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Germany’s President Steinmeier: ‘We Cannot Let Our Health System Collapse’

It is part of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s job to address the nation when times are tough. On Monday, he threw the ball right into the basket yet again, by bolstering people up in a convincing speech.

Berlin, December 14th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — In a speech to the nation, Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier tried to comfort people at this difficult moment. A day after the government announced a strict lockdown, he conceded the Coronavirus “still has a tight grip on us.” He said everyone had hoped that more would have been achieved by now.

Serious Situation

“Starting on Wednesday, our public and personal life will be restricted more than ever before in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany”, Steinmeier stated. “The situation is very serious.” Because of thousands of deaths within one week, and an infection situation which was close to getting out of control, Germany had not gotten around incisive measures.

The President said now that tens of thousands of people were infected with the dangerous virus every day, hundreds of people died and doctors and nurses reached the limit of what they could take, it had become clear that the efforts in the fight against the pandemic had not been sufficient. “We have to act more consistently”, Steinmeier said on Wednesday.

Burden and Loneliness

“This applies to political action on all levels, but also to personal action”, he stated. “We all have to ask ourselves: What can I do, additionally, to protect myself and others? What can I do to protect those who are vulnerable?”

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said everyone would celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve differently this time. “The coming weeks will be a burdensome time to many”, he predicted. The restrictions would endanger businesses. Also the necessary measures made people feel lonely. He said his thoughts were with those who were struggling the hardest.

Contacts and Encounters

“But we are not completely at the virus’ mercy. It is up to us. And we know what to do.” With these words, President Steinmeier tried to encourage the Germans and residents of other nationalities who live in the Federal Republic. “Celebrations can be caught up on, friends and relatives will be happy about presents later as well”, he stated. “What really counts now is to care for people’s health and to save lives.

“Our main goal is to decrease the infection numbers as quickly as possible and to keep them at a low level. This can only be achieved when we radically limit our contacts and encounters in the coming weeks”, Steinmeier explained in his address to the nation. “This has to happen quickly. We cannot let our health system collapse.”

‘We Will Succeed’

Steinmeier said there were more ways to treat Corona patients by now. The first vaccines would be approved later this month, and the first vaccinations could take place immediately after New Year’s Eve. Hundreds of vaccination centers in Germany had already been set up.

“The coming weeks will be a test to all of us. We are a strong country because, in this crisis, so many people are here for each other”, the German head of state stated. “I am absolutely sure that the pandemic will not take away our future. We will overcome this crisis. We have to succeed, and we will succeed.”