The following Op-Ed was released for publication on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, by Opposition Leader Cole Simons of the One Bermuda Alliance…

It would appear that in the midst of an unprecedented time in Bermuda’s management of the pandemic, the Premier is consistently missing in action. The people of Bermuda want, need, and deserve strong leadership. How can the Premier remain quiet when the numbers of positive cases of COVID continue to rise to unprecedented levels?

We need consistent communication from the leader of this country. The Pandemic related media conferences used to be weekly when the numbers were much, much lower. How can the Premier justify having emergency powers, and then go missing when the country is clearly in an emergency?

The questions arising from many on traditional and social media platforms are many, like ‘Where is the Premier and why is he dodging the difficult questions?’ It is obvious that some people feel abandoned and need some form of comfort from the leader. What are his plans for mitigating Covid-19, given the spike and extent of infections?

It’s not good enough that the Premier embraces the accolades. As the leader of this country, he must take center stage and face the nation, even when the news is bad. Bermuda needs leadership and moreover, the country needs direction.

In a separate statement: A spokesperson said: “On Friday the Opposition Leader and his 5 MPs had 90 minutes to question the Premier on matters related to the Coronavirus Pandemic. They had Premier’s Question Time plus a ministerial statement from the Premier solely dedicated to the pandemic.

“Leadership is not about jumping on the latest social media bandwagon, leadership during a pandemic is about heeding public health advice, building consensus with stakeholders and implementing rules and regulations which will keep people safe.

“The Government urges the Opposition to support its call for Bermuda’s residents to follow the regulations in place that will aid in combatting the spread of the Delta Variant so that the country can tackle this surge with the sense of unity required.”