Minister for Natural Resources, Labour, Immigration and Social Security Hon. Vincent Wheatley has slammed Leader of the Opposition Hon. Marlon Penn for what he said is a politicizing of COVID-19 in the British Virgin Islands.
Hon. Penn, along with his Opposition colleagues recently called out the Hon. Andrew Fahie-led administration for their strict protocols for the reopening of the territory’s borders from December 1, to international travellers.
Speaking to the issue on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, while being interviewed on the Honestly Speaking Radio Programme by host Claude Skelton Cline, Hon. Wheatley said: “Hon. Marlon Penn could do better because he knows that politicizing it is not going to help anybody.”
Wheatley added: “He may gain some political points, but at what expense? At what expense? It’s not worth it. There are no points to be gained.”
Meanwhile, the minister reminded residents of the Territory that the virus is unprecedented.
“There is nobody to turn to; we are all in this together. There is no playbook! Everybody feels like they have the answer, ‘oh, you all should do this! oh, you all should do that!’ Everybody has tried all those things and have failed. One of the things the Premier is very adamant about is we are not going to open to close back down! We cannot afford that; it is more expensive to do that to reopen again a second time, so we have to be super, super cautious,” he remarked.
In the same breath, Minister Wheatley said he understands the frustration of the people.
“I understand the plight of persons who might have not worked for the last six months, businesses haven’t made money for the last eight months, that is the reality on the ground. That is not politics!”
He also reminded persons who seem to believe that the territory is all clear of the dreaded virus, that “we are not out of the woods, we are way, way in the woods still!”
There are currently no reported cases of COVID
-19 in the Territory.