Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller yesterday commended the Minnis administration for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the government for the overall handling of this pandemic,” he said in the House of Assembly.
“It has been challenging sometimes, but I’ve committed myself to giving the government the full support in this effort and have done so.”
Miller, a previous Free National Movement (FNM) member, has been critical of the Minnis administration in the past.
He was fired as parliamentary secretary in 2018 after voting against the government’s decision to raise value-added tax from 7.5 percent to 12 percent.
Last December, he became the second MP to leave the FNM party and become an independent MP.
“I wish to again commend the government for the excellent job and the way they handled this pandemic,” he said during debate on a resolution to extend the state of emergency and Emergency Orders (COVID-19), 2020 until the end of June.
“I have some issues with the extension, but with regards, when it comes to the health of other persons, I always prefer to err on the side of caution.
“And so I support the extension, with that spirit. I’m prepared to err on the side of caution. And so, again, let’s fight this fight together.”
Miller specified that one of his “issues” related to beaches, which he urged Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to reopen as he believes they are “therapeutic”.
Miller also took a moment to acknowledge the efforts of former Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands, adding: “I should especially like to thank the former minister of health, the member for Elizabeth, for the sterling job he did while leading the ministry and providing excellent leadership during this pandemic.
“I’ve said it publicly and I wish to state it again: he was in his element and he was like a fish in water. So I just wanted to commend him publicly.”
Sands resigned from his post as minister of health earlier this month over a controversial decision to allow six permanent residents to disembark on New Providence and quarantine at home while the borders remained closed to Bahamians.
Minnis, also a former minister of health, has since assumed the Health portfolio.