Covid officially over in Sweden!

Covid Sweden open sign

The Swedish government has decided to end all covid related restrictions from the 9th of February. Additionally, venues and events will no longer be able to demand proof of vaccination. To top it off, the public health agency is recommending that covid no longer officially be classed as a “threat to public health”. Sweden is the third Nordic country to end covid restrictions, following on the heels of Denmark and Norway.

The decision represents an acceptance of the fact that covid has gone from being a pandemic to an endemic disease. The public health agency estimates that 500,000 Swedes were infected with covid-19 last week (which is twice the number of confirmed cases). At the same time, only 181 people died of/with the disease (possibly more “with” than “of”). That puts the present lethality of covid in the same ballpark as the common cold. As many people have long predicted, covid-19 has become the fifth “common cold” coronavirus disease.

Now that the pandemic is officially over, I think it’s interesting to go back and look at how bad it actually was. Before we do, let’s remember that Sweden has taken a light touch throughout the pandemic. That means it serves as a useful “control” in terms of understanding what would have happened if a country didn’t impose lockdowns, close schools, and force everyone to wear masks.

If we want to understand how deadly the pandemic was, then the best metric to look at is overall mortality. It is the only metric that cannot easily be manipulated. “Covid deaths” is not a good metric, because it is open to interpretation. Different doctors, different hospitals, and different countries define covid deaths differently. And often in official statistics “deaths with covid” (i.e. deaths from other causes but where the person happened to have covid or at least a positive covid test) are defined as “covid deaths”, which makes it hard to determine how deadly the disease actually is.

The Swedish government statistics bureau (SCB) makes excellent statistics, possibly the most reliable official statistics in the world. And Harold on Twitter has been producing very helpful graphs based on these statistics. Here is Sweden’s overall mortality year on year from 1991 to 2021, courtesy of SCB and Harold.

What do we see?

Well, we see a gradually declining overall mortality over the thirty year period, from roughly 1,100 deaths per 100,000 during the early 1990’s down to an average of roughly 900 deaths per 100,000 during the last five years. This decrease is likely mostly due to the fact that life expectancy in Sweden has increased significantly over the thirty year period, from 78 in 1991 to 83 today.

Next we see an unusually low overall mortality in 2019. This made Sweden “ripe” for a worse than average year in 2020, just due to the simple fact that years with less than average mortality are usually followed by years with more than average mortality (because a year with less than average mortality means there are more very frail people on the verge of death at the beginning of the next year). We can see this in the graph above – when there is a big drop in mortality in one year, it is usually followed by a rise in mortality in the following year. So 2020 was always likely to have a little higher than average mortality.

Then we come to 2020, and we do see an effect of the pandemic (in combination with the expected slightly higher than average mortality), with an overall mortality that is roughly 945 per 100,000 people, as compared with the average for the preceding five years, which is 900 per 100,000 people. So, in 2020 there were 45 extra deaths per 100,000 people as compared with the average for the preceding five years, which represents roughly 4,600 people. What that means is that the pandemic, in combination with the fact that 2020 was following on a year with unusually low overall mortality, resulted in something like 4,600 extra deaths, which represents 0,04% of Sweden’s population.

What can we conclude?

Yes, there was a small bump in mortality in 2020 due to covid, but it was pretty damn small. I’m not saying covid isn’t serious for some segments of the population, but all claims that this was a hugely deadly pandemic on par with the Spanish flu are clearly massively overblown. That becomes particularly obvious when we move on and look at 2021. As is clear from the graph above, there was no excess mortality whatsoever in 2021. In fact, 2021 was the second least deadly year in Swedish history!

That is in spite of the fact that official statistics show an additional 6,000 deaths with/of covid in Sweden in 2021. Clearly most of those 6,000 were either deaths “with” rather than “of”, or the people who died of covid were for the most part so close to death that they would have died in 2021 anyway, even without covid.

When we break the data down by month (again courtesy of Harold and SCB), we see something interesting. Here’s the graph:

What we see is that there was excess mortality in Sweden from April to June 2020, and then again from November 2020 to January 2021. For all other motnhs over the two year period, mortality has been lower than what would have been expected. So the excess deaths caused by the virus were actually concentrated around two short periods, one in late spring of 2020, and another in winter of 2020/2021. Outside those short periods, there really wasn’t much going on. The Swedish government has officially declared the end of the pandemic now, but if you look at the overall mortality statistics, it really looks like the pandemic ended a year ago.

So, that is how bad covid was in Sweden, the country that never locked down, and that was widely derided as a “pariah state” during the early part of the pandemic. When we look at the overall mortality statistics, and see the number of people that actually died, it’s clear that Sweden was probably the country that reacted most sensibly of all to the pandemic, with measures that were largely proportionate to the size of the threat. The rest of the world instead went around swatting flies with sledge hammers.

One thing that is interesting to think about in light of this, is what the overall mortality data looks like in other countries. Since Sweden, which didn’t lock down, had only marginal excess mortality in 2020, and no excess mortality in 2021, it’s clear that covid-19 itself hasn’t done much damage. That means that any excess mortality beyond the little seen in Sweden in countries that did lock down cannot be due to the virus itself. It must due to something else. Since the one thing that has differed between Sweden and those other countries over the two year period is the absence vs presence of lockdowns, any such excess mortality can almost certainly be explained by lockdowns.

Let’s take the US as an example. Unlike Sweden, large parts of the US instituted draconian lockdowns. Did those lockdowns prevent any covid deaths? Well, If we just look at the crude numbers, we don’t see any reduction. According to official statistics, 0.27% of the US population has so far died of/with covid, compared with only 0.16% of the Swedish population – in spite of lockdowns, the US has had significantly more covid deaths than Sweden!

This is in line with the mass of evidence showing that lockdowns are ineffective. So, since we now know that lockdowns are ineffective at stopping the virus, we would expect that the US would see an effect of the pandemic on overall mortality that is similar to Sweden – i.e. a small increase in overall mortality is expected. If, on the other hand, we see a much larger increase in the US than we see in Sweden, then that increase is likely due to lockdowns. So, what do we see?

Well, here’s a graph of overall mortality for the last seven years that uses data from the CDC:

We see an increase in overall mortality in 2020 and 2021 that is significantly bigger than that seen in Sweden. In Sweden, the relative increase in overall mortality for 2020-2021, when compared with the preceding five years, is 1% (from an average of 900 deaths per 100,000 in 2015-2019 to an average of 912 deaths per 100,000 in 2020-2021).

In the US, the relative increase in overall mortality is 18%! (from 860 deaths per 100,000 in 2015-2019 to 1016 deaths per 100,000 in 2020-2021). That is an 18-fold greater increase in mortality during the two years of the pandemic in the US than in Sweden!

So, to sum up, the US has less than twice as many covid deaths as Sweden (As mentioned, 0.27% of the US population vs 0.16% of Sweden’s population), but 18 times as many excess deaths! Clearly, that massive difference cannot be explained by the virus. It must be explained by something else. The only reasonable explanation, as far as I can see, is that it is due to the disastrous effect of lockdowns on public health. It will be interesting to see whether the US people hold their political leaders accountable for this massively destructive error in judgment over the coming years.

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160 thoughts on “Covid officially over in Sweden!”

  1. Thanks a lot for another great article.

    As part of this return to normal from 9 February, do you know whether people entering Sweden from abroad will still have to show vaccination status/take tests/quarantine?

    1. Good analysis – any indication what was behind the 2 peak periods? Any link to those being the period when the most vaccinations took place?

      1. Exactly my thoughts. In NZ there is a clear ruse in mortality rate during the vaccination roll out on a monthly basis

      2. The first increase coincides with the first part/wave of the pandemic. The second increase nov-20 to jan-21 coincides with the second big wave and later also with vaccine rollout to the most elderly (January -21)

  2. On a previous topic. You discussed vitamin D with Dr David Grimes. Can you ask him to point to the analysis that shows BAME NHS staff excess deaths become zero around two weeks after the mailing. One of my NHS front-line ED friends, who received that mailing, contests that.

      1. I did not think so and a friend who is an Emergency Medicine Consultant, not a GP, got one of the letters that were sent. I would like clarification of the data on which his comment was based.

  3. Thank you for another great summary. In addition to lockdowns, less obesity and better metabolic health of the Swedish population as compared to US (and the UK) may also have contributed to this staggering difference.

    1. I was thinking the same about better health in Sweden vs US.

      So, I was a bit surprised to learn that US (pre-2019) had a lower death rate than Sweden (860 vs 900). Is this caused by some previous events causing US to have a younger population than Sweden? (wars for example).
      Then again, US life expectancy is a few years lower than Sweden.

      Thank you again, Dr Rushworth!

      1. The US age profile must have a greater proportion of younger people which makes the higher excess death outcome even more pronounced.

    2. Totally agree with these additional points, plus add Vitamin D deficiency to this. Something like 80% of the UK population are deficient in Vit D. I believe the US is broadly similar. Whereas Scandinavian food manufacturers often supplement with Vit D.

    3. Other contributing factors could be that Swedes are naturally isolative and They are naturally trusting of their government, so many isolated voluntarily anyway and there isn’t the density of population that occurs in USA.
      A complete aside, i know, VitD, they eat a lot of oily fish, all year round, which is high in vitd.

  4. Maybe you should take into consideration that the shot has caused the excess deaths and not the lockdown!

      1. It would be interesting to compare when most jabs where administered and the monthly death chart.

      2. Was there any difference in relation to the choice of “vaccines” given (between Sweden and US)?

        I also wondered about Sweden’s approach being better for mental health, with knock-on benefits for physical health too.

        Here in the UK the prolonged periods of almost no interaction with other people certainly damaged me.
        And many people may have been prevented from seeking or receiving help when needed. The draconian and often illogical/stupid rules caused damage on many fronts but it is good to see hard facts supporting the qualitative assessment.

        As ever, thank you for your articles.

        Anne (aka a selfish granny killer)

      3. Most of the population ( 70% or so?) got their 1st and 2nd jab in the period April to October 2021.
        3rd doses for general population started in December 2021.

      4. That doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t due to differential death rates from c19 vaccination.
        My guess is you’re making a reasonable assumption that each vial of a given vaccine contains the same material?
        Unfortunately it’s an incorrect assumption.
        We have several lines of evidence that it’s not true. In the same population, we’ve seen some batches be associated with up to 10X more deaths per 100,000 injections than others.
        Country by country analysis is ongoing, so we shall see.

      5. An excellent article. But overall mortality has a tendency to hide important numbers. I think it should really be looked into the effects of the vaccine. If we compare “Excess Deaths” in the statistics of the age group 15 – 44 years has 2.3 times higher excess deaths 2021 than 2020. Also the excess deaths of age group 0 – 14 years has increased dramatically since starting of the vaccination of children.

        If we add together age group 14 – 64 years the excess deaths 2021 compared to 2020 is like two Boeing 737 falling down every week in Europe. That would certainly cause a dramatic intervention from the authorities. But now people die “anonymously” and nobody cares. And not only die, a huge number of important vaccine damages is a reality.

        Why do we have the dramatic increase of excess deaths? What has changed during 2021? The dramatic change is the vaccination. This is really worrisome.

        It is true the Sweden has a better statistic compared to most countries, but still not good enough to follow what really is happening in this madness.

      6. The important question is what has caused the Excess Deaths? Looking at the statistics of (EuroMOMO is a European mortality monitoring activity … statistics provided weekly …. from 29 European countries …).

        What we can see is that if we compare 2019, which was a fairly normal year, with 2021 and add together the age groups 15 – 44 years and 45 – 64 years, we have Excess Deaths of approx 49.839. This is equal to 5 fully occupied Boeing 737 falling down every week in Europe! If this would happen for sure the reactions from responsible authorities would have been different. Every detail would have been carefully examined.

        And this is not to mention all other physiological and psychological sufferings apart from the Excess Deaths.

        What has caused this? Fright propaganda? Lock Downs? Vaccines? It may be a combination of the three but looking at the big increased Excess Deaths comparing 2020 to 2021, the vaccine seems to be the most important factor.

    1. the timeline of the death spikes in Sweden does looking interesting in the context of injection roll outs. Would also be interesting to see how many of the excess deaths are down to heart and clots. There will always be a valid causation vs correlation debate, but pls dig deeper on these stats Sebastian for trends. Great blog!!!

      1. It was the vaccines that put an end to the excess deaths. Once they got 2nd doses into the care homes the death numbers reduced and stayed reduced.

        The vaccine rollout was the turning point. Swedes trusted the vaccines, and moved on.

        I live there btw.

      2. Paul,

        It sucked to be the “unvaccinated” immediately after vaccine rollouts. What impacted the ongoing statistics? Survivorship bias, maybe? Killing off the dry tinder? Or maybe Swedes tend to have higher vitamin D levels than people in the US, which means that vaccination might be more effective for Swedes? Vaccination hasn’t helped the Israelis.

        From Norman Fenton, /356756711_Latest_statistics_on_England_mortality_data_suggest_systematic_mis-categorisation_of_vaccine_status_and_uncertain_effectiveness_of_Covid-19_vaccination

      3. Let’s compare vitamin D levels between Sweden and the US…


        Title: “Adequate vitamin D levels in a Swedish population living above latitude 63°N: The 2009 Northern Sweden MONICA study”


        Mean (median) level of vitamin D3 was 65.2 (63.6) nmol/l in men and 71.0 (67.7) nmol/l in women. Adequate levels were found in 79.2%, more often in women (82.7%) than in men (75.6%). Only 0.7% of the population were vitamin D3–deficient but 23.1% of men and 17.1% of women had insufficient levels. Levels of vitamin D3 increased with age and insufficient status was most common among those aged 25–34 years, 41.0% in men and 22.3% in women.”


        Title: ” Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults ”

        “The overall prevalence rate of vitamin D deficiency was 41.6%, with the highest rate seen in blacks (82.1%), followed by Hispanics (69.2%). Vitamin D deficiency was significantly more common among those who had no college education, were obese, with a poor health status, hypertension, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, or not consuming milk daily (all P < .001). Multivariate analyses showed that being from a non-white race, not college educated, obese, having low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, poor health, and no daily milk consumption were all significantly, independently associated with vitamin D deficiency (all P < .05). In summary, vitamin D deficiency was common in the US population, especially among blacks and Hispanics."

        0.7% vitamin D deficiency in Sweden

        41.6% vitamin D deficiency in the US

      4. Now let’s examine vitamin D deficiency in Israel.

        Title: “Vitamin D deficiency prevalence and cardiovascular risk in Israel”

        “The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency (vitamin D levels < 30 ng mL−1) for the entire study population was surprisingly high for men and women (79·2% and 77·5%, respectively)."

        About like the US. If you go to ourworldindata, you'll see that excess mortality for the US and Israel look very similar.

        If your population tends to not be deficient in vitamin D, vaccination looks like it might work.

  5. I’m willing to suggest that excess (Covid) mortality in America can easily be explained by their rampant mitochondrial disfunction (link below). I’ll go one further to suggest countries with grains
    (antinutrients) central to their diets had the worst outcomes.
    The article that demonstrates Long Covid resulting from microbiome imbalance is behind a paywall; sorry, no link.

    1. Joe I think you are in to something worth a hard look, thanks for posting that study (not hidden behind a paywall for me). In relation to grain central diets, we should consider the role of Glyphosate and other antibiotics/antimicrobials in that equation. Zach Bush, MD has some really interesting work on the role of chemical agriculture and it’s impact on the microbiome and ultimately the breakdown of dysfunction at the cellular level. Disruption of our tight junction/gap junctions leading to mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular disconnect and a host of health issues.

  6. Hi,

    Do you not think there are more differences between Sweden and the US (and other countries of course)? Say, for example, overall health, i.e. levels of obesity, diabetes, vit D levels and other risk factors?

    You’re normally very thorough, but here you seem a bit too quick to draw conclusions, it’s very hard to compare like for like when it comes to countries.

    With kind regards,


      1. The difference could be explained if obesity is a major factor causing death if infected with covid.

      2. The obesity rate in Sweden is about 10%, vs. 42% in the U.S. The diabetes rate in Sweden is 5%, vs. 10.5% in the U.S. These–along with elderly people–are most vulnerable to death from Covid, which could certainly explain at least part of the discrepancy between the outcomes in the two countries.

        Yes Sweden has a higher percentage of elderly citizens, but also had a significantly higher vaccination rate than the U.S., which also would have influenced the outcome.

        So I think your blanket statements that “any excess mortality beyond the little seen in Sweden in countries that did lock down cannot be due to the virus itself. It must due to something else”, and–as relates to the situation in the U.S.–“Clearly, that massive difference cannot be explained by the virus. It must be explained by something else. The only reasonable explanation, as far as I can see, is that it is due to the disastrous effect of lockdowns on public health” are much too strong given reasonable alternative explanations.

      3. Except, as I state in the article, the difference in excess mortality is much bigger than the difference in covid deaths.

        The explanation for the massive increase in overall mortality must be explained by something that happened in 2020-2021. Unless obesity or diabetes rates changed massively over the course of a year or two (which they didn’t), they can’t explain the difference. The main thing I can see that did change is the presence of lockdowns. Some might point the finger at the vaccines and say they are causing excess mortality in the US, but that can’t be it, because Sweden is more heavily vaccinated than the US.

      4. “Some might point the finger at the vaccines and say they are causing excess mortality in the US, but that can’t be it, because Sweden is more heavily vaccinated than the US.”

        Your assumption is that vaccination would have the same impact in both Sweden and the US. However, Sweden and the US diverge greatly as to vitamin D deficiency. Even the US has wide divergency of vitamin D deficiency in its population. Sweden has a fairly uniform population, by comparison, with a vitamin D deficiency rate of 0.7%, while ethnic populations in the US have 70% deficiency (hispanics) and 80% deficiency (blacks).

        With increased vitamin D deficiency, we would expect the vaccines to have less beneficial impact and tend to trend towards harm. I suspect that vaccines will have maybe between a 25-50% impact on excess mortality, if we can ever get to the actual figures and do some competent autopsies in the US.

  7. Could it be that the overweight american population is a higher risk factor? Probably would have to compare that with other countries with higher excess death if that might be an explanation.

    Anyways thanks for beeing one of the few unbiased voices out there!

  8. Great article! The other obvious factor that springs to mind would be the rate of obesity. I believe somewhere in the ballpark of 10% of the population in Sweden vs ~ 40% in the USA.
    I’ve really enjoyed your articles , thanks for you work .

  9. Ehhh nix det ikke er over her i Norge..
    Vi må fortsatt holde 1m avstand og bruke munnbind hvis ikke… dvs 95% av de sauene enda bruker munnbind og er redd…

  10. Hello,
    I thiink there’s a weakness in the argument of looking at overall mortality. In Denmark fx there’s also a small increase in overall mortality in more or less the same period as in Sweden, but Denmark had a severe lockdown, closed schools, stopped doing certain treatments in hospitals etc. How would we know, looking at it this way, if the increase in mortaly rate wasn’t because of en excess of cancerpatients dying, suicide or other causes of death? Goes the other way around too; it’s likely that less people died from the flu and in car accidents in 2020. I don’t really know how to get around this problem. Naturally you would have too look into several different statistics and make an comparative analysise, but then you’re back to interpretations of both of cause of death etc and of the data itself.
    Bests regards

    1. I came to a similar conclusion because I have seen statistics showing signifiant increases in deaths in the U. S. due to drug overdose, suicide, heart disease, etc. because treatment was delayed or people were afraid to seek it in hospitals. Oftentimes, these deaths are referred to as collateral damage, the result of unconstitutional policies that immorally determine winners and losers.

      Perhaps Dr. Rushworth can place these deaths in perspective relative to the lethality of Covid.

      I have devoted much time these past two years educating myself about Covid and cannot thank Dr. Rushworth enough for his dispassionate, factual analysis of a complicated subject.

      Unfortunately, my being informed and willing to change my views in light of more persuasive data has limited the conversations I can have with the vast majority of people I encounter. Fear and willful ignorance permeate our lives and will continue to do so far into the future.

      Federal and state policies in the U. S. have become a religion, and anyone disagreeing with its creed or dogma is derided as an immoral, selfish heretic.

      Not one of the politicians or bureaucrats in the U. S. will ever be held accountable for the harm they inflicted on their fellow citizens and their assault on the Constitution.

      Self-righteousness is the common denominator of all evil.

      1. Resonate with your fabulous summation sentence – Fear and willful ignorance permeate our lives and will continue to do so far into the future.
        I also am surrounded by people, including my immediate family, with whom I dare not start a reasonable fact based discussion.

    2. May i point out that “no lock down” in Sweden is a myth?

      Care home residents were locked down! Pretty long, actually.

      Friends and acquaintances stopped visting me (i do NOT even live in any kind of old age facility) just because i am old (and/or they were scared).
      The municipal senior facilities all closed around March 15, 2020 in Uppsala (no more choir until September 2021, no more senior restaurant, etc).
      Signs everywhere telling “if you are a senior, keep out!” (that meant no swimming and no common indoors exercise for month – No wonder i put on weight!).

      If one was not aware of beeing old (and, of course, “fragile”), well, we were clubed down to earth.

      So, please, consider that what was true for folks of school or working age was not true concerning the dependant elderly.
      I met a woman under a demo in Stockholm who told me that she had not been allowed to se her mother (even though being a physician) and that the lady consequently let herself die, not having anything left to live for.

      Fear still reigns. I just realised that some of my younger neighbours dare not share a staircase, one going upp and the other down!

      1. Interesting. It also seems that people adjusted their behavior
        as well. Reduced their activities, stayed home more, etc.

        Any data about how economy was impacted?

        I remember reading early in the pandemic (2020)
        that Sweden’s GDP dropped pretty heavily (almost as
        much as countries that had lockdown). Of course, some of
        it is the result of global inter-dependency.

      2. “May i point out that “no lock down” in Sweden is a myth?” Nope, it’s a myth that it’s a myth. In short: Sweden did not pursue the lockdown policies of fascistoid home arrest, internment, stalinist travel restrictions, police checkpoints and, in some instances, martial law that was the hallmark of many purportedly democratic countries. What happened was this. In 2020 there was no rules of any real impact other than the work from home *recommendation* and the study from home rule for unis. As about 70% of the population cannot work from home that hardly constitutes a “lockdown”. Especially as it was voluntary. Most swedes having the cushy jobs that can be done from home were just happy to work from their summer houses in this sort of semi-vacation. And the 1-2 meter rule–give me a break that’s normal social distance between strangers in Sweden whenever circumstances make it possible to keep. What was in lockdown style was the restrictions on groups of people in effect in cities. Or to be more precis in areas with a zoning plan. Step out of these areas and there were no restrictions.
        At the end of 2020 the gov’t panicked for no reason and a slew of more irritating restrictions were instituted. Like the ridiculous max 4 person per table in restaurants. And closures of nightclubs/bars. But yet again just party outside a zoning area or know were to go and no restrictions applied… There were also limits on customers in shops and other venues, but essentially never enforced. Small shops with scared owners or large venues like IKEA upheld the rules, but otherwise no other shops etc as I was able to notice. Most of these rules were scrapped during may to october.
        At year end the crazies got the upper hand at FoHM and in gov’t and the constitutionally illegal fasc… sorry vaxpass and customer limits were instituted from essentially december to january 2022. Many shops did not even bother to put up signs this time. During these two years I criss-crossed most of Sweden as foreign travel was just too much of a hassle–hardly a country in lockdown.

  11. But, isn’t the digital ID vaccine passport being implemented, which is the goal of the global elites. This wasn’t about health and safety.

    1. Well, except in Sweden vaccine passports will not be used/allowed going forward, so the global elite has not succeeded in their domination plans there (yet).

      1. Well the EU comission has now proposed a EU wide digital id and combined wallet. The vaccine passports were just the rehearsal to test the technology and the publics willingness to comply.

  12. The most likely reasons I suspect of high mortality in the USA are the combination of:

    A. Systematic suppression of treatment for people presenting with respiratory illness. All kinds of treatment. People are told by their doctors that there is no treatment, to go home, to wait until they have trouble breathing, then to go to hospital.

    B. At hospital they’re dosed with remdesivir as standard protocol, even though remdesivir was previously banned as too toxic FOR EBOLA PATIENTS. They’re also intubated.

    I have a feeling, a hypothesis, that A and B are NOT systematically applied in Sweden. And that the lack of A and B account for the near normalcy of both hospitalization and death rates in Sweden.

    1. I disagree about point A. Swedish doctors follow the same line as US doctors when it comes to early treatment. As to point B, well, remdesivir is used much less in Sweden than in the US, but as I say in the article, the difference in mortality is much bigger than can be explained by covid deaths, and a person with covid treated with remdesivir will be considered a covid death.

      1. Yes, I see, you make that case clearly. There is no shortage of indication that US lockdowns killed very many. You confirm (finally, I’ve been looking for this) that Sweden does, like the US, suppress outpatient treatment. But still I have a doubt that that suppression is as extensively obeyed by Swedish doctors as it is by so many US doctors. Swedes are a reasonable bunch, slow to overreact, slow to make bad decisions (or any decisions). Thank you also for confirming that remdesivir is used much less in Sweden than in the US.

    2. Yeah Sebastian is correct on both A) and B).

      I’m a Swedish doctor (family medicine). Actually when it comes to early treatment I believe it’s likely a lot harder in Sweden to find a doctor willing to prescribe both hyroxychloroquine or ivermectin. Our equivalent of FDA/EMA advises against the use of both medicines stating lack of evidence. Swedish people have some of the highest levels of trust in government authority in the world and that goes for us doctors as well. Swedish doctors with few exceptions follow protocols and trust that the authorities are telling them the truth Not a lot of people will ever be able to get early treatment in Sweden. The Chankra Shettil is easier though.
      In fact Ivermectin wasn’t even a registered drug in Sweden until last summer. To make matters worse there’s only one drug company selling it in Sweden and the drug company have hiked their price to extreme levels (about 15 US$ per 3 mg tablet) because they know people will buy it anyway our of desperation. It’s disgusting.

      1. I checked FASS a few days ago, after i had seen a horrible title in Arbetaren touting the “veterinary drug” as being promoted by right-ving American extremist.

        It seems that ivermectin was sold for veterinary use, but that it is no longer available in Sweden.
        – Ivermektin / Ivermectin (engelska) Medical Valley Invest AB is a member of

  13. I was about to say what others have already said, namely, that the prevalence of metabolic disease (pre-diabetes, diabetes, vitamin D levels, etc.) in the US is likely higher than Sweden. The politicization of vaccines and masks may also be a factor, but I suspect it’s minimal.

  14. Very eye-opening and sad (for the USA). I predict no one will be held accountable, due to the political state of this country (USA). Thank you, Doctor, for your great work!

  15. Excellent analysis Doctor. This one, and all the other articles you publish are why I signed on as a patron and stopped being a free-loader! All the best.

  16. HI Sebastian!
    Enjoy reading your blogs.
    I live in the US and am a pioneer in fat adaptation for performance and health. Well before COVID hit I could see how unhealthy the average American in the US is, including athletes. I think this is a far bigger reason the US has a higher death rate that the lockdown . Certainly the lockdowns have factored into this but my opinion is Swedes have a much healthier approach and execution to living than Americans. This is easy to literally see when we compare stats on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Keep up the great work!

  17. a possible reason for divergence in deaths between Sweden and the US…the US has a much higher percent of elderly dark-skinned people than does Sweden…darker skin correlates with vitamin D deficiency, particularly in dark-skinned elderly…add in likely zinc deficiency in elderly men…we should expect an increase in the risk from infectious disease, heart disease, cancer, etc. due to lower vitamin D levels in the darker-skinned elderly in the US population, it seems to me

    vaccination could possibly contribute to risk if vitamin D deficiency is high since vaccination at least temporarily lowers 25OHD levels…and vitamin D deficiency likely diverges between Sweden and the US…

    other divergences between the US and Sweden…fear of hospitalization and failure to do physical checkups might cause an increase in mortality for US citizens…with “elective” procedures being postponed because of covid, risk would increase

    for public health reasons, ought 25OHD levels be tracked in everyone as suggested by David Grimes?

  18. Step back 3 or 4 years ago and there was quite a lot of talk about the fall in US life expectancy – similar to the rising pattern in deaths per US 100,0000 over 2014-19 shown in your last chart. US life expectancy peaked in 2014.

    Part of the pattern must be the worsening in US health that was occurring pre-Covid. Of course US the health system is a nightmare in many ways.
    Obesity is presumably a big connected factor.

    PS loved the book.

  19. If you can end a pandemic by simply declaring it over, why didn’t they do it a year earlier?
    Other methods of ending a pandemic:-
    Try a novel idea such as early treatment.
    Ban PCR testing.
    Do not contact-trace.
    Stop all testing of asymptomatic individuals.
    Support immune function by national promotion of Vit D supplementation.
    Do nothing, so that the acquisition of collective acquired immunity happens much sooner.
    Do whatever Uttar Pradesh does.

    1. The disease was initially used as a political weapon to stop Trump reelection. It was useful to panic population. Opposition party thought the vaccines just coming to market would handle the problem after the election and their return to power. The “vaccines” however turned out to be less than optimally effective, people grew tired of lockdowns, a growing suspicion of the vaccines, the economy finally tanked, and a new lessor virulent variant spread anyway to everyone last year further calling into question the government experts knowledge and prevention efforts. Covid became a political liability of the highest order. Hence they are “declaring victory” and leaving the field. It might have worked except it’s too late to stop the tanking economy and out of control spending from the Covid lockdown amelioration efforts.

      1. Exactamento!
        Covid was used as weapon against Trump.
        This also explains in part the overreaction to Covid: it had to be made scarier to be made bigger problem for Trump.
        Your other comments are also spot on.
        The only missing element is that even using Covid against Trump was not enough to beat him honestly, as many saw the game being played.
        In the end, it took what is essentially a coup, during the November 5, 2020 night, to force him out of office.

  20. Thank you for another great article, Dr. Rushworth. Two questions. 1. Do you think that if there is a surge in cases, the government will go back to some forms of restrictions? This has been the case in Canada where we’ve had severe restrictions. then a tiny bit of freedom for awhile, and back to severe restrictions. 2. Has there been in Sweden the endless threats and coercion and frenzied mania to get every last person vaccinated? In Canada, unvaccinated have been stripped of many rights, including the right to leave the country. This has been the case in many European countries as well.

      1. Most countries have a huge increase in cases (including Sweden), but many countries have
        also increase in hospitalizations (Israel, Denmark) and deaths (Israel).

        It’s obviously hard to compare countries (different demographics, climate, etc.), but it’s interesting
        to see that some countries like Denmark, for example, are now claiming that pandemic is over
        while the cases are at record levels and hospitalizations are at the same level as in January 2021
        (when this virus was supposedly so dangerous that we had to stay locked inside).

  21. Great post and great news, thanks for bringing it to our attention!
    It was an easy hit to compare to the USA and I think it should have been a Sweden versus everyone else as some kind of control?
    I have just done the same figures for the England and Wales (not the UK) from a response by the Office of National Statistics I picked up online. Figures below.
    The figures, from 1990, show a steady and year on drop from 2005 until about 2015 – 2017 (1), by which time it is rising again (2) . The previous year saw a mild winter and 2020 again the mildest winter in recorded time, like Sweden?
    Sure there were Covid deaths pushing the numbers up but the figures in terms of population numbers results in an index that was normal twenty years earlier and only marginally higher than the last ten years.

    (1) (interesting to speculate that the NHS started in 1948 and childhood vaccinations in 1951 caused the drop)
    (2) the rise and drop in life expectancy has been officially blamed on obesity and other ‘rich’ diseases.

    Year Number of deaths Population (Thousands) Crude mortality rate (per 100,000 population) Age-standard mortality (per 100,000 population)
    1990 564,846 30,969 50,561 1,117 1,463
    1991 570,044 36,167 50,748 1,123 1,464
    1992 558,313 24,436 50,876 1,097 1,415
    1993 578,512 44,635 50,986 1,135 1,453
    1994 551,780 17,903 51,116 1,080 1,375
    1995 565,902 32,025 51,272 1,104 1,392
    1996 563,007 29,130 51,410 1,095 1,373
    1997 558,052 24,175 51,560 1,082 1,351
    1998 553,435 19,558 51,720 1,070 1,327
    1999 553,532 19,655 51,933 1,066 1,320
    2000 537,877 4,000 52,140 1,032 1,266
    2001 532,498 -1,379 52,360 1,017 1,236
    2002 535,356 1,479 52,602 1,018 1,231
    2003 539,151 5,274 52,863 1,020 1,232
    2004 514,250 -19,627 53,152 968 1,163
    2005 512,993 -20,884 53,575 958 1,144
    2006 502,599 -31,278 53,951 932 1,104
    2007 504,052 -29,825 54,387 927 1,092
    2008 509,090 -24,787 54,842 928 1,092
    2009 491,348 -42,529 55,235 890 1,034
    2010 493,242 -40,635 55,692 886 1,017
    2011 484,367 -49,510 56,171 862 979
    2012 499,331 -34,546 56,568 883 987
    2013 506,790 -27,087 56,948 890 986
    2014 501,424 -32,453 57,409 873 953
    2015 529,655 -4,222 57,885 915 993
    2016 525,048 -8,829 58,381 899 967
    2017 533,253 -624 58,745 908 965
    2018 541,589 7,712 59,116 916 965
    2019 530,841 -3,036 59,440 893 925
    2020 608,002 74,125 59,829 1,016 1,044

    533,877 36K

    1. I could not quite understand your table. I realise formatting may be lost in posting, but there appear to be 5 numbers listed for each year, but the caption only mentions 4.

  22. You actually mentioned in your article another reason the U.S. had a higher mortality during the Covid wars, and that is that, in comparison with Sweden, Americans are not as healthy, and have a higher obese population. This makes them more susceptible to the detrimental effects of Covid.

  23. Dear Sebastian, look at the twitter account and/or the web site for The Ethical Sceptic. He is looking at this issue of excess deaths in the US above that from Covid that arose during the pandemic. I think life insurance companies are also aware of the issue…


  24. As always, a brilliant post. Please allow me to suggest that comparing Sweden to the U.S. may not be the best comparison. In addition to the health problems others have mentioned, Sweden has National Health. I would love to see you do the comparison between Sweden and other, more similar countries; ones that were similar but had lockdowns.

  25. Excellent analysis of Swedish covid deaths. One thing that i think needs to be pointed out is the disastrous metabolic health of the average American compared to the average Swede which also likely spiked the higher U.S mortality numbers.
    Either way, Covid has been a catastrophe for the world economy and the people who have lived through these draconian lockdowns, but a bonanza for big Pharma and other profiteers. I hope a reckoning will come but I doubt it.

    1. If I understand Sebastian’s posting.

      The “spike” in American deaths you refer to is not quite the comparison between US and Sweden as many here seem to be thinking/confusing. The “spike” is a comparison of excess deaths in America to America, i.e., US yearly deaths increasing pre-Covid to post-Covid and the percentage rise over what might be expected without the added burden of Covid (and lockdowns/restrictions). So American’s ill health is a constant. Americans were a sickly lot before and during Covid.

      However, looking at deaths *just* attributable to Covid (we have those data), Sweden’s death rate during Covid is up .16% and US .27% (directly attributable to Covid deaths). So this might indicate a sicker population or worse care, or whatever—but that not Sebastian’s point.

      The point is, how did the *entire* death rate vary/compare between countries during Covid. For Sweden, it was a 1% increase. For the US it as an 18% increase! We would expect—naively—that comparing the death excesses due to Covid, the US might have *overall* excess death perhaps 2x’s Sweden’s, but the CDC stat’s show 18x’s higher for the US!

      So what’s the obvious difference between these two countries to account for overall death rate differences of such magnitude? The obvious one would be the reactions to the epidemic—US: lockdowns, masks, quarantine, hospital shutdowns, delayed surgery and diagnostics, etc. vs Sweden’s relatively laid back response and lack of these draconian/fruitless measures, which as pointed out allowed society their society to continue on with some normalcy.

      1. “The obvious one would be the reactions to the epidemic—US: lockdowns, masks, quarantine, hospital shutdowns, delayed surgery and diagnostics,”

        The severity of lockdowns varied widely between states. There was no correlation between lockdowns and excess mortality on a state level.

        Delayed procedures were a likely cause of some of the mortality. Also hospital hesitancy. Drug and alcohol abuse, too. And vaccines.

  26. I think you need to take into account than people in the US are probably metabolically sicker than the Swedes ( more obesity/ diabetes)

    1. But that is already accounted for, since we are comparing change in each country with itself over time in the first step. Unless metabolic health changed drastically in the US between 2019 and 2020, it can’t explain the difference. And if metabolic health did change meaningfully between 2019 and 2020 it would most likely be due to lockdowns – the government closing gyms and telling people to stay at home and avoid other people.

      1. So, to check whether lockdown is the culprit, we should have another enforced lockdown in a “clean” year which follows a prior “clean” year.

  27. Thank you, Sebastian, great analysis!
    If only the US were paying attention to more than then income generated by the presence of an ongoing “pandemic”.

  28. Sebastian,

    again, an excellent post, thanks.

    I just want to point you at this interesting analysis of the dis-/reappearance of the flu, in case you haven’t seen it already:

    According to the author, and I endorse his epxlanation, Sweden has developed an early general self-immunity to Covid exactly because of mild confinement measures. As a result, the flu is now back and rampant over there as it always has been, but deaths attributed to covid are going down the drain.


  29. Very good article.
    I think it would be fairer possible to say that it is a hypothesis that lockdowns are the cause of the differences seen in covid vs all cause mortality between Sweden and the US.
    American citizens may have reacted very differently to Swedes to the whole situation. It seems a much more polarised society, in politics, wealth disparity, culture wars etc. Other cause mortality may have increased much more significantly in the US with changes in alcohol and drug abuse, suicides, etc. It may be a bit premature to fix solely on lockdowns.

    1. Thanks! In lockdowns I include the official fear propaganda that has been used to motivate lockdowns, and associated behaviour changes. If alcohol and drug abuse and suicides have gone up massively in the US during the pandemic, it seems reasonable to assume that those increases are due to the lockdowns and fear mongering, and therefore to place responsibility for those increases at the feet of the responsible politicians and public health officials.

  30. Very interesting analysis–thanks. But what about the possibility that–in addition to some excess deaths facilitated to the lockdowns from causes such as drug overdoses etc.–the U.S. simply undercounted the true number of Covid deaths. By attributing the excess deaths all to lockdown policies aren’t you assuming that the data is accurate? Perhaps Sweden simply did a much better job of counting Covid deaths?

    And the difference in mortality rates between the countries could largely be attributed to Sweden’s overall healthier and more vaccinated population.

    1. I think it’s unlikely that many covid deaths have been missed, because covid kills slowly. People who die of covid get worse gradually over the course of a few weeks, so there is plenty of time to get to the hospital, and they therefore usually spend the last 7-14 days of their lives in the hospital.

  31. Other reasons for the higher American covid mortality, I believe, are the facts that 67% of us are over-weight & 36% obese plus the inadequate, privatized and extremely expensive “medical-insurance-pharmaceutical-industrial complex”. This, from the perspective of a retired psychologist from the University of North Carolina Dept. of Psychiatry-Chapel Hill-NC, who was clinically-trained in the Dartmouth Dept. of Psychiatry, Hanover, NH & has been inside American medicine since the 50’s together with my late husband, who became Chair of ENT at Dartmouth. Besides, as a lean, fit “senior”, who swims an hour of laps every other day & who has absolutely refused to be “muzzled” except for basic needs such as medical care, food or flying…I have enjoyed excellent health throughout this “pandemania” and have stayed sane thanks to “gold standard” sources such as the Swiss Policy Research , Sebastian’s column, where I’ve just become a “patreon” & his courageous country, Sweden. Grazie mille!

    1. Love reading your spirit shining through this comment Jean. I too am smile free and jab free, and you could not pay me enough to change my status. I have spent the bulk of my adult years fine tuning my health, so why would I want to cash in all that personally honed investment to take the risk of injury and death at the hands of an unnecessary properly tested genetic serum???

  32. Thank you for the article!
    Yet I wonder why did you choose the US to compare Sweden with? Regarding restrictions, more and more US states lifted them like Florida did, so we’d need to compare those states with the other ones first, right?
    If you had compared Sweden to Germany which had almost similar Covid infection curves, you’d see quite some excess mortality there, both in 2020 and in 2021. The graphic shows deaths during 2020 (blue) and 2021 (red) compared to the daily average of 2016-2019. The flood catastrophe in july 2021 is marked, as is the start of the vaccination campaign in late december 2020, and the begin of the booster in late summer 2021.
    Germany is one of the countries with more severe restrictions over the whole pandemic.
    The graphic is taken from this article:

      1. In case this is relevant or helpful, I would imagine John Campbell (of YT channel fame) would be an excellent and helpful source of US data.

  33. One interesting factor that can be important to look at is that maybe it is much more common in the US than Sweden that people have obesitas, which might be a riskfactor for death. Maybe that can also be an explanation for the higher deatrates in the US compared to Sweden?

  34. Thanks for this article. Being in Germany, I really can’t wait for the day until the scandinavian way of reacting to the current situation with Omikron is finally coming to our politicians mind.

    In Germany there are also a bunch of people (especially parents) that are afraid of negative long-term consequences after an infection with Covid-19 for their children, namely PIMS and Long Covid. So they demand a strict handling of the pandemic situation with possibilities to teach their children at home and so on, all for the goal to spare their kids the infection or at least, giving them time to vaccinate them three (yes three….) times for “best protection” against those feared consequences.

    Regarding the swedish way of handling the pandemic, especially with children, I wonder: Do you see high amounts of PIMS cases or Long Covid in children in Sweden? I would really appreciate an article about this topic.

    Thanks very much for your information in those days!

  35. Thank you, Sebastian! A most timely and as always, a most informative and useful scientific analysis.
    Thank you agein, from the heart!

  36. Ah, but will Sweden still require the vaccine or a negative test result to gain entry to the country? Because, until those restrictions are gone, people still won’t be free to move around as in the past.

  37. One explanation maybe that the prevalence of obesity and diabetes 2 as well as other chronic diseses are much greater in the USA than in Sweden.

  38. First, thank you Sebastian! Another great piece.

    The US locked down schools then allow children back with many states requiring masks. Our pediatric mortality adjusted for population was 57% higher than Sweden’s. That means the needless death of over 300 children. If only we would have followed Sweden. And that doesn’t even include the collateral suicides or educational carnage.
    Humans are social beings and designed for locomotion. Sitting at home being isolated is debilitating. Fear, a chronic stressor, depresses immune systems; we have had plenty starting with the drawing of the COVID-19 virus with evil blood sucking spikes. Even the Darth Vadar spaceship in Star Wars was only 1/2 as scary!
    Worse yet was the collapse of science under the weight of partisan politics. The following Substack bears it out.
    Keep up the good work. Your book was excellent. Too bad Fauci did not read it;he had no time available with his busy media schedule. We suffered.

  39. Another excellent analysis, Dr. Rushworth. On a different (though covid-related) topic, I wonder what your thoughts are on the efficacy and safety of ozone therapy as a treatment for covid-19 and other viral maladies. I am not a physician and have no firm position on the issue, though my impression is that randomized trials would be worth trying.

  40. What changed between 2020 and 2021?

    Lockdowns occurred in 2020 in the US and were lifted in most states by 2021

    Vaccinations were rolled out in 2021

    Premature mechanical ventilation in 2020 in the US contributed to mortality, but these are small numbers.

    Anecdotally, my vascular surgeon buddy saw an increase in new onset clotting issues in middle-aged vaccinated patients.

    Drinking alcohol was likely up, with associated drop in vitamin D levels, which will impact both acute infectious diseases and chronic disease.

    I suspect that a combination of 1) postponing “elective” procedures that led to increased deaths from chronic diseases (heart attack, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease), 2) unnoticed vaccine deaths from PEs and heart attacks, and 3) suicides are prominent contributing factors.

  41. Sebastian, thanks for the continuing great work. Any chance you can contrast Sweden with Canada? We are at wit’s end, friends separating, families divided because some believe the government’s distorted view of “the science” and others believe in observation and review of data. Protests across our country by common folk are being met with arrogance by our supreme leader whilst doctors are being muzzled. Any peaceful tips from anyone on how to end this?

  42. Based on your analysis, it seems that vaccines played very little role.

    On the other hand, Tegnell said in the Unherd interview (Sep 2021):

    “I think the big change, since we talked last time, is really the vaccinations. There, we really found the tool that’s going to make the difference. And all the other things we have tried are not going to be very important anymore, because reaching and achieving a high vaccination level is the one way we can get out of this pandemic. There does not seem to be any other way, really.”

    What is your take?

    Will we ever be able to objectively say what role vaccines played? By the time vaccines were rolled out:
    most vulnerable people either caught it or died, many people either caught it or were at least exposed to it (so the innate immune system was being trained), and the virus mutated and became less virulent.

  43. I would love to hear your views on the actual efficacy of the vaccines.
    I’ve been seeing lots of graphs and articles in the MSM boasting the proof of the efficacy including one from NSW which was showing the difference in vaccinated vs unvaccinated deaths which was quite impressive however but the age group they used was the over 50’s.
    Ive been reading a bit about healthy vaccinee bias and also reading your articles and learning how you look at around, through and behind this information to get closer to the truth, Im convinced these results are far too simplistic to be taken at face value. Ive been looking at the ONS figures and the ASMR information on it but its all quite confusing with so many variables for myself as a layman.

  44. Dr Rushworth discounts the vaccines as being a potential cause for the difference.
    Perhaps he is unaware that some batches of the vaccines are seen to be highly lethal whilst others are effectively inert.
    The former Vice President of Pfizer, Dr Mike Yeadon, has discussed this finding with the lawyer Reinhard Fullmich.
    Perhaps Sweden was allocated inert batches rather than the toxic ones?

    1. The 2 links you have posted are to sites that essentially have the scientific status of gossip. Scientific discussion should be on publications that report the data. In particular, a common fallacy with VAERS is to assume causation from association. Complex analysis is needed to distinguish a true signal of causation from events that would have occurred anyway.

      1. Is Johns Hopkins now being accused of mongering gossip? [wry grin]

        You might instead wonder about Simpson’s Paradox or waning immunity.

        Here’s some interesting gossip about 2021 trends in US causes of mortality:

        Chronic lower respiratory disease deaths -12%.

        Alzheimer’s -4.5%

        Cancer -1.8%

        Heart disease +1%

        Perhaps the drops in Chronic lower respiratory, Alzheimer’s, and cancer deaths were simply counted in the covid bucket.

        stroke +5.4%

        diabetes +12.25%

        kidney disease +1.8%

        influenza/pneumonia +12.24%

        septicemia deaths +3.3%

        ! Have a look at the deaths by age chart!

      2. @ asdgamer

        Neither of the links posted are from Johns Hopkins University. There is a chart copied from their site and then some unsubstantiated interpretation from the website owner. I think you need to read the posts a bit more carefully.
        Simpsons paradox and waning immunity -? what relevance are they? Are you just trying to be clever?
        Nor can I understand what conclusions can be made from all that raw data concerning the various causes of deaths in the US.

      3. iank,

        “unsubstantiated interpretation”…in science this is called “discussion”

        “Simpsons paradox and waning immunity -? what relevance are they? Are you just trying to be clever?”

        I think that they are relevant to Berenson’s discussion of the data. I think that he’s incorrect in his interpretation.

        “Nor can I understand what conclusions can be made from all that raw data concerning the various causes of deaths in the US.”

        What does the raw data tell us?

        Poisonings and suicides were in line with historical trends.

        Covid continued as a major cause of death from 2020.

        Stroke was up, which may be significant.

        Chronic disease was in line with historical trends, with a few exceptions.

        Working age deaths were up markedly and had to mostly be uncategorized.

        There was a divergence of about 6% in change in deaths between 1-4 y.o. and 5-14 y.o., which may be significant.

        From insurance companies, we know that working age deaths are mostly non-covid and up about 40%.

        The data doesn’t support my lack of care hypothesis nor Dr. Rushworth’s shutdown hypothesis to explain the excess mortality. But it _does_ support the “martians with ray guns” hypothesis. The cause of about 217,000 US working-age deaths in 2021 is unknown. (Yes, I had to do a little arithmetic to arrive at that figure.)

        Covid was the biggest epidemiological event in 2021. What came in second?

      4. I thought about the data some more. Deaths in 85+ y.o. were down 14% from 2020, which 1s 150,000. Deaths in 75-84 y.o. was down about 25,000. So the contribution of the 85 y.o. group and the next older group to various categories where their deaths were normally assigned was down as well. Yet many of those categories didn’t drop from 2020. Heart attacks were up marginally and cancer was down marginally, so maybe deaths in the younger groups were assigned to those categories. The numbers begin to make sense.

        Now we just wonder why people in the younger groups were dying in unusually high numbers of heart attacks and cancer. And stroke! Caused by clotshots?

        The 85+ cohort likely contributed the majority of the covid deaths, with correspondingly fewer deaths spread out in other categories, which would have had to have been filled by younger cohorts.

        Chronic respiratory disease deaths were down a huge amount likely because so many died of covid. And we wouldn’t expect younger groups to suddenly develop CRD.

        The large increase in diabetes deaths is puzzling.

    2. I saw a couple of errors in my data massaging and fixed them. Now it looks like there were 137,500 US more deaths ages 15-64 in 2021 than in 2020. There were 150,000 fewer deaths ages 85+ in 2021 than in 2020 and the geriatric diseases were generally in line with 2020, except for chronic lower respiratory disease which was down in line with the decline in deaths ages 85+. This means, of course, that the numbers in the other geratric disease categories had to be drawn from younger ages. Heart disease, cancer, and stroke, primarily.

      1. And I should mention that the death numbers for 2021 are likely to increase as the CDC updates its records, so my analysis is limited in time regarding accuracy.

  45. Seems like you are talking about sweden from 100 years ago 😉

    I suppose you’d be surprised to learn that Sweden is one of the more densely populated and urbanised countries in Europe. Tanking #8 with an urbanisation level of +80% according to Eurostat.
    Way above the neighbouring countries (Dennark and Norway is at 68%) and close to Belgium, Italy and Switzerland.

    1. Not sure why my commen landed at the bottom… It is in reply to:
      Tich Marsh – 5 February, 2022 at 08:26

  46. Thank you for once again giving a sober, thoughtful and helpful analysis. On a related note, my wife (whose parents were from Sweden) named our new puppy Tor Bjorn (last name = Anderson). I amended the name to: Tor Bjorn Sebastian Anderson in your honor. Lol. This is a 100% true story, doctor. Cheers!

  47. Interesting data and comments. Everything is very reasonable except the last paragraphs. Important demographic, wealth and institutional differences between US and Sweden are multiple and could possibly explain the different mortality rates. This is why it would be more revealing to perform the comparison among similar countries that followed different public policies to combat covid-19: Sweden on one side and Norway/Denmark on the other are obvious choices.

    1. I beg to differ on one point: Danemark, Norway and Sweden are very different countries.
      No only regarding geography and size, but also when it comes to economy, politics, habits and legislation.

      Besides, Swedes are not blondes anymore. The population has almost doubled since that was almost true.

  48. Great article, Dr. Rushworth. However to meaningfully compare death rates between the U.S. and Sweden I believe you would need to adjust for demographic differences. Differences in obesity could be significant as other commenters have noted. But we also know that Covid mortality is not distributed evenly across all ages, races and ethnicities. I suspect there are significant differences between the U.S. and Sweden in these categories as well. Lockdowns have been a disaster, but they may not account for all of the differences in mortality.

  49. It seems clear that lockdowns caused more harm than good and contributed to higher rate of excess death in US, but the question is: How many unnecessary deaths caused by denying early threatment of Covid patients, banning off label effective medicines like Ivermectin and recommending usage of deadly drugs like Remdevisir for hospitalized Covid patients? How many of them whom officially declared as Covid19 victims are actually lost their lives because of wrong government policy?

  50. Dr. Rushworth,

    The epidemiological data from shows a 17% increase in US deaths ages 15-64 in 2021 over 2020, amounting to 137,500. (You will have to massage the data to arrive at the 137,500 figure.)

    An Indiana life insurance executive reported on what his industry is seeing, saying that the industry sees a 40% increase in working age deaths, but he also asserts that the increase is _not_ due to covid.

    So the 137,500 figure is a floor and the ceiling might be twice that–275,000. That would be a little less than 10% of US deaths.

    Using the process of elimination, are we forced to conclude that covid vaccines were responsible for the _huge_ increase in US working age deaths in 2021?

    I’d expect that it would be worth a post to look at this data.

      1. 2021 statistics showed normal levels for suicides and poisonings and murders and accidental deaths over 2020. And 2020 was pretty much in line with 2019, except for covid deaths.

        The only major unusual factors in 2021 that affected large swaths of the US population were covid and covid vaccinations.

      2. @theasdgamer

        We have managed to avoid your detection systems and killed large numbers of your workers in order to weaken you before we invade.

        The Martians (with invisible ray guns)

  51. Great analysis. What is fascinating to me is Utah’s death rate from Covid is about half of the total USA’s. There are many people there with ancestry from Scandinavia (due to Church of Jesus Christ’s missionary work and subsequent migration to Utah). They also had a less strict lockdown, low mask wearing, and have lower Covid “immunizations” than the rest of the USA. It would be interesting to see a comparison between Utah and Sweden (or any other country for that matter).

    1. I would expect that Mormons also tend to have higher vitamin D levels than the general US population. Mormons are about a third of the Utah population and are a younger group due to having lots of kids. The median age of Utah is low.

      Utah has a low death rate per million, but that seems to be due to its lower age. If the death rate were to be adjusted by age, I’d expect Utah to trend closer to the norm for the US. Even though the Utah Dept. of Health suggests HCQ, I doubt that many PCPs treat patients with it in Utah. The Utah Board of Pharmacy’s guidance looks very negative, but it doesn’t prohibit prescription. However, I doubt that many Utah pharmacists would fill a doctor’s order. It could be gotten round, tho.

      It’s worth repeating that the FDA’s negative guidance on HCQ is based on a fraudulent, retracted Lancet article which the FDA never revisited after the Lancet article was retracted. Which, of course, stinks to high heaven.

      The stink needs airing.

      Filed under “Public Health Moral Incompetence.”

  52. There is factor that you forget Sebastian: The birth rate in Sweden dropped dramatically from 1910 to mid 1930´s, bottoming out at around 1,7 in 1934. This means that the portion of population that is over 80 0r 85 years have never been so low as after around 2008 and until 2019-2020. Since birth rate started to pick up after mid 1930´s , it was actually expected that the mortality per 100000 population was supposed to increase starting around 2018-2019 and reach 1 per 100000 population around 2025.
    So the decreased mortaliliy rate seen during the 21st century in Sweden is not only because the increased life expectancy.

    1. Nja, förändringen är i hög grad driven av ökande livslängd. Om man ser till dödsfallens fördelning per år så var ca 40-45% av alla dödsfallen barn 0-7 är fram till 1800-talets början. Första halvan av 1800-talet ser sedan en sakta minskning i barnadödligheten och 1850 är cirka 35% av alla dödsfall barn 0-7 år. Gruppen 60+ är stabilt 25% av alla dödsfall under denna period. Den riktigt stora förändringen inträffar mellan 1850 och 1950 i samband med införandet av rent vatten, avlopp och tryggare livsmedelsförsörjning. 1950 är barnadödligheten (gruppen 0-7 år) nere i cirka 5% av alla dödsfall och gruppen 60+ utgör nu 75% av alla dödsfall. Förändringen följer inte årskullarna, utan den relativa ökningen av *överlevande* barn, alltså ökningen av medellivslängden som Sebastian nämner. Sannolikt kommer denna förskjutning av död till personer som ligger nära maximal livslängd innebära att vi kommer att se större interannuella svängningar i mortalitet vid lite allvarligare ILI-epidemier (typ SARS-CoV-2). Svängningar som mera påminner om de i gruppen 85+, eftersom de kommer att utgöra en allt större del av dödsfalln. Idag är cirka 93% av alla dödsfall i gruppen 60+, och 30% i gruppen 85+.

  53. The relatively low 2021 deaths in your first chart could be due to excess deaths in 2020 – I suspect this year will be back to 2014-2018 levels.

  54. It looks like Pfizer is preparing its shareholders for some bad news about safety data…

    “Pfizer Quietly Adds Language Warning That ‘Unfavorable Pre-Clinical, Clinical Or Safety Data’ May Impact Business”

    This is just the beginning. Countries have started to put the brakes on Pfizer’s covid vaccine.

    If fraud can be proved, then Pfizer’s legal protection from liability for their experimental vaccines goes out the window.

    Just think of all the doctors who recommended that their patients get the clotshots.

  55. Of all that i have read so far in English, Esperanto, French or Swedish i miss a comparision with the only country which initially persued a really different approach, namely Belarus.
    I wrote “initially” because Belarus seems to have joined the vaccine rally.

    As far as i can collect, Belarus was the only European country that – unlike Sweden – REALLY imposed no lockdown and whose leadership refused to engage in fearmongering.
    (As i know no Russian i have no idea of what the local media dished out; neither do i know what reach/ impact foreign scaremongering media – Sputniknews for exemple – have in that country. Considering that most young faced-covered people in Uppsala are Asians, foreign media might have an impact also in Belarus.)

    What kind of treatments and medications were used in Belarus; which were allowed, which were banned, which were not available due to vestern “sanctions”; who pays for what, etc would be quite interesting to read about prior to comparisons.

    PS: Jag har först i år läst din bok (andra upplagan).
    Du klokt undviker minfälten och ger oss helt oinvigda en mycket värdefull inblick i vad som är väsentligt att akta sig för.
    Jag jämför gärna med “Que sais-je?” serien.
    När datainsamlingen och bearbetningen av rådatan har mognat nog för att det skall bli möjligt att börja att dra slutsatser får du mer än gärna ge dig i kast med en uppföljning.

    Det finns dock ett mycket stort problem: de som tror på goja vägrar att informera sig. Jag häpnade när en pensionerad mattelärare – vapenvägrare som ung, alltså inte vilken Jante som helst – vägrade att ta över din bok.

  56. It would be interesting to see the figures for suicide. I live in Singapore and I understand the suicide rate here is over 200% up over the lock down period due to the lock down and people losing their jobs etc. Surely this excess should be offset against the covid deaths?

  57. This is why we should take official figures with several grains of salt.

    ” Massachusetts health department admits ‘significant overcount’ of COVID-19 deaths — and the number could still be much too high”

    “Massachusetts has applied this new definition retroactively to the start of the pandemic in March 2020. As a result, 4,081 deaths in Massachusetts that were previously counted as associated with COVID will be removed. In addition, approximately 400 deaths not previously counted but identified through a manual process of matching death certificates with medical records will be added to the COVID-19 death count. The state’s overall COVID death count, therefore, will decline by 3,700. ”

    1. Fine piece of propaganda masquerading as science.
      If the natural immunity is inferior to the vaccinated as it claims, how can it explain the double or triple vaccinated getting covid while the recovered, vaccinated or not, don’t?

      1. Indeed. It will take time to read carefully given other things I have to work on but as I see it, sars-cov-2 does kill those with poor immune response and other diseases like diabetes. The overall mortality in European countries including Sweden is very similar, so the point is Sweden avoided social and economic disruption with no statistically significant difference in mortality that cannot be explained (e.g. poor survival in care homes).

  58. I think what happened in Britain is relevant. Late last year COVID stats were rising and the country was resigned to suffering yet another wrecked Christmas. By pure luck, our “Partygate” scandal broke and it was politically impossible for Boris to lock us down again, despite dir earnings about the spread of COVID over the festive season.

    However, in the new year, COVID cases were actually falling. If we had been locked down, this would have been claimed as the the benefit of lockdown, but as it was we finally knew the truth!

    The whole world should have followed Sweden, but stupidly it hasn’t.

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