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A New WHO COVID Report Once Again Proves Sweden Right

A New WHO COVID Report Once Again Proves Sweden Right

Authored by Ian Miller via ‘Unmasked’ Substack,

Throughout the pandemic, Sweden has…

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A New WHO COVID Report Once Again Proves Sweden Right

Authored by Ian Miller via 'Unmasked' Substack,

Throughout the pandemic, Sweden has faced an enormous amount of criticism and international pressure due to their willingness to stick to established public health principles and pre-pandemic planning.

Instead of following the incessant, anti-science groupthink that became part of a virus-induced political religion, Sweden chose instead to not impose the strict lockdowns that Dr. Fauci recently claimed were not tried in the US.

Sweden never mandated masks be worn in indoor public spaces, correctly identifying the lack of evidence supporting their use.

They kept schools open in defiance of teacher’s unions and politically motivated “experts” in the United States who advocated for a policy with zero benefits and tremendous harms.

Essentially, Sweden followed the actual science and not The Science™, with the requisite trademark and capital letters. That would include the guides that were prepared prior to the panic, inaccurate modeling, political motivations and crisis obsession took over.

Even last year it became readily apparent that no one in the media or public health establishment was willing to discuss the inarguable reality that Sweden’s results were no worse than many countries across the globe — and significantly better than many, many others.

In general, comparisons have been mainly focused on COVID specific outcomes, but now the World Health Organization, fresh off demanding authoritarian powers over sovereign nations whenever they deem necessary, has released a new report on their estimates of excess mortality.

Excess mortality is simply the number of deaths above the expected rate in a given country in a specific time frame.

Excess mortality captures all of the outcomes in a country — it’s not limited to COVID related metrics or any other specific cause.

For that reason it can often be a better indicator of the true cost of the pandemic, whether that be COVID mortality or the consequences of lockdowns, hospital policy or mental health breakdowns.

The WHO report contains many illuminating statistics from the first two years of the pandemic which illustrate that Sweden’s approach was undoubtedly the correct one; once again contradicting the expert derived “consensus” that advocates for endless restrictions on normal life.

Sweden’s relative success is easily visible when comparing thirty European countries in estimated excess mortality rate per 100,000:

Sweden ranks 25th out of the 30 countries.

24 countries had a higher excess mortality rate per 100,000.

In summary, Sweden, the country that eschewed strict lockdowns, had some of the lowest mask usage anywhere on earth, kept schools open and society functioning as much as possible, and had one of the lowest rates of overall mortality of any country in their region.

While a single graph or chart may not necessarily disprove pro-mandate arguments, this one comes remarkably close.

If lockdowns, masks and other restrictions were as important as experts and politicians preach that they are, these results should not be possible.

Countries like Germany, Portugal and the Czech Republic were all praised for having “science based” responses with strict lockdowns, and extremely high rates of mask compliance.

Portugal’s vaccine success

Germany’s “Master class in science communication”

The Czech Republic’s “Lifesaving lesson to wear masks”

Sweden vastly outperformed each of them.

But let’s dive in a bit deeper.

One of the more common refrains from mask advocates is that US states such as New York, New Jersey and others have poor cumulative results because they weren’t aware early on that masks “work,” so their policies were adjusted and spread was successfully reversed by mask mandates and other restrictions after the first wave.

However, Sweden shows the exact opposite.

Restrictions in Sweden for the entirety of 2020 and 2021 were consistently among the least authoritarian and invasive when compared to other western countries.

Once again, if mask mandates, lockdowns and strict vaccine based policies were so important and effective, we'd expect the outcomes in 2021 to be worse in Sweden, as most of the world experienced increased spread with more transmissible variants.

Instead we see the exact opposite:

Black bars indicate the 2020 rate in each country, while the orange bars are the 2021 rates.

In many European countries, excess mortality became significantly worse in 2021 despite the arrival of vaccines, the ingrained evidence-free belief in masks and widespread discriminatory vaccine passport policies. Sweden had the exact opposite results, with significantly lower rates in 2021 despite their “lax” rules.

Comparing the 2021 numbers exclusively also highlights Sweden’s success:

Although the determination of pro-mandate fanatics to exclusively compare Sweden to other Scandinavian countries is nonsensical, the 2021 excess mortality rates show Sweden with lower numbers than both Finland and Denmark.

Their numbers were also lower than a number of other countries that imposed mask mandates and strict vaccine passports like Ireland, Portugal and Greece.

Revisiting the overall chart from 2020-2021, it’s important to highlight several other countries that had much stricter rules than Sweden:

France, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy all had lockdowns, varying levels of vaccine discrimination, mask mandates and strict entry requirements.

All fared worse than Sweden.

The lockdown and mask apologists simply offered no explanation for this.

Oh sure, there are excuses and misdirections, but no actual explanations.

Yes, Sweden had higher cumulative rates than the other Scandinavian countries, but viewing them in context shows how similar they actually were, outside of Norway, which was essentially a global exception.

Norway, however, had significant rates of spread in late 2021 that would not be counted until the 2022 data is in.

In general, the Scandinavian countries were more lax than most of continental Europe regardless.

More importantly, the broader context of Europe shows how successful Sweden’s policies actually were.

Here are several notable countries and how much higher than excess mortality rates were from 2020-2021:

  • Czech Republic 229%

  • United States 163%

  • Italy 147%

  • Spain 106%

  • United Kingdom 100%

  • Germany 96%

  • Portugal 71%

  • Greece 63%

  • Netherlands 57%

  • Belgium 35%

All of these countries had much harsher restrictions than Sweden with significantly worse results.

No matter how hard they try, every available piece of data and evidence continues to contradict the assertions made by incompetent experts desperate to protect their disgraced reputations and future grants.

Masks, lockdowns and strict discrimination at nearly every indoor business were all proven to be completely ineffective, both at reducing infections and overall mortality.

Sweden’s willingness to follow science and not The Science™ meant that they limited the negative impacts of COVID while avoiding higher numbers of deaths from other lockdown-derived consequences.

The vast majority of mainstream media outlets have no interest in covering these results because it contradicts the policies they’ve strongly advocated for and consistently promoted.

CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and many other mainstream left wing publications did their best to ensure that corporations, politicians, teacher’s unions and other decision makers had the cover to enforce seemingly endless mandates.

Disturbingly, toddlers are still masked in New York City, which appears to be heading back towards mask mandates and vaccine passports (now with boosters!).

School districts across the United States have already decided to mandate masks due to a slight increase in cases.

These policies will now be an endless, reoccurring threat in anti-science areas like Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

All based on the lie that masks work. A lie that Sweden helps expose.

*  *  *

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Government

Cruise Line Drops Pre-Cruise Covid Testing Rule

The major cruise lines walk a delicate line. They need to take the actual steps required to keep their passengers safe and they also need to be aware of…

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The major cruise lines walk a delicate line. They need to take the actual steps required to keep their passengers safe and they also need to be aware of how things look to the outside public. It's a mix of practical covid policy balanced with covid theater.

You have to do the right thing -- and Royal Caribbean International (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report, and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report have been doing that with very meticulous protocols-- but you also have to show the general public you're taking the pandemic seriously. The cruise industry has been under the microscope of both public perception and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) since covid first appeared.

That's not because you're likely to get infected on a cruise ship than at a concert, sporting event, theme park, restaurant, or any other crowded space. It's because when you get sick at one of those locations nobody can pinpoint the source of your infection

Cruises last from 3 days to 7 days or even longer and that means that some people will get covid onboard and that will be blamed on the cruise industry. To mitigate that Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian have rigid protocols in place that require passengers 12 and over to be vaccinated as well as pre-cruise covid tests taken no more than two days before your cruise leaves.

Once cruise line has dropped that testing requirement (at least on a few sailings) and that could lead Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian to follow. 

Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty

Holland America Drops Some Covid Testing

As the largest cruise lines sailing from the U.S., Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian don't want to be the first to make major covid policy changes. They acted more or less in tandem when it came to loosening, then dropping mask rules and have generally followed the lead of the CDC, even when that agency's rules became optional.

Now, Holland America cruise line has dropped pre-cruise covid testing on a handful of cruises. It's a minor move, but it does provide cover and precedent for Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian to eventually do the same.

"Holland America Line becomes the first US-based cruise line to remove testing for select cruises. Unfortunately for those taking a cruise from the United States, the new protocols are only in place for certain cruises onboard the company’s latest ship, the Rotterdam, in Europe," Cruisehive reported.

The current CDC guidelines do recommend pre-cruise testing, but the cruise lines into following those rules. By picking cruises sailing out of Europe, Holland America avoids picking a fight with the federal agency just yet, but it will be able to gather data as to whether the pre-cruise testing actually helps.

Holland America has not changed its vaccination requirements for those cruises which mirror the 12-and-up rule used by Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian.

Some guests have called for the end of the testing requirement because they believe it's more theater than precaution because people can test and then contract covid while traveling to their cruise.

The Current Cruise Protocols Work

Royal Caribbean President Michael Bayley does expect changes to come in his cruise line's covid protocols, and he talked about them during Royal Caribbean's recent President's Cruise, the Royal Caribbean Blog reported.

"I think pre cruise testing is going to be around for another couple of months," Bayley told passengers during a question and answer session. "We obviously want it to go back to normal, but we're incredibly cognizant of our responsibilities to keep our crew, the communities and our guests safe."

People do still get covid onboard despite the crew being 100% vaccinated and all passengers 12 and over being vaccinated, but the protocols have worked well when it comes to preventing serious illness.

Bayley said that the CDC shared some information with him in a call.

"The cruise industry sailing out of the US ports over the past 12 months and how many people have been hospitalized with Covid and how many deaths occurred from Covid from people who'd sailed on the industry's ships, which is in the millions," he said, "And the number of people who died from COVID who'd sailed on ships over the past year was two."

That success may be why the major cruise lines are reluctant to make changes. The current rules, even if they're partially for show, have been incredibly effective.

"Two is terrible. But but but against the context of everything we've seen, that's it's truly been a remarkable success." he added.

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International

Tesla Rivals Challenge Its Lead as Nio Sets Encouraging Record

Tesla’s rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader.

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Tesla's rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader.

Electric vehicle makers have been struggling over the last two years to produce and deliver cars, trucks and SUVs despite obstacles such as supply chain disruptions, semiconductor shortages and factory shutdowns caused by the covid pandemic.

The industry's leading EV manufacturer Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report on July 2 said that plant closures at its Shanghai gigafactory in April and May and supply chain disruptions led to a smaller number of deliveries than expected in its second quarter ending June 30 with 254,695, which was 26.7% higher than the same period in 2021, but 17.7% lower than its record of 310,048 delivered in the first quarter of 2021. Analysts were originally expecting about 295,000 deliveries.

Tesla's production declined to 258,580 vehicles in the second quarter compared to 305,407 in the first quarter. It had produced 305,840 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Tesla's rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader. But they keep trying.

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Tesla Rivals Struggle to Produce and Deliver Volume of EVs

Tesla rival Nio  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. American depositary shares each representing one Class A 蔚来汽车 Report on July 1 said that it had delivered 12,961 vehicles in June for a 60.3% year-over-year increase and its highest number of monthly deliveries ever. The company also reported 25,059 EVs delivered in the three months ending June 2022, increasing by 14.4% year-over-year. Nio has delivered a cumulative 217,897 EVs as of June 30.

NIO on June 15 rolled out its ES7, a new mid-large five-seat smart electric SUV, which is the first SUV product based on NIO's latest technology platform Technology 2.0. NIO also launched the 2022 ES8, ES6 and EC6 equipped with the upgraded digital cockpit domain controller and sensing suite, enhancing the computing and perception capabilities as well as digital experience of the vehicles. The company expects to start deliveries of the ES7 and the ES8, ES6 and EC6 in August.

Chinese EV maker XPeng  (XPEV) - Get XPeng Inc. American depositary shares each representing two Class A 小鹏汽车 Report on July 1 said it delivered 15,295 vehicles in June, a 133% increase year-over-year; 34,422 in the second quarter ending June 30 for a 98% increase year-over-year and 68,983 in the first six months of the year for a 124% increase year-over year.

The Guangzhou, China-based company said in August it will begin accepting orders for its new G9 SUV with an official launch in September.

Beijing-based Li Auto  (LI) - Get Li Auto Inc. Report on July 1 said it delivered 13,024 EVs in June, a 68.9% increase year-over-year and 28,687 in the second quarter ending June 30 for a 63.2% increase year-over-year. The company on June 21 began taking orders for its Li L9 SUV and recorded 30,000 orders as of June 24, according to a statement. Test drives will begin July 16 with deliveries beginning by the end of August.

GM Follows Behind Tesla and Other Rivals

General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report had 7,300 EV sales in the second quarter, according to a July 1 statement. The Detroit automaker's sales included deliveries of the BrightDrop Zevo 600 delivery van, GMC Hummer EV pickup, and the resumption of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV production.

GM said the Cadillac Lyriq production is accelerating, with initial deliveries in process. Orders for the 2023 model year sold out within hours and preorders for the 2024 model opened on June 22.

The company said it will gradually increase production of the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV Pickup in the second half of 2022. 

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Spread & Containment

Tesla EV deliveries fall nearly 18% in second quarter following China factory shutdown

Tesla delivered 254,695 electric vehicles globally in the second quarter, a nearly 18% drop from the previous period as supply chain constraints, China’s…

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Tesla delivered 254,695 electric vehicles globally in the second quarter, a nearly 18% drop from the previous period as supply chain constraints, China’s extended COVID-19 lockdown and challenges around opening factories in Berlin and Austin took their toll on the company.

This is the first time in two years that Tesla deliveries, which were 310,048 in the first period this year, have fallen quarter over quarter. Tesla deliveries were up 26.5% from the second quarter last year.

The quarter-over-quarter reduction is in line with a broader supply chain problem in the industry. It also illustrates the importance of Tesla’s Shanghai factory to its business. Tesla shuttered its Shanghai factory multiple times in March due to rising COVID-19 cases that prompted a government shutdown.

Image Credits: Tesla/screenshot

The company said Saturday it produced 258,580 EVs, a 15% reduction from the previous quarter when it made 305,407 vehicles.

Like in other quarters over the past two years, most of the produced and delivered vehicles were Model 3 and Model Ys. Only 16,411 of the produced vehicles were the older Model S and Model X vehicles.

Tesla said in its released that June 2022 was the highest vehicle production month in Tesla’s history. Despite that milestone, the EV maker as well as other companies in the industry, have struggled to keep apace with demand as supply chain problems persist.

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