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Covid-19: Experts divide into two camps of action—shielding versus blanket policies

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 21 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3702

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Re: Covid-19: Experts divide into two camps of action—shielding versus blanket policies

Dear Editor!

In my RR post from Sept 24, the article should at least have mentioned or even discussed that experts are divided into THREE camps of action.

That this "third group" also consists of absolutely top-class experts is shown by the example of Prof. René Gottschalk, MD, Head of the Frankfurt Health Office, who sharply criticizes the German government, as the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung reported yesterday. According to Gottschal there is no excess mortality in Germany, neither in the total population nor in the group of high-risk patients (residents of nursing homes). And despite a clear increase of reported cases, there are fewer serious diseases with fewer hospital admissions.

As Gottschalk laments, the political measures are characterized by a lack of expertise and a massive endangerment of social and economic structures. Therefore, a broad public discussion about the goals and means of combating the pandemic is urgently needed. This discussion must go beyond purely virological issues to include ethical aspects and legal questions about the legitimate purpose, suitability, necessity and appropriateness of the measures.

Gottschalk's sharp criticism actually confirms what German physician Claus Köhlein, MD, and I outlined two days before, on Sept 29, in our in-depth analysis "COVID-19 (excess) mortality data show unequivocally: viral cause impossible—drugs with key role in about 200,000 extra deaths in Europe and the US alone" (Real News Australia 2020 Oct 1).

Who thinks that Gottschalk or we are factually wrong at any point, please let us know!

Competing interests: Competing interests: I am author of “Virus Mania” (“Virus Wahn”), co-authord by Claus Köhnlein, MD, in which we outline that there is no solid proof that viruses (alone) are the primary cause of various diseases such as COVID-19, SARS, bird flu, swine flu, hepatitis C, etc. Instead, several causes must be considered.

01 October 2020
Torsten Engelbrecht
Hamburg, Germany