April 15, 2020 Press Conference
582 days since the press conference of April 15, 2020, where we introduced in the room » a politically biased question « , which » is not the habit of journalists « , says Sophie Wilmès. The habit of journalists is to ask the questions that politicians expect and to comment on their decisions, rather than to seek the truth. The mass media do not play the role of a fourth estate, but rather manufacture consent. Not being adept at such collusion, the political power will close the doors of press conferences for more than eight months. We were not counting on our determination…
Every two days, Kairos will publish the 17 press conferences we attended. More than 20 unanswered questions. In front of them, no doubts, no questioning, no desire to understand, but a fixed, rigid end that justifies all their means. Imagine for a moment if all these issues had been debated democratically. Do you think we would be there today?
-Alexandre Penasse: Hello, Alexandre Penasse for Kairospresse.be. You often thank the Belgians for their participation and obedience, their civility. You also talk about the fact that there will be a before and after Covid-19. So I really wonder if there will be an after covid-19? And I’m going to be a bit disturbing, I’m going to talk about the fact that Mr. Philippe De Backer worked from 2009 to 2011 at Vesalius Biocapital, and you make him responsible for the task force in charge of the research of essential materials to fight the coronavirus. So Vesalius is an investment fund specialized in healthcare in Luxembourg. You should also know that in his media cabinet, as Minister of Media, there was Luc Windmolders who works for KPN and who is involved in imposing 5G on us, so I do not see many precautionary principles in your government. Then we can also talk about Bart Vermeulen, responsible for pharmaceutical policy in Maggie De Block’s cabinet…
-Sophie Wilmes: Sir, I don’t intend to interrupt you, but if you intend to give the CVs of all the people who work and who, like everyone else, are entitled to a little privacy… I encourage you to finish your question and I will answer it.
-AP: He was head of economics at pharma.be, and let’s also talk about Marc Van Ranst who was on the « Influenza » committee in 2009 and who was paid by the multinational GSK. So my question is, in relation to the decisions you are making now, what democratic legitimacy is there to make these kinds of decisions when most of the members who decide and think are part of the multinationals and finance? I don’t really see the difference between before and after Covid… Maybe there will be a lot more 5G, maybe there will be a lot more surveillance and a lot of money for the multinationals. I believe that 10 million Belgians would like to have an answer to this question and that the question to ask is not how your press services managed to get a journalist in who asks real questions, but why these questions are not debated democratically?
-SW: Perhaps an introductory answer: you have just introduced in this newsroom the politically biased question, which in general, is not the habit of journalists. Either. I would still remind you that people are free to work, people are free to change careers, people are free to decide to commit themselves to the common good, no matter what they have done before, and I can guarantee you that it is not the company you work for that defines the man or woman you are. In any case, it is the fundamental freedom in which we still believe in this country, fortunately. I will remind you, therefore, to get out of the controversy, the decision-making process in which we are involved, namely groups of experts who, because of their knowledge, because of their experience, because of their willingness to dedicate themselves, outside their working hours, without compensation, again for the common good. They work day and night to provide us with advice. Behind this, the political decision is what it is, that is to say, it is up to the politician. It is the politician who makes these decisions, and behind the politician or before the politician, there are elections, and then there are also votes of confidence in Parliament. There is also a willingness on the part of this federal government to broaden membership, since, while it is not obliged to do so, it makes these decisions in agreement with the federated entities on matters that are fundamental to the health, and I will go beyond that, the lives of our citizens.