'My name easy to call': PM says he wasn't at party captured in viral videoThursday, July 22, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Prime Minister Andrew Holness has dismissed social media speculation that he attended a party where revellers, including at least one politician, were seen in a viral video paying scant regard to COVID-19 protocols.
He was responding to a comment made on Wednesday by Opposition spokesman on health, Dr Morais Guy, who highlighted that since the reopening of the entertainment sector, there were some events where coronavirus protocols were being breached.
"There was also another clip prime minister that showed a particular leader at a particular party, and it was only that leader that had on a mask. Nobody else in the clip had on a mask," Guy said, alluding to the viral video of what was alleged to be a politician's birthday bash.
"Who was that?" asked Holness jokingly, to which Guy responded that he would "talk about that afterwards".
Though entertainment events are now allowed, social media users expressed disgust that most of the revellers seen in the video were not wearing masks as well as not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Some persons also questioned whether a man seen in a black mask was in fact Holness.
But the prime minister put those speculations to rest by stating categorically that he was not at the event.
"... To address the member [of parliament] from Central St Mary, yes I did see some videos circulating of a particular party, and just to be clear, I was not a patron. Well to put it in another way, I was not there," he said.
"I saw an image being presented. Yes there was some similarities, but it is not me. I was not there... And though it was a party of a close associate of mine, I have put myself under curfew and lockdown because I know as they say in Jamaica, 'My name easy to call,'" he added.
Holness, in the meantime, reiterated that it was important for "leaders to abide" by the COVID-19 protocols that were imposed.
"... So I do try to keep myself away from these events. I have been invited to many events, and I have respectfully and courteously declined because of these precise issues of persons trying to undermine the legitimacy of Government by saying, 'See there's double standard or there doing something that they're asking us not to do,'" he said.
The continued reopening of the country's entertainment sector hangs in the balance, as Holness told Parliament that the Government may be forced to re-impose stricter COVID-19 measures ahead of August 10.
Holness gave the warning as he noted that 122 cases of the coronavirus were recorded on Tuesday.
This marked the first time in two months that the island was recording more than 100 cases of the respiratory virus in a single day.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login