Blockade: No more blah and procrastination: listen to the Covid experts and the citizens

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No more blah and procrastination: Listen to Corona experts and your citizens!

Thursday, December 23, 2021 | 12:03

Olaf Scholz is very proud of his newly formed Corona Board of Experts. The chancellor mentioned the body several times at a press conference after the last crisis summit and emphasized its enormous influence on politicians’ decisions. But either he and other leading politicians have not fully read the first statement of the 19 experts involved, or they are just ignoring what has been written.

In the last paragraph of their work on December 21, scientists use different phrases to encourage clear decisions and good communication. The document states that the coming omicron wave requires “joint and timely action by all”, it encounters an “exhausted” population, so the measures should be explained “comprehensively” and “understandably”. The round about leading virologist Christian Drosten concludes: “In this very dynamic context, the omicron wave can only be managed through determined and balanced policy action.”

Instead of a blockade: policymakers leave it in the appeals

But it doesn’t. Contrary. Just a day after the SPD !, Chancellor Scholz did not impose strict measures for all citizens against state prime ministers on Christmas, SPD leader Lars Klingbeil was quoted: “Even vaccinated people have to limit their contacts – many already do so, even if the new regulations will not apply for a few days ”.

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Absurd. Because if it’s so important to limit your NOW contacts, why don’t the stricter NOW rules apply? But no, policymakers in the federal government and most of the states prefer to leave it to appeals and shift responsibility to citizens. You can do this, but then please be consistent and above all “understandable” to re-quote the expert’s advice.

Most citizens want a blockade

Because the committee is right: the citizens want cohesion and, above all, they want politicians to protect them as much as possible from the Omicron wave. This is the only way to understand the result of the current Forsa survey: 51 percent of those polled are in favor of hard shutdowns, including store closures and restrictions on exits and contacts before Christmas, and a further 24 percent favor such a tightening after Christmas.

Citizens are supported by experts, many of whom are unanimous in their judgments. For example, for the Frankfurt virologist Martin Stürmer, the measures taken by the Scholz group came too late. “With Omikron’s doubling the pace, every day is important,” he told Deutschlandfunk. Politicians could certainly be accused of “sleeping again” during a late meeting.

communication is bad

The new government also does not tolerate intelligible communication. Scholz has never been a great orator, and never will be. Not surprisingly, at the post-Corona press conference, he put together box sentences and truisms.

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His communication experts don’t do it any better either. Example: A spokesman for the Hebestreit government was asked about a possible hard block at a government press conference. He replied that Scholz had made it clear on numerous occasions that “there must be no red lines in this pandemic.” However, just because something is not ruled out doesn’t mean it will “definitely happen”.

Understood? I don’t think so.

Scholz has another opportunity to explain at the latest in his New Years speech. Of course, it rules in a fragile coalition of three people and must count on the support of its partners and the cooperation of the country’s leaders. It may, however, act with the full authority of the newly elected Chancellor. His word is of great importance. He must now use that weight.