I refer to the article titled, “COVID-19 test results go straight to Volda Lawrence from the lab” (KN April 6). I question why this is so; and I question, also, the explanation furnished by the caretaker Minister of Public Health. However, ostensibly protective of the public welfare, the step taken is supposed to appear, it is failing to do so. I repeat: it is not.
I submit this since only the worst could be attributed, given the state of politics and politicians in this country at this time. I think the explanation provided lacks foundation and is rather poor in any confidence-building objective. It lacks credibility and standing.
Having so said, I now encourage all to take a step back and consider the following sequence of events that usually accompanies a medical visit. There is a consultation with tests ordered, when thought necessary by the medical professional; those tests are conducted in the laboratory; and the results go every time in a straight line from the laboratory to the ordering practitioner. Instead, according to the news report, all COVID-19 test results, they go straight to the caretaker minister.
Why is this so? Why would any political figure desire to have access to a citizen’s medical records? Why would he or she be so interested that there is this directive in place for existing medical protocols to be breached and political ones to supersede? These are not clean management ones. Those are some of the questions that come to me presently. Speaking for myself, I would not want my blood test or my x-ray or my preexisting condition(s) history or my prescriptions to be made accessible to any minister from any government under any circumstance. Unless, there is some administrative conflict or pending lawsuit, I am entitled, and so are all citizens, to the privacy laws and standards that prevail.
I think this should be demanded to operate now, and not taken lightly or as business as usual. I say this for there could be nothing of the positive embedded when a minister, even in the best of circumstances, decides arbitrarily for all COVID-19 results to be sent exclusively to her; to be held solely by her (and a possibly handpicked inner circle); and to be analyzed only by herself and her team of inner helpers. That reeks of the questionable, even the sinister. This is what I suspect could be in the works. I am trying hard, but failing, to put a tempered and balanced weighing to what was a long whispered public secret but is not so anymore.
Because when a minister under normal circumstances orders that the test results of citizens relative to the raging and frightening coronavirus scourge be channeled to her first, then there are a number of things, which could be employed at that level, and with that panoramic picture of all results in hand. None are good or are in the interests of any particular citizen or the nation as a whole. When a minister, under the worst national circumstances likely, directs that test results for the COVID-19 be transmitted to her and her people alone, then that leaves a lot to be desired, with the unsavoury being contemplated. For what we have here is the paralyzing tragedy-in-waiting of elections compounded by the rampaging pestilence that is COVID-19 first colliding with and then operating in the same tight, uninhabitable space. What we have is palpable racial hostility and widespread national acrimony strangling any kind of positive conversation; only the worst of negatives are harboured and, given the culture of social media, then the most malicious and scurrilous of motives are attached.
For myself, I have no appreciation for, no reasoning that I can lend to, this ministerial arrangement that rules. It is wrong. It could be misused. It could be made a tool of political convenience. For the numbers could be manipulated-as in held in check or massaged or made to look better than they are-as part of a political strategy that is still developing. By this I mean that they could be withheld from a waiting public, as to what is the true extent of the virus’ presence (positive results) until it is most convenient. That is, to be very specific, if and when political counts do not follow the script that is envisioned, then an emergency is declared. I do not know how much longer hard elections realities-a masquerade cum sleight-of-hand aka process cross-dressed to appear what it is not, an acceptable result-could be denied or seen as the way out of our quagmire. I do not think that any elections results lead anywhere that is national. I think that there is a looming and obvious next disastrous stage of what has been a series of cascading disasters at the end of counting and the rest. COVID-19 could be a well-thought-out late presence and contributor that adds to the overall dirtiness.
This latest underhanded business of test results heading to the political head of the health ministry points in such a direction.
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