In Romania, Hard-Hit by Covid, Doctors Fight Vaccine Refusal – The New York Times

Bishop Ambrose of Giurgiu told worshipers in this small Romanian town on Oct. 14, “don’t rush to get vaccinated.”

The bishop is now under criminal investigation by the police for spreading dangerous disinformation, but his anti-vaccine clarion call, echoed by prominent politicians, influential voices on the internet and many others, helps explain why Romania has in recent weeks reported the world’s highest per capita death rate from Covid-19.

On Tuesday, nearly 600 Romanians died, the most during the pandemic. The country’s death rate relative to population is almost seven times as high as the United States’, and almost 17 times as high as Germany’s.

“This wave is far worse than the others — it is like a war,” said Dr. Anca Streinu-Cercel, who works at the biggest infectious disease hospital, Bals National Institute, in the Romanian capital, Bucharest. “We go into our wards but don’t know when we will come out.”