DW: Boyko Borissov Claims He Copes with Pandemic Best of All - Is it True?

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | February 25, 2021, Thursday // 16:49
Bulgaria: DW: Boyko Borissov Claims He Copes with Pandemic Best of All - Is it True?

Every time he appears on Facebook, in villages and factories, Boyko Borissov invariably claims that he tackles the pandemic crisis in the best way possible. The latest such example is from the Haskovo village of Malevo, where together with Health Minister Kostadin Angelov the Prime Minister arrived along with a mobile vaccination team.

Speaking in front of journalists meeting him in the village, Borisov thanked the media which "cover the situation in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Greece." We manage the pandemic crisis to the best of our best. This is undeniable and all colleagues are taking it into account now," the prime minister boasted. What he didn't say was how he arrived at this conclusion. Who does Borisov compare himself to? Assuming that it draws a parallel with the countries it has mentioned, Greece and Germany have a lower morbidity rate than Bulgaria, according to the current data of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. As for mortality, Bulgaria stands worse than the Netherlands and Greece.

In Bulgaria's southern neighbor, even the mortality rate is several-fold lower than in Bulgaria. However, this does not seem to prevent Borisov from claiming that "the most liberal possible measures are in our country", a "very disciplined population" and "with the perfect doctors, nurses and lab technicians... we are dealing better than anyone with this terrible pandemic," Boris emphasized.

In Malevo only did he say this twice in a few minutes. Bulgaria is in 15th place (out of 152 countries in the world) in mortality with an indicator of 1,437 deaths per 1 million since the beginning of the crisis, according to the data of worldometers.info. By morbidity is in 62nd place with 34,506 infected per 1 million.

The high coronavirus mortality rate does not speak very well for Bulgarian health care system, which, in turn, is a function of good governance. At the bottom in the EU rankings, according to data as of 23 February, Bulgaria is last in the EU by vaccination rates – with 1.6% vaccinated with a first dose and 0.5% with a second dose, according to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

But in Malevo we heard the Minister of Health say: "Vaccination is going at a pace that we like." And the Prime Minister added that the organisation of the process was perfect. These figures do not support Borisov's assertion that Bulgaria best manages the crisis, or at least he exaggerated.

"Normal life" as an indicator

It is possible for Borisov to accept "normal life" as an indicator of effective crisis management, because isolation and lockdown do not bring political dividends before elections. "At the moment almost everything is open, after some days we will open the restaurants, the students go to school, gyms are working...", Borisov said in Malevo, adding that a "thoughtful, disciplined and intelligent people deserve to be treated this way - to lead a normal life".

It is also became clear from the Prime Minister's words that he does not consider the pandemic to be over, nor the pressure over the health system to be relieved. That is, the number of those who have died in the name of "normal life" will increase.

It is no coincidence that in Bulgaria the first vaccinated were the medical workers, whom "we will now load, maybe overload. But we will keep normal the life of all the other seven million", stressed Prime Minister Borisov. 

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Tags: Bulgaria, Boyko Borissov, crisis management
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