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War of words breaks out between ex-science adviser and health minister

Carika Weldon at the Bermuda Molecular Diagnostics and Research Laboratory (File photograph)

The former science adviser to the Government has accused the health minister of defaming her at a Covid-19 briefing.

Kim Wilson said at the regular Thursday update that Carika Weldon, who resigned on the last day of 2021 from the Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory, had handed in her resignation on several occasions – which Dr Weldon denied.

Dr Weldon posted a video clip of Ms Wilson’s comments from the press conference on Twitter.

She wrote: “Can someone let me know where in this statement that is referenced does it say that I resigned multiple times?

“Why does the Minister of Health, Kim Wilson, think it’s OK to defame my character on national TV?”

Dr Weldon quit MDL, which was at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus and a major test processing centre, and said that the Government had ignored her warnings that the reopening of classrooms would overwhelm test capacity.

It was claimed by the Cabinet Office on Monday that Dr Weldon had attempted to withdraw her resignation just after she tendered it.

But she was told that it had already been accepted.

Dr Weldon’s relationship with the civil service was questioned by the Bermuda Broadcasting Company at the Thursday briefing.

Ms Wilson said Dr Weldon was “to be commended” for her role leading MDL through the pandemic.

But she added that “Cabinet is the one that sets policy” for dealing with public health restrictions.

Ms Wilson said the Cabinet Office statement on Monday “speaks to the history of the relationship with Dr Weldon”.

She added: “I believe there were several occasions when she tendered her resignation, the most recent being the one we are speaking about in December.”

The remarks sparked a rebuttal from Dr Weldon on social media within hours.

Ms Wilson did not answer specific questions on the allegation that Dr Weldon had tendered her resignation several times.

The Cabinet Office statement on Monday referred only to the resignation letter of last December.

Ms Wilson said today: “As I have said previously, Dr Weldon has provided stellar service to the people of Bermuda, and we are appreciative of the work done by her and her entire team. Thank you.”

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Published March 19, 2022 at 6:57 pm (Updated March 19, 2022 at 6:57 pm)

War of words breaks out between ex-science adviser and health minister

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