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.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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