Staunton, May 22 – The powers that be in Moscow are quite prepared to blame popular distrust in the government for the reluctance of many Russians to get the coronavirus vaccine because that distracts attention from three more fundamental problems the Russian government has in fact created, Anatoly Baranov says (forum-msk.org/material/news/17188294.html).
First of all, the editor of the Forum-MSK portal says, it isn’t nearly as important to invent a vaccine as to produce it in sufficient quantities for the population. The Kremlin takes pride in the fact that Russia came up with the first coronavirus vaccine, but it doesn’t want to admit that it has destroyed the pharmaceutical industry to the point that it can’t produce the vaccine quickly.
Second, even when the government did manage to begin to produce enough vaccine in May of this year by contracting with companies abroad to make up for bottlenecks in Russian production, the Putin regime failed to put in place the network needed to get it into the arms of people. Indeed, for the last decade, it has been cutting back Russia’s hospital and clinic network.
And third, precisely because the government was unwilling to admit that the Russian people no longer trust it in anything, it did not begin to take the steps to explain why the vaccine it offered was safe and would benefit almost everyone who takes it. Instead, it criticized those who refused to avoid taking any responsibility.
Instead, the Russian government from top to bottom insists that the development of the Sputnik-5 was an unqualified triumph and that the fact that it is now registered in “almost 70 countries” shows it is as good or better than any vaccine produced elsewhere (regnum.ru/news/3276638.html and regnum.ru/news/3276636.html).
Today, Russian officials said they had registered 8709 new cases of infection and 386 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country. The total number of Russians infected so far is rapidly approaching five million cases (t.me/COVID2019_official/2966 and regnum.ru/news/society/3267667.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that his government has no plans to shift the entire system of public education to distance learning (nakanune.ru/news/2021/5/22/22602199/).
· Russian officials are now worrying about rehabilitating Russians who have contracted the coronavirus. The healthcare system is inadequate in that respect, and prices at private sanatoria are beyond the reach of most Russians (kp.ru/russia/moskva/lechenie/reabilitatsiya-posle-koronavirusa/).
· Russian researchers say they will begin testing the Sputnik-5 vaccine on people with cancer sometime before the end of 2021 (ura.ru/news/1052486199).