Transparency needed in the fight against COVID-19Monday, August 23, 2021
This Government lacks a clear and coherent COVID-19 management policy. I say this against the background of the Government's inability to get the general citizenry to come on board in the fight against this pandemic.
The Government's responses have always been knee-jerk and lacking the element of trust which is so vital in communication, especially in a pandemic.
The last press conference which was given by our prime minister failed to instil any confidence in the public that measures being adopted are not for a few and “Mr and Mrs Connected”, but for the entire population.
A picture speaks a thousand words, and if the body language of the prime minister is to be taken into account, it shows a man who is defeated, unsure, and merely mixing political expediency with narratives that do not make sense.
Our leaders ought to know that if their words and deeds are to be trusted they must first be trusted as a person, and that's where the non-conformities come in, and most of our problems are.
The public has seen too many instances of double standards when it comes on to enforcement of COVID-19 protocols, and it has plunged the country into an us-and-them conflict as we fight the pandemic.
When we speak as leaders we must divest ourselves of the political hat and stop trying to score political points. Punchlines such as, “I as your prime minister,” must be avoided, as it represents cheap politics.
To make matters worse, the speech by the prime minister was inundated with the first person, “I”. You can't build consensus that way, especially in a polarised society like ours.
How can the general citizenry be confident that measures adopted are in their best interest and not in the interest of a few?
The people are frustrated and fatigued with these frequent lockdowns and curfews which, to date, have not worked to stem the waves of novel coronavirus spikes.
Safety and containment measures without strict enforcement will not and have never worked. Could it be an enforcement problem and the Government is afraid to go with a stricter enforcement policy for fear of political backlash? So the Government can continue to hide behind political expediency with their timid approach to containing this virus until their own approach to the pandemic defines their tenure in office.
Former Jamaica Labour Party councillor