Professor Johan Giesecke is a highly-regarded epidemiologist and currently is an advisor to the Swedish Government and the WHO on the COVID pandemic. He was Sweden’s state epidemiologist and also the first Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Before becoming an epidemiologist he was an infectious diseases clinician.
In this 30-minute interview he lays out the strategy Sweden is following and talks about its strengths and where there were some mistakes made. He explains why he considers lockdowns are not evidence-based, and why the best policy is to protect the elderly and other vulnerable groups. He says this eventually leads to herd immunity as a by-product, rather than a goal.
He has insight into why governments have taken the path of lockdowns and raises some criticisms of the very influential Imperial College paper. He points out that the IC paper was not a published scientific paper and nor was it peer-reviewed. Among the many shortcomings of the IC modeling was that they assumed hospital capacity would remain fixed. This is a striking oversight given that China had already shown this is precisely *not* what happens when a rising tide of patients is foreseen. China, for instance, built a brand new 1000-bed hospital in just ten days. Geisecke gives his estimate of the true death rate and prevalence of COVID in the population and how many will have already had exposure.
Freddie Sayers: There’s been a lot of confused thinking and a lot of confusion about what the correct response to a threat such as Covid-19 should be, and I just wanted to begin by getting your summary thoughts of how Sweden is differing from other countries and why you think that is.
Professor Johan Geisecke: The main reason is that we, or the Swedish government, decided early, in January, that the measures we should take against the pandemic should be evidence-based and when you start looking around at the measures being taken now by different governments you find that very few of them have a shred of being evidence-based. . .
Watch the full interview here. . .