Argentina’s president decries ‘unforgivable’ vaccine scandal | Coronavirus pandemic Information
The health minister resigned late Friday after reportedly helping people jump in line to receive coronavirus shocks.
The Argentine president has condemned an “unforgivable” COVID-19 vaccine scandal that led to the resignation of the country’s health minister.
Gines Gonzalez Garcia resigned Friday after reports surfaced that he was helping people across the South American nation queue up to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
“Gines was a great minister and I like him too. But what he did was unforgivable, ”said President Alberto Fernandez in an interview with Pagina 12 newspaper published on Sunday.
“Politics is ethical, we have to end this kind of practice with the Argentine culture of liveliness and cunning [and] the management of influences, ”said Fernandez.
The president reportedly asked Garcia to resign after the scandal broke out.
“In response to your specific request, I present my resignation from the position of Minister of Health,” Garcia wrote in a letter to Fernandez that was shared on social media.
Garcia was replaced by Carla Vizzotti, one of his deputy ministers, who had secured the supply of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.
Argentina, which has reported nearly two million COVID-19 cases and more than 51,000 coronavirus-related deaths, began its vaccination program in December.
The country has made health care workers a top priority, and vaccinations for people over 70 years of age began last week in the province of Buenos Aires.
Local media have reported that prosecutors have opened an investigation into the vaccine scandal.
Vizzotti insisted on Sunday that there was no VIP vaccination program in place in any way.
She told Radio 10 that the scandal affected “a small number of people” and that there was no policy to “reserve vaccines”. She added that the country will implement a shock monitoring plan in the future.