While the death toll from infection with Covid-19 continues to mount, with another 888 lives lost in the past 24 hours in the UK alone, and over 3,500 in the USA, where Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse
) is encouraging those trying to bust state lockdowns, the quack doctors of news continue to peddle their propaganda, pretending that all will be well if we just reopen the economy and carry on as if nothing were wrong.
And the latest episode of quack doctory from out there on the right has come from website UnHerd, where they have sought out the opinions of epidemiologist Johan Giesecke, who was Sweden’s head of public health, but is no longer. The interview has been enthusiastically trailed across the right, but without any of the warnings about him.
Responding to the interview, titled modestly
“Why lockdowns are the wrong policy
”, have been the likes of Dan, Dan The Oratory Man, who mused “If, when this is over, Sweden has fared no worse than the countries that immobilised their populations, it will be impossible to claim that ‘the lockdown saved us’. Perhaps that explains Sweden is getting so much flack
”. Swedens’s deaths exceed those
of all other Nordic nations combined.
It might as well be
Still, let’s see what Giesecke claims. “UK policy on lockdown and in other European countries is not evidence-based [no citation] … The correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only [no citation] This will eventually lead to herd immunity as a ‘by-product’ [opinion masquerading as fact] … [he] Is dismissive of the 510,000 figure that was predicted if mitigation measures were not implemented [why? He isn’t telling]
There is more. “Covid-19 is a ‘mild disease’ and similar to the flu, and it was the novelty of the disease that scared people
”. That’s a Straight-A Fuck Right Off. Do go on. “The actual fatality rate of Covid-19 will in all likelihood turn out to be in the region of 0.1% [no citation] … At least 50% of the population of both the UK and Sweden will likely be shown to have already had the disease when mass antibody testing becomes available [no citation]
This is in Ron Hopeful Meets The Wackos territory. But he does come with the recommendation of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Who else has been taken in ? Oh look, Shanker Singham. And the loathsome Toby Young has Retweeted Hannan. But even Christopher Snowden of the IEA has called Giesecke’s stance “controversial - some would say complacent
He does so with good reason: Dr Victor Lund Shammas from Oslo Metropolitan University has concluded “One of the most dangerous people in Northern Europe at the moment is a man by the name of Johan Giesecke, the mentor of Sweden’s state epidemiologist. His stubborn technocratic fetishism will likely cost thousands of people their lives. Ideologies matter - the wrong ones will kill
”. The view from the locked down country next door.
Meanwhile, there have still been 888 more deaths of those with Covid-19 in the UK. And the Evening Standard
has pointed out that, in Sweden, “coronavirus has now spread to one third of nursing homes, with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven admitting … that the country has not succeeded in protecting its elderly
”. That’s why it’s quack
Something that looks too good to be true just might be. I’ll just leave that one there
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It was once possible to believe social democratic Sweden was on to a reasonably acceptable development model.
It was illusory of course. And the illusion bubble finally burst with the (still unsolved) assassination of Olaf Palme in 1986, oddly coincident with reappearance of the far right. Shades of the earlier death of Dag Hammarskjold seeking peace in the Congo. Since then Sweden has slipped slowly toward the same socioeconomic sewer as Britain and the USA. Now it is no longer neutral, which was the main foundation of its relative stability. Its fate looks increasingly as institutionally and culturally corrupt as ours.
How sad. How avoidable. Ultimately, how seedy.
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