Duterte wishes Trump 'full, speedy recovery' from COVID-19, says Roque

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2020 04:08 PM

US President Donald Trump greets President Rodrigo Duterte upon his arrival during the official opening of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summit at the cultural center of the Philippines. Ali Vicoy, Pool

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte wishes his US counterpart Donald Trump a "full and speedy recovery" from the novel coronavirus disease, Malacañang said Monday.

The 2 world leaders are "close friends", said Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque.

"He wishes President Trump and his wife, First Lady Melania, a full and speedy recovery," Roque said in a press briefing.

The US leader announced last Friday that he and his wife Melania were diagnosed with COVID-19. Trump's doctors said Sunday that he has "continued to improve," adding that he could be discharged as early as Monday.

Duterte, Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil are among world leaders whose "medical populism" can be blamed for "failure to suppress the epidemic", according to the The Lancet COVID-19 Commission.

The statement, released in time for the 75th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly, drew from the study of medical anthropologist Gideon Lasco.

Citing the examples of Trump, Bolsonaro, and Duterte, Lasco described how political leaders resorted to “simplifying the pandemic by downplaying its impacts or touting easy solutions or treatments, spectacularizing their responses to crisis, forging divisions between the ‘people’ and dangerous ‘others’, and making medical knowledge claims to support the above”.

"All countries should combat decisions based on rumor-mongering and misinformation. Leaders should desist from expressing personal viewpoints that are at odds with science," the commission said.

Duterte earlier told Filipinos that they could use gasoline to disinfect face masks, worrying medical experts who feared the public might take his word for it. He said he was not joking.

 In April, Trump suggested injecting bleach into one's body as treatment for COVID-19, alarming the medical community.

- with a report from Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News