El esquema de la venta de pruebas en Puerto Rico

Como cara del negocio, una persona con conexiones en el sector público, ligada al Partido Nuevo Progresista, llega con sus pruebas rápidas al Gobierno. Lo hace a través de las mismas personas: el director del Task force médico, el Dr. Segundo Rodríguez Quilichini, su enlace con La Fortaleza, Mabel Cabeza, o Adil Rosa Rivera, quien supervisa las compras de emergencia por la COVID-19 en la agencia. Tras bastidores, hay socios participando de la transacción, la mayoría de ellos extranjeros con negocios en la isla y beneficiarios de incentivos contributivos. Para realizar las compras, el Gobierno de Puerto Rico no va directamente al manufacturero, sino que a través de varias capas de intermediarios, algunas locales y vinculadas al partido, y otras extranjeras y muy sofisticadas, mayormente en los Estados Unidos. A través de la cadena, ganan dinero todos los niveles: el frente del negocio, los socios, los intermediarios y el manufacturero.

Puerto Rico Health Department’s COVID-19 math is wrong

Bad news about the COVID-19 epidemic in Puerto Rico hit this morning like a bucket of cold water: the Health Department had been incorrectly reporting data on infections on the island for the past four weeks. Health Secretary Lorenzo González acknowledged today to the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI) that the agency has been mixing the results of molecular tests, which confirm that a person has the virus, with results of serological tests or “rapid test kits,” which should not be used to inform infection status, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The implications: There has been a double, perhaps even a triple count of test results in Puerto Rico’s official COVID-19 statistics. For example, a person who tested positive on the rapid test and then had a molecular or “PCR” test confirming that positive, it can be counted as two separate cases in the numbers reported by the Government. 

The CPI asked if the current number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico has a double or even triple count.

No man’s land: Buying tests and supplies for the COVID-19 emergency in Puerto Rico

The Government of Puerto Rico’s procurement process for materials and equipment to deal with the coronavirus emergency has been plagued with mistakes, delays, inefficiency, questionable purchases and a lack of details. The Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) interviewed more than three sources who identified Adil Rosa Rivera as responsible for buying supplies and equipment for the emergency, such as ventilators, tests and protective equipment. Up until a few days ago, Rosa Rivera coordinated the procurement process, first through the Health Department and then through the Bureau for Emergency and Disaster Management’s (NMEAD, in Spanish) Emergency Operations Center (COE). From the COE, together with Medical Task Force members Dr. Juan Salgado and Dr. Segundo Rodríguez, they have coordinated what to buy and from whom, three sources confirmed. Rosa Rivera previously worked as the Family Department’s Administration Director for the Caguas region, and until last week was in charge of the Health Department’s Undersecretary of Administration office.