Palace accuses opposition of ‘politicizing’ gov’t efforts vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — The opposition is “resorting to politicking” in saying that the government COVID-19 task force failed to respond to the pandemic, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque dispelled the claim by noting how the country dodged the University of the Philippines’ (UP) forecast of reaching 3.5 million COVID-19 infections through the government’s interventions.
“I don’t think we failed for as long as we did not meet the 3.5 [million] projection of UP. And UP has been very good at their forecast,” Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier answered affirmatively when asked if the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases “failed” to respond to the pandemic.
Drilon also said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who heads the task force, “lacked credibility” to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will always have different points of view, particularly because he’s coming from the opposition and I think they’re resorting to politicking. The appeal of the President is to concentrate on the COVID-19, set aside politicking for the time being which I think is a very wise policy,” Roque said.
“As long as we’re minimizing death rates, I think we have succeeded. And there’s no way I can change that position because one life loss is too much.”
“But when you consider in the past few weeks, we have two, three people die, even if there are thousands of cases, I think that’s still a success,” he went on.
The number of COVID-19 infections in the country surpassed 70,000 after recording 1,951 new cases Tuesday.
Two new additional deaths were reported bringing the total to 1,837 while a total of 23,281 have recovered from the disease.
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