Minister of Health Lauterbach: The fallen professor

Dhe Federal Department of Health is one big machine that produces many laws and regulations, an apparatus that affects everyone in the country and therefore makes its chief engineer well-known and often even liked. But sometimes he gets caught under the rapidly turning wheels. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) felt this, who initially rose to become a particularly valued politician in the corona pandemic, but then suddenly fell. Now this decline befalls his successor Karl Lauterbach (SPD). After almost a year in office, not everything he has tackled is bad, but the high hopes that were placed in him and which he himself nurtured have largely been dashed.

Immediately after being sworn in in December, Lauterbach ranked third among the most popular politicians behind Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), in January he was even at the top. The minister has now slipped to seventh or tenth place. When he was not yet sitting at the cabinet table, his support from the population was particularly strong, the hashtag #wirwollenkarl was circulating.

Scholz also took off when he presented his SPD ministers to Nikolaus last year. In the fight against the pandemic, “most of the citizens would have wished that the next federal health minister was a specialist and that his name was Karl Lauterbach,” said Scholz at the time. “He will.” The sentence was significant, because in fact the public had heaved the fifty-eight-year-old to his post rather than his own party. Lauterbach enjoys to this day in the SPD less support than the other ministers, he is considered a loner, not particularly a team player and sometimes precocious.

Lots of political experience

The early praise referred to Lauterbach’s supposedly stringent approaches in the fight against Covid-19. Tirelessly he had during Spahns He tweeted during his term of office, attended talk shows, was interviewed and had already blossomed into a kind of shadow minister, although he himself belonged to the government camp. That not only annoyed Spahn, but also many social democrats, especially their health politicians. After all, Lauterbach was no longer even a spokesman for health policy, let alone deputy in his parliamentary group.

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