To his own surprise, Diederik Gommers, an intensivist, became a central pivot of corona policy in March. The greatest risk of the pinnacle of the wave was that there would be more patients than IC beds. Gommers and his people had to try to expand the capacity.
And lie about that for politicians when asked. He tells about this in a (beautiful) piece De Volkskrant:
On March 26, the House of Representatives debated the corona crisis. MPs were annoyed because De Jonge could not promise that there would be enough IC beds at the end of the week.
During the debate, Gommers was called by an official from VWS. ‘Hugo de Jonge must know whether there will be 1,600 beds this Sunday. If I wanted to promise that. I said, listen, I’m not in the Chamber anyway, what do you think? I thought: I’m being tricked here. But no, they had to know if I wanted to say that.
He let it settle at the coffee machine. “Why did they need Diederik Gommers to say that there would be 1,600 beds? While I did not know that and have no influence on available ic beds. Then I thought: it must be. If that is so incredibly important to De Jonge, I would say that there are 1,600 beds on Sunday. ‘
Immediately afterwards they said: okay, would you like to confirm that in a WhatsApp?
A little later De Jonge saves his face during the debate: as of April 1, it can be scaled up to 1,600 beds. “Gommers has confirmed it,” he says.
Bron(nen): De Volkskrant (€)