COVID: Another Trump Argument about how well they are doing debunked


Posted August 1, 2020

In trying to make the case that the US, under his direction, is doing really well, Trump stated:

“All over the world, they’re having tremendous problems. A resurgence has taken place in many countries that people thought were doing well. Despite a wide range of approaches to the pandemic between countries, this resurgence in cases is occurring throughout large portions of our planet — in Japan, China, Australia, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Hong Kong — places where they thought it was — they had really done great. It came back. And in a couple of cases, it came back very strongly.

. . .

Since the beginning of June, daily new cases have increased by a factor of 14 times in Israel; 35 times — that’s 35 times — in Japan; and nearly 30 times in Australia, just to name a few.”(1)Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing | July 30, 2020

Let’s put things in perspective:

  • If we take June 1 as the reference date, then the number of cases on July 31 is up 10, 40 and 109 times in Israel, Japan and Australia respectively as compared to 3 times in the US. Sounds good when you spin it this way BUT on June 1 Israel, Japan and Australia had 9, 33 and 98 cases while the US had 22,436(!). So looking at this in a more realistic way Israel, Japan and Australia have added  a total of 90, 38 and 10 cases per million population compared to 151. So, not only, did the US have hugely more cases on June 1 than the other countries he referred to, the added many more (even on a per capita basis) than these other countries.
  • Figure 1 below puts things in perspective. It shows that the US not only has more cases per capita than any other country with over 5 million population with no other country except Brazil and Peru even close and that the US is adding more cases per capita per day than all countries except Bolivia, Brazil and Peru.

Figure 1. Summary of situation on July 31, 2020 for selected countries. Rankings are for countries with population over 5 million(2)Data taken from Worldometer COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic web page 

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