Wolfgang Wodarg

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Wolfgang Wodarg (born March 2, 1947 in Itzehoe ) is a German doctor and politician of the SPD . For many years, as a member of the German Bundestag and the Council of Europe, he was responsible for questions of safety, medicine and health. He was the initiator of the Council of Europe investigations into the H1N1 2009/10 pandemic on the role of vaccine manufacturers and the WHO. His statements on the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany met with criticism from scientists, politicians and the media.

Career and occupation

After graduating from high school in 1966, Wodarg studied medicine and social education in Hamburg and Berlin . As part of his training, he learned conversation psychotherapy (after exchange ) and worked as a medical assistant and ward doctor, u. a. at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg. In 1973 he received his license to practice medicine . Then Wodarg initially worked as a ship's doctor and, after a research trip to South America, settled as a port doctor in Hamburg. In 1974 his promotion to Dr. med. at the University of Hamburg with the thesis Mental Illnesses of Seafarers. Investigation into suicide, alcoholism, and other major psychiatric illnesses . From 1975 to 1979 he worked as a teacher at the nursing school of the General Hospital Hamburg-Wandsbek (today Asklepios Klinik Wandsbek ). He completed his internal and pulmonary specialist training at AK Wandsbek and at the Großhansdorf lung specialist clinic . Wodarg has a total of three specialist qualifications: specialist in internal diseases - pulmonology, specialist in hygiene - environmental medicine and specialist in public health - social medicine.

In 1981 he took over the management of the health department of the city of Flensburg , where he worked as a medical officer until 1994 . There he headed, among other things, the travel medical advice center, the yellow fever vaccination center and AIDS advice, as well as the pulmonary and bronchial medicine department. In 1982/83 Wodarg was the superior of the impostor Gert Postel , who pretended to be a psychiatrist and got a job as a deputy medical officer, which he resigned after a few months due to a transfer plan. In 1983 Wodarg received further training as a doctor in the public health system at the Academy for Public Health in Düsseldorf . From 1985 to 1986 he attended the Academy for Occupational Medicine in Berlin.

From 1985 he was a lecturer in health education at the Flensburg University of Education and taught medicine and occupational safety for ship officers at the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences . During this time he developed a health impact assessment as part of the municipal environmental impact assessment and from 1986 to 2003 was chairman of the expert committee for environmental protection at the Schleswig-Holstein Medical Association , where he coordinated the development of a curriculum for environmental medicine . From 1985 to 1994 he was a member of the examination boards for environmental medicine, pulmonary and bronchial medicine and for social medicine of the Medical Association. Wodarg held courses at the Charité Berlin as well as at other European universities on various medical-ethical and social-medical topics. In 1991 he received a scholarship for epidemiology and health economics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (USA).

Political career

Start of political work

SPD federal election campaign on Südermarkt with Hans Eichel and Wolfgang Wodarg in 2002

Wolfgang Wodarg has been a member of ÖTV / Ver.di, staff council at the Hamburg-Wandsbek hospital since 1972 and a member of the SPD since 1988. From 1986 to 1998 he was a member of the local council in his home town of Nieby . From 1992 to 2002 he was a member of the board of the SPD district association Schleswig-Flensburg . From November 19, 2005 to December 1, 2007, Wodarg was chairman of the SPD district association in Flensburg.

After Wodarg had been a member of the Federal Board of the Working Group of Social Democrats in Health Care since 1990 , he was elected Deputy Federal Chairman in 1994 and Chairman of the Federal Committee in 2002.


Wodarg drew 1994 over the national list Schleswig-Holstein and then always as directly selected delegates of the constituency Flensburg - Schleswig in the Bundestag one. As a member of the German Bundestag from 1999 to 2005 in the 14th and 15th legislative periods, Wodarg was the spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group in the Enquête Commission Law and Ethics (until 2002) and Ethics and Law of Modern Medicine and wrote reports on the topics Living wills, living organ donation, ethical principles of medical care (allocation ethics), prioritization in health care, genetic diagnostics, ethical questions in medicine at the beginning of life, at the end of life and in research, patenting of genes, living beings or their parts, commercialization of organ and tissue donation.

During his work in the Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development from 2005 to 2009, Wodarg was the rapporteur for all health-related topics for the Central African region and the EU rapporteur for the EEZ with the following priorities: Measures in the global fight against HIV / AIDS, malaria , Tuberculosis and neglected diseases in poor countries (health and poverty), access to medicines and health care for all, population policy, regenerative energy in developing countries, microloans, human rights issues , drinking water supply and safety, crisis prevention , the role of economies of violence and the growing market for military and security companies, cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations active in these fields.

In addition, he was in the committees for “Agriculture, Food and Consumer Protection”, “European Union Affairs”, a deputy in the Environment Committee and a spokesperson for issues relating to minorities in the German- Danish border area. In the 2009 Bundestag election he was defeated in the constituency of Wolfgang Börnsen (CDU), so that he was no longer a member of the 17th German Bundestag.

Since 1999 Wodarg has also been a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe . From 2002 to 2010 he was deputy chairman of the socialist parliamentary group there, from 2006 spokesman for the German social democrats, from 2006 to 2010 deputy head of the German delegation and thus automatically became an honorary member after his departure. He was chairman of the subcommittee on health, deputy chairman of the committee on culture, education and science, member of the political committee and representative of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in the CDBI (Comité Directeur pour la Bioéthique) and in the North-South-Center (Lisbon). Wodarg's reporting topics in the Council of Europe were: the development of green genetic engineering in the countries of the Council of Europe, palliative medicine in Europe, euthanasia , bioethics convention and additional protocols, national and international rules for private military and security companies, the establishment of Europe-wide media monitoring and other individual topics. He was the initiator of the Council of Europe investigations into the H1N1 2009/10 pandemic on the role of vaccine manufacturers and the WHO .

Political topics and priorities during the mandate (1994 to 2010):

During this time, Wodarg was a rapporteur on numerous health policy projects; z. E.g. Infection Protection Act, Transplantation Act, several health reform laws, genetic diagnostics law, stem cell law, living will law, European services directive, pharmaceutical law, implementation of the EU biopatent directive and topics such as HIV / AIDS, prevention, epidemiology, health environmental protection, infection protection (BSE, Influenza and other viral diseases, animal diseases, antibiotic resistance) and in questions of genetic engineering: close and continuous cooperation with the Agriculture Committee. He was also the EU rapporteur for the SPD parliamentary group from 1998 to 2009.

Social Commitment

Further or previous memberships:

  • 2002 to 2008 deputy member of the WEU in Paris
  • until 2008 member of the board of the German-Danish European Center for Minority Issues (ECMI) in Flensburg
  • since 2011 member of the board of Transparency International Deutschland e. V. , membership dormant since March 25, 2020, so no longer a board member, and since May 9, 2020 members are proposed to be removed from the board and the health working group

Health policy positions and WHO criticism

Opponent of the GKV contract competition

From the beginning, Wodarg was an opponent of the contract competition of the statutory health insurance (GKV) and, in addition to his mandate in the Bundestag, campaigns for state working groups of the health insurance funds that conclude joint contracts at state level with a risk-adjusted state health fund. In 2007, he therefore voted against the GKV Competition Strengthening Act (GKV-WSG) by its Minister of Health, Ulla Schmidt .

Opponents of the swine flu vaccination

Wodarg was known in 2009 as an opponent of vaccination against swine flu . He assessed the handling of the H1N1 infection by politicians and pharmaceutical manufacturers as "one of the biggest medical scandals of the century" and initiated a committee of inquiry before the Council of Europe on the role of the WHO, which he supported in 2010 as a scientific advisor. On January 26, 2010, he reported to the Council of Europe that millions of people had been vaccinated for no good reason and that the pharmaceutical industry had earned $ 18 billion from the pandemic classification of swine flu. The sale of Tamiflu alone rose by 435 percent to 2.2 billion euros. He considered the vaccine developed by the Novartis company to be "approved with a very hot needle", and the breeding ground was cancer cells of animal origin. An allergy risk cannot be ruled out. "And much more important: some fear that with low levels of contamination from these highly potent cancer cells there is a risk of cancer for the vaccinated."

Controversial statements about the COVID-19 pandemic

In the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany , he criticized a. In an opinion piece and in the ZDF program Frontal21 broadcast on March 10, 2020, the quarantine measures and prohibition regulations as "scaremongering" and declared that coronavirus epidemics occur every year and do not require any special protective measures or tests. A positive corona result has no clinical significance. Wodarg assessed the measures imposed by the health authorities because of the pandemic and the recommendations of the WHO and later the Robert Koch Institute as excessive and interest-driven and described these institutions as far too often "corrupted by secondary interests from business and / or politics".

In other posts and videos, he referred to a Scottish study published in PNAS , which detected the human coronaviruses 229E , NL63 and HKU1 . These are known worldwide as triggers of respiratory diseases and colds, but usually lead to courses without symptoms or with moderate symptoms. They are to be distinguished from SARS-CoV and the SARS-CoV-2 that broke out in 2019/2020 . Wodarg led u. a. the swine flu and the results in the relevant committee of inquiry of the Council of Europe in order to warn of allegedly deliberate uncertainty of the population and partly harmful, specially approved vaccines (emergency approvals). He described the "fear of swine flu" as a "total misconception" and pointed to previously changed WHO criteria for pandemics.

Wodarg also complained that there was “no valid data and no evidence of exceptional health threats”, the still available official statistics on mortality and various national “influenza monitoring institutes” showed “the normal curves”. The seasonal “flu” runs as usual, the tests used are “not officially validated” and are used “for seriously ill patients anyway” and are then useless for assessing the risk of an epidemic. Without the tests, which are questionable in terms of their validity and “their misleading application”, there would be no indication for emergency measures, Wuhan and Italy would be used to produce scary images in some places, and in Italy without the new tests one would only see the annual flu damage.

Wodarg's account of comparing the COVID-19 epidemic with an ordinary flu epidemic and speculating about possible financial beneficiaries was noticed on social media and caused anger in parts of his party.

Criticism from experts, media and non-governmental organizations

At the request of the report format STRG F ( NDR ), the Robert Koch Institute and the World Health Organization distanced themselves from Wodarg's statements. The virologist Christian Drosten , head of virology at the Berlin Charité , whose team developed the PCR test, rejected the criticism of the PCR test and the allegation of personal financial profit interests in the NDR podcast " Coronavirus Update ". The SPD health politician and epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach described Wodarg's statements as "absurd and scientifically untenable, a real robber's pistol".

In the MDR podcast “ Kekulés Corona Compass ”, the virologist Alexander Kekulé assessed Wodarg's arguments as “very, very misleading”. In principle, the question of whether people are overreacting when fighting the pandemic is quite important and justified, because control measures can lead to collateral damage that may be worse than the effects of the virus itself. In his comparisons with other coronaviruses and with the death rates of seasonal flu epidemics, however, Wodarg overlooks the particular virulence of the novel pathogen that appeared in 2019/2020: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 carries a far higher risk of death than common colds caused by other coronaviruses and the The total number of infections for a whole season is often reached here within a few days and weeks, which can lead to excessive demands on the health system and thus cause further, actually unnecessary, victims. Therefore, strong defense measures against the spread of the infection are not excessive, but correct.

The biophysicist Richard Neher said that Wodarg's statement that this virus has been around for a long time is false and clearly refutable by the fact that the virus' common ancestor was only a few months old, so.

Various media checked Wodarg's claims for accuracy and came to the conclusion that his statements about the novel corona virus largely contradicted the verifiable facts. Some of his statements are neither refutable nor verifiable, but on closer inspection prove to be misleading. Facts would be mixed up that had nothing to do with each other.

Transparency Germany , of which Wodarg is a board member, distanced itself from his statements on March 17, 2020. His blanket criticism of the state measures to protect against the corona virus could lead to uncertainty among the population. Wolfgang Wodarg expresses himself in this matter as a private person and not in his function as a board member. On March 25, 2020, the board decided to put its membership in "dormant" until further notice, which means that Wodarg can no longer exercise any functions on the board or as head of the health work group. The board commissioned an independent body to deal with Wodarg's statements on the corona virus and to work up whether his behavior had violated the interests of Transparency Germany. According to the report of the independent body, the latter is the case. However, it should not be the board of directors but the assembly of members who should decide whether Wodarg should remain a member of the board of directors and the health committee of TI-D. Wodarg will therefore remain a member of the Executive Board until further notice. The panel based its proposal of exclusion on Wodarg's controversial statements on the COVID-19 pandemic. The interviews in "radical" media cannot justify an exclusion, since Wodarg himself has distanced himself from anti-Semitic, conspiracy-theoretical or other right-wing radical theses and since he would be excluded from other media.


  • Wolfgang Wodarg: Mental illnesses of seafarers: investigation into suicide, alcoholism and other important psychiatric illnesses . Psychiatrie-Verlag, Wunstorf, Rehburg-Loccum 1979, ISBN 978-3-88414-013-0 .
  • Wolfgang Wodarg: Illusion: Peacekeeping through private military companies . In: "Time for Peace" / Dortmund . 2009, pp. 120-137.
  • Wolfgang Wodarg: HEALTH - Cooperation instead of competition between the health insurance companies - questionable health insurance companies make it difficult to provide needs-based care . In: Social Security . 57, No. 12, 2008, ISSN  0490-1630 , p. 414.
  • Wolfgang Wodarg: Health policy - The reform cornerstones threaten irreparable damage - the buying power of the statutory health insurance funds must be strengthened . In: Social Security . 55, No. 8, 2006, ISSN  0490-1630 , p. 262.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Entry Wolfgang Wodarg at Transparency Germany
  2. Dr. Clemens Bartholdy - when the wrong doctor was discovered. In: Flensburger Tageblatt , October 27, 2015, accessed on March 8, 2020.
  3. a b SPD history workshop biography Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg. March 18, 2020, accessed March 20, 2020 .
  4. a b c Biography of Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg on wodarg.com. March 18, 2020, accessed March 20, 2020 .
  5. Biography as well as chronologically detailed committee memberships in the state parliament, mandates and mandate functions in the Bundestag, parliamentary group memberships in the Bundestag and federal assemblies of Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg from the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament. March 18, 2020, accessed March 20, 2020 .
  6. Listed publications by Wolfgang Wodarg at the Council of Europe. March 18, 2020, accessed March 20, 2020 .
  7. Transparency International Germany e. V .: Board of Directors. Retrieved March 25, 2020 .
  8. Transparency International Germany e. V .: On our own behalf. Retrieved July 3, 2020 .
  9. Katja Schmidt: Hype about swine flu: "It stinks of the influence of industry". In: The daily newspaper . January 25, 2010, accessed July 1, 2019 .
  10. Ulrike Henning: Profitable pandemic warning. In: New Germany . February 6, 2010, accessed March 8, 2020 .
  11. ^ Rainer Woratschka: Mess with the flu , December 16, 2009, at zeit.de, last accessed in March 2020
  12. ^ Rainer Woratschka: Swine flu: the role of the pharmaceutical industry in sight. In: Der Tagesspiegel . December 16, 2009, accessed March 18, 2020 .
  13. a b Wolfgang Wodarg: Solution to the Corona problem: isolate alarmists. In: Flensburger Tageblatt. February 29, 2020, accessed March 8, 2020 .
  14. DER SPIEGEL: Reconstruction of a Mass Hysteria: The Swine Flu Panic of 2009 - DER SPIEGEL - International. Retrieved April 17, 2020 .
  15. DER SPIEGEL: Fear of the flu pandemic: Politicians accuse health insurance companies of riping off patients - DER SPIEGEL - politics. Retrieved April 17, 2020 .
  16. Corona and the consequences. In: Frontal 21 . ZDF, March 10, 2020, accessed on March 18, 2020 .
  17. Sema Nickbakhsh, Colette Mair, Louise Matthews, Richard Reeve, Paul CD Johnson, Fiona Thorburn, Beatrix von Wissmann, Arlene Reynolds, James McMenamin, Rory N. Gunson, Pablo R. Murcia: Virus – virus interactions impact the population dynamics of influenza and the common cold . In: PNAS 116 (52), December 2019, pp. 27142–27150, doi: 10.1073 / pnas.1911083116 .
  18. a b Ken Jebsen : On the phone about the corona crisis: Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg. In: KenFM . March 17, 2020, accessed March 18, 2020 .
  19. Stunning insights into the Corona-panic by Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg. Retrieved March 19, 2020 .
  20. Marie E. Killerby, Holly M. Biggs, Amber K. Haynes, Rebecca M. Dahl, Desiree Mustaquim, Susan I. Gerber, John T. Watson: Human coronavirus circulation in the United States 2014-2017 . In: Journal of Clinical Virology , Volume 101, April 2018, pp. 52–56, doi: 10.1016 / j.jcv.2018.01.019 : “Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) HCoV-NL63, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-OC43 circulate worldwide and cause a range of respiratory symptoms. Infections are often asymptomatic or associated with mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness in immunocompetent children and adults; HCoVs are considered the second most common cause of the common cold. "
  21. a b c d e f g Wolfgang Wodarg: Anyone who doubts is defamed and eliminated with concentrated power ; at nrhz.de , last accessed in March 2020
  22. ^ Corona: the most blatant theses and lies | STRG_F. In: YouTube, March 24, 2020 (at 5:20 pm).
  23. ^ A b Frederik Richter, Bianca Hoffmann: Coronavirus: Why Wolfgang Wodarg's statements have little to do with science. In: Correctiv of March 18, 2020.
  24. (16) “We need abbreviations for vaccine approval”. In: NDR Podcast, March 18, 2020 ( PDF manuscript ) ( YouTube )
  25. a b Veronika Simon: Is Corona Overrated? Fact check. In: SWR.de , March 19, 2020.
  26. a b Jochen Taßler and Jana Heck: All just scare tactics ? In: Tagesschau.de , March 19, 2020.
  27. Conspiracy theories. The SPD man Wolfgang Wodarg and the "Corona lie". In: Westdeutsche Zeitung , March 17, 2020, accessed on the same day.
  28. ^ Video message from Karl Lauterbach on the remarks by Wolfgang Wodarg. In the video channel of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag on youtube , March 18, 2020, March 23, 2020.
  29. Kekulé's corona compass. Podcast in mdr , March 17, 2020, minute 12:20 to 17:00.
  30. ^ A b Sarah Serafini: "Complete nonsense" - this is how a biophysicist dismantled a video by a German doctor. In: Watson.ch , March 19, 2020.
  31. Coronavirus: Fakecheck , 10vor10, March 19, 2020; The epidemiologist Richard Neher: "I think that's irresponsible"
  32. Jan Kerckhoff, Susanne Delonge: Without a foundation: Doctor calls corona measures scaremongering. In: BR.de , March 18, 2020.
  33. Corona - everything “scaremongering”? Viral theses by pulmonologist Wodarg in a fact check. In: dpa , March 19, 2020.
  34. a b Selina Bettendorf et al .: Fact check. Wolfgang Wodarg spreads theses that ignore important facts. In: Tagesspiegel.de , March 19, 2020.
  35. Fact check: Are the measures against Corona exaggerated? In: MDR.de , March 19, 2020.
  36. Carsten Korfmacher: Conspiracy theories. The Corona parallel society. In: Nordkurier , March 19, 2020.
  37. Nike Heinen: Why this man belittles the epidemic. In: Welt.de , March 19, 2020.
  38. Julia Merlot: The dangerous misinformation of Wolfgang Wodarg. In: Spiegel.de , March 20, 2020.
  39. Harald Lesch : Coronavirus - unnecessary alarm in the case of COVID-19? In: Terra X Lesch & Co , YouTube , March 20, 2020.
  40. Stephanie Lahrtz: Which facts the corona-belittled Wolfgang Wodarg misjudges. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , March 21, 2020.
  41. Friedemann Weber: "We virologists excite Wodarg's claims mightily". In: Berliner Zeitung , March 20, 2020.
  42. Claudia Spiess: Corona crisis: EuroMOMO warns of misinterpretation of its statistics! In: Mimikama.at , April 20, 2020; Covid-19 pandemic: EuroMOMO warns of misinterpretation of its statistics. dpa fact check, April 17, 2020.
  43. On our own behalf: On the current statements by Wolfgang Wodarg. In: Transparency Germany, March 17, 2020.
  44. Hartmut Bäumer : The membership of Wolfgang Wodarg is suspended. Letter from Transparency Germany, March 25, 2020, accessed on March 25, 2020 (PDF).
  45. ^ Membership of Wolfgang Wodarg is suspended. In: Transparency Germany. March 25, 2020, accessed March 25, 2020 .
  46. ^ Malte Kreutzfeldt : Transparency membership is suspended. In: taz , March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  47. Report by TI-D (pp. 35–37)