Ten artykuł czytasz w ramach bezpłatnego limitu

Follow the big issues that shape Polish politics and society by signing up to our weekly newsletter "News from Poland: Democracy at Stake". It allows you to stay up to speed on developments concerning the ongoing assault on democratic institutions, rule of law, and human rights in Poland.

State broadcaster TVP broke the news about Ms. Lempart’s coronavirus infection on Wednesday afternoon.

“According to unofficial information provided by our journalists, Ms. Lempart tested positive for the coronavirus on December 14th. Four days earlier, she met, among others, with the head of the EPP and former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk" – reads the article published by TVPinfo.

-I wonder where the state media got the information about my test result, and how did they know when I did it. Are patients’ personal medical records sufficiently secured? – asks the leader of the Women’s Strike. She also commented on it via Twitter.

Ms. Lempart confirmed testing positive, together with another member of her household.

-I feel relatively fine. I’m working from home, and I haven’t contacted anyone since I first noticed the symptoms- the activist tells us.

She also says that a lawyer is already looking into the issue and analyzing it in terms of a possible violation of her personal health data privacy by the state broadcaster.  

The government weaponized fear of the coronavirus in its smear campaign against the Women’s Strike protests

Since the beginning of the protests organized by Ms. Lempart and the Women’s Strike movement, pro-government media have been attacking the protesters and blaming them for spreading the virus. The news channel TVP Info and the evening news broadcast ran multiple headlines such as: "The virus cloud hovers over the demonstrators". The protesters were referred to as "death spreaders".

During a recent speech he delivered in the Parliament, Jarosław Kaczyński, the Deputy Prime Minister and the chair of the ruling Law and Justice party said that the members of the opposition "have blood on their hands". "All those demonstrations that you supported have already cost many people their lives” - he said.

However, one day prior to Kaczyński’s remarks, at a press conference, the Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski said that the increased social activity associated with the protests "did not translate into an increase in the number of infections”.

Before each of the demonstrations, Women’s Strike activists made sure to remind the protesters about the importance of wearing masks, disinfecting their hands, and maintaining the necessary social distance. Participants largely respected these rules. Looking at the pictures of the protests taken by photojournalists, it is difficult to see anyone without a mask; whenever possible, protesters also kept their distance.

Yet, today, the Prime Minister and his cabinet insist that Poland is winning its fight against the coronavirus.

***

Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about the coronavirus pandemic for you.

They are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities. They work on the ground, reporting from hospitals and airports.

We have decided to open online access to our news stories and special guides focused on the issue of public health, for free.

The access to information should be equal for all.

Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation
DONATE
Czytaj ten tekst i setki innych dzięki prenumeracie

Wybierz prenumeratę, by czytać to, co Cię ciekawi

Wyborcza.pl to zawsze sprawdzone informacje, szczere wywiady, zaskakujące reportaże i porady ekspertów w sprawach, którymi żyjemy na co dzień. Do tego magazyny o książkach, historii i teksty z mediów europejskich. Zrezygnować możesz w każdej chwili.