I don't expect this to get any traction during the last week of the election. But what surprises me a bit is that it has gotten no attention in the months since Trump began whining about the issue.
Ever since the number of cases of Americans infected by the coronavirus began skyrocketing, Trump started to complain that the only reason there were more cases of infections was because there was more testing. Of course that was ridiculous, and it was always pointed out as ridiculous. Testing doesn't create new cases, it only demonstrates the cases that already exist. Still, though, that was his attempt at an argument, and it became the debating point -- literally. Not just in the public area, but actually in his debates with Joe Biden.
And though it's a ridiculous point, when you get down to semantics, it's sometimes very difficult to make reality shine through as clearly as it should since it is, after all, reality.
However, the point that I'm surprised has never been addressed -- or at least addressed even remotely as much as it should -- is not infections, but deaths. That's because deaths have absolutely zero to do with how much testing has gone on.
If there was no testing at all, you might not have any idea how many cases of COVID-19 there were -- but you would know how many deaths there are from the disease. They get recorded, tested beforehand or not, with the cause of death registered with it. And the numbers of deaths in the United States compared to the rest of the world is pretty close to the same relationship as cases in the U.S. to the world.
Right now, there are 232,084 deaths from COVID-19 in the United States. And there are 1,171,337 deaths from coronavirus around the world. That means the U.S. has almost exactly 20% of the deaths from the disease -- despite having only 4% of the world population. Which, as I said, is pretty close to the percentage of cases in the U.S. to the rest of the world. And it's all without the debating point question of "testing.
Again, no testing is involved. And facts are very straightforward and simple: the U.S. has 4% of world population, and 20% of COVID-19 deaths. It cannot be blamed on testing. And the numbers cannot be more clear -- in fact, even more so given the high quality of medical care in the United States, which would make you think deaths should be lower here than around the world, especially with Third World countries factored in. You know, those "sh*thole countries" Trump likes to talk about.
I fully understand why cases are discussed in the news. It's important in order to show the spread and try to stop it. But why this easier set of facts about deaths hasn't been addressed in order to contradict Trump, I don't know. But -- it's still the facts.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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