Sweden No Example

Yesterday I once again heard how Sweden did not quarantine its citizens and is now a shining example of the brilliance of this strategy. We are told that Sweden has fewer deaths than most countries because of it.

It’s a head scratcher how they come up with this because the truth is quite different.

Here are the facts as provided by PJ Media.

First, let’s take a look at the total confirmed deaths of the ten worst-hit countries in descending order (based on the numbers from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University as of 9:30 am ET May 24).

USA (96,046)
UK (36,757)
Italy (32,735)
Spain (28,678)
France (28,218)
Brazil (22,013)
Belgium (9,280)
Germany (8,275)
Iran (7,417)
Netherlands (5,841)

But, here’s what happens when you adjust these numbers per capita. The following countries are arranged in descending order by their coronavirus death rate per million people (based on population data from The CIA World Factbook).

Belgium (791.76)
Spain (573.38)
UK (558.95)
Italy (524.58)
France (415.90)
Sweden (391.87)
Netherlands (338.01)
Ireland (309.86)
USA (288.74)
Switzerland (226.80)

It makes an amazing difference, doesn’t it? The United States dropped from number 1 to number 9 once you adjusted for population. Oh, but wait! I’ve previously documented how the United States’ coronavirus numbers are skewed by downstate New York. So, here’s the same list as above, treating downstate New York as a separate country from the rest of the United States:

Downstate NY (1,771.86)
Belgium (791.76)
Spain (573.38)
UK (558.95)
Italy (524.58)
France (415.90)
Sweden (391.87)
Netherlands (338.01)
Ireland (309.86)
USA sans downstate NY (233.44)

Once you separate downstate New York from the rest of the United States, it jumps to the top (by a long shot), while the rest of the United States is at the bottom—barely edging out Switzerland.

It should be noted here that several countries are reportedly undercounting both cases and deaths, including Iran, China, and Russia. It’s very possible that the actual case and death numbers for these countries are much higher, possibly even putting them in the top ten, but without reliable data I can’t correct for this.

As usual, the media wants the public to believe that the situation in the United States is worse than anywhere else in order to make Trump look bad. The United States approaching 100,000 coronavirus deaths is a grim milestone to be sure, but these deaths should not be politicized. Trump’s response was quick and decisive, and likely saved thousands of lives.

It’s the deaths per million that matter.
I’m all for reopening slowly, but saying there would be fewer deaths without a lockdown is really not quantifiable.
It’s also a waste of time. Things will get back to normal soon. Let those who are able and more likely to succumb to the virus stay home. Let each person make that choice. Younger people who want to resume life in a limited and prudent fashion should be allowed to do that. Not every zip code replicates New York and DC.
It’s a shame that this issue is politicized, but we all knew it would be. It’s a crisis and the Democrats never let one go to waste. They’ve got a fever, all right, but it’s not from Covid 19.

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