The statement by the country’s leader came this morning moments after most of his Cabinet was sworn in at Government House, and after days of rumours about his supposed failing health.
The Prime Minister said rumours of his illness included three heart attacks, an incident where he collapsed and even his hospitalisation, telling the media the only thing that was ailing him was his voice.
He began his 13-minute mini-press briefing noting that his voice, which had given him no issues during the campaign, had been fading since the party’s victory and health-wise, was his only contention.
Apologising for the quality of his voice, he said: “It was fine during the campaign, but since then I have been having a few challenges with it.”
Stating that he did not believe his health would have been an issue after his performance during the recent election campaign, the Democratic Labour Party leader said:
“For the record, let me say according to what I heard, I am supposed to have collapsed here at Government House when I was taking the oath on Friday; I had a massive heart attack on Saturday; well Sunday was the Lord’s day and I did not suffer any anguish on that day.
“On Monday I had another heart attack; on Tuesday I was beaten up by Dr. Estwick and Mr. Sinckler and had to be hospitalised and on Wednesday while I was moving from one room to another, a call came through which was taken by my security man which said that a business meeting was taking place at some establishment, a call came through and one of the participants in the meeting got up to take the call and came back to say that he had bad news to communicate, the Prime Minister just had a massive heart attack at Ilaro Court and had to be taken off by ambulance to the hospital and is in ICU.
“I was able to take the phone from my security man and speak to the caller and to let him know I was very much here and even though I might be speaking to him from at the ICU.”
Joking at the many ailments he has been said to have suffered, Stuart told media: “I have never felt better. I don’t know where all the mythologies have come from. Obviously I am not immortal, nobody is, and I can tell you I have never felt fitter or better than I feel now.”
He went through the election campaign “feeling quite on top of the world”, Stuart said and then, as now, has enjoyed every moment of the process.
“I am still enjoying all that I am doing. No need to worry about Freundel Stuart, I will be around for a long time.”
For the spreaders of the rumours he also had a message: “Those people who were disappointed that they could not fight a fit man successfully and were hoping to fight a sick one, I want to caution them against optimism.” (LB)