We Need a Vaccine Against Stupidity
Recently, I laugh-cried at a meme that pointed out that “Persida Acosta” is an anagram of “Paid OA Actress.”
It was painfully hilarious because the antics of that woman are just stupid to the point of almost entertaining. But it is these same antics that have now endangered the lives of thousands of children. Even a year after the Dengvaxia scare, her horrific shenanigans have left a large part of the uneducated public distrustful of vaccines in general.
And so now we have a measles outbreak.
Anti-vaxxers are already a plague to begin with. But when one weaponizes that idiotic “movement” to push for an entirely different political agenda—the attempt to malign the reputation of the opposition—it takes on a whole new level of monstrosity, especially when it starts destroying people at an even larger scale.
Endangering the life of one child due to a misguided belief is unacceptable to begin with; it’s downright evil when one deliberately endangers the lives of thousands of children—and then denies it—because one has political ambition.
Acosta is the chief public attorney of the nation's Public Attorney's Office. She is the woman who in 2016 became a laughingstock for her inept attempt at becoming a Supreme Court Justice.
Now, when one fails to bag a long-desired political ambition, typically one would do tried-and-tested ways to go after it again. Perhaps pretend to be a virtuous philanthropist to fool the public into thinking one is generous. Maybe start naming alleged plunderers to try and gain leverage from the government. Run for Congress as a nominee for a Party List on entrepreneurship, despite lewd dancing being your only life skill, because you got fired as a “Communications” assistant secretary.
Persida chose to politicize public health in the matter of Dengvaxia and caused mass hysteria among the poor and uneducated, all in the name of gaining favors from high above by demonizing the opposition. Once the opportunity presented itself, she latched onto it as part of an attack against “the enemy.”
What’s quite alarming is how the gullible so easily ignored the fact that neither she nor her office have any medical credentials. Those same people refused to acknowledge the advice of actual medical professionals from UP-Philippine General Hospital, with regards to Dengvaxia. But then again, we are living in an age where critical thinking has suffered because of the inability to properly curate the barrage of information coming from social media. Combine that with fear-mongering and chew-the-scenery acting, and you have a public that is willing to believe the worst just because it validates their political allegiance.
And so these same people have been unable to differentiate Dengvaxia from any other vaccine, leading to the aversion to not just one vaccine but all vaccines.
Clearly, there were valid concerns raised about Dengvaxia—for which proper investigations and reviews were conducted by organizations like WHO—but the lack of full context and understanding as presented by the Public Attorney's Office, combined with Acosta’s telenovela approach in life, misled many of the poor and uneducated into thinking that all vaccines are dangerous. We have enough first-world privileged ignoramuses who shun the use of vaccines, and to spread that foolishness into the developing world and specifically upon those who need vaccines the most is just immoral.
And so the diseases we’ve largely controlled and/or eliminated have come roaring back to life.
But to what end, really? A year later, and Acosta is still nowhere near her goal of becoming a Supreme Court Justice (I would assume it’s still her goal, for why else would she continue to act in this manner?). She has spent so many years with her inappropriate dramatic flair, desperately seeking attention. In 2015, she fainted on cue while waxing nostalgic, tears in her eyes, about her “poor family life” as she appealed on behalf of a dismissed cadet. Last year, she emphatically proclaimed in front of legislators that she would not sell her soul by sharing crucial tissue samples to the Department of Health; because obviously, as a lawyer, she was in a better position than the DOH to decide on scientific matters. She and her supporters even had T-shirts and banners printed as part of their “protest” during that time, the better to manufacture mass hysteria with, of course.
And yet, she remains where she is, either biding her time for whatever promised post she may be seeking that may or may not come. Ultimately, she’s on the lower tier of the hierarchy, and when even the likes of Aguirre, Alvarez, and Roque get dropped, what significance does this woman think she really has in the totem pole?
Meanwhile, hundreds of children are suffering, and several dozens have even died. The "Paid OA Actress" remains unaccountable, sitting pretty in her office as she washes her hands of the blood that her fear-mongering has caused, refusing to acknowledge her part in the wave of death that has started to spread, perhaps thinking of a new way to execute a performance worthy of an Oscar.
Really, what we need at this point is to be vaccinated against Persida Acosta.