Portugal’s prime minister António Costa has been pilloried over social media for making “a crass error” on live TV.
In what should have been ‘relaxed conversation’ on a chat show with satirist Ricardo Araújo Pereira, the leader of the PS compared a vaccine with an antibiotic, saying the former gave immunity to a virus while the latter simply combatted it.
Within seconds, hundreds of people were lamenting his ignorance, and querying why politicians aren’t better advised (or indeed informed).
Costa was alluding at the time to the situation of Banco Espírito Santo – but it hasn’t been a good few days for the habitually smiley, optimistic party leader.
He was widely reported to have become ‘supremely irritated’ at a meeting last week with health officials to discuss the recent spike in cases of Covid-19 – walking out in a huff, leaving a bemused President Marcelo to wind matters up.
His irritation appears to have been with the lack of concrete data with which he, as prime minister, could make the right decisions.
The spike in the number of cases over the last week can easily explain politicians’ rising sense of unease.
For now, the next meeting with health officials is due to take place in July – by which time Mr Costa may have brushed up on the differences between a bacteria and a virus.