Coronavirus
State Workers Social Security Institute chief Zenteno. State Workers Social Security Institute chief Zenteno.

Health service chief criticized after revealing he’s treating COVID with homeopathy

Issste chief Pedro Zenteno is under homeopathic medical treatment for the disease

The head of a federal government social security and health care provider has attracted criticism after revealing that he was being treated for COVID-19 with homeopathy.

“… I tested positive for COVID-19. I’m fine with mild symptoms, I’m already under homeopathic medical treatment,” State Workers Social Security Institute (Issste) general director Pedro Zenteno Santaella announced on Twitter Sunday.

Infectious disease specialist Alejandro Macías retweeted Zenteno’s post with an accompanying message that asserted “there is no such thing as homeopathic treatment against COVID-19.”

“Homeopathy is water with sugar,” he added.

In a subsequent post, Macías “clarified” that homeopathy is water with sugar and “a few drops of alcohol … so that it tastes like medicine.”

“But in the end it’s still a placebo,” he wrote.

Former health minister and current federal Deputy Salomón Chertorivski also retweeted the Issste chief’s post with his own commentary.

“Everyone is the master of their own body and health. However, that one of the heads of public health is putting forward homeopathy as a way to treat a potentially lethal disease is concerning. Hopefully, he gets better soon. Hopefully, he’ll also value medical science,” he wrote.

Virologist Andreu Comas wrote on Twitter that the poor state of Mexico’s public health system is evidenced by having an anthropologist as the head of the National Institute of Health for Well-Being (Insabi), a homeopath as the chief of Issste and an “anti-vaxxer” as health minister.

Insabi director Juan Antonio Ferrer formerly worked at the National Institute of Anthropology and History, Zenteno describes himself on Twitter as a surgeon and National Polytechnic Institute-trained homeopath and Health Minister Jorge Alcocer has recommended against offering COVID-19 vaccines to children.

With reports from Reforma and El Financiero 

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