The Ukraine war dominated TV rounds for a long time. Now a topic that has been ignored for months is coming into focus – Corona is back. The first clinics are already sounding the alarm. Only the expert of the FDP sees everything relaxed. The Germans should not be curtailed in their freedom.

Everything was better before? For Karl Lauterbach, SPD politician, for sure. When Covid-19 changed the world, Lauterbach sat on a talk show almost every day. And always, no one can dispute that, he knew a bit more than others. Insisted on knowing every new study. To have already spoken to every relevant scientist.

The best in the class, the prime among those in the know. The SPD man has been Federal Minister of Health since December 2021. Now he’s busy in talk groups explaining traffic light politics. Or, more importantly, to defend yourself.

Karl Lauterbach, this defense minister on his own behalf, has to defend on Sunday evening at “Anne Will” that there is a lack of nursing staff. That there is no better data for pandemic situations. That he – attention – does not work trustingly with the FDP.

That’s when you have to sit up and take notice. The FDP as a reliable partner? FDP Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann has already toned that the government excludes lockdown, school closures and other tough measures.

A talk round has been about Corona again for a long time. The war in Ukraine rages on, but there seems little to talk about. “Balance of the Corona policy – is Germany better prepared for the next wave?” This is the topic of “Anne Will” on ARD.

The 18-strong expert committee has just presented its report. One finding: Wearing a mask professionally is important. That sounds like a very bad joke – and moderator Anne Will also wants to use it to heat up the discussion on the first.

“It is very difficult to rule out measures now,” says Christina Berndt. The science journalist of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” is a knowledgeable and opinionated guest. “We need all the instruments. Nobody knows where we will be in the fall.”

The current Infection Protection Act will partially expire on September 23. The number of patients admitted to hospitals because of Corona is already increasing. Unlike 2021, summer is not a breather either. The renowned virologist Christian Drosten has just said that the pandemic is not over.

“Have you ever hugged a daughter who lost a parent because a tumor could not be operated on?” accuses Ricardo Lange. He is an intensive care nurse and is well known from TV discussions. “That’s problematic,” counters Defense Minister Lauterbach, who is doing a very good job at Anne Will. By the way, compared to the real Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht, also from the SPD.

Lauterbach tries smoothly: “We are in a coalition.” Translated, this means: He cannot act as he would like. “The collaboration with Marco Buschmann got off to a good start.” It doesn’t look like a dream team. In the course of the show, old Karl Lauterbach comes through: “We have to be prepared for difficult scenarios.”

Journalist Christina Berndt doesn’t go along with that. She wishes: “One would have preferred to think about something politically beforehand.” The current report of the panel of experts “is technically poorly positioned”. And: “That didn’t bring any gain in knowledge.”

Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, FDP health expert, insists on psycho-social difficulties several times during the show. For this reason alone, school closures should no longer occur. “Did the FDP let a lot of time go by on purpose?” asks Anne Will, who is acting very pointedly this time.

Aschenberg-Dugnus fends that off: “We have enough time. We are better prepared for the fall.” That means very clearly: the Germans should not be curtailed in their freedom.

Well prepared? Nurse Ricardo Lange gets upset. “The staff is on strike because they can no longer do it!” And he continues to get irritated: “We always go into an autumn wave unprepared!”

So vaccination is now compulsory? Or at least a clever campaign so that the stubborn ones are caught after all? Science journalist Christina Berndt doubts that volunteers can still be recruited.

Karl Lauterbach defends his idea of ​​mandatory vaccination, which has not caught on in the Bundestag. And he appeals: “I think the fourth vaccination is absolutely sensible!” That he failed with the mandatory vaccination, does that torment him? That’s what Anne Will wants to know. Lauterbach takes it pragmatically: “That’s called democracy.” The SPD health politician has arrived hard in political reality after six months.