May 04, 2021 13:00
President Moon Jae-in said during a meeting with health officials on Monday, "The procurement and injections of COVID-19 vaccines are progressing better than initially planned." He must be hallucinating, because inoculations have been halted nationwide due to a shortage of vaccines. There is a shortage of AstraZeneca vaccines, which are currently being administered to people under 75, and injections could be halted any moment. The government has been inoculating people at a deliberately slow pace to conceal the fact that supply is about to dry up.
Without even mentioning the fresh setback, Moon added, "We have already exceeded our target of vaccinating 3 million people by the end of April by more than 10 percent." How can he crow about that when 93 percent of the population are still desperately waiting to be vaccinated? In the U.S., more than 70 percent of a population or 240 million people have already been given their jabs.
"Vaccinations of high-risk groups have been almost completed," Moon boasted, but that puts a lot of pressure on the word "almost." The high-risk groups after all include 3.64 million senior citizens over 75 and not just patients in geriatric hospitals. Vaccinations of 4.9 million senior citizens aged 65 to 74 have not even begun. Shouldn't the president start off by apologizing?
This is not the first time Moon has congratulated himself on an abject failure. Last month he said, "I can confidently say that we are markedly lowering vaccine supply uncertainties through multi-faceted efforts and preparations." Now inoculations are coming to a grinding halt. Every time Moon compliments himself, a major problem occurs in the fight against the virus because he seems incapable of putting his money where his mouth is.
Moon boasted that Korea has secured enough vaccines to inoculate the entire population twice. But that turned out to be only vague promises, and not that the vaccines are sitting safely in refrigerated Korean warehouses awaiting to be distributed, which is what Koreans expect. Vaccine supplies are not arriving on time, and now Moon has to beg U.S. President Joe Biden for any leftovers he may have when they meet in Washington later this month. If he gets them, he will probably book them as another triumph for his own wisdom and foresight.
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