The ministry told Wolfgang Kubicki, vice president of the Free Democratic Party of Germany, the measure could not be assessed independently from other steps taken by the government, including the lockdowns.
Kubicki criticized this response on his Facebook page, calling it an attempt to avoid responsibility for the issue. In addition, he accused the Robert Koch Institute, a German federal government agency responsible for disease control and prevention, of failing to properly study the effects of masks and said that “the result of their work is disastrous.” Germany’s health ministry has been at the center of several scandals linked to protective masks purchased during the pandemic.
It was first accused of overpaying for such supplies in a deal involving then-health minister Jens Spahn’s husband. Later on, it was found that faulty masks bought from China were being considered for distribution to disabled people and homeless individuals.
Masks were made compulsory for German citizens in April 2020 and were dropped two years later in April 2022.