Noynoy's MERS-COV vs. Duterte's COVID: Apples vs. Oranges

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

It amuses me no end to see, to this day, some quixotic souls still trying to make Noynoy Aquino the giant that he never was or the saint that he never will be. What good he has done, he has done. Even critics will have to acknowledge that. But to imagine an achievement in an absolute vacuum is to do the naked imperial walk. It can only invite ridicule instead of praise.

 Take this former Aquino Cabinet official. He is now comparing what he calls the superb handling by Aquino of the MERS-COV scare of 2014 to how President Duterte is supposedly bungling the Philippine response to COVID-19. Ha ha ha. I am sorry, dear reader. I am not trying to make frivolous such a serious matter as a health crisis. But I just cannot help but laugh at this inanity, this silliness, this mindless edifying of a hollowness.

There is no logic in comparing the Philippine MERS-COV scare of 2014 to the present COVID-19 pandemic. It is a non sequitor. It does not follow. You just do not compare apples with oranges. It is a grand deception by the ex-Cabinet official, and plain naivete of the suckers who lapped up the comparison without question.

First of all, MERS-COV was not a pandemic. Secondly, the Philippine MERS-COV scare of 2014 involved nothing more than the frantic search for the 300 airline passengers who came home on a flight from Saudi Arabia after Saudi authorities alerted Philippine officials that one of the passengers tested positive for the Middle Eastern variant of the coronavirus. A Boy Scout camp is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a Guadalcanal.

It is true the Duterte government is struggling against COVID. But no government among the roughly 200 countries in the world that have the disease is having a walk in the park either. Every country in the world is struggling and anybody who says it isn't so is a big fat liar. Nobody was ready for this pandemic. There was no blueprint on how to fight it. It was everyone for himself.

Now, if only the brains of some people have not been addled beyond redemption by too much hate for Duterte, if they can still find it in themselves to keep an open mind, they will find that the Philippines under Duterte is actually doing so much better than even many of the countries we idolize. For example, with the exception of Japan, all the rest of the G-7 countries, have so many, many more COVID cases than the Philippines.

Despite what his critics say, the Philippines under Duterte is at 24th place in the number of COVID cases. The US, the favorite country of Aquino and his allies, is at number 1. The rest of G-7, the richest, most advanced countries like Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and UK, have so many more cases than us. That, despite our being very populous and not well-to-do.

With 110 million people, we are 13th in the world in population. Yet we own only 0.245% of the wealth of the world. The US, the favorite country of Aquino and his allies, owns 30.2% of the world's wealth. Yet it has the most COVID cases. And still the allies of Aquino would rather ignore that and focus on "how poorly" their own country is dealing with COVID? Why don't we focus on the Dengvaxia fiasco of Aquino instead?

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