Here’s a jarring thought experiment: If the United States had done merely an average job of fighting the coronavirus — if the U.S. accounted for the same share of virus deaths as it did global population — how many fewer Americans would have died?
The answer: about 145,000.
That’s a large majority of the country’s 183,000 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths.
No other country looks as bad by this measure. The U.S. accounts for 4 percent of the world’s population, and for 22 percent of confirmed Covid-19 deaths. It is one of the many signs that the Trump administration has done a poorer job of controlling the virus than dozens of other governments around the world.
End quote. Is Leonhardt trying to say that the USA has the highest number of deaths per million population in the world? I knew this isn't true, so I suspected he either erred or something reeked.I copied some numbers from the Worldometer late yesterday and did some calculations.
|Deaths||% World||Population||% World||1M_Pop.||– Col 5|
The numbers in the 7th column -- rightmost and Leonhardt's statistic -- for the USA, Brazil, Mexico, UK and Iran are very close to Leonhardt's. So something reeked. How can the USA rank 11th in column 6 but way ahead of all the other countries in column 7? It would clearly be biased to compare only the numbers in column 2, which depend on population size. Leonhardt's statistic manages to magnify the role of a larger population. Brazil and the USA are pretty close in deaths per million population. Leonhardt's statistic magnifies their difference.
Region Population Deaths
#1 30 million 3 million
#2 10 million 1 million
#3 60 million none
Regions #1 and #2 have the same death/population, 10%. Region #1 has 75% of deaths and 30% of the total population. 75% - 30% = 45%. Region #2 has 25% of deaths and 10% of the total population. 25% - 10% = 15%. Eureka! Leonhardt's statistic much depends on population size, even magnifying the role of a larger population. He built in a bias. Clearly his motivation was to blame President Trump and his administration as much as possible.
Leonhardt claims that only 183,000 - 145,000 = 37,000 Americans would have died if its death per million population was as low as the world's. That's a big "if", because the USA had a much higher infection rate than most other countries. So did several other countries such as Belgium, Spain, UK, and Italy, but Leonhardt had no blame for their politicians. The USA's cases/population is about 5.6 times the world's.