A German state finance minister was found dead on Saturday, with officials stating he seemed to have killed himself over distress due to the coronavirus economic fallout.
According to the Associated Press, 54-year-old Thomas Schaefer—who had been the state finance minister of the Hesse region for a decade—was found dead on railway tracks near Frankfurt. Authorities said witness accounts and observations on the scene led them to believe Schaefer had killed himself, and state governor Volker Bouffier said his death was linked to the coronavirus on Sunday.
According to Bouffier, Schaefer was concerned about “whether it would be possible to succeed in fulfilling the population’s huge expectations, particularly of financial help.” “I have to assume that these worries overwhelmed him,” said Bouffier. “He apparently couldn’t find a way out. He was in despair and left us.”
Germany has reportedly drawn up large aid packages to boost the economy during the downturn caused by COVID-19. According to Johns Hopkins University, the country currently has over 60,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and over 480 deaths.