Coronavirus

Is the U.S. Handling the COVID-19 Pandemic Better Than Europe?

Trump's new coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas says yes.

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The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center keeps track of the COVID-19 pandemic data reported from most of the countries in the world. One common way to measure how countries are handling the coronavirus relative to one another is to compare their COVID-19 mortality rates per 100,000 people. In that respect, the U.S., at 57.97 per 100,000, is doing better than the Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, and Italy, with rates at 86.78, 62.68, 63.34, 60.85, and 58.85 respectively. On the other hand, the COVID-19 mortality rates in Sweden, France, Canada, Germany, and South Korea currently stand at 57.33, 45.93, 24.83, 11.26, and 0.67 respectively.

Another oft-cited statistic is that the U.S., with just 4 percent of the world's population, accounts for 24 percent of the world's diagnosed COVID-19 cases and 22 percent of the deaths attributed to the disease. Based on these figures, the U.S. has not been all that great at mitigating the pandemic.

During an interview last week on the BBC Newshour, President Trump's new coronavirus epidemic adviser Dr. Scott Atlas more or less dismissed these figures as misleading and instead pointed to excess deaths as the better way to measure a country's success in responding to the coronavirus. And he has a point, to some extent.

A September 1 article in Nature noted that during outbreaks of disease, researchers need to tally deaths rapidly. To do so, they usually turn to a blunt but reliable metric: excess mortality. "It's a comparison of expected deaths with ones that actually happened, and, to many scientists, it's the most robust way to gauge the impact of the pandemic," explained Nature.

Using death data from 32 countries and four major cities, the Nature article observed that by the end of July, diagnosed COVID-19 deaths across the 32 countries and four major cities numbered 413,041, whereas the figure for total excess deaths stood at 593,344. A small proportion of excess deaths are an indirect result of the conditions created by the impact of the pandemic—people missing cancer treatments or failing to go to emergency rooms during a heart attack—rather than because of the virus itself. On the other hand, deaths may decline due to fewer traffic accidents and increased social distancing.

At the beginning of his interview with Trump adviser Atlas, the BBC Newshour presenter asked Atlas about his credentials and credibility.

"I am a total straight shooter," responded Atlas. "I am a very direct blunt speaker. I am not shy about saying the truth. I will never say something that I do not believe is correct, period."

The Newshour interviewer then went on to point out that "America's record is much worse than other countries, 4 percent of the world's population, a quarter of the confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths."

Atlas' response was scathing:

You know what that's a completely incorrect assessment of what's happening. The only really legitimate way to compare countries is, if you really want to get down to it, it's something that most epidemiologists understand. And that is something called excess mortality. And what that means is comparing deaths this year, during the pandemic, compared to your baseline, your country's baseline. And the facts are the following: Europe has done 28 percent worse than the United States in excess mortality. No one talks about this. This is a quantitative appropriate epidemiologic criterion here, excess mortality. It's really sort of, again, an example of how a sloppy thinking and really amateurish thinking has somehow come to the fore here. This is not a political issue. You have to use the facts. When you read the data you have to know what you're talking about when you make a statement like that.

As it happens, Atlas' boss has made several similar assertions in the past month. At an August 11 White House press briefing, the president asserted, "Europe has experienced a nearly 40 percent higher excess mortality rate than the United States." At an August 17 campaign speech, he once again said, "Europe, by contrast, has experienced a 40 percent higher rate of excess mortality than the United States. Think about that, you don't hear those stories, they don't tell you that." More recently during an August 19 briefing, the president lowered his claim saying that "excess mortality in Europe this year is 33 percent higher than the United States."

So has Europe done some percent worse than the U.S. in excess mortality? British statisticians Janine Aron and John Muellbauer took a look at the data at the request of Factcheck.org, and find the comparison of excess deaths somewhat misleading.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) calculations, between Feb. 1 and Aug. 8, there have been between 174,930 and 235,728 excess deaths across the country, for a midpoint value of 205,329 deaths.

In comparison, through week 33 of this year, or Aug. 16, 204,634 excess deaths occurred in 24 European countries or parts of countries, according to estimates by EuroMOMO, a group monitoring mortality trends in Europe.

The two numbers—which are about equal—need to be adjusted for population, which reveals that there are 665 excess deaths per million people for the covered European area, compared with 622 excess deaths per million in the U.S., using the midpoint CDC value.

That works out to Europe having around 7 percent more excess deaths per million than the U.S. The percentage rises as high as 26 percent if the lower CDC value is used. Perhaps it is from this calculation that Atlas derives his comparison figure. On the other hand, if the upper-end CDC estimate is used, then the U.S.'s excess mortality rate is 7 percent higher than that of the E.U.

In the Nature article, University of California, Irvine demographer Andrew Noymer noted that people in his field will probably never know the pandemic's final toll with certainty. "We haven't even settled on how many people died in the 1918 flu," said Noymer. "And we've had 100 years to sort out the numbers."

In the meantime, citing only one of a range of calculations that just happen to make your boss look better may not be "sloppy thinking and really amateurish thinking," but it certainly is "a political issue."

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  1. When are we no longer in a “pandemic”? Let’s all just move the fuck on.

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    1. How about when we don’t have 1000 a day dying?

      1. how about we have one day where stats are stats.

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      2. So like, now then? Even your cooked stats where only 6% of reported deaths are actually caused by Covid 19 are below your arbitrary level. So, we’re good then right?

        1. And we’ve been at 5.5% covid prevalence for months.

          That means 0.5% above average deaths due to covid.

          What do you want to bet the lockdowns are killing far far more than that?

          1. Given that my soon to be mother-in-law is having difficulty in getting her cancer treatment, it is likely to be the case.

            We had to shut down ALL other medical treatments to “Take care” of a nasty cough.

            1. It’s really not that bad of a cough.

          2. As of 9/9/2020, Active U.S military = 1.3 million. COVID-19 deaths = 7. Remember when they were pulling aircraft carriers off the line if sailors tested positive…nannies!

      3. How about when we don’t have 1000 a day dying?

        We’ve had 12-1500 people a day dying of cancer *and* heart disease *each* for a couple of decades. If we eradicated COVID tomorrow, we’d *still* have 1200-1500 people a day dying of cander *and* heart disease.

        Pandemic =/= crisis.

      4. How about 500 a day? That’s what we have during a bad flu season and nobody has ever batted an eye over it. And that’s assuming that flu deaths were counted as thoroughly as Covid-19 deaths, but I doubt that.

        1. That’s assuming that flu death reports weren’t as lucrative for the medical industry or politically bombastic, and therefore no incentive to categorize someone dying in an accident or a heat attack as being a flu death just because they were tested positive 2 weeks ago. Being honest about stats is the first hurdle, and now that we are sitting on a data pool that has been corrupted across the nation, there’s zero chance of coming up with any meaningful number.

      5. So, by your suggestion, we have been out of the pandemic stage for about three weeks (the last time the seven day rolling average of daily mortality was above 1000 was August 22).

        Of course, that is based on an incredibly unacceptable pretense – that the mortality count for COVID is anywhere near accurate. We KNOW that the number of dead OF COVID is significantly exaggerated. There is no other disease which automatically over-rides other serious comorbidities in death certificates and it is completely anti-scientific to inflate the numbers this way.

        With an average of 2.6 comorbidities per “reported COVID death” a precursory guess would suggest that – all things being equal – only about 28% of these reported deaths are from COVID versus the other serious diseases these unfortunates were fighting. Ultimately, each case needs to be reviewed by a doctor who treated the patient in question and a specific cause of death determined. FYI, all things will not be equal when this is finally done – COVID is not that lethal compared to a lot of the common comorbidities.

        1. There is obviously going to be some level of causation between covid and some higher numbers. But the suggestion that itself is the single direct cause of elevated numbers is stupid on its face. Neither does it tell the entire story. Restrictive policies can also be blamed for deaths, though there would be no way to know how many because this is nothing that either the health business or the government really want to know.

          Comparing two diverse populations based on a single stat is also beyond stupid. It may nor may not be relevant, but short of doing comprehensive studies that normalize the data for all other relevant factors such as age, general health, population density, immunity, diet, working conditions, nothing can be determined. It’s as foolish as saying that the people in Idaho have handled this much better than the people of NJ because of one number [even though the people of Idaho have done far less].

      6. In my South Florida suburban hospital our coronavirus census is down to 20 patients.
        That is down from a high of 70 One month ago.
        We have 100 isolation beds and were never in any danger of being overwhelmed.
        We do have three corona patients in the ICU who we are unable to extubate and are likely to come for tracheostomy.
        So from our standpoint in the trenches treating Actual patients, the pandemic is winding down

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    3. The pandemic will suddenly end Jan 23rd, 2021 when Kamala Harris is christened lifetime Empress of the Socialist States of America.

    4. Why should there be a comparison with Europe or anywhere else, UNLESS the US GOV DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

      1. Because all of life is a competition.

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    6. All I see is a bunch of country’s that have media that is controlled by the CIA having the most deaths per 100k. The ones that aren’t – except for Iran – probably don’t have as much cia influence.

      The media causes Covid-19. Or false stats. One of those two is right.

  2. 2 in a row Ron? Shameless. 😉

    And…Europe is not a monolith. So…yes and no. Probably.

  3. Not as many fat old farts with copd in those other countries. Not a fair comparison.

    1. No shit – whenever I fly overseas, I always know when I am getting on the plane to return to America by the excess tonnage of the fat fucks that are Americans. Many of them 40 to 50 pounds overweight…some more than that. Embarrassing.

      1. Haha. Yeah. Americans are fat and they suck. Embarrassing.

        1. And most are richer and have a far better life than you ever will, and can also kick your ass in just about everything. We smile when we see you guttersnipes flipping us off.

  4. Remove the “bad policy” deaths from places that shoved covid patients into nursing homes and onto ventilators and we’re doing pretty damned well. 30,000 bad policy deaths from NY/NJ alone. Many more when you add in the other states that did the same thing.

    Now whose “leaders” are actually writing books and talking on TV about how well they did, and nobody even questions them about it. They literally have the steepest curves and the most deaths, but they try to dunk on the places that actually flattened the curve (FL) enough to extend it and have numbers that blow the idiots out of the water.

    We have three basic categories of people:

    1) Died because of the virus. These people were mostly old and sick, or were younger with serious health problems.

    2) Died with the virus. We count these people no matter what killed them. When 5.5% of your people are positive, you’d expect roughly 5.5% of your deaths to ALSO be positive, even if covid had nothing to do with what killed them.

    3) Died because of bad policy/lockdowns. These were ALWAYS the most preventable deaths and should have been the focus from the start. In Oregon ALL of covid only accounts for 22% of their excess death. And as discussed in 2) — some of those just died with it in their system.

    At every level our “leaders” have failed, because their goals are not the same as ours. We want to go back to normal. They do not.

  5. Deaths by covid per 100000 seems best to me since it does not include overall deaths. But even then there are politics in both over and under reporting deaths. Just hope the one thing everyone learns is that all governments and political parties cant be trusted

    1. COVID deaths are useless, since the definitions are so sloppy and pliable.

  6. Just love how you need to waste 100s of words to avoid simply stating that Atlas’s point about excess deaths is far more scientifically valid than what the Newshour hack was stating.

  7. https://twitter.com/TrumpWarRoom/status/1250859000029216768

    CNN March 4:

    “the flu right now is far deadlier. So if you’re freaked out at all about the coronavirus you should be more concerned about the flu”

    “15,000 people roughly have already died of the flu this season. Couple years ago, 60,000 people died of the flu.”

    1. https://twitter.com/BilldeBlasio/status/1234648718714036229

      Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus, I thought I would offer some suggestions. Here’s the first: thru Thurs 3/5 go see “The Traitor”
      @FilmLinc
      . If “The Wire” was a true story + set in Italy, it would be this film.
      7:16 PM · Mar 2, 2020

  8. https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet/status/1303771473098792961

    Pelosi Feb 24th: “Come to Chinatown, here we are — we’re, again, careful, safe — and come join us.”

  9. https://twitter.com/Neoavatara/status/1303723600080498692

    Should we celebrate that the US isn’t #1 anymore?

    @CNN
    ?
    @MSNBC
    ? Want to celebrate this?

    Nah.

    Again, the virus comes for everyone.

  10. No, the best metric excludes the onset of the pandemic because some countries couldn’t isolate themselves by shutting down air travel and had a smaller more densely packed population.

    Instead if you want to know who’s handling the pandemic better now we should look at our current 7 day average daily mortality rate.

    1. “No, the best metric excludes the onset of the pandemic because some countries couldn’t isolate themselves by shutting down air travel and had a smaller more densely packed population…”

      Nothing about the Jews, Nazi? Falling down on the job.

      1. If you’re going to call someone a Nazi, put up the evidence.

        Otherwise, shut up.

        You’re the worst kind of libertarian; the name caller, who violates the NAP by insulting a person. Physical injuries can last a lifetime, but character assassination lasts several lifetimes. Insults have caused wars and cost tremendously in life and treasure.

        There is nothing libertarian about using insults in discourse.

  11. Global cases 27M+ times 10 so 270M conservatively. x10 number published here numerous time.

    Total dead 900K minus 25% overcounting so close to 700K dead.

    700K / 270M = 0.26% fatality rate.

    Congrats every asshole who pumped this up to be the pandemic of the century. You were wrong.

    1. 25% figure per Dr Birx

      1. That does not include the vastly greater overcount based on counting those WITH the disease but not dying OF it.

    2. .26 is vastly overestimated. Deaths under 65 (you know, the only ones that matter) are like .0002%.

  12. Mr. Bailey, This repeated claim is very strange, “Another oft-cited statistic is that the U.S., with just 4 percent of the world’s population, accounts for 24 percent of the world’s diagnosed COVID-19 cases and 22 percent of the deaths attributed to the disease.”

    The US is much larger than any single European country. If you compare the US to Western Europe instead, you get similar population size, similar culture, similar death rate, and similar percentage of global covid-19 deaths. This data is a couple weeks old, but take a look:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UGG0LhxsYAlFbuj0GVZvdt2Rs2EcPE-2cY5_XkylAiM/edit?usp=sharing

    1. Great spreadsheet. It’s very similar to looking at case fatality rate (deaths divided by total cases) by state in the U.S. I’ve got the numbers but not a spreadsheet that I can put a link to, but it’s no surprise that the states that did the worst are New Jersey 8.39%, New York 6.62%, Massachusetts 7.09%, Connecticut 8.55%, Michigan 6.11% and Pennsylvania 5.63%. Most of these sent covid positive patients back to their nursing facilities. This data is from the end of August.

    2. That particular canard has other problems. Vast swaths of the world are not capable of accurately counting COVID cases and deaths and huge countries such as Russia, China, and Iran are almost undoubtedly lying about their numbers.

      1. And the USA is not?

        Glass houses, stones, etc.

        1. Of course the US is lying. But other countries see it more advantageous to discount the numbers [hide the problem] whereas the US often sees fit to inflate the numbers for money and political advantage. Your attempt to equate the two is as pointless as saying the 80# bulimic woman and the 600# woman have weight issues and therefore related comparisons are valid.

  13. Based on these figures, the U.S. has not been all that great at mitigating the pandemic.

    Based on those figures, the US is right there in the middle of the pack.

    1. Another oft-cited statistic is that the U.S., with just 4 percent of the world’s population, accounts for 24 percent of the world’s diagnosed COVID-19 cases and 22 percent of the deaths attributed to the disease.

      When compared to another similarly sized region how do we shake out. How does China shake out?

      New York City has more murders than Arizona – how does that help you compare how dangerous each place is without knowing their relative populations and the murder rate per capita?

      1. It’s texas sharpshooter. If you took just LA and New York counties, you get something like 20% of the deaths from less than 1% of the population. An even more strong and clear “Holy Shit! *Don’t* do what these motherfuckers did!” signal.

        The 22% from 4% is specifically drawing the circle just tight enough to indict federal leadership without too obviously pointing the finger at people like DeBlasio and Cuomo.

        I’d be interested to hear the analysis about how 22% from 4% is some sort of valid indictment but 50% of violent crime from 10% of the population is immorally racist.

        1. Math is…….. well, you know.

    2. And it would be better if we weren’t a nation of fat fucks. Have you compared American obesity rates to, say, South Korea?

      1. EVERYONE IS EQUALLY THE SAME!

      2. Or North Korea! Very few obese people there. Just the Un, in fact.

      3. Exactly. Someone else’s unhealthy lifestyle choice means all of us must be confined to our homes so that *we* don’t put *them* in danger.

        1. Did someone confine you to your home?

  14. I still can’t believe people are putting any faith at all in the accuracy of the numbers provided from anyone.

    1. I still have faith that the CCP is totally honest with their covid infections reaching 80k and stopping in mid Feb.

      1. It’s an interesting metric that over 2 million cell phone numbers have gone dormant in China, starting soon after the onset of Covid there. Most would interpret that as 2 million fewer people needing a cell phone because they are now dead from Covid. China locked down in a selective quarantine manner – that is, those with symptoms were isolate from the rest of the population first – the right thing to do to slow the spread, and the wrong thing to do for those who were locked (in some cases, their doors were nailed shut from the outside) away. China does not place value on human life, except insofar as fewer people means fewer workers for the state, and thus less revenue for the CCP to steal. So statistics like the absurd 80K infections are so laughable as to be perverse.

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  17. 4 percent of the world’s population, accounts for 24 percent of the world’s diagnosed COVID-19 cases

    Its not surprising at all really when you look at how little testing has gone on in the rest of the world.

    China pretty much stopped counting when they realized that eradication was impossible and that old folks are the only people that have to worry about it. That they aren’t accountable to their people means they don’t even have to go through the motions.

    Most of Europe is not testing as aggressively as the US (exceptions are UK/Russia) Had testing been as aggressive their numbers assuredly would be higher.

    India is just now ramping up their testing (US has done 6 times per capita).
    The rest of the very populous countries in Asia haven’t really been testing cause they are too poor to do widespread testing.
    Likewise with South America and Africa.

    1. Agree and i think i mentioned that but in different words

      1. This was meant for another comment but to your point i’ve heard japan is not even testing. Why test. Its a cold/flue whatever every year people die from both. Its like a tsunami or earthquake all you can do is ride it out

        1. Japan has tested 12,957 per million, which is basically no testing at all.

          I’m with ya man. Ride it out.
          If I get it I get it.

        2. Well, technically in a tsunami you should get to higher ground. But from what I’ve seen in these comments it’s a good thing that hardly ever happens here, cuz Americans are too fucking fat to go uphill.

          Perhaps a robust floatation device?

          Haha. We suck.

    2. It’s more like a statistic that reflects battlefield casualties vs. civilian casualties in wartime. The enemy directs its fire at troops, rather than at villages; that’s where the threat is. The high mortality and high infection incidence in the United States is a result of the United States being the target of the virus. The other counties – Italy in particular – are collateral damage, being on the pathway for the Chinese infectors to gain entry to the United States in order to spread the virus. This virus is unique in the length of time during which the infection does not manifest with symptoms – by design, so that infectors can, in the absence of entry testing, slip into the designated target area undetected. There is otherwise no explanation for why the virus appeared first in the cities around international and national hub airports in the US, nearly simultaneously on both coasts and e.g. Chicago. A coordinated multi-front attack.

  18. Omg I am sooo tired of this bullshit. I’m done. They can arrest me, they can shame me, I ain’t wearing a mask no mo’. And if some dumbass wants to make an issue of it, I’ll call ’em a coward, ’cause a coward ain’t gonna do shit.
    Note: I will still put on a mask for work because I need a job, and I will still put on a mask to go into the pot store, because they won’t let you in otherwise.

    1. I’m in my local gun store a lot.
      They let you in without a mask in spite of my county’s mask requirements.
      Lots of cops and firefighters in there.
      I don’t know about the local pot store.
      I’ve never been there.

  19. Such bullshiz layered on bullshiz. Statistics are, and always have been, garbage in, garbage out.. especially when you consider such tiny margins that are statistically insignificantly different from each other. 1 sigma is 5%, and it isn’t till 5 or six sigmas that you start to be able to get snooty with the backing of scientific certainty, so this is most definitely political flibbitygib

  20. In terms of everyday life Europe is managing COVID 19 far better than the US. We have been eating in restaurants and drinking in bars since May, theaters are open, cinemas are open, schools are operating normally, no looting, and no riots. Other than the lack of open air rock festivals and wearing masks in public transport, life is pretty much normal here. So even if we do have an equal death count to the US we have suffered much less economic and social damage. Seems like Europe is outperforming the US by a wide margin.

    1. Lucky. In the IS we have an election coming up so the people that don’t want trump to win have an incentive to make life as terrible as possible then blame trump

      1. … and the MSM is now pushing the “second wave in mid-October” narrative. Timing is everything.

    2. Probably better on the social scale but most of the economic data does not support your premise.

      1. Both are literally bakrupt on a mark-to-market basis. We just get to shove the reserve currency up everyone else’s ass, but those days are numbered.

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  22. Why are we not hearing more about China in all of these discussions, that is the big elephant in the room. There is no natural way they only have 85000 cases and 4600 deaths, every time the wind blows a thousand people die there. Either they are hiding the real numbers, possible or my theory is they did this purposely and had already vaccinated their population. Then I read an article that they had already discovered this years ago in a mining town and shipped the virus to the Wuhan lab for research? And to top it off they stop all internal flights but allow international flights to occur. If all these are true, my question is now who else new of all this, where was the CIA and NSA when all of this was happening? That question more than anything is whey I want the Republicans to win back the house, keep the senate and if possible the presidency because it the dems take all three we will never know the full extent of this.

    1. They probably ‘disappeared’ a bunch of people and we’ll never ever know.

      And the media says, ‘Ta-dah! China is better!’

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  24. “Another oft-cited statistic is that the U.S., with just 4 percent of the world’s population, accounts for 24 percent of the world’s diagnosed COVID-19 cases and 22 percent of the deaths attributed to the disease. ”

    I can’t anymore. I just can’t.

    And? This is what we call a MEANINGLESS statistic.

    1. Yup. They just drew a circle around the numbers they wanted to highlight and then wrote “America” inside it. They didn’t even bother to come up with any sort of shitty magic dirt hypothesis. Just guilty by virtue of being American. Fuck those assholes.

    2. Perhaps you Canadians should clean up your own yard before you spend your entire day yelling at us about ours.

      1. I thought we had a moment!

        And here’s the reality and problem….Canada COPIES the USA. Don’t tell them that but for stuff like masks, they get their shit from you assholes.

        Plus it’s a little boring up here with a few hundred cases. We’re in hysteria mode.

        1. Maybe if you were having an election this year you could get in on the nonsense too, eh?

  25. Who believes China has less cases than the US has deaths? Anyone? 1.5 billion people, 90k cases… Right.

  26. USA and Europe are not monolithic in how it’s being handled.

    Sweden, Switzerland and South Dakota handled it well.

    PA, Spain, Italy NY, NJ and PA handled it bad.

    1. You left out Belgium and UK.

      Sorry. Gotta push back on Italy.

      Italy got hit hard first. They had shut down sports and airports in February (in the North) as they gauged the situation. Then the nursing home event happened.

      But they got a handle on things very fast. If you look at the statistics carefully, they reigned it in and have performed in line if not better than most countries. While cases are going up slightly n the south, they manage to keep restricted to the north. They took their hit over 30 days but since May, they’ve been corralling it in and now they’re in a good spot.

      So much so the head doctor is not worried about cases going up as the system can handle it. And Conte thanked and apologized to the people for the lockdown. That’s how you keep the restless natives calm.

      If anything, I’d put them in a ‘did a good job despite’ category.

      They’re nowhere near the worst country in cases per million and will soon drop out of deaths per million top 10. Nor do they seem to be losing it like in the UK.

      And compare Italy to the group you mentioned. It doesn’t belong.

      It’s more in line with Sweden, France and USA.

      1. On a case per million: Sweden, France and USA all surpass Italy.
        On a death per million: Sweden, USA, Italy are in the same area while France is slightly below. USA will likely pass Italy.

      2. Italy could also be credited for having weathered a storm “despite” the dual challenges of: their resident population of Chinese in their north, and many Africans and other illegal migrants they’ve had to absorb in recent years.

  27. Scott Atlas is brilliant in the field of Neuro MRI. His books and lectures taught a generation.

    Excess mortality is as pointed out a blunt tool. It is a data point. Dr. Atlas could appreciate trying to diagnose a brain lesion with only a Gradient Echo sequence.

    So with this virus I am left with more questions than answers. Perhaps Dr Atlas will appreciate that and give the best advice he can to our political leaders.

    The Oath of Maimonides
    The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. May the love for my art actuate me at all time; may neither avarice nor miserliness, nor thirst for glory or for a great reputation engage my mind; for the enemies of truth and philanthropy could easily deceive me and make me forgetful of my lofty aim of doing good to Thy children.

    May I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain.

    Grant me the strength, time and opportunity always to correct what I have acquired, always to extend its domain; for knowledge is immense and the spirit of man can extend indefinitely to enrich itself daily with new requirements.

    Today he can discover his errors of yesterday and tomorrow he can obtain a new light on what he thinks himself sure of today. Oh, God, Thou has appointed me to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures; here am I ready for my vocation and now I turn unto my calling.

    1. I’ve been listening to him since April or May.

      His the perfect voice to slowly set the country back on a proper course.

      I’m hoping his reasoned mind will find its way into Canada where even the caribou think officials are bonkers.

      1. I don’t know.

        Sometimes these diagnostic gurus just get to where they are going to hit for home runs every time. I have known them. They go for zebras, not horses.

        Then medicine and politics do not mix well which is why I gave the Maimonides prayer. Humility is a negative in politics. It is a positive in medicine.

        So he should give the best advice he can even if it costs him in political standing.

        1. Humility: Dr. Tegnell.

          From the country that is a pariah.

    2. “…Today he can discover his errors of yesterday and tomorrow he can obtain a new light on what he thinks himself sure of today. Oh, God, Thou has appointed me to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures; here am I ready for my vocation and now I turn unto my calling.”

      Please keep your superstitions to yourself; I do not care what imaginary friends you have.

      1. You should not care. You take it for granted.

        1. “You should not care. You take it for granted.”
          Did you intend that to make sense? Did your mom say you werwe smart?
          She lied.

      2. And nobody cares what you think either, so shut your fucking cock-holster.

        Better to worship Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, or even a tree than an obese orange-painted ignoramus.

        Or a demented career democrat who’s been wrong about everything for 47 years.

        1. “And nobody cares what you think either, so shut your fucking cock-holster…”

          Your erotic fantasies are every bit as interesting as his superstitions. Fuck off and die; make your family proud and the world a better place, shitbag.

      3. Again you insult a person here by referring to his writing as superstition.

        Either you blatantly disregard the NAP or you’re ignorant of it. That’s inexcusable for a libertarian.

  28. To me due to the differences in classifying and reporting covid-19 across the country and world, the only statistic that can be measured somewhat reasonable for comparison is the number of deaths that exceed the number of expected deaths regardless of the cause.

    All of the other statistic are prone to wild fluctuations based on differences in collection and classification to be rendered worthless for comparative purposes.

  29. You can’t know how well anyone handled things at this point. The data sucks and it’s not over quite yet. Look back in a year and see which countries are the most fucked up.

    1. We should commission painters to imagine how fucked up and sell the art.

      Now here’s USA. /Homer scream.

      Yes, it’s kinda silly half way in and still not past a full cycle to comment with any confidence. I’m still not convinced figures won’t be re-adjusted. We can surmise but best to wait. But we won’t.

  30. The 4% of population but 24% of cases is willfully ignorant, to the point I’m going to call it an outright lie.

    NO ONE trusts the Chinese numbers, and we don’t even have numbers from India. Many other countries have numbers I find suspect or just absent. Africa won’t even care. When you have Malaria and Ebola as facts of life, a plague that’s less severe than measles won’t cause any trouble. Given the substantial number of recent cases that are diagnosed via test but were minor or asymptomatic, any country without mass testing is going to underdiagnose by at least an order of magnitude. I don’t even trust the American or European numbers of infections in before March.

    And as for Korea’s and Japan’s rock bottom numbers. That’s just not believable. They have too much contact with the outside world. Their populations are too urban, and their actions seem fairly close to everyone else’s. I just don’t believe that they can isolate and keep the numbers down so well.

    Back to the conclusion, there are several clear and unambiguous way to state the comparison between Europe’s and America’s numbers. “Statistically Similar”. “America is lower but within margins of error”. There are a host of other ways as well.

    Finally, Europe was hit over a month earlier than America, so we have some time to catch up. However, from current data, we can say for certain that America’s response was not substantially worse or wildly better. Once we get final numbers and lower these error bars, we may be able to see if we were slightly better or worse.

    1. We’ll never know, because the media and to their disgrace, much of the scientific community, is ratcheting up as much bad news and hysteria as possible to get rid of the Orangutan-in-Chief. Just because Trump is a dumb motherfucker doesn’t make it right to do what they’re doing to him. If he cured cancer tomorrow they’d lampoon him for it.

      There isn’t ANY good data anywhere, and they sit around kissing Cuomo’s ass and he demonstrably fucked this up worse than about anyone.

  31. Ron, they find the data “somewhat” misleading? No, they found it completely misleading. You don’t state the conclusion of the fact check article:

    “A better comparison, Aron and Muellbauer said, is to see how well the Northeastern U.S. stacks up with the major European countries, since the timing of the pandemic and population characteristics, including population density, are more similar… The duo found mortality to be 76% higher than normal in the Northeastern U.S. — well above the level of any other European country. Spain was closest, with a 55% increase, followed by England and Wales (54%), Scotland (41%), Italy (40%), Belgium (38%), the Netherlands (30%), Sweden (28%), France (22%) and Germany (6%)…. All plausible measures of excess mortality, they said, are “substantially worse” in the Northeast than in the worst-affected countries in Europe. “This is despite the later arrival of the pandemic in the Northeast,” they added, “which gave U.S. policy-makers three more weeks warning than European countries such as Italy and Spain.”

    “Moreover, Aron and Muellbauer expect that as more time elapses, the U.S. is likely to fare worse in comparison with Europe because of its larger ongoing epidemic.”

    “Other than cherry-picked or misleading figures, we find no evidence to back Trump’s claim, and using a more appropriate comparison with Europe shows that the opposite is true — that even with multiple advantages, the U.S. has experienced a higher rate of excess mortality.”

    Stop being so forgiving to our liar-in-chief.

    1. Oooh!
      Jackass is back to offer more lefty bullshit!

    2. The duo found mortality to be 76% higher than normal in the Northeastern U.S.

      Shitty governors in the Northeast.

      1. Ducey, Kemp, Abbott, and DeSantis are governors in the northeast? Methinks you need Geography 101.

        1. Cuomo is not D?
          Hey! Jack ass is here to pitch more lefty bullshit!
          Welcome back, slimy lefty shit!

    3. And we know that FactCheck hates Trump on a personal level. I’d rather ignore their conclusion and look at their reasoning and evidence. The reasoning supports a “Yes, but” or “Not precisely” conclusion.

      Calling it a lie when it is clearly factual and cherrypicking a worst case scenario as a counterpoint is no better. In fact, I would say it is substantially worse because these people are clearly looking at all possibilities, seeing multiple different interpretations of data, and it is their job to analyze these things. Instead of giving a caution or a concern, they just flat out call him a liar.

  32. Irvine demographer Andrew Noymer noted that people in his field will probably never know the pandemic’s final toll with certainty. “We haven’t even settled on how many people died in the 1918 flu,” said Noymer. “And we’ve had 100 years to sort out the numbers.”

    This just isn’t good enough. We have until Nov 3 to sort out the numbers. Earlier with mail-in balloting. The future of the free world depends on it. Otherwise, the American voter will vote on the basis of ignorance – nay stupidity even – and revel in it.

  33. Not to mention that it’s kind of ridiculous to compare the entire United States with individual European countries. The range of policies AND death rates is enormously variable across the US, where the policies and death rates within any single European country are fairly uniform.

    A more valid comparison would be between individual US states and European nations.

  34. Guy handpicked by Trump to tell Trump what he wants to hear says Trump is doing great.

    1. Lefty shitbag upset; Trump’s doing just great.
      Fuck off and die.

      1. I definitely trust the assessment of a guy who freaked out for 4 years over Benghazi but thinks Trump is doing a great job with 200,000 dead Americans on his watch.

        1. They knew of the attack, gave stand down orders and let those people die.

          The end.

          1. No. Even if that weren’t a lie, which it is, it still makes you look like a fool and a soulless partisan for ignoring all of Trump’s crimes and horrors.

            1. Team politics…so pointless.

              We are getting ass-fucked raw and bleeding by both parties and their Deep State patrons, and people just want to take out their red or blue pom-poms and deny the reality of what is going on in this country. “I don’t care if I get fucked over, as long as I get fucked over by my preferred assholes.”

              “Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed, and are right.” ― H. L. Mencken

              1. You will believe anything Sean Hannity vomits into your ears.

        2. “I definitely trust the assessment of a guy who freaked out for 4 years over Benghazi…”

          Knowing what that fucking hag did =/= “freaking out”, you pathetic piece of lefty shit.

        3. Sleepy Joe says 160,000,000 dead Americans, 2 billion Americans out of work, and zero taxes, but only for rich, white, straight people.

  35. There are a many different statistics that show different aspects of the disease. You can certainly cherry pick the ones you want to show that the US is doing better than some countries or worse than some.

    What’s really surprising is that nobody really understands why some countries have lower mortality and infection rates than others. If you look at worldometers or jhu you’ll see third world countries with barely functioning governments at any level doing better than Europe and the US.

    It’s a complicated picture. Anybody who quotes a single statistic is simply a propagandist.

    1. If you look at worldometers or jhu you’ll see third world countries with barely functioning governments at any level doing better than Europe and the US.

      Most of those people are too poor to get enough food to be fat, and they die before they hit 75.

      1. Nonsense. The third world is just not getting tested or treated. Mexico has tested roughly 1.4 million (v close to 90 million in US) with 650k confirmed cases for a 45% positive rate. Ecuador has tested about 330k with 115k confirmed cases (35% positive rate) with 11k deaths (but that is where the bodies in streets videos came from in April). They aren’t being tested in hospital but most likely only as preparation to entry into an ICU unit (which isn’t available for most of the population).

        Most of the world has no idea of scope of the problem – or the resources to treat it even if they do. They are not playing some fucking ‘ranking game’ so that morons and assholes in rich countries can pat themselves on the back that they are doing better.

        Excess mortality is the only way anything can be measured in most of the world. And it is not being measured in precisely those countries where it is the only possible measure. Nor can it be measured at those times, in short windows, where you do have the bodies in streets outcomes because at that point they can’t even count the bodies.

        1. Is your PANIC!!! flag stick up your ass hurting, chicken little?

      2. The average age in the USA is 38 years; the average age in Africa is 1/2 that, at just under 20 (19.7). Covid’s victims are VERY highly skewed towards the older population, so it is not a comparison based on socio-economics; it is a comparison skewed by age (in New York, 3/4 of Covid deaths were in the over-65 group), and heavily influenced by Vitamin D (Africa is a tropical country with very high levels of insolation – that’s why Africans have dark skin) levels, which have been shown to be positively correlated with survival outcomes.

  36. This is a “C’mon, man!” level of imbecility. We SHOULD have a higher infection and death rate – by far – because we were the target of a stealth biowarfare attack by China. There is one, and only one fact that needs to be known in order to justify this statement: China restricted travel within China immediately, isolating Wuhan area residents from traveling within the country. They permitted free travel from that same area to the West – in particular, directly to the West coast, Chicago, and via their staging area in Milan*, to New York – the international travel hubs of the United States, from which their carriers dispersed. Known infected Chinese were used as “anthrax blankets” as part of an economic war against the United States. They co-opted the WHO, which minimized the threat (the head is in China’s pocket), they refused access to their own RNA studies when questioned by the West, they tried to corner the market on PPE, they provided defective test kits to us, etc. – but the key is: the USA was the target. Trump’s actions against their cash cow trade deals provoked the attack, for certain – especially since he was continuing to rake them over the coals for intellectual property theft, use of education visas as a university research infiltration technique, bribery of workers in key industries such as pharmaceuticals and aerospace to sell IP secrets, resistance to moves to withdraw and burden with tariffs American companies that had moved production to China, remove or lessen our dependence on China for key products such as pharmaceuticals, etc. All this would have driven the Chinese economy backwards, so they chose to strike while they had maximum leverage. We are at undeclared war with China – economic for the time being, but it may reach a shooting war. Notice the increased emphasis on shoring up their military of late. But again: the KEY fact is that they let a known, highly-infectious novel virus, that they had severely restricted within China, to be freely distributed at large to the US. That is clearly a biowarfare attack, and why the US, despite its rapid response, has been so severely harmed by Covid. Xi Jin Ping is a mass murderer and war criminal.

    * Chinese fashion and fabric industry has moved almost wholesale to Milan, from which they can evade tariffs, and connect freely and inexpensively with the fashion industry in New York City.

    1. “…We SHOULD have a higher infection and death rate – by far – because we were the target of a stealth biowarfare attack by China…”

      Blue-light special on tin-foil hats, aisle 6!

      1. Yeah, when you see dog droppings, do you just go ahead and step in them, or do you actually perceive an obvious threat directly in front of you? Wake up and smell the coffee – if it is not obvious to you that the CCP used Covid to weaken the West, it’s not clear to me that your shoes will ever be clean enough to wear indoors.

  37. Don’t put too much credence in the “worldwide” totals as they currently stand.

    Roughly half the world’s population is in China and India, neither of which are likely to be reporting accurate numbers. Nobody in the world believes China’s claims of no new infections in their entire country over the last few months, but those claims are still included in the worldwide totals. India spent a long time not paying much attention to what was happening in their slums (which in aggregate have a larger population than the U.S. and possibly all of North America), so all of their reporting totals are probably suspect at best.

  38. This entire conversation is bizarre: comparing these numbers misses obfuscates. Europe got hit first, and hard. They saw widespread casualties, early. Then, for the most part, they grew up, and dealt with reality. Many of the nations that shut down in a timely way have come back more open. They are healthier, and their economies more open. It is not a contest.

    Meanwhile the US was so lucky. We had lots more time to learn. The big outbreaks in the US came from Italy: we got to watch it happen there, and learn. But we didn’t. And here we are, still largely closed, but not quite closed enough to crush the pandemic.

    This is the difference between falling off a cliff you don’t know is here, vs watching someone else fall off and following them. We shouldn’t be bragging about that! Plus look at Asia, at Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, or at Australia, New Zealand — comparing the US and UK and Sweden is the D students in the back of the class squabbling about who screwed up the least.

  39. Hmmm…let’s do a one-to-one comparison of 50 different states spread all over N America and the Pacific Ocean against umpteen thousand different countries spread all over Europe. Makes sense.

  40. Ron,
    Here’s a 37-minute YouTube video by Ivor Cummins that makes some powerful points. Here’s a rough summary:

    It l ooks at graphs of key statistics.
    The Gompowitz (sp?) curve of fatalities seen in other epidemics is being followed, meaning there was little reason to panic at its height, and that it would fade without lockdowns.
    Sweden’s death toll from flu in 2019 was much lower than that of its Nordic neighbors, providing more “dry tinder” (frail, vulnerable people who’d otherwise have died in the prior year) for Covid-19. Supporting this, countries that had had MORE severe 2019 flu seasons had lower impacts from Covid-19. (A very strong argument IMO.)
    The second wave in the U.S. is in the South, which reflects the geographic difference between temperate and tropical zones, which peak at different times. (A weak argument IMO.)
    Also contributing to the illusion of a second wave is a “casedemic” due to over-sensitive testing that detects fragments, not true cases (hospitalizations).
    This fake second wave was seen before in the Swine Flu epidemic—when what drove alarm about it was alarmism and media frenzy.
    Also, a likely seasonal effect.
    And the second wave might be due to Autumn flu, in part, being mis-counted as Covid-19.
    And the second wave is minor in size.
    Lockdowns are causing deaths from deferred elective testing and surgeries. Plus causing other social negatives.
    Lockdowns slow herd immunity, making infections in the fall more deadly.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UvFhIFzaac

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  42. Not to mention that it’s kind of ridiculous to compare the entire United States with individual European countries. The range of policies AND death rates is enormously variable across the US, where the policies and death rates within any single European country are fairly uniform. Read More..

  43. Not to mention that it’s kind of ridiculous to compare the entire United States with individual European countries. The range of policies AND death rates is enormously variable across the US, where the policies and death rates within any single European country are fairly uniform. Read More..

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