The stars have been more favorable for Karl Lauterbach. When the SPD politician was not yet Minister of Health, he was able to shine as a talk show king. He shot know-it-all comments from the political sidelines and warned those armed with studies and Harvard contacts about Corona. The audience loved the nerdy professor with the Rhenish singsong, who showed with nasal perseverance that you can make it far even as an outsider. As a sign of his solidarity with the people, he had long since taken off his bow tie.
Since he became a minister in the traffic light government in 2021 – almost by popular vote – Lauterbach’s reputation has declined. He has to decide, he can no longer just criticize. Lauterbach’s proposals on the state of emergency in the children’s hospitals, the shortage of medicines and hospital reform have turned out to be moderate to miserable. His communication strategy must also be described as unfortunate if one wants to talk about strategy.
He could have talked about vaccine damage ten months or ten weeks ago
There have been discussions about Lauterbach’s training for a long time. Now there are – still unconfirmed – allegations, the otherwise meticulous minister embellished his CV and made false or inaccurate statements about his publications and academic merits. Of course, the presumption of innocence applies. In addition, some lobby groups and media are just waiting to see the Corona hardliner Lauterbach finally fall. But what does the minister do? Instead of making it clear what he published when and where and what titles he can adorn himself with, he talks about vaccine damage.
What a diversionary maneuver! Ten months or ten weeks ago, the minister could have talked about vaccination damage, which can be devastating for the individual, but overall does not diminish the success of the corona vaccination. He knows that this topic is polarizing. Therefore, a bad aftertaste remains. Now that Lauterbach himself is being criticized for pulling his long-running issue of Corona out of a hat, it can only be described as an easily transparent attempt at deception. Clean table instead of smoke candles would have been the better option.