Spain’s chief of defence staff Gen. Miguel Angel Villaroya resigned from his position after reports that he received the coronavirus vaccine ahead of other priority groups, according to a report from Reuters.
Villaroya resigned on Saturday, 23 January, after receiving public backlash for allegedly skipping the line to get inoculated. Like many other countries including the United States, Spain has prioritized health care workers and the elderly, two of the most exposed and vulnerable groups to the virus.
Defence minister Margarita Robles reportedly talked to Villaroya after reports of his vaccination emerged on Friday to ask if they were true, according to the wire service.
Robles did not explicitly say if Villaroya got the vaccine in the statement about his resignation, but did say that Villaroya never intended to take advantage of unjustifiable privileges which damaged the image of the Armed Forces and put in doubt the honour of the general.
Villaroya was at daily media briefings to represent the military and update the public on how troops were helping care for its citizens last year when the pandemic first began.
The wire service reported that the general’s actions had damaged the image of the armed forces in Spain.
Robles’s statement said Villaroya a took decisions which he thought to be correct but those decisions damaged the public image of the Armed Forces.
The news comes as several public figures have made waves in the country for jumping the priority line in Spain.
The country has also been one of the hardest hit in Europe after France and has seen a death toll of over 55,000 since the pandemic has begun with cases still going up. The country is almost at 2.5 million coronavirus cases.