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

The Opposition has replied to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s condemnation of the party’s attempt to claim credit for the donation of two field hospitals by the United States government.

In a statement yesterday, the UNC said Dr Rowley was “cannot identify a single untruth in the UNC’s statement, thanking the Government of the United States of America for the donation of two field hospitals”.

The UNC statement yesterday, referred to Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar words at a virtual meeting of the party on Monday.

She said, “How are you going to increase bed space, because you are telling us that we are going to have a shortage of bed space as we go along. What are you doing? Do you have a plan? Can I make a suggestion? Can we write to the US or ask the US or other developed countries? They can help us with the mobile hospital units that they have. We saw it when the height of the pandemic in the developed countries that they were using these mobile (units) because we can build a hospital between now and tomorrow and next week if this bed shortage—and already you’re telling us it’s filled to capacity.”

In its statement yesterday, the UNC argued that “at no time did the Ministry of Health or Keith Rowley ever indicate that this option was available. Indeed, Keith Rowley should thank Kamla Persad-Bissessar for bringing up the matter on Monday. To be certain, Keith Rowley has much for which to be thankful to Kamla Persad-Bissessar.”

The party went on to state that Dr Rowley should “thank Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the 230-bed Couva Hospital, the 218 extra beds at the San Fernando Teaching Hospital, the Arima Hospital, the expanded facilities at Caura Hospital, the Point Fortin Hospital, the Debe Campus and the Tennis Centre.

“Keith Rowley should thank Kamla Persad-Bissessar for writing to the Government of India for the donation of AstraZeneca vaccines,” the UNC argued, adding, “Keith Rowley has plunged this country into the worst crisis our nation has ever experienced. Instead of looking for cheap distractions, he should focus his mind on procuring vaccines for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Dr Rowley has said that the hospitals arrived in T&T last month, well before Persad-Bissessar made her statement on Monday.