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Sweden's Triumph; Staying Free in a Lockdown World
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Coronavirus COVID-19 and Swedish Korean Flag : Stock Photo
Why is the media so preoccupied with Sweden? And why is the media so determined to prove that Sweden’s approach to the coronavirus is wrong? Are we supposed to believe that the same MSM that promoted every bloody coup, intervention and war for the last 30 years has suddenly become a selfless advocate for elderly Swedes fighting off a lethal infection?

That’s baloney. The reason the media publishes roughly 15 articles blasting Sweden for every one article voicing support is because the media has a stake in the outcome. The media wants to dispel the idea that there is any alternative to the authoritarian lockdown approach. Thus, the Swedish model– that leaves parts of the economy open and trusts people to follow the government’s “distancing” guidelines — has to be obliterated. That’s what’s really going on. The media has no interest in a smallish north European country of 10.4 million people. What they care about is the example that Sweden is setting for other countries around the world. If those other countries follow suit and settle on an approach that is based on science and trust rather than politics and coercion, then the elitist plan to prolong the crisis and restructure the economy begins to unravel. So, Sweden must be annihilated. It’s that simple.

The first line of attack against Sweden is its “death rate” which is significantly higher than its neighbors in Norway or Denmark. And while there are only 4,395 deaths in Sweden today as opposed to over 100,000 in the United States, the information is always presented in the most sensationalist terms, like this goofy clip from the National Review:

“There have now been ten times as many COVID-19 deaths in Sweden than Norway on a per capita basis. According to the Worldometers website, 435 out of every one million Swedes have died from the virus, while the virus has killed 44 out of every million Norwegians.” (National Review)

Wow, “435 out of every one million Swedes have died from the virus!” Those barbaric Swedes, they’re killing their own people!

This is alarmist nonsense. Think about it: “435 out of every million” is just 1 in every 2,500. Is that enough to justify the shutting down of the economy and suspending civil liberties? Of course, not. And, keep in mind, the great majority of these fatalities are among people that are 70 years-old and up with underlying health conditions. Like everywhere else, roughly 90% of Covid fatalities occur among the over 60-crowd with co-morbidities”.

So I put this question to you: Is one death in every 2,500 sufficient reason to strangle the economy and put the country under house arrest?

The answer is “No”. The lockdown was not only a mistake, it was a fear-fueled, knee-jerk reaction to the exponential spike in Covid-positive cases for which policymakers were completely unprepared. So, instead of consulting a broader range of experts with varying opinions on the topic, the Trump administration adopted the Chinese model that was supported by Dr Fauci and the Vaccine Mafia. As as result, 40 million Americans have lost their jobs, every sector of the economy is in freefall, and the US is headed for another Great Depression. In contrast to this madness, Sweden’s infectious disease experts developed a sensible, science-based plan which was laid out in an article by Dr. Johan Giesecke at The Lancet. Here’s an excerpt:

“It has become clear that a hard lockdown does not protect old and frail people living in care homes—a population the lockdown was designed to protect. Neither does it decrease mortality from COVID-19, which is evident when comparing the UK’s experience with that of other European countries…

These facts have led me to the following conclusions. Everyone will be exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and most people will become infected. COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire in all countries, but we do not see it—it almost always spreads from younger people with no or weak symptoms to other people who will also have mild symptoms. This is the real pandemic, but it goes on beneath the surface, and is probably at its peak now in many European countries. There is very little we can do to prevent this spread: a lockdown might delay severe cases for a while, but once restrictions are eased, cases will reappear. I expect that when we count the number of deaths from COVID-19 in each country in 1 year from now, the figures will be similar, regardless of measures taken.

Measures to flatten the curve might have an effect, but a lockdown only pushes the severe cases into the future —it will not prevent them. Admittedly, countries have managed to slow down spread so as not to overburden health-care systems, and, yes, effective drugs that save lives might soon be developed, but this pandemic is swift, and those drugs have to be developed, tested, and marketed quickly. Much hope is put in vaccines, but they will take time, and with the unclear protective immunological response to infection, it is not certain that vaccines will be very effective.

In summary, COVID-19 is a disease that is highly infectious and spreads rapidly through society. It is often quite symptomless and might pass unnoticed, but it also causes severe disease, and even death, in a proportion of the population, and our most important task is not to stop spread, which is all but futile, but to concentrate on giving the unfortunate victims optimal care.” (“The Invisible Pandemic”, The Lancet)

As you can see, the Swedish team that developed the policy was not “gambling” with Swedish lives as the idiot media likes to say. They were applying decades of science to a problem that required them to make tough decisions about the best way to navigate an epidemic for which there is no known cure and no effective treatment. And their choice was clearly the right one. They elected to keep the economy open as much as possible while making every effort to protect the old and vulnerable. It was an excellent plan despite the notable failures in its implementation, the biggest of which was the surge of fatalities at the rest homes which has been nothing short of a catastrophe. More than half of Sweden’s death toll comes from these homes for the elderly, while a whopping 4,200 of the 4,386 people who have died from the virus have been over 60. That is NOT a misprint. (See Sweden’s official state statistics here) A mere 186 people under 60 have died from the infection.

 

While these statistics may be shocking, they don’t suggest the policy was wrong, only that there wasn’t enough effort put into protecting the elderly. So, is it fair to blame Sweden for its higher death rate?

Of course, it is, provided we allow sufficient time to see whether the lockdowns actually prevented deaths or if they just postponed them until the restrictions were lifted. That’s the only way we’ll know for sure whether they worked or not. Some experts predict that the percentage of deaths will balance out in the long-term and that Norway and Denmark’s fatality rate will look very similar to Sweden’s. But only time will tell.

It’s also worth noting that Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy and France all lead Sweden in terms of “deaths per million”, which is the standard metric for measuring the success or failure of a particular approach. So why is Sweden –which has 405 deaths per million– so savagely raked over the coals, while Belgium–that has 817 deaths per million — gets off scot-free? It’s because Belgium hasn’t veered from the official lockdown policy which achieves the elitist dream of universal martial law. Sweden rejected that option which is why the agenda-driven media has hung a bullseye on it’s back.

Did you know that the Norwegian Prime Minister admitted that the lockdown was a mistake? It’s true, here’s what she said:

“Last Wednesday night, Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg went on television to make a confession: she had panicked at the start of the pandemic. Most of the tough measures imposed in Norway’s lockdown were steps too far, she admitted. “Was it necessary to close schools?” she asked. “Perhaps not.”

She isn’t the first Norwegian official to acknowledge that the lockdown wasn’t necessary. On May 5th, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) published a briefing note reporting….“Our assessment now… is that we could possibly have achieved the same effects and avoided some of the unfortunate impacts by not locking down, but by instead keeping open but with infection control measures,” Camilla Stoltenberg, NIPH’s Director General said in a TV interview earlier this month….
(“Norwegian Prime Minister Admits Lockdown Was Mistake” Lockdown Skeptic s)

 

Interesting, eh? So while Norway is invariably used to prove that Sweden “got it wrong”, Norway’s own PM thinks they “got it right”. It’s no surprise that this story didn’t appear anywhere in the western media.

And, did you know that the UK Government has released the classified minutes from the SAGE (The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) meetings which show that the government’s decision to lockdown the country was not based on science but on politics? Check it out:

“…at no point did SAGE discuss anything resembling a full lockdown. Indeed, SAGE noted at a meeting on March 10th that banning public gatherings would have little effect since most viral transmission occurred in confined spaces, such as within households….

In other words, Boris Johnson and his advisors were not following “the science” when they took the decision to lock down the country on March 23rd – they weren’t acting on any specific recommendations by SAGE. Nor can the Government claim this is one of the options that was discussed at SAGE meetings and it was basing its decision, in part, on SAGE’s analysis of the impact of a full lockdown. That option was not discussed at any of the meetings before March 23rd. In this respect, it was a political decision.” (“Was the Government Really Following “the Science”? Lockdown Skeptics)

There it is in black and white, the British lockdown isn’t science-based anymore than the American lockdown is science-based. The policy was adopted by hysterical politicians who overreacted to a public health crisis for which they were totally unprepared. That’s what these classified SAGE documents prove.

 

No “Herd Immunity” after all?

“Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, has been widely criticized for claiming that Sweden would achieve “herd immunity” by the end of May. “But a recent study found that just 7.3 percent of Stockholm residents tested positive for coronavirus antibodies at the end of April. “I think herd immunity is a long way off, if we ever reach it,” Bjorn Olsen, professor of infectious medicine at Uppsala University, told Reuters.” (National Review)

But there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Not everyone who is exposed to the virus manifests an antibody response. According to Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, (who produced a rival model to Ferguson’s back in March.)

The antibody studies, although useful, do not indicate the true level of exposure or level of immunity. First, many of the antibody tests are “extremely unreliable” and rely on hard-to-achieve representative groups. But more important, many people who have been exposed to the virus will have other kinds of immunity that don’t show up on antibody tests — either for genetic reasons or the result of pre-existing immunities to related coronaviruses such as the common cold.

The implications of this are profound – it means that when we hear results from antibody tests the percentage who test positive for antibodies is not necessarily equal to the percentage who have immunity or resistance to the virus. The true number could be much higher. Observing the very similar patterns of the epidemic across countries around the world has convinced Professor Gupta that it is this hidden immunity, more than lockdowns or government interventions, that offers the best explanation of the Covid-19 progression:

“In almost every context we’ve seen the epidemic grow, turn around and die away — almost like clockwork. Different countries have had different lockdown policies, and yet what we’ve observed is almost a uniform pattern of behaviour which is highly consistent with the SIR model. To me that suggests that much of the driving force here was due to the build-up of immunity. I think that’s a more parsimonious explanation than one which requires in every country for lockdown (or various degrees of lockdown, including no lockdown) to have had the same effect.”

Asked what her updated estimate for the Infection Fatality Rate is, Professor Gupta says, “I think that the epidemic has largely come and is on its way out in this country so I think it would be definitely less than 1 in 1000 and probably closer to 1 in 10,000.” That would be somewhere between 0.1% and 0.01%”. (“Sunetra Gupta: Covid-19 is on the way out”, unherd.com)

Gupta makes a important point, but it needs to be better explained. If, for example, “just 7.3 percent of Stockholm residents tested positive for coronavirus antibodies at the end of April”, that does not mean that only 7.3% of Stockholm residents are immune. No. Some people have an innate immunity (due to their genetic makeup) or have “existing immunities” linked to prior infections like Sars. Gupta believes that immunity is more widespread than is evident by the results of antibody tests. This suggests that the percentage of Stockholm residents that are immune could be much greater than we think. Given the virulence of the infection, as well as the interaction of the city’s population, Stockholm could be very close to herd immunity already. The decline in “new cases” strongly suggests that immunity is blocking the spread of the pathogen which means the virus is gradually dying out. If that’s what is currently taking place, then Sweden will likely be spared a “second wave” of the pandemic.

 

Sweden’s Economy; Not so hot

Sweden’s economy is expected to contract at a rate that is comparable to that of its neighbors. . Check out this excerpt from an article at NPR:

“Even without a nationwide lockdown, the Sweden’s economy has taken a hit as people continue to follow their government’s guidelines and stay at home….Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, provided two potential scenarios for the country’s economic outlook in 2020.

“Despite the comprehensive measures both in Sweden and abroad, the economic consequences of the pandemic will be considerable. The consequences for the economy will vary depending on how long the spread of infection continues and on how long the restrictions implemented to slow it down are in place,” the Riksbank said in a statement in April.

Both scenarios predict a rise in unemployment rate and a contraction of the country’s gross domestic product. The central bank expects unemployment to rise from 6.8% to 10.1% and GDP to shrink by up to 9.7% this year as result of the pandemic.” (“Sweden won’t reach herd immunity in May”, NP R)

 

Bottom line: Sweden is going to face a deep recession just like the countries that implemented harsher measures. So what was gained by bucking the trend?

Maybe nothing, but I expect it will be much easier and less costly for Sweden to gear-up to full capacity than any of the lockdown states. And Sweden will not have to deal with disruptive shutdowns due to sporadic outbreaks like we’ve seen recently in Germany, South Korea and China. In fact, this could be a recurrent problem in countries that put their hopes in contact tracing or quarantines. In contrast, Sweden bet the farm on old-fashioned immunity developed through controlled exposure of younger, low-risk people who strengthened their own natural defenses by interacting with their friends and families as they normally would. It’s clear, they made the only sensible choice.

Sweden has shown that it’s possible to counter a deadly pandemic and preserve personal freedom at the same time. They alone have triumphed where others have failed.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Science • Tags: Coronavirus, Disease, Health care, Sweden 
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  1. anon[146] • Disclaimer says:

    Yet another quack article from a guy who just can’t admit he was wrong. Australia > Sweden. Fewer deaths plus their economy won’t be persistently beset for the next year. That’s what you get for acting early and not dismissing things you don’t understand as a hoax.

  2. 76239 says:
    @anon

    You have a better chance getting drafted in the NBA as a high school player than dying of Covid 19.

    • Replies: @karel
  3. On your first point, that the media drive all wars etc., the answer is a tax on all advertising revenue. The rate should be very high, a very high proportion of all payments for advertising.

    They only do it because drama and tragedy are entertaining so produce higher sales by themselves, make advertising worth more.

  4. @Ann Nonny Mouse

    No, I’m wrong on taxing advertising. That would make governments keen on war for the same reason the media are. Instead, require all advertising to be free. Ban payments for it.

  5. Anonymous[402] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    “Why is Japan’s death toll so low?

    Sweden has received quite a kicking for its decision to avoid a lockdown. But there is another country which has taken a similar route and proved harder to criticise. In Japan, restaurants, shops and hair salons have remained open throughout the pandemic, and there have been no restrictions on personal movement.

    Japan has not used any of the standard measures for tackling Covid-19 – lockdown, test, track and trace – with any great vigour and neither has it succeeded in snuffing out the virus by any other means. If you think Boris Johnson or Donald Trump have been reckless in some way, you ought to be berating the Japanese government far more. But Japan, in spite of its laissez-faire attitude, has had remarkably few deaths: seven for every million citizens, compared with 567 in Britain. Even Europe’s Covid-19 pin-up – Germany – has suffered a death rate that is multiples of that of Japan: 103 per million.

    This brings one to an inescapable conclusion that has been obvious since mid-March, at least to anyone who has been prepared to see it: that there is a fundamental difference in the way that this virus has behaved in the Far East compared with Europe and America. It has been far, far deadlier in the latter two, and in a way which cannot nearly be explained by differences in the way governments have handled the epidemic. This raises two possibilities: either that there is a difference in the virus which has been attacking western countries or there is a difference in the human populations.”

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/covid-19-update-japan-avoided-lockdown-and-kept-deaths-low-how-

    • Replies: @animalogic
    , @Sean
  6. @anon

    Asked what her updated estimate for the Infection Fatality Rate is, Professor Gupta says, “I think that the epidemic has largely come and is on its way out in this country so I think it would be definitely less than 1 in 1000 and probably closer to 1 in 10,000.” That would be somewhere between 0.1% and 0.01%”.

    Yes. Yes. Yes. This point needs to be made over and over again. As much as I respect the work that Ron Unz has done here on the Unz Review, he hasn’t correctly calculated the IFR, the infection fatality rate, because he has relied on the data from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing alone to provide the denominator in the equation of death rate, that is, the test for people who have an active viral infection at the time. He who derides others for being mathematical ignoramuses:

    No, that’s wrong. All the solid estimates I’ve seen place the IFR in the range of 0.5% to 1%. For example, the NYC and Spain results are around 1% or a bit higher, while Iceland is closer to 0.5%. The enormous datasets from China also fall into this same range.

    The IFRs down around 0.1% are generally based upon totally incorrect estimates of the infection rate, usually due to non-random sampling or other stupid things.

    —Ron Unz, comment, In the Race for Immunity, Sweden Leads the Pack

    His assumption results in a grossly inflated estimate of the death rate. Mike Whitney has done us all a big favor by doing the hard work to show that not only do people with antibodies to the coronavirus factor into the death rate, but also many others do as well, those that are genetically resistant to the coronavirus, and won’t show the presence of antibodies, and won’t get the disease. That is why we can reach herd immunity with a relatively small percentage of the population showing any evidence of present or past infection. This is the answer to the question I posed some time ago, why is such a small part of the population showing any kind of evidence of coronavirus infection? Because many are genetically resistant. Or they acquired resistance from another coronavirus, a cold for instance. It’s just not that deadly. Worse than the flu, sure, but 60% of people who contract coronavirus in their seventies show no symptoms. You have a better chance of getting killed in an automobile accident on your way to work. The lockdowns were a colossal mistake, and what we are seeing now are massive amounts of people having difficulty eating crow in the face of the empirical data, like you, anon [146]. In the face of real science, there is calm, there is discussion, there is acceptance of alternative points of scientific view, but not the panicked frenetic running around and screaming for people to do something, anything, which is what we got. The virus is dying out. Take off your masks already. Go enjoy an conversation with a friend over a pint. Give your mother a kiss. You are all suffering for nothing, like Medieval religious fanatics, scourging their backs with whips, for nothing. Furthermore, the lockdowns have been the segue to the riots, to the burning of cities, and to the destruction of property. But that is material for another comment.

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Thanks: Mark G.
  7. I concur with Mr. Whitney on the lockdown. As he notes, the Norwegian premier has apologised, and, unnoted by him, the Danish government, which went against the advice of their health experts and imposed a greater measure of lockdown, has admitted it to be a mistake. Sweden, as noted, did mishandle the old folks homes and allowed it to spread there.

    I think that the national wave of looting and riotous anarchy in the wake of the police murder in Minneapolis carried out by all races has been redoubled by the loss of legitimacy of the regime as a result of the economic failure being engendered by the overreaction to the virus. It may well only be a foretaste of a chronic situation as time goes on.

    • Agree: Weston Waroda
  8. karel says:

    A bit repetitive. Mama mia, here we go again and the dead will soon rise from their graves.

  9. It seems that the lockdown functioned well in Denmark: “Fast in, first out: Denmark leads lockdown exit”. Norway’s measures were also a success. As an article says: “The country was among the first European nations to go into full lockdown on March 12 and now plans to have almost all restrictions lifted by June 15 after successfully flattening the curve of infection”. According to the article there were 236 deaths in Norway while there were 4395 deaths in Sweden. Norway will end the lockdown and like Denmark will receive tourists from some countries. The article concludes: “But both Norway and Denmark said they will not open up to Swedish visitors due to its high coronavirus infection rate.”

    • Replies: @Roz
  10. karel says:
    @76239

    I would love to drafted. How can I do it? can you arrange it somehow?

  11. It’s nice article by Mr Whiney pointing out why Sweden got it right and is continually vilified for it. However what is not acknowledged and what no one anywhere seems to grasp is… All the deaths in nursing homes were do to govt negligence narrative is false! Andrew Cuomo’s blundering not withstanding, the highest concentration of the at risk population are IN NURSING HOMES! Nursing homes would be hardest hit regardless of any policies set in place to protect them. Ppl sent to nursing homes are sent there essentially to die, they are already at the natural end to their lives, and have comorbidities that render them in need of nursing home care in the first place. Nursing homes would be the epicenter regardless of any additional protective measures!

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  12. Roz says:
    @UncommonGround

    So Denmark and Norway can’t open up to anyone but themselves…is that the answer? Meanwhile Sweden announced zero deaths just 2 days ago, and probably have much higher level of immunity and puts them in a far better place for any second wave, if such a thing will even exist for this. The most telling stat is that only 180 people under the age of 60 have died. These are the ones who are out and about the most. They are going to schools, parties, bars, restaurants, offices etc. The only portion of the population locked down were those in nursing homes, and that is where the most deaths were.

  13. @Anonymous

    The East – West difference? A large part of the East’s success — E-Asians have been using masks for years, & masks make a big difference (if enough people use them – my mask protects you, your mask — me. )

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  14. Mr Whitney on C19 — he has 20/20 hindsight, the scientists, politicians back in January – February etc failed to use the crystal balls.
    If ONLY they had used their tarot cards, their lamb’s intestines AND checked with the Sybiline Books.
    It’s nice that after a couple of months Mike finally admits that Sweden’s economy is up the shit more or less like the rest of us.
    “The media wants to dispel the idea that there is any alternative to the authoritarian lockdown approach. Thus, the Swedish model– that leaves parts of the economy open and trusts people to follow the government’s “distancing” guidelines — has to be obliterated.”
    The key bit here is “trusts” — I’m guessing Sweden has a generally highly educated, informed AND civilised population. I wonder whether other certain societies would have had the same level of personal responsibility….

    • Replies: @orionyx
  15. For all people who care about data, and are willing to open their eyes, there is ZERO correlation between lockdowns and death rates. One glance at the excellent Worldometer website proves this. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

    Many of the US states with the most restrictive lockdowns like New York, NJ, Connecticut & Massachusetts have the highest deaths per million, while some of the states like Florida Texas and Georgia that have been open for over a month, are among the lowest.

    The vaccine happy US CDC puts the infection fatality rate at around 0.4 % of people WITH SYMPTOMS. If you include their estimate of the approximately 35% (maybe higher if professor Gupta is correct) of asymptomatic cases, i believe that drops the rate by 35% to 0.26% ? (Scenario 5 best estimate) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

    The CDC estimate includes all nursing home deaths, people of all ages, and people who are sick (sometimes VERY sick) It also includes “probable” Covid deaths. If you are under 60 and relatively healthy, your chances of dying from this disease are extremely low. This is not a secret. Nor is it really even debated by serious public health experts.

    So the real question is…why does the media relentlessly hype the “death count” while using cultish PR phrases & deceptive propaganda tricks to prevent people from learning the facts? Why are they so hellbent on keeping people home and destroying the economy for a disease that kills mostly people who are already close to death?

    • Thanks: RadicalCenter
  16. Sean says:
    @Anonymous

    https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/japans-covid-19-state-of-emergency-is-no-lockdown-whats-in-it/
    Japan has a population of 126 million that is the oldest in the world, and density is high. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are present in about 6% of Japanese, yet a mere 900 Japanese have died of the disease. Why? Japanese are the least overweight people in east Asia. compulsory annual measuring of waistlines for individuals between 45 and 70 is mandated, and there are sanctions for local government and companies whose people are overweight.

    Travel between China and Taiwan is common and it has the highest proportion of obese people in Asia, 3.27 million people of who are over 65 years old. By any rational standard Taiwan ought to have a large number of dead from COVID-19, yet they are not even into double figures. Believe it or not there have only been seven (7) coronavirus deaths in Taiwan. Nixon’s recognition of China and its claim to Taiwan meant Taiwan was expelled from the UN, and the World Health Organisation is a UN organisation. Taiwan loathes and fears the CCP regime and all their works, Not listening to the lickspttle WHO and its Chinese overlords is the secret of Taiwan’s uncanny success in avoiding the Made In China pandemic deaths. Just shows what could have been achieved if Peter Navarro (author of Death From China) had been listened to at an early stage.

    On the 3rd of February, ten days after air travel from Hubei to anywhere else in China was banned and traffic checkpoints restricting movement appeared in Beijing, China’s representatives on the World Health Organisation board insisted that there was no problem with international travel to and from China. Accordingly, that was the official advice the WHO put out. Not until the 27th of March did Xi place any restrictions on flights between China and America. If Trump had acted on Navarro’s 29th of January memo strongly advocating that Trump institute an immediate ban on air travel between China and the US, then many people’s lives would have been saved.

    Trump’s order on the 31st of January was only a ban for foreign nationals. It exempted U.S. citizens, permanent residents and their families. Almost half a million ethnic Chinese flew from China into America after the 31st of January. So it was not what Navarro recommended, which is unfortunate because a lot of people have died as a result.

    • Thanks: Mark G.
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  17. orionyx says:
    @animalogic

    It’s nice that after a couple of months Mike finally admits that Sweden’s economy is up the shit more or less like the rest of us.

    This is a clear indication that the economic troubles are not due to the virus, but have been rumbling beneath us ever since the 2008 recession.The bankers are happy to pass the blame to anything – a pandemic, an alien invasion, the vengeance of Cthulhu – rather than have people figure out that it’s the criminal behavior, motivated by boundless greed, of those very same banks.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  18. @Ann Nonny Mouse

    Understand your sentiment. How about just removing corporate tax deductions for advertising expenses?

  19. @animalogic

    You’re right, of course, that masks help, IF properly manufactured and properly and consistently worn (which they often are not, including by police themselves).

    But all masks do is help prevent people from getting a virus that will do nothing serious to about 99.8% or 99.9% of people who are neither very elderly nor have preexisting respiratory conditions or seriously compromised immune systems.

    People in the latter groups get tipped over the edge into death by flu viruses every year. They could stay home more, or stay home all the time, if they find that worthwhile to minimize their exposure. The great bulk of the population does not fit that description.

    If the government wished to FORCE such vulnerable populations to stay home, which is also wrong and unjust, they could and should have paid them. Namely, for those otherwise still employed, provided them with full income replacement. For all extra-vulnerable people forced to stay home, defray the cost of generous regular deliveries of food, medicines, toiletries, and household goods.

    Quarantine, at most, the very weak and vulnerable populations, and compensate and take care of them thoroughly during such extreme abridgement of their liberty. “Let” everyone else live freely (or at least as semi-freely as before the “pandemic”).

    There isn’t even much that rational and considerate people should do to change their behavior to protect especially vulnerable populations going forward. Specifically, we might conclude that all visitors to hospitals and nursing homes should wear medical-grade masks during their visit — something I never did before but will do when visiting such places in the future (even if it is not mandated). That’s about it.

  20. Anonymous[318] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    On the 3rd of February, ten days after air travel from Hubei to anywhere else in China was banned and traffic checkpoints restricting movement appeared in Beijing, China’s representatives on the World Health Organisation board insisted that there was no problem with international travel to and from China. Accordingly, that was the official advice the WHO put out. Not until the 27th of March did Xi place any restrictions on flights between China and America.

    Not true. This is a lie being promoted by the Trump administration and some in the Deep State and media, including those with a history of lying, such as Scooter Libby:

    https://danielabell.com/2020/06/03/from-fergusons-fake-fact-to-a-full-blown-government-led-conspiracy-theory/

    As readers of my blog will know, Niall Ferguson’s allegation that the Chinese government allowed regular flights out of Wuhan to cities in the US and Europe after they were cut off to the rest of China has been debunked (see https://www.factcheck.org/2020/05/trumps-flawed-china-travel-conspiracy/ and https://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2020-05-31/comment/corrections-and-clarifications-8tvc73g3c).

    Unfortunately, the allegation was repeated by President Trump several times, including his May 30th remarks on actions against China (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-actions-china/ . Peter Navarro, Steve Bannon and Sean Hannity repeated the allegation to suggest that the Chinese government deliberately spread the virus to the rest of the world.

    It’s worth asking how the initial allegation made in a UK newspaper in early April could become so politically influential in the United States. Chris Nelson of the Nelson Report explains that the allegation was developed into a full blown conspiracy theory by Lewis “Scooter” Libby, ” Cheney’s point man in pressuring the CIA to support the false claims that Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction and was linked to the 9/11 attacks.” (please see below for the excerpt from the Nelson Report, which I post here with Chris Nelson’s permission).

  21. Corvinus says:

    “If those other countries follow suit and settle on an approach that is based on science and trust rather than politics and coercion, then the elitist plan to prolong the crisis and restructure the economy begins to unravel. So, Sweden must be annihilated. It’s that simple.”

    Actually, that is Fake News on your part.

    Thus, the Swedish model– that leaves parts of the economy open and trusts people to follow the government’s “distancing” guidelines — has to be obliterated.”

    Actually, that model has been employed throughout the world based upon each nation’s demographics, health care systems, and political entities.

    “So, instead of consulting a broader range of experts with varying opinions on the topic, the Trump administration adopted the Chinese model that was supported by Dr Fauci and the Vaccine Mafia.”

    That is not accurate.

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