Germany’s health minister is latest official to admit school closures were a “mistake.”
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is not someone who could be accused of minimizing the danger of Covid — he engages with self-described Covid alarmist Dr. Eric Ding on Twitter, attacked fall 2022 Oktoberfest planners for not mandating rapid tests, and supported public transport mask mandates into 2023.
Nonetheless, even Lauterbach admitted yesterday that extended pandemic school closures were “not correct” and that it was wrong to assume there would be significant infections in daycare centers and schools.
In the German press, Lauterbach acknowledged other countries handled schools “somewhat differently” and set “different priorities,” which was perhaps a reference to Sweden, a country that kept primary and lower secondary schools — those serving children up to 16-years-old — open throughout the pandemic, including in March 2020. During a television interview, the German health minister labeled extended school closures a “mistake.”
Lauterbach is not the first public official from a “Covid-cautious” country to suggest Sweden was right about schools. In September 2022, former Norwegian Health Minister Bent Høie told former Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell that Norway could “probably look at how we could have protected children and young people to a greater extent against the consequences of the infection control measures,” adding that “we probably have something to learn from Sweden there,” given Norway “closed the schools for the youngest children, but they did not do that in Sweden.”