“I strongly reject any downplaying of COVID-19,” Plenković told reporters during a visit to Farkaševac, a municipality in the northeast of Zagreb County, when asked to comment on the statement by President Zoran Milanović that it was not politically intelligent to put pressure on half the population to get vaccinated.
The prime minister said that the COVID-19 crisis had so far cost Croatia HRK 34 billion and that the matter should be addressed seriously. “This is very important. One should not downplay it but should try and help get as many people as possible to get vaccinated.”
Asked why he did not condemn statements by Gordan Lauc, a member of the government’s Science Council, who has publicly downplayed the benefits of vaccination, Plenković said that Lauc was speaking on his own behalf and not on behalf of the government.
“He is speaking on his own behalf, certainly not on behalf of the Council. Only I can speak on behalf of the Council after it has convened. Do not attribute to the government something that someone says on their own behalf,” Plenković said.
The Council members have voluntarily decided to make their own contribution, and the cabinet members have made it clear to them that they can speak in public only on their own behalf and in line with the general agreement of the Council, he added.
“The government can in no way be connected with anyone’s statements, We distance ourselves from such statements,” Plenković concluded.
For more on politics, CLICK HERE.