Angela Merkel admits mistakes in fighting pandemics.
You haven’t always done everything right, says the Chancellor in the Bundestag. It takes stock of the fight against the pandemic. The opposition lacks a clear strategy.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted omissions and mistakes in fighting the pandemic. In the Bundestag, the CDU politician took stock of the year in which the pandemic was combated and explained the federal-state conference’s resolutions on Wednesday.
Not everything went right from the start, said Merkel in her government statement. “Learning means not doing everything right from the start, but also correcting assessments, as we did when wearing masks.” The government downplayed the protective effect in the early phase of the pandemic; later masks were made mandatory. Merkel also admitted misjudgments in the further course of the pandemic. “We have not shut down public life consistently enough in response to warnings of another wave,” she said.
She again described the fight against the virus as a national effort “that affects everyone”. She thanked the nursing staff and doctors for their commitment, after that the plenary applauded. Overloading the health system could have been avoided.
The federal and state governments extended the lockdown to March 7th in an approximately six-hour video conference on Wednesday. Only the hairdressers should open from March 1st. The federal states themselves decide how schools are to be resumed. There was agreement on opening childcare and schools as a priority, said Merkel, but admitted differences: “I would have liked us to make a decision based on the incidence.”
But she has accepted that the states have cultural sovereignty and are allowed to make independent running schools decisions. “But always only the elementary schools and the childcare facilities and the elementary schools with alternating lessons with many hygiene measures, I want to say that here explicitly,” added Merkel.
Merkel also mentioned the opening of the hairdressers from March 1st. There is a good chance that the incidence will reach 50 by then. These words caused a stir in the plenary. The closings are controversial in the opposition – especially with the AfD. Merkel reiterated that the measures are appropriate, necessary and proportionate – all critical criteria necessary for the restriction of fundamental rights.