President Ivan Duque’s idea to decree an “intelligent lockdown” in Colombia was dismissed on Sunday by powerful critics who have put the president in his place before.
The president on Saturday coined the “intelligent” lockdown, which would expose part of the population to the coronavirus, only to see powerful critics bin the high-risk experimental strategy almost immediately.
Leading opposition Senator Gustavo Petro said that “such a decision, which would be fatal, must be confronted by the Colombian society.”
Mr. Robin Hood in reverse. As long as there’s no vaccine, the total isolation continues. Colombia has NO guarantees to safeguard life in the face of the pandemic. His interest is not “social development” but minimizing the losses of the big capitalists. Liar!
Philosopher and political analyst Gilberto Tobon
“It is killing the poor who cannot work from home or have savings,” human rights advocate Alirio Uribe harshly interpreted the idea.
What is an “intelligent” lockdown?
The “intelligent lockdown” experiment coined in the UK sought to expose the least vulnerable part of the population to the virus in the hope they would develop antibodies after falling ill.
The British government abandoned the idea after scientists warned this could cost a quarter of a million lives. The government of the Netherlands is still considering the experiment.
The bigger the group that acquires immunity, the smaller the chance that the virus can make the leap to vulnerable older people or people with underlying health issues.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Dr. Louise van Schaik of the Clingendael Institute of International Relations told the BBC that the Dutch government was still considering the idea because “it’s easier to keep the generations apart here, because grandpa and grandma don’t live at home with their children.”
In Colombia, multiple generations often do live in the same home, which would increase the human cost of an “intelligent” lockdown, according to the Europeans’ logic.
“Intelligent lockdown” nonviable without support
The broad rejection of Duque’s idea makes it hardly likely the president will be able to execute any “intelligent lockdown.”
Last time the president tried to dismiss lower government’s contingency measures, mayors and governors rebelled, and forced Duque to retract and seek consensus.
Since then, the president has been able to make rather swift decisions, but Lopez and Petro made it clear Duque can forget going on another ego trip, and will have to take decisions that can count on the support of governors and mayors.
Duque can only do wrong
So far, Colombia has been able to prevent a massive outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and maintain a low number of deaths, contrary to countries like the UK and the Netherlands.
The quarantine, however, comes with an incalculable damage to the economy and the treasury as many are unable to provide for their families without government support.
The pandemic put Duque in an impossible position he can only get out of by doing wrong.