by Freddie Sayers
Friday, 17
April 2020
Video
14:36

Swedish expert: why lockdowns are the wrong policy

by Freddie Sayers

That was one of the more extraordinary interviews we have done here at UnHerd.

Professor Johan Giesecke, one of the world’s most senior epidemiologists, advisor to the Swedish Government (he hired Anders Tegnell who is currently directing Swedish strategy), the first Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and an advisor to the director general of the WHO, lays out with typically Swedish bluntness why he thinks:

  • 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  • The Imperial College paper was “not very good” and he has never seen an unpublished paper have so much policy impact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

Join the discussion


  • June 11, 2020
    Love the Einstein quote, thanks! Read more

  • June 11, 2020
    I don’t necessarily disagree. However the US is a federal state, with many responsibilities devolved to state governors. Here we are encumbered by devolved government which are inherently inconsistent and partisan- they will naturally oppose anything Westminster deigns prudent. At first I agreed... Read more

  • May 13, 2020
    The British count them Read more

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