The United States committed 2.5 million Pfizer does to Thailand. This, everyone, knows.
On 29 July, 1.5 million doses arrived. This, everyone also knows.
So, one million doses are left.
We wait. We wait. We wait.
Then Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, chairperson of the soon-to-be political party Thai Srang Thai, visited US Senator Tammy Duckworth in Washington DC this week.
In a video meeting released yesterday, Duckworth told Sudarat:
“Thailand has a million doses that are waiting to go.”
“Thailand has not finished the paperwork.”
“I told the ambassador a month ago.”
“It’s very hard for me to go the president and the National Security Agency and ask for more vaccines for Thailand when there’s a million waiting.”
“As soon as you take it, we’ll send more. But if there’s a million waiting to be sent, then it’s unlikely I can ask the administration for more.”
One month ago. One month ago. One month ago.
During Thailand’s worst outbreak, strictest lockdown, death and infection numbers climbing, one month went by.
Why? We can’t get the paperwork done in one month.
Of course, social media went nuts. So naturally, damage control ensued.
Health Minister Anutin Charvirakul said this is “fake news,” and the US had not contacted Thailand about the one million doses.
However, the Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai is already in the US for a United Nations meeting and will meet with Duckworth about the one million doses.
Government doctors came out in a fury to defend the Health Ministry. Pro-government pages and followers call Sudarat and Duckworth liars.
In an emergency where people are dying.
In an urgency where leaders need to move heaven and earth to get the vaccines.
One month went by. One month went by. One month went by.
Instead of getting mad at gross incompetence, gargantuan carelessness, or galactic cluelessness.
We get mad at people who expose these things.