Salazar Uses Public Health Scare for Media Coverage

photo of Sheriff Javier Salazar
Sheriff Javier Salazar

Salazar Calls a Press Conference

I guess we were in Hollywood Javi mode on Sunday. Sheriff Salazar called a press conference to release information about an sick inmate who claimed he may have the coronavirus. Salazar immediately used that information to get in front of media cameras with a situation that he could use to look competent. One of the reporters pointed out that by announcing the possibility of a person in San Antonio having the coronavirus, the sheriff may be causing people to panic.

Sheriff Salazar dismissed it as a concern saying it would get out anyway. Then he goes on to say that they feel it is just the flu or a cold, they doubt that it’s the virus, but that they are taking precautions. He spends a good amount of time patting himself on the back. What’s really disturbing about the almost 10 minute video is how the sheriff can barely keep a smile off of his face while talking about a serious health threat. His relief to be speaking about something that he can turn into a positive for himself is almost palpable. I doubt he had much concern at all that releasing this information could have caused panic

Transparency When It’s Convenient

Sheriff Salazar speaks about transparency but that’s far from the reality of how much goes on at the jail and how much we’re told. He is no longer a person who can be trusted. Because of that I have to look at his statement where he says, “Our processes worked. (snaps fingers)…and nipped it in the bud.” By stating it this way, the implication is they caught it immediately. Since the jail under Javier Salazar, has not shown this kind of proficiency before, I would like to know what time the inmate was brought into the facility and what time he was moved to an isolation cell.

Lacking in Knowledge

In the KSAT video, Sheriff Salazar comments on the sick inmate coming into contact with people but then goes on to say, “We don’t believe that it’s spread like that anyway.” Per a CNN article on the Chinese doctor who first tried to warn people, the coronavirus is actually a “large family of viruses that includes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).” And if you go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website regarding the 2019-nCoV (current coronavirus) spread, you will see that they suspect it spreads similar to the flu, through respiratory droplets from someone coughing or sneezing. So yes, the current information on it is that it is spread by contact with other people.

If Sheriff Salazar was going to use this scare to get some positive media coverage, the least he could have done was given out correct information or just said, we don’t know. But really, he’s talking about a serious illness that has been all over the news. Yet he didn’t even bother to look up the most basic information that took me less than a minute to find? I guess he was in too much of a rush to get in front of the cameras.

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