German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that her country is in a “dramatic situation” and slammed politicians who undermine the fight against the coronavirus by dispensing “lies, disinformation and conspiracy theories.”
Merkel defended her decision to introduce a partial lockdown to tackle surging Covid-19 infections from November 2.
Addressing the Bundestag on Thursday, she told lawmakers she understood the frustration and despair of her colleagues and many people around the country, but insisted that acting now would give the healthcare system a chance to cope with the pandemic.
Waiting until the intensive care units are full would be too late, she added.
Freedom isn’t being able to do whatever you want. Freedom is taking responsibility.
The German leader argued there was no milder way to tackle the coronavirus than limiting socializing, adding, “if we behave inconsiderately and without a minimum distance, without mouth and nose protection, with celebrations in a confined space, then we further fuel the infection and put our fellow human beings in danger.”
The chancellor was frequently interrupted by a boisterous opposition, notably by the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).
Alexander Gauland, leader of the AfD in parliament, accused Merkel’s government of “war propaganda,” labelling her unilateral decision-making as a “corona dictatorship.”
Merkel slammed the “lies, disinformation and conspiracy theories” that damage democratic debate and the fight against the virus, a likely jab at the AfD.
The need to act was underscored by Thursday morning’s Covid-19 data, which showed 16,774 new cases, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), after 14,964 new cases the previous day.
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