Thousands of people demonstrated in cities across Argentina on Saturday to protest the “VIP vaccinations” scandal that forced the health minister to resign.
Gines Gonzalez Garcia quit a week ago at the president’s request after it was revealed that his friends had been able to skip the coronavirus vaccination line.
Protesters carrying the words “Give me my vaccine” and “Stop wasting our money” gathered outside government headquarters at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires.
“They started by vaccinating government friends. It is not appropriate. They are stealing someone else’s life, protests Irene Marcet told AFP.
Since Argentina began vaccinating its people, only health care workers had been given the job until Wednesday, when over 70s in the province of Buenos Aires were also invited to be vaccinated.
On Monday, the government released a list of 70 people who received the vaccine outside the official campaign, which included the 38-year-old finance minister and former president Eduardo Duhalde, his wife and their children.
On the railings in front of Casa Rosada, the seat of the government and the president’s office, protesters hung spit on black body bags with the names of government leaders vaccinated.
President Alberto Fernandez condemned their actions.
“The way to demonstrate in a democracy can not be to show mortuaries with the names of political leaders in front of Casa Rosada,” he tweeted.
“This deplorable act only shows how many opponents see the republic. Let us not be silent before such a barbaric act. ”
The demonstrations took place without incident except for some friction between protesters and union activists in front of the president’s official residence.
Protesters also gathered in other cities including Cordoba, Rosario and Mar del Plata.
With a population of 44 million, Argentina has registered more than two million infections and about 52,000 deaths from coronavirus.
According to the government, one million people have already been vaccinated.
Argentina has received 1.22 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, approximately 580,000 doses from Covishield, the Indian Serum Institute and 904,000 shots from China’s Sinopharm.