Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst has lashed out at politicians who said he is defending too strict measures, by saying Belgium could have had a summer without a second wave if it hadn't been for the bubble of 15.
In an interview with the Francophone newspaper Le Soir on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister David Clarinval said that the politicians had lost the support of the people by following the experts to the letter.
On Twitter, Van Ranst reacted sharply. "No, Mr Clarinval. If the advice of the experts had been followed to the letter, we would never have had that bubble of 15, and we could have had a summer holiday without a second wave. Shameless." Earlier, the Minister-President of the French community, Pierre-Yves Jeholet, denounced the "cacophony" of health experts. Party member Georges-Louis Bouchez also criticised Van Ranst, saying he did not think it was a good thing that the virologist already made statements about certain measures prior to the Security Council. Van Ranst then tweeted a map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, showing Belgium is coloured dark orange.
Neen, meneer Clarinval. Indien het advies van de experten tot de letter gevolgd zou zijn geweest, dan hadden we die bubbel van 15 nooit gehad, en hadden we een grote vakantie zonder tweede golf kunnen hebben. Schaamteloos. https://t.co/fFiRCcGYz5— Marc Van Ranst (@vanranstmarc) August 21, 2020
"Belgium colours dark orange on the Covid map. And how do MR and right-wing extremist politicians react? By saying that they find it unreasonable that Van Ranst expresses his opinion about maintaining strict measures. Dark orange, and for some there does not seem to be a crisis anymore," he wrote. Maïthé Chini The Brussels Times
België kleurt donkeroranje op de Covid-kaart. En hoe reageren politici van MR en extreemrechts? Door te zeggen dat ze het onredelijk vinden dat Van Ranst zijn mening uit over het behouden van strenge maatregelen. Donkeroranje, en voor sommigen lijkt er geen crisis meer te zijn. pic.twitter.com/plMR6MD8vH— Marc Van Ranst (@vanranstmarc) August 20, 2020