Belgian virologist Van Ranst harassed at home by Dutch Covid skeptics
Dutch coronavirus skeptics harassed Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst at his home on Sunday. The group, including a camera team, came to award him the Anton Mussert-prize, Van Ranst said on Twitter. During World War II, Anton Mussert was the NSB leader and collaborated with the Nazis.
Van Ranst called the group "anti-vaxxers" and "abject idiots" on Twitter. "I slammed the door in their face and cursed them well," he tweeted. "Next time you are at my door, I will introduce you to the garden hose." The virologist also tweeted a photo showing the "Nazi-prize" in its "special place" - his rubbish bin.
Van Ranst advises the Belgian government on its coronavirus policy and regularly appears in Dutch and Belgian media.
The Anton Mussert-prize was created by a group of people who oppose the coronavirus measures in the Netherlands, NOS reports. According to them, it is a satirical prize intended for people who "spread lies" in the media. The award must make clear to recipients that they are "on the wrong side of history right now."
On Twitter, the group called Van Ranst "disrespectful." "You fully deserved the award. Your contribution to the fear epidemic was truly amazing. It all started with a video at Chatham House, where you explained how to exploit a virus to deceive and frighten the public," they tweeted.
Various Dutch politicians have also faced threats at home from people who oppose the coronavirus policy, including D66 leader Sigrid Kaag, former Health Minister Hugo de Jonge, and former Legal Protection Minister Sander Dekker.