President Trump keeps looking for measurements to hide his administration’s abysmal handling of the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has now latched onto mortality rate (percent of COVID-19 patients who die) and claims that the U.S. is a world leader, which is a blatant lie. The U.S. mortality rate of 4 percent is not as bad as a number of European countries, but there are many countries with mortality rates of 2 percent or less.
The truly important statistic for a country is the number of COVID-19 patients who die per million people in the country. The countries which rapidly implemented massive testing programs, isolation and contact tracing, national shutdowns and social distancing and mask requirements managed to limit the portions of their populations which became infected. As of July 21, the U.S has had 427 COVID-19 deaths per million people and our numbers continue to grow; we probably will end up with more than 600 deaths per million, which will rival the worst countries.
The well-managed countries have done much better. Austria, Germany and Norway have had 120 or fewer deaths per million people; Australia, Greece, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea have had 20 or fewer deaths per million people.
The U.S. has 330 million people — the difference between 600 deaths per million people and 120 deaths per million people is over 158,000 lives. President Trump ignores this and other facts and gives himself high marks for controlling the virus.