Senators Lock Horns

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Sen. Fred Mitchell (left) Sen. Hon. Carl Bethel (right)

Writer: Macushla Pinder

Leader of Opposition Business in the Upper Chamber, Senator Fred Mitchell has called on the government to explain the entry of workers at the Baker’s Bay resort reportedly without COVID-19 tests.

This however did not sit well with Government Leader in the Senate, Attorney General Carl Bethel who argued that the ministers who could explain the issue are in the House of Assembly.

“They are the persons who are accountable to Parliament…It’s a matter that happened yesterday afternoon. We have not had a Cabinet meeting since then, in which ministers could be briefed by other ministers and therefore while it may be a matter in the public domain, I do believe it is being addressed,” he said.

But Senator Mitchell pressed on, arguing that this was an extraordinary explanation for a matter concerning some 100 workers without COVID-19 negative tests.

“The rule says they’re supposed to have the COVID negative tests and a letter from the Ministry of Health. What we have in the public domain is the Chief Medical Officer and the head of the government’s Task Force saying, ‘we do not know.’ How is that possible? And then the leader of the government comes here and says there is no minister. He is the leader of the government. He is the government here and so he has the competence to answer for the government”, he said.

The issue involves South American workers.

When questioned during the COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, the government’s Chief COVID Advisor, Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis said once officials are in receipt of the tests they will determine if they are good or valid, positive or negative.

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