From 1 to 10 February, 2020, the “Media Advocate” initiative followed online media reports on the RA Minister of Health, Arsen Torosyan’s personality and activities.
35 leading Armenian news agencies have been monitored.
In the specified period, 193 articles were declared, 19 of which were negative, 8 were positive and 166 were neutral.
Fewer articles have been published on Arsen Torosyan in comparison to previous decades, though the negative ones continue to prevail.
A new wave of protests is emerging over discussions on the tobacco bill. Some oppose strict bans on smoking, while others oppose cigarette equivalents. The wave of protests began after Sona Azaryan’s publication, which received more attention than Arsen Torosyan’s post.
Head of Philip Morris Armenia Company Natalia Mayorova has called on IQOS users on her Facebook page to respond to Health Minister Arsen Torosyan’s latest post. “Dear Mr. Arsen Torosyan, I am concerned that your ungrounded statements are misleading IQOS users who have already given up smoking and have switched to a better alternative, forcing them to return to the most dangerous way to get nicotine.”
One of the main reasons for the criticism was that according to citizens and Council of Elders member Ani Khachatryan, the Ministry of Health is hiding or failing to disclose information about acute respiratory infections to citizens. According to media reports, the absence of students from schools reaches thousands. Some children are infected with PCIs, and some parents avoid from taking their children to school.
It is said that Health Minister Arsen Torosyan did not take part in a flashmob action organized by the City of Smile Foundation to support people with cancer. The publication states: “The Foundation also sent him the poster, but he preferred not to take part in the action initiated by Anna Hakobyan. This again proves that the relations between the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister’s wife are strained and there is no cooperation between them. One wonders how Torosyan remains in this position without the approval of the Prime Minister’s wife.”