Friday, December 4

Should Dr. Simón ask for the resignation of Spain?

The right was already at it. The matter should not worry me: asking someone to resign is usually a trivial resource in these times, since it allows to polarize in a tangible, still human being, the rage, the anger that replaces the arguments. But in this case, since it literally affects things of life and death, I am more concerned and even outraged. In short: this reminds me of when Real Madrid did not keep Del Bosque as coach because he lacked glamor, convincing external projection. Then he won the World Cup, the very unfortunate one, and has a somewhat higher social value than the president of Real Madrid and all the other football presidents put together.

This is not a boutade. Simon’s problem is that many have grown tired of him. Many months on the front line. Some studies say that we are subjected to about 3000 daily advertising impacts and that the attention span to each message on the web is reduced to 4 or 5 seconds. Well get an idea. That is why, apparently, it would be “burned”. It no longer sells T-shirts. And I am not saying that it is not so. But its mission is not to sell t-shirts. And of course he has made mistakes: does anyone imagine being in that position and not making mistakes? It took months and months to make these mistakes, which Santa Teresa warned that “a very long career / is that of this soil.” A review of the changes, twists and alternatives that have occurred in the last year shows that time has made strange feints, that what was false yesterday has ended up being accurate and that what was a mistake will reveal evidence, and vice versa. Is anyone taking account of all this? That he has tried to explain this devilish dialectic, that he has asked for forgiveness more than once -in a country where no one, except Juan Carlos I, asks for forgiveness- and that he has stopped voices inside his frustrations, bankruptcies and pains, says a lot of the. No one will be able to accuse him of playing vacuous influencer who every day explains the true arcana of the guts of the bat or the scavenger traps of the pharmaceutical companies. Measure, for some, is precisely what loses it. How credible it would be if he shouted insults!

The problem is that in a fragmented and exasperated society it is very difficult to place him in a niche of identifiability, for the simple reason that he is unique, that his task is unique. And the only thing today that is extremely annoying, restless, gives rise to distrust: we lack codes to articulate the corresponding suspicion. In a society marked by suspicion, Dr. Simón gives a lot to think about because we don’t know what we can suspect of him. It is burned, then.

His position falls into two specifically complicated categories: the politician and the scientist. Political insofar as it has to intervene in decisions, or / and explain them, and in decisions that, without remedy, annoy, aggravate. Scientist because of his training, because of his language – which he manages without offending the layman or the specialist – and because of the long-term logic of his explanations. But that is where a double contradiction arises. The first is that we are determined to believe that there is a perennial and insoluble dispute between science and politics, ‘Weber warned us. But what if this were not the case at all times? What if we were showing that the relations between some public policies and the public use of science were more symbiotic than we thought? What if the confrontation between truth and responsibility is not had the profiles as clear as we thought? Isn’t this all a post-covid discovery that will benefit everyone? And what to say, finally, of the hundreds of appeals that Dr. Simón has made to the public to be prudent, reaping failures in his attempt? Is he also guilty of that?

More: politics is controversy in public. And Dr. Simón is subjected to these controversies, because his mission derives from a very essential democratic legitimacy. But, by definition, it cannot enter into the controversies that its very advertisements provoke, or the decisions that others make. That is why it must be preserved so that it does not become a scapegoat, because democracy abhors scapegoats – Les Luthiers spoke of “explaining goats”, and here the joke is perfect. It seems that this debate ceases at the sacred doors of science. I do not know how science advances if it is not based on conflicts, successes and errors around hypotheses, but let’s leave that for another day. The truth is that the greatest number of public disagreements in these months has been carried out by scientists, sometimes with a ferocity towards colleagues worthy of a better cause, even if it was on questions of nuance. What is not valid is to say that a doctor, being a spokesman for a Government, if he changes his position, is wrong, and if there are 500 specialists changing his mind every week, with all justice in his worthy eagerness to explain, they are right, because one, although be one, you are right.

At this point I do not think there is room for either the excessive praise or the insult and systematic joke. If Dr. Simon wants to leave, he will leave. But the least I can accept is the argument with which I started, the one that concedes that yes, that he has been honest, brave, hardworking to the limit, but that he must go because he lacks the glamor necessary for his messages to be effective. Once again, a righteous man must die for the people to be saved. And let Pontius Pilate wash his hands with hydrogel. Sorry, but I don’t accept the underlying idea. Because, after the years, someone will have to write a history book and we need to think now that there will be decent people who would feel a lot of shame if, given things as they are, they saw what was done with this man.

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