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Czech PM’s Popularity Plummets With New Virus Outbreak

  • Czech billionaire premier sees party’s, his own support plunge
  • New Covid-19 cases spike after country showed early success
People wearing protective face masks wait in line at a coronavirus testing center in Prague on Sept. 21.
People wearing protective face masks wait in line at a coronavirus testing center in Prague on Sept. 21.

Photographer: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

A European leader who emerged as a trailblazer this spring with an uncompromising approach to stamping out the coronavirus has seen his popularity plummet after a record spike in infections.

Billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, whose government was one of the first in the European Union to shut schools and businesses and require people to wear masks, is now struggling to contain a surge in new cases that followed the lifting of restrictions in June.