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Joachim Gauck visits FLI – Last official journey leads the Federal President to the Isle of Riems

Insel Riems, 15 March 2017. „I am impressed by the achievements of the scientists here and I am aware of the great importance of their work, in particular when animal diseases hit the country.“, said Federal President Joachim Gauck during his visit at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) on the Isle of Riems. Thus, his discussion with scientists, laboratory staff and animal keepers focussed on the currently circulating fowl plague. Together with Ms. Daniela Schadt, Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian State Premier Erwin Sellering, and Secretary of State Dr. Hermann Onko Aeikens from the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture he roughly spent one hour at the FLI in the frame of his last official journey outside of Berlin. 

The Federal President characterized the Institute as “a traditional and yet highly innovative site“. „At the same time I am filled with joy to see such a beacon of scientific life here in the Northeast of Germany.“ Further topics of discussion were the Institute’s future research work in the high containment laboratory, e.g. on Ebola, and rabies as a worldwide occurring infectious disease which remains to be combated. 

At the end of their visit the guests took a quick look into the laboratory of the highest biosafety level 4. Joachim Gauck amusedly commented on a newspaper article that had designated the FLI as „Alcatraz for viruses“ and expressed the wish: “I hope that this is what it will remain”.

Group photo with Federal President Joachim Gauck. (© FLI)

Left to right: Frau Daniela Schadt, Federal President Joachim Gauck and the President of the FLI, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Thomas C. Mettenleiter. (© FLI)