Tsipras: Queues of government officials for vaccine not ‘symbolic’ but political perks

The queues of ministers and senior ministry officials lining up to get coronavirus vaccines when there were not enough to go around for frontline medical staff were not symbolic gestures but “executive political perks”, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“The vaccinations of the President of the Republic and the political leaders were a symbolic gesture and a strong message to the citizens, which was agreed from the start….the lines of ministers and general secretaries for a selfie with the vaccine, at a time when there are not enough for even the doctors and nurses on the front line and as citizens may have to wait until even the end of the summer to be vaccinated, are not a symbolic gesture but an executive political perk. Someone should tell them that there isn’t a vaccine specially for ‘aristos’,” Tsipras commented.

He also accused the government of turning the vaccination campaign into a ‘communications show’ after getting fewer than 100,000 doses of the vaccine in December, instead of the two million per month that it originally promised.

“All the experts warn that immunity to coronavirus from vaccination will not come before next autumn,” Tsipras pointed out, adding that everybody seemed to be aware of this apart from the government, which was continuing to deny the self-evident need for measures to strengthen the public health system, or the hiring of permanent doctors and providing free mass testing for the public.

“With 4,672 human lives lost since the start of the pandemic, of which 4,046 were in the last two months, [Prime Minister Kyriakos] Mitsotakis cannot claim he didn’t know. The developments on the front of the pandemic already bear his signature,” Tsipras said.