Expert summit: These professors advise the Chancellor – Domestic Policy


Berlin –  The  scientists have had the floor since 5:30 p.m. at the expert summit, at which the politicians find out about the current situation between Chancellor Angela Merkel (66, CDU) and the 16 country leaders in the run-up to the Prime Minister’s Conference.

Everyone who will also be at tomorrow’s conference was connected, as well as other politicians – around 80 participants in total. Instead of the planned 120 minutes, the switch ultimately lasted more than three hours.

According to an email that the Chancellery sent the participants in the morning (BILD is available), in addition to RKI boss Prof. Lothar Wieler (59) and top virologist Prof. Christian Drosten (48, Charité) six other scientists have been invited.

BILD introduces the corona experts – and tells you exclusively what course of action they advised the politicians to take during the meeting.

Prof. Rolf Apweiler: Sharp lockdown, vaccination, sequencing


 The  biochemist (57) studied in Heidelberg and is now co-director of the “European Bioinformatics Institute” (part of the “European Molecular Biology Laboratory” based in Heidelberg, hence the abbreviation EMBL-EBI). Apweiler conducts research in Hinxton, UK, near Cambridge.

Apweiler was also concerned about the virus mutation and spoke about the experiences that had been made in the United Kingdom: “During the national lockdown (November 5th – December 2nd, 2020) other variants decreased by around 50 percent – but the Great Britain variant increased by 200 to 400 percent unnoticed. ”This virus variant creates six to eight times more cases per month than other variants.

▶ His recommendations: Sharp lockdown (school closings, home office compulsory), vaccination as fast as possible, rapid development of sequencing and bioinformatics analysis capacity

And he made it clear: “If there is a lack of political will and determination, the best testing and tracking system and COVID-19 genome surveillance system will not help.”

Prof. Cornelia Betsch


 The  41-year-old psychologist did her doctorate in 2006 on the subject of decision-making through intuition and reflection. In 2017 she became professor for health communication at the University of Erfurt, where she and a colleague developed a master’s degree in health communication. She became particularly well-known through interviews and her research on vaccination opposition.

She explains the psychological view of what is happening: “Despite the good acceptance of the individual protective measures, psychological factors mean that we make exceptions. Relevant knowledge is still missing and is becoming even more important because of the mutation. ”
She also says: “Pandemic fatigue leads to sluggishness: relevant knowledge does not spread as quickly, behavior reacts more slowly (…).”

▶ Her suggestion: We should talk about the pandemic differently than before. ©

 The  “pandemic fight should be more in the self-interest of everyone in a common, societal solution.” And: ©

 The re must be simpler rules.

Prof. Melanie Brinkmann: “It is the most critical moment in the pandemic”

Lower Saxony, Braunschweig: Virologist Melanie Brinkmann is at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research HZI

Lower Saxony, Braunschweig: Virologist Melanie Brinkmann is here at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research HZIPhoto: dpa


 The  47-year-old has been teaching at the Technical University of Braunschweig since July 2018 and is a professor at the Institute for Genetics (focus: infections and active substances). During her doctoral thesis she studied herpes viruses and later worked at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, among others.

In today’s panel of experts, she made it clear: “It is the most critical moment in the pandemic.” ©

 The  reason: “©

 The  new variant is in the country and it is a natural law that it will prevail.” It was as if the virus were once again put on a rocket suit.

▶ Now: “©

 The  sooner we act, the less damage we will cause. If we don’t act now, there is a danger that 2021 will be worse than 2020. ”©

 The  good news is that from spring 2020 we will know what to do. Since control is only possible through low incidences, the population must be convinced “that we have to go to zero.” Also for the following reason: ©

 The  vaccination will only help at the end of the year.

Regarding criticism of Germany for not looking for mutations in the same style as Great Britain, for example, Brinkmann replied: “©

 The  whole surveillance in Great Britain, which is great, did not help you either. It will take the British months to get out of there. “

Prof. Christian Drosten

Virologist Drosten was a professor at the University of Bonn from 2007 to 2017. Since 2017 he has held various positions at the Charité in Berlin and he is director of the virology department in Europe’s largest laboratory, “Labor Berlin”.


 The  48-year-old defended the examination of the coronavirus for mutations and the like: “Germany is not bad at sequencing!” He also advocated an intra-European exchange of genome analyzes.

Prof. Michael Meyer-Hermann: School and shop opening is “the most expensive strategy for the economy”

After studying physics, mathematics and philosophy, the 54-year-old did his doctorate in Frankfurt on theoretical elementary particle physics. He set up working groups on systems immunology in Dresden, Oxford and Frankfurt. Meyer-Hermann has been head of the Systems Immunology Department at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig since 2010. One of his research areas: the immune system.

Meyer-Hermann warned at the summit: If schools and shops are opened now, the incidence of 50 will not be reached. It then commutes between 50 and 100. “That is the most expensive strategy for the economy,” he clarifies.

If the lockdown was extended until the end of February, one could say 10.02. reach the incidence of 50 – and this would then probably decrease further. Due to the new mutations, he “still does not want to recommend this scenario.”

One must prepare for the fact that the new variants will spread here “and then the current measures will no longer help. What then only helps is a complete shutdown of society. ”With this“ we would have an incidence of 10 at the beginning of March ”. His demand:“ We have to act before the variant spreads. ”

Prof. Kai Nagel


 The  Cologne physicist (55) deals, among other things, with mobility research and transport system planning. Tomorrow’s MPK will also be about the utilization of local public transport and what effects it has on the infection rate. Using cell phone data, Nagel develops models and shows the connection between people’s movement patterns and the number of infections.

A week ago he spoke in the “Daily mirror“On his work in the pandemic:” Using the cellular data, we can immediately see when activity drops and incorporate this into our model. If, in extreme cases, everyone stayed at home, the virus would no longer be passed on – at least not outside of one’s own household. “

Prof. Gérard Krause


 The  56-year-old is a doctor and worked in Heidelberg in 1993 in the field of internal medicine, tropical medicine, hospital hygiene and epidemiology. From 2000 to 2013 he was head of department and department at the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin. After becoming a professor, in 2011 he became a professor at the Hannover Medical School and head of the epidemiology department at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Braunschweig.

For example, on the subject of exit restrictions and stricter measures, he recently showed himself differentiated: A week ago he told “Deutschlandfunk” that this “possibly” had an effect, “the spread of the total numbers, of the cases in the total population” could be reduced.

BUT: “You always have to think about and consider the undesirable effects. And then you shouldn’t give yourself the illusion that this alone can significantly reduce deaths, because they take place in a kind of microcosm, namely in the old people’s and nursing homes, in which a lockdown does not work per se. I can shut down all buses and still life takes place in old people’s homes. ”That is why there must be better protection for old people’s homes.

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Expert summit professors advise Chancellor Domestic Policy


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