NewsThe Chair of the National Covid-19 Management Center (NCMC) Calls for an Apology From SNO

St. Lucia News OnlineMay 25, 202227554 min

Cletus Springer, the Chair of NCMC, has taken SNO to task for allegedly misrepresenting his Facebook comment, by suggesting he had a problem explaining government decisions regarding Covid-19 protocol changes. While the SNO Article explained Springer’s understanding of the processes, responsibilities and structure of the NCMC, which he did correctly, it did not leave the impression that he, Springer, was really in the dark about Cabinet’s decisions regarding Covid-19 Protocol changes.

In fairness to Mr. Springer, SNO has decided to carry his response to provide some clarity regarding any misunderstandings, which may have arisen on account of differences in interpretation of his earlier Facebook comments.

Here is Mr. Springer’s response:

Dear Editor: This is the third time in as many weeks that I have had to seek an apology for something that I’m reported to have said that I never said.

At no point in my piece did Cletus Springer say “he has a problem not being able to explain how the government arrives at decisions regarding COVID-19 protocols…” This claim is demonstrably false. And I can only conclude that its intent to foment discord between me and the Government.

As a trained journalist and one who free-lanced for many years, I consider it a most egregious breech of journalistic ethics when one is quoted as saying something he did not say. As a Chair of the NCMC, I am bound by the principles of collective responsibility to support and share the rationale for Cabinet decisions on Covid-19. I made clear in my piece my understanding of the reasons for Cabinet’s decision. And I gave a factual account of the reasons as I understood them from my participation in the meeting between the PM and the delegation representing the restaurant sector. My account was earlier corroborated by the Minister of Health in his statement announcing the protocols. It’s disappointing when the very transparency that I preached and practiced with my statement has been twisted in this manner. Given that it is impossible for you to prove that I admitted to having “…a problem not being able to explain how Cabinet arrives at its decisions regarding Covid-19 protocols” I expect to receive from you with 24 hours, a FULL AND UNRESERVED APOLOGY, failing which I will have to employ other legal means of securing redress. I expect to receive a copy of this apology at the email address provided with this comment.

St. Lucia News Online

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