What has an 18th century Polish military hero got to do with the current protests in the US? Is it the 1960s all over again? And are Poles grateful to their government for the way it has handled the pandemic? Find out by watching “Pole Position” with Tomasz Wróblewski and Aleksandra Rybińska.
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A statue of Poland’s military hero Tadeusz Kościuszko in Washington DC’s Lafayette Park was vandalised by individuals who took to the streets to protest the death of the 46 year old Afro-American George Floyd who was killed as a result of a violent intervention by police officers in Minneapolis. Kościuszko was a freedom fighter who took part in the US independence struggle and whose engineering acumen helped the Continental army during the American Revolutionary War. The irony is that Kościuszko was himself an ally of the Afro-Americans who left his American estate to be sold to buy the freedom of black slaves, of among others those belonging to Thomas Jefferson and to educate them for independent life and work.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki summed up the country’s efforts at coping with the pandemic. He said the pandemic was a crisis that "politicians, doctors, the health service, people, have not seen for decades." He stressed that Poland was one of the first countries to close borders and introduce sanitary controls. He contrasted this to many West European countries which witnessed apocalyptic scenes in hospitals and the deaths of thousands of people. The Polish health service and its care homes for the elderly were spared such a fate. The rate of infection and the rate of fatalities in Poland remain some of the lowest in the EU.With the spread of the disease under control the country has been able to move out of lockdown.