Sweden, not the US, is the #COVID-19 disaster

| June 30, 2020

Trump haters claim the US is the hardest hit country in the world, and COVID-19 deniers claim Sweden proved the shutdown did no good, writes TakeBack.org Executive Director John Pudner.

Both claims are absurd, and can only be held by one who acts like a lawyer who cherry picks google searches to try to build a case versus anyone who examines the facts like a doctor. They examine all facts to determine the best conclusion for their patients.

An honest assessment of facts would start by determining the Covid-19 death rate per capita compared to how many people in each country have pre-existing conditions that would make deaths more likely.

This sheet compares how many deaths each country would expect to have based on the percent of their residents that have diabetes and/or are obese. These are the two most common preconditions. Then the sheet compares that to the actual per capita deaths caused by COVID-19 as of 25 June.

Based on the percent of residents with pre-existing conditions, the fact that 47% of Americans are obese and many have diabetes indicates the US would likely rank 8th in the world in per capita COVID-19 deaths. In fact the US ranks 7th even assuming China and other secretive countries are actually providing accurate death numbers.

One conclusion is many charge that the US response to COVID-19 did not work and that the US is the hardest hit country is absurd. In other words the US per capita COVID-19 death rate is almost exactly what should be expected based on the tremendous number of Americans with pre-existing conditions. The 372 COVID-19 deaths per million is right in line.

On the other extreme, those who refuse to acknowledge the importance of social distancing, wearing masks in public and gradual re-openings long used Sweden as their example of a country that did what the US should have done and simply rode out COVID-19.

However, the Swedes are extremely healthy for a developed country. Barely half as many (25.4%) are obese as Americans, and combined with diabetes or pre-existing conditions project that the Sweden should only rank 82nd in deaths.

In fact Sweden is a disaster. Since the deniers held Sweden up as an example, deaths exploded to 137% of US per capita deaths. They are now fifth in the world with COVID-19 deaths dwarfing  those in the US with 512 deaths per million. The two bordering countries have about one-tenth the deaths of Sweden, the country held up as the example of why you should NOT shut down (Norway has 47 deaths per million, and Finland 59).

The second conclusion is now that we know the example of Sweden was a disaster, there is no case left for not wearing masks and ignoring social distancing in order to spread the disease rather than inconvenience ourselves in any way.

The bottom line is that forcing politics into the center of medical debates is a terrible development in the American political scene that costs lives. Those who simply search for ways to blame President Trump or any other politician prevent an effective response just as much as some Trump supporters who try to make a case against taking the simple measures needed like masks and distancing actually make it harder to reopen due to their unwillingness to inconvenience themselves to save lives.

Get the politics out of the process and localities, states and the country can open as much as possible to bring back the lost jobs without escalating deaths that were initially forecast to end next week.

The opinions cited in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the opinions of EU Reporter.

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Category: A Frontpage, coronavirus, Coronavirus face masks, Coronavirus Global Response, COVID-19, EU, EU, European Commission, Health, PPE, Sweden, US

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