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PM needs to publicly address quarantine breach, Pintard says

Free National Movement Leader Michael Pintard yesterday called on Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis to publicly address his decision to break quarantine last month.

“I don’t think anyone is going to reasonably accept a statement from OPM (the Office of the Prime Minister),” Pintard said.

“This is beyond them now. They have a version. Michael Darville has a version and the prime minister has the original version, so he is in the best position to put in context what has happened. Now, I think it is very difficult for him to convince the public that nothing inappropriate has been done.

“What is at stake is the moral authority of the prime minister and the moral authority of the government. That falls squarely on him to remedy the situation.”

Pintard said it appears that the government has a “less-than-serious” attitude about the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the government needs to send a serious message to the public about complying with health and safety protocols.

“This decision by the prime minister, this ill-advised decision, is now setting that work back dramatically,” Pintard said.

“So, he needs to come out. It’s on him now. It’s not on a press secretary. This is not on a minister of health who clearly should not have said what he did. This is on the prime minister to basically remedy it. The longer he takes, the deeper people are going to be examining this issue.”

In a national address on December 23, the prime minister announced that his wife, Ann Marie, and other members of his family had tested positive for COVID-19 and while he had repeatedly tested negative, he still needed “to do the responsible thing and self-isolate according to the rules”.

That same day, the prime minister’s press secretary, Clint Watson, advised that Davis had been “placed into quarantine” the night before.

Last week, Davis said he decided to leave quarantine to pay for Christmas presents at a store owned by Leon Griffin, who was shot and killed on December 23 — not long after Davis saw him.

Despite the prime minister’s admission, Minister of Health Dr. Michael Darville insisted on Tuesday that Davis had not yet been in quarantine when he went to “pay a bill” on December 23.

“Between me and you, he was en route to quarantine when he stopped off [and paid a bill],” he said.

“He was not ordered into quarantine by medical professionals at that time. Subsequently, when the medical professionals made the recommendation, he abided by the rules.”

Darville said he had nothing else to say when asked about the contradiction on Wednesday.

He told The Nassau Guardian to reach out to OPM instead.

The prime minister declined to comment on the matter both Wednesday and yesterday when asked by reporters.

The OPM has said that Davis did not violate any law.

However, the rules, at the time, required people exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days.

According to the health rules passed by the Davis administration in 2021, breaking quarantine is an offense that carries a fine of $500.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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