Jens spahn

The rapid fall of Germany’s health minister

Young, polished and confident, Germany’s health minister became the country’s most popular politician in 2020. A darling of the conservative right, Jens Spahn, was even tipped as a candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor. At the peak of his popularity last November, surveys indicated approval from nearly two-thirds of all Germans. He seemed to reflect the success story that was Germany’s handling of the pandemic, the personification of friendly German efficiency. Fast forward to last week, and you find a defensive Spahn facing a hostile one-hour long grilling in parliament. His arms crossed and his jaw set, the 40-year-old was visibly tense as he braced himself for questions from