Coronavirus: Should the US Adopt Sweden’s No Lockdown Model?

published on July 2, 2020

the deadly coronavirus pandemic has put

the us under lockdown but not sweet

are they doing it right


welcome back to America uncovered I'm

Chris Chappell

here in New York in many other parts of

the United States we're entering the

seventh week of coronavirus lockdown at

this point I'm basically ready to kill

my roommate to be fair I've been on the

verge of that since way before the

lockdown I mean leaving dirty socks on

the television how does that even happen


but lockdown measures have led to

somewhat more serious problems like 30

million people being unemployed and

that's just people who filed

unemployment claims across the us

there have been protests against the

lockdown and people are asking isn't

there anything we can do and now people

are looking to one man for the answer

what no no not Trump this guy

this is dr Anders techno he's basically

Sweden's version of dr Anthony foutch

II and as Sweden's chief epidemiologist

dr Technol has taken his country on a

very different path to handling the

coronavirus namely Sweden never locked

down that's right

unlike every other European country

Sweden did not lock down this is a park

in Stockholm Sweden 's Capital a couple

of weeks ago and here is a restaurant

people typically aren't even wearing

masks in Sweden shops restaurants bars

parks and elementary schools are open do

you hate them well you shouldn't it's

not the Swedish people's fault that

their government took a different

approach but before you go out of your

mind with jealousy life is not

completely normal in Sweden gatherings

of 50 people or more are still banned

high schools and colleges are closed not

that anyone would complain and family

visits to nursing homes are off-limits

that last one came after several nursing

homes in early April saw unusually high

deaths from the coronavirus so anyway

unlike the us and the rest of Europe

Sweden has not locked down their country

nor shut off huge parts of their economy

to deal with the

a virus pandemic the most important

question is has it worked well that

depends on who you ask

if you ask left-leaning CNN no more than

2400 people have died here vastly

greater numbers than neighboring

countries which imposed much tougher

restrictions but if you ask

right-leaning Fox Sweden is doing great

and without walking down Sweden and this

is the key has fared far better than

other European countries that did

lockdown that includes Britain Italy

Spain Belgium are you confused so are a

lot of people that's because it's

actually very hard to get a grip on how

well Sweden has done if you look Perley

at the data compared to other European

countries Sweden looks like it's roughly

maybe in the middle ish but even that

depends on which data you're looking at

and the data can be cherry picked by

different media with different biases

for example that CNN video showed the

total deaths in sweden compared to other

Nordic countries those Nordic countries

happen to have some of the lowest deaths

in Europe but they also have very small

populations Tucker Carlson on Fox on the

other hand compared Sweden not to its

neighbors but to the European countries

hit the hardest like the UK Italy and

Spain which have a lot more deaths per

capita both CNN and Fox showed accurate

data but it was different data so they

drew different conclusions but even

those conclusions can be misleading

because 90% of the people who have died

in Sweden were elderly and early on

Sweden had a problem with outbreaks at

nursing homes which is why sweden banned

visits to nursing homes on April 1st

it's like that drawing that's either a

young lady or an old woman it all

depends on how you look at it so should

America adopt Sweden's approach again it

depends on who you ask on the political

left they say yes America should be more

like Sweden

wait no sorry that's a headline about

socialism I mean on the political right

they say yes America should be more like

Sweden boy how things change but the

truth is America can never be exactly

like Sweden the conditions here are

completely different for example compare

population density

it appears Sweden has fewer people per

square mile than the us except that's

not true the US has Alaska which is huge

and contains mostly moose mooses nice

but the us also has New York City

which is full of unhappy people sitting

too close together on the subway Sweden

also has a subway but people don't feel

the need to be right up against each

other or do Showtime acrobatics in the

middle of rush-hour this is a bus stop

in Sweden last year before the

coronavirus the Swedes were social

distancing before it was cool my point

is you can't simplify it as just being

about population density nor is it about

other simple things like wearing face

masks in New York most people are now

wearing face masks but in Stockholm even

these Red Cross workers are not wearing

masks are you confused again so are a

lot of people because the real problem

is not population density or face masks

or who has the most disgusting subways

that last one is clearly New York by the

way the real problem is that we have

absurdly incomplete data on the

coronavirus and that makes it impossible

to draw accurate conclusions that's

right no matter which data you look at

it's not complete enough to actually

tell us for sure

which way is better we don't even really

know how many people have been infected

in the us or in any other country

because most people aren't getting

tested and for those who do get tested

there's often a big selection by

that is people are more likely to go get

tested if they already have symptoms or

live with somebody who is showing

symptoms but the government may never

get accurate data on the current number

of infections the us is now doing

surveillance testing to try and see what

percentage of the population has had the

corona virus but there are many issues

with that type of antibody testing that

I don't want to get into right now the

important point is there's a lag of

several weeks and it's not just the

current rate of infection that's unknown

we don't know exactly how many people

have died from the corona virus either

when the Centers for Disease Control

releases their data a lot of it is two

weeks behind and it's constantly being

revised and it's clear that other health

factors can affect how badly people get

sick things like obesity and diabetes

and those other health factors might be

different between say the US and Sweden

where everyone looks like this and the

limited data we do have often raises

more questions than it answers for

example take these two counties in

Southern California that are right next

to each other as of Friday April 3rd Los

Angeles County had a per capita kovat 19

death rate 73 times higher than Orange

County's 73 times higher that's the

difference between a dangerous pandemic

and a bad seasonal flu as one

epidemiologist said some counties do

well in some counties do poor it's not

exactly clear why and even inside Sweden

there's a lot of uncertainty about their

approach even if the lack of a lockdown

is ultimately viewed favorably it is

also possible that other countries could

not have taken the same path as Sweden

and remember doctor Technol Sweden's

Anthony pouchy he said that while the

strategy had achieved its goal of

stopping the country's Health Service

from being overwhelmed it was very

difficult to know whether a lockdown

could have prevented more deaths

so Sweden's Qi

epidemiologists who designed the whole

no lockdown strategy still doesn't know

whether it will turn out to have been a

good idea or a bad idea because it turns

out the only thing we can all be sure

about is that we don't know I'm sure

that thanks for watching and please

support America uncovered by

contributing through our crowdfunding

website patreon go to




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