Covid Strategy Deliberations: Inside Look Reveals Former Prime Minister’s Consideration of Swedish Model

Boris Johnson in a discussion with scientists

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson once favoured a Swedish-style approach to Covid-19, reveals an Oxford epidemiologist.”

In Autumn 2020, Boris Johnson, the former Prime Minister, displayed an inclination to forgo additional Covid restrictions, reminiscent of the approach he implemented across England just months prior. As he gears up to host his own show on GB News in the forthcoming year, revelations about a pivotal “round table” discussion he held in September 2020 have surfaced.

This meeting saw the likes of then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak and esteemed scientists, including Professor Sunetra Gupta and Professor Carl Heneghan, gather for counsel. Another significant presence was Sweden’s state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell.

According to Professor Gupta, a theoretical epidemiologist from Oxford’s Department of Biology, it was the Swedish expert who influenced Johnson to contemplate milder restrictions. Sweden, during this time, had embraced a more lenient approach, marked by social distancing mandates and prohibitions on large assemblies.

Gupta elucidated that nearly all experts, with the exception of Professor John Edmunds, acknowledged the benefits of Sweden’s strategy. This revelation marks the first instance a scientist from the said meeting has publicly acknowledged Johnson’s consideration of the Swedish model.

In her formal statement for the Covid inquiry, Gupta revealed, “Anders Tegnell provided a comprehensive overview of the ‘Swedish’ strategy, mirroring the views he frequently voiced in media. Angela McLean believed we should emulate Tegnell’s approach.”

Notably, Johnson sought individual opinions, but a collective panel discussion was absent. Gupta’s decision to share her statement with The Telegraph was motivated by her growing dissatisfaction with the treatment of scientists sceptical about lockdowns in the Covid inquiry.

Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings, former confidantes of Johnson and architects of the 2016 Vote Leave campaign and 2019 general election victory, are slated to testify in the Covid inquiry. The duo, having resigned from Number 10 in November 2020 amidst internal disagreements with allies of Johnson’s wife, Carrie Symonds, may present explosive testimonies.

Especially after allegations arose of Johnson expressing a preference to let the virus “rip” over imposing a second lockdown due to economic concerns. Cummings, known for his controversial trip to Barnard Castle, frequently critiques Johnson and several top Tories online. Nonetheless, the former Prime Minister is reportedly collaborating fully with the inquiry and is anticipated to provide his testimony soon. Story Source

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