Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday that his daughter Sonel, who was granted an exemption to return home for the Christmas holiday, received no preferential treatment.
In fact, he said she was in the last batch of persons who came to Trinidad and Tobago for Christmas.
Categorically denying she jumped the queue, he said: “No, it wasn’t the head of the line, it was the end of the iguana tail. She came home on the last flight that could have brought her home in time for Christmas. No favours,” he said.
Addressing a question on the issue at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, the Prime Minister said: “I’m a citizen of this country. I am proud of this country and I love this country, it is the only country I have. But sometimes, the behaviour of some of our own people, it’s simply just disgusting. And I, for one, I’m not prepared to be guided by their level of behaviour.
“Everybody knows from day one—and I have said it from this platform—I am a father of a daughter who lives in New York, in the middle of New York when New York was the centre of the worst of Covid.
“And I lived with that every night and every day as I managed Trinidad and Tobago’s affairs, and it is not a talk, it is a feeling, and I am insulted at this stage for some nameless, faceless social media creature to be causing you (the reporter) to be talking to me about my daughter getting to the head of the line.
“No, it wasn’t the head of the line, it was the end of the iguana tail.... She desperately wanted to come home to her family during the year and had to stay right there in New York). I watched the numbers (going up in New York) and she was in New York taking the train, taking the Uber, mixing with people in the hospitals, and I am saying there but for the grace of God go I.
“And she has come home to this country among the last.... I saw her yesterday close up for the first time. So all those who feel they have a story with that, you all are on your own with that.”
The Prime Minister had earlier extended his “sympathy” to all those who were unable to have their family with them for Christmas.