Stronger leadership needed in COVID-19 fight

Dear Editor,

Bahamians deserve competent, efficient leadership at all levels of government. We often choose to settle for far less.

From the very beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the health team tasked with managing this crisis has faltered.

The mistakes made were not due to the potency or “newness” of the virus, but due to deficiencies in decision making, planning and implementation, which has nothing to do with the medical knowledge or experience of the doctors involved, since their personal knowledge is beyond my purview.

What is plain to see are the decisions they make, a consistent inability to predict likely outcomes of those decisions and the subsequently avoidable effects of those decisions. What they seem to lack is foresight.

They closed the borders too slowly after the first COVID-19 case was diagnosed and then re-opened them too early.

They refuse to do adequate testing without any sound scientific explanation for not doing so, but expect us to trust that they are being transparent with us.

They have had to admit in the past that at least two infected persons in self-quarantine could not be accounted for.

They failed on multiple instances to protect healthcare workers and at one point had to send 150 of them home.

They closed beaches on public holidays, but allow Bahamians to travel into infected zones and encouraged those from infected zones to come into the country with a schizophrenic protocol in place.

The confusion of who should be tested, when and how is dizzying.

They are getting ready to open schools, but the protocol for that seems to be guesswork as well.

The list of incongruencies and evidence of incompetence is quite extensive. And yet they patted themselves on the back for “getting COVID-19 under control” before making decisions to lose that control they claimed they had gained.

I am sure that the healthcare team managing this crisis is experienced, but it is abundantly clear that not all experience is good experience.

It is time for the health team to be replaced, starting with the acting minister of health.

It is time to get rid of the consultant to the Ministry of Health and the leadership of the Department of Public Health. They have given ample evidence that this country and her people deserve far better than what they are able to offer.


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