An Austrian vaccinator commits suicide after receiving death threats for months. The police and medical profession do not take their fears seriously for long and accuse the doctor of pushing the public.
The Austrian vaccinator Lisa-Maria Kellermayr took her own life. Previously, she long and forcefully drew attention to the hatred and threats that reached her from the anti-vaccination camp. These people took Kellermayr's vaccination appeals very seriously during the pandemic. They reacted with fantasies of violence and terror. Many others did not take Kellermayr quite so seriously: Authorities and medical representatives long dismissed the country doctor as an attention-seeking braggart.
With the corona pandemic, Kellermayr is in the public eye. Before Corona, she only occasionally tweeted about personal topics. At the beginning of last year, however, Kellermayr found a larger audience because she vehemently promoted her approach to treating Covid: an asthma inhaler. At that time, in early 2021, she came from the Corona emergency service and was in the process of opening her own practice. Kellermayr has had a busy few months: with the onset of the pandemic, she joins the "GP emergency service", drives across the country in ambulances and fights an illness about which there is little school knowledge.
In spring 2021 she will open her own practice. She gives interviews, advertises her approach and accuses the experts of not having heard her for a long time. She had successfully used the inhaler with the active ingredient budenoside hundreds of times, but her efforts to publicize these successes had remained fruitless.
However, some colleagues apparently became aware of Kellermayr's approach: According to Kellermayr's account, the Astrazeneca company contacted the country doctor because the number of budenoside preparations prescribed had multiplied. However, the pharmaceutical company does not want to support Kellermayr. Rather, he points out to Kellermayr that she alone is responsible for the use of the drug - after all, there is no official approval.
It was only when the German Health Minister Lauterbach tweeted about the possible effects of the inhaler on Covid diseases and an Oxford study with 73 test persons provided the first evidence that the approach became known to a wide audience. Kellermayr is beside himself: "Could we have saved lives if I were an older man?" She asks on Twitter. Kellermayer feels wrongly ignored - because she is a woman, young and "only" a general practitioner.
But Kellermayr is not giving up. She continues to talk about her approach wherever she may, promoting vaccination and doing the immunization herself. She criticizes the Austrian federal government, writes against conspiracy stories by opponents of vaccination and will run the Berlin half marathon in summer 2021. It is important to train the body for the next corona wave, she says.
Again and again, Kellermayr makes hostilities public that rain down on her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She is scolded for vaccinating people and talking about it. But Kellermayr is also insulted because she is a woman and does not correspond to the aesthetic ideas of her opponents.
According to the Austrian police, around 600 people gathered in front of the Wels-Grieskirchen clinic on November 16 of last year. Kellermayr posts a video of the demonstration. She complains that the "conspiracy theorists" are blocking the main entrance to the clinic and the Red Cross emergency exit. The Upper Austrian police called Kellermayr's tweet a false report: no rescue workers were obstructed. The Austrian newspaper "Der Standard" explained the next day that the exit had actually been blocked, but that the Red Cross said they had an alternative route up their sleeve.
Kellermayr was probably right, but that shouldn't have helped her much. For the opponents of vaccination, the story is a godsend: they see themselves confirmed by the police and Kellermayr convicted of lying. The doctor is now much more in the crossfire than before. The argument also attracts a person who calls himself "Claas".
He threatens Kellermayr and her staff in particular detail: in alarming detail, he explains in numerous messages how he intends to torture and kill the doctor and her team. Kellermayr alerted the Austrian police. Because she doesn't feel adequately protected by the , Kellermayr says she invests around 100,000 euros in a private security service. The police send a daily patrol, the private company secures four butterfly knives from visitors disguised as patients.
Just a day after the November protest, Kellermayr asked officials to delete the tweet that so many of their opponents gleefully enjoyed. No reaction. The police also stopped investigating the person whom Kellermayr apparently fears the most. "Claas'" death threats "really scared her," the Austrian "Falter" quoted from an interview with Kellermayr. She lives in panic, not knowing how much longer she can keep her practice running. According to the newspaper, the police saw "no threats or suspicions".
When Kellermayr announced at the end of June that she would have to close her practice, the case also became public in Germany. A hacker will soon be in touch. It provides information about right-wing extremists in Germany that could be behind the name "Claas". According to information from the "taz", German authorities then took action. However, it remains a summons that no one obeys. For the Germans, that was the end of the case.
Just a month ago, a police spokesman said on Austrian television that Kellermayr was only criticizing the police in order to "push himself into the public eye." Kellermayr only feels taken seriously when the Austrian head of state security, Omar Haijawi-Pirchner, intervenes. She thanks him in one of her farewell letters. She tells "Falter" that Hajawi-Pirchner was the only one who listened to her. Nevertheless, Kellermayr does not get the required police protection from the Austrian state.
In return, she continues to receive messages from "Claas" - and job offers: she was offered a job as a prison doctor or one in the Galtür ski resort, she told "Falter". Wolfgang Ziegler, representative of the medical association, was therefore confident in the "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten": A successor for Kellermayr's practice could easily be found. Out of sight out of mind. The "taz" quotes the representative as asking "whether one should speak excessively on every topic on Twitter". Sometimes it's better to withdraw.
Kellermayr apparently intended to do that. Several newspapers report that the doctor planned to take a break abroad or in the mountains for the summer. It didn't come to that anymore. Kellermayr told the "Falter" in early July that she was "literally going crazy". If car tires squeaked behind her, she winced. According to "Falter" editor-in-chief Florian Klenk, Kellermayr was "traumatized, shocked, scared and trapped in the horror scenario that her pursuers painted for her".
According to the "Kronen Zeitung", Kellermayr tried to commit suicide two weeks ago. After a night in the mental institution, she was released. The "Falter" wrote: "That was the drama of this dedicated doctor: she was not taken seriously. Not until the end."