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Markus Söder is a "political chameleon": journalist blasphemes at Maybrit Illner

“Living with Omikron” is the subject of “Maybrit Illner” on ZDF. The participants are unusually unanimous – despite side blows for Markus Söder.

Will Omikron soon be finished or is the big end yet to come? At Maybrit Illner (ZDF), the virologist Prof. Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, the chief physician for infectiology at the Munich Clinic Schwabing, Prof. Clemens Wendtner, the Spiegel editor Anna Clauß and Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) as well as Markus Söder, Prime Minister in Bavaria (CSU), about concepts for the tracing of contacts and test regulations in “Team Germany”.

Omicron is “assessed to be lighter, but also more infectious,” explains Prof. Clemens Wendtner at Maybrit Illner’s well-known unknown: Because nobody knows what surprises will be lurking in the coming weeks. So there is no reason for him to relax. Prof. Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit sees this a little more relaxed while sitting in the studio with Maybrit Illner: If the virus hits vaccinated and recovered people, it is unlikely that the clinics will be overloaded again. Is the final phase of the corona pandemic in sight? How long do we have to wait, Maybrit Illner immediately asks – just as impatiently as the rest of Germany. Prof. Clemens Wendtner predicts that the omicron wave will hit with full force from the middle to the end of February.

Maybrit Illner on ZDF: Corona lockdown brings massive damage

In Berlin, among other places, the number of infections is already shooting through the roof, but Franziska Giffey also remains calm with Maybrit Illner. The number of intensive care patients in the hospitals is not as worrying as it was last year. Only contact tracing and the test regime have to change: Since resources such as PCR tests are slowly becoming scarce, they must be used in a targeted manner and not indiscriminately. So not among the healthy middle-aged, but among the older population and children: In Berlin, only 0.5 percent positive results were found in one million tests within the last week. Further lockdowns and school closures are not an option: they vehemently rule them out.

Locking yourself up at home causes massive damage that many people can no longer cope with, confirms Prof. Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit at Maybrit Illner. “It is exactly right to use resources at targeted points” in order to actively keep the school running. But how to react in Germany in the case of positive cases or in contact with such remains unclear. And if the virus with the high numbers is carried back into the hospitals and old people’s homes, “then it can certainly lead to an overload situation again,” he warns and would like to see a “Team Germany” here, because in his opinion the solidarity is there a bit lost in this pandemic.

Maybrit Illner (ZDF): Corona vaccination saves lives

It’s a dilemma, says Anna Clauss, because many citizens are looking for a scapegoat and find one in politics. The fact that everyone can continue to lead a normal life after vaccination has also not come true. Franziska Giffey interrupts her because, in her opinion, the mild courses are related to the vaccination rate. Many people have been saved with the measures taken so far: you have to see the positive side. Without vaccination, many of those who now say, “It’s just a cold,” might still be in intensive care or die of it. Unfortunately, they don’t see that at the moment, she regrets at Maybrit Illner.

The resources should also be used more sensibly for Prof. Clemens Wendtner. In his opinion, PCR tests belong in old people’s and nursing homes and in hospitals. “In a highly industrialized country like Germany, we have to manage not to fail because of the resource of the PCR test.” It would be enough to do a rapid test for healthy younger people with only mild symptoms. But these rapid tests must first be checked for their quality, in order to really be able to detect Omikron: Because there are strong qualitative fluctuations here, Markus Söder points out. As a pioneer of Team Caution and later Team Awareness, he still sticks to the motto: Don’t panic! Prudent and clever management should always be the goal, he explains at Maybrit Illner, also connected via video. But they don’t currently have to react with a lockdown, but find a “breathing system”.

“Maybrit Illner” (ZDF) from January 20th, 2022 The guests of the show
Markus Soeder (CSU) Prime Minister of Bavaria
Franziska Giffey (SPD) Governing Mayor of Berlin
Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit Virologist, University of Hamburg
Clemens Wendtner Immunologist and infectiologist and chief physician
Anna Clauss Spiegel editor

Maybrit Illner (ZDF): Markus Söder as a “political chameleon”

Omikron is not Delta, but Markus Söder remains Markus Söder, Maybrit Illner jokes to Anna Clauss, and she blasphemes in his presence that Mr Söder always has to march at the forefront of every movement. So he goes to the top of those who are now looking for an emergency exit. He is known as a “political chameleon” anyway and there will be elections in Bavaria in 2023 – with CSU values currently falling dramatically. Since they like to accuse the Greens of being a “ban party”, Mr Söder himself cannot “continue to tighten the thumbscrews on the citizens of Bavaria in the corona pandemic”. That’s one of the reasons why easing is currently attractive in order to make yourself more popular again, she accuses him of.

To the broadcast

“Maybrit Illner” with the topic “Living with Omikron – concept or capitulation?”. Broadcast on January 20, 2022 at 10:25 p.m. on ZDF. The show in the media library.

Frowns and head shakes can be seen in the background. With a frog in his throat, Markus Söder at Maybrit Illner is happy about this attention from Anna Clauss, but it’s not about him, it’s about the management of the pandemic, he emphasizes and thinks there must always be a glimmer of hope on the horizon for people give. Freedom rights can only be restricted again if the healthcare system collapses or if the course of the disease becomes significantly more difficult. It is not part of a wise policy to simply act stubbornly or with ideological or even personal motivation, but always to weigh things up. He also has the hope that Germany might make the way to the endemic situation.

Maybrit Illner (ZDF): Markus Söder praises himself – and Bavaria

Nevertheless, he focuses more on the pioneering role that Bavaria played in the measures and that they do not have an emergency for PCR tests here either. Markus Söder remains connected to his team with a sense of proportion with the view within Bavaria. Franziska Giffey at Maybrit Illner summarizes somewhat more objectively that three things are needed in particular: Changed quarantine guidelines, a sensible focus on contact tracing and other test regulations. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach will present proposals here and they will then discuss them further at the next Corona summit. The attempt to really find common denominators for an orderly structure in the Corona confusion in Germany continues. (Tina Waldeck)

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