By Ron Howells • 08 June 2021 • 20:39
German Health Minister Jens Spahn Hit With Yet Another Face Mask Scandal. image: Wikimedia
German Health Minister Jens Spahn Hit With Yet Another Face Mask Scandal.
Controversy over face masks isn’t dying down in Germany after the news-weekly ‘Der Spiegel’ reported that Health Minister Jens Spahn allocated face masks from China to the homeless and those with disabilities after finding out they weren’t certified for use in the EU.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn is now facing fierce cross-party criticism after a report emerged about his ministry’s plans to dispose of unusable face masks by handing them out to vulnerable groups amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Health Ministry immediately hit back at the claims made in the German magazine Der Spiegel, saying all its masks had been tested to a high standard and that protection of the wearer was its top priority.
The magazine reported that the Health Ministry had ordered face masks from China in Spring 2020 for an estimated €1 billion. The order was placed amid a global mask shortage and had not been tested to meet EU standards. When this was discovered, the masks were deemed unfit for use on arrival and needed to undergo emergency testing if they were to be considered fit for purpose.
The Ministry of Health under Spahn drew up plans to distribute the masks to the homeless, the disabled or Hartz IV benefit recipients, the magazine reported.
However, the Ministry of Labor, which is responsible for mask safety, refused to give its approval to the plan. Social Democratic Party (SPD) General Secretary Lars Klingbeil told Der Spiegel that the plan was “outrageous and inhumane.”
“The minister must explain himself about this as soon as possible, he cannot point the finger at others here,” Klingbeil added. “Attempting to get rid of useless masks by giving them away to needy groups in our society … this is simply beyond cynicism and absolutely unacceptable,” Katja Mast, parliamentary group vice-chair, also of the SPD, wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
The Health Ministry hit back at the accusations saying that “strict attention” had been paid to quality during the procurement of medical goods, including face masks, during what it described as an “emergency situation.” The arguments continue…
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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