Does COVID-positive Koko Pimentel even care that he violated home quarantine and exposed health workers to risk?

Does COVID-positive Koko Pimentel even care that he violated home quarantine and exposed health workers to risk?

- in Opinion, Philippines
The Pimentels have celebrated the birth of their child by putting other people's lives at risk.

Even as the Filipino people and government are exhausting all measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, one senator decided that he was above the strict enhanced community quarantine. By flaunting that he was above the law, Senator Pimentel exposed multiple vulnerable patients and health workers to COVID-19.

That’s right, Senator Koko Pimentel has violated his home quarantine and exposed dozens of medical workers to COVID-19 just to accompany his wife to the hospital for the birth of their child.

Did he have to go with his wife to the hospital? Absolutely not.

Senator Pimentel is not a doctor and he has more than enough access to assistance. Their family has house help, drivers, body guards, and powerful friends. The senator could have even called ahead and arranged a VIP entrance for his wife at the hospital. At least that abuse of power wouldn’t put anyone’s life at risk.

But according to the Pimentel’s, they do not deserve the flak they are getting. In the aftermath of the social media shitstorm they caused, they released statements which clear them of any blame. Why? Because contrary to the stories being circulated, Senator Pimentel didn’t break into the delivery room. And that’s supposed to be okay.

Someone tell them that the issue does not lie in what room he entered. The problem is that he stepped out of his own house despite the overwhelming reasons he should have remained quarantined. The fact that he was displaying symptoms and was awaiting test results should tell him that he should be behaving as if he had it.

So he did not enter delivery room. So what?

Is he only capable of passing on this incredibly infectious virus when he’s in there? I’m sure the medical professionals risking their lives right now will appreciate that he was thoughtful enough to expose everyone in the hospital to the virus for just a short amount of time.

No one gives a rat’s ass that he wasn’t in the delivery room, examination room, or waiting room. We are outraged at his brazen violation of the strict home quarantine that he should have been under. How dare he. How dare he!

The whole country is making sacrifices now. We are at war with an unseen, seemingly undefeated enemy. The very least we can do is place public health over our own personal, selfish priorities.

The very bare minimum people with homes can do is to stay at home. Even with no symptoms, you have to assume you have the virus and can infect other people. Koko Pimentel could not do this for our country, even if he had every reason to suspect that he was infected. He could not make the simple sacrifice of staying at home and awaiting his test results, even if his surely luxurious house. He could not perform the bare minimum that millions of other Filipinos seem to have no problem to do.

Worse, he is doing everything to escape the very well-earned anger.

“I feel really sad they are insisting I was in the delivery room and Senator Koko… Never reached inside the delivery room. I took the stress test for the baby inside the examination room,” said Kathryna, Pimentel’s wife. She then underscored that the examination room was located far from the delivery room. That’s so great cause it makes all the difference, right? Only one part of the hospital was definitely exposed to this pandemic?

At least Pimentel didn’t try to deny that he left the house. At least the people who interacted with him and interacted with those who treated his wife can quarantine themselves. Though that won’t help anyone when these health workers have to quarantine themselves because of them.

“Yes (I was with Kath yesterday) as she was shceduled to give birth this morning. I received the call from RITM when I was already in the hospital last night hence I left immediately,” Pimentel told reporters.

He further clarified some irrelevant information about whether or not he arranged his presence in the delivery room through pulling strings with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. That’s not the point, Mr. Senator. Stop trying to wash your hands. There’s some pun in there, but I’m too livid to think of it.

For comparison, here is the statement by Makati Medical. This is the gravity of the situation. This is the voice of the people who are affected by the selfish actions of this political couple.

That the Pimentel’s released statements clearing themselves of fault is insult to injury. There is no excuse. Their behavior is plain gross. It shows how privileged and out of touch they are with the situation facing many Filipinos. They have spoiled the happy event of their child’s birth with their behavior. Our healthcare system will have to pay a dear price just so he could accompany his wife to the hospital.

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