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Antigua PM blames Lionel E. Michael for VI’s COVID outbreak!

- Prime Minister Gaston A. Browne calls out local Chief Environmental Health Officer
Chairman of Caricom and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr Gaston A. Browne has blamed local Chief Environmental Health Officer, Lionel E. Michael for the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak in the VI. Photo: Internet Source/GIS/File
Mr Browne said not because Mr Michael in Antiguan means he should have the right to undermine the work of Antigua’s public health officials regarding COVID-19 management.
Mr Browne said not because Mr Michael in Antiguan means he should have the right to undermine the work of Antigua’s public health officials regarding COVID-19 management.
SAINT JOHN'S, Antigua & Barbuda – Chairman of Caricom and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr Gaston A. Browne has blamed local Chief Environmental Health Officer, Mr Lionel E. Michael for the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak in the VI.

Mr Brown made the comment while appearing as a guest on a radio show in Antigua on July 17, 2021.

“He sent me a text to say that you know he went to an Ivy League school and therefore he's an expert in public health just as I am an expert in finance,” PM Brown said, claiming that the VI CEHO purports to be an expert in his field.

The Antiguan PM said although he went to an Ivy League school, he never once said that publicly to anyone.

“This guy is just so full of himself that you know, he goes out there and put all kinds of information in the public domain to presents himself as the God on COVID management, telling people when they are out in public you should not have to wear a mask,” Mr Browne claimed.

VI COVID-19 cases rising 

“But guess what Lionel Michael, you don't determine the policies in my government. You work for the BVI that is where you get paid, you botched the COVID management to the extent they have the highest per capita COVID active cases in the world, go and study that and stop minding our business,” Browne lashed out.

Mr Browne said not because Mr Michael is Antiguan means he should have the right to undermine the work of Antigua’s public health officials regarding COVID-19 management.

Virgins Islands News Online (VINO) reached out to Mr Micheal for a comment in relation to Mr Browne's statements; however, no response had been given up to publication time.

50 Responses to “Antigua PM blames Lionel E. Michael for VI’s COVID outbreak!”

  • taxpayer (20/07/2021, 21:01) Like (40) Dislike (14) Reply
    Just not him , all those in public health positions are responsible, public health illiterates!
    • I blame the Govt. (21/07/2021, 06:09) Like (23) Dislike (22) Reply
      The Govt failed us they should have shut the entire country down supermarkets everything, the first week in July when this first came to light...These people are not hiring themselves..
      • @ i blame the govt (21/07/2021, 08:25) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
        Shut your mouth and your doors ,
        Nobody ever want to be responsible
        You could stay inside for the rest of the year
        Is to show you have no self control
        Alot of you coming here talking BS .
        Are you and others qualified in economic
        Are accounts
    • Thing to talk (21/07/2021, 09:44) Like (30) Dislike (1) Reply
      Ayo please don't get in this Antiguan fight. Michael and Gaston been waring for years. Leave them alone. Stay out what don't concern you.
  • pop (20/07/2021, 21:11) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Crs (20/07/2021, 21:27) Like (22) Dislike (3) Reply
    You both sound a little too proud.
  • YES! (20/07/2021, 21:31) Like (31) Dislike (8) Reply
    Who to blame huwho to blame? Every body looking somebody to blame... (I don't know the rest!) Haha . But the prime minister making since. let in tourist who are fully vaccinated into the country , KNOWING that even fully vaccinated can still tranmitt the virus. He should have been fired ! The man is obviously leading us down the wrong path. Prime minister may be on to something .
    • @Yes & under age (21/07/2021, 05:24) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      You all sound so stupid. This man does not have the power he is being given. Let in fully vaccinated tourist into the country? Silly outsider? putting the BVI people at risk? Advising the Government. That sound like the job of the local Epidemiologist right? So who to blame?
    • stop (21/07/2021, 10:11) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
      Fully vacinated tourist is not running wild in this country,but what are the fully vacinated locals that comes in doing?Fully vacinated tourist still following the protocals because who work around them make sure,(taxi,supermarket,resturant,hotel or mariner)who make sure the local where mask.
  • @underage & under age (20/07/2021, 21:41) Like (35) Dislike (23) Reply
    soo surprising that vino ain have no comments under the one article that finally shows that this government again listened to a silly outsider (faucci wanna be) and put or poor VI people that are dying at risk instead of that silly charade that unvaccinated BVI people caused this spread of this virus because it was already here crap. All just to help distribute your stupid vaccine to more people
  • wow (20/07/2021, 22:09) Like (19) Dislike (4) Reply
    Sounds like he the Ivy League Graduate is full of bull crap
  • Gar_ot (20/07/2021, 22:37) Like (19) Dislike (7) Reply
    Tell that H¡+ler wanna be to STFU with his Just for men moustache
  • annudda2cents (20/07/2021, 23:09) Like (43) Dislike (5) Reply
    i find it to be very tacky or petty that the leader of a country in one jurisdiction is publicly bashing a senior official within another jurisdiction. is it that there is bad blood between these two natives of Antigua stemming from a long time ago that this beef is out in the public domain? one has to wonder what PM Browne is up to.
  • NezRez (20/07/2021, 23:17) Like (37) Dislike (3) Reply
    We went from 0 to the highest per capita in the world!!! My head is reeling. What is really going on? We were always told to wear our masks in public, sanitize and public distance. I don't want to hear about taking the vaccine or not. That is not the topic now. What I would like to know is how did all of this virus get in? Is it from the people sneaking in? Obviously someone from outside brought it in whether they live here or not. The the people around them keep mingling in places passing it from one person to another. That is how a contagion works.
    • T. Brute (21/07/2021, 02:56) Like (29) Dislike (7) Reply
      Probably when the government decided to wave quarantine protocols for those who are vacinnated, it was a caresless move on their part, now we the people are paying for it, why change the protocol when they knew whats at stake?, Could our leadership be so clueless?
  • thelma (21/07/2021, 00:02) Like (15) Dislike (11) Reply
    that is so true mr browne .he think is all that
  • Garut (21/07/2021, 00:45) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    Two of them from Antigua just Blake my run
  • Hmm (21/07/2021, 03:00) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    Isn't it a known fact that wearing those masks for prolonged periods can lower blood oxygen levels from the constant breathing in of ones own carbon and weaken the immune system?
    • @hmm (21/07/2021, 08:50) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      no that is not a known fact and its not a fact or surgeons would all be dead
  • jah know (21/07/2021, 03:37) Like (31) Dislike (7) Reply
    Those in Government who decided that on June 15th to let all fully vaccinated persons in the territory without testing and quarantining are responsible for the current outbreak.
  • Richie (21/07/2021, 05:31) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    Math equation....
    Personal egos + the unvaccinated + refusal to wear a mask + refusal to social distance + the disease was deliberately sent on to our shores in order to CONTROL our people/country + covid is a hoax + refusal to obey curfews + any other flawed reasoning = death after death and infection after infection.

    Do we really have time for personal grips and blaming????
  • wow (21/07/2021, 05:50) Like (23) Dislike (7) Reply
    Mr. Michael and no body in the health department or government is to be blamed for no spike. when he was telling ayo to wear the mask properly, socially distance y'all selves, wash ayo dirty hands, what ayo were saying? Now take that. Blame ayo selves for not listening and acting like children.
  • Not Surprise. Its obvious. (21/07/2021, 06:06) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    I know a fake when I see one, same with the mouthty mouthty lady fakes Doctoes Nurses, some are fakes...The BVI government Hiring all these Fakes..I aint blaming him. I blame the BVI Govt. They have an Issue with due deligence,,They failed us. .They should have shut the whole country down everything the holiday weekend in early July when the out-break first came to light at the Clubs and KMarks...Now its too late to shut down..Shutting down at this stage aint making sense
    • @ Surprise (21/07/2021, 07:44) Like (14) Dislike (11) Reply
      The virus was already rampant in early July. Shutting down would not make a difference.

      People need to blame themselves for not getting vaccinated. They were warned, they were asked, they were begged to go vaccinate. They did not . Now that they are dying they looking somebody else to blame.

      Blame Yourself.
  • Petty (21/07/2021, 06:40) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why is this news? Two pompous petty men.
  • Rubbish...he is not to blame (21/07/2021, 06:45) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    It is foolish to blame someone for the virus here...............It is also a huge mistake that the vaccinated persons think that they can just come and go like they please and try to blame the unvaccinated when all are equally at risk of catching and transmitting the virus.

    Wise up and educate yourselves and stop playing the blame oddest make any senses
  • Intel. Analysis (21/07/2021, 06:55) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    The Antiguan Prime Minister did not only attack his country man but the VI on a whole when he said that we have the "highest per capita COVID cases in the world" maybe true but not necessary. That was a low blow. These are the people we quota when they speak about the UK. Obviously we are alone in all our battles.
  • Faking it !! (21/07/2021, 07:01) Like (11) Dislike (6) Reply
    That's all the BVI Government wants, over educated fools. You could be a donkey from the pastures as long as you have a fancy degree you will be hired on the spot. GUESS WHAT degrees don't do work, EXPERIENCE DOES because most of them cheat their way straight through college.
  • Just explain (21/07/2021, 07:10) Like (14) Dislike (8) Reply
    Why would the government make vaccinated people not quarantine when they are carriers of the virus, I guess it was the make the unvaccinated feel restricted but it backfired! Yet they blaming the problem now on people not being vaccinated. Please make it make sense
    • Herd immunity (21/07/2021, 09:01) Like (12) Dislike (7) Reply
      You do realize that the chances of a vaccinated person spreading the virus is very low, right? Further, if we had this same amount of cases with 70% of the population vaccinated this would not be a big deal. The problem is we don’t have enough people vaccinated and now the unvaccinated are dropping like flies. The unvaccinated have a higher chance of spreading the virus and with 70% of the pop. vaccinated they are reason we are in this predicament I.e. no need immunity. But go on.
      • uHuh (21/07/2021, 10:45) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
        Very low? M from the last study posted on here from a US study numbers such as carrying 40% of the viral load of an unvaccinated in the nose swab is not low.
      • Tongue Fu (21/07/2021, 10:56) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
        @ herd immunity.

        15th June they opened the doors for vaccinated people to come in without quarantine. 2-3 weeks later which normally is the case we see a surge. This is not rocket science. Fact is vaccinated can spread it . Does not matter how minute the viral load for some they can spread it. Some may have small viral loads while others large viral loads. Please remember they are a lot of people whose immune systems are compromised and will pick up anything. Who is in charge of monitoring these establishments like Bars and nightclubs? Who was on the HEOC to make that decision to allow vaccinated to come in without testing and quarantine? I see they doing it now since then the day 0 positive numbers have flown up to 39 so imagine what we may have missed for two weeks.

        Oh btw Vaccinated people die with covid related illnesses too and I understand that is the case here too.

        This idea of herd immunity how does one achieve that when our last population census was in 2002? Do we even know our population size? Do we know the percentage of the population that is under 18?

        On the subject matter- Gaston Browne comes off as petty bringing up university credentials. It is election season in Antigua so anything that can undermine Gaston's chances of winning he would counter -attack but why so personal? Could it be Lionel is a player in the opposition party?

        I must admit though that Lionel does come off as a know it all. Needs to tone down and yes he does have some blame to share for what has transpired these last few weeks. He is not the only one to blame though.
  • Common Sense (21/07/2021, 07:17) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    All some of them have is book sense and could charm a snake. Sadly most of them with all their Degrees lack basic common sense.
  • Ivy (21/07/2021, 07:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Google University
  • it is well (21/07/2021, 08:50) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    When some people speal sence orhes rjere are those qho ger annoyed...when you sit around the round table it only make some sort of sence.
    If we realy go way back in our mindes and examnimg the evidence it make sort of sence.
    In other west indian country any in comming passengers entering have to be check on arrival...reason vacine or nonvacine can be carriers of yhe virus...
    This said govermerment announce that people who are vacinated coming to oiur shores wil not be quarentine or other testing be wherther it be rapid or not..just oa moment stop think

    We were saying out loid this mot fair,,utter rubish...test them since the vaca can travel and have the virus..
    The same enviromental was anouncing the very same aion with premere and minister of health.
    It always seem like we the people have say wjat so ever .. there are oir people and tourist a kile listem to international news ofthe bvi they inform
    Be cuse some form of nelegence one with the virus could of been missed
    They move around all hell brake loose..
    I have learnt that evry rise and fall on leader in the goverment the work placein your home.

    The goverment in this instant have the ball .lose forsight in the opening of the open protocal ..they made amistake bad judgement along with some unvacinters we now have live with it..
    And pray for those hurting families
  • Garrot (21/07/2021, 08:53) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    "The Antiguan PM said although he went to an Ivy League school, he never once said that publicly to anyone".

    But he is saying it now, in an interview where he is bashing both his country man and the BVI. I did not hear him offer any encouragement or support for the BVI. This is why CARICOM will never amount to anything more than a group of gibberish talkers.
  • Who Cares? (21/07/2021, 08:57) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    Who cares what the Antigua PM thinks? He needs to stay in his name. Same goes for the other CARICOM countries. The VI is a British territory first and foremost and we could care less what they think.
  • WELL WELL WELL (21/07/2021, 08:58) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Leave CARICOM (21/07/2021, 09:03) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
    Time for us to leave the CARICOM. We’re not full members anyway and have higher GDP than most of them. We should have never joined in the first place because these folks are not our allies and this is evidence of that.
  • it is well (21/07/2021, 09:08) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    .an eye opener for goverment and the enviromental,,, look at how Dommica caught those who left from here and caught up those travelers that live here in the bvi visited there home

    They tested them at the airport pcr tested found 2 of them positive one time and osolated them...
    The other 4 negertive qurantine and re tested 2 possitve the old village under corfew and contact tracing ...
    So you we the people aling with goverment cant be careless...
    Remember they both vaccine......nonvaccine can carry the virus so yes the sitting have to some of rhe blame truth be told and they will not come and say sorry.,,some say what hell but truth be told
  • stop (21/07/2021, 09:32) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Gaston A. Browne, Why don't you stay out of the BVI business, most people in the BVI dont want to hear you. You are putting down the Health Officer, Lionel E. Michael for the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak in the VI so where dose your buddy Andrew Fahie fit in this picture. I really think that no one in the BVI give a Sh$$ about what you think.
  • @Stop (21/07/2021, 10:05) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    you are on point.
  • ... (21/07/2021, 10:51) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    He’s basically saying this guy wants to tell him what to do in Antigua and it’s possible he’s in part responsible for the mess we’re in.

    If he’s telling them in Antigua not to wear masks I imagine he supported allowing vaccinated to pass through with no quarantine. As if they forgot about the incubation period too.
  • dua (21/07/2021, 11:18) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    @Hmm Ask the Chinese the have been wearing them for years because of the smog in Chania.
  • Uncle (21/07/2021, 11:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    As to King Obstinate

    "Eyah Eyah Eyah Eyah Eyah hear de donkey bray." and "I already talk to you"

  • trrefdrfds (21/07/2021, 13:27) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    I agree, he is a flagrant idiot. Just ask all the folks that work with him.
  • (21/07/2021, 16:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Antiguan to Antiguan I shall not. I will keep out of this cockfight.
  • justme (21/07/2021, 20:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If u had the vaccine still u could catch the virus and die same way so lets all pray please
  • for real (21/07/2021, 22:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why you"ll think he pressure trimmie so much, the man have to go back vincy. Trimmie was way better than him....
  • wow (23/07/2021, 17:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wait yall stopp don't blame no gvt. Blame yall selves . Yall thought the vaccine was a CURE . Alot of my friends was going sailing in big groups going slumber parties and all kind of stuff that wasn't to be done . Don't blame gvt because yall in the bvi feel yall was superior to Covid 19. Guess what who don't hear must feel . It's sad but yall dummies cause this on yall self . Don't blame gvt blame yourselves

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