Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
American deaths per million equal or exceed Europe’s worst-hit nations in several locales.
At first glance, the United States appears to have fared reasonably well during this pandemic. So far, 327 Americans have died of the coronavirus out of every one million in the population.
That’s according to official numbers. Which are all we have to work with at the moment. (There are solid reasons why official numbers should be viewed as provisional and inexact. See the bottom of the page here.)
If we compare its overall rate of 327 deaths per million to the hardest hit nations in Europe, America looks blessed. Belgium has experienced 820 deaths per million. Spain and the UK, 580. Italy, 555.
But peer a bit closer, and another story emerges. America’s number is low because many parts of that country have (so far) been spared a serious outbreak. In places where the virus gained a foothold in the wider community, the death rate exceeds even the worst countries in Europe:
New York state: 1,546
New Jersey: 1,327
Rhode Island: 691
District of Columbia: 666
This being an election year, some people are blaming US President Donald Trump, a Republican, for the lives lost. It’s worth observing, therefore, that the governor is a Democrat in six of the seven US states is which the death per million rate equals or surpasses Italy.
Likewise, the mayor of the District of Columbia is a Democrat. Only in Massachusetts is a Republican in charge.