How does the US stand on coronavirus prevention compared to the other G-7 industrialized democracies?

NEWS ANALYSIS COVID-19 statistics for top ten countries by number of cases

Editor’s note: The following comparisons are meant to put efforts to control the COVID-19 coronavirus in perspective. Countries and states within the US demonstrate that when the guidelines are followed – masks, social distancing, widespread testing – the number of positive cases and fatalities decline. Since at this time no cure or vaccine exists to eliminate the virus, the only way to control who gets sick or dies is to follow these guidelines. Among the most advanced economies in democratic countries, the virus is viewed as a national health issue except in the US where it is a political issue. 

The world’s leading advanced democratic economies, otherwise known as the G-7, have had varying degrees of success fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus. Japan as a nation practiced wearing masks, social distancing and testing recommendations very early and never experienced the death tolls reached in European countries and the US. However, the European countries eventually instituted those practices nationwide and the rate of infection has greatly diminished. The US has no national effort to combat this pandemic, while individual states have each instituted their own with varied levels of success. This comparison shows the latest daily increase in coronavirus cases versus the total death toll within the G-7 countries as of Tuesday, July 7:

Italy – cumulative deaths=34,899; new cases yesterday=137

Japan – cumulative deaths=978; new cases yesterday=206

Canada – cumulative deaths=8,711; new cases yesterday=232

Germany – cumulative deaths=9,103; new cases yesterday=298

France – cumulative deaths=29,933; new cases yesterday=475

UK – cumulative deaths=44,391; new cases yesterday=581

US – cumulative deaths=133,972; new cases yesterday=55,442

What this shows is in countries that suffered the most, once safety practices were instituted and enforced, new cases dropped substantially and remained low by maintaining safety practices.

Following is a comparison of the ten US states with the most cumulative deaths:

New York – cumulative deaths=32,292; new cases yesterday=642

New Jersey – cumulative deaths=15,352; new cases yesterday=471

Massachusetts – cumulative deaths=8,213; new cases yesterday=201

Illinois – cumulative deaths=7,273; new cases yesterday=587

Pennsylvania – cumulative deaths=6,841; new cases yesterday=799

California – cumulative deaths=6,563; new cases yesterday=8,631

Michigan – cumulative deaths=6,251; new cases yesterday=633

Connecticut – cumulative deaths=4,338; new cases yesterday=57

Florida – cumulative deaths=3,841; new cases yesterday=7,749

Louisiana – cumulative deaths=3,325; new cases yesterday=1,936

As in Europe, states that experienced the highest death rates early in the pandemic, in most cases, immediately instituted strict controls; however, many of those states have relaxed controls and are experiencing a resurgence of cases. That is due to the fact no cure or vaccine exists to neutralize the virus, so the only defense against it is to remain vigilant by wearing masks, social distancing and testing.




One comment

  1. Hi Milt.

    I have an alternative explanation for why the US’ covid death numbers remain so high compared to our G7 fellows.

    Of the seven, the US is the only country with a for-profit health care system.

    That’s neither good nor bad outcome wise (all the systems are good). It’s just different.

    Health Care Capitalism is loud and boisterous — outlandish claims are made, fraud is endemic, fashions change quickly. We consult a doctor one day and sue her the next. In short, we Americans deal with health care on an adversarial basis.

    The other G7 countries all have national healthcare systems.

    Now that the panic of the spring has passed, these countries have rightfully remembered the pride they take in their egalitarian systems. So it’s understandable they take no interest in making their numbers look worse than they are. They have no economic or regulatory reason to call every death a covid death.

    That’s why I suspect our numbers are artificially high (We’re drumming up business), while the other G7 countries numbers are low (They are keeping up moral).

    Thanks. Nick.

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