Opinion | Angela Merkel’s Viral Moment

Contrary to just-so stories in the press, the German government was behind the German public in reacting to the coronavirus. Masks and hand sanitizer disappeared from store shelves even as Berlin was still downplaying the threat and warning about anti-foreigner bigotry.

Then, under pressure to break her silence, Chancellor Angela Merkel on March 10 announced that 60% to 70% of Germans should expect to be infected. Her comments traveled around the world and were a one-day story in most places, but the idea seems to have permeated…

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