On the mercilessly idiotic and remarkably monotonous protocols of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's "Corona Expert Council"
Also Open Book Thread the Second.
Last month, a German doctor named Christian Haffner finally succeeded in compelling the Federal Chancellery to release the protocols of the first 25 meetings of the Corona-Expertenrat, or the “Corona Expert Council” convened by Scholz’s government in December 2021 to provide supposedly “independent” advice on pandemic policy. Think of them like an ad-hoc British SAGE. I have spent almost all day reading them as part of my aforementioned book research, but you needn’t wait for my conclusions. The excellent Aya Velázquez has provided a very comprehensive overview of their contents in English and in German, if you want more detailed commentary.
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The Council was staffed with all the worst and most noxious pandemicists, from the odious modeller Viola Priesemann to villain-of-the-blog Christian Drosten and head girl ethicist Alena Buyx. You can watch them over the months looking for any reason or gap in available data to assume the worst, clutching at pearls over the growing difficulty in “communicating” the danger of the Omicron head-cold to the German people, angsting about the unvaccinated, and then finally when the Covid numbers just refuse to be scary shifting their fearmongering to influenza, RSV and even Monkeypox.
I’ll save my more specific observations for the book, but right now I just have to get off my chest, what an absolutely banal, unoriginal, completely daft pile of bureaucratic refuse this is. The protocols produced by this group of allegedly oracular Science missionaries convened to guide virus policy are in no way more sophisticated than anything you’d see in any newspaper. In some ways they’re actually much worse. Every meeting opens with a “situation report” where all the Virus Understanders hear about whether cases are going up or down, whether the hospitals are full or not, whether the same things or different things are happening in other countries, why not enough Germans are vaccinated, and how many neutralising antibodies the latest studies show the third jab elicits against whatever Omicron substrain is flavour of the week. After that you get agenda items on how politicians and bureaucrats can leverage increasingly nonexistent virus risk to continue terrorising a German public increasingly aware of this nonexistence, how New Zealand has recently introduced a cool new colour-coded virus warning system, how Omicron to everyone’s surprise isn’t actually dangerous to children, how Delta wonder of wonders isn’t coming back, how cool the Israeli data is, how we can convince the olds to get a second booster right now and not later.
“Ideally we would be doing more than we are doing so that what is happening will get better even if it is already getting better on its own, but at the very least we must keep doing what we were doing regardless of what is happening or what is happening might get worse.” That is the entire advice and ethos of the Council, repeated in slightly different words over and over on every page. No new ideas, no plans of any kind, certainly no strategy, no criticism or introspection, just a constant masturbatory exercise in virus tabulation and virus anxiety. The whole thing proves my theory that any committee a) lacking clear hierarchy and b) consisting of more than three or four people can produce nothing but entirely useless conformist babble. This right here is a big reason why German Covid policy spent all of 2022 stuck in a purgatorial rut of unending mask mandates and horror planning for the next Winter of Death.
It is an utter top-to-bottom embarrassment, and it’s no wonder the government fought so hard to prevent the release of this drivel.