The Secretary of Health, Lorenzo González Feliciano. (Vanessa Serra Díaz)
The Secretary of Health, Lorenzo González Feliciano , distanced himself this Monday from the exhortation made by the President of the United States, Donald Trump , that citizens do not be afraid of COVID-19 and he recalled that the Republican leader received a “privileged” treatment and different from what a patient typically receives.
For the psychiatrist by profession, the president's expressions on his departure from the Walter Reed military medical center after convalescing from the virus could send the wrong message to those vulnerable to the disease that has left over 210,000 dead on US soil, according to the count carried out by Johns Hopkins University .
Also, González Feliciano recalled that the president achieved a relatively short recovery thanks to treatments that are not available to the majority of the population .
“It is a message that may give the impression of lowering your guard, but at this moment of course you have to be afraid of (COVID-19), especially the population most at risk and remembering that the president has a privileged situation, where he received a different treatment “ , stated the official in a radio interview (WKAQ – 580 AM).” He has many more accesses than the rest of the general population, “he added.
After being discharged, Trump said through his Twitter account that he felt very well and that he should not be afraid of the disease.
“I feel very good. Don't be afraid of COVID. Don't let it rule your lives, ”he wrote.
Immediately, various politicians and scientists criticized Trump's expressions, as they occur at a time when the world still does not have a vaccine to control the spread of the virus.
González Feliciano recalled that during the past month of September on the island dozens of deaths from COVID-19 were registered, for which he urged citizens to continue using the mask and maintaining social distancing.
“You do have to be afraid (of COVID-19) because people continue to die in Puerto Rico. Obviously, in September it was very difficult for Puerto Rico in the range of seven deaths per day, “he warned.
Against this background, the Secretary of Health said that if Puerto Rico maintains the rhythm of September for the next three months, the year would end with between 1,300 to 1,400 deaths from coronavirus. According to data from the Health Department, the island today adds 696 deaths, of which 519 were classified as confirmed and 177 as probable.
“ I can have respect and deference to the president's positions, as I have always had for any dignitary, but in the context that he had a large amount of resources that the general population does not have . It would be irresponsible to say that they are not afraid of him, “he said.