How many COVID deaths should America have had?

Richard Kenneth Eng
2 min readOct 24, 2020


The following data is from worldometer on October 23, 2020. Non-USA death tolls are scaled to USA population.

USA — 331.6 million population with 8,746,953 cases and 229,284 deaths

China — 1,439 million population with 85,747 cases and 4,634 deaths: 1,068 deaths

Japan — 126.4 million population with 95,138 cases and 1,694 deaths: 4,444 deaths

Vietnam — 97.6 million population with 1,148 cases and 35 deaths: 119 deaths

Germany — 83.9 million population with 417,350 cases and 10,090 deaths: 39,879 deaths

South Korea — 51.3 million population with 25,775 cases and 457 deaths: 2,954 deaths

Australia — 25.6 million population with 27,495 cases and 905 deaths: 11,723 deaths

Taiwan — 23.8 million population with 548 cases and 7 deaths: 98 deaths

In this list of countries that have handled the COVID crisis extremely well, Taiwan did best and Germany did quite okay.

All things being equal, the American COVID death toll should range from 98 to 39,879. Instead, it’s 2,340 times worse than Taiwan and 5.7 times worse than Germany. At the very least, 189,000 Americans died needlessly. The question is, Why?

Personally, I think the USA being the greatest country on earth should’ve had fewer than 5,000 COVID deaths.

As to why, I think it’s a combination of 3 factors:

  1. The USA is a federal republic. This hampered the Americans’ ability to mitigate spread.
  2. American culture is based on individual freedom and lack of trust in government. This gave people permission to ignore the advice of medical authorities.
  3. The Trump administration was totally incompetent. It failed to ramp up testing adequately. It gave people bad advice. It failed to lead, either legally or spiritually.