The Wuhan coronavirus in North America

The number of new coronavirus cases reported daily in the U.S. is decreasing. Late last month, the number of such cases exceeded 70,000 many days. Lately, the number has been more like 55,000 cases and we haven’t exceeded 70,000 since July 31. (Except as otherwise indicated by a link, all numbers here are from Worldometer.)

One would expect the number of daily deaths attributed to the virus to reflect the level of new cases from about a month ago. Thus, it’s not surprising that we haven’t seen the daily death count decrease yet. That number is holding steady in the 1,250-1,500 range, except on weekends when the reported number always tends to be lower than during the rest of the week.

The three states that were flagged by the mainstream media as mainly responsible for the national increase in cases and deaths this summer are all seeing improvement. In Florida, the number of new reported cases per day is about half of what it was a month ago. Unfortunately, deaths attributed to the virus per day remain about what they have been since the beginning of August.

In Texas, new cases and deaths per day have declined, although not that dramatically. In Arizona, by contrast, the decline in new cases and deaths has been dramatic. New cases per day are down from about 4,000 a month ago to less than 1,500. Daily deaths are down from a peak of more than 170 at the end of July to an average of about 70 recently.

It’s important to put the numbers from Florida, Texas, and Arizona in perspective. Deaths per 1 million people attributed to the virus in these states are 408, 317, and 597, respectively. The national figure is 511.

The number for New York is 1,690 and it’s even higher for New Jersey. The number for Michigan, where Gretchen Whitmer presides, is 655.

Texas’ number is comparable to Minnesota’s (317 vs. 306).

It’s also interesting, I think, to look at the numbers from Mexico. New cases there began rising in April. They reached around 2,500 around mid-May, around 5,000 in mid-to-late June, and around 8,000 at the beginning of August. After that, they declined to around 6,500 now.

Deaths attributed to the virus have held steady at around 900 per day since late June. During this period, they have consistently and easily exceeded deaths per capita in the U.S.

What strikes me about the Mexico numbers is the relatively high number of deaths compared to cases. The number of new deaths per day approaches that of the U.S., but the number of reported new cases per day is nowhere close to ours.

Some of the disparity has to do with a relative lack of testing in Mexico, I assume. In addition, though, Mexico doesn’t seem to be doing as well as the U.S. in treating cases, which probably isn’t surprising.

According to this report, in Mexico City two-thirds of the patients confirmed to have died from the Wuhan virus were never intubated. Furthermore, out of the 2,782 confirmed patients who were ever connected to a ventilator, 2,018 died, a fatality rate of over 72 percent — much higher than in the U.S.

For the sake of completeness, let’s take a quick look at Canada. There, deaths per one million attributed to the virus are at 238. That’s comparable to North Carolina (215), Washington State (226), and Missouri (232), and somewhat better than California (273), whose population is about the same number as Canada’s.

Canada is certainly doing better than the U.S. as a whole, but not to the point that we should join some leftists in building a religion around the difference.