I just heard Senator Rand Paul tell Dr. Fauci that we should embrace the Swedish model of “herd immunity” in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, that massive testing and contact tracing are totally unnecessary, that the virus was no worse than the seasonal flu with respect to Kentucky.
I happened to catch this article in the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger which has a different take on the Swedish situation. (all translations mine).
Protection of the elderly was a central component of the Swedish approach. And by Easter it was apparent that this had been “a catastrophic failure”, as the Swedish tabloid ‘Aftonbladet’ wrote, which otherwise is a loyal supporter of the Swedish line. Sweden recorded more than 3 times as many deaths from Covid-19 than its neighbors Denmark, Norway and Finland combined. [...] Sweden had “sacrificed its elderly”.
Evidently the conditions in the Swedish nursing homes and assisted living facilities are no better than the awful situation here in the US.
Cost cutting and privatization of the sector have led to a situation that everything is lacking in the nursing homes. “They were using paper napkins with rubber bands stapled on to use as face masks” a doctor reported. “We are the worst of all Nordic countries when it came to saving our elderly.”
And in Sweden there are the same heartbreaking stories we have become accustomed to here in the United States:
The journalist Björn Hygstedt spoke about his anger at the fact that his 92 year-old father died from the coronavirus without a family member at his side. Hygstedt wrote a text that went viral about the death of his father. He is certain about one thing: this was the fault of the government officials. “Their failure has cost too many lives.”
But for Rand Paul, this is precisely the model America must follow.
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