What do Democratic Socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez want America to look like? They say they want America to emulate Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Sweden. But do their proposed policies reflect that? Or do they point down a darker path? Debbie D’Souza, a native Venezuelan and political commentator, investigates.
Armstrong and Getty go over some referenced materials regarding the The Vid (Covid-19). This material comes from the Swiss Policy Research: “FACTS ABOUT COVID-19” (30-bullet points added below video). Pretty amazing stuff.
- According to the latest immunological studies, the overall lethality of Covid-19 (IFR) in the general population ranges between 0.1% and 0.5% in most countries, which is comparable to the medium influenza pandemics of 1957 and 1968.
- For people at high risk or high exposure (including health care workers), early or prophylactic treatment is essential to prevent progression of the disease.
- In countries like the UK (with lockdown) and Sweden (without lockdown), overall mortality since the beginning of the year is in the range of a strong influenza season; mortality is higher in the USA (comparable to 1957/1968), but lower in countries like Germany and Switzerland. However, antibody values are still low in large parts of previously locked-down Europe.
- In most places, the risk of death for the healthy general population of school and working age is comparable to a daily car ride to work. The risk was initially overestimated because many people with only mild or no symptoms were not taken into account.
- About 80% of all people develop only mild symptoms or no symptoms. Even among 70-79 year olds, about 60% develop only mild symptoms. About 95% of all people develop at most moderate symptoms and do not require hospitalization.
- Up to 60% of all people may already have a partial T-cell immune response against the new coronavirus due to contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. cold viruses). Moreover, up to 60% of children and about 6% of adults may already have cross-reactive antibodies.
- The median age of Covid deaths in most Western countries is over 80 years – e.g. 84 years in Sweden – and only about 4% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. In contrast to flu pandemics, the age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality.
- In many countries, up to two thirds of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid-19 or from weeks of extreme stress and isolation.
- Up to 30% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid-19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 40% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.
- Many media reports of young and healthy people dying from Covid-19 turned out to be false: many of these young people either did not die from Covid-19, they had already been seriously ill (e.g. from undiagnosed leukaemia), or they were in fact 109 instead of 9 years old. The claimed increase in Kawasaki disease in children also turned out to be exaggerated.
- Most Covid-19 symptoms can also be caused by severe influenza (including pneumonia, thrombosis and the temporary loss of the sense of taste and smell), but with severe Covid-19 these symptoms are indeed much more frequent and more pronounced.
- About 10% of symptomatic people develop so-called post-acute (“long”) Covid and report symptoms that last for several weeks or months. This may also affect younger and previously healthy people with a strong immune response to the new coronavirus.
- The often shown exponential curves of “corona cases” are misleading, as the number of tests also increased exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to tests overall (i.e. the positivity rate) always remained below 20%. In many countries, the peak of the spread was already reached well before the lockdown came into effect.
- In most Covid hotspots, including New York City, London, Stockholm and Bergamo, the infection rate dropped as soon as about 20% of people had developed antibodies against the new coronavirus. This value is much lower than the inital estimate of 60 to 80%.
- Countries without lockdowns, such as Japan, Belarus and Sweden, have not experienced a more negative course of events than many other countries. Sweden was even praised by the WHO and now benefits from higher immunity compared to lockdown countries. 75% of Swedish deaths happened in nursing facilities that weren’t protected fast enough.
- The fear of a shortage of ventilators was unjustified. According to lung specialists, the invasive ventilation (intubation) of Covid-19 patients, which is partly done out of fear of spreading the virus, is in fact often counterproductive and damaging to the lungs.
- The main routes of transmission of the virus are direct contact and droplets produced when talking or coughing, but also indoor aerosols (small particles floating in the air). Outdoor aerosols and surfaces of objects appear to play only a minor role.
- There is still limited scientific evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in the general population, and most countries with mandatory masks couldn’t contain or slow the epidemic. Some experts warn that face masks may interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers” if used repeatedly.
- Many clinics in Europe and the US remained largely underutilized during lockdowns and in some cases had to send staff home. Millions of surgeries and therapies were cancelled, including many cancer screenings and organ transplants.
- Several media were caught trying to dramatize the situation in hospitals, sometimes even with manipulative images and videos. In general, the unprofessional reporting of many media maximized fear and panic in the population. As a result, according to international surveys, most people dramatically overestimate Covid-19 lethality and mortality.
- The virus test kits used internationally may in some cases produce false positive and false negative results, react to non-infectious virus fragments from a previous infection, or react to other common coronaviruses with a partially similar gene sequence.
- Numerous internationally renowned experts in the fields of virology, immunology and epidemiology consider the measures taken to be counterproductive and recommend rapid natural immunization of the general population and protection of risk groups.
- At no time was there a medical reason for the closure of elementary schools, as the risk of disease and transmission in children is extremely low. There is also no medical reason for small classes, masks or ‘social distancing’ rules in elementary schools.
- Several medical experts described express coronavirus vaccines as unnecessary or even dangerous. Indeed, the vaccine against the so-called swine flu of 2009, for example, led to cases of severe neurological damage and lawsuits in the millions. In the testing of new coronavirus vaccines, too, serious complications and failures have already been reported.
- A global respiratory disease pandemic can indeed extend over several seasons, but many studies of a “second wave” are based on very unrealistic assumptions, such as a constant risk of illness and death across all age groups.
- US nurses described an oftentimes fatal medical mismanagement of Covid patients due to questionable financial incentives and inappropriate medical protocols. However, in many places Covid lethality has dropped significantly due to better treatment options.
- The number of people suffering from unemployment, depression and domestic violence as a result of the measures has reached historic record levels. Several experts predict that the measures will claim far more lives than the virus itself. According to the UN 1.6 billion people around the world are at immediate risk of losing their livelihood.
- NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that the “corona crisis” may be used for the permanent expansion of global surveillance. In several parts of the world, the population is being monitored by drones and facing serious police overreach during lockdowns.
- A 2019 WHO study on measures against pandemic influenza found that from a medical perspective, “contact tracing” is “not recommended in any circumstances”. Nevertheless, contact tracing apps have already become partially mandatory in several countries.
- The origin of the new coronavirus remains unknown, but the best evidence currently points to a Covid-like 2012 pneumonia incident in a Chinese mine, whose viral samples were collected, stored and researched by the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
Just a quick note on the reasons Sweden’s death count was higher than other countries:
See older posts regarding the lie of Death Panels via the left leaning media types and fact checkers:
To update the “Sweden Story,” REUTERS has an interesting update:
WATCH the documentary on Amazon Prime: “Sweden: Lessons for America?” (1-hour)
(Jump to the challenges directed at me dealing with America protecting these smaller countries)
Gay Patriot introduces us to the myth often put forward by the left. This post by Gay Patriot will add to the video by Bill Whittle that follows it:
One of the myths Progressive Leftists elevate to “fact” by constantly repeating it to each other is the idea that Scandinavian countries are the closest on Earth fulfillment to their socialist dream utopia. ~ Gay patriot
In an excellent Bloomberg article entitled, “Booming Sweden’s Free-Market Solution,” the myth is dismantled in toto by Anders Aslund. Here is a snippet:
Reason.org Weighs in on the “Swedish” experiment, how it got its wealth, noting how it squandered it, and how it is returning to the pre-70’s ideology:
- Sweden is a powerful example of the importance of public policy. The Nordic nation became rich between 1870 and 1970 when government was very small, but then began to stagnate as welfare state policies were implemented in the 1970s and 1980s. The CF&P Foundation video explains that Sweden is now shifting back to economic freedom in hopes of undoing the damage caused by an excessive welfare state.
And do not think for a moment that the free-market has not allowed Sweden or other Nordic nations to get back on their feet. This is is pointed out in the following “101” presentation on economics:
The Above Video Description via Reason.org:
For those of us who place more trust in free markets than state-directed economies, we must inevitably (and repeatedly) confront the skeptical interlocutor who details the “successes” of Swedish social democracy. “If state intervention into the economy is so bad, high taxes so destructive, then why is Sweden such a success?” It’s an irritatingly simple question with a incredibly complicated answer, though I do recommend pointing out, when the conversation turns to health care and secondary education, that nothing, in a state the confiscates a massive portion of your income, is “free.” But as many have pointed out, during its boom years, Sweden was a pretty free market place; from the 1970s through the 1990s—when taxes and regulation dramatically increased—the economy slowed until it spun out in the early 1990s…
…So here is my bottom line: When some American pundit, with expertise is everything, explains why some European welfare state “works,” or how everything you know is wrong about taxing income at 75 percent, do a little digging, make use of Google Translate, and don’t trust that, because Swedes and Danes tell researchers that they are happy, the United States should introduce “daddy leave” and provide subsidies to syndicalist newspapers.
The best English-language explication of the Swedish model comes from my pal Johan Norberg, who wrote this brilliant piece for The National Interest a few years back. And watch my interview with Norberg on Swedish welfare politics here and on Naomi Klein here.
The following interview is Johan Norberg, author of In Defense of Global Capitalism, sits down with reason.tv’s Michael C. Moynihan to sort out the myths of the Sweden’s welfare state, health services, tax rates, and its status as the “most successful society the world has ever known.”
- See also the Mises article about the health care system entitled: “The Market is Taking Over Sweden’s Health Care.” See also “How Laissez-Faire Made Sweden Rich.”
National Review seems like a good place to continue the theme of showing how the Nordic countries have used the free-market system to recoup what it has lost with previous regulations that crippled free-enterprise. Here is a comparison between Sweden and Venzuala that was helpful in explaining how Sweden has less regulations that us in many places (a recent phenomenon BTW):
Reason.org again weighs in on whether Sweden is the right model for the U.S. to emulate:
The Above Video Description:
To the American mind there may be nothing more quintessentially Swedish than the leggy, blond supermodel.
But there’s another Swedish model that inspires almost as much admiration—the Swedish economic model. With a generous welfare state and high living standards, Sweden seems to prove that socialism works. Much of the hope that swept Barack Obama into the White House rests on the belief that America could reach new heights under a regime of enlightened progressivism, that we could be more like the Swedes.
Not so fast, warns Stockholm University sociologist Charlotta Stern: “If an American told me that the US should be more like Sweden I would say I don’t think it’s possible.” The United States can centralize its health care system and pass other laws that mimic Sweden’s welfare state polices, says Stern, but it’s impossible to replicate a culture that allows those policies to operate about as smoothly as possible. Swedish bureaucracies inspire trust, but their American counterparts (DMV, TSA, IRS) inspire punch lines, if not outrage.
But America could emulate some of the Swedish policies that don’t require extensive bureaucracies. Take school vouchers. Teachers unions in America regard the idea as free-market radicalism, but families in Sweden enjoy universal school choice. Sweden adopted its famously progressive policies during the 1970s, but after years of sluggish economic growth the land of ABBA altered its course in the 1990s, adopting a host of free-market reforms, from deregulation to tax cuts.
Although much of the disco-era welfare state remains, economist Andreas Bergh credits the free market reforms with reviving his nation’s economy. “Sweden is moving in the market economic direction,” says Bergh, “but that does not mean America should be moving in the socialist direction.”
What if the two nations continue on in different directions? Maybe some day when America is looking for a way to rejuvenate its economy, pundits will point to a different kind of Swedish model. One that increases individual choice and competition.
“Sweden—A Supermodel for America?” is produced by Daniel B. Klein, and written and produced by Ted Balaker, who also hosts. Shot by Jonathan Liberman and Henrik Devell, with additional production support by Zach Weissmueller and Sam Corcos and post production by Hawk Jensen and Austin Bragg. Special thanks to Niclas Berggren, Martin Borgs, Nils Karlson, and the Ratio Institute.
A Challenge Directed At Me
In conversation about an audio upload to my YouTube Channel of Dennis Prager discussing Bernie Sanders, I was challenged with this:
- Sweden is not a Nato member so how does the US pay for Sweden defense? Pointing at Whittle and saying “because he say they do” won’t cut it.
To which I responded with a quote from an International Business Times article:
I also pointed out that this promise went back to the Cold War, and was not known about till a Swedish defense think-tank/security firm uncovered the agreements in 1994. The original story’s link has been lost, but it is here on FOI’s site. FOI’s “about us” page has this:
- FOI is one of Europe’s leading research institutes in the areas of defence and security. We have 1,000 highly skilled employees with various backgrounds. At FOI, you will find everything from physicists, chemists, engineers, social scientists, mathematicians and philosophers to lawyers, economists and IT technicians…. The Armed Forces and the Swedish Defence Material Administration are our main customers. However, we also accept assignments from civil authorities and industry. Our clients from the defence sector place very high demands on advanced research, which also benefits other customers.
Here is the info from the old article via WIKI:
Some More Discussion
In this first back-and-forth, I noted some of the above and got this response:
- Seems Sweden is searching for the viable balance of Capitalism and Socialism. Good for them. Bernie Sanders seeks the same.
To which I respond:
Someone else joined the discussion, and mentioned the following:
- My family is Swedish and I can tell you with 100% accuracy they are way better off than we are…. Across the board pretty much.
Again, I respond:
Gay Patriot ends the beginning of this post well:
Dennis Prager reads from an older article by the JERUSALEM POST, in which a family is interviewed about why they left Sweden. Here is an excerpt that caught my eye:
- “The politicians, the media, the intellectuals…they all played their parts in pandering to this dangerous ideology and, sadly, it’s changing the fabric of Swedish society irreversibly.” Karla, who’d sat passively, occasionally nodding in agreement at Dan’s analysis, then interrupted, saying, “If you disagree with the establishment, you’re immediately called a racist or fascist, which we’re definitely not. At times I felt that this was what it must have been like to live in the old Soviet Union.”
Larry Elder quickly explains Trump’s gaffe, then moves on to a fascinating interview of a German who has moved from Germany due to the government not keeping them safe. The interview can be listened to by itself on Larry Elder’s site.
Dr. Tino Sanandaji (Kurdish-Swedish economist and author) joins Dave Rubin, discussing political correctness and the immigration crisis in Sweden.
Dennis Prager reads from a 2014 article by the Gatestone Institute entitled, “Sweden: Rape Capital of the West,” by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard (http://tinyurl.com/hkkg43r). Near the end of the audio Pragers asks who has skewed the numbers… that’s easy. The Swedish government and court system. (Some examples after the audio.) The other mention of the German politician misreporting her own rape can be found here:
- Left-wing German politician who was raped by migrants admits she LIED to police about her attackers’ nationality because she did not want to encourage racism
Other commentators have mentioned — specifically — Sweden as well. See my favorite atheist, Pat Condell: