The President of the Government entered the Madrid pre-campaign today, establishing himself as a kind of ‘official vaccinator of the State’. The Executive, always so reluctant to exercise self-criticism, is aware that the massive immunization campaign against the coronavirus, what Sánchez pompously called the “National Vaccination Strategy”, follows a slow and exasperating process. And as the regional elections of Madrid, due to their symbolism and relevance, are configured as a plebiscite on his own management, Sánchez decided yesterday to breathe courage with a new string of announcements and forecasts that will lead to 70% of Spaniards being vaccinated to end of august.
Until now, Sánchez has not been characterized by the success in his calculations. At Christmas it generated a premature and excessive euphoria. The European Commission has not been up to the task, and the multinational manufacturers of millions of promised and unprocessed doses, either. That is why Sánchez disassociated himself from the management of this process when he verified that January, February and March would be a fiasco. I wanted to avoid more wear and tear. But beginning in April, 40% of the population over 80 years of age, precisely the most fragile, still needs to be vaccinated. The announcement made by La Moncloa is, at first glance, full of voluntarism, and beyond the fact that its intention is to mentally rearm a citizenry that already mistrusts dates and percentages, the truth is that Sánchez returns to politicize the virus in favor of your interests. Today he wanted to set himself up as a messenger of optimism, but at this point it is impossible for him to hide that his good spirit has a lot to do with electoralism. Furthermore, he runs the risk of being reckless in his diagnosis, as when his spokesman for the pandemic, Fernando Simón, said that the British variant of the virus would be anecdotal in Spain, and is now responsible for 70% of infections.
By experience and trajectory, the citizen already knows that Sánchez’s word always has a relative value. For this reason, when he presumes to lead “the largest vaccination in history” he once again appropriates the positive part of the pandemic, since the negative has been exclusively in the autonomous regions for months. Hopefully your prognosis is true. Hopefully April is the month of the definitive boost in vaccination. And hopefully in July we can affirm that 25 million Spaniards have been successfully immunized, and that in August it will be 33 million. This will not only mean that we citizens will lose fear or regain lost routines and normality, but it will also be the definitive sign that our economy is beginning to recover.
Sánchez’s second announcement was that he does not plan to request new extensions of the state of alarm as of May 9. He did not rule out doing so, but on that date he could hardly count on the necessary votes from Congress to continue restricting freedoms. When he approved an extension of the alarm for six months, he did so because, like today, he never had a plan B, and for sheer comfort in his government action to facilitate his assault on education or the judiciary without having to give explanations. And above all, he did so knowing that the Constitutional Court would never rule on the legality of his way of imposing the alarm before its validity expired. In fact, Spain has been like this for almost a year and we still do not know to what extent everything agreed by Sánchez is legal. It is desirable that Spain get out of this strange exception as soon as possible and that, even just once, the president does not fail – and does not lie – in his forecasts.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism