German Government Ignored Health Agency’s Warning That Lockdowns Could Be More Harmful Than COVID-19: Documents

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
March 28, 2024World News
German Government Ignored Health Agency’s Warning That Lockdowns Could Be More Harmful Than COVID-19: Documents
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach speaks to the media to explain a new government plan to fundamentally reform Germany's hospital system in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 06, 2022. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Newly published documents from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s top federal health agency, show that the government ignored the institute’s warnings about the potential harm of lockdowns and that there was no evidence that masks would prevent the spread of the virus.

A report from December 2020 said, “The consequences of the lockdowns are in parts more severe than the virus itself.” A prior document from October 2020 suggested that there was “no evidence” to support that FFP2 medical masks could prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The information was never disclosed to the public, despite meeting minutes showing that researchers of the institute argued to have their findings made public.

The RKI was forced to hand over the documents last week after losing a two-year court battle to a small media outlet called Multipolar. The documents have since been published, albeit heavily redacted by the health agency.

Multipolar has since launched a new lawsuit in an attempt to obtain the unredacted versions of the files.

The revelations have sent shockwaves through Germany, shaking trust in government and scientific bureaucracies.

“The top of the RKI, of all people, followed the political guidelines of the respective federal government and thus provided the necessary scientific facade for the corona policy,” Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki told German outlet Bild.

He questioned the integrity of the RKI crisis team and noted that the publication raises “considerable doubts as to whether the political measures to deal with the corona pandemic were indeed taken on a scientific basis.”

The Vice President called upon Health Minister Karl Lauterbach for complete transparency and to have all relevant RKI files published without redactions, a statement echoed by Armin Laschet, the former leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party.

“You can see how differentiated the discussions were at the RKI back then, and how little of this diversity of opinion ultimately found its way into concrete policy,” Mr. Laschet told German broadcaster ZDF, who deplored the toxic division that dominated the COVID-19 debate at the time.

In a Thursday interview with Deutschlandfunk, Mr. Lauterbach said he had been instructed on Wednesday to publish the RKI files in a “largely unredacted” version.

“I would simply like to avoid giving the slightest impression that the Robert Koch Institute is deliberately hiding something here,” the Health Minister said.

Mr. Lauterbach said some passages would “necessarily remain blacked out” given that passages that violate the privacy rights of the RKI crisis team participants or third parties cannot be published without explicit consent from those mentioned in the minutes.

The Health Minister expects the edit to be ready in “maybe four weeks.”

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