Among the large number of psychological mutations that politics has, Minister Carla Vizzotti introduced a novelty this week: the obsession. He targeted the opposition leaders but the recrimination spread to millions of Argentines concerned about the Covid. “Lower your tension and your obsession with Pfizer”said the official in charge of health on Wednesday, in a tense press conference broadcast almost nationally on the news channels. Pfizer is the vaccine of American origin that the Government could not, did not know or did not want to buy, to put it in the words of Alfonsín that are already legend.
It was not an easy morning for Vizzotti. Should explain why the government did not buy vaccines from Pfizer, nor has it added until now those of Johnson & Johnson or those of Moderna to the lot that make up the Russian Sputnik V, the Chinese of Sinopharm and those of AstraZeneca, the latter with the delays that hampered the credibility of Alberto Fernández. The Minister of Health, an infectious disease doctor graduated from the University of El Salvador and specialized in preventable immune diseases, entered the ministry as health political cadre in 2007. His father had a friendship relationship with Ginés González García.
It is already history that Vizzotti had to replace Ginés in the ministry, after he exploded the VIP vaccination scandal that worked in those offices of the building with Evita’s billboard. Since then, he has had no rest. On Tuesday he had turned 49 and, the next day, it was his turn counterattack the statements of the regional director of the Covax Fund, the Argentine Santiago Cornejo, who had said in a Zoom of the CARI that Argentina had not accepted the Pfizer vaccines in the package of that solidarity fund for poor countries articulated by the World Health Organization. With Cornejo there were no problems because they made him pass the worst squeeze morning of his life. Therefore, the official rushed to write to Vizzotti a reverse letter that the Government immediately posted on all social networks.
The biggest problem is to explain why the vaccines that are already being applied in Uruguay, Chile, Brazil or Mexico were not purchased from Pfizer. It is that it is becoming clearer that every vaccine that is not bought, wherever he is from, leaves an Argentine closer to death. Maybe Vizzotti felt some of that pressure, when he broke down in the middle of the press conference and shed a few tears.
Just four months from the first date of legislative elections, it is inevitable that the purchase and application of vaccines get into the electoral campaign. The Government advertises each health circumstance as if they were heroic deeds and the opposition tries to show every official flaw as if they were crimes. The President and Ginés will take Patricia Bullrich to civil justice because he accused them of dark deeds during the negotiation with Pfizer.
And Horacio Rodríguez Larreta used Vizzotti’s metaphor to answer him. “I feel obsessed, obviously. We all have the obsession to vaccinate as quickly as possible “, returned the head of the Buenos Aires Government, who negotiates with three foreign pharmaceutical companies to be able to obtain, until now without success, a vaccine on his own.
The Government’s difficulty remains that of tune in with the expectations of society. Vaccines, including those from Pfizer, are not an isolated obsession of politicians. Vaccines are an obsession of most Argentines, who see every day how their coworkers, their friends and their closest family members are infected or die.
This weekend, Argentina is crossing the barrier of 80,000 dead. Thousands of them they would have survived if they had had the vaccine in time. The Russian, Chinese or Yankee imperialism. The obsession is with death. That is the real enemy and does not distinguish ideologies. It just shows the irreparable cost of what should have been done right and is still being done wrong.