“The Swedish people have suffered enormously in difficult conditions,” King Carl XVI Gustaf told state broadcaster SVT. When it comes to the strategy deployed in Sweden, he said, “I think we have failed.”

Much of the blame has been directed toward the chief architect of Sweden’s strategy, Anders Tegnell, its state epidemiologist. A poll published on Thursday showed that support for him and his employer has slumped over the past two months…

In an interview with broadcaster TV4, Tegnell said no one can tell whether Sweden’s strategy has failed. He was responding to a report published earlier in the week that showed significant shortcomings in Sweden’s approach that led to excess deaths among the elderly.

“More or less all countries are struggling with this,” he said. But he acknowledged that the situation in his home country is dire.

“We are beginning to approach breaking point in many different aspects,” he said.