Who in America is beating the EU and Germany on vaccines

Who in America is beating the EU and Germany on vaccines

All the mistakes of the European Union and Germany in the management of contracts on coronavirus vaccines. Tino Oldani's analysis

In a desperate attempt to shake off the criticisms that have rained down on her from all over Europe for the poor management of contracts on anti-Covid vaccines, Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the EU Commission, gave an interview to the Financial Times in to whom he raised the bar of the ongoing health challenge, fearing the worst: «Europe is preparing for an era of pandemics. This is why it must prepare its medical facilities to manage them, and strengthen its capacity to produce vaccines ». With all due respect, this message marks the adoption of the "Casalino method" also in the communication of the EU summit: bombastic announcements instead of facts.

Did you get the vaccine contracts wrong? Talk about something else, and invent a different, more terrifying problem that only you can solve. A method with which the government of Giuseppe Conte went on for a long time to hide the obvious inefficiency.

Thus, here is Von der Leyen's invitation to "prepare medical facilities" to manage the pandemics of the future. You, perhaps, think that it refers to EU countries with few intensive therapies, or with other similar inefficiencies. A widespread gap in the countries of Southern Europe, of which we have become aware in Italy. Instead, it is enough to read on Politico.eu the letter that an American journalist, residing in Berlin, wrote to an American colleague, to discover that even the German health system is not exactly a model of efficiency. So that kind of health care Bengodi that we have heard praise in the last year, with five times more beds in intensive care than in Italy, was true, but up to a certain point.

The journalist who wrote the letter is Matthew Karnitschnig, 49, who grew up in Arizona and has been Politico's main European correspondent for years. Since he works in Berlin, wanting to explain to an American colleague why Germany and the European Union are so far behind in mass vaccination, largely surpassed by Israel, the USA and Great Britain, he describes some aspects of German health that are unbelievable.

Textual: «What happened to Germany's famous organizational and logistical prowess? Get the faxes. A technological dinosaur in other parts of the West, fax machines remain a pillar in many medical practices and government health offices. This made coordination between the nearly 400 German health offices particularly difficult. Health Minister Jens Spahn has spent millions trying to get German health care online, so far with mixed results ”.

Further on: «The fax, however, is only the symptom of a deeper problem. Angela Merkel has been talking for years about the need to digitize German society, a goal that many other advanced economies have long since achieved. Indeed, the first thing that many people notice, upon arriving in Germany, is the lack of connectivity, the absence of free wi-fi in cafes and restaurants, the slow Internet speed. The fact that the federal government itself still employs nearly a thousand faxes in its various ministries says everything you need to know about how successful Merkel's digital revolution has been.

The result? «Germany has entered its fifth consecutive month of lockdown, with no end in sight. It is unclear when schools and shops, let alone bars and restaurants, will be able to reopen. Amid so much uncertainty, small businesses across the country are falling apart. While the United States is slowly reopening thanks to mass vaccinations, unemployment is falling and optimism has begun to re-emerge ”. In his letter to his colleague, Karnitschnig writes that in Germany many are asking, in newspapers and on talk-shows, who is "responsible for this mess". And he explains: many point the finger at Minister Spahn, "but I was struck by how little criticism his boss received." That is Chancellor Merkel, who "continues to have a popular approval rating close to 70%, even if it is unlikely that history will be so lenient with her." A stinging, though rare, thrust on the European media.

The US journalist writes: "Merkel's most serious mistake during the pandemic, probably of her entire mandate as chancellor, came last June, when she decided to exempt her government from the task of procuring vaccines, entrusting the responsibility to the EU Commission of Von der Leyen ». A clear reference to the fact that, to give prestige to her semester of EU presidency, Merkel hijacked the contract for the supply of the Astrazeneca vaccine that the alliance of four countries (Germany, Netherlands, France and Italy) had just stipulated to Brussels with the English company. At the time it was said that the move would allow the vaccine to be purchased for the 27 countries at the same price, which is true and noble. Unfortunately, with a disastrous bureaucratic follow-up.

"Among the qualities that Mrs. Von der Leyen had shown over the years as cabinet minister Merkel, there was seldom competence," says Karnitschnig, who has followed German politics for a long time. "That is why it should have come as no surprise to virtually anyone that vaccine procurement procedures have turned out to be a fiasco, marked by lengthy negotiations and delays, which will force Germany and other EU countries to maintain restrictions for much longer than it would have been necessary". Conclusion: «This summer my old friend was thinking of visiting us in Berlin. We'd better go and see him in Arizona. '

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/europa-germania-vaccini-errori-gestione-contratti/ on Sat, 06 Mar 2021 07:11:26 +0000.