“We have warned Jens Spahn in vain”

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© ZDF / Svea Pietschmann
Karl Lauterbach, Yvonne Falckner and Andrew Ullmann spoke to Maybrit Illner about the corona crisis and its consequences Source: ZDF / Svea Pietschmann


The number of new infections has not yet reached its peak, as voices are raised that are already calling for a relaxation of the previous measures to contain the corona pandemic. Right? Angela Merkel already announced on Thursday that she currently considers such plans to be premature and Markus SOder (CSU) also sees no reason for the all-clear.

In the evening, Maybrit Illner discussed with her guests the possible scenarios of the crisis. SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach, FDP politician Andrew Ullmann, nurse Yvonne Falckner and Achim Theiler, manufacturers and wholesalers for hygiene products, are invited to the studio under the title “Fighting Corona – enough money, enough strength, enough time?” In the meantime, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (FDP) and the virologist Sandra Ciesek have also been added.

The warning of the evening

In this round, however, nobody wanted to speak out for a relaxation of the measures, on the contrary. “At the moment, fewer people are becoming infected, but immunity is still not building up,” said Karl Lauterbach and warned: “If we loosen the measures too early, we will be worse off than before.” Against a setback effect Earlier easing also warned doctor and politician Andrew Ullmann.

The measures are important and correct in order to flatten the wave of new infections and the available resources have to be used sensibly. However, he did not want to stab his chairman Christian Lindner in the back. He had asked for a strategy to make the measures unnecessary. “The priority is clearly on health,” says Ullmann. “But it is also legitimate to discuss the exit plans now.”

Ciesek, on the other hand, was critical of a relaxation explicitly for younger and supposedly less susceptible people: “Young people without previous illness can also have severe courses. It would be unethical to put them at risk. ”

The charge of the evening

Yvonne Falckner and Achim Theiler’s assessments also made it clear that the priority should currently be in the medical field. The supply of protective material in particular is obviously becoming an ever greater problem. “Does one of the best healthcare systems in the world fail because of disposable items?” Illner wanted to know. “We try to provide protection without having enough protective material for it,” complained Falckner. “It is imperative that we get protective clothing so that we do not become cannon fodder.”

Theiler’s descriptions shed little reassuring light on the crisis management of Health Minister Jens Spahn. As a wholesaler, he noticed the tendency for shortages of protective material on the market at the beginning of February and warned Spahn. “We didn’t get a reaction,” said Theiler, stunned. “There are 700 employees working in the ministry, why didn’t anyone keep an eye on them when they didn’t read my letters? It is incomprehensible to us that they are so incredibly poorly prepared. We had six weeks. ”

In view of this description of timely and concrete warnings, Ullmann’s replica that afterwards one was always wiser was more than inappropriate. Lauterbach, on the other hand, feared that the situation could get even worse: “If the catastrophe develops in the USA in three weeks, the market will be bought empty.”

The plea of ​​the evening

However, it is not only protective masks that are becoming scarce in the face of the crisis. Even before the pandemic, the German health care system lacked 50,000 nurses. In view of the current emergency, such personnel shortages weigh twice as heavily. For Yvonne Falckner, the emerging appreciation for nursing staff is a glimmer of hope that the situation could improve in the future.

“I’m happy about everything that changes the awareness of care,” says Falckner. Nursing is an important foundation for society. “Society needs to think about how it wants to deal with professional carers. We perceive applause and find it wonderful, but it would be even better if people would also work for higher wages for care. ”

While Ullmann vigorously campaigned for more nurses to be trained in the medium term, Lauterbach waved away and outlined a troubling forecast, but also clear and solution-oriented demands: “This topic will be with us for a year and a half and we will not come back to normality in hospitals until then”, feared he and therefore campaigned for nurses to immediately and unbureaucratically pay supplements that could also be an incentive for the many people leaving the profession to return. “If I want to get back well-trained nurses, I have to get recognition that goes beyond clapping.”

At least one guest was in a good mood that evening. The moody switching into the living room of the FDP politician Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, who tested positive for the coronavirus, looked a bit out of place due to the serious situation, but at least the viewer learned that Lambsdorff had almost overcome nice neighbors and the disease: “I’m very lucky and found out an hour and a half ago that I am negative. ”

You will find all current information and recommendations from the Ministry of Health here.

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