PM says lockdowns are a luxury for the rich

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne (file photo).

Prime minister Gaston Browne says he is opposed to imposing another lockdown on Antigua and Barbuda, calling it a luxury for the rich.

“There is still hope to contain the virus to manageable levels protecting lives is our priority however we should not take any knee-jerk action to close the country down permanently create further problems,” Browne said.

“There are consequences to lockdown,” he said, adding, “if COVID-19 had taken place when I was a younger a youngster in this country and I had to remain on the lockdown I would literally starve to death.”

“So looking down the country could have serious consequences not only in terms of government’s revenues but the poor and the vulnerable you could literally push them over the edge … That could create some serious problems he are good.

“I am in a home that has many amenities can you imagine an individual in a home that have few amenities it is very difficult,” the prime minister added.

He said those who continue to push for us to lockdown the country, what I want to say to them is that we do not have the luxury of locking down the country for any extended period, that’s a type of luxury for the wealthy and it is primarily those who are well-off and who know they can survive this time and who knows they can survive this thing maybe for a couple of years are the ones most aggressive about the lockdown.

“They are not thinking about the consequences the impact on the mental health of individuals and even the survivability of the poor.”

Hope on the horizon

“Let us temperature the calls for a lockdown. I have never been a favorite of locking down, I think locking down has to be a last resort. Notwithstanding all of the musings and the recommendations that are being made, we respect people’s opinion but we also have to share the other side of the coin,” the Prime Minister said.

“What is important at this point is for us to remain resilient. We are almost there, we have to soldier on and we cannot give up now. This is the time for us to hold strain recognizing that the immunization will start next week and we will be in a position to immunize our front-line workers and some of the critical persons within the public sector”

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18 COMMENTS

  1. I did not realize he instituted a lockdown in the past.I thought all the Airlines stopped coming into Antigua.So that in itself locked down Antigua.Now he is supposed to make a decision as the Prime Minister of the Country.He is making all types of excuses.Lock down is a luxury of the rich.How is that so.This is about getting Covid -19 under deep control. By all means necessary.The immunization does not stop Covid -19 the day it is given.Stop your bull-dung.

    • I for one can tell you locking down is something I dread. My only source of income at present is closed I never had savings because I’d just opened the business 6 months prior to them ordering it to be closed. Now where that leaves me is wondering how will I find money to pay house rent, bills, school fees and food. Since this whole covid situation I’ve become a beggar and that’s the worst feeling ever, knowing I always was able to take care of myself from a very young age. Not all of us are able to return home to parents so where does that leave people like me? With all the pride I had for me now to have to ask a friend here and there for 10 dollars to help buy something to cook hurts my heart I can’t take a full lockdown maybe you can but some of us can’t.

  2. Funny him talking about luxury for the rich after just taking their gift of the Moderna vacine, leaving the less efficacious vacine for the poor to take.

  3. I understand the point being made here by the PM but at the same time vaccines are only the answer if they are available. So far, the PM has stated that we have enough from Dominica to vaccinate 2,500 people with 40,000 more doses to be donated in a few weeks by India which will vaccinate another 20,000 people. That is a total of 22,500 people out of a population of 100,000. The PM has stated he has asked India to sell us another 100,000 but they have not agreed to that as yet and there is no guarantee they will as every country in the world is trying to buy vaccines from India. So, at present we can vaccinate 22% of our population. Nowhere near herd immunity. So, if we do not have enough vaccine and the PM says there will be no lockdown, how do we stop the covid virus from overwhelming Antigua and killing many, many people in the next few months?

  4. It’s not just the rich calling for a lockdown. It’s the thousands of public sector workers receiving full salaries for the past year whether they worked or not. It’s blue cool aid drinkers not wasting a good crisis to score political points. In all fairness, the red cool aid aid drinkers would have done exactly the same thing.

    There are those who are genuinely afraid of this disease that has accounted for less than 2% of Antigua’s deaths in the last 10 months. My advise is they should isolate and protect themselves until this is over, which it may never actually be. But not at taxpayers expense. Covid will remain endemic in the world long after we are gone. Based on the science, the vaccine will help those unless they are waiting for the brand name ones administered with D&G or Gucci needles.

  5. We need a comprehensive guide to vaccine roll out for the public after front line workers, website sign up?, passport registration etc… How can we qualify and sign up for vaccination!!!

  6. “Luxury for the rich”? On the contrary, it is the rich telling you not to institute a lockdown. They want their profits to keep flowing, they couldn’t care less about the health and lives of Antiguans. You have already locked down once, resist the rich and institute it again. For those forced to stay home immediately institute a hardship payment directly into those out of work bank accounts. Tax the big corporations just a very small amount and you will have easily enough. But I guess the PM finds it hard to resist the rich when they are giving him vaccines and who know what else?

  7. @ ZACKIE
    You are the most IGNORANT Person I ever came across. You object to everything Hon. Gaston Browne mentioned. Zackie I believe that the BLUE KOOLAID has affected your BRAIN.

  8. How many of us have 1, 2 or even 3 months savings put away for ourselves and our families? Can we pay our bills? APUA, mortgage, credit cards,eat if there is a lock down? How many of us will look over the fence and see if your neighbor has a little sugar or bread to eat? Or how many of us will build the hedge higher?

    Don’t get me wrong….I am not advocating for or against a shutdown, I am only providing some food for thought.

  9. I agree. Antigua does not have the luxury of shutting down its borders a second time. Although if it does that would be perfect political ammunition for any would be opposition. Either way, to close or not to close would still result in a political trojan horse regardless of which decision is taken.

  10. Well I must say he’s right when he say locking down the country is a luxury for the rich, in the state we’re presently in right now I’m feeling the squeeze and might be thrown out my apartment because I’m late with February rent. I can’t imagine if he locks down, where and how will poor people make it not all us have family to go back home to.

    cuse

  11. What a joke! This is the same man who has his family driving around in fancy expensive vehicles, big fancy house in jolly harbour, taking the vaccine before any of your people get it, your son driving around in the USA in expensive sports cars, partying on boats during a crisis, please give me a break with your whole nonsense about rich people, you are a narcissistic greedy man. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror

  12. Dictator and traitor Gaston is especially talking about himself.

    He illegally brings in the best vaccine for himself and family and gets the cheapest and least effective for us.

    What kind of leader does that? None, a misleader does that. And it was our tax dollars he used. Keep voting this POS in.

    Where are Nigel Christian’s murderers?
    Where are Nigel Christian’s murderers?
    Where are Nigel Christian’s murderers?
    Where are Nigel Christian’s murderers?

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