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Népszava criticises government handling of pandemic

April 9th, 2021

In an unusual flurry of comments condemning the government’s pandemic management, the left-wing nationwide daily carries five separate opinion columns on this subject on Thursday.

Miklós Hargitai lays the responsibility for Hungary’s prime position in global Covid mortality rates – as a percentage of those who test positive – at the doorstep of the government. He dismisses Human Resources Minister Miklós Kásler’s view that the healthcare system hasn’t been shaken at all by the pandemic.

Former Socialist Health Minister Mihály Kökény also criticises the government, but rejects an earlier opinion in the same daily by a liberal economist which contended that the system proposed by the liberal health minister of the mid-2000s would have handled the crisis much more efficiently. Kökény believes that the reform proposed by his liberal successor would have produced havoc and higher inequality in health care.

László Csuja believes it is Big Pharma that prevents hospitals from thoroughly testing cheap antiviral substances like Ivermectine and Fluvoxamine. Hungarian hospitals reported encouraging results about the use of the former but haven’t even tried to test the latter, he complains. Meanwhile, Big Pharma’s anti-Covid substances are still in an early stage of testing.

Oenologist Csaba Kuthi takes up the defence of the European Union against widespread, mainly pro-government criticism of its vaccine rollout. Coordinated vaccine rollout has proved to be safe and cheap, unlike the Russian and the Chinese vaccines that have been authorised in Hungary under pressure by the government, he fulminates.

Dávid Simon suggests that China is trying to promote its own global influence by providing anti-Covid vaccines to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia as well as ’certain members’ of the European Union. Meanwhile, India produces 60% of all vaccines being sold globally and thus represents a counterweight to China in Asia. Thus, Simon writes, the coronavirus pandemic has opened a new stage in reshaping the global world order.

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