Malacañang on Tuesday thumbed down former National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Leachon’s plea to abolish the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, the country’s main pandemic decision-making task force.
“Sir, the president has addressed your views. You’re sourgraping because he did not appoint you as Secretary of Health. Pasensiyahan na lang po,” Roque said in a virtual presser.
In a “Sa Totoo Lang” appearance, Leachon questioned the purpose of the IATF in the country’s pandemic response.
“Parang dapat wala na sigurong IATF kasi lagi namang nave-veto at mas matatalino pa nga ‘yung netizens natin eh. Practical sila mag-isip eh,” he said.
“I think it’s about time na i-revisit natin kung ano ang role ng IATF. It has become a bottleneck area for decisions not based on science,” he added.
Vaccine czar and NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. also repudiated Leachon’s proposal and said the doctor had no word of honor.
“Ang advice ko lang kay Dr. Leachon, hindi mo pinagbuti ang trabaho mo sa NTF at saka nakita natin na mayroon kang ulterior motive aside from serving our people kaya tinanggal po namin kayo,” Galvez said.
“So iyon pa lang nakita natin na si Dr. Leachon po talagang wala pong word of honor iyan, talagang ang hirap makasama,” he added.
Leachon on Twitter said that he made the call as some IATF guidelines were not not science-based and were being overruled by President Rodrigo Duterte and local government leaders.
“Perhaps better for IATF to focus on helping (Secretary Galvez) on the vaccination program and delegate Covid management to the LGU heads for urgent action. FOCUS is key,” he said.
Lots of debates on IATF guidelines which sow divisiveness and confusion rather than inspire the people to roll with the punches and wait for the vaccines which we all need now.
We also need compassion and empathy from our leaders in this crisis with words that can inspire us.
— Tony Leachon MD (@DrTonyLeachon) February 16, 2021
Leachon announced on June 17 last year that he was no longer special adviser to the NTF, saying he thought he “was asked to resign.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro