Gwen draws flak for ‘tuob’ remark

Lorraine L. Ecarma (The Freeman) - June 28, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia has reaped criticisms online for allegedly lying over “tuob” (steam inhalation).

In response to Garcia’s virtual presser Friday, June 26, where she denied ever promoting steam inhalation as a cure for COVID-19, netizens were quick to point out a quote during her June 1 presser that seemed to prove otherwise.

“We have never, ever stated that steam inhalation cures COVID-19. Okay? Wa pa ma’y cure,” the governor said during her online media briefing last June 26.

This, however, was contrary to what she said during her June 1 online media briefing.

“Kay naa na ma’y tambal ang flu, kay naa na ma’y vaccine. Uy, naa na pud ta’y tambal sa COVID uy: pag-tuob,” she said.

Both videos were aired on Sugbo News.

Videos juxtaposing clips of her saying those two statements have begun making rounds on both Facebook and Twitter.

“Hello again Gov. Gwen Garcia naa mi resibo diay,” Jude Philip Maglasang said on Facebook with an attached video.

“Again, tu-ob is by no means a cure nor a reliable relief for symptoms of COVID-19 as it aerolizes water thus, enhancing the transmission of the virus,” the post reads further.

In a phone call with The FREEMAN, Garcia said that she has reviewed the clips with the Capitol PIO and claimed that her words were “taken out of context.”

Later that day, Garcia came up with an official statement posted on the Sugbo News Facebook page stating the same thing.

“A video clip being circulated online is highlighting a few seconds out of the five months of serious handling of the pandemic,” it reads.

In the statement Garcia stressed that tuob is only among the many health regimens she has been promoting in the past months of fighting the coronavirus.

“I have been consistent in advocating for tu-ob or steam inhalation only as one of many other health regimens. Buhat ang pasulti-on,” the statement reads.

“If I had really touted it as a cure for Covid, then my actions would have been to consistently announce daily that we were able to beat all of the world’s experts in discovering the magic cure.  But I did not,” it reads further.

Garcia also pointed out that the online discourse on tuob has magnified it in the national scale. She said that because of this, people who do not have a stand yet on the matter would be inclined to try the practice out themselves.

“I thank all of them too, for they have unwittingly placed tu-ob at the center of the nation’s attention. Because of the fierce objections, people who were neutral might just now be curious enough to try it for themselves,” the statement reads.

‘Dangerous’ claims

Meanwhile, the Philippine Medical Association, the umbrella organization of physicians in the Philippines, released a three-page statement last June 25 “wishing to correct Gov. Garcia’s dangerous claims” on steam inhalation.

“Given that COVID-19 is spread by droplets, the insulation of steam by an infected person may result in the aerosolized spread of mere exhalation, sneezing, coughing and the like,” the statement reads.

“Gov. Garcia cannot insist on a remedy that is not only unsupported by science, but is actually likely to have adverse consequences. This is counterproductive, irresponsible and dangerous,” it adds. KQD (FREEMAN)

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