Death of doctor threatened by COVID shocks Austria

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BERLIN (TBEN) — Austrian political leaders have reacted with shock to the death of a doctor who closed her practice after she reported receiving death threats from opponents of COVID-19 restrictions and vaccines.

The body of Dr. Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, a GP who had publicly emphasized the effectiveness of vaccination, was found Friday in her practice office in a rural area in northern Austria, Austrian media reported.

Prosecutors in Wels confirmed a suicide and said notes had been found, the contents of which they would not divulge, the Austrian news agency reported.

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Kellermayr announced a month ago that he would temporarily close the practice after receiving death threats for more than seven months. She said she spent more than 100,000 euros ($102,000) on security.

In mid-July, Kellermayr said she was closing the practice permanently because she “couldn’t offer any perspective on whether or when it will be possible for us to work under ‘normal’ conditions.”

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Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen wrote on Twitter that his thoughts were with Kellermayr’s family and friends.

“Let’s put an end to this intimidation and fear. There is no room for hatred and bigotry in our Austria. Let’s always find a way to live together peacefully,” he said.

Health Minister Johannes Rauch said Kellermayr’s death “deeply shocks me”.

“As a doctor, she devoted her life to the health and well-being of others,” Rauch tweeted. “Death threats against her and her colleagues were the brutal reality.” He called such threatening behavior unforgivable and said it “must stop at last”.

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In June, prosecutors in Wels closed an investigation into a German suspected of threatening Kellermayr, saying German authorities were responsible for the case, APA reported. The police in Austria continued the search for unknown persons.

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