Anders Tegnell, architect of a unique response to the pandemic, defends his approach
In just a few short months Anders Tegnell, architect of Sweden’s unique response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has gone from unknown physician and technocrat to a household celebrity in Sweden and in countries around the world. He is beloved by some (people have even had tattoos made with his face) and intensely disliked by others. Today he is suntanned and relaxed, having just returned from his summer holiday, and wearing an open-necked polo shirt.
After all these months, does he now think that his strategy is a failure or a success? A bit of both, he says quickly, but emphasises more of the latter:
“I think to a great extent it’s been a success. We are now seeing rapidly falling cases, we have continuously had healthcare that has been working, there have been free beds at any given time, never any crowding in the hospitals, we have been able to keep schools open which we think is extremely important, and society fairly open — while still having social distancing in place in a way that means that the spread of the disease has been limited.