Doctor who discovered Omicron declined when pressured to label it ‘serious’

by WorldTribune Staff, February 10, 2022

The South African doctor who first discovered the Omicron variant of Covid-19 said European governments pressured her not to disclose that the new variant was having mild effects on those infected.

“I was told not to state publicly that it was a mild illness. I have been asked to refrain from making such statements and to say that it is a serious illness. I declined,” Dr. Angelique Coetzee told the German newspaper Welt.

Coetzee added: “I am a clinician and based on the clinical picture there are no indications that we are dealing with a very serious disease. The course is mostly mild. I’m not saying you won’t get sick if you’re mild.”

The doctor said the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) definition of mild Covid is: “Patients can be treated at home and oxygen or hospitalization is not required. A serious illness is one in which we see acute pulmonary respiratory infections: people need oxygen, maybe even artificial respiration. We saw that with Delta — but not with Omicron. So I said to people, ‘I can’t say it like that because it’s not what we’re seeing.’ ”

When asked why she was prevented from telling the truth, Coetzee said: “They tried, but they didn’t make it.”

“What I said at one point – because I was just tired of it – was: In South Africa this is a mild illness, but in Europe it is a very serious one. That’s what your politicians wanted to hear.”

According to Coetzee, she wasn’t pressured by South African authorities – and was instead criticized by scientists in the UK and Netherlands, who said “How can you explain that it’s a mild disease? It’s a serious illness. Look at the mutations.”

Coetzee said: “My reports have thrown them off track. In a pandemic, you also have to look at what is happening at the grassroots level. The general practitioners who treat the sick every day must be asked what they experience, how the clinical picture presents itself.”

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