Doctor Returns Award to President in Protest against Countrywide Testing

President Zuzana Caputova (right) receives doctor Julia Horakova. (Photo: Facebook, Zuzana Caputova)

Bratislava, November 11 (TASR) – President Zuzana Caputova on Wednesday received Julia Horakova, head doctor of Bone Marrow Transplantation Clinic of the National Institute for Children’s Diseases, who’s decided to return to the president the Pribina Cross Second Class award in protest against the way of how the Government imposed mass testing for coronavirus on the entire population.

Caputova said that she respects Horakova’s decision. “She was given the state award by [former] president Andrej Kiska and I would have been happy, if she continued being its proud holder. Nevertheless, she decided to return it after thorough consideration as a form of her medical and civic disapproval of the Government’s moves concerning the countrywide testing,” wrote Caputova on Facebook, calling Horakova a distinguished expert.

“One can feel from her incredible humanness; as she herself said, she remembers the names and faces of all of her patients. However, I also saw in her a human person who was disappointed by the fact that expert arguments and science haven’t been listened to in dealing with the pandemic. I’m sorry about this, as it’s immensely important to listen to various opinions, especially if they’re based in knowledge gained over many years,” said Caputova, adding that politicians should provide a respectful space to experts, so that the latter wouldn’t have to resort to relinquishing state awards in order to get noticed.

Horakova in an open letter said that she was disappointed by “arrogant statements without expertise, by manipulation of facts and the withholding of information” by the Government concerning the countrywide testing carried out in late October and early November. She complained about Prime Minister Igor Matovic’s (OLANO) refusal to listen to experts who were advising against the mass testing, while the public was pressured to get tested under the threat of sanctions and exploitation of fear.