Germany’s Merkel defends government record during pandemic

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Germany's Merkel defends government record during pandemic

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her government’s record during the coronavirus pandemic

Germany, like many of its European neighbors, has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Official figures released Wednesday showed 1,798 new cases nationwide in the last 24 hours, taking the total since the start of the outbreak to 289,219. Germany has also had nearly 9,500 confirmed virus-related deaths, a toll that is one-fourth that of Britain or Italy.

The long-time leader, who has said she won’t stand for a fifth term next year, said it was right to invest the recovery funds into forward-looking technologies and industries that will help tackle climate change and future-proof the economy.

Before ending her speech, Merkel turned directly to the public, urging people to follow the rules imposed to limit the spread of the virus.

“We are not at the end of the pandemic,” Merkel told lawmakers. “We have a difficult time ahead of us in autumn and winter.”

Social distancing and hygiene rules “doesn’t just protect the elderly, not just the so-called ‘at-risk persons,’ but our open, free society as a whole,” Merkel said. “For now we have to show that we can continue to act patiently and reasonably, and thereby save lives.”

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak


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