’t avoid giving answers forever.


truetruebahamian 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Sad, but being a boss doesn't make Minnis a leader! Just as Christie discovered!


TalRussell 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Now a second-time hightailed it when the heat got turned up a notch?
Please, the Tribune's Editor, give rerunning the 2017 red shirts party's leadership campaign up. Both your newspapers backed leadership contenders got badly beaten - in fact, didn't Loretta's handpicked deputy *hightail it on the sister to run to hide upstairs a hotel room's undisclosed location, unknown to comrade sister - once the voting time heat got turned up a notch by KP? Nod once for yeah, Twice for no?


sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 3 days ago

I just don't get this ………… What do Bahamians want from a PM/LEADER of a group of people who are just as ungrateful and slavish as the Israelites that Moses led out of Egypt??? …….. Imagine if Gravy Train Davis and Fweddy dem were in power at this time …….. We are hard to satisfy …….. Based on all that the FNM Government has to deal with since last September, they are doing a fine job at this time ................. I am really surprised at these comments by the Tribune Editor …….. Is she in cahoots with the Guardian editor and Candia???????




ISpeakFacts 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Majority of Abaco is still without power and running water, the 70+ bodies from Dorian are still locked in the trailer behind the Marsh Harbor clinic, Grand Bahama still doesn't have a proper hospital, hurricane season is one month away and if you think this is the definition of "a fine job" then your name fits you well, you are clearly a sheep and a crony of the nasty and greedy Hubert Minnis!!!


sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Where were you when hurricanes occurred under the PLP between 2012-2017??????? ………… Secondly, all the matters you noted are been attended to and well on the way to being solved …….. Thirdly, What did the PLP do with the $3 billion it borrowed between 2012 -2017 plus the VAT??? …….. #shingles


DonAnthony 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Seems like your only response is to say at least Mr. Minnis is not as bad as brave Davis. How about demanding that the PM do his job and duty and face the press and the Bahamian people instead of hiding? We all know the PLP are lousy but we expect and deserve better from Minnis.


sheeprunner12 3 weeks, 2 days ago

We have been so hoodwinked into this Maximum Leader mentality passed down from Pindling and his minions that we cannot appreciate a leader who is not of the same style. Minnis is not cut from the former PMs cloth …….. appreciate that.

The Covid19 Committee can and should do their job …… They are the science experts ……….. We don't need a Trump-like daily briefing from Minnis.


thomas 3 weeks, 2 days ago

We don't get daily briefings nor are we asking for them, but major events happening last week should have been addressed by either the PM or the Minister of Health.


Clamshell 3 weeks, 2 days ago

... you mean “Gravy” Davis. Nuttin’ brave about the guy.


birdiestrachan 3 weeks, 2 days ago

TRUTH the PLP is responsible for bringing the masses a mighty long way.

Even the FNM Papa has taken the Country backward. He sold BTC cheap and now they have to find foreign reserves to pay the owners in Jamaica I believe.

No average Bahamian can truly say they are better off under this FNM Government.

Reasons unknown but the FNM does not attract persons with vision.


Porcupine 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Does The Bahamas attract persons with vision? Or do they flee to somewhere else? The numbers and reality speak volumes.


DDK 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Give it up Birdie. If we have to bury the FNM, and we may, the PLP has, and aways will have, first dibs on the plot🤣


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