Let me state from the outset that I don’t tote water for the Free National Movement (FNM) or Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Minnis is obviously the whipping boy of the media and opposition forces over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.
We appear to be in what Ministry of Health officials have dubbed the third wave. COVID-19 cases are rising sharply on New Providence and Grand Bahama and Princess Margaret Hospital is nearing capacity limits with COVID-19 patients.
Moreover, unvaccinated Bahamians are wary of taking either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines, with so many conspiracies circulating on YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp about Bill Gates and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The Bahamas can no longer resort to complete lockdowns and a shutting down of the economy. Unfortunately, we’ve already maxed out financially.
Reading the dailies, Minnis is incessantly being raked over the hot coals, with armchair quarterbacks and pseudo epidemiologists pointing out his missteps in the COVID-19 pandemic, from a policy standpoint.
I have been extremely critical of the Minnis administration. However, I don’t believe any other administration could’ve possibly done any better than what this government has done, considering the limited resources of this small developing country that produces absolutely nothing.
Bahamians seem to expect the same results as First World countries.
Interestingly, none of these critics have offered any viable, pragmatic options in handling the pandemic. The reason I believe this is so is because there simply aren’t any.
Listening to the critics of this beleaguered FNM administration, you would think that what The Bahamas is currently experiencing is unique. The media have failed to consistently point out that virtually every other nation in the world today is grappling with COVID-19, particularly the Delta variant.
Bahamians must discard their parochial mindset and develop an international outlook.
In Florida, there were 46,603 new COVID-19 infections between July 7 and 15. Hospitals in Jacksonville are nearing capacity limits, similar to what is occurring on New Providence.
To underscore the dire situation in Florida, the vaccinated Attorney General Ashley Moody contracted COVID-19 recently.
In the entire United States, health officials are reporting that there are 30,000 new cases each day, owing to the Delta variant.
In Israel, the first country to achieve herd immunity, with 60 percent of the population of 9.3 million receiving at least one shot of a vaccine, new COVID-19 infections are surging.
In France, there were 18,181 new infections in a 24-hour period this month. President Emmanuel Macron has put in place a policy that calls for French residents to obtain a COVID health pass for leisure venues. Try this in The Bahamas and Bahamians would be screaming discrimination.
Europe has already surpassed 50 million COVID-19 confirmed cases, as the Delta variant continues to take a massive toll on the continent.
The entire continent of Africa is also struggling with the coronavirus, while half of Australia’s population is in lockdown mode.
Had this been in The Bahamas, the media would have accused Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of mismanaging the COVID-19 crisis.
Meanwhile in Brazil, there were 54,517 new COVID-19 infections and 1,424 casualties recorded on July 20. Brazil has recorded a total of 19.5 million confirmed cases and 546,000 deaths.
In Indonesia, there have been 73,582 deaths and 2.8 million confirmed cases.
COVID-19 has also taken a toll on other Southeastern Asian nations, such as Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Even Russia is being overwhelmed with new COVID-19 infections and deaths.
Again, if you read the local dailies or listen to the local media, you would think that The Bahamas is the only country struggling to contain the COVID-19 crisis.
If First World countries such as Australia and the United States are struggling with the pandemic, why are we surprised that The Bahamas is struggling also?
I am not attempting to exonerate the Minnis administration, mind you. But in criticizing this administration or any other government, you must be fair.
If you feel that a change in government will make you feel better, then go right ahead.
If the Progressive Liberal Party can somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat by doing something no other government in the world has been able to achieve, even with better resources and scientists at their disposal, then go right ahead and support the party.
Personally, I have no horse in this race. Whoever will be the next government will not change the COVID-19 situation. This COVID-19 pandemic is way bigger than Bahamian politics.
Admittedly, this FNM government has failed to curtail the virus. But then again, so has every other government around the world.
— Kevin Evans