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The Swedes quickly lose confidence in their country’s response to the pandemic, even the king issues a rare rebuke to those responsible.
Many more Swedes have fallen ill and died from COVID-19 than elsewhere in the Nordic region. And with Stockholm recently nearly running out of intensive care beds, frustration levels are high.
“The Swedish people have suffered enormously under difficult conditions,” King Carl XVI Gustaf told public broadcaster SVT. Regarding the strategy deployed in Sweden, he said: “I think we have failed.
Much of the blame has been directed to Sweden’s chief strategy architect Anders Tegnell, its state epidemiologist. A poll released Thursday showed support for him and his employer has plummeted over the past two months.
“Confidence is on a downward spiral,” said Nicklas Kallebring, analyst at Ipsos.
Meanwhile, Tegnell has continued to defend Sweden’s overall strategy of avoiding lockdowns. He also argues that there is no real evidence that face masks work, and that Swedes are among the only people who live their daily lives largely without a mask, with shops, restaurants and gyms still. open.