The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health tried to use public pressure to put pressure on the government to present schools for distance learning. The ministry is right that the epidemic situation is serious, but the means it used were ill-considered, even irresponsible.
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) attempt to put pressure on the government to present the transfer of schools to distance education left a poor picture of the government’s ability to function. STM unveiled its initiative on Wednesday without notifying the government in advance. In an interview with Yle (8.1.), Prime Minister Sanna Marin (sd) said that she was “unfortunate” to act through the public but was powerless in the face of STM. “It would be great if the prime minister had all the threads in his hands,” Marin said.
The STM continued to roll on Friday when the view of an expert group set up by the ministry that every second adult could develop prolonged coronary artery disease was made public. The argument aroused confusion, as one could imagine that a massive phenomenon had already been widespread, for example in sick leave.
Designating your own team of experts raises questions. Didn’t STM get the research results it wanted from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)? The lack of trust between STM and THL has been known for a long time, but now the rift has become unsustainable as STM has become a producer of its own expertise. In the distance school case, Prime Minister Marin emphasized that he trusted THL’s expert assessment. The Government therefore did not rely on STM’s contrary assessment.
All to top it off, STM used the expertise it commissioned to push through school closures, although there is no indication that prolonged coronary heart disease poses a significant risk to children. Instead, bringing shock claims to the public under the authority of the ministry is likely to ensure that a large number of Finns begin to notice exhaustion, cognitive impairment and other symptoms now associated with prolonged coronary heart disease.
The Minister of Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (sd) also showed poor judgment by saying even before the government’s negotiations that she did not think it was safe to go to schools. Intimidation of children and parents should not be part of policy-making.
There is certainly a genuine concern about the spread of the epidemic behind the activities of STM and Minister Kiuru. The situation is really very serious. But it is in a serious situation that a cold-headed judgment would be needed from the ministry and the minister in charge. Now it was not seen. The forthcoming change of minister is coming at a good time.
The editorials are HS’s statements on a topical issue. The writings are prepared by HS’s editorial staff and reflect the magazine principle.
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