A bold move considering Merkel is his boss: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer was caught on camera rebuffing Chancellor Angela Merkel's attempt at a friendly handshake over coronavirus fears.
Official data in Germany shows Covid-19 infections have reached 150, compared to 66 on Saturday, apparently prompting Seehofer and other top officials to set an "example" for the German public to temporarily cease close human contact, from hugs to handshakes.
The incident happened Monday at a meeting in Berlin. Merkel approaches Seehofer, who motions he won't shake her hand, prompting laughter from the chancellor herself and nearby officials.
Merkel actually later told reporters of the interior minister's public reject of her extended hand as “the right thing to do.”
Seehofer had previously explained to German media on Sunday he's personally stop shaking people's hands as a precautionary measure.
No more #handshakes?— DW Politics (@dw_politics) March 2, 2020
Angela Merkel was refused a #handshake by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Monday, as German officials struggle with a rapidly growing outbreak of #coronavirus in the country.
"That was the right thing to do," said Merkel afterwards. pic.twitter.com/oYySpPU6GS
The Daily Mail commented on the somewhat awkward turned lightly humorous incident:
Merkel took the snub in good spirits, withdrawing her hand and laughing with the Bavarian minister who has frequently been a thorn in her side.
'That is the right thing to do,' she said as she took her seat while guests at the meeting also burst out laughing.
Over the weekend Germany's case total doubled in a mere 24 hours to 129 by Sunday, and as of Monday reaching at least 150.