Corona specialist Karl Lauterbach has repeatedly confirmed that he wants to become Federal Minister of Health. SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz keeps a low profile. A search for clues.
Munich / Berlin – CDU man Jens Spahn had brought him with him. As a reward for his services in the coronavirus pandemic, so to speak. Friday morning, Berlin, federal press conference: For Spahn and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the weekly question and answer session in the government district was a kind of ritual.
But on March 19, 2021 something was different: Karl Lauterbach sat at the desk, the SPD health expert (not only) in the Corona crisis. And so it became really uncomfortable for department head Spahn. Not only that the trained doctor and epidemiologist Lauterbach once again shone with his professional expertise. A daring journalist asked incumbent Spahn whether Lauterbach might not be the better federal health minister.
Karl Lauterbach (SPD), the better Federal Minister of Health? Jens Spahn (CDU) looks confused
“We have been working together for years. When we formed the government, we didn’t know how it was going to happen. Who knows, maybe he will still be Minister of Health, “said Spahn with a tortured smile:” Whenever we have something to say, we find each other. “Back then, in March 2021, the hashtag #WirwollenKarl was booming on Twitter. And not only that. “With a Health Minister Lauterbach, the country would have come through the crisis better,” he said mirrors-Journalist Markus Feldenkirchen: “In the summer he repeatedly warned of a second wave when many representatives of the federal government already thought Corona had been overcome – or at least behaved so lethargically.” Südddeutsche Zeitung went a step further and wrote that “Lauterbach with his participation (to TV programs, d. Red.) upgraded the appearance of Jens Spahn ”.
Karl Lauterbach, Germany’s logical Federal Minister of Health? Now that the SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz is reaching for the Chancellery in Berlin, the scenario is becoming more real than ever. The Social Democrats could set the pace in forming a government and in exploratory talks. And bring the popular Lauterbach into the position in which the 58-year-old Rhinelander sees himself anyway.
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“I still find the office of health minister very attractive,” said the member of the Bundestag at the beginning of July mirrors. He was quite confident that “this task would not overwhelm him,” the Corona expert explained as a precaution: “I hope that the SPD will do so well in autumn that we can finally fill the Ministry of Health again.” His relationship with Scholz is considered changeable. To put it into perspective: Like the SPD candidate for Chancellor, Lauterbach also applied for the party chairmanship of the Social Democrats, who were badly shaken at the time, in autumn 2019.
However, it became apparent early on that the West German would hardly have a chance at this post. Ultimately, both failed crashing. Striking: In “Markus Lanz” on ZDF, Lauterbach reprimanded competitor Scholz at the time because he had strictly adhered to the black zero (no new debt) as finance minister in the GroKo of (still) Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). Until Corona came.
Federal election 2021: Karl Lauterbach, part of the federal government? It depends on Olaf Scholz
Nevertheless, Lauterbach had sought political proximity to Scholz – for example at the regional conference to present the candidates for the SPD party chairmanship in the Löwenbräukeller in Munich. Both sat next to each other, and that was not only true for this panel discussion. When the SPD finally announced its candidate for Chancellor Scholz in August 2020, Lauterbach wrote euphorically on Twitter: “Congratulations! If someone can guide us through the Corona crisis and the necessary restructuring of our economy, it is Olaf Scholz. “
Congratulations! If someone can guide us through the corona crisis and the necessary restructuring of our economy, it is Olaf Scholz. https://t.co/t5yNcRiW3Z
– Karl Lauterbach (@Karl_Lauterbach) August 10, 2020
And Scholz? The possible future chancellor is keeping a low profile shortly before the federal election in 2021 (September 26th). In the second TV triall with Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock and CDU top candidate Armin Laschet on RTL / n-tv, the presenters Pinar Atalay and Peter Kloeppel did not give up. The journalists kept asking who could be part of a Scholz cabinet. It is certainly not far-fetched that it was also about the name Karl Lauterbach. The 63-year-old Lower Saxony could not be lured at all.
Karl Lauterbach: Corona expert must fear moving into the Bundestag in the 2021 federal election
He said that before the general election it was “not a good style” to talk about a possible appointment to the ministerial office. Regardless of possibly the first SPD Federal Chancellor since Gerhard Schröder (1998-2005), Lauterbach has a hurdle ahead of him at first glance. He is only ranked 23rd on the state list of the SPD in North Rhine-Westphalia. In his constituency of the city of Leverkusen and Cologne-Mülheim, he would have to win the direct mandate in order to safely move into parliament. And: for them CDU, Serap Guler, a well-known regional politician, is applying there. The 40-year-old Guler is State Secretary in the NRW Family Ministry*.
But: According to the Basic Law (GG), he does not necessarily need a mandate from the Bundestag for a ministerial office. Karl Lauterbach, Germany’s logical Federal Minister of Health? The federal election in 2021 will be extremely exciting. (pm) *wa.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA