Friday, December 9, 2022

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Lauterbach fought a battle of words with AfD

At the Bundestag, parliamentarians were able to get rid of their questions to Health Minister Lauterbach. You can read the debate here.

The corona pandemic remains for health ministers

Karl Lauterbach (SPD) the dominant topic of his mandate, especially in view of the current autumn wave. It wasn’t until Tuesday that the minister announced on Twitter that he firmly expects the mask requirement to return indoors. The seven-day incidence in Germany was estimated at 799 on Wednesday. He has now answered questions from members of the Bundestag.

Follow the debate on the live blog:

14:03: A member of parliament from the SPD wants to know whether, from Lauterbach’s point of view, the federal states live up to their responsibilities in the fight against the pandemic. Lauterbach says it is indeed true that there are tips from some federal states that are very difficult to understand. Lauterbach addresses southern Germany directly. It is sometimes criticized that the Infection Protection Act does not go far enough and “with a mug of beer in hand,” says Lauterbach. Overall, however, Germany is better prepared than last year.

13:55: Another AfD MP wonders why hospitalization rates are rising so much when there are effective vaccines. Lauterbach replies that there is indeed a depressing increase. This is not due to vaccines, but due to a lack of caution. If vaccines didn’t exist, there would be more deaths. The deputy asks again why more people are in the hospital. There is a difference between people who come to the hospital and die or are successfully treated, replies the Minister of Health. Without vaccines, the number of those who would die would be significantly higher. Then there are the AfD controversies. Lauterbach replies: “Don’t pretend you’re dumber than you.”

13:49: AfD politician Stephan Brandner asks Lauterbach why he said anyone who doesn’t get vaccinated will die in March 2022. Lauterbach replies that he didn’t say it that way. Not all misjudgments are lies. At the time, it was not possible to estimate the appearance of the less severe omicron variant. That is why he is happy to correct his original warning of him. Brandner apologizes. Lauterbach replies that he has not released the statement reported by Brandner. That’s why he couldn’t answer.

13:42: AfD MP Beatrix von Storch accuses Lauterbach of saying that the global vaccination campaign was actually a great attempt. Storch wants to know if you said it like that. Lauterbach initially replies: “Thanks for the question, no.” Von Storch digs deeper. Lauterbach replies that he doesn’t know if she can’t understand him or if she’s being stupid, but she didn’t say so.

13:38: AfD MP Martin Sichert asks why Lauterbach is advertising vaccines. Lauterbach rejects it. He recommends that people get vaccinated, this is his job as a health minister. He also rejects the accusation that vaccines are unsafe. There are comments from the AfD, applause from other factions. Lauterbach points out that the new vaccines will also be safe. The structure is almost identical to the previous one.

13:36: When asked, Lauterbach explains the Institute for Public Health in more detail. Health authorities, for example, are currently not sufficiently coordinated. For example, different software is used. The institute aims to avoid this in the future.

13:31: Green MEP Johannes Wagner asks if and when there should be a public health institution. Lauterbach points out that this is an important project for the government. Such an institution could take on tasks that previously did not have direct responsibility, such as developing public health software. He announces that a corresponding draft will be presented to the Bundestag. When asked about the funding, Lauterbach replies that he assumes that he will ultimately finance himself through the costs the institute avoids.

13:20: In response to a corresponding question from the SPD parliamentary group, Lauterbach replied that many federal states were not meeting their investment obligations. Negotiations are underway with federal states to clarify how these shortcomings will be addressed, for example in the isolation of hospitals and care facilities. Asked by parliamentarians, Lauterbach criticized the government of North Rhine-Westphalia, which had not yet fulfilled its obligations, although it had already spoken to the Minister of Health Laumann (CDU).

13:18: AfD MP Martin Reichardt says he has heard that nursing services are reducing nursing leave to compensate for rising costs. Lauterbach replies that this would not be legal and refers to the previous answer. He assumes the quality of care will not decline, Lauterbach said when the officer asked him.

13:16: A member of parliament asks what the federal government is planning to relieve outpatient care services of additional fuel costs. The additional costs are expected to be passed on, says Lauterbach. Asked when Lauterbach expects it, he says it’s in preparation.

13:08: Tino Sorge (CDU) asks when a rescue package will arrive for social institutions and hospitals. Lauterbach replies that a committee of experts set the stage for this over the weekend. On this basis, the requirements must be determined. He is in discussion with Finance Minister Christian Lindner and the hospital societies. When asked when he was going to act, Lauterbach replied that it would be done in time.

13:05: Lauterbach begins with a statement on the Corona situation. A wave of autumn and winter is coming, he says. This is no surprise. The federal government has therefore introduced various tools with which federal states can monitor the situation and react in the next step. In addition, drugs have been ordered for particularly vulnerable groups. He also announces 12 laws that the federal government will shortly submit to the Bundestag, including one to legalize cannabis.

13: The government consultation will begin shortly.

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