Minister of Health Pietersz-Janga should step down

The Minister of Health on Curacao has opted not to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus on religious grounds. That is her personal prerogative, but it sets a bad precedent for the public and hinders the eradication of the virus from the island.

Any person that allows her religious beliefs to conflict with her governmental duties - real or perceived - especially when it involves the public's health, should not be in that position. Does Dorothy Pietersz-Janga also object to childhood immunizations for smallpox, measles, diphtheria, and polio on religious grounds? Prime Minister Pisas' statement to the public "Your choice should not endanger the country" is well-put, but should also apply to his own Minister of Health.

With lives still being lost and Covid-19 disruptions continuing, the Minister of Health should be encouraging every resident to be vaccinated. A large part of that task is alleviating the fears people have about getting vaccinated against Covid-19. But her "Do as I say, not as I do" version of public policy does none of that and likely leads to the opposite result, providing people with an official role model and justification for not getting vaccinated.

A better-suited Minister of Health should have no problem with being vaccinated and would proudly lead by example. No matter what, for the health and safety of the people of Curacao, Dorothy Pietersz-Janga should step down. There must be another Pisas Cabinet position she could fill that doesn't conflict with her religious beliefs.




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