WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s prime minister on Thursday appointed new ministers of foreign affairs and health, important postings that will help guide the conservative government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and upheaval in neighboring Belarus.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters in Warsaw that the new foreign minister will be Zbigniew Rau, a law professor and local politician from Lodz who has expertise in the relationship with the United States — Poland’s most valued ally.
Rau replaces Jacek Czaputowicz, who announced his resignation earlier on Thursday, in what had been an expected move.
The newly named health minister is Adam Niedzielski, an economist who has worked many years in different areas of public administration and has most recently been the head of the national health service.
Morawiecki said Niedzielski is the right person for the job as the nation braces for a second wave in the coronavirus pandemic as well as longstanding structural problems in the health service.
“This is a person who we need very much because the health service in the coming months and quarters will be better able to survive the second wave of the coronavirus the more we are modernized,” Morawiecki said.
Niedzielski replaces Łukasz Szumowski, a cardiologist, who resigned earlier this week amid allegations of wrongdoing in the procurement of medical equipment needed to fight the virus.
Szumowski denied any wrongdoing and said he wants to return to practicing medicine.