Fatality Rates Show How Wrong the Media's COVID Narrative Really Is


Watching CNN and other liberal media outlets, it can feel like the coronavirus fatality rates in the United States are unbelievably high.

And make no mistake — the numbers are alarming. As of Tuesday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, there were over 1.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 69,079 confirmed deaths.

This is pretty horrible stuff — and some in the media have used those numbers to paint the U.S. as the land of the coronavirus and the home of an administration that’s handled it ineptly

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Yes, the numbers may seem daunting, but it turns out the U.S. is actually handling the coronavirus pretty well.

Confused? Let me explain.

Here’s what CNS News reported May 1: “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).”

The case fatality rate involves dividing the number of deaths by the number of positive tests. It’s not an entirely accurate picture of how deadly the virus is — those with mild symptoms usually won’t be tested, for instance — but it provides a very rough snapshot of how a country is handling the virus.

According to that snapshot, the U.S. is handling it much better than other countries.

“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,” CNS reported.

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As I said, that’s a very rough snapshot. A per-capita death rate — the number of deaths as a proportion of the total population — may provide a more accurate look.

In terms of that, the United States is the fourth-lowest — although that number may be misleading, as well, and statistically in favor of the United States.

The U.S. per-capita death toll number is 0.0189 percent. Only Brazil, Iran and Germany have lower numbers.

However, numbers from Iran are questionable, just like those from China.

President Donald Trump has made reference to the U.S. case-fatality rate in some of his remarks on coronavirus.

“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 at the White House on Thursday.

“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.”

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Sweden, it’s worth pointing out, hasn’t put many social distancing restrictions in place. However, as CNS noted, the country “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).”

So, yes, the numbers do seem daunting. The United States has the most reported deaths. We have the most reported cases. And yet, that’s because we’re a large country with a large population — not ineptitude of the government’s response.

That’s what blows the media narrative right out of the water.

And, unlike certain nations that rhyme with “angina,” we actually report our numbers. Just saying.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture