Discover more from eugyppius: a plague chronicle
Christian Drosten, Karl Lauterbach try to block the work of a Health Ministry committee set to evaluate the effectiveness of lockdowns, other containment measures
These are the actions of people with total confidence that all the crazy stuff we've been doing is super effective
In March 2021, the German Bundestag ordered the Ministry of Health to set up an expert committee to evaluate the effectiveness of containment measures in Germany, from lockdowns to masks. They required this committee to complete their evaluation by 30 June 2022, and to publish a report before the end of September.
The committee finally convened on 22 April via video conference, delayed apparently because communicating with Karl Lauterbach’s ministry has been a huge problem. In the hours after that meeting, the committee chair notified its members that he had finally heard from Lauterbach. The health minister had raised the idea of extending the evaluation deadline to 31 December, and suggested that the committee mandate might end up being redefined.
As Welt explains, Christian Drosten had previously voiced staunch opposition to the project of investigating the efficacy of containment measures:
… [A]n internal virtual meeting in March, Charité virologist Christian Drosten argued against individually evaluating the containment measures. In a nine-minute speech, he said there was too little data, it was too early for such a study, and one could end up “in hot water,” according to WELT information. In view of this intervention from Drosten, who has been one of the most important advisers to political decision-makers since the start of the pandemic, the committee turned to the Ministry of Health for further instructions.
Nothing came of that meeting; the committee had a mandate from the Bundestag, the legal force of which does not rest upon Drosten’s feelings.
When Welt asked the health ministry to comment on the latest delays, a Lauterbach spokesman said the experts don’t have sufficient data, and that the ministry is in discussions with the Bundestag about how to handle this. He even denied that there would be any delay in the committee’s work, which is plainly a lie, because Welt has documents and off-the-record statements from committee members to the opposite effect. One such member even complained to their reporter that “It shows great disrespect to try to withdraw our mandate to evaluate containment measures after so many hours of work.”
We are asked to believe that containment measures have been super successful in the past, and that they remain an important tool for future waves. Lauterbach himself has promised the return of containment in the Fall, because he did not get his vaccine mandate. At the same time, nobody must be permitted to evaluate the efficacy of these allegedly crucial measures. We can’t be allowed to know which ones work and which ones don’t. That would be dangerous somehow, even for an expert committee. In fact it would be so dangerous, that Christian Drosten, the public face of mass containment in Germany, felt compelled to deliver a secret lecture warning against any such evaluative process.
What’s really galling about all this, isn’t that they’re lying, but that they’re terrible at it.
Apologies for quiet weekend; it might be light posting for another few days still, because the end of containment also means the beginning of talks and conferences again, and I have to give a talk on a thing later this week – which talk I still have to write.