Why Brennen’s Move to Washington in COVID Fight Causes Speculation
Dr. Delon Brennen, deputy chief medical officer, and a key component helping to spearhead the country’s battle against COVID-19, has relocated to Maryland, Washington to be with family.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis confirmed to reporters outside of Cabinet on Tuesday that Brennen is still employed with the government and continues to lead the charge as he works with the Ministry of Tourism on border control in the United States.
Brennen is stationed at the Bahamas’ embassy in Washington D.C.
What Prime Minister Hubert Minnis actually said
Dr. Minnis said Brennen’s family lives in Washington and his government encourages “families to be together.”
Minnis added that people can work from anywhere in the world with the use of technology, as one does not have to be stationed in a physical location. Minnis said his government encourages Bahamians to become technologically savvy as the world changes.
“I would urge all Bahamians to be technologically savvy and advance because our jobs in the future can be jeopardized because an individual can be living in Ireland or New Zealand and working in Scotiabank,” Minnis said.
He continued: “We must take advantage of it. So, once we are technologically advance, we too can be living in New Providence and working at Wall Street or whatever.”
What this move means
The country is in the middle of a “surge” as acknowledged by health officials, with reports of overcrowding at the country’s premier health facility, Princess Margaret Hospital.
Brennen has emerged as the constant face and voice at the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 update conferences and radio talk-shows explaining the impact of the virus on the country, dispensing facts on the country’s response, while defending the need for restrictions like lockdowns and social distancing.
Brennen’s move to the U.S during a time when the country battles more than 2000 active cases and health facilities are near collapse can leave many feeling that the country is fighting a losing battle.
His move comes at a time when many people question if the country will ever get a grip on the virus that seems to be worsening as government reimposes stricter measures to combat the spread.
His move is a great disappointment as many believe that all hands should be on deck to bring the deadly virus under control.
Brennen once shot down resignation rumors
Back in August, Brennen denied social media rumours that he was set to resign. Social media users claimed that Brennen had given notice of his resignation because of the government’s handling of the virus.
But Brennen told the Tribune, “…I have not submitted ‘notice of intention to resign’…I think that’s what it (the social media post) said.”
The denial of the rumours came at a time when former Minister of Health Duane Sands resigned due to “breach of protocol” and Task Force Coordinator Merceline Dahl-Regis left her position as the head of COVID-19 response coordinator.
Some people say Brennen is at odds with the government
A social media user identified as Dave T said, “Something is not right about that! Family or not, his responsibility is the Bahamian people under this health crisis.
Ashley Bethel said she is not surprised by the news. “Some knew it months ago and when asked, they denied it because it wasn’t official.”
Tatty Ingraham said, “I think he and his boss was at odds and he got tired and quit but the government didn’t want to look bad so [it] kept him on the payroll.”