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Daily News Analysis

Coronavirus: Don’t put down Sweden, learn from it

Crescent International

Since the coronavirus crisis erupted worldwide, Sweden’s unusual approach in dealing with the pandemic has attracted wide attention.

Initially, most policymakers elsewhere and the media were eager to see Sweden’s approach fail.

It has now emerged that their method of dealing with the coronavirus has significant credibility which no media spin can dismiss.

Prior to looking at Sweden’s approach and how it has been constantly put down by those who insist on a lockdown, let us be clear that some form of lockdown and social distancing is necessary.

This is what Sweden has been doing as well.

People must look at Sweden’s approach with an open mind and without a preconceived notion to defend the lockdown narrative at any cost.

One of the key reasons the Swedish approach is working is because the country has a first-class healthcare system that was put in place decades ago.

In 2013, the Guardian reported that “OECD released its overview of healthcare in Sweden, as part of its annual review of global health statistics, [and] the Swedish government was quick to call a press conference to celebrate the fact that the report rated the outcomes of treatment in Sweden among the best in the world.”

Instead of learning from Sweden’s first-class healthcare system, the capitalist cut-throat state institutions and Western statemen have been labeling it “socialist” and attempting to find holes in it, which naturally exist in every healthcare system.

Countries which had terrible outcomes dealing with the pandemic are also the ones which oppose the so called “socialist” healthcare system.

Britain’s Conservative government has been defunding the NHS for years. In Italy, over the period from 2010–2019, the National Healthcare Service suffered financial cuts of more than €37 billion.

In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, a Trump-type provincial government of Doug Ford made it its mission to defund the healthcare system.

Media coverage of Sweden’s approach once again highlights how the so-called objectivism of the corporate media is a veneer to push a specific narrative.

On April 25, the BBC published a lengthy report on Sweden’s approach, highlighting how “not all the country’s virologists are convinced.”

Other media outlets regularly keep pointing out how “in March, 2,300 academics signed an open letter to the government of Sweden, calling for tougher measures to protect the healthcare system.”

Since when do scientists have almost a unanimous approach or agreement on anything?

According to Dr. Samir Okasha, an expert in the philosophy of science, Newton and Einstein would talk past each other if they were to discuss mass.

According to Einstein’s theory, an object’s mass depends on its velocity, while Newton would disagree with this definition.

Science consists of data and often that data is interpreted by scientists with their own confirmation bias.

In January 2016, NPR’s Planet Money show produced a fascinating podcast titled, “The Experiment Experiment.”

The podcast refers to research done by Professor Brian Nosek at the University of Virginia.

Some years earlier, Nosek put together a team that attempted to replicate several experiments from various disciplines to see if they could be repeated.

Nosek’s project attempted to replicate 100 certified studies.

Only 39 could be replicated, 61 could not. Why?

Confirmation bias is real in hard sciences.

As Nosek correctly pointed out during his interview with NPR’s Planet Money show, “When I do research in the laboratory, I have choices I make about how to analyze the data and about what of the data that I get to report. And so, I might be more likely to find a way of analyzing the data that looks good for me — right? It confirms my hypothesis. It provides a result that’s exciting, that’s very publishable. I might decide that must be the right way to analyze the data, and I might do that while thinking and trying to be genuine and accurate. But — and the fact that I have a conflict of interest in this — where the results have implications for me and my career advancement, means that I might construct stories to myself that lead me to finding results and reporting results in literature that just are exaggerations of reality that just aren’t true.”

The put down of Sweden’s approach is a natural human phenomenon.

Jealousy is real. People and institutions do not like those who swim against the current, especially when it produces positive results.

This is something that needs to be kept in mind when we read reports which push the lockdown narrative at the expense of rational reasoning.

When reading sensationalist news on the coronavirus, it should be remembered that even a third-tier propaganda organization like the CNN had to admit four days ago that “data suggest that the coronavirus is not nearly as fatal as its official case fatality rate would indicate.”

The coronavirus crisis has exposed the economic, political and public policy incompetence of many governments and by focusing on sensationalist slogans reporting deaths of people from the virus, instead of addressing deep structural flaws in years long policy failures is nothing but gaslighting.

The corporate media would better serve the global public if it advocated for governments worldwide to do their utmost to build a healthcare system as good as Sweden’s instead of bashing its reasonable approach.

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