Today, the President visited ŠÚKL and BMC SAS within her work programme to express her support and full confidence in these institutions. She was welcomed by the President of the SAS, Pavol Šajgalík, and the Director of the BMC SAS, Silvia Pastoreková, at the premises of the Biomedical Research Center SAS (BMC SAS). The meeting with the President was also attended by Juraj Kopáček, Research Director of the BMC SAS Institute of Virology, Boris Klempa, Chairperson of the Scientific Council of BMC SAS and Head of the Department of Virus Ecology at VÚ BMC SAS, and Head of Biotechnological and Analytical Laboratories of BMC SAS, Vladimír Zelník. After the meeting, the President took a look around the premises of the laboratory, in which the scientists are testing for SARS-CoV-2 and issued the opinion for the media.
“I am very sorry that at the end of last week, the Minister of Finance made statements which indirectly expressed criticism or doubt about the quality of our institutions. I consider it inadequate and incorrect,” said President Zuzana Čaputová shortly after the meeting with the scientists. At the same time, she emphasised that any words of doubt that are not based on a factual basis undermine public confidence in institutions. They also cause verbal attacks or threats against the people who represent these institutions, and she considers this to be absolutely inadequate and incorrect.
She called on the public to trust Slovak scientific institutions and not question them on any other than factual basis. “I stand by the Slovak scientific institutions, I appreciate their work. I have been in very close contact with many scientists over the past year because they have personally been involved in helping to resolve the pandemic throughout the territory of Slovakia. May I once again thank them again in this way,” said Zuzana Čaputová.
Silvia Pastoreková, the Director of BMC SAS, expressed the President the gratitude for her constant trust and support not only of the BMC SAS staff, but also of the entire scientific community. “I want to assure you that we are going to continue, in the same way as before, to concentrate all our knowledge and skills so that we contribute to the development of knowledge, the progress of humanity and, at the same time, be useful for our country. I sincerely thank you that we can also rely on your authority in this case,” said the scientist.
“The meeting with the President was very pleasant. I consider it most important that the head of state expressed the support of the SAS and the BMC SAS. Even with this visit, she tries to show that she stands by the Slovak researchers, and I really appreciate that,” added the President of the SAS, Pavol Šajgalík, after meeting with the President.
Text: Katarína Gáliková, SAS
Photo: Martin Bystriansky, SAS
Translated by: SAS