Andrej Babis

Petr Dubinsky

Pirates Call On Babis To Apologize For Downplaying Virus

The Czech Pirate Party has called on Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to apologize for his statements downplaying the coronavirus in September.

Olga Richterová, the Vice-President of the Pirates, called on the Prime Minister to do so in the Chamber today. She cited the prime minister’s statement on September 13 about the low number of people who died of coronavirus.

“The prime minister downplayed the gravity of the situation back in September. My request would be for him to evaluate how to help people’s trust and adherence to the measures by, I think, apologizing for these statements,” Richter said.

According to the deputy, the Chamber of Deputies should also ask the government to check whether the maximum number of civil servants works from home to limit coronavirus spread. At the beginning of October, according to Richter, it was only ten percent of people.

The chairman of the Tricolor, Václav Klaus, rejected Richter’s request to change the Chamber of Deputies’ rules so that deputies could sit and vote remotely electronically to reduce the risk of infection.

“The idea that we will not go to work comes to me from Mars. If you have such health concerns, give up your mandate and you can go home to wrap yourself in plastic,” Klaus told the MP.

Deputy Chairman of the Security Committee Zdeněk Ondráček (KSČM) criticized the government for not allowing the State Material Reserves Administration to purchase medical aids and devices without a tender in time.

He also commented that the opposition did not have its experts in the Central Crisis Staff, as was the case in the spring. “The government does not want to listen to people who understand security issues,” he said.

Both Ondráček and Richter pointed out the enormous commitment of health professionals and expressed concerns that their capacities would soon be exhausted. Ondráček also criticized that the missing medical material must be distributed by firefighters, thus serving as a “girl for everything.” He asked why the state would not use, for example, private carriers, to which it would otherwise pay damages.

The chairwoman of TOP 09, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, asked citizens to approach government measures with all humility and respect and observe them, even if some steps are annoying.