A Swedish professor of epidemiology has stopped researching COVID-19 after being subjected to violent backlash over his findings that the disease poses a low threat to children – which undermines the political argument that schools cannot reopen.
Jonas Ludvigsson, professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, said he has lost sleep as a result of the “angry messages through social media and email” that attack his study and partly blame him for Sweden’s conflicting COVID-19- strategy, College Fix reported.
His research focused on children aged 1 to 16 during the first wave of the pandemic last spring, including children with “laboratory-verified or clinically verified COVID-1
Only 15 children went to the ICU – a rate of 0.77 per. 100,000, according to the report. Four had “an underlying chronic coexistence condition,” and none died.
As far as teachers ended up “less than” 30 in the ICU in the same period – a rate of about 19 per. 100,000.
Ludvigsson also noted that children did not wear face masks, while the rest of Swedish citizens were simply “encouraged” to practice social distance.
Due to the setback that Ludvigsson faced in his research, Sweden plans to increase academic freedom protection in law, according to College Fix.
Higher Education Minister Matilda Ernkrans told the British Medical Journal that the government plans to amend the Higher Education Act to ensure “that education and research are protected so that people can freely discover, research and share knowledge.”
Karolinska Institutet’s president Ole Petter Ottersen told the journal that “hateful and scornful accusations and personal attacks can not be tolerated,” whether it is against the pediatrician or other researchers who are “withdrawn[ed] from the public debate after being threatened or harassed. ”
Ludvigsson said his letter to the editor, published in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, had undergone several revisions and “formal external peer review,” including statistics.