The good doctor saw it fit to publicly state that he was misquoted by us in this story, as you can see in this Facebook post, and threaten legal action.
As editor, Let me explain why.
(1) Dr Leong’s quote was published in full. The exact text was published in Today newspaper as well. And, not forgetting, The Middle Ground, which is helmed by esteemed and deeply respected former Straits Times editor Bertha Henson.
“Every single mild case of fever, they should have investigated, it was a chance to break the cycle. Kudos to the GP who picked up the trend. We must remember that Zika is very mild, compared to dengue. Patients may not be sick enough to go to hospital but to the GP instead. So the GP now is the gatekeeper.”
(2) Dr Leong’s sole indictment of Redwire is peculiar. There is no mention that Today news described him as having “called the MOH out on not starting investigations earlier.” As simple laymen (and not infectious disease experts) we would hazard a guess that Today news doesn’t mean anything along the lines of (1), (2) or (4).
(3) Dr Leong’s quote wasn’t taken out of context. To call a person sluggish would mean that this person is slow to react. Perhaps Dr Leong should explain what he meant when he made this comment regarding the Health Ministry: “Every single mild case of fever, they should have investigated, it was a chance to break the cycle.” Dr Leong was the doctor who first diagnosed a patient with the Zika virus in May this year.
Our agenda, as Dr Leong has questioned, is similar to the good doctor’s – to protect citizens and get Singapore well – though we practise this in different fields.
Where we differ, perhaps, is we believe in this simple logic test – if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.