Americans opposed to the stay-at-home orders put in place due to the coronavirus have pointed to Sweden as an example of what the U.S. should be doing, but Swedes warn against trying to copy their country’s strategy.
Sweden’s government decided against recommending lockdown orders after the outbreak began, a move it has recently started to reconsider after the death rate at care homes rose dramatically. This approach has made the country popular with lockdown opponents in the United States, including libertarians like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., which strikes some Swedes as strange, since the country has openly embraced numerous socialist policies that they credit with helping them during the crisis.
“Since Rand Paul and other Republicans want to kick-start the economy, they are looking to Sweden without really understanding the country or being that interested in the Swedish strategy to deal with coronavirus. And there is a danger in using Sweden as an example without actually understanding Sweden,” said Dag Blanck, director of the Swedish Institute for North American Studies at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden.
Blanck told NBC News that President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program “had reflected Sweden’s welfare system and it was dependent on a strong state and public sector.
“However, America’s Republican heartland has never been especially interested in the Swedish model or a welfare system. This has been associated with liberals, and lately the [Vermont Sen.] Bernie Sanders faction.”
Swedish entrepreneur Vendela Ragnarsson added, “I would describe these Republicans as turncoats. You run the risk of sacrificing a large proportion of low-income earners and others who do not have adequate health insurance.”
Theodore Bunker ✉
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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