Sweden’s top epidemiologist is largely calling the shots amid that nation’s continued fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
As the Daily Wire reported, Anders Tegnell is now urging his fellow Swedes to forego wearing face masks, saying there is “no point” in such mandates as the national death rate trends downward.
“We had to strongly recommend masks”
Few preventative measures have been so highly debated, with many experts around the globe advising against face masks early on in the spread of COVID-19.
White House coronavirus task force adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and others in the U.S. initially recommended reserving such personal protective equipment for medical professionals. He has since revised that advice based on an advanced understanding of the virus.
“When it became clear that the infection could be spread by asymptomatic carriers who don’t know they’re infected, that made it very clear that we had to strongly recommend masks,” Fauci said in an interview last month.
In Sweden, however, the short-term outlook is notably different and medical experts are beginning to ease up on recommendations concerning mask mandates.
As a recent Newsweek report noted, the nation’s death rate is down to just over 54 per 100,000 citizens. That number is lower than Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
“No national obligation”
The trend reversal led Tegnell to issue an update to the nation’s mask advisory.
“With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” he declared.
While Tegnell’s take is notable, he is not alone in recommending such an approach. In the Netherlands, Minister for Medical Care Tamara van Ark made a pronouncement downplaying the efficacy of facial covering.
“Because from a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks, the Cabinet has decided that there will be no national obligation for wearing non-medical masks,” she said.
Although such an approach runs contrary to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President Donald Trump has also declined to impose a national mask mandate. The jury is still out on which of the many approaches being taken globally will prove the most effective against this elusive enemy.