Speed Reads

Sweden in the spotlight

Dozens of Swedish doctors, scientists criticize country's coronavirus approach in grim op-ed

Sweden's unique approach to the coronavirus pandemic has drawn a lot of scrutiny from the rest of the world after the country chose to forego the harsh lockdowns enacted by many of its European peers. But now several of the country's own doctors and scientists are speaking out against the strategy in an op-ed published Tuesday by USA Today.

The experts warned other nations not to follow the Nordic country's footsteps. "At the moment, we have set an example for the rest of the world on how not to deal with a deadly infectious disease," the piece reads.

The evidence seems to back up the signees' grim outlook — Sweden has a per capita death toll greater than the United States, as well as a raw death toll that is 4.5 times greater than the other four Nordic countries (Iceland, Denmark, Finland, and Norway) combined, the op-ed notes. And the country's fatality rate has also been gaining on Italy, the first European country to be hit hard by COVID-19.

The signees expressed optimism about new medical treatments and vaccines, but until then, they said, don't do things "the Swedish way."

The same day as the op-ed, a report from the research firm Capital Economics suggested Sweden did weather the economic storm brought on by the virus better than its European counterparts and said the forecasted 1.5 percent drop in GDP this year "is well above consensus." However, the report also noted that Sweden was simply "the best of a bad bunch." Read the full op-ed at USA Today, as well as more about Sweden's economic situation at Business Insider.