A comparison between COVID-19 and Excess Mortality of US and other countries.


How many Americans would be alive today if we handled COVID-19 as well or poorly as other countries? (Including deaths from COVID, deaths from lack of access to medical care, etc.) This JAMA study brings the receipts, looking at excess mortality from all factors so there's nowhere to hide with clever counting.

From the beginning of the epidemic (red box), we're in 13th place out of 15 countries, only Spain and the UK fared worse. But there's a big element of luck and a steep learning curve in the March-April timeframe.

Looking from May 10 onward (yellow box), when the first wave was declining and we had a reasonable understanding of what works, we're in dead last, with somewhere between 57,000 and 103,000 more deaths than the other countries, adjusted for population.

From June 7 onward, it's even more stark, because most other countries brought their death rate down to nearly zero. In the green box, you see that we lost 46,000 more people than we would have if we'd done only as well as the second-to-last country did. (Our death rate over this period is 360% that of Finland and Israel.) Seven countries managed to have negative excess deaths - their death toll including COVID was lower than a normal year.

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