How ironic! The same day (Aug. 6) that the Sunday LNP | LancasterOnline published a rebuke of Congressman Lloyd Smucker because Smucker stated that the newspaper is “no longer a trusted news source for the readers of Lancaster County,” the Perspective section published a New York Times op-ed in which writer Nicholas Kristof seemingly gave at least two false pieces of information.

Kristof wrote that “Sweden ... has had a significantly higher per capita death toll than the United States.” Kristof also wrote that Sweden’s approach to the pandemic (no lockdown, no heavy-handed mandates, schools and businesses continued to be open) “resulted in very high mortality and substantial economic damage.”

The truth? Sweden (with a population of 10.29 million) has had 5,837 deaths from COVID-19. Deaths divided by total population equal 0.00057.

The United States (with a population of 330.15 million) has had, as of this writing, 188,513 deaths from COVID-19. Deaths divided by total population equal 0.00057.

I’m not sure how Sweden’s commonsense response caused “substantial economic damage,” either. It has allowed the virus to work its way through the population as well, fighting it instead of hiding from it.

We get to enter flu season with weakened immune systems and a false sense of control. In my opinion, we should have been busy strengthening our immune systems. I won’t even begin to counter Kristof’s strange conclusion that we should keep doing what we have been doing, but with more intensity. That sounds like the definition of “insanity.”

Lori Longenecker

Mount Joy Township

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