In the face of the turbulent winter epidemic, Sweden, which is “Buddhist” to fight against the epidemic, has finally been unable to bear it.
The head of state admitted to “losing to the epidemic” and the Prime Minister called for masks, but the people continued to lose confidence in the government and health institutions. At this moment, the Swedes began to think about who should be responsible for the failure.
The British Guardian reported on December 20 that the failure of the Swedish government’s anti-epidemic strategy is obvious, but from the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health to the Chief Medical Expert, they all put on a reluctance to take responsibility. Some scholars believe that the middle-level director of the health bureau may eventually be “take the blame”.
As of the 18th, Sweden had a total of 367,120 confirmed cases and 7,993 deaths. The country’s outbreak has rapidly worsened since October, with the total number of deaths for various causes exceeding 8,000 in November, a record since the 1918 influenza pandemic.
Recently, hospitals across Sweden are full, medical staff have resigned, and the medical system is on the verge of being punctured.
Swedish Prime Minister Levin admitted that the government misjudged the second wave of the epidemic. But he also said that accountability is “not easy” and “it’s hard to point directly to someone and say that you should be responsible.”
Asked whether he should resign for the failure to fight the epidemic, Swedish Health Minister Reyna Harlemren said that he turned the topic to how fragile the health care system was, and the opposition party also supported the government’s approach in the first half of the year, and also implied that he should not be “replaced before the battle”.
“It’s easy to put forward ‘it’s me, it’s him or her’, but we’re in the middle of an epidemic.
Trying to make such an extremely easy decision (requesting to resign) will not solve the problem or improve the nursing home care situation, and I don’t know (whether it is appropriate).”
At the suggestion of Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Tegnell, Sweden has refused to take strict lockdown measures since the outbreak of the epidemic at the beginning of the year.
Even after the rest of the EU “lockdown”, Sweden remained open to bars, restaurants and schools, while refusing to require masks in public despite the recommendations of the World Health Organization.
Tegnell has also become the spokesperson of the “Swedish model” of epidemic prevention strategy. At one time, he was interviewed almost daily by the media in the United Kingdom and the United States that supported the idea of “herd immunity”.
However, these kinds of interviews have not been so frequent recently.
Tegnell admitted to underestimating the scale of the second wave of the epidemic in Sweden, but still insists that it is “too early” to assert that Sweden’s anti-epidemic strategy has failed.
In March this year, he was asked what he would do if the epidemic prevention work really failed.
The Guardian described Tegnell’s reply at that time clearly implied that he would not “take the blame” alone.
“I may look like a leader, but many of the Swedish government agencies operate as a whole, which is not a decision that I can make alone in the office every morning.
Despite many doubts, the Swedish government’s policy was once trusted by a large number of people. A poll in early May this year showed that 77% of the Swedish people were “highly confident” in the authorities’ anti-epidemic strategy.
Sweden’s average daily mortality rate per million population was the highest in the world at that time.
Among them, the Swedish media played a role in boosting public confidence. They are in line with the government’s calibre and consciously criticize the “sweden shame” of “sweden” that experts who oppose “herd immunity” in “peddling scandals”.
Marina Gersetti, a professor of journalism at the University of Gothenburg, believes that this is typical of the Swedish media in the face of crisis.
One possible explanation is that the media itself has great confidence in the Swedish government’s strategy.
In fact, as early as May, the Swedish newspaper Eskilstuna-Kuriren published an article revealing how Swedish hospitals refuse to treat elderly people in nursing homes.
But the newspaper’s regional editor, Ava Burman, said the article was “ignored” by other Swedish media and not republished at all.” They may think that this is not true.”
It was not until December 15 that the report released by the Swedish “Investigative Committee on Coronavirus Affairs” confirmed the content of the investigation, criticizing the Swedish government for “serious loopholes” in protecting elderly people in nursing homes, resulting in 90% of the deaths from the epidemic in nursing homes, demanding accountability.
The report reveals that the health guidance documents in several areas clearly require that no diagnosis and treatment of any diseases, injuries and diseases are allowed for the elderly in nursing homes. On average, only one of these elderly people actually saw a doctor in 20 suspected cases. And some doctors directly recommended palliative therapy without seeing the medical record.
According to the latest statistics released by the authoritative polling agency Ipsos on the 17th, the satisfaction of the Swedish people is only 34% with the government, which is the lowest in the current government.
People’s confidence in Sweden’s public health institutions also fell to 52%, and trust in Tegnell fell to 59% from 72% in October.
Jenny Medstam, an associate professor of political science at the University of Sodertonne in Sweden, described Swedish public opinion as “really changed”, and there is now widespread criticism in society about the government’s anti-epidemic policy, saying that it “really failed”.
Both Meddam and Boerman believe that someone must be responsible for it in the end.
And Tegnell’s boss, John Carlson, director of the Swedish Public Health Bureau, may “take the blame”.
“I think the pandemic curve at Christmas will be steeper and someone has to resign or it will send a strong signal that no one in our society is responsible.” Maddam said.