There’s an NYTimes article claiming the US is hardest hit by CV19, and implying that our lack of autocracy, and our slow-to-respond government is to blame. This is based on us now having the highest confirmed rate.
That’s bollocks, and Donald G. McNeil, Jr. should be ashamed of misleading and promoting fear and amplifying distrust.
First, there is no way autocracy is acceptable. Even if he didn’t realize that’s what he said or implied, he should have a stern talking to. We struggle like any country, but we have a pretty decent amount of personal liberty. Declaring emergencies and taking executive power is spooky, and should stay limited.
Yes, our confirmed case number is highest, but that has no bearing on how hard we’ve been hit. We have tested more people than any other country by hundreds of thousands of tests. Our mortality rate is lower than most other countries, on par with SK.
Yes, we could have snapped out of it sooner, while China was still misleading the world about what was really going on over there, and we could have done more, sooner. But tests don’t grow on trees. It took time to ramp up testing. We could have probably gotten two weeks extra, not two months extra. Like TX said last weekend, we had money if anyone could provide us the tests.
The thing to check for “how hard are we hit” is the mortality rate. We cannot use deaths per confirmed case, because that number is affected by percentage of positive cases found. We do not have that metric for any country. We have some guesses. We can also factor in hospital overload vs not, but that’s not consistent either. There are a few really hot places in the US, but we’re not collapsing them yet.
The thing we can look at reliably is deaths per capita from the disease. That tells us how hard we’re hit. For instance, if China had 1000 people dead, and we had 500 dead, China would not be harder hit. Their population is huge.
Our total deaths as of yesterday were:
Italy 10k (one per 5.9k)
France 5000 (one per 13.4k)
Worldwide is 122k (one per 64k).
US 1200 (one per 273k)
SK 131 (one per 393k)
PRC 3300 (one per 420k)
We’re pretty sure a lot of people in China died and never got counted, but everyone else is better about testing people who died with respiratory distress.
We’re pretty sure Italy’s rates are a little high, because death from any cause while infected is attributed to CV19 death rate. Mostly, they are just getting hammered due to population age, hotspot distribution, and some procedural errors that allowed intra-hospital disease spread.