What could possibly have gone wrong? We have not yet seen anything close to the full extent of the damage, and not just from the coronavirus.
“Incinerate 63 million masks to ‘make room’?!,” translated from “Incinérer 63 millions de masques pour ‘faire de la place’?!,” by Drieu Godefridi, Dreuz Info, April 5, 2020 (thanks to David):
“To govern is to foresee”: never since 1945, the news had reminded us so well of the truth of this apothegm.
Since the beginning of the Wuhan virus crisis, the Belgian federal government has struggled in the worst difficulties to obtain protective masks, not only for ordinary people, but for those doctors, nurses, staff hospitals and law enforcement officials who are, every day, and in a fairly heroic way we dare say, on the front line.
The virulence of the pandemic surprised the best experts. However, in principle, the resurgence of pandemics of this type, since the dawn of time, is as certain as the movement of the planets. This pandemic was therefore predictable in a strict and literal sense, and this is the reason that normally prudent governments stockpiled masks – often in insufficient number, but which had the merit of their precious existence at the beginning of this crisis.
How to explain the total absence of masks in Belgium at the start of the crisis? Why have our “rulers” proved to be much less far-sighted than the others?
In fact, until 2015, the Belgian federal government had proved remarkably forward-looking, because Belgium had built up a strategic stock of 63 million masks – 1,200 pallets carefully stored and guarded by the army in the Belgrade barracks (Namur).
63 million masks! Enough to equip the entire population within 48 hours of the occurrence of the problem, with direct, immediate and drastic effects on the spread of the disease in Belgium. With these 63 million masks, even “outdated” for some – the elastic sometimes loosens after a few years, nothing irremediable – Belgium could have given itself the “lead” in Europe and supply our less well-equipped neighbors.
The problem is that in 2015, Charles Michel’s federal government decided to incinerate these 63 million masks. Why? According to information published yesterday by Het Nieuwsblad, La Meuse, La Capitale, Sudinfo and La Nouvelle Gazette, 63 million masks were incinerated – the entire strategic stock of Belgium – to “make room” (sic) and house refugees.
Let’s not mix it all up: there is no question of mixing up the questions of masks and refugees here and stirring up the slightest hostility towards candidates for refugee status. It’s not these asylum seekers who burned a single mask.
Full responsibility lies with the head of the federal government and the ministers concerned. If the facts are proven – they seem to be, the Red Cross is quoted by the press organs – the responsibility of the ministers involved and of the State is engaged on the moral level and on the political level, but first and above all on the criminal level.
Not content with incinerating the strategic stock, the federal government decided not to replace it: from 63 million masks, Belgium thus went to zero. The last masks were burned at the end of 2018, exactly one year before the Wuhan virus was born.
To govern is to plan. When we exercise responsibilities, we must assume them.
Each member of the nursing staff poisoned by this virus, by default of the most basic protection – the mask – is justified in seeking the civil and criminal responsibility of the ministers involved and of the State before the courts.