BELIZE CITY, Tues. July 13, 2021– Following a press conference staged by the newly formed Belize Rights and Justice Movement (BRJM), at which the group publicly brandished its anti-vaccine message and its plans for organized resistance, the Belize Medical and Dental Association (BMDA) quickly issued a public statement in an effort to staunch the spread of the group’s alleged misinformation. The president of the BMDA, Dr. Uldine Wright, told local reporters that the members of the association became concerned after the BRJM’s press conference, because the members of the group appeared to be acting on the basis of personal beliefs and not on the basis of scientific or medical evidence.
Dr. Wright stated, “Our general members are the ones who reached out to us yesterday morning after this Channel 7 show that they had, and at first I was just appalled. I could not believe that in this time and age, with so much information being readily available, persons will still go on with non-scientific data, but that is our case. And so, I was advised by a few members of the executive not to go, it doesn’t make sense to debate with persons on that playing field because they will come with beliefs, and in our field, we deal with science, and so I ignored it. And then this morning they continued, and it seems that they’re getting a fan club. There are persons who had had doubts about COVID, doubts about the vaccine, so everybody is just jumping on and being involved in this Belize Rights and Justice Movement spreading misinformation, and this could be detrimental to our public health system in which our doctors and nurses are at the forefront. So, this will affect us and affect the health of our population, so we believe that we must make a stance and make our position clear.”
Dr. Wright further expressed concerns that three of the four doctors who the group claims to have within their ranks are not legally registered doctors in Belize — namely Jose Espat, Abraham Flowers and Orlando Pelayo. Only Dr. Gerald Zuniga is said to be registered as a physician, although his status has not been gazetted because his “payment was not made on time”. Dr. Wright said that, according to the Medical Act, those giving medical advice without a license are subject to be charged a fine of $50,000 or face imprisonment for these infractions.
Dr. Wright, on behalf of the BMDA, is now urging the general public to make well-informed decisions as opposed to basing their decisions on claims made by the Belize Rights and Justice Movement.
“This is very dangerous, because Ms. Dina said today that their membership has grown to over 500 persons. And so, we see persons from the beginning, anything new, they’re afraid of. And so, they had that fear, and now being given misinformation presented as facts by this organization who supposedly gets their advice from medical doctors, people will tend to believe it, and it’s not true, and this is why I’m here and I’m asking that the public go and read for themselves. Read credible information. Go to the WHO website, the CDC, Mayo Clinic, John Hopkins, all these websites and you read scientific data., Because if you had noticed, today Dr. Zuniga who was on Love Fm’s show, he was saying “studies show this and that,” yet he never gave a reference…so we have to be very careful when we are making our decisions and you need to read for yourselves,” Dr. Wright said.