Berlin District Mayor Stephan von Dassel has sparked outrage in Germany last week after he admitted to deliberately getting infected with the novel coronavirus.
The mayor whose action has been met with widespread criticism revealed that he got the virus from his partner in order to self-immunize and be able to work while others were off sick.
von Dassel claims that he saw his deliberate infection as a “contribution” toward the long-term goal of flattening the curve of the infection. He did admit that he underestimated the virus, though.
“I was ill longer than I thought. I got infected almost on purpose to develop immunity and thought I’ll be a bit sick for three days and then I’ll be immune — I can’t catch it and won’t pass it on to anyone, but it was a lot worse than I imagined,” von Dassel told public broadcaster RBB.
Following his admittance, a series of backlash trailed him and his comments started a heated online debate.
He was accused by many of being irresponsible and putting others at risk.
However, von Dassel continued defending his actions, adding that perhaps his original statement was not as clear as he would have liked.
“Perhaps my statement on the radio today was misleading. But my behavior was and is responsible. I was, am and remain in quarantine, until I’m no longer infectious,” Mayor Stephan von Dassel said last Wednesday.
The Berlin official went on to tweet a link to a statement published by Berlin Mitte office from von Dassel, which stated that he had quarantined for 14 after his partner tested positive for the coronavirus, and that living in such close proximity to someone infected, catching the virus himself would have been “almost unavoidable” anyway.
“Since infection with a common home quarantine for 14 days is hardly avoidable despite all precautionary measures, I consciously accepted to catch it quickly,” von Dassel concluded.
His action is going against warnings and advice by medical experts telling people to isolate themselves in order to curb the spread of the virus.