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Populist missteps deepen Indonesia's coronavirus crisis

Southeast Asia's most democratic nation has its highest number of COVID-19 cases

BANGKOK -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo is known for his gentle personality. But in a video released on June 28 on the Presidential Secretariat's official YouTube channel, he was furious.

At a cabinet meeting on June 18, the president, commonly known as Jokowi, lashed out at ministers over their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The president even threatened a reshuffle when he mentioned that the handout of the government's emergency economic package worth 695 trillion rupiah ($48 billion) has been delayed.

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