A representative of the US vice president denied media reports about his self-isolation :: Politics :: RBC

US Vice President Michael Pence did not go into isolation after being infected with coronavirus by his spokeswoman Katie Miller. This was announced by the official representative of Vice President Devin O’Malley, reports CNN.

“Vice President Pence will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Services and is not in quarantine. In addition, Vice President Pence plans to attend tomorrow. [в понедельник] in the White House, ”said the representative of Pence.

According to O’Malley, the US Vice President is tested daily to identify a new coronavirus that has shown a negative result.

The fact that Pence left for self-isolation, was reported on the eve by Bloomberg, citing sources.

Katie Miller is the wife of Stephen Miller, an adviser to US President Donald Trump. She contracted the coronavirus on May 9th. According to Trump, Miller did not contact him, but was in contact with Pence.

How heads of state defend themselves from coronavirus. Photoreport

In late April, while visiting a clinic in Minnesota, Mike Pence refused to wear a medical mask so as not to become infected with a coronavirus. Journalists present next to him asked Pence why he did not use the mask, unlike the officials who accompanied him. To which the US vice president replied that he was not sick with a coronavirus and confirmed that he regularly passed tests for coronavirus.

On May 10, after contact with a White House employee who confirmed the coronavirus, three members of the working group created by the White House to fight against coronavirus went to self-isolation. Among those affected are Robert Redfield, head of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Stephen Khan, head of the Food and Drug Administration at the US Department of Health and Human Services, and Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 1.3 million cases of coronavirus infection have been detected in the United States. More than 79 thousand people died.

Coronavirus

Russia Moscow Peace

0 (per day)

Recovered

0

0 (per day)

Infected

0

0 (per day)

Died

0 (per day)

Recovered

0

0 (per day)

Infected

0

0 (per day)

Died

0 (per day)

Recovered

0

0 (per day)

Infected

0

0 (per day)

Died

Source: JHU,
federal and regional
anti-virus operations

Source: JHU, federal and regional anti-virus operations

.

Behind the scenes of Brussels – Containment: the debate prohibited

It only took a few moments, on March 16, for the Head of State and his government, in the name of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, to place the French under house arrest and deprive them of most of their freedoms civil, political and social that we thought inalienable: freedom to come and go, freedom of assembly, freedom to undertake, freedom to work, etc. Justice has almost been brought to a halt, lawyers confined, provisional detentions automatically extended, the police (understood in a very extensive sense since they include municipal police officers and the like) invested with full powers apply these custodial measures.

Containment without legal basis

This suspension of the rule of law was done without legal basis. Indeed, the decree of March 16 restricting the movement of citizens does not fall within the powers of the executive, since only a judicial judge, the liberty judge, can normally decide on an individual basis. Nevertheless, administrative justice, in this case the Council of State, validated it on the basis of the jurisprudential theory of “exceptional circumstances”, which is probably not its most inspired decision.

It was only on March 23 that Parliament gave a legal basis to the measures announced on March 17 by hastily passing the law creating a “state of health emergency” which authorizes the government to trigger it “in the event of a disaster. health endangering, by its nature and gravity, the health of the population ”, a particularly vague definition. This whole law cultivates vagueness, the offenses it provides for example leaving a large part to police interpretation and therefore to arbitrariness. Renewable by Parliament – possibly for a period longer than two months – it gives full powers to the executive, Parliament being stripped of its powers and reduced to the role of mere spectator. If the Assembly has not changed the government’s plan, the majority being what it is, the Senate, dominated by the classic right, has fortunately managed to introduce some safeguards in this improvised text and poorly put together in providing in particular that it will cease to apply in any event on 1er April 2021, unless a law to the contrary is passed. A fundamental clarification which the government services had curiously not thought of.

Not quite a dictatorship

It is remarkable that this exceptional legislation, justified by the use of a warlike language unique in Europe (“We are at war”) was not the subject of a referral to the Constitutional Council, the opposition, all as forbidden from terror as public opinion, having given up exercising its rights, an unprecedented fact, when it is a particularly serious attack on the rule of law. The constitutional judges were only seized on one point of detail, the suspension of the time limits to judge the questions preliminary of constitutionality (QPC), a provision which it moreover validated.

As long as the state of health emergency applies (until the end of July we have just learned), France is no longer a democracy, even if it is not quite a dictatorship. In his time, François Mitterrand denounced the “permanent coup” that were the institutions of the Fifth Republic. The coronavirus has made it possible to carry out this institutional logic. The head of state, relying on a submissive majority and facing non-existent opposition, seized all the levers of power by invoking the need to preserve the health of the French and a health emergency that he does did not want to see it coming, he who ten days earlier encouraged the French to continue living as before.

This parenthesis of the rule of law was accompanied by the brutal halt of a large part of the economy, a logical consequence of confinement. Above all, the government decided, without any consultation, which businesses could remain open, forcing companies to lay off more than 11 million private sector workers.

Lack of debate

It is truly staggering that these exceptional powers entrusted to the State to apply a brutal and without nuance confinement to an entire country, one of the hardest in Europe with those of Spain, Italy and Belgium , did not give rise to any debate, as if there was no other choice. However, never a democracy used in the past this method to fight against a pandemic (there was only partial confinements at the beginning of the previous century), in particular during the Spanish flu of 1918-1919, of the Asian flu of 1959 or of the Hong Kong flu of 1969. The fact that containment was a solution invented by China, a totalitarian regime, to contain the coronavirus pandemic should at least have questioned its legitimacy. However, it imposed itself almost naturally, all playing in reality when Italy took the decision to confine the whole of its population from March 10, which caused a domino effect, each wanting to show that he was also keen to protect its population: Spain imposed it on March 15, France on March 16, Belgium on March 18 …

However, there was room for debate and on all fronts. On the principle of containment itself first. Because it is only a stopgap aimed at slowing the spread of the virus and avoiding congestion in hospitals which could result in additional deaths. Clearly, the virus will continue to circulate and kill those it must kill after the containment is lifted – in a proportion that no one knows – since it does not exist and will not exist for one or two years a vaccine and that treatments are still in the experimental stage.

Containment is a political trap

Obviously, no one realized that it was going to be very difficult to get out of the containment once decided without political damage, a part of the public opinion risking to be self-persuaded over the days that it is in eradicating the disease. If the pandemic continues to kill, and it will, the government will be automatically accused of endangering the health of its citizens to save “the economy”, a swear word for some French people as if working for a living was secondary to health… In other words, the temptation will be strong to return to blind confinement to silence the controversies or to get out of them as late as possible, the path chosen by France after six weeks of state of emergency sanitary.

This is also why countries like Sweden, Switzerland, Germany or the Netherlands either have not adopted this strategy, letting life take its normal course, or have applied it with much more finesse, which made it possible to avoid passing through the box of exceptional powers entrusted to the executive and especially to break the economy.

Why confine an entire country?

This total foreclosure of a country is all the more questionable since whole regions were and are almost untouched by the virus: why impose the same treatment in Creuse as in Ile de France, in Puglia as in Milan ? Why not have it confined to the extent of the pandemic, just like Germany, where the Länder are competent in public health, has done with the success we know? Thus, from the start, two foci were identified in France: the Oise and Mulhouse. However, rather than reacting immediately by isolating these two regions and deploying military medical means to relieve hospitals, the government procrastinated, allowing the virus to spread. It remains staggering that it was not until March 24, a week after the decision to confine the country, that the military medical service was sent to reinforce Mulhouse! From there to think that total containment was also motivated by the inability of the authorities to anticipate the crisis, there is only one step that I will be careful not to take.

Similarly, the choice of companies to close and the precautions to be taken would also have been a possible area of ​​discussion. For example, it quickly became known that air conditioning allowed the virus to circulate more than a meter and contaminate many people. So does closing shoe repair shops, art galleries or florists and leaving supermarkets open make medical sense? Likewise, was school closure necessary? All this was left to the discretion of a bureaucracy without control and without any consultation with all economic and social actors.

Why place an entire population under residence?

Finally, it appeared very early on that the disease was overwhelmingly fatal for people over the age of 70 (average age of death in Italy or France: 80) and those with serious pathologies, in particular clear the weak. Was it therefore rational to confine all assets and plunge the country into recession? Perhaps we should have focused on protecting these at-risk groups rather than putting a whole country under wraps without thinking of tomorrow, especially since we know full well that the virus is here for a long time.

The debate becomes, at this point, particularly emotional, because it refers to our relationship to death. Why has such a pandemic, which is not the first the world has faced and which is especially far from being the most deadly in history, led states to decide on unprecedented measures while knowing that they were not a cure? Why such a panic, especially when you compare the mortality caused by the coronavirus with that of other diseases? Although we must still be careful, since five months after its appearance, we still know very little about covid-19, which should warn us about the scientism that seized us, the doctors having said everything and its contrary to this pandemic, making political decision particularly difficult. However, let’s remember that 400,000 new cancers are diagnosed each year in France and that 150,000 French people die from it, and yet tobacco and alcohol are still not banned, while that would avoid much of it. If all life deserves to be saved, why be so casual about cancer? Similarly, seasonal flu (while there is a vaccine that a large majority considers dispensable) kill each year between 3,000 and 15,000 people (not to mention the more than 30,000 deaths from the Hong Kong flu in 1969 in a country of 51 million inhabitants or the equivalent number of deaths in 1959 in a country of 45 million inhabitants), seasonal respiratory infections 68,000 people, road accidents 3500 people to which must be added the disabled for life. And yet, no one has thought of banning the car (and every measure aimed at strengthening safety has its share of protests, remember the 80 km / h) or to make the fight against pollution or junk food a categorical imperative.

If we look at the statistics of mortality in the world, we see that hunger (yet easy and inexpensive to eradicate), malaria, AIDS or even wars (often made with the weapons produced by our industries) kill infinitely more than the coronavirus will ever kill.

Choose your comrade side, but there is only one good side, that of containment!

It would probably be necessary to question the responsibility of the audiovisual media in this panic which has taken hold of Western public opinion (with a German exception, German televisions having voluntarily decided to treat covid-19 in the place it deserves). Announce every morning the number of dead without putting them in perspective (compared to the usual average of the dead, their age, the comorbidity from which they suffered, etc.), devote entire newspapers to the pandemic can only shake even the best made heads … Imagine that every morning the number of deaths in France is truncated for all causes and that all the newspapers are devoted to it: who would still dare to simply live?

This is not to say that a death is immaterial, but simply that any public policy must be subject to a cost-benefit assessment. If we do not ban the sale of weapons, tobacco, alcohol, cars, trucks, thermal power stations, it is because collectively we believe that the cost would be greater than the benefit we would derive from it. But this debate, in the emotional surge that has been going on for two months, is in fact prohibited. Those who dared to question the chosen strategy and especially on its duration were pilloried by the most radical, those who are heard. To be opposed to the prolongation of confinement is to be for the “sacrifice” of those who are sick, “to spit in the mouth of the dead” and so on. In short, choose your comrade side, but there is only one good side, that of containment! I have even been threatened with death, myself and my family, by good people who believe that all life must be saved at any cost without the contradiction of their words touching their minds for daring to me. question in two tweets from April 9, three weeks after the start of confinement: ” It’s crazy when you think about it: plunging the world into the worst recession since the Second World War for a pandemic that has so far killed less than 100,000 people (not to mention their advanced age) in a world of 7 billion inhabitants. Seasonal flu, which kills especially young children, is between 290,000 and 650,000 per year worldwide. And everyone fucks, but serious. “

The worst recession of all time outside of the war (and more)

However, confinement will lead to an unimaginable recession by its violence: it should reach between 8% and 15% of GDP, an unprecedented decline in activity in peacetime (we must go back to 1942 to record a recession of -10 %). We have never brought an economy to a complete halt as we have just done, we must be aware of this. Partial unemployment now affects nearly twelve million workers (one in two private workers!) And the layoffs caused by thousands of business bankruptcies will number in the hundreds of thousands or even millions once the partial unemployment scheme supported by the state will expire (because it costs a fortune). And the longer the shutdown, the more difficult it will be to restart. The cost generated by the establishment of a social safety net and by economic plans will lead to an unprecedented deterioration in public accounts and the young generations who will have to pay twice for confinement: by the loss of their jobs and by raising taxes for those who will keep it.

It should not be forgotten that unemployment is also a health catastrophe, but more diffuse and therefore socially more acceptable: we thus estimate at 14,000 the deaths which it causes each year in France by induced diseases. And how not to speak of its procession of misery, hunger, social downgrading, etc. The effects of confinement are also going to have terrible consequences on the minds of French people, on violence against women and children, on their health (for example, early screenings for cancer, stroke, heart attack are suspended and nothing is known about suicides, etc.), about dropping out of school (how many children have simply disappeared from the system? ).

A lastingly weakened rule of law

Finally, to believe that public freedoms, democracy, will come out intact from this episode is just a sweet dream. The state of health emergency will remain enshrined in our law for a long time exactly as the state of emergency, launched in 2015, was finally incorporated into ordinary law. It is rare for a state to give up on its own the powers gained over the legislature and the justice system. The tracking of individuals, via smartphones, which some consider to be a necessity, could well become the rule in the name of safeguarding our health which has become THE priority, privacy being reduced to the rank of concern of another age. Having chosen total containment and the state of emergency will leave lasting traces in French democracy.

I do not pretend to provide an answer here. Simply, the first elements of the deconfinement show that another way would have been possible: confinement not department, wide discretion left to local authorities, referral to the judicial judge to register the carriers of the virus, etc. I just regret the absence of democratic deliberation before the establishment of the state of health emergency and its extension. As if sacrificing generations under the age of 60 and suspending the rule of law were obvious facts.

In provisional conclusion, I think that we should not be mistaken about the meaning of the unimaginable event that we are experiencing: it is the triumph of individualism, that of the immediate health of the individual in the face of well-being current and future collective. The terms of the debate are in reality identical to those of climate change: should we accept to sacrifice our immediate well-being to ensure the survival of the human species?

Some reading tips:

Note from the magistrates’ union on the state of health emergency

“Let us beware of falling into a sickly, viro-induced, social and political reactivity”

The catastrophic cost-benefit of containment

Breaking out of blind confinement

Dare to discuss confinement (a Belgian point of view)

Will the remedy ultimately be worse than the coronavirus? (a Swiss point of view)

“Let us die as we wish” and “I prefer to catch covid-19 in a free country than to escape it in a totalitarian state”

.

Ifo business climate index falls to record low

Berlin The mood in Germany’s economy is catastrophic. The most important leading indicator, the Ifo business climate index, fell from 85.9 to 74.3 points in April. This is the lowest value ever measured. There has never been a stronger decline. “This is mainly due to the massive deterioration of the current situation,” said Ifo President Clemens Fuest on Friday.

In addition, companies have never been so pessimistic about the coming months. “The corona crisis hits the German economy with full force,” said Fuest. The crisis is now affecting all industries. Even the main construction industry is now worried about the future. So far, together with consumption, it has been the pillar of the economy.

The fact that the effects of the corona-related standstill would hit companies hard in April had become clearer every day since Easter. On Thursday, the Ifo reported that the crisis had hit the labor market: in industry and service providers, one in five companies surveyed by the Ifo want to lay off employees or not to extend temporary jobs.

It is 15 percent in retail, and two percent on construction that has so far been little affected by downtime. In almost all industries, more than 40 percent of companies want to postpone investments – even 31 percent of them are in construction.

How deep the recession will become in 2020 is currently difficult to estimate. “We do not know how much we can start the economy up again without increasing the risk of infection,” Monika Schnitzer told the Handelsblatt. The situation is not comparable to any post-war recession. However, she is confident that Germany will get there in the next few weeks if protective measures are increased and tracing apps are increased.

The purchasing manager index of the IHS Markit institute also fell to a record low on Thursday. In this manager survey, 75 percent of service providers and almost as many industrial managers said that their sales had shrunk significantly. Service providers’ sales fell more than ever in the 20-year history of this survey.

graphic

“Both domestic and export demand has collapsed,” writes IHS Markit economist Phil Smith. In the service sector, more jobs were cut than at the height of the financial crisis recession in April 2009, and in industry, too, the reduction in personnel accelerated – despite short-time work.

In any case, leading economists are starting to further lower their forecasts for 2020. The head of economic operations, Lars Feld, now expects that gross domestic product (GDP) will shrink by at least five and a half percentage points in 2020. It could shrink more than in the 2009 financial crisis recession.

Three and a half weeks ago, when the Economic Advisory Council for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (CDU) presented a special report on the corona pandemic, a minus of five and a half percent was still the worst-case scenario. However, the IMF expects German GDP to collapse by seven percent in 2020.

Even in the large economic research institutes, which predicted a minus of 4.2 percent for 2020 in their joint diagnosis two weeks ago, many expect that a five will be before the decimal point. The markets are therefore eagerly awaiting which recession forecast the Federal Government will commit to in the coming week.

However, Stefan Kooths, economic expert at the Kiel IfW, also warned that he would now outdo himself in horror scenarios: that April would be the low point of the year and that GDP would decline by ten percent in the second quarter, he said in early March already expected. The question now is how quickly a recovery can begin.

France: lowest since 1980

However, this also depends on how quickly the economy in the EU countries most affected by the pandemic can get going again, Italy, Spain and France. “As intertwined as our economy, for example, with that in Italy, we have to be very interested in the EU not breaking apart,” said Schnitzer. “It is not just about solidarity, it is in our interest if we help other EU countries,” she emphasized.

However, the prospects for the economy are currently catastrophic in all large EU countries. For example, the IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to a record low for the euro zone on Thursday. In Italy, the IMF expects GDP to decline 9.1 percent this year.

The mood in France’s economy also deteriorated massively in April due to the corona crisis. The business climate has dropped to the lowest level since the start of the surveys in 1980, according to data from the national statistical office Insee on Thursday. The index fell by 32 points to 62 points. There has never been such a sharp drop.

Economic activity in France was 35 percent lower in April than it was before the economy shutdown in March. Insee also does not expect the business climate to recover anytime soon. In this unprecedented environment, the behavior of companies and consumers can hardly be predicted. The French government expects gross domestic product to decline by eight percent this year.

More: According to the Ifo Institute, a fifth of German companies are planning to cut jobs due to the corona crisis.

.

How professionals position themselves on the stock exchange

Frankfurt Stock Exchange

Many investors are puzzled as to where the markets will go.


(Photo: dpa)

Frankfurt The uncertainty is great. The oil price and many stock prices are in the basement. The mood among many managers is bad. The corona crisis keeps the financial markets in suspense every day. Many investors are now thinking more than ever about where to invest their money in these unstable times.

Because the violent ups and downs on the markets shows that there is still no peace on the stock exchanges. This leaves many investors in doubt about their previous investments. Keep or prefer to sell? This is an important question for many investors, especially with equities.

Read on now

Get access to this and every other article in the

Web and in our app for 4 weeks for free.

Further

Read on now

Get access to this and every other article in the

Web and in our app for 4 weeks for free.

Further

Our newsletter for better decisions about your finances

.

Union at 39 percent – SPD and Greens lose

Bundestag

The grand coalition comes to 55 percent in polls.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin According to a survey, the Union continues to gain popularity in the wake of the corona crisis. In the RTL / n-tv “Trend Barometer” of the Forsa Institute, the CDU / CSU increased by two percentage points to 39 percent compared to the previous week. This is currently the highest value of all larger survey institutes and at the level of August 2017, i.e. even before the last federal election (32.9).

.

Union polls continue to grow

CDU and CSU politicians

If the federal election were to take place next Sunday, the Union would reach 38 percent.


(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The Union continues to gain approval in the corona crisis, according to a survey. As can be seen from the ARD “Germany Trend” (Friday), the CDU and CSU would theoretically win 38 percent of the vote in a Bundestag election next Sunday.

Compared to the survey two weeks ago, this is an increase of three percentage points. It is also the best Union value in the Infratest dimap survey since August 2017, i.e. for more than two and a half years.

The government partner SPD also increased, but only by one point to 17 percent. The grand coalition would thus have a total of 55 percent of the vote.

The other parties stagnate or lose. According to the poll, the Greens would become the second largest party and would get 19 percent (minus three percentage points). The AfD would come to nine percent (minus one percentage point), the left to unchanged seven percent, and the FDP would remain at five percent.

More: Read all current developments regarding the corona pandemic here.

.

Half of Germans consider health to be more important than business

Empty restaurants

Many Germans are worried about the economic future.


(Photo: dpa)

Dusseldorf Should the German economy stand still? Or are you slowly starting up again? The Germans have a fairly clear stance on this: Around every second person believes that the federal government should first concentrate on limiting the spread of the corona virus, even if this would result in negative economic consequences such as a recession and the loss of thousands of jobs.

Only 26 percent of Germans believe that supporting the economy is more important. This was the result of a representative survey by the communications consultancy Kekst CNC, which is exclusively available to the Handelsblatt.

Nevertheless, many Germans are worried about the economic future. More than one in three fears that his employer could get into financial difficulties in the current situation. 18 percent of those surveyed shortly before Easter even assume that they will lose their jobs.

However, despite individual fears, more than two thirds of Germans expect that the effects of the virus crisis on the economy and companies will be significantly greater than the effects on them personally.

In the eyes of the Germans, the state therefore plays a decisive role in overcoming the crisis. According to the survey, 67 percent believe that the government should save the most important companies if they stumble in the corona crisis.

It is also noteworthy, as the Kekst-CNC survey also showed, that the call for state intervention in Germany is much louder than in countries like the USA or Great Britain. The fear of losing a job is greatest in the United States.

graphic

The work of the federal government, as other surveys have already shown, is meanwhile largely assessed positively: 64 percent of Germans support the active role of the grand coalition in combating the corona crisis.

44 percent said the behavior of the government had increased their confidence in them. Only 21 percent of Germans have lost confidence in the federal government.

The picture is quite different in the USA, where the government of US President Donald Trump has long hesitated to take measures against the virus. 35 percent of Americans said their confidence in the government had declined.

It is clear, however, that at least many Germans think that the world will change after the corona crisis. Almost every third German wants to fly less, a similar number want to reduce the number of trips abroad – and 26 percent stated that they would like to spend more time outdoors in the future.

More: Corona crisis: Zero hour – How a responsible restart of the economy succeeds. Read more here.

.

Who was infected with Corona unnoticed?

DWhat is currently most urgently lacking when decisions are to be taken to maintain or relax measures against the Covid 19 pandemic are representative surveys. This is the only way to make statements about the actual course of the epidemic in the general population, which are independent of the test practices used in each case. Calculations suggest that, especially in countries with low test capacities, only a small proportion of those actually infected are recorded in the official figures. In Spain, for example, Imperial College London model calculations showed that 15 percent of the population could already be infected. Empirical evaluations of the figures in China also come to the conclusion that only a fraction of those actually infected were included in the case numbers.

Sibylle Anderl

In order to counter such speculations about the supposedly advanced infection of the population with reliable figures, various European countries have now started to plan and carry out representative samples. In Spain, a representative study is to be carried out over a period of three weeks to determine how many Spaniards are infected or already immune, using the tests of more than 62,000 citizens. A study is currently being evaluated in Germany to investigate the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 virus in the Heinsberg district.

No nationally representative sample

There, in particular, the community of Gangelt developed into a focus of infection after a carnival session in mid-February. With the help of questionnaires, PCR and antibody tests, the proportion of those already infected should be determined. On Thursday, the virologist Hendrik Streeck from the University of Bonn presented the first interim results of the study based on 509 representative individuals. According to this, 15 percent of the population in Gangelt municipality had already been infected with the virus.

This result is particularly interesting because the spreading dynamics of an epidemic depend both on the properties of the infection and on the number of those who can still be infected. As soon as a “herd immunity” is reached, the further spread stops. Model-based estimates give values ​​between 60 and 80 percent of those infected, depending on the assumptions received. So Gangelt is still relatively far away from such a widespread immunity. It should also not be forgotten that the sample cannot be seen as nationally representative, but refers to a community with an unusual frequency of infections.

Study planned for all of Germany

The virologist Christian Drosten also criticized that it is unclear whether the antibody tests used to detect past infections actually only respond to the Sars-CoV-2 viruses and not also to other seasonal coronaviruses, which are responsible for common colds. However, a final assessment of the study is only possible when all information of the complete survey has been published. The Robert Koch Institute announced on Thursday that it is planning a study representative of the whole of Germany with 15,000 participants from mid-May. The first results are expected in June.



FAZ.NET completely

Access to all exclusive F + items. Special offer: For new customers now only 1 € per week for the next four months.

Learn more

Austria was faster with such a national study. On Good Friday, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research announced the results of a representative study with more than 1,500 participants. In contrast to the study in Heinsberg, only the current proportion of infected people was checked here. In the test period around April 6, this had projected 28,500 cases. The official numbers, however, only recorded 8500 infected. These numbers provide interesting information for estimating the undisclosed number of official case numbers.

What conclusions can be drawn from the result?

For a complete overview of the spread of the disease in the population, those with mild or absent symptoms must also be taken into account. To date, there have been a number of studies attempting to estimate the asymptomatic proportion in the infected group. 15 to 30 percent of those infected were found to be permanently symptom-free.

If one sets this value for Austria and also takes into account a certain proportion of presymptomatically infected people, the result would be that a large proportion of the symptomatically infected people actually appear in the official figures. In view of the fact that the number of tests carried out at that time was not very high, it is more likely to conclude that the proportion of asymptomatic patients is lower than previously expected. This is bad news for the goal of achieving herd immunity: it will not just happen and go unnoticed by mild illnesses. But it is good news for the plan to control the epidemic. Because the lower the proportion of undetected patients, the easier it will be.

.

Germans mostly satisfied with the measures

SFor four weeks now there are restrictions in everyday life due to the corona virus. More and more voices are being heard to return to normal soon. Such demands can be heard especially from the economy and partly from politics. However, according to a recent survey by the polling institute Yougov, the majority of the German population is satisfied with the measures. 79 percent of Germans oppose the security measures of the federal government now melting away, the representative survey of 2038 people commissioned by Zurich Insurance.

Philipp Krohn

Philipp Krohn

Business editor, responsible for “People and Business”.

The Germans show remarkable staying power. For 48 percent of those surveyed, restrictions would be fine even until the summer holidays – however, a large minority would disagree with this, with 40 percent. In contrast, only 15 percent were of the opinion that government measures should be relaxed. The proportion of respondents who asked for even stricter regulations against further spread of the infection was twice as high (29 percent). And more than half (55 percent) wouldn’t even object to curfews if they turned out to be necessary for epidemiological reasons.

These figures already indicate a relative level of satisfaction with the work of the political level. However, if you ask the population more closely, a differentiated picture emerges. 60 percent said they were satisfied with the overall measures taken by the federal government. However, exactly half also said that promotionalism in Germany with strong federal states was a hindrance to getting the crisis under control. And the occupational group that respondents currently place the most trust in is the virologists who are trying to determine how the virus has spread and how it can be effectively contained. Fifty-four percent expressed the greatest confidence in medical professionals and virologists in resolving the health crisis.

Worry about growing nationalism

A large majority demands consequences in the country’s health economy structure. Two-thirds are in favor of increasingly producing urgently needed medical goods in their own country. The proportion of respondents who want to invest more in the technical equipment of hospitals is just as large. Even three quarters consider it necessary to invest more in health care for the population in the event of pandemics and crises.



FAZ.NET completely

Access to all exclusive F + items. Special offer: For new customers now only 1 € per week for the next four months.

Learn more

Just as interesting as the comments on the political-economic dimensions of the current crisis are the comments on their social consequences. Almost two thirds (64 percent) hope that the difficult situation in the clinics will result in a higher esteem for certain professional groups – such as nursing professions. Three quarters feel well informed about the measures and the spread of the pandemic, which suggests a comparatively high level of satisfaction with the work of public communication and the media.

36 percent consider the economic consequences of the crisis to be the most serious. After the economic research institutes had already predicted a sharp decline in economic output of 4 percent, it is astonishing that only a fifth of those surveyed expect a recession.

Some pessimistic attitudes can nevertheless be derived from the numbers: Around half (47 percent) believe that existing trends such as anti-European movements or anti-globalization are receiving new impulses from the crisis. A third of those surveyed suspect that the current measures could lead to more responsible consumer behavior, and a quarter expect this to increase environmental awareness. 28 percent of Germans believe that digitization could be boosted by the experience with contact blocks and home offices.

Between one fifth and one tenth each have restrictions in social interactions, worry about loneliness and restrictions in mobility. Only one in 25 respondents complains about limited leisure activities. But optimism seems appropriate for the time after that: Two thirds of Germans expect that the temporary social distancing requested by the Chancellor will not develop into normalcy.

.