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The Secret to Germany’s COVID-19 success: Angela Merkel is a scientist

Today, we face the global outbreak of a disease that has the potential to catalyse what the historian Eva Schlotheuber terms a “pandemic of the mind.” As misinformation proliferates and lines between fact and fiction are routinely and nonchalantly crossed, world leaders must, now more than ever, illuminate a thoughtful path forward, one reliant on science and evidence-based reasoning.

Indeed, many have. One leader goes further still. Trusted by her people to navigate this outbreak’s murky waters, without inciting or succumbing to a pandemic of the mind, one politician is less a commander-in-chief and more a scientist in chief: Angela Merkel.

For weeks now, Germany’s leader has deployed her characteristic rationality, coupled with an uncharacteristic sentimentality, to guide the country through what has thus far been a relatively successful battle against COVID-19. The pandemic is proving to be the crowning challenge for a politician whose leadership style has consistently been described as analytical, unemotional, and cautious.

In her quest for social and economic stability during this outbreak, Merkel enjoys several advantages: a well-respected, coordinated system of scientific and medical expertise distributed across Germany; the hard-earned trust of the public; and the undeniable fact that steady and sensible leadership is suddenly back in style. With 30 years of political experience, and facing an enormous challenge that begs calm, reasoned thinking, Merkel is at peak performance modeling the humble credibility of a scientist at work. And it seems to be paying off, both politically and scientifically.

Merkel expresses 'solidarity' with liberal congresswomen attacked ...

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