José Manuel Santiago, Civil Guard's chief of staff (Spanish military police), faced today an avalanche of criticism. The general is one of the regulars at the press conferences held by the technical committee for coronavirus management. Today he talked about the Civil Guard's work against fake news: “We work along our specialists focusing on two issues: we manage the information command chain to reduce social stress caused by this series of lies, and we avoid the negative climate against the government’s management of the crisis.”
Tenemos más de 20.000 fallecidos por #Coronavirus, entre ellos agentes de la Guardia Civil en primera línea, y a Jose Manuel Santiago, jefe del Estado Mayor de la Guardia Civil, trabajando para minimizar el clima contrario al Gobierno.— Marta Llopis #YoMeQuedoEnCasa 🏡 (@LlopisMarta95) April 19, 2020
No digo nada... 😳
The Coronavirus death toll is over 20,000 , among them Civil Guard agents who are at the forefront, and José Manuel Santiago, Civil Guard's chief of staff is working to avoid the negative attitude against the government.
Santiago normally details the arrests that the Civil Guard records in the last 24 hours, some anecdotes or events that occurred in the area of robberies or the wards that the corps disinfects on a daily basis. Today he went further and commented on a favourable management towards information given by the Spanish government. The criticism, specially from right-wing People’s Party and VOX, was swift.
The People’s Party asks for both Santiago’s and Spanish minister of interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska’s appearance at the Spanish Parliament, to explain his declarations. Marlaska, in turn, specified that it was mere "a slip of the tongue" by the general.
The minister gave two examples of what they understand by working together with the Civil Guard: fighting fake information “on the existence of a vaccine which is supposedly not shared due to geopolitical and strategic reasons" or the existence of traditional methods to stop the coronavirus.