Spooked by their own biases

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

The enemies and critics of the Duterte administration are so hopelessly biased they are getting scared of their own imagination. They fear the Philippines is going under in this pandemic and blame the government for what they are convinced is nothing short of a botched response. The sad thing is that you cannot beg them to keep an open mind. Their minds are so small you cannot get any acreage even if they did open up.

Those who do not let politics becloud their view or obfuscate their reason will see that, under the circumstances, their own country is actually doing very well in this global fight against COVID-19 and its variants. They clearly see, for example, that as the 13th most populous country in a world of some 200 countries affected by COVID, we are nowhere near the Top 10 in number of cases, and even much less in number of deaths.

One would have thought, if we are to believe how terribly mishandled our COVID response is, as pandered by the Duterte critics and enemies, that we would be way up there among the leading countries with unfortunate and tragic statistics. After all, we are a poor country allegedly governed badly with 109 million unprotected citizens waiting to become statistics of the disease.

But no, the rants of the anti-Duterte forces are simply not matched by the facts. They are easily drowned out by the facts. Those who take issue, for instance, with the vaccines, about how slow the rollout supposedly is, and how few there is that is being rolled out --if only they took the time to see for themselves what the reality is, they might even allow themselves the luxury of a little pause in their diatribes.

The fact is, there are only about two dozen companies producing the vaccines for the 200 or so affected countries, with a combined population of more than 7 billion people, all fighting to get their hands on these life-saving medicines. Remember that none of these vaccines is free. What free vaccines there are either are donated by those who made them or made available by those with enough money to spare some.

Each vaccine manufacturer can make anywhere from a low of half-a-million vials per year to a high of something like 2 million vials annually. Put together, all they can come up max in a year would be something like 50 million vials. That is not even half the population of the Philippines. So even if we are the only country in the world, and considering it takes a year to make 50 million vials, Duterte will still be faulted by his detractors.

Since reality and reason are never enough to quiet the unquietable, maybe it is time right-thinking people force these rabble-rousers to put their money where their mouths are, to put into action their own idea of what might work in this pandemic according to their own measure, standard, scope, and pace. Since they are so all-knowing, let us all give them the chance to strut their stuff.

Maybe we can try Leni Robredo as our next president. Or we can push our fool's errand to the limit with Antonio Trillanes. And to help them be glorified, let us petition for the appointment of their believers to pay them official hossanahs, including those from media. We might even stop the official count of COVID, as what someone ordered in the case of Yolanda. Then we can all be united in prayer. That a tomorrow is still possible.

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