British Virgin Islands

Monday, Aug 02, 2021

Premier debunks Zan Lewis claims of COVID-19 'media shutout'

Hon Fahie said ZBVI & Lewis were given 'one on one' interview

"Premier, I'm getting the feeling that because of the many reports government has been making to the country in the absence of the media, I'm getting the feeling that you are not so satisfied in terms of how government had been getting this information out to the public," Lewis asked.

Mr Lewis was at the time speaking during the question and answer segment of a COVID-19 press conference at the conference room of the Office of the House of Assembly (HoA) on May 12, 2020.

The radio broadcaster further asserted there were growing concerns because of a 'lack of information' given to the media with regards to the first COVID-19 death in the territory, and the circumstances surrounding the death.

'Ask me whatever you want'- Premier Fahie to media

The Premier, in responding to the question said, "You could ask me whatever you want... we have enough doctors here to look after that feeling you have because you're off. So we will prescribe some kind of medication for you because that feeling is off.

"Anyone who can say we have not been giving out information has to be someone inside, who was inside the curfew without a radio, TV, Phone or anything at all, and then came back out since this last curfew open," Hon Fahie responded.

According to the Premier, so much information was forthcoming from the Government it became overwhelming for some people, to which Mr Lewis implied that information was not forthcoming specifically to the media.

"Now that you're saying to the media, that's not totally true either," the Premier indicated, with Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) adding that the claim was not true at all.

Gov't has always been engaging media houses- Premier

According to Hon Fahie, "Well, I don't want to say it is not true at all, because that would be implying that he [Zan Lewis] is lying and he is not a liar,' the Premier said.

"What I'm saying Zan is that you got a one on one interview with me in my office, and you asked me everything that was on your mind."

The Premier further indicated that his government has never shunned the media and has been speaking to various media houses, "I want to make it clear because then things go out with the wrong impression that we trying to hide something," he said.

'A lie from the pits of hell'

Amidst more concerns from Lewis that questions had to be submitted ahead of the press conference, the Premier said it was the anticipation that some questions would need research hence the request.

He noted; however, that his team was not prepped and any questions posed from the media at the press conference would be answered.

“I live in the BVI and I hear a lot of things and there are people saying that we trying to hide things with COVID-19 and that thing is not so, it is a lie from the pits of hell. Whatever we know, when we know it, we tell the public.

“You can’t hide this because the more information the public has the more safe we can keep you,” Premier Fahie further said.


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