Naparima MP, Rodney Charles, is calling on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to ensure that TT is first in line to receive part of the 80 million Covid vaccines, which US President Joe Biden promised on Monday afternoon to export to the world.
This will form part of its vaccine diplomacy to ensure that further variants are not developed globally which will impact the US.
Charles, via a release, said “Now is not the time to prevaricate or play powerful stupid or wonder whether it will be perceived as begging. A renewed request should already have been forwarded to the State Department with follow up action by TT’s US Ambassador and a formal diplomatic note to the US Embassy.”
President Biden stressed that the US had already shared 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca to Canada and 2.5 million to Mexico. TT was not part of that first tranche.
Charles is calling on Rowley to use, to the fullest extent, TTs highly paid lobbyist Art Collins who reportedly has excellent links with the powerful Congressional Black Caucus. This influential interest group has a not insignificant influence on the Biden administration. It is time for results, not old talk.
He said “It is not enough to have a zoom meeting with Congresswoman Maxine Waters that results in nothing tangible. What we need is for a results driven approach that leads to vaccines being made available to our country and US investments post Covid to assist our economic recovery efforts.”
At the same time Charles is calling on National Security Minister Hinds to tell the country straight up, without obfuscation and preferably in a yes or no fashion, whether our borders are fully locked down at this time.
Charles said “All our efforts to reduce the Covid epidemic, based on a fully enforced SOE, will come to naught if our borders remain porous resulting in scores of untested illegal immigrants appearing daily on our shores and mixing with our population.
He added “TT must be humane in its treatment of our neighbours fleeing poverty in Venezuela. While we should protect those who are already here, we must stop the pipeline of illegal immigrants which will wreak havoc on all our attempts to limit the spread of the virus. Now is not the time to fool the population or try to score political points. Now is the time for cold, hard, clinically focused action to deal with this Covid pandemic.”