Sweden is an outlier with its coronavirus response, forgoing the strict lockdowns of its European neighbors. A new Times analysis looked at how that strategy is playing out.

While Sweden has avoided the devastating toll of outbreaks in Italy, Spain and Britain, it has also seen an extraordinary increase in deaths, mortality data show. Almost 30 percent more people than usual have died during the country’s epidemic — a far greater increase than in the rest of Scandinavia.

Maud Cordenius is a Stockholm-based journalist whose daughters still attend preschool, allowing her to work — a resource many parents around the world sorely miss. “Life here has changed, but it hasn’t ground to a halt,” she wrote in a Times Op-Ed.

Other factors are helping Sweden: low population density, a high share of single-person households, a strong public health care system and low levels of chronic diseases like obesity that have made the virus more deadly. And even without a lockdown, its economy has taken a substantial hit.

Ultimately, one demographer said: “Sweden will be judged at the finish line. But it’s a very high-stakes risk, and the consequences are people’s lives.”

But Mr. Slaoui, a former chairman of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, conceded an even longer timeline — cited by Dr. Anthony Fauci and rejected by President Trump — would still outpace what many scientists believe is possible.

“Frankly, 12 to 18 months is already a very aggressive timeline. I don’t think Dr. Fauci was wrong,” Mr. Slaoui said. He will serve as the chief adviser on the vaccine effort, and Gen. Gustave F. Perna, a four-star general who is in charge of the Army’s readiness as head of the Army Matériel Command, will be the chief operating officer.



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