Senator Ngo outraged Vietnamese government asking for donations from its own citizens
[For immediate release]- October 5, 2021
Today, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo issued the following Statement in response to reports that the Vietnamese government is asking for donations from its citizens to assist with the country’s procurement of COVID-19 vaccines:
Despite its so-called effective initial containment of the virus, the Vietnamese government continues to struggle to inoculate its population as it grapples with a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (further aggravated by the Delta variant). With large areas of the country currently under lockdown amidst rising case counts, it is estimated that only 8% of its population of nearly 100 million have been fully vaccinated to date. On May 26, Hanoi launched a $1.1 billion dollar vaccine fund to raise the financial resources to acquire 150 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, to cover 70% of its population.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has appealed to foreign and domestic organizations for donations towards the COVID-19 vaccine fund. What is alarming however, is that ordinary citizens are also being asked for contributions. According to reports, mobile phone users are receiving up to three text messages with pleas to contribute to the fund; to add insult to injury, civil servants are even encouraged to forfeit a full day’s pay to assist with this fundraising campaign.
It is strange to note that the government has only allocated $630 million to vaccine procurement in the budget – which begs the question, where are the people’s taxes going? To involve ordinary citizens in the procurement of vaccines in a global pandemic – a duty that is the sole responsibility of the government – is utterly shameful and appalling. Furthermore, Vietnam is the only country to resort to such tactics. I unequivocally condemn the actions taken by Vietnam’s highly corrupt Communist government to seek the assistance of its citizens with the country’s procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Thanh Hai Ngo