Sweden's lax COVID-19 response caused too many deaths, country's top epidemiologist says

Jan 3, 2020
The article is misinterpreted interview that international media took and ran with - I'll post the erratum interview below.

But let me first note that the title editor ran another lap, since the article itself describes how Sweden's response was not lax but measured, relying on science by the department of health under our "top epidemiologist". It has been described as mostly the same as in other nations.

"In an interview with Swedish Radio which was published on Wednesday, Anders Tegnell says that Sweden should have put in more measures at the beginning of the corona pandemic.

- If we were to encounter the same disease, with exactly what we know about it today, I think we would land in the middle of what Sweden did and what the rest of the world did, quite clearly.

The news, that the architect behind the world-unique - and heavily challenged - Swedish corona strategy is now self-critical became a world news.

But during Wednesday's press conference, Anders Tegnell points out that he is behind the Swedish strategy - and that the previous quotes have been interpreted.

- There has been news that I, or we at the authority, believe that the strategy was wrong and should be changed. We still believe that the strategy is good, you can always get better at this work, ”he says.

- I personally think it would be strange to answer that question differently.

Swedish Radio's reporter asks: Should it be understood that the strategy, given what you knew then, would look the same as it did?

- Yes, we make adjustments where we can based on the situation. Had we ended up in the same place with the same conditions and knowledge, we would have acted the same. Since then, we have always adapted to the period. We have not changed the strategy, but changed the business continuously, especially for something new that we had not experienced before, says Anders Tegnell, state epidemiologist at the Public Health Authority.

You don't disapprove of your own strategy?

- No not at all.

News agency TT's reporter asks: Did you take proper steps to make the development look more negative than you thought? Wouldn't it have been wise to apply the precautionary principle?

- The precautionary principle is a concept that one must deal with. Doing more can also do more harm. I think that when we evaluate this, it will not be easy to say exactly what factors have given success to some strategies but not all, Tegnell responds.

A reporter from the Financial Times asks how the state epidemiologist was personally affected by Sweden's corona strategy.

- Sometimes I feel like a punching bag, but I'm okay with it, says Anders Tegnell."

[ https://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/a/y3WamK/anders-tegnells-markering-kanner-mig-som-en-slagpase ]


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