Merkel warns in the CDU switch, “We are facing very, very difficult months” – politically

“Hello, this is Jens Spahn”. The federal health minister reports via video from the quarantine at home that the CDU politician who has Covid-19 is doing well so far. It is yet another appeal to the citizen: “We are all more important than ever”; “It’s serious”; “Don’t listen to those who trivialize and appease.”

Almost simultaneously, thousands on and around Alexanderplatz in Berlin demonstrate against the state’s corona measures, without masks.

It is a clear minority, but the problem that politics cannot control: the number of infections continues to rise, and not only in Berlin, the health authorities are increasingly overwhelmed by making contacts.

Analysis of movement profiles clearly shows that many citizens do not reduce their number of contacts and many are simply tired of the warnings. Over the weekend, the Chancellor even repeated her urgent appeal as a podcast a week earlier.

State opponents demonstrate Corona protective measures without masks in Berlin Photo: DAVIDS / Sven Darmer

Decision week

And so it becomes a week of decision-making; Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to reconnect with federal states’ heads of government, as Merkel will make a government statement on the Corona situation on Thursday in the Bundestag, advance clarification could make sense. As Merkel feared in mid-October, the measures recently taken do not seem sufficient.

“We are facing very, very difficult months,” Merkel said, according to a “Bild” report in a meeting with federal states’ union leaders on Sunday evening. The upcoming prime minister’s conference “does not make her feel good”. “It can’t go on like this,” she said. They assume “the number of infections will continue to rise sharply”.

According to image information, Merkel sees vacation travel as a key factor: “It happened during vacation travel,” the tabloid quoted the chancellor. She also assumes that major events outside of it cannot be expected until February.

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach warns of a hard lockdown Photo: imago images / Political-Moments

Failure of Merkel’s professional policy?

“Decisions have to be made this week, that’s very clear,” said SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach in an interview with the Tagesspiegel.

“We have doubled the number of intensive care patients in ten days. It’s running smoothly, like something out of the epidemiology textbook. “It’s about doing something quickly to avoid a hard second lockdown. “We have enough evidence that the professions are no longer sufficient.”

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Chancellor podcasts alone are not enough, although they are absolutely correct in subject matter and tone. So far, there are no photos of overcrowded intensive care units and people are partly tired, “as far as the measures are concerned and because there are always wandering lights pretending there is a third way,” emphasizes Lauterbach. “As if it is enough to wear masks, keep your distance and don’t go to the Turkish wedding and ventilate well.”

With his expertise as a former epidemiologist, especially now in this phase, he has also become a key advisor to federal and state governments. “The difference in the first wave was the dramatic images from Italy, which also led to a high level of discipline for us,” he says. Almost all of his prophecies have come true, even though he was initially cursed as Kassandra of the ministry. “I wish, probably more than anyone else, that I was wrong. I would rather be discredited and agree to live with it. “

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What must we do? Chancellor Angela Merkel is very concerned about the dynamics of the infection Photo: imago images / Jens Schicke

Contact restrictions as an option

What options are still available now? Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) refers in a mantra to reducing contacts – nationwide restrictions, for example to only five people, would be an option. Depending on the outbreak and as discussed in the Berlin Senate, this could go hand in hand with a renewed closure of gastronomy, as the Berchtesgadener Land district has already ordered.

Since the outbreak is very high and dynamic almost everywhere, unlike the first wave, it makes sense to return to more clear and nationwide uniform rain. Since the contact tracking system no longer works with so many infections, Charité virologist Christian Drosten suggested focusing on outbreak clusters, i.e. only looking for contacts that could infect much more: colleagues at work or guests at a party . “Instead of testing a lot and unfocusedly, Japan decided to avoid transmission clusters early on.

To this end, the state has drawn up lists of typical social situations in which transmission clusters arise ”, Drosten stated in“ Die Zeit ”. In addition, he brings into play a more age-specific consideration of new infections (“more than 50 incidence”) to trigger the exacerbation, especially where many older people are at risk; In addition, more tests for visitors at the entrance of nursing and retirement homes could help.

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The three candidates for the federal presidency of the CDU, Norbert Röttgen, Armin Laschet and Friedrich Merz, struggle over when and how … Photo: dpa

Problems with the CDU Party Congress

It will also be a week of decision for the CDU, with a lot of explosion as the decision on the CDU party congress scheduled for December 4 in Stuttgart is made next Monday. Many in the party think it is not possible to reduce contacts and then about 1,000 delegates from all over Germany travel to the event.

North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) is for another postponement to next year, his opponent Friedrich Merz – the clear favorite at 45 percent, at least among CDU members, according to a Forsa poll – is pushing for a decision this year .

According to party circles, CDU general secretary Paul Ziemiak has developed a decentralized party congress model – only about 100 delegates were able to gather in eight to 10 locations and cast their votes by ballot box locally. According to information from Tagesspiegel, the three candidates for the chair, Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen, discussed ways to get out of the difficult situation with CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Sunday afternoon. Meeting reported.

It is clear to all that long-term self-employment or open discussions about how to deal with people’s concerns about the Corona situation would not go down well. Because the citizens mainly want to know what plan there is for the difficult Corona autumn.

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