Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, says members of the public should refrain from spreading false information and verbally attacking healthcare workers who have done their job with distinction in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The anti-vax movement is alive and active and with each day we do experience in public health, whether through cyber space or otherwise, acts of verbal attacks, even threats in some cases, because of the work the Government and the public health team, with the support of all of us in this Parliament, are doing to overcome this COVID-19 threat,” he said.
“I personally have received hate mail and many others have. The issue around persons who have died having taken the AstraZeneca vaccine and the links between the vaccine and death have featured prominently with a certain degree of venom by those who are looking for a reason to promote the anti-vaccine movement, and I want to just ask persons to desist,” he said.
The Minister called on well-thinking Jamaicans to condemn those efforts and support the efforts of the country’s public health team.
Meanwhile, Dr Tufton extended condolences to the family and friends of the late Journalist, Michael Sharpe, who along with more than 700 Jamaicans experienced the worst outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mr Sharpe and I engaged in many fora where I was present and it was a pleasure to engage him on many issues affecting our nation. A journalist of the highest order and fearless in his pursuit of truth, the nation will miss him and the contribution that he made will undoubtedly redound to the upliftment of the country,” he said.
Mr Sharpe passed away on April 20 at the age of 65. He spent some 38 years in the media.