Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s address to the nation on Thursday night has been met with mixed reactions across social media.
Many commenters said they tuned in to the 45-minute address eagerly anticipating the announcement of new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 amidst rising cases and deaths, but were left baffled as they said the PM only repeated statistics and encouraged people to get vaccinated.
Others said the address seemed to be a precursor to new restrictions to come.
Before the address, commenters said they were primed to hear the familiar words “as of midnight tonight” followed by an announcement of decisive measures to tackle the spread of the virus.
But during the address, social media erupted with memes with people counting the minutes waiting for Rowley to “get to the point”.
“Twenty-seven minutes in and all we get so far is a history lesson about Covid,” one person wrote.
Following the address, commenters circulated lists of what they could have done instead of watching the address.
“I could have run a whole 5k,” one person said.
“There was no point to this, absolutely none...it could have been a press release...waste of time while the country is drowning in Covid,” another person commented.
The criticism continued yesterday as citizens chimed in on Rowley’s speech.
“The PM said nothing in that speech that could not have been said at his usual press conferences,” a commenter wrote.
“How could a person speak for nearly an hour and still say nothing?” another questioned.
UNC PM Rushton Paray described the address as an abuse of the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) concession.
“Come on! We all heard the subtle messaging on what’s coming! But procrastination is not a trait of decisive leadership!” Paray wrote.
“What has to change before he draws those strings? Another 2,000 deaths, 2,000 infections per day? What?”
Activist Nalini Dial took notice of Rowley’s comments regarding a possible safe-zone format for Carnival 2022.
“Did I hear talk of Carnival 2022 in the mix? Allyuh joking, right? People dropping down like flies every day but a leader and many in the society studying to wine and jam and have a good time? Madness! Heartless! Incomprehensible! Disgusting! A total lack of empathy for the deceased and their families and loved ones!”
Some commenters however came to the PM’s defence, saying he was warning the population to take the virus seriously before it is too late.
“There are still people out here who don’t believe Covid is real. This is a wake-up call,” one person offered.
“If he locks down the country again or says vaccination is now mandatory, everybody will protest. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”
Others said they believed Rowley’s address was a “last warning”.
“I take that meeting last night as a warning. He went into too much details about how other countries are locking down their population. After THA elections, it’s coming,” one said.
“That was a plea to get vaccinated, next step is mandatory vaccination. He keeps referring to countries that made it mandatory,” another noted.
Rowley’s address came on the deadliest day of the pandemic so far when 31 news deaths, including that of a child, had been reported by the Ministry of Health.