Dr. Tony Leachon should kiss his ambition to become Health secretary goodbye. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque doused the doctor’s hopes for an appointment from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte after Roque revealed that Duterte cursed Leachon many times over during cabinet meetings yet were not heard or seen by anyone because the presidential communications team edited them all out.
Leachon first burst into the media spotlight with his comments on public health issues. Some of my colleagues in the media industry attest that Leachon is a good man. Gerry Baja, I think it was him who told me how he survived a heart operation thanks to Leachon who dismissed his doctor’s fees. Aside from former COMELEC commissioner Larrazabal, Leachon is the second person who enjoys tremendous trust with media persons.
It was this thinking I think that led Leachon to wide claims even bordering to hysteria, about Dengvaxia. Leachon and another doctor whose name also starts with “Tony” were the ones who pointed out that the vaccine was not entirely effective in addressing the issue of dengue. Of course, Doctor, no one in the pharmaceutical industry claims that they have the best miracle cure, but at least it is above the safety and efficacy standards of most jurisdictions.
Yet, inspite of the dearth of reliable information about Dengvaxia and the supposed deaths, Leachon took it upon himself and used his closeness with media personalities in spreading the yarn against Dengvaxia. When he was ribbed for creating hysteria, Leachon used his friend’s radio shows as part of his defense. That shows you the true character of this Leachon.
Now, Leachon is at it again, questioning Sinovac’s efficacy and the tendency of this administration to buy 25 million doses of this supposed anti-COVID 19 vaccine at a price more than thrice that of other brands. For this, Leachon got Duterte’s ire and even that of Secretary Galvez who is known for being highly objective in his assessment of people.
Despite this public rebuke, Leachon continues on this. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with Leachon questioning Sinovac. It is well within his rights. But to always pepper his statements with descriptions of him being one of the government’s national task force against the pandemic, Leachon has shown the temerity of using whatever media opportunity given to him to somewhat elevate himself to national consciousness.
For me, I haven’t heard Leachon discuss any single topic without his attending baseless comments. He hasn’t learned his lessons. Leachon should probably stop doing this before he gets embroiled in another controversy that, I hope it does not happen, would be extremely difficult for him to extradite himself from.