RKI boss Wieler: It is “absolutely” necessary to deal with the pandemic
The corona pandemic now seems manageable. How are the protective measures taken to be evaluated afterwards? Lothar Wieler, still head of the RKI, considers a precise analysis to be urgently required.
The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) considers it necessary to deal with the corona pandemic. “Absolutely” there must be such an analysis, said Lothar Wieler in an interview with the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit” (Thursday). “As a scientist, I want to know: Which measures were appropriate, what were the cost-benefit effects?” But the processing must be well-founded, “as a clean analysis, because we have to learn from it for the future”.
Apparently, people in Germany see things similarly: A survey commissioned by “Zeit” shows that a majority of the around 2,500 respondents – 58 percent – are in favor of dealing with wrong decisions in dealing with Corona.
When asked about protecting the interests of children and young people in the pandemic, the RKI boss said, among other things: “We have always made recommendations that could have allowed schools and daycare centers to run, albeit with effort.” There was never only the alternative: either a few deaths or keep schools open. However, during the pandemic, the existing scope was “not considered sufficiently with the necessary care, calm and objectivity”.
Initially, it was also not known to what extent children contracted Corona and to what extent they were affected by long-term consequences, Wieler pointed out. “We had to protect them too.” The implementation is the task of politics and those responsible on site. “And it was always clear that every measure would have side effects,” he told Die Zeit. When asked about his own mistakes in the pandemic, Wieler said that he had had too few conversations due to being overworked in order to better classify the complex events.
The RKI and the Federal Ministry of Health recently announced that Wieler would leave the institute in April. What he will do in the future, he did not say in “Zeit”. Saying goodbye to the RKI and the timing of this step was his personal decision. The pandemic is now manageable. This is a good time to stop. And he wants to do something new again.