Whoops! Lockdown-Loving Minister Admits Closing Schools Over COVID Likely Was a Mistake

05 January 2023, Berlin: Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Federal Minister of Health, speaks at a pr
Carsten Koall/picture alliance via Getty Images

Closing schools and daycare facilities for extended periods over COVID-19 was likely a mistake, a lockdown-loving health minister has admitted.

Karl Lauterbach, Germany’s pro-lockdown health minister, has reportedly admitted that long-term school closures in the country over COVID-19 was likely the wrong move on his part, multiple outlets in the country have reported.

Lauterbach, along with the German government as a whole, have traditionally been some of the most pro-lockdown politicians in Europe, with significant anti-COVID measures remaining in place in the country to this day despite the fact that other nations on the continent have long abandoned such policies.

However, according to a report by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Lauterbach seems to be backpedalling on some of the measures he implemented over the past number of years, with the minister seeing his decision to close schools as likely being unwise in hindsight.

“The level of knowledge was often not really good enough,” he reportedly said, adding that there were “things that should never have happened” during lockdown.

In particular, Lauterbach described the government as being “really hard” on children and students, with the leftist politician judging his decision to shutter schools as being not supported in hindsight by the evidence.

Zeit reports he said in retrospect the belief prevalent in government at the time that schools were full of coronavirus cases “did not prove to be correct”.

Despite this, the minister seems reticent to ask for “forgiveness”, with Lauterbach saying that he and his colleagues could only work with the evidence available to them at the time, and that such decisions should be viewed in the context.

The leftist politician’s admission that mistakes were likely made in Germany over its COVID lockdown policies represents somewhat of a departure from the pro-lockdown sentiment Lauterbach has previously espoused.

In fact, the minister has in the past been so pro-lockdown that even those within the country’s legacy media and political sphere have taken him to task over it, with many in the country seeing him as being over-zealous when it comes to the restrictions.

For example, the politician found both he and his colleagues in hot water last year when it was discovered that the German Ministry of Health published inflated COVID hospitalisation numbers in multiple major publications across the country as part of an information campaign.

Titled “fact booster”, the ministry paid for both digital and physical advertisements in numerous publications claiming that around 10 per cent of COVID cases result in hospitalisation, a statistic that the ministry has since admitted is incorrect.

Lauterbach himself has also been accused of making misleading claims on his social media in support of lockdown, with one publication at one point accusing the minister of using “the number of corona deaths to promote his pandemic policy”, despite the fact that published health statistics in Germany at the time did not distinguish between people who die with COVID and people who died from the disease.

“Lauterbach cannot explain his own corona numbers,” local publication Bild claimed at the time.

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