While the coronavirus is more than a “mere” disease, it is being misused as a tool to transform the world by governments across the globe, influential former Czech President Václav Klaus told Czech News Agency in an interview.
In the interview, Klaus, who has refused to apologize for not wearing a face mask himself, connects face masks to an entire worldview. He thinks that so-called “mask-wearing people“ can be defined by a number of other important characteristics according to fights they lead in other areas.
“Mask-wearing people are, of course, people who welcome migrants, people who want the strengthening of the European Union and the rapid adoption of the euro, I see many other such additional characteristics,” he said. According to him, wearing face masks says something about a person’s self-confidence, his political worldview, and their evaluation of the world.
While he acknowledges the disease remains a challenge, he believes governments are abusing a crisis situation to implement unwanted societal and political changes.
“I think it’s very obvious that we’re saying it’s more than just a disease. The abuse of that disease, and the measures that states are putting in place, are a tool to transform the world as we know it,” he said, adding that he plans to outline his ideas further in a forthcoming book that will address the pandemic and government measures, which will be published by the Václav Klaus Institute in early December.
Klaus was recently publicly criticized for coming to honor the Czech national holiday without a face mask on Oct. 28 and talking to people who belong to the risk groups. The former president says he does not consider what he did to be a mistake.
“I do it programmatically and intentionally, and when you do something programmatically, you don’t consider it a mistake, and secondly, I would consider it undignified if I did what many of our politicians do which is to apologize,” he said.
“I have my idea of the meaning of face masks, not that I invented it myself, after all, the medical profession has passionate fighters for masks and equally passionate opponents of masks,” he added.
He also criticized the so-called “R number”, which shows the rate of spread of the virus in the population. He stressed that the value of this number is not directly measurable.
“It’s a big mathematical model based on a lot of assumptions and based on a lot of unmeasurable and unquantifiable data, and that’s very, very controversial,” he said.
According to Klaus, Czechia should not be inspired by other countries in the search for a way to fight the epidemic, but based on the study of “thousands of articles, texts, studies and analyzes”, people should form their own opinion.
Coronavirus measures need to be weighed against the harm they cause society
The former Czech prime minister said that when adopting state measures, the so-called trade-off rule should apply, which means “something for something”.
“There is a dilemmatic decision between two or possibly more competitive goals,” he said. He considers the minimization of the loss of human lives and the minimization of the disruption of society, the economy, state finances, and education to be competing goals. On the imaginary curve, it would move “a little differently” than the current government measures.
Klaus also criticized the deficit of the proposed state budget. He called deficit financing the “ruin of humanity”. As minister of finance and prime minister, Klaus said he lived in the categories of hundreds of millions of korunas and avoided deficit spending.
“Today’s governments live not in the billions, but in the hundreds of billions. This is the end of the world for me, and I can’t take it for a second,“ he stressed.
He considers the essence of serious budget preparation to be cuts that the current government has not made. At the same time, he criticized the Minister of Social Affairs Jana Maláčová, whom she described because of her proposals, for example, to increase the minimum wage or increase pensions, as an anti-cut warrior and the real destruction of humanity.
Title Image: Czech Republic’s President Vaclav Klaus speaks during a joint news conference with his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer, unseen, at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012. Klaus arrived for a three-day state visit in Austria. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)