Roban attacks Bean for ‘dangerous’ anti-mask stance
Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, has branded the Free Democratic Movement's stance on wearing face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic as “dangerous”.
He was speaking after Marc Bean, the leader of the new political party, was interviewed by Trevor Lindsay on TNN on Friday morning.
During that interview, Mr Bean said that had he been Premier during the outbreak of the virus, he would have handled things differently to David Burt, The Premier.
He said he would have encouraged the populace to boost their immune systems by getting out and exercising and said one of the most important aspects of maintaining good health was breathing fresh air.
Mr Bean said: “What is the purpose of putting a mask recirculating your C0²? You are not getting oxygen. What's the purpose of telling people to wear this mask?
“It doesn't make sense.”
Mr Lindsay suggested that the purpose of mask-wearing was to minimise the spread of the coronavirus.
Mr Bean responded by saying that education was the best prevention and that his party would present its vision on healthcare when its platform is released.
In a press statement released on Friday evening, Mr Roban, however, emphasised that the public should follow medical advice.
He said: “All of the experts agree — masks stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“The Progressive Labour Party ably managed the coronavirus situation and, with the potential of a second wave, Bermudians need to ask themselves if we want representatives in the House of Assembly questioning the science and questioning the medical consensus.”
Mr Roban warned that if people stopped wearing masks and the testing regime was relaxed, the country could move to community spread of the coronavirus.
He said: “That will mean more cases leading to more hospitalisations and, sadly, death.
“The FDM party's anti-mask position is dangerous and we must ensure that those who advocate against capable management of the coronavirus remain out of the House of Assembly.
“We need leaders that listen to science and act in the best interest of Bermudians.”
Mr Roban told the public: “Wear your masks. Wash your hands. Remain physically distant. This election is now about making sure that this consensus exists in Bermuda.”
• UPDATE: this article has been amended to introduce TNN as the original source for Marc Bean's comments and provide more context