What Next

Sweden Screwed Up

How the country’s COVID-19 death rate became one of the world’s worst.


Episode Notes

Swedish officials eschewed sweeping shutdowns when the pandemic hit. Some reasoned that Sweden could still power down if COVID-19 cases spiked. But the spike arrived, along with a high death rate, and still there’s been no policy change.

Guest: Lena Einhorn, author, filmmaker, and former medical researcher.

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt, and Daniel Avis.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.