Forbes; Caught By Surprise: Lack Of Coronavirus Testing Gives U.S. Highest Reported Mortality Rate
It’s not because the coronavirus in the U.S. is any stronger than it is anywhere else in the 70+ nations that now have it. It’s that the level of testing here has been slow resulting in a small number of confirmed cases compared to the number of deaths. That means the mortality rate here is higher than it is in Hubei province, the epicenter of the new coronavirus. The U.S. mortality rate is currently 5.9%. In Hubei, it’s 4.3%.
The U.S. does not yet have the capacity to test at the levels South Korea is currently testing at, which is over 10,000 patients a day. South Korea’s mortality rate, meanwhile, is just 0.6%, which is on par with influenza, a disease that infects millions each year.
“Because this is a new coronavirus, we are in a period of uncertainty,” says Winnie Chi-Man, professor of global health policy and economy at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “There is no deterministic response. That’s the reality. People have to trust the government will get this right.”