ONE of the qualities that our politicians or public officials, elected or appointed to a high post in government or, however, you may call it, is that they respect science and medicine and submit to the opinions of the experts on issues that involve security of the state and health of the people, like this coronavirus or Covid-19 that enveloped the world in pandemic.
If my memory serves me right, when Covid-19 landed into our shores sometime in late January 2020 and later became profound in the early part of March 2020, not a single public official or even President Rodrigo Duterte, who is known for his fiery and sometimes vulgar language, ever said that this virus is a hoax by the administration's critics.
And, it's not our culture to speak ill against those suffering from an illness, especially those who are stricken by Covid-19, whether they are our worst enemies or have had bad bloods. There are some few misguided souls, though, who privately wag their tongues against a sick person, who is their enemy or a politician they hate.
Now we know, although we've known it from the time the World Health Organization (WHO) and our Department of Health (DOH) warned the people that Covid-19 is a deadly virus compared to the several viruses that came before it. It's just unfortunate that USA President Donald Trump, before he was infected with Covid-19, called the virus a hoax and refused to abide by the health protocols that his government's experts advised, like the wearing of face mask in public and social distancing.
While confined at the Walter Reed Medical Center for the virus, President Trump went out on a joyride with a face mask on and his secret service escorts in full PPEs to see his supporters who were outside hospital that outraged some US medical experts. President Trump also posted a video taken inside the hospital admitting that he now learned about the virus.
The recent stunt of President Trump is understandable because it's the campaign period for next month's presidential elections and to show to his supporters that despite of his age, he could still beat the virus that he called China virus and a hoax. Take note of this that despite the intense political rivalry in the upcoming US presidential polls, presidential candidate Joe Biden, wished Trump and his family well. First Lady Melania Trump also has the virus.
We should be glad that our President Duterte, even with his sometimes-inappropriate language and style, and the other elected officials and opposition leaders, even if they vary in their opinions on the issue, showed their leadership during this pandemic by showing to us as models in wearing the face mask, the first defense against the transmission of the virus.
Even if there are those that President Duterte described as "mga gahi'g ulo" (hardheaded) here in Cebu, particularly Cebu City when the Covid-19 infection rate was high, but the vast majority of us complied with and observed the minimum health protocols that the DOH implemented and enforced by the uniformed men and women of the Philippine National Police (PNP) assisted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Now that Trump, the world's powerful president, has inarguably admitted in a video post that he now learned that the virus is real and presently on medication at the hospital, who are we not to follow and observe the imposed minimum health protocols to avoid the infection when most of us could not even afford private the hospitals? Sa ato pa, motuman ug magmatngon na ta!