Prominent forensic medicine professor Klaus Püschel has vast experience in autopsying individuals who have died with the Chinese coronavirus in Hamburg, Germany. During an appearance German television, the professor stunned the audience by claiming that the hysteria over the coronavirus is “completely exaggerated,” as all fatalities he examined had serious previous illnesses which would have soon resulted in death with or without the virus. Püschel stated that there is no “killer virus.”
Since the pandemic began, the head of forensic medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and his team have been autopsying the people who died in Hamburg in connection with the coronavirus. According to Püschel, all of the deceased had at least one previous illness. “[E]ven if this sounds harsh,” Püschel said, “they would all have died in the course of this year.” About 80 percent of the more than 140 people examined suffered from cardiovascular diseases. The average age of the dead is 80 years.
Püschel slammed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s irresponsible and alarmist propaganda towards the coronavirus:
“I think it’s really completely inappropriate when a president tells his people that we are at war, or when the German chancellor compares the situation with the last world war.”
“No killer virus”
Healthy people should not be afraid of infection: “The fear that this is a killer virus and that many will die from it is completely exaggerated,” said Püschel. “We have to make it clear that we don’t want to be in a glass case. We can’t protect ourselves from everything. And this virus is a comparatively low risk.” The virus is also by no means a death sentence for the elderly and sick. “Most will survive the disease there,” said Püschel.
“This virus affects our lives in a completely exaggerated way. This is out of proportion to the risk posed by the virus,” says the renowned medical examiner. “I am convinced that corona mortality will not even make itself felt as a peak in annual mortality.” There is no reason for fear of death in connection with the spread of the disease in the Hamburg region.
Püschel advocates opening the daycare centers
Püschel sees no particular dangers for most people with the novel corona virus: “Especially children, adolescents, the working population will normally survive this disease without damage.”
That is why Püschel also pleads for the opening of daycare centers and schools:
“The general experience is that the children do not get particularly sick, the adolescents do not get particularly sick. There is not even any indication that they are special spreaders.” The population had to live with the virus: “We have to make friends with it in a way, deal with it, like with the flu and with other infections.”
The doctor underlined the importance of determining whether patients died of the virus rather than with the virus. Autopsies that were carried out abroad paint a relatively clear picture.
Dr Püschel has addressed the lack of transparency when it comes to including fatalities in the virus toll:
“Insufficient amounts of information about exceptional cases are for example made public. Some patients who passed away may be classified as coronavirus deaths even though they may have, in reality, died from an unrelated illness.
As the doctor explained, many patients that succumbed to the illness were very old, smokers, obese, or had preexisting conditions such as diabetes. Lifestyle, age, and other illnesses are therefore closely associated with higher risks, he concluded. By examining other organs, autopsies can play a key role in gaining a better understanding of the virus’s mechanisms.
Transcript: many thanks to Miss Piggy for the translation:
Now we’ll speak with someone who caused quite a stir in the media over the last few weeks.
Professor Klaus Püschel is the head of forensic medicine at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). He and his colleague are autopsying all those who died of COVID-19 in Hamburg.
In his opinion, the fear of the virus is exaggerated. COVID-19 is a comparatively harmless disease.
He’s my guest now in the studio. A very warm welcome to you, Professor Püschel. Just to clarify, you think that Corona is affecting us and society in a completely inappropriate and exaggerated way. Is that right?
I stand by that. To make it clear, I’ll say that I think it’s completely exaggerated, for example when this virus is referred to as a KILLER VIRUS. When people are very afraid of it. I think it’s really completely inappropriate when a president tells his people that we are at war, or when the German chancellor compares the situation with the last world war.
We have a virus here that we already know in principle.
However, this is new version which came to us as a pandemic, so we have to react to it in a very special way.
It’s the fear that always eats souls. The individual — you and I — we don’t have to be particularly afraid. There are many other dangers occurring in life that affect us far more.
Ten days ago in an interview with a major newspaper, you said that you hadn’t had a single case of COVID-19 on your dissection table. Not one had died from the illness COVID-19 alone without another pre-existing condition.
Is that still the case?
—Yes. That remains the case. All [COVID-19] deaths for this region, which have now passed 100, have been autopsied, and each one had serious pre-existing diseases.
They were between 50 and 100 years old. The average age is 80 years old.
This indicates clearly that these are people who aren’t in good general condition. Here I must add that they all had at least one special or rather even several diseases.
Cardiovascular disease, heart attack, enlarged heart, constriction of the coronary arteries, calcification of the arteries, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Also liver disease, cirrhosis, kidney insufficiency, metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, dementia, and in such conditions the immune system is weakened and does not react adequately.
What do you find in the victims of COVID-19 when you open them?
The many pre-existing diseases that I’ve spoken of.
We regularly find respiratory infections and pneumonia,vand with the pneumonia come a variety of other complications.
On the one hand the virus-related cellular changes, which are very typical, but also accompanying infections,vso-called bacterial super-infections, and nosocomial infections.
What is that?
—These are diseases that you only get when you are in hospital or undergoing medical treatment, due to its not being sterile everywhere.
The hygienic conditions in our country are comparatively good, so it cannot be compared to the situation in other countries. We think that is important in the cases of pneumonia. I always point out that relatively often pulmonary embolisms are due to thrombosis, which is why I always say, please stay active and keep moving.
Please stay active and keep moving. Thank you very much for your assessments and your visit, and your explanation, Professor Püschel from the Forensic Medicine Department at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).