NewsWorldCovid-19 scandals: these policies pushed to resign

Covid-19 scandals: these policies pushed to resign

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British Health Minister Matt Hancock announced his resignation on Saturday after being criticized for failing to comply with health restrictions. Like him, several political figures have had to leave their posts following scandals linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. Overview.

British Minister of Health Matt Hancock announced his resignation on Saturday, June 26, admitting to having “violated the health instructions” intended to stem the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet supported by Boris Johnson, he gave in to popular pressure after the publication, by the tabloid The Sun, of the video of a languid kiss with an assistant, in his office, in defiance of the rules of social distancing he had itself set up.

If this case is strangely reminiscent of that of Neil Ferguson – the eminent scientific adviser to the government was forced to resign in May 2020 for having broken the rules of confinement with his mistress – this type of scandal is far from being a British specificity. . Since the start of the pandemic, several politicians have been forced to leave their posts for reasons related to Covid-19 – violation of the rules, corruption, favoritism or negligence. Overview through some emblematic cases.

  • Germany: mask lobbying

It is a scandal that Angela Merkel’s party would have gone well without. In February, six months before the federal elections – which will mark the end of the chancellor’s reign – two members of the parliamentary majority were accused of having received several hundred thousand euros from the mask manufacturer, in exchange of lobbying with the ministries in charge of purchasing. According to the elements of the investigation relayed by the German press, Georg Nüßlein, vice-president of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group and specialist in health issues, would have received 660,000 euros for the aid given to a company in the city of Offenbach (Hesse), while Nikolas Löbel, one of the youngest deputies of the conservative party, would have pocketed 250,000 euros from a Chinese manufacturer. Both were immediately forced to quit the party and their duties as MPs. An investigation is underway.

  • Slovakia: secret agreement to obtain Sputnik V

In order to fight against a pandemic which is hitting his country hard, Prime Minister Igor Matovic announced on March 1 that it had ordered two million doses of Sputnik V. Problem? This agreement concluded in the greatest secrecy has not been the subject of any consultation, while the Russian vaccine has not even been approved in Europe. The announcement sparked an uproar in Slovakia. Already criticized for his management of the health crisis, Igor Matovic ended up resigning on March 28. For his part, the Slovak drug agency SUKL blocks the use of the 200,000 doses already received, pointing to the lack of medical data. Slovakia remains to this day the only European country where a pandemic scandal has led to the fall of a head of government.

  • Malawi: embezzlement

In April 2021, the President of Malawi Lazarus Chakwera takes the floor to denounce a fraud scandal. A government-commissioned audit revealed irregularities in the use of 6.2 billion kechwa (around 6.7 million euros) spent on the fight against Covid-19. Fourteen people are arrested including the Minister of Labor, Ken Kandodo, accused of using Covid funds to finance a trip abroad. Although reimbursed since, the 640 euros used by the minister earned him an immediate dismissal as well as legal proceedings. “There are no sacred cows” then declared the president, who made the fight against corruption a priority. “If the finger of proof points to you … you go to jail”.

  • Jordan: neglect on oxygen management

In mid-March 2021, a health scandal turns into a riot near the capital, Amman. Police are deployed to protect Salt City Hospital as several hundred people demonstrate over the deaths of seven patients. Affected by the coronavirus, they died due to a shortage of oxygen, in this public institute inaugurated in August. Prime Minister Bisher al Khaswaneh then denounces “a gross, unjustifiable and unacceptable error”, dismisses Minister of Health Nathir Obeidat who recognizes “moral responsibility”, and launches a judicial investigation. This case comes against a backdrop of growing hostility on the part of the population to health restrictions.

  • Peru: vaccination privilege scandal

Dozens of ministers and senior officials vaccinated in secret even before the start of the vaccination campaign … Revealed last February by the press, this case had the effect of a bomb in Peru, which already had more than 43,000 deaths and whose hospitals were overwhelmed by the influx of patients. The Chinese pharmaceutical group Sinopharm, which was conducting the clinical trial of its vaccine in the country, had delivered 2,000 additional doses as part of the study. A part of these would have been used by the leaders who also benefited their relatives. The case prompted a cascade of resignations – that of Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti, Foreign Minister Elizabeth Astete – and prompted the president to open an investigation. A similar scandal erupted in Argentina where the Minister of Health had to leave his post after being accused of organizing “VIP vaccinations”.

  • New Zealand: seaside vacation and mountain biking

Even in New Zealand, which is renowned for its rigorous management of the crisis, leaders are not immune to scandals. In April 2020, while strict confinement was imposed on the whole country, the Minister of Health David Clark admits having made a 20 km trip to get to the sea with his family, the very first weekend of confinement. The politician, who had already distinguished himself by going cycling in the mountains in defiance of the health rules he himself had enacted, then made an act of contrition. “I was an idiot, people will be mad at me and that’s okay,” he says. in a press release. He presents his resignation to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who, at first, demeans him beforeformalize his departure on July 2.

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