(via) Professor Johan Giesecke, one of the world’s top epidemiologists and an advisor to the Swedish Government, is refreshingly straight-forward about his country’s unique response to Covid-19 in this excellent interview with the UK’s Unherd.
Here are his core points, as summarised by Unherd:
– UK policy on lockdown and other European countries are not evidence-based
– The correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only
– This will eventually lead to herd immunity as a “by-product”
– The initial UK response, before the “180 degree U-turn”, was better
– The Imperial College paper was “not very good” and he has never seen an unpublished paper have so much policy impact
– The paper was very much too pessimistic
– Any such models are a dubious basis for public policy anyway
– The flattening of the curve is due to the most vulnerable dying first as much as the lockdown
– The results will eventually be similar for all countries
– Covid-19 is a “mild disease” and similar to the flu, and it was the novelty of the disease that scared people.
– The actual fatality rate of Covid-19 is the region of 0.1%
– At least 50% of the population of both the UK and Sweden will be shown to have already had the disease when mass antibody testing becomes available.
I’m not at all advocating for the Swedish model (ie. no societal lockdown, business closures, trusting citizens, etc.) but it is nevertheless fascinating to watch those for this approach explain and defend it.