Expert committee members finally revealed

THE Spanish Government has finally revealed the names of the expert committee which has advised on how to manage the coronavirus pandemic.

On November 30, the Council for Transparency and Good Governance gave the Ministry of Health 10 days to reveal the names.

The Ministry of Health has revealed that they include the Head of the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simon, 13 other experts and an external advisor. This is the panel which advised the Government in May and June on de-escalation in the autonomous communities during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Specifically, the experts from the Ministry of Health are: Fernando Simon and Maria Jose Sierra, who led the committee; Berta Suarez Rodriguez, Pello Latasa, Carmen Varela, Pilar Soler, Elena Vanessa Martinez Sanchez, Lucia Garcia San Miguel, Oscar Perez Olaso, Susana Monge, Carmen Olmedo, Silvia Rivera, Maria C. Vazquez and Paloma Gonzalez Yuste. The external expert is the vice president of the Madrid Public Health Association (Amasap), Javier Segura del Pozo.

Most of them signed a letter in scientific journal ‘The Lancet’ in which Simon defended Spain’s management of the pandemic and criticised the fact that it has been made a political issue. They also pointed out that they have relied on external experts who have advised them when making strategic decisions.

The Ministry responded to the request presented to the Council for Transparency and Good Governance (CTBG) , informing them about the experts who prepared the reports on the de-escalation process in the autonomous communities. However, until today the identity of these people was not known in detail.

On December 13, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, had said that these experts are ‘officials’ who have the right to “protect their privacy.” The CTBG had already guaranteed that the rights of the experts to data protection would remain intact.

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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.


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