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Who Is The Swedish Dr. Fauci? Details About Anders Tegnell & His Controversial Face Mask Stance

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Who Is The Swedish Dr. Fauci? Details About Anders Tegnell & His Controversial Face Mask Stance

Who is the Swedish Dr. Fauci, Anders Tegnell?

While the rest of Europe — and the world for that matter — had strict lockdowns during the initial outbreak of the Coronavirus, Sweden’s top infectious disease expert, often referred to as "The Swedish Dr. Fauci," insisted on a voluntary lockdown for the Nordic country, hoping that “herd immunity” would be successful in battling the virus.

If you’re unfamiliar what herd immunity is, it’s when enough people become exposed to a virus that they develop antibodies to whatever they’re exposed to, thus slowing the spread of the virus. 

The Swedish Dr. Fauci came under fire for his controversial way of handling the Coronavirus, and now, he’s making waves in the medical community again after suggesting that masks do little to stop the spread of the virus.

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Who is Anders Tegnell?

The Swedish Dr. Fauci is Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency. His response to COVID-19 has caused a lot of controversy, and judging by the interviews he’s given in recent months, he will probably continue to be scrutinized over his handling of the pandemic in Sweden.

What did the Swedish Dr. Fauci say about face masks?

Anders Tegnell made some controversial statements about masks and the spread of the Coronavirus saying, “It is very dangerous to believe face masks would change the game when it comes to COVID-19.”

“Face masks can be a complement to other things when other things are safely in place,” he added. “But to start with having face masks and then think you can crowd your buses or your shopping malls — that’s definitely a mistake.”

Just a month ago, the Swedish Dr. Fauci touted more theories that masks are pointless — especially in public.

“With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” he said, adding, “I’m surprised that we don’t have more or better studies showing what effect masks actually have.”

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In June, Tegnell told Swedish Radio, “If we were to encounter the same illness with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our response would land somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done.” So, like...wear masks in public to help stop the spread of a highly contagious virus spread by droplets from people's mouths?

“Clearly, there is potential for improvement in what we have done,” he added.

The Swedish Dr. Fauci also believes that although Sweden’s Public Health Agency did all they could with the information they had at the time, they wouldn’t do anything differently regarding their initial handling of the COVID outbreak — even though Sweden is the Nordic country with the highest death rate per capita. 

“It is obvious that it could have been better. And that comes down to social distancing,” he said. “If you close society and don’t let people out for six, eight, ten weeks you will have a more obvious social distancing than otherwise.”

“But I think the fundamental strategy has worked well,” he added. “I can’t see how we could have acted in a totally different way.”

So basically, what Swedish Dr. Fauci is saying is that masks are pointless, he stands by his voluntary lockdown decision, things could’ve been better with a lockdown and social distancing, but his strategy worked well even though his country has the highest death rate per capita compared to other Nordic countries.

Is your brain spinning? Because, same.

How many Coronavirus cases does Sweden have?

Sweden has recorded over 85,000 cases of COVID-19 since the virus hit Europe in February. Sweden’s death toll is quickly approaching 6,000, which doesn’t sound like a lot in comparison to other countries (cough, United States at 170,000, cough).

However, the population of Sweden is roughly 10 million, and given the amount of deaths per capita, the Nordic country has almost a 7% death rate when it comes to the Coronavirus, while the United States’ death rate is just over 3%, and other Nordic countries like Iceland only have a 0.2% death rate.

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter.