Fox News Loves 'Sweden Model' Now That It Means F*cking Off Coronavirus Response
Sweden was once conservatives' go-to example of a dystopian socialist nightmare state. They assumed no one had ever been there. (It's almost a 12-hour flight from Iowa.) During the 2016 GOP primary, Sen. Marco Rubio claimed that Bernie Sanders was better suited to govern Sweden than the good ol' US of A.
"Bernie Sanders is a socialist," Rubio told the audience, who laughed. "I think Bernie Sanders is a good candidate for president of Sweden."
That was a generous endorsement, but Sweden doesn't have a president. It has a prime minister like a common Britain. This was one of many instances when you knew Rubio was never gonna be president now.
This week, Fox News has been sending shout outs to Sweden for its COVID-19 response. Monday night, Dr. Ramin Oskoui was a guest on Laura Ingraham's White Power Hour, and he insisted “herd immunity" was a viable goal and it's wrong to “trash it."
Uh here's Laura Ingraham and one of her "Medicine Cabinet" guests -- who advised Trump on coronavirus response -- p… https://t.co/NRJ1kcjJnK— Matthew Gertz (@Matthew Gertz)1594125415.0
OSKOUI: Since Memorial Day, we've seen people get out and about. We've seen a rise in positive tests, but as you've seen, people aren't getting as sick. And death rates continue to drop.
Yeah, that's a bunch of lies.
OSKOUI: This is what you see in herd immunity. It's Virology 101. It's first or second year of medical school.
The good doctor fails to make clear to Ingraham's gullible viewers that "herd immunity" works best when there's a vaccine. If you don't have one, letting the disease spread unchecked isn't really "herd immunity." It's genocide.
Oskoui declared that Sweden developed this magical “herd immunity" and the virus has become “less problematic."
OSKOUI: Sweden was smart. They quarantined their most vulnerable, and they let their healthiest, least vulnerable, namely children ... continue their schooling and that was was much better for the educational system and the health of their country and their economy.
These are more lies.
The day after Dr. Oskoui shared his Swedish fairy tale, the New York Times ran an article about Sweden's “let it roll" approach to COVID-19.
The New York Times
That's the liberal media for you. They never give America the credit it's due. We are the world's cautionary tale. USA! USA!
While Denmark and Norway imposed strict quarantines, banned large groups, and closed shops and restaurants, Sweden acted as if there was no pandemic at all. Everything remained open, including gyms, schools, and playgrounds. How did total denial work out for Sweden?
More than three months later, the coronavirus is blamed for 5,420 deaths in Sweden, according to the World Health Organization. That might not sound especially horrendous compared with the more than 129,000 Americans who have died. But Sweden is a country of only 10 million people. Per million people, Sweden has suffered 40 percent more deaths than the United States, 12 times more than Norway, seven times more than Finland and six times more than Denmark.
The New York Times, which is published in New York, should be a little forgiving here. New York City has a population of about eight million, and 22,696 people have died. The larger point still holds: Sweden was not “smart," and although “do nothing" is an appealing pandemic strategy, especially if you're dumb and lazy like the president, it's been in no way effective.
"They literally gained nothing," said Jacob F. Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. "It's a self-inflicted wound, and they have no economic gains."
See, the economy doesn't roll merrily along when people are afraid for their lives. Swedish people stopped shopping and avoided restaurants, so I guess they're collectively smarter than the Americans who braved death for pancakes and mimosas.
Norway and Denmark took swift, decisive action and avoided preventable death. Both countries are preferable models to follow, but it seems like America would rather join Sweden at the bottom of a cliff.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."