Merkel Urges Germans to Look on the Bright Side to Beat Covid

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Germans to be more optimistic and pull together to beat the coronavirus.

“You can’t achieve anything if you only ever see the negative,” she told lawmakers in Berlin on Thursday, a day after making a rare public apology over a botched plan for a hard Easter lockdown.

While aggressive mutations are equivalent to a new pandemic, she said there’s “light at the end of the tunnel” as faster immunizations and widespread testing offer a path out of the crisis, imploring people to remain hopeful.

With Europe’s largest economy gripped by a third wave, public anger has intensified over the government’s virus strategy. The contagion rate in Germany has nearly doubled over the past month, while the vaccine rollout remains sluggish.

“It’s decisive whether the glass is half full or half empty,” she said before a virtual summit with other European Union leaders later on Thursday. “If it’s only ever half empty, then as a country we won’t be able to develop the creative strength to get ourselves out of this crisis.”

The German leader has come under increasing pressure over missteps in tackling the pandemic. On Wednesday, she was forced to abandon her plan for a five-day lockdown over Easter after an intense backlash. The initiative was the only new proposal agreed with state leaders in tense talks that ended in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“We will defeat this virus, I am absolutely sure we’ll manage it,” she said. “So it’s about joining forces and looking forward positively, even if the situation remains difficult. That’s what I would ask for from every person in this country.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.