• The San Juan Daily Star

Governor: There’s no pleasing everyone with pandemic response

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Thursday he cannot please both those who want a total shutdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 following a huge hike in the number of infections and those who want to repeal restrictions.

“Here is a sector that asks for a curfew and a lockdown and there is another sector that doesn’t want the government to order people, businesses on what they have to do because they believe that the most important thing is the citizen’s own responsibility,” Pierluisi said in response to questions from the press.

“When making decisions, I always try to find that middle point that is the wisest and is the one with the best result,” he said. “I do not rule out any measure. I will be consulting, but I tell you that when I make decisions it is impossible to please everyone.”

The governor insisted that the hospitalization rate remains his main criteria for making decisions.

“So far, thank God, the [numbers of sick people at] hospitals are under control,” he said. “They are at 50 percent capacity and both the secretary of health and my team are in communication with the hospitals because that is really the metric that we are watching the most because this variant is more contagious, more transmissible.”

Pierluisi also argued that he has seen that citizens have behaved responsibly amid this latest upturn in cases.

He also stressed that decisions cannot be made based on fear.

“The important thing is that, again, when I make decisions it is not because that is what the restaurant industry asked me, or an extremely conservative person who wants me to lock everyone up has asked,” he said. “The president himself has said, before this variant and the impact it has had, that we cannot panic and that we are already in a different stage in the pandemic.”

Asked if there will be a closure of schools as a result of the rise in infections, Pierluisi said he does not rule it out.

“I do not rule out anything,” he said. “I am ensuring that the protocol is in place, that we are satisfied with the protocol and that the secretary of education gives me certainty that they are ready to comply with that protocol.”

The governor made his statements after appearing at the funeral services of the former mayor of Canóvanas, José Ramón “Chemo” Soto Rivera.

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