Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Medicinal Cannabis Authority Dr Jerrol Thompson says he has no apologies to make for striking lawyer and former Speaker of the House of Assembly Jomo Thomas.
“This is time for merriment and peace and it is a bad example that two old hard back men and so forth… but I had to defend myself and I am a person who has never been violent or known to be violent…I think it was important for me to defend myself…” Thompson, an infectious disease specialist, told SEARCHLIGHT in an exclusive interview on Sunday.
Thompson and Thomas, both in their sixties, were involved in a physical altercation on Saturday at about 5 p.m. at Heritage Square, Kingstown.
Both men once contested General Elections on Unity Labour Party (ULP) tickets.
Minutes after talks of the incident started making the rounds, Thomas commented on his Facebook page that he had been attacked by Thompson, but that none of Thompson’s punches connected.
“A few minutes ago I was attacked by Dr Jerrol Thompson, one of PM Gonsalves’ clansmen all because I told him that that he cannot talk,” said Thomas who contested the South Leeward parliamentary seat on a ULP ticket in 2015 but has since given up his party card.
“He fired punch after punch. I deflected them. I smiled and never returned a punch. With my training I could have taken his eyes, throat and balls, his sternum and his legs.
“But as they wise ones say when anger takes hold, reasons depart,” said Thomas, a leading anti-vaxxer, in the Facebook post.
But Thompson, a former member of parliament for North Leeward has a different account of what happened.
He said the fray was witnessed by several persons who were socializing at Heritage Square including Edmond Jackson, the Director General of Finance and Planning and sports administrator Sean Stanley, both of whom can verify what happened.
“Jomo often, you know like in a village, after an altercation, one of them runs down to the police station to make a report…,” Thompson said of Thomas’s Facebook post.
He said he had been liming at “Richie’s”, a hangout spot at Heritage Square, for about two hours and when he was about to leave Jomo came up to him.
“He was circling and then he pulled up and kind of run in and said ‘the doctor can’t talk, the doctor can’t talk’, he said so about six times…and Jackson asked him what he was talking about and he said ‘two patients who were vaccinated died, and the doctors them ain’t talking….”
Thomas seems to have been referring to a press release issued by the Health Services Sub Committee of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) on December 16 which said on Wednesday December 14, two fully vaccinated persons died due to COVID-19 at the isolation ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH).
“So I asked him if he is saying the vaccine killed them and he said ‘yes’…”
Thompson said he told Thomas to look around the world where there had been three policies — the Chinese’s zero tolerance policy, that in his opinion failed miserably; the Swedish policy of encouraging people to catch COVID-19 so that they would build immunity naturally, that also failed in his opinion; and Norway’s vaccination policy which saw that country recording only 4400 deaths as opposed to their neighbour’s Sweden approximately 21,000 deaths.
“So he said ‘you are a liar’ and he said he going to his car to check his phone.
“He stayed about 10 minutes in his car checking the information out, but in the meantime Edmond Jackson checked it out and said, ‘look Sweden had 21,000 deaths and Norway with 4400’.
“When he came back I asked him if he found the information and he was smiling, but he did check it out to say I am a liar,” Thompson explained.
He said that Thomas changed the course of the discussion and started to speak about people who died that are over 81 years old, but he (Thompson) kept refusing to accept the argument Thomas was putting out.
“He said ‘you’re an asshole’….
“I told him he was doing the same old shuffle…so I got up as I had exposed him twice for the second time…I got up and the chair I was sitting on, Jomo pushed the chair on top of me hitting me on my hip.
“…Man I held onto Jomo and I gave him two punches in his face and as we struggled, he fell back onto a bench and I gave him again….so when he said he deflected the blows, he deflected with his head… and my knuckle…and his head was harrrd…he had a hard head…and I basically struck him several times and he tried to swing back but his arms were too short…,” Thompson said as he described the fight.
He said that Thomas’s attempts to hit him back failed.
“…And he basically didn’t catch me. I don’t know if he knows judo or anything…but basically I dealt with him and I had to do it because as a past politician I have had many, many insults, none of them bothered me. I took them on my chin, you could chant me as a doctor who can’t talk, or I am a liar or that I am an asshole, but don’t in front of people go and push a chair on top me to strike me,” Thompson stressed.
He said he believed that Thomas had wanted to lift up the chair to strike him.
“…Because I had shown him out from an academic point of view and that is what bruises him, because he has to feel he won an academic argument but what he said, I am Ralph’s clansman….the fact that he pointed out I was sent by Ralph ..I was there, he was the one who approached me and assaulted me…I defended myself…,” the doctor further stated.
“I am black, I have Carib blood in my veins, I have Garifuna blood in my veins, I am proud of that and he could bring all kind of racist thing and he can have all kinds of bile in his craw for Ralph Gonsalves, that’s his problem, but to come and say that I am one of Ralph’s clansman is to try and bring up a racist epitaph which is sickening in my view…” Thompson further said.
He said Thomas did not necessarily provoke him to anger but he had to respond because Thomas got angry at the fact that he was able to make him look “small”.
“…Essentially I take these things in stride and he would never do this again to me or anybody. He would think twice about this because he feels he can intimidate…
“I think that he has a streak where his hatred for Ralph Gonsalves dulls his whole perspective,” Thompson opined.
He said he does not think there will repercussions for his actions.
“I am not running for anything…one can check with different people and he is lying, not telling the truth, when he said he was not struck…he deflected…,” Thompson said while adding that he waited around for about 45 minutes after the incident but eventually left before Thomas.
“He must have felt so down, dejected, he must have put that post out…and lied to say he deflected stuff…I have no shame that I hit him…because I was defending myself…
“I have spoken to a ton load of people and they are all very supportive…there must be a lesson from this and Jomo himself…he loves to try cases in the court of public opinion.
“There are studies that show that Ivermectin never worked and he never came out and said he was wrong…”the former politician said.
In September 2021 Thomas tested positive for COVID-19 and said he was using the drug Ivermectin as part of his treatment and encouraged other persons to do the same.
Thompson said he is planning to speak more on this matter on his programme on We FM today, Monday, December 19.