'We have failed' — Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf admits failure on coronavirus 'herd immunity' strategy as COVID deaths multiply

  • King Gustaf calls virus strategy a failure
  • "We have had a large number of deaths and that is terrible"
  • Swedish health care system overwhelmed

"We have failed." Finally, even Sweden's King Gusfaf has lost faith in the Swedish government public health official responsible for managing the nation's response to Covid-19.

"I believe we have failed," the king said in an excerpt from a program broadcast by SVT on Wednesday. The full program airs on that network this Sunday, December 21.

"We have had a large number of deaths and that is terrible. That is something that brings us all suffering."

From Bloomberg News:

Much of the blame has been directed toward the chief architect of Sweden's strategy, Anders Tegnell, its state epidemiologist. A poll published on Thursday showed that support for him and his employer has slumped over the past two months.

"Confidence is in a downward spiral," said Nicklas Kallebring, an analyst at Ipsos.

Meanwhile, Tegnell has continued to defend Sweden's overall strategy of avoiding lockdowns. He also argues that there's no real evidence that face masks work, and Swedes are among the only people left going about their daily lives largely mask-free, with shops, restaurants and gyms all still open.

In an interview with broadcaster TV4, Tegnell said no one can tell whether Sweden's strategy has failed. He was responding to a report published earlier in the week that showed significant shortcomings in Sweden's approach that led to excess deaths among the elderly.

"More or less all countries are struggling with this," he said. But he acknowledged that the situation in his home country is dire.

More at Bloomberg News: Swedish King Says the Nation's Controversial Covid Plan Failed [reporting by Charles Daly and Rafaela Lindeberg]