Politicians tell scientists how dangerous coronaplague in Germany needs to be

From the Dutch NPR (February 9, 2021) plus Google Translate:

‘German ministry hired scientists to induce corona fear’

At the beginning of last year, the German Ministry of the Interior worked with several scientists on a strategy to increase fear of corona in order to foster understanding for drastic corona measures. The newspaper Die Welt reports this on the basis of a leaked email exchange.

The emails date from March and April 2020, when Germany was in the first lockdown. Seehofer was concerned about easing too quickly and instructed his State Secretary Markus Kerber to come up with a plan to create support for stricter measures.

Kerber sent an email to various scientists, universities and research institutes asking, among other things, for a worst-case scenario to get a “mental and systematic” grip on the situation. This would help to plan “measures of a preventive and repressive nature”.

The scientists provided plenty of suggestions, including proposals to put “fear and obedience in the population” on the agenda, writes Die Welt. For example, campaigns could be used with images of people dying of breathlessness because there are no IC beds available.

When you’re making up numbers, there can be a debate at what the numbers should be:

It is striking that scientists “negotiated” among themselves about the possible death toll that should be mentioned. The RKI, the German RIVM, proposed to work with their estimate of 0.56 percent of the infected persons, but an employee of the RWI, an influential economic research institute, argued for the death rate of 1.2 percent.

He wrote that they should think “from the purpose of the model”, which is to emphasize “a great deal of pressure to act” and therefore present the numbers “better worse than too good”.

The opposition demands clarification from Seehofer. It cannot be that politics gets “opinions on demand” from science, says Die Linke party chairman Dietmar Bartsch in Die Welt. According to him, politics and science are doing each other a disservice, because trust in science is being damaged.

The liberal party FDP wants an explanation of the ministry in the interior committee of the Bundestag tomorrow. FDP member Konstantin Kuhle writes on Twitter that it is normal for science and politics to exchange ideas, but it cannot be the case that “tailor-made” results are presented, he says.

The Dutch article links to one in German, but that is paywalled.

A photo from 1997(?) when Siemens was our software company’s customer…

The perfect place to hide from coronavirus!

Related:

  • “Coronavirus: Germans’ mental health worse in second lockdown — study” (DW): “Life satisfaction has decreased significantly — worries, stress and depressiveness have increased,” research group leader Dorota Reis told the German news agency DPA. … During the first lockdown, the study participants initially reported that society was moving closer together. They now assessed behavior as “rather selfish and drifting apart,” Reis added.

7 thoughts on “Politicians tell scientists how dangerous coronaplague in Germany needs to be

    • GB, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Consider the question “is research into X tilted or falsified by unscrupulous scientists?”

      X = sugar versus fat? Yes.

      X = risks of smoking? Yes.

      X = climate change? Yes
      (but only when downplaying it, the scientists warning of climate emergency are indifferent to career advantage).

      X = Coronaplague? Preposterous conspiracy theory!

      So the report about Germany’s fear effort will have no effect on the coronafaithful.

  1. This does seem like something Stalin would dream of. Scientists tell people what to do and how to behave. People obey the scientists without having to be policed – immense social pressure and a guarantee of ostracism if one doesn’t follow is enough to keep everyone in line.

    Meanwhile, the government controls the scientists, and they must obey or else they lose their funding and their career. So we get total government control of a people, with the people policing themselves. Stalin’s dream!

    Another interesting data point for this discussion is when people asked the government of Californian for the data behind their supposedly science-driven lockdown tiers, and the state refused to reveal the data and science behind their decisions because, real quote, “ they rely on a very complex set of measurements that would confuse and potentially mislead the public if they were made public.”

    Reference: the Associated Press, https://apnews.com/article/sacramento-california-coronavirus-pandemic-gavin-newsom-38bb44ea7cb39eab9f6f6c621daeaf10

    So that is the state of modern science. The government uses science that you’re too stupid to understand in order to tell you what to do. So shut up, stop asking questions, and just do what you’re told. Because science.

    • Democracy itself is a real anachronism in the age of modern science. People can’t understand the science, so they couldn’t possibly govern themselves in a science-based way, which is the only good form of government. Science theocracy here we come!

  2. Remember when everyone was going to have a 3D printed castle like that, 10 years ago? Now we have a $1 trillion tulip, but it’s an AI tulip.

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