Dear Mr Ellis:
On behalf of Solutions Barbados, thank you for agreeing to lead the national COVID-19 public relations effort. Please consider the following advice and questions – but first, some context.
STRENGTH IN UNITY.
In 2020, the people of Barbados were united against fighting COVID-19. We sacrificed our freedom and earnings with the lock downs, and followed the enhanced sanitary measures. Soon, COVID-19 was defeated in Barbados.
For weeks, we recorded no cases. Then we allowed mass-tourism to resume, and COVID-19 returned. Fortunately, we had the isolation, quarantine and contact tracing infrastructure in place. So, again we sacrificed our freedom and earnings, and defeated COVID-19 as before. Then we received the first batch of injections.
SEEDS OF DIVISION.
Barbadians remained united. The elderly and those with underlying health conditions would be given the injections. The rest of us would continue with the sanitary protocols, and pray that the injections protected our most vulnerable residents.
Soon, healthy persons were given the option of getting the injection, and Barbadians remained united. But then something changed. Those who received the injections soon turned on their fellow Barbadians, and insulted them with accusations of being stupid unscientific anti-vaxxers. But it got worse.
A NEW ENEMY.
Almost every economic problem, and many social problems in Barbados, were blamed on those who had not taken the injection. The so-called “unvaxxed” were responsible for our low economic growth, our students not going to school, and the pandemic itself. Our businesses believed this message and threatened to fire those who did not receive the injection. Then it got worse.
Many injected appeared to lose their humanity. In the US, many in health care openly advocated not tending to those not injected. Business places openly advocated not serving those not injected. In Barbados, the Government considered forcing people to take the injections, and got a legal opinion of doing so. Then it got worse – as if that were even possible.
When reporting those with COVID-19 in isolation, in ventilators, and who died, there appeared to be a certain glee in stating that they were all – then pausing for the theatrical effect – unvaccinated. This is currently where we are. The enemy is no longer COVID-19, but “the unvaxxed”.
Our political leaders have done what they normally do with excellence – they have divided us. Their divisive public relations has achieved its goal of complete, and now dangerous division. To their credit, they seem to have recognised their grave error, and hired a non-political person to unify us – that appears to be your role.
ROAD TO HEALING.
The first step on the road to unifying us is to restore truth – which was sacrificed shortly after the first set of healthy persons took the injections. The main public relations message was that the mRNA and DNA injections were just like the vaccines we had as children, or when we needed to travel. That is not true.
With all previous vaccines, researchers accepted their limitations. They introduced a weakened or inactive virus into our bodies, and trusted our bodies to naturally learn the best method of defeating the virus. With the mRNA and DNA methods, the researchers thought that they understood the extreme complexity of the human body, and gave our cells specific instructions on how to defeat the virus.
The mRNA and DNA-based injections are entirely new technology. Therefore, the long-term side effects in humans remain completely unknown. After we have trusted our bodies, as has been the method with all past vaccines, is it not reasonable for persons to be hesitant when told to trust the infallibility of mRNA and DNA researchers – who are still studying the virus?
The Chinese Sinopharm was reportedly developed in the traditional manner. The Government should be commended for giving Barbadians that option. It gave the public relations consultants an exceptional opportunity to effectively address reasonable vaccine hesitancy.
All they needed to do was to explain that Sinopharm was like the vaccines we traditional took. They just needed to be honest with us. But after going all-in on the obvious untruth that the mRNA and DNA types were like the traditional ones, their credibility is gone – entirely. The end never justifies untruthful means. You have a chance to restore credibility, if you allow truth to be your guide – wherever it leads.
There are at least two valid concerns with Sinopharm. The first is that the US has not approved it. Neither has Canada, the UK, or any member of the European Union. Therefore, those injected with Sinopharm would be classified as unvaccinated if they attempted to travel to any of those countries.
The second concern is the manufacturing standards. Normally, citizens need not concern themselves with such things. Governments are responsible for ensuring that vaccines imported into their countries are safe. Safety is defined by being manufactured to an internationally accepted quality standard. In manufacturing facilities in the US, millions of doses had to be destroyed because they did not meet the quality standard.
ARE THEY SAFE?
Those vaccines distributed through the WHO COVAX facility, are checked for compliance with the manufacturing quality standards before they are accepted. Where manufacturers do not meet the quality standards, they may off-load such vaccines on Governments that do not know any better. Barbados should never be named among such countries.
Therefore, can you confirm whether the Sinopharm we received came through COVAX? If it did not, then what evidence can you provide that it met the internationally accepted manufacturing quality standard? If there is no evidence, then on what basis are our health authorities claiming that they are safe?