The situation is difficult, but our chances are good
06. 11. 2020.
The coronavirus epidemic situation is difficult, in some places it is grave, but our chances are good, we are able to control the situation and “together we will succeed again,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated on Friday on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’.

He said according to analyses, on 21 November we will need 2,240 intensive care beds, while on 10 December as many as 4,480.

“This is, more or less, the limit of our capacity” because 4,480 patients in intensive care mean around 30,000 to 32,000 coronavirus patients requiring hospitalisation in total, the Prime Minister highlighted.

He said they adopted decisions to ensure that should the number of infections exceed this limit, there should be designated places where patients can be given appropriate medical care, if necessary, also outside hospitals.

Therefore, within days or just hours, a decision could be made about the rescheduling of elective procedures that can be postponed without risks in order to release as many hospital beds as possible, he said. He also indicated that as long as possible, they will try to keep schools open because as long as students are in school, they are under control.

So far 98 nursery schools have been closed, extraordinary breaks have been imposed in seven schools, there is digital education in 23 schools, while there is “mixed education” in 78 institutions, the Prime Minister added.

He said the average age of those who have died of coronavirus infection so far is 76.1 years, and due to this he repeatedly asked young people to think not only of themselves, but also of their parents and grandparents. He added that there are only 700 settlements out of the 3,230 around the country where the epidemic is not present.

The government is continuously assessing the possibility of tightening the measures in effect, but since Monday there have been major changes, and after the rules relating to the wearing of face masks was made general, the vast majority of people are now observing the rules, Mr Orbán said, adding that the operators of shops, restaurants and other institutions have understood that if they fail to comply with the rules, their establishments will be closed down.

Regarding the special legal order, he recalled that the parliamentary debate on the tightening of the rules relating to the wearing of face masks lasted for two weeks, and the opposition eventually voted against the tightening of the rules; “this is absurd”.

Parliament is sacred, but there are situations when decisions must be adopted swiftly, and so the slow parliamentary proceedings, combined with the fact that not only does the opposition not help with, but actually hinders the containment of the epidemic, could result in grave consequences. “If the epidemic spreads fast, we need swift decisions,” he stressed.

Parliament will remain in session, notwithstanding which “liberal moaners” will again talk about dictatorship, but parallel with this the government will have the authority to decide on issues about which, in normal circumstances, decisions could only be adopted in the form of laws, he said, adding that they asked for the extension of the state of danger by 90 days not because in the spring the opposition asked for a time limit, but because they can now see the light at the end of the tunnel; there are ever more promising news reports about possible vaccines.

“If the wind keeps blowing from the right direction […] these 90 days will be enough,” he said.

Mr Orbán mentioned that the epidemic “does not spare the government either,” one of his chief advisors, Kossuth Prize winner poet Géza Szőcs has died.

Regarding the recent terrorist attacks in Nice and Vienna, he said those were warning shots, reminding us that there are also other threats, in addition to the epidemic, facing the European people.

From the viewpoint of Europe’s future, immigration is not the solution, but the source of the problem, he said, describing the attitude the leaders of many countries adopt to migration as nothing short of suicidal. He stressed that “immigration does not solve anything, but will be the very source of the problem”.

Hungary would not like to fall into this trap, this is what it is fighting for, and will not change its practice, he said with reference to the fact that the Hungarian system does not allow migrants to submit asylum applications after having entered the territory of the country only to be released after a while due to the European regulations. “And that’s when they set out for other parts of Europe, and arrive, say, in Nice,” he said.

Pursuant to the Hungarian regulations, applications can only be submitted at Hungarian embassies in neighbouring countries, and if the answer to the application is no, applicants are not allowed to enter. “This is how we can avoid having migrants in the hundreds of thousands awaiting the assessment of their immigration applications […] who are in the meantime free to move around Europe and may become the perpetrators of terrorist attacks,” the Prime Minister argued, pointing out that it is the government’s duty to protect Christian culture, and through that peace and security.

In response to the plan of tying the disbursement of EU funds to rule of law criteria, he said we must now primarily concentrate on the epidemic, and funds must be channelled to the Southern countries now in serious trouble within the shortest possible time.

This affects Hungary less because the funds necessary for the functioning of the economy in the next two years are available, he observed.

He said he is not bothered by what “journalists and politicians eating out of the palm of George Soros’s hand” have to say.

George Soros stated in writing that budgetary grants should be denied to those who do not let migrants in, he said, pointing out at the same time that Hungary cannot be blackmailed, will not let migrants in and will have access to the funds it is entitled to.

Commenting on the US presidential election, Mr Orbán pointed out that incumbent President Donald Trump abstained from criticising Hungary, something that was not uncommon on the part of former Democratic administrations. However, “after an election like this, we can forget about such pretensions” because if things were happening in Hungary that are happening there now, “surely, the sky would fall in on us,” he said.

He referred to President Trump as a friend of Hungary because since he has been the President of the United States, Hungarian-US relations have never been better. He said for this reason he has always stood by Mr Trump; “the result will be what it will be, it is the American people’s prerogative to decide who should govern the United States”. “Let me just say as an aside that it is in turn the Hungarian people’s business who governs Hungary and how,” he added.