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Wednesday, 02 December 2020

Merkel decries populists who say coronavirus is harmless

'Lies and disinformation, conspiracy theories and hatred damage not only the democratic debate but also the fight against the virus,' she said

Reuters , Thursday 29 Oct 2020
Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes off her face mask as she takes her seat before giving a speech at the Bundestag, the lower house of Parliament, on October 29, 2020 in Berlin ahead of EU talks on the Coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: AFP)
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Populists who purport the coronavirus is harmless are dangerous and irresponsible, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, defending a circuit break lockdown announced on Wednesday that is aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

"It is only with solidarity and transparency that we will be able to confront the pandemic," she told the Bundestag lower house of parliament, adding the pandemic was a challenge to the democratic system.

"Lies and disinformation, conspiracy theories and hatred damage not only the democratic debate but also the fight against the virus," she said during a speech in which she was at times heckled, adding this put human lives in danger.

Merkel announced on Wednesday that Germany would impose an emergency month-long lockdown that includes the closure of restaurants, gyms and theatres to reverse a spike in coronavirus cases that risks overwhelming hospitals.

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