A recent interview with Professor Dr Sucharit Bhakdi, an infectious medicine specialist. The Professor is one of the most highly cited medical research scientists in Germany. He was head of the Institute for Medical Microbiology at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, one of Germany’s most distinguished seats of learning.
The transcript is below .
Those who wish to watch the German original with English subtitles may do so here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBB9bA-gXL4
(NB Interview dates form 18th March so please note one of the figures he gives for deaths in Germany is now out of date. It is not mistaken).
Q: Today we will talk about the Corona Virus. This virus spreads fear over the whole world. Also in Germany, a state of emergency imposes extreme restrictions. What are Corona viruses?
Prof Bhakdi : “These viruses coexist with humans and animals around the globe. They are the cause of very common minor diseases of the respiratory tract. Very often, infections remain subclinical without symptoms. Severe courses occur almost exclusively in elderly patients with other underlying illnesses, in particular of lung and heart.
“Now however a new member is on stage spreading fear around the world.
“The new COVID-19 originated in China and spread rapidly. It appeared to be accompanied by an unexpectedly high number of deaths. Alarming reports
followed from Northern Italy that concurred with the Chinese experience.
It must however be pointed out that the large majority of other outbreaks in other parts of the world appeared to display lower apparent mortality rates, and such high numbers of 4%, 5% or 6% were not reached. For example in South Korea the apparent mortality rate was 1%.”
Q: Why do you say “apparent” mortality rate?
Prof Bhakdi : “When patients concurrently have other illnesses, an infectious agent must not be held solely responsible for a lethal outcome. This happens for COVID- 19 but such a conclusion is false and gives rise to the danger that other important factors are overlooked. Different mortality rates may well be due to different local situations. For example, what does Northern Italy have in common with China? Answer:
Horrific air pollution, the highest in the world. Northern Italy is the China of Europe. The lungs of inhabitants there have been chronically injured over decades. And for this simple reason the situation may not be comparable to elsewhere.”
Q: What about Germany?
Prof Bhakdi : “The virus has also spread to us. It is spreading in Germany. One most important consequence being that we now have sufficient data to gauge the true nature of the virus in our country.The highest alert level has been proclaimed and extreme preventive measures have been installed in the desperate attempt to retard spread of the virus.
“Yes and this is the incredible tragedy. Because all these adopted measures are actually senseless.
“Namely, the pressing questions are answered.
“The first one: Does the virus generally cause more serious illness in young people and kill patients who have no concurring illness? This would make
them different from other everyday Corona viruses of the world. The answer is clearly: NO.
“We have 10,000 infections reported (18th March 2020). 99.5% have no or only mild symptoms. Here we already see that it is false and dangerous to talk about 10,000 “patients”. They are not seriously ill. ‘Infection’ is not identical with ‘disease’ Of the 10,000 infected people, only 50-60 were severely ill. And 30 died to the
present day. “So we have an apparent mortality rate of 1 COVID-19 positive case per day. Up to now.
“The looming worst case scenario that must be prevented according to the authorities is that we would have 1 million cases and maybe 3,000 deaths in 100
days. This would mean 30 deaths a day.”
Q: The aim is to prevent this “worst case scenario” ? All current emergency measures aim to slow down virus spread to save lives.
Prof Bhakdi: “Yes. But we are looking already at the worst case scenario – with 30 deaths a day. 30 deaths a day may sound like very much. Keep in mind that
every day, 2,200 over 65 year olds depart from us, here in Germany. How many are not known, so let us just assume 1% (which is surely too low). “This would translate to 22 a day. And these die every day. The only difference is that we do not talk about “Corona-deaths” Because we know that these viruses are normally not the major cause of death.
So what we are doing in the moment is to prevent these these 22 being replaced by 30 COVID-19 positive
patients. This is what is happening.
We are afraid that 1,000,000 infections with the new virus will lead to 30 deaths a day over the next 100 days.
But we do not realise that 20, 30 or 40 or 100 patients positive for normal Corona viruses are already dying every day.
“To avoid CO|VID-19 entering the scene instead of the other Corona viruses, extreme measures are installed.’
Q: So what do you think about them?
Prof Bhakdi :: “They are grotesque, absurd and very dangerous.
“Our elderly citizens have every right to make efforts not to belong to the 2200 who daily embark on their last journey. Social contacts and social events, theatre and music, travel and holiday recreation, sports and hobbies , etc, etc, all help to prolong their stay on earth.
The life expectancy of millions is being shortened.
The horrifying impact on world economy threatens the existence of countless people. The consequences on medical care are profound. Already services to
patients who are in need are reduced, operations cancelled, practices empty, hospital personnel dwindling.
All this will impact profoundly on our whole society.
I can only say that all these measures are leading to self-destruction and collective suicide because of nothing but a spook.”
(A note on the YouTube translation: No comments have been altered in either the spirit or meaning of the language.
Where sentences have been altered in the translation, this is a common requirement for German to English translations. This is due to German having a far larger and wider vocabulary than English, so these minor alterations are normal so as to be able to simplify sentences to make them comfortably understandable in the English language.
The only fault in the translation is that the following important point (for the UK) has been left out (probably due to closed captions timing in the subtitling – a common problem with YouTube subtitles). This point is that the apparent mortality rate in England is 0.3% (at 1:39 to 1:43 in the video).