German chancellor Angela Merkel was seen physically shaking during a public event Wednesday, the third such incident within the space of a month, fueling ongoing questions about her health.
Merkel, 64, was standing at a military honors ceremony in Berlin when television cameras picked up what appeared to be her whole body trembling.
Asked about her health during a press conference after the ceremony, she said, “I’m doing really well and one shouldn’t worry.” This echoed a statement her spokesman emailed to NBC News earlier in the day.
It comes almost two weeks after Merkel was seen shaking during a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. After that occasion, her spokesman said that “the chancellor is well,” and she traveled to the subsequent G-20 summit in Japan.
A week earlier was the first time she was noticed shaking, that time during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Germany was in the midst of a heat wave, and Merkel later said she felt better after drinking some water.
Wednesday’s incident made headlines almost immediately, with the German tabloid newspaper Bild announcing: “Third trembling attack in three weeks.”
In a second story, the newspaper asked, “Does the chancellor have to tell us how she is really doing?” referring to Germany’s strict privacy laws regarding personal medical information.
Merkel has been ranked as the world’s most powerful woman eight years running by Forbes. She has been chancellor since 2005, a reign spanning 14 years and three White House administrations.
Battered by a damaging election and criticism over her “open door” migration policy, she announced last year she would stand down as leader of her Christian Democratic Union party, and not seek re-election.
Her protege, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, was elected party leader and appeared set to become Germany’s next chancellor. However since then, Kramp-Karrenbauer has endured a rocky time in German politics, raising questions about whether she will in fact become Merkel’s successor.
Were Merkel to be incapacitated, Steinmeier would appoint a cabinet minister as acting chancellor until parliament elects a new chancellor, according to Reuters.
Nick Bailey, Andy Eckardt and Reuters contributed.