The Robert Koch Institute protocols cause a stir. They were published by a magazine known for its conspiracy theories.

Park bench with barrier tape

Under no circumstances should a curfew be established in Germany. Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/imago

SEDAN taz | Government measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic were at times very controversial. In particular the question of the relationship between science and politics. Now, unpublished protocols from the Corona crisis team of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) are heating up the debate again. The magazine published more than 200 documents from internal meetings of the RKI crisis team from January 2020 to April 2021. multipolar, who is known for spreading conspiracy theories.

Particularly debated is a sentence from March 16, 2022: “The risk assessment will be published as soon as XXXX (redacted passage) gives a signal.” moderate to high population. This classification was one of the reasons for the political decision to massively restrict public life.

multipolar From this sentence it is clear that the improvement in the risk situation was not based on scientific knowledge, but rather on political influences, specifically from the then Minister of Health, Jens Spahn (CDU). The current Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach, is firmly opposed to this representation. “The RKI worked independently of political instructions,” said the SPD politician. Behind the crossed out name is an RKI employee. The blackout is intended to protect employees from the public.

“Therefore, there was no political directive to which the RKI would have reacted,” Lauterbach said. The RKI had already carried out the new risk assessment. Only the consent of a specific person was necessary for the decision to be published.

The claim of multipolarThe fact that this decision was not based on professional judgment is misleading. The World Health Organization (WHO) had already declared Covid-19 a pandemic on March 11. On March 13, the EU health authority ECDC also classified the risk for older adults and people with underlying chronic diseases as high.

AfD, BSW and Kubicki call for a commission of inquiry

Meanwhile, the AfD and the Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW) demanded in response to the publications of multipolar, create a commission of inquiry. Wolfgang Kubicki also agrees with the magazine's presentation. It is increasingly clear that the RKI “served as a scientific front” for the health policy of the then Minister Spahn and probably also of Lauterbach, said the FDP vice-president.

Health expert Janosch Dahmen (Greens) spoke out against a commission of inquiry and accused the AfD, Wagenknecht and Kubicki of wanting to exploit the treatment of the pandemic for the upcoming election campaigns. “The very consistent measures during the first wave, when there was no vaccination and very little protective equipment, saved many lives,” said the Greens politician.

The documents had now been made public because multipolar had successfully requested his release. Whether it is multipolar However, according to a spokeswoman, the RKI cannot evaluate documents published online as original documents.