Coughing Irma causes uproar on social media: ‘She is …


Mark Rutte and a coughing Irma Sluis.
Image: NOS

Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced stricter corona measures during a special press conference on Monday evening. On social media, on the other hand, it was mainly about a completely different topic. Sign language interpreter Irma Sluis, who has now become a nationally known name, coughed twice. That she did that in her hand, went wrong with twitterers, figuratively of course.

It is a familiar image during the press conference: Irma Sluis, who guides Mark Rutte and Hugo de Jonge, by telling their story in sign language. With her hoarding gesture, she went viral before, and once she was switched, the hashtag #waarisIrma got big. During the corona crisis, she has become a kind of anchor for viewers. On Monday she was replaced by a colleague at the start of the press conference, but in the second part she reappeared in her familiar place between Rutte and De Jonge.

Also read: These are all new corona measures

During the story she had to cough twice on Monday evening and that caused quite a bit of noise on social media. Especially the fact that she did not cough into her elbow caused a sensation among the viewers. “How wonderful that during this pressco, heading for a lockdown, Irma coughs passionately in her hand”, someone writes on Twitter. Another viewers state: “She supports Rutte and does not listen either.”


Also pranksters immediately get to grips with the remarkable incident. For example, rapper Ytijd writes: “If Irma coughs again, they have to escort Rutte outside for his own safety.” And RTL Boulevard reporter Ruud ten Wolde jokes: “New rule: if Rutte cannot see it, you can cough into your hand, because Irma is allowed to do it too.”

Also read: Rutte: ‘Hard intervention is necessary’

Yet Irma Sluis is also defended by quite a few people. For example, Arda Kaya states: ‘I don’t want to hear about Irma who coughs, she is holy. Ready.’

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