IT is utterly disgraceful that the Guyana Teachers’ Union, under the direction of Ms Coretta McDonald, has called a strike because they have been mandated by the Ministry of Health to get vaccinated or submit a 72-hour PCR test.
Ms McDonald claims that the union is not against vaccination, but is prepared to use the union to join the political chorus holding the nation to ransom from escaping this pandemic.
There is one and only one clear path for Guyana to take in overcoming this virus: it is for a minimum of 80 per cent of our population to be vaccinated, and while those who have refused are prepared to take the risk of dying from COVID, they are a distinct minority and have no right, freedom or constitutional ground to put the majority of us at similar risk.
I invite those ‘non-vaccers’ who persist with this foolishness to pay attention to the position taken by US President, Joe Biden on this matter, because the US faces the same challenge.
President Biden has now resorted to utilising his considerable powers as President to mandate a wide range of measures to cause Americans, like their counterparts in Guyana, to be vaccinated.
The US is generally regarded as the bastion of democracy, defender of individual freedoms and rights. But Biden, as President of the US, has recognised that his primary duty and responsibility is to protect the majority of Americans from this pandemic, as does our own President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.
I close by asking Ms Coretta McDonald and her ‘non-vaccer’ colleagues in the union a simple question: why should a Guyanese parent place his or her child at risk of dying from COVID by being exposed to a teacher who refuses to act responsibly and be vaccinated?