COVID-19: US has more deaths but UK worse per 1m population

Please note: The current Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is fast moving, and reactions to it seem to update not just day-by-day but minute-by-minute. Obviously, this site was not designed to bring you the very latest developments in a ‘breaking news’ story such as this. Instead, this site will continue to include news and opinions relating to major events, policy changes, and so on.


Evaluating the responses of various governments in the performance of each country, in the fight against COVID-19 coronavirus, is getting more interesting – as lockdown and other restriction have begun to be relaxed.

Such figures are of great interest to anyone considered to be vulnerable, such as those with diseases including MS, those with disabilities, and those over 70.

Some people are looking at the numbers of confirmed cases and some are focusing on deaths. And, on both those counts, the US comes out as the world’s worst affected country. It has recorded more than 108,000 deaths since the pandemic started.

But, in truth, that is far from one of the worst results, when population figures are taken into account.

Let’s compare what has been happening across the pond. In that country, there have more than 40,000 deaths against a population of 60m. The US population is almost six times greater, totalling 327m.


US president Donald Trump .

That means the number of COVID deaths per million population in the UK is 600 but only 330 in the US. Looked at that way, as far as I am concerned the only way, the US is not the worst affected nation. In fact, that dubious honour falls to Belgium with the UK in second place.

It is also pretty good news for America. President Donald Trump and everyone responsible for their response, both nationally and by state, have done well. Well, a darn site better than in the UK.

COVID deaths in UK and European Union, June 4. (Graphic: BBC).

In fact, just how bad things are in the UK was emphasised last Thursday (June 4) when the daily total of deaths from COVID was 359 but the 27 European Union countries TOGETHER only reached 314.

Smack in the face for PM Johnson

Those stark figures represent a smack in the face for prime minister Boris Johnson’s pathetic government’s handling of the situation.

Indeed, government scientific adviser Prof John Edmunds said he wished the UK had gone into lockdown earlier than it did.

He explained that the delay had “cost a lot of lives”. However, he added that data available to the government in March was “really quite poor”. The poor data made it “very hard” to call an earlier lockdown, he said.

boris johnson

Boris Johnson, UK prime minister.

Now, Johnson is steaming ahead, despite serious warnings, with plans to ease restrictions, including sending children back to school. Voices have been raised in protest by general practitioners, scientists, teachers, parents, and others fearful of such moves leading to an increase in confirmed cases and more deaths.

Johnson’s government has also made a u-turn in its guidance on face masks.

After weeks of dismissing the need for wearing masks, with government and the World Health Organization (WHO) saying masks won’t protect the wearers. Instead, the new policy is aimed at preventing people who have the virus, but who are without symptoms, from passing it on to others.

To be clear, the government’s latest guidance is for everyone to wear face coverings when social distancing is impossible, such as when on public transport and when shopping.

Johnson’s address on the previous Sunday (May 24) led to an immediate reaction from opposition MPs and trade unions. They criticised the government message as being unclear. Two days after the uproar, the government published Our Plan to Rebuild, a 60-page document setting out its plans in more detail.

We’ll have to see how the situation develops but, unless figures improve dramatically, I believe further de-escalation of the UK’s restrictions is pure nonsense.

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Please note that being born in the UK, all my posts, are written using British English spelling.

For example:

Centre                              not center (except in names, Centers of Disease Control)                  Colour                              not color                                                                                                                      Diarrhoea                       not diarrhea                                                                                                  Haematology                not hematology                                                                                Haematopoietic          not hematopoietic

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * is the personal website of Ian Franks. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. More recently, he was a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is for your general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Ian is not a doctor, so cannot and does not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues. Also, consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely his own unless otherwise stated.



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