By Kadeem Joseph
The United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for St George, popular media personality Algernon ‘Serpent’ Watts, is blasting Prime Minister Gaston Browne for comments made on the weekend on the passing of a Covid-19 patient and calling for legal action to be taken against the PM and the hospital.
Speaking during his regular outing on the Browne and Browne show at the weekend, the PM spoke to the circumstances surrounding the passing of a 40-year-old woman who lost her unborn child hours before she passed away at the hospital herself on September 27.
“This lady was apparently on oxygen. Her oxygen saturation was 40 percent, I didn’t get into the details last week, but she is deceased now, so I can say so… She was told by the doctors that she can’t survive with a 40 percent oxygen saturation,” he said. “The only fighting chance she had of surviving was to be intubated and she refused, her husband also refused.”
The PM said that doctors at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC) also offered to “take her child at 26 weeks,” of gestation, a suggestion that Browne said was also refused.
The PM stated further that it seemed that plans were being made to intubate the woman, but her husband took her out of the hospital and to her home instead.
“It is evident that her oxygen saturation would have fallen even lower than the 40 percent, so the foetus aborted spontaneously, and that’s when the husband took her back to the hospital. They tried to intubate her, but it was too late,” he said.
The nation’s leader also asked for a less emotional approach to the issue of Covid-19, urging the public to listen to the scientists and doctors on such issues.
He also chided the leader of the UPP, Harold Lovell, for recent concerns he’d shared about the number of Covid-19-related deaths noting that he was “undermining the health system.”
Lovell has since rebutted the PM’s claim.
While the PM did not outright disclose how he obtained the information about the above-mentioned woman, his comments concerning her passing has stoked the ire of some on social media, who have questioned how he came upon what they consider to be personal medical details. Others have, however, defended him.
Watts raised similar concerns during the Voice of the People programme on Monday.
“Far too often now, we hear the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda publicly disclosing people’s personal medical records,” he said. “I am asking any lawyer out there who is willing to take up a case, and me willing to find money with people out there who think like me, who are willing to come up with the money to pay the lawyer so that we can sue him (Gaston Browne) and Mount St John’s Medical Centre, whomever, for disclosing people’s personal medical records.”
Serpent wants the PM to tell the courts where he got the information that he disclosed.
He also questioned why the prime minister released the information at a time when the family is still grieving the loss of the woman and the foetus.
“A young man passed Saturday morning… meh sure the family nuh even notified properly that the young man passed, before pan the prime minister’s page, yuh hab up the young man picture and all kinda sudden and berating the young man who just passed,” Watts claimed. “How low can he sink and get away with it?”
Observer has reached out to the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre for comment on the matter.