Email Leaks Show Experts Slamming Swedish Govt for Not Taking Virus Seriously Enough

A hospital employee wearing protection mask and gear shows a swab, a cotton wab for taking mouth specimen, used at a temporary emergency structure set up outside the accident and emergency department, where any new arrivals presenting suspect new coronavirus symptoms will be tested, at the Brescia hospital, Lombardy, on …
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In a series of leaked emails, Swedish experts slammed the Public Health Authority and state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell for his and the government’s initial approach to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the government has previously been criticised by some for underestimating the Chinese virus, the leaked emails show experts like chief physician and professor at Umeå University at the Department of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Virology, Fredrik Elgh angered over the government’s response.

“I am deeply concerned about the development. I would rather Stockholm was quarantined. We are almost the only country in the world that does not take everything we can to quell the infection. This is bloody serious,” Elgh told broadcaster SVT.

Professor of epidemiology and public health science at Umeå University Joacim Rocklöv wrote in the email chain, “How many lives are they prepared to sacrifice so as not to shut down and risk greater impacts on the economy?”

Anders Tegnell, meanwhile, defended himself and the government’s policies, claiming the situation was changing on a daily basis.

Sweden has previously championed the “herd immunity” theory which was initially supported by the British government — but then rejected when it was pointed out the strategy could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths.

The Swedish economy is also predicted to take a major hit due to the virus, according to Kerstin Hessius, CEO of the Third AP Fund and former Deputy Governor, who said that unemployment in Sweden could rise to as much as 40 per cent.

“It’s mass unemployment, it’s about 20 to 40 per cent unemployment. This means that there are very few businesses to go to. There is a risk even of all this money being blown out that we are getting hyperinflation along with we have no demand in the economy,” she said.

The prediction comes after other experts predict that Scandinavian airline SAS will also require major help to prevent it from going under.

The Swedish police force is also expected to be heavily affected by the pandemic, with national commander-in-chief Per Engström stating that as many as half of the officers across the country could be forced to take sick leave.

“There are definitely risks if many police officers get sick at the same time. For example, we may be forced to prioritize certain investigations before others,” he warned.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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