Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness released a report arguing that 130,000-210,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States were avoidable had the national and state governments responded tot he pandemic appropriately.
When comparing U.S. fatalities with other high-income countries, the contrast becomes particularly stark. Beyond the total deaths of U.S. citizens – which officially stands at 217,717 but is likely much higher7 – one informative way to compare total fatalities is using the proportional measure of the number of deaths per 100,000 people.
The United States currently has the 9th highest proportional mortality rate globally, with some 66 deaths
per 100,000 population. It is behind only Peru, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Spain, and Mexico in this statistic.
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By failing to implement the type of response strategies employed in the six comparison countries, our analysis shows that the United States may have incurred at least 130,000 avoidable deaths. . . . if the U.S. had followed Canadian policies and protocols, there might have only been 85,192 U.S. deaths – making more than 132,500 American deaths “avoidable.” If the U.S. response had mirrored that of Germany, the U.S. may have only had 38,457 deaths – leaving 179,260 avoidable deaths. And in the unique case of South Korea — which had one of the quickest and most robust intervention strategies – the U.S. might have seen just 2,799 deaths, leaving nearly 215,000 deaths avoidable.