By Duncan Smith
Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, the guy who’s early coronavirus model scared world and U.S. leaders into shutting down their countries and economies, now says that had everyone done what Sweden did, the outcome would have been similar.
“It is interesting that adopting a policy which is short of a full lockdown – they have closed secondary schools and universities and there is a significant amount of social distancing, but it’s not a full lockdown – they have got quite a long way to the same effect,” Ferguson said Tuesday of Sweden, whose leaders refused to lock down businesses and force their people to stay at home.
The Daily Wire adds more:
Speaking before a House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, the man who half a million Britons could die from Covid-19 spoke of Sweden, whose 436 people per million mortality rate from the coronavirus is significantly lower than the UK’s 575 people per million. The Daily Mail noted, ‘As well as fewer deaths, Sweden’s GDP actually grew in the first quarter of 2020, suggesting it might avoid the worst of the economic fallout from the crisis.
“There are differences in how science has influenced policies in different countries. I have the greatest respect for scientists there [in Sweden]. They came to a different policy conclusion but based really on quite similar science,” he said.
Asked why 4,000 people had died in Sweden instead of the 90,000 that had been forecast, he answered, ‘I think it’s an interesting question. It’s clear there have been significant social distancing in Sweden. Our best estimate is that that has led to a reduction in the reproduction number to around 1.’ But, he cautioned, ‘It’s clear that when you look at their mortality, they are not seeing the rate of decline most European countries are seeing.‘
In fact, photo after photo of Swedish life during the pandemic showed lots of people in very close proximity to each other — so much so, that our ‘mainstream’ media regularly sniffed their disapproval.
Ferguson admitted, ‘But nevertheless it is interesting that adopting a policy which is short of a full lockdown… they’ve gone quite a long way to [achieving] the same effect.”
“Although there is no evidence of a rapid decline in the same way in other European countries,” he continued. “That is something we’re looking at very closely.’
“Lockdown is a very crude policy and what we’d like to do is have a much more targeted approach that does not have the same economic impacts,” he said.
ABC News contributed this:
Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, the architect behind Sweden’s policy, has repeatedly doubled down on the merits of his country’s approach. Sweden, he said, is playing the long game despite the country having a much higher death rate than its neighbors.
‘In the autumn, there will be a second wave. Sweden will have a high level of immunity and the number of cases will probably be quite low,’ Tegnell told The Financial Times earlier this month. ‘But [neighboring] Finland will have a very low level of immunity. Will Finland have to go into a complete lockdown again?’
Immunology experts in the U.S. — some of them, anyway — regularly argued against locking people away because it denied our country the ability to develop ‘herd immunity,’ which is vital to stunting the spread of a virus.
Sounds like they (and the Swedes) were right all along.