We could have been Canada…

John Phillips, September 30, 2020

Deaths per Million for U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe

Back in March, I sent an email speculating about how many Americans might die from the coronavirus. I estimated a range from 290,000 to 1,160,000, based on the assumption that 29 million Americans would get it. (For the 2016-17 flu season, the CDC estimated that 29 million got the flu, resulting in 38,000 deaths.)

At the end of September, a little more than 6 months into the pandemic, how are we doing?

According to the CDC

  • There have been 7,129,313 cases in the U.S.
  • And 204,598 deaths

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington projects that there will be 371,509 deaths in the U.S. by the end of the year.

How do we compare with other industrialized countries?

We have had 622.3 deaths per million people. In Europe, they have had 333.2 deaths per million. There have been 21,722.6 cases per million people in the U.S., compared with 6,283.4 cases per million in Europe.

Had we done as good job as Europe at controlling the spread, we’d have about 2,062,199 cases and 59,181 deaths.

In fact, only three countries have had more deaths per capita than the U.S.: Peru, Spain and Brazil.

And that’s pretty much the story of the U.S. response to COVID: we could have been Canada (247.2 deaths per million) but instead we’re Mexico (598.5 deaths per million).