Doctor who discovered omicron: I was instructed NOT TO REVEAL it’s mild
02/11/2022 // Ramon Tomey // Views

The doctor who discovered the omicron variant of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) said government officials in Europe instructed her not to reveal the strain's milder nature.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association (SAMA), made this revelation during her interview with German newspaper Die Welt. According to her, she was told not to say omicron-infected patients presented milder symptoms than those who caught earlier COVID-19 variants.

"I was told not to publicly state that it was a mild illness. I have been asked to refrain from making such statements and to say that it is a serious illness, [but] I declined," Coetzee told the paper.

The physician based in Pretoria – one of South Africa's three capitals – did not elaborate on the identities of the officials who told her to keep quiet. She added that while officials in her home country did not try to pressure her, health authorities in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands criticized her.

"What I said at one point – because I was just tired of it – was in South Africa, this is a mild illness; but in Europe, it is a very serious one. That's what [their] politicians wanted to hear," added Coetzee.

The SAMA chairwoman continued: "Based on the clinical picture, there are no indications that we are dealing with a very serious disease. The course is mostly mild, [but] I'm not saying you won't get sick if you're mild."

Coetzee referenced the World Health Organization's definition of mild COVID-19, which indicates that patients can be treated at home without the need of oxygen or hospital care. "A serious illness is one in which we see acute pulmonary respiratory infections: people need oxygen, maybe even artificial respiration," she added.


"We saw that with delta, but not with omicron. So I said to people, 'I can't say it like that because it's not what we're seeing.'" (Related: Doctor who discovered omicron reveals she was told to label the variant as "serious.")

Coetzee denounces overreactions to omicron

Virologist Jaap van Dissel was among those who criticized Coetzee for her remarks toward omicron. The head of the Dutch Outbreak Management Team said it was "really too early" to determine if the variant first identified in South Africa was indeed mild. "You don't know yet what new variants are going to emerge after omicron," he said.

In a January interview with Austrian station ServusTV, Coetzee revealed that European scientists and officials pressured her to keep omicron's mild nature a secret. She was approached by these authorities after explaining that the panic surrounding omicron was a "storm in a teacup."

The SAMA chairwoman also mentioned during her ServusTV appearance that 99 percent of people who contracted the variant had developed only minor symptoms. "It's similar to a cold or the flu," she said.

Coetzee had been espousing the mild nature of omicron ever since it was first identified in November 2021. During an interview that month, she said that COVID-19 cases in health care workers "are extremely mild" and that "they don't need to be hospitalized for now."

"We're not saying this is not going to cause severe disease. It will cause severe disease, but if this can cause to more than majority of people mild symptoms [that are] easily treatable at home [and require] no need for admission, that's a first prize."

A month later in December 2021, Coetzee criticized what she called an "overreaction" by the U.K. and other countries to omicron. "These symptoms presenting in those with omicron are very, very mild compared with those we see with the far more dangerous delta variant. In overreacting to omicron, we are in danger of missing out on the benefits of a variant that could be a friend rather than a foe."

More related stories:

EPIC HYPE FAIL: WHO admits omicron variant has so far caused ZERO deaths.

South African health workers: Symptoms associated with omicron are very mild.

Top South African doctor says COVID-19 omicron variant symptoms are "mild."

No need to panic: South African doctor says omicron has MILD symptoms.

Russian scientist claims omicron strain "could end COVID pandemic."

Watch Dr. Peter McCullough discussing the omicron variant on the Brighteon.TV program "Steel Truth."

This video is from the BrighteonTV channel on

Visit for more stories about the omicron variant.

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