NATURE abhors a vacuum. So once said the philosopher Aristotle – and just as it is true in physics, so it is true that human nature also abhors a vacuum.
Why did Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis decide not to allow Exuma, Eleuthera and San Salvador to resume commercial activities?
It’s a simple question – but one for which we have been provided no answer.
Cat Island, Long Island, Abaco and Andros had restrictions eased on Sunday. In each of those, there have been no cases of COVID-19, so lifting the restrictions makes sense if the islands are virus-free, but no cases have been diagnosed in Exuma, Eleuthera and San Salvador either.
Indeed, Dr Minnis took time out to criticise Eleuthera residents for a motorcade that took place there. Was this the reason the whole island – despite no confirmed cases – didn’t have restrictions lifted? Is it because some of these islands have PLP MPs as their representatives? We don’t know. Dr Minnis didn’t say.
It certainly would have been a question asked by reporters had Dr Minnis taken questions at his national address. He did not, and he has not been present to answer questions at the previous Ministry of Health press conferences since the resignation of Dr Duane Sands as minister.
Human nature abhors a vacuum – so with no explanation for such actions, people speculate. Indeed, without explanation, the Opposition are free to tell people whatever they think might be the reasons. Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper accused Dr Minnis of acting like a dictator, and said he wasn’t explaining the “nonsensical decisions he is making to the people whom he serves”.
The Tribune sought answers from health officials – but as we went to press, there was still no response.
Speculation rather than definite answers serves no one. Indeed, to turn to another quote, by Jonathan Swift, falsehood flies and truth comes limping after it.
Dr Minnis has spoken a number of times through this crisis of the importance of avoiding fake news – so why create the environment in which fake news will thrive?
Don’t leave people in the dark – or they’ll go looking for illumination elsewhere.
Game about Bethel’s future is over
The long drawn-out game over the future of Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Tellis Bethel is at an end.
Acting Commodore Raymond King will take command formally on Thursday.
This change has been on the cards of course for some time – even if National Security Minister Marvin Dames kept saying Commodore Bethel was simply on leave.
Commodore Bethel has been on leave since October – just last week, Mr Dames said he was still on leave for a few weeks.
We sincerely doubt that Commodore Bethel was last Thursday reported to be on leave for a few weeks and suddenly everything has been resolved and the new Commodore King will take over this Thursday in a military ceremony.
Commodore Bethel’s scheduled three-month leave ended back in January – but there was no sign of his return. Having seen what happened with a number of police officers shunted off on leave and returning to find themselves reassigned or retiring, it comes as no surprise that Commodore Bethel is not returning.
Each time we were told he was still on leave, we expected this was where we would end up – and we’ll expect the same next time Mr Dames says an officer is simply on leave.
We thank Commodore Bethel for his service. He has led the force since 2015, helping in the wake of disasters such as Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew, and working to secure the borders against illegal migration and drug smuggling. It has been no easy task, and we thank him for all he has done.
Regardless of the manner of the change, however, we of course wish incoming Commodore King luck in his full role. We all face tough times ahead – may he and his force rise to the challenges to come.