Waren "wie hypnotisiert" – Dänische Zeitung entschuldigt sich für Corona-Berichterstattung

14 Jan. 2022 13:59

In Denmark, too, the Corona crisis has dominated political, media and public discourse for two years now. Now the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet has been self-critical. The “sleeping corona monster” had the work done for them.

In Denmark, too, “Omikron” now dominates the headlines. The small country with its six million inhabitants has figures that could have the most severe consequences for everyday life in this country. The seven-day incidence on site had recently increased to 2,500. For the Danes, however, this is no reason to panic.

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In an interview with the Editorial Network Germany (RND) the sociologist Merlin Schaeffer from the University of Copenhagen states, in addition to “several advantages” over Germany: “Yes, the people in Denmark are actually very relaxed. They are less insecure than is the case in Germany. Both from the government and There is also less alarmism in the media.”

And yet it was now time for one of the major Danish newspapers to apologize to the Danes for their previous Corona reporting. “We have failed,” headlined the Danish tabloid, founded in 1904, a few days ago Extra Bladet and continued:

“For almost two years we – the press and the public – have been hypnotized by the daily corona reports from the authorities.”

Again and again, when it came to the figures for infected people, hospital stays and corona deaths, the explanations “from experts, politicians and authorities” were trusted as well as their warnings “about the slumbering corona monster”. A monster supposedly just waiting “for us to fall asleep so it can strike in the dark of night”. This permanent state of alarm got on everyone’s nerves enormously.

“So we – the press – also have to take stock of our own work. And we failed.”

According to the author of the article, Brian Weichardt, the self-attested failure can be tied to one circumstance in particular. One has not fulfilled one’s own journalistic duty to critically question what it actually means that people with Corona and not because of Corona have to be treated in the hospital. You were “not vigilant enough”. But this question is crucial. According to Weichardt, it has now turned out that “Corona” was not the main diagnosis for 27 percent of the patients in question.

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In fact, a report published last Thursday by the Danish Infection Protection Agency (SSI) shows that in December 2021, almost a quarter of the “corona patients” in Danish hospitals were not admitted to COVID-19. It is the first report to differentiate the number of Danish hospital patients with COVID-19 according to whether or not the coronavirus was the reason for their admission.

In this context, Extra Bladet criticizes less their own journalistic work than that of the authorities and politicians. These would not have informed the public “correctly, accurately and honestly” about the actual numbers of people who fell ill and died from COVID-19. In this way it was not possible to get “the clearest possible picture of the monster under the bed”.

“Overall, the messages from authorities and politicians to the public at this historic crisis leave much to be desired.”

What also raises questions in addition to the “corona patients” is the supposed “miracle weapon” in the form of the corona vaccinations, Weichardt continues. Something could be wrong if, despite the fact that a high proportion of the population is vaccinated, the country’s hospitals are under pressure. Currently, 81 percent of Danes are considered “fully vaccinated”. However, the aforementioned sociologist Merlin Schaeffer cannot confirm that the Danish hospitals are under pressure, because the proportion “of those infected who have to be treated in the hospital is actually falling”.

“We have also seen this development in other countries, above all in South Africa. If this development continues, the high incidence will no longer pose a risk of our healthcare system collapsing.”

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Based on this logic, several corona restrictions will be lifted in Denmark from Sunday. Zoos, amusement parks, museums, art galleries and other facilities will then be allowed to reopen, as will cinemas and theaters with a cap of up to 500 visitors. The government announced this on Wednesday evening in Copenhagen. In many places, however, you have to show that you have been vaccinated or recovered or have at least tested negative.

The Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke also pointed out on Wednesday that the curve of positive tests, which had risen steeply in the meantime, was flattening out again. The situation in the intensive care units is being monitored particularly closely. You have the situation under control.

more on the subject – Too high: Danish corona statistics under criticism

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