Open letter to Minister Terrence Deyalsingh:
Ay, caramba! A daily newspaper on Wednesday reported Minister Deyalsingh as stating “...the bulk of people who seem to be vaccine-hesitant are of the Christian faith”.
The newspaper also reported him as saying, “With the way the Bible and the teachings of the Bible have been interpreted or misinterpreted... there are many such pastors doing that both in Trinidad and Tobago.”
This highly respected minister has continually emphasised the importance of looking at the science, trusting the experts and relying on the data as he has guided us through the pandemic. However, in confidently informing the public of his conclusions as to the source of vaccine hesitancy, why did he not inform us of the total number of persons of our 1.4 million population who were surveyed, the date of the survey and the catchment area covered?
I am vaccinated, I was never approached to be surveyed. No one I know was surveyed; they are vaccinated.
Of those who were surveyed, how many were Muslim, Hindu, Orisa, Bahai, Rastafarian, atheist, agnostic, or other religions, or professed no religious belief at all? And of those who were Christian, how many of them were led by pastors, and how many of them were led by priests?
What was the ratio? What were the differentials? Where was the data, minister? Where were the graphs and numbers to support your statement that “the bulk of people who are vaccine-hesitant are of the Christian faith”?
Further, is Minister Deyalsingh an expert in matters of theology so that he can lecture and correct pastors on what is a correct or incorrect interpretation of the Holy Bible? If so, Sir, let us know.
Unsupported statements are reckless and can incite hate and division. Remember the reported incidents of violence which erupted against Asians in the United States after then-president Trump referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus”.
Our national media briefing is a trusted platform which the citizenry relies on for objective information. It must not be wrongly used to advance any other agenda than one which serves the national interest. If Minister Deyalsingh has no data, no statistics and possesses no relevant expertise, then I shudder to think what his statements were based upon. We are citizens of a land where every creed finds an equal place, Minister. God bless our nation.