Fact of the Day: COVID-19 Mortality Rates

Among the United States and its peer countries in Europe, deaths from COVID-19 began to decline in April and May as the effects of new social distancing rules started to rein in the spread of the virus. In Europe, that decline continued through July until deaths hit nearly zero.

In the US, however, President Trump urged states to re-open their economies in mid-May, and by mid-June the decline in mortality stopped. Mortality increased in July and August, and then began to decline very slowly in mid-August. Our death rate is currently 2.7 per million, compared to an average of about 0.1 per million throughout Europe. If the US had followed Europe’s lead, our total COVID-19 deaths would be about 30 per day instead of the 1,000 per day we’re currently experiencing.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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