Coronavirus, incompetence and suspected fraud in authoritarian Hungary

Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s young minister of foreign affairs & trade is responsible for purchasing protective gear for his country’s fight against the coronavirus epidemic.  Szijjártó organized an air bridge to China and over 100 WizzAir flights brought back gear for the “battle,” as he calls it.

According to government sources Hungary has so far received over 131 million masks, 1,928,695 protective gowns, 516,280 visors and 3,062 ventilators.  Szijjártó is satisfied.  He thanked to the ministry’s logistics team, the purchasing agents, the pilots and the ground crew for their “fantastic achievement”.

There is only one problem.  Not everybody is happy with the imported gear.

MagyarHang published an article that many of the 3,062 “ventilators” sold to the Hungary are actually not medical-grade ventilators at a cost of $30-40,000 a piece but personal CPAP machines.  Those are available online for $599 plus tax.  (Read more in Hungary Today here)

ResMed desktop personal CPAP unit – cost $599

The government immediately refuted the “vicious allegations” claiming that hospitals are using appropriate devices and following professional protocol.  The suggestion that corrupt Hungarian officials bought cheap and useless CPAP machines as expensive ventilators is heresy.

Later, Index portal reported that Hungary purchased a large number of ResMed Lumis 150 CPAP machines.  Some came with Chinese language screens!   Oh well. (Read Index article in Hungarian)

You would think that Hungarian politicians demanded an investigation.  They did.  Gábor Sebes, a local Fidesz apparatchik immediately attacked the whistleblower Magyar Hang, accusing the paper of spreading fake news.  Spreading fake news is a crime in Orbanistan; the paper could be shut down and the journalist might end up in jail.  Sebes explained that the FDA in the US also recommends CPAP machines.  True, but the FDA does not recommend the use of CPAP machines in lieu of ventilators. (Read the Sebes article here)

Hospital ventilator unit – total cost $30-40,000 per bed.

In addition, The American Society of Anesthesiologists issued guidance discouraging CPAP use in COVID-19 patients.  Non-invasive ventilation (e.g. CPAP or biPAP) may increase the risk of infectious transmission. (Read here)

Tamás Menczer, a junior minister and a loyal deputy of Szijjártó went on TV explaining that there were no mistakes during the acquisition process.  CPAP machines are necessary “in the first and third stages of the disease.” (!?)  Menczer warned opposition politicians and media “not to root against the government.” (Watch Mr. Menczer here)

There are serious questions related to the CPAP machines because they can be deadly.  They may actually spread (!) the coronavirus.  Now it is suspected that the machines have contributed to nursing home infections in the US. (Read more here about CPAP spreading the virus)

Did the use of CPAP machines contribute to coronavirus infections in Hungary’s hospitals?  We don’t know for sure.  But it seems that Hungarian officials paid top dollar for “protective gear” which in some cases does not protect; in fact it could spread the virus. Yet reporting about this scandal is a crime since government officials consider it fake news and that is currently punishable.

Isn’t this the perfect setup for a criminal operation?  And this is not happening in North Korea but in a member state of the European Union.

György Lázár


  1. Avatar Pierre Divenyi says:

    In Orban’s Hungary no lie, no fraud, no robbery will surprise anyone any more. What a pity that the EU would not investigate…

  2. Such “Incompetence”!!!

    How many COVID-19 deaths in US per million people? The answer is over 300.

    In Hungary currently there are about 480 deaths in total, meaning about 48 deaths per million.

    Most countries in the EU are also doing worse than Hungary, especially in Western Europe.

    As for the issue of Hungary’s law on fake news?

    almost 80 5G towers burned due to fake news in UK.

    UK incidents are not unique. It is also happening elsewhere, such as in Canada.

    At some point most governments will need to introduce similar measures in order to save lives and property.

    OT: Your poor victim, Romania’s president Iohanis was fined a few days ago for incitement. You were claiming that he is a poor victim of Hungary’s government for the fact that they rebuked him for his demeaning, hateful inciteful comments. You just can’t help yourself can you? How deep is your hate against Hungarians? Related to your recent and all articles, what claim to objectivity can you still make?

  3. Avatar Kata Marton says:

    The Magyar Hang #fakenews hit piece was disputed days ago yet you publish it as if it was valid information. Why mislead your readers? The CPAP-machines were requested by the hospotals and their use for covid treatment is advised by the WHO, too. A similar fakenews campaign occurred in the US when Elon Musk announced that he would purchase ventillators for California, but the hospitals actually asked for CPAP-machines so that’s what he bought. Then American #fakenews attacked Musk for not buying the ventillators.

  4. Avatar Kata Marton says:

    How could the CPAP mahcines contribute to the spread of the corona virus when they are used on covid patients who were arleady infected and are ill?
    You did not think this though.

    CPAP-machines are used throughout the EU with covid patients.

  5. Avatar György Lázár says:

    This is truly tragic. Corrupt Hungarian officials and their trolls try to downplay the dangers of BiPAP and CPAP machines. I happen to be familiar with the machines, I own one. Somebody should warn those poor Hungarian hospitals that the machines may cause more harm in Covid cases than good…

    “BiPAP and CPAP machines are typically used to treat patients with sleep apnea and respiratory diseases. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines apply continuous pressure to the airways. On the other hand, bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines apply high pressure when the patients breathe in and low pressure when they breathe out. They also use a mask rather than intubating the patient like ventilators do.

    These machines cannot normally be used to treat patients with COVID-19 because they send the patient’s breath into the room, contaminating the area with virus droplets and putting medical staff at risk of exposure.”

  6. Avatar András B. Göllner says:

    @ Joe and @ Kata

    Nothing coming out of official channels in Hungary about ANYTHING can be trusted. Where have you been? Haven’t you heard that the line separating illusion from reality has been eradicated in your country by the fraudsters that run it? Don’t you read? The European Parliament has condemned the autocrats running your fake democracy, Freedom House has identified Hungary as the only non-democratic country in the EU, the European People’s Party has suspended Fidesz’s membership, the UN’s and the EU’s Human Rights Commissioners have both condemned your government’s conduct along with Hungary’s own Civil Liberties Union., and hundreds of other credible organizations. Everyone knows that the lower incidence of Covid in CEE has nothing to do with Mr. Szijjártó’s or Viktor Orbán’s wisdom, but a host of factors. Concealment of the truth figures largely among these in the case of Hungary. Regardless of your masks, neither of you “lúzers” have any credibility in this underpass. Scram !!

    • The attacks against Hungary you mentioned are ideological in nature. Even the French Mackarel admitted that there is an ideological civil war, and in the case of Hungary it is a very dirty one. The institutions you mentioned have very little credibility as a result, because they all represent the power structure of the current elites in Western World.

      Hungary is accused of all sorts of things, like Antisemitism, even as in Western Europe Jews are seeing exponential growth in attacks against them. Hungary is accused of not respecting minority rights, even as Romania has been trampling on the basic rights of ethnic Hungarians with increased frequency, and politicians have been using increasingly inciteful language. To his credit, Christopher Adam did something out of character and he reported on the fact that Romania’s prime minister threatened to have ethnic Hungarians hanged a while back. EU has been silent on this issue, thus raising serious questions of the validity of their attacks on Hungary in this regard, given that historical minorities in Hungary have not experienced anything as vile and vicious as what is going on in Romania.

      Finally, on media freedom. With the occasion of the NYE attacks against women in Germany a few years ago, the western MSM remained silent for four whole days, which is a century in current news cycle terms, in an attempt to discourage women from reporting what happened to them. They failed that time and 1,200 women came forward with allegations. Fast forward to a year ago, CEO of pro-migrant NGO advocates abroad was filmed while she was explaining in detail how her group was coaching migrants to lie in order to get asylum. On that one the MSM largely succeded in remaining quiet, with astonishing level of discipline shown. SO much for media freedom. Orban could never pull this off in Hungary.

  7. Avatar Dr Rudas László says:

    A CPAP a “nem-invazív” lélegeztetés igen egyszerű változata. Nem alkalmas a súlyos légzési elégtelenség kezelésére, és mivel a rendszer nem zárt, (nincs tubus a beteg légcsövében), ezért sokkal nagyobb az esélye annak, hogy a környezetbe vírus jusson ki, s így tényleg kedvezhet a fertőzés terjedésének.

    E két tényező miatt ahol csak lehetett, intubáltak, és “okos gépekkel” lélegeztettek. Magyarországon nem volt olyan nyomás, hogy a CPA-ot kényszerből kellett volna kiterjedten használni. Úgy tűnik, hogy a többi balkáni országhoz hasonlóan nálunk is “spontán szerencsés” lefolyású lett a járvány. Ennek az okait érdemes kutatni, de feltehetően valami biológiai magyarázatot fogunk találni.

  8. Bullshit, this was proven false, the author is politically compromised. The results of the country speak for themselves

  9. Avatar András B. Göllner says:

    @ Joe

    “The attacks against Hungary you mentioned are ideological in nature”

    You’ll go far with that fairy tale down at the troll farm, lúzer, but not in this underpass.


      Go ahead, take a look! I know this data is for US, but Canada’s situation in this regard should be the same. So look at the major that most closely fits your department. What is the underemployment rate for your students? 50%?, 60%?,70%? The majority of your students are paying for their own indoctrination, nothing else. Certainly not a better future for themselves. Tens of thousands of dollars in debt with nothing to show for it is certainly not a better future, which is what most students think that they are paying for.

      I recently talked with an accountant who did the taxes of a lady in her 50’s. She is still on the hook for about 60 k in student loan debt. The government holds back her refunds every year to pay for it. She was swindled twice. After the first swindle, she still believed and went back for a second degree. No house, no family, nothing! If you were honest with yourself, instead of calling me “loser”, you should call your students that as they exit the room after one of your lectures.

      Troll farm? Honest work comparatively speaking!

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