The “VIP vaccination” scandal grows in Argentina and reaches the Justice

The “VIP vaccination” scandal grows in Argentina and reaches the Justice

The scandal unleashed in Argentina for privileged access to vaccination against covid-19 It grew this Saturday with the presentation of several complaints for the Justice to investigate the facts, while the opposition demands transparency and the Government of Alberto Fernández specified the change of command in the Ministry of Health in the midst of the pandemic.

Today Fernández took the oath of Carla Vizzotti, until now Secretary of Access to Health, as the new Minister of Health, replacing Ginés González García, whom the president asked to resign this Friday, after the outbreak of the scandal.

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“Thank the resigning official for the valuable services rendered in the performance of his post,” Fernández said in the decree accepting the resignation of González García published this Saturday in the Official Gazette.

REVOLUTION IN PANDEMIC

The uproar over the “VIP vaccination” has led to a change of command in the Ministry of Health at a time when Argentina, which has accumulated just over two million infected and 51,122 deaths from covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, has launched its vaccination campaign with many difficulties due to the delay in the arrival of the doses agreed with various providers.

The scandal broke out this Friday after the journalist and head of the Center for Legal and Social Studies, Horacio Verbitsky, 79, announced in a radio program that he had been vaccinated inside the headquarters of the Ministry of Health after speaking with his “friend” González García.

In Argentina, the vaccination campaign against covid-19 began at the end of December with health personnel and this week the vaccination stage of older adults began, starting at age 70 in most of the country’s districts and 80 in the case of the capital city.

To access the vaccination, which is voluntary and free, the interested parties must process an appointment online, which is granted as long as doses are available.

According to local media, in addition to Verbitsky, there were politicians, trade unionists, businessmen and others close to the ruling party who also received the vaccine under privileged conditions.

In his resignation letter, González García, Minister of Health between 2002 and 2007 and ambassador to Chile between 2007 and 2015, alleged that there was a “misunderstanding.”

RAIN OF COMPLAINTS

The case has already reached the Justice after the presentation of at least three complaints to investigate the facts, including one from federal prosecutor Guillermo Marijuán, who in his presentation pointed out that “it is difficult to understand how, from a position of power and of political influence, all the norms are subjugated in pursuit of a personal benefit that only shows the baseness and non-existent moral character of those involved in these events ”.

Another of the complaints was presented by the lawyer Jorge Monastersky, as confirmed to Efe today by the lawyer himself, who in his letter said that González García “had ordered and authorized a group of people” to be vaccinated at the Ministry of Health “altering the priorities that the specific norms indicate ”.

The Foundation for Peace and Climate Change of Argentina has also filed a criminal complaint that affects not only the displaced minister but also several other members of the health portfolio, such as Vizzotti, and those who allegedly received the vaccine in a privileged way.

“It is unprecedented that there is someone, in this case the leadership of the Ministry of Health, who decides who should die and who should live,” the president of the complainant foundation, Fernando Miguez, told Efe.

OPPOSITION CLAIMS EXPLANATIONS

For its part, Juntos por el Cambio, the main political opposition coalition in Argentina, demanded this Saturday that the Executive provide explanations to Parliament about what happened and present the inventory of vaccines and the registry of all vaccinated people.

The leaders of that political front affirmed in a statement that what happened is “an absolute immorality” and a “corruption scandal” and also demanded that “those illegally vaccinated be held accountable to Justice for this crime.”

In addition to Verbitsky, the ruling legislator Eduardo Valdés, 62, acknowledged this Friday that he had been vaccinated at the Ministry of Health but “according to a protocol and an invitation.”

Meanwhile, the leader of the truck drivers union, the Peronist Hugo Moyano, said this Saturday that he received the vaccine in Buenos Aires but in his capacity as head of the union’s social work (health service), as did his wife and one of his sons, who also works at that site, where the capital government sent a batch of doses to inoculate health personnel.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.