At the end of April, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced that Charité chief virologist Christian Drosten was withdrawing from the council of experts, which evaluates the measures to combat corona in Germany. Five weeks later, 63-year-old Klaus Stöhr is his successor – at least according to the Union faction in the Bundestag.
The health policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU tweeted on Thursday: “With Prof. Dr. At the suggestion of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Klaus Stöhr is moving up a proven expert to the committee for evaluating the corona measures.” The virologist and epidemiologist stands for a pragmatic and calm corona course and for a transparent, data-based evaluation of the measures taken two and a half years: “You can rely on his advice as a virologist, epidemiologist and long-standing WHO practitioner.”
According to information from WELT, the announcement within the council and within the other parliamentary groups caused astonishment – nobody had expected a replacement given the time. As early as June 30, the commission has to submit a report in which, among other things, the non-pharmaceutical measures to combat the corona pandemic are evaluated.
According to the FDP, the report should be a benchmark for any future political measures from autumn; The SPD and the Greens, on the other hand, insist on presenting a plan for the cold season as soon as possible.
It is not known how far the Commission has come in its work. In the past few weeks, Commission chief Stefan Huster had repeatedly stated publicly that a comprehensive evaluation could not be expected given the lack of data and the group’s poor equipment. According to WELT information, on the other hand, other council members want to deliver a detailed report on time – as required by law.
It is unclear to what extent Klaus Stöhr can now provide input – so far it is not even clear when and in what form he will join the other members, who usually connect digitally. He himself told WELT early on Thursday evening that he did not know what “the procedure for confirming his appointment” is, according to the announcement by CDU politician Sorge.
Stöhr worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) for 15 years and led the global influenza program, among other things. In a ZDF documentary, Lauterbach made disparaging remarks about him in March.
The minister said that nobody in science would think of saying that Stöhr was a top virologist and could be compared with Charité virologist Drosten: “Of course it is the case that FC St. Pauli and Bayern Munich do both football teams are. But you would be able to tell the difference – that’s how it is in science.”