Coronavirus numbers, an update

The other day, a friend remarked that I haven’t written about the Wuhan coronavirus numbers lately. He’s right. I haven’t, for various reasons. I will in this post. (Numbers cited are from Worldometer.)

In the U.S., more than 340,000 deaths are now attributed to the virus. That’s many more deaths than most experts expected earlier this year. However, it’s commensurate with the per capita death toll in the countries it makes most sense to compare with the U.S.

The U.S. number translates to 1,028 per one million people. In the UK, the per capita number is almost the same — 1,040. In Italy and Spain, it’s higher — 1,190 and 1,065, respectively. In France, it’s 940.

Among the major European nations, only Germany has broken the pattern. Per capita deaths there are only 363. I’m still not sure why the number is so low.

Thus, the Democrats and their allies in the media are lying when they claim that, in a comparative sense, President Trump bungled the U.S. response to the virus. In fact, it doesn’t make much sense to say that Trump dictated the U.S. response, by and large. In our system, governors determined the response in their states. (However, Trump was responsible for pushing resources towards the development of a vaccine, and he deserves high marks in that department.)

Indeed, Democrats and their media allies were apoplectic at the thought that Trump might dictate to the nation’s governors. He did not. Governors formulated the response in their states. As a group, they did about as well (or as badly) as the leaders of the UK, France, Italy, and Spain.

As to the performance of the various states, New Jersey leads the nation in per capita deaths at 2,113, twice the national number. New York comes in second at 1,920. Connecticut and Massachusetts also have a considerably higher number of per capita deaths than the national number — 1,624 and 1,757, respectively.

Outside of the northeast, two of the worst performing states are North and South Dakota. In North Dakota, 1,661 deaths are attributed to the virus. In South Dakota, 1,635 deaths are. Neighboring Minnesota comes in below the national number at 923.

Throughout the year, I have kept track of the numbers in Scandinavia, especially in Norway and Sweden. That’s because these two countries adopted different approaches to the virus. Norway went with most of the rest of Europe and locked down tight. Sweden did not.

In Sweden, the per capita deaths number is 817. In Norway, it’s 77. In Denmark, which also locked down, the number is 202.

In Sweden, some hoped that its more less drastic approach to stopping the virus’ spread would produce herd immunity. So far, it hasn’t.

Sweden has been hard hit by a second wave of the virus, with about 7,500 new reported cases per day and about 50 deaths per day during the last six weeks or so of the year. In Norway during the same period, the numbers are about 500 new cases per day and about ten deaths per day on average attributed to the virus.

Sweden’s population is about twice the size of Norway’s.

Any way you slice them, the numbers, both in the U.S. and worldwide, are depressing. I suppose this is the main reason why I stopped writing regularly about them.

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