Health minister’s pandemic popularity boost wanes

Health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) has seen her popularity drop as the pandemic recedes Photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) has seen her popularity drop as the pandemic recedes Photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Health minister Paulette Lenert--whose popularity surged during the pandemic--dropped in the latest edition of an approval ranking by voters.

Lenert (LSAP) last November had topped the ranking with support from 86% of voters. But this dropped to 79% in the latest edition of the so-called Politmonitor survey published on Wednesday evening.

This left Lenert on a par with foreign affairs minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP), whose approval rating rose from 77% in the last survey. The Politmonitor is commissioned by RTL and the Luxemburger Wort and carried out by TNS Ilres to assess the approval rating of politicians but also voter concerns

Prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) kept his third place and 71% approval rating. The top ten are concluded by Luxembourg City mayor Lydie Polfer (DP), member of parliament Sven Clement (Pirate Party), minister for tourism and small and medium-sized enterprises Lex Delles (DP), interior and equality between women and men minister Taina Bofferding (LSAP), member of parliament and CSV president Claude Wiseler, economy minister Franz Fayot (LSAP) and justice minister Sam Tanson (déi Gréng).

Lenert in April was embroiled in a debate about a medical diagnostics centre opening in Grevenmacher. The centre is set to host an MRI machine, but the health minister has insisted that only hospitals are allowed to operate such machinery. A war of words between the ministry and the centre made national headlines.

The minister also had to backtrack after saying an agreement had been found between the CHL hospital and the Grevenmacher centre and admit that details were yet to be hashed out.

Elsewhere, in the north of the country, a maternity ward had to temporarily close over a shortage of neonatal specialist. The Ettelbruck facility has since reopened.

Lenert was the biggest loser in the May edition of the survey. Family minister Corinne Cahen (DP) meanwhile made a comeback. The minister had dropped 11 points in the ranking in June last year after facing allegations that her ministry had failed to protect senior citizens in nursing homes during the covid-19 pandemic. Members of the opposition had called for her to step down but a motion in parliament failed.