Berlin District Mayor Stephan von Dassel said on Wednesday that he got infected with coronavirus “almost on purpose” from his partner in order to develop immunity against the disease. He added that the bug was a “lot worse” than he had imagined.
According to a Deutsche Welle report, Mr von Dassel, the district mayor for Berlin-Mitte, told public broadcaster RBB that he was sick longer than he thought he would be after deliberately infecting himself.
“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,” he said.
The 53-year-old defended his actions, which go against the recommendations of health experts across the globe, by saying that he saw his illness as a “contribution” toward the long-term goal of flattening the curve of the infection.
The mayor later tweeted a statement from the Berlin Mitte office which said that he had to be quarantined for 14 days after his partner became infected, and living in close quarters with her, the infection was “hardly avoidable despite all precautionary measures”.
“Since infection with a common home quarantine for 14 days is hardly avoidable despite all precautionary measures, I consciously accepted to catch it quickly,” he said.
“Perhaps my statement on the radio today was misleading,” Mr von Dassel added while sharing the statement on Twitter. “But my behavior was and is responsible. I was, am and remain in quarantine, until I’m no longer infectious.”