By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv
We are becoming hostages of unvaccinated people, the director of the NIJZ, Dr Milan Krek is convinced. Those who are not vaccinated get sick and go to the hospital. And these people did not get vaccinated because of the anti-vaccinators. “Now let these gentlemen be so proud and upright and take responsibility for it,” he said in an interview with journalist Jože Možina. For months, the fight against the government was more important to the opposition, its media and sympathisers than the fight against the epidemic. “I will take this opportunity to tell my dear Slovenes to listen to the profession. If they have a profession and a policy to choose from, choose the profession that will always do you good. Also because it is ethically sworn and cannot go beyond the Hippocratic oath,” Krek urged.
Anyone who knows Milan Krek describes him primarily as a doctor. A doctor with a lot of empathy for people in need. Even during the war of independence, he volunteered and went to the field to help people. Krek sees himself as a father figure, in this way he also wants to convey information and warnings to society. Thus, his job in these times is to tell people what is approaching, even if his words are sometimes not liked by someone. Since he has been the director of the NIJZ, he has been the target of many criticisms – he believes that mainly because he was placed in a political context, even though he considers himself an expert who as such does not belong to any politics. “Sometimes I say something too quickly and it is also incomprehensible, but the times are such that there is not much time to think and tinker. Action needs to be taken, and action needs to be taken very quickly,” he described his way of working, the covid epidemic is definitely a kind of war. He said that because of his work he also has a lot of opponents with anti-vaccinators and added that when you are in such a position, you just become a high mountain that accepts all lightning.
When Krek sat down in the NIJZ director’s chair, he found that this institution was completely unprepared for the epidemic. All his predecessors were political people, part of some political structure, secretaries in the ministry. “I sit there as an expert and not as a political person, and the fact is that there must be no political person in that seat, that is, a professional institution,” Krek pointed out the reasons that brought the NIJZ into such an unenviable position. “Slovenia is not the most successful in fighting the epidemic,” said host Jože Možina and asked Krek if he felt guilty about it. Krek explained that most of the dead in the epidemic were elderly people from nursing homes. To date, not all governments have built the nursing home system as they should. In some homes in Slovenia, there are many such people who would need a completely different care, one that does not belong in the home – because there is usually no suitable staff. “We have, so to speak, not nursing homes, but nursing hospitals,” Krek warned, adding that those who have run the Ministry of Social Affairs all these years have not regulated these things. Možina remarked that it was obviously the SD party, which more or less commissioned only studies, for several million euros.
Regarding vaccination, Krek explained that Slovenia is also at the tail end of Western countries in terms of vaccination against the flu. The fact that we are currently at 50% vaccination coverage seems to him to be a success in a way, as this percentage is several times higher than with the common flu. “In the West, they have tried for years and years to tell people that they have been educated, that they have been given the knowledge that vaccination is a credit, that it is something that protects you,” he continued. In Portugal, for example, people go vaccinate on their own, they do not have to be invited because they know that vaccination is a credit rating. In our country, however, anti-vaccination is developing because we have taken the policy in the field of vaccination in the wrong direction. Namely, we did not educate and motivate, but rather used punishment. An unvaccinated child, for example, could not go to kindergarten. “If you do not get vaccinated, we will punish you. In modern European society, such an approach is unacceptable. Whether we want to or not, we need to know that we are a democratic society and that we will not achieve much with repression,” he said. However, this anti-vaccination hysteria is eating away at this democracy, Možina remarked, recalling the last incident when anti-vaccinators burned down the vaccination point and left a threatening message.
The consequences of covid are much more severe than the consequences of the vaccine
According to Krek, there is also money behind the anti-vaccine hysteria. By selling vitamins, for example, some people make a lot of money, but people are just naïve and follow them. A lot of information can be found on the NIJZ website, and it is quickly realised that the consequences of covid are much worse than the consequences of the vaccine. The latter are minor compared to the former. Krek also emphasised that all the consequences that could potentially be caused by the vaccine can be remedied with an appropriate medical approach. At this point, Krek recalled prof. Dr Adolf Lukanovič, a doctor who spent two months in an artificial coma due to the virus. His organs failed, he lost 16 pounds of muscle mass, his life hung in the balance. It took more than two months of rehabilitation for him to walk again. Between 30 and 40 percent of people who get over covid have at least one long-term consequence, an individual’s life after covid can change quite drastically.
Slovene politics did not find a common word within the covid even at the invitation of the President of the Republic Borut Pahor. Krek himself advised the President to convene all political parties and to let them know that covid has no colour, that covid is our common struggle and that we need to unite. Pahor then convened the meeting, which we know how it ended. Unsuccessful because representatives of certain opposition parties rejected the invitation. And Slovenia has not yet agreed on covid. Krek by no means understands the actions and words that are aimed at making so many more people die. “I think we need to stop playing with the dead in this country,” he urged people to stop playing left and right, we need to unite when it comes to covid. Also because of this disunity, we are now in an epidemic of the unvaccinated. And the question is whether it is right to close this society because of those who demonstrated in the streets. “Is it right that we as a nation are now the prisoner of these people who have not been vaccinated,” Krek asked.
Možina and the guest also touched upon the role of the media. Krek said that the media, especially in the beginning, did not play their role well, they did not report objectively. “Some media are still extremely manipulative today,” he said, but also praised that reporting had improved slightly in the past two months. He also pointed out that his biggest resentment to the media and politicians is that they exploited and politicised the virus and started portraying it in the context of us, you. Of course, this should not be the case with covid, we should be unified. He also remembered a non-isolated event, when one evening something was accepted in Brdo, and the evening reports were already manipulated, which of course caused problems the next day. And at the back, the legal system joined in, announcing that everything is not legal, and last but not least, the Constitutional Court. “We have to take action to save people. However, legal experts tell me that we cannot carry out these measures,” the doctor said helplessly. In light of the intrusion of anti-vaccinators on RTV, Krek said about rapper Zlatko that the court had acquitted him. Zlatko harassed, chased and verbally assaulted him in the middle of the street. “The hunt for Milan Krek is open,” the NIJZ director explained the court’s decision.