Misamis Oriental (June 20, 2020) – Dr. Anthony Leachon, whom he said he served as the special adviser of the National Task Force on COVID-19 alongside Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., made a public announcement on Wednesday, June 17 via Twitter that he would no longer serve his position. He said that two Cabinet officials got peeved when he exposed the government’s holes in its method and procedure to respond to the crisis.
Dr. Leachon’s statement to vacate his position as the special adviser of the NTF came to light three days after he criticized the Department of Health. He articulated his thoughts to CNN Philippines that he thought he was requested to step down. This decision would probably be linked to his comment on the DOH’s lost emphasis on prioritizing the control of the COVID-19 infections.
As said, Dr. Leachon thought that it would be beneficial to the Filipino people (country) to know the real score. He thought that “time and again” he had to inform the public despite the cue not to speak about his viewpoints.
However, Dr. Leachon posted his comment on Twitter on Saturday. He said that the DOH has been facing issues in handling data and in battling the COVID-19 outbreak locally. He noticed that there have been delays in terms of data management for COVID-19 cases.
Also, Dr. Leachon only wanted to speed up process in terms of communication protocol, data collection, and plan execution to let the local authorities respond to the crisis instantly. As he called on these authorities to discharge the granular data for COVID-19 cases in real-time, he noticed how the DOH handled the tasks. He said that the undependable and late reporting of the confirmed COVID-19 cases needed to prioritize.
Dr. Leachon mentioned that his manner of communicating to the public, which can be open, straightforward, transparent, and truthful, might not be congruent to the strategy that the Palace implements.
Moreover, Dr. Leachon said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque got irked with the public comments that led Galvez to ask him to leave.
Finally, the Ombudsman, as announced, would investigate the DOH and Secretary Duque concerning the cited delays in data collection and management that helped curtail the widening bedlam. Dr. Leachon drew attention to the issues and said that the Ombudsman’s action to examine the lapses would be apt and sympathetic to his remarks.
- CNN Philippines Staff. (17 June 2020). Dr. Leachon told, to resign from the COVID-19 task force after DOH rant. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/6/17/Dr-Tony-Leachon-Special-Adviser-to-the-National-Task-Force-on-COVID-19.html
- Gotinga, J.C. (17 June 2020). Leachon’s posts ‘jeopardized’ gov’t messaging on pandemic – Galvez. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from https://www.rappler.com/nation/264112-galvez-says-leachon-posts-jeopardized-government-messaging-coronavirus-pandemic
- Photo Credit from Creative Commons