Sweden's coronavirus response protects its economy

Swedish official Ann Linde says government feels it's unhealthy to force citizens to stay inside

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Unlike the U.S. and most other industrialized countries, Sweden decided not to shut down the country--and its economy--to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The country's Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde explained why on FOX Business' "WSJ at Large."

“We don’t believe in lockdown in that way,” Linde said. “We want people to be outdoors if they don’t have any symptoms as long as they keep the social distance."

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Linde added Sweden’s government feels it’s unhealthy to force citizens to avoid going out in public and allowing people the freedom to move about has been successful.

“We have managed to flatten the curve, and we think that our strategy is working,” she argued. “And we believe it’s much better for people to be outside and not locked in their home for the public health.”

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Without the lockdown, Sweden's death rate from COVID-19 is below that of many European nations although higher than the U.S.

The minister noted Sweden still faced the same problems with the virus as other countries and implemented a multipronged effort to deal with it.

“We tried to work with four different goals in mind,” she pointed out. “Not to spread the virus, but also to mitigate the impact on jobs and businesses and to provide security for those who lose their jobs and also to tackle social problems.”

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But Linde wouldn’t go so far as to suggest the U.S. change what it’s doing.

“My government really believes this is the way that works for Sweden,” she explained. “And then, I’m sure that every government is doing what is best for them. And this is the way we are handling it.”

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So why is Sweden able to do what other countries aren’t?

“We trust each other,” she said. “The people trust the authorities and the authorities trust the people. And I think that’s one of the biggest differences.”

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