By Oisin Sweeney • 23 December 2020 • 8:32
THE SPANISH coalition government of PSOE and Podemos have been accused of deliberately downplaying the severity of Covid-19 in the pandemic’s early days.
Recent investigative work by conservative Spanish newsgroup ABC has suggested that top political leaders in Spain’s left-wing government willfully downplayed the risk of the virus to the public while making private pandemic preparations. The PSOE – Podemos coalition, led by PM Pedro Sanchez and Deputy PM Pablo Iglesia, is accused of knowing of Covid’s risk in January yet not acting on advice from medical experts.
The allegation stem from Bob Woodward, a US veteran journalist, who in September revealed that Donald Trump had misled the public on the risks of Covid-19 in the pandemic’s early days. It was revealed that information Trump had been privy to about the virus’s dangers was also shared with the Spanish government.
Days after the US President was briefed on Covid, Spain began four contracts to purchase PPE gear for its military without warning the public about the virus. One of the country’s top medical coordinators, Fernando Simon, said that Spain would have “at most, a few diagnosed cases”. In February a Podemos spokesman, Pablo Echenique, called Covid-19 “a less aggressive flue than that of every year” and lashed out at “pseudo-journalism of reporters in masks” who were warning of the virus dangers.
In March, as Spain detected cases in densely populated regions such as Madrid and Catalonia, the government ignored WHO’s advice to take swift action. Although Italy had already closed its schools, the government encouraged 120,000 people to take part in a Women’s Day march that led to a swell in cases.
The bombshell investigation by ABC has raised several questions about the PSOE-Podemos response to the virus, and whether Spain’s enormous death toll could have possibly been averted if earlier action had been taken by its political class.
Thank you for taking the time to read this news article “PSOE/Podemos Accused of Deliberately Downplaying Virus in January”. For more UK daily news, Spanish daily news and Global news stories, visit the Euro Weekly News home page.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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