In a recent press briefing, U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo explained why what Hungary is doing is the exact opposite of what a nation should do in a crisis.
Michael Richard Pompeo has served as the 70th United States Secretary of State since 2018. He attended a press briefing on 7 April. During this briefing, a reporter asked Pompeo how concerned he was about “leaders using coronavirus to weaken democracies in their countries?” The reporter mentioned Hungary specifically, referring to the epidemic response law that was recently passed in Hungary, granting the government enhanced powers to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. By the way, several EU members have already expressed concerns regarding this law.
Of course, the aim of that question was not to single Hungary out, rather to inquire what tools the U.S. Government has to prevent democratic backsliding.
The secretary responded by saying that he certainly hopes this does not happen anywhere else and added: “There will be bad actors try to use this outbreak of virus for nefarious ends … We’ve seen it in tactical ways, as well as you describe, when it’s political.”
Pompeo also mentioned how often he hears how well autocracies respond to crises, and why he does not agree with that: “It’s democracies that respond to crises well. They protect liberty; they protect freedom. What do autocracies do in the face of crisis? They become more aggressive, they deny people their rights, they lie more – right – they do all – all the things that are the negative aspects of autocratic nations are exacerbated in times of crisis.”
Pompeo also stated that even though autocracies may be able to solve certain crises, “in the end they do enormous harm to the people of their own nation and put the rest of the world at risk as well.”
Pompeo clearly stated that in times of crisis, democracy is always the answer, not moving towards an autocratic direction. In other words, the exact opposite of what is currently happening here in Hungary.
Pompeo finished by saying:
“You want peoples of a nation to understand that their fundamental rights are going to be respected, that their liberty will be preserved, that those democratic values will be adhered to. And when you do that, you get a free press, you get a free, active academia. You get all the things that ultimately resolve these crises in a way that’s good for the nation that the leaders represent and good for the world as well.”
please make a donation here