Of 10 Hardest-Hit Countries, US Has 2nd-Lowest Case-Fatality Rate, 4th-Lowest Per Capita Death Toll

By Patrick Goodenough | May 1, 2020 | 3:39am EDT
Members of the New York City Fire Department applaud frontline medical staff and essential workers at NYU Langone Health in NYC. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Members of the New York City Fire Department applaud frontline medical staff and essential workers at NYU Langone Health in NYC. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – As April moves into May, the United States continues to have the second-lowest fatality rate out of the ten countries reporting the highest numbers of COVID-19 deaths.

At the same time, of those ten countries reporting the highest numbers of deaths, the United States remains near the lower end of the scale of deaths in proportion to the national population.

As of early Friday, the ten countries reporting the highest numbers of deaths attributed to the coronavirus were the United States (62,996 deaths), Italy (27,967), Britain (26,771), Spain (24,543), France (24,376), Belgium (7,594), Germany (6,623), Iran (6,028), Brazil (6,006), and the Netherlands (4,795 deaths).

(Iranian opposition activists claim the real number of deaths in Iran exceeds 37,000, which if true would place its death toll second only to that of the United States. Officially, Iran is reporting 6,028 deaths.)

The case-fatality rate is the number of COVID-19 deaths divided by the number of confirmed cases of the disease caused by the coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China late last year.

Of those ten countries with the largest numbers of deaths, only Germany has a lower case-fatality rate than the United States. Germany’s is 4.06 percent, while the rate in the U.S. is 5.89 percent.

The case-fatality rates for the ten countries, in descending order, are:

Belgium           15.86 percent
Britain             15.52 percent
France             14.57 percent
Italy                 13.61 percent
Netherlands     12.13 percent
Spain               11.49 percent
Brazil                 6.88 percent
Iran                    6.36 percent
United States    5.89 percent
Germany           4.06 percent

(Graph: CNSNews.com/Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University, CIA World Fact Book)
(Graph: CNSNews.com/Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University, CIA World Fact Book)

When the death tolls in the ten countries are viewed as a proportion of the countries’ national populations, the United States lies in seventh place of the ten, ahead of Iran, Brazil and Germany, and behind Belgium, Spain, Italy, Britain, France, and the Netherlands.

The per-capita rates for the ten countries, in descending order, are:

Belgium                       0.0647
Spain                           0.0490
Italy                             0.0448
Britain                         0.0407
France                         0.0359
Netherlands                0.0277
United States             0.0189
Iran                              0.0116
Brazil                           0.0028
Germany                     0.0008

(Graph: CNSNews.com/Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University, CIA World Fact Book)
(Graph: CNSNews.com/Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University, CIA World Fact Book)

On Thursday, 2,029 COVID-19 deaths were reported across the U.S., a drop from the numbers reported for the previous two days – 2,612 on Wednesday and 2,096 on Tuesday.

Over the past seven days (Apr. 24-30), a total of 13,042 coronavirus deaths were reported in the United States, down from 17,038 for the previous seven-day period (Apr. 17-23). The totals for the two weeks prior were 16,438 (Apr. 10-16), and 10,552 (Apr. 3-9).

Speaking at the White House on Thursday, President Trump made a reference to the case-fatality rate.

“Together as one nation we mourn for every precious life that has been lost, and there have been many. There have been many, we’re so saddened by it,” he said.

“Through our aggressive actions and the devotion of our doctors and nurses, however, we have held our fatality rate far below hard-hit other countries, such as Spain and Italy and United Kingdom and Sweden.”

Sweden, which has drawn attention for putting only mild restrictions in place during the pandemic compared to most other countries, has reported 2,586 deaths and 21,092 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of early Friday.

In the lists above, that would put Sweden one place above the United States in per capita deaths (0.0253) and between Italy and the Netherlands among the case-fatality rates (12.26 percent).

The numbers of confirmed cases and deaths cited above are from the real-time database of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Per capita rates are based on national populations from the CIA World Fact Book.

 

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