GAWU disturbed by Harmon’s reckless remarks on Sputnik V

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Statement from the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU)

GAWU disturbed by Opposition reckless statements on COVID-19 vaccines

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) was deeply disturbed by statements made by Opposition Leader, Mr Joseph Harmon regarding certain claims he made about the authenticity and efficacy of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine being used in Guyana. We would think that Mr Harmon, as a senior national leader, rather than resorting to irresponsible statements would have approached the Administration if he and his Coalition had concerns. Rather he adopted a most flippant approach, questioning the veracity of the Sputnik vaccine, which he reportedly received. Worse yet his claims stand in stark contrast to scientific data published by reputable journals. Apart from that the Sputnik vaccine has been utilized not in a few but scores of countries globally with high levels of success. Is Mr Harmon, by extension, saying all those countries and their scientific and health officials are wrong as well? Undoubtedly, Mr Harmon recognizing his waning influence wants to score cheap political points at the expense of the Guyanese people.

Apart from that the Opposition Leader avers that somehow Guyana obtained ingenuine Sputnik vaccines. Such statements he alludes to an occurrence in Mexico. How is this connected to Guyana baffles us. Moreover, Mr Harmon has not supported this claim by any evidence whatsoever but boldly asserts. We are reminded of that now famous statement made by GECOM Chairman, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh and wish to tell the Opposition Leader that “he who asserts must prove”. In the absence of any tangible evidence, it appears Mr Harmon and company are sounding like empty barrels and really should be ignored.

By his statements, the Opposition Leader who belatedly endorsed the COVID-19 vaccination programme, has undoubtedly set back efforts to attain herd immunity in our country. This is simply reckless behaviour on the part of Mr Harmon and his team. It appears to us that the Opposition has become a danger to the well-being of Guyanese at this time when all hands are needed to bring our country out of the pandemic and allow normalcy to prevail. Mr Harmon has also denounced the cost of the acquisition of the vaccines but has not yet offered any alternative. Maybe Mr Harmon may want to tell the Guyanese people of his efforts to secure vaccines when he previously headed the COVID-19 taskforce.

At this time, the GAWU calls on all Guyanese to ignore the Opposition Leader’s unfounded and careless claims. Our Union will continue to play an active role in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, continuing to organize vaccine outreaches in communities. Moreover, we urge all eligible Guyanese to receive their vaccines and let us all play our role in exiting the pandemic which has already extracted enough from our country.