Tensions in the ruling coalition following Health Ministry’s leaks on vaccination?

PM Florin Cîțu said today he had not talked with President Klaus Iohannis about a potential dismissal of the Health minister in the case of the close-circuit vaccination centres and of the Covid testing reports, and that an assessment will be made “based on the results”. The PM mentioned that minister Vlad Voiculescu had not consulted with him before releasing the data about the anti-Covid testing and vaccination campaign.

“I am the prime minister and I heard from mass media that data are being published”, he said.

“From my point of view there is no problem. We want 100% transparency. The only problem is for data to not be misinterpreted. Those who released the data have the duty of explaining them. I haven’t been consulted by the Health minister. I heard from the media”, PM Citu stated.

He added he doesn’t understand the “wave of endorsement” for Vlad Voiculesuc after both USR-PLUS co-chairmen, Dan Barna and Dacian Ciolos had posted messages of support on Facebook.

Deputy PM Dan Barna said that Health minister Vlad Voiculescu has the 101% endorsement from the USR-PLUS Alliance and that transparency is part of a good governance. The other co-chairman of the alliance, MEP Dacian Ciolos had a similar message.

“His action is an act of normality. We all know that one of Romania’s major problems is the citizens’ lack of trust in the public authorities. Transparency is not a whim, is one of the foundations we must rebuild the citizens’ confidence in the state. Vlad Voiculescu has all my support in taking such decisions”, said Ciolos.

Barna and Ciolos’ message came after discontent voiced inside their coalition partners, the Liberals, with some voices even asking for Voiculescu to be sacked. The Liberal Interior minister Lucian Bode has slammed Voiculescu for releasing the data without having the permit of he national security and defence institutions. Former Health minister, Liberal Nelu Tataru even said that Voiculescu might be heard in Parliament on this issue.

Meanwhile, the Government has denied the Health Ministry’s access to the platform data.gov.ro to publish information about vaccination and the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister Voiculescu’s honorary adviser, Ștefan Voinea, said the ministry has no more access to data.gov.ro.

“I am looking forward to understanding what I did wrong”, he said.

Voinea is coordinating the ministry’s transparency activity regarding the data about vaccination and pandemic. He explained that, in this capacity, he had access to the National Vaccination Electronic Register through a restricted permission account, which does not give access to personal data, but only to statistics.

Healthcare policies expert: Around 7,000 Romanians skipped the line to get the anti-Covid jab

Around 0.6% of all people vaccinated against Covid-19 so far in Romania have skipped the line to get the jab, said Vlad Mixich, expert in healthcare policies after analysing the data published by Recorder based on the official statistics provided by the Health Ministry, covering vaccinations from December 27, 2020 to March 5, 2021 .

Surprisingly, the percentage is not ample”, he says, but in real figures, “we talk about 7,000 jerks with connections who skipped the line to take the anti-Covid jab, leaving 7,000 elderly and chronically ill without these vaccines in due time”.

Among those 7,000 who skipped the line to get vaccinated are people from the army, security, judiciary. “But we also have journalists and state officials among these jerks”, Mixich commented.

centrescoviddacian ciolosdan barnadismissalendorsementleaksPM Florin CitutestingUSR-PLUSvaccinationVlad Voiculescu
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