In this column I, Hendrik, will talk about the mistakes this cabinet has made with regard to the corona virus. This goes back to the government's late response and the denial of the potential danger of the virus to the stubbornness we are in now, the lockdown.
I will also briefly discuss how we could have done it differently. I will also highlight what Rutte had at the beginning of the crisis and how he might use this to get public opinion on his side.
Let's start at the beginning. The mistakes of this cabinet.
At the beginning of this corona crisis, the Cabinet denied the potential danger. This is largely due to WHO and RIVM sharing false information or hiding information about this virus.
From “It never gets to the Netherlands” to “The virus is not transmissible to humans”.
This is the main reason that the government has done nothing until March 12.
In fact, they sent millions of medical devices to China on February 2 because of this major misjudgment.
When the virus appeared to spread quickly in the world and also in the Netherlands, they took panic measures without any vision of how we can get out of this.
Because nothing was prepared, we saw some hospitals fill up and an unnecessary number of people died. This will probably be debated later in the House of Representatives when this is over.
Now, on the timeline in the column, we are in March. There is a lot of fear about the virus with death rates up to 8%.
This might be the new Black Death of our time. In March, the Rutte cabinet came up with the idea of using group immunity (something I will come back to later), which at that time was considered completely irresponsible as a strategy, and rightly so.
In the current lockdown of March, April and May we should have used the time to get an overview of the coronavirus.
A lot of testing and based on our own research since the WHO turned out to be unreliable.
The government has not done this.
They have obediently listened to the RIVM and WHO who kept running past the facts. As a result, the lockdown has taken an unnecessarily long time and an overwhelming group of the population has been frightened about this 'doom virus'.
Now, arbitrary measures have been taken that don't even seem to work according to many studies on how the virus spreads. *
How could we have done it differently?
Although in hindsight the lockdown should not have been necessary, I do not agree that it was definitely a wrong choice.
The argument for the lockdown was to lock everything down for a short time to investigate what kind of virus this is.
So that we know how the virus spreads, who are the risk groups and what the risk of death is.
After this short lockdown of 2 to 3 weeks maximum, we could have increased the hospital capacity to counter that problem.
Here, Thierry Baudet also wanted an urgent debate about applications in the House of Representatives.
This was refused twice on January 2 and 28. That is a full month before the virus was officially in the Netherlands.
After this brief lockdown, we had seen soon enough that the virus was not as bad as we thought it was and society had almost completely reopened.
Perhaps stricter protocols around nursing homes and other places where at-risk groups are located.
If the VVD wants to get out of this with as little mud on their expensive pants as possible, they will probably turn until it's right on their side and my guess is it will go something like this:
Rutte has previously argued for the use of group immunity. If he raised that fact in the future, come back to it and say that the opposition, mainly FVD and PVV, were the ones who encouraged the lockdown, then he is "right" on his side and has created an ogre.
Rutte has often said in debates or to the press that if it were up to the FVD or PVV, we would be in a lockdown for longer or they were the ones for stricter measures. How I see the VVD in this regard is that they rotate and rotate until it comes to their side.
They play with the public opinion by lying and talk to the media that is only too happy to parrot Rutte.
The mainstream media know that when the PVV or the FVD grow, their own right to exist will be lifted very quickly.
Whose bread eats, whose word is spoken.
In the meantime, everyone is so dizzy from running that an existing power with a media running behind it gets away with yet another lie!
And the turn is going to end with: Rutte was right.