The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Central German Airport Group (Leipzig/Halle + Dresden), Erich Staake, has blatantly violated the Corona vaccination rules in force in Germany. Though not in the age-group currently entitled to receive the Covid-19 vaccination, he queue-jumped and has already received both vaccinations. Meanwhile he has admitted his wrongdoing and apologized.
The public and media pressure on the 67-year-old Staake is constantly mounting, while over on social media, criticism of his actions has grown into a shitstorm. His mistake? While most elderly people are patiently waiting to get a shot in the arm once they have been notified by the authorities that their age group is eligible for vaccination and they can apply for an inoculation date, Mr. Staake is one of the selfish ones who have jumped the queue.
Earlier this year, when 80+ year-olds were being inoculated, he pushed his way forward to receive the two Covid-19 vaccinations, despite the government ruling that the most vulnerable were to be vaccinated first. Since then, vaccination activities have progressed, with the age limit successively being lowered. From mid-April, 70-75-year-olds are being offered appointments at their nearest vaccination center by the coordination body or their family doctor. The 65+ group to which Mr. Staake belongs, will officially been given green light to apply for a shot in May.
Dual role – and responsibilities
Erich Staake is a well-known figure in the German and international logistics landscape. In addition to his commitment to the Central German Airport Holding (MFAG), he is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Duisport AG. Under his guidance, Duisport, located at the Rhine River, has developed into the world's largest inland port, becoming the leading multi-modal logistics hub in central Europe.
Hence, it is all the more astonishing that a well-known and highly respected manager in the aviation and maritime business has put his reputation at risk by pushing forward to get an illegitimate inoculation. What makes matters worse: five other non-entitled persons were vaccinated together with him, Duisburg City’s spokesperson Anja Kopka confirmed. She said that due to Staake’s and the quintet’s illegitimate vaccination action, the local vaccination site ran out of doses and was unable to inoculate elderly candidates who showed up because they stood on the official vaccination list for that day (13JAN21). Hence, they were asked to apply for a new appointment.
Vaccination priorities were violated
In view of the ongoing shortage of BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna, or other sera, the German authorities have put a distinct vaccination hierarchy in place aimed at protecting elderly people and nursing home residents first. They are the ones who are worst hit if Covid-19 infected, as mortality rates show. Duisburg's Lord Mayor, Sören Link (Social Democrat), pointed this out again, criticizing Staake's premature Corona vaccination: "Hundreds of thousands of eligible people have made intensive efforts in recent weeks to get a vaccination appointment. Anyone who tries shortcutting this order is massively damaging the already battered confidence of the population."
There is nothing to add to these words.
Public pressure mounts
To wrap it up, Staake’s behavior is inexcusable. As an industrial leader, he has a role model function, which he has not lived up to. Only after media got wind of the matter, did he admit his wrongdoing. Meanwhile, he has publicly apologized and asked for forgiveness.
Whether he will draw any personal consequences such as laying down his posts at Duisport and / or the Central German Airport Association, remains to be seen. Presumably, this will depend on the level of public pressure put on him in the weeks to come.
Meanwhile, neither the Central German Airport Group nor logistics giant Duisport have commented on the misconduct of their Supervisory Boards’ Chairman.
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