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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo)
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo)
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The iWitness News headline “SVG should’ve banned int’l flights in response to COVID – PM” was “the opposite” of what Ralph Gonsalves said on NBC Radio last Wednesday, the prime minister said on Monday.

“Now, I want to say the issue which you raised with iWitness News, the producer of that story came to a headline which is the opposite of what I was saying. Not just that it was mistaken, it was the opposite,” Gonsalves said on Star FM.

In the article, iWitness News reported that Gonsalves had said that his government should have banned international flights during the Christmas season and should not have allowed the Nine Mornings festival, in an effort to prevent an escalation of the COVID-19 cases.

iWitness News correctly quoted the prime minister as saying, “Of course, hindsight is always 2020 vision. Over the holidays, you should have banned the airlines, you should have [not] allowed any Nine Mornings to take place.”

The prime minister had earlier listed four reasons that health authorities had given for a spike that had seen hundreds of persons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines with no recent travel history test positive for the viral illness.

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As of Monday, the figure was 622.

“In short, we have to analyse properly and see what is the best thing which we can do. We have been doing it quite well and then those four factors which I just mentioned in a composite way allowed it to get out of hand,” he said, before making the “Of course, hindsight is always 20/20 vision” statement.

The prime minister further noted that the country had just had general elections and during the campaign, thousands of people attended rallies without any spike in COVID-19 cases after.   

“So the persons who would have been doing the Nine Mornings would have said you could have 15,000 persons at one rally but now you don’t want to have 400 or 500 at a Nine Morning event, or 200 or 100? And people came home with their families and we [saw] some of these gatherings,” the prime minister had reasoned.

However, on Monday, Gonsalves said he was saying that his critics, rather than he and his government were speaking in hindsight.

This was the prime minister’s position, although persons had called, in real time, for the flight to be banned amidst a deteriorating situation in the United States.

Among the persons who made such a call was C. ben-David, who in a Nov. 24, 2020 commentary on iWitness News, accused SVG of playing russian roulette by allowing the North American flights.

“My question is whether we are playing a Vincentian version of this deadly game at Argyle International Airport (AIA) several times a week by encouraging planes packed with our very own people coming home from one of America’s leading COVID-19 hotspots in both infections and death rates, Brooklyn, New York, and from the Canadian city of Toronto, Ontario, which scores very high on both indices. In fact, Brooklyn and Toronto have just increased their lockdown regulations with the former again closing all its schools as the virus enters its most hazardous second wave,” the commentator wrote a month before the spike in local cases emerged.  

However, on Monday, Gonsalves said that when he spoke of hindsight being 20/20 vision, “I was making the point from the whole dialogue, the whole discussion, the whole conversation that there are persons who were saying what I should have done or not have done and I saying that hindsight is always 2020 vision; that means perfect vision. That talking to me nuh, you should not have allowed the aircraft to come in, the airline, or you should not have allowed Nine Mornings.”

The prime minister said that in his comments last week he had gone on “to debunk that hindsight 2020 vision.

“Notice what, I didn’t use a personal pronoun that ‘I’ or ‘we’; I said ‘you’. I understand the English language you know. And I thought that any child of reasonable intelligence, who was listening to what I was saying, I was making the case against not stopping the airlines coming over for Christmas and not stopping the gathering for Nine Mornings.

“I know the Health Services Subcommittee; they sought with the Nine Mornings Committee to not have big national events but to have community-oriented ones where the numbers would be smaller.

“Now, the point is, if you had banned the holding of Nine Mornings, persons would say to you this is now December the 16th, one month ago, you had crowds of 15,000 and 14 days after that, there was no COVID upsurge, there was no difference at all, why are you now banning some enjoyment? Only politicians could have their rallies?

“That’s the point I was making. I don’t see how anybody can mistake where I saying it’s always 20/20 vision, you should have done that, I am not saying I should have done that or we, meaning the government should have done that. I didn’t use a personal pronoun. Is amazing that you have to spend time explaining these simple things.

“So what was presented in iWitness News in the headline was the opposite of what I was saying. And when you read the story, even though there was not any precursor discussion, there was not anything prior to provide additional context, even the story itself would tell you that the headline is misleading. But I say that is of lesser importance because that is not the first time that iWitness News would have misled people about what I say and it will not be the last time. So I don’t lose any sleep over that,” Gonsalves said.

11 replies on “iWN headline is ‘the opposite of what I was saying’ — PM”

  1. PM you are speaking nonsense and restored to double speaking in order to deceive the population as to what was said or not said by iwitness news. This is intellectual dishonesty at best. You are the great manipulator, history will not absolve you at all.

  2. No matter what any leader on earth does,they are going to be criticized on how they “handle” the virus hysteria. Not a good time to be a leader, except maybe Joe Biden, where the “media” makes sure everything he does looks good, as they made everything Trump did look bad.

  3. He said we said she said really who cares?? the most important thing right now is to protect each other and hope that things don’t get as bad as other countries… Simple facts we won’t and can’t cope at the best of times… quote unquote bet this does get published my comments never do lol

  4. Patrick Ferrari says:

    Ralph is like one of those vehicles that have the same amount of reverse gears as forward. You just haul a lever down and you’re in reverse.

  5. I love the fact that Kenton will even print news that seeks to discredit him. In truth, what the PM said is difficult to understand. Realize that politicians almost NEVER admit they are wrong even when they are, because it usually means the end of their career as a politician. The best you normally hear is that they “misspoke”. We demand politicians that have gone through life and never made a mistake…lol.

  6. Bits and pieces

    It is not Iwnsvg Opposite to your comments it is you who is double talk all the time to see which of your theory will stick or give you room to manoeuvre out.

    This Theory is part of the Denial and Manipulation Manifesto which also covers Propaganda taught by the Communist .

    Tell them over and over until they believe and repeat and began to spread the lies.

    When people try to deceive other the deceptions all comes back more powerful and open up the can of worms.

    Since the being of Viruses last year SVG did not take it very seriously because our front men more educated than the Doctors and Scientists

    Revolutionary mentality.

    Our front men do not want to look
    Economical weak because it will show up that our Country is Financially weak .

    which it was. That is why they went to house quickly to borrow about 70 plus millions.
    They refused to lockdown which did have to say verbally but they know that all around did which they was the beneficiary of and leave front men look stong. “Why rock the boat while other can do it for you” communist philosophy.

    Project strong.
    SVG is one of the Country in Caribbean that is managing the Covid-19 well the Invitation is and enjoy our hospitality.

    The Election Spirit inviting all the business men to give a speech on future plans of developments by giving the SVG in concert to look at But rambling and double talks and without face mask.

    Is there a connect between the Election and Rapid Spread of Covid-19 Virus in SVG.?
    Look at the Time Line and surfaces of the virus .How long does the virus takes to manifest it self?
    How many people might be asymptotic?.

    Front men is it the wrong Diagnosis that lead to influx of the Virus? Double talks again.

    Was the people led to believe that they have the Dengue flu and other flu system and not the Covid while spreading the covid virus? Who to blame ?

    Was the Doctors free from Political interference or this came after the cans of worms cannot be contained and so passed the buck to Memo to take the fall for front man. Is it? Communism at work here!

    Tell the people the truth and stop the double talks .
    from this writer two cent base on spread of Virus in all over SVG this is mind believe.
    From Election time to now gives me the basis and amounts of the spread and continues to to conclude .This is not an over night Virus that invade us as the front men and women will wants us to believe.
    The front line people drop the ball around the Election time when in their campaign mood and even doubled talk us when questions arise from the media personnel. So please take our hands from the Neck of IWNSVG for it was Verbatim it put and you can twist it with all grammatical exploits. You, I, Me, we all One Vincy plagued with the Virus that proper protocols was not put in place around the Election and Christmas seasons mandatory wear of Mask. Which was recommended by WHO and other leading Scientists.

    You fail again. Stop the blame game!

    My two cents

  7. The real problem is that Friday has been calling for a lockdown forever! So the word “lockdown” is like cryptonite to the world boss. (btw Mr Museveni in Uganda …a great role model…lol…with his recent win has now been in power since 1986…35 years…so the title is gone!)
    Duke is so correct to note that politicians can never admit they made a mistake. With this politician it is a chronic problem (like an “underlying” problem
    On the other hand, Duke, in SVG it is more like we accept this guy cannot make a mistake!
    ….and that is the way it is.

  8. Michael Martin says:

    Sin is a reproach to a nation but righteousness exhalt it nation we need leadership that can bring stability, honesty and genuine moral the people of SVG are looking for hope and strength. We can’t find this in one person we all need to do our part and deep down we all know when something is right and when something is wrong so we need to buried our pride and let the truth be heard.

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