Saturday, June 3, 2023


Ingraham Endorses Sands in Elizabeth and as Prime Minister

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham reemerged, this time to endorse Elizabeth MP Duane Sands.

Ingraham appeared in the Elizabeth constituency saying he hopes Sands wins his seat in the upcoming election and possibly becomes prime minister of the Bahamas.

Ingraham said Sands is “a good man.”

A delighted Sands said he was humbled by Ingraham’s endorsement.

Ingraham has not publicly endorsed Prime Minister Hubert Minnis but questioned Minnis’ decision to hold an early election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent weeks, Ingraham and former Prime Minister Perry Christie spoke to the media about the elections after viewing the body of former Governor-General Arthur Hanna.

Both men who seemed to have become ‘best friends’, are not often seen in public, and are often hounded by the media for comments on public discourse when they do appear, differ with Minnis’s decision to hold elections now.

Today, Ingraham rehashed his disapproval.

“There is nothing that can I can say that can explain that better than reality. In the middle of this pandemic, we are having an election, that speaks for itself.”

The relationship between Ingraham and Minnis was believed to have soured after Minnis said in 2017 that “the Ingraham era is over.” The men are not known to have a relationship.

FNM Promises to Introduce Legislation to Replace Emergency Order in ‘Bold’ Manifesto

The Free National Movement promises to replace the Emergency Order if the party is re-elected in the next General Election.

Among other promises in its 81-page plan for the country, the party said it will “pass and bring into effect legislation to replace the Emergency Orders.”

The party released its digital Manifesto on Wednesday which its leader Dr Hubert Minnis called “bold, ambitious and comprehensive.”

“It is a well-thought-out plan with policies to grow the economy to create more Bahamian businesses, to reduce crime to invest in youth and to build up family islands and upgrade critical infrastructure.”

The party says it will also establish a coordinating group in the Ministry of Health to oversee the acquisition of therapies and treatments for people suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The pandemic has placed a strain on the country’s healthcare system but the party said it will construct a six-story, 96,000 square-foot tower at the Princess Margaret Hospital to increase capacity and enhance the medical service delivery system.

The party says the multi-story medical, surgical, maternal and child health facility will cost $55 million.

The tower will also provide easy access and flow of patients on the in-patient wards that accommodate primary users of the intensive care, neonatal intensive care units and operating theaters.

The FNM says it will complete the expansion and modernization of the Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama by constructing a new four-story tower.

“When you compare our manifesto to what the PLP put out, you will see that what the PLP publish is seriously lacking. In the dead of the night, the PLP released a mere pamphlet they said was their plan.

Minnis said his party will take the Bahamas forward in the 21st century, as it builds on the works of former FNM governments.

“The PLP is bankrupt of ideas and also on so many other levels. Don’t mind the word ‘progressive.’ Don’t mind that word on the PLP’S name. It  is the FNM that is the party of social and economic justice and equality for all of our people.”

You can read more on FNM website.

Parliament Is Prorogued in a Shocking Move

Update: The Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle returned to the House of Assembly at two o’clock today, to read a second proclamation from Governor-General C.A Smith. Rolle announced that Parliament will resume on September 22.

The House of Assembly was prorogued this morning, one week after parliamentarians returned.

The Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle read the proclamation from the Governor-General.

“The Proclamation whereas by virtue of Article 66 (1) of the constitution, the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister may at any time by proclamation, prorogue Parliament. Cornelius A Smith, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, hereby prorogue Parliament as from the 18th day of August 2021.”

What it means

This means that the current session or a sitting of the House is suspended by an order of the prime minister.

The House was not dissolved, which would mean the House sessions have concluded and House business has come to an end.

The life of parliament still continues.

What the Speaker says

Controversial House Speaker Halson Moultrie said he was not surprised at the move as he had heard rumors of its possibility. But he called the move “unusual” since the Parliament reconvened last week to extend the state of emergency.

Moultrie, who resigned from the Free National Movement, said he had intentions to hold an ‘open parliament’ this morning where he said the public would express its grievances. The ‘open parliament’ was the Speaker’s initiative and was not supported by the government.

Third parties gathered in Parliament Square in preparation for the ‘open parliament’ but were left scrambling and confused after the proclamation of proroguing the House was read.

Moultrie said proroguing the House shows that Prime Minister Hubert Minnis is abusing his powers and the Cabinet is demonstrating it is ‘not answerable to the people.’

Moultrie said he will push harder for the separation of powers and for an independent parliament.

First Batch of Pfizer Vaccine to Arrive on Thursday

The first shipment of Pfizer will arrive in the country on Thursday.

397,000 doses were donated to the Bahamas by the US government and are a part of nearly 837,000 doses delivered to Caribbean countries.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced in the House of Assembly on Wednesday that the country will receive 128,700 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday.

The vaccines are due to arrive by flight at 1:30pm tomorrow.

“Along with the doses we will receive tomorrow, the vaccine supplies we already received, and other doses on the way, over the next weeks and months we will have the capacity to vaccinate all Bahamians and residents who wish to receive the vaccine,” said Minnis

“Our vaccine supply will allow us to give a significant percentage of our population protection. This will in time lessen the likelihood that we will have large-scale surges that cause extremely high hospitalizations.”

Minnis noted that the Pfizer vaccine will be available to adults and to 12- to 17-year-olds with the consent of a parent or guardian.

Minnis thanked the US Government for the generous donation, including the assistance of the US Embassy in Nassau, and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), for facilitating the donation.

$100 Bank Note with Arthur Hanna’s Face Took Five Years To Design

Central Bank of the Bahamas said Sir Arthur Hanna died before the completion of the design of the $100 banknote bearing his likeness.

In a press statement, Central Bank said since 2016, it was working with the government to design a new $100 banknote with Hanna’s image, before his demise.

The bank said the $100 banknote would have marked the first time in Bahamian history that a banknote would have borne an image of a living Bahamian, recognized for his contributions to the country’s development.

Why it matters

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced in the House of Assembly on Wednesday that government would redesign the $100 banknote, replacing the face of Queen Elizabeth II with the face of Hanna who was the seventh Governor-General of the Bahamas and a ‘founding father’ of the nation.

The big picture

Hanna died last week at the age of 93. He was remembered as a Bahamian giant who fought for all.

The $100 banknote was the last note bearing the likeness of Queen Elizabeth. All banknotes were replaced with Bahamian figures.

How are banknotes designed?

Producing and redesigning bank notes are time-intensive initiatives.

The process involves sourcing and licensing a portrait, designing the aesthetics, adding security, choosing the optimal substrate (cotton, polymer, or composite), and printing and delivering the notes, which can take many years to accomplish.

The Central Bank said it is pleased with the $100 banknote that it is about to release in the coming weeks.

The note will be released in September.

No Lockdown Plans but Minnis Pleads with Bahamians to Get Vaccinated

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis did not announce a national lockdown during his national address, as presumed by many. However, he begged Bahamians to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases claim more lives and hospitalization at the country’s hospitals surges.

In a national address to the country on Wednesday night, Minnis asked Bahamians to disregard the anti-vaccination disinformation circulating social media which are hampering vaccination efforts.

“These falsehoods are leading to serious illnesses and deaths by those who base their decisions on this false information. They are making people afraid of medical science and vaccines.

“I want to be very clear, we are in a struggle between life and death. Taking the vaccine will protect you from serious disease and deaths.

“The vaccines have been tested. They are safe. There is nothing to be afraid of. The virus that causes covid19 is easy to catch.

“Our public health experts recommend you take the vaccine. World health experts recommend that you take the vaccine. As a medical doctor of 40 plus years, I recommend you take the vaccine.  Do not listen to fake news over the medical science.”

Vaccines have been limited in the country as doses are only available for people receiving the second jab.

Minnis said his government has been working hard for many months to secure more vaccines.

“We have been trying to move heaven and earth to secure more vaccines.”

The 3rd tranche of prepaid vaccines of 33,600 doses of AstraZeneca through the COVAX facility is expected to arrive next week, Minnis said.

He said the government is also working with Caricom and the US government regarding donation of Pfizer vaccine.

Pfizer will be offered to 12 to 17-year-olds with the consent of parents and guardians.

Minnis to Focus On COVID-19 Hospitalization Care and Continuation of Businesses in National Address Tonight

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis will speak tonight in a national address to the country since re-implementing measures this week, to combat the increasing new virus cases in the country.

Wednesday will be significant as COVID19 cases surge during the third wave of the virus resulting in increasing rates of hospitalizations and deaths.

Nearly 50,000 Bahamian citizens and residents are fully vaccinated against the virus. However, many are still refusing to take the shot as health officials complain that 98.3% of its COVID-19 patients at Princess Margaret Hospital are unvaccinated.

A video went viral over the weekend, showing an overwhelmed hospital as patients lay on an outside corridor as rain poured nearby.

The Prime Minister is expected to discuss plans to assist with the care of people hospitalized with COVID-19, measures to limit further spread of the virus, and give an update on the country’s efforts to secure more vaccines.

The address will also focus on policies to ensure business continues and Bahamians are able to earn a living in a safe and responsible manner as measures are reintroduced.

This follows as pastors express disappointment in measures that limit their church services to one hour and spa owners are disgruntled as the Emergency Order prohibits operation of their businesses.

The address will air at 8pm on local stations.

A 4th Wave is Looming. The Bahamas Must Accelerate Vaccination Drive

COVID-19 cases in the country are swelling. The latest statistics from the Ministry of health show 95 new cases, increasing the total number of cases in the country to 13,781, with 1264 active cases.

Saturday’s statistics showed 100 new cases. Thirty-eight new cases were recorded on Sunday and Monday’s statistics showed 81 new cases.

The majority of the cases are concentrated in New Providence, with Grand Bahama, a far second. Abaco, Bimini and Cat Cay, Eleuthera and Exuma are a close tie in new cases.

Health Minister Renward Wells blamed the surging number of cases on the events and gatherings held over the Independent holiday weekend.

“Usually, there’s an uptick in cases about seven to eight days… 14 days out from any sort of major holiday. We have just come through the entire weekend of Independence, so folks would’ve gotten together in groups on beaches and homes, celebrating our independence and obviously we would’ve expected that given the fact that we would’ve had positive cases in the country that there would’ve been an uptick.

“We’re going to be looking over this week, assessing over the data and then seeing where we are and whether we have defined clusters or anything new that is developing.”

The uptick in cases is not unique to the Bahamas. The United States of America is battling cases that have tripled in number due to the Delta strain.

US health officials acknowledged that the country has hit its 4th wave of the virus as deaths and hospitalizations escalate.

While few numbers are among the vaccinated group like the elderly and the immune-compromised, the majority of those stricken with the latest attack of the virus are the unvaccinated group including children.

The director for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Rochelle Walensky has labeled this latest wave, ‘a pandemic of the unvaccinated.’

Minnis has followed suit, acknowledging that the unvaccinated individuals face the worst casualty in the pandemic as the government “aggressively pursues” more vaccination.

Currently, the government has a limited supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine and has since only offered second dose jabs.

The third tranche of Astra Zeneca is expected to arrive later this month, and Pfizer is expected in August.

If the country is to beat the virus and prevent the 4th wave of COVID-19, citizens must ignore the misinformation about the vaccine, and government must move quickly to mobilize a vaccination drive.

Watson’s Posturing; He’s Entitled to His Own Opinion, But Not Vaccination Facts

Clint Watson, the host of Beyond the Headlines, vehemently resisted recent comments by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, when he stated that the country is presently in two pandemics–one for vaccinated individuals and another for non-vaccinated individuals.

Minnis was addressing the climb in COVID19 cases in the country, noting that it was worrying as the Bahamas experiences a 3rd wave of the virus.

“One thing the Bahamian populace must understand, we are in two pandemics. The vaccinated individuals are now out of the pandemic. The pandemic is finished for the vaccinated.

“The non-vaccinated are still in the pandemic. Therefore, it is essential for us to aggressively pursue vaccines so that we can vaccinate our populace as quickly and efficiently as possible so that they can move into the vaccinated portion, thus the non-pandemic,” Minnis said.

Watson, during the taping of his show, is taken aback by the comments and is heard telling producers, “Did he say the pandemic is over for the vaccinated? No, no, no. I’m sorry. Control room can you play that sound bite again, please? No, no. I heard wrong.”

With a mocking smile, Watson then goes on to say, “How did he come to that conclusion? …I’m confused.”

Why is Watson confused? The facts about the pandemic are indisputable.

Here’s how Minnis came to that conclusion.

  1. Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said the virus is targeting people who are unvaccinated.  She said, “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated” as deaths and hospitalization are among the unvaccinated people.
  2. Fully vaccinated people who may contract the virus are less likely to spread the virus to others as they have less virus in their system compared to unvaccinated people, according to Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical advisor.
  3. USA President Joe Biden, acknowledging that cases of COVID-19 have tripled over recent weeks in the US, stated on Friday, “Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”

Watson, as the host of an opinionated show, is entitled to his own thoughts and feelings. However, he is not entitled to the facts, no matter how much passion he demonstrates.

How is Minnis wrong about the statement he made? Does Watson need to hear PLP ‘experts’ say so before he believes?

Does Watson need to see body counts or hospitalization statistics of the unvaccinated?

Is Watson so politically blinded that anything Minnis says he refuses to believe?

Watson is simply benighted or politically posturing for his audience.

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