A question asked by Marco City MP Michael Pintard regarding the perceived unequal application of the five-day PCR testing requirement sparked a morning row with Health Minister Michael Darville in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.
Pintard sought clarification of a clause before the passage of the COVID-19 Pandemic Special Provisions Bill 2021.
“I know the Progressive Liberal Party has prided itself on putting Bahamians first and so I find it a bit odd unless I mis-read it, that you were prepared to accept from the United States…a five-day old Covid test. Americans can take it five days before travelling and we are willing to accept it…” he said.
“It seems as if there is unequal treatment of Bahamians with Americans. If you can help me understand, why is there that disconnect?”
Darville took exception to Pintard’s question and responded, “Read it and come back.”
Pintard, taken aback by Darville, asks, “Am I incorrect or not?”
“You’re incorrect,” Darville blurted out on his feet.
“So help me understand,” Pintard retorted.
“Read it and call me,” Darville said, spurring laughter from other parliamentarians
“It’s that kind of arrogance that has some other people in jeopardy,” Pintard replied on his feet, as House Speaker Patricia Deveaux interrupted to restore order in the House.
“Honorable member for Marco City, let me remind you that one person on his feet at a time please,” she said.
Pintard said, “Yes, except the one on his feet is insulting me, Madam Speaker. I intend to stand up. Don’t tell me read the bill. I’m referencing the section because I read the section. Only that section I’m raising with you…Don’t get cute.”
“No, I don’t want to be cute,” Darville said. But I don’t want you to be disrespectful as well.”
Darville could not find the documents to explain to Pintard at the moment, giving the floor back to Pintard and stating he will address the matter later in his speech.