Published: 2021-04-14 10:57
Last Updated: 2023-09-30 14:16
Tuesday, Austria’s Minister of Health, Rudolf Anschober, announced his resignation, saying he was overworked and exhausted managing the COVID-19 crisis.
The 60-year-old man, who faced death threats due to the lockdown measures taken by the government, said during a press conference, “I’ve decided to resign from my job.”
“I’m overworked and powered out.”
Anschober said that the past 15 months on the job had felt like 15 years.
He warned that this pandemic should not be underestimated.
“We are not out of the woods yet,” he said.
"I believe in all the good work we have done. No one is without mistakes," he added, thanking those who worked with him during the year.
Anschober said that he had suffered from health problems recently, and he had been absent from work since last week and also took a week off early last month when he checked into hospital.
The Green party member became Health Minister early last year, just before COVID-19 started spreading rapidly in Europe.
Anschober will be replaced by Wolfgang Mueckstein, a doctor and Green party member who warned he preferred lockdowns and would make “unpopular decisions” in favor of health.
Anschober was given police protection last November following death threats against him as protests by lockdown opponents and coronavirus deniers became louder.
Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz said Anschober "sacrificed himself" for the country, praising his "commitment."
Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Austria has confirmed 581,263 cases and 9,748 total deaths.