FvD leader Baudet had flu symptoms, refused Covid test despite office outbreak
The leader of the far-right nationalist party FvD said in Parliament that while he was sick with symptoms that could indicate a coronavirus infection, he refused to get tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Thierry Baudet also confirmed that prior to his illness he was at an event with several other party members who tested positive for the coronavirus.
"I had the flu. With a fever. Maybe the ordinary flu, maybe the corona flu. I don't know," Baudet said to reporters gathered at the Binnenhof. The FvD leader confirmed that he joined other members at a Parliament space for a wine tasting on April 15. Two MPs, Olaf Ephraim and Freek Jansen, tested positive for coronavirus after the event, according to TPO. Around that time, Baudet was not present at the Tweede Kamer for a week, phoning in to a meeting about the Cabinet formation with Herman Tjeenk Willink that was supposed to be face-to-face, according to NOS.
"Why are you so excited that we had wine together? We continuously work together," Baudet, a coronavirus skeptic, said in response to reporters questioning why they would participate. "We are always in rooms together. We are not a Muslim country that we are not allowed to drink wine together," he told a BNR reporter while laughing.
Baudet sprak met @agnesdegoede van RTL en bevestigt dat andere aanwezigen van een ‘wijntje drinken op de fractiekamer’ wel achteraf positief zijn getest op corona. @BNR pic.twitter.com/W9p6uUEykN— Thomas van Groningen (@TvanGroningen) May 12, 2021
Tweede Kamer chair Vera Bergkamp did not consider the issue a laughing matter, and asked Baudet to offer an explanation during a debate. He gave a curt explanation, saying he did not feel sick, adding, "As far as I know, I do not have coronavirus."
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver interrupted him, saying he was stunned that Baudet could not definitively say he tested negative for the infection. "What am I watching here?" Klaver asked.
The FvD said in a Tweet, "It is scandalous that an 'accusation' of corona flu is being used to silence MPs or make them suspects."