Published On: Wed, Jul 1st, 2020

The US has 4% of the world’s population but 25% of its coronavirus cases : Health

25% of reported cases, sure. The more important number is arguably deaths from COVID if we are attempting to answer some sort of value adjusted question (US healthcare sucks, Trump sucks, sending COVID patients to nursing homes is moronic, etc. Given that this is CNN there shouldn’t be any question what the preferred conclusion is).

Reported cases per capita and tests per case would start to equalize some of the methodology for cases. But arguably deaths are more important. In that case, you would have to adopt the same methodology. In the US, the CDC chose dying with suspected or confirmed COVID, which means more people will have their deaths ascribed to COVID than actually died FROM COVID. This is not a conspiracy or an “evil” thing or an attempt to massage the numbers, it’s merely a methodology. Some countries aren’t reporting COVID honestly, some are using less “restrictive” methodology, etc. So even comparing rates (rather than raw numbers) doesn’t have much value.

Given that the thesis of the story is almost certainly Trump sucks rather than any attempt at journalism, I suspect the fact that governors in 7 states choosing to send COVID patients to nursing homes is not a part of the story. Yet when the majority of deaths are nursing home related (even with NY changing the definition….contracted COVID in your nursing home but died in the hospital or on the way to the hospital is NOT a nursing home death, hmm….) shouldn’t a journalist be interested in sorting out why people in the US are dying from COVID rather than deciding who should be blamed and writing a story to support that conclusion?

Japan has done very little testing, hasn’t locked down the country, and has handled the pandemic reasonably well ; maybe wearing a mask or staying home when you are sick, washing your hands, doing local contact tracing, not sending infected people into nursing homes, and not being fat are the variables that most heavily influence outcomes. Sadly, the “journalists” in the US will never sort this out.