Análisis y crítica del concepto borroso de Globalización en tiempos de crisis del neocapitalismo. Un esbozo propuesto por Eliseo Rabadán Fernández, colaborador de INTROFILOSOFIA

Stoa
Vol. 9, no. 17, 2018, pp. 69–94 ISSN 2007-1868
GLOBALIZACIO ́NYPOSTCAPITALISMO
Eliseo Rabada ́n Ferna ́ndez
Santander, Espan ̃a arsfilosofo@gmail.com
resumen: Tratamos de analizar conceptos y hechos relacionados con la Glo- balizacio ́n, el neoliberalismo, la guerra y la violencia desde una perspectiva cr ́ıtica, que muestre algunas tesis que converger ́ıan en la idea de que el capita- lismo est ́a en un proceso de crisis de tal magnitud que implica cambios en los modelos sociales y pol ́ıticos derivados de la toma del poder pol ́ıtico real por las corporaciones financieras y econo ́micas que de hecho est ́an gestionando el proceso.
palabras clave: Globalizacio ́n

UN ARTÍCULO De Gregorio SELSER.De cómo se fueron viendo obligados muchos Estados de Iberoamérica, a pasar de grandes productores y exportadores de CAFÉ,a ir entrando, aun a pesar de sí mismos, en el cultivo y negocio de exportación de cocaína, hacia los Estados Unidos y / o Europa.

INTROFILOSOFIA(NOTA): Proponemos la lectura de este artículo del gran periodista y crítico historiador, uno de los más reconocidos analistas políticos sobre asuntos de Iberoamérica, o como el mismo Gregorio Selser gustaba decir: Nuestra América. En el artículo podemos comprobar el nivel de agudeza crítica que mostraba cada uno de sus artículos periodísticos.

Prensa Latina – México

El Independiente – España (NOTA de Introfilosofía sobre este diario español: El Independiente fue presionado , hasta su definitivo cierre, siendo presidente del Gobierno de España, el socialdemócrata Felipe González, del PSOE, Partido Socialista Obrero Español.Los motivos de este presionar y rápido cierre, por quiebra, según se dijo en su momento- mera cortina de humo para tapar la realidad de su cierre, cuya causa fue el hecho de que este diario fue el ÚNICO que se opuso abiertamente a la participación de España en la llamada Iª Guerra del Golfo, y además, por su apoyo a las luchas de los mineros de Asturias y León( regiones tradicionalmente productoras de carbón), contra la política felipista (por Felipe González); (ordenada desde el núcleo duro de la Unión Europea) política llamada de reconversión industrial, dirigida desde Alemania, o desde la Unión Europea, siempre excelente coartada (“lo dice la UE”) para los políticos españoles, cuando de aplicar medidas rudas y muy poco o nada populares, que fueron convirtiendo a España, desde finales de los años ochenta del S XX , hasta el presente, ya entrado el XXI(fines de 2020) en un auténtico Estado vasallo de Alemania, y de su IV Reich en formación, llamado de modo demagógico pero “sentimentalmente eficaz “, Unión Europea, cuyo himno no es otro sino el conocidísimo Himno a la Alegría, que canta el coro en la Novena Sinfonía de Beethoven.Un canto que resulta ser un poema del poeta del Idealismo alemán, Schiller. (nota 1) Idealismo que oculta los intereses del Estado germano, bajo vanas quimeras y ensueños visionarios que engañan y ocultan la realidad subyacente a semejantes dosis de IDEALISMO irracional, pero sicológica y políticamente útiles a sus intereses como Reich (Imperio, en alemán)

nota 1: datos tomados de Wikipedia:

El himno de la Unión Europea, oficialmente Himno Europeo, es uno de los cuatro símbolos oficiales de la Unión Europea.1​ El himno tiene su origen en la Oda a la Alegría (An die Freude en alemán), escrita por Friedrich von Schiller en 1785 y la composición realizada por Ludwig van Beethoven para su novena sinfonía. Fue adoptado oficialmente en 1985.1​Este himno, según la Unión Europea, no sustituye a los himnos nacionales de los países de la UE, sino que “celebra los valores que todos ellos comparten”.1​

FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN DEL ARTÍCULO De Gregorio SELSER: 1-8-89

Guerra del café vs. guerra de la droga

Hace pocas semanas los países productores de café en América Latina fueron sacudidos por el desplome de su precio en el mercado internacional. Lo han resentido ya los principales productores y exportadores, Brasil y Colombia, pero además los que les siguen en importancia, tales como Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras. Para Nicaragua, significará, según cifras extraoficiales, que dejará de percibir 50 millones de dólares en divisas duras. Otro castigo a su economía.

Tanto Brasil como Colombia no ocultaron, desde el primer momento de producida la catástrofe, su inquina contra Estados Unidos, a quien imputaron una interesada manipulación de precios, a la baja. Empero, ninguna de sus expresiones oficiales de disgusto y censura alcanzaron el nivel y la modalidad de crítica que el producido en la ciudad colombiana de Cartagena de Indias, durante la actual celebración de la reunión del Grupo de los Ocho, organización regional que agrupa a México, Venezuela, Colombia, Panamá, Argentina, Brasil, Perú y Uruguay.

Allí, de un modo escasamente diplomático, el ministro de Relaciones Exteriores brasileño, Roberto de Abreu Sodré, declaró sin tapujos que su patria y Colombia disponen de suficientes reservas de café como para hacer frente a una guerra de precios en el mercado de grano, que como se sabe está regido por la OIC (Organización Internacional del Café). De un modo áspero agregó:

“Si Estados Unidos escogió la guerra, habrá guerra. En la guerra de precios hay dos países que tienen munición de guerra en cantidad y calidad, Colombia y Brasil.”

Su colega colombiano, Julio Londoño, tras reafirmar ante la prensa su coincidencia con el malestar prevaleciente entre los países productores de ese grano, deslizó empero su acrimonio y censura en una dirección totalmente inesperada. Dijo: “La caída en los precios repercutirá sensiblemente en la lucha contra el narcotráfico. Este problema podría agudizarse en países como Brasil, Colombia, México, Perú, Ecuador y algunas naciones centroamericanas, al reducirse los ingresos por la baja de los precios de productos como el café, puesto que se dispondrá de menores fondos e incentivos para sustituir los cultivos de coca y mariguana”.

La mancha geográfica de productores de coca, mariguana y otros entorpecentes cubre ya vastas porciones de Bolivia, Brasil, Perú, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela y México. Otros países son mencionados como escalas de tránsito hacia Estados Unidos e incluyen a Panamá, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Haití, República Dominicana, Jamaica e Islas Bahamas entre otros. En Costa Rica un reciente dictamen de una comisión de la Asamblea Legislativa probó dramáticamente que la llamada “Suiza de América” no sólo es ya un campo de aterrizaje intermitente para el Cártel de Medellín, sino que poderosos narcotraficantes financiaron las campañas electorales de los presidentes Luis Alberto Monge y Oscar Arias.

Peor aún, también reseñó que el país había sido utilizado como repetido escenario para el intercambio de armas para los contrarrevolucionarios nicaragüenses (contras), por cocaína y mariguana hacia Estados Unidos, con conocimiento y autorización del vicealmirante John Poindexter, el teniente coronel Oliver North, el jefe local de la CIA Joseph Fernandez, el embajador norteamericano Lewis Tambs y el hacendado John Hull (que inmediatamente huyó de Costa Rica). La citada comisión solicitó que a todos ellos, más otra serie de individuos implicados en esas transacciones delincuenciales, les fuera prohibida la entrada en el país.

Nicaragua no es mencionada en los informes de la Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), organismo de control de estupefacientes de Estados Unidos, como país productor o de escala de tránsito de narcóticos. Cuba, en fecha reciente, expuso también de un modo dramático que el problema había llegado a sus costas y alcanzado a elevados jefes militares hasta entonces insospechables e introduciendo el factor corrupción con efectos penosos en funcionarios de confianza del gobierno.

Las alusiones de Abreu y Londoño simbiotizan productos tan disímiles como el café y las drogas ilícitas, como formando parte de un mismo universo problemático. No hay duda de que se trata de un mensaje nada casual dirigido a Washington y que simplificadamente diría: “-Si Estados Unidos abate los precios de nuestros principales productos tradicionales de exportación, ¿no está obligando a los productores de café a volcarse a la producción masiva de cocaína y mariguana y al negocio respectivo del narcotráfico?” Este tipo de advertencias en código fácilmente descifrable viene siendo intermitentemente emitido por dirigentes de países que nada tienen en contra de Estados Unidos y se consideran sus amigos. Colombia y Brasil se cuentan tradicionalmente entre los mejores aliados de esa potencia. Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Brasil despachó a Italia un ejército para colaborar con los Aliados, y durante la Guerra de Corea, Colombia fue el único páis latinoamericano que despachó un batallón armado en apoyo de su aliado mayor en la región.

Ello no impide que ambos se sientan ahora víctimas. El ministro Sodré fue muy explícito en Cartagena de Indias: “La maniobra de Estados Unidos y otros países, que desafortunadamente pertenecen al grupo de los productores (alusión, entre otros, a México), quebraron el acuerdo cong ran daño para todos”. Colombia y Brasil disponen de millones de sacos de café, de reserva. La “guerra” puede ser todavía librada por ambos países con ese recurso. Si la perdieran, ¿sería la única opción restante la otra conflagración que, obviamente, nadie querría? Para suavizar su rispidez inicial, Londoño informó que hay una posibilidad de reinstaurar el quebrado pacto cafetalero.

NOTA DE INTROFILOSOFIA: Si alguno de quienes leyeren este texto, estuviera interesado en conocer más detalladamente el proceso del cierre del diario El Independiente (España), en el que Gregorio Selser colaboraba en los últimos años de su vida, recomendamos leer este texto a continuación:

139

La desaparición de El Independiente:

tramas, competencia y fracaso empresarial

AUTOR:

Maximiliano FERNÁNDEZ FERNÁNDEZ

Universidad Católica de Ávila

FUENTE: Revista

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2008, 13 139-154

RESUMEN

El Independiente (Madrid, 20/6/1987-31/10/1991), uno de los periódicos más críticos en la reciente historia

democrática española, desapareció no sólo porque “molestaba al poder” y porque la Organización Nacional

de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE) “decidió cerrarlo” ante las presiones ejercidas por otros medios, como han sostenido

sus directivos; es decir, sucumbió no sólo por las tramas políticas y empresariales. Desapareció por la

convergencia de otras causas o factores que lo hacían inviable desde el punto de vista económico: por un contexto

de dura competencia periodística, de concentración mediática y de bajos índices de lectura; por su incapacidad

para mejorar ingresos por ventas y publicidad —muy por debajo de competidores como El Mundo—

y por sus elevados costes.

Tratamos de demostrar que la ONCE-Divercisa malogró cerca de 4.000 millones de pesetas como principal

accionista, que no se atrevió a consolidar el gran grupo mediático que estaba formando y que los datos económicos

determinaron cierre.

Palabras clave: gestión, tramas, competencia, presiones, concentración, inviabilidad

The Disappearance of El Independiente:

Strategies, Competition and Business Failure

ABSTRACT

The disappearance of El Independiente (Madrid, 20/6/1987-31/10/1991), one of the most critical newspapers

in the recent democratic history of Spain, resulted not only because it “troubled the power establishment” or

because The National Organization for the Blind (ONCE) had decided to “close it”, as their managers contended,

faced with the pressures of other media; that is to say, it didn’t succumb solely in response to political

or business strategies. It disappeared because of the convergence of other causes or factors which made

it unfeasible from an economic point of view: as a result of tough competition in the journalistic field, of

media concentration and low readership; because of its failure to increase revenue by means of sales and

publicity — very modest compared to competitors such as El Mundo — and its elevated production costs.

We attempt to show that ONCE-Diversia lost almost 4.000 million pesetas as principal shareholder, that it

failed to consolidate the great media group it was forming and that economic factors were decisive in the

close.

Key words: gestion, strategies, competition and business failure.

En la Historia de la Comunicación en general y del periodismo en particular

han figurado tradicionalmente centenares de cabeceras con fechas precisas de fundación,

declaraciones programáticas, nombres de fundadores, directores y redacciones,

etc. No todas, por el contrario, anunciaron su cierre y menos aún fueron las

que se permitieron comentar los motivos del mismo, señalar a sus responsables y

hasta escribir algún epílogo. Tampoco resulta habitual pasar tempranamente por el

Historia y Comunicación Social

2008, 13 139-154

ISSN: 1137-0734

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prisma de la historia y que se analicen los contextos de la fundación y clausura,

sus efectos y repercusiones…

El Independiente, surgido como semanario el 20 de junio de 1987, transcurridos

ya 20 años, y convertido en diario el 4 de julio de 1989, fue uno de los periódicos

más críticos, quizás el que más, y una especie de mito, en el actual sistema

democrático español, hasta el momento de su desaparición el 31 de octubre de

1991. Se trata seguramente de la más clara manifestación de los costes de la independencia

periodística y la libertad de expresión. En sus dos últimos números,

anunció y recogió numerosas reacciones sobre su cierre, facilitando el estudio de

su trayectoria e incluso el de las empresas que operaban con mayor fuerza en plena

carrera hacia la concentración mediática.

En los ejemplares del 29, 30 y 31 de octubre de 1991, y en los que editaban

entonces otras cabeceras como El País, El Mundo y Abc, por citar los de mayor

difusión entre la prensa española del momento, se coincidía en culpar a la

Organización Nacional de Ciegos (ONCE), hasta entonces propietaria de la empresa

editora Ediobser, y a Servifilm, como compradora de sus acciones, de cerrar el

periódico a cambio de algunos beneficios políticos. Y esa misma causa se ha estado

esgrimiendo durante mucho tiempo por los directivos del diario, que en algunos

casos extienden las responsabilidades al gobierno de Felipe González.

En el presente estudio, se trata de analizar, con la perspectiva del tiempo, con

datos registrales y con un análisis objetivo de sus magnitudes económicas (ventas,

publicidad, costes, situación del mercado…), incluso comparándolas con las de

otras cabeceras (especialmente con El Mundo, como principal competidor), el conjunto

de causas que de manera convergente confluyeron para el cierre de esta

publicación, que se presentó a lo largo de su trayectoria como la más progresista

entre los diarios de su época. En la misma medida se analizan las condiciones

objetivas de mercado (publicidad y lectores) en las que se desenvolvió y el fenómeno

de la concentración mediática que definía el contexto periodístico y el nuevo

orden o sistema de comunicación en España.

1. INTERESES POLÍTICOS Y EMPRESARIALES

La teoría de que el cierre se produjo por decisión de la Organización Nacional

de Ciegos de España (ONCE) y de Servifilm Spain Cinematográfica, respondiendo

a intereses políticos gubernamentales y a contrapartidas, se esgrimió en las páginas

de El Independiente, sin atender a las cifras objetivas de Ediobser como empresa

editora y sin apenas cuestionar su viabilidad. En cambio, en otros periódicos nacionales

de la época estaba más presente la idea de quiebra económica e inviabilidad.

El País concretamente titulaba el 29 de octubre que “Hachuel entra con un

15% en Tele 5 a cambio de comprar El Independiente”. Y su redactor José F.

Beaumont detallaba que “El financiero Jacques Hachuel se ha hecho cargo del

72% de las acciones que tenía la ONCE en El Independiente, periódico que soporta

2.645 millones de pérdidas al año, a cambio de asegurar una participación de un

15% en el canal de televisión privada Tele 5, en el que la ONCE participa con un

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25%, según fuentes que han intervenido en esta operación”. Se añadía en la noticia

que “Hachuel, a través de su empresa Servifilm España Cinematográfica, se hará

cargo de un 5% de la participación total (un 15%) que tiene en Tele 5 el empresario

extremeño Ángel Medrano y de un 10% que será extraído de las participaciones

de Chocolates Trapa o de la propia ONCE”1.

Dos días después volvía a personalizar en el financiero la decisión del cierre:

“Jacques Hachuel, nuevo propietario de El Independiente, comunicó ayer a la

dirección y a los trabajadores del periódico su decisión de cerrarlo momentáneamente

“por razones económicas” y de editarlo en la semana del 5 al 10 de diciembre

como semanario”2. El periódico del grupo Prisa aludía asimismo a la situación

de quiebra y a que las pérdidas del rotativo se elevaban a 220 millones de pesetas

mensuales. Lo momentáneo acabaría convirtiéndose, como tantas veces, en definitivo

y nunca volvió a editarse como diario ni como semanario.

La agencia Efe y El Mundo, por su parte, adelantaban ya el 26 de octubre la

noticia de la venta de las acciones por parte de la ONCE al empresario Jacques

Hachuel, en los 328 millones de pesetas que la organización de ciegos había pagado

en abril, y el deseo de Hachuel de convertirlo en semanario. En el mismo sentido

se pronunciaban el consejero delegado de Divercisa, Fernando Ónega, y el consejero

delegado y vicepresidente de Ediobser, Alberto Ferrer3. Las acciones, que

entonces suponían el 70% del total, fueron vendidas por Divercisa S.A. y Uniprex

S.A. a Servifilm Spain Cinematográfica S.A., propiedad del empresario francés.

El día del cierre, el mismo en el que los responsables del periódico El Sol destituyeron

al editor, al director y a sus adjuntos, El Mundo sostenía que “la desaparición

como diario de El Independiente es consecuencia directa de la venta del

72% de sus acciones, hasta ahora en poder la ONCE, al financiero Jacques

Hachuel”. Pero apuntaba un posible trueque o juego de intereses al que se han aferrado

siempre los directivos de El Independiente para argumentar a favor de los

factores exógenos como causantes del cierre: “A cambio, Hachuel habría entrado

con un 15% en el accionariado de la cadena privada Tele 5″4.

El director general de la organización de ciegos, Miguel Durán, declaró la víspera

del cierre que la organización vendía las acciones del periódico “por los

muchos ataques externos que la ONCE ha recibido en estos meses por su participación

en los medios de comunicación, especialmente en los escritos”5.

En El Independiente se iba más lejos a la hora de señalar los factores exógenos,

y se anunciaban acciones legales contra la venta del periódico: “Tenemos

constancia de las presiones, algunas cercanas al chantaje, a la ONCE y al propio

Durán para que se salieran de un campo reservado a los poderes tradicionales”. Y,

a párrafo seguido, se añadía: “Pero la ONCE sabe que no acaba aquí su papel. Es

la responsable de los perjuicios que haya ocasionado tratando de dar por finalizada

la publicación diaria de El Independiente, por sorpresa, sin contar con los trabajadores

del periódico ni con los otros accionistas”6.

Los representantes de los empleados, el comité de empresa, en concreto, anunciaba

haber “iniciado el proceso de asesoramiento legal en los terrenos civil, laboral

y mercantil para clarificar los términos de la operación de venta de las acciones

de Ediobser a Servifilms Spain Cinematográfica, SA, garantizar los derechos labo-

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rales de los trabajadores e iniciar las oportunas acciones legales”7. En carta abierta

a Miguel Durán, se le acusaba de causar perjuicio a los empleados y a la empresa,

anunciando que se reservaba “el derecho a ejercer las oportunas acciones legales”8.

Y colectivos sociales, como los sindicatos UGT y CCOO, por boca de sus

secretarios generales, Nicolás Redondo y Antonio Gutiérrez, IU, trabajadores del

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, comités de empresas, redacciones

de diferentes publicaciones, entre ellas El Mundo, El Sol, Ya, Diario 16, El

Observador, Cambio 16, Época, Interviú, Tiempo, El Siglo, Mundo Obrero,

Ajoblanco… y de Telemadrid, RTVE, Antena 3 Televisión, Cope, Onda Madrid, el

presidente de la Asociación de la Prensa de Madrid y políticos como Jorge

Vestrynge, Pablo Castellano, Gabriel Camuñas, Nicolás Sartorius, Aleix Vidal

Cuadras, Raúl Morodo, Rodrigo Rato, la dirección del CDS, Simón Sánchez

Montero o intelectuales como José Luis López Aranguren, Julio Caro Baroja o

Julio Cerón y periodistas de distintos medios, como Luis del Olmo, coincidían en

señalar que el diario representaba las ideas de progreso y que su desaparición era

un síntoma de la aniquilación de la izquierda.

También el entonces director y las principales firmas del periódico se sumaban

a la denuncia. De esta forma, Manuel Soriano culpaba al Gobierno y a los poderes

establecidos, a la oposición conservadora y a los otros periódicos: “El

Independiente molesta al Gobierno por su espíritu radicalmente crítico, irrita a

otros periódicos porque les disputa un espacio en el estrecho mercado, lo odian los

sectores más conservadores del país y lo combate ese “establishment” que siempre

mandó en España y al que se ha entregado Felipe González. Entre todos han creado

las condiciones para ahogar una voz libre y heterodoxa, que nació al margen de

los compromisos políticos y de los intereses económicos tejidos en la transición

democrática”9.

Abel Hernández, entonces adjunto a la Dirección, reclamaba conocer las razones

políticas del cierre, denunciado que “las oscuras tramas político-financieras,

con fuertes ramificaciones en los medios de comunicación, son la principal amenaza

a la libertad de expresión10.

En Abc, el propio ex director de El Independiente, Pablo Sebastián, bajo el

ropaje de Aurora Pavón, defendía con toda su fuerza la teoría de la conspiración

contra el periódico, aludiendo al “crimen imperfecto” que se había planificado “en

el despacho de Alfonso Guerra en Moncloa” y a la “autoría material de la ONCE”,

con Jacques Hachuel como “intermediario”11. Incluso meses antes del cierre, invitaba

a una ofensiva contra los propios empresarios que sostenían la deficitaria

empresa: “Larga vida y zafarrancho de combate permanente si el del bastón, tiburón

ciego con un parche en cada ojo, no mete la garrota en la rueda del timón para

torcer el rumbo de tan romántico velero”12.

2. LAS CONDICIONES DEL MERCADO DE LA COMUNICACIÓN

De manera que los responsables del periódico y las fuerzas que lo alentaron —

que no respaldaron políticamente ni apoyaron económicamente—, han recurrido

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siempre a factores exógenos para explicar el cierre de El Independiente y a determinadas

tramas empresariales y políticas. Sin embargo y al margen de los alegatos

periodísticos y de la épica esproncediana, un análisis más desapasionado y con los

datos de tirada, publicidad y balance económico sobre la mesa, inducen a valorar,

al menos en la misma medida, otros factores de carácter interno que ponen de

manifiesto su propia inviabilidad. Ahora bien, no puede desvincularse una causa

de la otra, aunque resulta difícil cuantificar en qué medida la escasez de publicidad

se debía a las exclusiones y discriminaciones gubernamentales y en qué medida se

debía a la reducida tirada del periódico, a su formato durante mucho tiempo tamaño

sábana, a su izquierdista línea editorial…

Para empezar, El Independiente había nacido en un contexto de pluralidad

informativa y de aumentos publicitarios, pero en una sociedad que seguía manteniendo

bajos niveles de lectura, lo que provocaba una dura competencia empresarial

y una implacable selección darwiniana de medios.

En los años de la transición democrática desaparecieron buen número de cabeceras,

algunas quizás por causas políticas, pero la mayoría por problemas de inviabilidad,

ya que no se explica el cierre de una empresa periodística, en un sistema

democrático, si su marcha económica es favorable. La llamada Prensa y Radio del

Movimiento acumulaba pérdidas de 1.365 millones de pesetas en 1975 y en torno

a 6.000 en 1979. La supresión del Organismo Autónomo de Medios de

Comunicación Social, que había acogido a la Prensa del Movimiento y a los diarios

Pueblo y Marca, fue aprobada en 1982 por las últimas Cortes con mayoría de

UCD, antes de la victoria del PSOE. Cerraron los periódicos del régimen, como El

Alcázar (1978), Arriba (1984) y los de la cadena del Movimiento Nacional, incluido

Pueblo (1984), que había bajado de 200.000 ejemplares en los buenos tiempos

de Emilio Romero a 40.000 y acumulaba pérdidas anuales de 1.400 millones de

pesetas.

También cerraron en el último cuarto de siglo la prestigiosa revista de Joaquín

Ruiz Jiménez Cuadernos para el diálogo (1978), la revista Destino (1980),

Informaciones (1922-1983), los aludidos diarios Pueblo (1939-1984) y Arriba

(1984), las distintas Hoja del Lunes, Triunfo (1962-1982), Claro (1991), El

Independiente (1987-1991), El Sol (1990-92), El Viejo Topo (reaparece en 1993),

La Calle, Ya (1935-1995), Diario 16 (1976-2001) Y desaparecieron asimismo la

mayoría de los centros de la cadena Antena 3 Radio —absorbidos por la Ser—,

Canal 10 y otros medios escritos y hablados.

En el año de aparición de El Independiente, en 1987, la difusión media de la

prensa española estaba en 2,7 millones de ejemplares (69,8 copias por 1.000 habitantes)

o 3,1 (79,7 por 1.000) si se incluye la prensa deportiva, según datos de

Fundesco de 1989, que situaban a España en el puesto 42º del mundo y en el 11º

de la entonces Europa de los Doce. “España, con el 12% de la población de la CE,

apenas consume el 4 por 100 de los aproximadamente 76 millones de ejemplares

diarios que circulan en las 12 naciones. El índice medio de difusión español es

solamente una tercera parte del europeo, que se eleva a 237,5 ejemplares por 1.000

habitantes”13. En el siguiente ejercicio, el de 1988, el incremento neto de la prensa

diaria se sitúa en el 2,6% para la de información general o 3,7 si se tiene en cuenta

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la deportiva; en 1989, la difusión se eleva a 3.260.000 ejemplares vendidos, un

84,7 por 1.000 habitantes…

De los 64 periódicos de información general controlados por la OJD en 1988,

un total de 58 registraron subidas en la difusión y 13 retrocedieron, lo que confirma

la tendencia al alza de la prensa española; pero también refleja las dificultades

para una buena parte de las cabeceras. El problema era que entonces, El País

(376.230 ejemplares de difusión OJD en 1988) y Diario 16 (139.956), fundados

poco antes, estaban consolidados y en expansión, junto a los tradicionales Abc

(267.772), La Vanguardia (202.741), etc. y no parecía que hubiera lugar para tantas

cabeceras nuevas: El Mundo, El Independiente, El Sol, Claro…

Más esperanzador resultaba el dato de ingresos por publicidad, que experimentaban

entonces en España una subida desde los 48.000 millones de pesetas (288,5

millones de euros) de 1982 a 188.750 de 1988 (aumento del 293%), según estimacines

de J. Walter Thompson, que sitúan a nuestro país en la cabeza de la Europa

de los Doce en la relación de ingresos/difusión. La multinacional de compra de

medios Carat ubica a España en el cuarto lugar de Europa en inversión publicitaria

en 1990, con 8.500 millones de dólares, por debajo de Alemania (11.000), Francia

(10.200) y Gran Bretaña (8.600)14. Y se hace eco también del fenómeno de la concentración

al constatar la presencia de siete grandes grupos en buen número de

medios de comunicación: Reed Internacional (2.000 millones de dólares en 1990)

Fininvest (1.800), Bertelsmann, Hachette, Maxwell, Axel Springer y Hersant.

En 1987, el año de aparición de El Independiente como semanario, las empresas

periodísticas españolas declararon unos beneficios netos de 11.658 millones de

pesetas, siete veces más que en 1984. En el ejercicio siguiente, la facturación de

los medios impresos llegó a 275.250 millones de pesetas en concepto de publicidad

y a 140.000 por ventas y suscripciones15.

Los rendimientos publicitarios de la prensa española en 1988 se situaban bastante

por encima de los costes en los periódicos de más tirada: El País: 129 ptas.

por ejemplar y día (de los 25.079 millones de pesetas de ingresos por publicidad y

ventas, el 70,9% correspondían al primer capítulo); Abc: 117 ptas. por ejemplar y

día (ingresos anuales de 17.840 millones, de los que el 64% correspondían a publicidad);

La Vanguardia: 127 (el 73,6% de sus 12.784 millones correspondientes a

publicidad), Diario 16: 87 ptas. por ejemplar y día, etc.

De manera que el índice de lectores no aconsejaba sacar a la luz nuevas publicaciones,

aunque el de facturación y publicidad era más alentador; pero hacían

falta tirada y buenos equipos para captarla o formar parte de grandes grupos de

comunicación para aprovechar sus sinergias o tener ciertas concomitancias con el

poder, circunstancias que no se producían en el caso de El Independiente.

3. INVIABILIDAD EMPRESARIAL

Las circunstancias objetivas externas aconsejaban prudencia y buenos estudios

de mercado antes de poner en marcha una publicación semanal y más aún antes de

convertirla en diario, sobre todo si las pérdidas empezaban a acumularse. Quizás

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145

por eso, uno de los accionistas que más se negó a la conversión de semanario en

diario era justamente quien más mentalidad empresarial tenía, Jacques Hachuel,

quien, según Jaime Peñafiel, “se opuso con todas sus fuerzas”17.

De hecho, cuando se cerró El Independiente, al margen de las acusaciones de

los periodistas, el Consejo de Administración, más atento a la cuenta de resultados,

adujo razones económicas18.

En un estudio que hemos realizado sobre 28 números de esta cabecera, sumamos

espacios publicitarios equivalentes a 214,62 de un total de 1.652 planas, lo

que da una media de 7,66 páginas de pago por periódico de 59 (media estadística)

y una cifra de 12,93% de publicidad en cada uno. En los 28 números se incluyen

los tres primeros, los dos del 17 y 24 de junio de 1988, en que se cumplía el primer

aniversario, y los tres últimos del semanario, más los tres primeros del diario y los

correspondientes a días correlativos múltiplos de tres19 de meses sucesivos, desde

el 3-7-1989 al 31 del 10 de 1991.

Exactamente, el estudio está efectuado sobre ejemplares de los días 20-6-1987

(anuncios por espacio de 5,75 de 48 páginas, el 11,98%), 27-06-87 (4,21 de 48

planas, el 8,75% del espacio), 4-7-87 (2,93 de 48, el 6,10%), 18-7-87 (4,63/48, el

9,64%), 19-08-87 (4,38/56, el 7,82%), 17-6-88 (12,53/60, el 20,88), 24-6-88

(24,44/80, el 30,55), 26-5-89 (9,28/48, el 19,33), 2-6-89 (6,25/48, el 13,02), 9-6-

89 (7,5/48, el 15,62), 4-7-89 (18,21/64, el 28,45), 5-7-89 (9,20/48, el 19,17), 6-7-

89 (12,22/48, el 25,46), 3-7-90 (9,22/64, el 14,4), 4-7-90 (6,92/56, el 12,36), 16-

12-90 (6/64, el 9,37), 22-12-90 (4,25/56, el 7,59), 2-1-91 (5,25/48, el 10,94),

4-2-91 (6,65/64, el 10,39), 7-2-91 (3,8/64, el 5,94), 10-4-91 (7,77/64, el 12,14),

13-5-91 (10,82/72, el 15,02), 16-6-91 (5,67/80, el 7,08), 19-7-91 (4,5/56, el 8,03),

22-8-91 (2,77/64, el 4,33), 25-9-91 (3,6/64, el 5,62), 28-10-91 (8,6/72, el 11,94) y

31-10-91 (7,27/72, el 10,09). En conjunto, se inserta en los 28 números seleccionados

publicidad por espacio de 214,62 páginas en un total de 1.652, lo que da una

media de 7,66 páginas por periódico de 59 (media estadística), el 12,93%.

La tendencia no mejoró con el tiempo, ya que la media de las páginas del

semanario analizadas era del 14,37% de sus espacios, mientras que la del diario

baja al 12,13%. Ratifica este dato el alusivo a la media de inserciones publicitarias

a lo largo de toda la trayectoria: 7,66 páginas, el 12,93% de las planas de cada

número, mientras que la del último año baja a 6,07 páginas, el 9,22 del espacio de

cada uno.

La mayor parte de las páginas completas correspondía a marcas de automóviles

y entidades bancarias, grandes sustentadores de los medios de comunicación

españoles, seguidas de un partido político, el CDS, con grandes dificultades financieras,

como se sabe, y de la ONCE, Iberia, etc. Son los anuncios que llegan a los

medios sin necesidad de hacer un gran esfuerzo de captación: En cambio, cuando

hay que atraer anunciantes menos “cautivos”, se nota la pobreza de la cartera de

clientes y el escaso esfuerzo del departamento de publicidad —salvo cuando se

publicó un buen extraordinario sobre autonomías, bien trabajado y bien sostenido

publicitariamente— o sus dificultades para captar anuncios por la escasa aceptación

del soporte.

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En cuanto a la denunciada marginación o discriminación oficial, que también

formulaba El Mundo, cuando se consideraba excluido o discriminado respecto a

otros medios, el estudio recoge que en los 28 números aparecen 3 páginas del

Tesoro Público, 2 de Telefónica, 1 de Hacienda, de Instituto Español de Comercio

Exterior, V Centenario de España, Amper, RENFE, Parlamento Europeo, Oferta

Pública de Empleo y anuncios de administraciones no gobernadas por el PSOE.

También de sociedades como Endesa (2 páginas), Iberia (4), Tabacalera (2), etc.

Evidentemente, había publicidad de la administración estatal socialista o de

sociedades con participación estatal, pero en menor número que en otros medios,

como denunciaban los afectados, entre ellos asimismo El Mundo. Ahora bien, no

puede olvidarse, sin embargo, que la tirada de El Independiente era inferior a la de

los grandes medios nacionales, aunque —resulta inevitable la casuística— también

su tarifa.

En consecuencia, todo indica que la escasez de anuncios se debía a cuatro factores

concomitantes: las reducidas ventas, una cierta discriminación gubernamental,

el poco atractivo del periódico y su línea editorial izquierdista.

Cuantificando más, resulta realmente difícil obtener una cifra exacta de ingresos

publicitarios, debido a la existencia de páginas de promoción, inserciones de

clavo o gratuitas, descuentos en unos casos y recargos por emplazamientos en

otros, páginas de breves, etc. Si compensamos unas con otras y homogeneizamos

los anuncios sobre la unidad de página en día laboral -580.000 pesetas o 3.485

euros, frente a las 700.000 de los domingos y frente a las 720.000 pesetas que

resulta de multiplicar por los 40 módulos de una plana el precio de 18.000 pesetas/

módulo- obtendríamos que las 6,07 páginas diarias generarían en 1991 unos

ingresos por publicidad de 3.520.000 pesetas/día de las de entonces, unos 21.155

euros.

Menores incluso resultaban los ingresos por ventas, que calculamos en

3.120.000 pesetas diarias en 1991 (18.751 euros) si aceptamos la cifra de 117.000

lectores proporcionada por el Estudio General de Medios (1986-98) para el citado

año, cifra que, dividiéndola entre tres, permite hablar de una difusión de 39.000

ejemplares. El precio del ejemplar era de 80 pesetas (0,48 euros) desde el 13 de

febrero del año 91.

Sumando ambos capítulos, obtenemos que los ingresos diarios por publicidad

y venta de ejemplares podían ascender a 6.640.000 pesetas (39.907 euros), lo que

vendría a suponer, continuando la extrapolación, unas entradas mensuales de 199

millones de pesetas o 2.410 millones al año (14,48 millones de euros), considerando

los 363 días de aparición. Ingresos, en definitiva, que se quedaban muy cortos,

para mantener una plantilla de 260 trabajadores, bien pagados en general y de

manera especialmente generosa en los casos de los directivos o grandes articulistas,

como Antonio Gala o Camilo José Cela, que cobraba 100.000 pesetas de las de

entonces por artículo. Claro que se trataba de un Nobel y de otro gran escritor cargado

de los mejores premios nacionales; el problema, a tenor de la cifra de ventas,

es que no atraían muchos lectores al periódico.

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Esto explica el montante de pérdidas que fue acumulando la empresa, las sucesivas

ampliaciones de capital, disminución del valor de las acciones y otros números

en el plano inclinado de la gráfica de resultados hacia el cierre.

La empresa Ediobser, cuyo nombre fue registrado pensando en editar El

Observador, aunque se adelantó una empresa catalana y se optó por dar el nombre

de El Independiente a la cabecera, fue una fundación personal de Pablo Sebastián,

con 100.000 pesetas, que, al cabo del tiempo, cuando salió de la dirección y de la

empresa, le reportarían 100 millones de la vieja divisa española. Empezó sus operaciones

el 9 de septiembre de 1986 y cinco meses después ya se produce la primera

ampliación de capital, hasta 250 millones, sentándose en el Consejo de

Administración Luis González Seara, Pablo Sebastián, Jaime Peñafiel y empresarios

y abogados como Carlos García Pardo, Francisco Segrelles, José Osinalde,

Luis Carlos Rodrigo Mazuré y Santiago Muñoz Machado. Pronto figurarían entre

los accionistas, directamente o a través de otras sociedades, Miguel Durán, como

presidente de la Once, Mario Conde, Jacques Hachuel… Algunos de estos accionistas

están encausados en el caso Telecinco, que juzga ahora el Tibunal Supremo.

Las sucesivas pérdidas absorbieron los diferentes aumentos de capital, los más

importantes, según hemos visto en los libros registrales de la sociedad, el de 877

millones del 14-12-1989; 1.810, del 23-2-1990; 635, del 16-04-1991, y 1.429, del

12 del 6 de 1992, con un total desembolsado de 5.753 millones de pesetas, superados

por unas pérdidas que, al cierre del periódico, estaban en 7.566 millones, a los

que todavía se sumaron otros 100 millones esfumados con posterioridad; en total,

7.666 millones de pesetas de las de antes, 46 millones de euros.

La mayor parte de este dinero salió del bolsillo del constructor vasco José

Osinalde y, sobre todo, de las sociedades Divercisa y Uniprex, pertencientes a la

ONCE y que tenían una pasmosa liquidez. A Divercisa le costó El Independiente

2.064 millones de pesetas en acciones, más 1.913 en aval de una deuda contraída

con el Banco Español de Crédito, más otros 10 de una ampliación acordada el 29

de junio de 1992… en total unos 3.978 millones de pesetas, 24 millones de euros.

Divercisa, cuyos movimientos se juzgan en el caso Telecinco, se había inscrito

el 9-9-1986 con un capital de 3 millones de pesetas, que fueron aumentados en 997

el 8-6-1989, en otros 9.000 el 10-12-90, en 2.309 el 31-12-91 y en 15,3 millones el

16-2-2000; pero el 22-12-1996 se consigna una disminución de capital, por pérdidas,

de 12.087 millones de pesetas. Una buena parte de esta cantidad se esfumó en

El Independiente, otra se invirtió en la compra de Telecinco, alguna cantidad debió

de recuperarse tras la venta de la rotativa Albert adquirida por la ONCE, y de otra

quizás se sepa cuando el Tribunal Supremo decida sobre el recurso presentado por

la Abogacía del Estado por el recurso de casación interpuesto tras el fallo de la

Audiencia Nacional de 9-4-2007, que absuelve de delitos fiscales y de falsedad a

los encausados Miguel Durán, Santiago Muñoz Machado, Francisco Javier de la

Rosa Martí, Rafael Álvarez-Bouza Diego, Ángel Medrano Cuesta, Alfredo

Messina, Giovanni Acampara y Juan Carlos López-Cid Fuentes, algunos de ellos

viejos conocidos en los consejos de Administración de Ediobser.

Se trató, por lo tanto, de unas pérdidas cuantiosas, aunque no mayores que las

padecidas por otras empresas informativas en sus inicios y que, no obstante, resul-

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taban muy poco significativas en el cómputo de los 300.000 millones de ingresos

por la venta del cupón que se presupuestaban para 1991.

4. ANÁLISIS COMPARATIVO CON LA PUBLICIDAD Y DIFUSIÓN DE

EL MUNDO

Un análisis comparativo de los ingresos publicitarios de El Independiente y los

de El Mundo20, periódico que pugnaba entonces del mismo modo por la aceptación

en los quioscos, muestra la gran diferencia existente entre ambos. Ponderando

los diferentes formatos (40 módulos por página El Independiente y 45, de menor

tamaño, El Mundo), excluyendo las páginas de breves en compensación por las de

clavo, promoción, repeticiones, etc., y comparando las mismas fechas aleatorias

de 199121, el año del cierre, cotejamos que siempre tiene más publicidad El

Mundo y, más aún, que siempre es mejor su relación publicidad por página que la

de El Independiente, realizado, en consecuencia, con mayores costes de papel y

menos ingresos, también con mayores costes de personal, como es sabido, porque

su plantilla era más grande y estaba mejor pagada.

La siguiente tabla, realizada para nuestro libro De las tramas contra El

Independiente a la concentración mediática actual, es suficientemente aclaratoria:

COMPARACIÓN DE LA PUBLICIDAD EL INDEPENDIENTE/EL MUNDO. 1991

Fecha Periódico Págs./Tot. % Periódico Págs./Tot. % Dif. pág. Dif. %

02-01 El Indep. 5,25/48 10,90 El Mundo 8,55/52 16,44 -3,30 -5,54

04-02 El Indep. 6,65/64 10,39 El Mundo 7,40/56 13,21 -0,75 -2,82

07-03 El Indep. 3,80/64 5,94 El Mundo 10,70/56 19,11 -6,90 -13.17

10-04 El Indep. 7,77/64 12,14 El Mundo 9,55/60 15,92 -1,78 -3,78

13-05 El Indep. 10,82/72 15,02 El Mundo 19,87/72 27,60 -9,05 -12,58

16-06 El Indep. 5,78/80 7,08 El Mundo 9,64/72 13,39 -3,86 -6,31

19-07 El Indep. 4,50/56 8,03 El Mundo 9,62/60 16,03 -5,12 -8,00

22-08 El Indep. 2,77/64 4,33 El Mundo 6,08/52 11,69 -3,31 -7,36

25-09 El Indep. 3,60/64 5,62 El Mundo 4,42/68 6,50 -0,82 -0,88

28-10 El Indep. 8,60/72 11,94 El Mundo 15,46/68 22,73 -6,86 -10,79

31-10 El Indep. 7,27/72 10,09 El Mundo 11,20/64 17,05 -3,93 -6,96

Total El Indep. 66,81/720 9,28 El Mundo 112,49/680 16,54 -45,68 -78,19

Medias El Indep. 6,07/65,45 9,22 El Mundo 10,22/61,82 16,53 -4,15 -7,11

Elaboración propia

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La tabla muestra que todos los días el rotativo de Pedo J. inserta más publicidad

que el de Pablo Sebastián y Manuel Soriano, llegando incluso a las 7 y 9 páginas

de diferencia el 7 de marzo y el 13 de mayo de 1991 y, además, con menos

gasto de papel (680 planas El Mundo en los 13 días escogidos aleatoriamente,

frente a las 720 de El Independiente en los mismos días). En cada número, El

Independiente publica una media de 4,15 páginas menos de publicidad que El

Mundo, que, por otra parte, contrata más anuncios de portada, con sus correspondientes

recargos.

El periódico de Ediobser no sólo insertaba menos publicidad que el de Unidad

Editorial, sino que, además, su tarifa era más baja como consecuencia de la menor

difusión, lo que en las páginas de El Mundo se esgrimía como argumento de la

exclusión oficial sin la menor contemplación. En mayo de 1991 El Mundo denunciaba

discriminación por parte del Ministerio de Asuntos Sociales hacia los periódicos

más críticos con el gobierno, recordando que su difusión era de 104.016

ejemplares en el periodo de 5 de noviembre de 1990 a 17 de abril de 1991, cifra

contrastada en la Guía de Medios del mismo año22, y aludiendo a la “escasa difusión

de El Independiente”, cuyos datos no figuraba en la OJD. El Estudio General

de Medios (1968-98) le asignaría después 84.000 lectores en 1990 y 11.7.000 en

1991, cantidades que, divididas entre 3 lectores por ejemplar, permitiría calcular

una difusión de 28.000 y 39.000 ejemplares vendidos, respectivamente. El

Independiente tuvo menos publicidad oficial, pero, en la misma medida, su departamento

correspondiente captó menos publicidad comercial que su principal competidor,

ya fuera debido a una peor gestión o a la mayor dificultad para conseguirla

con menos tirada o ambas causas de la vez.

Por otro lado, la plana publicitaria de El Mundo se vendía en 1991 a 790.000

pesetas, frente a las 580.000 de la de El Independiente. Si en 1991 insertaba, como

hemos visto, una media de 10,22 páginas (4,15 más que el de Ediobser), sus ingresos

diarios se elevaban a 8.073.800 pesetas, 4.553.200 más que el periódico de

nuestro estudio. Si a esto añadimos que sus ingresos por venta de ejemplares

(104.001 por 80 ptas.) se elevaban a 8.320.080 pesetas, obtenemos en este capítulo

una diferencia de 5.200.080 unidades de la antigua moneda. Todo ello arroja una

cifra de 9.753.280 pesetas diarias de diferencia entre los ingresos de las dos cabeceras,

que, multiplicados por los 363 días de publicación al año, eleva a 3.540

millones de pesetas ó 21,28 millones de euros de diferencia de ingresos anual.

Naturalmente y al margen de las tramas y los manejos políticos, es una cantidad

que define la inviabilidad económica de la empresa y explica la diferencia de trayectoria

de dos cabeceras con un inicio semejante en el tiempo y en el contexto.

Contrariamente a la idea de Manuel Soriano explicada en mi libro De las tramas

contra El Independiente a la concentración mediática actual, de que una

empresa periodística nunca cierra por razones económicas, todo parece indicar que

una empresa periodística no cierra, en un sistema democrático, si su cuenta de

resultados es favorable.

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5. UN GRAN GRUPO MEDIÁTICO

El Independiente, como indicamos, nació en un contexto de concentración

mediática, surgido en nuestro país con la transición democrática, que se fue acentuando

hasta llegar al estado actual. Era el inicio de un nuevo orden informativo,

por utilizar la terminología del profesor Jesús Timoteo Álvarez23 o nuevo sistema

mundial de comunicación, en terminología utilizada por Enrique Bustamante24.

Ya en 1988, los diez grupos más poderosos en España, que asociaban 28 cabeceras,

controlaban 2.200.481 de los 3.050.000 de ejemplares vendidos diariamente,

el 72 %, mientras que las 85 cabeceras restantes sumaban el 28%. Entre los

grandes holdings mundiales con presencia en medios de comunicación españoles

figuraban ya Bertelsmann, Time-Warner, Fininvest, Hachette, Pearson, Maxwell,

Mondadori…

Junto a ellos, descollaban poderosamente grupos españoles con gran expansión

en los años 90: Prisa (El País, El Siglo, Ser, Canal Plus, Editorial Santillana…),

Anaya (El Sol y un amplio grupo de editoras) Zeta (La Gaceta de los Negocios,

Tiempo, Interviú, Panorama, Telecinco…), Grupo 16 (Diario 16, Cambio 16,

Motor 16…), Prensa Española (Abc), Correo (El Correo Español- El Pueblo

Vasco), Godó (La Vanguardia), Prensa Ibérica (La Nueva España, Heraldo de

Aragón) y, desde noviembre de 1989, Unidad Editorial (El Mundo).

En este contexto, en el que resulta muy difícil competir con los poderosos, la

única salida empresarial para Ediobser era incorporarse a un gran grupo de comunicación,

perdiendo, obviamente, parte de su autonomía e independencia. A punto

estuvo de conseguirlo cuando la Organización Nacional de Ciegos (ONCE), a través

de Divercisa y Uniprex, se hizo con la mayoría de las acciones y dispuesta a

conformar un gran grupo mediático con Onda Cero, Telecinco, Servimedia y otras

publicaciones. Pero un cierto romanticismo trasnochado, el espíritu de independencia

inquebrantable y un afán crítico del que no escapaban la propia ONCE,

unido a las presiones de otros medios de comunicación contra Miguel Durán,

como presidente de la organización, y tal vez a las aludidas tramas de políticos

opuestos a un medio tan contestatario, dieron al traste con el proyecto.

Ciertamente estas fueron las claves.

Ahora bien, aún reconociendo que formar parte de un gran grupo genera sinergias

y apoyos casi decisivos, la historia muestra también en contraste que ni

siquiera eso salva a las publicaciones deficitarias, como sucedió con Claro (del

poderosos grupo alemán Spiegel), El Sol (grupo Anaya), Diario-16 (Grupo 16), Ya

(Edica) y el semanario El Globo (del Grupo Prisa, al igual que Radio El País, que

cerró con poco más de 6 meses de vida y unas pérdidas de 300 millones de pesetas.

De esta forma puede concluirse que fue determinante en el cierre el factor económico

o muy coadyuvante, si valoramos en la misma medida las tramas políticas

y los manejos empresariales.

Maximiliano Fernández Fernández La desaparación de El Independiente: tramas…

Historia y Comunicación Social

2008, 13 139-154

151

6. OTROS FACTORES: ESCASA REPERCUSIÓN, BUENAS PLUMAS,

IZQUIERDISMO…

Pero hay otros aspectos, además del contexto mediático, el económico, las circunstancias

políticas, etc., que no pueden pasar desapercibidos en la historia de

una publicación, como los de su repercusión, corrientes de opinión, posicionamientos,

aportaciones periodísticas y literarias…

Aunque se ha dicho que el periódico era leído en los despachos de los políticos

y empresarios españoles más influyentes y en los ámbitos culturales más progresistas,

como casi todos los rotativos nacionales, lo cierto que su escasa difusión le

restó influencia y no llegó a grandes sectores de la población. Su cierre fue recogido

en casi todas las cabeceras importantes de la época y sus páginas han sido

citadas para explicar movimientos políticos y empresariales o para ilustrar la vida

española de los años 80 y 90.

Así lo hacen, entre otros, los historiadores Alejandro Pizarroso25, Juan

Francisco Fuentes, Javier Fernández Sebastián26, María Luisa Suárez27 y María

Jesús Casals28 … y los periodistas Raúl Heras29, Víctor Márquez Reviriego30,

Pedro Muñoz31, Graciano Palomo32, José Díaz Herrera y Ramón Tijeras33, Pedro

J. Ramírez34, Eric Fratttini35, Pilar Cernuda36, José Antonio Martínez Soler37,

Fernando Jáuregui38, Juan Luis Galiacho39 …

Desde el punto de vista de su aportación al periodismo, la cabecera de

Ediobser y sus mentores pueden presumir de haber hecho una información verdaderamente

independiente y plural, crítica, sin cortapisas, muy orientada a la investigación

y a la denuncia de la corrupción política y del enriquecimiento económico

en la España de la transición democrática.

Sus posicionamientos fueron muy claros en contra de la primera guerra de

Irak, la de 1990, en contra del belicismo, del terrorismo etarra y del terrorismo de

Estado, en contra de cualquier corruptela, de todo lo que supusiera recortes a la

libertad de expresión, etc.

En este sentido deben interpretarse la denuncia de la muerte de la etarra Lucía

Origoitia de un tiro en la nuca; las declaraciones de Pablo Castellano que provocaron

una gran crisis en el PSOE; el asunto de la compra de vestidos, valorados en

varios millones de pesetas y con cargo a los presupuestos del Estado por la entonces

directora general de TVE, Pilar Miró; el dictamen contra la iniciativa de Canal

10; el caso de Monserrat Dexeus, la esposa del ministro Carlos Rmero, acusada de

controlar cuentas de campañas estatales desde una empresa publicitaria…

Otro tanto puede asegurarse en lo que se refiere a su aportación literaria, con

excelentes artículos de Camilo José Cela y Raúl del Pozo, a los que se unían diariamente

los cortos afilados de Antonio Gala —”La Proa” y “La Tronera”—, los

divertimentos de Aurora Pavón (Pablo Sebastián) y Jaime Peñafiel y las grandes

firmas tanto habituales, según las épocas, de González Seara, Abel Hernández,

Andrés Aberasturi, Fernando Jáuregui…, como de colaboradores ocasiones

(Aranguren, Caro Baroja, J.J. Armas Marcelo, Fernando Arrabal, Caballero

Bonald, Antonio Burgos…)

Maximiliano Fernández Fernández La desaparación de El Independiente: tramas…

152 Historia y Comunicación Social

2008, 13 139-154

Los primeros y los geniales viñetistas Chumy Chúmez y El Roto, constituyeron

un grupo creador crítico y rebelde, un verdadero colectivo de autores con una

marca de identidad que difícilmente se encuentra en otros periódicos de nuestra

época.

Respecto a sus posicionamientos izquierdistas, a los que aludíamos anteriormente,

remitimos del mismo modo a nuestro estudio de contenidos realizado en el

libro De las tramas contra El Independiente a la concentración mediática

actual40, en el que se pone de manifiesto tanto la rebeldía editorial como las recurrencias

informativas a posicionamientos ubicados a la izquierda del PSOE, nacionalismo

vasco, grupos políticos y sociales minoritarios, algún guiño republicano y

otros posicionamientos alejados de las mayorías sociológicas centristas.

CONCLUSIONES

En definitiva, no se puede achacar a una única causa el cierre de El

Independiente, sino a causas concomitantes, muy convergentes: contexto muy

competitivo, no pertenencia a un gran grupo mediático, grandes pérdidas económicas

(derivadas de su reducida tirada, escasos apoyos publicitarios, elevadas retribuciones

y deficiente gestión), presiones de otros medios, aislamiento político…

Sin duda una de las principales causas objetivas fue la escasa difusión del

periódico, consecuencia a su vez de tres planteamientos erróneos concomitantes:

poco atractiva e incómoda presentación, falta de mercadotecnia y línea editorial

lejana a las preferencias de las mayorías lectoras.

Sin embargo, creemos que fue una gran aventura periodística, que demostró la

dificultad de competir en solitario en el mercado nacional; una interesante experiencia

de libertad de expresión, con un alto coste —aislamiento y cierre—, y una

interesantísima aportación al periodismo español de finales del siglo XX, caracterizada

por sus tendencias críticas, su independencia y sus valores literarios.

BIBLIOGRAFÍA CITADA

AA.VV.

El Independiente, El País, El Mundo, Abc…

AA.VV.:

Guía de Medios de Comunicación de España, nº 108, Madrid, Remarca, 1991.

BUSTAMANTE, Enrique (coord.), Hacia un nuevo sistema mundial de comunicación,

Barcelona, Gedisa, 2003.

CERNUDA, Pilar, y JÁUREGUI, Fernando, Crónicas de la crispación. Una visión personal

del fin del felipismo, Madrid, 1996.

DÍAZ HERRERA, José y TIJERAS, Ramón: El dinero del poder. La trama económica

en la España socialista, Madrid, Cambio 16, 1991.

DÍAZ NOSTY, B, “Crecimiento de la oferta, crecimiento del negocio”, en Informes anuales

de Fundesco. Comunicación social 1989/Tendencias, Madrid, 1989.

Maximiliano Fernández Fernández La desaparación de El Independiente: tramas…

Historia y Comunicación Social

2008, 13 139-154

153

FERNÁNDEZ FERNÁNDEZ, Maximiliano, De las tramas contra El Independiente a

la concentración mediática actual, Madrid, Fragua, 2007.

FRATTINI, Eric, y COLÍAS, Yolanda, Tiburones de la comunicación. Grandes líderes

de los grupos multimedia, Madrid, Pirámide, 1996.

FUENTES, Juan Francisco, y FERNÁNDEZ SEBASTIÁN, Javier, Historia del

Periodismo español, Madrid, Síntesis, 1997

FUNDESCO,

Comunicación Social, 1989 1990, Tendencias.

GALIACHO,J.L., Del cielo al abismo, Barcelona, Nueva República, 2006.

HERAS, Raúl, El Clan. La historia secreta de la beatiful people, Madrid, Temas de hoy,

1990.

JÁUREGUI, Fernando, Cinco horas y toda una vida con Fraga. La historia de un fracaso

admirable, Madrid, Espejo de Tinta, 2004.

MÁRQUEZ REVIRIEGO, Víctor, El desembarco andaluz, Barcelona, Planeta, 1990.

MARTÍNEZ SOLER, José Antonio, Jaque a Polanco. La Guerra digital: un enfrentamiento

en las trincheras de la política, el dinero y la prensa. Madrid, Temas de hoy,

1998.

MONTAÑÉS, F. Montañés, “El decenio de la revolución mediática”, El Mundo, 26-10-

1991, C-3.

MUÑOZ, Pedro, RTVE, La sombra del escándalo, Madrid, Temas de hoy, 1990.

PALOMO, Graciano, El vuelo del halcón, Madrid, Temas de hoy, 1990.

PIZARROSO, Alejandro: De la Gazeta Nueva a Canal Plus. Breve historia de los

medios de comunicación en España, Madrid, 1992.

RAMÍREZ, Pedro J. Y ROBLES, Marta, Pedro J. Ramírez. El Mundo en mis manos,

Barcelona, Grijalbo, 1991.

SANTAMARÍA SUÁREZ, Luisa, El comentario periodístico. Los géneros persuasivos,

Madrid, 1990.

SANTAMARÍA SUÁREZ, Luisa, y CASALS CARRO, María Jesús, La opinión periodística,

argumentos y géneros para la persuasión, Madrid, fragua, 2000

TIMOTEO ÁLVAREZ, Jesús, Del viejo orden informativo, Madrid, Actas, 1997.

NOTAS

1 El País, 29-10-1991, p. 21.

2 “Jacques Hachuel cierra el diario El Independiente”, El País, 31-10-1991, p. 33.

3 “La ONCE vende El Independiente”, en El Mundo, 26-10-1991, C5, y “Los trabajadores piden el

respeto al compromiso del rotativo con las libertades”, El Mundo 27-10-1991.

4 “El Independiente desaparece hoy como diario y El Sol destituye a cuatro de sus altos cargos”, El

Mundo, 31-10-1991, p. 21.

5 “Miguel Durán afirma que abandona El Independiente por presiones externas”, El Independiente,

29-10-1991, p. 22.

6 “La lucha por una cabecera independiente”, EI, 29-10-1991, p. 1.

7 “Comunicado del Comité de empresa”, EI, 29-10-1991, p. 22.

8 “Un tremendo daño”, EI, 29-10-1991, p. 22.

9 “Muere un periódico vivo”, EI, 31-10-1991, p. 1.

Maximiliano Fernández Fernández La desaparación de El Independiente: tramas…

154 Historia y Comunicación Social

2008, 13 139-154

10 “Vamos a seguir”, EI, 29-10-1991, p. 19.

11 “Meye Muelle”, Abc, 9-11-1991, p. 28.

12 PAVÓN, Aurora (Pablo Sebastián), “Abierta está la cancela”, Abc, 14-6-1991, p. 33.

13 DÍAZ NOSTY, B, “Crecimiento de la oferta, crecimiento del negocio”, en Informes anuales de

Fundesco. Comunicación social 1989/Tendencias, Madrid, 1989, p. 23.

14 MONTAÑÉS, F. Montañés, “El decenio de la revolución mediática”, El Mundo, 26-10-1991, C-3.

15 FUNDESCO, Comunicación Social, 1989, Tendencias, p. 23.

16 FUNDESCO, Comunicación Social, 1990, Tendencias, p. 23.

17 “Ya vuelve el español do solía”, EI, 31-10-1991, p. 71.

18 “Cierran El Independiente diario”, EI, 31-10-1991, p. 1.

19 Se empezó el 2 de enero porque el día de Año Nuevo no se publican periódicos, siguiendo el 4, y,

a partir de ahí, múltiplos de 3.

20 Puede verse con más detalle en nuestra obra De las tramas contra El Independiente a la concentración

mediática actual, Madrid, Fragua, 2007, pp. 184-190.

21 Se empieza el 2 de enero porque el 1 no hay periódicos, siguiendo con el 4, y, a partir de ahí, múltiplos

de 3.

22 Guía de Medios de Comunicación de España, nº 108, Madrid, Remarca, 1991.

23 TIMOTEO ÁLVAREZ, Jesús, Del viejo orden informativo, Madrid, Actas, 1997.

24 BUSTAMANTE, Enrique, Hacia un nuevo sistema mundial de información, 2003.

25 PIZARROSO, Alejandro: De la Gazeta Nueva a Canal Plus. Breve historia de los medios de

comunicación en España, Madrid, 1992, p. 210.

26 FUENTES, Juan Francisco, y FERNÁNDEZ SEBASTIÁN, Javier, Historia del Periodismo español,

Madrid, Síntesis, 1997. p. 333.

27 SANTAMARÍA SUÁREZ, Luisa, El comentario periodístico. Los géneros persuasivos, Madrid,

p. 1990.

28 SANTAMARÍA SUÁREZ, Luisa, y CASALS CARRO, María Jesús, La opinión periodística,

argumentos y géneros para la persuasión, Madrid, Fragua, 2000.

29 HERAS, Raúl, El Clan. La historia secreta de la beatiful people, Madrid, Temas de hoy, 1990.

30 MÁRQUEZ REVIRIEGO, Víctor, El desembarco andaluz, Barcelona, Planeta, 1990.

31 MUÑOZ, Pedro, RTVE, La sombra del escándalo, Madrid, Temas de hoy, 1990.

32 PALOMO, Graciano, El vuelo del halcón, Madrid, Temas de hoy, 1990.

33 DÍAZ HERRERA, José y TIJERAS, Ramón: El dinero del poder. La trama económica en la

España socialista, Madrid, Cambio 16, 1991.

34 RAMÍREZ, Pedro J. Y ROBLES, Marta, Pedro J. Ramírez. El Mundo en mis manos, Barcelona,

Grijalbo, 1991.

35 FRATTINI, Eric, y COLÍAS, Yolanda, Tiburones de la comunicación. Grandes líderes de los grupos

multimedia, Madrid, Pirámide, 1996.

36 CERNUDA, Pilar, y JÁUREGUI, Fernando, Crónicas de la crispación. Una visión personal del

fin del felipismo, Madrid, 1996.

37 MARTÍNEZ SOLER, José Antonio, Jaque a Polanco. La Guerra digital: un enfrentamiento en las

trincheras de la política, el dinero y la prensa. Madrid, Temas de hoy, 1998.

38 JÁUREGUI, Fernando, Cinco horas y toda una vida con Fraga. La historia de un fracaso admirable,

Madrid, Espejo de Tinta, 2004.

39 GALIACHO,J.L., Del cielo al abismo, Barcelona, Nueva República, 2006.

40 Ibid, pp. 49-157.

OTRO TEXTO DE INTERES PARA CONOCER, DE MODO CRÍTICO, EL “CASO” del Diario El Independiente y de cómo fue víctima del Poder político de los yuppies socialdemócratas (PSOE) , con Felipe González al mando. https://cvc.cervantes.es/literatura/aih/pdf/13/aih_13_4_037.pdf

El nuevo orden del dinero , tras la crisis del coro na , video entrevista con el experto alemán Ernst Wolff(video en alemán, con posibilidad de poner subtítulos automáticos en español)

Documental francés sobre un complot mundial forjado en torno al virus coro na

www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/covid-19-hold-up-le-documentaire-sur-un-complot-mondial-qui-fait-polemique-20201112

COMENTARIOS CRITICOS MATERIALISTAS(NO IDEALISTAS)SOBRE LA IDEA DE DEMOCRACIA Y SU FRACASO COMO MODELO DE SISTEMA POLITICO EN EL SIGLO XXI.RESEÑA DEL LIBRO DE GUSTAVO BUENO, FILOSOFO ESPAÑOL(21926-2016): PANFLETO CONTRA LA DEMOCRACIA REALMENTE EXSISTENTE. EXPOSION POR EL PROFESOR JESUS G MAESTRO, DE LA UNIV. DE VIGO(ESPAÑA)…MAS VIDEO DONDE EL AUTOR DEL PANFLETO (GUSTAVO BUENO)EXPLICA SUS TESIS

LA DEMOCRACIA SISTEMA POLITICO FRACASADO EN EL SIGLO XXI.SU DERIVA TIENDE A SU CONTRARIO REALMENTE: LA TIRANIA Y EL DESPOTISMO DE CORTE “TOTALITARIO” IN FIERI

PRESENTACION DE GUSTAVO BUENO SOBRE EL PANFLETO CONTRA LA DEMOCRACIA REALMENTE EXISTENTE . Presentación del libro “Panfleto contra la democracia realmente existente” de Gustavo Bueno Martínez el 20 de Abril del 2004 en Gijón.

Algunas claves para analizar la crisis de la pandemia del corona: Clado X1: Un arma biológica para la reducción de la población Por Paul Schreyer

30 de octubre de 2020

https://kenfm.de/clade-x-un-arma-biologica-para-la-reduccion-de-la-poblacion-por-paul-schreyer/

[Paul Schreyer, “Chronik einer angekündigten Krise: wie ein Virus die Welt verändern konnte”, KenFM, 28 de octubre de 2020. <https://kenfm.de/clade-x-eine-biowaffe-zur-bevoelkerungsreduktion-von-paul-schreyer/> y originalmente en multipolar-Magazin, 27 de octubre de 2020 <https://multipolar-magazin.de/artikel/clade-x>]

Clado X1: Un arma biológica para la reducción de la población | Por Paul Schreyer

Corona y vacunas en contexto de crisis de Occidente; buscando cambio de paradigma. Propuestas para el análisis y la crítica materialista.

En 2018, un pequeño círculo de expertos gubernamentales en Washington ensayó una epidemia causada por un arma biológica, según el guión, provocada por un grupo que quería reducir la población mundial para lograr, así literalmente, “el ‘reseto’ o ‚’cambio de paradigma‘ que sería necesario para cambiar fundamentalmente el equilibrio”.

[Un extracto del libro: Paul Schreyer, “Chronik einer angekündigten Krise: wie ein Virus die Welt verändern konnte” [“Crónica de una crisis anunciada: Cómo un virus pudo cambiar el mundo“], Westend Verlag, Frankfurt/M, Septiembre de 2020.]

Por Paul Schreyer.

Después de que entre 1998 y 2005, en el contexto de la “guerra contra el terrorismo”, habían sido puestos en marcha ejercicios de pandemia cada vez más apocalípticos en un veloz stacatto, disminuyó la frecuencia de los mismos. Poco sucedió durante más de diez años. A partir de 2008, el principal tema mundial de la crisis financiera aparentemente ofreció pocos puntos de partida para maniobras de simulación, como en alguno en torno a un virus de la viruela. E incluso el fiasco de la gripe porcina [H1N1] de 2009 probablemente tuvo que ser digerido primero.2

La situación cambió con el surgimiento de Donald Trump, un evento simbólico del visible declive del sistema mundial liderado por los Estados Unidos. Poco después de su elección como presidente de los Estados Unidos en noviembre de 2016, que inicialmente parecía increíble para muchos observadores y que envió ondas de choque a todo el mundo, la realización de los ejercicios comenzó de nuevo.

En este momento, se intensificaron los esfuerzos de Bill Gates por vincular las cuestiones de las vacunas, la seguridad internacional y el bioterrorismo. En enero de 2017, viajó a la reunión del Foro Económico Mundial en Davos, donde declaró que “es necesario celebrar debates serios sobre cómo prepararse para un posible ataque con armas biológicas”.3Gates anunció que tenía la intención de discutir este tema con mayor profundidad en la Conferencia de Seguridad de Munich en febrero de ese mismo año. La ocasión fue el lanzamiento de la iniciativa de investigación de vacunas CEPI (Coalición para las Innovaciones en Preparación para Epidemias),4 que fundó junto con la industria farmacéutica y varios gobiernos. El objetivo de esta iniciativa era desarrollar vacunas mucho más rápido que antes – en menos de doce meses en lugar de diez años – y asegurar la financiación público-privada para ello.5

En 2017, la Conferencia de Seguridad de Munich, donde Gates apareció subsiguientemente, fue completamente eclipsada por la mudanza de Donald Trump a la Casa Blanca unas semanas atrás. El periódico Frankfurter Allgemenine Zeitung(FAZ) informó de una “peculiar atmósfera en los pasillos y salas traseras” del lugar de la conferencia:

“Rara vez -quizás nunca antes- los rostros de los jefes de Estado, ministros, adláteres y expertos que han viajado hasta allí han estado tan marcados por los signos de interrogación. La creciente incertidumbre, inseguridad y desconfianza preocuparon a los participantes y ensombrecieron todas las discusiones: ¿Dejarán abandonados los americanos a los europeos? ¿La OTAN se está deshilachando? Y sobre todo: ¿qué mantendrá unido a Occidente en el futuro? (…) Es como si más de 20 jefes de gobierno, más de 80 ministros, adlátes y expertos, en resumen la élite de los responsables de la política exterior y de seguridad, se reunieran para lo que probablemente sea la mayor terapia de grupo que este aparato ha experimentado en este siglo. Con un objetivo incierto: averiguar qué terreno común ha quedado – y si todavía apoyan una arquitectura de seguridad occidental.”6

“Me niego a aceptar el colapso de nuestro orden mundial”
Según el FAZ, John McCain, uno de los más influyentes expertos en política exterior de los EE.UU., golpeó “el núcleo de la crisis del alma de Occidente” en su discurso de Munich: la cuestión de si Occidente sobreviviría, dijo McCain, había sido previamente desestimada como un alarmismo – pero ahora era “mortalmente grave”. El conservador de línea dura (que murió un año después) concluyó su discurso, que recibió un estruendoso aplauso de la audiencia reunida de líderes estatales y personal militar, con la concisa confesión: „Me niego a aceptar la caída de nuestro orden mundial.7

Fue en esta conferencia, ante esta misma audiencia, que Bill Gates habló al día siguiente. En él, explicó acerca de los peligros y los posibles detalles de una gran pandemia:

“La próxima epidemia podría estar en la pantalla de la computadora de un terrorista que utiliza la ingeniería genética para crear una versión sintética del virus de la viruela o un virus de la gripe extremadamente contagioso y mortal. (…) Ya sea por un fenómeno de la naturaleza o a manos de un terrorista, los epidemiólogos dicen que un patógeno de rápida propagación en el aire podría matar a más de 30 millones de personas en menos de un año. (…) Debemos prepararnos para las epidemias como los militares se preparan para la guerra. Esto incluye maniobras (“juegos de gérmenes” [“germ games“]) y otros simulacros de emergencia para comprender mejor cómo se propagan las enfermedades, cómo reacciona la gente en caso de pánico, y cómo lidiamos con cosas como las autopistas y los sistemas de comunicación congestionados.”8

Tres meses después, el Centro de Seguridad de la Salud de la Universidad Johns Hopkins comenzó a planificar exhaustivamente para una nueva maniobra pandémica por primera vez en muchos años, incluso más grande y compleja que las anteriores. El título era „Clade X“. Los preparativos comenzaron en mayo de 2017, cuatro meses después de la entrada de Trump en la Casa Blanca.9

El escenario era diferente esta vez: ni plaga, ni ántrax, sino un nuevo tipo de mezcla de virus, que según el guion habría sido desarrollado en el laboratorio de una empresa de biotecnología: una combinación genética de un virus de parainfluenza altamente infeccioso y el virus de Nipah, particularmente mortal. (El virus de Nipah, por cierto, estalló en tiempo real en la India al mismo tiempo que el ejercicio y fue contenido allí con la ayuda de un investigador del ejército de los Estados Unidos que había desarrollado una vacuna cuyas empresas fabricantes recibieron una financiación de 25 millones de dólares después del brote).10

“Acción directa para lograr el ‘reset’
Lo novedoso del guión del ejercicio no era sólo el tipo de virus, sino también el hecho de que ya no se asumía que había terroristas sin nombre ni biografía, sino que un documento que acompañaba la maniobra describía con sorprendente detalle la historia del grupo terrorista ficticio ABD (“A Brighter Dawn” [“Un Amanecer Más Brillante”]). Ahí decía:

“Un Amanecer Más Brillante“ se formó en los Estados Unidos en la década de 1990. El objetivo declarado del grupo era frenar y eventualmente revertir el decaimiento del planeta causado por la sobrepoblación. En ese momento, el objetivo del ABD era ayudar a la humanidad a volver a un estado anterior. Las actividades del grupo en ese momento eran generalmente pacíficas e incluían conferencias y grupos de discusión, activismo de base y relaciones públicas.

Para 2010, el número de miembros de “Un Amanecer Más Brillante” había crecido considerablemente, tanto en número como en diversidad geográfica. Había miembros y asociaciones locales en muchos países. En esta época, parece haber ocurrido un cisma en “Un Amanecer Más Brillante”. Un grupo extremo del ABD consideró que se necesitaba una acción directa para lograr el “reinicio” o “cambio de paradigma” [“reset or paradigm shift“] que sería necesario para alterar el equilibrio de manera fundamental.

Este grupo escindido estaba formado por no más de 30 personas. Un carismático líder tomó la iniciativa y trabajó estrechamente con otros 25 miembros de ABD del grupo que tenían una educación en ciencias de la vida, incluyendo virólogos. Tras el cisma, el grupo escindido estableció un laboratorio cerca de Zurich, haciéndose pasar por una pequeña empresa de biotecnología de nueva creación. Estableció un sofisticado laboratorio de ciencias de la vida con equipo comercialmente disponible y se centró en el desarrollo de un arma biológica que tuviera un impacto global. Los líderes del ABD también parecen haberse guiado por la idea de una plaga bíblica como un correctivo a los excesos de la humanidad. El grupo escindido fue financiado por sus miembros, donantes privados afines y por su participación en actividades ilegales. (…)

Después de que el patógeno Clade-X se desarrollara y fabricara con éxito, los voluntarios del ABD, que estaban dispuestos a correr el riesgo de infección, viajaron por todo el mundo con pequeñas cantidades del patógeno líquido y propagaron los virus con botellas de spray estándar en lugares públicos concurridos. Los numerosos ataques fueron relativamente ineficaces, ya que casi la mitad de ellos no infectaron a nadie; los demás ataques dieron lugar a que un promedio de sólo 50 personas se enfermaran. Sin embargo, esto fue suficiente para desencadenar la pandemia del Clade X.”11

El ejercicio tuvo lugar en Washington el 15 de mayo de 2018, de nuevo en el lujoso Hotel Mandarin Oriental. El brote ensayado comenzó en Alemania. En el ejercicio fueron simuladas una serie de reuniones del Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de los EE.UU., los jugadores eran de nuevo políticos estadounidenses de alto rango, algunos de los cuales ya habían tenido similares o idénticas funciones gubernamentales y parlamentarias en la realidad.12

De acuerdo con el guión, uno de los primeros eventos después del brote fue el desarrollo de una prueba de PCR para detectar el virus.13 (pdf, p. 11) El debate se centró entonces en gran medida en las restricciones de viaje y el “lockdown” [confinamiento] (entonces llamado “cuarentena”). Se habló del “nivel de violencia para mantener la cuarentena” que podría permitirse.14 (pdf, p. 31) Se llegó a la conclusión de que había que crear más “claridad jurídica…en cuestiones de traspaso de poderes durante la cuarentena”. El gobierno también debería incluir en los planes los posibles efectos negativos de este tipo de cuarentena, “incluida la resistencia pública a su aplicación”.15

150 millones de muertos
En el ejercicio, la crisis se experimentó en cámara rápida. El brote a ser regulado abarcaba un período de muchos meses. Según el escenario, el número de muertes aumentó al final a 150 millones en todo el mundo, incluyendo 15 millones en los Estados Unidos. Según los autores, se trataba de cifras todavía bajas, sólo posibles por el hecho de que la producción de la vacuna había sido extremadamente acelerada.

Por lo tanto, al final del ejercicio, la primera prioridad era pedir al gobierno que proporcionara los fondos necesarios de inmediato para desarrollar nuevas vacunas “en el plazo de meses, no de años”.16 Se mencionaron en particular las nuevas vacunas de ARN (como las promovidas por Bill Gates), que modifican genéticamente a los seres humanos y desempeñan un papel importante en la crisis de Corona.17 Las recomendaciones de los planificadores del ejercicio al gobierno declararon:

“Los recientes avances en la biología sintética (…) abren nuevas oportunidades para el rápido descubrimiento de medicamentos y vacunas eficaces. Del mismo modo, los nuevos enfoques de las contramedidas, como las vacunas de ARNm auto-reforzadas (…) son plataformas prometedoras que permiten un rápido desarrollo en una emergencia. (…) todo esto podría hacerse de forma distribuida para que más gente en más lugares pudiera producir antídotos a gran escala”.18

Con todo, el ejercicio pareció un éxito para los organizadores. Llegaron a la conclusión de que el ejercicio había llegado a un gran público y había aumentado la conciencia de los efectos de las pandemias. El Washington Post había informado sobre el ejercicio tres veces. El Clade X dio lugar a una serie de presentaciones y eventos de seguimiento en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos, la Reunión de Expertos de la Convención sobre Armas Biológicas, el Centro para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades de Estados Unidos (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés)), el Instituto Aspen y otras organizaciones.19

Por lo tanto, el tema volvió a estar en la agenda en varios niveles. (…) Cuando el equipo del Centro Johns Hopkins para la Seguridad de la Salud diseñó posteriormente un ejercicio de seguimiento aún más grande y complejo (“Event 201”), se sumó la principal liga de patrocinadores: la Fundación Bill y Melinda Gates y el Foro Económico Mundial (WEF, por sus siglas en inglés). (…) Este ejercicio fue fundamentalmente diferente de los anteriores en el sentido de que esta vez no se trataba de debates y votaciones para ensayar dentro del gobierno, sino explícitamente de capacitar a los gobiernos para colaborar con las corporaciones globales durante una pandemia. En una descripción del Centro Johns Hopkins para la Seguridad de la Salud se dice:20

“En los últimos años, el mundo ha experimentado un número creciente de epidemias, que ascienden a unos 200 eventos anuales. Estos acontecimientos van en aumento y están perturbando la salud, la economía y la sociedad. Hacer frente a estos acontecimientos ya está ejerciendo una presión sobre las capacidades mundiales, incluso en ausencia de una amenaza pandémica. Los expertos están de acuerdo en que es sólo cuestión de tiempo para que una de estas epidemias se convierta en mundial, en una pandemia con consecuencias potencialmente catastróficas. Una pandemia grave que se convierte en el „Evento 201“ requeriría una cooperación fiable entre las industrias, los gobiernos y las principales instituciones internacionales. (…) Similar a los tres ejercicios previos del Centro -Clade X [clado X (2018)], Dark Winter [Invierno Obsucro (2001)] y Atlantic Storm [Tormenta Atlántica (2005)]-21 el Evento 201 tenía como objetivo informar y educar a los altos dirigentes del gobierno de los Estados Unidos, otros gobiernos y corporaciones globales.

El ejercicio Evento 201 tuvo lugar el 18 de octubre de 2019, dos meses antes de que el coronavirus saliera a la luz, y simuló de manera irritante en los hechos el brote de una pandemia mundial de coronavirus.

Este texto es un extracto del libro: Paul Schreyer, Chronik einer angekündigten Krise: Wie ein Virus die Welt verändern konnte [“Crónica de una crisis anunciada – Cómo un virus pudo cambiar el mundo”], Westend Verlag, Frankfurt/M, septiembre 2020, 176 páginas, 15 euros.

*Este artículo fue publicado por primera vez el 27.10.2020 en alemán en el Magazin multipolar. [https://multipolar-magazin.de/artikel/clade-x]

1 (N. Del T.) El portal Center for Health Security, “Clade X” asume esta definición de “clado”: “Un clado (griego antiguo: κλάδος or klados, significa ‘rama’) es un grupo de organismos que consiste en un ancestro común y todos sus descendientes lineales, representando una sola ‘rama’ en el ‘árbol de la vida'”. Center for Health Security, Website “Clade X”, Resources, Slide Deck, p. 2. <https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/events/2018_clade_x_exercise/pdfs/Clade-X-exercise-presentation-slides.pdf><

2 Philip Bethge, Katrin Elger, Jens Glüsing, Markus Grill, Veronika Hackenbroch, Jan Puhl, Mathieu von Rohr, Gerald Traufetter, “Reconstruction of a Mass Hysteria: The Swine Flu Panic of 2009” [“Reconstrucción de una histeria de masas: el pánico de la gripe porcina de 2009”], Der Spiegel, 12 de marzo de 2010. <https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/reconstruction-of-a-mass-hysteria-the-swine-flu-panic-of-2009-a-682613.html>

3 Alyson Shontell: “Bill Gates warnt vor einer neuen Art Terrorismus: ‘Ihr Zerstörungspotential ist sehr groß’”, Business Insider , 20 de enero de 2017. <https://www.businessinsider.de/wirtschaft/bill-gates-warnt-vor-einer-neuen-art-terrorismus-und-ihr-potenzial-ist-sehr-sehr-gross-2017-1/>

4 [CEPI: Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations] Clive Cookson, Tim Bradshaw: “Davos launch for coalition to prevent epidemics of emerging viruses”, Financial Times, 18 de enero de 2017.

5 Ebd.– cita: “ ‘If we can’t get it under a year we’d be disappointed’, Mr Gates told the FT in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. (…) Targets include six viruses with known potential to cause serious epidemics: Mers, Lassa, Nipah, Ebola, Marburg and Zika. But an equally important part of the programme will be to build the scientific and technological infrastructure for developing vaccines quickly against pathogens that emerge from nowhere to cause a global health crisis, such as Sars in 2002/03 and Zika in 2015/16.”

6 Mathias Müller von Blumencron: “Der Westen in Therapie”, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , 18 de febrero de 2017. <https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/sicherheitskonferenz/auf-der-sicherheitskonferenz-ist-der-westen-in-therapie-14884618.html>

7 John McCain: “McCain Opening Remarks at Munich Security Conference”, 17 de febrero de 2017. <youtube.com/watch?v=TNeLmjuMtIU>

8 Munich Security Conference 2017: “Speech by Bill Gates at the 53rd Munich Security Conference”, 18 de febrero de 2017. <https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Speeches/2017/05/Bill-Gates-Munich-Security-Conference&gt;

9 Anita Cicero, Crystal Watson,  et al.: “Clade X: A Pandemic Exercise”, Health Security , Vol. 17, No. 5, 7 de octubre de 2019, p. 412. <liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/hs.2019.0097>

10 Ben Hirschler: “U.S. biotechs to speed work on Nipah vaccine as virus hits India”, Reuters , 24 de mayo de 2018; <https://de.reuters.com/article/us-india-virus-vaccine/u-s-biotechs-to-speed-work-on-nipah-vaccine-as-virus-hits-india-idUSKCN1IP1KI> Jestin Abraham: “Silently, additional chief secretary Rajeev Sadanandan gained the ammo to take on Nipah”, The New Indian Express , 10 de Junio de 2018. <https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2018/jun/10/silently-additional-chief-secretary-rajeev-sadanandan-gained-the-ammo-to-take-on-nipah-1826033.html>

11 Center for Health Security, Website “Clade X”, Resources, Background Materials, “Clade X Background: A Brigher Dawn”. <centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/events/2018_clade_x_exercise/pdfs/Clade-X-A-Brighter-Dawn- Background.pdf>

12 La lista de participantes y los roles que jugaron: como secretario de Estado: John Bellinger, ex asesor jurídico del Departamento de Estado y del Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos; como secretario de Defensa: James Talent, ex senador de los Estados Unidos; como Fiscal General: Jamie Gorelick, ex fiscal general adjunto de los Estados Unidos, comisionado de la Comisión del 11 de septiembre; como secretaria de Salud y Servicios Humanos: Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg, ex comisionada de la FDA, ex comisionada del Departamento de Salud e Higiene Mental de la ciudad de Nueva York; como secretaria de Seguridad Nacional: Tara O’Toole, Vicepresidenta Ejecutiva y Senior Fellow, In-Q-Tel, ex Subsecretaria de Ciencia y Tecnología; como director de la CIA: Jeffrey Smith, Ex Consejero General de la CIA; como Líder de la Mayoría del Senado: Tom Daschle, Ex Senador de los EE.UU., Líder de la Mayoría del Senado; como presidenta de la Cámara de Representantes: Susan Brooks, Congresista, Ex Fiscal de los EE.UU. para el Distrito Sur de Indiana; como directora del CDC: Julie Gerberding, exdirectora del CDC.

13 Center for Health Security, Website “Clade X”, Resources, Slide Deck, p. 11. <https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/events/2018_clade_x_exercise/pdfs/Clade-X-exercise-presentation-slides.pdf>

14 Ebd., p. 31.

15 Anita Cicero, Crystal Watson et al.: “Clade X: A Pandemic Exercise”, Health Security , Vol. 17, No. 5, 7 de octubre de 2019, p. 415. <liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/hs.2019.0097>

16 Ebd., p. 414.

17 Vera Zylka Menhorn, Dustin Grunert: “Genbasierte Impfstoffe: Hoffnungsträger auch zum Schutz vor SARS-CoV-2”, Deutsches Ärzteblatt, Edición 21/2020, 22 de mayo de 2020. <https://www.aerzteblatt.de/archiv/214122/Genbasierte-Impfstoffe-Hoffnungstraeger-auch-zum-Schutz-vor-SARS-CoV-2>

18 Center for Health Security, Website “Clade X”, Resources, Implications of Clade X for National Policy, p. 1.

19 Anita Cicero, Crystal Watson et al.: “Clade X: A Pandemic Exercise”, Health Security , Vol. 17, No. 5, 7 de octubre de 2019, p. 417. <liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/hs.2019.0097>

20 Center for Health Security, Website, Event 201: A Global Pandemic Exercise, About the Exercise. <https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/about>

21 (N. del T.) A la lista podría agregársele el ejercicio “Mercurio Global” [Global Mercury] realizado en septiembre de 2003 por el G-8, el Grupo Asesor de Seguridad de Salud Global [Global Health Security Advisory Group (GHSAG)]. <https://www.rki.de/EN/Content/infections/biological/Preparedness_Plan/Exercise.pdf?__blob=publicationFile> Hoy la Global Health Security Agenda [GHSA por sus siglas en inglés], promueve un enfoque que involucre a “la totalidad de la sociedad” [“whole-of-society approach“] e impida que el mundo caiga en el ciclo de “pánico y después olvidar” [“The world needs to break this ‘panic-then-forget’ cycle“]. Global Health Security Agenda, “Sustainable preparedness for health security and resilience: Adopting a whole-of-society-approach and breaking the ‘panic-then-forget’ cycle”, 1º de octubre de 2020. <https://ghsagenda.org/2020/10/01/sustainable-preparedness-for-health-security-and-resilience-adopting-a-whole-of-society-approach-and-breaking-the-panic-then-forget-cycle/> .


NOTA DE INTROFILOSOFIA: A continuación ponemos un fragmento del libro

CORONA FALSE ALARM? Facts and Figures

AUTORES: Karina Reiss & Sucharit Bhakdi

Defamation and discrediting

When critical voices were heard, immediate action was taken to silence them

by defamation. The lung specialist Wolfgang Wodarg was the first to raise

his voice. The defamation campaign that followed was unparalleled.

As soon as we had published our first YouTube videos warning about the

excessive measures and pointed out that Italy might have other aggravating

factors, e.g. the high levels of air pollution), there was the first “facts-check”.

Under the headline “Why Sucharit Bhakdi’s numbers are wrong”, an article

was quickly put into the “ZDF Mediathek”. Nils Metzger supposedly gets to

the bottom if this(239): “Biology professor downplays coronavirus danger”. A

good starting point since the title immediately suggested that we were not

dealing with a medical doctor who had seen countless patients and was a

specialist in infection epidemiology, but with a biologist. And at some point

the classic situation whereby things are put into your mouth that you have

never said – just to discredit you. Metzger: “To present the factor air

pollution as the sole trigger for the crisis – as Sucharit Bhakdi did in his

video – is unscientific.” Naturally it was never once claimed anywhere that

the high number of victims was solely due to air pollution, because that

would indeed have been unscientific. This statement was a blatant lie. But

ARD/ZDF believers would hardly have made the effort to check the “real”

facts. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who think that things must

be true when they are reported by the public broadcasters. Sadly, that is not

the case.

A CONTINUACIÓN EL LIBRO COMPLETO:

CORONA

FALSE ALARM?

Facts and Figures

Karina Reiss & Sucharit Bhakdi

Chelsea Green Publishing

White River Junction, Vermont

London, UK

2

Copyright © 2020 by Goldegg Verlag GmbH, Berlin and Vienna.

Originally published in Germany by Goldegg Verlag GmbH, Friedrichstraße 191 • D-10117 Berlin, in

2020 as Corona Fehlalarm?

English translation copyright © 2020 by Goldegg Verlag GmbH, Berlin and Vienna.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form by any means without permission in

writing from the publisher.

Translated by Monika Wiedmann and Deirdre Anderson

Author photos: Peter Pullkowski/Sucharit Bhakdi; Dagmar Blankenburg/Karina Reiss

Cover design: Alexandra Schepelmann/Donaugrafik.at

Layout and typesetting: Goldegg Verlag GmbH, Vienna

This edition published by Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020.

Printed in the United States of America.

First printing September 2020.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 20 21 22 23 24

Our Commitment to Green Publishing

Chelsea Green sees publishing as a tool for cultural change and ecological stewardship. We strive to

align our book manufacturing practices with our editorial mission and to reduce the impact of our

business enterprise in the environment. We print our books and catalogs on chlorine-free recycled

paper, using vegetable-based inks whenever possible. This book may cost slightly more because it was

printed on paper that contains recycled fiber, and we hope you’ll agree that it’s worth it. Corona, False

Alarm? was printed on paper supplied by Versa that is made of recycled materials and other controlled

sources.

ISBN 978-1-64502-057-8 (paperback) | ISBN 978-1-64502-058-5 (ebook) | ISBN 978-1-64502-059-2

(audio book)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2020945206

Chelsea Green Publishing

85 North Main Street, Suite 120

White River Junction, Vermont USA

Somerset House

London, UK

3

http://www.chelseagreen.com

4

For our sunshine on dark days.

Jonathan Atsadjan

5

Acknowledgements

The authors owe a great debt of gratitude to Monika Wiedmann for the initial

translation from the German and to Deirdre Anderson for critical comments

and valuable suggestions. Our heartfelt thanks to both for professional editing

and proofreading of the final manuscript.

6

Contents

1. Preface

How everything started

Coronaviruses: the basics

China: the dread threat emerges

2. How dangerous is the new “killer” virus?

Compared to conventional coronaviruses

Regarding the number of deaths

How does the new coronavirus compare with influenza viruses?

The situation in Italy, Spain, England and the USA

3. Corona-situation in Germany

The German narrative

The pandemic is declared

Nationwide lockdown

April 2020: no reason to prolong the lockdown

The lockdown is extended

Mandatory masks

Last argument for extension of lockdown: the impending second

wave?

Relaxing the restrictions with the emergency brake applied

4. Too much? Too little? What happened?

Overburdened hospitals

Shortage of ventilators?

Were the measures appropriate?

What did the government do right?

What did the government do wrong?

7

What should our government have done?

5. Collateral damage

Economic consequences

Disruption of medical care

Drugs and suicide

Heart attack and stroke

Other ailments

Further consequences for the elderly

Innocent and vulnerable: our children

Consequences for the world’s poorest

6. Did other countries fare better – Sweden as a role

model?

Are there benefits of lockdown measures?

So which measures would have actually been correct?

7. Is vaccination the universal remedy?

On the question of immunity against COVID-19

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question

Pandemic or no pandemic – the role of the WHO

8. Failure of the public media

Where was truthful information to be found?

Where was the open discussion?

The numbers game

Defamation and discrediting

Censorship of opinions

The German “good citizen” and the failure of politics

Why did our politicians fail?

9. Quo vadis?

10. A farewell

8

11. References

9

1

Preface

The first months of the year 2020 were characterised worldwide by a single

nightmare: Corona. Dreadful images took wing from China, then from Italy,

followed by other countries. Projections on how many countless deaths

would occur were coupled with pictures of panic buying and empty

supermarket shelves. The media in everyday life was driven by Corona,

morning, noon and night for weeks on end. Draconian quarantine measures

were established all over the world. When you stepped outside, you found

yourself in a surreal world – not a soul to be seen, but instead empty streets,

empty cities, empty beaches. Civil rights were restricted as never before since

the end of the Second World War. The collapse of social life and the

economy were generally accepted as being inevitable. Was the country under

threat of such a dreadful danger to justify these measures? Had the benefits

that could possibly be gained by these measures been adequately weighed

against the subsequent collateral damage that might also be expected? Is the

current plan to develop a global vaccination programme realistic and

scientifically sound?

Our original book was written for the public in our country and this

translated version is tilted toward the German narrative. However, global

developments have advanced along similar lines, so that the basic arguments

hold. We have replaced a number of local events in favour of pressing new

issues regarding the question of immunity and the postulated need for

development of vaccines against the virus.

The intent of this book is to provide readers with facts and background

information, so that they will be able to arrive at their own conclusions.

Statements in the book should be regarded as the authors’ opinions that we

submit for your scrutiny. Criticism and dissent are welcome. In scientific

10

discussions, postulation of any thesis should also invite antitheses, so that

finally the synthesis may resolve potential disagreement and enable us to

advance in the interest of mankind. We do not expect all readers to share our

points of view. But we do hope to ignite an open and much needed

discussion, to the benefit of all citizens of this deeply troubled world.

How everything started

In December of 2019, a large number of respiratory illnesses were recorded

in Wuhan, a city with about 10 million inhabitants. The patients were found

to be infected with a novel coronavirus, which was later given the name

SARS-CoV-2. The respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 was

designated COVID-19. In China, the outbreak evolved into an epidemic in

January 2020, rapidly spreading around the globe(1,2,3).

Coronaviruses: the basics

Coronaviruses co-exist with humans and animals worldwide, and

continuously undergo genetic mutation so that countless variants are

generated(4,5). “Normal” coronaviruses are responsible for 10–20% of

respiratory infections and generate symptoms of the common cold. Many

infected individuals remain asymptomatic(6). Others experience mild

symptoms such as unproductive cough, whilst some additionally develop

fever and joint pains. Severe illness occurs mainly in the elderly and can take

a fatal course, particularly in patients with pre-existing illnesses, especially of

heart and lung. Thus, even “harmless” coronaviruses can be associated with

case fatality rates of 8% when they gain entry to nursing homes(7). Still, due

to their marginal clinical significance, costly measures for diagnosing

coronavirus infections are seldom undertaken, searches for antiviral agents

have not been prioritised, and vaccine development has not been subject to

serious discussion.

Only two members of the coronavirus family reached world headlines in

the past.

SARS virus (official name: SARS-CoV) entered the stage in 2003. This

11

variant caused severe respiratory illness with a high fatality rate of

approximately 10%. Fortunately, the virus turned out not to be highly

contagious, and its spread could be contained by conventional isolation

measures. Only 774 deaths were registered worldwide(8,9). Despite this

manageable danger, fear of SARS led to a worldwide economic loss of 40

billion US dollars(8). Coronaviruses subsequently faded into the background.

A new variant, MERS-CoV, emerged in the Middle East in 2012 and caused

life-threatening disease with an even higher fatality rate of more than 30%.

But contagiousness of the virus was also low and the epidemic was rapidly

brought under control(10).

China: the dread threat emerges

When the news came from China that a new coronavirus family member had

appeared on stage, the most pressing question was: would it be harmless like

its “normal” relatives or would it be SARS-like and highly dangerous? Or

worse still: highly dangerous and highly contagious?

First reports and disturbing scenes from China caused the worst to be

feared. The virus spread rapidly and with apparent deadly efficacy. China

resorted to drastic measures. Wuhan and five other cities were encircled by

the army and completely isolated from the outside world.

At the end of the epidemic, official statistics reported about 83,000

infected people and fewer than 5,000 fatalities(11), an infinitesimally small

number in a country with 1.4 billion inhabitants. Either the lockdown worked

or the new virus was not so dangerous after all. Whatever the case, China

became the shining example on how we could overcome SARS-CoV-2.

More disturbing news then came from northern Italy. Striking swiftly, the

virus left countless dead in its wake. Media coverage likened the situation to

“war-like conditions”(12). What was not reported was that in other parts of

Italy, and also in most other countries, the “fatality rate” of COVID-19 was

considerably lower(13,14).

Could it be that the intrinsic deadliness of one and the same virus varied,

depending on the country and region it invaded? Not very likely, it seemed.

12

2

How dangerous is the new “killer”

virus?

Compared to conventional coronaviruses

Gauging the true threat that the virus posed was initially impossible. Right

from the beginning, the media and politicians spread a distorted and

misleading picture based on fundamental flaws in data acquisition and

especially on medically incorrect definitions laid down by the World Health

Organization (WHO). Each positive laboratory test for the virus was to be

reported as a COVID-19 case, irrespective of clinical presentation(15). This

definition represented an unforgiveable breach of a first rule in infectiology:

the necessity to differentiate between “infection” (invasion and multiplication

of an agent in the host) and “infectious disease” (infection with ensuing

illness). COVID-19 is the designation for severe illness that occurs only in

about 10% of infected individuals(16), but because of incorrect designation,

the number of “cases” surged and the virus vaulted to the top of the list of

existential threats to the world.

Another serious mistake was that every deceased person who had tested

positive for the virus entered the official records as a coronavirus victim. This

method of reporting violated all international medical guidelines(17). The

absurdity of giving COVID-19 as the cause of death in a patient who dies of

cancer needs no comment. Correlation does not imply causation. This was

causal fallacy that was destined to drive the world into a catastrophe. Truth

surrounding the virus remained enshrouded in a tangle of rumours, myths and

beliefs.

A French study, published on March 19, brought first light into the

13

darkness(6). Two cohorts of approximately 8,000 patients with respiratory

disease were grouped according to whether they were carrying everyday

coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-2. Deaths in each group were registered over

two months. However, the number of fatalities did not significantly differ in

the two groups and the conclusion followed that the danger of “COVID-19”

was probably overestimated. In a subsequent study, the same team compared

the mortality associated with diagnosis of respiratory viruses during the

colder months of 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 (week 47-week 14) in

southeastern France. Overall, the proportion of respiratory virus-associated

deaths among hospitalised patients was not significantly higher in 2019–2020

than the year before(18). Thus, addition of SARS-CoV-2 to the spectrum of

viral pathogens did not affect overall mortality in patients with respiratory

disease.

Regarding the number of deaths

How can the aforementioned be reconciled with the official reports of the

horrifying number of COVID-19 deaths? Two numbers must be known if the

danger of a virus is to be assessed: the number of infections and the number

of deaths.

How many were infected by the new virus?

Attempts to answer this question were beset by three problems:

1. How reliable was the test for virus detection?

The virus is present in the nasopharynx for approximately two weeks, during

which time it can be detected. How is this done? Viral RNA is transcribed

into DNA and quantified by the so-called polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

The first assay for the new coronavirus was developed under guidance of

Professor Christian Drosten, Head of the Institute for Virology at the Charité

Berlin. This test was used worldwide in the initial months of the outbreak(19).

Tests from other laboratories followed(20).

Diagnostic PCR tests must normally undergo stringent quality assessment

and be approved by regulatory agencies before use. This is important because

14

no laboratory test can ever give 100% correct results. The quality control

requirements were essentially shelved in the case of SARS-CoV-2 because of

declared international urgency. Consequently, nothing was really known

regarding test reliability, specificity and sensitivity. In essence, these

parameters give an indication of how many false-positive or false-negative

results should be expected. The test protocol from the Drosten laboratory

were used worldwide, and test results played a key role in political decisionmaking.

Yet, data interpretation was often largely a matter of belief. What did

Drosten himself say on Twitter(21)?

Sure: Towards the end of the illness the PCR is sometimes positive and sometimes

negative. Here, chance plays a role. When you test a patient twice as negative and

discharge him as cured, it is indeed possible that you can have positive test results

again at home. But this is still far from being a re-infection.

Several physician colleagues have informed us of similar haphazard results

with patients who had been tested repeatedly during their hospitalisation. Is it

particularly surprising that goats and papayas tested positive for the virus in

Tanzania? The criticism by the President of Tanzania regarding the

unreliability of the test kits was of course immediately dismissed by the

WHO(22).

But today it is perfectly clear that the test result is error-prone, as is every

PCR(23,24). How much so, and whether there are significant differences

among the presently available tests, cannot be determined because of lack of

data. So let us assume that the PCR test is incredibly good and produces 99.5%

correct results. That sounds, and would indeed be, exceptional – it means that

one can expect only 0.5% false-positives. Now take the cruise ship “Mein

Schiff 3”. After a crew member had tested positive for the virus, almost 2,900

people from 73 countries were forced into “ship quarantine”. Many had been

on board for nine months. Complaints reached the outside world about the

“prison-like” conditions, psychological problems abounded and nerves were

frayed(25).

Nine positive cases were reported after testing was completed. One person

who tested positive had a cough, the other eight were without symptoms.

Might they have belonged to the 0.5% false-positive cases, as perhaps the

very first case had been? Where were the true-positives that must

15

theoretically have been there? Were they possibly tested as false-negatives or

were all positive tests false?

In the context of false results, we should consider the following: when the

epidemic subsided (in Germany, in mid-April,) PCR testing became a

dangerous source of misinformation because numbers of new cases were

derived from the “background noise” of false-positive results. When all 7,500

employees of the Charité Berlin (one of Europe’s largest university hospitals)

were tested from April 7 to April 21, 0.33% were positive(26). True or false?

When positive test rates drop below a certain limit, it is senseless to

continue mass screening for the virus in non-symptomatic individuals. And

use of numbers acquired under these circumstances as a reason for

implementing any measures should not be tolerated.

2. Selective or representative? Who was tested?

There is only one way to approximate how many people are infected during

an epidemic with an agent that causes high numbers of unnoticed infections:

at sites of an outbreak, the population must be tested as extensively as

possible. But scientists who called for this during the coronavirus

epidemic(27,28) were ignored.

Instead, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German federal government

agency and research institute for disease control, stipulated at the beginning

that only selective testing should be carried out – exactly the opposite of what

should have happened. And as the epidemic ran its course, the RKI stepwise

altered the testing strategy – always in the diametrically wrong direction(29).

At first, only people who had been in a high-risk area and/or had been in

contact with an infected person and also presented with flu-like symptoms

were to be tested. At the end of March, the RKI then changed the

recommended test criteria to: flu-like symptoms and, at the same time,

contact with an infected person. At the beginning of May, the President of the

RKI, Professor Lothar Wieler, announced people with even “the slightest

symptoms” should be tested(29).

The responsibility for translating these dubious decisions into action lay

entirely within the hands of the local health authorities. A co-worker at our

lab was a typical example: the coach of her handball team was coronavirus

positive. The players – all from different administrative districts – were sent

16

home on 14-day quarantine. One player developed symptoms with coughing

and hoarseness and wanted to get tested but was refused on the grounds that

she had no fever. A player from a neighbouring district had no symptoms but

the local health authority ordered a test despite this fact.

This resulted in chaos, caused by the appalling ineptitude of the

authorities from top to bottom. What would have been urgently needed

instead were scientifically sound studies to clarify basic issues of virus

dissemination. As many as possible should have been tested in outbreak

areas. Antibody responses in those that had tested positively could have

subsequently been assessed.

Only a single such study addressing these questions was undertaken in

Germany: the Heinsberg investigation conducted by Professor Hendrik

Streeck, Director of the Institute for Virology at the University of Bonn.

Aware of the importance of the preliminary data, these were presented at a

press conference – where Streeck was torn apart by the disbelieving

media(30,31). The fatality rate was ridiculed as being impossible because it

was ten times lower than what acknowledged experts and the WHO had been

spreading as established facts. After completion of the study, final results

essentially confirming the preliminary report were again presented, and again

deemed by the media to be flawed and inconclusive. But the results of the

study spoke for themselves(32) – and they contradicted the panic propaganda

of the media.

3. The number of conducted tests directly influences infection statistics

A third factor added to the statistical mess. Imagine that you wanted to count

the number of a migratory bird species in a large lake district. There are

hundreds of thousands but your counting device can only count 5,000 per

day. Next day, you ask a colleague to help, and together you arrive at 10,000

counts. The day after that, two more colleagues join in and 20,000 birds are

counted. In short, the higher the testing capacity/number of tests, the higher

the numbers – as long as innumerable unidentified cases abound, as with

SARS-CoV-2(16,32–36). The more tests are performed, the more COVID-19

cases are found during the epidemic. This is the essence of a “laboratorycreated

pandemic”.

Now recall that the test has neither 100% specificity nor 100% sensitivity

17

– meaning that occasionally you would mistake a log for a bird. Therefore,

even after all our birds have long since moved on, you would still “find”

many by just performing a sufficient number of tests.

In conclusion, no reliable data existed regarding the true numbers of

infection at any stage of the epidemic in this country. At the peak of the

epidemic, the official numbers must have been gross underestimates – in the

order of 10 or even more. At its wane at the end of April in Germany, the

numbers must also have been gross overestimates.

Basing any political decisions on official numbers at any stage was

fallacy.

How many deaths did SARS-CoV-2 infections claim?

Here, again, we have the dilemma of definition: what is a “coronavirus

death”?

If I drive to the hospital to be tested and later have a fatal car accident –

just as my positive test results are returned – I become a coronavirus death. If

I am diagnosed positive for coronavirus and jump off the balcony in shock, I

also become a coronavirus death. The same is true for a sudden stroke, etc.

As openly declared by RKI president Wieler, every individual with a positive

test result at the time of death is entered into the statistics. The first

“coronavirus death” in the northernmost state of Germany, Schleswig-

Holstein, occurred in a palliative ward, where a patient with terminal

oesophageal cancer was seeking peace before embarking on his last journey.

A swab was taken just before his demise that was returned positive – after his

death(37). He might equally well have been positive for other viruses such as

rhino-, adeno- or influenza virus – if they had been tested for.

This particular case did not need more testing or a post-mortem to

determine the actual cause of death.

However, with the emergence of a new and possibly dangerous infectious

disease, autopsies should be undertaken in cases of doubt to clarify the actual

cause of death. Only one pathologist ventured to fulfil this task in Germany.

Against the specific advice of the RKI, Professor Klaus Püschel, Director of

the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Hamburg University, performed autopsies

on all “coronavirus victims” and found that not one had been healthy(38).

Most had suffered from several pre-existing conditions. One in two suffered

18

from coronary heart disease. Other frequent ailments were hypertension,

atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes, cancer, lung and kidney disease and liver

cirrhosis(39).

The same occurred elsewhere. Swiss pathologist Professor Alexander

Tzankov reported that many victims had suffered from hypertension, most

were overweight, two thirds had heart problems and one third had

diabetes(40). The Italian Ministry of Health reported that 96% of COVID-19

hospital deaths had been patients with at least one severe underlying illness.

Almost 50% had three or more pre-existing conditions(41).

Interestingly, Püschel found lung embolisms in every third patient(39).

Pulmonary embolisms usually arise through detachment of blood clots in

deep veins of the leg that are swept into the lungs. Clots typically form when

blood flow sags in the legs, as when the elderly spend the day seated and

inactive. A high frequency of lung embolisms was already described in

deceased influenza patients 50 years ago(42). Thus, we are not on the verge of

discovering a unique property of SARS-Cov-2 that would heighten its threat,

but we do bear witness to the absurd situation where the elderly seek to

protect themselves by obeying the chant that sounds around the world: “Stay

at home”. Physical inactivity is pre-programmed, thromboses included?

Swedish epidemiologist Professor Johann Giesecke recommended exactly the

opposite: As much fresh air and activity as possible. The man knows his job!

The number of genuine COVID-19 fatalities remained unknown outside

Hamburg. The situation was no better in other countries. Professor Walter

Riccardi, adviser to the Italian Ministry of Health, stated in a March interview

with “The Telegraph” that 88% of the Italian “coronavirus deaths” had not

been due to the virus(43).

The problem with coronavirus death counts is such that the numbers can

be viewed as nothing other than gross overestimates(44). In Belgium, not only

fatalities with a positive COVID-19 test entered the ranks but also those

where COVID-19 was simply suspected(45).

Scientific competence did not seem to rule the agenda of Germany’s RKI.

Fortunately, there are scientists who stand out in contrast. Stanford Professor

John Ioannidis is one of the eminent epidemiologists of our times. When it

became clear that the epidemic in Europe was nearing its end, he showed

how the officially reported numbers of “coronavirus deaths” could be used to

19

calculate the absolute risk of dying from COVID-19(46).

The risk for a person under 65 years in Germany was about as high as a

daily drive of 24 kilometres. The risk was low even for the elderly ≥ 80 with

10 “coronavirus deaths” per 10,000 ≥ 80-year olds in Germany (column at

the far right).

Calculation of this number is simple. About 8.5 million citizens are ≥ 80

years in Germany. About 8,500 “coronavirus deaths” were recorded in this

age group. This leads to an absolute risk of coronavirus death of 10 per

10,000 ≥ 80 year-olds. Now realise that every year about 1,200 of 10,000 ≥

80-year olds die in Germany (black column, data from the Federal Office of

Statistics). Nearly half of them due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD), almost

a third from cancer and around 10% (over 100) owing to respiratory

infections. The latter have always been caused by a multitude of pathogens

including the coronavirus family. It is obvious that a new member has now

joined the club, and that SARS-CoV-2 cannot be assigned any special role as

a “killer virus”.

This is underlined by another observation. Severe respiratory infections

are registered by the RKI in the context of influenza surveillance. The

vertical line marks the time when documentation of SARS-CoV-2 infections

was started. Was there ever any indication for an increase in the number of

respiratory infections(47)? No, the 2019/20 winter peak is followed by typical

seasonal decline. And note that the lockdown (red arrow) was implemented

when the curve had almost reached base level.

20

Source: Homepage RKI (Fig. 1), https://grippeweb.rki.de/

How does the new coronavirus compare with influenza

viruses?

The WHO warned the world that the COVID-19 virus was much more

infectious, that the illness could take a very serious course, and that no

vaccine or medication was available.

The WHO abstained from explaining that truly effective medication

hardly exists against any viral disease and that vaccination against seasonal

flu is increasingly recognised as being ineffective or even counterproductive.

Furthermore, the WHO disregarded two points that needed to first be

addressed before any valid comparison of the viruses could be undertaken.

How many people die of COVID-19 compared with influenza?

The WHO claimed that 3–4% of COVID-19 patients would die, which by far

exceeded the fatality rate of annual influenza(48).

This is important enough to call for a closer look. Influenza viruses pass

wave-like through the population. The waves can be small in one year and

21

high in another. Case fatality rates are 0.1% to 0.2% during a normal flu

season in Germany(49), which translates to several hundreds of deaths. In

contrast, there were approximately 30,000 influenza-related deaths in the

1995/1996 season(50) and approximately 15,000 deaths in 2002/2003 and

2004/2005.

The RKI estimates that the last great flu epidemic of 2017/2018 claimed

25,000 lives(51). With 330,000 reported cases, the fatality rate would be ~8%

(52). As in all previous years, Germany weathered this epidemic without

implementing any unusual measures.

The WHO estimates that there are 290,000–650,000 flu deaths each

year(53).

Now turn to COVID-19. In May, the RKI calculated that 170,000

infections with 7,000 coronavirus deaths equals a 4% case fatality rate – as

predicted by the WHO! Conclusion: COVID-19 is really ten times more

dangerous than seasonal flu(54).

However, the number of infections was at least ten times higher because

most mild and asymptomatic cases had not been sought and detected(55–59).

This would bring us to a much more realistic fatality rate of 0.4%. Moreover,

the number of “true” COVID-19 deaths was lower because many or most had

died of causes other than the virus. Further correction of the number brings us

to a rough estimate of 0.1% – 0.3%, which is in the range of moderate flu.

This tallies well with the results of Professor Streeck, who arrived at an

estimate of 0.24% – 0.26% based on the data of his Heinsberg study. The

average age of the deceased who tested positive was around 81 years(32).

The conclusion that COVID-19 is comparable to seasonal flu has been

reached by many investigators in other countries. In an analysis of several

studies, Ioannidis showed that, contingent on local factors and statistical

methodology, the median infection fatality rate was 0.27%(60). Many other

investigators arrived at similar conclusions. All studies to date thus clearly

show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a real “killer virus”(61–71).

Flu and COVID-19: who are the vulnerable?

Influenza viruses are dangerous mainly to individuals of ≥ 60 years but can

sometimes also cause fatal infections in younger people.

22

A salient feature of the virus is that after its multiplication and release, it

induces the infected host cell to commit suicide. This is a major predisposing

factor for bacterial super-infections(72), which were the major cause of death

during the Spanish flu.

In contrast, coronaviruses are inherently less destructive. Patients show

characteristic changes in their lungs, but whether the virus is deadly or not

depends less on the virus and more on the patient’s overall state of health.

Time and again, press reports appear on “completely healthy” young people

who nonetheless were carried off by the virus. We do not know of a single

case where it did not turn out afterwards that the person had not been

“completely healthy”, but rather had suffered for years from hypertension,

diabetes or other illnesses that had gone undetected.

Sensational news: 103 year-old Italian woman recovers from COVID-

19(73)! In fact, she was not the only old lady who survived the infection

without problems. Most actually did(74). The record is held by a 113 year-old

Spanish woman(75).

Although the median age of the deceased is over 80 in Germany and other

countries(41,76–78), age per se is not the decisive criterion. People without

severe pre-existing illness need fear the virus no more than young people. As

we know from Püschel’s and many other reports, SARS-CoV-2 is almost

always the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. While this is certainly sad

for the family and loved ones, it is still no reason to assign the virus any

heightened role. We need to keep in mind that every year, millions die of

respiratory tract infections, with a whole spectrum of bacterial and viral

agents playing causal roles.

One must not forget that the true cause of a death is the disease or

condition that triggers the lethal chain of events. If someone suffering from

severe emphysema or end-stage cancer contacts fatal pneumonia, the cause of

death is still emphysema or cancer(79,80).

This basic rule is simply ignored in times of coronavirus. Even worse –

once tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, (even falsely) – an individual can

remain marked as a COVID-19 victim for life, depending on the inclination

of the responsible authority(81,82). Then, irrespective of when and why death

occurs, he or she will enter the COVID-19 death register.

Thus, the number of coronavirus deaths will continue to soar incessantly.

23

Fear in the general populace is further fuelled by reports that SARS-CoV-2 is

much more dangerous than the flu because it attacks many different organs

with probable long-term consequences. Newspaper reports and publications

abound that the virus can be found in the heart, liver, and kidneys(83). It may

even find its way to our central nervous system?!

Such headlines sound terrifying. However, obtaining positive RT-PCR

results for SARS-CoV-2 in organs other than the lung is nothing surprising.

The virus uses receptors to enter our cells that are not only on the surface of

lung cells. But two issues are of decisive importance: the actual viral load and

the question of whether the viruses cause any damage. The highest SARSCoV-

2 concentrations have been found in the lungs of patients – as is to be

expected. Traces of the virus have been detected in other organs(83). Most

probably, they bear no relevance. Until scientific evidence to the contrary is

available, the findings must be left for what they are: trivial observations.

Is there a difference with the flu? No. It has been known for years that

influenza can affect the heart and other organs(84,85). All respiratory viruses

can find their way to the central nervous system(86). There is no basic

difference with SARS-CoV-2. Once in a while, patients may suffer from

long-term consequences. This applies to all viral diseases, and they are

exceptions. It is the exception that proves the rule.

What do we learn from all of this? COVID-19 is a disease that makes

some people sick, proves fatal to a few, and does nothing to the rest. Like any

annual flu.

Of course, it was always necessary to take special care not to bring these

agents to elderly persons with pre-existing illnesses. When you feel unwell,

refrain from visiting grandma and grandpa, especially if they are suffering

from a heart condition or lung disease. And whoever has the flu will stay at

home anyway. That is how everything has been and how everything should

continue.

The fact that SARS-CoV-2 does not constitute a public danger and that

the infection often runs its course without symptoms might have one

disadvantage. Perhaps asymptomatic people are contagious and unknowingly

pass the virus on to others. This fear originated from a publication coauthored

and widely publicised by Drosten, in which it was reported that the

Chinese businesswoman who infected an automotive supplier’s staff member

24

during a visit to Bavaria displayed no symptoms herself(87). This publication

caused a worldwide sensation with expected effects, for a deadly virus that

could be transmitted by healthy individuals was akin to a swift and invisible

killer. This fear became the driving force behind many extreme preventive

measures – from visiting bans for hospitalised patients all the way to

obligatory mask-wearing.

In the midst of general panic, a very important fact escaped general

attention. The major statement of the publication turned out to be false. A

follow-up inquiry revealed that the Chinese woman had been ill during her

stay in Germany and was under medication to relieve pain and reduce

fever(88). This was not mentioned in the publication(87).

Another study that was published in April by the Drosten laboratory also

came under international criticism. It concerned the question about the role of

children in disease transmission. According to the Drosten study,

asymptomatic children were just as contagious as adults. This message

caused great concern to the general public and influenced subsequent

decisions by the government. In fact, no studies exist to indicate that children

play any significant role as vectors for transmission of this disease.

Be that as it may, there was no reason for completely pointless measures

like closing schools and day care centres, which are known to do nothing to

protect the high-risk groups(89). And no reason whatsoever to drive social life

and the economy against the wall.

What is wrong with Germany – and this whole world?

Well, all the pictures disseminated so effectively by the international

media – from Italy, Spain, England and then even from New York – coupled

with model calculations for hundreds of thousands, or maybe even millions

of deaths – planted the firm conviction in the general populace: It simply

HAS TO BE a killer virus!

The situation in Italy, Spain, England and the USA

Since the end of March, one sensation outdid the next: Italy had the most

deaths, the fatality rate shocked us to the core; Spain surpassed Italy (in the

number of infections); the United Kingdom broke the sad European record,

exceeded only by the US. The press delighted in spreading as much terrifying

25

news as humanly possible.

But let us reflect a little. The impact of an epidemic is dependent not only

on the intrinsic properties and deadliness of the pathogen but also to a very

significant extent on how “fertile” the soil is on which it lands. All reliable

figures tell us we are not dealing with a killer virus that will sweep away

mankind. So what did happen in those countries from which these dreadful

pictures emerged?

Detailed answers to this question must be sought on the ground.

Nevertheless, several facts are sufficiently known to warrant mention here.

Problems surrounding coronavirus statistics went totally rampant in Italy and

Spain. Elsewhere, testing for the virus was generally performed on people

with flu-like symptoms and a certain risk of exposure to the virus. At the

height of the epidemic in Italy, testing was restricted to severely ill patients

upon their admission to the hospital. Illogically, testing was widely

performed post-mortem on deceased patients. This resulted in falsely elevated

case fatality rates combined with massive underestimates of actual

infections(90).

As early as mid-March, the Italian GIMBE (Gruppo Italiano per la

Medicina Basata Sulle Evidenze / Italian Evidence-Based Medicine Group)

foundation stated that the “degree of severity and lethality rate are largely

overestimated, while the lethality rates in Lombardy and the Emilia-

Romagna region were largely due to overwhelmed hospitals”(91).

The fact that no distinction was made between “death by” and “death

with” coronavirus rendered the situation hopeless. Almost 96% of “COVID-

19 deaths” in Italian hospitals were patients with pre-existing illnesses. Three

quarters suffered from hypertension, more than a third from diabetes. Every

third person had a heart condition. As almost everywhere else, the average

age was above 80 years. The few people under 50 who died also had severe

underlying conditions(41).

The inaccurate method of reporting “coronavirus deaths” naturally spread

fear and panic, rendering the general public willing to accept the irrational

and excessive preventive measures installed by governments. These turned

out to have a paradoxical effect. The number of regular deaths increased

substantially over the number of “coronavirus deaths”. The Times reported

on April 15: England and Wales have experienced a record number of deaths

26

in a single week, with 6,000 more than average for this time of year. Only

half of those extra numbers could perhaps be attributed to the coronavirus(92).

There was a well-founded concern that the lockdown may have unintentional

but serious consequences for the public’s health(93).

It became increasingly clear that people avoided hospitals even when

faced with life-threatening events such as heart attacks because they were

afraid of catching the deadly virus. Patients with diabetes or hypertension

were no longer properly treated, tumour patients not adequately tended to.

The UK has always had massive problems with its health care system,

medical infrastructure and a shortage of medical personnel(94,95). Due to

Brexit, the UK also lacks urgently needed foreign specialists(96).

Many other countries have problems along the same lines. When the

influenza epidemic swept over the world in the winter of 2017/2018,

hospitals in the US were overwhelmed, triage tents were erected, operations

were cancelled and patients were sent home. Alabama declared a state of

emergency(97–99). The situation was little different in Spain, where hospitals

just collapsed(100,101), and in Italy, where intensive care units in large cities

ground to a halt(102).

The Italian health care system has been downsizing for years, the number

of intensive care beds is much lower than in other European countries.

Furthermore, Italy has the highest number of deaths from hospital-acquired

infections and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in all of Europe(103).

Also, Italian society is one of the oldest worldwide. Italy has the highest

proportion of over 65 year-olds (22.8%) in the European Union(104). Add to

that the fact that there is a large number of people with chronic lung and heart

disease, and we have a much greater number in the “high-risk groups” as

compared to other countries. In sum, many independent factors come

together to create a special case for Italy(105,106).

Since northern Italy was particularly affected, it would be interesting to

ask if environmental factors had an influence on the way things developed

there. Northern Italy has been dubbed the China of Europe with regard to its

fine particulate pollution(107). According to a WHO estimate, this caused over

8,000 additional deaths (without a virus) in Italy’s 13 biggest cities in

2006(108). Air pollution increases the risk of viral pulmonary disease in the

27

very young and the elderly(109). Obviously, this factor could generally play a

role in accentuating the severity of pulmonary infections(110).

Suspicions have been voiced that vaccination against various pathogens

such as flu, meningococci and pneumococci can worsen the course of

COVID-19. Investigations into this possibility are called for because Italy

indeed stands out with its officially imposed extensive vaccination

programme for the entire population.

Yet despite all these facts, the only pictures that remain imprinted on our

minds are the shocking scenes of long convoys of military vehicles carting

away endless numbers of coffins from the northern Italian town of Bergamo.

Vice chairman of the Federal Association of German Undertakers, Ralf

Michal, noted(111): in Italy, cremations are rather rare. That is why

undertakers were overburdened when the government ordered cremations in

the course of the coronavirus pandemic. The undertakers were not prepared

for that. There were not enough crematoriums and the complete infrastructure

was lacking. That is why the military had to help out. And this explains the

pictures from Bergamo. Not only was there no infrastructure, there was also a

shortage of undertakers because so many were in quarantine.

And finally, let us examine the United States, where only parts of the

country were severely affected. In states like Wyoming, Montana or West

Virginia, the number of “coronavirus deaths” was a two-digit figure

(Worldometers, middle of May, 2020).

The situation in New York was different. Here, doctors were

overwhelmed and did not know which patients to treat first, while in other

states, hospitals were eerily empty. New York was the centre of the epidemic,

where more than half of the COVID-19 deaths nationwide occurred (date:

May 2020). Most of the deceased lived in the Bronx. An emergency doctor

reported(112): “These people come way too late, but their reasoning is

understandable. They are afraid of being discovered. Most of them are illegal

immigrants without residence permits, without jobs and without any health

insurance. The highest mortality rate is recorded in this group of people”.

It would be of interest to learn how they were treated. Were they given

high doses of chloroquine as recommended by the WHO? About a third of

the Hispanic population carries a gene defect (glucose-6-phosphate

dehydrogenase) that causes chloroquine intolerance with effects that can be

28

lethal(113,114). More than half of the population in the Bronx is Hispanic.

Countries and regions can differ so widely with respect to a myriad of

factors that a true understanding of any epidemic situation cannot be obtained

without critical analysis of these determinants.

29

3

Corona-situation in Germany

The German populace should have been reassured that this country was wellpositioned

and that disturbing scenarios similar to those seen in northern Italy

or elsewhere need NOT be feared. Instead, the exact opposite happened. The

RKI issued warning after warning, and the government embarked on a

crusade of fear-mongering that defied description. Anyone who dared to

challenge the warning that the world was facing the greatest pandemic threat

of all times was defamed and censored.

The indicators for when which measures were supposedly necessary or no

longer necessary changed haphazardly according to demand. At the

beginning of March, it was the doubling rate for the numbers of infections

which at first should exceed 10 days; but when this “goal” was reached, the

rate had to be further slowed to 14 days. This objective was also quickly

achieved so a new criterion had to be issued: the reproduction factor (“R”),

which supposedly told us how many people became infected by one

contagious person. The authorities at first decided that this number must

decrease to less than 1. When this happened – in mid-March – they ran into

difficulties and set out to re-direct the number upward by increasing the

numbers of tests. At the end of May, a bit of creative thinking led to the idea

of defining a critical upper limit to the acceptable number of daily new

infections: 35 per 100,000 citizens in any town or region.

Now reflect that performing just 7,000 tests can be expected to generate at

least 35 false-positive results in total absence of the virus! Obviously, no

scientifically sound reasoning underlay any of the plans and measures

dictated by the authorities. It cannot be emphasised enough that infection

numbers are of no significance if one is not dealing with a truly dangerous

virus. Money and means should not be wasted on counting the number of

30

common colds every winter!

Arbitrariness and the lack of a plan wound their way through the

measures. At the beginning, facial masks were scorned and not used, even in

overcrowded buses. But when the epidemic was over, it became mandatory.

DIY stores could stay open for business while electronics markets had to

close. Jogging was OK, playing tennis taboo. Every state had its own

catalogue of fines; there had to be punishment since we were dealing with an

“epidemic of national concern”. But where was the logic behind all of these

measures? A closer look may help explain what had happened.

The German narrative

Late in the evening of January 27, 2020, the Bavarian Ministry of Health

announced Germany’s first coronavirus case, an employee of an automotive

supplier. A Chinese businesswoman had been on a visit there one week

earlier. The virus was subsequently detected in several other members of the

company. Most had no symptoms, none was seriously ill. All were isolated

and put in a 14-day quarantine. From then on, anyone returning from a “high

risk” area, be it China or Tyrol, was tested and put in quarantine. A few

scattered numbers of healthy “cases” were thereby discovered.

Then came carnival season in Germany and the western German state of

North Rhine-Westphalia is one of its centres where there is no holding back.

The first coronavirus patient here had partied in the middle of February

together with his wife and 300 other merry carnival revellers in the district of

Heinsberg. What happened next sounded the national alarm: coronavirus

outbreak in Heinsberg; many patients critically ill; local hospital

overwhelmed! Schools and day care centres were closed and all contact

persons put in quarantine. At the beginning of March, the Minister of Health,

Jens Spahn, still urged prudence. Mass events were cancelled, otherwise

overall calmness reigned.

But on March 9, alarm bells rang. The first coronavirus fatalities in

Germany occurred. A 78-year old man from the Heinsberg district and an 82-

year old woman from Essen succumbed to the virus. The man had a

multitude of pre-existing illnesses, among them diabetes and heart disease,

the woman died from pneumonia. Drosten warned against a threatening

31

coronavirus wave(115): “Autumn will be a critical time, that is obvious. At

that time, I expect a rapid increase of coronavirus cases with dire

consequences and many deaths…Who do we want to save then, a severely ill

80 year-old or a 35 year-old with raging viral pneumonia who would

normally die within hours, but would be over the worst after three days on a

ventilator?”.

The pandemic is declared

On March 11, the WHO declared the pandemic. The very next day, German

governors of state voted to cancel all mass gatherings. On the same day, a

report from France: all day care centres, schools, colleges and universities

have been closed until further notice. Germany followed suit: one day later,

the German states ordered all schools and day care centres closed from March

16. There was talk of a “tsunami” in the wake of which countless lives would

be claimed unless we managed to “flatten the curve”. All of a sudden,

everyone had a voice and an opinion, no matter whether astrophysicist or

trainee journalists, and no matter whether they had not an inkling of

knowledge about infectious diseases. Projections were presented every day,

exponential growth was explained to us on every channel, showing us how

difficult it is to grasp or to even stop this development because the rate of

infection seemed to double weekly. Without strict measures we would have

one million infections by mid-May. According to RKI President Wieler, the

number of fatalities in Germany would soar up and approach Italian numbers

within just a few weeks(116).

For the first time, there was mention of a possible lockdown. On March

14, the Federal Ministry of Health tweeted(117):

Attention FAKE NEWS!

It is claimed and rapidly being distributed that the Federal Ministry of Health/Federal

government will soon announce further massive restrictions to public life. This is

NOT true!

Two days later, on March 16, further massive restrictions to public life were

announced(118).

Public life was rapidly shut down. Clubs, museums, trade fairs, cinemas,

32

zoos, everything had to be closed. Religious services were prohibited,

playgrounds and sports facilities fenced off. Elective surgery would be

postponed. The primary goal: the health care system must not be

overwhelmed.

While alarmism was expanding here in Germany, someone else raised his

voice. Someone who really knows what he is doing and whom we have heard

of several times before, Professor John Ioannidis. Here is a summary of his

article “A fiasco in the making?”(119):

The current coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has been called a once-in-acentury

pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco. We

lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARSCoV-

2. Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries.

During long-lasting lockdowns, how can policymakers tell if they are doing

more good than harm? The data collected so far on how many people are

infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the

limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of

infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are

failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. No countries have

reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random

sample of the general population. Reported case fatality rates, like the

official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror – and

are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are

disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. The one

situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond

Princess cruise ship and its quarantined passengers. The case fatality rate

there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death

rate from COVID-19 is much higher. Adding to these extra sources of

uncertainty, reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general

U.S. population vary from 0.05% to 1%. If that is the true rate, locking down

the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may

be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat.

Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a

cliff and dies. Could the COVID-19 case fatality rate be that low? No, some

say, pointing to the high rate in elderly people. However, even some so-called

mild or common-cold-type coronaviruses that have been known for decades

33

can have case fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in

nursing homes. In fact, such “mild” coronaviruses infect tens of millions of

people every year, and account for 3% to 11% of those hospitalised in the

U.S. with lower respiratory infections each winter. If we had not known about

a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the

number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem

unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season

seems to be a bit worse than average. The media coverage would have been

less than for an NBA game between the two most indifferent teams. One of

the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long social distancing measures

and lockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the

economy, society, and mental health.

Regrettably, this voice of reason remained unheard by our politicians and

their advisers. Instead, the prediction ventured by Professor Neil Ferguson,

Imperial College London, made the headlines: if nothing is done and the

virus allowed to spread uncontrolled, more than 500,000 people will die in

the UK and 2 million in the US(120). Not only did this make the rounds, it

struck fear into hearts and souls.

Incidentally, Ferguson is the same authority who predicted 136,000 deaths

due to mad cow disease (BSE), 200 million deaths due to avian flu and

65,000 deaths during the swine flu – in all cases there were ultimately a few

hundred(121). In other words, he was wrong every time. Do journalists

actually have a conscience and, if so, why do they not check the facts before

distributing their news? Naturally, here too it later became apparent that

Ferguson’s prediction was totally wrong. But this was never reported by the

media.

For the RKI, the headlines seemed to be just the right thing. It warned of

an exponential increase(122): “With this exponential growth, the world will

have 10 million infections within 100 days if we do not succeed in curbing

the number of new infections”. Model calculations were published that

predicted hundreds of thousands of deaths in Germany(123).

Politicians entered a race for voter popularity – who could profit the

most? Markus Söder, State President of Bavaria, presented himself as

“Action Man”, emanating force and determination in front of the cameras,

and declaring his intent to fight the virus to the finish with all the means at

34

his disposal. Söder surges ahead with the first draconian measures: stay-athome

order for Bavarians as of March 21. No visits to loved ones in

hospitals. No church services. Shops and restaurants closed. Among other

incredible measures.

Nationwide lockdown

What impression would it make on the world if each federal state in Germany

had its own rules? So the measures were hastily emulated throughout the

nation. The “stay-at-home command” sounded too negative, so we were

presented with a “lockdown” on March 23 in the guise of a “nine-point plan”.

This meant nationwide confinement orders. A far-reaching contact ban was

imposed, congregations of more than 2 people in public were forbidden.

Restaurants, hair dressers, beauty parlours, massage practices, tattoo studios

and similar businesses had to close. Violations of these contact bans were to

be monitored by a regulatory agency and failure to comply was to be

sanctioned. Penalty catalogues were hastily patched together. Some states

went to extremes. Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, the Saarland, Saxony and

Saxony-Anhalt enacted decrees that allowed leaving homes and entering

public spaces only with a “valid” reason. At the same time, hospitals were so

empty that they were able to accommodate patients from Italy and

France(124).

On March 25, the German parliament announced an “epidemic situation

of national concern”, so that two days later the hurriedly compiled new “law

to protect the population during an epidemic situation of national concern”

could be implemented – largely unnoticed by the general population. It

empowered the Federal Ministry of Health to determine, by decree, a series

of measures that violate the first article of the German constitution: Human

dignity is inviolable.

These political decisions were made in the absence of any evidence that

might have justified them. It was for that reason that we decided to write an

open letter to Chancellor Merkel(28) in which questions of fundamental

importance were raised. The intent was to give the government the chance to

turn back from the wrong track with dignity. But our opinions, and those of

many others who did not agree with the government line, were ignored and

35

dissenting voices were discredited in newspapers and the media. It goes

without saying that we never received an answer.

Instead, at the end of March, it was officially proclaimed that the virus

was still spreading too fast. Case numbers doubled every 5 days. The goal

must be to flatten the curve so the doubling time is extended to 10 days. Only

thus would we prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed(125).

The contents of an internal document of the German Ministry of the

Interior (GMI) were then released to the public. There one learned that the

worst-case scenario forecast 1.15 million fatalities if the virus was not

contained(126,127). If we look at the numbers of reported infections in the first

four weeks of March (calendar weeks (CW) 10–13), we can see that this

actually looks like exponential growth, exactly as the RKI proclaimed. And

that is how it was presented everywhere.

However, what the RKI did not point out was that in calendar week 12 the

number of tests had approximately tripled and increased again the following

week. The RKI apparently did not feel duty-bound to truth and clarification

towards the population. So therefore, are these figures distorted? Why didn’t

they correct the numbers? That could have been achieved by stating the

number of infections per 100,000 tests as shown in the second diagram.

36

The RKI text should rather have read as follows: “Dear fellow citizens,

our numbers show no exponential increase of new infections. There is no

need to worry.”

Indeed, the epidemic is literally “over the hill”, as you can nicely see from

the R-curve of the RKI, which was published on April 15 in the

Epidemiological Bulletin 17(128):

What is glaringly evident?

1) The epidemic had reached its peak at the beginning to the middle of

March, well before the lockdown on March 23.

2) The lockdown had no effect: numbers dropped no further after its

implementation.

37

April 2020: no reason to prolong the lockdown

How did things look in the middle of April when the decision of once again

prolonging the lockdown was pending?

Everything was really clear now. Just like the R-value, the number of

newly infected cases showed that the peak of infection had passed (Figure:

http://www.cidm.online). The upper curve depicts the number of “newly infected”

with the initial increase as officially presented; the lower shows those

numbers standardized to 100,000 tests. Columns show the actual numbers of

conducted tests.

38

The fact is that there had never been a danger of hospitals being

overwhelmed because there had never been an exponential growth of

infection numbers. There were thousands of empty beds. There never was a

giant “wave” of COVID-19 patients. Not because the measures were so

effective, but because the epidemic was over before they were put in place.

But all the hospitals postponed, or even suspended, all elective surgeries and

procedures such as hip or knee operations or check-ups for cancer patients.

Many hospitals reported occupancy reductions of up to 30% and more.

Doctors were put on short-time working hours(129).

The lockdown is extended

On April 15, Germany extended the lockdown. The rules for social distancing

and contact restrictions were prolonged. In public, social distancing of 1.5m

was mandatory and you were only allowed to be outside your domicile with

members of your family and one other person who was not part of your

household. The ban on meetings in houses of worship was prolonged. Social

events were prohibited. Some restrictions were eased. Shops with a retail

space of up to 800 square metres were allowed to re-open. Car dealers,

bicycle shops and book stores were excluded from this restriction and were

allowed to open their doors regardless of size. But amazingly, no matter

whether a crocheted scarf or a clinical face mask is used – masks became

mandatory!

Mandatory masks

There is simply a lack of clear evidence that people who are not ill or who are

not providing care to a patient should wear a mask to reduce influenza or

COVID-19 transmission(130).

We are not aware of any single scientifically sound and undisputed article

that would contradict the following:

1) There is no scientific evidence that symptom-free people without

cough or fever spread the disease.

2) Simple masks do not and cannot stop the virus.

39

3) Masks do not and cannot protect from infection.

4) Non-medical face masks have very low filter efficiency(131)

5) Cotton surgical masks can be associated with a higher risk of

penetration of microorganisms (penetration 97%). Moisture retention, reuse

of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of

infection(132).

Since the government enforced the use of masks, many elderly people

believed that they were safe while wearing them. Nothing could be further

from the truth. Wearing a mask can entail serious health hazards, especially

for people with pulmonary disease and cardiac insufficiency, for patients with

anxiety and panic disorders and of course for children. Even the WHO

originally stated that general wearing of masks did not serve any purpose(133).

What did the RKI say? In accordance with the shift in political opinion,

they also changed their previous recommendations and supported maskwearing.

“If people – even without symptoms – wore masks as a precaution,

it could minimize the risk of infection. Of note, this is not scientifically

documented.”

A report claiming that mask-wearing had provided positive effects was

basically flawed(134). According to the study, the effects (drop in numbers of

infections) became apparent 3–4 days after implementation of the regulation.

However, this is impossible. The RKI states: “An effect of the respective

measures can only be seen after a delay of 2–3 weeks because on top of the

incubation period (up to 14 days) there is a time delay between illness and

receipt of the reports.”(135)

In fact, there is no study to even suggest that it makes any sense for

healthy individuals to wear masks in public(136,137). One might suspect that

the only political reason for enforcing the measure is to foster fear in the

population.

Last argument for extension of lockdown: the impending

second wave?

The constant fear-spreading experts of the government obviously pursue the

same goal. In Germany, Drosten warned again and again. And somehow it

40

seemed as if every country had its own “Drosten”.

At the end of April, he again fantasized about the big-time wave in

Germany – now, of course, the second big wave(138): “Would the R-value

through carelessness … be once again more than 1 and thereby exponentially

increase virus spread, this would likely have devastating consequences. Since

the wave of infection would start everywhere at the same time, it would have

a different momentum.”

But where should this second wave of infection come from?

Drosten: We can learn this from the Spanish flu. It started at the end of

the First World War, and most of the 50 million victims died during the

second wave.

That is true. But at the time of the Spanish flu, antibiotics were not

available to treat secondary bacterial infections that were the main cause of

death(139). Consequently, people of all ages died. Whoever compares

COVID-19 to the Spanish flu is either completely clueless or deliberately

intends to spread fear.

It is clear that viruses change but do not simply disappear. Just as there

has always been a flu season, there has also always been a coronavirus

season(140).

Here we see the typical course of a coronavirus epidemic(141):

Does this look vaguely familiar and reminiscent of our RKI data with the

March peak?

But wait, this Finnish study stems from 1998!

41

So, if any government should decide they want a second wave, all they

need to do is to radically increase the number of tests in the annual

coronavirus season. This simple manipulation will not fail to trigger the next

laboratory pandemic.

Relaxing the restrictions with the emergency brake applied

Professor Stefan Homburg, Director of the Institute of Public Finance at the

University of Hannover, never tired of explaining why the RKI numbers

themselves called for immediate termination of all measures(142).

He was not the only one, several others raised their voices. But critical

opinions were completely ignored. Why? Did the government have an

exclusive contract with Drosten, who keeps on warning and warning: by

loosening restrictions, Germany will risk losing its lead in the fight against

the pandemic(143).

But eventually the time arrived. The beginning of May witnessed a

cautious reopening of shops. Schools and day care centres would soon be

able to admit children again. Contact restrictions were slightly relaxed and

life was restarted, but at a painfully slow pace.

But the RKI warns and warns and warns(144): “The reproduction factor is

more than 1 once again. It’s at 1.1, to be exact … ”.

Horror of horrors, were we too rash? Many were puzzled that the daily Rfactor

fluctuated erratically. This of course was due to the generally unknown

fact that when infection numbers are very low, the R-factor can be

manipulated at will simply by altering the number of tests conducted.

And then, the great scare: Do we possibly have excess mortality(145)?

Excess mortality? Really? Could it possibly have anything to do with the

collateral damage invoked by the unwarranted measures? This question was

posed by a senior member of the risk analysis division at the German

Ministry of the Interior. He produced a remarkable document in which the

risks of collateral damage were meticulously analysed. He arrived at the

conclusion that the measures were excessive, and that they caused immense

and irreparable collateral damage without providing any true benefits. The

synopsis of the paper was sent to ten external experts, including ourselves, to

have the numbers checked.

42

He then attempted to present the document to the Minister:

unsuccessfully. He then sent the document to his colleagues in risk

assessment divisions around the country. And was suspended for his efforts.

We stated in a press release that we considered the conclusions of the

paper to be very important. But the Ministry ridiculed the document, saying

that it was no more than a private opinion(146). The media chimed in and

considered the case closed.

Lockdown extended again!

At the end of May, just before the agreement on contact restrictions between

the government and the federal states expired, a further extension of the

measures was proclaimed until June 29.

On May 25, Minister of Health, Jens Spahn stated in the most widespread

German daily newspaper, “Under no circumstances should the impression be

gained that the pandemic is already over.”

Only chancellor Merkel could top this – and so she did 4 days later. In an

historic declaration, she announces to the depressed nation: “The pandemic

has just begun!”

And this at a time when the epidemics were all over throughout Europe.

But an extension of the lockdown seemed to make sense in the light of a

recent article published in Nature, one of the most prestigious scientific

journals in the world. Only research groups of high standing have realistic

chances of seeing their names in print in this journal. Imperial College

London rallied such a group, among whom the name Neil Ferguson may ring

a bell. In a remarkable study, the investigators presented a computer-based

analysis showing that the global lockdown had saved many millions of

lives(147).

Known only to few was the fact that a string of protests by scientists of

international standing rained into Nature’s office. All pointed to the

fundamental flaws in the analysis that had caused false conclusions to be

drawn. Correctly handled, the data actually showed the opposite: the

lockdown had had no effect on the course of the pandemic. Readers who

wish to read the paper should not forget to look at these critical comments

that follow after the article(148).

So, while other countries like Denmark at no time recommended that

43

healthy people who move around in public generally wear face masks(149)

and other countries like Latvia were well on their way to freedom, Merkel

and friends decided against too much liberty for their people. The masks must

stay on!

44

4

Too much? Too little? What

happened?

Overburdened hospitals

The pictures from Italy and Spain incited fear. Mortally ill people and no

available ventilators? How dreadful. Deaths were depicted as slow, merciless

drownings. We were shown what happens when hospital capacity reaches its

limits and beyond. During all the deliberations about what was to be done in

Germany, there was always – first and foremost – the fear stoked by the RKI

that such scenarios happening in Germany could not be ruled out. As a result,

ventilators were purchased, intensive care beds were held in reserve,

operations were postponed or cancelled. In Berlin a new hospital for 1,000

patients was hurriedly built – in 38 days – and then, when it was completed,

not one patient in sight(150).

We simply must take a closer look at this. At the beginning of March it

became clear that the epidemic was sweeping through Germany. Was our

health care system well prepared? Professor Uwe Janssens, President of the

Interdisciplinary Association of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine,

gave the all-clear in the “Deutschlandfunk” (German World Service)(151):

“We have enough intensive care beds!”. Even if we were to have as many

coronavirus infections as Italy, we had approximately 28,000 beds in

intensive care units, 25,000 of which were equipped with ventilators, so

nearly 34 beds per 100,000 citizens. This was like no other country in

Europe. Professor Reinhard Busse, leader of the specialist field “Management

of the Health Care System” at the Technical University in Berlin, gave the

all-clear as well: “Even if we had conditions like in Italy, we would be

45

nowhere near to being overburdened”(152).

But the RKI kept fostering fear. The “number of intensive care beds will

not be sufficient”, Wieler, president of the RKI and trained veterinarian,

announced at the beginning of April(153). Why? Wieler explained: “The

epidemic continues and the number of fatalities will keep going up”.

Actually, the real explanation – kept under lock and key at that time – was

quite different. It came to light in May, when a previously confidential

document appeared on the website of the German Ministry of the

Interior(154). The shocking contents confirmed circulating rumours. The

document, dating to mid-March, was the minutes of a meeting of the

coronavirus task-force. There, one was astounded to learn that fearmongering

was the official agenda created to manage the epidemic. All the

pieces of the puzzle then fell into place. Everything had been planned. The

high numbers of infection were purposely reported because the numbers of

deaths would “sound too trivial”. The central goal was to achieve a massive

shock effect. Three examples are given how to stir up primal fears in the

general population:

1) People should be scared by a detailed description of dying from

COVID-19 as “slow drowning”. Imagining death through excruciating slow

suffocation incites the most dread.

2) People should be told that children were a dangerous source of

infection because they would unwittingly carry the deadly virus and kill their

parents.

3) Warnings about alarming late consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infections

were to be scattered. Even though not formally proven to exist, they would

frighten people.

Altogether, this strategy would enable all intended measures to be

implemented with general acceptance by the public.

HORRIBLE!

Now that the method in the madness is known, it becomes more

understandable why Wieler steadfastly adhered to his projections. Numbers

of infections were used to calculate the number of intensive care beds that

would be needed, without taking into account that 90% of infected

individuals would not fall seriously ill. And that the majority of patients who

46

did require hospitalisation would recover and be dismissed.

Simply adding the daily number of new infections to the curve (top curves

in the graph) was of course senseless. The recoveries should have been

subtracted from the number of positively tested persons if a realistic indicator

of hospital burden had really been sought.

Strictly speaking, one would also have to subtract the deceased, but since

there were so few – tragic and sad as that was for every individual case, it

made no difference in the graphic representation.

The fact is that we were never at any risk of our health care system

collapsing. In mid-April there was NO REASON for further measures. All

should have been revoked immediately. While the hospitals waited for non-

47

existent coronavirus patients, those genuinely requiring treatment were not

admitted. Beds were empty. Hospitals ran into financial problems. Many

applied for short-time work for doctors and nursing staff – in the midst of the

imagined crisis(155). The situation in other countries was similar. Thousands

of US physicians were placed on administrative leave because the number of

routine outpatient visits dropped by a landslide(156).

Shortage of ventilators?

At the commencement of the pandemic, experts contended that invasive

ventilation would be a first-line requirement to rescue COVID-19 patients

from a horrible death by suffocation. At the same time, this measure would

minimize the risk of infection of medical personnel. As a consequence, the

German government decided to purchase and store thousands of ventilators in

reserve.

This turned out to be a very bad bet(157–161).

Artificially ventilated patients require very close attention(162). Oxygen is

forced through a tube into the lungs. It is not uncommon for bacteria to hitch

a ride and then cause life-threatening pneumonia. The risk of these hospitalacquired

infections rises by the day, which is why medical students learn that

the ventilator should be used no longer than is absolutely necessary.

In contrast, COVID-19 patients were often put on ventilation early and

without true need, and kept on the apparatus far longer than they ever should

have been. Why? Because it was officially stipulated that invasive ventilation

was the best means to reduce the risk of virus spread via aerosol to the

personnel. However, aerosols probably play no important role in disease

transmission(163). The sole fact that SARS-CoV-2 can be found in aerosol

droplets(164) does not mean that it is there in sufficient quantities to cause

illness(165).

How many lives were lost because of this advice?

Many specialists later stated that COVID-19 patients were intubated and

ventilated for too long and too often(160,161). The risks were high and success

more than questionable. Professor Gerhard Laier-Groeneveld from the lung

clinic in Neustadt advised that intubation should be avoided in any event. His

48

COVID-19 patients received oxygen with simple respiratory masks and he

lost not a single life(160).

Professor Thomas Voshaar, Chair of the Association of Pneumology

Clinics, shared the same view(161). He pointed out that the high death rates in

other countries “should be reason enough to question this strategy of early

intubation”. At the time of his report, he had mechanically ventilated one of

his 40 patients. The patient subsequently died. All the others survived.

Here is a shortened version of a radio interview with palliative physician

Dr Matthias Thöns(166): “Politics these days has a very one-sided orientation

towards intensive care treatment, towards buying more ventilators and

offering ICU beds as a reward. But we must remember that most of the

severely ill COVID-19 patients are very old people with multiple underlying

diseases; 40% of those come heavily care-dependent from assisted living

facilities. Previously, this group would ordinarily receive more palliative

instead of intensive care. But now, a new disease is diagnosed and this whole

client base is turned into intensive care patients.”

He points out that according to a Chinese study, 97% die despite maximal

therapy (including ventilation). Of those who survive, only a small number is

able to return to their former lives, many of them left with severe disabilities.

These are circumstances that most seniors would refuse to risk. He rightly

says that critically ill patients should openly be told the truth about their

condition. They should themselves decide which course they wish to take:

intensive care treatment in isolation, or symptomatic treatment in the circle of

loved ones. The individual will should have highest priority. Thöns is quite

sure that most people would prefer the second option.

Were the measures appropriate?

It became clear fairly early that SARS-CoV-2 was not a killer virus and there

never had been an exponential increase in new infections. The price for

attempting to contain the virus was absurdly high.

What did the government do right?

49

?

The authors have no answer to this question. They look forward to receiving

yours.

What did the government do wrong?

It proclaimed an epidemic of national concern that did not exist

It deprived citizens of their rights

It made arbitrary instead of evidence-based decisions

It intentionally spread fear

It enforced senseless lockdown and mask-wearing

It devastated the economy and destroyed livelihoods

It disrupted the health care system

It inflicted immense suffering on the populace

What should our government have done?

It should have done what the chancellor and ministers solemnly declared

when they were sworn into office:

“I swear that I will use my power for the WELL-BEING of the German

public, to further its ADVANTAGES, to prevent DAMAGE, to PRESERVE

and DEFEND the constitution and the federal statutes, to diligently fulfil my

duty and practice just treatment towards everyone.”

50

5

Collateral damage

Dr David L. Katz, President of the True Health Initiative, asked on March 20

if our fight against the coronavirus was worse than the disease(167). Could

there not be more specific means to combat the disease? What about all the

collateral damage?

Stanford Professor Scott Atlas said during an interview that under the

misassumption that we have to contain COVID-19, we have created a

catastrophic situation in the health care sector(168). Irrational fears were

generated because the disease as a whole is a mild one. Thus, there is no

reason for comprehensive testing in the general population and it should be

done only where appropriate, namely in hospitals and nursing homes. At the

end of April, Atlas published an article entitled “The data are in – stop the

panic and total isolation”(169).

In Germany, Wolfgang Schäuble, presiding officer of the German

parliament, stated that not absolutely everything must be subordinate to the

protection of life(170).

“If there is anything at all that has an absolute value in our constitution, it

is human dignity which is inviolable. But it does not preclude that we have to

die.” The media immediately flared back in righteous disgust: “Human dignity

versus human life – can you balance one against the other?”(171).

Many still fail to comprehend that we have sacrificed both.

Proponents of the pointless measures argue that every person has the right

to grow as old as possible. Even if the virus were only the straw that broke

the camel’s back, it was still at fault. Without the virus, the deceased may

have lived months or even years longer. It is our moral duty to sacrifice our

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personal wants and needs when lives of others are at stake. The economy can

recover, the dead cannot. The Merkel mantra, chanted day and night by her

ardent followers: “Protecting the health of our citizens must, at all costs,

remain our supreme goal.”

Honourable as this may sound, it betrays an alarming inability to

comprehend the essence of public welfare. The following numbers have

already been presented but because of their importance, they will be repeated

here. During the course of this entire epidemic, a maximum number of 10 in

10,000 over 80 year-olds have died with or from the virus. The number of

“true” COVID-19 deaths cannot be higher than 1–2 per 10,000. How many

human lives were really prolonged by the horrendous measures? Maybe 2–4

per 10,000? Or even 4–8? But definitely not more. And at what cost?

The one employee of the GMI who dared to compile an analysis of the

collateral damage to the health care system was suspended. The government

was not interested. Nothing can be placed over human life. But what are the

consequences for health and welfare of the populace if the economy collapses

and people are confronted with the end of their existence?

Economic consequences

It will strike all countries. The global economic crisis could plunge 500

million people into poverty, so stated in a position paper by the UN(172).

The US Federal Reserve (FED) expects a dramatic decline of up to 30%

in American economic performance(173). FED director Jerome Powell

assumes a 20% to 25% increase in the unemployment rate. Almost 36.5

million people have lost their jobs. It is “the most traumatic job loss in the

history of the US economy,” says Gregory Daco, US Chief Economist of the

Oxford Economics Institute(174).

The EU commission predicts a deep recession of historic magnitude for

Europe(175).

According to their prognosis, the economy will shrink a good 7% and will

not completely recover in the next year.

In Germany too, the economy is starting to crumble. Since the second half

of March it is down to 80% of normal economic performance(176). Reduced

hours compensation is registered for about 10 million employees. Without

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short-time work, the unemployment rate would have increased dramatically,

similar to the US. In April we have “only” 300,000 additional

unemployed(177). But this will not be the end of the story, not by a long shot.

The government boasted that they are weaving safety nets, the “greatest

rescue package in Germany’s history” will help mitigate the collateral

damage(178). But that rescue package is ridiculous in relation to the damage

that has been done. Countless people are falling through the net. Existences

have been destroyed and lives have been lost. They cannot be salvaged by

safety nets.

Disruption of medical care

Many who were ill were afraid to visit hospitals for fear of catching the

“killer virus”.

Often older people would rather not “be a burden” to their doctors, who

they thought were battling to save COVID-19 patients.

Patients requiring medical examinations were turned away, all that was

not deemed of “vital importance” cancelled or postponed.

Medical check-ups were not performed.

Operations were postponed to free up capacity for “coronavirus

patients”.

Domestic violence against women and children increased.

The number of suicides rose.

Drugs and suicide

Following the financial crisis of 2008, the number of suicides rose in

countries all over the world. According to the National Health Group Well

Being Trust, unemployment, economic downfall and despair could now drive

75,000 Americans to drug abuse and suicide(179). The Australian government

estimates a rise in suicides of 50%(180), a number 10 times higher than the

number of “coronavirus deaths”. Unemployment and poverty are also

predicted to markedly increase suicide rates in Germany(181).

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Heart attack and stroke

Unemployment increases the risk of heart attack to an extent comparable to

cigarette smoking, diabetes and hypertension(182). But where did all the

patients with heart attacks disappear to? Admissions to emergency care units

dropped 30% as compared to the previous month. Not because the patients

were miraculously cured but because they were terrified of catching the

deadly virus in the hospital. Preliminary symptoms went unheeded, even

though such symptoms are often the harbinger of a deadly attack and need to

be closely attended to in hospital.

“This is a most dangerous development… There are now 50% fewer

patients with mild symptoms in the emergency room,” explains Dr Sven

Thonke, chief physician at the Clinic for Neurology in Hanau in a newspaper

interview(181). Many pending strokes initially cause mild symptoms such as

dizziness, speech, visual problems and muscle weakness. Thonke: “There are

now 50% fewer patients with mild-symptoms in the emergency room.” This

is extremely worrisome because more often than not mild symptoms herald

the severe stroke that can be rapidly fatal if the emergency is not immediately

tended to.

Other ailments

According to the scientific institute of the AOK (German health insurance

company), the following diagnoses dropped considerably in April: 51%

fewer respiratory diseases, 47% fewer diseases of the digestive tract, and

29% fewer injuries and poisonings(183).

Care of tumour patients was catastrophic. Monitoring of tumour treatment

was no longer conducted at the required levels. Control examinations were

postponed or cancelled. Patients waited in agony for the next appointment –

alone with their fears and the single remaining question: how much time was

still left to them.

Cancelled operations

30 million elective surgeries were postponed or cancelled worldwide during

54

the first 12 weeks of the pandemic(184). In 2018, 1.4 million operations were

performed on average every month. 50–90% of all scheduled operations were

postponed or not performed in March, April and May 2020. This translates to

at least 2 million operations that would normally have been performed. The

consequences must be profound.

Further consequences for the elderly

In Germany, more than 1,000 people over the age of 80 die every day(185).

While we are taking drastic measures to prevent them from dying of COVID-

19, we are making their lives less worth living. This cannot but impinge on

life expectancy.

Quality of life

Especially in old age – when many friends have already passed on and the

body no longer works the way it once did – life is not about how many more

days or years but about a life worth living. That could be accomplished by

exercise and remaining active, through social contacts, by taking recreational

holidays, visiting events and even shopping sprees, with regular visits to the

sauna or a fitness studio or the daily walk to the corner café.

But what happens when, all of a sudden, the café and everything else is

closed? No more visits to old friends, no more social events. And no visitors

either.

Loneliness and isolation

Functioning social networks safeguard the elderly from loneliness. Five to

twenty percent of senior German citizens feel lonely and isolated. After the

lockdown, almost all contact with other people stopped for months, which

must have worsened these feelings. For those who cannot leave the house

unassisted, nursing services arrange “senior social groups”, where the elderly

are picked up once a week and then taken safely home again. It’s not much,

but it’s so important to be with other people again and devastating when no

longer there.

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Terminal care

Yes, every individual has the right to reach as old an age as possible. But

every person nearing the end of their life should also have the right to decide

how they want to go. Most do not fear the end. As the time approaches,

people become increasingly detached and willing to embark on their last

journey.

When we hear talk about the “older people” and we are told that it is our

moral duty to protect them, many picture sprightly seniors who are enjoying

their time on ocean liners. In reality, the endangered elderly are multi-morbid

individuals at the end of their lives. People who have not been able to leave

their beds for days, weeks or months. People whose tumours have spread

throughout their bodies and are in constant pain. People who cannot go on

anymore and maybe do not want to go on. People who sometimes just wait

for a kind fate to relieve them of their suffering.

Amidst all the protective measures for the high-risk groups in retirement

and nursing homes, at the end the individual decision should have the highest

priority. Most no longer care whether their loved ones bring the coronavirus

to them, as long as someone is there to hold their hand, to talk about the past,

and to whisper I love you and farewell(186).

Innocent and vulnerable: our children

Children – like the elderly – are the most vulnerable in our society and it is

our duty to care for them. Millions of children in the world are suffering

acutely from the coronavirus measures. “The coronavirus strikes more

children and their families than those who are actually gripped by the

infections,” says Cornelius Williams, Head of the UNICEF Child Protection

League(187).

Mental/psychological stress

Children cannot thrive without social contacts. Separation from key people

like grandma and grandpa, auntie and uncle, their best friends – the closed

schools, inaccessible playgrounds and barred sports fields disrupt their lives.

Social ethicists point out how vital it is for children to be in contact with their

56

peers(188).

Educational deficits

Children have a right to education. Since the schools have been closed,

millions of students are lagging behind according to an estimate of the

German Teacher Association. Their president, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, sees

educational deficits for approximately 3 million children, especially in

students from difficult social backgrounds and from impoverished

families(189).

Physical violence

Tens of thousands of children in Germany become victims of violence and

abuse every year(190). Crime statistics from 2018 show that

3 children die in the aftermath of physical violence every week

10 children are physically or mentally abused every day

40 children are sexually abused every day

And these, of course, are only the known cases. Can you imagine the

situation in coronavirus times?

When parents are stressed, on the brink of losing their jobs and facing

financial ruin?

When arguments and quarrels become a daily occurrence?

With increased alcohol consumption?

When children are at home day after day, with no way of escape?

Teachers who normally play important roles in safeguarding endangered

children are gone. Who then should notify the youth welfare office should the

need arise?

The government’s commissioner for abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig,

issued an urgent warning. There were indications from the quarantined town

of Wuhan that the cases of domestic violence had tripled during the “trappedat-

home” time. There were “equally alarming numbers” from Italy and Spain.

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Consequences for the world’s poorest

Many in this country took the opportunity to get their house and garden back

into shape during the coronavirus crisis. Understandably, since home-office

work was only semi-effective for want of equipment and slow internet

connections. Actually, the majority of the middle class and the affluent were

not doing badly. Well, the neighbour who now has to apply for Hartz IV

(unemployment benefits) will surely get back on his feet. People tend to think

as far as their front door, maybe a bit beyond, but that’s it. Many are not

aware that the most severe consequences often affect the poorest of the poor.

One must not close one’s eyes to the fact that the existence and lives of

countless people are threatened.

Existential consequences

In India, there are hundreds of millions of day-labourers, many of whom led a

hand-to-mouth existence before the coronavirus restrictions robbed them of

their livelihoods. Now they have no more means to survive. They are

“protected” against the coronavirus and are in turn left to starve.

In many African countries, coronavirus lockdowns are brutally enforced

by police and military. Whoever shows his face on the streets is beaten.

Children, who usually survive on their one meal in school, are forbidden to

leave the house. They, too, can starve.

At the end of April, the Head of the UN World Food Program, David

Beasley, gave a warning before the UN Security Council: because of

coronavirus, there is a danger that the world will face a “hunger pandemic of

biblical proportions”(191). “It is expected that lockdowns and economic

recessions will lead to a drastic loss of income among the working poor. On

top of this, financial aid from overseas will decrease, which will hit countries

like Haiti, Nepal and Somalia, just to name a few. Loss of revenue from

tourism will doom countries like Ethiopia, since it represents 47 percent of

national income.”

Consequences for medical care and maintenance of health

Medical care is a luxury that only a few in the poorest countries can afford.

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Advances and positive developments of recent years are now in danger of

collapse.

Vaccination campaigns against the measles were suspended in many

countries. Although measles rarely cause death in western countries, 3–6% of

the infected people in poor countries die, and those who survive often have

life-long disabilities. The virus has claimed 6,500 child deaths in the Congo

Republic(192).

Between 2003 and 2013, Zimbabwe succeeded in lowering yearly malaria

infections from 155 per 1,000 inhabitants to just 22. Now, and within a short

time, there have been more than 130 deaths and 135,000 infections. Two

thirds of all fatalities were < 5 year-old children.

According to the WHO, malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could rise

to 769,000 in 2020, which would double the number for 2018. If so, they

would be thrown back to a “mortality standard” of 20 years ago. The

probable reason for this catastrophe is the fact that insecticide-treated

mosquito nets can no longer be adequately distributed.

Are the malaria deaths in Zimbabwe and the measles deaths in the Congo

only precursors of what is in store for the continent?

Synopsis

With the prescribed measures, was our government able to prolong the lives

of people who would leave us in the next days, months or perhaps a few

years? Maybe, maybe not. Were many lives saved through these measures?

They certainly were not, because these restrictions were imposed when the

epidemic was already subsiding.

One thing is certain. The immeasurable grief that these measures have

inflicted cannot possibly be put into words or numbers.

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6

Did other countries fare better –

Sweden as a role model?

While we were lectured every day on the “pseudo-exponential” growth of

infections and talked into thinking that our health system would collapse if

drastic measures were not strictly enforced, a few other countries chose a

different path. They did not establish a curfew, they left restaurants, fitness

studios, and libraries etc. open to the public. Sweden is an example(193).

Epidemiologist Professor Anders Tegnell, who obviously learned from

mistakes he had made during the swine-flu epidemic, and his predecessor,

Johan Giesecke, who at an early stage pointed out that only the

implementation of evidence-based measures made any sense, both decided

that lockdowns were not only pointless, but dangerous. Giesecke explained in

an interview(194):

“There are only two measures that have a genuine scientific background.

One of these is hand-washing and we know this since the work of Ignaz

Semmelweis 150 years ago. The other is social distancing. Many of the

measures taken by European governments have no scientific basis. Closing

the borders for example is useless and does not help. Also, the closing of

schools has never proven to be effective.”

From a scientific stance, school closings are indeed known to make no

sense(89).

It did make sense, however, to count on the individual sense of

responsibility of the citizens, and on informational and educational

campaigns. People were informed on how to protect themselves – and they

did: without fear-mongering, without panic scenarios, lockdown, without

threat of a fine, without massive restrictions on their liberties.

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Executive WHO director Mike Ryan called Sweden a “role model” in the

fight against the coronavirus(195).

Undeniably, Sweden did a lot of things right. But it reaped disgust and

disapproval from its neighbours. The German press left no stone unturned to

badmouth the Swedish way:

Sweden’s special path apparently failed (Deutschlandfunk, April 4,

2020)

Consequences cannot be predicted – 10% mortality rate: Sweden’s lax

special path during the coronavirus crisis is threatening to fail (Focus,

April 17, 2020)

Coronavirus in Sweden – Is the country heading for a catastrophe?

(RND, April 24, 2020)

Politicians also had their say.

Karl Lauterbach (SPD) accused Swedish men and women of acting

irresponsibly. “Crudely put, many of the elderly are sacrificed so that the

cafés do not have to close.”

Minister-President of Bavaria, Markus Söder, said: “This liberal course

claims VERY, VERY MANY victims …”

As a matter of fact, the epidemic in Sweden took a comparable course as

that in other countries.

Homburg describes this in an interview(196): “It seems that they want to

avoid at all costs acknowledging that there is an example to the opposite of

their own misguided policy. They have tried with every means at their

disposal – fake news followed by more fake news – to throw Sweden off its

chosen path. But Sweden stayed the course.”

Could we have taken this path in Germany? Count on the individual sense

of responsibility of the citizens and on information campaigns?

A favourite counter argument is Sweden’s population density. With 23

inhabitants per square kilometre it is about 10 times lower than in Germany,

so it is argued that it might work there, but never here. This would also apply

to Iceland, which is another positive example of how to master the

coronavirus crisis without lockdowns. Almost all of the 1,800 infected people

recovered. 10 COVID-19 deaths were registered – without any drastic

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lockdown. Many restaurants and schools remained open and congregations of

up to 20 people were allowed.

This may be true, but here we also have a low population density. So let

us look instead at Hong Kong with 7.5 million residents and a population

density of 6,890 people per square kilometre. And what a surprise: Here, too,

it worked! It was a little more restrictive than Sweden and Iceland maybe, but

nevertheless without complete lockdown(197).

Or let us look at Japan (126 million inhabitants, population density 336

per square kilometre) or South Korea.

Japan and South Korea were among the first countries outside of China to

be affected by the outbreak. Contrary to China’s draconian measures, the

mass quarantines in wide parts of Europe and in major US cities, regular life

continued in Japan for a large part of the population. Restaurants stayed open

– without a serious disaster(198). Japan has a very small number of

coronavirus infections – possibly because they did not do much testing.

Now, we know that the number of infections is of no significance. So let

us look at the really important issue, namely the number of deceased: this,

too, is extremely low. Much wrong cannot have been done in Japan!

In contrast to Japan, South Korea performed more testing than any other

country, but shutdown of public life was also largely avoided. No cities were

cordoned off, nor general curfews imposed. Public institutions, shops,

restaurants and cafés stayed open(199).

South Korea banked on 1) informing the public and 2) testing and tracing.

Mass testing was performed in specially erected drive-through centres.

Radical transparency was ensured by a tracking app that tagged the

whereabouts of the infected persons.

Sweden, Iceland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan – all these examples

have confirmed what recognised experts have said all along: lockdowns are

not necessary. They cause massive social and economic damage that cannot

justify any possible benefits. But were there benefits at all?

Are there benefits of lockdown measures?

At the end of 2019, the WHO published a document describing various

measures to be taken in case of a future pandemic(200). The major goal would

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be, as we have heard before, to “flatten the curve” by reducing the number of

new daily infections. A number of measures were considered “Out” from the

very beginning: they were NOT recommended IN ANY

CIRCUMSTANCES!

Hmm – so how come everything happened as it did? If it had been

possible, would the world have also been put under UV-light and the

humidity raised beyond the tropics?

After telling us what should definitely not be done, the WHO went on to

describe other measures – lockdown etc. – that it deemed more worthy of

recommendation. Hidden in an appendix was, admittedly, a note that the

recommendations had no scientific basis.

Several critical scientists came to the conclusion early on that lockdown

was the wrong path. Among others, Nobel laureate Professor Michael Levitt

spoke out. He considered the lockdown a “gigantic mistake” and called for

more appropriate measures that should specifically aim to protect the

vulnerable groups(201).

Nonetheless, most countries followed the “role model” China.

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All of Italy was completely quarantined from March 10 by a stay-at-home

order. Exceptions applied only in emergencies, for important work orders and

for errands that could not be postponed. 60 million people were under house

arrest and the streets were totally empty for a whole two months. Other

countries like Spain, France, Ireland, Poland undertook similar action. With

what effect? The epidemic is over, so let us look at the death toll – keeping in

mind that the numbers are grossly inflated because of faulty counting

methods and case definition.

Did fewer people die in countries with lockdown measures?

When we look at the death rates per 1 million inhabitants for some European

countries with lockdown (alphabetically, first 13 columns), we see that the

numbers appear to vary quite considerably. The median number is around

340 (red bar represents mean with standard deviation). Realise, however, that

this is low in comparison to something in the order of 10,000 deaths per

million that occur annually in Germany and other European countries. And

that the coronavirus numbers are grossly exaggerated because most derive

from deaths with rather than death from the virus. Divide them by at least 5

to arrive at realistic numbers. Then, the variations lose meaning. Respiratory

infections caused by many agents similarly sweep like gusts of wind that

blow 20 or 100 of 10,000 leaves from a tree. Every loss is sad, but most are

fateful. Preventive measures need to be appropriate so as to avoid collateral

damage that would sweep other leaves from the tree.

The press relentlessly emphasized that Sweden would pay a high price for

its liberal path. In actuality, we see that Sweden without lockdown is not

significantly different when compared to countries with lockdown. South

Korea, Japan and Hong Kong as well do not conspicuously stand out with an

exorbitantly high number of so called “corona deaths”. Quite the contrary is

the case.

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So what do we see: countries without lockdown measures did not slide

into a catastrophe.

We know that COVID-19 can run a fatal course in elderly patients with

underlying conditions. This leads to the next important question.

Were high-risk groups better protected in countries with lockdown?

The simple answer is, No.

Approximately half of the “coronavirus victims” died in care facilities and

retirement homes, no matter where you look. In Western countries, these

numbers vary from 30% to 60%(202). Countries with relatively drastic

lockdowns like Ireland (60%), Norway (60%) or France (51%) have no better

figures than Sweden (45%). Nursing homes require specific protection which

general lockdown measures can in no way achieve.

A sensible concept for protection of genuinely vulnerable groups

compliant with ethical rules and regulations(203) would have solved the

problem.

Would immediate suspension of the lockdown have had dire consequences?

Let us look at the Czech Republic. From March 16, curfews were instated,

citizens were only allowed to go to work, to go grocery shopping, to see a

doctor or to go for walks in public parks. Like everywhere, the lockdown

could not prevent the increase in infections. By court decision, the measures

had to be rescinded on April 24. Was there a new wave of new infections and

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deadly casualties? Oh – it really seems so! Is the Czech Republic

experiencing the much-feared second wave of COVID-19 infections – a

scenario feared all across the continent? Of course not! The number of tests

has been increased(204).

These data just illustrate how irrelevant and misleading the numbers of

false-positive “new cases” are when the virus is more or less gone. This is

confirmed by looking at the number of daily deaths. With a corresponding

delay due to the incubation period, there should be a significant increase in

the middle of July (rectangle). But the numbers kept sinking and the epidemic

in the country was over as well (Worldometers, July 2020).

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This scenario of another “wave of infections” is typical for many

countries. It is often misused to maintain fear in the population and to

prolong senseless measures(205).

In fact, the epidemic followed essentially the same course all over Europe.

The effects of the lockdown were exclusively negative.

In a few countries such as Israel, there currently seems to be a second

increase in the number of daily deaths. Media revel in spreading news of the

dreaded second wave. But do not be fooled. Look closely and inform

yourself. Numbers must always be set in relation – to the number of

residents, number of PCR tests, average number of total deaths. If the number

of people who die with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test is small, as in

Israel, perfectly irrelevant increases (e.g. from 2 to 6) can be turned into

sensational news: the death toll has tripled! Interestingly, at the height of the

COVID-19 epidemic in March, Israel’s overall deaths per month dropped to

the lowest rate in four years. So there was never even a first “COVID-19

wave”. In July, the number of so-called “COVID-19 deaths” per 1 million

population was not even half as high as in Germany (Worldometers, July

2020).

So which measures would have actually been correct?

Simple: a resolute protection of the vulnerable groups, especially those in

nursing and care facilities. Period.

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7

Is vaccination the universal

remedy?

“There can be no return to normality until we have a vaccine,” declares

Michael Kretschmer, Minister-President of Saxony(206).

More and more voices were raised that we needed a vaccine before we

could return to normal life.

At the beginning of June, the German Federal Ministry of Finance issued

a plan to boost the economy: Item 53: “The coronavirus pandemic ends when

a vaccine is available”(207)! This is hysterical! Since when can a government

decide how and when a pandemic ends?

On Easter Sunday, Bill Gates was allotted ten minutes prime time to

address the German nation on television(208).

Ingo Zamperoni (TV host): “It is becoming increasingly clear that we can

only get a grip on this pandemic if we develop a vaccine.”

Bill Gates: “We will ultimately administer this newly developed vaccine

to 7 billion people, so we cannot afford problems with adverse side effects.

However, we will make the decision to use the vaccine on a smaller data

basis than usual. This will enable rapid progress to be made.”

Rapid progress on a small data basis? Is this the right way to fight a

disease with relative low fatality rate?

Remarkably, start-up financing for the global search for a coronavirus

vaccine was accomplished at the beginning of May by sleight of hand. The

EU collected almost 7.5 billion euro with their donor conference. Germany

and France pledged a large portion. A special programme was launched by

our government to serve this purpose. The plan is to contribute 750 million

euro toward the development of a vaccine.

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But does vaccination really make sense? How vulnerable are we towards

the virus? How many lives are threatened that need to be protected?

On the question of immunity against COVID-19

A short excursion into the field of immunology.

What does immunity against coronaviruses depend on?

The coronavirus binds via protein projections (so-called spikes) that

recognise specific molecules (receptors) on our cell. This can be likened to

virus hands grasping the handles of doors that then open to allow entry. After

multiplication, viral progenies are released and can infect other cells.

Immunity against coronaviruses rests on two pillars: 1) antibodies, 2)

specialised cells of our immune system, the so-called helper lymphocytes and

killer lymphocytes.

When a new virus enters the body and causes illness, the immune system

responds by mobilising these arms of defence. Both are trained to specifically

recognise the invading virus, and both are endowed with the gift of long-term

memory. Upon re-invasion by the virus, they are recruited to the new battle

sites, their prowess bolstered through their previous encounter with the

sparring partner.

Many different antibodies are generated, each specifically recognising a

tiny part of the virus. Note that only the antibodies that bind the “hands” of

the virus are protective because they can stop the virus from gripping the

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handles of the door (step 1). Classical viral vaccines are designed to make our

immune system produce such antibodies. It is believed that an individual will

thus become immune to the virus.

Three points require emphasis.

1. If you are tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and nothing is found this

does not mean that you were not infected. Severe symptoms often

correlate with high production of antibodies, mild symptoms only lead

to low antibody levels and many asymptomatic infections probably

occur without any antibody production.

2. If antibodies are found this does not mean that you are immune.

Current immunological tests cannot selectively detect protective

antibodies directed against the “hands” of the virus. Other antibodies

show up at the same time. Testing cannot give any reliable

information on the “immune status” of an individual and, as will

follow next, is essentially useless.

3. The outcome of an encounter between “protective” antibodies and the

virus is not “black or white”, not a “now or never”. Numbers are

important. A wall of protecting antibodies may ward off a small attack

– for instance when someone coughs at a distance. The attack

intensifies as the person comes closer. The scales begin to tip. Some

viruses may now overcome the barrier and make it into the cells. If the

cough comes from close quarters, the battle becomes one-sided and

ends in a quick victory for the virus.

So even if vaccination is “successful”, meaning that production of protective

antibodies has taken place, it does not guarantee immunity. To worsen

matters, antibody production spontaneously wanes after just a few months.

Protection, if any at all, is at best short-lived.

The idea of a personal “Immune Status” document is scientifically unsound.

What happens after the virus enters the cell? Experiments conducted on mice

have examined this in detail for SARS-CoV, the original SARS virus and

close relative of the present SARS-CoV-2. It was demonstrated that the

second arm of the immune system comes into play. Lymphocytes arrive on

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the scene. A coordinated series of events takes place during which helper

cells explode into action and activate their partners, the killer

lymphocytes(209). These seek out the cells that contain the virus and kill them.

The factory is destroyed – the fire is extinguished.

Cough and fever go away.

How can killer lymphocytes know which cells to attack? Put in simple

words: imagine an infected cell to be a factory that produces and assembles

the virus parts. Bits and pieces that are not assembled into the viruses become

waste products that the cell removes in an ingenious way: it transports them

out and puts them in front of the door. The patrolling killer cells see the trash

and move in for the kill (step 2).

This second arm of our immune system is seldom talked about, but it is

probably actually all-important – much more so than the antibodies that

represent a rather shaky first line of defence. Most importantly, waste

products derived from different coronaviruses share similarities. Killer

lymphocytes recognising the waste of one virus can therefore be expected to

recognise at least some of the waste of others.

Would this imply cross-immunity?

Yes. Coronavirus mutations take place in very small steps. Protective

antibodies and lymphocytes against type A will therefore also be quite

effective against progeny Aa. If B comes to visit, you get another cold and

cough, but then your immune status broadens to cover A, Aa, B and Bb.

The scope of immunity expands with each new infection. And

lymphocytes can remember.

Who does not recall their child’s first year in kindergarten? Oh no, not

again, here comes the umpteenth cold with runny nose, cough and fever. The

child is ill all through the long winter! Luckily, it gets better the second year

and the third will be weathered with maybe just one or two colds. By the time

school starts, the operational base for combating the viruses has grown rock

solid.

So what does “Immunity against coronavirus” really mean?

Does “immune” mean that we do not get infected at all?

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No. It means we don’t fall seriously ill.

And not getting sick does not rest solely on prevention of infection by

antibodies, but more on “putting out the fire”. When a new variant appears,

many people may get infected but because the fires are quickly extinguished,

they will not fall seriously ill. The relative few who fare worse do so because

the balance between attack and defence is heavily in favour of the virus. But

in the absence of pre-existing illness, the scales tip back again. The virus will

be overcome. As a rule, it is only for people with pre-existing conditions that

the virus may become the last straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.

This is why coronavirus infections run a mild or even symptom-free

course and why an epidemic with any “new” virus is never followed by a

second, more serious, wave.

Why do annual coronavirus epidemics end in summer? Well, just one

speculation. Over 50% of the northern European population becomes vitamin

D-deficient in the dark winter months. Possibly, replenishment of vitamin D

stores by sunshine and the shift of activities to outdoors are simple important

reasons.

What happens to the virus after an epidemic? It joins its relatives and

circulates with them in the population. Infections continue to occur but most

go unnoticed because of the vitalised immune system. Once in a while,

someone will get his summer flu. But such is life.

Can a similar pattern be expected with SARS-CoV-2?

The authors believe that is exactly what we have witnessed. 85–90% of the

SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals did not fall ill. Most probably, their

lymphocytes extinguished the fires in time to limit viral production. Put very

simply: the virus was a new variant and able to infect almost anyone. But

immunity was already widespread due to the presence of lymphocytes that

cross-recognised the virus.

Does proof exist that lymphocytes from unexposed individuals crossrecognise

SARS-CoV-2?

Yes. In a recent German study, lymphocytes from 185 blood samples

obtained between 2007 and 2019 were examined for cross-recognition of

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SARS-CoV-2. Positive results were found in no less than 70–80%, and this

applied to both helper and killer lymphocytes(210). A US study with

lymphocytes from 20 unexposed donors similarly reported the presence of

lymphocytes that were cross-reactive with the new virus(211). In these and

another Swedish study it was also found that even non-symptomatic or mild

SARS-CoV-2 infections provoked strong T-cell responses(212). We suspect

that these unusually vigorous T-cell responses to a first infection represent

classical booster phenomena occurring in pre-existing populations of reactive

T-lymphocytes.

Could the idea that lymphocytes mediate cross-immunity to SARS-CoV-2 be

tested?

The concept of lymphocyte-mediated herd immunity that we present follows

from the integration of latest scientific data(209–212) into the established

context of host immunity to viral infections. The idea can actually be put to

test. Thus, in a recent study, cynomolgus monkeys were successfully infected

with SARS-CoV-2(213). Although all animals shed the virus, not a single one

fell ill. Minor lesions were found in the lungs of two animals, attesting to the

fact that vigorous production of the virus had taken place.

In essence, these findings replicated what has been witnessed in healthy

humans. Repetition of the monkey experiment in animals depleted of

lymphocytes would show whether herd immunity had indeed derived from

the presence of the cells.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question

The development of vaccines against dreaded diseases such as smallpox,

diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis represented turning points in the history

of medicine. Vaccination against a number of further diseases followed

which today belong to the standard repertoire of preventive medicine. Now,

the most pressing issue arises whether a global vaccination programme is

needed to end the coronavirus crisis. This question is so important that a

debate urgently needs to be conducted to reach a global consensus on three

basic points.

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1. When is the development of a vaccine called for? We venture to

answer: when an infection regularly leads to severe illness and/or

serious sequelae in healthy individuals, as is not the case with SARSCoV-

2.

2. When would mass vaccination not be reasonable? We propose that

mass vaccination is not reasonable if a large part of the population is

already sufficiently protected against life-threatening disease, as is the

case for SARS-CoV-2.

3. When will vaccination likely be unsuccessful? We predict that

vaccination will fail when a virus co-existing worldwide with man and

animals continuously undergoes mutational change, and when

individuals become exposed to high doses of virus during spread of

the infection.

In the authors’ view, a global vaccination programme thus makes no sense.

The risks far outweigh any possible benefit right from the start.

Experts around the world express their concerns and warn of rushed

COVID-19 vaccines without sufficient safety guarantees(214,215).

Yet, researchers are currently working on more than 150 COVID-19

vaccine candidates(216), with some already in advanced clinical trials. The

aim of most vaccines is to achieve high levels of neutralising antibodies

against the binding spike proteins of the virus and cellular responses(217,218).

Four major strategies are being followed.

1. Inactivated or attenuated whole virus vaccines. Inactivated

vaccines require production of large quantities of the virus, which

need to be grown in chicken eggs or in immortalised cell lines. There

is always the risk that a virus batch will contain dangerous

contaminants and produce severe side effects. Moreover, the

possibility exists that vaccination may actually worsen the course of

subsequent infection(219), as has been observed in the past with

inactivated measles and respiratory syncytial virus vaccine(220,221).

Attenuated vaccines contain replicating viruses that have lost their

ability to cause disease. The classic example was the oral polio

vaccine that was in use for decades before tragic outbreaks of polio

occurred in Africa that were found to be caused not by wild virus, but

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by the oral vaccine(222).

2. Protein vaccines. These will contain the virus spike protein or

fragments thereof. Supplementation with immune stimulators,

adjuvants that may cause serious side-effects, is always necessary(217).

3. Viral vectors as gene-based vaccines. The principle here is to

integrate the relevant coronavirus gene into the gene of a carrier virus

(e.g. adenovirus) that infects our cells(217). Replication-defective

vectors are unable to amplify their genome and will deliver just one

copy of the vaccine gene into the cell. To bolster effectiveness,

attempts have been made to create replication-competent vaccines.

This was undertaken with the Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV. However,

viral multiplication caused severe side effects in at least 20% of the

vaccinated, including rash, vasculitis, dermatitis and arthralgia.

4. Gene-based vaccines. In these cases, the viral gene is delivered to the

cell either as DNA inserted into a plasmid or as mRNA that is directly

translated into protein following cell uptake.

A great potential danger of DNA-based vaccines is the integration of

plasmid DNA into the cell genome(223). Insertional mutagenesis

occurs rarely but can become a realistic danger when the number of

events is very large, i.e. as in mass vaccination of a population. If

insertion occurs in cells of the reproductive system, the altered genetic

information will be transmitted from mother to child. Other dangers of

DNA vaccines are production of anti-DNA antibodies and

autoimmune reactions(224).

Safety concerns linked to mRNA vaccines include systemic

inflammation and potential toxic effects(225).

A further immense danger looms that applies equally to mRNA-based

coronavirus vaccines. At some time during or after production of the

viral spike, waste products of the protein must be expected to become

exposed on the surface of targeted cells. The majority of healthy

individuals have killer lymphocytes that recognise these viral

products(210,211). It is inevitable that autoimmune attacks will be

mounted against the cells. Where, when, and with which effects this

might occur is entirely unknown. But the prospects are simply

terrifying.

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Yet, hundreds of volunteers who were never informed of these unavoidable

risks have already received injections of DNA and mRNA vaccines encoding

the spike protein of the virus, and many more are soon to follow. No genebased

vaccine has even received approval for human use, and the present

coronavirus vaccines have not undergone preclinical testing as normally

required by international regulations. Germany, a country whose populace

widely rejects genetic manipulation of food and opposes animal experiments,

now stands at the forefront of these genetic experiments on humans. Laws

and safety regulations have been bypassed in a manner that would, under

normal circumstances, never be possible. Is this perhaps why the government

still declares an “epidemic situation of national concern” to exist – in the

absence of serious new infections? For then the new German Infection

Protection Act empowers the government to make exceptions to the

provisions of the Medicinal Products Act, the medical device regulations, and

regulations on occupational safety and health. And this has given the green

light to the fast-track vaccine development project.

But the authors wonder whether the Infection Protection Act can go so far

as to permit genetic experiments to be conducted on humans who have not

been informed of the potential dangers.

Pandemic or no pandemic – the role of the WHO

Actually, have we not had a lighter version of pandemic-driven vaccination

hype before?

Exactly the same thing happened with the “swine flu” in 2009. Everyone

was told that a vaccine was desperately needed to stop the deadly pandemic.

Vaccines were then produced at miraculous speed – and sold en masse to

states around the world.

Prior to 2009, a pandemic required three criteria to be met(226):

The pathogen must be new

The pathogen must spread and cross continents rapidly

The pathogen must generally cause serious and often fatal disease

The swine flu turned out to meet the first two criteria, but not the third.

Because the call to declare a pandemic was very pressing, especially from the

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pharmaceutical industry, major financers of the WHO(227), the WHO cut the

Gordian knot with a stroke of genius. A pandemic, it declared, can take a

mild or serious course!

In 2010, the definition of a pandemic was simplified yet further as “the

worldwide spread of a new disease”. Flu and coronaviruses continuously

undergo mutation and it is to be expected that variants will occasionally

emerge that cause somewhat atypical disease that could then be dubbed as

“new”. The swine flu provided the stage for a first exercise in the

employment of panic-making strategy to handle a pandemic. A typical

headline: “Swine flu: the calm before the storm?”(228) appeared in December

of 2009 when it was clear that virtually no one was ill and the course of the

infection had been milder than previous waves of influenza. Still, virologists

warned of underestimating the “dangerous” virus: “If we look at this virus in

an animal experiment and compare it with preceding viruses, one sees that

the virus is not harmless at all! It is much more dangerous than the annual

H3N2-virus.”

Brilliant. But what does this have to do with human medicine? Which

prominent scientist spread this frightening conclusion with such conviction?

Ah yes, a certain Professor Drosten.

The article continues: When, in the coming Christmas days, the Germans

vigorously intermix their viruses, a second wave seems inevitable. This could

be considerably more severe than the first.

A second wave was predicted, with the medical health system being

hopelessly overwhelmed, says, not Professor Drosten for once, but Professor

Peters from the University of Münster. He feared that the number of beds in

intensive care units would be insufficient. Moreover, many patients would

need artificial respiration. Dramatic situations could be created in the

overwhelmed hospitals.

Are you also having déjà-vu right now?

A nationwide vaccination with the hastily produced and barely tested

H1N1 vaccine was recommended. 60 million doses of adjuvanted vaccine

were purchased for the German population. Non-adjuvanted vaccine was

obtained only for high members of the government(229).

Again, this all happened when it was clear that the swine flu pandemic

had run a light course. The majority of the public decided wisely against the

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senseless vaccination. What was the end of the story? Trucks loaded with

over 50 million expired vaccine doses were disposed of at the Magdeburg

waste-to-energy plant. As was taxpayer’s money … no, actually not, the

money just changed hands. Estimated profit for the pharmaceutical industry:

18 billion US dollars(230).

Actually, that was not quite the end of the fiasco. Almost forgotten today

is that one adjuvanted swine flu vaccine caused side effects that ruined

thousands of lives(231,232). The side effects were caused because antibodies

against the virus cross-reacted with a target in the brains of the victims. The

damage was the result of a classic antibody-driven autoimmune disease. The

side-effect was relatively rare. The incidence was probably something in the

order of 1 in 10,000, but the outcome was tragic because so many millions

received the vaccine, essentially for nothing, since the infection generally ran

a mild course. In retrospect, the risk-benefit ratio of swine flu vaccination

must be admitted to have been disastrous. This is what happens when mass

vaccination is undertaken without need.

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8

Failure of the public media

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been

fooled. (MARK TWAIN)

In a working democracy, the media should provide the public with truthful

news, foster opinion formation through critique and discussion, and oversee

the action of the government as the “fourth public authority” with impartiality

and autonomy. What we have experienced during the coronavirus pandemic

is just the opposite(233).

All public broadcasters became servile mouthpieces of the government.

The press was no better. Regard for the truth, protection of human dignity,

service to the public – the Press Codex disappeared from the scene.

Worldwide.

Where was truthful information to be found?

And where were critical discussions of any information?

We were presented with disturbing pictures and frightening numbers –

morning, noon and night. Someone was always issuing a warning somewhere

– Drosten, Wieler, Spahn, Merkel. No one in the media ever critically

questioned these warnings or investigated their truth.

Scaring the population seemed to be the sole agenda(234). Reports on

millions of fatal casualties were presented without mention that they were

based on model calculations. No mention was made that Ferguson, the

producer of these numbers, had always been completely wrong in his

numerous doom-forecasting predictions.

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At the same time, the media abstained from questioning how the RKI

numbers were compiled, what they meant and what could, or rather could

not, be gathered from them. Instead, the figures were uncritically accepted

and used to unsettle the public.

Where was the open discussion?

It could hardly have been more monotonous. Always the same “experts” – of

which there were apparently only two in Germany. Why was there never a

discussion between the government advisers and the critics like Dr Wolfgang

Wodarg, a lung specialist and board member of the anti-corruption

organisation “Transparency International” Germany? An open and objective

exchange: Drosten and Wieler and Bhakdi and Wodarg together at a roundtable

talk. Well, it did not hinge on Bhakdi or Wodarg or many other critics

of the government course. It was simply not wanted by the government.

There was much talk about how the Swedish way without lockdown was

being criticised by Swedish experts. That the German way was also

massively criticised by many knowledgeable citizens in their own country

was never a subject of discussion.

Besides Wodarg, the immunologist and toxicologist Professor Stefan

Hockertz pointed out early on that the seriousness of SARS-CoV-2 should be

assessed similar to that of the common flu viruses, and that the implemented

measures were completely exaggerated. Also involved was Christof

Kuhbandner, a professor of psychology, who reiterated several times that

there was no scientific basis for these measures(235). How could he know,

people asked? The interesting thing is that any observant person with a

fundamental understanding of number theory can take the time to analyse the

statistics and come to the same conclusion. There are topics that span across

multiple disciplines. Dr Bodo Schiffmann, an ear-nose-and throat specialist

from Sinsheim, did the job that the journalists should have done. Almost

daily he posted videos on his YouTube channel with indefatigable energy and

persistence to inform the public on the latest developments and to explain the

numbers and why they were wrong.

The critical voices in this country were not alone, there were many others

worldwide(236,237). Was the public notified? It seemed to have been an easy

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and successful strategy to simply not report these things; but such a stratagem

should have no place in an enlightened democratic state.

This synchronised “system journalism” was obviously apparent to

experts. Professor Otfried Jarren voiced his criticism in the

Deutschlandfunk(238). “For weeks now, the same male and female experts

and politicians make their appearance and are presented as the “crisis

managers”. But nobody asks who has which expertise and who appears in

which role. Furthermore, there are no debates among these experts, but only

individual statements.”

The numbers game

You can do a lot with numbers. Above all, you can make people afraid.

Example 1: infection rate. The infection rate was continuously increasing,

soon our health care system would collapse – what they didn’t say was that

the number of recovered people was also continuously increasing and that

there were no grounds for such an assumption. That remained a secret.

Example 2: mortality rate. “The US had the highest number of deaths

worldwide.” On May 28, the nightly news reports showed images of the

deceased: “They all died from COVID-19. With more than 100,000 deaths,

the US is mourning the highest number of victims worldwide.” Now we know

that a big fraction of these poor people did not die from COVID-19, but

rather from the measures taken against COVID-19.

Also, the US is the third largest country in the world. So perhaps it would

make more sense to look at the number of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants?

This number was relatively low – very much below the numbers from Spain

or Italy. Was that not worth mentioning? Furthermore, a good journalist

could also point out that the “number of deaths” is not an absolute value, not

the least because the counting methods are different for every country.

The country with the highest mortality rate per 100,000 citizens was

Belgium. The numbers were much higher than in Spain or Italy. Was the

situation there really so dramatic? No. As already shown, the basic problem

related to the method of counting(45). If such facts are not reported by the

media, then of course the numbers cannot be correctly assessed.

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Defamation and discrediting

When critical voices were heard, immediate action was taken to silence them

by defamation. The lung specialist Wolfgang Wodarg was the first to raise

his voice. The defamation campaign that followed was unparalleled.

As soon as we had published our first YouTube videos warning about the

excessive measures and pointed out that Italy might have other aggravating

factors, e.g. the high levels of air pollution), there was the first “facts-check”.

Under the headline “Why Sucharit Bhakdi’s numbers are wrong”, an article

was quickly put into the “ZDF Mediathek”. Nils Metzger supposedly gets to

the bottom if this(239): “Biology professor downplays coronavirus danger”. A

good starting point since the title immediately suggested that we were not

dealing with a medical doctor who had seen countless patients and was a

specialist in infection epidemiology, but with a biologist. And at some point

the classic situation whereby things are put into your mouth that you have

never said – just to discredit you. Metzger: “To present the factor air

pollution as the sole trigger for the crisis – as Sucharit Bhakdi did in his

video – is unscientific.” Naturally it was never once claimed anywhere that

the high number of victims was solely due to air pollution, because that

would indeed have been unscientific. This statement was a blatant lie. But

ARD/ZDF believers would hardly have made the effort to check the “real”

facts. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who think that things must

be true when they are reported by the public broadcasters. Sadly, that is not

the case.

Censorship of opinions

Article 5 of the German constitution:

Article 5 [Freedom of expression]

(1) Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his

opinions in speech, writing, and pictures and to inform himself without

hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and

freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed.

There shall be no censorship.

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There is no place for critical opinions in either the public press or the public

broadcasts. The only alternative was by means of the social media, where the

public could be informed via YouTube videos. But even here, freedom of

expression is merely lip service. You can find quite a few videos that get

away unpunished even though they promote lies, hate and agitation.

YouTube apparently has no problem with those. However, an interview with

the Austrian TV station Servus TV about coronavirus was deleted. This

happened to a lot of videos that were critically involved in this topic. Susan

Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, said during an interview(240): “Everything that

violates the recommendations of the WHO would constitute a breach against

our guidelines. Therefore, deletion is another important part of our

guidelines.” The WHO that was responsible for the fake swine flu pandemic

in 2009; The WHO that overestimated the COVID-19 mortality on a large

scale, and drove the world into a crisis with this and other misjudgements?

This same WHO that now sets the standard on what can be said?

WhatsApp reacted as well. The forward function was restricted in order to

contain the distribution of Fake News during the coronavirus crisis. But who

exactly determines if news is fake? What if our own government distributes

Fake News? On March 14, the Ministry of Health warned via Twitter:

Attention FAKE NEWS! It is claimed and rapidly distributed that the Federal Ministry

of Health/Federal government will soon announce further massive restrictions to

public life. This is NOT true!

Two days later, on March 16, further massive restrictions to public life were

announced.

The English Professor John Oxford, one of the best-known virologists

worldwide, said the following about the coronavirus crisis(241): “Personally, I

would say the best advice is to spend less time watching TV news which is

sensational and not very good. Personally, I view this COVID outbreak as

akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. We are suffering from a media

epidemic!”

The German “good citizen” and the failure of politics

It is easier to believe a lie that you have heard a thousand times than to

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believe a truth that you have only heard once (ABRAHAM LINCOLN)

We had a division within the country once before – during the refugee issue.

The opinions varied widely and there was talk about “good citizens”, the dogooders

and “angry citizens”, the not so do-gooders.

This time it is a lot worse. Friendships break apart. People face each other

with irreconcilable differences. They talk about each other, against each other

– but not with each other. Some are driven by worries about collateral

damages; others see themselves as advocates for the rights of the elderly who

are to be sacrificed for the economy.

Here is a commentary from a local paper after Chancellor Angela Merkel

addressed the nation with the decision to extend the lockdown:

“I was very relieved. Relieved, that we apparently did everything right

with our social distancing, our sacrifice by not meeting friends or visiting

family and all of that. I was very relieved that we will continue this in the

future”. Sadly, this is not an individual opinion. The media epidemic claimed

a lot of victims.

Eminent psychologist, Professor Gerd Gigerenzer, addressed this

issue(234):

“It is easy to trigger a fear of shock risks in people. These are situations

where a lot of people die suddenly in a very short time. This new coronavirus

could be such a shock risk, just the same as plane crashes, acts of terror or

other pandemics. If, however, deaths are spread out over a year, it hardly

scares us even if the number is significantly higher.”

Indeed. Without any measures having had any effect at all and at the end

of the epidemic, we are looking at far fewer than 10,000 so called

“coronavirus deaths” in Germany (Worldometers, July 2020).

In Germany, approximately 950,000 people die each year. Of those, more

than a third (350,000) die of cardiovascular diseases and 230,000 of

cancer(242).

Many of these 950,000 deaths could be prevented by information and

education, starting in schools and continuing for the general public, about the

importance of exercise and healthy diets, about the dangers of obesity and

many other issues. We could prevent thousands of deaths each year. And we

might also have fewer deaths from respiratory diseases, whereby a small

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virus would not break the camel’s back, because that back would not be

strained to the breaking point. This applies not only to the coronaviruses but

to many other viruses and bacteria that have always done that and will

continue to do so in the future.

Why did our politicians fail?

After he had understood everything, a colleague exclaimed: “But how can

that be? It either means that our government and their advisers are

completely ignorant or incompetent – or, if they are not, there MUST be some

kind of intention behind it. How else can you possibly explain all this?”

Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from

1974 to 1982, was one of the last German politicians with class. He once

said: “The stupidity of governments should never be underestimated.” He

was right, of course, but THIS stupid? Really? One cannot and does not want

to believe that. Therefore, that only leaves the second question – what is the

intention behind all of this? And now politicians are wondering why

“conspiracy theorists” are springing up like mushrooms. Why did our

government ignore other opinions and make decisions haphazardly and

without a solid basis? Why did our government not act in the general interest

and for the good of the German people?

According to Johann Giesecke, politicians wanted to use the pandemic to

advance their own positions and were perfectly willing to implement

measures that were not scientifically substantiated(196). “Politicians want to

demonstrate their capacity to act, the capacity for decision making and most

of all their strength. My best example for this is that in Asian countries the

sidewalks are sprayed with chlorine. This is completely useless but it shows

that the state and the authorities are doing something, and that is very

important to politicians.” There are some indications from Austria that he

could be right in this:

During their crisis management, the Austrian government did not trust in

the expertise of their own advisers. An interview transcript later revealed that

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was counting on fears rather than explanations

when implementing the rigid measures, which made it easier to get the public

to accept social and economic impositions(243).

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The strategy document of the German Ministry of the Interior reveals that

the same agenda had been premeditated in this country(154).

Why was there so little criticism of the government’s course from the

economy?

The stock market professional, Dirk Müller, gave a persuasive explanation

why the pandemic was a blessing for many(244): in short, because it is always

the same story: Big companies win, small ones lose. Big corporations will

survive while many small and midsize companies as well as private

businesses will perish. Finance professor, Stefan Homburg, called it “the

largest redistribution of wealth in peacetime”. The loser would be the

taxpayer(245).

Why was there so little criticism from the scientists’ ranks?

Let’s not be naïve. Science is just as corrupt as politics. The European Union

provided 10 million euro for research on the novel coronavirus. Every Tom,

Dick and Harry who wanted to research this virus could apply for financing.

So very soon now we will have a lot of, possibly useless, information about

SARS-CoV-2 and under these circumstances it is not exactly helpful to point

out the relative harmlessness of the virus.

Conclusions:

the government is committed to serving the good of the citizens

the opposition is committed to oversee government action

the press is committed to inform the public by critical and truthful

reporting

those in the know (in this case physicians and scientists) are obligated to

raise their voice and demand evidence-based decisions

Every citizen who did not attend to his duties is an accomplice to the

collateral damage of the coronavirus crisis.

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9

Quo vadis?

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all

the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time (ABRAHAM

LINCOLN)

The relevant authorities, our politicians and their advisers played truly

inglorious roles in the handling of new and supposedly dangerous infections

of the last decades, from BSE, swine flu, EHEC to COVID-19. At no point

did they learn from their mistakes, and this diminishes the hope that it will be

any different in the future. On the contrary! While we “only” redistributed

taxpayers’ money to the pharmaceutical industry during the swine flu, this

time livelihoods were destroyed, the constitution was trampled on and the

population basically deprived of their fundamental rights: freedom of speech

and opinion, freedom of movement, freedom of relocation, freedom of

assembly, freedom of actively practicing your religion, freedom to practice

your occupation and make a living.

Anchored in the constitution is the principle of proportionality: the State’s

interference with basic rights must be appropriate to reach the aspired goal.

And last but not least: the dignity of mankind must never be violated.

This ceased to be the case, to the detriment of democracy and civilisation.

It has been almost 90 years since the time in Germany when critical and

free journalism was abolished and the media transformed into the extended

arm of the state.

It has been almost 90 years since the time when freedom was abolished

and opinions of the public were forced into the political line.

It has been almost 90 years since the last media-driven mass hysteria.

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If we have learned just one thing from the darkest times of our German

history, then surely this: We must never again be indifferent and look the

other way. Especially not when the government suspends our fundamental

democratic rights. This time, it was only a virus that knocked on our door, but

look what we had to go through as a consequence:

Media-fuelled mass hysteria

Arbitrary political decisions

Massive restrictions of fundamental rights

Censorship of freedom of expression

Enforced conformity of the media

Defamation of dissidents (the differently minded)

Denunciation

Dangerous human experiments

If that does not remind you of a dictatorship then you must have been sound

asleep during your history lessons. The things that remain with us are deep

concern and fear. Because so many intelligent and educated people became

like lemmings within a short three months, willing to obey the demands and

commands of the world elite.

The renowned virologist Pablo Goldschmidt said(246): “We are all locked up.

In Nice there are drones that impose fines on people. How far has this

monitoring gotten? You have to read Hannah Arendt and look very closely at

the origins of totalitarianism at that time. If you scare the population, you

can do anything with it.”

Apparently, he is right. One thing is clear: there are many things that

should be worked through and we should all insist upon this happening. The

coronaviruses have retreated for this season, the issue is disappearing from

the headlines and from the public sphere – and soon it will be gone from

peoples’ memories.

If we, the people, do not demand that all transgressions of the coronavirus

politics are addressed, then those in power will be able to cover it all with a

cloak of concealment.

There is always the chance of some other threat knocking on our door.

The only positive thing that has come from this is that very many people in

our country have woken up. Many have realised that the mainstream media

88

and politicians can agree to support each other on things that are not good –

and even evil. One can only hope that the admonishing voices of reason will

in future not be silenced by the dark forces on this earth.

89

10

A farewell

Respiratory viruses are a major cause of mortality worldwide, with an

estimated 2–3 million deaths annually. Many viruses including influenza A

viruses, rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza

viruses, adenoviruses and coronaviruses are responsible. Now, a new member

has joined the list. As with the others, the SARS-CoV-2 virus particularly

endangers the elderly with serious pre-existing conditions. Depending on the

country and region, 0.02 to 0.4% of these infections are fatal, which is

comparable to a seasonal flu. SARS-CoV-2 therefore must not be assigned

any special significance as a respiratory pathogen.

The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was never an epidemic of national concern.

Implementing the exceptional regulations of the Infection Protection Act

were and still are unfounded. In mid-April 2020, it was entirely evident that

the epidemic was coming to an end and that the inappropriate preventive

measures were causing irreparable collateral damage in all walks of life. Yet,

the government continues its destructive crusade against the spook virus,

thereby utterly disregarding the fundaments of true democracy.

And as you read these lines, human experiments are underway with genebased

vaccines whose ominous dangers have never been revealed to the

thousands of unknowing volunteers.

We are bearing witness to the downfall and destruction of our heritage, to

the end of the age of enlightenment.

May this little book awaken homo sapiens of this earth to rise and live up

to their name. And put an end to this senseless self-destruction.

90

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105

About the Authors

Karina Reiss was born in Germany and studied biology at the University of Kiel where she received her

PhD in 2001. She became assistant professor in 2006 and associate professor in 2008 at the University

of Kiel. She has published over sixty articles in the fields of cell biology, biochemistry, inflammation,

and infection, which have gained international recognition and received prestigious honors and awards.

Sucharit Bhakdi was born in Washington, DC, and educated at schools in Switzerland, Egypt, and

Thailand. He studied medicine at the University of Bonn in Germany, where he received his MD in

106

1970. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics

in Freiburg from 1972 to 1976, and at The Protein Laboratory in Copenhagen from 1976 to 1977. He

joined the Institute of Medical Microbiology at Giessen University in 1977 and was appointed associate

professor in 1982. He was named chair of Medical Microbiology at the University of Mainz in 1990,

where he remained until his retirement in 2012. Dr. Bhakdi has published over three hundred articles in

the fields of immunology, bacteriology, virology, and parasitology, for which he has received

numerous awards and the Order of Merit of Rhineland-Palatinate. Sucharit Bhakdi and his wife, Karina

Reiss, live with their three-year-old son, Jonathan Atsadjan, in a small village near the city of Kiel.

107

Table of Contents

Title Page 2

Copyright 3

Dedication 5

Acknowledgements 6

Contents 7

1. Preface 10

How everything started 11

Coronaviruses: the basics 11

China: the dread threat emerges 12

2. How dangerous is the new “killer” virus? 13

Compared to conventional coronaviruses 13

Regarding the number of deaths 14

How does the new coronavirus compare with influenza viruses? 21

The situation in Italy, Spain, England and the USA 25

3. Corona-situation in Germany 30

The German narrative 31

The pandemic is declared 32

Nationwide lockdown 35

April 2020: no reason to prolong the lockdown 38

The lockdown is extended 39

Mandatory masks 39

Last argument for extension of lockdown: the impending second

wave? 40

Relaxing the restrictions with the emergency brake applied 42

4. Too much? Too little? What happened? 45

Overburdened hospitals 45

Shortage of ventilators? 48

Were the measures appropriate? 49

108

What did the government do right? 49

What did the government do wrong? 50

What should our government have done? 50

5. Collateral damage 51

Economic consequences 52

Disruption of medical care 53

Drugs and suicide 53

Heart attack and stroke 54

Other ailments 54

Further consequences for the elderly 55

Innocent and vulnerable: our children 56

Consequences for the world’s poorest 58

6. Did other countries fare better – Sweden as a role model? 60

Are there benefits of lockdown measures? 62

So which measures would have actually been correct? 67

7. Is vaccination the universal remedy? 68

On the question of immunity against COVID-19 69

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question 73

Pandemic or no pandemic – the role of the WHO 76

8. Failure of the public media 79

Where was truthful information to be found? 79

Where was the open discussion? 80

The numbers game 81

Defamation and discrediting 82

Censorship of opinions 82

The German “good citizen” and the failure of politics 83

Why did our politicians fail? 85

9. Quo vadis? 87

10. A farewell 90

References 91

109

About the Authors 106

110

CORONA

FALSE ALARM?

Facts and Figures

Karina Reiss & Sucharit Bhakdi

Chelsea Green Publishing

White River Junction, Vermont

London, UK

2

Copyright © 2020 by Goldegg Verlag GmbH, Berlin and Vienna.

Originally published in Germany by Goldegg Verlag GmbH, Friedrichstraße 191 • D-10117 Berlin, in

2020 as Corona Fehlalarm?

English translation copyright © 2020 by Goldegg Verlag GmbH, Berlin and Vienna.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form by any means without permission in

writing from the publisher.

Translated by Monika Wiedmann and Deirdre Anderson

Author photos: Peter Pullkowski/Sucharit Bhakdi; Dagmar Blankenburg/Karina Reiss

Cover design: Alexandra Schepelmann/Donaugrafik.at

Layout and typesetting: Goldegg Verlag GmbH, Vienna

This edition published by Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020.

Printed in the United States of America.

First printing September 2020.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 20 21 22 23 24

Our Commitment to Green Publishing

Chelsea Green sees publishing as a tool for cultural change and ecological stewardship. We strive to

align our book manufacturing practices with our editorial mission and to reduce the impact of our

business enterprise in the environment. We print our books and catalogs on chlorine-free recycled

paper, using vegetable-based inks whenever possible. This book may cost slightly more because it was

printed on paper that contains recycled fiber, and we hope you’ll agree that it’s worth it. Corona, False

Alarm? was printed on paper supplied by Versa that is made of recycled materials and other controlled

sources.

ISBN 978-1-64502-057-8 (paperback) | ISBN 978-1-64502-058-5 (ebook) | ISBN 978-1-64502-059-2

(audio book)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2020945206

Chelsea Green Publishing

85 North Main Street, Suite 120

White River Junction, Vermont USA

Somerset House

London, UK

3

http://www.chelseagreen.com

4

For our sunshine on dark days.

Jonathan Atsadjan

5

Acknowledgements

The authors owe a great debt of gratitude to Monika Wiedmann for the initial

translation from the German and to Deirdre Anderson for critical comments

and valuable suggestions. Our heartfelt thanks to both for professional editing

and proofreading of the final manuscript.

6

Contents

1. Preface

How everything started

Coronaviruses: the basics

China: the dread threat emerges

2. How dangerous is the new “killer” virus?

Compared to conventional coronaviruses

Regarding the number of deaths

How does the new coronavirus compare with influenza viruses?

The situation in Italy, Spain, England and the USA

3. Corona-situation in Germany

The German narrative

The pandemic is declared

Nationwide lockdown

April 2020: no reason to prolong the lockdown

The lockdown is extended

Mandatory masks

Last argument for extension of lockdown: the impending second

wave?

Relaxing the restrictions with the emergency brake applied

4. Too much? Too little? What happened?

Overburdened hospitals

Shortage of ventilators?

Were the measures appropriate?

What did the government do right?

What did the government do wrong?

7

What should our government have done?

5. Collateral damage

Economic consequences

Disruption of medical care

Drugs and suicide

Heart attack and stroke

Other ailments

Further consequences for the elderly

Innocent and vulnerable: our children

Consequences for the world’s poorest

6. Did other countries fare better – Sweden as a role

model?

Are there benefits of lockdown measures?

So which measures would have actually been correct?

7. Is vaccination the universal remedy?

On the question of immunity against COVID-19

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question

Pandemic or no pandemic – the role of the WHO

8. Failure of the public media

Where was truthful information to be found?

Where was the open discussion?

The numbers game

Defamation and discrediting

Censorship of opinions

The German “good citizen” and the failure of politics

Why did our politicians fail?

9. Quo vadis?

10. A farewell

8

11. References

9

1

Preface

The first months of the year 2020 were characterised worldwide by a single

nightmare: Corona. Dreadful images took wing from China, then from Italy,

followed by other countries. Projections on how many countless deaths

would occur were coupled with pictures of panic buying and empty

supermarket shelves. The media in everyday life was driven by Corona,

morning, noon and night for weeks on end. Draconian quarantine measures

were established all over the world. When you stepped outside, you found

yourself in a surreal world – not a soul to be seen, but instead empty streets,

empty cities, empty beaches. Civil rights were restricted as never before since

the end of the Second World War. The collapse of social life and the

economy were generally accepted as being inevitable. Was the country under

threat of such a dreadful danger to justify these measures? Had the benefits

that could possibly be gained by these measures been adequately weighed

against the subsequent collateral damage that might also be expected? Is the

current plan to develop a global vaccination programme realistic and

scientifically sound?

Our original book was written for the public in our country and this

translated version is tilted toward the German narrative. However, global

developments have advanced along similar lines, so that the basic arguments

hold. We have replaced a number of local events in favour of pressing new

issues regarding the question of immunity and the postulated need for

development of vaccines against the virus.

The intent of this book is to provide readers with facts and background

information, so that they will be able to arrive at their own conclusions.

Statements in the book should be regarded as the authors’ opinions that we

submit for your scrutiny. Criticism and dissent are welcome. In scientific

10

discussions, postulation of any thesis should also invite antitheses, so that

finally the synthesis may resolve potential disagreement and enable us to

advance in the interest of mankind. We do not expect all readers to share our

points of view. But we do hope to ignite an open and much needed

discussion, to the benefit of all citizens of this deeply troubled world.

How everything started

In December of 2019, a large number of respiratory illnesses were recorded

in Wuhan, a city with about 10 million inhabitants. The patients were found

to be infected with a novel coronavirus, which was later given the name

SARS-CoV-2. The respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 was

designated COVID-19. In China, the outbreak evolved into an epidemic in

January 2020, rapidly spreading around the globe(1,2,3).

Coronaviruses: the basics

Coronaviruses co-exist with humans and animals worldwide, and

continuously undergo genetic mutation so that countless variants are

generated(4,5). “Normal” coronaviruses are responsible for 10–20% of

respiratory infections and generate symptoms of the common cold. Many

infected individuals remain asymptomatic(6). Others experience mild

symptoms such as unproductive cough, whilst some additionally develop

fever and joint pains. Severe illness occurs mainly in the elderly and can take

a fatal course, particularly in patients with pre-existing illnesses, especially of

heart and lung. Thus, even “harmless” coronaviruses can be associated with

case fatality rates of 8% when they gain entry to nursing homes(7). Still, due

to their marginal clinical significance, costly measures for diagnosing

coronavirus infections are seldom undertaken, searches for antiviral agents

have not been prioritised, and vaccine development has not been subject to

serious discussion.

Only two members of the coronavirus family reached world headlines in

the past.

SARS virus (official name: SARS-CoV) entered the stage in 2003. This

11

variant caused severe respiratory illness with a high fatality rate of

approximately 10%. Fortunately, the virus turned out not to be highly

contagious, and its spread could be contained by conventional isolation

measures. Only 774 deaths were registered worldwide(8,9). Despite this

manageable danger, fear of SARS led to a worldwide economic loss of 40

billion US dollars(8). Coronaviruses subsequently faded into the background.

A new variant, MERS-CoV, emerged in the Middle East in 2012 and caused

life-threatening disease with an even higher fatality rate of more than 30%.

But contagiousness of the virus was also low and the epidemic was rapidly

brought under control(10).

China: the dread threat emerges

When the news came from China that a new coronavirus family member had

appeared on stage, the most pressing question was: would it be harmless like

its “normal” relatives or would it be SARS-like and highly dangerous? Or

worse still: highly dangerous and highly contagious?

First reports and disturbing scenes from China caused the worst to be

feared. The virus spread rapidly and with apparent deadly efficacy. China

resorted to drastic measures. Wuhan and five other cities were encircled by

the army and completely isolated from the outside world.

At the end of the epidemic, official statistics reported about 83,000

infected people and fewer than 5,000 fatalities(11), an infinitesimally small

number in a country with 1.4 billion inhabitants. Either the lockdown worked

or the new virus was not so dangerous after all. Whatever the case, China

became the shining example on how we could overcome SARS-CoV-2.

More disturbing news then came from northern Italy. Striking swiftly, the

virus left countless dead in its wake. Media coverage likened the situation to

“war-like conditions”(12). What was not reported was that in other parts of

Italy, and also in most other countries, the “fatality rate” of COVID-19 was

considerably lower(13,14).

Could it be that the intrinsic deadliness of one and the same virus varied,

depending on the country and region it invaded? Not very likely, it seemed.

12

2

How dangerous is the new “killer”

virus?

Compared to conventional coronaviruses

Gauging the true threat that the virus posed was initially impossible. Right

from the beginning, the media and politicians spread a distorted and

misleading picture based on fundamental flaws in data acquisition and

especially on medically incorrect definitions laid down by the World Health

Organization (WHO). Each positive laboratory test for the virus was to be

reported as a COVID-19 case, irrespective of clinical presentation(15). This

definition represented an unforgiveable breach of a first rule in infectiology:

the necessity to differentiate between “infection” (invasion and multiplication

of an agent in the host) and “infectious disease” (infection with ensuing

illness). COVID-19 is the designation for severe illness that occurs only in

about 10% of infected individuals(16), but because of incorrect designation,

the number of “cases” surged and the virus vaulted to the top of the list of

existential threats to the world.

Another serious mistake was that every deceased person who had tested

positive for the virus entered the official records as a coronavirus victim. This

method of reporting violated all international medical guidelines(17). The

absurdity of giving COVID-19 as the cause of death in a patient who dies of

cancer needs no comment. Correlation does not imply causation. This was

causal fallacy that was destined to drive the world into a catastrophe. Truth

surrounding the virus remained enshrouded in a tangle of rumours, myths and

beliefs.

A French study, published on March 19, brought first light into the

13

darkness(6). Two cohorts of approximately 8,000 patients with respiratory

disease were grouped according to whether they were carrying everyday

coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-2. Deaths in each group were registered over

two months. However, the number of fatalities did not significantly differ in

the two groups and the conclusion followed that the danger of “COVID-19”

was probably overestimated. In a subsequent study, the same team compared

the mortality associated with diagnosis of respiratory viruses during the

colder months of 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 (week 47-week 14) in

southeastern France. Overall, the proportion of respiratory virus-associated

deaths among hospitalised patients was not significantly higher in 2019–2020

than the year before(18). Thus, addition of SARS-CoV-2 to the spectrum of

viral pathogens did not affect overall mortality in patients with respiratory

disease.

Regarding the number of deaths

How can the aforementioned be reconciled with the official reports of the

horrifying number of COVID-19 deaths? Two numbers must be known if the

danger of a virus is to be assessed: the number of infections and the number

of deaths.

How many were infected by the new virus?

Attempts to answer this question were beset by three problems:

1. How reliable was the test for virus detection?

The virus is present in the nasopharynx for approximately two weeks, during

which time it can be detected. How is this done? Viral RNA is transcribed

into DNA and quantified by the so-called polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

The first assay for the new coronavirus was developed under guidance of

Professor Christian Drosten, Head of the Institute for Virology at the Charité

Berlin. This test was used worldwide in the initial months of the outbreak(19).

Tests from other laboratories followed(20).

Diagnostic PCR tests must normally undergo stringent quality assessment

and be approved by regulatory agencies before use. This is important because

14

no laboratory test can ever give 100% correct results. The quality control

requirements were essentially shelved in the case of SARS-CoV-2 because of

declared international urgency. Consequently, nothing was really known

regarding test reliability, specificity and sensitivity. In essence, these

parameters give an indication of how many false-positive or false-negative

results should be expected. The test protocol from the Drosten laboratory

were used worldwide, and test results played a key role in political decisionmaking.

Yet, data interpretation was often largely a matter of belief. What did

Drosten himself say on Twitter(21)?

Sure: Towards the end of the illness the PCR is sometimes positive and sometimes

negative. Here, chance plays a role. When you test a patient twice as negative and

discharge him as cured, it is indeed possible that you can have positive test results

again at home. But this is still far from being a re-infection.

Several physician colleagues have informed us of similar haphazard results

with patients who had been tested repeatedly during their hospitalisation. Is it

particularly surprising that goats and papayas tested positive for the virus in

Tanzania? The criticism by the President of Tanzania regarding the

unreliability of the test kits was of course immediately dismissed by the

WHO(22).

But today it is perfectly clear that the test result is error-prone, as is every

PCR(23,24). How much so, and whether there are significant differences

among the presently available tests, cannot be determined because of lack of

data. So let us assume that the PCR test is incredibly good and produces 99.5%

correct results. That sounds, and would indeed be, exceptional – it means that

one can expect only 0.5% false-positives. Now take the cruise ship “Mein

Schiff 3”. After a crew member had tested positive for the virus, almost 2,900

people from 73 countries were forced into “ship quarantine”. Many had been

on board for nine months. Complaints reached the outside world about the

“prison-like” conditions, psychological problems abounded and nerves were

frayed(25).

Nine positive cases were reported after testing was completed. One person

who tested positive had a cough, the other eight were without symptoms.

Might they have belonged to the 0.5% false-positive cases, as perhaps the

very first case had been? Where were the true-positives that must

15

theoretically have been there? Were they possibly tested as false-negatives or

were all positive tests false?

In the context of false results, we should consider the following: when the

epidemic subsided (in Germany, in mid-April,) PCR testing became a

dangerous source of misinformation because numbers of new cases were

derived from the “background noise” of false-positive results. When all 7,500

employees of the Charité Berlin (one of Europe’s largest university hospitals)

were tested from April 7 to April 21, 0.33% were positive(26). True or false?

When positive test rates drop below a certain limit, it is senseless to

continue mass screening for the virus in non-symptomatic individuals. And

use of numbers acquired under these circumstances as a reason for

implementing any measures should not be tolerated.

2. Selective or representative? Who was tested?

There is only one way to approximate how many people are infected during

an epidemic with an agent that causes high numbers of unnoticed infections:

at sites of an outbreak, the population must be tested as extensively as

possible. But scientists who called for this during the coronavirus

epidemic(27,28) were ignored.

Instead, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German federal government

agency and research institute for disease control, stipulated at the beginning

that only selective testing should be carried out – exactly the opposite of what

should have happened. And as the epidemic ran its course, the RKI stepwise

altered the testing strategy – always in the diametrically wrong direction(29).

At first, only people who had been in a high-risk area and/or had been in

contact with an infected person and also presented with flu-like symptoms

were to be tested. At the end of March, the RKI then changed the

recommended test criteria to: flu-like symptoms and, at the same time,

contact with an infected person. At the beginning of May, the President of the

RKI, Professor Lothar Wieler, announced people with even “the slightest

symptoms” should be tested(29).

The responsibility for translating these dubious decisions into action lay

entirely within the hands of the local health authorities. A co-worker at our

lab was a typical example: the coach of her handball team was coronavirus

positive. The players – all from different administrative districts – were sent

16

home on 14-day quarantine. One player developed symptoms with coughing

and hoarseness and wanted to get tested but was refused on the grounds that

she had no fever. A player from a neighbouring district had no symptoms but

the local health authority ordered a test despite this fact.

This resulted in chaos, caused by the appalling ineptitude of the

authorities from top to bottom. What would have been urgently needed

instead were scientifically sound studies to clarify basic issues of virus

dissemination. As many as possible should have been tested in outbreak

areas. Antibody responses in those that had tested positively could have

subsequently been assessed.

Only a single such study addressing these questions was undertaken in

Germany: the Heinsberg investigation conducted by Professor Hendrik

Streeck, Director of the Institute for Virology at the University of Bonn.

Aware of the importance of the preliminary data, these were presented at a

press conference – where Streeck was torn apart by the disbelieving

media(30,31). The fatality rate was ridiculed as being impossible because it

was ten times lower than what acknowledged experts and the WHO had been

spreading as established facts. After completion of the study, final results

essentially confirming the preliminary report were again presented, and again

deemed by the media to be flawed and inconclusive. But the results of the

study spoke for themselves(32) – and they contradicted the panic propaganda

of the media.

3. The number of conducted tests directly influences infection statistics

A third factor added to the statistical mess. Imagine that you wanted to count

the number of a migratory bird species in a large lake district. There are

hundreds of thousands but your counting device can only count 5,000 per

day. Next day, you ask a colleague to help, and together you arrive at 10,000

counts. The day after that, two more colleagues join in and 20,000 birds are

counted. In short, the higher the testing capacity/number of tests, the higher

the numbers – as long as innumerable unidentified cases abound, as with

SARS-CoV-2(16,32–36). The more tests are performed, the more COVID-19

cases are found during the epidemic. This is the essence of a “laboratorycreated

pandemic”.

Now recall that the test has neither 100% specificity nor 100% sensitivity

17

– meaning that occasionally you would mistake a log for a bird. Therefore,

even after all our birds have long since moved on, you would still “find”

many by just performing a sufficient number of tests.

In conclusion, no reliable data existed regarding the true numbers of

infection at any stage of the epidemic in this country. At the peak of the

epidemic, the official numbers must have been gross underestimates – in the

order of 10 or even more. At its wane at the end of April in Germany, the

numbers must also have been gross overestimates.

Basing any political decisions on official numbers at any stage was

fallacy.

How many deaths did SARS-CoV-2 infections claim?

Here, again, we have the dilemma of definition: what is a “coronavirus

death”?

If I drive to the hospital to be tested and later have a fatal car accident –

just as my positive test results are returned – I become a coronavirus death. If

I am diagnosed positive for coronavirus and jump off the balcony in shock, I

also become a coronavirus death. The same is true for a sudden stroke, etc.

As openly declared by RKI president Wieler, every individual with a positive

test result at the time of death is entered into the statistics. The first

“coronavirus death” in the northernmost state of Germany, Schleswig-

Holstein, occurred in a palliative ward, where a patient with terminal

oesophageal cancer was seeking peace before embarking on his last journey.

A swab was taken just before his demise that was returned positive – after his

death(37). He might equally well have been positive for other viruses such as

rhino-, adeno- or influenza virus – if they had been tested for.

This particular case did not need more testing or a post-mortem to

determine the actual cause of death.

However, with the emergence of a new and possibly dangerous infectious

disease, autopsies should be undertaken in cases of doubt to clarify the actual

cause of death. Only one pathologist ventured to fulfil this task in Germany.

Against the specific advice of the RKI, Professor Klaus Püschel, Director of

the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Hamburg University, performed autopsies

on all “coronavirus victims” and found that not one had been healthy(38).

Most had suffered from several pre-existing conditions. One in two suffered

18

from coronary heart disease. Other frequent ailments were hypertension,

atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes, cancer, lung and kidney disease and liver

cirrhosis(39).

The same occurred elsewhere. Swiss pathologist Professor Alexander

Tzankov reported that many victims had suffered from hypertension, most

were overweight, two thirds had heart problems and one third had

diabetes(40). The Italian Ministry of Health reported that 96% of COVID-19

hospital deaths had been patients with at least one severe underlying illness.

Almost 50% had three or more pre-existing conditions(41).

Interestingly, Püschel found lung embolisms in every third patient(39).

Pulmonary embolisms usually arise through detachment of blood clots in

deep veins of the leg that are swept into the lungs. Clots typically form when

blood flow sags in the legs, as when the elderly spend the day seated and

inactive. A high frequency of lung embolisms was already described in

deceased influenza patients 50 years ago(42). Thus, we are not on the verge of

discovering a unique property of SARS-Cov-2 that would heighten its threat,

but we do bear witness to the absurd situation where the elderly seek to

protect themselves by obeying the chant that sounds around the world: “Stay

at home”. Physical inactivity is pre-programmed, thromboses included?

Swedish epidemiologist Professor Johann Giesecke recommended exactly the

opposite: As much fresh air and activity as possible. The man knows his job!

The number of genuine COVID-19 fatalities remained unknown outside

Hamburg. The situation was no better in other countries. Professor Walter

Riccardi, adviser to the Italian Ministry of Health, stated in a March interview

with “The Telegraph” that 88% of the Italian “coronavirus deaths” had not

been due to the virus(43).

The problem with coronavirus death counts is such that the numbers can

be viewed as nothing other than gross overestimates(44). In Belgium, not only

fatalities with a positive COVID-19 test entered the ranks but also those

where COVID-19 was simply suspected(45).

Scientific competence did not seem to rule the agenda of Germany’s RKI.

Fortunately, there are scientists who stand out in contrast. Stanford Professor

John Ioannidis is one of the eminent epidemiologists of our times. When it

became clear that the epidemic in Europe was nearing its end, he showed

how the officially reported numbers of “coronavirus deaths” could be used to

19

calculate the absolute risk of dying from COVID-19(46).

The risk for a person under 65 years in Germany was about as high as a

daily drive of 24 kilometres. The risk was low even for the elderly ≥ 80 with

10 “coronavirus deaths” per 10,000 ≥ 80-year olds in Germany (column at

the far right).

Calculation of this number is simple. About 8.5 million citizens are ≥ 80

years in Germany. About 8,500 “coronavirus deaths” were recorded in this

age group. This leads to an absolute risk of coronavirus death of 10 per

10,000 ≥ 80 year-olds. Now realise that every year about 1,200 of 10,000 ≥

80-year olds die in Germany (black column, data from the Federal Office of

Statistics). Nearly half of them due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD), almost

a third from cancer and around 10% (over 100) owing to respiratory

infections. The latter have always been caused by a multitude of pathogens

including the coronavirus family. It is obvious that a new member has now

joined the club, and that SARS-CoV-2 cannot be assigned any special role as

a “killer virus”.

This is underlined by another observation. Severe respiratory infections

are registered by the RKI in the context of influenza surveillance. The

vertical line marks the time when documentation of SARS-CoV-2 infections

was started. Was there ever any indication for an increase in the number of

respiratory infections(47)? No, the 2019/20 winter peak is followed by typical

seasonal decline. And note that the lockdown (red arrow) was implemented

when the curve had almost reached base level.

20

Source: Homepage RKI (Fig. 1), https://grippeweb.rki.de/

How does the new coronavirus compare with influenza

viruses?

The WHO warned the world that the COVID-19 virus was much more

infectious, that the illness could take a very serious course, and that no

vaccine or medication was available.

The WHO abstained from explaining that truly effective medication

hardly exists against any viral disease and that vaccination against seasonal

flu is increasingly recognised as being ineffective or even counterproductive.

Furthermore, the WHO disregarded two points that needed to first be

addressed before any valid comparison of the viruses could be undertaken.

How many people die of COVID-19 compared with influenza?

The WHO claimed that 3–4% of COVID-19 patients would die, which by far

exceeded the fatality rate of annual influenza(48).

This is important enough to call for a closer look. Influenza viruses pass

wave-like through the population. The waves can be small in one year and

21

high in another. Case fatality rates are 0.1% to 0.2% during a normal flu

season in Germany(49), which translates to several hundreds of deaths. In

contrast, there were approximately 30,000 influenza-related deaths in the

1995/1996 season(50) and approximately 15,000 deaths in 2002/2003 and

2004/2005.

The RKI estimates that the last great flu epidemic of 2017/2018 claimed

25,000 lives(51). With 330,000 reported cases, the fatality rate would be ~8%

(52). As in all previous years, Germany weathered this epidemic without

implementing any unusual measures.

The WHO estimates that there are 290,000–650,000 flu deaths each

year(53).

Now turn to COVID-19. In May, the RKI calculated that 170,000

infections with 7,000 coronavirus deaths equals a 4% case fatality rate – as

predicted by the WHO! Conclusion: COVID-19 is really ten times more

dangerous than seasonal flu(54).

However, the number of infections was at least ten times higher because

most mild and asymptomatic cases had not been sought and detected(55–59).

This would bring us to a much more realistic fatality rate of 0.4%. Moreover,

the number of “true” COVID-19 deaths was lower because many or most had

died of causes other than the virus. Further correction of the number brings us

to a rough estimate of 0.1% – 0.3%, which is in the range of moderate flu.

This tallies well with the results of Professor Streeck, who arrived at an

estimate of 0.24% – 0.26% based on the data of his Heinsberg study. The

average age of the deceased who tested positive was around 81 years(32).

The conclusion that COVID-19 is comparable to seasonal flu has been

reached by many investigators in other countries. In an analysis of several

studies, Ioannidis showed that, contingent on local factors and statistical

methodology, the median infection fatality rate was 0.27%(60). Many other

investigators arrived at similar conclusions. All studies to date thus clearly

show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a real “killer virus”(61–71).

Flu and COVID-19: who are the vulnerable?

Influenza viruses are dangerous mainly to individuals of ≥ 60 years but can

sometimes also cause fatal infections in younger people.

22

A salient feature of the virus is that after its multiplication and release, it

induces the infected host cell to commit suicide. This is a major predisposing

factor for bacterial super-infections(72), which were the major cause of death

during the Spanish flu.

In contrast, coronaviruses are inherently less destructive. Patients show

characteristic changes in their lungs, but whether the virus is deadly or not

depends less on the virus and more on the patient’s overall state of health.

Time and again, press reports appear on “completely healthy” young people

who nonetheless were carried off by the virus. We do not know of a single

case where it did not turn out afterwards that the person had not been

“completely healthy”, but rather had suffered for years from hypertension,

diabetes or other illnesses that had gone undetected.

Sensational news: 103 year-old Italian woman recovers from COVID-

19(73)! In fact, she was not the only old lady who survived the infection

without problems. Most actually did(74). The record is held by a 113 year-old

Spanish woman(75).

Although the median age of the deceased is over 80 in Germany and other

countries(41,76–78), age per se is not the decisive criterion. People without

severe pre-existing illness need fear the virus no more than young people. As

we know from Püschel’s and many other reports, SARS-CoV-2 is almost

always the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. While this is certainly sad

for the family and loved ones, it is still no reason to assign the virus any

heightened role. We need to keep in mind that every year, millions die of

respiratory tract infections, with a whole spectrum of bacterial and viral

agents playing causal roles.

One must not forget that the true cause of a death is the disease or

condition that triggers the lethal chain of events. If someone suffering from

severe emphysema or end-stage cancer contacts fatal pneumonia, the cause of

death is still emphysema or cancer(79,80).

This basic rule is simply ignored in times of coronavirus. Even worse –

once tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, (even falsely) – an individual can

remain marked as a COVID-19 victim for life, depending on the inclination

of the responsible authority(81,82). Then, irrespective of when and why death

occurs, he or she will enter the COVID-19 death register.

Thus, the number of coronavirus deaths will continue to soar incessantly.

23

Fear in the general populace is further fuelled by reports that SARS-CoV-2 is

much more dangerous than the flu because it attacks many different organs

with probable long-term consequences. Newspaper reports and publications

abound that the virus can be found in the heart, liver, and kidneys(83). It may

even find its way to our central nervous system?!

Such headlines sound terrifying. However, obtaining positive RT-PCR

results for SARS-CoV-2 in organs other than the lung is nothing surprising.

The virus uses receptors to enter our cells that are not only on the surface of

lung cells. But two issues are of decisive importance: the actual viral load and

the question of whether the viruses cause any damage. The highest SARSCoV-

2 concentrations have been found in the lungs of patients – as is to be

expected. Traces of the virus have been detected in other organs(83). Most

probably, they bear no relevance. Until scientific evidence to the contrary is

available, the findings must be left for what they are: trivial observations.

Is there a difference with the flu? No. It has been known for years that

influenza can affect the heart and other organs(84,85). All respiratory viruses

can find their way to the central nervous system(86). There is no basic

difference with SARS-CoV-2. Once in a while, patients may suffer from

long-term consequences. This applies to all viral diseases, and they are

exceptions. It is the exception that proves the rule.

What do we learn from all of this? COVID-19 is a disease that makes

some people sick, proves fatal to a few, and does nothing to the rest. Like any

annual flu.

Of course, it was always necessary to take special care not to bring these

agents to elderly persons with pre-existing illnesses. When you feel unwell,

refrain from visiting grandma and grandpa, especially if they are suffering

from a heart condition or lung disease. And whoever has the flu will stay at

home anyway. That is how everything has been and how everything should

continue.

The fact that SARS-CoV-2 does not constitute a public danger and that

the infection often runs its course without symptoms might have one

disadvantage. Perhaps asymptomatic people are contagious and unknowingly

pass the virus on to others. This fear originated from a publication coauthored

and widely publicised by Drosten, in which it was reported that the

Chinese businesswoman who infected an automotive supplier’s staff member

24

during a visit to Bavaria displayed no symptoms herself(87). This publication

caused a worldwide sensation with expected effects, for a deadly virus that

could be transmitted by healthy individuals was akin to a swift and invisible

killer. This fear became the driving force behind many extreme preventive

measures – from visiting bans for hospitalised patients all the way to

obligatory mask-wearing.

In the midst of general panic, a very important fact escaped general

attention. The major statement of the publication turned out to be false. A

follow-up inquiry revealed that the Chinese woman had been ill during her

stay in Germany and was under medication to relieve pain and reduce

fever(88). This was not mentioned in the publication(87).

Another study that was published in April by the Drosten laboratory also

came under international criticism. It concerned the question about the role of

children in disease transmission. According to the Drosten study,

asymptomatic children were just as contagious as adults. This message

caused great concern to the general public and influenced subsequent

decisions by the government. In fact, no studies exist to indicate that children

play any significant role as vectors for transmission of this disease.

Be that as it may, there was no reason for completely pointless measures

like closing schools and day care centres, which are known to do nothing to

protect the high-risk groups(89). And no reason whatsoever to drive social life

and the economy against the wall.

What is wrong with Germany – and this whole world?

Well, all the pictures disseminated so effectively by the international

media – from Italy, Spain, England and then even from New York – coupled

with model calculations for hundreds of thousands, or maybe even millions

of deaths – planted the firm conviction in the general populace: It simply

HAS TO BE a killer virus!

The situation in Italy, Spain, England and the USA

Since the end of March, one sensation outdid the next: Italy had the most

deaths, the fatality rate shocked us to the core; Spain surpassed Italy (in the

number of infections); the United Kingdom broke the sad European record,

exceeded only by the US. The press delighted in spreading as much terrifying

25

news as humanly possible.

But let us reflect a little. The impact of an epidemic is dependent not only

on the intrinsic properties and deadliness of the pathogen but also to a very

significant extent on how “fertile” the soil is on which it lands. All reliable

figures tell us we are not dealing with a killer virus that will sweep away

mankind. So what did happen in those countries from which these dreadful

pictures emerged?

Detailed answers to this question must be sought on the ground.

Nevertheless, several facts are sufficiently known to warrant mention here.

Problems surrounding coronavirus statistics went totally rampant in Italy and

Spain. Elsewhere, testing for the virus was generally performed on people

with flu-like symptoms and a certain risk of exposure to the virus. At the

height of the epidemic in Italy, testing was restricted to severely ill patients

upon their admission to the hospital. Illogically, testing was widely

performed post-mortem on deceased patients. This resulted in falsely elevated

case fatality rates combined with massive underestimates of actual

infections(90).

As early as mid-March, the Italian GIMBE (Gruppo Italiano per la

Medicina Basata Sulle Evidenze / Italian Evidence-Based Medicine Group)

foundation stated that the “degree of severity and lethality rate are largely

overestimated, while the lethality rates in Lombardy and the Emilia-

Romagna region were largely due to overwhelmed hospitals”(91).

The fact that no distinction was made between “death by” and “death

with” coronavirus rendered the situation hopeless. Almost 96% of “COVID-

19 deaths” in Italian hospitals were patients with pre-existing illnesses. Three

quarters suffered from hypertension, more than a third from diabetes. Every

third person had a heart condition. As almost everywhere else, the average

age was above 80 years. The few people under 50 who died also had severe

underlying conditions(41).

The inaccurate method of reporting “coronavirus deaths” naturally spread

fear and panic, rendering the general public willing to accept the irrational

and excessive preventive measures installed by governments. These turned

out to have a paradoxical effect. The number of regular deaths increased

substantially over the number of “coronavirus deaths”. The Times reported

on April 15: England and Wales have experienced a record number of deaths

26

in a single week, with 6,000 more than average for this time of year. Only

half of those extra numbers could perhaps be attributed to the coronavirus(92).

There was a well-founded concern that the lockdown may have unintentional

but serious consequences for the public’s health(93).

It became increasingly clear that people avoided hospitals even when

faced with life-threatening events such as heart attacks because they were

afraid of catching the deadly virus. Patients with diabetes or hypertension

were no longer properly treated, tumour patients not adequately tended to.

The UK has always had massive problems with its health care system,

medical infrastructure and a shortage of medical personnel(94,95). Due to

Brexit, the UK also lacks urgently needed foreign specialists(96).

Many other countries have problems along the same lines. When the

influenza epidemic swept over the world in the winter of 2017/2018,

hospitals in the US were overwhelmed, triage tents were erected, operations

were cancelled and patients were sent home. Alabama declared a state of

emergency(97–99). The situation was little different in Spain, where hospitals

just collapsed(100,101), and in Italy, where intensive care units in large cities

ground to a halt(102).

The Italian health care system has been downsizing for years, the number

of intensive care beds is much lower than in other European countries.

Furthermore, Italy has the highest number of deaths from hospital-acquired

infections and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in all of Europe(103).

Also, Italian society is one of the oldest worldwide. Italy has the highest

proportion of over 65 year-olds (22.8%) in the European Union(104). Add to

that the fact that there is a large number of people with chronic lung and heart

disease, and we have a much greater number in the “high-risk groups” as

compared to other countries. In sum, many independent factors come

together to create a special case for Italy(105,106).

Since northern Italy was particularly affected, it would be interesting to

ask if environmental factors had an influence on the way things developed

there. Northern Italy has been dubbed the China of Europe with regard to its

fine particulate pollution(107). According to a WHO estimate, this caused over

8,000 additional deaths (without a virus) in Italy’s 13 biggest cities in

2006(108). Air pollution increases the risk of viral pulmonary disease in the

27

very young and the elderly(109). Obviously, this factor could generally play a

role in accentuating the severity of pulmonary infections(110).

Suspicions have been voiced that vaccination against various pathogens

such as flu, meningococci and pneumococci can worsen the course of

COVID-19. Investigations into this possibility are called for because Italy

indeed stands out with its officially imposed extensive vaccination

programme for the entire population.

Yet despite all these facts, the only pictures that remain imprinted on our

minds are the shocking scenes of long convoys of military vehicles carting

away endless numbers of coffins from the northern Italian town of Bergamo.

Vice chairman of the Federal Association of German Undertakers, Ralf

Michal, noted(111): in Italy, cremations are rather rare. That is why

undertakers were overburdened when the government ordered cremations in

the course of the coronavirus pandemic. The undertakers were not prepared

for that. There were not enough crematoriums and the complete infrastructure

was lacking. That is why the military had to help out. And this explains the

pictures from Bergamo. Not only was there no infrastructure, there was also a

shortage of undertakers because so many were in quarantine.

And finally, let us examine the United States, where only parts of the

country were severely affected. In states like Wyoming, Montana or West

Virginia, the number of “coronavirus deaths” was a two-digit figure

(Worldometers, middle of May, 2020).

The situation in New York was different. Here, doctors were

overwhelmed and did not know which patients to treat first, while in other

states, hospitals were eerily empty. New York was the centre of the epidemic,

where more than half of the COVID-19 deaths nationwide occurred (date:

May 2020). Most of the deceased lived in the Bronx. An emergency doctor

reported(112): “These people come way too late, but their reasoning is

understandable. They are afraid of being discovered. Most of them are illegal

immigrants without residence permits, without jobs and without any health

insurance. The highest mortality rate is recorded in this group of people”.

It would be of interest to learn how they were treated. Were they given

high doses of chloroquine as recommended by the WHO? About a third of

the Hispanic population carries a gene defect (glucose-6-phosphate

dehydrogenase) that causes chloroquine intolerance with effects that can be

28

lethal(113,114). More than half of the population in the Bronx is Hispanic.

Countries and regions can differ so widely with respect to a myriad of

factors that a true understanding of any epidemic situation cannot be obtained

without critical analysis of these determinants.

29

3

Corona-situation in Germany

The German populace should have been reassured that this country was wellpositioned

and that disturbing scenarios similar to those seen in northern Italy

or elsewhere need NOT be feared. Instead, the exact opposite happened. The

RKI issued warning after warning, and the government embarked on a

crusade of fear-mongering that defied description. Anyone who dared to

challenge the warning that the world was facing the greatest pandemic threat

of all times was defamed and censored.

The indicators for when which measures were supposedly necessary or no

longer necessary changed haphazardly according to demand. At the

beginning of March, it was the doubling rate for the numbers of infections

which at first should exceed 10 days; but when this “goal” was reached, the

rate had to be further slowed to 14 days. This objective was also quickly

achieved so a new criterion had to be issued: the reproduction factor (“R”),

which supposedly told us how many people became infected by one

contagious person. The authorities at first decided that this number must

decrease to less than 1. When this happened – in mid-March – they ran into

difficulties and set out to re-direct the number upward by increasing the

numbers of tests. At the end of May, a bit of creative thinking led to the idea

of defining a critical upper limit to the acceptable number of daily new

infections: 35 per 100,000 citizens in any town or region.

Now reflect that performing just 7,000 tests can be expected to generate at

least 35 false-positive results in total absence of the virus! Obviously, no

scientifically sound reasoning underlay any of the plans and measures

dictated by the authorities. It cannot be emphasised enough that infection

numbers are of no significance if one is not dealing with a truly dangerous

virus. Money and means should not be wasted on counting the number of

30

common colds every winter!

Arbitrariness and the lack of a plan wound their way through the

measures. At the beginning, facial masks were scorned and not used, even in

overcrowded buses. But when the epidemic was over, it became mandatory.

DIY stores could stay open for business while electronics markets had to

close. Jogging was OK, playing tennis taboo. Every state had its own

catalogue of fines; there had to be punishment since we were dealing with an

“epidemic of national concern”. But where was the logic behind all of these

measures? A closer look may help explain what had happened.

The German narrative

Late in the evening of January 27, 2020, the Bavarian Ministry of Health

announced Germany’s first coronavirus case, an employee of an automotive

supplier. A Chinese businesswoman had been on a visit there one week

earlier. The virus was subsequently detected in several other members of the

company. Most had no symptoms, none was seriously ill. All were isolated

and put in a 14-day quarantine. From then on, anyone returning from a “high

risk” area, be it China or Tyrol, was tested and put in quarantine. A few

scattered numbers of healthy “cases” were thereby discovered.

Then came carnival season in Germany and the western German state of

North Rhine-Westphalia is one of its centres where there is no holding back.

The first coronavirus patient here had partied in the middle of February

together with his wife and 300 other merry carnival revellers in the district of

Heinsberg. What happened next sounded the national alarm: coronavirus

outbreak in Heinsberg; many patients critically ill; local hospital

overwhelmed! Schools and day care centres were closed and all contact

persons put in quarantine. At the beginning of March, the Minister of Health,

Jens Spahn, still urged prudence. Mass events were cancelled, otherwise

overall calmness reigned.

But on March 9, alarm bells rang. The first coronavirus fatalities in

Germany occurred. A 78-year old man from the Heinsberg district and an 82-

year old woman from Essen succumbed to the virus. The man had a

multitude of pre-existing illnesses, among them diabetes and heart disease,

the woman died from pneumonia. Drosten warned against a threatening

31

coronavirus wave(115): “Autumn will be a critical time, that is obvious. At

that time, I expect a rapid increase of coronavirus cases with dire

consequences and many deaths…Who do we want to save then, a severely ill

80 year-old or a 35 year-old with raging viral pneumonia who would

normally die within hours, but would be over the worst after three days on a

ventilator?”.

The pandemic is declared

On March 11, the WHO declared the pandemic. The very next day, German

governors of state voted to cancel all mass gatherings. On the same day, a

report from France: all day care centres, schools, colleges and universities

have been closed until further notice. Germany followed suit: one day later,

the German states ordered all schools and day care centres closed from March

16. There was talk of a “tsunami” in the wake of which countless lives would

be claimed unless we managed to “flatten the curve”. All of a sudden,

everyone had a voice and an opinion, no matter whether astrophysicist or

trainee journalists, and no matter whether they had not an inkling of

knowledge about infectious diseases. Projections were presented every day,

exponential growth was explained to us on every channel, showing us how

difficult it is to grasp or to even stop this development because the rate of

infection seemed to double weekly. Without strict measures we would have

one million infections by mid-May. According to RKI President Wieler, the

number of fatalities in Germany would soar up and approach Italian numbers

within just a few weeks(116).

For the first time, there was mention of a possible lockdown. On March

14, the Federal Ministry of Health tweeted(117):

Attention FAKE NEWS!

It is claimed and rapidly being distributed that the Federal Ministry of Health/Federal

government will soon announce further massive restrictions to public life. This is

NOT true!

Two days later, on March 16, further massive restrictions to public life were

announced(118).

Public life was rapidly shut down. Clubs, museums, trade fairs, cinemas,

32

zoos, everything had to be closed. Religious services were prohibited,

playgrounds and sports facilities fenced off. Elective surgery would be

postponed. The primary goal: the health care system must not be

overwhelmed.

While alarmism was expanding here in Germany, someone else raised his

voice. Someone who really knows what he is doing and whom we have heard

of several times before, Professor John Ioannidis. Here is a summary of his

article “A fiasco in the making?”(119):

The current coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has been called a once-in-acentury

pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco. We

lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARSCoV-

2. Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries.

During long-lasting lockdowns, how can policymakers tell if they are doing

more good than harm? The data collected so far on how many people are

infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the

limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of

infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are

failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. No countries have

reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random

sample of the general population. Reported case fatality rates, like the

official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror – and

are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are

disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. The one

situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond

Princess cruise ship and its quarantined passengers. The case fatality rate

there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death

rate from COVID-19 is much higher. Adding to these extra sources of

uncertainty, reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general

U.S. population vary from 0.05% to 1%. If that is the true rate, locking down

the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may

be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat.

Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a

cliff and dies. Could the COVID-19 case fatality rate be that low? No, some

say, pointing to the high rate in elderly people. However, even some so-called

mild or common-cold-type coronaviruses that have been known for decades

33

can have case fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in

nursing homes. In fact, such “mild” coronaviruses infect tens of millions of

people every year, and account for 3% to 11% of those hospitalised in the

U.S. with lower respiratory infections each winter. If we had not known about

a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the

number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem

unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season

seems to be a bit worse than average. The media coverage would have been

less than for an NBA game between the two most indifferent teams. One of

the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long social distancing measures

and lockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the

economy, society, and mental health.

Regrettably, this voice of reason remained unheard by our politicians and

their advisers. Instead, the prediction ventured by Professor Neil Ferguson,

Imperial College London, made the headlines: if nothing is done and the

virus allowed to spread uncontrolled, more than 500,000 people will die in

the UK and 2 million in the US(120). Not only did this make the rounds, it

struck fear into hearts and souls.

Incidentally, Ferguson is the same authority who predicted 136,000 deaths

due to mad cow disease (BSE), 200 million deaths due to avian flu and

65,000 deaths during the swine flu – in all cases there were ultimately a few

hundred(121). In other words, he was wrong every time. Do journalists

actually have a conscience and, if so, why do they not check the facts before

distributing their news? Naturally, here too it later became apparent that

Ferguson’s prediction was totally wrong. But this was never reported by the

media.

For the RKI, the headlines seemed to be just the right thing. It warned of

an exponential increase(122): “With this exponential growth, the world will

have 10 million infections within 100 days if we do not succeed in curbing

the number of new infections”. Model calculations were published that

predicted hundreds of thousands of deaths in Germany(123).

Politicians entered a race for voter popularity – who could profit the

most? Markus Söder, State President of Bavaria, presented himself as

“Action Man”, emanating force and determination in front of the cameras,

and declaring his intent to fight the virus to the finish with all the means at

34

his disposal. Söder surges ahead with the first draconian measures: stay-athome

order for Bavarians as of March 21. No visits to loved ones in

hospitals. No church services. Shops and restaurants closed. Among other

incredible measures.

Nationwide lockdown

What impression would it make on the world if each federal state in Germany

had its own rules? So the measures were hastily emulated throughout the

nation. The “stay-at-home command” sounded too negative, so we were

presented with a “lockdown” on March 23 in the guise of a “nine-point plan”.

This meant nationwide confinement orders. A far-reaching contact ban was

imposed, congregations of more than 2 people in public were forbidden.

Restaurants, hair dressers, beauty parlours, massage practices, tattoo studios

and similar businesses had to close. Violations of these contact bans were to

be monitored by a regulatory agency and failure to comply was to be

sanctioned. Penalty catalogues were hastily patched together. Some states

went to extremes. Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, the Saarland, Saxony and

Saxony-Anhalt enacted decrees that allowed leaving homes and entering

public spaces only with a “valid” reason. At the same time, hospitals were so

empty that they were able to accommodate patients from Italy and

France(124).

On March 25, the German parliament announced an “epidemic situation

of national concern”, so that two days later the hurriedly compiled new “law

to protect the population during an epidemic situation of national concern”

could be implemented – largely unnoticed by the general population. It

empowered the Federal Ministry of Health to determine, by decree, a series

of measures that violate the first article of the German constitution: Human

dignity is inviolable.

These political decisions were made in the absence of any evidence that

might have justified them. It was for that reason that we decided to write an

open letter to Chancellor Merkel(28) in which questions of fundamental

importance were raised. The intent was to give the government the chance to

turn back from the wrong track with dignity. But our opinions, and those of

many others who did not agree with the government line, were ignored and

35

dissenting voices were discredited in newspapers and the media. It goes

without saying that we never received an answer.

Instead, at the end of March, it was officially proclaimed that the virus

was still spreading too fast. Case numbers doubled every 5 days. The goal

must be to flatten the curve so the doubling time is extended to 10 days. Only

thus would we prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed(125).

The contents of an internal document of the German Ministry of the

Interior (GMI) were then released to the public. There one learned that the

worst-case scenario forecast 1.15 million fatalities if the virus was not

contained(126,127). If we look at the numbers of reported infections in the first

four weeks of March (calendar weeks (CW) 10–13), we can see that this

actually looks like exponential growth, exactly as the RKI proclaimed. And

that is how it was presented everywhere.

However, what the RKI did not point out was that in calendar week 12 the

number of tests had approximately tripled and increased again the following

week. The RKI apparently did not feel duty-bound to truth and clarification

towards the population. So therefore, are these figures distorted? Why didn’t

they correct the numbers? That could have been achieved by stating the

number of infections per 100,000 tests as shown in the second diagram.

36

The RKI text should rather have read as follows: “Dear fellow citizens,

our numbers show no exponential increase of new infections. There is no

need to worry.”

Indeed, the epidemic is literally “over the hill”, as you can nicely see from

the R-curve of the RKI, which was published on April 15 in the

Epidemiological Bulletin 17(128):

What is glaringly evident?

1) The epidemic had reached its peak at the beginning to the middle of

March, well before the lockdown on March 23.

2) The lockdown had no effect: numbers dropped no further after its

implementation.

37

April 2020: no reason to prolong the lockdown

How did things look in the middle of April when the decision of once again

prolonging the lockdown was pending?

Everything was really clear now. Just like the R-value, the number of

newly infected cases showed that the peak of infection had passed (Figure:

http://www.cidm.online). The upper curve depicts the number of “newly infected”

with the initial increase as officially presented; the lower shows those

numbers standardized to 100,000 tests. Columns show the actual numbers of

conducted tests.

38

The fact is that there had never been a danger of hospitals being

overwhelmed because there had never been an exponential growth of

infection numbers. There were thousands of empty beds. There never was a

giant “wave” of COVID-19 patients. Not because the measures were so

effective, but because the epidemic was over before they were put in place.

But all the hospitals postponed, or even suspended, all elective surgeries and

procedures such as hip or knee operations or check-ups for cancer patients.

Many hospitals reported occupancy reductions of up to 30% and more.

Doctors were put on short-time working hours(129).

The lockdown is extended

On April 15, Germany extended the lockdown. The rules for social distancing

and contact restrictions were prolonged. In public, social distancing of 1.5m

was mandatory and you were only allowed to be outside your domicile with

members of your family and one other person who was not part of your

household. The ban on meetings in houses of worship was prolonged. Social

events were prohibited. Some restrictions were eased. Shops with a retail

space of up to 800 square metres were allowed to re-open. Car dealers,

bicycle shops and book stores were excluded from this restriction and were

allowed to open their doors regardless of size. But amazingly, no matter

whether a crocheted scarf or a clinical face mask is used – masks became

mandatory!

Mandatory masks

There is simply a lack of clear evidence that people who are not ill or who are

not providing care to a patient should wear a mask to reduce influenza or

COVID-19 transmission(130).

We are not aware of any single scientifically sound and undisputed article

that would contradict the following:

1) There is no scientific evidence that symptom-free people without

cough or fever spread the disease.

2) Simple masks do not and cannot stop the virus.

39

3) Masks do not and cannot protect from infection.

4) Non-medical face masks have very low filter efficiency(131)

5) Cotton surgical masks can be associated with a higher risk of

penetration of microorganisms (penetration 97%). Moisture retention, reuse

of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of

infection(132).

Since the government enforced the use of masks, many elderly people

believed that they were safe while wearing them. Nothing could be further

from the truth. Wearing a mask can entail serious health hazards, especially

for people with pulmonary disease and cardiac insufficiency, for patients with

anxiety and panic disorders and of course for children. Even the WHO

originally stated that general wearing of masks did not serve any purpose(133).

What did the RKI say? In accordance with the shift in political opinion,

they also changed their previous recommendations and supported maskwearing.

“If people – even without symptoms – wore masks as a precaution,

it could minimize the risk of infection. Of note, this is not scientifically

documented.”

A report claiming that mask-wearing had provided positive effects was

basically flawed(134). According to the study, the effects (drop in numbers of

infections) became apparent 3–4 days after implementation of the regulation.

However, this is impossible. The RKI states: “An effect of the respective

measures can only be seen after a delay of 2–3 weeks because on top of the

incubation period (up to 14 days) there is a time delay between illness and

receipt of the reports.”(135)

In fact, there is no study to even suggest that it makes any sense for

healthy individuals to wear masks in public(136,137). One might suspect that

the only political reason for enforcing the measure is to foster fear in the

population.

Last argument for extension of lockdown: the impending

second wave?

The constant fear-spreading experts of the government obviously pursue the

same goal. In Germany, Drosten warned again and again. And somehow it

40

seemed as if every country had its own “Drosten”.

At the end of April, he again fantasized about the big-time wave in

Germany – now, of course, the second big wave(138): “Would the R-value

through carelessness … be once again more than 1 and thereby exponentially

increase virus spread, this would likely have devastating consequences. Since

the wave of infection would start everywhere at the same time, it would have

a different momentum.”

But where should this second wave of infection come from?

Drosten: We can learn this from the Spanish flu. It started at the end of

the First World War, and most of the 50 million victims died during the

second wave.

That is true. But at the time of the Spanish flu, antibiotics were not

available to treat secondary bacterial infections that were the main cause of

death(139). Consequently, people of all ages died. Whoever compares

COVID-19 to the Spanish flu is either completely clueless or deliberately

intends to spread fear.

It is clear that viruses change but do not simply disappear. Just as there

has always been a flu season, there has also always been a coronavirus

season(140).

Here we see the typical course of a coronavirus epidemic(141):

Does this look vaguely familiar and reminiscent of our RKI data with the

March peak?

But wait, this Finnish study stems from 1998!

41

So, if any government should decide they want a second wave, all they

need to do is to radically increase the number of tests in the annual

coronavirus season. This simple manipulation will not fail to trigger the next

laboratory pandemic.

Relaxing the restrictions with the emergency brake applied

Professor Stefan Homburg, Director of the Institute of Public Finance at the

University of Hannover, never tired of explaining why the RKI numbers

themselves called for immediate termination of all measures(142).

He was not the only one, several others raised their voices. But critical

opinions were completely ignored. Why? Did the government have an

exclusive contract with Drosten, who keeps on warning and warning: by

loosening restrictions, Germany will risk losing its lead in the fight against

the pandemic(143).

But eventually the time arrived. The beginning of May witnessed a

cautious reopening of shops. Schools and day care centres would soon be

able to admit children again. Contact restrictions were slightly relaxed and

life was restarted, but at a painfully slow pace.

But the RKI warns and warns and warns(144): “The reproduction factor is

more than 1 once again. It’s at 1.1, to be exact … ”.

Horror of horrors, were we too rash? Many were puzzled that the daily Rfactor

fluctuated erratically. This of course was due to the generally unknown

fact that when infection numbers are very low, the R-factor can be

manipulated at will simply by altering the number of tests conducted.

And then, the great scare: Do we possibly have excess mortality(145)?

Excess mortality? Really? Could it possibly have anything to do with the

collateral damage invoked by the unwarranted measures? This question was

posed by a senior member of the risk analysis division at the German

Ministry of the Interior. He produced a remarkable document in which the

risks of collateral damage were meticulously analysed. He arrived at the

conclusion that the measures were excessive, and that they caused immense

and irreparable collateral damage without providing any true benefits. The

synopsis of the paper was sent to ten external experts, including ourselves, to

have the numbers checked.

42

He then attempted to present the document to the Minister:

unsuccessfully. He then sent the document to his colleagues in risk

assessment divisions around the country. And was suspended for his efforts.

We stated in a press release that we considered the conclusions of the

paper to be very important. But the Ministry ridiculed the document, saying

that it was no more than a private opinion(146). The media chimed in and

considered the case closed.

Lockdown extended again!

At the end of May, just before the agreement on contact restrictions between

the government and the federal states expired, a further extension of the

measures was proclaimed until June 29.

On May 25, Minister of Health, Jens Spahn stated in the most widespread

German daily newspaper, “Under no circumstances should the impression be

gained that the pandemic is already over.”

Only chancellor Merkel could top this – and so she did 4 days later. In an

historic declaration, she announces to the depressed nation: “The pandemic

has just begun!”

And this at a time when the epidemics were all over throughout Europe.

But an extension of the lockdown seemed to make sense in the light of a

recent article published in Nature, one of the most prestigious scientific

journals in the world. Only research groups of high standing have realistic

chances of seeing their names in print in this journal. Imperial College

London rallied such a group, among whom the name Neil Ferguson may ring

a bell. In a remarkable study, the investigators presented a computer-based

analysis showing that the global lockdown had saved many millions of

lives(147).

Known only to few was the fact that a string of protests by scientists of

international standing rained into Nature’s office. All pointed to the

fundamental flaws in the analysis that had caused false conclusions to be

drawn. Correctly handled, the data actually showed the opposite: the

lockdown had had no effect on the course of the pandemic. Readers who

wish to read the paper should not forget to look at these critical comments

that follow after the article(148).

So, while other countries like Denmark at no time recommended that

43

healthy people who move around in public generally wear face masks(149)

and other countries like Latvia were well on their way to freedom, Merkel

and friends decided against too much liberty for their people. The masks must

stay on!

44

4

Too much? Too little? What

happened?

Overburdened hospitals

The pictures from Italy and Spain incited fear. Mortally ill people and no

available ventilators? How dreadful. Deaths were depicted as slow, merciless

drownings. We were shown what happens when hospital capacity reaches its

limits and beyond. During all the deliberations about what was to be done in

Germany, there was always – first and foremost – the fear stoked by the RKI

that such scenarios happening in Germany could not be ruled out. As a result,

ventilators were purchased, intensive care beds were held in reserve,

operations were postponed or cancelled. In Berlin a new hospital for 1,000

patients was hurriedly built – in 38 days – and then, when it was completed,

not one patient in sight(150).

We simply must take a closer look at this. At the beginning of March it

became clear that the epidemic was sweeping through Germany. Was our

health care system well prepared? Professor Uwe Janssens, President of the

Interdisciplinary Association of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine,

gave the all-clear in the “Deutschlandfunk” (German World Service)(151):

“We have enough intensive care beds!”. Even if we were to have as many

coronavirus infections as Italy, we had approximately 28,000 beds in

intensive care units, 25,000 of which were equipped with ventilators, so

nearly 34 beds per 100,000 citizens. This was like no other country in

Europe. Professor Reinhard Busse, leader of the specialist field “Management

of the Health Care System” at the Technical University in Berlin, gave the

all-clear as well: “Even if we had conditions like in Italy, we would be

45

nowhere near to being overburdened”(152).

But the RKI kept fostering fear. The “number of intensive care beds will

not be sufficient”, Wieler, president of the RKI and trained veterinarian,

announced at the beginning of April(153). Why? Wieler explained: “The

epidemic continues and the number of fatalities will keep going up”.

Actually, the real explanation – kept under lock and key at that time – was

quite different. It came to light in May, when a previously confidential

document appeared on the website of the German Ministry of the

Interior(154). The shocking contents confirmed circulating rumours. The

document, dating to mid-March, was the minutes of a meeting of the

coronavirus task-force. There, one was astounded to learn that fearmongering

was the official agenda created to manage the epidemic. All the

pieces of the puzzle then fell into place. Everything had been planned. The

high numbers of infection were purposely reported because the numbers of

deaths would “sound too trivial”. The central goal was to achieve a massive

shock effect. Three examples are given how to stir up primal fears in the

general population:

1) People should be scared by a detailed description of dying from

COVID-19 as “slow drowning”. Imagining death through excruciating slow

suffocation incites the most dread.

2) People should be told that children were a dangerous source of

infection because they would unwittingly carry the deadly virus and kill their

parents.

3) Warnings about alarming late consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infections

were to be scattered. Even though not formally proven to exist, they would

frighten people.

Altogether, this strategy would enable all intended measures to be

implemented with general acceptance by the public.

HORRIBLE!

Now that the method in the madness is known, it becomes more

understandable why Wieler steadfastly adhered to his projections. Numbers

of infections were used to calculate the number of intensive care beds that

would be needed, without taking into account that 90% of infected

individuals would not fall seriously ill. And that the majority of patients who

46

did require hospitalisation would recover and be dismissed.

Simply adding the daily number of new infections to the curve (top curves

in the graph) was of course senseless. The recoveries should have been

subtracted from the number of positively tested persons if a realistic indicator

of hospital burden had really been sought.

Strictly speaking, one would also have to subtract the deceased, but since

there were so few – tragic and sad as that was for every individual case, it

made no difference in the graphic representation.

The fact is that we were never at any risk of our health care system

collapsing. In mid-April there was NO REASON for further measures. All

should have been revoked immediately. While the hospitals waited for non-

47

existent coronavirus patients, those genuinely requiring treatment were not

admitted. Beds were empty. Hospitals ran into financial problems. Many

applied for short-time work for doctors and nursing staff – in the midst of the

imagined crisis(155). The situation in other countries was similar. Thousands

of US physicians were placed on administrative leave because the number of

routine outpatient visits dropped by a landslide(156).

Shortage of ventilators?

At the commencement of the pandemic, experts contended that invasive

ventilation would be a first-line requirement to rescue COVID-19 patients

from a horrible death by suffocation. At the same time, this measure would

minimize the risk of infection of medical personnel. As a consequence, the

German government decided to purchase and store thousands of ventilators in

reserve.

This turned out to be a very bad bet(157–161).

Artificially ventilated patients require very close attention(162). Oxygen is

forced through a tube into the lungs. It is not uncommon for bacteria to hitch

a ride and then cause life-threatening pneumonia. The risk of these hospitalacquired

infections rises by the day, which is why medical students learn that

the ventilator should be used no longer than is absolutely necessary.

In contrast, COVID-19 patients were often put on ventilation early and

without true need, and kept on the apparatus far longer than they ever should

have been. Why? Because it was officially stipulated that invasive ventilation

was the best means to reduce the risk of virus spread via aerosol to the

personnel. However, aerosols probably play no important role in disease

transmission(163). The sole fact that SARS-CoV-2 can be found in aerosol

droplets(164) does not mean that it is there in sufficient quantities to cause

illness(165).

How many lives were lost because of this advice?

Many specialists later stated that COVID-19 patients were intubated and

ventilated for too long and too often(160,161). The risks were high and success

more than questionable. Professor Gerhard Laier-Groeneveld from the lung

clinic in Neustadt advised that intubation should be avoided in any event. His

48

COVID-19 patients received oxygen with simple respiratory masks and he

lost not a single life(160).

Professor Thomas Voshaar, Chair of the Association of Pneumology

Clinics, shared the same view(161). He pointed out that the high death rates in

other countries “should be reason enough to question this strategy of early

intubation”. At the time of his report, he had mechanically ventilated one of

his 40 patients. The patient subsequently died. All the others survived.

Here is a shortened version of a radio interview with palliative physician

Dr Matthias Thöns(166): “Politics these days has a very one-sided orientation

towards intensive care treatment, towards buying more ventilators and

offering ICU beds as a reward. But we must remember that most of the

severely ill COVID-19 patients are very old people with multiple underlying

diseases; 40% of those come heavily care-dependent from assisted living

facilities. Previously, this group would ordinarily receive more palliative

instead of intensive care. But now, a new disease is diagnosed and this whole

client base is turned into intensive care patients.”

He points out that according to a Chinese study, 97% die despite maximal

therapy (including ventilation). Of those who survive, only a small number is

able to return to their former lives, many of them left with severe disabilities.

These are circumstances that most seniors would refuse to risk. He rightly

says that critically ill patients should openly be told the truth about their

condition. They should themselves decide which course they wish to take:

intensive care treatment in isolation, or symptomatic treatment in the circle of

loved ones. The individual will should have highest priority. Thöns is quite

sure that most people would prefer the second option.

Were the measures appropriate?

It became clear fairly early that SARS-CoV-2 was not a killer virus and there

never had been an exponential increase in new infections. The price for

attempting to contain the virus was absurdly high.

What did the government do right?

49

?

The authors have no answer to this question. They look forward to receiving

yours.

What did the government do wrong?

It proclaimed an epidemic of national concern that did not exist

It deprived citizens of their rights

It made arbitrary instead of evidence-based decisions

It intentionally spread fear

It enforced senseless lockdown and mask-wearing

It devastated the economy and destroyed livelihoods

It disrupted the health care system

It inflicted immense suffering on the populace

What should our government have done?

It should have done what the chancellor and ministers solemnly declared

when they were sworn into office:

“I swear that I will use my power for the WELL-BEING of the German

public, to further its ADVANTAGES, to prevent DAMAGE, to PRESERVE

and DEFEND the constitution and the federal statutes, to diligently fulfil my

duty and practice just treatment towards everyone.”

50

5

Collateral damage

Dr David L. Katz, President of the True Health Initiative, asked on March 20

if our fight against the coronavirus was worse than the disease(167). Could

there not be more specific means to combat the disease? What about all the

collateral damage?

Stanford Professor Scott Atlas said during an interview that under the

misassumption that we have to contain COVID-19, we have created a

catastrophic situation in the health care sector(168). Irrational fears were

generated because the disease as a whole is a mild one. Thus, there is no

reason for comprehensive testing in the general population and it should be

done only where appropriate, namely in hospitals and nursing homes. At the

end of April, Atlas published an article entitled “The data are in – stop the

panic and total isolation”(169).

In Germany, Wolfgang Schäuble, presiding officer of the German

parliament, stated that not absolutely everything must be subordinate to the

protection of life(170).

“If there is anything at all that has an absolute value in our constitution, it

is human dignity which is inviolable. But it does not preclude that we have to

die.” The media immediately flared back in righteous disgust: “Human dignity

versus human life – can you balance one against the other?”(171).

Many still fail to comprehend that we have sacrificed both.

Proponents of the pointless measures argue that every person has the right

to grow as old as possible. Even if the virus were only the straw that broke

the camel’s back, it was still at fault. Without the virus, the deceased may

have lived months or even years longer. It is our moral duty to sacrifice our

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personal wants and needs when lives of others are at stake. The economy can

recover, the dead cannot. The Merkel mantra, chanted day and night by her

ardent followers: “Protecting the health of our citizens must, at all costs,

remain our supreme goal.”

Honourable as this may sound, it betrays an alarming inability to

comprehend the essence of public welfare. The following numbers have

already been presented but because of their importance, they will be repeated

here. During the course of this entire epidemic, a maximum number of 10 in

10,000 over 80 year-olds have died with or from the virus. The number of

“true” COVID-19 deaths cannot be higher than 1–2 per 10,000. How many

human lives were really prolonged by the horrendous measures? Maybe 2–4

per 10,000? Or even 4–8? But definitely not more. And at what cost?

The one employee of the GMI who dared to compile an analysis of the

collateral damage to the health care system was suspended. The government

was not interested. Nothing can be placed over human life. But what are the

consequences for health and welfare of the populace if the economy collapses

and people are confronted with the end of their existence?

Economic consequences

It will strike all countries. The global economic crisis could plunge 500

million people into poverty, so stated in a position paper by the UN(172).

The US Federal Reserve (FED) expects a dramatic decline of up to 30%

in American economic performance(173). FED director Jerome Powell

assumes a 20% to 25% increase in the unemployment rate. Almost 36.5

million people have lost their jobs. It is “the most traumatic job loss in the

history of the US economy,” says Gregory Daco, US Chief Economist of the

Oxford Economics Institute(174).

The EU commission predicts a deep recession of historic magnitude for

Europe(175).

According to their prognosis, the economy will shrink a good 7% and will

not completely recover in the next year.

In Germany too, the economy is starting to crumble. Since the second half

of March it is down to 80% of normal economic performance(176). Reduced

hours compensation is registered for about 10 million employees. Without

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short-time work, the unemployment rate would have increased dramatically,

similar to the US. In April we have “only” 300,000 additional

unemployed(177). But this will not be the end of the story, not by a long shot.

The government boasted that they are weaving safety nets, the “greatest

rescue package in Germany’s history” will help mitigate the collateral

damage(178). But that rescue package is ridiculous in relation to the damage

that has been done. Countless people are falling through the net. Existences

have been destroyed and lives have been lost. They cannot be salvaged by

safety nets.

Disruption of medical care

Many who were ill were afraid to visit hospitals for fear of catching the

“killer virus”.

Often older people would rather not “be a burden” to their doctors, who

they thought were battling to save COVID-19 patients.

Patients requiring medical examinations were turned away, all that was

not deemed of “vital importance” cancelled or postponed.

Medical check-ups were not performed.

Operations were postponed to free up capacity for “coronavirus

patients”.

Domestic violence against women and children increased.

The number of suicides rose.

Drugs and suicide

Following the financial crisis of 2008, the number of suicides rose in

countries all over the world. According to the National Health Group Well

Being Trust, unemployment, economic downfall and despair could now drive

75,000 Americans to drug abuse and suicide(179). The Australian government

estimates a rise in suicides of 50%(180), a number 10 times higher than the

number of “coronavirus deaths”. Unemployment and poverty are also

predicted to markedly increase suicide rates in Germany(181).

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Heart attack and stroke

Unemployment increases the risk of heart attack to an extent comparable to

cigarette smoking, diabetes and hypertension(182). But where did all the

patients with heart attacks disappear to? Admissions to emergency care units

dropped 30% as compared to the previous month. Not because the patients

were miraculously cured but because they were terrified of catching the

deadly virus in the hospital. Preliminary symptoms went unheeded, even

though such symptoms are often the harbinger of a deadly attack and need to

be closely attended to in hospital.

“This is a most dangerous development… There are now 50% fewer

patients with mild symptoms in the emergency room,” explains Dr Sven

Thonke, chief physician at the Clinic for Neurology in Hanau in a newspaper

interview(181). Many pending strokes initially cause mild symptoms such as

dizziness, speech, visual problems and muscle weakness. Thonke: “There are

now 50% fewer patients with mild-symptoms in the emergency room.” This

is extremely worrisome because more often than not mild symptoms herald

the severe stroke that can be rapidly fatal if the emergency is not immediately

tended to.

Other ailments

According to the scientific institute of the AOK (German health insurance

company), the following diagnoses dropped considerably in April: 51%

fewer respiratory diseases, 47% fewer diseases of the digestive tract, and

29% fewer injuries and poisonings(183).

Care of tumour patients was catastrophic. Monitoring of tumour treatment

was no longer conducted at the required levels. Control examinations were

postponed or cancelled. Patients waited in agony for the next appointment –

alone with their fears and the single remaining question: how much time was

still left to them.

Cancelled operations

30 million elective surgeries were postponed or cancelled worldwide during

54

the first 12 weeks of the pandemic(184). In 2018, 1.4 million operations were

performed on average every month. 50–90% of all scheduled operations were

postponed or not performed in March, April and May 2020. This translates to

at least 2 million operations that would normally have been performed. The

consequences must be profound.

Further consequences for the elderly

In Germany, more than 1,000 people over the age of 80 die every day(185).

While we are taking drastic measures to prevent them from dying of COVID-

19, we are making their lives less worth living. This cannot but impinge on

life expectancy.

Quality of life

Especially in old age – when many friends have already passed on and the

body no longer works the way it once did – life is not about how many more

days or years but about a life worth living. That could be accomplished by

exercise and remaining active, through social contacts, by taking recreational

holidays, visiting events and even shopping sprees, with regular visits to the

sauna or a fitness studio or the daily walk to the corner café.

But what happens when, all of a sudden, the café and everything else is

closed? No more visits to old friends, no more social events. And no visitors

either.

Loneliness and isolation

Functioning social networks safeguard the elderly from loneliness. Five to

twenty percent of senior German citizens feel lonely and isolated. After the

lockdown, almost all contact with other people stopped for months, which

must have worsened these feelings. For those who cannot leave the house

unassisted, nursing services arrange “senior social groups”, where the elderly

are picked up once a week and then taken safely home again. It’s not much,

but it’s so important to be with other people again and devastating when no

longer there.

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Terminal care

Yes, every individual has the right to reach as old an age as possible. But

every person nearing the end of their life should also have the right to decide

how they want to go. Most do not fear the end. As the time approaches,

people become increasingly detached and willing to embark on their last

journey.

When we hear talk about the “older people” and we are told that it is our

moral duty to protect them, many picture sprightly seniors who are enjoying

their time on ocean liners. In reality, the endangered elderly are multi-morbid

individuals at the end of their lives. People who have not been able to leave

their beds for days, weeks or months. People whose tumours have spread

throughout their bodies and are in constant pain. People who cannot go on

anymore and maybe do not want to go on. People who sometimes just wait

for a kind fate to relieve them of their suffering.

Amidst all the protective measures for the high-risk groups in retirement

and nursing homes, at the end the individual decision should have the highest

priority. Most no longer care whether their loved ones bring the coronavirus

to them, as long as someone is there to hold their hand, to talk about the past,

and to whisper I love you and farewell(186).

Innocent and vulnerable: our children

Children – like the elderly – are the most vulnerable in our society and it is

our duty to care for them. Millions of children in the world are suffering

acutely from the coronavirus measures. “The coronavirus strikes more

children and their families than those who are actually gripped by the

infections,” says Cornelius Williams, Head of the UNICEF Child Protection

League(187).

Mental/psychological stress

Children cannot thrive without social contacts. Separation from key people

like grandma and grandpa, auntie and uncle, their best friends – the closed

schools, inaccessible playgrounds and barred sports fields disrupt their lives.

Social ethicists point out how vital it is for children to be in contact with their

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peers(188).

Educational deficits

Children have a right to education. Since the schools have been closed,

millions of students are lagging behind according to an estimate of the

German Teacher Association. Their president, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, sees

educational deficits for approximately 3 million children, especially in

students from difficult social backgrounds and from impoverished

families(189).

Physical violence

Tens of thousands of children in Germany become victims of violence and

abuse every year(190). Crime statistics from 2018 show that

3 children die in the aftermath of physical violence every week

10 children are physically or mentally abused every day

40 children are sexually abused every day

And these, of course, are only the known cases. Can you imagine the

situation in coronavirus times?

When parents are stressed, on the brink of losing their jobs and facing

financial ruin?

When arguments and quarrels become a daily occurrence?

With increased alcohol consumption?

When children are at home day after day, with no way of escape?

Teachers who normally play important roles in safeguarding endangered

children are gone. Who then should notify the youth welfare office should the

need arise?

The government’s commissioner for abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig,

issued an urgent warning. There were indications from the quarantined town

of Wuhan that the cases of domestic violence had tripled during the “trappedat-

home” time. There were “equally alarming numbers” from Italy and Spain.

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Consequences for the world’s poorest

Many in this country took the opportunity to get their house and garden back

into shape during the coronavirus crisis. Understandably, since home-office

work was only semi-effective for want of equipment and slow internet

connections. Actually, the majority of the middle class and the affluent were

not doing badly. Well, the neighbour who now has to apply for Hartz IV

(unemployment benefits) will surely get back on his feet. People tend to think

as far as their front door, maybe a bit beyond, but that’s it. Many are not

aware that the most severe consequences often affect the poorest of the poor.

One must not close one’s eyes to the fact that the existence and lives of

countless people are threatened.

Existential consequences

In India, there are hundreds of millions of day-labourers, many of whom led a

hand-to-mouth existence before the coronavirus restrictions robbed them of

their livelihoods. Now they have no more means to survive. They are

“protected” against the coronavirus and are in turn left to starve.

In many African countries, coronavirus lockdowns are brutally enforced

by police and military. Whoever shows his face on the streets is beaten.

Children, who usually survive on their one meal in school, are forbidden to

leave the house. They, too, can starve.

At the end of April, the Head of the UN World Food Program, David

Beasley, gave a warning before the UN Security Council: because of

coronavirus, there is a danger that the world will face a “hunger pandemic of

biblical proportions”(191). “It is expected that lockdowns and economic

recessions will lead to a drastic loss of income among the working poor. On

top of this, financial aid from overseas will decrease, which will hit countries

like Haiti, Nepal and Somalia, just to name a few. Loss of revenue from

tourism will doom countries like Ethiopia, since it represents 47 percent of

national income.”

Consequences for medical care and maintenance of health

Medical care is a luxury that only a few in the poorest countries can afford.

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Advances and positive developments of recent years are now in danger of

collapse.

Vaccination campaigns against the measles were suspended in many

countries. Although measles rarely cause death in western countries, 3–6% of

the infected people in poor countries die, and those who survive often have

life-long disabilities. The virus has claimed 6,500 child deaths in the Congo

Republic(192).

Between 2003 and 2013, Zimbabwe succeeded in lowering yearly malaria

infections from 155 per 1,000 inhabitants to just 22. Now, and within a short

time, there have been more than 130 deaths and 135,000 infections. Two

thirds of all fatalities were < 5 year-old children.

According to the WHO, malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could rise

to 769,000 in 2020, which would double the number for 2018. If so, they

would be thrown back to a “mortality standard” of 20 years ago. The

probable reason for this catastrophe is the fact that insecticide-treated

mosquito nets can no longer be adequately distributed.

Are the malaria deaths in Zimbabwe and the measles deaths in the Congo

only precursors of what is in store for the continent?

Synopsis

With the prescribed measures, was our government able to prolong the lives

of people who would leave us in the next days, months or perhaps a few

years? Maybe, maybe not. Were many lives saved through these measures?

They certainly were not, because these restrictions were imposed when the

epidemic was already subsiding.

One thing is certain. The immeasurable grief that these measures have

inflicted cannot possibly be put into words or numbers.

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6

Did other countries fare better –

Sweden as a role model?

While we were lectured every day on the “pseudo-exponential” growth of

infections and talked into thinking that our health system would collapse if

drastic measures were not strictly enforced, a few other countries chose a

different path. They did not establish a curfew, they left restaurants, fitness

studios, and libraries etc. open to the public. Sweden is an example(193).

Epidemiologist Professor Anders Tegnell, who obviously learned from

mistakes he had made during the swine-flu epidemic, and his predecessor,

Johan Giesecke, who at an early stage pointed out that only the

implementation of evidence-based measures made any sense, both decided

that lockdowns were not only pointless, but dangerous. Giesecke explained in

an interview(194):

“There are only two measures that have a genuine scientific background.

One of these is hand-washing and we know this since the work of Ignaz

Semmelweis 150 years ago. The other is social distancing. Many of the

measures taken by European governments have no scientific basis. Closing

the borders for example is useless and does not help. Also, the closing of

schools has never proven to be effective.”

From a scientific stance, school closings are indeed known to make no

sense(89).

It did make sense, however, to count on the individual sense of

responsibility of the citizens, and on informational and educational

campaigns. People were informed on how to protect themselves – and they

did: without fear-mongering, without panic scenarios, lockdown, without

threat of a fine, without massive restrictions on their liberties.

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Executive WHO director Mike Ryan called Sweden a “role model” in the

fight against the coronavirus(195).

Undeniably, Sweden did a lot of things right. But it reaped disgust and

disapproval from its neighbours. The German press left no stone unturned to

badmouth the Swedish way:

Sweden’s special path apparently failed (Deutschlandfunk, April 4,

2020)

Consequences cannot be predicted – 10% mortality rate: Sweden’s lax

special path during the coronavirus crisis is threatening to fail (Focus,

April 17, 2020)

Coronavirus in Sweden – Is the country heading for a catastrophe?

(RND, April 24, 2020)

Politicians also had their say.

Karl Lauterbach (SPD) accused Swedish men and women of acting

irresponsibly. “Crudely put, many of the elderly are sacrificed so that the

cafés do not have to close.”

Minister-President of Bavaria, Markus Söder, said: “This liberal course

claims VERY, VERY MANY victims …”

As a matter of fact, the epidemic in Sweden took a comparable course as

that in other countries.

Homburg describes this in an interview(196): “It seems that they want to

avoid at all costs acknowledging that there is an example to the opposite of

their own misguided policy. They have tried with every means at their

disposal – fake news followed by more fake news – to throw Sweden off its

chosen path. But Sweden stayed the course.”

Could we have taken this path in Germany? Count on the individual sense

of responsibility of the citizens and on information campaigns?

A favourite counter argument is Sweden’s population density. With 23

inhabitants per square kilometre it is about 10 times lower than in Germany,

so it is argued that it might work there, but never here. This would also apply

to Iceland, which is another positive example of how to master the

coronavirus crisis without lockdowns. Almost all of the 1,800 infected people

recovered. 10 COVID-19 deaths were registered – without any drastic

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lockdown. Many restaurants and schools remained open and congregations of

up to 20 people were allowed.

This may be true, but here we also have a low population density. So let

us look instead at Hong Kong with 7.5 million residents and a population

density of 6,890 people per square kilometre. And what a surprise: Here, too,

it worked! It was a little more restrictive than Sweden and Iceland maybe, but

nevertheless without complete lockdown(197).

Or let us look at Japan (126 million inhabitants, population density 336

per square kilometre) or South Korea.

Japan and South Korea were among the first countries outside of China to

be affected by the outbreak. Contrary to China’s draconian measures, the

mass quarantines in wide parts of Europe and in major US cities, regular life

continued in Japan for a large part of the population. Restaurants stayed open

– without a serious disaster(198). Japan has a very small number of

coronavirus infections – possibly because they did not do much testing.

Now, we know that the number of infections is of no significance. So let

us look at the really important issue, namely the number of deceased: this,

too, is extremely low. Much wrong cannot have been done in Japan!

In contrast to Japan, South Korea performed more testing than any other

country, but shutdown of public life was also largely avoided. No cities were

cordoned off, nor general curfews imposed. Public institutions, shops,

restaurants and cafés stayed open(199).

South Korea banked on 1) informing the public and 2) testing and tracing.

Mass testing was performed in specially erected drive-through centres.

Radical transparency was ensured by a tracking app that tagged the

whereabouts of the infected persons.

Sweden, Iceland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan – all these examples

have confirmed what recognised experts have said all along: lockdowns are

not necessary. They cause massive social and economic damage that cannot

justify any possible benefits. But were there benefits at all?

Are there benefits of lockdown measures?

At the end of 2019, the WHO published a document describing various

measures to be taken in case of a future pandemic(200). The major goal would

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be, as we have heard before, to “flatten the curve” by reducing the number of

new daily infections. A number of measures were considered “Out” from the

very beginning: they were NOT recommended IN ANY

CIRCUMSTANCES!

Hmm – so how come everything happened as it did? If it had been

possible, would the world have also been put under UV-light and the

humidity raised beyond the tropics?

After telling us what should definitely not be done, the WHO went on to

describe other measures – lockdown etc. – that it deemed more worthy of

recommendation. Hidden in an appendix was, admittedly, a note that the

recommendations had no scientific basis.

Several critical scientists came to the conclusion early on that lockdown

was the wrong path. Among others, Nobel laureate Professor Michael Levitt

spoke out. He considered the lockdown a “gigantic mistake” and called for

more appropriate measures that should specifically aim to protect the

vulnerable groups(201).

Nonetheless, most countries followed the “role model” China.

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All of Italy was completely quarantined from March 10 by a stay-at-home

order. Exceptions applied only in emergencies, for important work orders and

for errands that could not be postponed. 60 million people were under house

arrest and the streets were totally empty for a whole two months. Other

countries like Spain, France, Ireland, Poland undertook similar action. With

what effect? The epidemic is over, so let us look at the death toll – keeping in

mind that the numbers are grossly inflated because of faulty counting

methods and case definition.

Did fewer people die in countries with lockdown measures?

When we look at the death rates per 1 million inhabitants for some European

countries with lockdown (alphabetically, first 13 columns), we see that the

numbers appear to vary quite considerably. The median number is around

340 (red bar represents mean with standard deviation). Realise, however, that

this is low in comparison to something in the order of 10,000 deaths per

million that occur annually in Germany and other European countries. And

that the coronavirus numbers are grossly exaggerated because most derive

from deaths with rather than death from the virus. Divide them by at least 5

to arrive at realistic numbers. Then, the variations lose meaning. Respiratory

infections caused by many agents similarly sweep like gusts of wind that

blow 20 or 100 of 10,000 leaves from a tree. Every loss is sad, but most are

fateful. Preventive measures need to be appropriate so as to avoid collateral

damage that would sweep other leaves from the tree.

The press relentlessly emphasized that Sweden would pay a high price for

its liberal path. In actuality, we see that Sweden without lockdown is not

significantly different when compared to countries with lockdown. South

Korea, Japan and Hong Kong as well do not conspicuously stand out with an

exorbitantly high number of so called “corona deaths”. Quite the contrary is

the case.

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So what do we see: countries without lockdown measures did not slide

into a catastrophe.

We know that COVID-19 can run a fatal course in elderly patients with

underlying conditions. This leads to the next important question.

Were high-risk groups better protected in countries with lockdown?

The simple answer is, No.

Approximately half of the “coronavirus victims” died in care facilities and

retirement homes, no matter where you look. In Western countries, these

numbers vary from 30% to 60%(202). Countries with relatively drastic

lockdowns like Ireland (60%), Norway (60%) or France (51%) have no better

figures than Sweden (45%). Nursing homes require specific protection which

general lockdown measures can in no way achieve.

A sensible concept for protection of genuinely vulnerable groups

compliant with ethical rules and regulations(203) would have solved the

problem.

Would immediate suspension of the lockdown have had dire consequences?

Let us look at the Czech Republic. From March 16, curfews were instated,

citizens were only allowed to go to work, to go grocery shopping, to see a

doctor or to go for walks in public parks. Like everywhere, the lockdown

could not prevent the increase in infections. By court decision, the measures

had to be rescinded on April 24. Was there a new wave of new infections and

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deadly casualties? Oh – it really seems so! Is the Czech Republic

experiencing the much-feared second wave of COVID-19 infections – a

scenario feared all across the continent? Of course not! The number of tests

has been increased(204).

These data just illustrate how irrelevant and misleading the numbers of

false-positive “new cases” are when the virus is more or less gone. This is

confirmed by looking at the number of daily deaths. With a corresponding

delay due to the incubation period, there should be a significant increase in

the middle of July (rectangle). But the numbers kept sinking and the epidemic

in the country was over as well (Worldometers, July 2020).

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This scenario of another “wave of infections” is typical for many

countries. It is often misused to maintain fear in the population and to

prolong senseless measures(205).

In fact, the epidemic followed essentially the same course all over Europe.

The effects of the lockdown were exclusively negative.

In a few countries such as Israel, there currently seems to be a second

increase in the number of daily deaths. Media revel in spreading news of the

dreaded second wave. But do not be fooled. Look closely and inform

yourself. Numbers must always be set in relation – to the number of

residents, number of PCR tests, average number of total deaths. If the number

of people who die with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test is small, as in

Israel, perfectly irrelevant increases (e.g. from 2 to 6) can be turned into

sensational news: the death toll has tripled! Interestingly, at the height of the

COVID-19 epidemic in March, Israel’s overall deaths per month dropped to

the lowest rate in four years. So there was never even a first “COVID-19

wave”. In July, the number of so-called “COVID-19 deaths” per 1 million

population was not even half as high as in Germany (Worldometers, July

2020).

So which measures would have actually been correct?

Simple: a resolute protection of the vulnerable groups, especially those in

nursing and care facilities. Period.

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7

Is vaccination the universal

remedy?

“There can be no return to normality until we have a vaccine,” declares

Michael Kretschmer, Minister-President of Saxony(206).

More and more voices were raised that we needed a vaccine before we

could return to normal life.

At the beginning of June, the German Federal Ministry of Finance issued

a plan to boost the economy: Item 53: “The coronavirus pandemic ends when

a vaccine is available”(207)! This is hysterical! Since when can a government

decide how and when a pandemic ends?

On Easter Sunday, Bill Gates was allotted ten minutes prime time to

address the German nation on television(208).

Ingo Zamperoni (TV host): “It is becoming increasingly clear that we can

only get a grip on this pandemic if we develop a vaccine.”

Bill Gates: “We will ultimately administer this newly developed vaccine

to 7 billion people, so we cannot afford problems with adverse side effects.

However, we will make the decision to use the vaccine on a smaller data

basis than usual. This will enable rapid progress to be made.”

Rapid progress on a small data basis? Is this the right way to fight a

disease with relative low fatality rate?

Remarkably, start-up financing for the global search for a coronavirus

vaccine was accomplished at the beginning of May by sleight of hand. The

EU collected almost 7.5 billion euro with their donor conference. Germany

and France pledged a large portion. A special programme was launched by

our government to serve this purpose. The plan is to contribute 750 million

euro toward the development of a vaccine.

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But does vaccination really make sense? How vulnerable are we towards

the virus? How many lives are threatened that need to be protected?

On the question of immunity against COVID-19

A short excursion into the field of immunology.

What does immunity against coronaviruses depend on?

The coronavirus binds via protein projections (so-called spikes) that

recognise specific molecules (receptors) on our cell. This can be likened to

virus hands grasping the handles of doors that then open to allow entry. After

multiplication, viral progenies are released and can infect other cells.

Immunity against coronaviruses rests on two pillars: 1) antibodies, 2)

specialised cells of our immune system, the so-called helper lymphocytes and

killer lymphocytes.

When a new virus enters the body and causes illness, the immune system

responds by mobilising these arms of defence. Both are trained to specifically

recognise the invading virus, and both are endowed with the gift of long-term

memory. Upon re-invasion by the virus, they are recruited to the new battle

sites, their prowess bolstered through their previous encounter with the

sparring partner.

Many different antibodies are generated, each specifically recognising a

tiny part of the virus. Note that only the antibodies that bind the “hands” of

the virus are protective because they can stop the virus from gripping the

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handles of the door (step 1). Classical viral vaccines are designed to make our

immune system produce such antibodies. It is believed that an individual will

thus become immune to the virus.

Three points require emphasis.

1. If you are tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and nothing is found this

does not mean that you were not infected. Severe symptoms often

correlate with high production of antibodies, mild symptoms only lead

to low antibody levels and many asymptomatic infections probably

occur without any antibody production.

2. If antibodies are found this does not mean that you are immune.

Current immunological tests cannot selectively detect protective

antibodies directed against the “hands” of the virus. Other antibodies

show up at the same time. Testing cannot give any reliable

information on the “immune status” of an individual and, as will

follow next, is essentially useless.

3. The outcome of an encounter between “protective” antibodies and the

virus is not “black or white”, not a “now or never”. Numbers are

important. A wall of protecting antibodies may ward off a small attack

– for instance when someone coughs at a distance. The attack

intensifies as the person comes closer. The scales begin to tip. Some

viruses may now overcome the barrier and make it into the cells. If the

cough comes from close quarters, the battle becomes one-sided and

ends in a quick victory for the virus.

So even if vaccination is “successful”, meaning that production of protective

antibodies has taken place, it does not guarantee immunity. To worsen

matters, antibody production spontaneously wanes after just a few months.

Protection, if any at all, is at best short-lived.

The idea of a personal “Immune Status” document is scientifically unsound.

What happens after the virus enters the cell? Experiments conducted on mice

have examined this in detail for SARS-CoV, the original SARS virus and

close relative of the present SARS-CoV-2. It was demonstrated that the

second arm of the immune system comes into play. Lymphocytes arrive on

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the scene. A coordinated series of events takes place during which helper

cells explode into action and activate their partners, the killer

lymphocytes(209). These seek out the cells that contain the virus and kill them.

The factory is destroyed – the fire is extinguished.

Cough and fever go away.

How can killer lymphocytes know which cells to attack? Put in simple

words: imagine an infected cell to be a factory that produces and assembles

the virus parts. Bits and pieces that are not assembled into the viruses become

waste products that the cell removes in an ingenious way: it transports them

out and puts them in front of the door. The patrolling killer cells see the trash

and move in for the kill (step 2).

This second arm of our immune system is seldom talked about, but it is

probably actually all-important – much more so than the antibodies that

represent a rather shaky first line of defence. Most importantly, waste

products derived from different coronaviruses share similarities. Killer

lymphocytes recognising the waste of one virus can therefore be expected to

recognise at least some of the waste of others.

Would this imply cross-immunity?

Yes. Coronavirus mutations take place in very small steps. Protective

antibodies and lymphocytes against type A will therefore also be quite

effective against progeny Aa. If B comes to visit, you get another cold and

cough, but then your immune status broadens to cover A, Aa, B and Bb.

The scope of immunity expands with each new infection. And

lymphocytes can remember.

Who does not recall their child’s first year in kindergarten? Oh no, not

again, here comes the umpteenth cold with runny nose, cough and fever. The

child is ill all through the long winter! Luckily, it gets better the second year

and the third will be weathered with maybe just one or two colds. By the time

school starts, the operational base for combating the viruses has grown rock

solid.

So what does “Immunity against coronavirus” really mean?

Does “immune” mean that we do not get infected at all?

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No. It means we don’t fall seriously ill.

And not getting sick does not rest solely on prevention of infection by

antibodies, but more on “putting out the fire”. When a new variant appears,

many people may get infected but because the fires are quickly extinguished,

they will not fall seriously ill. The relative few who fare worse do so because

the balance between attack and defence is heavily in favour of the virus. But

in the absence of pre-existing illness, the scales tip back again. The virus will

be overcome. As a rule, it is only for people with pre-existing conditions that

the virus may become the last straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.

This is why coronavirus infections run a mild or even symptom-free

course and why an epidemic with any “new” virus is never followed by a

second, more serious, wave.

Why do annual coronavirus epidemics end in summer? Well, just one

speculation. Over 50% of the northern European population becomes vitamin

D-deficient in the dark winter months. Possibly, replenishment of vitamin D

stores by sunshine and the shift of activities to outdoors are simple important

reasons.

What happens to the virus after an epidemic? It joins its relatives and

circulates with them in the population. Infections continue to occur but most

go unnoticed because of the vitalised immune system. Once in a while,

someone will get his summer flu. But such is life.

Can a similar pattern be expected with SARS-CoV-2?

The authors believe that is exactly what we have witnessed. 85–90% of the

SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals did not fall ill. Most probably, their

lymphocytes extinguished the fires in time to limit viral production. Put very

simply: the virus was a new variant and able to infect almost anyone. But

immunity was already widespread due to the presence of lymphocytes that

cross-recognised the virus.

Does proof exist that lymphocytes from unexposed individuals crossrecognise

SARS-CoV-2?

Yes. In a recent German study, lymphocytes from 185 blood samples

obtained between 2007 and 2019 were examined for cross-recognition of

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SARS-CoV-2. Positive results were found in no less than 70–80%, and this

applied to both helper and killer lymphocytes(210). A US study with

lymphocytes from 20 unexposed donors similarly reported the presence of

lymphocytes that were cross-reactive with the new virus(211). In these and

another Swedish study it was also found that even non-symptomatic or mild

SARS-CoV-2 infections provoked strong T-cell responses(212). We suspect

that these unusually vigorous T-cell responses to a first infection represent

classical booster phenomena occurring in pre-existing populations of reactive

T-lymphocytes.

Could the idea that lymphocytes mediate cross-immunity to SARS-CoV-2 be

tested?

The concept of lymphocyte-mediated herd immunity that we present follows

from the integration of latest scientific data(209–212) into the established

context of host immunity to viral infections. The idea can actually be put to

test. Thus, in a recent study, cynomolgus monkeys were successfully infected

with SARS-CoV-2(213). Although all animals shed the virus, not a single one

fell ill. Minor lesions were found in the lungs of two animals, attesting to the

fact that vigorous production of the virus had taken place.

In essence, these findings replicated what has been witnessed in healthy

humans. Repetition of the monkey experiment in animals depleted of

lymphocytes would show whether herd immunity had indeed derived from

the presence of the cells.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question

The development of vaccines against dreaded diseases such as smallpox,

diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis represented turning points in the history

of medicine. Vaccination against a number of further diseases followed

which today belong to the standard repertoire of preventive medicine. Now,

the most pressing issue arises whether a global vaccination programme is

needed to end the coronavirus crisis. This question is so important that a

debate urgently needs to be conducted to reach a global consensus on three

basic points.

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1. When is the development of a vaccine called for? We venture to

answer: when an infection regularly leads to severe illness and/or

serious sequelae in healthy individuals, as is not the case with SARSCoV-

2.

2. When would mass vaccination not be reasonable? We propose that

mass vaccination is not reasonable if a large part of the population is

already sufficiently protected against life-threatening disease, as is the

case for SARS-CoV-2.

3. When will vaccination likely be unsuccessful? We predict that

vaccination will fail when a virus co-existing worldwide with man and

animals continuously undergoes mutational change, and when

individuals become exposed to high doses of virus during spread of

the infection.

In the authors’ view, a global vaccination programme thus makes no sense.

The risks far outweigh any possible benefit right from the start.

Experts around the world express their concerns and warn of rushed

COVID-19 vaccines without sufficient safety guarantees(214,215).

Yet, researchers are currently working on more than 150 COVID-19

vaccine candidates(216), with some already in advanced clinical trials. The

aim of most vaccines is to achieve high levels of neutralising antibodies

against the binding spike proteins of the virus and cellular responses(217,218).

Four major strategies are being followed.

1. Inactivated or attenuated whole virus vaccines. Inactivated

vaccines require production of large quantities of the virus, which

need to be grown in chicken eggs or in immortalised cell lines. There

is always the risk that a virus batch will contain dangerous

contaminants and produce severe side effects. Moreover, the

possibility exists that vaccination may actually worsen the course of

subsequent infection(219), as has been observed in the past with

inactivated measles and respiratory syncytial virus vaccine(220,221).

Attenuated vaccines contain replicating viruses that have lost their

ability to cause disease. The classic example was the oral polio

vaccine that was in use for decades before tragic outbreaks of polio

occurred in Africa that were found to be caused not by wild virus, but

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by the oral vaccine(222).

2. Protein vaccines. These will contain the virus spike protein or

fragments thereof. Supplementation with immune stimulators,

adjuvants that may cause serious side-effects, is always necessary(217).

3. Viral vectors as gene-based vaccines. The principle here is to

integrate the relevant coronavirus gene into the gene of a carrier virus

(e.g. adenovirus) that infects our cells(217). Replication-defective

vectors are unable to amplify their genome and will deliver just one

copy of the vaccine gene into the cell. To bolster effectiveness,

attempts have been made to create replication-competent vaccines.

This was undertaken with the Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV. However,

viral multiplication caused severe side effects in at least 20% of the

vaccinated, including rash, vasculitis, dermatitis and arthralgia.

4. Gene-based vaccines. In these cases, the viral gene is delivered to the

cell either as DNA inserted into a plasmid or as mRNA that is directly

translated into protein following cell uptake.

A great potential danger of DNA-based vaccines is the integration of

plasmid DNA into the cell genome(223). Insertional mutagenesis

occurs rarely but can become a realistic danger when the number of

events is very large, i.e. as in mass vaccination of a population. If

insertion occurs in cells of the reproductive system, the altered genetic

information will be transmitted from mother to child. Other dangers of

DNA vaccines are production of anti-DNA antibodies and

autoimmune reactions(224).

Safety concerns linked to mRNA vaccines include systemic

inflammation and potential toxic effects(225).

A further immense danger looms that applies equally to mRNA-based

coronavirus vaccines. At some time during or after production of the

viral spike, waste products of the protein must be expected to become

exposed on the surface of targeted cells. The majority of healthy

individuals have killer lymphocytes that recognise these viral

products(210,211). It is inevitable that autoimmune attacks will be

mounted against the cells. Where, when, and with which effects this

might occur is entirely unknown. But the prospects are simply

terrifying.

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Yet, hundreds of volunteers who were never informed of these unavoidable

risks have already received injections of DNA and mRNA vaccines encoding

the spike protein of the virus, and many more are soon to follow. No genebased

vaccine has even received approval for human use, and the present

coronavirus vaccines have not undergone preclinical testing as normally

required by international regulations. Germany, a country whose populace

widely rejects genetic manipulation of food and opposes animal experiments,

now stands at the forefront of these genetic experiments on humans. Laws

and safety regulations have been bypassed in a manner that would, under

normal circumstances, never be possible. Is this perhaps why the government

still declares an “epidemic situation of national concern” to exist – in the

absence of serious new infections? For then the new German Infection

Protection Act empowers the government to make exceptions to the

provisions of the Medicinal Products Act, the medical device regulations, and

regulations on occupational safety and health. And this has given the green

light to the fast-track vaccine development project.

But the authors wonder whether the Infection Protection Act can go so far

as to permit genetic experiments to be conducted on humans who have not

been informed of the potential dangers.

Pandemic or no pandemic – the role of the WHO

Actually, have we not had a lighter version of pandemic-driven vaccination

hype before?

Exactly the same thing happened with the “swine flu” in 2009. Everyone

was told that a vaccine was desperately needed to stop the deadly pandemic.

Vaccines were then produced at miraculous speed – and sold en masse to

states around the world.

Prior to 2009, a pandemic required three criteria to be met(226):

The pathogen must be new

The pathogen must spread and cross continents rapidly

The pathogen must generally cause serious and often fatal disease

The swine flu turned out to meet the first two criteria, but not the third.

Because the call to declare a pandemic was very pressing, especially from the

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pharmaceutical industry, major financers of the WHO(227), the WHO cut the

Gordian knot with a stroke of genius. A pandemic, it declared, can take a

mild or serious course!

In 2010, the definition of a pandemic was simplified yet further as “the

worldwide spread of a new disease”. Flu and coronaviruses continuously

undergo mutation and it is to be expected that variants will occasionally

emerge that cause somewhat atypical disease that could then be dubbed as

“new”. The swine flu provided the stage for a first exercise in the

employment of panic-making strategy to handle a pandemic. A typical

headline: “Swine flu: the calm before the storm?”(228) appeared in December

of 2009 when it was clear that virtually no one was ill and the course of the

infection had been milder than previous waves of influenza. Still, virologists

warned of underestimating the “dangerous” virus: “If we look at this virus in

an animal experiment and compare it with preceding viruses, one sees that

the virus is not harmless at all! It is much more dangerous than the annual

H3N2-virus.”

Brilliant. But what does this have to do with human medicine? Which

prominent scientist spread this frightening conclusion with such conviction?

Ah yes, a certain Professor Drosten.

The article continues: When, in the coming Christmas days, the Germans

vigorously intermix their viruses, a second wave seems inevitable. This could

be considerably more severe than the first.

A second wave was predicted, with the medical health system being

hopelessly overwhelmed, says, not Professor Drosten for once, but Professor

Peters from the University of Münster. He feared that the number of beds in

intensive care units would be insufficient. Moreover, many patients would

need artificial respiration. Dramatic situations could be created in the

overwhelmed hospitals.

Are you also having déjà-vu right now?

A nationwide vaccination with the hastily produced and barely tested

H1N1 vaccine was recommended. 60 million doses of adjuvanted vaccine

were purchased for the German population. Non-adjuvanted vaccine was

obtained only for high members of the government(229).

Again, this all happened when it was clear that the swine flu pandemic

had run a light course. The majority of the public decided wisely against the

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senseless vaccination. What was the end of the story? Trucks loaded with

over 50 million expired vaccine doses were disposed of at the Magdeburg

waste-to-energy plant. As was taxpayer’s money … no, actually not, the

money just changed hands. Estimated profit for the pharmaceutical industry:

18 billion US dollars(230).

Actually, that was not quite the end of the fiasco. Almost forgotten today

is that one adjuvanted swine flu vaccine caused side effects that ruined

thousands of lives(231,232). The side effects were caused because antibodies

against the virus cross-reacted with a target in the brains of the victims. The

damage was the result of a classic antibody-driven autoimmune disease. The

side-effect was relatively rare. The incidence was probably something in the

order of 1 in 10,000, but the outcome was tragic because so many millions

received the vaccine, essentially for nothing, since the infection generally ran

a mild course. In retrospect, the risk-benefit ratio of swine flu vaccination

must be admitted to have been disastrous. This is what happens when mass

vaccination is undertaken without need.

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8

Failure of the public media

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been

fooled. (MARK TWAIN)

In a working democracy, the media should provide the public with truthful

news, foster opinion formation through critique and discussion, and oversee

the action of the government as the “fourth public authority” with impartiality

and autonomy. What we have experienced during the coronavirus pandemic

is just the opposite(233).

All public broadcasters became servile mouthpieces of the government.

The press was no better. Regard for the truth, protection of human dignity,

service to the public – the Press Codex disappeared from the scene.

Worldwide.

Where was truthful information to be found?

And where were critical discussions of any information?

We were presented with disturbing pictures and frightening numbers –

morning, noon and night. Someone was always issuing a warning somewhere

– Drosten, Wieler, Spahn, Merkel. No one in the media ever critically

questioned these warnings or investigated their truth.

Scaring the population seemed to be the sole agenda(234). Reports on

millions of fatal casualties were presented without mention that they were

based on model calculations. No mention was made that Ferguson, the

producer of these numbers, had always been completely wrong in his

numerous doom-forecasting predictions.

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At the same time, the media abstained from questioning how the RKI

numbers were compiled, what they meant and what could, or rather could

not, be gathered from them. Instead, the figures were uncritically accepted

and used to unsettle the public.

Where was the open discussion?

It could hardly have been more monotonous. Always the same “experts” – of

which there were apparently only two in Germany. Why was there never a

discussion between the government advisers and the critics like Dr Wolfgang

Wodarg, a lung specialist and board member of the anti-corruption

organisation “Transparency International” Germany? An open and objective

exchange: Drosten and Wieler and Bhakdi and Wodarg together at a roundtable

talk. Well, it did not hinge on Bhakdi or Wodarg or many other critics

of the government course. It was simply not wanted by the government.

There was much talk about how the Swedish way without lockdown was

being criticised by Swedish experts. That the German way was also

massively criticised by many knowledgeable citizens in their own country

was never a subject of discussion.

Besides Wodarg, the immunologist and toxicologist Professor Stefan

Hockertz pointed out early on that the seriousness of SARS-CoV-2 should be

assessed similar to that of the common flu viruses, and that the implemented

measures were completely exaggerated. Also involved was Christof

Kuhbandner, a professor of psychology, who reiterated several times that

there was no scientific basis for these measures(235). How could he know,

people asked? The interesting thing is that any observant person with a

fundamental understanding of number theory can take the time to analyse the

statistics and come to the same conclusion. There are topics that span across

multiple disciplines. Dr Bodo Schiffmann, an ear-nose-and throat specialist

from Sinsheim, did the job that the journalists should have done. Almost

daily he posted videos on his YouTube channel with indefatigable energy and

persistence to inform the public on the latest developments and to explain the

numbers and why they were wrong.

The critical voices in this country were not alone, there were many others

worldwide(236,237). Was the public notified? It seemed to have been an easy

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and successful strategy to simply not report these things; but such a stratagem

should have no place in an enlightened democratic state.

This synchronised “system journalism” was obviously apparent to

experts. Professor Otfried Jarren voiced his criticism in the

Deutschlandfunk(238). “For weeks now, the same male and female experts

and politicians make their appearance and are presented as the “crisis

managers”. But nobody asks who has which expertise and who appears in

which role. Furthermore, there are no debates among these experts, but only

individual statements.”

The numbers game

You can do a lot with numbers. Above all, you can make people afraid.

Example 1: infection rate. The infection rate was continuously increasing,

soon our health care system would collapse – what they didn’t say was that

the number of recovered people was also continuously increasing and that

there were no grounds for such an assumption. That remained a secret.

Example 2: mortality rate. “The US had the highest number of deaths

worldwide.” On May 28, the nightly news reports showed images of the

deceased: “They all died from COVID-19. With more than 100,000 deaths,

the US is mourning the highest number of victims worldwide.” Now we know

that a big fraction of these poor people did not die from COVID-19, but

rather from the measures taken against COVID-19.

Also, the US is the third largest country in the world. So perhaps it would

make more sense to look at the number of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants?

This number was relatively low – very much below the numbers from Spain

or Italy. Was that not worth mentioning? Furthermore, a good journalist

could also point out that the “number of deaths” is not an absolute value, not

the least because the counting methods are different for every country.

The country with the highest mortality rate per 100,000 citizens was

Belgium. The numbers were much higher than in Spain or Italy. Was the

situation there really so dramatic? No. As already shown, the basic problem

related to the method of counting(45). If such facts are not reported by the

media, then of course the numbers cannot be correctly assessed.

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Defamation and discrediting

When critical voices were heard, immediate action was taken to silence them

by defamation. The lung specialist Wolfgang Wodarg was the first to raise

his voice. The defamation campaign that followed was unparalleled.

As soon as we had published our first YouTube videos warning about the

excessive measures and pointed out that Italy might have other aggravating

factors, e.g. the high levels of air pollution), there was the first “facts-check”.

Under the headline “Why Sucharit Bhakdi’s numbers are wrong”, an article

was quickly put into the “ZDF Mediathek”. Nils Metzger supposedly gets to

the bottom if this(239): “Biology professor downplays coronavirus danger”. A

good starting point since the title immediately suggested that we were not

dealing with a medical doctor who had seen countless patients and was a

specialist in infection epidemiology, but with a biologist. And at some point

the classic situation whereby things are put into your mouth that you have

never said – just to discredit you. Metzger: “To present the factor air

pollution as the sole trigger for the crisis – as Sucharit Bhakdi did in his

video – is unscientific.” Naturally it was never once claimed anywhere that

the high number of victims was solely due to air pollution, because that

would indeed have been unscientific. This statement was a blatant lie. But

ARD/ZDF believers would hardly have made the effort to check the “real”

facts. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who think that things must

be true when they are reported by the public broadcasters. Sadly, that is not

the case.

Censorship of opinions

Article 5 of the German constitution:

Article 5 [Freedom of expression]

(1) Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his

opinions in speech, writing, and pictures and to inform himself without

hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and

freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed.

There shall be no censorship.

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There is no place for critical opinions in either the public press or the public

broadcasts. The only alternative was by means of the social media, where the

public could be informed via YouTube videos. But even here, freedom of

expression is merely lip service. You can find quite a few videos that get

away unpunished even though they promote lies, hate and agitation.

YouTube apparently has no problem with those. However, an interview with

the Austrian TV station Servus TV about coronavirus was deleted. This

happened to a lot of videos that were critically involved in this topic. Susan

Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, said during an interview(240): “Everything that

violates the recommendations of the WHO would constitute a breach against

our guidelines. Therefore, deletion is another important part of our

guidelines.” The WHO that was responsible for the fake swine flu pandemic

in 2009; The WHO that overestimated the COVID-19 mortality on a large

scale, and drove the world into a crisis with this and other misjudgements?

This same WHO that now sets the standard on what can be said?

WhatsApp reacted as well. The forward function was restricted in order to

contain the distribution of Fake News during the coronavirus crisis. But who

exactly determines if news is fake? What if our own government distributes

Fake News? On March 14, the Ministry of Health warned via Twitter:

Attention FAKE NEWS! It is claimed and rapidly distributed that the Federal Ministry

of Health/Federal government will soon announce further massive restrictions to

public life. This is NOT true!

Two days later, on March 16, further massive restrictions to public life were

announced.

The English Professor John Oxford, one of the best-known virologists

worldwide, said the following about the coronavirus crisis(241): “Personally, I

would say the best advice is to spend less time watching TV news which is

sensational and not very good. Personally, I view this COVID outbreak as

akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. We are suffering from a media

epidemic!”

The German “good citizen” and the failure of politics

It is easier to believe a lie that you have heard a thousand times than to

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believe a truth that you have only heard once (ABRAHAM LINCOLN)

We had a division within the country once before – during the refugee issue.

The opinions varied widely and there was talk about “good citizens”, the dogooders

and “angry citizens”, the not so do-gooders.

This time it is a lot worse. Friendships break apart. People face each other

with irreconcilable differences. They talk about each other, against each other

– but not with each other. Some are driven by worries about collateral

damages; others see themselves as advocates for the rights of the elderly who

are to be sacrificed for the economy.

Here is a commentary from a local paper after Chancellor Angela Merkel

addressed the nation with the decision to extend the lockdown:

“I was very relieved. Relieved, that we apparently did everything right

with our social distancing, our sacrifice by not meeting friends or visiting

family and all of that. I was very relieved that we will continue this in the

future”. Sadly, this is not an individual opinion. The media epidemic claimed

a lot of victims.

Eminent psychologist, Professor Gerd Gigerenzer, addressed this

issue(234):

“It is easy to trigger a fear of shock risks in people. These are situations

where a lot of people die suddenly in a very short time. This new coronavirus

could be such a shock risk, just the same as plane crashes, acts of terror or

other pandemics. If, however, deaths are spread out over a year, it hardly

scares us even if the number is significantly higher.”

Indeed. Without any measures having had any effect at all and at the end

of the epidemic, we are looking at far fewer than 10,000 so called

“coronavirus deaths” in Germany (Worldometers, July 2020).

In Germany, approximately 950,000 people die each year. Of those, more

than a third (350,000) die of cardiovascular diseases and 230,000 of

cancer(242).

Many of these 950,000 deaths could be prevented by information and

education, starting in schools and continuing for the general public, about the

importance of exercise and healthy diets, about the dangers of obesity and

many other issues. We could prevent thousands of deaths each year. And we

might also have fewer deaths from respiratory diseases, whereby a small

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virus would not break the camel’s back, because that back would not be

strained to the breaking point. This applies not only to the coronaviruses but

to many other viruses and bacteria that have always done that and will

continue to do so in the future.

Why did our politicians fail?

After he had understood everything, a colleague exclaimed: “But how can

that be? It either means that our government and their advisers are

completely ignorant or incompetent – or, if they are not, there MUST be some

kind of intention behind it. How else can you possibly explain all this?”

Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from

1974 to 1982, was one of the last German politicians with class. He once

said: “The stupidity of governments should never be underestimated.” He

was right, of course, but THIS stupid? Really? One cannot and does not want

to believe that. Therefore, that only leaves the second question – what is the

intention behind all of this? And now politicians are wondering why

“conspiracy theorists” are springing up like mushrooms. Why did our

government ignore other opinions and make decisions haphazardly and

without a solid basis? Why did our government not act in the general interest

and for the good of the German people?

According to Johann Giesecke, politicians wanted to use the pandemic to

advance their own positions and were perfectly willing to implement

measures that were not scientifically substantiated(196). “Politicians want to

demonstrate their capacity to act, the capacity for decision making and most

of all their strength. My best example for this is that in Asian countries the

sidewalks are sprayed with chlorine. This is completely useless but it shows

that the state and the authorities are doing something, and that is very

important to politicians.” There are some indications from Austria that he

could be right in this:

During their crisis management, the Austrian government did not trust in

the expertise of their own advisers. An interview transcript later revealed that

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was counting on fears rather than explanations

when implementing the rigid measures, which made it easier to get the public

to accept social and economic impositions(243).

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The strategy document of the German Ministry of the Interior reveals that

the same agenda had been premeditated in this country(154).

Why was there so little criticism of the government’s course from the

economy?

The stock market professional, Dirk Müller, gave a persuasive explanation

why the pandemic was a blessing for many(244): in short, because it is always

the same story: Big companies win, small ones lose. Big corporations will

survive while many small and midsize companies as well as private

businesses will perish. Finance professor, Stefan Homburg, called it “the

largest redistribution of wealth in peacetime”. The loser would be the

taxpayer(245).

Why was there so little criticism from the scientists’ ranks?

Let’s not be naïve. Science is just as corrupt as politics. The European Union

provided 10 million euro for research on the novel coronavirus. Every Tom,

Dick and Harry who wanted to research this virus could apply for financing.

So very soon now we will have a lot of, possibly useless, information about

SARS-CoV-2 and under these circumstances it is not exactly helpful to point

out the relative harmlessness of the virus.

Conclusions:

the government is committed to serving the good of the citizens

the opposition is committed to oversee government action

the press is committed to inform the public by critical and truthful

reporting

those in the know (in this case physicians and scientists) are obligated to

raise their voice and demand evidence-based decisions

Every citizen who did not attend to his duties is an accomplice to the

collateral damage of the coronavirus crisis.

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9

Quo vadis?

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all

the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time (ABRAHAM

LINCOLN)

The relevant authorities, our politicians and their advisers played truly

inglorious roles in the handling of new and supposedly dangerous infections

of the last decades, from BSE, swine flu, EHEC to COVID-19. At no point

did they learn from their mistakes, and this diminishes the hope that it will be

any different in the future. On the contrary! While we “only” redistributed

taxpayers’ money to the pharmaceutical industry during the swine flu, this

time livelihoods were destroyed, the constitution was trampled on and the

population basically deprived of their fundamental rights: freedom of speech

and opinion, freedom of movement, freedom of relocation, freedom of

assembly, freedom of actively practicing your religion, freedom to practice

your occupation and make a living.

Anchored in the constitution is the principle of proportionality: the State’s

interference with basic rights must be appropriate to reach the aspired goal.

And last but not least: the dignity of mankind must never be violated.

This ceased to be the case, to the detriment of democracy and civilisation.

It has been almost 90 years since the time in Germany when critical and

free journalism was abolished and the media transformed into the extended

arm of the state.

It has been almost 90 years since the time when freedom was abolished

and opinions of the public were forced into the political line.

It has been almost 90 years since the last media-driven mass hysteria.

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If we have learned just one thing from the darkest times of our German

history, then surely this: We must never again be indifferent and look the

other way. Especially not when the government suspends our fundamental

democratic rights. This time, it was only a virus that knocked on our door, but

look what we had to go through as a consequence:

Media-fuelled mass hysteria

Arbitrary political decisions

Massive restrictions of fundamental rights

Censorship of freedom of expression

Enforced conformity of the media

Defamation of dissidents (the differently minded)

Denunciation

Dangerous human experiments

If that does not remind you of a dictatorship then you must have been sound

asleep during your history lessons. The things that remain with us are deep

concern and fear. Because so many intelligent and educated people became

like lemmings within a short three months, willing to obey the demands and

commands of the world elite.

The renowned virologist Pablo Goldschmidt said(246): “We are all locked up.

In Nice there are drones that impose fines on people. How far has this

monitoring gotten? You have to read Hannah Arendt and look very closely at

the origins of totalitarianism at that time. If you scare the population, you

can do anything with it.”

Apparently, he is right. One thing is clear: there are many things that

should be worked through and we should all insist upon this happening. The

coronaviruses have retreated for this season, the issue is disappearing from

the headlines and from the public sphere – and soon it will be gone from

peoples’ memories.

If we, the people, do not demand that all transgressions of the coronavirus

politics are addressed, then those in power will be able to cover it all with a

cloak of concealment.

There is always the chance of some other threat knocking on our door.

The only positive thing that has come from this is that very many people in

our country have woken up. Many have realised that the mainstream media

88

and politicians can agree to support each other on things that are not good –

and even evil. One can only hope that the admonishing voices of reason will

in future not be silenced by the dark forces on this earth.

89

10

A farewell

Respiratory viruses are a major cause of mortality worldwide, with an

estimated 2–3 million deaths annually. Many viruses including influenza A

viruses, rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza

viruses, adenoviruses and coronaviruses are responsible. Now, a new member

has joined the list. As with the others, the SARS-CoV-2 virus particularly

endangers the elderly with serious pre-existing conditions. Depending on the

country and region, 0.02 to 0.4% of these infections are fatal, which is

comparable to a seasonal flu. SARS-CoV-2 therefore must not be assigned

any special significance as a respiratory pathogen.

The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was never an epidemic of national concern.

Implementing the exceptional regulations of the Infection Protection Act

were and still are unfounded. In mid-April 2020, it was entirely evident that

the epidemic was coming to an end and that the inappropriate preventive

measures were causing irreparable collateral damage in all walks of life. Yet,

the government continues its destructive crusade against the spook virus,

thereby utterly disregarding the fundaments of true democracy.

And as you read these lines, human experiments are underway with genebased

vaccines whose ominous dangers have never been revealed to the

thousands of unknowing volunteers.

We are bearing witness to the downfall and destruction of our heritage, to

the end of the age of enlightenment.

May this little book awaken homo sapiens of this earth to rise and live up

to their name. And put an end to this senseless self-destruction.

90

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About the Authors

Karina Reiss was born in Germany and studied biology at the University of Kiel where she received her

PhD in 2001. She became assistant professor in 2006 and associate professor in 2008 at the University

of Kiel. She has published over sixty articles in the fields of cell biology, biochemistry, inflammation,

and infection, which have gained international recognition and received prestigious honors and awards.

Sucharit Bhakdi was born in Washington, DC, and educated at schools in Switzerland, Egypt, and

Thailand. He studied medicine at the University of Bonn in Germany, where he received his MD in

106

1970. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics

in Freiburg from 1972 to 1976, and at The Protein Laboratory in Copenhagen from 1976 to 1977. He

joined the Institute of Medical Microbiology at Giessen University in 1977 and was appointed associate

professor in 1982. He was named chair of Medical Microbiology at the University of Mainz in 1990,

where he remained until his retirement in 2012. Dr. Bhakdi has published over three hundred articles in

the fields of immunology, bacteriology, virology, and parasitology, for which he has received

numerous awards and the Order of Merit of Rhineland-Palatinate. Sucharit Bhakdi and his wife, Karina

Reiss, live with their three-year-old son, Jonathan Atsadjan, in a small village near the city of Kiel.

107

Table of Contents

Title Page 2

Copyright 3

Dedication 5

Acknowledgements 6

Contents 7

1. Preface 10

How everything started 11

Coronaviruses: the basics 11

China: the dread threat emerges 12

2. How dangerous is the new “killer” virus? 13

Compared to conventional coronaviruses 13

Regarding the number of deaths 14

How does the new coronavirus compare with influenza viruses? 21

The situation in Italy, Spain, England and the USA 25

3. Corona-situation in Germany 30

The German narrative 31

The pandemic is declared 32

Nationwide lockdown 35

April 2020: no reason to prolong the lockdown 38

The lockdown is extended 39

Mandatory masks 39

Last argument for extension of lockdown: the impending second

wave? 40

Relaxing the restrictions with the emergency brake applied 42

4. Too much? Too little? What happened? 45

Overburdened hospitals 45

Shortage of ventilators? 48

Were the measures appropriate? 49

108

What did the government do right? 49

What did the government do wrong? 50

What should our government have done? 50

5. Collateral damage 51

Economic consequences 52

Disruption of medical care 53

Drugs and suicide 53

Heart attack and stroke 54

Other ailments 54

Further consequences for the elderly 55

Innocent and vulnerable: our children 56

Consequences for the world’s poorest 58

6. Did other countries fare better – Sweden as a role model? 60

Are there benefits of lockdown measures? 62

So which measures would have actually been correct? 67

7. Is vaccination the universal remedy? 68

On the question of immunity against COVID-19 69

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question 73

Pandemic or no pandemic – the role of the WHO 76

8. Failure of the public media 79

Where was truthful information to be found? 79

Where was the open discussion? 80

The numbers game 81

Defamation and discrediting 82

Censorship of opinions 82

The German “good citizen” and the failure of politics 83

Why did our politicians fail? 85

9. Quo vadis? 87

10. A farewell 90

References 91

109

About the Authors 106

110

Artículo urgente, pues se está presionando al autor para que no pueda seguir difundiendo información “underground”, pues en tiempos de dis – topía corona, se lo presenta como subversivo, lo cual , según lo políticamente correcto, no puede ni es aconsejable, ser tolerado ni menos “aireado públicamente”lo que argumenta Ernst Wolff.

NOTA, IMPORTANTE, DE INTROFILOSOFIA: Hemos sabido que KenFM anunció hoy martes (27 de octubre de 2020) que cierra su redacción y estudios, y se va de Berlín, porque cada día las trabas institucionales y privadas son mayores en la capital metróploii. Ya tiene problemas en conseguir alguien que esté dispuesto a alquilarle espacios, está siendo censurado en el mundo digital; en los canales digitales y las “benditas redes sociales”, y denuncia que autores analistas como Wolff, Schreyer y otros, y la difusión de sus entrevistas y textos están siendo censurados.

MAS INFORMACIÓN DE INTERÉS SOBRE EL ASUNTO DE LA CENSURA,ETC., Y POR SORPRENDENTE QUE PAREZCA, LEEMOS ALGO APARENTEMENTE DIFÍCIL DE CREER:

La conferencia magistral de Ernst Wolff programada para ayer, 26 de octubre(2020), en el foro de la organización internacional altermundista “Attac” (Foro Porto Alegre y “otro mundo es posible”) fue cancelada por la organización anfitriona con el argumento de que:

“Attac tiene que cancelar lamentablemente este evento, pues en los planteamiento de Ernst Wolff se hace cada vez más evidente que él considera posible que las medidas masivas adoptadas por Corona son una agenda manejada por una élite de consorcios y finanzas. Attac considra esta manera de ver las cosas como falsa, dañina e indiscutible, y no quiere verse asociada con ella.”

El título de la conferencia magistral desinvitada era: The Great Reset: la agenda del complejo digital-financiero”.

FUENTES ORIGINALES:

KenFM

26 de octubre de 2020 (trad. en español/ensayo original en alemán: 5 de abril de 2020)

https://kenfm.de/raid-in-the-shadows-by-ernst-wolff/

[Ernst Wolff, “Raubzug im Schatten”, Portal KenFM, 26 de octubre de 2020. <https://kenfm.de/raubzug-im-schatten-von-ernst-wolff/> y

(Portal Rubikon) <https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/raubzug-im-schatten-2

Operación de saqueo en las sombras | Por Ernst Wolff

Mientras que el mundo entero está mirando embelesado el evento de Corona, los “hedge funds” (fondos de cobertura) están obteniendo enormes beneficios. Impresión exclusiva de un fragmento del libro, Wolff de Wall Street por Ernst Wolff.[Ernst Wolff, Der Wolff von Wall Street, ProMedia Verlag, Viena, octubre de 2020.]

No sólo debemos prestar atención a las cuestiones que se nos imponen en todas partes, sino sobre todo a las que obviamente nos están ocultando. Corona es, además de otras funciones para la élite del dinero y el poder, una enorme táctica de distracción. Mucho antes de 2020, se estaban produciendo en el fondo acontecimientos que podrían resultar muy peligrosos para la prosperidad mundial y la justicia social. La mayoría de las personas deben darse cuenta ahora de que la miseria social, sobre todo el continuo descenso de su nivel de vida que se viene produciendo desde hace años, pero también el declive cultural y el creciente sometimiento de la sociedad a las estructuras políticas autoritarias, tiene sus causas en el actual sistema financiero.

Hoy es domingo, 5 de abril de 2020, y mientras el mundo mira embelesado la propagación de la pandemia de Corona, en el sistema financiero mundial están ocurriendo cosas a gran escala. Desde hace algunas semanas, hemos visto a los “hedge funds” o fondos de cobertura utilizar su poder de mercado para exprimir el sistema existente en su beneficio con la ayuda de los gobiernos y los bancos centrales, para tirar de la alfombra bajo los pies de su mayor competidor -el sector de la pequeña y mediana empresa- y para tomar todas las medidas concebibles para maximizar los beneficios del ahora inevitable colapso económico y financiero.

A menos que alguien los detenga, muy probablemente pronto veremos cómo los fondos de cobertura -apoyados por los políticos y los bancos centrales- nos impondrán un nuevo sistema, adaptado a la medida de la élite financiera y a sus necesidades.

Para entender el trasfondo de este trastorno histórico, es importante alejarse de la idea errónea, que es actualmente la más extendida y la más apoyada por los medios de comunicación, de que todo esto tiene algo que ver con el nuevo coronavirus. El hecho es que los problemas del sector financiero existían mucho antes de la pandemia y habrían tenido consecuencias fatales incluso sin ella. El virus sólo sirve como una ayuda bienvenida a los que dominan el sector financiero. Lleva varias semanas atrayendo la atención de la gente, lo que permite a la élite financiera seguir su propio programa en gran medida sin ser perturbada.

Para entender esta agenda, hay que echar un vistazo al reciente desarrollo de nuestro sistema financiero. Todo comenzó con la desregulación, es decir, la abolición progresiva de las restricciones legales a los bancos. En el curso de esta desregulación fueron permitidos los fondos de cobertura, es decir, las empresas de gestión de activos cuya clientela está formada casi exclusivamente por los denominados „individuos de alto valor neto“ [high-net-worth-individuals], los ultra-ricos de este mundo. Estos fondos de cobertura pueden operar como los bancos, pero no están sujetos a sus restricciones legales. Su autorización fue un regalo histórico para la industria bancaria, ya que permitió a los bancos crear ellos mismos fondos de cobertura y así eludir todas las restricciones legales que se les imponían.

La nueva era del sistema financiero anunciada de esta manera se conoce también como la „era de las langostas“. Los fondos de cobertura no tienen una estrategia fija, sino que están constantemente rastreando el sistema económico y financiero en busca de oportunidades para obtener los mayores beneficios posibles en el menor tiempo posible, y son extremadamente despiadados al hacerlo. De esta manera, se han hecho cada vez más grandes y poderosos desde el cambio de milenio, y su poder financiero hoy en día excede incluso el de los grandes bancos, que ahora están en gran parte en sus manos. Pero este poder históricamente único también trae consigo un problema.

El hecho de que los fondos de cobertura se hayan sometido a una gran parte del sistema los ha hecho altamente dependientes de él, lo que significa que si el sistema es inestable, entonces los fondos de cobertura también lo son.

Y eso es exactamente lo que estamos experimentando. En las últimas semanas y meses se ha producido una concentración de crisis que han sacudido el sistema económico y financiero mundial hasta sus cimientos. En primer lugar, en la segunda mitad del año pasado, se produjo una recesión en muchos países. Normalmente no se trata de una tragedia, pero en este caso la recesión ha golpeado a un sistema extremadamente frágil que se ha mantenido vivo artificialmente durante unos doce años. Además, en enero de 2020, China, el motor más importante tanto de la economía mundial como del comercio mundial, falló e interrumpió las cadenas de suministro y comercio en todo el mundo. Finalmente, Arabia Saudita también provocó que el precio del petróleo se derrumbara dramáticamente a principios de marzo.

En conjunto, estos fueron tres golpes que habrían mandado a cualquier sistema económico y financiero normal al suelo como un boxeador. Pero como el sistema actual es particularmente vulnerable debido a la política monetaria laxa del pasado, actualmente se parece más a un boxeador que no sólo ha sido enviado a los tableros sino que está siendo contado y está intentando en vano volver a ponerse en pie a pesar de todos los gritos de su entrenador.

El papel del entrenador recae en el banco central de EE. UU., la Reserva Federal (FED), que ha intentado todo en las últimas semanas y meses para estabilizar el sistema, pero cuyos esfuerzos han sido infructuosos, y que ahora sólo puede utilizar aquellos medios que a la larga la destruirán. En términos concretos: La FED se ve obligada a bombear más y más dinero en el sistema, aunque esta inundación de dinero seguramente terminará en hiperinflación y destruirá el sistema monetario existente.

El público internacional no se entera casi nada de todo esto. En cambio, los medios de comunicación y los políticos están centrando la atención de la gente exclusivamente en la pandemia Corona, dando así a los fondos de cobertura la oportunidad de utilizar la crisis actual en su propio beneficio, a pesar de las enormes pérdidas y de saquear el sistema en decadencia con el apoyo activo de los bancos centrales. ¿De qué otra forma se puede explicar,

  • que los fondos de cobertura, que han tenido problemas por la especulación desenfrenada, son apoyados por los bancos centrales con cientos de miles de millones y billones? 
  • que la Reserva Federal y el BCE han contratado un fondo de cobertura, a saber, BlackRock, para asesorar y organizar esta distribución? 
  • que grandes partes de la clase media están arruinadas deliberadamente por el cierre y se enfrentan a la alternativa de declararse en bancarrota o unirse a compañías de plataforma, detrás de las cuales están los grandes fondos de cobertura? 
  • que a las grandes corporaciones apoyadas por fondos de cobertura, como Amazon, se les permite seguir operando a pesar del cierre, contratar nuevo personal y obtener enormes beneficios, mientras que a los pequeños empresarios se les prohíbe ejercer su profesión? 
  • que las empresas que han hecho subir el precio de sus acciones en el pasado mediante la recompra de su propias acciones y, por lo tanto, han aportado enormes sumas de dinero para los fondos de cobertura, reciben ahora miles de millones de ayuda con el dinero de los impuestos? 

La lista podría continuar a voluntad y llevaría a la misma conclusión una y otra vez: Ninguna de estas medidas sirve a la mayoría de la población trabajadora y ninguna de ellas ayuda a estabilizar el sistema actual. Por el contrario, las medidas están acelerando su ocaso y ayudando a los que actualmente lo están saqueando a estar en primera línea cuando sea relanzado.

Sin embargo, dado que este nuevo comienzo traerá consigo, sin duda, un desempleo masivo, el fin de grandes sectores de las clases medias, una drástica reducción del nivel de vida de la mayoría de la población y una explosión adicional de la desigualdad social, es de esperar que haya resistencia por parte de los afectados y, como respuesta, medidas represivas por parte de los políticos.

Debería llevar a la reflexión el que precisamente esas medidas – bloqueo de contactos entre las personas, prohibición de reuniones, restricciones de viaje y cierre de fronteras – ya se han introducido, con el pretexto de proteger a la población de una pandemia, pero típicamente por los mismos políticos que, en el pasado, han hecho todo lo posible por socavar nuestra atención sanitaria mediante medidas de austeridad siempre nuevas.

Así fue siempre el modelo de trabajo periodístico de Gregorio Selser, el gran politólogo, historiador y periodista argentino, exiliado en México.Un artículo como muestra, y en honor a sus memoria y su inmensa obra

NOTA DE INTROFILOSOFIA: Este artículo, elegido como muestra, lo ponemos aquí para que quienes lo leyeren , se den cuenta de los profundos cambios que ha sufrido el periodismo, hasta el presente, desde el fallecimiento de este gran periodista , historiador y analista de la Historia y sucesos políticos, económicos, sociales, de Hispanoamérica, o como él mismo gustaba decir: Nuestra América, en clara referencia a la distancia , muchas veces demostrada históricamente, tan profunda entre la América Hispana y los Estados Unidos de Norte América, y de otros Estados, como podría ser Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña.

Para mayor información y materiales disponibles en torno a la magna obra de Gregorio Selser, recomendamos consultar la página on Line de CAMeNA ( en este mismo momento (fines de agosto de 2020) constato que el enlace al Archivo Marta y Gregorio Selser, no se encuentra en donde estaba hasta hace poco, desde la web de CAMeNA- incrustada desde la web de la Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México , UACM-, por lo cual, mientras logramos conocer lo que sucede, sugerimos, desde introfilosofia, consultar algunos de sus textos, en este sitio): https://nuso.org/autor/gregorio-selser/

Prensa Latina – México

Gregorio Selser, con su compañera , Marta Ventura de Selser, siempre activa colaboradora en su invaluable trabajo y su legado para todos los estudiosos y amantes de Hispanoamérica y sus luchas por la libertad y el mayor avance posible en lo social, político, y económico de sus millones de personas.

El Día – México

2-4-83

TITULO: Honduras: “Time” y “Times” coinciden en lo de las bases de somocistas.

AUTOR: GREGORIO SELSER

El semanario Time, en su edición de fecha antedatada del próximo lunes (George Russell, Bernard Diederich y James Willwert, “Nicaragua̓s Elusive War. A guerilla struggle raises charges of covert U. S. involvement”, 4 de abril de l983, pp. 24-25), coincide en lo fundamental con el periódico The New York times Stephen Kinzer, “At a Border Camp in Honduras, Anti-Sandinists Are Ware of Visit”, 28 de marzo de 1983, pp. 1 y 3) en lo de revelar, y sin medias tintas ni referencias ambiguas, en lo que no es un secreto ni en Washington ni en Centroamérica: Honduras continúa siendo -como lo es desde la primera mitad de l982- la base de operaciones y de lanzamiento de mercenarios de distintas nacionalidades, en contra del gobierno revolucionario de Nicaragua.

Tiene mayor ventaja en cuanto al aporte de datos específicos la crónica de Stephen Kinzer, despachada el 27 de marzo desde Matasano, Honduras, enriquecida con un mapa ad hoc:

“Nicaragüenses descriptos como insurgentes que combaten para a derrocar al gobierno sandinista de Managua parecen estar operando desde un campamento situado en los montes cercanos a este caserío próximo a la frontera. El campamento, hacia el cual un reportero fue conducido el sábado (26 de marzo) por resientes locales, está en la provincia (departamento) de El Paraíso, aproximadamente a una milla de un polvoriento camino que corre desde la fronteriza población de Cifuentes hasta la principal ciudad de la región, Danlí. Está ubicada a unas ocho millas de la frontera con Nicaragua si uno hace el recorrido a pie, de acuerdo con los que residen en las cercanías.

“La base está conformada por más de una docena de grandes tiendas de campaña, instalada cerca de una cabaña de adobe repleta de cajas de madera sin abrir, indicadoras de que su contenido es el de armas fabricadas en Estados Unidos. De acuerdo con los rótulos en inglés que ostentan las cajas, su contenido incluye granadas de fragmentación y proyectiles de morteros. La ubicación de la base es conocida por algunos soldados hondureños en el área, la que parece estar operando con su aquiescencia.

“Honduras ha negado repetidamente la existencia de tales cam­pamentos. En una declaración de la semana pasada el Gobierno afir­mó: ‘Es absolutamente falso que guerrillas antisandinistas tengan bases en Honduras o que hayan usado su territorio para lanzar ata­ques contra el. régimen del vecino país̓. En la misma declaración, Honduras reiteró su oferta de ‘someterse a una supervisión internacional seria y abierta para demostrar que en su territorio no hay bandas armadas o facciones hostiles a cualquier país o gobierno̓.

“Sin embargo, dos soldados hondureños estacionados en las cercanías, afirmaron que ellos y sus camaradas compartían ‘un sentimiento de fraternidad̓ con la gente del campamento, a la que describieron como insurgentes antisandinistas, por lo que en consecuencia les ayudaban a obtener comida y otros elementos. Añadieron que ignoraban desde cuándo estaba en operaciones el campamento, pero dijeron que ya existía cuando fueron asignados al área, en diciembre (de 1982).

“Interrogado la semana pasada respecto de las acusaciones nicaragüenses de que los Estados Unidos respaldaban la lucha in­surgente para derrocar al gobierno sandinista, el embajador John D. Negroponte respondió: ‘No voy a hacer comentarios sobre histo­rias hipotéticas respecto de acusaciones de que nosotros estamos involucrados de alguna manera con los antisandinístas̓. Mr. Negroponte no estaba hoy disponible para ser consultado, pero el subjefe de la misión diplomática, Shepard Lowman, dijo que él no estaba ‘en condiciones de prestarle ayuda en esa materia̓. Tampoco estu­vieron disponibles funcionarios del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Honduras.

“Para llegar hasta el campamento desde el camino, los visitan­tes deben abrir un claro en la espesura y cruzar un campo donde pasta el ganado. De acuerdo con los soldados y vecinos, ese campo es de propiedad de una compañía mantequillera hondureña. Al caer la noche, el sábado, nuestro automóvil que marchaba hacia el campamento fue detenido por un guardia uniformado que portaba un rifle Ak-47 (de fabricación rusa, un arma standard fácilmente comprable en el mercado negro, del mismo modo que ciertas armas estadunidenses. Después de que el guardia fue persuadido de permitir el paso del coche, pudimos ingresar en el campamento.

“Unos quince hombres y una mujer en uniforme, junto con varios hombres y mujeres en prendas civiles, vagaban en los cercanías de la barraca que sirve como depósito de provisiones del campamento. Portaban una variedad de armas automáticas. En la entrada un arma lanzagranadas M-79 fabricada en Estados Unidos estaba apoyado sobre algunas cajas cerradas que indicaban, en idioma inglés, que contenían proyectiles de morteros.

“Los hombres fueron reacios a responder preguntas, alegando que su jefe no estaba en la base y que se había ido por una semana como mínimo. Preguntados por su nacionalidad, uno de ellos dijo: ‘Somos todos nicaragüenses̓. Dijeron que no habían participado en la revolución sandinista de 1979, ni en favor de ésta ni como miembros de la Guardia Nacional que comandaba Anastasio Somoza Debayle, quien fuera después asesinado en Paraguay.

“Dentro de la barraca de adobe, se apilaban a lo alto cajas ce madera. De acuerdo con sus etiquetas, muchas de las cajas contenían 30 gra­nadas de fragmentación cada una. Otras estaban marcadas como conteniendo proyectiles para morteros M-2 ó M l9. Más de una docena de amplias tiendas de campaña estaban ubicadas en la vecindad. Sol­dados hondureños familiarizados con la región dijeron haber visitado la base en momentos en que más de 100 insurgentes acampaban en ella. El campo tiene una antena de radio y está equipado con un generador de electricidad. Los hombres se rehusaron a dar sus nom­bres o a revelar de dónde procedían sus equipos, armas y municiones.

“El domingo por lo mañana (27 de marzo) un reportero y un fotógrafo procuraron entrar de nuevo al campamento. En cuanto emprendieron el viaje fueron detenidos por un grupo hostil de ocho personas, tres de ellas armadas con armas automáticas y una con insignias de ‘capitán̓. Ellos recriminaron a los visitantes por hallarse en el lugar y exigieron saber sus motivos. ‘Esta es un área totalmente restringida̓ -dijo el hombre que parecía el capitán mientras que los otros junto a él esgrimían nerviosamente sus rifles. ‘Ustedes no deben volver jamás por este camino̓. Preguntado sobre cuándo regresaría el comandante, el hombre respondió: ‘No hay ningún comandante. Aquí no hay nada̓.

“Dicen los soldados hondureños de la región que han oído hablar de por lo menos otro campamento además de ese en el que estábamos, pero estaban inseguros acerca de su ubicación precisa. Agregaron que otros campamentos que funcionaron anteriormente en la zona habían desaparecido, y especularon que los hombre que los combatiendo habían ocupado se hallaban ahora combatiendo en Nicaragua.

“Refugiados nicaragüenses que combatieron en Nicaragua y se radicaron en ciudades cercanas dijeron no haber visto insurgentes antisandinistas desde que llegaron a Honduras y que no sabían de la existencia de bases insurgentes dentro de Honduras. Pero refugiados que fueron entrevistados en campos de las ciudades de Danlí y Jacaleapa, hablaron con admiración de los rebeldes que combaten en Nicaragua. “La crónica de Kinzer en el New York Times tiene, además de un mapa ilustrativo de la zona de Honduras que visitaron, una fotografía de Ken Singleton que le muestra platicando con soldados que les impidieron regresar al campamento. Sus datos, así como las referencias que en la misma semana proveyó el semanario Time, son una prueba más de la existencia de tales campamentos que no son de refugiados sino bases de comunicación y aprovisionamiento de los mercenarios que operan ya dentro de Nicaragua, con financiamiento público de la CIA y protección vergonzante del gobierno y las fuerzas armadas de Honduras.

Análisis y crítica de la crisis del sistema económico neoliberal y sus intentos para controlar la misma , mediante engaños y mitos fabricados para mantener a la chusma a raya, por parte de las elites financieras, económicas y políticas. A partir de un artículo de Paul Schreyer

Re exposición y breves notas al margen , del artículo del investigador alemán Paul Schreyer: Covid 19/11-9-2001 Ataque a las Torres Gemelas. Video del profesor , jubilado , de Filosofía en España, Eliseo Rabadán, Licenciado en Filsofía en la UNAM(México) y Doctorado en Filsoofía por la Universidad de Oviedo(España)

Ernst Wolff: propuestas para la crítica y el análisis , dialéctico y materialista, no idealista ni ideológico, ni retórico, de la llamada crisis de la pandemia del coronavirus o Covid 19 ; sus causas, efectos y previsiones en los campos económico, social, político.

Re exposición, y breves comentarios, del artículo del investigador Ernst Wolff( presentado por el profesor , jubilado, de Filosofía , Eliseo Rabadán , en torno a cuestiones importantes sobre el Covid 19 y sus conexiones políticas, económicas, políticas, etc.

Se plantea que la situación actual es producto de un verdadero Tsunami financiero y de que las élites económicas, financieras, políticas, van preparando un encubierto Golpe de Estado de tipo financiero-fascista.