“Hard but fair”: According to Karl Lauterbach, France prevented more vaccine policy


The republic in vaccination chaos, the Chancellor in anti-critic mode, the ARD startled.

In a quickly reprogrammed “hard but fair” talk, Frank Plasberg (63) asks: “Rescue only a drop at a time – is Germany getting too little vaccine?” Seriously? Is that really still the question?

The guests

► Peter Liese (55, CDU). The EPP health politician is annoyed: “The criticism of the EU is excessive! A lot was done right! ”

► Prof. Karl Lauterbach (57, SPD). The health expert urges the vaccination to get rolling now: “Every day counts!”
► Volker Wissing (50, FDP). The general secretary and Rhineland-Palatinate economics minister demands that if Europe fails, “the federal government must think about going it alone nationally.” He is connected from Mainz.

► Christina Berndt (51). The science editor (“SZ”) hopes: “We can still iron out a few things.”

► Markus Feldenkirchen (45). The journalist (“Spiegel”) criticizes: “When it came to procuring vaccines, Europe and the federal government were far too passive!”

Perseverance slogans against visions of doom. The Zoff-o-Meter hopes for point and button. Plasberg also strikes the right note: “The vaccine spills in while others plop down!”

Clearest announcement

The talk show host provides two explanations for the German “stutter start”. The official goes like this: “Germany wanted to take the European path to strengthen the community and not to dominate!”

The other one sounds less beautiful. “Because we simply messed up with Brussels while others were already on a shopping spree!”, Quoted Plasberg from the secret self-criticism of those responsible.

Most devastating record

Little vaccine, a lot of vaccination! The current numbers cannot improve the mood. The ARD has to admit grudgingly that the US President, ridiculed as a clown, saw through better than his European critics.

O-Ton from a single player: “Donald Trump had already signed contracts in the summer and secured more than a billion vaccine doses.” Ui! The old dealmaker!

Weakest confession

Plasberg would like to “tease out” something and button himself up to the CDU European politician: “What can Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Benjamin Netanyahu actually do better than Ursula von der Leyen and maybe our government too?”

“At the introduction, I have to say as a doctor, I swallowed,” Liese complains, but: “As a European politician, I say that I am also disappointed. From today’s perspective, it would have been right to act differently. ”But he is not presumptuous enough to say that he had done better.

Most unsuitable lightning rod

The CDU man at Plasberg is not that easy to get out of the number. Instead, Liese received a reprimand: “I think you can do Europe a good service if you clearly identify the mistakes,” warned the talk show host.

“Yes, it was certainly a mistake not to order any more,” Liese admitted inevitably, but immediately looked for the blame elsewhere: at the US global company that works with the Mainz-based front runner BioNtech.

Most unusual reason

Liege’s assertion: “During the conversations you could feel that the big pharmaceutical company Pfizer is always in the background. And Pfizer initially insisted in negotiations with the EU that they would not be liable even if the company made a mistake. “

According to the European politician, this “created a feeling of insecurity” and prompted German scientists to “work even more precisely”.

Trump, Johnson and Netanyahu, on the other hand, would have “obviously not had such thoughts.” Phew!

And then the Zoff-o-Meter starts

“That doesn’t convince me!” Lauterbach irons his CDU colleague. The SPD expert knows the real reason: “Europe only had two billion euros available for the preliminary contracts,” he reports. “That was far too little. Trump had put in twelve billion dollars at the same time! ”

And, according to Lauterbach: “The French have made sure that they do not buy too much German vaccine compared to the French”, which is still far from finished.

Lauterbach’s tough accusation: “I actually believe that considerations outside the field played a role here!”

Trickest question

“We know that Sanofi can be a huge blow,” said Plasberg about the French vaccine. “Could it be that such a national consideration plays a role, according to the motto: The French wanted it, but couldn’t do it?”

As a precaution, Lauterbach switched to diplomatic mode: “This will certainly not be denied by negotiating circles,” he whispers.

Strongest attack

“A tragedy!” Rants SZ-Berndt. “Especially when you consider that our health, our lives, our economy and also our education depend on us now going through this vaccination program as quickly as possible!”

FDP general secretary Wissing also got into the notch: “If that’s true, then at the European level national particular interests have obviously led to the fact that we are all equally poorly cared for,” he rages.

Bitter Pill

And, the Liberal went on, “that we have to watch a vaccine that was developed and manufactured in Germany be inoculated in the USA, in Israel, in Great Britain, while we have to live with an undersupply of the population!”

Wissing’s devastating verdict: “These are scandalous results of an obviously improper policy! That’s a catastrophe! It has done Europe a disservice! This is something that urgently needs to be dealt with! That went bad! “

Most party-political attack

CDU man Liese tries a counterattack: The debates in the European Parliament, he reports, “were shaped by the Greens, the left, parts of the social democracy and also the liberals, who said: What are you doing there? We want to know what the liability is like! “

Afterwards he asked the Greens to admit that it was right to sign the contract with BioNtech, but: “The four green speakers, including the German Jutta Paulus from Rhineland-Palatinate, did not utter that!”

Hm – allegations against Rotgrün, in the ARD, at Plasberg? Not easy. “Mr. Liese is in a difficult position,” scoffs the talk show host. “The question is whether the processing of small-scale debates in the European Parliament really helps us …” Uff!

Most surprising statement

Then Plasberg put his finger in the wound: “The annoying thing is that Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, of all people, who have often been ridiculed and who are sometimes accused of having an interesting relationship with democratic structures, are now suddenly the ones who show the EU how to do it.

Most important detail

For the FDP general, this is not the biggest problem: he fears damage that cannot be repaired, for example if people lose their lives because they are not vaccinated.

Then Wissing lets the cat out of the bag: “We have indications that there were also different opinions in the CDU,” he reports on the Minister of Health. “Mr. Spahn obviously wanted to get more vaccine with an alliance of individual European countries. The Chancellor is said not to have wanted that. “

Biggest dog

Then Plasberg fades in the current BILD headline: “Scholz and the SPD start frontal attack on Spahn”. The talk show host is amazed: “There is a catalog of questions from Scholz to Spahn, the tone of which is slightly inquisitorial. A minister of one government sends another minister a questionnaire! “

“This is really a one-off process,” the “Spiegel” man is also amazed. “A questionnaire from the Vice Chancellor to the Minister of Health! Past the Chancellor! This shows that the harmony in the coalition is now apparently over. “

Most conclusive guess

Feldenkirchen’s analysis: “Maybe it bothers one or the other comrade that especially the colleagues from the CDU, above all Jens Spahn, are so outstanding in public!”

“Under no circumstances should there be a coalition quarrel,” warns Lauterbach. “We grew closer together during the crisis. We will continue to work well together! “

Most alarming prophecy

“The next three months will be by far the most severe of the pandemic,” announced the SPD expert. “We have to stick together!”

“That shows how much the hut burns,” said the SZ journalist about the finance ministerial attack.

Most entertaining by-catches

Feldenkirchen senses in the “Spiegel” -style that “the Federal Minister of Health is certainly not ungrateful that the BILD newspaper blames the Chancellor for the vaccine story.” Wow!
Plasberg denounces the low vaccination rate in Thuringia: “Mr. Ramelow would like to restrict the freedom of movement of his citizens. Shouldn’t he instead increase the mobility of his vaccination teams? “

Most sensible suggestions

Lauterbach praises the British strategy of injecting the second dose not three but twelve weeks after the first. Because in this way, many more people could be vaccinated very quickly.

“The likelihood of preventing deaths with just the first dose is very high,” explains the expert. “Then we would have twice as much vaccine for the critical three months. We would be missing that in April, May, June, but other vaccines will be added by then. “

Most urgent demand

“After the first vaccination, the vaccination protection is already 90 percent in place,” assists the SZ journalist. Nonetheless, the vaccinated would have to come for the second vaccination after three months at the latest.

But that’s not all: Lauterbach does not want to reduce the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants to 50 as before, but to 25.


“This time it has to be really good craft,” says Lauterbach at the end. “This is probably the most important lockdown of all, and the last chance we have to mobilize the population again so that we can really get the number of cases down!”

Quote of the evening

We hope for the summer.

– Frank Plasberg


The hurriedly rounded up talk troop got going without long fumbling, without the professional pacifiers at the phrase pump or the dreaded changeable opinion mutants. The strict Uncle Lauti routinely kept the subject on track.

That was a talk in the “Alarm start” category.

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Hard fair Karl Lauterbach France prevented vaccine policy


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