19 – What AfD and lateral thinkers have to do with the spread of the coronavirus in Germany


 The re are currently a particularly large number of corona cases in Saxony. Data on the spread of corona and voting behavior suggest that the virus is currently spreading particularly in areas with large AfD supporters. What speaks for it – and what doesn’t.

© www.de24.news The  “Tagesspiegel” from Berlin published a map of Germany a few weeks ago, on which you can compare the corona numbers and the votes for the AfD. © www.de24.news The  agreement of many regions in Germany particularly badly affected by the virus was obvious. At first glance, it was obvious that there could be a clear connection between the two factors voting behavior and corona infection numbers.

© www.de24.news

 The  explanation could be that the AfD is the only party to largely reject the corona measures. So if their followers reject the rules and then comply less than others, that could be a factor in a higher infection rate.

Researcher Quent: No causality proven yet

© www.de24.news

 The  director of the Jena Institute for Democracy and Civil Society, Matthias Quent, was able to determine such a correlation in an analysis of the data – not only for Saxony, but for almost all federal states. © www.de24.news

 The  result was so clear that he was surprised even by it, said Quent. © www.de24.news

 The  researcher emphasized, however, that this did not prove causality. © www.de24.news

 The re could be other factors that explain the effect – such as the structure of the population or the state of the health system. Quent wants to pursue these questions further.

© www.de24.news

 The  Federal Government Commissioner for Eastern Europe, Marco Wanderwitz (CDU), is convinced of a causal connection. © www.de24.news

 The  AfD largely denies Corona, he said. And if their followers then behave accordingly, it is like a gift for the virus.

A quarter of AfD supporters consider the pandemic to be a conspiracy

Further data that suggest a possible connection come from a survey on behalf of the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Accordingly, a clear majority of AfD supporters consider it likely that the corona pandemic is a conspiracy. According to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 24 percent of AfD supporters affirmed the statement that the pandemic was a “conspiracy to oppress people”. Another 41 percent of AfD supporters think that is at least likely. Supporters of other parties see the pandemic much less often as a conspiracy. Of all respondents, five percent were sure that it was a conspiracy to suppress the people, nine percent thought it was likely.

A case study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, which is close to the Greens, examined the way in which the AfD parliamentary group in Baden-Württemberg dealt with conspiracy theories surrounding the corona pandemic. It turned out that the faction did not spread any conspiracy theories during the first wave in spring. She only intensified her rhetoric in terms of conspiracy theory when the emergence of nationwide protests against the corona measures – for example from the lateral thinking initiative – presented a “window of opportunity”, writes the author. This abrupt rhetorical change shows that the AfD parliamentary group is using conspiracy-theoretical rhetoric strategically in order to tap into new target groups, it said.

Similar effect found in the USA

Researchers in the USA had already made a similar observation. In Science magazine, they explained that there is a strong correlation between attachment to a party and willingness to adhere to social distancing measures. According to this, Republican voters are less willing to forego contacts because of the corona pandemic. And this attitude has actually intensified over the months that the virus has spread.

Study: lateral thinking demos helped spread the virus

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 The  demonstrations of the so-called lateral thinkers in November 2020 apparently contributed to the spread of the corona virus in Germany. This is shown by a study by the Leibniz Center for European Economic Research Mannheim and the Berlin Humboldt University. © www.de24.news

 The  scientists examined the effects of the two large rallies, which took place on November 7 and 18 in Leipzig and Berlin, on the seven-day incidence up to the end of December. © www.de24.news

 The  infection process was analyzed in the districts from which tens of thousands of demonstrators had traveled by bus to the protests. According to the study, the seven-day incidence there rose significantly by Christmas, in some cases around 40. © www.de24.news

 The  research team estimates that between 16,000 and 21,000 corona infections could have been prevented if these two big “lateral thinkers” rallies were canceled would have been.

Numerous influencing factors on infection processes

It is clear that it is not just the political orientation of the residents that determines the local infection rate. In the case of Saxony, the proximity to the Czech Republic and Poland is likely to have an impact on the number of infections. In addition, the infection rate depends on the measures taken on site. Superspreading events such as family celebrations or breakouts in nursing homes also have an influence – especially in smaller places. In addition, the age structure of the population can determine the incidence of infections and the occupancy of the hospitals.

(Stand: 09.02.2021)

Further articles on the coronavirus

We have created a news blog. Given the large amount of information, this provides an overview of the most important current developments.

+ Covid-19: Current figures on the coronavirus in Germany (as of February 22)
+ Extended lockdown: what rules apply and what opening perspectives are there? (As of February 17th)
+ New rules: How the federal states implement the lockdown resolutions (as of February 17)
+ Border controls: what to watch out for (as of February 15)

Test and protection

+ Protection: © www.de24.news

 The  vaccination ordinance: who will be vaccinated first, who will be vaccinated later? (As of: February 17th)
+ Dates: how, when and where can I get vaccinated? (Status: February 12th)
+ Vaccinations: What is known about the side effects of the corona vaccine (as of February 16)
+ Astrazeneca vaccine: reports of side effects and acceptance problems – experts disagree (17.02.)
+ Protection: So it is about the development of vaccines against the coronavirus (as of February 15)
+ Change of strategy: are rapid tests the breakthrough in fighting pandemics? (As of February 16)
+ Sick people: New insights into the search for drugs (as of January 30)
Treatment: How does an antibody drug work and when is it useful? (As of January 25th)
+ Economy: How the world of work deals with the number of infections (as of February 16)

Contagion and Transmission

+ Virus variants: how dangerous are the new coronavirus mutations? (As of: February 17th)
+ Opponents of infection protection measures: What AfD and lateral thinkers have to do with the spread of the coronavirus in Germany (as of 02/09)
+ Transfer: What role do aerosols play (as of January 22)
+ Excess mortality: How deadly is the coronavirus really? (Status: 05.02.)
+ Travel warning: © www.de24.news

 The  current list of risk areas (as of February 17th)

You can also find the Dlf news on Twitter at: @DLFNews.

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AfD lateral thinkers spread coronavirus Germany


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