Here’s How the US Is Doing on COVID-19

Yesterday I showed you the current COVID-19 death rate in the US compared to similar European countries. The US looked fairly good, down toward the bottom of the pack.

But the US and Europe took different paths to their current levels. In Europe, mortality dropped nearly to zero over the summer. In the US, we never managed to do that. During the entire period from the end of the first wave to the beginning of the second, roughly a thousand people per day were dying. What this means is that if you look at cumulative deaths, the chart gets flipped around:

Now we’re up toward the top of the pack.

The lesson here is that there’s no single answer to “How are we doing?” If you look at cases, we look very high. If you look at deaths, we look fairly low right now but pretty high cumulatively. If you look at positivity rate, we’re fairly low but skyrocketing upward.

And if you just want an overall score without all the caveats? I’d put us maybe a little worse than middle of the pack. We’re not doing as well as superstars like Germany and Denmark, but we’re far from being the worst. Of course, all this might change in a few weeks if we keep going up and Europe starts going down. We’ll have to wait and see.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate