“Have you been vaccinated?” “I am not going to answer that question,” replied Santiago Abascal, somewhat uncomfortable. “I refuse to testify on a health issue in public,” he added. And there the box of thunder was unleashed. It happened on September 17 in ‘Las Mañanas de Federico’, the Jiménez Losantos program, a space that was not uncomfortable for the extreme right up to that point. It was almost at the end of a long conversation between the announcer and the leader of Vox that had passed between laughter and complicity, in a friendly tone, in which the journalist from Libertad Digital and esRadio promised to continue interviewing the leader of Vox if his party it was “outlawed.” “Thank you very much, Federico,” replied the leader of the extreme right, “but if that ever happens, they may close the radio as well.” “I know that then Vox will defend us, this is a pact of mutual support,” Losantos certified in that atmosphere of camaraderie.
But the placid chat of friends was cut short when one of Jiménez Losantos’ collaborators intervened to ask about the party’s position on the vaccination campaign. Abascal responded like this: “Vox’s official position on compulsory vaccination is clear, we have always defended that against it, that the vaccine should be voluntary. We are also against the imposition of a COVID passport for access to leisure venues or the restaurants that imply this compulsory vaccination “. Losantos interrupted him to reply that getting vaccinated is “an act of health” and reminded him that “since there have been vaccines no health worker has died.” The journalist considered “irresponsible” that the leader of Vox maintains that speech given that his party is voted by “5 or 6 million” Spaniards, who he influences. “One cannot enter here without being vaccinated because it infects me and I am left without writing,” he settled, while Abascal tried to clarify: “I have not positioned myself against the vaccine, only that it is mandatory.”
For ten days, the supporters of one and the other have not stopped engaging in social networks. Losantos, an icon for the extreme right, came to be considered a suspect by some of the followers of Vox, who have baptized him as “Federico vacunas” or “Pfizerico”, in reference to the multinational that patented one of the first antidotes against the virus. “All my support to Santi for his position in the face of extortion attempts to vaccinate us. Freedom above all!”. “Very Santi, bravo, you’ve been wonderful !! Federico, you’re wrong, leave us alone with the bloody Kakuna.” “Seeing is believing, Federico censoring and almost pursuing freedom of thought and choice,” a part of the listeners reproached him in the comments of that live interview. The support that Losantos received from other political leaders, such as Inés Arrimadas, only fueled the fire.
Far from being intimidated, the announcer has launched new slogans against the anti-vaccines and some Vox leaders. In his morning speeches, he lamented that “according to the deniers, since March 8 there has been no virus, the world went crazy and pretended to die.” “This level of stupidity is reaching there and everything is mixed. Some say ‘we are against vaccines’ … others that are not tested … your test is not tested. What an idiot there is in this world!”, he exclaimed. “Freedom, they say, I don’t know if it’s the mantra and some moron from Vox repeats it.” In his relief, Losantos charged against “the imbeciles in a chain” and against those who later claimed that in that interview he “locked Abascal”. “No, the same as Olona, who was later insulted like us. Strange is that they did not tell her that she wanted to strangle her son,” he lamented.
But the harshest sentence came later: “There is a collection of psychopaths who have put themselves in the shadow of Vox, who have to throw them out, exterminate them, not think that they are respectable people. The evil one is never respectable. Today he serves you, tomorrow he will serve you. It kills (in the networks). The slag must be swept away, the garbage must be removed and the rats and cockroaches must be exterminated, “he continued, referring to all the deniers and Twitter accounts linked to Vox that continue to throw hoaxes. Losantos also scoffed at the defenders of the so-called MMS or clear dioxide – a compound on which the Medicines Agency warns that it poses a serious health risk-, whom he calls “bebelejía” and also of those who believe that “these vaccines are false” and with them “a chip is being put into people to monitor them.”
Criticism then raged against the journalist, who some veiled accused of also seeking sponsorship for his program from laboratories that manufacture vaccines.
Other leaders, such as Marcarena Olona, have also suffered harassment on social media for having been vaccinated. Both she and Abascal himself came to test positive for the virus while the party’s general secretary, Javier Ortega Smith, was admitted and with some seriousness since as a result of the contagion he suffered a thrombus.
Olona, the group’s general secretary in Congress and a state attorney on leave of absence, decided to upload a photo to Twitter of the moment she received the first dose last July at the Zendal hospital.
As a result of that photo, the Vox leader received endless criticism on the social networks of profiles that declared themselves voters or followers of the party. Some abjured having voted for Vox and promised never to do so again; Others warned him of the “disappointment” that he was going to get when he realized “that the vaccine is worthless”; There was also memes with the exporter of Ciudadanos, Juan Carlos Girauta, sitting in the room waiting for Olona; the most macho tweets criticized the “style” that the deputy had chosen for that moment. They even wished him to give him “a thrombus”, as Olona herself later recounted in Libertad Digital.
“I was vaccinated because I am the mother of a baby and I travel a lot, but I was vaccinated by entrusting myself because I did not know if I was going to have a thrombus the next day. What I did not imagine is that I would have people the next day wishing me to have a thrombus. It was very hard “, he confessed in an interview also granted to Jiménez Losantos. Despite her decision and the threats, she alleges that if there are people who fear vaccines it is because of, in her opinion, “insecurity” and the chain of errors that the Sánchez government has transmitted. “I got infected by trusting the Government and attending a public act at the beginning of March 2020, which was allowed because the Government said there was no risk,” he said in the interview in which he finally ruled that “denying the pandemic to me It seems outrageous. ” The public event was a Vox rally.
Also Juan Luis Steegmann, deputy and spokesman for Health of Vox, also vaccinated, has been accused of defending vaccines because he charges from several pharmaceutical laboratories, a statement that, according to Maldita.es, is not true. The leader continues to receive serious insults online.
Meanwhile, other party leaders are balancing. This is the case of the parliamentary spokesman, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros. More than a month ago he acknowledged having been vaccinated. It was at a press conference in Congress that a journalist asked him about it. Then he revealed that he had received the coronavirus vaccine, although he acknowledged that other members of his party had decided not to put it on “making use of their freedom.” “Citizens should be free to make the decision they consider most appropriate,” he defended. “This is what freedom consists of, in which adult, informed people decide freely without being imposed by politicians who do not know more than the citizens themselves, indeed, who know less, as is being demonstrated these days in which They are trying to tell the Spaniards not to get the second dose of a certain vaccine in particular, and the Spaniards are putting it against the criteria of the Government itself, because the experts are the ones who have failed us, “he said.
Last week, however, in an interview on TVE, Espinosa avoided confirming that he had received any doses, and even questioned the effectiveness of the vaccines. He said it in these words: “It does not endanger the lives of others if they are vaccinated, assuming that the vaccine is effective.”
“What Abascal said [en aquella entrevista con Losantos] It seems to me an eloquent answer. If I say now that I have been vaccinated, then there will be people who say that I am promoting the vaccine; If I say that I have not been vaccinated, there will be people who say that I am anti-vaccines, “he replied.” Doctors, scientists and even pharmaceutical laboratories do not agree on several things, among them, the side effects “of the drug, he added, appealing to “freedom, which is what I want all Spaniards to have.”
In the far-right party, public offices coexist that create the hoaxes of the denialist groups. Such is the case of the Vox deputy in the Madrid Assembly, Alicia Verónica Rubio, who a few months ago pointed to the hoax that COVID vaccines generate side effects, such as magnetizing objects. To prove it, the deputy shared on her Twitter account videos of people who claim that metal objects are stuck in their arms after receiving the vaccine. “I have quite a few videos of vaccinated with magnetization at the vaccine site. I would like you to tell me if this is happening or not. And if so, why is it happening? If not, why have so many colluded citizens to tell this story? “, asked Rubio. Now it is no longer possible to see those tweets because the deputy rushed to make them disappear. But the mockery did not stop.
This Monday, the spokesman for the national direction of Vox, MEP Jorge Buxadé, insisted on the same arguments of Espinosa to justify those who do not want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus and theorized about the right of citizens, including parents of minors, not to do so by rejecting compulsory vaccination under any circumstances.
“Our position is freedom,” he declared at a press conference at the party’s headquarters. “We say ‘freedom, for adults and minors,’ whose rights are exercised by their parents,” Buxadé claimed.
In the midst of the storm, Abascal’s party tries to make us forget that in June 2020, when the pandemic had already broken out, the parliamentary group presented in Congress a non-law proposal in which it defended the “mandatory vaccination of the entire population from 0 to 16 years for the prevention of immunopreventable pathologies “.
The spokesman for Citizen Health, Guillermo Díaz, took the colors out of them.
In addition, among the so-called “100 Vox measures for Spain” that the formation of the extreme right presented as an electoral program, in the health section, point 56, affirms that “childhood vaccines will be compulsory and free”. After the anger of a part of its parish, the party now defends that parents are the ones who decide whether to vaccinate their children against COVID-19 or not.