The US had more 8000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, or a growth rate of more than 25% per day: the highest growth rate on this chart. Italy’s growth rate is now down to less than 10%, which means that by the weekend, the US will almost certainly have passed Italy as the country with the second-highest number of cases. Next week, the US is very likely to pass China to become the country in the world with the greatest number of Coronavirus cases. if the current rate is maintained, it will take about 40 days for every single American to be infected.
The US media has been using Italy as an example of why national public health systems don’t help, but look at Denmark (just over 5%), Norway (below 5%) and South Korea (almost down to 1%). These are countries that are very unlikely to go runaway, as the US is now on track to do. These are countries that will be able to maintain their health care systems. The US, however, is headed straight for system meltdown.
What does meltdown mean? Lack of basic equipment; death rates closer to 5% than to the 0.5% of a South Korea; and people with potentially fatal but curable diseases and injuries unable to get treatment and thus dying of those. This is where we are headed and we were warned.
Not only is access to basic medical care a human right but public health is a public good. Maybe when this is over, Americans will finally demand that their government treat it as such and start investing the kind of money in public health threats to come as we invest in protecting the country from military attacks that will never come