Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis said yesterday that in the face of challenges like climate change and pandemics, the Minnis administration has a leadership deficit.
“You are going to hear a lot about fiscal deficits in the coming weeks,” Davis said.
“But, what I see is a leadership deficit. A strong leader would tell you the same old same old isn’t going to work for us.
“Instead, we have the prime minister telling people yet again they’re going to have to sacrifice.
“[T]he Bahamian people have sacrificed, they are sacrificing right now, they are continually sacrificing.
“And somehow, under this government, it is always the middle class and the poor who are asked to make the biggest sacrifices.
“That’s because along with its leadership deficit, this government has a vision deficit and a compassion deficit too.”
As he reflected on the devastation of recent hurricanes and the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Davis said the challenges faced by The Bahamas require creative thinking from the government. However, he accused the Minnis administration of falling apart in the face of the pandemic.
“Bahamians are strong and resilient,” he said.
“Just look at the creative ways people are finding to help each other through this crisis. Look at our nurses and doctors risking their own health to take care of ours.
“The Bahamian people deserve a government at least as strong and capable as they are.
“We need to bring people together to solve our toughest problems.
“Yet, right now, we have a government that can’t even cooperate with itself.
“This misstepping, backtracking, fumbling government has been something to behold – division and dysfunction when we need coherence and competence.
“People want policies that are based on science and common sense – instead, everyone’s worrying that decisions are being driven by politics and inside access.”
Shortly after The Bahamas recorded its first case of the novel coronavirus in March, the government moved quickly to slow the spread of the virus. A state of emergency was declared, non-essential businesses were ordered closed, a curfew was imposed and social distancing measures were implemented.
Thousands of Bahamians were laid off almost overnight.
As he addressed the World Health Assembly earlier this week, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said COVID-19 “destroyed” the Bahamian economy.
In addition to the economic impact, the pandemic has also caused disruption in Minnis’ Cabinet. Former Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands resigned earlier this month over his involvement in an incident where six permanent residents were allowed to enter The Bahamas and isolate at home, while the borders remained closed to Bahamian citizens.
Minnis took over the health portfolio in the midst of the pandemic.
There were 97 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas yesterday.
Eleven people have died and 44 have recovered so far.