‘Not a joking matter’: DOH rebukes Gadon for ‘misinformation’ on face masks
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) slammed what it called the “misinformation” being espoused by lawyer Larry Gadon that wearing face masks cannot prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with a reminder that the issue is “not a joking matter.”
Gadon, a self-styled pro-administration lawyer who made a name for himself for hurling invectives against supporters of unseated Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in Baguio City in 2018, calling them “bobo” (stupid), and later on claiming that he didn’t mind being disbarred for such behavior, again became the fodder for social media after he was spotted recently wearing his face mask improperly.
A picture of the lawyer with his surgical mask taped inside his face shield, instead of securely covering his face, went viral, but he brushed the controversy off, saying he does not believe in the efficacy of face masks in preventing the spread of coronavirus disease, and that government was only “overreacting” to the pandemic’s “paranoia.”
But the DOH is not laughing at Gadon’s apparent disdain of wearing face masks, the cornerstone of the government’s fight against coronavirus.
“Unang-unang, this is not a joking matter. Alam ng mga tao lahat merong namamatay, merong nagkakasakit, nagsu-suffer ang economy, and the only way for us to fight and to overcome this situation is lahat tayo magtutulungan,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media forum.
“’Yung mga ganitong statement is not helping us at all,” she added.
Vergeire further said that Gadon, as well as other known personalities, should be careful with their remarks especially in this time of pandemic as they can provide the public with wrong information that may further worsen the situation in the country.
The mandatory wearing of a face mask in public was among the health protocols the government imposed to curtail the further spread of the respiratory disease, which has already infected over 160,000 nationwide.
Vergeire explained that wearing face masks alone prevents coronavirus infection by up to 85%, adding face shield and doing physical distancing will increase prevention to up to 99%.
She then urged the public to only follow advice from health professionals.
“Sana po makinig lang po tayo sa accurate information, sa tamang information. This is not a joking matter so sana po lahat ng tao maintindihan nila kung ano ang magiging implikasyon kapag nagsasalita sila in public because people might be following them,” Vergeire said.
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