German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen shaking violently and struggling to stand upright as she stood next to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Videos that have since gone viral captured footage of the Chancellor shaking uncontrollably as a military band performed the German national anthem. The episode raised concerns on her health condition but Merkel said that she is fine now.
Merkel dismissed health concerns by saying that dehydration was to blame. The temperatures in Berlin reached a peak of 30C (86F) at the time. In the past weeks, the German capital has been scorching under a sustained heat wave.
At a joint news press conference with President Zelensky, the Chancellor Merkel explained, “Since then I have drunk at least three glasses of water — I obviously needed that and so I’m doing very well now,”
Zelensky, 41, the comedian who defeated Ukraine’s previous President, Petro Poroshenko, said afterwards: “As for Mrs. Merkel, I stood next to her, and believe me, there was nothing wrong.”
Ukraine’s President also assured reporters that the Chancellor had been secure at his side.
“She was totally safe,” he said.
According to German media, this is not the first time the Chancellor was seen trembling in high heat.
During a state visit to Mexico several years ago, the Chancellor also started to shake uncontrollably. On that occasion, her office also pointed to dehydration as the cause.
Dr. Jakob Berger who was interviewed by Focus Online said that Mrs. Merkel’s shakes seemed to be genuinely caused by a lack of water.
“It’s very hot in Berlin right now. And a woman like Angela Merkel certainly also has a rather stressful lifestyle.”
Dr. Berger ruled out Parkinson’s because he found the shaking too exaggerated to qualify as a symptom of the disease.
Chancellor Merkel, who is set to leave her post in 2021, does not have any known health problems. Colleagues always praised her ability to shrug off the stresses of Germany’s highest office, which she has held for 14 years.