Friday, October 1st, 2021
After anger about maskless socis
Lauterbach defends SPD group photo
After the election victory of the Social Democrats, a photo of the newly composed SPD parliamentary group caused a stir: in the midst of a pandemic, a good 200 MPs stood shoulder to shoulder and without masks in parliament. Except for Karl Lauterbach – who is now protecting his party friends.
The new parliamentary group of the Social Democrats has 206 members. That makes 206 people who are densely packed on a staircase in Parliament and make an impressive photo opportunity. And cause outrage, because: Almost nobody wore mouth and nose protection on Wednesday when the trigger was pressed and the success of the SPD in the federal election was recorded again – in the midst of a pandemic.
Only one stood out from the group picture: Karl Lauterbach, health expert and Corona explainer. He was wearing a mask, and that was the only one among those lined up. Now the SPD MP has defended his party friends against the criticism: “The colleagues did nothing wrong,” said Lauterbach in one TV broadcast of the “Bild” newspaper. It was a “very brief moment”, the group was “vaccinated and tested. So there was no risk”.
“If a class photo were taken without a mask, for example if it were outside, I would have zero problems with it,” added the 58-year-old, adding that rules must be made “with understanding”. At the same time, Lauterbach warned of a renewed increase in new infections in autumn: “Unfortunately, we have not yet got Corona behind us.”
Compared to the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” he said: “30 percent of the under-60s are still not vaccinated. We underestimate this enormous number. It is too high to prevent an increase in the number of infections.” The virus will continue to spread in the coming cold season, when people’s lives are shifted back into closed rooms.
Meanwhile, Lauterbach shared a selfie of himself and another nationwide known Corona expert on Twitter. The photo shows the SPD politician and the chief virologist of the Berlin Charité, Christian Drosten – both without a mask, both vaccinated. “Not a rock band,” wrote Lauterbach, “but at least full of ideas on how the 4th wave could wash over Germany as flatly as possible.”
The reference is obvious: only recently, FDP boss Christian Lindner, FDP general secretary Volker Wissing and the Greens chairmen Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck shared a selfie that was eagerly shared on social media and often asked, “What is the name of this band? ” was provided. The Greens and the FDP are currently exploring the political prerequisites for a possible government alliance.