Top American biochemist blasts Dutch coronavirus policy: ‘outdated’ and ‘obsolete’

Jose-Luis Jimenez, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Colorado and one of the most-cited scientists in his field, is hardly impressed by Dutch coronavirus measures. 

Like many vocal critics of coronavirus policy from within the scientific community, Jimenez, who specializes in aerosols, is deeply frustrated with basic — and frankly misleading — coronavirus regulations. 

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, he claimed that recommendations to wash your hands regularly, wear facemasks, and practice distancing can hardly prevent the spread of the virus without proper ventilation. 

Maybe he’s seen Rutte say “wash your hands” one too many times. Or perhaps he finds refuge in criticizing other nations’ mishandlings after two years of careless US leadership amidst the pandemic.  

Air quality is the single most important factor 

Jimenez is far from alone in thinking this. TU Delft’s own building engineer Philomena Bluyssen also believes that greater action needs to be taken. Much of the Dutch health recommendations mirror that of the World Health Organization, but these “are the minimum,” she tells Nature.

Bluyssen and other critics are not shy to point out the Dutch governments’ failure to provide comprehensive guidance and to allocate the necessary funding to ensure people’s safety in indoor spaces. 

So while the government relies on the avondklok to keep the COVID-19 bogeyman away, many scientists worry that significant portions of the population — from schoolchildren and students to office workers, restaurant-goers, and prisoners — remain extremely vulnerable in the absence of effective ventilation. 

Reaching boiling point 

Some find Jimenez’s words are fueled by frustration, even though his opinion is in line with the scientific consensus. 

As Charifa Zemouri, a Dutch expert on infectious diseases and public health told RTL Nieuws: “What I sense with him, and what I sometimes catch myself similarly feeling, is frustration. Why can’t we just go along with the scientific consensus? Sometimes it drives you to use more severe language.”

Would you like to see the Dutch government pay more attention to ventilation to prevent the spread of coronavirus? Tell us in the comments below! 

Feature Image: bldekok/Depositphotos

Caitlin Elston-Weidinger 🇩🇪🇺🇸
Caitlin Elston-Weidinger 🇩🇪🇺🇸
Though Caitlin was born in Berlin, she was raised between the beaches of Florida and mountainous Oregon but has opted for a university career in the cosy Netherlands. Four years into her Dutch journey, you’ll find Caitlin ranting about politics, upcycling jewellery for her online store, or roaming around with her analogue camera.


  1. I would love to see the emphasis change. Washing your hands/ sanitizing your hands all the time will not stop Covid and people need to stop thinking that it will. And definitely more emphasis on ventilation, and wearing masks even when you’re sitting down! Covid studies have shown that if spreads much farther than 1.5m especially if you’re in a closed room with little/ no ventilation.

  2. Maybe Mr Rutte is trying to balance freedoms and virus restrictions? I also do not agree with your assessment of two years of American failed covid policy. A better understanding by you about American Freedom may be necessary before you call our policy failed


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related posts

Latest posts

Springing to action: temperatures are rising but continues to rain in the Netherlands

Temperamental Dutch spring has arrived with vengeance. Buy an umbrella because the Netherlands will be rained on for the rest of the week. Despite warmer...

It’s happening, the Dutch government wants to get rid of TikTok (at least for some of us)

No more cute pet videos and viral face filters during lunch breaks in The Hague. The Dutch government has asked all civil servants to...

You’re joking: badgers cause Dutch train services to be halted AGAIN

If there’s one obstacle the Netherlands probably didn’t expect to tackle in 2023, it’s badgers. Those sneaky bois are at it again, causing damage...

It's happening

Upcoming events

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.