The publicity pressure from Sywert van Lienden via Twitter about face masks in healthcare was the direct reason for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) to do business with Van Lienden and his partners.

Sources within the ministry explain this to

Follow the Money


The research platform also reported on Saturday that Van Lieden's tweets were part of a preconceived plan to win such a deal.

Via tweets that have since been deleted, Van Lienden criticizes the supply of masks to healthcare on April 10, after which he says in so many words that his Auxiliary Troops Alliance can help.

"I threw a cry for help on Twitter to open a political door," Van Lienden then writes in a WhatsApp message that Follow the Money has seen.

Bart van den Brink (CDA), the political advisor to Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge (CDA), contacted Van Lienden that same day via WhatsApp.

According to a source, the ministry did not want to be blamed for not doing everything they could.

"Offers not picked up could potentially resurface in debates," the source said.

Van Lienden's business partner, Bernd Damme, had already registered the domain names of the commercial BV with which the final deal with the government was executed.

That happened on April 9, a day before Van Lienden's tweets.

Van Lienden and his business partners eventually made a deal with the ministry: they received more than 100 million euros in tax money for about 40 million mouth caps.

It was one of the largest face mask deals in the corona crisis.

Those involved made a profit of about 28 million euros.

Some of the mouth masks have been rejected by the RIVM because they contain graphene.

So far none of the caps have been used.

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