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Sweden Cared More About Islamophobia Than Saving Elderly in Nursing Homes From Coronavirus
“Many of the people working in nursing homes are from other countries, they’re refugees.”
By Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
The debate over the Swedish model has been concentrated around whether countries should battle the coronavirus pandemic by locking down everything or adopting the more liberal approach. This debate is as irrelevant to the actual causes of coronavirus deaths as the inhabitants of Constantinople debating whether angels have genders while the Islamic invaders were preparing to breach the city walls.
Preventing teenagers from going to the beach, as many American states and European countries have chosen to do, is going to have a very limited impact on a disease that is killing people in nursing homes.
While Sweden does have a higher rate of virus deaths than Norway or Finland, it’s not because the bars are open. 90% of the dead in Sweden were over 70 and half of them lived in special housing.
Sweden has a higher rate of deaths in care homes than Norway or Finland, and lockdown enthusiasts have struggled to explain why keeping bars open would be killing people in housing for the elderly.
But there is a crucial difference between Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish care homes.
A decade ago, in Sweden, 13% of the workers in care homes were immigrants, while only 5% in Norway and 1% in Finland were. Currently, 28% of care home workers in Sweden are foreigners, but in Stockholm, where the real dying has occurred, 55% of the care home workers are foreign immigrants.
Stockholm has been ground zero for the outbreak with more deaths than the rest of the country combined. And half of those deaths took place in care homes making for a very troubling pattern.
In an interview, Johan Giesecke, Sweden’s former Chief Epidemologist and Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), let slip the formerly unspeakable.
Giesecke admitted that Sweden had failed to protect the elderly, and noted that, “many of the people working in nursing homes are from other countries, they’re refugees or asylum seekers.”
The epidemiologist then suggested that many of them might not understand Swedish and may not have been aware of what precautions they should be taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
He also noted that Sweden tended to have larger nursing homes than Norway. While he did not say so, in a larger facility, a staff member can potentially spread the virus around to far more residents.
Anders Tegnell, the current state epidemiologist, the Fauci of Sweden, a cult figure whose face appears on everything from smartphone covers to tattoos and caps, dismissed the suggestion that immigrants, who have a much higher rate of coronavirus, could be responsible as, “purely speculative.”
He also insisted that, “we’d best not point fingers” yet for the death toll in Sweden’s nursing homes.
Sweden has a higher death toll than Norway or Finland, but it also has a far higher immigrant population. Finland’s much smaller immigrant population may be one reason why its pandemic never really got off the ground. Not only does Sweden have a larger immigrant population, but it has an especially sizable percentage of an immigrant population that appears most vulnerable to the virus.
In early April, some medical experts estimated that Somalis represented 40% of the coronavirus deaths in Stockholm and 18% of the death toll in Sweden. That may be because of Stockholm’s first 15 coronavirus deaths, 6 of those who died were Somalis. The Somalis have been followed by Iraqis, Syrians, and Afghans as being significantly overrepresented among the ranks of coronavirus cases.
Stockholm’s immigrant suburbs were some of the hardest hit by the pandemic. In Rinkeby-Kista, where almost the entire district is populated by immigrants, infection rates were twice as high as the rest of Stockholm. Rinkeby is home to Somalis, Iraqis, Pakistanis, and Moroccans. The area has been a hub for violent Islamic riots, hateful mosques, and secret memberships in Islamic terrorist groups.
In early April, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health revealed that immigrants made up 1 in 5 cases of the virus and that 1 in 100 Somalis in Norway had tested positive for the virus. A week later, it was 1 in 4. Somalis made up 6% of confirmed cases. And in Helsinki, Finland, Somalis accounted for 17% of cases.
The coronavirus is a recent phenomenon and we don’t have all the answers as to why some groups appear to be more vulnerable to it than others. Researchers have proposed varying explanations for Somali vulnerability from ethnic benign neutropenia, to low vitamin D levels, dense living conditions, intergenerational households, high rates of smoking, and poor language skills.
It’s difficult to know whether any or all of these might be potentially relevant.
In an International Center for Violent Extremism survey, some Somalis blamed a refusal to take health warnings seriously. One respondent from Stockholm claimed that the community had been listening “to wrong information with extremist ideas from religion (sic) scholars”.
“When it comes to immigrant communities, we have established good communication with them,” Tegnell had said.
But communications are not the same thing as compliance.
Sweden’s relaxed social distancing depended on the country’s communal values. But immigration had undermined those communal values which assumed that most people care about the welfare of others. An immigrant population that did not see itself as part of the larger national community might not care enough to take the steps needed to avoid infecting people in restaurants or nursing homes.
Another Somali living in Sweden related that, “a former colleague called me, who had a cold and flu and COVID-19 symptoms. He was told to remain in the house, but yet went out and visited restaurants in Bellevue, Gothenburg to relax and socialize. My friend said, the Somalis were still there.”
“Many people said that this disease is only meant to kill for non-Muslims thus, it cannot affect Muslims,” a third Somali living in Sweden said. “I’ve watched shows from Somali National TV televised where the reporter asked people playing and socializing at Lido beach in Mogadishu if they are unaware of corona virus. So many of those people answered, ‘We are Muslims! This disease will only kill non-believers.’”
Islamic clerics have indeed spread the message that the pandemic is meant to kill non-Muslims.
“Thank you corona!” an Egyptian Imam had even been caught on video, while praying that, “Allah, relieve the Islamic nation of the coronavirus, and use it to annihilate the infidels.”
There are no definitive answers as to the exact cause of the outbreak among Muslim immigrants. But Swedish authorities knew early on that it was more prevalent among certain immigrant groups and yet did nothing to protect the elderly Swedes living in care homes from a migrant care worker population.
Any such steps would have been seen as Islamophobic.
Sweden, like other European countries, chose political correctness over the lives of its people. And the elderly, who had given the most to their children and grandchildren, paid the price.