A reggaeton singer will be the new head of one of the field hospitals that the Nicolás Maduro regime has set up to receive asymptomatic patients with COVID-19. Tony “El Potro” Alvarez, a former baseball player and politician, will run the renowned Poliedro de Caracas, the venue used – before the crisis – for major cultural, sports and entertainment events, and which will now be used to house those suffering from the virus.
“El Potro de Venezuela, president of the Poliedro, I thank you for everything you are doing. I saw him disguised as RoboCop and astronaut. Potro, I entrust you with the health of the people there at the Poliedro,” Maduro said Friday night, during his customary appearance on the Covid-19 in the country.
The Poliedro, located in western Caracas and with a maximum capacity of 20,000 people, will initially receive about 900 patients who do not present any of the symptoms of Covid-19.
The regime’s designation has caused a stir on social networks, as well as in the opposition ranks, because Álvarez has no medical training. The 41-year-old singer briefly arrived in the major leagues and served as sports minister from January 2014 to April 2015. The criticism was also voiced by virologist Julio Castro, an advisor to the National Assembly’s Health Experts Commission: “The appointment of the singer as director of the intermediate hospital in the face of suggestions from the academies is an expression of what we have and what is worse than what will come if things do not change drastically”.