Starving The Bahamas into submission 

Dear Editor,

Cynical Bahamians are so busy raking Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis over the hot coals for offering incentives to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.

The Bahamas is an insignificant afterthought on the international stage that can easily be crushed by First World countries such as the United States of America, which just so happens to be home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is located in Atlanta, Georgia, having been formed in 1946. A subsidiary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which is a federal government agency, the CDC is mandated to safeguard the health of the American people – taxpayers who funds its very existence.

As an American federal government agency, the CDC is under the financial purview of Congress. The CDC’s annual budget of over $11 billion is approximately $1 billion more than The Bahamas’ national debt.

The CDC’s April 19 travel advisory to Americans about the health risk of vacationing in The Bahamas is just the first step, I believe.

Placing The Bahamas at level 4 on its Risk Assessment Level for COVID-19, the CDC is appearing to be flexing its muscles, as it obviously should be well aware of the fact that over 80 percent of our tourists are Americans.

Even its April 12 recommendation that Americans defer all cruise travel worldview could undermine this country’s attempts to revive dead Bay Street and Freeport – two Bahamian destinations that rely heavily on the cruise ship industry. Understand, I am not attempting to make excuses for this Minnis administration.

This global plan to attain herd immunity was not crafted in the Minnis Cabinet. The CDC, the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization all seem to be behind this global push for this initiative.

Unfortunately for The Bahamas that cannot survive economically without American tourists, the CDC, with the tacit support of the Joe Biden administration, can easily strong-arm this small country of 400,000 into submission. 

Take tourism away, and scores of thousands of Bahamians would immediately face starvation, especially with us not having another viable industry that could withstand an American embargo. The OECD has all but gutted out our financial services sector and our farming industry is virtually nonexistent.

All the CDC has to do is outright ban Americans from traveling to The Bahamas to bring this country to its economic knees.

COVID-19 has exposed the utter vulnerability of this country. No matter which party we vote into government on election day, Bahamians must know that our real political masters reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

I am not telling Bahamians to not take the AstraZeneca vaccine, mind you. I am not even going to tell them to take it.

That is a personal decision each Bahamian should make for himself. But understand, our unwillingness to cooperate with the CDC, and by extension the White House, will have grave financial consequences for The Bahamas. And I am not too certain that Bahamians are willing to pay such a heavy financial price.

However, for the CDC, The Bahamas is either going to bend or break.

Kevin Evans

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