Anders Tegnell is leaving his post as Chief Epidemiologist of Sweden to take up a role at the World Health Organisation. Reuters has the story.
The man who became the face of Sweden’s no-lockdown pandemic policy, Anders Tegnell, is stepping down as chief epidemiologist to take up a role at the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Swedish Health Agency said on Wednesday.
Tegnell, whose almost daily news conferences had Swedes glued to their screens for much of the pandemic, will become a senior expert at a WHO group tasked with coordinating the Covid vaccine response between health and vaccine organisations.
Tegnell proved a polarising figure at the Health Agency. He was forced to have police protection after he and his family received death threats but his face has also featured on T-shirts with the slogan “In Tegnell we trust”. Some people even got Tegnell tatoos…
When much of the world scrambled to lock down as the coronavirus spread like wildfire in winter and spring 2020, Sweden stood out by opting for mild and voluntary measures. It kept schools open while most restaurants, bars and other businesses never shut. Mask were never recommended.
Tegnell, 65, argued that lockdowns were not sustainable and that voluntary measures could achieve the same results without damaging the trust between authorities and the public.
I hope he wasn’t pushed out in Sweden following the official inquiry, which while affirming his general no-lockdown approach, also criticised the lack of earlier action on masks, shops and restaurants and, pointedly, criticised the Government for following his advice too closely.
Sweden has recommended against Covid vaccines for children under 11, so perhaps Tegnell will take some of that scepticism about the safety profile of these vaccines to his new role. We might also hope he will be a sceptical influence in any development of future pandemic guidance to avoid lockdowns and other draconian measures being normalised.
Worth reading in full.