One keeps hearing, particularly on the BBC, that the United States is ‘the worst in the world’ for coronavirus, stated as fact. The next worse, by the same BBC measure, is Brazil. Not coincidentally, the BBC hates the presidents of both those countries. Statistically, this is fiction, although neither Trump nor Bolsanaro has done well. It is true that the US has more known cases than any other country, but comparisons are hard since figures in countries like China and Iran are highly unreliable.
Besides, the key measure is proportion, not overall size. The most telling Covid-19 statistic is deaths per million of population. Currently, the United States stands at 498, Brazil at 485. The United Kingdom, however, comes in at 699. Belgium is the world-beater, at 864.
This article is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator Notes, available in this week’s magazine.
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