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The left completely politicised the epidemiological profession

The leader of the SD party, Tanja Fajon, convened a press conference again today – just after 13:00, she talked about the departure of Mario Fafangel from the advisory group for covid-19. “I do not want to play god,” said dr. Fafangel and explained, among other things, that he finds it appalling to decide whether and how many individuals are free to express their opinion on anything in public. So was the decision primarily political and not as professional as he himself points out? Fafangel was in favour of a complete lockdown, but now he is turning again as the left wind blew. Unfortunately, he chose the wrong moment, as the lockdown proved to be effective.

Yesterday, dr. Mario Fafangel posted the following sentence on Twitter: “What we do in a crisis situation often burdens us less than what we want to do,” he added an excerpt from the Star Trek series. This was obviously a kind of forecast, as the head of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the NIJZ then resigned this morning from the Expert Group for Containment and Control of the Covid-19 Epidemic at the Ministry of Health. As a reason, he stated that the decisions made are often contrary to the opinion of the epidemiological service, as well as to the established protocols and the way epidemiologists work. “I would like to inform you that as of today I am irrevocably resigning as a member of the Expert Group for Containment and Control of the Covid-19 Epidemic, established at the Ministry of Health,” he told the Minister of Health, Janez Poklukar. He also stressed that the decision is of a professional nature.

Is his decision really purely professional and not more political? The leader of the SD party, Tanja Fajon, told the editorial board that she would make a statement to the media today, regarding the resignation of dr. Fafangel – supposedly, she will also add a pinch of other current political events to this topic. That dr. Fafangel leans to the left is not surprising, moreover, it was quite clear – both from his statements and from some of his moves.

He has already left two groups – is the problem perhaps in Fafangel?
Fafangel had already left the previous advisory group, led by Bojana Beović, but then re-joined the renewed advisory group of Mateja Logar. According to his words to Minister Poklukar, the second group was even worse, so he did not want to participate anymore. STA reported that he wrote: “Constantly pointing out meaningless decisions that disrupt the established procedures of the epidemiological service, and writing separate opinions for the minutes of the expert group is meaningless and unproductive.” He was particularly critical of the April’s 11-day lockdown, explaining that he found it appalling to decide whether and how many individuals could freely express their opinion on anything in a public (outdoor) space. “I do not want to play god,” he added. He also pointed out that he had voted against certain measures that deeply interfere with human rights – which, according to him, was also confirmed by the Constitutional court.

Some do not distinguish between epidemiology and political science
“The last and only epidemiologist from the government’s expert group for covid left. What does this tell us?! That something is sorely wrong. Despite all calls for the political leadership to take into account the profession, to listen to epidemiologists, the government reveals the reality of not managing the situation,” wrote Tanja Fajon. Prime Minister Janez Janša responded to her note: “This record is the latest proof that some do not distinguish between epidemiology and political science. They think that these are just two different departments at the Faculty of Social Sciences.” This was a critical comment on Fajon’s move, who decided to use Fafangel’s departure from the group for her worried performance or to give a statement to the media. What the leader of the SD party has with the departure of the epidemiologist is not entirely clear – except that they are both dressed in red, in one way or another. Of course, it is possible that he has always been her personal political activist, but it is also true that Fajon seizes every opportunity to express her concern about the functioning of the current government.

In recent days, Fajon should have focused more on returning the stolen Moskovič’s villa, about which the Jewish community of Slovenia is clear that it was obtained legally under the revolutionary law of post-war Yugoslavia, but that it does not correspond to today’s vision of justice. The Social Democrats do not want to return the villa and in this case they are referring to the law of that time, and that they themselves are said to be shareholders of this villa under the gift contract. The letter was also written by the president of the European Jewish Community, Menachem Margolin, who called on the party to return the building. But Fajon does not like to talk about this topic that much, because she cannot draw water to her mill in such a way that she could blame the current government.

Sara Bertoncelj

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