COVID-19: How Trustworthy and Humane is Sweden’s Pandemic Strategy?

Sweden’s Covid-19 strategy has been lauded by anti-lockdown activists who favor herd immunity, but a prominent Swedish professor of epidemiology questions just how humane and trustworthy that strategy has been. 

Sweden is among the leaders in Europe of deaths per coronavirus infections. (Wikipedia)

By Marcello Ferrada de Noli
Special to Consortium News

Some media outlets have mistakenly reported that the World Health Organization has endorsed Sweden’s Covid-19 strategy. In fact, WHO was referring to future pandemics in which new behavior is learned, not to the existing combat against this pandemic via a ‘herd immunity‘ model. Nonetheless, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell continues boasting that his untrustworthy Covid-19 model is the best in the world.

Hence, here are some tips for those governments which might be considering this model. They will wish to prioritize the needs of greedy corporations, increase economic aid to private bankers, and protect globalist interests at whatever cost; in Sweden’s case it cost the lives of thousands of the nation’s elderly and poor. [As of Monday morning, Sweden had 33,459 cases, the 25th most in the world, and 3,998 deaths, by far the most in Scandinavia.]

Corporate proxy epidemiologists may be favoring a herd immunity approach for the sake of business-as-usual. But if their experiment allows the elderly to die in “horrifying” suffocation because oxygen is not provided for them – as witnessed by Latifa Löfvenberg, a registered nurse in Gävle, Sweden,  – we are entering another level in this discussion.

Tips on How Not to Be ‘Successful’ Like Sweden

Tip No. 1

Hide the epidemic’s real death toll by “officially” counting only victims that were tested and “verified” at the laboratories you have arranged a deal with. Instead of counting all Covid-19 deaths, for instance, leave out those Covid-19 deaths occurring in private and nursing homes and only include those occurring in hospital settings.  Deaths occurring in in private and nursing homes in the community are not included in the statistics presented by the Swedish Public Health Agency.

Tip No. 2

Hide the real Covid-19 cases by only performing tests on a limited number of the population. Be the country of your region with the fewest Covid-19 tests per capita carried out. Less testing, fewer tests to send for verification. It’s that simple. [Sweden has tested 20,797 per one million population, the 6oth most of all countries.]

Above: Total COVID-19 tests per 1,000 people in Sweden and its neighbour countries

Tip No. 3

Do not include in your total death toll the fatalities which doctors have diagnosed as with Covid-19 in the death certificates they have issued. Otherwise the real death toll will show that is about ten percent higher (as indicated by figures provided by the National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden’s official statistics on causes of death).

Tip No. 4

Do not issue any directive to the personnel or staff responsible at nursing homes about wearing masks or protective gear while caring for the elderly. Say instead that those decisions are free to be taken locally. In other words, your national public-health and health-care authorities should not issue any directive on masks for protecting the elderly against infection from the personnel [“Ingen rekommendation om munskydd för att skydda mot smitta från personal“]. Instruct your state epidemiologist to address the press in daily briefings in such a way that they can allow the Swedish mainstream media to report: “According to state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell it is not possible to say whether protecting masks should or should not be used”. (DN, 7 May 2020).

Tip No. 5

If a) care home nursing staff are infected without knowing it (because they have not been tested –and they have not been tested because the authorities have refused that testing) and b) because they do not wear masks they infect many of the elderly they come into direct contact with, and c) because the elderly are fragile, and after they develop Covid-19 symptoms are NOT taken to hospitals, but d) ultimately die without proper care or dignity in the throes of suffocation hastened by opiates that worsen their respiratory problems, etc. (Swedish TV4 interview with Professor of Geriatric Medicine Yngve Gustafson, 11 May 2020), don’t mind that so much. Just make the people of your country believe that it’s Okay if the elderly die now, because they will die anyway.

Tip No. 6

Instruct your state epidemiologist to say that neither the daily number of fatalities nor the eventual overall death toll is the greatest concern in this epidemic. And that forecasting the number of deaths is not the most important part. And if a journalist asks him what the government’s most important concern is, don’t let your state epidemiologist reply that it is the economy. You should get him to say that “health care resources cannot be overwhelmed.” And to show that your country’s health care resources are not overwhelmed, drastically cancel the number of your “normal” or planned operations. Follow Sweden’s example by cutting your number of operations by 5,000 a week.

Tip No. 7

Ensure you have capacity in your Intensive Care Units (ICU) – and create the impression you have a high – or even the highest – survival rate in your country’s hospitals by simply denying ICU beds to the elderly and vulnerable, even when they are available. Let elderly patients die elsewhere, with no chance of them having access to a ventilator. But do all of this while simultaneously plugging the hype that your country is a “humanitarian superpower”. And don’t mention that time when a minister in your former Social Democrat government claimed your country risked having a “meat mountain” problem:

“This ‘meat mountain’ of people born in the 40’s, that we who were born in the 60s are going to feed.”

Finance Minister Per Nuder, addressing a meeting at the Scandinavian Enskilda Banken, SEB (“The leading Nordic corporate bank”), on 1 December 2004.

Tip No. 8

So, in order not to waste intensive care resources on older people, issue instructions to categorize them in “biological age” cohorts. Place as your lowest priority those people of biological age over 80, or those over 70 with one underlying organ system disease. Or even those of biological age over 60 with two underlying organ system diseases. While systematically denying ventilators to the elderly whose prognosis is assumed to be poor (no one can be totally sure if they would not have been saved if given the chance), you can opt to send them home or elsewhere without necessarily testing them for Covid-19. This way, when they die they will not be counted in your State Epidemiologist’s Public Health Agency system.

Tip No. 9

All of this will mean you can boast about recoveries, as we do in Sweden,  having in our most prestigious hospital –the Karolinska Hospital– such a high rate of ICU recoveries (“80 percent”), we are now entitled to say that, with such “positive figures”, we have “broken the international trend“ no less. Clearly, follow the example of Karolinska Hospital’s ICU, where a such a system of priorities was put into place even though beds were (and still are) not being used.

Tip No. 10

Do not investigate or mention in your state-sponsored media (as nearly all of Sweden’s is) the multiple exposures by professors, doctors, and nurses of cases where sick older patients with Covid-19 symptoms have been denied a hospital bed.

Tip No. 11

The same goes if your top officials are asked about reports of dying elderly patients being denied oxygen in public nursing homes (given instead morphine which worsens their respiratory problem). Such cases were recently witnessed by Latifa Löfvenberg, a registered nurse in Gävle, who has described the patients’ death by suffocation as “horrific”.

Just reply that giving oxygen is not an issue for the central state health authorities, but “up to each municipal/regional authorities.”

Tip No. 12

And, of course, the economy: Instead of providing sufficient protective gear to healthcare personnel, and buying masks for the people, etc., be sure that the first thing you do is to give to the profit-oriented private companies and corporate business in your country the equivalent of 724 billion Swedish kronor ($521.2 billion, or 67.9 Euro). After all, these are the funds the elderly – those to whom you are now administering euthanasia-like solutions – contributed to for most of their lives through their noble, dedicated and patriotic work.

And this is what WHO really said about the Herd Immunity strategy embraced by Sweden:

Doctor Marcello Ferrada de Noli is a Swedish public-heath, epidemiology professor emeritus and former research fellow at Harvard Medical School.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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28 comments for “COVID-19: How Trustworthy and Humane is Sweden’s Pandemic Strategy?

  1. Peo Österholm
    May 26, 2020 at 18:22

    I am sorry to say there are many misunderstandings in the Consortium article about Sweden. The high death toll is due to Stockholm, in the rest of the country the death toll is much lower- But according to my opinion the high death toll depends of the following: Some politicians in Sweden is trying to get almost everything – schools, health care, social welfare with private ownership, private companies. These politicians have been successful. But our experience is that this works very badly. Also many of the senior citizens homes are run by private interests. These companies try to get as few employed as possible. They also pick up different people from day to day, many of them with insecure employment conditions and without appropriate education. This have made it easier for the virus to be spread. The owners of these companies have also been criticized for omission.
    Stockholm was first to be contaminated. After having seen and studied the failures with elder citicens homes in Stockholm, the rest of the country has taken appropriate measures.

  2. Voice from Europe
    May 26, 2020 at 15:40

    Thank you CN for publishing my replies.
    If I have convinced one of your readers to check the data, my efforts have been worthwhile. Like Hippocrates used to say : ‘there are two things in life: Science and Opinion. The former brings Knowledge, the latter Ignorance’.

    • Sam F
      May 26, 2020 at 19:28

      Why did you not check the data given in my comments below, or respond with facts and argument?
      You were invited to present contrary facts and argument, so why not do that if you have them?

  3. Jeff Harrison
    May 26, 2020 at 11:32

    While I support Medicare for all, this is a full throated blast against government controlled medical care. The Voice from Europe’s comments don’t seem to understand that statistics are fairly easily manipulated notwithstanding, if the government and not the doctors are making the medical decisions, it is not any better than the American medical non-system where the faceless, emotionless insurance apparatchiks make your health care decisions instead of your doctor. One would have hoped that the world would have moved on from Dickens’ dystopian world where Tiny Tim is fated to die from a treatable condition until he is miraculously saved by a change in Scrooge’s cold, hard heart. Your health care shouldn’t depend on someone’s benevolence or, in this day and age, your having enough money right now to pay for it.

  4. After 5 hours of research
    May 26, 2020 at 10:55

    1. The is a huge story; Sweden is killing its older citizens by not providing basic care (suffocating to death? you get morphine, not oxygen). Additionally, as these elderly patients are not to be sent to hospital, they are not tested, and thus do not turn up on the national infected or death stats for COVID-19. They will only turn up on the “excess deaths” stats.

    2. This is a classic case of a “citizen whistleblower” being media suppressed and having character assassinations thrown at him whilst he gathers and publishes evidence and witness testimony exposing this killing by neglect of the elderly.

    3. “Voice of Europe” is a propagandist troll.

  5. Sam F
    May 26, 2020 at 09:15

    Corrected version:

    Perhaps you can explain these contrary observations:

    Sweden has the 47.9 new cases per million per day, the highest in all of W Europe.
    Sweden has 3,352 cases per million, the 7th highest in W Europe (1,196 Finland to 5,032 Spain).
    It has two or three times the cases per million of its neighbors (1,196 Finland to 1,544 Norway).
    And the article shows how Sweden distorts its figures to reduce those reported cases and deaths.

    The total of cases depends upon population density, percent in cities, etc, so is not strictly comparable.
    It also depends upon measures taken: first detection, response delays, early and current responses, etc.
    When comparing overall strategy effectiveness across comparable cases, total cases has some value.
    But Sweden did not do very well there, and will likely do much worse as it spreads without immunity.

    When comparing effectiveness of containment measures, see the rate of reduction of new cases per day.
    In comparable cases, that can show relatively early response and effective containment measures.
    But Sweden is doing worse there than any other state of W Europe. With no reduction of new cases per day, in 2-3 months it will have the highest total cases per million in Europe.

    May 26, 2020 at 06:42

    Sweden’s former Chief Epidemiologist has now said she regrets supporting the approach.

    Sweden’s death rate is considerably higher than that of same neighboring countries which did not follow the strategy.

  7. Charles K. Hof
    May 25, 2020 at 21:34

    Well it would appear that our government has been looking at ways to reduce the demands of Social Security. And they have a gift chucked into their laps!
    ssThe baby boomers are now a burden on the system that at least the Republicans hate. So letting the CaronaVirus-19 run its course through society is good :-( It’s all about the numbers, not anything to do with the fabric of society and the value that is in place.
    This democratic “system” isn’t democratic. Probably never has been. Manipulated by a few, wealthy at the expense of the many.
    We have a great opportunity to get health care for all NOW! Put the pressure on NOW! We see the weaknesses in our current system and we have the leverage to make it happen.

    • Sam F
      May 26, 2020 at 07:44

      Yes, Charles, we must get money out of elections and mass media, the first step to restoration of democracy.
      The rich shout money=virtue because they have no virtue: they are the burden upon us all, not natural aging.
      The tyrants of every tribe pretend that wrongs are from other tribes, and steal from them to reward supporters.
      So the US/UK rich seek to kill off the elderly to steal their pension savings; that is tribalism and fascism.
      It is shocking to listen to them rationalize their favorite genocides with talk of “overpopulation.”

  8. Brian Bixby
    May 25, 2020 at 20:37

    The most delightful things not mentioned in the article:

    1) There is to date no proof that getting SARS-2 confers longstanding immunity.
    2) There are at least two major and several minor strains in the wild, and no one knows if resistance to one strain confers resistance to others,

      May 26, 2020 at 06:44

      Some discouraging evidence, I believe from China, in fact says that the immunity acquired is not long-lasting, a matter of months.

    • Voice from Europe
      May 26, 2020 at 15:32

      Actually, Institut Pasteur has just published a study of 160 medical personnel that had tested positive proving that 159 of them have built antibodies 6 weeks after the infection and disproving that a person can be infected by the same RNA strain repeatedly.
      You can either inform yourself or stay afraid for the rest of your life.

  9. John Drake
    May 25, 2020 at 20:33

    Sweden used to be one of the most progressive and enlightened countries in the world back in the ’60’s. The even welcomed American draft resisters. There national graveyard, the equivalent of Arlington, is full of diplomats and scientists, not soldiers. I am shocked at how it has regressed to this point. This attitude toward letting the elderly go is right out of the Third Reich.

  10. DH Fabian
    May 25, 2020 at 17:29

    Our bourgeoisie can’t grasp why so many people (especially the homeless) can’t enjoy the luxury of the “just stay home” order.

  11. M L
    May 25, 2020 at 17:29

    Truly frightening, esp. in a country like Sweden. Conservatives must be in power there. Good you are exposing them. They’re not better than China.

    • Voice from Europe
      May 26, 2020 at 02:41

      Actually the social democrats are in power there.

  12. Tony
    May 25, 2020 at 15:51

    Harvard Medical School …say no more

    • Voice from Europe
      May 26, 2020 at 15:34

      The Lancet is another !

  13. AnneR
    May 25, 2020 at 15:32

    Dr de Noli – Unfortunately, I am not surprised. Would that I were, that Sweden stood more egregiously than it does (at least among the Scandinavian nations).

    However, not more than a couple of months ago some bloke – The Daily Telegraph, I believe – a journalist or editor wrote a piece published in his Tory leaning rag that, to simplify his statements: It would be okay to let the elderly die from COVID-19 because that would be less monies paid out for pensions (State and private) and less monies needed for the NHS (after all the elderly generally make greater demands on the NHS). Of course, the fact that, from the shop cleaner to the bank teller to the factory manager, these people have ALL contributed toward their pensions and their medical care over all the years they were employed matters not at all. Clearly.

    One suspects that within this country, the bourgeoisie and ruling elites across the board have similar feelings, views. The elderly are an economic Millstone that this pandemic can, should we let, rid us of…Then we can, if sufficient of them die, end Social Security and Medicare (even though *we* do not contribute much directly to these programs given that the cut off income level is somewhere between $120-150K). The less monies spent of SS and Medicare, the more will be handed over to our pet projects: War Materiel purchases and similar allied spending for slaughter and Mayhem.

    • DH Fabian
      May 25, 2020 at 17:32

      Since the 1990s, when Democrats ended basic relief for those left jobless, the life expectancy of the US poor fell below that of every developed nation. This, of course, has not been considered “an issue of concern.” At this point, we’re grappling with who Americans think “deserve” to survive,. and who doesn’t.

    • Harvey
      May 26, 2020 at 00:48

      Gratitude is the most fleeting of emotions.

  14. Ian
    May 25, 2020 at 15:28

    Wow. I thought Sweden was being hardheaded and blasé, but how comprehensively they sacrificing people and their access to healthcare in order to keep numbers down is diabolical.

    • Voice from Europe
      May 26, 2020 at 02:46

      You should have a look at the numbers yourself. Wikipedia or worldometer give a completely different, factual picture of the success of the immunization policy than what this MSM professor tries to convey.

  15. Martin
    May 25, 2020 at 15:19

    Well the Assange-case made clear that those Swedes are pretty sick people. They were ‘neutral’ during the war and are known for their love of eugenics.

  16. Sam F
    May 25, 2020 at 14:26

    Sweden shows one of the worst epidemic performances in W Europe. Its rate of new cases has barely declined since it peaked six weeks ago. Most of W Europe has reduced new cases 90 – 98%. That is not “immunity” it is foolishness.

    1. At 91-divoc dot com/pages/covid-visualization/: third graph (cases per million), select Highlight, choose Sweden.
    Note that Every Other Country in Europe except UK is doing far better. Some immunity there.
    2. At arcgis dot com/apps/opsdashboard/: (wait a while for the data to load)
    Select Sweden in the list at left (wait for data); Select lower right tab Daily Cases. Some immunity there.
    3. Look at Switz., Austria, Belgium, Neth., France, Italy, Spain, & Germany. Sweden is 2nd worst in All of Europe.

    Those who want to let the elderly die to steal their pension savings, are the true burdens upon society.
    Wrongdoers are within Every generation and tribe, using that tribal loyalty to mask their wrongdoing.
    Tribalism is where the wrongdoing is, not within groups defined by age, sex, color, race, creed, national origin. etc.

    • Voice from Europe
      May 26, 2020 at 02:51

      They have an average positive test result of 15% . So the more you test, the more cases you will discover. However if you look at the mortality rates ( worldometer or Wikipedia) you will see that the facts prove Sweden’s mortality rate us very favourable compared to France, UK, Italy, Spain ,Belgium without longer term lockdown effects.
      Ignorance =Fear.

    • Sam F
      May 26, 2020 at 19:18

      That 15% rate is typical where tests are given only when there are symptoms.
      It does not mean that more testing will produce more positive results.
      Please look at the data given above in both of my comments.
      Sweden is doing badly and is getting worse rapidly.

    • Sam F
      May 27, 2020 at 13:50

      Well, VfE, you should look at the website 91-divoc (dot) com/pages/covid-visualization/ third graph down, “New Deaths from COVID-19 per Day” select Data choose New Death/Day and select Highlight.
      Sweden has the highest number of deaths per day in the entire world!
      You are stating the exact opposite of the truth, and you must know it.
      There is no evidence of magical immunities there.
      I think you owe us an explanation of your false claims.

Comments are closed.