VIENNA – Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober of the Greens, the junior partner in the conservative-led coalition, said Tuesday he is stepping down, exhausted and sick from battling the coronavirus pandemic and occasionally other officials, according to Reuters.
“In the worst health crisis in decades the republic needs a health minister who is 100 per cent fit. That is not currently me,” he said, describing blood-pressure problems. He plans to step down on Monday, he said, adding: “I … do not want to break myself.”
“I took on a very nice and challenging job 15 months ago. It feels like it has not been 15 months but 15 years,” he said in a statement to the media. He started when the coalition was formed in January 2020, before the pandemic hit Austria.
Anschober, a 60-year-old former journalist and schoolteacher, is one of the country’s most popular politicians, known for his long, patient explanations of the pandemic’s challenges, often while holding up large print-outs of charts.