NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Consul General in Miami Linda Treco-Mackey yesterday defended her return to the country on Friday’s repatriation flights.
Treco-Mackey said she was cleared to fly and insisted her diplomatic post is always being manned no matter where she may be.
Her comments come after Opposition Leader Philip Davis questioned in a statement why Mackey was allowed to board the flight “when she should be manning her post in Miami”.
Davis noted that the seat on the flight could have been used for another Bahamian.
Treco-Mackey chalked the comments up to political posturing in an interview with Eyewitness News.
“I understand politicians have to be politicians and I expect them to put a spin on whatever they can put a spin on and that’s expected and normal,” she said.
“The truth is we are all teleworking. There’s no such thing as not manning your post, once you have a computer and a phone, work never stops.”
Treco-Mackey noted she has a deputy consul in place in Florida, as well as foreign service officers and a full staff – who are constantly on the phone with Bahamians wanting to return.
“Our staff has worked long hours throughout the last seven weeks,” she said.
“So there is no such thing as a post that is unmanned. Our post is always manned. Plus we have emergency numbers. I get calls at all hours of the night.”
On Friday, 183 Bahamians were flown home to New Providence and Grand Bahama after spending weeks stuck abroad in Florida due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Each passenger was required to take a COVID-19 test and had to receive a negative result as a prerequisite to boarding the flight.
Treco-Mackey insisted that it would have been irresponsible for her not to follow the protocols that she has asked the other passengers to uphold.
She noted that she was tested and was cleared to fly.
The consul general noted that she was happy to be able to escort the first cohort of Bahamian residents back home, especially seeing those who were stuck abroad for a medical reason
The repatriation flight efforts however has been temporarily suspended until further notice, after it was discovered that a COVID-19 positive person was allowed on the flight and disembarked in Grand Bahama.
Investigations into the matter are ongoing.