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We Did Our Best - Now Trust Us: Minnis Defends Handling Of Crisis As Dahl-Regis To Advise On Vaccinations

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis last night defended his government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis - and announced that Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis will chair a consultative committee to advise the Ministry of Health on a vaccination plan.

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Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis

In a speech highlighting plans and touting how the government has handled the COVID-19 crisis, Dr Minnis said the committee “will report at the appropriate time on the rollout of a vaccine in The Bahamas”.

Some on social media criticised the address, however, noting the nation’s leader said nothing specific about when COVID-19 restrictions will be further relaxed or the way forward in the pandemic.

While telling a story about a grandmother who said she cannot wait for the pandemic to be over, Dr Minnis also said COVID-19 “restrictions will end” at some point, but did not elaborate.

“Thankfully, because there are now successful vaccines for COVID-19, our country, and our economy, are set to reopen more fully in the months ahead,” he said.

“I say to that grandmother, and to all Bahamians: The end is in sight! Restrictions will end! We will get back to our way of life! Jobs and the economy are coming back!

“Last month, some hotel workers returned to their jobs. But we still have a few more months to go, especially as the pandemic continues to rage, in countries all around us.”

Dr Minnis cautioned that the crisis is not over.

“It is possible that cases will rise again before vaccines arrive,” he said. “If this happens, as a government and people, we will have to return to some of the measures that worked to beat back previous waves.

“Through our experience during the pandemic year, we now know the formula that works. Tough times do not scare us. Difficult circumstances do not break our resolve.”

Dr Minnis said $177 million was spent through the end of October 2020 in response to COVID-19.

“To help support businesses and workers, we offered $44.4 million in tax credit/tax deferrals which funded the payrolls for nearly 7,000 private sector employees.

“To protect nearly 4,500 jobs in the small business sector, $47.3 million was made available for small business grants and continuity loans, through the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre.

“The government provided $45.5 million in unemployment support, administered by the National Insurance Board. This included the extension of NIB’s existing benefit programmes, as well as support for Bahamians in the hospitality sector and self-employed individuals. This has been the largest distribution of unemployment benefits in Bahamian history.”

Dr Minnis said between March and October 2020, $17.2 million was spent on food support, providing food for about 100,000 people.

He added that in New Providence, $9 million has been spent improving Princess Margaret Hospital and areas of Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre while in Grand Bahama, $21 million has been allocated for a phased redevelopment of Rand Memorial Hospital.

Dr Minnis said the government is in the process of buying 5,000 tablets for students in junior high schools.

“All students and teachers on the Family Island communities were provided with devices for the new school year: Mayaguana, Inagua, Acklins, Crooked Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Cat Island, and on Andros, for the communities of Congo Town and Mangrove Cay.”

Comments

joeblow 1 week ago

Translation: "we kapunkle tings up before, we still kapunkalin' tings up and you can trust us to kapunkle tings up in the future--- but we doin' our best".

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KapunkleUp 1 week ago

For the record, I object to your use of that word!

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happyfly 1 week ago

He's being kapunckl'ist

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bahamianson 1 week ago

trust us to allow 21,000 people to be in Nassau/Bahamas whom haven't taken their 5 day antigen test. Imagine these people taking their RT Test on the 4th day before visiting/returning partying on the 3rd,2nd, and last night in Florida and now still travelling to The Bahamas. As far as we know, they are negative. To avoid maximum slip ups, they now have to take the 5 day Antigen test. However , we have 21,000 people whom didn't do that. It is luck not what you and your administration did that prevents us from another wave. You then will come back and lock us down for these irresponsible people. Do your job and fine them the $1000 or 1 month in jail. Social Services would love the extra cash.

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bahamianson 1 week ago

In Florida, if you have an allergic reaction to the vaccine and it hospitalizes you, you can be compensated up to $50,000. If you die, you get somewhere around $375,000. It must be proved that your illness or death was a result of the vaccine. Do we have that here? Will people whom are hospitalized or die from the vaccine be compensated or is it " Dog Eat Your lunch?'

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KapunkleUp 1 week ago

"Trust us"... sounds like a used car salesman trying to unload his special deal of the month 1975 Pinto.

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tribanon 1 week ago

Try as he may, this corrupt, arrogant, nasty and vindictive bozo cannot re-write the history of his abysmal performance since May 2017. He has virtually single-handedly destroyed what little was left of our economy as a result of his gross incompetence in handling both the Dorian crisis and then the COVID-19 crisis. It's all only too fresh in the minds of many Bahamians.

And to think this clown truly believes he and his leadership skills are God's gift to the vast majority of Bahamians who are suffering like they have never suffered before under his failed leadership. What a joke!

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whatsup 1 week ago

WHY DOES HE STILL HAVE EMERGENCY POWERS?

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happyfly 1 week ago

Exactly. A politician saying the word "trust" is the kiss of death.....

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John 1 week ago

Barbados has 3/4 the population of the Bahamas but has only 968 corona cases compared to some 8,000 cases in The Bahamas. And their corona deaths are in single digits, compared to some 180 here in The Bahamas. That being said, this country was successful if flattening it’s Corona curve and as it moves further away from the holidays with increased travel to the US and the period of increased visitors traveling to this country and failing to take the requisite corona tests, the numbers of cases will definitely determine if the flattened curve or reduced numbers of corona cases (and deaths) has been maintained. Then there is the worrisome cases of the Corona virus in San Salvador as well as reports of a nee strain surfacing in the Western part of New Providence. So yes agreeing with the prime minister, they did their best, it was a long hard and tough and fiercely fought battle. But it ain’t over yet. March/April will say with som certainly that Corona has left our shores for good and is disappearing forever off the surface of the earth. And it may be deep into summer before some countries can see the results that are being seen here. Personally my belief is the vaccine is not a factor in the virus disappearing.

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John 1 week ago

PS: with barely 1 1/2 years before elections, my opinion is Many or most Bahamians have more trust in Minnis as leader of the country than any of the other potential leaders on the current political horizon.

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tetelestai 1 week ago

Baloney. If Minnis calls an election today, then he would lose - badly! Like 1992/2017 loss.

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FrustratedBusinessman 1 week ago

To be replaced with who, Davis? Whether we like it or not, Minnis is the only sensible option on the ballot right now (which speaks volumes about the situation that our country faces).

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FrustratedBusinessman 1 week ago

Lol. No, I'm not Minnis. I understand the frustration and desire to get rid of him, but it is a legitimate question to ask who are we going to replace him with. Someone has to be Prime Minister (quite unfortunately).

I would agree with your prediction of a 1992/2017-esque landslide if the PLP didn't have Davis as leader. Literally anyone else, and they would be looking at around 30 seats +/-. With Davis being in charge though, there is still to much uncertainty IMO. The PLP didn't learn anything from the mistakes of 2007, and they sure haven't learned anything from 2017.

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ThisIsOurs 1 week ago

You assume that people have to chose anybody. Remember the illegal gambling vote? 20,000 showed up. It would be a mistake to count on people "not" choosing the PLP.

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TalRussell 1 week ago

Mr. Minnis said that he's pleased to report that his handling of all things and matters a COVID-19 related was to appoint one comrade sister who will chair a Consultative committee to advise the Ministry of Health aka the OPM on a what vaccination plan are you talkin about, Mr. Minnis...with the comrade brother deputy director of health Consultant was by his authority allowed be reassigned to Washington, be's working of the colony's embassy's basement on his computer wearing his jammies. The third was given confidence by his appointment Renward aka the PLP's $650,000 Letter of Intent, to be his minister of health.
Did I forget to mention that along the COVID way, Mr Minnis had time to pen a note to the Queen, asking Her Majesty to use her royal sword to bestow a special royal honour on the chest one of my
consultive** appoints?
Shakehead a quick once for upyeahvote cannot just be making such nonsense up. Shake twice for not?

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John 1 week ago

One Day the Good Lord will send an interpreter to tell us exactly what Tal russel has been saying over the years. Or maybe its just food for the birds or messages for aliens who visit this planet from time to time.

Upvote0

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TalRussell 1 week ago

My Comrade John, your words only serves to fuel Mr. Mnnis's, aloof arrogance.
Obviously, you've been feeling sufficiently financially comfortable not to have been dreading each hour the past 318 days of dealing with the killer COVID. Over same past 318 days, witnessing firsthand how many thousands of families have struggled to keep pace with remaining within the colony's middle classes. Lives have been destroyed by the death of love-ones, and the loss of paycheques and medical benefits. I shall leave it you, whether Choose to 'Respect' the struggles thousands We 242 POAL!'** I promise to pray for you!

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John 1 week ago

I guess you favor the Donald Trump style if battling the corona pandemic

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whatsup 1 week ago

THIS COUNTRY AND PEOPLE ARE F*CKED AND HE WILL NEVER LET GO OF THAT EMERGENCYPOWERS. WHY DO WE EVEN NEED CURFEW?

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TalRussell 1 week ago

My Comrade Whatsup, you can choose to ignore the curfews but be warned, COVID, will not ignore you. We shouldn't have to wait for some government authority to mandate social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing our hands, and be told to restrict our own movements about here and there. COVID is prepping KILL, even many more POAL!

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Topdude 1 week ago

I am driven to tears when I read these critical comments about our Prime Minister and his ongoing attempts to transform our nation. I then recognize that most of the individuals who write these comments are envious and jealous people who do not have any value to add to our nation’s development.

These individuals prefer to criticize everyone, everything and anything that is associated with the Government of the FNM. I wonder if these individuals are able to compare the performance of the FNM with that of the last PLP Government? If they are honest they will find a number of significant differences. I will share a few with the hope that this constant criticism of our leader will cease forthwith:

  1. Dr. Minnis did not enter the political arena to make money. His professional earnings are enough to make him a wealthy person.

  2. Dr. Minnis does not speak out of both sides of his mouth. He is straight forward, honest and tells the truth.

  3. Dr. Minnis has never scammed anyone out of a penny. This is something we cannot say about his PLP equivalent.

  4. Dr. Minnis continues to build bridges across the political divide.

These are just a few qualities that clearly show we can trust him and believe him and have no fear that he is working to fill his pocket and those of his acolytes. This is something we cannot say about Brave Davis. And Perry Christie.

The choice is clear. Please join him and join us and let us make the Bahamas the outstanding nation it is set to become. Have no fear our Prime Minister is here.

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tribanon 1 week ago

What a bunch of malarkey.

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ThisIsOurs 6 days, 23 hours ago

Donald Trump is wealthier than Minnis. That hasnt stopped him from using the white house to increase his wealth. The accounts are astounding. Renting a ballroom at a Trump hotel for 35 times the normal reservation rate.

So don't sleep on all rich people being satisfied with "enough"

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John 1 week ago

My opinion is the current 10:00 pm curfew has more to do with combating or curbing crime than with the corona battle. After all most all and every business is closed by 9:00 pm so why should tge 10:00 pm curfew be such a burden? Especially since most of the hotels are still closed and those that did venture to reopen in December have now scaled back their operations. But the surge in crime, murders and armed robberies especially, continues as if to set new records. It now appears that except anything short of a miracle, Marvin Dames will not fulfill his campaign promise to curb crime, especially murders. And this is despite having one of the most lucrative budgets in recent history if not if all time, in addition to having almost a year when the country was under some type of lockdown and/or curfew. And this is never to portray the police as being lazy or not dedicated but apparently the approach to the culture or murders and violent crime has to be revisited. With murders, especially, maybe the police are tragedy too many blows to the body and not to the head. What is the motive for the majority of murders happening in the country. New Providence and, to some extent, Grand Bahama. To give an insight: a young man said when he was in school, when he was on the bus or even on school property, he would be approached by other students or outsiders who would ask ‘who you riding wit?’ Meaning ‘which gang are you a member of’. If he gave the wrong answer ( not the same gang as his predators, he would be robbed and beaten. If he said he wasn’t ’riding with no one’ he would still be ‘tapped up’ and told to ‘get protection.’ Some guys quit school to avoid this constant harassment and others joined gangs to ‘get protection’. Some got involved in gang banging and others lost their lives just because they were affiliated with a gang that was ‘warring’ with another gang. The point here is that not all young men want to become gang members or be involved with gang banging. But at some point they do joint a gang due to pure (and peer) pressure not knowing that later on it will become a life and death decision. How can the authorities intervene from the stage of young men being pressured even in junior high school?

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