Governor of the United States Virgin Islands Mr. Albert Bryan Jr. said the British Virgin Islands government should be focusing its efforts on vaccinating frontline staff and implementing a full lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Governor’s remarks were made on Monday, July 19, following a question by a member of the press on whether the USVI was able to make a donation of vaccines to the BVI.
“Like I said last week the delegate and I have been having a lot of conversations, State department, CDC, HHS, White House, trying to figure out a way on how to give them, but the plea has to come first from them directly to the US State Department and then they can assist,” he remarked.
He said anyone who comes to their shores would be offered the vaccine and health care, but “We can’t solicit and say we are going to send the vaccines or any equipment or anything that we have over there that was purchased with federal money. And, unfortunately, all of our supplies were purchased with federal money, but we do have a dialogue with the BVI, and we are helping them with things as they come up that we purchase with our local money.”
Governor Bryan said the USVI is there for the BVI and added that: “if it comes to a point between me pissing off the federal government and saving my people in the BVI, that’s not a question for me we will just have to send it.”
Lockdown Is Advised
In the meantime, Governor Bryan said at this time, “vaccines don’t really give them that much help now.”
He explained: “You talking about three weeks before they even get any kind of real antibody count in their systems so they would be able to resist the virus. Right now, what they should be doing is locking it down 24 hours, making sure that they have the support in the hospital, making sure the hospital staff is vaccinated, the public safety staff, and really prohibiting people from moving around as much as possible to get their numbers where they need to.”
He said the steep incline being seen with reported recoveries could see the number of infections receding quickly if the lockdown is implemented.
The BVI is under a 7 pm to 5 am curfew, with over 1,500 active cases and 17 deaths.