Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he did not correct President Rodrigo Duterte’s unscientific remarks because it was only a ‘joke.’
This ‘joke’ may have harmful effects to the public who took the advice on gasoline for disinfecting seriously.
Duque’s statement was made after he said in the University of the Philippines town hall webinar on Friday that decisions regarding COVID-19 should be guided by science.
“Hindi naman. Unang-una si presidente can be playful,” said Duque “Nag bibiro siya parang hindi na tayo nasanay apat na taon na si presidente.”
[Not really. First of all, the president can be playful. It’s as if we’re not yet used to him.]
One of these include the remark of Duterte, saying that people should disinfect their face masks with gasoline, which medical experts were quick to warn people about.
Other officials also suggested it was just a joke, but Duterte later made it clear that he was serious when he advised people to use gasoline as face mask disinfectant.