Opposition MP Rodney Charles has criticised Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh for appearing on the late-night US TV programme The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Thursday.
He said the appearance has made Trinidad and Tobago a global laughing stock.
On Thursday, Deyalsingh appeared on the show via Zoom to address the impact Trinidad-born rapper Nicki Minaj’s statements had made on vaccination efforts in TT.
She claimed a friend of one of her Trinidad cousins had been left impotent and with swollen testicles after taking a covid19 vaccine. The story made headline news in many international media outlets.
In a release on Friday, Charles said some issues are off the table and should be ignored.
“While (Barbados PM) Mia Mottley showcases Caribbean intellect on serious media like CNN and the BBC, we are left wondering why did our government think it necessary to add salt to the wound, giving legs to a non-issue, and embarrassing a citizen by appearing on Trevor Noah’s comedy show. We are now a global laughing stock for 30 seconds of fame on a global comedy show?”
He said Minaj may or may not have made a mistake, but that was not a matter for the government.
“We have serious issues deserving its total attention. The whole world now knows that our government engages in trivia. International figures make statements from time to time that they wish they had not said. Why add to the global ridicule of one of our more famous daughters of the soil? The world does not make neat distinctions between Minaj and the rest of us. The government does not look good when it helps in her discomfort.”
Charles also criticised Deyalsingh for highlighting some of the cultural items for which TT is known.
“Deyalsingh compounds his error by showcasing on Noah’s comedy show our penchant for doubles, fete, calypso, chutney, Carnival, and bacchanal. He boastfully invites Noah to come to Carnival next year to fete. While these define us, we are also about serious issues like economic diversification, poverty reduction, and covid.”
He said TT should follow Mottley’s example of addressing the global media on climate change, economic development, the IMF, vaccine discrimination, and post-covid economic revival.
“Rowley and his government get away with murder in TT, revoking standing orders at will, infiltrating every independent institution, bending the EBC, trade unions, even the media to his will. International institutions are not so easily malleable and he should be so advised. Their actions have once again made TT a laughing stock on the global arena.”
The Daily Show segment can be found at this link