It’s enough for Christian Drosten. Was mask wearing effective, school closures correct? And how to adapt the Infection Protection Act so that it can do without emergency paragraphs in the future? From that expert committee, who is supposed to answer these questions and evaluate the measures taken by the federal government in the pandemic, the virologist has just resigned. It’s a bitter loss, after all, Drosten is one of the leading experts, and answers to these questions are important in preparing for the fall. And yet this departure is correct and understandable.
Less because Christian Drosten has conflicts of interest. Yes, the virologist is one of those experts who advised the federal government in its decision on the corona measures, and he is still sitting in their expert advice. However, every well-known expert has taken a stand on the pandemic – they all have an interest in feeling that the evaluation confirms their recommendations.
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What is more serious: the expert committee set up by the federal government and the Bundestag was not set up in such a way from the start that it could have fulfilled its tasks, least of all by the end of June. It was cast according to political proportionality without anyone coordinating the cast. Among the 17 remaining members there are only two virologists, nobody from epidemiology or immunology, but six lawyers. There is a lack of assistants who pre-sort the scientific publications according to their evidence. On top of that, someone on the committee regularly leaks internals from the meetings to the Springer press. That’s why Drosten now pulled the ripcord.
Is an evaluation of the corona measures even possible?
After all, his departure offers a good opportunity to make the problems in evaluating the corona measures clear to the public. Because it is questionable whether a serious evaluation will be possible at all, because the various effects can hardly be separated. So when the schools are closed, many parents stay in the home office; and simply discussing measures leads to changes in behavior. Well-founded scientific publications may still be months and years away.
In the end, the Commission will have to say that the value of many measures cannot yet be finally assessed – a conclusion that will lead many people to say that the benefits of all this harassment have not been proven at all. But politicians cannot wait for the latest scientific evidence. In the event of dangerous infections, it will have to take protective measures again, even without their effectiveness having been proven to the highest standards.