Angela Merkel has humiliated her health minister for the second time with her quick test power word. Comment from Merkur editor-in-chief Georg Anastasiadis.
That was just missing: while the third corona wave is rolling in, the Chancellor and her Minister of Health are making a row over the right virus strategy in front of the amazed citizens. Jens Spahn is embarrassed after Angela Merkel has stopped the minister from introducing the free rapid tests for everyone – just as she had previously disempowered him when he was vaccinated. Now her confidante, Chancellor Helge Braun, is supposed to manage the virus crisis. According to Merkel’s will. The pattern is well known: When the then Interior Minister de Maiziere doubted Merkel’s open borders during the refugee crisis, she dismissed him and promoted her Chancellery Minister Altmaier to the architect of her asylum policy.
Corona dispute: Cautious Merkel fears test trouble – and prefers to choose lockdown
But in a situation where there is life and death every day, open arguments do not create trust. Spahn (and with him CDU boss Laschet) wants openings, but this urgently needs comprehensive rapid tests as soon as possible. Spahn would have liked to start on March 1st, even if not all (procurement) questions have been completely clarified. Because every day can save lives. But the cautious Merkel fears public anger about the tests and is more willing to accept a longer lockdown. Again her team is against the Laschet / Spahn team. And again, in the background, the question of who has what it takes to follow Merkel as Chancellor also resonates very quietly.
Corona in Germany: bureaucracy champion instead of organization world champion
Germany was once an organization world champion. Now it’s just the bureaucracy champion. Anyone who wants to open needs ideas and strategies. But they are missing because the main actors are arguing. While Austria already offers rapid tests everywhere, we first have to clarify country responsibilities and procedures. The government did not even venture into a sharp Corona app for contact tracking for fear of grumbling data protectionists. And after the vaccine procurement was wasted, there are now increasing indications that the vaccine is there now, but is not being vaccinated quickly enough. The beneficiary of this never-ending stumble is the virus.