Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday accused Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis of letting the power of being the competent authority “get to his head” and suggested that the beaches be policed rather than closed for the upcoming holiday weekend.
During his monthly press briefing at PLP Headquarters, Davis questioned Minnis’ motivation for closing beaches on Grand Bahama, New Providence and Paradise Island for the Independence Day holiday weekend from 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 9 to 5 a.m. on Monday, July 13.
“It doesn’t seem to be based on any scientific or medical advice,” Davis said. “Because the beaches are open now. Why can’t they be open over the weekend? Yes, you may have concerns about persons gathering, but I would have thought the answer to that would have been just to ensure that the beaches are policed.”
Davis said he believes it would have made more sense for police to be stationed at the public beaches to ensure social distancing and that only family members gathered in clusters.
On Monday night, before the House of Assembly suspended, Minnis gave notice of a resolution to extend the state of emergency and announced the closure of parks and beaches after he said the government was taking note of the surging number of COVID-19 cases in American states like Florida and Arizona.
Davis has repeatedly hit out at the prime minister for appearing to enjoy the power of being the competent authority.
The PLP leader doubled down on that accusation yesterday, saying “he’s not only excited, but I think he’s becoming overwhelmed by the fact that he can do things, as he’s doing without accounting to anyone”.
“I think it’s gone to his head now. The closing down of beaches for this weekend speaks to that,” he said.
Last month, when he announced the reopening of beaches, Minnis urged residents to follow social distancing protocols and advised that their response would determine whether beaches remain open for the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend.
The Bahamas has had 104 confirmed COVID-19 cases and has not had a new case since June 14.