Epidemiology director Ronald Skewes told Diario Libre that statistics clearly show an increase in the spread of Covid-19 cases. He had warned that “more valid than ever” people needed to wear masks and take preventive measures given the increase in the spread of Covid-19. Skewes recommended people avoid contact with family, friends and neighbors. Now, he has been unauthorized to give statements to the press.
Press officer for the Abinader government, Milagros Germán says that the only authorized spokespersons for Covid-19 are the Health Cabinet members. These meet every Tuesday. She says the official Covid-19 position will be given during the health update press conferences on Wednesdays.
Vice President Raquel Peña presides over the Health Cabinet. Other members are Public Health Minister Plutarco Arias; the director general of the National Health Service (SNS), Dr. Mario Lama; the executive director of the National Health Insurance Plan (Senasa), Dr. Santiago Hazim; the director general of the Government Pharmaceuticals Program (Promese/CAL), Adolfo Pérez; the advisor to the Ministry of Public Health on Covid-19, Dr. Eddy Pérez Then; the advisor on health matters to the Presidency, Dr. Víctor Atallah and the deputy minister for Planning and Development of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Edward Guzmán.
The president of the Dominican Medical Association is not listed as a member of the Health Cabinet. In a recent agreement, the government had announced Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero would be incorporated.
The official position of the government is:
“In an effort to maintain the quality of communication, the Health Cabinet decided in its last meeting that only the official members of that cabinet are authorized sources to give information on the management of the pandemic. It was agreed that during the regular meeting of the cabinet that is held every Tuesday, the decisions and lines of communication to be shared during the press conference held every Wednesday at the Ministry of Public Health will be established.”
The media was prompt to describe the centralizing of Covid-19 information as a major communications blunder on behalf of the Abinader administration. Milagros Germán has been criticized for mismanagement of government communication through the Dicom agency of government. Somos Pueblo, a popular news portal, published on 28 December 2020 evidence of what the media calls wasteful spending in propaganda. The media says that the Dicom under Germán is replicating many of the same policies for which the former administration was harshly criticized.
29 December 2020