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UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar delivers her address during the party’s Monday night virtual report.

Gail Alexander

Form a united front and let’s all work together for T&T’s sake.

That’s the challenge from Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to the Government to have all entities – unions, private sector, business, Opposition, NGOs – work together against the COVID pandemic.

Persad-Bissessar, who’d made a similar call recently, reinforced it again at last night’s UNC Monday forum meeting after Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh earlier in the day called out the Opposition on a newspaper editorial that called for all to work together in T&T’s trying times against the virus.

In counter action, she echoed the call right back, saying leaders were needed since COVID was war in itself. Persad- Bissessar called on the Prime Minister to form a united front with all T&T’s stakeholder sector groups.

“Let us unite, let’s work together, be our brother’s and sister’s keeper.”

“I call on the government to work with all stakeholders, this is not about blaming or shaming. UNC remains ready to help to serve in the serious situation confronting us,”

Persad-Bissessar said the UNC continues helping people to get support services. She said people who wanted to contribute could contact UNC’s social pages, MPs’ and councillors’ offices and Persad- Bissessar said the UNC was seeking donations – whether in kind, physical appearances or donation of items – to help those in greatest need.

“Let’s work together and do this together,” she said.

She noted that last year UNC distributed thousands of masks and hampers.

“But we cannot do it alone. I ask for your help. If you can help in any way and we’ll share our plans with you.”

While calling on Government to work with all, Persad-Bissessar was also critical of Government’s vaccine acquisition effort. She said Government had been saying they couldn’t get vaccines but other countries with fewer resources than T&T were getting vaccines. She noted Peru recently doing so.

She also noted a female United Nations office recently stated that the rollout of COVAX facility vaccines – which the Government had sought vaccines from – was going to be further delayed.

“Why is T&T so backward, are we blight? Is it because of poor management and incompetence? Is that why you have to cry and say you can’t get vaccines? So many opportunities came your way and you didn’t take them.”

Persad- Bissessar said the current situation facing T&T called for fresh, innovative ideas.

“It can’t be business as usual. I call on government to work with all stakeholders including the Opposition.”

The current period is tough times for the people she said, adding that the motto must be “We will never give up – we must never give up.”