According to right-wing Member of the EU Parliament Tom Vandendriessche, the Belgian government’s delayed decision to launch mass vaccinations against the coronavirus is a threat to the nation’s health and economy.
Sputnik: The EU is currently at the beginning of a vaccination campaign aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. You are a member of the European Parliament, so you’re probably well-informed about statistics in the EU in general, as well as in your home country, Belgium, in particular. Do you think that the campaign is going well?
Tom Vandendriessche: No, I don’t think that the campaign is going well, and, as you probably saw, I’ve written an article about it. There are two subjects on the matter: one is of strategic importance, which is how many vaccines do you have available, because there is competition in the global market. So, this is a strategic question. And this is what the European Union was responsible for.
The second question is on an operational level. That means, if you get the vaccines, how fast do you distribute them? This is the responsibility of the nation states. Now, we see Belgium, for example, that on the strategic level we are completely dependent on the European Union, we do not have enough vaccines, and we should have more to speed up the vaccine programme.
And on the second level – the operational or tactical level, what the Belgian government is doing is really horrendous, because we can compare it, it’s transparent: everybody is looking at the same amount of vaccines, and the same amount of vaccinations that we have been effectuated. We can compare with all the other countries, so Belgium is really the worst. And we are the world champion in COVID deaths per capita. So, I don’t know if you read Belgian or Flemish newspapers, or media outlets, but they are constantly putting the Trump administration down for their response to the COVID crisis, but I think they should look at our own country and how things are going around here. And we should do better.