Updated: Propagandizing the virus

8 06 2021

As we have posted several times, while Thailand’s initial response to the virus was pretty darn good, it has fallen down as the regime tried to propagandize on vaccine – making AstraZeneca the king’s vaccine. As the previous good work was undone by the impunity of rich fornicators and the corruption of others, it seems the hunt for propaganda value is on in earnest.

This was brought out starkly in a story by Erich Parpart at Thai Enquirer, where he asks some questions and makes some acute observations:

This government full of dinosaurs does not understand the difference between being competent or pretending to be competent. The public surely sees through their facade.

It is imprinted into their brains that they must hide and deny when they know that they are doing something wrong and they must flaunt it when they believe that they are doing something right.

You can see it with the lack of transparency in their vaccine procurement program.

And now you can see it once again with Monday’s massive ceremony to kickstart the vaccine program.

What is the point of all these ceremonies?

Yesterday’s [Monday’s] unnecessary and large gathering has the potential to be a super spreader event.

That’s emphasized by a photo from the Bangkok Post:

Okay, everyone is masked, but is this the impression a government serious about health wants to provide? This is propaganda gone very wrong.

As The Dictator claims he’s making history, others are not so sure.

Is there transparency? Of course not. While the report at the Post claims “Two kinds of vaccine were used on the first day of inoculations — China’s Sinovac and AstraZeneca shots that were produced in Thailand,” is the AstraZeneca all locally produced? After all, it was the Rural Doctors Society that “accused the government of concealing information about the real situation facing supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine…”. It reckoned that “the government … has to order 500,000 doses of the vaccine from South Korea to supply its mass vaccination campaign which kicks off on June 7, instead of sourcing from local production.”

And now Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is apologizing, saying:

… there were limitations in the distribution of vaccines because the government was receiving deliveries in gradual lots, not all at one time.

“The government will try to acquire as many more vaccines as possible and not just wait for contracted vaccines, sad Gen Prayut. “I believe that more vaccine doses will be delivered next month and services at inoculation stations in the provinces will be more conveniently managed.

Meanwhile, in action that may be welcomed by those who desperately want a vaccine, the private sector is steaming ahead, reinforcing a two-tier vaccination system: one for the poor getting old technology jabs and one for the rich who get new technology vaccines. What isn’t clear is how the private sector is getting their vaccines, from whom and how. Transparency? No.

Then there’s the issue of the regime supporting their buddies in industry: “Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said vaccine distribution in industrial complexes is crucial because workers in the manufacturing sector are important to help drive supply chains and the economy.”

That economic interest may be true, but it is an industrialist minister helping his buddies jump the queue when health workers, teachers, and others on the so-called frontline wait, along with the elderly and others who might seem more at risk from the virus.

We also noted that, in Bangkok, “about 30,000 spa workers who will be vaccinated at the same time as the teachers.” That should assist the rich fornicators.

How’s that health messaging going?

Update: Further on the privatization of the vaccine drive(s), The Nation reports that “[l]ocal and private organisations have been allowed to procure Covid-19 vaccines, according to [an]… announcement published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday.” It says that they may “procure vaccines from government agencies such as the Department of Disease Control, the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation, the National Vaccine Institute, the Thai Red Cross Society and the Chulabhorn Royal Academy.” Not all of these are government agencies…. But it seems this mandate is seen as a profit-making exercise as “[p]rivate hospital stocks jumped Wednesday morning on news of government approval to procure their own Covid-19 vaccines…”.


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