German Chancellor Angela Merkel is self-quarantining herself after a doctor who administered a vaccine to her has tested positive for coronavirus.
The German government is making it clear that Merkel is doing this as a precaution and hasn’t been diagnosed with coronavirus at the present time.
“The great aim is to gain time in the fight against the virus,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a press briefing on Sunday.
Germany currently has more than 23,000 of its citizens who have been afflicted by coronavirus. At least 92 people have died from coronavirus in Germany. They have had to shut down the border with France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
High-profile government leaders are showing that they are not insulated from the coronavirus pandemic. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced his positive test in a social media post on Sunday:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is the latest public official to have tested positive for the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus, his campaign has announced on social media.
“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person,” Paul’s campaign wrote in a social media post.
“He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time. Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Paul,” they added.
Last week, it was announced that Reps. Ben McAdams (D-UT) and Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) had tested positive for the virus. Paul is the first U.S. Senator to test positive as the cases continue to skyrocket…
Lawmakers are calling for remote voting during the crisis in order to stop the coronavirus pandemic from striking more of the nation’s elite.
“We are undermining our unified bipartisan message to the American people when we come together in the crowded House floor to vote,” wrote a bipartisan group of U.S. House Reps in a letter to congressional leaders.
“The image of over 430 members and approximately 100 staffers clustered together on the House floor during votes is inconsistent with public health guidance from public health officials,” they added.
Merkel will not likely be the last prominent public official to be forced to quarantine as the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of slowing.
Canadian Police Report Almost 2,200 Home Visits To Monitor Quarantine Compliance
Canadian police officers reportedly have conducted almost 2,200 home visits to ensure travelers into the country are complying with quarantine rules.
In late March, the Canadian government announced the start of the Quarantine Act, which mandates that anyone entering the country, with the exception of essential workers like truck drivers and those in healthcare, must self-isolate for 14 days.
Failure to comply can incur a fine of up to $750,000 and/or six months in prison. However, so far there have been no arrests, and only one fine of $1,000.
Still, many may find unsettling the degree to which the Canadian police, in coordination with official border and health services, are enforcing a nanny state by paying home visits to incoming travelers deemed at risk of non-compliance. In addition, prime minister Justin Trudeau has hinted that even tougher measures could be coming, even once Canada begins easing cross-border travel.
Also in late March, the Trudeau government announced a halt to all immigration in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, current immigration applications would not be closed or denied due to failure to meet typical requirements.
Still, many pointed out that Canada’s response was actually stronger than the US’, which has continued to import thousands of H-1B workers even while under lockdown due to a global pandemic.
The border between the US and Canada has been closed since the end of March, and this was recently extended, likely into mid-June. Trudeau has stated that the closure and its extension were implemented with full cooperation from the US.
While travel into Canada has not stopped completely, it has fallen drastically since the implementation of restrictive policies. However, critics of the government question whether Trudeau reacted quickly enough, and argue that the policy going forward is too vague and requires more explanation and accountability.
As stated by Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus:
“It was the Trudeau government’s failure to close our borders that allowed the virus to spread in the first place. It is incumbent on the Trudeau government to explain how they plan to ensure that travelers who are coming back to Canada are not spreading COVID-19… Unfortunately, right now the Trudeau government is telling Canadians to ‘wait and see’ without explaining what metrics they are relying on to make decisions.”
While Canada is doing significantly better than the US in terms of the number of cases, one tragically sobering area in which it has exhibited clear failure is the fate of its elderly, particularly those in state and private long-term care institutions.
It is estimated that up to 86% of the Canadian death toll is from facilities such as long-term care, retirement, and corrections, with the first two making up the large majority. In one privately-run nursing home, as much as one third of residents have died from coronavirus.
While the situation is complex and there are few countries that do not seem to have significant problems with their approach, it is clear that something is wrong with Canada’s. Perhaps the government should focus more on taking care of its elderly than intrusively monitoring its citizens.
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