“This should be a season of hope: We will shortly be getting a highly effective coronavirus vaccine, and the pandemic should wind down in the coming months.
Yet this is the most wretched holiday season of my life. Consider:
More Americans have died from Covid-19 in nine months than in combat over four years in World War II. The virus death toll exceeds 292,000, compared with 291,557 American World War II battle deaths.
We’re sometimes now losing more Americans from the virus in a single day than perished in the Pearl Harbor attacks or 9/11. But contrary to viral memes floating around the internet, the virus is not creating the “deadliest days” in American history: In October 1918, in a much smaller population, more than 6,000 Americans died of the Spanish flu on average each day for the entire month.
If American states were treated as countries, the places with the highest per capita coronavirus death rates would be: Slovenia, South Dakota, North Dakota, Bulgaria, Iowa, Bosnia, Hungary, Croatia, Illinois, North Macedonia, Rhode Island, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, San Marino.
A pandemic is a test of a country’s governance, and this is one the United States has failed. Much of that is on President Trump’s colossal failure of leadership, but it also reflects a deeper skepticism about science and a proclivity toward personal irresponsibility — such as refusing to wear masks.”