by UnHerd Staff
Friday, 24
June 2022
Video
16:03

Martin Kulldorff: Lessons from Sweden for the next pandemic

Freddie Sayers live in conversation with the co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration
by UnHerd Staff

When the pandemic began and most of the world went into lockdown, Sweden bucked the status-quo by keeping society almost completely open. At the time, there was a sense that it would pay a dire price for that decision. But looking back now, with so much more data on global Covid deaths at hand, it seems that their pandemic policy was a success, with Sweden 20th out of 28 European countries in terms of deaths per 1000 from Covid. So what are the right lessons to learn?

Freddie Sayers sat down with Swedish biostatistician and co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration Martin Kulldorff live at the Frontline Club, to discuss the lessons the world should take from Sweden’s pandemic legacy.

On the scientific community’s denial of natural immunity…

We’ve known about natural immunity since 430 BC during the Athenian plague. So this is not a new concept. It would have been shocking if the immunity from the vaccine was better than the immunity from having recovered from Covid. So by pushing these vaccines on those who already had Covid, was both unnecessary and unethical, but it also diminishes the trust in public health authorities and diminishes the trust in vaccines. […] These vaccine fanatics who insisted that everybody should be vaccinated, including those who already have immunity from having recovered from Covid, I think they have destroyed the confidence in vaccines in general, to an extent that a small group of pre-Covid, so-called anti-vaxxers had never succeeded.

On the reaction to the Great Barrington Declaration…

The difference was that it came from three people other than one person. All of the three of us have worked on infectious disease technology. […] All of us came from reasonably respectable universities: Oxford, Harvard and Stanford. So it was impossible to ignore. We were attacked, including by the NIH Director Collins and Anthony Fauci and Jeremy Farrar at the Wellcome Trust here and Christian Drosten in Germany who called us pseudo-scientists. But I think the key thing was to show the public that there was not scientific consensus for lockdowns.

On whether he was supported by Harvard after speaking out…

No, I didn’t get much defence from the university, no. […] I got private emails from many of the faculty members, many of whom I’d never heard of before. So there was support, yes, from individuals. […] I think that’s a huge problem for science as we move forward, because science can only thrive with discussions. It’s a process. And if we don’t have open discourse about science, science is going to die.

On the problems with epidemiological modelling…

I think these models where you predict a certain number of people are going to die, are pretty useless. And the key thing is what is the optimal strategy to use? So in the case of Covid, in the beginning, we didn’t know exactly what was the infection-fatality rate, which is what’s the risk of dying if you get infected, because we didn’t know how many people had got infected. The optimal strategy doesn’t depend on if it’s 0.1%, or 1% because the optimal strategy depends on the difference, the relative risk in the difference by age or some other factor. So in terms of deciding what is the optimal thing to do, these models that Imperial College developed, I think were very useless.

On the effects of mishandling the pandemic…

I think there will be an enormous distrust in public health agencies. I think there will be an enormous distrust in science, in the scientific community. I think that will take decades to repair, if it can be repaired, I don’t know. I’m sure there will be consequences, political consequences as well. They’re obviously enormous public health consequences from the collateral damage, which I mentioned. I think there’s also economic consequences of these lockdowns that we’re starting to see now. So I think the consequences are profound. And maybe we are in a tipping balance in terms of whether we accept this as the standard way of doing things, which I think would be terrible, or maybe we go in a different direction, where we say, this was a fiasco, let’s make sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

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J Bryant
J Bryant
1 month ago

I just want to thank Prof. Kulldorff for his bravery and dedication to the scientific method and the data as it emerged. Also thanks to Unherd for arranging this interview. It reminds me of Unherd’s glory days in 2020 when it was one of the few voices of sanity in the media.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 month ago

I used to worry that the consequence of bumbling bureaucratic incompetence and misrepresentation of the truth around public health on Covid would be a collapse in trust in institutions which I had, until early 2020 held in very high esteem.

But the sheer extent of the lies, complicity in corporate corruption, and outright human cowardice have completely changed my view. The institutions need to fail and to do so visibly in, glaring light of day, so that their successors may be built on their smouldering embers, and with the best intention that we never, ever, let this catastrophic misplacement of trust and confidence happen again.

For the individuals caught up in spinning the lies: we should forgive (but not forget) what they did, and in return they should just, please, tell us the truth.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 month ago

Absolutely fantastic interview. Kuhldorf is absolutely brilliant precisely because he displays the appropriate amount of humility. It is that humility in the face of an initially unknown virus, that is crucial to properly manage a pandemic. That’s why his fellow Swede, Tegnell, who is very much like Kuhldorf, ended up having such success in Sweden (despite the early screwups involving nursing homes).

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
1 month ago

Crikey! What a tortuous experience watching this interview with Martin Kulldorff and Freddie Sayers…
When is this Covid debacle going to be properly called out without all the procrastination? 
This is the biggest scandal in history. 
It was known from the beginning this disease wasn’t a serious threat to most people, and yet it was used to steal people’s freedom and bodily integrity, coercing people to submit to the now obviously defective Covid jabs.
In Australia these rubbish, and potentially harmful, injections are mandated for millions of people – how appalling that this is happening in a supposed ‘liberal democracy’, coercive medical interventions.
Politicians and health/medical officers have coerced people to submit to these dodgy jabs, repeatedly, to keep their jobs – No Jab, No Job – and to otherwise participate in civil society.
Valid voluntary consent has been trashed. The medical ‘profession’ has been complicit in this assault on bodily integrity. They’ve blatantly ignored my pleas to address consent issues, it’s an ethical disaster.
Reportedly over 95% of the Australian population is now at least ‘double jabbed’, for whatever that’s worth, as any purported ‘protection’ wanes so quickly – and most people weren’t at risk anyway! But what lies ahead for the jabbed now, including the children, so many of whom have been injected?
’Our own governments’ were, and still are, our enemy. They deliberately used fear-mongering to terrify the people, isolating people from their friends and families, while in the UK the likes of Boris Johnson and co knew it was a beat-up, and were having party after party… What traitors to the people…
This was always about ‘the vaccine’, about capturing people for the jabs. It was laid out in Neil Ferguson et al’s Imperial College Report 9, which recommended ‘suppression’ of ‘the virus’ “until a vaccine becomes available”. Ferguson et al’s report didn’t disclose that Ferguson was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has dominated international vaccination policy for over 20 years.
It was Bill Gates who ‘led the race for a coronavirus vaccine’, see his Gates Notes: What you need to know about the Covid-19 vaccine, 30 April 2020.
How on earth has a software billionaire been allowed to call the shots on the Covid-19 response?
Billions and billions of dollars have been taken from the people, transferred to the creators of the Covid industry – the useless testing, masks/muzzles/PPE, electronic surveillance/tracking, the jabs, etc – exactly how much has all this cost?
It’s mind-boggling to think of the enormous social, economic, health and political damage wreaked around the world with this biggest scam ever.
It was done deliberately – when are the evil perpetrators going to be brought to account?

Last edited 1 month ago by Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
1 month ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

In my comment above I say valid voluntary consent has been trashed in Australia. The medical ‘profession’ has been complicit in this assault on bodily integrity. They’ve blatantly ignored my pleas to address consent issues, it’s an ethical disaster.
See for example my email to Karen Price, the president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners: Covid-19 jab mandates overriding ‘valid voluntary consent’, 28 February, 2022.

Last edited 1 month ago by Elizabeth Hart
Mike Collins
Mike Collins
1 month ago

When will you open your eyes and look directly at the death and destruction caused by you and your Covid disciples.

Not Saying
Not Saying
1 month ago

You miss the point. The models were repeatedly proved to have zero predictive power. They simply generated big, unverifiable numbers which spooked politicians. And yet we trashed people’s lives based on this.
Sweden and Florida are both solid counter-examples which are impossible to ignore.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 month ago
Reply to  Not Saying

The other thing about the models is that the results were incorrectly reported. For example, I remember on the nightly news, the number of deaths predicted by the group in Seattle were being quoted to 5 or 6 significant figures, when the standard deviation in those predictions were close to half the value of the prediction. For example, one would hear numbers reported on the news of, for example, 51291 deaths predicted for the following week, without reporting that the uncertainty was close to ±30,000. So the correct way to report the prediction would be either 50,000 ± 30,000 or a range from 20,000 to 80,000. With that wide a range, it is quite clear that the predictions are next to useless in terms of making public policy.

Ben M
Ben M
1 month ago

so now when the West’s economies have been trashed and the mass transfer of wealth from middle classes in democracies has happened, with billionaire tech giants having the press in their pocket(and those rich elite holding shares in Big Pharma and asset management companies such as Blackrock, Vanguard, now buying up agricultural land and properties) we can hope that Martin Kuldorf and the Great Barrington Declaration might, in future get discussed not just on Unherd but the MSM.
But it is now too late.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben M

Martin Kulldorff and the Great Barrington Declaration are part of the problem… Kulldorff’s vacillating about the defective ‘vaccines’ in this interview was excruciating to watch. When are these people going to have the courage to call it out for what it is, a massive disaster. 
There should never have been a ‘vaccine solution’ for this disease they knew from the beginning wasn’t a serious threat to most people, so how did the INSANE plan to jab the entire global population get off the ground? This was Bill Gates doing, it’s unbloodybelieveable this guy has wielded so much unchecked power over international vaccine policy.
This grotesque interference in people’s natural immune response should never have happened. I raised the alarm in March 2020, see my BMJ rapid response: Is it ethical to impede access to natural immunity? The case of SARS-CoV2.
This entire debacle needs to blow sky high…and the UK is right in the thick of it… It was the Johnson Government and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trials that started this global mess, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Neil Ferguson and his Imperial College Report 9, which beat up the fear about ‘the virus’ in March 2020, and recommended ‘suppression’ (aka lockdown/restrictions) “until a vaccine becomes available”. 
The biggest scandal in history…

Hilary Wallace
Hilary Wallace
1 month ago

Freddie talks as if it is over and how I wish he was right. Cases are rising again (and we know how they love ‘cases’).. I do hate to be negative but I fear our appalling reaction to this pandemic was so disastrous that this is far from over. Why are we dealing with yet another wave – wave 7? The Spanish Flu was over within about 18 months. Simply because the use of ‘leaky’ vaccines which do not lead to immunity have produced a population with little natural immunity – and possibly the vaccinated will never produce real immunity due to original antigenic sin. There is only one way this pandemic ends and it’s herd immunity. You could ‘vaccinate’ every moving creature in the U.K. with these ‘vaccines’ and herd immunity would never be reached (Dr. Robert Malone). I fear for the future and unless our governments have a revelation and change track and stop this high level of infection using early treatment and not relying on short-lived, pretty useless, ‘vaccines’.

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
1 month ago

Sorry I could not attend the live event, but thankful for the recorded video. I was a little surprised there was absolutely no discussion about treatment of covid patients. Don’t get it (impossible); natural immunity; vaccine; die. There was as much anonymous against various forms of treatment as there was against the “non-vac” crowd. I am quite surprised that the question of “covid treatment” did not surface.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 month ago

The difference is that the modelers and many of the public health officials, especially in the US, succumbed to arrogance, over-confidence and ego, while there is no shadow of a doubt that Kuhldorf, and Tegnell for that matter, have the right amount of humility. It is absolutely essential to evaluate the data continuously and just as importantly to make sure the data is not corrupted as it was in the US and UK (e.g. classifying a death as due to COVID up to 60 or 90 days post-infection which is simply insane as then deaths from covid versus with covid are comingled and cannot be separated).
At the beginning of a pandemic when not much is know it is reasonable to try things which may sound good even if they end up not working in the real world (such as lockdowns that were far too broad, administered with a very heavy hand, and in most instances completely counterproductive; similarly with masks in the community as opposed to controlled environments in lab experiments or even hospitals). But when a particular path clearly isn’t working, it is essential to have the necessary humility to reverse course rather than dig one’s heals in with regard to an approach(es) that is obviously not working. Unfortunately, the US response was run by a bunch of people who thought they had God-like powers of insight into this, which they didn’t. And while the UK followed many of the counterproductive approaches used in the US, it is abundantly clear now that they have realized how completely useless it is to go around with masks, etc….. judging from my recent trip to Central London.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

Where are the two comments? Redacted?

Not Saying
Not Saying
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Thoughtcrime. Ungood.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The first one was from Rasmus Fogh, and it’s back.

Not Saying
Not Saying
1 month ago

Ah, but my (insightful, erudite) response was also a casualty.

Free speech should allow both of us to speak. Whatever idiocy we say, it’s our burden.

Censorship in any form is a bad thing. Even if it’s an editorial decision.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 month ago
Reply to  Not Saying

and now they are gone again.

nil hammerstrumm
nil hammerstrumm
1 month ago

I would like to know where you get the statistics, the june 2022 chart where Sweden is ranked at 20 in EU death toll, and Portugal at 15. I saw DR John Campbell on his channel quote Portugal on nr 1 of the list of Covid related deaths in Europe.. Someone, maybe both, is being deceived here. Campbell who I follow quite a while now, comes across as completely genuine in his attempts at analysis.

Last edited 1 month ago by nil hammerstrumm
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
1 month ago

I think they are using the data that made this chart:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1111779/coronavirus-death-rate-europe-by-country/
though possibly at a different date.
and the source for that is the European Centre for Disease Control, whose dashboard is here: https://qap.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/COVID-19/COVID-19.html#eu-eea-daily-tab

Last edited 1 month ago by Laura Creighton
nil hammerstrumm
nil hammerstrumm
1 month ago

Thank you. I after posting here I thought maybe one (Campbell)(and some commenters there) is talking of current rates and the other (Unherd) of overall rates since the pandemic began.
The high number of vaccinations in Portugal, including all the boosters, appears not to prevent many deaths in the elderly the past weeks. Some suggest it may even have caused more rapid mutation. Lack of herd immunity.