Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Dr. Minnis Defends Oct 31st Emergency Order Extension. Why Duane Sands Is Calling It Into Question

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When Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced the resolution to extend the emergency order to October 31, some of his fellow parliamentarians announced that they would not support the motion.

On Wednesday at the sitting of the House of Assembly, Minnis made the case for the extension. He said six months later, the country is still in an emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He acknowledged the people who opposed his government’s decision saying it is their right, “however, it is unreasonable for any critic to say this is not an emergency and these powers are not necessary, “ Minnis said.

“That argument is simply wrong.

“One cannot say that we do not need certain emergency orders and at the same time say that the virus remains very serious.

“Saying both of these at the same time is wholly contradictory and makes no sense.”

Minnis said if the emergency order is not extended, “the virus would run wild in our communities, killing a large number of people in record time.”

On Wednesday, Members of Parliament Duane Sands, Chester Cooper, Reece Chipman, and Vaughn Miller expressed a lack of support for the extension of the emergency order.

Former Minister Of Health Duane Sands calls the extension order “draconian.”

Former Minister of Health Duane Sands said the shutdowns of the past have affected the Family Islands’ economy and people, adding that the implementation of the emergency order needs the guidance and scrutiny of people impacted by the adverse effects of the lockdowns.

He highlighted the financial pressure, challenges in feeding and educating children,  unemployment, and underemployment, and hardships of businesses as a result of the lockdowns.

Sands admitted that he supported the first emergency order but says the disease has become the ‘new normal.’

He said the  new emergency order “upends the rights of our people.” He called them, “draconian” as the country is a democracy. “We have seized the power of the people,” Sands continued.

Sands said there is no apparent or justifiable reason to extend the order to October 31st.

“There is no reason to continue the unfettered powers of the competent authority.” He said vesting the authority in one person such as the competent authority, weakens the power of 39 elected members of parliament.

“We are no longer in an emergency. COVID will be with us for the foreseeable future,” Sands contended.

Sands acknowledged that the country is not winning the battle against the virus as the country ranks 39 out of 215 countries for the total amount of infected people per capita.

He summarized, “If the treatment is worse than the disease, perhaps we may want to change the treatment.”

Featured Picture: BIS

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