Karl Lauterbach – “It’s too early for further easing”
Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach speaks of the “last big battle with the corona virus”. The SPD politician is confident, but he does not want to give the all-clear. In an interview, he also talks about how his private life has suffered as a result of his position.
BHealth Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) is confident about the development of the pandemic over the next few months: “Hopefully next winter will be the last major battle with the corona virus,” said the politician “Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin”. The virus had “mutated into a dead end,” said the minister. However, Lauterbach remains true to his cautious line, he does not want to give the all-clear: “There is no reason for carelessness. It is too early for further easing.”
Lauterbach acknowledged in the interview that the pandemic played a role in his rise to the ministerial post. “Corona helped that I got this office, you have to say that.”
His private life suffered under the office. “I have the highest security level, I’m with many security officers on the weekends,” said Lauterbach. “Sometimes when my daughter or friends are with me, I have to ask security to give us some privacy.”
That is also the reason why he is trying harder not to let private things get into the public eye: “I definitely have to be even more careful not to endanger people who are close to me.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is confident about the development of the pandemic in the coming months. “It’s a much more relaxed situation than before,” said Scholz after the federal-state conference on Thursday evening in Berlin. The corona pandemic is still there. There are also major problems with other respiratory diseases.
Unlike in previous years, there is now a “very extensively vaccinated population” in Germany, said the Chancellor. Therefore, the country could go into this winter “very well”. This time, the top group of federal and state governments did not make any concrete decisions on pandemic policy.
The Prime Ministers of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, Stephan Weil (SPD) and Hendrik Wüst (CDU), do not see it as a problem that the states are abolishing the last measures against Corona at different speeds. “It’s a topic that we’ve known about since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Weil, as chairman of the Prime Ministers’ Conference, on Thursday before the state leaders’ consultations with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in Berlin. That doesn’t look good for all countries. “But it’s also nothing that, from a national perspective, would have prevented us from coping well with the pandemic overall.”
The CDU politician Wüst said that there are always different corona situations in the countries. Each country must decide for itself which measures are proportionate. “The accusation of a patchwork quilt is quickly raised, but you always have to look at the situation,” said Wüst.
With Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt, the first federal states have decided to abolish the obligation to wear a respiratory mask in local public transport. The cabinets of both countries justified their decisions with a stable infection situation. While the CDU and FDP welcomed the decision and called for further steps, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) criticized the advance.
The Conference of Health Ministers (GMK) was unable to agree on a common line on compulsory masks in public transport on Monday. In Saxony-Anhalt, the mask requirement fell on Thursday, Bavaria is to follow on Saturday. According to Weil, Corona will not be one of the major issues at the meeting of the country heads with Scholz.