The United States officially has the most known number of deaths resulting from COVID-19 in the world.
The media appears “thrilled” to report these headlines:
While this is true, many observers have taken to social media to criticize the failure of the mainstream media to report the number of deaths per capita.
The United States has 5.5 times the population of Italy, for example.
When that is taken into consideration, then it is clear the likelihood of contracting the virus or dying from the virus is much lower in the U.S.
It makes it more apparent that the Trump administration successfully slowed the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States.
See some of the posts calling out the mainstream media below:
Because it is an election year, many observers question the media's ability to objectively report on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump took decisive and strategic action to protect American lives and livelihoods.
Trump's successful handling of the crisis is a great message for his reelection campaign, which could explain the media's relectunce to focus on positive developments and to focus on worst case scenarios instead.
CNS News confirms that the United States has the third-lowest COVID-19 fatility rate:
Of the 12 countries reporting the highest numbers of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease COVID-19, the United States has the third-lowest fatality rate.
As of early Monday, 337,620 confirmed cases had been reported in the U.S., and a total of 9,616 deaths – a fatality rate of 2.84 percent.
That compares to a global fatality rate of 5.44 percent (a total of 1,275,542 confirmed cases worldwide, of which 69,498 have resulted in death). The figures are from the real-time database of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
The measure is a crude one, as the number of confirmed cases reported in any one country depends to a large degree on how widespread the testing is. Furthermore, in at least two of the 12 countries with the highest numbers of cases, China and Iran, serious doubts have been raised about the reliability of the data being reported, relating both to cases and to deaths.
With those provisos, as of Monday the fatality rate in the U.S. is lower than nine of the 12 countries with the largest number of cases, with only Germany (1.58 percent) and Turkey (2.12 percent) faring better.
Many of the "facts" reported by the media are done so without any context.
For example, the population difference between the United States and Italy puts the death toll into perspective.
The U.S. has only now just passed Italy in the total number of deaths due to coronavirus.
If we were really on the same path as Italy and the deaths per capita were the same, however, we would have 5.5 times the number of deaths we currently have.
No wonder people are taking to social media to rail against the establishment media!
Furthermore, legitimate questions are being asked about China and Russia's reporting of cases.
Not only have China's numbers appeared too good to be true, but the government has lied multiple times during the crisis, which undermines their own credibility.
A lack of testing in countries like India and Mexico could also be "hiding" other COVID-19 hotspots around the world.
The New York Times reports that China may be undercounting its victims and that it's playing a propoganda game with the world:
Public health experts agree that China is undercounting its victims. The same is true in the United States, Italy and any country hard-hit by the virus. But concerns about China’s accuracy are particularly acute, given the government’s history of concealing unfavorable news.
Caixin, a respected Chinese newsmagazine, recently reported that a truck driver brought thousands of urns to just one funeral home in Wuhan, though it was unclear if the urns were used for coronavirus victims only, or more broadly.
China for weeks also flouted guidance from the W.H.O., which recommends that countries include asymptomatic patients in their official counts. Officials only began partially reporting them on April 1, bowing to public pressure.
In addition, American news outlets recently reported that the C.I.A. had been warning the White House since at least early February that China’s infection count was unreliable, though the basis for the C.I.A.’s skepticism was unclear. And on Sunday, a spokesman for Iran’s health ministry joined the chorus, calling China’s reported numbers “a bitter joke.”
Chinese officials have called the accusations “immoral slanders.” They suggested that the United States was casting doubt on China to distract from the fact that American officials had also ignored early warnings from experts.
“We sympathize with Americans, as they are facing a severe situation, and I can imagine why some in the United States are trying so hard to shift the blame,” Ms. Hua said.
A report from Japan also claimed that China stopped testing people for COVID-19 in an effort to lower its total tally.
This report has not been confirmed, but political observers such as Britt Hume have noted it.
At the end of the day, context matters when reporting something as consequential as a worldwide pandemic.