Sunday, September 26

The second wave is primed with Argentina and makes Alberto Fernndez lose his nerve


Updated

Argentine President Alberto Fern
The Argentine president, Alberto Fernndez.REUTERS
  • Latin america Argentina decrees new restrictions on the record of Covid-19 cases
  • Argentina The Argentine president, positive for Covid despite having received the two doses of the Sputnik V vaccine

Few things more disturbing than a president who loses his temper publicly in the middle of a pandemic, and that is precisely what Argentines are experiencing with Alberto Fernndez.

“Yesterday I read an idiot who called me a dictator. What is the dictatorship that I am exercising, take care of the people? Look at the numbers, 20,000 infected daily. I heard other idiots who said that contagions are a political solution. Someone thinks that the Who governs a country wins by making politics with the number of infected? You have to be a deep idiot to say those things or a very bad person, “said an unleashed Fernandez during a radio interview.

The thing was not there. Shortly after, Fernández awarded the qualification of “miserable” to representatives of the opposition, a complete contradiction with his intention to “unite the Argentines”, but above all a political error in the face of the second wave of Covid-19, which in the last few days it became evident in the country. Daily infections are exceeding the worst levels of 2020, the Brazilian and British strains have already acquired the category of community circulation and in the city of Buenos Aires the occupation of intensive care beds is close to 100%. Daily infections increased by 115 % in the last two weeks.

There are already 57,350 deaths from Covid-19 in Argentina, a country with 42% poverty and with 27 of its 45 million inhabitants receiving some type of assistance from the State. An Argentina whose GDP fell 9.9% in 2020 to bring the country’s wealth to the same level as in 1973, when only 5% of its population was poor.

In this context, Fernández issued a Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) to prohibit circulation between midnight and six in the morning, close all gastronomic activities at 11 at night and take flights abroad to a minimum: only four a day. The governor of the province of Buenos Aires and favorite of Vice President Cristina Kirchner, Axel Kicillof, calls for more harshness and more restrictions. The mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodrguez Larreta, a potential opposition presidential candidate in 2023, resists and seeks to buy vaccines on his own.

“Alberto Fernandez should give confidence, not shout”, said the spokesman for the opposition in the Chamber of Deputies, Mario Negri, while the website of the TN news channel stated that “imbcil” is the favorite insult of the tenant of the Casa Rosada.

Fernandez, vaccinated with Sputnik V, is recovering from the Covid contagion that he announced on April 2, and while that happens, his government is maneuvering to delay this year’s crucial parliamentary elections. The opposition seeks to prevent Peronism, without a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, from reaching two-thirds in the Senate. The Government, in turn, understands that delaying the elections for at least a month with the excuse of the pandemic will give it better possibilities, since it will have vaccinated more people and the economy will advance in the incipient recovery that is insinuated today.

There are not enough vaccines yet, only 9.5% of residents received the first dose and only 1.6% the second. Argentines who can do it are flying to Miami to take advantage of the generous supply of vaccines in the United States from Joe Biden, who this week sends Juan Gonzlez, director of the Western Hemisphere for Latin America, to Buenos Aires with the intention of answering a complex question: is Buenos Aires a reliable ally for Washington?

The one that is often unreliable is the Argentine government offering data. The last case, that of the chief of staff (a sort of prime minister) Santiago Cafiero, who to explain why Argentina does not vaccinate with Pfizer despite having hosted a large clinical trial, claimed that Chile only received 30,000 of the ten million dose that I hired from that provider. Consulted by THE WORLDRodrigo Yez, the man appointed by Sebastin Piera to negotiate vaccines, denied Cafiero while he was still speaking on television.

“I can specify that with the 234,000 arriving tomorrow there will be 1,886,625 doses,” said Yez, had given an interview to THE WORLD in which he explained how he successfully negotiated the purchase of vaccines with various suppliers. Cafiero tried to explain himself the next day – “we do not know what the agreement with the laboratory is, we only mention that the amount received is very low in relation to the total agreed” – and left a kind of apology to a country that has already vaccinated more than half of your population: “Regardless of Pfizer deliveries, the Argentine government has publicly recognized and celebrated the immunization campaign in Chile“.

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