MINISTER of Foreign Affairs and Public Service Fred Mitchell. Photo: Racardo Thomas/Tribune Staff
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell has hit out at former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and his criticism of the Davis administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Mr Mitchell said Dr Minnis called a snap election in the middle of the “worst wave” of the pandemic and held “super spreader” rallies, adding that the former administration’s COVID-19 policies failed.
“Less than one month after the Bahamian people rejected the negligence, dismissiveness, arrogance, incompetence and poor performance of Dr Minnis and the FNM at the polls, it appears that Dr Minnis and the FNM who once shunned the media and treated the concerns of Bahamians with utter contempt and disdain, have now found their voices on national issues,” Mr Mitchell said.
“It is laughable, however, that Dr Minnis who with his failed COVID-19 and totalitarian policies called a snap election in the middle of the worst wave of this pandemic, now cares about the increasing number of COVID cases and deaths.
“Has he forgotten his ‘drive-thru’ super spreader rallies and the debacle he created at the advanced polls? Is this not the same man who violated his COVID rules in holding closed gatherings exceeding the designated number of persons and punishing Bahamians while strangling the life out of our economy?
“The Bahamian people voted against the Minnis administration because they were not fit to lead our nation’s future. Dr Minnis should accept this gracefully and reflect on the four years of disastrous governance he led. We accept, however, that his commentary (is) nothing more than a desperate attempt to hold on to power at the next FNM convention. It has little to do with his concern for the Bahamian people; we know this because in governance, he has shown us otherwise.
“Our country would be better served if Dr. Minnis allows the new government to work on behalf of our people and support our efforts to vaccinate our citizens, protect our most vulnerable against COVID, end the emergency phase of this pandemic, deliver free testing for Bahamians, and re-open our economy.”
His comments came after Dr Minnis castigated the government saying its response to the virus has been “disastrous”.
“The response is also uncaring and indifferent to the pain and suffering of those who are getting sick and their families,” Dr Minnis said in a press statement on Sunday.
“As he did in opposition, Prime Minister Philip Davis clearly does not have an understanding of, nor a plan as to how to respond to, the deadly virus, as more Bahamians are dying daily from the virus.
“With mounting deaths, outbreaks on various islands and the Bahamian public frightened that the number of cases may increase in the near future, the government has failed to articulate and execute comprehensive public health measures.
“The PLP promised that it had a plan and a way forward on the pandemic. Tragically, there is no plan as promised. They do not have a way forward. One of their first decisions was to relax the curfew. They promised free mass testing. What are the plans for such testing?”
Dr Minnis noted reports of rising case numbers and deaths on a number of Family Islands, which have limited capacity to deal with severe cases.
“Because of limited oxygen supplies, no ventilators and no intensive care units on our islands, except New Providence and Grand Bahama, it is critical to stop the spread of the virus as quickly as possible on the Family Islands,” the Killarney MP said.