Global Affairs

Coronavirus: What Europeans have learned from a year of pandemic

The pandemic inspired a new-found, national respect for German scientists, says the BBC’s Jenny Hill. Virologist Christian Drosten is now a household name, as is Lothar Wieler, who runs the Robert Koch Institute that advises the German government. So are the married BioNTech founders Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, who developed the first approved vaccine. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who studied quantum chemistry herself, is heavily influenced by the opinion of Germany’s scientific community which, in the main, urges restrictions and caution. But the response to the pandemic has increasingly been characterised by squabbles among regional leaders, some of whom demand fewer restrictions on daily life.

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