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God Bless the Philippines!

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

One hundred million vaccinations in his first 100 days. That was the promise of then presidential candidate Joe Biden to the American people who promptly voted for him, rejecting incumbent leader Donald Trump who had not shown much interest in protecting his constituents from the raging COVID pandemic. Maybe Trump never took the COVID seriously, having been a survivor himself. But COVID had been the greatest fear of people, not only in their country, but worldwide, so that promise catapulted Biden into the highest office in their land.

***

Well, we may not be seeing or hearing much about Trump after today, when he has to leave the White House for Joe Biden to take over. But his troubles may not be over yet, because there are strong claims that the riot at the capitol had been instigated by his group. The FBI has been poring into footages of the incident and have, so far, identified a lot of the participants. Whoever herded them into the building must have forgotten or ignored the existence of close circuit TV that could record the faces of the rioters, so a lot of names have already been identified and charged.

***

Back to the subject of vaccinations. While President (by now) Joe Biden had promised one hundred million vaccinations in 100 days, we may never beat his record per day because our Health Department is said to be considering the assistance of midwives, nurses and pharmacists in administering them. I hope, however, that such practitioners will be willing to do so, considering the risks of infection. That is, unless they themselves have been vaccinated, too.

***

What can his successor and the American people do with the report that their outgoing president, Donald Trump, is making plans to pardon or commute the sentences of a hundred convicts? Is he going to set loose among his people those criminals who are supposed to be paying for what they have done to society? At this point, can he pardon himself in anticipation of what cases  may be filed against him, or have already been filed during his term? And it is suspected that many of those he may pardon are his friends or those of his sons!

***

Isn’t it puzzling that the United States, with all its experts and advances in science and medicine, still has not found the sure cure for this virus that continues to surge and kill millions of human beings worldwide? Now a vaccine has been introduced, and it has even reached our country, but not in amounts sufficient to cover our entire population. Will our government be able to afford the costs of acquiring such vaccines, and enough of them to cover our whole country, including the most remote sitios and islands?

***

While we are worrying about COVID and vaccines now, the United States police and military are on edge because tomorrow will be the change of command at the White House, and even the FBI is reportedly also on edge in planning out the security of the place, after that riot a few days ago that revealed its security vulnerability. So attendance at the oathtaking will be very limited with thousands of the National Guard posted inside and out of it. I hear that the swearing  in will take place inside, and not outdoors with thousands of people witnessing it, due to security concerns.

***

Still on COVID, it seems strange that the United States is reported to be the country with the highest number of COVID cases, having 24 million cases and 500,000 deaths. As of Tuesday. Meanwhile, we seem not to have any reports on statistics involving this pandemic in our country. Is our Health Department not keeping close tabs on it, or is it keeping such information from us to calm our fears? I hope it is not because nobody there is keeping track of the cases and mortalities countrywide.

***

I heard from TV that medical people from the World Health Organization, or WHO, are going – or have already gone  -to Wuhan for further studies on the pandemic that originated from that place. Did they have to wait until thousands, maybe millions, have been stricken and died from it? Maybe the team had been initiated by the United States that seems to have the highest scores in cases and deaths due to COVID. The latest on TV about COVID  and the United States is that the latter has the highest number and has one-seventh of the total cases in the world!

GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!*

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