“We had to take care of the heritage and the health of the people. We could take care that the vaccine might not work or have adverse effects, because but; we could not have signed with any laboratory. But we did not have to take care of if a bad batch came, the cold chain was broken or they sent the vaccine diluted with water “, explained the vice-chief of the Frente de Todos bloc in the Chamber of Deputies, Cecilia Moreau, in defense of the law that regulates the purchase of vaccines to combat the coronavirus, indicated by national authorities as one of the reasons why an agreement with Pfizer could not be reached. The national deputy defended the decision to include the term “negligence” in the clause that limited the “patrimonial indemnity” of the laboratories and assured that “she would vote on it again.” In dialogue with Page I12, the main sword of massismo in Congress talked about everything: from the reform project of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and to that of sanitary restrictions. Also he spoke out against holding the Copa América in Argentina.
– In recent days, the controversy was reactivated regarding the incorporation of the term “negligence” in the vaccine purchase law had blocked Pfizer negotiations. What happened to this article?
—The problem with Pfizer it was not that article, which speaks of negligence, malicious or fraudulent conduct. I think there was something else that had to do with Pfizer did not have the vaccines produced to be able to continue closing agreements with other countries and kicked the issue forward, and that is why they now took up the possibility of a negotiation with Argentina. It is not that we have made a specific law for Pfizer, with that law we buy all the others: Sputnik, AstraZeneca, we enter the Covax mechanism. In any case, Pfizer is using this law as an excuse, with all this “negligence”, for not signing a contract with Argentina. Now, I do not know exactly what happened in that section because it was confidential between the Executive Power and the laboratory. But, when we made the vaccine purchase law, the bill was voted on by everyone, except for the anti-vaccines of life. Neither the Executive, nor any legislator requested the modification of the law. Obviously, if the problem had been that article, a project could have been sent requesting its modification.
–The word “negligence” in article 4 was not in the original draft, why was it decided to incorporate it at the end?
– When buying clinical trials – because at that time we were not buying vaccines, but clinical trials that could potentially become vaccines – what we had to do was take care of the State’s assets and the health of the people. We could take care that the vaccine could not work or have adverse effects, because if not; we could not have signed with any laboratory. We also gave in on the issue of the courts, which asked that he be tried in New York. Now, as a state, what we did not have to take care of was if a batch came in bad condition, the cold chain was broken or they sent the vaccine diluted with water. That was a bit of what motivated this article. In addition, with the antecedents that there was, it had the ability to seize our natural resources, the reserves of the Central Bank, the assets of public domain. It had already happened to us with the Libertad Frigate. So it didn’t seem crazy, not just to me, but to all of us who worked on that project, to include it. And if I had to vote again, I would vote for it because, even knowing today the efficacy of the vaccine, we could not have full confidence that the vaccine, whatever it may be, does not come with difficulties of origin.
Q: Why do you think the opposition is so insistent on the Pfizer issue?
—Because they are Pfizer lobbyists. They know that the vaccination rate in Argentina in recent days is high. They also see that the vaccination process works, which is observed in the drop in the hospitalization rate of those over 70 and 80 years old. So there is a great defense to Pfizer, partly because the opposition has a relationship with the laboratory, but more than anything because it is a way of hitting Alberto. It’s not that Pfizer eradicates the virus better than other vaccines, but I think the opposition found this a campaign issue. And in this context, with the elections approaching, everything becomes more violent. Which is not surprising, because they are the same people who were marching against quarantine, who claimed that the mask was useless and who invented a complaint against Alberto for poisoning. Let’s see, if (Patricia) Bullrich had not been denied by Pfizer, the truth is that it would have gone on and on with this complaint of returns.
– When will the treatment of the Covid Emergency project begin in the Chamber of Deputies?
– This week is supposedly going to begin to debate. I say supposedly because with the mixed treatment that we have in the Chamber, we need to have an agreement with Together for Change to deal with the projects. If you analyze it, it is crazy, because one thing is for them to say that they accompany or do not accompany and another is the extortion of saying “we are going to treat the project only if those of us who lost the election agree, if not we don’t treat it.” But equal I think that this project we will be able to treat it, is going to begin to debate in the commission of Constitutional Subjects and the one of Health. The project is the same one that comes from the Senate’s half-sanction and it seems to me that the good thing about it is that it ends with subjectivities and personal opinions and establishes basic epidemiological parameters to define the state of each of the cities. What it does is give Alberto, governors and mayors more tools to participate in decision-making, especially in cities where there is a health alarm. We try to build care and close everything we can without affecting the economy, and it seems to me that establishing parameters for each area is a good method. In fact it is a method that was implemented in various parts of the world, it is not that Argentina is discovering gunpowder.
–However, numerous opposition blocs demonstrated against it because they argue that the law would go against the provincial autonomies.
– Some governors felt that the project was going to cut their faculties. But we are going to treat it in commission and If we have to make modifications, we will make them. But it seems to me that this project is the most verbose. Because as the elections approach, the best thing that can happen to us is not to discuss through the newspapers what measures to take, but to have them already established by Congress, which is the area in which we are all.
– What will happen to the reform project of the Public Prosecutor’s Office?
—We are trying to build the necessary consensus to pass this project. We regret that the Together for Change commission did not participate in the debate. We in Deputies do not have an absolute majority, which takes us all the time to seek consensus, which allows us to improve our own ideas. And this is a case in which we are willing to dialogue. What we are not willing to do is to let it be and nothing happens.
–Juntos Por el Cambio deputies asked the national government to review the decision to hold the Copa América in Argentina, what do you think of the issue?
—My personal opinion is that I would not have done it. More than anything for the symbolic: we are asking people to beware and, on the other hand, you enable certain activities that are not essential. They say that there are about two thousand people who are going to be controlled, you have to see what happens with the newspaper on Monday. But it seems to me that this was not the time.