Wednesday 19 December, 2018

Maxie Cuffie denies lack of information on health

La Horquetta/Talparo MP Maxie Cuffie refuted allegations that information has not been forthcoming regarding his health after suffering from a stroke in September 2017.

In a letter to the Trinidad Express, Cuffie referred to an Express article published January 7, 2018, which claimed that he had not been more forthcoming regarding his medical status.

He said it was 'untrue and inaccurate', adding that he personally called the media house to issue New Year's greetings.

"While I understand and appreciate the legitimate interest in my health status from the media and my constituents, I think it is untrue and inaccurate to state that I have not been forthcoming with information. This article appears at the end of a week in which I personally called the Express Newspaper to extend New Year greetings, testify to my wellbeing and give an update on my health status," he said.

Cuffie added that he has never engaged in 'rum shop journalism' or politics. 

"I recognize the bye-line of the article as belonging to a constituent who is well known to me and the staff of my various offices. While, as a lifelong teetotaler, I have never engaged in rum shop journalism or politics, I can hardly understand why the reporter should find it necessary to only visit a rum shop or bar to obtain information on what is happening in the constituency."

"The reporter, as a member of the constituency, is fully aware that I communicate with constituents regularly via my Facebook page which is constantly updated, including as recently as Christmas and New Year's Day. My constituents are therefore fully apprised of my health status and the work that is being undertaken in the constituency including relevant photographs," he said.

"It is unfortunate that the reporter did not bother herself to include any of this information in her article. She ought also to have been aware of how to legitimately access information on both matters," Cuffie said.

Cuffie added that some of the comments made by his constituents were offered merely "in the spirits" of the season and should be taken in that regard.

"Had the reporter truly been interested in the happenings in the constituency and arrangements for a caretaker during my absence, she would have contacted any of the offices, the numbers of which are advertised in my constituency Facebook pages."

"While I truly appreciate the prayers and legitimate concerns of constituents as to my wellbeing, recovery and return, I wish to advise that their prayers are being answered and that the combined efforts of my doctors, therapists and myself, with God's grace, are all geared towards my complete recovery," he said.

According to a Newsday report, Cuffie was granted leave from Parliament sittings for the month of January after suffering from a stroke last year and is said to be recovering at a hospital in the US.  

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