Gonsalves mocks US travel advisory


Ralf Gonsalves

Kingstown – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has described as “hilarious…like it’s Comedy Central”, the recent travel advisory issued by the United States telling its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“What is laughable though, is that the United States put out an advisory, the thing is … hilarious. I mean, like it’s Comedy Central. Imagine the United States of America, their authorities said you must have an advisory to all the CARICOM countries that you must go only if it’s essential to travel; all except Haiti and Guyana and I think Suriname,” said Gonsalves, who also chairs the 15-member regional integration grouping.

Speaking on the state-owned NBC radio, Gonsalves also noted that the bulletin also advises against travel to Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, “all these countries which are doing quite well”.

Gonsalves made the comment after noting the impact of COVID-19 on St Vincent and the Grenadines, which, as of Saturday, had recorded 57 cases of the viral infection, 55 of whom have recovered.

He told radio listeners that there have been no COVID-related deaths here and that two persons who were placed at the state-run isolation facility were so warded because of recalcitrance rather than severe illness.

He contrasted this to the United States, which took 99 days to reach its first million cases and another 16 days to record four million cases.

“And they are now on to five million. The United States of America has 4.2 percent of the world’s population; they have 25 percent of all the COVID deaths in the world,” Gonsalves said, adding that he had seen an interview in which US President, Donald Trump, had claimed that his country was doing well in the management of the illness.

Gonsalves said that the journalist, however, pointed out that this was not the case.

It doesn’t mean because the United States is powerful that if they do something, which doesn’t make any sense for logical people, that as a leader of an independent country I can’t say that,” Gonsalves said.