Shifting the blame

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Shifting the blame

 Covid-19 has been exceedingly brutal to everyone. Worse, it is unclear when this ordeal will end. Vaccines pose the sole comfort for now and the greatest hope for the world.

Immunization has started already in the United States and Britain. Saudi Arabia, Israel, 27 members of the European Union as well as Singapore will start vaccinations soon. Koreans must bear the winter without any vaccines. When they will arrive remains uncertain.

Last month, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo boasted that Pfizer and Moderna approached Korea to make vaccine deals. Then why hasn’t the government gotten any? Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun claimed that the government did not have to rush with untested vaccines in July as daily cases had stayed under 100 at the time. His comment suggests how naïve the government was.

But there is no sign of remorse or regret on the governing front. President Moon Jae-in issued a statement calling for an end to “vaccine politicization” and his aides released records proving the president had made orders on vaccines from April. To make matters worse, the government is bent on blaming the local media for creating a vaccine crisis. If the president really repeatedly made the order for vaccines, would the Health Ministry and disease control agency dismiss them?

Ruling Democratic Party (DP) Chairman Lee Nak-yon accused the media of exaggerating the crisis and aggravating public anxieties with incorrect reports. A ruling party leader is putting the blame on the media without any sympathy toward people pained by the protracted and worsening virus crisis. DP floor leader Kim Tae-nyeon went so far as to attack some conservative media outlets for “acting like rightist Japanese news outlets.”

Finding fault with the media has been a habit of the ruling party for way too long. It is cowardly behavior to avoid the liability for failing to acquire vaccines in advance. The DP should spend its energy sourcing vaccines instead of blaming others. People must not be victimized by an incompetent government. The president must explain the vaccine situation and take command before it is too late.
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