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Jul 08, 2020
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Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki: Our Economy Was Re-Opened Despite Health Concerns, Because The People Were In Dire Financial Need; The Economists Failed To Show Me How To Properly Handle The COVID-19 Crisis

#8135 | 01:56
Source: IRINN TV (Iran)

The Greater Tehran's Coronavirus Response Committee held an emergency meeting on July 8, 2020. In the meeting, Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that he told people to go back to work because it was impossible to give people financial aid. Namaki accused Iran's economists of failing to show him how to properly manage the country during the coronavirus crisis while taking people’s livelihoods into consideration. In addition, Namaki said that Iran had been vulnerable to a crisis of this sort even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was aired on IRINN TV (Iran).

Saeed Namaki: "I can't bring [aid] money every day to the homes of shopkeepers. I can't provide [financial aid] to taxi drivers and other drivers. I can't help a shop owner who had a check that bounced and who committed suicide as a result. This is why I have to tell people to go back to work. One of the economic experts wrote an article about me and said: 'You will be held accountable in the future.' I responded: 'No, you are the one who will be held responsible.' The economists should have helped me and shown me how to manage the industry while taking into consideration people's livelihood. The state economists should have helped me! They are the ones who needed to show me how to act. How can I manage the country under the difficult circumstance of coronavirus, in a way that there won't be rebellions because of hunger and poverty?

[...]

"If we've been harmed because of coronavirus, it's not because we failed to understand that reopening will cause a spike in the statistics. It isn't because we didn't understand that the metro and the buses constitute a third of the public transit, and that [we thought] this wouldn't happen. It wasn't because of our own ignorance. We were vulnerable to this even before our economy had been so weak. Everybody needs to know this."

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