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German Minister Criticizes US Coronavirus Response as Too Slow: Spiegel


German Minister Criticizes US Coronavirus Response as Too Slow: Spiegel

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has criticized the United States' handling of the coronavirus outbreak as too slow, the latest sign of tensions between the two allies as they respond to the crisis.

China took "very authoritarian measures, while in the US, the virus was played down for a long time," Maas said in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine in a preview sent to the media on Friday, Reuters reported.

"These are two extremes, neither of which can be a model for Europe," he said.

Germany was among countries that last week accused the United States of "Wild West" tactics in outbidding or blocking shipments to buyers who had already signed deals for vital medical supplies.

Maas told Der Spiegel that he hoped the United States would rethink its international relationships in light of the coronavirus crisis.

"Let's see to what extent the actions of the American government will lead to discussions in the US about whether the 'America First' model really works," he said, adding that aggressive trade policies may have hurt the country's ability to procure protective equipment.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Berlin was not immediately able to respond to a request for comment.

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