GMA broadcaster Atom Araullo gets criticized on social media after he argued with infectious disease expert Dr. Edsel Salvana about the COVID-19 test statistics.
Yesterday, the clash between the two on Twitter started when Dr. Salvana tried to correct Araullo who compared the testing being done by the Philippines to other countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Salvana who’s currently a PUI is known for being active on Twitter and trying to explain the government’s action to the netizens and.
“It’s wrong kasi positive patients get multiple tests until they are negative. Some positive patients may get as many as 10 tests,” Salvana said.
“Atom, the 2147 test is inaccurate. Its not as simple as adding the COVID tracker numbers. Positive patients get many repeate tests until they turn negative. The actual tests performed is 11,466. Capacity now at more than 1000 test/day. DOH will update,” he added.
Araullo responded to Salvana and called the latter tweets as ‘misleading at best’ and ‘malicious at worst’.
“I’m sorry to say but your tweets are misleading at best, and malicious at worst. I was NOT referring to a total number of tests but individuals tested. This is what the DOH tracks anyway. So Hindi pala inaccurate yung data,” he said.
The conversation has gone viral on social media and gained different reactions from the netizens.
Some of them even criticized Salvana and mocked him for allegedly not getting the point of Araullo.
Dr. Salvana’s sister, May Salvana-Unchuan couldn’t stop herself and slammed Araullo on Facebook for ‘disrespecting’ her brother, saying that the former is risking his life to fight coronavirus.
She asked Araullo to be productive instead of criticizing the government and the people trying to solve the crisis.
According to her, despite being sick, her brother tried to contribute to the fight against COVID by informing people on social media.
“Dear Mr Atom Araullo instead of disrespecting and maligning my brother who is THE infectious disease expert and who has been risking his life trying to help stop this disease from killing all of us, why don’t you become productive and try to contribute to help solving the problem instead of being negative. My brother is already sick and stressed trying to multitask while in quarantine and trying to find multiple ways to help save our country and has barely enough time answering legit queries and then you bash him on twitter tapos he has to spend his precious time answering you pa! For your information he has been away from his family for too long nga and sacrificing every ounce of his strength to serve!!” she said.
“Are you an authority in Covid 2019? Do you have the credentials and evidence to take opinions of experts and say that its misleading or malicious? What have you been doing anyway? Are you risking your life like us frontliners? Mas mabuti pa gumawa ka nalang ng mask or magluto ka ng food at ibigay mo sa mga health workers kung wala ka na talagang magawa,” she added.
RJ ‘Thinking Pinoy’ Nieto also gave a comment on the clash between Araullo and Salvana, saying that the scientist is “indispensable” while the GMA-7 journalist is not really important during these times.
“I am sorry, @AtomAraullo, but @EdselSalvana is one of the nation’s leading experts on COVID-19. He can be condescending at times, but so are most geniuses. He’s a scientist, not a communicator, so set your ego aside and be more patient. Right now, Salvana is indispensable and you are not,” Nieto said.
In his latest post, Nieto also asked Araullo and other Twitter users if they could perform the duties being done by Salvana.
“Kung mabuwisit yan at hindi na magsikap para humanap ng solusyon, pwede ba kayong ipalit? Marunong kayong magpaandar ng COVID testing machines? Marunong kayong umintindi ng ibinubugang data ng mga yon?” he said.
“Sa ngayon atom, walang kwenta ang Applied Physics degree mo. Yung degree ni Edsel, indispensable. Kaya magpakumbaba ka lintik ka dahil pag namuryot sa atin yang Edsel na yan, hindi na yan magsasalita. O ano na pagkatapos noon, pwede ka ba namin gawing resource person para sa COVID-19 testing, Atom?” he added.