Sweden’s approach to the virus: an update

I mentioned this previously to note Sweden’s non-authoritarian approach, although my praise went to the Swedish constitution and the concomitant trust Swedes have in their government agencies.

Today, John Whitehouse, of MediaMatters, just sent out this, below (way down below: the format I copied is messing around with me). If the American right wing is praising Sweden, you can bet the Swedish laissez-faire attitude is not working against COVID-19.

Conservative media push Sweden’s coronavirus response even as evidence suggests that it isn’t working

As the COVID-19 outbreak spread across the globe, Sweden implemented less stringent social safety standards than other countries. The country has allowed restaurants and schools to stay open, though there is little evidence showing that the approach is effective, and in fact, indicators suggest that it may be backfiring. However, members of right-wing media have elevated and supported Sweden’s approach.

The fatality rate from coronavirus in Sweden is significantly higher than those of the neighboring countries, at 7.68% as of April 8 compared to 1.46% in Norway, and 3.85% in Denmark. While the evidence is glaring, conservative media figures that have been clamoring for Trump to reopen the economy are now utilizing Sweden’s approach to advocate for prematurely reopening America’s economy.

Here are just a few instances of right-wing media touting Sweden’s response to the pandemic:

    • Fox host Tucker Carlson said that Sweden has never “adopted the Chinese model — the authoritarian model — in order to contain coronavirus,” before praising Sweden’s coronavirus numbers compared to Michigan’s.
    • Carlson said that the U.S. chose the “Chinese model — total lockdowns, internal travel restrictions, punishment for those who step out of line” instead of the “Swedish model of targeted restrictions coupled with voluntary distancing.”
    • On Fox & Friends, Fox contributor Newt Gingrich said that “places like Sweden … have done a much better job with much less economic damage.”
    • National Review shared an article titled “Has Sweden Found the Right Solution to the Coronavirus?” (Carlson on Thursday hosted the author of a National Review piece to tout Sweden’s approach.)
    • Fox News prime-time host Laura Ingraham tweeted praise for Sweden’s model three separate times, including sharing National Review’s article.
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