Leaked Analysis of the Impact of the Lockdown by a Senior Official at the German Ministry of the Interior

12 May 2020. Updated 15 June 2020.

Below is a press release put out by Tichys Einblick, a German magazine, translated into English. The author of the leaked document, which was written on April 15th, is Stephan Kohn, a senior civil servant in the KM4 section of the Ministry of the Interior, which is tasked with the protection of essential infrastructure. The document, which was written for internal consumption only, is over 30,000 words and runs to over 80 pages and, to date, there is no English translation. However, the German-to-English translator Paul Gregory has written a good summary on his website, along with a brief outline of the attempt by Ministry officials to discredit Kohn since the leak. To date, Kohn has been suspended, but not fired. German speakers can download the document here. If anyone wants to translate the whole thing into English we will publish it on this site, but be warned: Google or DeepL probably won’t do a good enough job because of the technical language the AIs won’t be familiar with.

The lockdown and the measures taken by the German federal and central governments to contain the coronavirus apparently cost more lives – for example of cancer patients – than those actually killed by it. This is the result of an internal analysis by the “Protection of Critical Infrastructures” unit in the Federal Ministry of the Interior which has been made available to members of the ministry’s crisis team and leaked to Tichys Einblick magazine.

The 86-page paper with its critical evaluations – for example, of the data submitted by the Robert Koch Institute – has since been dismissed by the ministry as being an “isolated individual opinion”. According to information from Tichy’s Einblick, the paper’s author – a senior official at the ministry – has now been suspended.

The study claims that the decisions of the ministry’s crisis team are exaggerated and that they cause more damage than they avoid.

“At the moment, supposedly protective measures cause further serious damage every day, financially as well as medically. They supposedly even cause a large number of avoidable deaths. It is the crisis management that has to be held responsible for this,” the author writes. “Coronavirus essentially kills people who would statistically have died anyway because they had reached the end of their lives and their weakened bodies could no longer bear additional everyday stress factors. The danger of Covid-19 was therefore overestimated.”

With Covid-19, there have been no more than 250,000 deaths worldwide over this quarter of the year, while the 2017–18 flu outbreak alone claimed 1.5 million lives. “The risk is obviously not bigger than with many other viruses, so we have probably been dealing with a global, yet unnoticed, false alarm all along.”

Even worse: “The collateral damage is now higher than the apparent benefit.”

The seriously ill will die due to a lack of treatment because intensive care beds are now reserved for coronavirus patients. Operations are being postponed. “The deaths caused by that cannot be assessed seriously, yet experts already assume that there are between 5,000 and up to 125,000 patients who will die or have already died due to postponed surgery.”

The paper also sees a higher death rate as a result of the coronavirus measures in nursing: “The forced reduction of care in nursing homes in March and April 2020 will have caused premature deaths. For 3.5 million people in need of care, an additional death rate of 0.1% would result in 3,500 additional deaths. In the absence of more precise estimates, it is not known whether there are more or fewer.”

The data provided by the Robert Koch Institute used by the ministry’s crisis team as the basis for their decision-making are criticized as being unusable: “The ratings are often speculative, sometimes implausible. Unfortunately, the crisis team’s evaluations rely solely on these data.” It is necessary to improve the data so that the pandemic can “finally be assessed with reasonable accuracy”.

Conclusion: “The actual crisis management and the actions by the political decision-makers could be causing gigantic preventable damage for our society that could far exceed the potential damage of the coronavirus itself and could in the process cause unimaginable suffering.”

Further Reading

Summary of the Leaked Document

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