Denmark fact-checks scaremongering about Covid-19, looks to end vaccination program

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, right, and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, left, address the media following talks at the Chancellery, in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (Michele Tantussi/Pool via AP)
By John Cody
3 Min Read

Denmark’s top health authority is fact-checking exaggerated statements on the danger of coronavirus, as the government looks to move past the crisis and focus on a return to normalcy, which includes ending the government’s national vaccination campaign and the infrastructure for mass vaccinations.

Denmark’s approach appears to be broadly different approach from that of many other Western governments. The country has ended all Covid-19 measures, including the obligation to wear face masks.

Perhaps this effort is best exemplified on the official website of the Danish public health authority Statens Serum Institut, which is publishing fact checks on the most “frequent cases of disinformation” about Covid-19. This fact-checking section focuses on quelling fears about Covid-19 and raising awareness that the virus no longer poses a broad threat to public health. The fact-checking efforts of other countries mostly focus on dispelling the concerns of those who are critical of coronavirus measures, such as lockdown protesters. However, Denmark’s public health authorities appear to be taking the opposite approach.

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For example, the Danish authority classified as “false” the statement that “extremely many people are hospitalized in Denmark with coronavirus.” In reality, the public health authority argues that the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations has fallen in recent months.

The authority also quashed the claim that “children get seriously ill when infected with Covid-19,” with the site stating that children have “generally a very mild illness.” Even in cases where children go to the hospital, they are normally discharged within 12 hours.

In countries such as Germany, restrictions are being lifted in some states, but still remain far more restrictive than most other countries. The country’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, recently claimed that if restrictions are loosened, it could lead to 500 deaths a day, a claim that fact-checkers from German public broadcaster ZDF found no basis for. Germany also may be moving forward with a vaccine mandate, although the government appears to be backing down from such a move.

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