Gordon on government's pandemic response: ‘They ain’t done so bad’

Published May 17, 2021, 10:25 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Speaking as the Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Senator Richard Gordon said that the government’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has not been “bad” so far.

Philippine Red Cross Chairman and Senator Richard J. Gordon (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)

“To be fair, they ain’t done so bad,” Gordon said in an interview over ANC on Monday, May 17. “The deaths are not as bad as I expected it to be,” he added.

As of Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) said that the death toll is now at 19,252.

This number of deaths, Gordon said, is still too many. “In my book, it’s a failure if I’m strict but the point is, when you look at America, the mightiest country in the world, UK, France, Spain – all these guys have a lot more deaths and they have all the technology but our doctors have been heroic,” Gordon said.

Despite some “lapses” in the pandemic response, Gordon noted that “you fix the problem, you don’t fix the blame right away, fix it later.” In the meantime, he noted that there is a need for “fine tuning.”

Philippine Red Cross / MANILA BULLETIN

In particular, Gordon underscored the need to enhance COVID-19 testing. “We’re the biggest in the country but at the same time, it is important that we keep our eye focused,” he said, noting that “the biggest thing to do is to stop bureaucracy” in vaccination.

Gordon also noted the need to “hammer down” the pasaway or those who keep violating minimum health standards such as wearing masks, among others. The transportation system, he added, should also be fixed.

Dealing with people who violate health standards, he clarified, should be “accelerated” depending on the situation.

“They are a menace to society, menace to their families. I don’t advocate people being arrested left and right, I just want to make sure that the message is brought to the people that they’re endangering their families, office mates and the economy,” Gordon said.

More importantly, Gordon said that the definition of “what people must do in this pandemic, as their role in getting out of this pandemic, must be clear to the people.

“The government cannot do it alone. It’s lunacy to think that the government can do that,” he ended.