Dr. Hilaire says PM playing Russian roulette with Saint Lucians’ lives

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Dr. Hilaire says PM playing Russian roulette with Saint Lucians’ lives
Dr. Hilaire (file photo)

Below is a full statement from the Opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party’s Parliamentary Representative for Castries South, Dr. Ernest Hilaire. The statement was posted on his Facebook page on Thursday, April 16, 2020.

We are all familiar with the game of Russian roulette. It is probably the highest stakes game you can ever play. A bullet is placed in the cylinder of a revolver, closed and spun. A bet is made and the revolver is placed to the head. No one knows if the bullet is lined up. The trigger is pressed. You are either dead or you win. And you win big.

Pardon my analogy but I have been thinking about the decision by the Cabinet of Ministers to commence phasing the reopening of our economy. I witnessed the scenes, saw photos and videos of Saint Lucians out and about for the last couple of days.

This carefree attitude was no doubt fueled by the Prime Minister’s contradictory attitude in his last television broadcast. The CMO was very clear to me. I understood her to be saying that we are still in a critical stage that we should not drop our guard, we are still under threat and we need to continue the fight against the virus. The Prime Minister seemed on a completely different trajectory.

I understood him to be saying that he has seen the information from the Ministry and that it is time to start returning to normal beginning with the reopening of hardware and household supplies stores. Forget the usual cynicism of Saint Lucians when he mentioned S&S, after all, they had just donated $100,000 to front-line workers.

The PM went on to say that a Committee would be set up to oversee the phased re-opening of our economy. I sat thinking did we not learn anything from our experiences over the last few days. I posted on my page that we had started the reopening. Nothing more. I knew what was to follow. I know my Saint Lucian people.

We all agree that we cannot sit in the economic doldrums ad infinitum. The economy will be depressed too badly. No one wants that and certainly not political aspirants patiently waiting for this uninvited crisis to end. We need to plan for the reopening but surely it cannot be at the risk of lives, Saint Lucian lives.

The entire world is anxious to return to normal and we watch and listen to debates on just when will be appropriate, and most importantly, safe to do so. Leaders are being begged to err on the side of caution. Experts are warning that premature reopening and lessening of strict controls are risky and a possible resurgence of coronavirus can be more deadly. In the US, governors across the US are emphasizing that science, not politics should determine when to reopen the economy. PAHO is warning that the worse is yet to come for the Caribbean.

What is the science telling us about the situation in Saint Lucia? We heard the latest reports about how many persons have recovered etc but is anyone telling us how many persons are being tested? How many persons are reporting to the respiratory clinics? How are we flushing out persons who are NOT reporting to clinics because their symptoms are mild? Maybe someone is analysing such data and I expect it to be the health officials. Which is why the words of the CMO ring in my head that we are still at a critical stage. Not that of the Prime Minister who seemed driven more by a desire to gamble, to take chances.

So the Cabinet of Ministers have decided to start reopening the economy. It can be an empty chamber and it pays off for the Government. But what if it is the loaded chamber. Boom! Death.

Why play Russian roulette with our lives? Someone, please tell me.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. While it is very very difficult to not see this as another political back and forth, he mentioned a concern that only very few people are asking or even curious about...how much of the population have been tested? It is great to hear all positive news that theres not been any new case in 10 days or that all of the 15 patients have recovered but how can one make a sound judgement when there isnt a point of basis. Last I heard the lab just received whatever component was missing to continue local testing. But when this first hit, one of the Government’s solutions was to have local lab testing for Covid 19. After 2-3 weeks from announcement, the lab was functional and lab techs were trained and then they were reporting how many tests were submitted to the lab and the results. But after they ran out of that component to even now that they have it on island, no clear report as to the lab’s functionality, # of tests done and results. Who doesnt like good news? But we have to be logical and not let our fear just only have ears for the good news. Anytime you visit a doctor when you are sick, its always way better when they can give you a diagnosis and a treatment plan. You cant be happy that only your symptoms are being treated when all the while the cancer have been eating you inside.

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  2. There should be a time for politics and certainly this pandemic is not about color. Race. Nationality, its should be about one ness but this social distancing that we have to adhere to is compulsory, however in my opinion all the heads of government should be trying to exchange views and work as one my humble opinion, especially bringing home the stranded seafarers

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  3. Well I see everyone here is of sound mind, my sentiments have been expeessed. Great job m people, hilaire try again

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  4. You six are as crazy as a rat on a tin roof house. Now that the shoe is on the other foot every second is a problem. Well listen step aside and let a real Prime Minister do his job if you all SLP was in power there would of been many lost lives thank God you all have no say. To the UWP Government I say thank you for giving it your best to keep our St.Lucia safe from that crazy virus. To all those who refuse to obey the law of the land that's their problem there will always be idiots running amok. Hilaire and company relax,the country is in good hands we are blessed and take note that the SLP party will be in opposition for a very very long time.

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  5. Chupse. You'll have you lecturer, you'll architect, you'll services sector lady and you'll lawyer on FB criticizing the government every move from scale down to lockdown to God knows what and you come out singing another song in public to fool the people.

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  6. I'm in agreement. This man n party is so hungry to be in power that they would do anything. I want to congratulate the PM for his efforts in fighting this virus. The labour party must understand he is doing what is necessary to curb crime n at the same time allow the people some freedom. The slp should at least ensure that their side of the fence understands that. I wonder if he has seen what is happening in other countries when it comes to lock down. Staying home is one thing but listening to power hungry politicians fight for power in such a situation disgusts me. I will never vote for such a party.. Never. Such arrogance.

    He is talking about testing n all that..I want to know if he has been tested. Chastenet is a humble PM n I'm proud of all he has done especially under such pressure. It is clear to see the slp does not care about us.. This too shall pass n we all will learn something from it.

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  7. I have one question for SLP and their cronies....how about UWP hand over the affairs of the country onto superb thoughts and guidance?...and as soon everything is yield and over please hand back over to the UWP...y'all seem to have the answer for everything whilst in opposition.

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