Tourist Spot

Rodney Charles is wrong, Minaj’s problem is not trivial | Letters to the Editor


I am appalled by the opinion expressed in the media by Opposition MP Mr. Rodney Charles regarding the participation of Minister of Health (MoH) Mr. Terrence Deyalsingh last Thursday on The Daily cable TV show Show hosted by Trevor Noah.

The Department of Health, at the host’s invitation, appeared on the show and sought to dispel some misleading information that had been placed in the public domain internationally, following a tweet from Ms. Nicki Minaj on a side effect reportedly felt by a man known to a relative of Ms Minaj, after being vaccinated against Covid-19 at T&T.

First, media reports claim that Mr Charles accused the health ministry of violating patient confidentiality.

The health ministry did nothing because it did not disclose the patient’s name. Indeed, the Ministry of Health did not know the name of the patient, no adverse reaction report having been made to the public health authorities.

The Ministry of Health had an obligation to seize the opportunity to appear on the show as the issue raised by Ms Minaj had received wide international coverage, both on conventional and social media platforms.

Additionally, Ms Minaj’s subsequent comments about Instagram’s alleged limited availability to T&T may have left some people residing outside of T&T, who were unfamiliar with T&T, with the impression that T&T was a third world country. very backward, similar to a banana republic. .

Under these circumstances, therefore, this issue could not have been “ignored”, as suggested by Mr Charles, as this could seriously hamper our efforts to diversify economically with regard to tourism.

However, I agree with Mr. Charles that “the world does not distinguish between Minaj and the rest of us”. Therefore, it is even more imperative that we promptly correct and dissociate any misleading statements arising from what she has said or written.

Specifically from a health perspective, T & T’s immunization program was hampered by the reluctance to immunize and the claim referenced by Ms. Minaj, based on what she was told about the impotence and swollen testicles, given her notoriety, although she is not a doctor. , could worsen a bad situation with regard to vaccine hesitancy.

This is certainly not a non-problem, as Mr Charles claims, according to media reports. In this context, with the exception of the Far East, given their particular cultural norms, the rest of the world is challenged by this problem of vaccine hesitation.

World-renowned communication and health experts (including psychologists) are unsure of how to effectively deal with this and other problem, given the misleading information that is prevalent on social media platforms in particular.

Mr Charles identified, in his review of the Department of Health, that Covid-19 was a serious problem. Doesn’t he understand why?

Mr. Charles naturally has a soft spot for Ms. Minaj and felt that the T&T government was adding to its global ridicule.

However, the government did not initiate this series of events. Ms. Minaj did it. Needless to say, the government has an obligation to prioritize protecting the health and reputation of the 1.4 million citizens who reside here.

Why does Mr. Charles think that the highlighting by the Department of Health of some of our rich cultural heritages such as carnival, chutney, calypso and our cuisine was a mistake? ! Mr. Charles and the UNC do they not see the link between poverty reduction / economic diversification, and the promotion of Carnival, chutney, calypso, our cuisine, etc.

Tourism offers as many opportunities, both upstream and downstream, for diversification. The television program has wide global coverage, and far from being “trivial”, according to Charles, the Department of Health has seized the opportunity to promote T&T as a tourist destination.

From evil comes good, and if the devil brings it, say it, God sent it. Nonetheless, I now understand better why UNC was so flippant about Project Sandals.

Mr Charles claimed that the GOTT had become a global laughing stock because the Department of Health appeared on a TV show which he felt did not deal with serious issues and was only about frivolous slapstick comedy.

If he had watched the interview, he would have admitted he was wrong. In this regard, it might also help if he really understands what satire is.

Many Nobel Laureates in Literature have acquired, through hard work, a solid reputation in this aspect of their profession. It takes extreme intelligence and skill. This is serious business. I don’t need to mention William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens.

In conclusion, I wonder who higher up in the UNC hierarchy verified Mr. Charles’s statements on the issue at hand before making them public? Silence is consent! What a shame !