OPINION

Greek prime ministers against the coronavirus

greek-prime-ministers-against-the-coronavirus

Recently, three former US presidents – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – announced that they would get the coronavirus vaccine, and offered to do so publicly to help better inform and persuade Americans who are skeptical about its safety.

In most international media, as well as Kathimerini, the article announcing the intention of the three former leaders was accompanied by a photo they took together in an obviously friendly atmosphere. A photo that says a lot and is indeed worth a thousand words. 

Would it be too much to ask Alexis Tsipras, Antonis Samaras, George Papandreou, Costas Karamanlis and Costas Simitis to do something similar, all or at least some of them? This should not be so difficult or strange, especially when done for such an important reason.

In the same vein, it would be a useful act for the current party leaders. Together, they would send a louder message in favor of vaccination, which is necessary in a society where many – and not just conspiracy theorists – are still skeptical.

The prime minister intends to be vaccinated next week. Other political leaders are planning the same. Could the Greek political system show consensus on this? If they do not want to be vaccinated together (although why not?), perhaps a joint statement about the benefits and necessity of vaccination would do the trick.

Such a move would, by itself, serve as an effective information campaign, without winners and losers, whose sole purpose would be to convince those – about one-third of the Greeks – who doubt, react to or openly oppose the Covid-19 vaccine. This would not mean that they agree on policy. They can maintain their differences – the government implementing the measures it is implementing, and the opposition continuing to express its criticism.

But they could unite on the purely scientific element that has no ideological bias, emphasising the need for every individual to protect him or herself from the pandemic to the benefit of society as a whole.