Dutch government obstructs excess mortality research
21 september 2022 | Gideon van Meijeren
The Netherlands have been struggling with unexplained excess mortality for more than a year. Since the second half of 2021, over ten thousand more people have died than expected. In October 2021, the leader of Forum for Democracy, Thierry Baudet, was the first to draw attention to this topic, in parliamentary questions to the then Minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge. The minister directly attributed the excess mortality to COVID. This was incorrect, because the excess death waves did not coincide with the COVID waves at all. Moreover, the excess mortality often exceeded the number of COVID deaths in the same period – to say nothing of the fact that the definition of “COVID death” is, of course, highly controversial.
In December 2021, the House of Representatives ordered the government to conduct an independent investigation into the ongoing excess mortality. In addition to an investigation by Statistics Netherlands and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), independent scientists were also supposed to be granted access to the data, via research financier ZonMW, in order to do their own research. However, that never happened.
An alarming letter obtained by FVD MP Gideon van Meijeren shows that independent scientists do not have access to the data they need. The letter comes from research financier ZonMW and is addressed to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) as well as the Municipal Health Services (GGD) do not want to release the vaccination data and test results, hiding behind privacy rules as an excuse. But that argument does not hold water: the General Data Protection Regulation they rely on does not apply to deceased persons.
In the meantime, the RIVM and the GGD are making it impossible for independent scientists properly to carry out their assignment. Because of this, they cannot check the research done by RIVM and Statistics Netherlands, nor even do their own, even though these are basic conditions for sound scientific research. Moreover, the researchers say that this creates the appearance of self-interest on the part of the RIVM and the GGD. According to them, it is precisely “in the interest of public trust in government to avoid any appearance of self-interest”. Duly noted.
The position of the RIVM and the GGD also shows their hypocrisy. Firstly, the RIVM has made data available when it comes to other studies. Secondly, without any objection, those very same RIVM and GGD made available the vaccination data and test results for the sake of the QR code, as a result of which the entire Dutch population had to throw its privacy into the bin on order to regain its social life.
Now that there are concrete indications that this may have had criminal consequences - after all, there is a real chance that the excess mortality is (partly) the result of the massive vaccination campaigns that have been imposed – this is being swept under the carpet. FVD wants to get to the bottom of the matter and is asking parliamentary questions, calling on Minister Kuipers to force the RIVM and the GGD to release the data.
Gideon van Meijeren's parliamentary questions:
- Do you recall that on November 19, 2021, in response to parliamentary questions about excess mortality from May 2021, your predecessor said that “Statistics Netherlands (CBS) states that the excess mortality, or the difference between the observed number and the expected number of deaths, is almost entirely caused by death from COVID-19”? Where and when did CBS state this? Do you agree with this statement? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Are you familiar with the article 'Every week hundreds more Dutch people are dying than usual, and nobody knows why' from the Volkskrant dated 8 September 2022? What is your opinion of it?
- Have you received in good order the letter from ZonMW dated 30 August 2022, to which the article refers? If so, why did you not immediately share it with the House of Representatives? What is your view on the fact that FVD had to obtain this letter via its own means?
- What is your assessment of the contents of this letter and the accompanying appendices? Do you endorse these? If not, why not?
- Do you share the scientists' main concern – namely that the lack of data, in particular vaccination data and test results from the RIVM and the GGD, respectively, hinders research into the excess mortality? If not, why not? Do you recognise that, because of this, the scientists cannot carry out their assignment properly? If so, how will you ensure that the researchers can still carry out their assignment properly? If not, why not?
- Do you share the opinion of the scientists from the sounding board group, as set out in appendix 2 of the letter, that failure to disclose data can give the appearance of other (self)interests of organisations such as the RIVM and the GGD and that it is “in the interest of public trust in government to avoid any appearance of self-interest”? If not, why not?
- Do you recognise that the GDPR does not apply to data regarding the deceased? Do you recognize that the AVG should therefore not form an obstacle to the sharing of vaccination data and test results, as the RIVM and GGD claim it does according to this article? Do you therefore agree with the scientists who claim in Appendix 2 of the letter they sent (see question 4) that the GDPR leaves sufficient room to share the data necessary for the research?
- Are you familiar with the 8 September response of the GGD to the article in the Volkskrant, in which the GGD indicates that it would be happy to make the necessary data available for the independent investigation, while also being able to guarantee people's privacy? What is your assessment of this response from the GGD? What is your assessment of this contradiction between the statement of the GGD (stating that the GGD does want to share the data) and that of the independent scientists (stating that the GGD does not want to share the data)? Could you please ensure that the necessary data from the GGD is shared with the researchers as soon as possible?
- What is your assessment of the fact that scientific research into causes of death of recently deceased persons is frustrated by the RIVM, whereas the RIVM does make datasets available to researchers for other studies (whether accompanied by a material transfer or data sharing agreement or not)?
- Do you acknowledge that, according to art. 3(1)(e) of the RIVM Act, you are authorised to order the RIVM to share the required vaccination data with the researchers (anonymously or not)?
- Are you prepared to order the RIVM to share the vaccination data with the researchers as soon as possible, so that they can continue the research they have to carry out on behalf of the House of Representatives?