Yes, he really said it.
Government House’s Richard Motta, who speaks for the governor, said the Virgin Islands is not going to require proof of vaccination from arriving airline passengers.
“We will rely on what has been working for us this far.”
What does that actually mean?
Is 67 COVID deaths territory-wide “working for us”?
Is one death per day over the course of just one month “working for us.”
Is 200 to 400 active cases daily since July “working for us”?
In the words of Michael Conolly’s famous detective Harry Bosch: “Everybody counts or nobody counts.”
Those 67 COVID deaths were 67 people. They weren’t “nobody.” They count.
Those 200-400 cases of COVID are people. They aren’t “nobody.” They count.
But Motta said: “It is a challenge being able to validate vaccination records for vaccines administered outside of the territory.”
It is not an impossible challenge for the cruise ships to require and validate vaccinations.
It is not a hopeless challenge for our Caribbean tourism rivals to require vaccinations.
Gov. Bryan must not shirk his duty to protect the life and health of everybody in the Virgin Islands just because “it is a challenge” for the government.
He cannot credibly claim that requiring proof of a negative COVID test five days before a traveler is enough. In truth, it is ludicrously inadequate because at any time after taking the test, visitors could become infected and then bring it to us, with nothing to stop them.
Gov. Bryan, Virgin Islanders lives are at stake. It is time to stop avoiding the tough challenges and start implementing policies for everybody who counts — which means all of us.