Perhaps as a knee-jerk reaction to dubious social media posts on spoiled food donations by the Office of the Vice President, as well as denials of bribery in that questionable affair, Leni Robredo saw fit to overlay the negativity by quickly retaliating with what she considers a virtual declaration that she remains relevant.
However, as the scandal was settled as fake news, Robredo continued counterpunching, repeating stale and spoiled issues on our COVID-19 responses.
Note her timing and the manner by which she gnaws like a rodent at the foundations of the government.
At about the time that the World Health Organization (WHO) quoted an unqualified hack on the rise of infections in the Philippines, Robredo again reinserted herself into the discussion.
She focused on three aspects. She claims government was complacent in banning access from China. She also claims government failed to provide enough personal protective equipment (PPE).
Lastly, she questioned the Department of Health’s (DoH) testing targets.
As the government mostly took its cue from the WHO, to her misfortune, the following debunk her claims.
On 9 January 2020, the Chinese reported one death from an unidentified disease. Less than two weeks later on 21 January, a couple arrived from Hong Kong the day WHO suspected the disease might be communicable. With communicability still indeterminate, banning travel from Hong Kong seemed premature.
Twelve days later on 2 February when one of the two passed and China’s reported fatalities were still only four, we quickly banned travel from China and Hong Kong, and imposed a two-week quarantine on returning Filipinos. Given a global tally of only five deaths and no declared pandemic, how is that complacency as Robredo insists?
It was only on 11 March when the WHO declared a pandemic. Within three days, we imposed curfews and strict lockdowns.
On PPE, culled from the WHO, the World Economic Forum and its Pandemic Supply Chain Network, note the PPE situation then.
The global “hostaging” and hoarding of PPE bloated prices. Mask prices rose 600 percent, gowns, 100 percent and respirators, 300 percent. The travel ban from China also severed the supply chain that a 40 percent global increase in PPE manufacturing was needed. WHO estimated 89 million masks are needed monthly. Gloves, over 76 million. Goggles, 1.6 million. All external realities we have little control over.
On testing, the DoH targeted 8,000 tests daily by July. It missed by a week but within three weeks our testing capacity surpassed 51,000 a day despite capital intensive and logistical requisites.
In a hollow echo chamber, disembodied noises bounce off repeatedly. Think of this allegory. Now turn towards the virtual doghouse outside Malacañang. Analyzing the echoes, it soon dawns on us that Robredo has become irrelevant, her rants, rancid, stale and insipid.
Taxpayers don’t mind funding her donations. We however mind when she uses our taxes to spread six-month old stale and spoiled misconceptions.