Version en español
6 months after the first news about a new disease from China, it is time for a deeper reflection:
Mammals have been living with viruses for millions of years. Some viruses are harmless to humans and e.g. dangerous for pigs, or vice versa. Often humans and animals can infect each other. The problem is as old as mankind.
The body forms antibodies after an infection has passed, and after that you are immune for one to two years, sometimes for life. Most viruses may be annoying, but not dangerous. Viruses that kill their host would soon die out. Most of the time, they are only dangerous in combination with other factors.
A risk factor is age. Around 535,000 people aged 80 and over die in Germany every year (Federal Statistical Office, Deaths and Life Expectancy - Special evaluation of deaths from 2020, https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Umwelt/Bevoelkerung/Sterbefaelle-Lebenserwartung/sterbefallzahl .html), approx. 10% of the age group. The saying goes that their watch has expired. Nevertheless, they do not fall dead at a fixed time, but become sick and not healthy again. Infections that young people get through quickly can be fatal to them. There are then wave movements in the death statistics. In the case of flu waves or heat waves, the number of cases among the elderly increases very significantly. Only about 10% of the approximately 950,000 deaths a year can be assessed as sudden. (Own calculation according to the Federal Statistical Office, Health - Causes of Death, https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Umwelt/Gesundheit/Todesursachen/_inhalt.html) If one assumes an average of 8 weeks of illness for the remaining 855,000 deaths, then about 131,500 people are constantly in this last fight, which they will not win. An additional virus infection only shortens this fight.
Our society is getting older. Every year, the age group over 80 grows by around 200,000 people. These include relatively healthy and sprightly seniors, but most people find many everyday things difficult. You need help, or even care. But in nature, the trees don't grow to the sky. After many years of constant growth, it would be completely normal for the trend to reverse and the age group for a previously unknown virus to move through the country to shrink again. This would make this virus not a killer virus. "The Greens politician Boris Palmer has sharply criticized the global economic lockdown because of the Corona crisis. "I'll tell you quite brutally: We may save people in Germany who would be dead in six months anyway - due to their age and previous illnesses," said the Mayor of Tübingen on Tuesday on SAT1 breakfast television. According to the United Nations, the poverty shock that results from the worldwide destruction of the economy, on the other hand, kills millions of children. (https://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.coronavirus-in-deutschland-boris-palmer-wir-retten-menschen-die-moeglicherweise-sowieso-bald-sterben.3058978a-08dc-42f0-9e98-5ccba1e4a96c.html)
Our society has largely displaced the subject of illness and death from their consciousness. But there is neither eternal youth nor eternal life. When talking to old people, you often find that they have no illusions. They observe that their bodies break down and that their quality of life deteriorates. Most of the time they are not afraid of death as a state of no longer alive, but they are afraid of a slow and painful process of dying.
No doctor can save a life, he can only prolong it. It may be possible to extend it by 80 years for a rescued child, 8 years for a healthy 80 years old, and only 8 months for a sick person. The doctor would put the highest effort into the child and would sooner find out at the 80 years old that he could no longer help. Lawyers in particular sometimes claim that the value of life is infinite. However, this is completely illogical for a limited life. Something finite cannot be infinite! The value of a life depends on its remaining duration and quality of life. Then there is also an amount of money at which saving a life becomes disproportionate. It will not be possible to calculate the exact amount as a threshold; in concrete situations, however, one can come to the conclusion that the effort of society is no longer reasonable.
In our society, health has become a product that makes a lot of money. In the past, health was defined as the absence of illness. In 1948, the WHO defined health as a state of complete psychological, physical and social well-being and not just as being free from illness and ailments. But if you then define illness as a lack of health, then this definition describes the vast majority of society to whom doctors and the pharmaceutical industry can sell their services and products. The doctors prescribe, the patients swallow and the health insurance companies pay.
The vernacular, which expresses its wisdom in proverbs, says: "Money rules the world!" Germany had the third most expensive healthcare system in the world with 11.2% of GDP in 2018, behind the U.S. and Switzerland. (OECD, Health at a Glance 2019: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris 2019, S 153, https://doi.org/10.1787/4dd50c09-en). Such amounts arouse desire.
The saying goes well: "If you lubricate well, you drive well!" The Focus (a nest for conspiracy theories) reported in issue 48/2012: Jens Spahn "... secretly earned from a discreet company construct from intensive lobbying for them Healthcare industry. … Influence and insider knowledge are hard cash for large corporations. … He was obviously aware that representative of the public Spahn was using his mandate as a health politician profitably for consulting fees from the health industry, because he was concealing his involvement in the lobby company.” (https://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/tid-28335/politik-im-nebenjob-abgeordneter_aid_ 867815.html Why does this minister of health consider drugs and vaccines that do not yet exist to be "without alternative" and natural immunization, for which there is currently no alternative, unsuitable? A prankster who thinks evil! Jens Spahn officially gave up participation. Or did he just hand it over to a straw man and he continues to earn?
Transparency International criticized during the 2009 swine flu that 13 of the 16 members of the Robert Koch Institute's Standing Committee on Vaccination were paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. (Transparency International Deutschland e.V., „Schweinegrippe“- Impfung: Transparency kritisiert potenzielle Interessenkonflikte und intransparente Entscheidungsprozesse bei der ständigen Impfkommission STIKO, https://www.transparency.de/aktuelles/detail/article/schweinegrippe-impfung-transparency-kritisiert-potenzielle-interessenkonflikte-und-intransparent/) They are appointed by the Federal Ministry of Health for three years each and meet twice a year. Who are the candidates proposed by? The task of the commission is to prepare recommendations for vaccinations in Germany on a scientific basis. It is also about a lot of money. Because the vaccinations that she recommends must be financed by the statutory health insurance. In recent years, the list of recommended vaccinations has grown steadily.
This pharmaceutical industry is not a charity, it wants to make sales and make money! Why do the large pharmaceutical companies, with the exception of Fresenius, have distribution costs of 30%, although the distribution of wholesale and pharmacies is organized and no prescription medication can be advertised? Are the bulk of the costs booked here commissions? Who lubricates well, drives well! And the pharmaceutical industry is doing pretty well right now. Pharmaceutical stocks are the winners of the corona crisis (https://boerse.ard.de/anlagestrategie/branchen/pharma-biotech-saisonal-gute-aussichten100.html) But whoever shows this connection is labeled as a conspiracy theorist.
The increasingly expensive therapies also lead to ethical problems. While in Germany e.g. up to € 180,000 including pre-treatment and post-treatment for a liver transplant (https://www.wz.de/panorama/eine-lebertransplantation-kann-bis-zu-180-000-euro-kosten_aid-30143945), die children in Africa because their families cannot pay € 10 for a simple antibiotic. In extreme cases, is the life of a German alcoholic who has damaged his liver himself worth more than that of 18,000 African children? Against this background, the high-tech medicine of the industrialized countries is obscene! In this context, Boris Palmer's remark on the poverty shock caused by the global destruction of the economy should be understood, which, according to the United Nations, kills millions of children. Each euro can only be spent once, and a lot of money is currently being used in the wrong place. The moral claim to save lives at all costs becomes a trap. There are cases when the price is too high!
The current state of knowledge is that in December 2019, a new virus was discovered in the city of Wuhan in China, which spread rapidly around the world. There are also findings that contradict this theory. On May 3, a study was published in France that Covid-19 had detected in Paris 2019 wastewater samples when the virus was actually not yet in Europe. On June 18th results from Milan, Turin and Bologna were published, which came to the same conclusion. After that, we had the virus in December 2019. Wastewater screening is a method to predict upcoming epidemics early. Because of the large dilution, there must already be a large number of infected people. If that had already been the case in Europe in December 2019, when the first illnesses appeared in China, then it would be pointless to block contacts after illnesses have been identified.
On June 26th, the University of Barcelona reported that traces of Covid-19 were found even in old wastewater samples from March 2019. On the same day, positive wastewater samples from November 2019 from southern Brazil were reported. The Barcelona study has been spiked by the President of the Spanish Association of Virologists and when asked why there were no sick people in the hospitals, he replied in the El Mundo newspaper that there would have been these cases, but they are likely for flu cases have held. After all, there was no other explanation and Corona would be very similar to the flu.
It is unlikely that all scientists in Paris, Milan, Turin, Bologna, Barcelona and Florianópolis were just wrong, independently of one another. If there were any errors, they must be in the PCR tests and something was measured that was not Covid-19. Then, however, the entire tests on the saliva samples must also be faulty and display something that was not a corona infection. Either the scientists are right and we have been living with the virus for a long time, it has only just been discovered, or the tests are useless and we can throw all the statistics into the garbage can. The political decisions then lack any data base.
Who still remembers “the phantom”, also called the phantom from Heilbronn? Between 1993 and 2009, the DNA trace of a woman was secured at over 40 crime scenes. Geographically, she was very mobile and committed very different acts according to different crime patterns. The deeds ranged from property damage to three murders, including the Heilbronn police murder, which was later attributed to the Nazi Underground. The search for this fire-threatening woman was carried out with great effort everywhere in southern Germany. The solution to the case came after more than 2 years of work by a special commission when the contradictions became more and more absurd: the DNA belonged to a worker in the cotton swab manufacturing plant, with whom the traces were secured! Why shouldn't all scientifically proven insights collapse like a house of cards?
In early March, news from northern Italy of very high death rates worried people. In June, scientists from the University of Siena investigated the correlation (= statistical relationship) between the high mortality rate of CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with severe acute respiratory syndrome and air pollution in northern Italy. The Italian pre-Alpine region is highly industrialized and therefore has a high level of air pollution. The Alps prevent the wind from being transported northwards. In winter, the air from the heaters is additionally polluted and in cold air, the pollutants remain on the floor. The study concludes that high death rates in northern Italy are related to pollution. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0269749120320601) Nevertheless, the virus and not the fine dust pollution is the cause of death.
So now four factors come together. Air pollution affects the lungs in all age groups. Every disease weakens the body but is rarely fatal. Even in the normal state, old age is another risk factor, which in individual cases can lead to death in the combination of environment + age + illness. In these few cases, of course, the additional disease and not the previous weakening of the lungs is blamed for death. An additional respiratory infection with a highly contagious virus is then assessed according to the same pattern as the sole cause of death.
In the United States, one can say that even being overweight is one of the risk factors at Corona. (see https://www.pharmolekische-zeitung.de/adipositas-als-risikofaktor-fuer-schwere-verlaeufe-117565/) This is very common in the USA and also in Mexico. Just as the fine dust concentration in the Alpine foothills exacerbated the situation in northern Italy, overweight in the USA will also have contributed to the high numbers. An average of 13.5% of the population was tested in the USA, and only 8.6% in Germany. However, 8% of the tests in the USA were positive, in Germany only 2.9%. The data from Brazil, on the other hand, is too bad to draw well-founded conclusions. Science also knows too little to be able to plausibly explain the spread of the virus and the course of the infection as well as a possible illness (people who are well off with an infection cannot be described as sick).
In an acute dangerous situation, there is usually a choice between forward and backward. In war one would choose between attack and retreat. Forward means: We have to go through this now! This decision should not be confused with "eyes closed and through". With the forward decision you protect yourself as much as possible, but accept losses. This would have meant protection for risk groups, but it cannot be perfect. In the case of non-risk groups, natural immunization would have been used, although undetected risks could also have a negative impact. With a backward decision, the problems are usually not solved, but only postponed. In war, you would tactically withdraw if you could attack later from a more favorable position. This decision would have made sense if a drug or vaccine existed and only had to start production. Backward decisions mostly prolong the dangerous situation and then lead to enormous collateral damage.
The German politicians were mainly driven by the news from Italy. They were afraid, and that often makes decision-makers shy away from making a forward decision. But they also justify their decisions with the developments in the United States and Brazil, where the presidents were reluctant to take action.
The politicians' self-praise that their determined measures would have prevented worse things is not obvious. Spain had the toughest lockdown in Europe, yet the second highest number of infections and the third highest death rate. The German old people's and nursing homes were brutally sealed off, and according to the RKI, 43% of the Corona dead were residents of such homes. The blocking of contacts could not have been particularly effective, neither in the German homes, nor in Spain as a whole. If the scientists from the universities of Barcelona, Florianópolis and Paris and the Italian health institute ISS in Rome were right, then contact restrictions would be too late because the viruses had spread massively from the outbreaks for months.
Of course, the politicians in March had no knowledge of July. On March 2, the Tagesschau reported on a press conference with Minister Jens Spahn, the President of the Robert Koch Institute Prof. Wieler and Prof. Drosten. The message was: no need to panic. Drosten declared the infection to be a mild cold. It was not recommended to wear a mask or to use disinfectants in the private area. On this day there were 2,036 infections reported and 52 deaths in Italy (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19-Pandemie_in_Italien#cite_note-MdS_5351-38). On March 7, Jens Spahn declared that it made no sense to close the borders because the virus was already in the country and on March 9, he declared the risk to be comparatively low (Italy: 9,172 infections, 463 deaths). But then large events were banned. On Friday, March 13th, the decision was made to close schools and colleges and switch to homeschooling and digital lectures, from Friday to month. In the daily management report dated March 12, 802 additional cases were reported and there were 2 additional deaths. Otherwise nothing had changed in Germany. The complete lockdown was then decided the following week. The borders were closed and a mask requirement was introduced.
No explanation for this change of heart has been given. But you can see that the government was just afraid. There was the example of the Spanish flu from 1918. It was an influenza pandemic caused by an unusually contagious derivative of the influenza virus (subtype A / H1N1) and spread in three waves between 1918 and 1920 and with a world population of around 1 .8 billion claimed between 20 million and 50 million lives, according to WHO, (WHO, Pandemic Influenza Risk Management. World Health Organization, Geneva 2017, p. 26, https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/259893/WHO-WHE-IHM-GIP-2017.1-eng.pdf;jsessionid=A780C85B4416E6EF5FEA6F7AFB6BD263?sequence=1). As a result, more people died of the Spanish flu than in the First World War (17 million). In total, about 500 million people are said to have been infected (US Department of Health & Human Services, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-pandemic-h1n1.html), which is a mortality rate of 5 to 10 Percent, which was significantly higher than for diseases caused by other influenza pathogens (Niall PAS Johnson, Juergen D. Mueller: Updating the Accounts: Global Mortality of the 1918-1920 "Spanish" Influenza Pandemic. In: Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 76, No. 1, 2002, pp. 105-115., https://muse.jhu.edu/article/4826/pdf).
Cook Albert Gitchell from the Fort Riley Army base in Kansas is often referred to as the first patient. He reported sick with a fever on March 4, 1918. Within a few days, more than 500 men fell ill in this military camp. (https://www.br.de/wissen/spanische-grippe-influenza-virus-pandemie-100.html) He came from a poultry farm and may have caught the animals. If he hadn't been drafted into the military, the virus would have died out in his village.
A peculiarity of the Spanish flu was that 20 to 40-year-olds died of it, while influenza viruses otherwise endanger toddlers and the elderly. Asian flu (1957) and Hong Kong flu (1968) were based on other subtypes, but the majority of the internal genes come from the Spanish flu virus, which is why it was referred to in 2006 as the "mother of all pandemics". (Jefferey K. Taubenberger, David M. Morens: 1918 Influenza, the Mother of All Pandemics. In: Emerging Infectious Diseases, https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/12/1/05-0979_article)
The fear of the government was not without foundation. Despite an urgent recommendation from the WHO, there was no pandemic plan for Germany. Stefan Kohn from the Federal Ministry of the Interior wrote on April 25. or 07.05.20 in his evaluation report "Corona crisis 2020 from the perspective of the protection of critical infrastructures" that the overall civil protection does not meet the requirements. It can therefore only be explained with the fear of the politicians why with brutal determination the economy of our country was destroyed, and in the past, effective measures against the particulate matter were never taken to protect the auto industry. Certainly there were deaths from fine dust in the past, but there were no statistics. And one should not forget the climate change, which, with the natural disasters to be expected as a result, will probably cause many more deaths and will even cause greater economic damage. The politicians always said that they would drive on sight. They were only driven by the current figures and the head of the Robert Koch Institute. On March 26th, the Handelsblatt criticized: "Now the virologists reign who unfortunately understand little about business." (https:// www.handelsblatt.com/meinung/kommentare/kommentar-die-neue-macht-der-virologen/25684390.html?ticket=ST-1664064-fCyBoU4cv9Yaq76XLUf5-ap2) In Wikipedia there is the definition "an expert who knows a problem only from the perspective of his specialist area" under the search term "specialist idiot". The Federal Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW) wrote an open letter to politicians on May 1st: "With great concern for the future of this country and the prosperity of its citizens, we appeal to politicians: Stop the one-sided fixation on a purely virological one Perspective and thus the dangerous game with the future opportunities of this country. It is about the fate of the German middle class. Release the lockdown before it's too late!” (https://www.bvmw.de/fileadmin/01-Presse_und_News/ Pressemitteilungen/Dateien/Mittelstand-Offener-Brief-Bevor-es-zu-spaet-ist- 01-05-2020.pdf) The government has demonstrated determination, but in reality it has had no eye for the bigger picture.
Decisive decisions, and especially when they cost hundreds of billions of euros, are usually carefully prepared. First, an impact assessment is developed, if one would not react, then the consequences of Plan 1 and then the consequences of Plan 2 are simulated. After that, for each of the three scenarios, they are varied according to what happens when things turn out worse than expected and when things go smoother. In addition to the complete lockdown (= backward decision) and doing nothing (= no decision), there was still the middle ground to isolate only the risk groups and not to stall the economy (Forward decision). You could already see that only people over 70 were at greater risk. It would have been a good idea to organize a shopping service for these people who were no longer involved in the work process so that they did not have to go to the shops and could then protect themselves from infection. In addition, some younger people with previous illnesses would have had to take sick leave as a precaution.
It was also known that there was no vaccine and no tried and tested medication, nor would it be in the foreseeable future. It could therefore have been foreseen that the backward decision would be a very long and extremely high burden on society. Then only natural immunization helps, by infecting the young, healthy and strong fellow citizens and then forming antibodies. If this is present in two thirds of the population, one speaks of herd immunity, in which then no more chains of infection form, and then the old and the sick are also protected. Only the pharmaceutical industry would have a problem with that because it would not be able to sell vaccines. But she hasn't developed any anyway. According to the known information, the middle ground would have been the most sensible decision. The health system would not have been overloaded. The spaces reserved for the pandemic in the intensive care units were 85% free even at peak times. Under these conditions, continuing the economy with restrictions for risk groups in all three scenarios would have been the path of least harm. Not choosing him was incomprehensible according to the traditional rules of decision making.
Stephan Kohn's report later revealed that the government did not prepare for decisions at all. RKI's Prof. Wieler said what needs to be done and the government decided. Mr. Wieler is a veterinarian. Because of the later closure of Mr Tönnies slaughterhouse, the farmers had problems with their pigs ready for slaughter, which block their stables, and the young pigs grow back. The association of official veterinarians replied that the healthy animals must then be killed and the meat disposed of. (http://www.tagesschau.de/interview-tierarzt-schweinezucht-toennies-101.html) This is how vets think, regardless of losses! No animal disease insurance would compensate the farmers for this damage. And the moral problems that the animals would be treated like garbage do not interest a veterinarian in the health department at all. Because of this attitude, it is also understandable that farmers get antibiotics on the black market to suppress infections, which then enter the food chain.
In April, a group of 5 lockdown-critical professors gathered to address 4 questions to the federal government. You can find more details on the prof-mueller.net/Bundestag website. The members did not want to be labeled as isolated spinners, but on the other hand, too many cooks spoil the broth. They sent the request to all political groups on April 28 and a member of parliament sent it to the government on May 6 as his personal little request. It then had to be signed by 35 other MPs so that the quorum of 5% came together. Then there were 45 additional signatures.
The federal government replied to the small request from the 5 professors. It was published on June 4 as Bundestag printed paper 19/19428. She tried to say nothing in many words. But she didn't quite succeed. When asked about the basis for decision-making, the government referred to the RKI's daily situation reports. In doing so, she indirectly confirmed the statements from Stephan Kohn's report that she did not have any preparation for her own decision and that she only responded to calls from the RKI.
In the request, it was calculated that given the old age of the seriously ill and because of the frequent previous illnesses, the rescued had no life expectancy higher than an average of around 1,000 days. Then it was determined that with an economic loss of 1 trillion euros and even if an assumed 200,000 were saved, each additional day of life would have to be paid by the company with 5,000 euros. Such relationships are far too unrealistic for a society to organize. People would never want to pay for their own lives, even if they could. The government replied that it has no knowledge of the life saved. In a press release to the answer, published on Henryk Broder's "Axis of Good" blog, the professors commented that the government should have had this information and, according to them, has no idea.
The government should also remember that the lockdown limits fundamental rights. An unwritten constitutional principle is that the fundamental rights of the individual stop where the fundamental rights of others begin. That alone would be a lari fari condition, however, and fundamental rights could be restricted at will. In previous cases, the Federal Constitutional Court formulated three specific conditions for these conflicts in order to be able to restrict fundamental rights:
1. The protected legal asset must have a higher priority than the impaired one.
You can see here that life is more important than economic losses. Nobody denies that, and the government considers the constitutional review to be over. But it is not!
2. The restrictions on fundamental rights must be suitable for protection.
However, one can doubt that. Spain had the hardest lockdown, the second highest infection rate and the third highest death rate in Europe. The old people's homes and nursing homes were extremely cordoned off, and yet 43% of the corona dead were residents of old people's homes and nursing homes. The blocking of contacts could not have been particularly effective, neither in the German homes, nor in Spain as a whole. Then why should these not very effective measures have been appropriate?
But you can hold the government in good stead that you are always smarter afterwards. She could probably assume that her measures would be effective. With the knowledge that they are not, one should have canceled them.
3. The restrictions on fundamental rights must not be unduly burdensome.
And this third condition was ignored at all. The constitution forces the government and parliament to weigh benefits and harms. One would have had to do an impact assessment at all. A decision to call the RKI should never have been made.
A professional impact assessment would have recognized the gross mismatch between the enormous economic damage of currently around 50,000 euros for an average family of four and the small benefit that some residents of old people's homes and nursing homes live a few months longer. If it had been the other way around, that the government would not have ordered a lockdown, and some old people in Karlsruhe would have wanted to force them by interim order, they would have failed so badly because of the disproportionate nature of their demand. But why should the government be allowed to order something that those affected themselves cannot ask for?
The course of the crisis can be described without words using the graphics of the RKI from the daily situation reports:
Source: Robert Koch Institute, daily situation report from July 22, 20
The number of cases has been down since the beginning of May, only the CDU survey values are up.
"Die Welt" quotes an interview by virologist Hendrik Streeck in the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on June 10, 20 with a criticism of the German lockdown. (https://www.welt.de/wissenschaft/article209299157/Corona-Krise-Virologe-Streeck-kritisiert-deutschen-Lockdown.html): “I still don't believe that at the end of the year there were more deaths in Germany than in Germany in other years. ”Streeck sees the reason for the lockdown as“ a certain amount of public pressure ”. Here he must be contradicted! First of all, the pharmaceutical industry sensed good business with vaccines and medicines for a new illness, even if they still had to develop them and they had to save time. There was pressure from her and from the very well networked Robert Koch Institute! Horror scenarios were spread by them, and the government was so fed up that it refrained from normal decision-making. The rest was done by a federal health minister who was once a pharmaceutical lobbyist and who behaves as if he is still hidden. There was no pressure from the population to ruin the economy. No normal person would have considered it a threat under normal conditions if older people die more often than young people and if in an aging society a few more old people die in one year and a few fewer in the next year.
But the CDU would like to save the good poll values until the Bundestag election. She was afraid herself and she managed to frighten the people too. There was no rational reason for this fear, but it didn't matter. 14 months is actually too long to vote, but you can give it a try. The government has the advantage that the numbers are currently rising in South America and that it can spread the fear that the virus will come back. The government is thus copying the behavioral pattern of the conspiracy theorists they have criticized. The only difference is that a virus is held responsible for everything in the world, not a small group of people. The common ground, however, is that people should be incensed against the supposed fine and that even afterwards they should be given the leading role in the fight against the conspirators or the virus. Conspiracy theorists need an enemy; the government needs a dangerous virus. Eighty years ago, you couldn't say aloud if you thought Jews were nice people, and today it cannot be said publicly that infection with Covid 19 viruses usually causes little or no disease symptoms.
The current infection numbers are below the fault tolerance of the tests. With 202,799 infected according to the Robert Koch Institute on July 22nd, 20, 9,095 deceased and 188,600 reluctantly estimated convalescents, there were 5,104 currently registered affected people, most of whom were symptom-free and only about 360 were treated in hospitals. With a dark field of 90%, 51,040 people could have been infected on July 22, 20, 50,680 of them without or with slight symptoms. With 531,571 tests in the week from July 13-19. with an accuracy of 98% (= 10,631 errors) and new infections of 2,770 (= 0.5%). With such magnitudes, the tests only benefit the pharmaceutical companies and laboratories that earn their money with them. Measured by the cumulative numbers, the death rate is on July 22nd. at 4.48%; measured by daily numbers and new infections, however, it has been 1% for 3 weeks. The number of tests has increased by 15% during this time and the rate of positive tests has dropped sharply. The error rate then has a greater impact, which could explain the lower mortality rate.
The politicians have chosen the path of scaremongering to cover up their own panic reaction. It is difficult to reverse this way. When you give the all-clear one day and fear fades, uncomfortable questions are asked. The current threat situation can no longer be plausibly justified. In a fearless and open discussion, however, past figures will also make it difficult to prove a threat situation at the time. Politicians can therefore have no interest in ending fear.
According to Wikipedia, conspiracy theory is the attempt to explain a state, an event or a development through a conspiracy, i.e. through the targeted, conspiratorial work of a mostly small group of actors for a mostly illegal or illegitimate purpose. There are lockdown critics who want to build Bill Gates as an enemy. The CNN interview from a YouTube video with the subtitle “Vaccination - to reduce population! (Bill Gates admits)”. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjj4Iq-rsNg). These attempts substantiate the government's accusation that lockdown critics are conspiracy theorists.
Given the volume of international capital markets, the possibilities of Bill Gates or other individuals are far too small to be able to exercise power. Had he had fantasies of taking over the world like a villain in James Bond films, he should have stayed at the top of Microsoft. It is therefore more likely that Bill Gates honestly believes that he can do good with his fortune. However, “well-intentioned” and “well done” are often opposites.
Regarding the interview mentioned, it can be said that he raised two relevant points. The sharp gap between medical oversupply in industrialized countries and the frequent lack of primary care in developing countries is immoral. Because a demand to reduce the level of care in industrialized countries would trigger widespread outrage, Bill Gates is calling for an improvement in care in developing countries, which also includes vaccinations.
The second problem has to be considered independently. Developed countries have been providing development aid for around 60 years, and the successes are being wiped out by population growth. It appears as a bottomless pit. According to the UN, the world population developed (or will develop) between 1950 and 2050 as follows:
1950 1997 2016 2030 2050
Asia 1.435 3.575 4.437 4.946 5.327
Africa 222 743 1.203 1.681 2.527
America 331 788 997 1.117 1.220
Europe 515 705 740 744 728
Oceania 13 29 40 51 66
world 2.516 5.840 7.418 8.539 9.869 in millions
The population of Africa will double by 2050 and more than tenfold compared to 1950. A continent with 16% of the world population will cause 50% of the population growth. Around 1970 the world was already described as overpopulated with 4 billion people! Poverty cannot be tackled without an end to population growth.
The problem with this interview was that he addressed two problems at the same time, the solutions of which contradict each other. More health care in poor countries increases overpopulation and exacerbates poverty. No way out of this dilemma has yet been found. One can then, however, Bill Gates or other good people (Wikipedia: From the point of view of the word users, these do not become an exaggerated, external recognition-demanding desire to "be good" in connection with moralizing and missionary behavior and a dogmatic, absolute, other views accused of permitting the idea of the good.) They did not want to blame large parts of the population of Africa, Asia and Latin America with manipulated vaccines.
So it is not only tactically unwise to impose sinister intentions on Bill Gates or other individuals; it is also wrong in the matter! This allegation obscures the mechanisms of the market economy, in which marketing the fight against disease and striving for growth and profit maximization mean that acceptable health risks are exaggerated to existential threats today. There is no need for agreements between the group's executive boards. Your equal interests automatically lead to a marketing policy that focuses on the stock market value and not on people's health.
After the Contagan scandal, Germany introduced strict regulations for the approval of new drugs. The influential pharmaceutical lobby has been able for the past 50 years to remove the exaggerations that are inevitable after the excitement of the population. Nevertheless, a Saxon pharmaceutical wholesaler who wanted to import a drug from Cuban production that was successfully used in China did not receive approval in March. (https://www.dw.com/de/ Comes to a corona medication from Germany to Germany / 53003683) With 85,314 infections and 4,644 deaths, China has very low numbers despite the very large population. (= 3.3 deaths per 1 million inhabitants / Belgium 858.4 / Germany 109.7 - https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality on July 22, 20) These experiences were for the Paul Ehrlich Institute but not sufficiently documented.
The serious development of a vaccine normally takes about 5 years. If this time is shortened, this is only at the expense of security. With fewer deaths, the chances of dying from an under-tested vaccine are higher than from the disease. According to current information, the risk of fatal vaccine damage would be 10 times higher. The government has rejected the middle way between lockdown and the like (do not stall the economy, only isolate risk groups) on the grounds that the three or fourfold fatalities associated therewith are not responsible. Now they even want to accept 10 times the numbers if they are caused by a vaccine and not by the disease. These risks must not be taken.
The pharmaceutical companies reject liability for the currently hastily cobbled together vaccines. It is their job that the executive boards of the pharmaceutical companies want to minimize their risks. They are committed to the shareholders and not to the common good. Pharmaceutical companies are not charities. Of course, they want to tap research subsidies if they are practically forced on them. If they didn't enforce a disclaimer in their good negotiating position, they would be pretty stupid. You also have to take into account that politics has created time pressure. If the normal development of a vaccine takes 5 years, significant reductions can only be organized at the expense of safety. Of course, the corporations don't want to take that too seriously!
50 years ago there was no vaccination against rubella, measles or other childhood diseases. The children fell ill, stayed in bed for a few days and were then immunized. Today the children are vaccinated. If there were no vaccine, one would have to continue to rely on the natural method. The same must then apply to Covid-19. The government may want a vaccine, but it has to make decisions based on real situations, not wishful thinking. For natural immunization, the infection of the masses must be approved and not prevented. Contact restrictions would only be displayed for risk groups. A hurriedly botched and insufficiently tested vaccine exacerbates the problems, it does not solve them.
There is probably an even greater danger to the stability of the euro and probably other currencies. There are basically three ways of paying the "thick Corona bill", which politicians will probably want to mix. You can raise taxes, cut government benefits or print money. However, the last path has been taken by the ECB for 12 years. The scope is likely to be exhausted. Nevertheless, the temptation is great.
Tax increases affecting workers and consumers would be difficult to implement politically. An increase in corporate taxes would be of little benefit in the short term, because companies will build up loss carryforwards in 2020 that they can deduct from taxable income in the coming years. It would also be a question of justice why the group that had the most damage should also bear the burden of protecting the other groups and that higher corporate taxes would not stimulate the economy. From a justice point of view, pensioners would have to bear the costs because their lives were saved or extended. But these are the most loyal voters of the CDU and SPD. The reduction of government spending has never worked in the past, and certainly no subsidy cuts. It will be interesting to see which proposals politicians want to present that will not be watered down by lobbyists. "Printing money" is then the path of least resistance.
The argument that it always worked well seems obvious at first glance. With the ECB's bond purchase program, the money supply in 2019 (M3 - cash only has 9.4%; 17.25% of which 500s) was increased by 25.8% compared to 2014, but the cost of living in these 5 years has only increased by 5% gone up. In March 2020 alone, the money supply in the euro area rose by 2.5% compared to February. “Above all, you have to bear in mind that the money supply in the economies will increase in a phase in which the output has decreased. The increasing amount of money therefore meets a reduced supply of goods. And that means that the money supply growth is even greater than the growth of the money supply (in absolute terms or expressed as a percentage) suggests. ”(Thorsten Polleit, states and central banks lay the basis for the next major currency devaluation, https://www.finanzen100.de/finanznachrichten/boerse/staat-und-Notenbanken-haben-die-basis-fuer-die-naechste-grosse-geldentwert_H896168186_11892441/)
The money supply is a point in time on a key date, while the economic output, which is measured in the gross domestic product, is developed over a period of time. In 2019 the money supply was 109.1% of the gross domestic product, in 2011 it was 97.4%. For the Swiss franc, the ratio was even 154.1% in 2019. Because we get our income monthly and spend it again, only 8.33% would be necessary for daily payments. The rest would have to be circulating on the capital markets or would have flowed away abroad. In addition, there is the money that has been officially transferred abroad as euros and has been duly withdrawn from the money supply.
In contrast to the Reichsmark of 1923, the Euro is not a domestic currency. At that time, the increase in the speed of circulation was the biggest inflation driver. Every banknote was immediately carried to a shop, the next day it was worth nothing. However, the additional money supply created by the ECB now flows into the capital markets and seeps around the world. This does not fuel inflation, but exports it.
So the money is not gone. If it circulates on the capital markets, it will not have a demand effect on the goods markets. A ketchup bottle effect threatens. First the ECB shakes with the 2% inflation target and nothing comes, and later everything comes at once. If a strategy emerges on the capital markets to inflate away the corona costs, foreign investors who mistrust their local currencies and hoard dollars or euros instead may become nervous. If the vagabond amount of money flows back to the USA and the EU quite suddenly, the domestic population could also get nervous afterwards. Hyperinflation, which could again be triggered by a larger domestic money supply + increased circulation speed, should not be provoked. However, there is reason to fear that politicians will not see this danger.
Inflation will announce that demand for long-term loans will increase. Companies cannot put up with the losses of the crisis in the short term and need reliable contractual terms in the long term. For this they will also be willing to pay slightly higher interest. In addition, speculators will also sign long-term loan contracts because they expect inflation. You will then also pay much higher interest rates and the savers would believe that they will finally have real interest income again. But if inflation really does occur, they will be trapped and lose their money.
If inflation is expected, the international financial markets will no longer absorb the liquidity that speculators have after paying off their loans. Even the internationally vagrant euro money supply will only look for very short-term investment opportunities, which the markets cannot offer to the same extent. Therefore, more investments will be made in real assets. There is already a real estate bubble in the big cities. Then speculators may also be asking for real estate outside of the metropolitan areas. The sellers would spend their money and lead to a surge in demand. The prices would rise and confirm the inflation expectations of the financial markets. That would be a signal to international investors to bring their euro balances back into the currency area and to invest in real assets here. Foreign savers who e.g. mistrusting their national currency in Eastern Europe and investing their savings in euros would follow. The domestic money supply would increase suddenly, which the ECB would not be able to compensate as quickly if it wanted to. This would mean that ordinary people who would not have invested their money in the long term would also flee into real assets.
The players on the international financial markets are also able to earn money from derivatives through inflation. The savers' damage would be greater than the amount of the devalued national debt, because they would also have to finance the profits of the banks and other inflation winners. Inflation does not solve a problem, it just postpones it.
The currency devaluation would probably not reach the 1923 level. But Poland has e.g. in a currency reform in 1995 four zeros of its currency were deleted. The Federal Minister of Finance would probably already be satisfied with 3 zeros. In the end, it will no longer matter whether inflation is triggered deliberately or accidentally. It should be noted that the capital markets are difficult to predict. Their scope is a highly explosive mix. You shouldn't play with fire here. Because inflation would affect the entire euro area, the economic collateral damage would be even greater than directly at Corona. Nothing is currently being done to support the trust of the markets. To do this, it would have to develop a credible repayment plan early on that could do without inflation. Instead, this part of the problem solution should be postponed until after the general election.
According to Art. 20 GG and the model of parliamentary democracy, the parliament should control the government. In reality, heads of government are party leaders at the same time, the party headquarters controls the parliamentary board and that controls the parliamentarians. As a result, the government controls itself.
This system can be broken with minority governments. Legislation would once again lie with Parliament and majorities that would change for individual legislative projects would have to form, which could then agree on a compromise while fighting bitterly on other issues. Thuringia was a great opportunity for a prime minister from the smallest parliamentary group to have given this back to the state parliament without a whiff of a parliamentary majority. But the parties were not concerned with democracy and the separation of powers, but with power.
Since the beginning of 2020, the parliament as a whole and also the parliamentary opposition have left the political discussion. It hadn't worked properly before, but now it was a total failure. Everything gathers behind the government, which rules with quasi-dictatorial powers. The crisis is no longer visible in the statistics, but the state of emergency continues.
The media also failed to fulfill their task of providing a place for controversial discussions. Freedom of the press is not limited to the right of publishers to express their opinions. The majority of the media in Germany is financed by advertising. For newspapers and magazines in particular, advertising is the largest revenue position; it could not make a living from the sales revenue. This means that the media must offer an attractive advertising environment. This is detrimental to the representation of minority opinions and the detection of abuses. The interests of old people, who can hardly be influenced by advertising due to their established consumption habits, are also not discussed.
Public media will close this gap and ensure balanced reporting. Because of the political influence, no minority positions are taken into account here either. In the Corona crisis, the lockdown critics could only make themselves felt on the Internet. This made a considerable strain on press freedom and a functioning democracy.
In elections, citizens have the opportunity to issue a receipt to the government. Citizens can decide whether they want to follow the government and risk vaccine damage and inflation, or whether they want to change course. At least one discussion of the correct course should take place.