Two government officials had an exchange of words over who “dropped the ball” or possibly derailed the government’s initiative to acquire vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) from Pfizer.
This developed as Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. disclosed on Tuesday a plan to secure 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer that may get derailed, saying “somebody dropped the ball.”
Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd on Wednesday denied that someone had “dropped the ball” for the deal with Pfizer, which to date is the frontrunner in supplying Covid-19 vaccines to Western countries.
Locsin said in a tweet on Tuesday that he and Ambassador to the US Jose Romualdez had been working on the deal to get Pfizer to supply Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines.
“That said, my thanks just the same to US Sec of State Mike Pompeo we—Babe Romualdez and I—got 10 million doses of Pfizer financed by [the] World Bank and ADB (Asian Development Bank) to be shipped thru FEDEX to Clark in January. BUT SOMEBODY DROPPED THE BALL. I have steel ball bearings. I just need a slingshot,” he said, insinuating he wants to shoot someone with steel balls using a sling shot.
Locsin did not identify the person who supposedly was out to derail the deal with Pfizer.
“We did not miss the bus because we were slow to act. Babe and I were fast. Offers poured in. But there are none so slow as those who never had the intention to catch the bus,” he added.
For his part, Duque said: “First of all, there is no such thing as dropping the ball. If you look at the statement, the negotiations are ongoing and the DOH (Department of Health) went to the process of iteration.” He was answering queries in a media forum about the government’s negotiation with Pfizer. SOVEREIGNPH