Despite what you might hear from the anti-Trump media, the United States is actually doing pretty darn well in the fight against COVID-19.
We’re even doing well compared to Europe, which is often portrayed by the media as ‘smarter’ and ‘more efficient’ than the United States.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
The EU has a population of 445 million and the US has a population of 330 million. The number of deaths in the EU (at the time of this writing) is roughly 163,000 (.367 per 100,000) and the number of deaths in the US is about 85,000 (.191 per 100,000).
In other words, the US is doing rather well especially considering the fact that the virus started in both places around the same time. It may seem like the US is in complete chaos because we have a free and unrestricted press that hates President Trump, but the strategies and tactics implemented by that same president and by state governors are working.
The World Health Organization this week said the pandemic appears to be slowing in Europe, but Spain and Italy both reported an increase in daily deaths as authorities eased lockdown restrictions. The rate of infection is also slowing in Japan, which recently voted to end its state of emergency in 39 prefectures.
The United States is slowly lifting restrictions, with experts warning that a second lockdown spurred by another wave of infections will be nearly impossible.
“I’m rather skeptical that once we start to open up here in the US that there will be a reversion to lockdown,” says Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University. “There will be a great deal of resistance to going back to sheltering at home to the severe extent that we have done in the past.”
Already, US citizens throughout the country are protesting lockdown measures that force them to stay at home, to keep their businesses closed, to ignore routine medical care, and to keep their kids away from school. In Wisconsin, the state’s Supreme Court blocked a “safer at home” order from Governor Tony Evers (D) in response to public demand.
And then there’s Sweden, which trusted its population of 10.2 million to stay safe without a lockdown. Social distancing was encouraged and gatherings were limited to 50 people, but restaurants, bars, schools, gyms, and public transportation have remained open.
Sweden did not experience an initial surge of infections like the ones seen in Spain and Italy, but its capital city of Stockholm reported a death toll more than 50% higher than the average for the month of April. Nationwide, roughly 30% more people have died during the pandemic in Sweden than is normal for this time of year – far more than in neighboring countries that implemented lockdown measures.
“It’s not a very flattering comparison for Sweden, which has such a great public health system,” notes Andrew Noymer, a demographer at the University of California at Irvine. ”There’s no reason Sweden should be doing worse than Norway, Denmark and Finland.”
To date, Sweden has reported 29,207 cases and 3,646 deaths. Worldwide, there have been roughly 300,000 deaths and more than 4.4 million infections.
The United States leads with the highest number of cases (1.45 million) and deaths (84,985), with Russia coming in second place with 130,000 cases and an unconfirmed number of deaths.
President Donald Trump this week said he would consider experts’ warnings against reopening the country before the proper response capabilities are in place.
“My concern is we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,” said top COVID-19 expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Experts say the US needs to improve testing and tracking methods, plan a phased reopening, focus on managing health systems, and implement strong social and economic policies to ease the transition.