On June 2, an article was published by the site News Punch that featured a document written by the German news outlet Tichys Einblick on May 10. The article claims that the document was leaked from the Interior Ministry of Germany.
The title of the document is KM 4 Analysis of Crisis Management and it claims that the coronavirus pandemic is a false alarm. In the last few weeks, the document's criticism of the government's response to the pandemic has spread through German media sites, international media outlets, and social media platforms.
Stephan Kohn, the author of the document, is a politologist and employee of the Interior Ministry in the KM 4 department for the Protection of Critical Infrastructures in Germany. Unlike what the article states, the analysis of Kohn over the issue was not asked by the Interior Ministry.
On May 10, the Interior Ministry issued a press release and stated that the employee had written about his private opinion on the coronavirus pandemic and how it was handled by the German government. Then Interior Ministry stated that Kohn's analysis was written outside his area of responsibility and it was without authorization.
On May 13, Horst Seehofer, the Federal Minister of the Interior held a separate press conference in order to address the issue about the measures the government took on border control during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seehofer pointed out that a limit has been reached because the said employee had used the infrastructure, the office, and the name of the Interior Minister to distribute his personal view.
On May 14, German Chancellor Angela Merkel clarified at the German Parliament that they do not agree with the document and that Kohn has been suspended from his position and is now undergoing disciplinary action.
Kohn claimed that the report was composed of medical experts and it was drafted by a scientific panel that was chosen by the Interior Ministry. He also claimed that his analysis of the alleged false alarm also involved at least 10 high-ranking medical experts.
However, on May 11, the said experts issued a joint press release to clarify that they were not appointed by the Interior Ministry to release analysis and they also did not serve as advisors. They also reprimanded the government for its handling of the pandemic.
Without providing any scientific evidence, Kohn states that the people who died from coronavirus are those who would statistically die this year and that the danger is no greater than the other viruses in the past few decades.
The assessment of mortality due to COVID-19 will require further studies and time, but the data from the European mortality monitoring network called EuroMOMO shows that the pandemic has caused 170,000 excess deaths in 24 European countries.
Kohn's statement that there have been no more than 250,000 deaths from COVID-19, compared to 1.5 million in Europe and 25,100 in Germany during the influenza wave from 2017 to 2018 was not true.
According to the data released by the World Health Organization or WHO and CDC, seasonal influenza is linked to 290,000 to 650,000 deaths every year. This is below the 1.5 million deaths that were claimed by Kohn.