Saturday 12 June 2021

“Respect that I am talking. Respect me!” Salas gets into shouting with legislator

Health Minister and Partido Integración Nacional (PIN) legislator Wálter Muñoz get into a shouting match during Salas' appearance before the Legislative Assembly on Monday. Legislator claims slowness in obtaining vaccines from other pharmaceutical companies and that only doses of Pfizer were bought

QCOSTARICA – “Respect, that am I talking. Respect me!,” demanded the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, from the legislator of the National Integration Party (PIN), Wálter Muñoz, while he tried to answer his questions.

Health Minister Daniel Salas and Legislator Walter Muñoz got into a shouting match during Salas’ appearance before Congress on Monday

The incident occurred this Monday, at noon, when Salas, after being stood up last Monday, appeared before the plenary session of the Legislative Assembly to refer to the vaccination process against covid-19.

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Salas was upset because the constant interruptions by Muñoz prevented him from answering the questions that Muñoz himself posed.

Walter Muñoz legislator for the National Integration Party (PIN)

Muñoz was the one who presented on March 23 the motion for the minister to go before the legislators. This was finally approved on May 13, with the vote of 44 deputies.

Among the legislator’s complaints were the slowness in obtaining vaccines from other pharmaceutical companies and that only doses were bought from the company Pfizer / BioNTech.

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Salas had to ask the President of the Legislative Assembly, Silvia Hernández, if he could use the three statutory minutes to answer because deputy Muñoz was preventing him.

The legislator of the PIN began his questionnaire to the minister at 12:35 pm with a clarification. “This interpellation is nothing personal. I am only complying with political control,” he said.

Almost immediately afterward, the legislator affirmed that the country could have had more vaccines, from different pharmaceuticals, that would ensure other results: “not the 4,000 deaths we are reaching, nor the fourth place in incidence today in Latin America.”

Monday afternoon, the Ministry of Health reported the country has reached 4,041 deaths associated with Covid-19.

Health Minister Daniel Salas

In the midst of interruptions by Muñoz, Salas was able to reply: “Yes sir, of course, risks were taken. Those with a profile closest to being approved by a strict agency were taken as candidates.

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“And at this point, you mention it, Sputnik V (vaccine developed by Russia) has not been approved by the WHO (World Health Organization) or by a strict agency. Unlike what happened with Sinopharm, which was approved very recently, by the way”.

After was all said and done there was really nothing new offered by Minister Salas, he took the opportunity last week to make his views known publicly, by way of social media, when not enough legislators were present to form a quorum last Monday, May 24.

In closing, Salas said: “The truth is, I have tried to be very clear on this and fill all the complaints that you consider necessary, because here, I assure you, we have done everything diligently possible to acquire the doses and to be able to vaccinate Costa Rica at a rate as quickly as possible.”


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