The ARD and ZDF talk shows are increasingly taking on the role of summing up entities in these weeks, which are always trying to look a little forward. Where is Germany in the corona crisis, how should it go on? Two brand talks were held on Sunday – a constellation that is not even common on election evenings and spoke for a greatly increased need for discussion.
And there was that too. How would the representatives of the federal and state governments justify the restrictions on everyday life that had been decided in the afternoon? Chancellor-in-Office Helge Braun (CDU) was a guest of “Anne Will”, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) in a special edition of “Maybrit Illner”. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) was represented on both programs at the same time.
And how did you justify the rules?
The bottom line was that Laschet, Braun and Söder argued that the more far-reaching measures would only restrict those who had previously been “unreasonable”. Little changes for the others. Helge Braun said that “punishment” – Will’s term – “could not be said”. It was seen on Saturday that the Germans had implemented the distance requirements that had previously been in place “99 percent well”. “But there are always very few who don’t stick to it.”
“The few unreasonable ones” also focused on Laschet: They should now “feel sanctions”, he said and recommended not only to take action quickly, but also to make this public as a deterrent.
Then Laschet sounded very determined and probably wanted to sound like that. But how did he sound compared to Markus Söder? There was a touch of remote duel over the Union’s candidate for chancellor over the two talks – absurd given the situation, but it was. Söder had tried to attract crisis management when he announced further measures for Bavaria before the agreed appointment on Sunday. Laschet looked like a procrastinator.
How were Laschet and Söder on it?
When Anne Will von Söder wanted to know if he was going to be “the toughest Corona fighter,” he pretended to be asked about the color of his tie. He was acting “on the thing”, he said. “We have made some progress, yes, that is true”. But Bavaria is “more affected” than other federal states because of its proximity to Austria and Italy. Will wanted to know how disagreeable Laschet and he was. “Not at all,” he replied. To later argue with “Maybrit Illner” that he just didn’t want to give away two days. It was the nuances that mattered.
And Laschet? “We have been massively interfering in fundamental rights for weeks,” which is worth “a few more thoughts,” he said. There are, of course, differences to Söder: He himself wishes that people leave their homes so that domestic violence does not occur; Söder, on the other hand, spoke of exit restrictions. At the deliberations on Sunday, however, it was “not loud”, but only “engagedly discussed”. Now, however, and it depends, the result was there, which – he still set this little tip – had been agreed “for today”, ie Sunday.
The chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, who had spoken out against curfews, said at “Maybrit Illner” that he found the way of the ban on contact now found “moderate and correct”.
Bernadett Erdmann, on the other hand, chief physician of the central emergency department of the Wolfsburg Clinic, said she feared the rules would be too late. Human resources in hospitals are scarce, as are protective clothing.
Sebastian Fiedler, the federal chairman of the Federation of German Criminal Investigation Officers, pointed out that the corona pandemic is not just a medical crisis, but has “many other social interactions”. He recommended that an interdisciplinary body be set up to advise the federal government. And the Braunschweig virology professor Melanie Brinkmann said that the focus must be on protecting especially high-risk groups from infection. What that could look like is one of the questions for the near future.
And what will happen tomorrow?
The corona crisis could last for 18 months, but the regulations that have now been adopted are “planned for a much shorter period of time”, said Chancellor Braun.
Nevertheless, the pandemic will leave traces “that will not go away”. A crisis of ten to fifteen years threatens, said Laschet. And finance minister Olaf Scholz? He promised to prioritize health development in the face of all economic difficulties: “We must never go wrong.”